The Minute Book
Saturday, 18 February 2017

Fighting Men of India Brought Strange Problems of Food and Religion (1918)
Topic: Army Rations

Fighting Men of India Brought Strange Problems of Food and Religion

The Northern Advance, Barrie, Ontario, 24 Jan 1918
Lieut. A.M. Bealson

One of the commissariat problems of the war which has been solved satisfactorily, was the question of "Native meat." or the ration of meat for the Indian troops serving in Europe. The solution has been found in the institution of "Native butcheries." A native of high caste in India would, of course, not eat any meat that even the shadow of a European had passed over. In coming to France the Native troops have, however, been granted certain religious dispensations, not only with regard to food, but, in the case of Hindus, in being allowed to leave the boundaries of their own country. Doubtless a dip in the Ganges, for those who survive the war and return to India after it is over, will put matters right again! Nevertheless, their caste rights as to food are as strictly observed as the exigencies of active service allow. The goats and sheep, chiefly Corsican and Swiss, purchased for their consumption, are sent up in a truck to railhead alive, and are slaughtered by men of their own caste in a butchery arranged for the purpose, generally in a field or some open place in close proximity to the railhead. The Mohammedan will eat only goats or sheep slaughtered by having their throats cut, and the Hindu by their being beheaded. The latter method is carried out in the abattoir by a native butcher with the aid of a cavalry sword at one fell swoop, and of the two methods is certainly to be recommended as being the most rapid and instantaneous death. I need hardly add that the Native butchery is always looked on as an object of awe and interest, of not of excitement, by the French inhabitants, and none the less by the English soldiers, who consider it a tremendous joke.

The Natives do not object to their meat being handles by English soldiers, or to it being brought to them in the same lorry which also perhaps carried British ration beef, although the cow is a sacred animal to the Hindu and in the form of beef is naturally distasteful. The only point is that the goat's meat or mutton intended for their consumption must not actually come in contact with the beef, and this is arranged for by a wooden barrier between the two erected in the interior of the lorry. On one occasion, however, the native rations for a certain regiment had just been dumped on the side of the road, and were being checked by the Daffadar, or Native quartermaster, when at a critical moment an old sow, followed by her litter, came out of a farm gate and innocently ran over the whole show. A lot of palaver followed amongst the Natives, and there was no alternative; they would not have these rations at any price, and back they had to be taken to be exchanged. The pig is, of course, abhorrent to the Mussulman.

One story in connection with the rationing of the Indian cavalry whilst in the trenches at Ypres in the summer fo 1915 may be of interest. The cow being a sacred animal to the Hindu, it became necessary to replace the usual tins of bully beef by a suitable substitute. With this end in view, quantities of tins of preserved mutton were sent up for consumption by the Hindu personnel. The tins in which it was packed, however, unfortunately bore the trade mark of the packers, Messrs. Libby---a bull's head---and in consequence the Hindus would not have it that their contents could be anything but beef, until their own Native officers convinced them that such was not the case.

The organization for rationing Native troops is such that they are able to be fed in accordance with the rites of their caste, surely not an unimportant factor. There are various special articles.

Atta is coarse ground flour, very similar to that of which so-called "standard" bread is made at home. Of it the Natives make chupattis, which are round flat cakes of baked dough. Dhal consists of pried pease. Ghi is a kind of butter, which, judging by its smell, would appear to be rancid. Gur is simply brown sugar or molasses. It may be mentioned that the Native meat ration is very small. The Natives are not meat-eaters in the accepted sense of the word, and their small ration they invariably "curry" with the ration of ginger, chillies, turmeric and garlic, which are the raw ingredients of curry powder. Not infrequently also they are issued with a ration of rice and also dried fruits.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 30 January 2017

The Food of Armies (1918)
Topic: Army Rations

The Food of Armies (1918)

Some Strange Looking Specimens of Highly Concentrated Rations Prepared for the Nourishment of Soldiers on the Trenches and on the Battlefield

Coffee, tea, chocolate, cocoa, and so on, are indispensable, and in some armies, such as the French, light wine is furnished as part of the regular diet of the soldier. The Germans prefer beer.

The Spokesman-Review, Spokane Washington, 12 January 1918

As long as an army is fed it can fight, provided, of course, that its guns are fed also. We hear more about the food of the guns than about that of the men, but the latter is the more important of the two, as was shown recently when come of our boys in France, having no guns, fought their way out of German captivity with their fists.

The improvements in army food also keep step with those in powder and projectiles. High-powered powder and high-concentration foods are the twin winners of modern battles. Some of the foods used as "emergency rations" are curious indeed, and some possess astonishing powers of nourishment locked up in a very small space. Modern improvements and discoveries in the preservation and concentration of foods have, perhaps, been as effective in extending the range of military campaigns, accelerating the rapidity of strategic movements and increasing the power of sudden blows as any advance in armament.

