Pupils were given a flavour of life during the First World War when a special Armistice Day menu was served up in schools this week.

The menu, featuring bully beef, vegetarian stew, Trench cake and suet pudding, was designed to give children and young people a taste of what life was like in the trenches and on the Home Front a century ago.

It was served up in schools which receive catering services from the City of Wolverhampton Council on Monday (12 November, 2018) and reflected the realities of rationing at home and abroad.

At the beginning of the war, soldiers received just over 1lb of meat, 1lb of bread and 8oz of vegetables each day. But by the end of the war the official ration for the average British 'Tommy' had been reduced dramatically. Fresh meat was getting harder to come by and they received just 6oz of bully beef - corned beef; soldiers on the actual frontline got even less.

Fortunately, pupils didn't go hungry when they tucked into the special Armistice Day lunch menu this week. For mains they were able to choose between bully beef hash and green cabbage served with homemade bread, or vegetarian "Maconochies" stew, made with root vegetables and served with creamed potatoes and homemade bread.

That was followed by Trench Cake - a fruit cake traditionally made by people back home and sent to loved ones on the frontline - or sticky toffee suet pudding with custard.

Councillor Peter Bilson, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for City Assets, said: "This special menu gave young people a chance to reflect and remember those who fought for our freedom and experience a little of what soldiers in the trenches and those at home had to eat during the First World War."

Councillor Lynne Moran, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: "Schools across Wolverhampton have been holding a wide range of activities to educate pupils about the First World War, and the Armistice Day menu was an inspired way to give them a taste of life 100 years ago."

The Armistice Day menu is just one of the many celebration menus offered to pupils by the City of Wolverhampton Council to mark special events, including Bonfire Night, Christmas and Diwali.

To find out more about primary and secondary school menus which are offered on a 3 week rotating basis, applying for school meals and to check eligibility for free or discounted meals, please visit Type=articles;Articleid=2945;Title=School menus;.

Wolverhampton is a signatory of the Armed Forces Community Covenant, a pledge of mutual support between the city and its Armed Forces community. For details, please visit Type=links;Linkid=10848;Title=Armed Forces Support;Target=_blank;.

  • released: Wednesday 14 November, 2018