||Conscription extended to
20 - 27 in Britain.
||Hore-Belisha resigns as Secretary of
State for War and is replaced by Oliver Stanley.
||Rationing of butter, sugar and bacon
begins in Britain.
||Nearly twice as many Britons have been
killed on the roads since blackout started than by enemy action.
||Sir John Simon announces food subsidies
are running at £1,000,000 per week.
||Two IRA bombs explode in
London, injuring 12 people.
||War Cabinet reshuffle, Churchill to
chair committee directing general war policy.
||British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain,
tells the British people that Hitler has ‘missed the bus’,
meaning that a German invasion of the west is now unlikely to
||The British government authorises the internment of Germans
living in Britain.
|| British unemployment falls to 973,000,
lowest figure since 1920.
||Budget Day raises taxes on beer by
1d, whisky up 1/9d (9p) and postage up 1d. Estimates of the
1940 war expenditure as £2,000 million criticised by MPs
for being too low.
||Commons approves trade agreement with
Spain, first since Spanish Civil War.
|| New evacuation scheme
introduced in Britain as a Ministry of Health survey shows that
only 8% of eligible children have been registered; 19% of parents
refused to do so; 73% did not bother to reply.
Union agrees to allow women workers in munitions factories.
|| Norwegian government-in-exile established
||Opposition censure motion against Chamberlain’s
conduct of the war; rejected by 281 to 200, but over 30 government
MPs vote for it.
|| Age for conscription in Britain is
raised to 36.
||Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain
resigns and is replaced by the First Lord of the Admiralty,
Winston Churchill, who forms a coalition government from all
three main parties.
|| King signs proclamation canceling
the Whitsun holiday.
|| The Labour Party Conference in Bournemouth
gives support to Churchill’s government by 2,413,000 votes
to 170,000. Churchill makes ‘blood, sweat, tears and toil’
speech. Queen Wilhelmina and the Dutch royal family arrive in
||The British Secretary of State for
War, Anthony Eden calls for volunteers to form the Local Defence
Volunteers force (LDV).
|| An official announcement by the British
government says that the weekly butter ration will be reduced
from 8oz to 4oz per head.
||Its announced that over 250,000 men
enrolled into the LDV in just the first 24 hours.
|| Sir Oswald Mosley and other British
fascists arrested. 76 IRA men arrested in Northern Ireland.
|| Trade Union executives accept Nye
Bevan’s manpower mobilisation plan, setting up Labour
Supply Board and Production Council.
|| General Sir John Dill is appointed
Chief of the Imperial General Staff, Sir Edmund Ironside becomes
C-in-C, Home Defence. Empire Day in Britain is declared as a
national day of prayer. Coastal towns from Great Yarmouth to
Folkestone are declared evacuation areas.
|| The British sugar ration is reduced
from 12oz to 8oz per head.
|| All signposts which might
be helpful to parachutists landing in Britain taken down. Unemployment
in Britain falls 92,000 in May to 881,000, giving a total fall
of 611,000 in a year.
|| All aliens and stateless persons living
in Britain are forbidden to leave home between 10:30pm and 6am.
Churchill orders the setting up of commando forces to be used
for raiding occupied Europe.
|| Churchill tells Commons 'We shall
fight on the beaches, in the fields, in the streets and in the
hills. We shall never surrender.' Holiday camps are banned within
10 miles of east and south-east coasts of England and Isle of
|| Home Defence commander Ironside announces
the creation of the ‘lronsides’, small groups of
highly mobile, armed men for defence against parachutists.
|| Production of hundreds of household
goods banned in Britain. All Germans and Austrians living in
UK ordered to surrender their wireless sets.
|| Householders in possession of Anderson
shelters must by law have them up and earthed by today.
|| General Sir Edmond Ironside, C-in-C
of British Home Forces, completes plans for the defense of Britain
against German invasion.
|| Churchill broadcasts to the nation,
saying the British will defend their island home and fight on
until the curse of Hitler is removed. Unemployment in Britain
falls 114,000 in May to new low of 767,000.
||Churchill speaks to Commons, declaring
‘let us so bear ourselves that . . . men will still say,
"This was their finest hour". General de Gaulle forms
the French National Committee in London and vows to continue
the war on the side of Britain, saying that ‘France has
lost a battle, but France has not lost the war.’