Meat stands, as it always has done, at the head of the list of essential foods for an army. Bread, in its various forms, comes next. Fruits and vegetables must generally be furnished in preserved and concentrated forms in which shape they supply some of the sugar, which is a very essential element of an army's rations. Coffee, tea, chocolate, cocoa, and so on, are indispensable, and in some armies, such as the French, light wine is furnished as part of the regular diet of the soldier. The Germans prefer beer.

It is asserted that tea is the most sustaining of all the army beverages because it is especially effective in arresting waste of the bodily tissues. It ranks next to milk in this quality. The Russians are the great tea drinkers, and the English are fond of it, but it has never had the popularity of coffee with American men. The Russian army has many forms of compressed tea in its rations, and it is averred that the Russian soldier could hardly fight without tea. One of the illustrations shows a round disk of compressed tea for the Russian army made of whole leaves of prime quality, and weighing three pounds, yet not too large to be slipped into a coat pocket. Other forms in which the tea is preserved are bars, slabs, and balls.

There is an emergency meat ration called the "chain-shot ration" on account of its form. It is used by the Belgians, French and Germans as a winter ration, being too oily for summer use, and L. Lodian says of it in the Scientific American that it "is the finest combination of sustaining and heating qualities known among the meat foods." Each ball is a chain constitutes one complete ration.

But the celebrated "pea-sausage," or erbswurst," of the German army gets a setback on the same authority, for it is said to be "about as unsatisfactory a concentrated ration as any extant, and is actually inedible when uncooked, being of a nauseating, bitter and raw flavor."

The notable ration of the Swiss army is "white chocolate," which consists of nothing but cocoa butter and sugar, the brown parts of the cocoa being removed. Moulded into a cake it resembles in color and gloss a billiard ball. It is more nutritious than brown chocolate.

The emergency ration of our own army, as prepared for the trenches, consists of chocolate tablets and packets of parched cornmeal. The latter seems to have been suggested by the parched corn of the Indians who often, when on the warpath and compelled to undergo great fatigues, subsisted for days on this food alone. Still, as a ration, the pemmican which some of the American tribes ultimately adopted, is said to be much superior in sustaining power to the cornmeal, or any other cereal food, since it contained chopped meat together with grain.

The Italian rations contain chocolate stuffed in sausage-like cases and a kind of plum duff, stuffed with raisins, and inclosed in a long membrane, in which it can be cooked with steam, while the empty case will serve for a tobacco pouch.

The Italian duff is said to be more nourishing than the British plum pudding. A kind of "spotted dog" is prepared with dark Italian wines instead of water, while rich nut meats are used for shortening. This recalls the rye hardtack of the Russians, in the making of which beef blood is emplyed instead of water.

But the nearest approach to the ideal emergency ration is said to be "the unsalted, sun-dried, paper-thin meat sheets" issued to some of the Latin American armies. It can be folded up and pocketed like paper, and is ready to be eaten withour preparation of cooking. Similar sun-dried meats in sheets are used by the soldiers of some Asiatic and African tribes.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Rations for a Big Army (1900)
Topic: Army Rations

Rations for a Big Army (1900)

Few Realize the Great Work Required to Get Supplies
Need Enormous Quantities
Collecting Them Involves a Vast Amount of Labor
Fighting Men Have Plenty

It is very probable that 90 people out of every 100 think of an army as a great aggregation of fighting men, armed to the teeth with rifles, swords and what not, while they never once give a thought to the "men in the rear."

The Pittsburg Press, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 18 April 1900 (From the Detroit Free Press)

It is very probable that 90 people out of every 100 think of an army as a great aggregation of fighting men, armed to the teeth with rifles, swords and what not, while they never once give a thought to the "men in the rear." Yet these men in the rear are an important part of the fighting machinery.

When an army is encamped in a friendly country there is not so great a difficulty in feeding it as when it is penetrating hostile territory and has separated from its own country. And yet in either case it is no light task to furnish and distribute the food that is to keep, say, 30,000 stomachs satisfied and 30,000 hearts in the right place. This is the work of the commissary department.

When an army division or an army corps is encamped at home the problem of getting supplies is comparatively simple. Sometimes they are furnished on contract, sometimes bought in large quantities a week or more in advance of the time at which they will be needed. The commissary general is responsible for the procuring of these supplies and having them deposited at a depot within easy reach of the troops.

Each company of a regiment has its cooks, each regiment has its commissary depot, where supplies are kept sufficient, say, for a week or ten days for all the men. Men are detailed from each company to assist in the work of getting the supplies from the regimental depot to the company kitchens every day. Others are detailed to help transport the supplies to regimental depots from the general headquarters whenever the stores in the former are getting low.

As all supplies are issued from headquarters only on orders and receipts are given for everything secured, it can be seen that there is an immense amount of clerical work necessary to the smooth and uninterrupted work of the department.

