National Kitchens were opened during World War One to provide affordable nutritious meals for war workers and poorer people. The school dinner ladies and set up may have looked like this.
This article was taken from the Bromley & District Times, 22nd March 2918
Communal Kitchen and School Dinners
Under the able guidance of Mr A Goymer and the energetic secretaryship of Mr Foxwell, the village Food Control Committee has brought forward a scheme for a communal kitchen. Mr Goymer explained the details of cost and organisation, and said that the Treasury were willing to make grants in aid… It was also announced that the school dinners had been greatly appreciated and had proved a great boon to the children (of Keston). Much of the success is due to Miss Gainsford, and to Mr F.G. Taylor (the headmaster) and the staff, and also to residents who contributed vegetables etc.
NB The requirement to provide school meals at this time was not a statutory requirement. This came in with the Education Act of 1944