Statistics relating to war effort. Sub-headlines: the price, manpower.

Spatial Coverage





One newspaper cutting


This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit and




“STATISTICS relating to the War Effort of the United Kingdom” sound like heavy reading. But the White Paper presented to Parliament yesterday under this heading will be a best-seller.

Under its forbidding exterior it discloses facts about the war which, until yesterday, were most carefully guarded secrets, and in its tables and charts it summarises the material on which the higher direction and planning of the war have been based.

In its simple, specific, statements of fact the man in the street will find recorded what he has done, and what he has had to put up with, in fighting this greatest of all wars.

The government are to be congratulated on making the story public now instead of waiting until it has all passed into history. It is a story of which the country may be magnificently proud, and the fact that the figures can now be safely disclosed is a very encouraging sign of the approaching end.

The Price

First in all our minds come the three casualty lists – those of the fighting Services, the merchant seamen and the civilians. Here is the triple record:


[symbol] Injured and detained in hospital

Of the civilians killed, 7,250 were children and 23,757 were women.

These totals are fortunately much less than in the last war; and though much fighting has still to be done, we may hope to win through with a smaller actual loss of life than last time.


But though actual losses are light, the war is on so great a scale and is so “totalitarian” that it has turned the life of the country upside-down to a greater extent than ever before.

The best index of this disturbance is the mobilisation of man-power by Mr. Bevin’s department.

The population of working age (men 14-64, women 14-59) was practically the same in 1939 as it is today, viz.: 16 million men and 16 million women.

Of the 16 million men one-half are today in the fighting and whole-time Civil Defence services (4 3/4 millions) and in the munition industries (3 1/4 millions).

Another quarter (4 millions) are in a group of occupations “essential to the war effort” – such as mining, shipping, internal transport, agriculture and Government service.


“Statistics,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 17, 2024,

Item Relations

This item has no relations.