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At the start of the Second World War in 1939, Britain was importing 55 million tonnes of food each year from across the globe. As German submarines began to sunk supply ships, it was no longer guaranteed that these imports would safely reach British ports.To ensure that there would continue to be enough food for everyone, in January 1940, the wartime government introduced rationing to ensure people received an equal amount of food each week. Butter, sugar, tea, jam, cheese, eggs and meat were amongst the items strictly rationed and queuing for these became common place.Ration books were also issued for other scarce resources including clothing and vehicle petrol. Rationing remained in effect until 1954, nine years after the war ended. Britain was the last country involved in the war to stop rationing food.

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