When the troops are in barracks the work of the kitchen can be better attended to than in the field. Ranges and all necessary utensils are on hand and hot meals are served to the different mess tables with regularity. When in the field, either field stoves are used for cooking or partially covered trenches are constructed with an opening for the huge coffee kettle and an oven for the baking of bread.

Suppose an army to have landed on a foreign coast. The first move after the landing of the men and arms is to secure a convenient spot for a depot of supplies. These are landed and piled high on the shore until there seems to be a mountain of boxes inextricably mingled in the general mass. Gradually these are separated into different piles and order begins to make its appearance out of chaos, until all the supplies are properly housed.

For an army of 30,000 men and 10,000 horses for three months it is estimated that there are necessary 11,000 tons of food and forage. This must be made up of palatable and strength-giving supplies, with a proper proportion of meat. Vegetables, coffee and flour for bread or biscuits. The meat is generally canned, although sides of bacon are abundant, and even herds of cattle are taken along for fresh meat.

Whenever any important move is to be made by the army each soldier is usually supplied with rations for a day, which he carries in his haversack. These he is not to use unless ordered to do so. There are, besides, two days' rations carried in transport for each fraction of a command to tide the troops over the march. In the English army there are even wagon arrangements for cooking meals on the march, great quantities of soup being heated and meat and potatoes being prepared while on the march. But when the army moves away from its base of supplies then it is that the feeding problem becomes more complicated.

There are always a number of men detailed from each regiment to assist in the work of bringing up supplies. The keeping open of a line of communication with the base of supplies is the first thing that a commander must see to, for it means the safety of his army. If this line of communication is but a day's march, the work is simple, and it does not take many men detailed to wagon driving to replenish the impoverished stock of the regimental or division larder. But when the distance is increased to sixty or one hundred miles the trick is one of great difficulty.

There are along this line of communication two lines of transport wagons constantly on the move and in opposite directions. The one line is for wagons filled with stores and supplies for the army. The other is made up of empty wagons going back to base for other loads. Easy stages are made of the journey.

For instance, one set of loaded wagons will start from the base and go an easy distance, when another lot of empty ones will be coming in the opposite direction. The drivers and horses will be exchanged, those on the loaded wagons returning with the empty ones to the base of supply and those on the empty wagons taking the loaded supplies one stage nearer the army, at the end of which the same thing is repeated which the transportation of supplies and ammunition, too, is being carried on.

Within easy reach of the army is established a second base of supplies where a great amount of stores is accumulated in order to enable the army to extend its operations further from its principal base. Of course, a railroad makes the thing doubly sure and quick. But there is usually a good deal of wagon hauling to be done even with the railroads, because it is not often possible for an army to confine its operations to the line of rail communication. In any case, from the nearest base supplies are brought to the division or regimental wagons, which are filled on requisition and receipts are given for the supplies received.

A week's supply or even ten days' food should be at hand with the army. From the regimental depots the company gets its food for each day, and it is transferred to the company kitchen. Here are great kettles of coffee steaming over the fire, with bacon or other meat steaming in the pans. Thus the food which started as the contents of one of the boxes in the mountain on the shore, finally comes to the plate of the soldier to give him strength.

Sometimes a flying column takes no commissary train with it, cuts itself off from its base of supplies and moves swiftly through the country taking a few days' rations. This cannot be done unless the country is thoroughly known and can be depended on for food.

Sir George Head, writing of his experience in charge of the commissary in the peninsular war, says that 3 o'clock ever morning found him in the presence of the commanding general, where he was told of the movements of the army for the day. He would then go to his own quarters, where he found scores of representatives of the different parts of the army waiting for information. Sometimes, he said, he was obliged to ride out in the rain and scour the country for wheat to be made into flour for that night's distribution.

The worry of such a position can scarcely be imagined, for even after a supply of wheat was found, it had to be transported to mill, ground and carried to a convenient place for distribution among the parts of the army, which operations required the services of many men and teams.

There is considerable red tape required to get provisions, no less than seventy-five different kinds of blanks being supplied to use as requisitions.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 21 January 2017

Pound of Meat a Day to Each Man at Front
Topic: Army Rations

Pound of Meat a Day to Each Man at Front

British Army, Rules Also Require Like Amount in Each Soldier's Kit

Spokane Daily Chronicle, Spokane, Washington, 23 November 1917

Behind British Lines in France, Nov. 22.—The British army ration scale allows one pound of meat to each man daily to the troops in the trenches, and three-quarters of a pound to those at home. It further requires each soldier at the front to carry a pound of meat in his kit.

The measures by which an army equal to one-fifth of the male population of Great Britain before the war have been supplied with meat on this scale amount to something like a revolution in the technique of army supply.

