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Key dates over January 1918

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Lives lost on this day: 4

31st January 1918 - Margarine, meat, butter and marmalade rationing

Rolling casualty count: 8489

War Front:

1st Batt: There was an inspection of the Batt by GOC 24th Brigade.

2nd Batt: Coys at disposal of CCs for more training.

3rd Batt: Batt relieved by 9th Loyal North Lancs on the Brigade Front and went to Brigade support. 19 OR were wounded during the month and 1 was killed.

4th Batt: Men worked at joining up the posts in foggy weather. A large quantity of RE material was carried up to the Front Line and good progress was made with wiring and duckboarding of trenches.

2/8th Batt: The foggy day made patrolling difficult.

10th Batt: More cleaning up and working parties. Ration Strength of Batt is 20 officers and 351 OR.

Home Front:

Distribution of Margarine: Mr. Hillyard reported that last week he arranged for margarine to be distributed on Saturday morning. He found that the Market Hall was not in a suitable condition for the distribution. The Maypole Company weighed and packed their margarine on Friday, and he distributed about half of their supply among retailers in the district. About 8 o’clock on Saturday morning some 200 people had assembled when the Maypole shop opened. Being quickly supplied, they soon melted away, and there was no queue. By 9.30 all the margarine had gone. Mr. Evans said that there had been a great improvement, but in several instances people got supplies from various districts while others got nothing…Mr. Hillyard stated that a boy of about nine years of age had three parcels of margarine which he had obtained from different shops. He saw him as he was leaving a shop, and got the tradesman to take back the parcel just obtained. The Chairman: I am afraid nothing further can be done until we get a rationing scheme.

Worcester Meat Supply: The consumers’ prospect for the week-end in Worcester and district is better this week than it has been for some two or three weeks. Though the beef and mutton supply is still considerably below the maximum of 50 per cent to which the butchers are entitled (if they can get it), there is a larger supply of pork than usual. Butchers are not restricted as to the amount of pork they may buy, and being short of beef and mutton a good many of them have secured pigs from a distance.

When the new butter and margarine ration comes into force we will each be entitled to 4 oz. a week. In Germany they have only had 1 oz. a week for a long time. If the shortage of meat continues – and there is not much chance that it won’t – we may be reduced to 1lb. of meat a week for each person. In Germany they only get ½ lb. a week, and are likely to get less. As Lord Rhondda says, “What the greedy grousers of this country speak of as famine, the hungry Germans would look upon as luxury.” The Germans have been on tight rations for two years – we are just coming to them.

The price of marmalade, without jars or other containers, is 10d. a pound from tomorrow. With containers the price is as follows:- 1lb., 11d.; 3lb., 2s.6d.; 7lb., 5s.10d. On returning a 7lb., or larger jar or container the buyer is entitled to receive 6d…The manufacture of fancy marmalade and orange and lemon jelly is prohibited except under license.