A Wartime Ban on White Bread

Since I have been writing about the Troopship ‘Dominion Monarch’ I have unearthed a few more bits and pieces.  I wondered why both my father (Gordon Dinnis) and Bob (R.J. Cotton the writer from the BBC People’s War website) thought it worth mentioning the white bread and butter they were given on board ship.  My Dad went so far as to underline the word ‘bread‘.

His letter reads: “We get lovely white bread”

White Bread

I then noticed one of the first things Bob wrote about was his first meal on board – Spam and white bread and butter.

So I searched for more details of rationing in the Second World War and found that there had been a ban on white bread in the UK during World War 2. This seems to have been because in order to make white bread, the grain goes through a sifting process to take out the husks and kernels.  This process meant throwing away one third of the grain which was considered too much of a waste during wartime.

So, the white bread would have been a real treat for them!

I got this information from the following websites:


R.J. Cotton WW2 People’s War’

WW2 People’s War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The archive can be found at bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar

About Jackie Dinnis

Welcome to my blog where I am enjoying meeting my family - past and present - one at a time. Join me as I learn who my ancestors were, where they lived, what their occupations were and what everyday life was like for them.
This entry was posted in Annie Cleeve, Gordon Charles Dinnis, Letters, World War 2 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A Wartime Ban on White Bread

  1. gpcox says:

    Interesting, I never knew about this. My next guest post to Judy at Greatest Generation Lessons happens to be about rationing, but I had trouble locating info on other countries. What we learn here in the U.S. can often be one-sided; that’s why I enjoy the blogs, being that they come from around the world. Thank you. Hope it will be O.K. if I add a link to this post in my article?

  2. paulaacton says:

    My grandma told me a story about her mum always having a hoard of tins and extra tea and sugar before the war started and one day when she was stood in the corner shop waiting to collect the rations she overheard some one talking ahead of her commenting that whenever they were working in the area they knew they could knock on her door and be treated to a nice cup of tea, from what my gran has said it was because of an unstable childhood where there dad left them to start a new family that led her to always hoard to ensure her family went without and while she would never have turned anyone away she managed to make her stash last through most of the war

    • Oh, that’s a lovely story and so nice that she shared her tea and sugar and didn’t just keep it for herself! She did well to make it last so long, I wonder if the ‘thrift’ habit stayed with her all her life? I remember my parents being very careful with food, making sure we got the last bit out of the jam jar and margarine pot!

  3. Gallivanta says:

    And it’s interesting to realise that the ban on white bread meant that people actually got a very healthy bread even with rationing.

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