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Introduction | About this period | Timeline | Film index
 
 
 
  

Timeline of events


1945

July 26

General Election: Labour win a majority of 146. Polling day was in fact 5 July, but the result was declared on 26 July in order that the votes of servicemen abroad could be included.

 
1946

February 7

World shortage of butter, margarine and cooking fats



February 14

Nationalisation of Bank Of England



March 31

London Airport at Heathrow opens



May 8

Ministry of Town and Country Planning supervise opening 20 New Towns



May 20

Nationalisation of coal industry



June 7

Television service resumes for first time since 1939



July 21

Bread and flour rationed



October 16

11 Nazis hanged for war crimes in Nuremberg



November 6

National Health Service Bill enacted

 

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1947

January 1

National Coal Board takes over mines
View an example of a Post-War National Coal Board mining recruitment poster



January 13

Coldest weather since 1883 leads to rationing coal industry and homes



February 10

Acute fuel crisis as severe cold continues to March 4



March 23

Mountbatten appointed Viceroy of India to negotiate early independence



June 13

Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin warmly supports European Recovery Programme (Marshall Plan)
Learn more about Ernest Bevin



August 6

Austerity measures announced because of financial exchange crisis



August 15

India and Pakistan become independent
View a scene in Hyderabad city, India, in the 1940's, photographed by Cecil Beaton



August 15

Britain's first atomic pile comes into operation at Harwell



November 20

Princess Elizabeth marries Lt Philip Mountbatten

 
1948

January 1

Nationalisation of British Railways effective



January 4

Burma becomes independent republic outside Commonwealth



June 24

Great Britain, France and USA establish air lift into West Berlin after USSR stops all road and rail traffic through East Germany



July 5

National Health Service inaugurated



July 25

End of Bread rationing



July 30

British Nationality Act: all Commonwealth subjects have status of British citizens



July 30

Gas industry nationalised



July-August

London Olympics:
Learn more about the 1948 olympics



November 14

Prince Charles born

 

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1949

March 15

End of clothes rationing



April 4

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) established
A formation of deHavilland Vampire FB5 fighter bombers of 603 Squadron, the Vampire entered service with the RAF in 1946



April 24

End of sweet rationing, but as demand outstripped supply, four months later rationing was re-introduced until February 1953.



September 18

Pound devalued from $4.03 to $2.80



October 1

Chinese Communist People's Republic formally established



November 24

Iron and Steel Nationalisation Bill enacted

 
1950

February 23

General Election: Labour majority cut to 5



March 1

Klaus Fuchs, atomic scientist at Harwell, imprisoned for passing secrets to Soviet agents
The Cold War: View documents relating to Klaus Fuchs, the 'atom spy'



May 26

Petrol rationing ends



June 27

Attlee pledges support for United Nations in resisting invasion of South Korea (25 June) by North Korea
The Right Hon Major Clement Richard Attlee (1883-1967) Labour Prime Minister from 1945 to 1951



September 9

Soap rationing ends

 

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1951

January 26

Ration for carcass meat cut to 18d a week



April 10

Chancellor Hugh Gaitskell's budget imposes prescription charges for NHS dentures and spectacles to help meet the financial demands of the Welfare State and Korean War.



April 22

Aneurin Bevan resigns because of prescription charges



May 5

Opening of main Festival of Britain site on South Bank
Artist's impression of an aerial perspective of the 1951 South Bank Exhibition, London



June 7-8

Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean defect to USSR



July 9

State of war with Germany formally declared at an end



October 25

General Election: Conservatives win with a majority of 17, although they polled fewer votes than Labour



October 27

Sir Winston Churchill becomes Prime Minister, Sir Anthony Eden Foreign Secretary, and 'Rab' Butler Chancellor