War time bread and butter plate

plate decorated with a Liverpool crest and a message from the Prime Minister

This year's advent calendar features items relating to the First World War from National Museums Liverpool's collections and displays.

During the First World War the civilian population experienced severe hardship and in 1917 there were food shortages. Bread was an essential food for British families but wheat was in short supply.

This plate carries a special message from the Prime Minister, Lloyd George, urging everyone to play their part in the war effort:

"I have no hesitation in saying that economy in the consumption and use of food in this country is a matter of the greatest possible importance to the Empire at the present time."

The plate is printed with a Liverpool Coat of Arms and was probably used in the city. The message on the back shows the increasing importance of women in the workforce during the war:

"The War Time Bread and Butter Plate for a family of ten. Made by the Girls of Staffordshire during the winter of 1917 when the boys were in the trenches fighting for Liberty and Civilisation."

This plate, which is not currently on display, is from the Decorative Art collection at the Walker Art Gallery.

  • Transfer-printed porcelain plate, made by Alfred Meakin, Staffordshire, 1917
  • Accession number 61.168