Dig For Victory Poster
The Dig for Victory! This famous campaign poster was released at the outbreak of war in 1939. The British government soon realised that the general population would go hungry if the war was to last any prolonged period of time. The remedy to the food shortages was to turn over gardens, lawns and even sports pitches into allotments, the people of Britain were encouraged to grow as much food as they could for themselves.
Before the war started British food imports ran at 55 million tons a year – the majority of it from Canada, USA and the Empire. After the outbreak of war, merchant vessels carrying provisions into Britain, especially those coming across the Atlantic, became targets of the German navy and food imports were under threat. At the same time the British government recognised that the merchant ships were required for the transport of troops, munitions and even aeroplanes to the theatres of war. The countries reliance on imported food needed to be reduced.
Lord Woolton was appointed Minister of Food and given the task of reducing British dependance on food imports. He ensured that the Dig for Victory campaign succeeded and the British public did not starve during or after the war. A lasting legacy of the campaign is the network of allotments that are still used by people today.