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  Themes Homepage > World War I
 
Biscuits
World War I

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On the 12 August, 1914 the War Office gave Huntley & Palmers substantial orders to manufacture army biscuits, which involved working continuously day and night for several weeks. Army biscuits presented few ingredient problems because they required no sugar.
In all £84,000 worth of such orders were fulfilled to the end of March 1915 and £653,000 worth by November 1918, nearly 6.5% of the firms total turnover.
Reading biscuits at Gallipoli, 1915
Reading biscuits at Gallipoli, 1915
 
The No. 4 standard biscuit, measuring roughly 4 inches square, was made out of whole-wheat flour and was often issued as an emergency ration. It was very hard but highly nutritious and when soaked in water made a sustaining meal.
 
Army No9, First World War Army Biscuit, First World War Army No 3 Biscuit, 1917
Army No9, First World War Army Biscuit, First World War Army No 3 Biscuit, 1917
The Effect of War on Biscuit Production
From December 1916, food control by the government severely affected the production of biscuits at Huntley & Palmers. In 1913-14 Huntley & Palmers used 82 tons of sugar a week - its permitted weekly use until the end of the war was 28 tons. As an alternative, the company manufactured sweet biscuits without sugar, for example by reintroducing a form of honey biscuit.
By March 1917 the cake factory had been closed and 242 kinds of biscuit were no longer being produced.
 
 
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  Themes Homepage > World War I
 
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