At the turn of the century, around the time of the Boer war, there were allegations that that between 40 and 60% of men enlisting in the army were unfit for military service. England, being England, appointed a committee called: `The Inter-Departmental Committee on Physical Deterioration’. Their report in 1904 was responsible for the establishment of the School Medical Service.
The Committee ruled:
There should be a systematic inspection of children
Underfed children should be looked after by the local authority
The Education (Provision of Meals) Act of 1906 allowed authorities to provide free school meals to children.
When two and a half million men were recruited for the First World War the number of unfit men had dropped to around 30%.
It is likely that the majority of parents of today’s eleven plus children will be very aware of the need for good food and sound nutrition. This is not to say that the children should not be treated. What about a Squidgy Chocolate Log from, Delia Smith’s 1978 Complete Cooking Course as shown on the BBC? This cake does not have any flour so it won’t put too much weight on the hips of the family.
5 oz caster sugar (150g)
6 large eggs
2 oz cocoa powder (50g)
The filling is made of:
8 oz plain chocolate (225g)
2 large eggs
8 fl oz double cream (225g)
This serves around 8 people – but it is unlikely that there will be any left. A truly cruel eleven plus parent could ask for the total grams but more enlightened parents will simply share the spoils!