The Effect of War on GH Lee

Firewatchers on the roof of either GH Lee or Bon Marche Liverpool, 1940-1944

The ebb and flow of Wartime conditions

Whilst London suffered greatly during the war because of the evacuation of staff and customers, this was not such a factor in Liverpool. Business was affected both positively and negatively by the ebb and flow of wartime conditions. For example, the GH Lee Cotton Exchange had to be closed due to a lack of materials, much to the disappointment of many customers. However, on the other hand, activity at Liverpool port for merchant shipping greatly increased, as it was a safer alternative to existing, targeted ports.

Resources stretched

The demands and rigours of the commencement of outright war soon stretched resources and facilities, and had a direct impact on the everyday running of GH Lee. Workers wishing to assist the war effort directly, for example, by conducting A.R.P patrols, had to do so without negatively impacting the business.

Keeping calm and carrying on

Throughout the war, the partnership asserted the importance of continuing to work for the company. Partners not in service were frequently reminded of the significant role they were playing at home. Although not as obvious, nor possibly as glamorous as fighting on the front line, continuing to work in such adverse conditions was a fantastic way to stand up to the enemy.

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