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- 15 July 2005
World War 2 started in 1939 and ended in 1945. Before the war, much of Britain’s food had been brought in from overseas: when there vital supplies were cut off food had to be rationed. National registration day took Place on 29 September 1939. Food rationing began on 8 January 1940. When a Shopper Purchased their ration of food, the shopkeeper cut the coupons out of their ration book to show that they had received their allowance. Each person was allowed to buy 4oz of butter, 4oz of bacon or ham and 12oz of sugar per week.
People had to buy their food at the shops where they were registered. Later more food became rationed including cheese and tea. Bread was never rationed. People had to use powdered egg. People had to get used to eating less food. They were encouraged to eat more veg. In 1941 the government introduced the vitamin welfare scheme, to make sure that children could get the vitamins they needed to stay healthy.
During the war many children were evacuated from their homes.
They were sent to reception areas in the countryside. These children were between the ages of 5 and 14. Parents were sent a list of what to pack for the children. The children carried a ruck sack with clothes, gas mask, identity card and ration book in it. These children didn’t know were they were going and for how long, evacuees had to line up and wait for a host family to choose them. Host families received money for each evacuee they took in. Schools also had to be found for evacuees many teachers were evacuated with their Pupils but it wasn’t very easy to get classrooms to teach in, some evacuees had to be taught outside. In 1945 the government made attachments for the evacuees to return home when the war was over. Some evacuees returned to find their homes have been destroyed by bombs. Others, whose parents had been killed had nobody to go home to. By August 1945 most evacuees had returned home, but there was still 5,200 in reception areas. These were people who didn’t have a home to return to. In one way or another being evacuated has affected their lives.
Many thanks to Miss Karen Richards and to John Keane from Liverpool's Central Library
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