14-18 Langres

at war

The storehouse:

The bread crisis

In 1915, the talk of the town was bread-making. From the month of August, certain bakeries closed as a result of the mobilisation of their owners. In order to resolve this problem, the municipality and the sub-prefect called on the army to make the young bakers available from the auxiliary service. Following the refusal of the bakers to make use of this manpower, the mayor asked the military authority to deliver leftover bread to the people.

On 25th August, Le Spectateur published an article from the town hall calling for young bakers for the town in order to shield itself from any further misfortune. This precaution turned out to be quite a useful one, as on 20th October, a new bread crisis was mentioned in the press. The auxiliaries made available by the military authority having been taken back, the bakers of the town announced that they were no longer able to fulfil the needs of the population. Once more, the municipality called on military management to provide the necessary bread, which was sold in the town hall.

The problem resurfaced at the beginning of the month of December. The mobilisation of certain workers meant that once again, bakers had to stop their trade. The paper offered the solution: « It would do to make workers from the storehouse available to the bakers when they need them. Mr. Military Quartermaster has told the municipality many times that this would not cause any inconvenience and that a few fewer workers in the storehouse would not hinder the making of the troop’s bread. » It was thus that the crisis was resolved a few days later. Without meaning to copy the old saying, in this story, the army took with one hand and gave back with the other…



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