At the very beginning of the present war it was decided to provide frozen meat for the army and the boards of trade at once entered into negotiations with firms importing meat from the Argentine for a monthly supply of 15,000 tons. Later a "meat committee" was set up, and entrusted with the work of importing meat, not only for the British army, but also for the French and Italian governments, and for the British civil population.

The principal source of supply at present is the Argentine, with assistance from Australia and New Zealand. Both Australia and New Zealand have reserved their entire surplus supply of meat for the use of the imperial government, and over $200,000,000 worth of beef, mutton and lamb has been brought from those countries.

To carry these enormous quantities of meat to the troops the board of trade requisitioned all the shipping engaged in the frozen meat traffic. Some of the meat is taken to England, but the greater part of that required for the armies is landed directly at the base ports, where it is discharged into cold storage warehouses specifically erected for the purpose. In this manner there is delivered monthly 30,000 tons of meat for the British armies and 25,000 tons to the armies of Great Britain's allies.

The cost of this meat up to the beginning of 1916 figured out at an average of about 12 ½ cents a pound, but it has since risen to about 16 ½ cents.

Sixty Per Cent Frozen

Frozen meat at present constitutes 60 per cent of the total meat issued to the British army. The remainder is made up of preserved meat of several varieties. The most familiar form is the well-known "bully beef," which is corned beef packed in small oblong tins, each containing 12 ounces. Some units cook their bully beef, other prefer it just as it comes from the tin. In comprised the principal article of diet for the army at Gallipoli.

Another form of preserved ration is a combination of about nine ounces of meat and a half pound of potatoes and other vegetables. This is served after warming up, either by heating in the tin or by boiling the contents in a camp kettle, which transfers it into a fairly appetizing stew. This combination, which is known in army parlance as "meat and vegetable ration," is manufactured in England by about 30 firms, working under the inspection of the local government board.

Another form of preserved ration, adopted from the American armies, is pork and beans. The first supplies of these were obtained from the Canadian Pacific Railway company and were introduced on an experimental scale in March, 1916.

The amount of canned meats supplied to the troops in France is enormous. Three and a half million cans are received weekly at the bases, and since the beginning of the war the army contract department has purchased over 400,000,000 cans of preserved meat. These cans would weigh about 178,500 tons, roughly the equivalent is weight of six superdreadnaughts.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 16 January 2017

The Stock Pot (Army Cookery, 1907)
Topic: Army Rations

The Stock Pot (Army Cookery, 1907)

Instructions to Cooks, Published by Authority, Government printing Bureau, Ottawa, 1907

A stock-pot will be established to provide good soup and gravies. It consists of a cooking utensil, either a boiler or a large boiling pot, into which should be placed all available bones, &c. , such for example as are collected when the ration meat is cut up, in preparing boned and rolled meat, meat pies, meat puddings, stews and curries. This boiler should be kept gently simmering for 3 or 4 hours daily immediately before its contents are required for use. If the ration meat is properly boned it will provide soup for men of a battalion daily.

In order to ensure a constant change in the stock, and that no bones remain longer than three days in the pot, the following system should be adhered to. The bones extracted from the meat rations on the first day should be placed in a net with a tally attached before being boiled; the bones of the second and third day should be similarly treated; after the third day the bones boiled upon the first day should be removed, and similarly the bones of the subsequent days, the stock being continually replenished from day to day. The bones should always be removed from the stock before the vegetables and other ingredients are added. They should be carefully drained, placed in a dish, and kept in a cool dry place until required the following morning. Every effort should be made to reserve special boiler or boiling pots for making stock, in order that, if possible, the surplus portion of unused stock should be carried on from day to day. This process adds enormously to the strength of the soup made.

The amount of water to be added to the boiler in making stock must depend on the quantity and quality of the bones. It must be understood, that when the stock is not required for soups, gravies, &c., it should be used in preparing dishes such as curries, stews, meat and sea pies, meat puddings, etc.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 16 January 2017 12:06 AM EST
Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Soldiers Test New Combat Rations
Topic: Army Rations

Soldiers Test New Combat Rations

The Age, Melbourne, Australia, 17 June 1960

Canberra, Thursday.—Eighty Australian soldiers are testing new lightweight combat rations to replace the old wartime rations of bully beef and biscuits.

The 10-day trial is taking place under battle conditions at Holdsworthy, N.S.W., and is the first since a 10-man food pack was tested in Malaya three years ago.

The experimental ration pack consists of partly-cooked foods in plastic bags. Each pack weighs 2 lb. and is shaped to fit easily into a pocket.

The men have been split up into two platoons of 40 each. One platoon will eat normal field rations and the other will live entirely on the new lightweight pack.

The aim of the tests is to discover whether the new food pack I nutritious, appetising and serviceable.

Here is a typical day's diet for the troops testing the new ration pack, which has been made possible by new food processing developments:—

Breakfast: Biscuits and jam, a cereal and instant spaghetti and tomatoes.

Lunch: Biscuits, jam and tea.

