diary · family · History · World War Two

Nan’s Diary: Rationing

During lockdown, I’ve been enjoying ‘growing my own’ and have cultivated a decent vegetable garden!

It made me reflect on food in the war years and how rationing must have affected people.

Nan writes about this when recalling her recuperation from appendicitis back in London during the war:

‘It was while I was at home recovering from my operation that I did a lot of queuing for ‘luxuries’. For instance, a rumour went round that the butchers were going to have a liver allocation and sausage delivery soon. These were not rationed so it was a case of first come, first served, or they were saved for regular customers.

It was common to queue for two or three hours to get half a pound of liver or four sausages – in this same way we obtained fish as this was not rationed either. Smoked haddock was a great luxury as were herrings or kippers.

Dried egg was available as only one egg per week was allowed in the ration book; it was quite nice made up into good scrambled egg.

I remember queuing also for a couple of oranges or a couple of bananas, and on occasions I was known to queue all morning for them.

At the end of the war, many of the children who had been born at the beginning of the war did not know what a banana looked like until they were 5 or 6 years old.’

Image from Pixabay


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