Britain first adopted William Willett’s Daylight Saving Time scheme in 1916, a few weeks after Germany. For years, the British Government had refused to introduce Daylight Saving Time, but by then, Britain and Germany were fighting each other in the First World War (1914-18), and any system that could save fuel and money was worth trying. The Summer Time Act of 1916 was quickly passed by Parliament and the first day of British Summer Time, 21 May 1916, was widely reported in the press.
Clocks and watches were very different from those we use today. Many clocks could not have their hands turned backwards without breaking the mechanism. Instead, owners had to put the clock forward by 11 hours when Summer Time came to an end. The Home Office put out special posters telling people how to reset their clocks to GMT, and national newspapers also gave advice.
Thankfully no such problems today with Ravencourt’s Radio Controlled Clocks as they set themselves from BST to GMT so you don’t have to do a thing.