Evening Meal: meat, potatoes, cabbage or carrots, and instant pudding of chocolate and nuts, tea, biscuits and jam.

During the patrol, the troops will eat chocolate and sweets between meals.

The contents of the packs have been partly cooked and compressed and require only the addition of boiling water to prepare a meal.

The soldiers taking part in the tests were medically examined and weighed before the trial began and will be checked again when it ends of June 24.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 7 January 2017

New Soldiers' Chow (1940)
Topic: Army Rations

New Soldiers' Chow (1940)

British Tommies to Eat Rations Developed in U.S.

Lawrence Journal-World, Lawrence, Kansas, 11 March 1940

Washington, Mar. 11. (AP)—British "Tommies" in the French front line soon will be eating a new emergency ration developed by dietary experts of the United States army—and so will 65,000 American soldiers.

The British government, it was learned today, has placed an initial order with an Indianapolis firm for a consignment of the new canned "chow."

The Unites States army will give "field ration, type C" a two-day tryout during the big maneuvers in Texas next month.

The ration, designed for a possible three-day emergency during fighting, is packed in twin tin cans, each with its key opener.

Each man will carry one 15-ounce can of pre-cooked meat and beans, one of beef stew, on of meat and vegetable hash, and three companion cans, each of which contains six ounces of crackers, one ounce of sugar, and ¾ ounce of pulverised coffee, soluble even in cold water.

The new rations costs 70 cents a day (as against the present daily ration allowance of 40½ cents), but the price is expected to be reduced by quantity production.

The army is also experimenting with a super-emergency ration—a hard bar composed of chocolate, milk, soy bean meal, cocoa butter and other ingredients. Major Paul P. Logan, an instructor at the army industrial college, who holds the patent, made its taste such that men will not be tempted to eat it as candy.

In dire necessity, a man taking three four-ounce bars (each containing 600 calories) a day could be sustained for three or four days.

The new emergency rations are considered a big improvement, both in taste and food value, over the old bully beef and hardtack.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 30 December 2016

The Approved Ration (1907)
Topic: Army Rations

The Approved Ration (1907)

Instructions to Cooks, Published by Authority, Government Printing Bureau, Ottawa, 1907

The following ration having been approved will be supplied to the troops:

  • 1 lb. Bread or 1 lb. Biscuit (for camps, 1 ¼ lb. Bread).
  • 1 lb. Meat.
  • 1 lb. Potatoes.
  • 3 oz. Bacon.
  • 2 oz. Flour or 2 oz. Beans.
  • 3 oz. Jam or 3 oz. Dried apples.
  • 2 oz. Butter or cheese for permanent corps.
  • 1 oz. Split peas.
  • 2 oz. White sugar.
  • ½ oz. Salt.
  • 1/3 oz. Coffee.
  • ¼ oz. Tea.
  • 1/36 oz. Pepper.
  • ½ oz. Vegetables, evaporated, 1/2 oz. Onions; or 2 oz. Cheese for camps.
  • For permanent corps 4 oz. fresh vegetables in place of evaporated

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 26 November 2016

Bully Beef Apparently on Way Out
Topic: Army Rations

Bully Beef Apparently on Way Out

Eugene Register-Guard, Eugene, Oregon, 25 June 1959
By Jim Becker, of the Associated Press

Kota Belud, North Borneo—The days of the British Army's infamous "bully beef" are apparently over. The Queen's soldiers are living it up with a new canned ration that has even Americans envious.

Some genius in the British Quartermasters Corps has developed a ration for field troops that is considered superior to the American "C" ration in taste, ease or preparation and compact size.

That was the opinion of American Marines training with British soldiers in a joint manoeuvre in the steaming North Borneo jungle recently.

The Americans from the Okinawa-based 3rd Marine Division were invited to sample the British field fare and were loud in their praise.

The ration comes in a square box that fits neatly in the mess kit, saving on carrying space.

It contains a variety of meat and vegetable dishes, vitamin-enriched and a soup can that heats in seconds by a chemical process.

There is also a toothpaste-type tube of cream and sugar combined, which can be squeezed over oatmeal or used in tea.

Also in the ration is a tiny collapsible stove which is discarded after a day in the field. It neatly holds the mess kit when used as a cooking pot.

Small squares of a wax-like substance—the compositions of which is not known even to British supply officers—supplies the fuel.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 26 November 2016 12:29 AM EST
Sunday, 20 November 2016

What Not to Feed Him
Topic: Army Rations

What Not to Feed Him

Berkeley Daily Gazette, Berkeley, California, 20 June 1919

Have you a returned soldier in your home? And would you like him to be happy? To forget those French mademoiselles Tout Suite? To go back to his old job and stick, even though it does seem to be a bit of a bore at first? Then follow this advice, approved by Colonel Woods, assistant to the secretary of war.

