War Naturally Affected the Birth-Rate in a Most Alarming Manner


On 4th October 1918, there was a report in the Bromley & District Times on a CHILD WELFARE EXHIBITION

One of the biggest killers of under 5s at the time was measles
‘An important feature of Bromley Baby Week, which was opened at the Public Library on Wednesday afternoon of last week by the Hon Mrs Eustace Hills, with Mayoress (Mrs Fillet) in the chair. The exhibition was prepared and conducted under the Child and Welfare and Health Committee of the National Union of Women Workers, and was a most interesting and instructive character, the exhibits being arranged under such headings as “Guidance for the Expectant and Nursing Mother,” “How to Care for Baby,” “Baby’s Food,” “Clothing for Baby,” “Care of Children in Sickness and in Health.”’

In discussing the birth-rate the report continued:

‘… the prolongation of the war had naturally affected the birth-rate in a most alarming manner. The continued absence of the fathers on active service abroad had affected the whole of Europe, though they were better situated than Germany.  After four years of war they were able to tabulate the figures and realise what the diminution of the birth-rate really meant.

It was therefore small wonder that special attention was now being called to the preservation of infant life, for on that they must depend for their future citizens’


Births during the war
1913 881,000
1915 814,000
1916 780,000
1917 668,000



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