UK Declares Three-Day Munitions Holiday
British propaganda poster celebrating the lack of holidays for munitions workers.
September 28 1916, London–The “Munitions Crisis,” the supposed lack of shells for the British Army, had been a major political scandal in 1915, forcing the creation of a coalition government. A Ministry of Munitions was formed, and munitions production vastly increased. This meant hard work for munitions laborers, however, who had to work overtime and without holidays for most of 1916. By the end of the summer, this was taking its toll; traditional Whitsun (Pentecost) and August holidays had been postponed by the government. After nearly eight months without a holiday, workers began taking them unofficially. At the end of September, with the major planned offensives on the Somme over for now, the government finally agreed to a “munitions holiday” on the last three days of September, letting the workers take a much-needed (if brief) five day’s rest.