Radar - see RDF
Shortly after the start of WWII, it became difficult to maintain supplies of essential foods and imported items, eg bananas, oranges and grapes, were impossible to obtain. On January 8, 1940, a system of rationing was introduced to ensure fair distribution of what was available and to prevent stockpiling. A book containing food tokens was issued to each person and shopkeepers removed tokens when they took payment for the goods. The most common kind of ration book was buff-coloured and issued to adults and school-age children. Green books with extra tokens were issued to expectant mothers. Nursing mothers were allowed more milk and infants up to one year old were included in their mother's green book.
Ration amounts varied, depending upon supplies. The following is an example of one week's rations for one person at the start of rationing.
Butter or lard - 4 ounces (113.4 gms) Sugar - 12 ounces (340.2 gms) Raw bacon or ham - 4 ounces (113.4 gms) - bacon was later rationed by price rather than by weight Cooked bacon or ham - 3.5 ounces (99.3 gms) Eggs - 2 (varied from 1 to 3)
Meat rationing started March 11, 1940. Tea was rationed from July 1940 - 2 ounces per person, weekly. Other items, such as preserves (jam, margarine, syrups and treacle), cheese, cakes and sweets, were added to rationing as the months passed, eg rationing of sweets began on July 26, 1942.
Shops did not always have sufficient supplies and many opened for only two or three days a week because of the shortages. Long, early morning queues often formed outside shops when word went round that a fresh supply of such as butter or meat was available. Substitute foods came into use, such as dried egg powder, and liquid paraffin instead of cooking oil, and a Minister of Food was appointed to advise housewives on ways to make the most of their families' rations.
Eventually coupons became necessary for clothes. Petrol, too, was rationed.
Bartering became a way of life. An illegal black market sprang up and coupons were forged or stolen, and sold at high prices.
Rationing did not end with the war, but some years later. Bread was eventually rationed, but only in July 1946, after the war had ended, and it was de-rationed in July 1948. De-rationing for other items: jam 1948, tea 1952, sweets, eggs, cream and sugar 1953, butter, cheese, margarine and cooking fats 1954, meat 1954. Clothes were taken off ration in 1949, petrol in 1950.
Links: Rationing in Britain
Radio Direction Finding. Also known as radar. A system of detecting radar echoes used to trace moving ships or aircraft. Work on the development of radar began before the start of WWII and continued throughout.
Between June 1936 and June 1937, the first of an enormous radar chain of detection aerials - each 300 feet high - all around the eastern coastline of England and Scotland were built. These became part of the system that would eventually become known as the Air Ministry Experimental Stations, Type One, or 'Chain Home' (CH), which was used very successfully during the Battle of Britain in 1940 by guiding RAF Fighter Pilots towards incoming German bombers.
Later in the war, a radar system known as H2S was used to aid Bomber Command to find and identify targets in Germany. This produced a map-like image of the ground below, allowing quick identification of an area and even specific targets.
Links: The Story of RADAR Development and The History of Radar
Episode: The German Woman, Eagle Day
Royal Victoria Hotel
Situated on the sea-front in St Leonard's-on-sea, The Royal Victoria Hotel, originally built in 1828 as the focal point of Burton's St Leonards, derives it's name from Queen Victoria.
Links: Royal Victoria Hotel
Episode: Eagle Day