Rationing - Emma Barratt 6R

Small boy rationing during World War II

Why was rationing introduced?

Before the war Britain sent over 55 million tons of food over to thier shores. A month after the war had begun it had dropped to 12 million. This happened because the German submarines sunk British submarines who were importing food, because of that each member of the public recieved a ration book in order for the poor to survive as well as just the rich who could afford food.

What were ration books?

Ration books were books full of coupons that shopkeepers would sign in order for you to get the items you wanted however you did still have to pay.

Buff coloured ration books - Average adults.

Green ration books - Pregnant women, children under 5 and nursing mothers.

Blue ration books - 5 to 16 year olds.

Ration books from World War II

What did different colour ration books mean?

The colour of the ration book made sure you had the right amount of food you needed for your health and other reasons.

Why did the goverment start using ration books?

The goverment started using ration books in order for the public to get a fair share of food each.

When was rationing introduced?

Rationing was introduced in the beggining of 1940, one year after the war had started. On the 29th of September 1939 it was national registration day and every householder had to fill in a form saying how many people were in the house and what their names were.

What was the black market?

The black market was an underground economy where items that were harder to obtain were rationed. The seller of these items were called 'black marketeers' and were at high risk of being caught for illegal trading.

Probaganda poster from World War II to promote rationing.

Probaganda poster from World War II to persuede people to stop using the black market.

When did rationing stop?

Rationing stopped 14 years after the war at midnight on the 4th of July 1954.

Did you know?

Not only food was rationed but so was petrol (spirit fuel as it was called) and clothes!

What did make do and mend mean?

There were some items in World War II that were hard to obtain such as stockings. So most women were encouraged to make - do and mend. For example for stockings women would colour their legs with gravy brownig or get a friend to paint a black line up their leg. Due to rationing you were only aloud to take so much so some people used old curtains to create brand new items.

Probaganda poster encouraging people to make do and mend.