Local History Society

 The 'Mercury' and the Home Front in WW1



National War Savings - and a shocking symbol

The National War Savings symbol was a swastika

From August to mid-November, local newspapers carried a series of adverts on War Savings Certificates. At this time, the 'swastika' symbol would have been uncontroversial, but 15 years later, it was hijacked by Hitler to become altogether more sinister. Even today, it shocks.

Each advert in the series gave the sort of advice familiar to readers of 'Enquire Within Upon Everything' [Health warning: don't download the 'Gutenberg Indexed' version of this highly-addictive book unless you have days to spare!].

The particular example shown below was of only partial relevance to villagers in Arborfield and Newland, because none had mains electricity or gas. A few large houses had electricity generators; Arborfield Hall had a small hydro-electric turbine; Bearwood had its own private gas works; the rest had kitchen ranges, open fireplaces and candles. Most didn't have mains electricity until well after the Second World War, despite the pylons and overhead power lines erected during the 1930's.

The whole series was:

1. How to Save on Gas 17th August
2. How to Save on Laundry Bills 24th August
3. How to Save on Boots and Shoes 31st August
4. How to Save in the Kitchen 7th September
5. How to Save on Soap and Polish 14th September
6. How to Save on Light Bills 21st September
7. How to Save on Clothes 28th September
8. How to Save on Coal 5th October
9. How to Save at your Writing Table 12th October
10. How Men can save in the Home 19th October
11. How to Save on Odds and Ends 26th October
12. How to Save on Fares 2nd November
13. How to Save on Shopping 9th November


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