For Services Rendered Historical Context

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World War I was triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire, on June 28, 1914, in Sarajevo, Bosnia. The conflict started a month later when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Soon after, other European countries made their own declarations of war. Britain entered the war on August 4 after Germany began its invasion of France. The war between the allied powers (France, Russia, Britain and the United States) and the Central Powers (Germany and Austria-Hungary) raged until 1918. The number of total casualties is extraordinary, estimated at 10,000,000, of which approximately 750,000 were British.

After a short postwar period of economic prosperity, unemployment in England increased as returning soldiers looked for work. In 1921, the number of unemployed men increased to 2,000,000. That number rose to 3,000,000 by 1932.

In the aftermath of World War I, British society went through a period of change. Traditional beliefs in God...

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