|| The British Jockey Club announces
no more racing until further notice. ‘If invaders come’
leaflet is issued by Ministry of Information to all British
||Both Houses of Parliament meet in secret
session to discuss Home Defence.
|| Second London County Council evacuation
scheme completed, with 100,000 children moved to the West Country
||De Gaulle forms French Volunteer Legion
||British government recognises de Gaulle
as leader of ‘Free French’. Channel Islands demilitarised
and partially evacuated.
||Germans troops land on Guernsey in
the Channel Islands.
||German troops occupy Jersey
and complete the capture of the Channel Islands, the only British
territory ever captured by Germany during World War 2. British
milk price maximum is raised to 4d a pint.
|| August Bank holiday cancelled in Britain.
|| In the House of Commons, prime minister
Churchill declares,' I leave the judgment of our actions with
confidence to Parliament. I leave it to the nation and I leave
it to the United States. I leave it to the world and to history.'
||British Metropolitan Police to be armed
when guarding vulnerable positions.
||Commons passed War Credits of £1,000,000,000.
Tea rationing of 2oz per head per week introduced in Britain.
||Birthday Honours list includes only
service recipients. British Union Party (Fascists) banned.
||To celebrate Bastille Day, de Gaulle
and Free French lay wreaths at Cenotaph in London. Churchill
broadcasts that Hitler must recast his invasion plans. British
commandos launch a raid against Guernsey in the Channel Islands,
with negligible results.
||Unemployment in Britain up 60,431 in
June to 827,266, but still down half a million on June 1939.
Home Office bans fireworks, kite and balloon flying.
|| General Sir Alan Brooke takes over
from Ironside as C-in-C, Home Forces. Ironside becomes a Field
||Czech government-in-exile established
in London under Dr. Benes.
||Lord Halifax rejects Hitler’s
‘peace proposals’. The Special Operations Executive
(SOE) is created in order to encourage resistance across occupied
||Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Kingsley
Wood announces the third War Budget, with income lax up 1d to
8s 6d in the £, beer up 1d a pint, purchase tax introduced
for first time at 33% on luxuries, war expenditure for the next
year estimated at £3,470,000,000. Secretary of War announces
that Local Defence Volunteers to be called the Home Guard, more
than 1,300,000 now enrolled.
|| British Order in Council
declares the start of the grouse shooting season to be August
5th instead of the 12th.
||Lord Beaverbrook appointed to War Cabinet.
||Churchill warns nation against believing
rumours that invasion threat is over.
||British forces pay increased by 6d
per day; privates’ pay up to 17s 6d a week.
||Wasting food becomes illegal in Britain.
||Ministry of Home Security announces
that parachutes had been hound in Derbyshire, Yorkshire and
Scotland, but no evidence of Germans discovered.
||Whole of Britain declared a defence
||Commons allows nationalist
forces of Poland, Norway, Belgium, Holland, France and Czechoslovakia
to train in Britain under their own flags.
|| The codeword "Cromwell"
is passed nation-wide, and church bells ring out in warning
that a German invasion may be underway.
||National ‘day of prayer’
proclaimed in Britain.
||German guns shell Dover.
||Minister of Labour Ernest Bevin announces
that until the end of August 51,261 men had registered as conscientious
||Plans to evacuate mothers as well as
children from Blitz areas announced; 444,000 children already
evacuated from London area. Petrol goes up to 2s & 2d per
||Chamberlain resigns as
Lord President of the Council through ill health, and cabinet
is reshuffled with Sir Kingsley Wood, the Chancellor, and Ernie
Bevin, Minister of Labour joining War Cabinet.
||Churchill makes statement to Commons
and claims that the Germans have the capability to ‘throw
500,000 men onto salt water or into it’.
||Churchill is unanimously elected leader
of the Conservative Party.
||British Summer Time to be continued
||Ministry of Food subsidises fish and
chip shops to encourage potato consumption.
|| Ministry of Health announces evacuation
of 489,000 more children from London area.
||Under-Secretary for War announces measures
to give Home guard more permanent shape and better equipment
without changing its ‘local and friendly character’.
||Treasury cancels Boxing
Day Bank Holiday.
||McGovern’s ILP peace
amendment is rejected by House of Commons, 341 votes to 4.
||Home Office announces third German
spy hanged at Pentonville Prison. Winchester housewife sentenced
to death for spying. Rations increased temporarily in Britain
for Christmas week.
||Anthony Eden becomes Foreign Secretary.