Wartime rations – Day 24

fishpieWar time meals, in this experiment at least, seem to involve eating a lot of leftovers. I had baked fish yesterday, so tonight made fish pie with the leftover fish and cheese sauce, topped with mashed potato and a little grated cheese, then cooked in the oven at around 180C for about 20 minutes. For lunch… I ‘broke down’  and used a whole fresh egg in an egg mayonnaise sandwich. Very extravagant – but completely delicious!

As I’m getting close to the end of a month of wartime rations, I thought I’d jump ahead a little in the newspapers and see what they were saying about the end of the war. But when DID the war end exactly? My understanding was that World War Two ended on May 7th (8th in the Commonwealth) with VE Day in Europe (Glasgow Herald May 8th 1945 Page 4) and then VJ Day on August 15th 1945 with the Japanese surrender.

But as with everything to do with the war, nothing is clear-cut. I clicked on this great link on Yahoo which offers the following:

The Japanese surrendered on August 15.45 THEIR time, which was August 14th in the US.

However the paperwork on surrender was not completed until September 2nd, Japanese time, September 1st US time. (Check out this edition of the Glasgow Herald from September 3rd, 1945 which gives all the details on page 3.)

But those were papers of surrender. Technically, according to the reply on Yahoo, wars don’t end until a treaty of some kind is signed.

Who knew?!

In that case, a peace treaty with Japan was signed on September 8th, 1951 but the US only ended their occupation of Japan on April 28th, 1952. I couldn’t find an entry from The Glasgow Herald for September 8th but did on the front page of The Calgary Herald. If you click on the link, it appears that 48 countries signed the treaty despite Russian objections.

In Europe, the French, British and US all ended their formal occupation of their areas in West Germany on May 5th, 1955, but had effectively done so on May 23rd, 1949. (Glasgow Herald, May 5th, 1955 Page 6.)

Interesting.  (And for all you high school history students out there wanting to impress your teachers, it’s those little nuggets that get you extra marks in exams!! ) :o)

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Wartime Rations – Day Twenty-Eight

The final day of my four-week experiment. I invited the family around for lunch – just something casual to use up the remains of my rations: vegetable soup, rolls with a variety of fillings (bacon/cheese/egg mayonnaise), potato scones and apple/pear crumble to finish. The only thing no-one touched was the red cabbage coleslaw. (They don’t know what they were missing.)

I would like to say a huge thank you to Anne for sharing so many of her memories as a child growing up during the war years. Recipes can always be found in books, but personal memories are priceless.

So, in closing, here are Anne’s thoughts of how the war directly affected her life.

anne2013The change to living in a quiet village after the hustle of Glasgow and its varied populations from slums to patrician ‘big houses’ made a big impression. The change from a house where there was nowhere outside to play and I wasn’t encouraged to invite friends home, to the freedom of the fields and moors and woods: all this made me determined always to live in the country if possible.

When I was desperately looking for a home (in the early 60s), I was so glad when the cottage was offered; I knew we were going to be miserably poor for a while and in a village all ‘classes’ live cheek by jowl and rub shoulders, including in the school. The only alternative was a miserable flat in Nottingham.

Minor impressions: my father cursing Hitler when he was trying to make my gas-mask fit properly – the searchlights on the Clydebank nights – the utter impossibility of finding nice things for birthday etc presents – the joy of the young, enthusiastic teachers at Balfron instead of the elderly disillusioned ladies at Hillhead.

Worst memory: sitting in a cinema a few months after VE Day, just finished watching a Hollywood musical when Belsen flashed on to the screen – top story in the News report. That will never leave my memory – sickening shock. Could a whole nation be capable of such inhumanity? Of course not, but they let it happen, and it happened.

What do you remember of VE Day? Of VJ Day? Not a lot – it was a holiday of course, the bells rang, the streetlights came on (great cheering) and the papers were full of photographs of Churchill, the royal family and the heads of the armed services and masses of others. I know there were street parties and dancing, but the euphoria wore off after a couple of weeks. VJ was celebrated too, but a little bit less so.

What about the nuclear bomb? Everyone was stunned; it was so hard to believe. After a while people accepted the facts and that it had saved countless lives and years of war. Maybe such a weapon would bring wars to an end? Fat chance – it seemed no time till it broke out in Korea and the rest is history.