These postcards reflected public attitudes to wartime food shortages – or maybe just allowed people to let off steam a bit.

There were also songs about food grievances. Ernie Mayne was a singer who specialised in them, from what I can gather. Click here for a page that lets you hear his “My Meatless Day”, “Sugar” and “Lloyd George’s Beer”, a lament about the compulsory weakening of beer. Be warned, though – his voice is far from pleasant.

I can’t think of any novels where civilians moan about rations to any extent- but in The War Workers E.M. Delafield satirises women who make a big display of not eating much, in order to seem patriotic.

The cards are from Robert Opie’s 1910s Scrapbook.


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