Lend Lease Flour Sack

Today’s item is not technically British or Commonwealth, however it is interesting and quirky and I thought you might find it as interesting as I do!

We are probably all familiar with ‘lend lease’ where the United States provided supplies and equipment to her allies to be paid for after the war. These items included everything from tanks and ships down to uniforms and ammunition. Going the other way there was ‘reverse lend-lease’ where British and Australian manufacturers produced items locally for the US forces such as webbing and clothing. One of the biggest recipients of Lend Lease was the USSR and as well as the usual weapons the United States also supplied the Soviets with food stuffs to help keep their armies in the field and their civilians fed and 1.75 million tons of food was supplied. Of that 510,656 tons was of flour and it is a panel from one of those lend lease sacks to the USSR that we are looking at today:

This flour was prioritised for the troops fighting at the front and for young children who had most need for nourishment. This flour was produced by the Moundridge Milling Company of Kansas, a company that had been formed as far back as 1877 and was to close around 1946, just a year or two after this flour bag was filled and shipped out. Quite how this panel, cut from a larger flour bag, made it to the UK is unclear, but it is an interesting little memento of the other side of lend lease, just as important as that supplying tanks and bombs in its way.

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