Collecting Wartime Food Memorabilia


As the World War Two poster proclaimed, ‘Food is a munition of war’, and in that battle every Briton took part. Such was the nationwide scale of the effort, a wide variety of colourful and interesting collectable objects and ephemera were produced. Many of these items are still found today. Austin J Ruddy explains their background history, with a guide to their current worth.

This eye-catching publication, The Star War-Time Cookery by Hilda M K Nield, was published in 1941. Rare, it can fetch £25.
A novelty toy ‘My Dolly’s Ration Book’, commercially produced for children by the Mowbray Trading Company of London. Very rare as few have survived, £50.

BEING AN island has defensive benefits, but also drawbacks. In the First World War, Germany used its U-boats to blockade Britain, limiting the import of supplies. The nation was relatively late in dealing with the food crisis, the Ministry of Food only being created in 1916 and rationing introduced less than a year before the end of the conflict.

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