Feed him well, and you will make him happy. Give him good food, plain cooking and very fancy cooking. But remember that he has acquired certain inalienable hatreds.

Don'tgive him beans. Green beans are alright. But never give him the comedy beans.

Don'tgive him salmon. Not cooked or smoked or in salad.

Don'tgive him hash. Not even if he liked it before.

Don'tgive him corned beef. Not even in sandwiches or with eggs. When he was over there he called it "Corned Willy," "Monkey Meat" and "Bully Beef."

Don'tgive him bread pudding. He has had a great deal too much of it.

Don'tgive him rice pudding. It will make him think he is being forcibly fed.

Don'tgive him condensed milk.

Don'tgive him Irish stew. He used to call it "slum" in the army. He no longer desires it.

Don'tgive him horse meat. You wouldn't anyway, but nevertheless—Don't.

This leaves a number of pleasant dishes which you may serve him. He will welcome chocolate ice cream, thick steak, roast beef, French fried potatoes, salad with Russian dressing, ham and eggs, and other delectable dishes.

If you treat him in accordance with the culinary advice so outlined, he will once more be one of the world's happy workers, and stick to his job, old or new.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 15 October 2016 12:13 PM EDT
Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Trench Soup (1915)
Topic: Army Rations

For pudding Tommy Atkins boils a few biscuits to a pulp, strains off the water, and serves with jam.

Trench Soup (1915)

The Age, Melbourne, Australia, 9 June 1915

The British soldier has a knack of making himself at home wherever he is. During the weary months he has spent in the trenches in France he has endeavoured, among other things, to improve on the regimental rations, and vary the monotony of his diet. He has compounded a recipe for "trench soup," which is declared by those who have tried it to be very appetising.

The rations for one man per day are:—

  • One tin of bully beef,
  • a few biscuits (or bread),
  • a rasher of bacon,
  • tea and sugar to make two quarts,
  • two ounces of jam,
  • and occasionally, a packet of pea soup powder or an OXO cube.

The recipe for the soup is:—

  • One tin of corned beef (chopped up),
  • one packet of pea soup powder,
  • one OXO cube,
  • four tablets of Brand's essence of beef,
  • two biscuits (broken up), 
  • a few potatoes.

For pudding Tommy Atkins boils a few biscuits to a pulp, strains off the water, and serves with jam.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 16 November 2016 12:33 AM EST
Saturday, 12 November 2016

English Soldiers Cookbook
Topic: Army Rations

English Soldiers Cookbook

Several Recipes That Are Sanctioned by the Commander-in-Chief of the Army

Meriden Morning Record, Meriden, Connecticut, 22 January 1900
(From the London Mail.)

Occasionally one hears a great deal about the bad cooking and insufficient food of British soldiers. Every now and again some fadist takes the matter up and tries to lead the public to believe that our troops are condemned to live entirely upon unpalatable food.

Here are three recipes from "Tommy's" cookery book which are sanctioned by no less than the commander in chief himself:

Meat Soup.

"Ingredients: Sixteen and one-half pounds meat, one pound onions, one pound flour, five ounces salt, one-fourth ounce pepper, five ounces sugar, small faggot of herbs, 3 1/2 gallons of water.

"Cut the meat into pieces about four ounces, take eight ounces of the fat and chop it up; slice the onions. Put the fat in the boiler; when melted, add the onions; stir them well, so that they do not get brown. In five minutes add the meat, which keep stirring or turning over for five minutes longer. Then add the boiling water by degrees; let it simmer gently for one hour. Mix the flour with cold water very smoothly, add it to the soup, with the salt, pepper, sugar and herbs. Simmer gently for 30 minutes; keep stirring to prevent flour from settling at the bottom."

No doubt the result of these careful operations is a most sustaining and excellent soup, and one wonders how many artisans or laborers get anything better for dinner.

The recipe for "a hurried dinner" is much less elaborate; but if soldiers opinions go for anything, it is by no means a bad one. It is as follows:

"Cut your ration of meat into pieces about the size of a penny, but three of four times thicker. Skewer them only a piece of iron wire or hard stick. A few minutes will cook them if hung before the fire."

Plum pudding in "Tommy's" cookery book"

"Put into a basin one pound of flour, three-fourths pound of raisins (stoned, if that can be allowed), three-fourths pound of the fat of salt pork (well washed, cut into small dice or chopped), and two tablespoonfuls of sugar, or treacle. Add half a pint of water, mix all together; put into a cloth tied tightly; boil for four hours and serve. If time will not admit, boil only for two hours, though four are preferable."

There seems a touch of human nature about the war office, after all.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 21 October 2016

Recipes from Tobruk (1941)
Topic: Army Rations

Recipes from Tobruk (1941)

Diggers as Cooks

The Age, Melbourne, Australia, 4 October 1941

The ingenuity of the men in the Tobruk garrison has extended to cooking. The mother of a gunner who has been in Tobruk for some seven months received a letter in which he gave her some of the recipes submitted at a recipe competition held among the gun crews.

