Defence of the Realm Act of 1914

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The Defence of the Realm Act (DORA) of 1914 governed all lives in Britain during World War One. The Defence of the Realm Act was added to as the war progressed and it listed everything that people were not allowed to do in time of war. As World War One evolved, so DORA evolved. The first version of the Defence of the Realm Act was introduced on August 8th 1914. This stated that:

no-one was allowed to talk about naval or military matters in public places

no-one was allowed to spread rumours about military matters

no-one was allowed to buy binoculars

no-one was allowed to trespass on railway lines or bridges

no-one was allowed to melt down gold or silver

no-one was allowed to light bonfires or fireworks

no-one was allowed to give bread to horses, horses or chickens

no-one was allowed to use invisible ink when writing abroad

no-one was allowed to buy brandy or whisky in a railway refreshment room

no-one was allowed to ring church bells

the government could take over any factory or workshop

the government could try any civilian breaking these laws

the government could take over any land it wanted to

the government could censor newspapers

As the war continued and evolved, the government introduced more acts to DORA.

the government introduced British Summer Time to give more daylight for extra work

opening hours in pubs were cut

beer was watered down

customers in pubs were not allowed to buy a round of drinks

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