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The patriotism of going without bacon

The patriotism of going without bacon

Dublin, 3 Oct 1917 - The Irish Times has editorially lamented the impact the war is having on Irish mealtimes.

‘The character of all our meals has been affected by the increase of food prices, but of them all breakfast has been the chief sufferer’, the article opens.

This suffering is brought about specifically by the shortage of bacon and eggs. ‘In regard to lunch, dinner, and supper the housewife has opportunities of modification and improvisation’ but with regard to breakfast, ‘Englishmen and Irishmen are rigidly conservative’.

‘Bacon and eggs are still the sheet-anchor of the British breakfast-table. Fish and sausages are welcome visitors, but, without bacon and eggs, breakfast is no breakfast at all’.

The article is a response to the recent announcement, by the Ministry of Food, that owing to unavoidable causes, the supply of bacon will be severely curtailed.

One section of society that won’t be going short, however, is the military. Army requirements will take preference and the Army Council has stated that they will maintain bacon supplies for the troops even if it means requisition civilian stocks.

The Irish Times concludes:

‘No patriot will care to grumble when his wife invites him to ‘do his bit’ by dispensing with bacon, so that the soldiers may have their rashers before the go ‘over the top’. We should welcome, indeed, this new opportunity of showing our children that we are doing something in ‘the great war.’

[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]


Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.