The first is called "Fig Tree Hamburger." The gunner writes:—

"Take 2 tins of bully beef, 1 tin of bacon, 2 handfuls of flour and 3 onions. Cut the bully beef, bacon and onions finely. Mix two-thirds of the flour with a little water to make a thick paste. Mix the bully beef, bacon and onions in and mould into small rissoles, roll in the flour, fry in boiling margarine and serve hot with potato chips. This is enough for six men."

"In the sweet department," he continued, "there is Libyan flap-jack. Take three cups of flour and half a cup of oatmeal, and mix with enough water to make a thick liquid. Add a quarter cup of milk, half a teaspoon of marmite and 2 oz. of grated cheese. Mix and fry as a pancake in margarine."

"Marrow has been plentiful," he added, "and can be stuffed with rice and bully beef and roasted. Even bully beef with other ingredients can be made into something edible."

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Bacon for the Garrison (Halifax, 1908)
Topic: Army Rations

Bacon for the Garrison (Halifax, 1908)

Militia Department Gets It Cheap, but Soldiers Don't Like It—May Be Roll Bacon

The Montreal Gazette, 10 April 1908

Halifax, N.S., April 9.—(Special.)—The prices quoted in the House of Commons by the Militia Department as paid to J.F. Outhit on his contract for supplies of breakfast bacon to the Halifax garrison were interesting to the trade in this city. The parliamentary return shows that J.F. Outhit tendered to supply the Militia Department with breakfast bacon at 13 3/4 cents per pound. The packers' wholesale price for breakfast bacon all last year was 15 cents. No one could buy it for less from any reliable packer. In 1906 Outhit tendered at 14 cents, and this year his tender is 13 3/4 c, the packers' wholesale price being 14 c. At this rate, in three years, the loss would be about $1,500, the quantity taken each year being about 47,000 pounds. It is to be noted that while breakfast bacon was worth 14 and 15 cents at the packers' warehouses, roll bacon was offered at 10 5/8 cents. The question is asked: was there a mistake under which the garrison may have got roll bacon instead of breakfast bacon. Davis & Fraser say that such was the case. The department asserts that the supply officer of the department, Major E. Dodge, made no complaint, but the rank and file of the garrison complained bitterly. Often the men refused to eat the bacon, and it became a custom for the soldiers to take this bacon to the canteen, which is run as a private venture at the barracks, and get that institution to take the bacon at a valuation, and, instead of money, take other goods that they could eat in exchange for it.

This bacon affair at the barracks has been a fruitful source of trouble, and the soldiers say that even is the supply officer does not complain about it, the amount of breakfast bacon they received seemed small, and was seen at rare intervals. The soldiers think that Judge Cassels, who is to report on the Civil Service Commission's report, could very profitably spend a portion of his time looking into the Halifax military contracts. They think he might learn a lot.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Fudge Block Army Ration (1941)
Topic: Army Rations

Fudge Block Army Ration (1941)

Piece de Resistance Gives Food Value and Satisfies Sweet Tooth

Reading Eagle, Reading, Pennsylvania, 10 July 1941

Atlanta, July 10 (AP)—The piece de resistance of "iron rations" issued American soldiers on the arch is a domino-size fudge block—a sugary hunk that packs 125 calories of energy.

The army itself concocted the recipe for the one-ounce piece of candy serving the dual purpose of packing in the food value and satisfying the fighting man's sweet tooth. Vitamin C in the form of brewer's yeast is added in the ingredients of corn sugar and cane sugar, chocolate, vegetable fat, powdered egg albumen and powdered milk.

New Item on Display

This new item was on display along with an innovation in lollipops—a sucker employing a cord loop instead of a stick so the stumbling youngster won't spike his throat—in the exhibit room of three candy conventions in progress here.

The candy industry is gearing its production line to the national defense theme in two other items, said Philip C. Gott, of Chicago, president of the National Confectioners Association.

One is a four-ounce high vitamin candy block for parachute troopers and the other a salty gum drop fed to soldiers in sultry sections to replace body salt lost through perspiration.

The candies made for the army are not available to civilian retail trade, Gott said. Manufacturers who wish to bid on them obtain the recipes from the Quartermaster Corps, and rigid inspection is conducted, he added.

Given Exhaustive Trial

The type C or "iron rations" menu got an exhaustive test in the recent Tennessee maneuvers and the Fourth Corps Area quartermaster's office here, which feeds one-third of the U.S. Army, reported "excellent results."

Three of the one-ounce candy blocks go into a day's "iron rations" and other items include meat, vegetables, biscuits and soluble coffee. All are canned, conserving space and load.

