Ration Book, 1940, Catalogue ref: BT 131/40
Food rationing was introduced in January 1940. Everybody was issued with a ration book. This contained coupons that had to be handed in to the shops every time rationed food was bought. As well as the basic ration everybody had 16 coupons each month that they could spend on what they wished. This ensured that everyone was able to buy and eat the basic food necessary to keep healthy. Bacon, butter and sugar were among the first things to be rationed. Some foods such as potatoes, fruit and fish were not rationed. People were able to buy these things, provided they could afford them and there were supplies in the shops.
ON HER MAJESTY’S SERVICE
Your Ration Book
Issued to safeguard your food supply
National Registration Number
Date of Issue
If found, please return to
Serial Number of Book
NAMES AND ADDRESSES OF RETAILERS.
RETAIL BUTCHER (Page 5.)
BACON RETAILER (Page 6.)
SUGAR RETAILER (Page 7.)
BUTTER RETAILER (Page 8.)
MARGARINE RETAILER (Page 9.)
RETAILER OF COOKING FATS, INCLUDING LARD AND DRIPPING. (Page 10.)
How to use this Ration Book
INSTRUCTIONS TO PARENT OR GUARDIAN
1. Write the child’s name in BLOCK letters in the space provided on the reference leaf (page 16).
2. To buy any food that is rationed you must register the child with a shop which sells that food.
3. How to register with a shop. Write the names and addresses of the shopkeepers with whom you intend to register the child in the spaces inside the front cover.
4. Write your name and the child’s name and address (in BLOCK letters) and the date on the counterfoil at the top of the pages of coupons numbered 5, 6, 7, 8 and (if margarine and cooking fats are rationed) 9 and 10.
5. Then take this book to the shops from which you mean to buy the child’s butcher’s meat, bacon and ham, sugar, butter and any other foods which may be rationed. The shopkeeper with whom you are registered for each of these foods will write his name and address on the counterfoil, which he will cut off and keep.
6. Every time you buy rationed food for the child you must hand this ration book in at the shop, and the shopkeeper will cut off the correct coupons. (You cannot use coupons which you yourself have taken off).
7. To save trouble you may tell the shopkeeper to take a whole page of coupons. If you do so you must first write the child’s name and address and sign your name in the space provided on the page, and the shopkeeper must write the words “Page deposited”, the number of the page and the date, below his name and address inside the cover.
8. BUT do not have a whole page taken out if you expect the child to go away from home to a boarding school or on holiday.
9. COUPONS NOT USED IN THE WEEK FOR WHICH THEY ARE INTENDED CANNOT BE USED LATER. Cut them off and destroy them.
10. If the child lives in a hotel, boarding house, or similar establishment, do not take this book to a shop yourself – hand it to the manager or whoever is responsible for the feeding…