Life on the HomeFront

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Buff-coloured ration books - Most adults had this colour.

Green ration books - Pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under 5. They had first choice of fruit, a daily pint of milk and a double supply of eggs.

Blue ration books - Children between 5 and 16 years of age. It was felt important that children had fruit, the full meat ration and half a pint of milk a day.

Rationing was introduced as to provide a fair-share of items to all members of the public; be it poor or wealthy. This was also because people would hoarde things and the poorer may not be able to afford food items.

A week's rations for a regular adult:

BACON and HAM - 4ozs ( 100g )

MEAT - to the value of 1s.2d ( 6p today ). Sausages were not rationed but difficult to obtain : offal was originally unrationed but sometimes formed part of the meat ration.

BUTTER - 2ozs ( 50g )

CHEESE - 2ozs ( 50g ) sometimes it rose to 4ozs ( 100g ) and even up to 8ozs ( 225g )

MARGARINE - 4ozs ( 100g )

COOKING FAT - 4ozs ( 100g ) often dropping to 2ozs ( 50g )

MILK - 3 pints ( 1800ml ) sometimes dropping to 2 pints ( 1200ml ). Household ( skimmed, dried ) milk was available. This was I packet each 4 weeks.

SUGAR - 8ozs ( 225g )

PRESERVES - 1lb ( 450g ) every 2 months

TEA - 2ozs ( 50g )

EGGS - 1 shell egg a week if available but at times dropping to 1 every two weeks. Dried eggs ----- 1 packet each 4 weeks.

SWEETS - 12 ozs ( 350g ) each 4 weeks.

There was also a monthly point system when families were allocated a set number of points (16); you would have been able to buy the following with these 16 points: one can of fish or meat or 2lb ( 900g ) of dried fruit or 8lb ( 3.6kg ) of split peas. Nursing and expectant mothers were allocated concentrated orange juice and cod liver oil from welfare clinics together with priority milk. School meals were started in the war because mothers were working extremely long hours to help the war effort.

In most countries Women worked in war factories to produce war materials and joined organisations to help provide more food for the army. Lots of them also joined the Women's Royal Voluntary Service (W.R.V.S.). They provided meals and clothing etc. for survivors and rescue workers. Women became an important role in the war, which without we would have surely lost.

At first the men had to be between 20-22 but this was changed to between 18 and 41. Many fit enough men were called-up but if they were not fit enough, or had an important job like a scientist or engineer they would have stayed behind and for those not fit enough would most likely become a fire-fighter, ARP warden or join the Home-guard as a unit to protect britain from parachuting german invaders.

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