What happened to the single fathers in WWI?
Generally when a wife died the widower would seek another wife. Single-father households were rare since the norm at that time was that a female’s role in life was to raise the children, take care of the home, etc., and the male role was to be the breadwinner. This did not mean that women did not work outside the home, but there were fewer females in the workforce than today. Many women who worked outside the home before marriage would give up their jobs upon marriage. There would have been cases where the widower did not marry again – or at least not immediately following his wife’s death – in which case the children would have been taken care of by a female relative or even given up for adoption. My grandfather’s first wife died during the ‘flu epidemic of 1918 and there were two very young sons to take care of. He married my grandmother within a year and by 1921 there was a third son (my father). My grandmother considered herself very fortunate to have found a husband because the wa
It was rare or even unknown. Firstly if the mother died, other members of the family would step in and take the children. The man’s Mother-in-law or the wife’s sister would look after the children, or Aunts would look after them. Divorce was only for the rich, and was virtually impossible once you had children. Women who had children out of wedlock would often end up in the workhouse, the children would be sent to an orphanage. Dr.Barnado’s were the most famous orphanages, they were famous for caring for their charges as if they were there own. A single Father far from being excused fighting would have been expected to join up. In other words get out of the way and let the women do their job, raising children. A motherless household would have been viewed with great suspicion, but would also have been financially impossible. It’s only since the Labour government has seen the promotion of teenage single girls to get pregnant so that they can live off the state that it has become possibl