When the people from the church were writing in the church magazine about a memorial to the men who had fallen in the war, they mentioned the hard times people were facing, and the sometimes disillusioned way they felt – the “great consensus of opinion in the street”:
‘A hero in khaki! A brave hero decorated at Buckingham Palace. A hero from a filthy street, and – no work! High cost of living in a disorganised world, with little or no hope in past, present or future. “Why did we fight?” “For what did men die?” “What is there to live for?” they ask.’
By 1925 over 70,000 people in the borough of West Ham were receiving poor relief.