"We could concoct a chemically pure food for soldiers, which the boys wouldn't eat—the army's food has to taste good," Lieut. Col.Rohland A. Isker said of the candy ration. Isker is in charge of the subsistency research laboratories of the army.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 8 October 2016

Tabloid Food Ousts Tommy's Bully Beef (1932)
Topic: Army Rations

Tabloid Food Ousts Tommy's Bully Beef (1932)

Scientific Ration to replace Soldiers' Tinned Food

The Pittsburgh Press, 21 March 1932

London, March 22.—The familiar bully beef tin is about to make way for a scientific food tablet in the British Tommy's pack.

The new emergency ration is a four-inch block of concentrated sugar, cocoa powder, tea powder, beef powder, oil of lemon and cocoa butter. It will sustain a man for 24 hours.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 12 August 2016

Food is Vital (US Army, 1945)
Topic: Army Rations

Food is Vital

US War Department Pamphlet 35-3, WAC Life, May 1945

In the Army the needs of the vigorously exercised body become matters of primary urgency and concern. A well-balanced diet is essential to sustained efficiency.

You can count on being provided with an abundance of nourishing foods. All means are carefully planned to provide a diet with all the necessary vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates necessary to keep you in good physical condition.

If you eat a little of everything that is placed before you, you will not suffer from "hidden hunger." Don't take a finicky dislike to unfamiliar foods. You need stamina to see you through your job.

Rations Vary

In the Army, "mess" means a meal, or in broader terms, all meals.

"Ration" was originally defined as the money value of a person's food for 1 day. Today it has come to mean the allowance of actual food for one person for 1 day. When money is paid in lieu of rations it is spoken of as a "ration allowance"

"Garrison rations" are the food issued to troops in camps and stations in peacetime.

"Field Ration A" is the wartime equivalent of the garrison ration. It includes perishable items such as fresh meats, fruits, and vegetables. It represents the healthiest, best-balanced three square meals possible. It is served in mess halls in the United States.

"Field Ration B" is the ration normally issued for troops overseas. In nutritive content it approximately equals Field Ration A, but does not include any foods which require refrigeration or which cannot be stored and shipped. Most of the foods are canned or dehydrated. When properly cooked, this ration provides palatable, filling, and nourishing meals.

There are various, other field rations intended for specific situations, and others are being introduced, tested, and considered. The ones you may hear mentioned frequently are the following:

"Field Ration C" is composed of canned foods issued to individuals when it is not practical for a unit to carry bulk supplies.

"Field Ration D" consists of very highly concentrated chocolate bars for use by individuals in emergencies.

"Field Ration K" consists of paraffin-coated boxes of foods for use by individuals in combat situations.

The Army also provides specialized rations for life boats, for stranded pilots and parachutists, etc. For a description of types of rations, see AR 30-2210.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 31 July 2016

What Soldiers Have For Food (1914)
Topic: Army Rations

What Soldiers Have For Food (1914)

The Day, New London, Connecticut, 16 October 1914

The suffering from hunger said to have been experienced by great numbers of German soldiers during the present war is alleged in the news despatches to have been due largely to the fact that they were not provided with emergency rations. This, if true, is certainly surprising, inasmuch as the Kaiser's troops are ordinarily supplied with the best of all concentrated food, in the shape of "erbswurst," or pea sausage—a species of provender so sustaining, and furnishing so much nourishment in small bulk, that the Prussians 44 years ago declared that without it they could not have endured as they did the fatigues of the rapid campaign against the French.

If such value is this peas sausage as a war food that an effort was made to utilize it in the British army. But Tommy Atkins would have none of it—illustrating the fact that a ration found suitable for the fighting man of one nation is not necessarily acceptable to those of another. A war food must be not only wholesome and nutritious, but also palatable, and national tastes in matters gustatory differ. Some years ago an attempt was made to introduce in the German army a biscuit composed of meat and flour, but the soldiers refused to eat it.

An emergency or "iron" ration is not meant to be eaten under any ordinary circumstances, but only when the soldier finds himself separated from his command and cut off from the supply train. Then only is he permitted to utilize his small store of condensed provender, which he carries in his knapsack, in order to avoid starvation. For this purpose the German fighting man is provided with a one-pound can of preserved meat, a small quantity of hard bread, and a pea sausage. The same kind of sausage, however, is an important part of the regular ration. It is eight inches long, is wrapped in white cloth, bag-fashion (tied at one end with a string), looks somewhat like a fat firecracker, weighs eight ounces, and its contents emptied into a pot of boiling water, will make 12 plates of excellent porridge.

This kind of sausage owes its invention to a cook, whose rights to manufacture it were purchased by the German government for $25,000. It is composed of pea meal, fat and bacon, with a few other ingredients added for flavouring. The most important point, however, is the method of its preparation, by which it is rendered proof against decay or deterioration. Hard as a brickbat, it will keep perfectly good for years.

The Belgian emergency ration is a ten-ounce can of corned beef, put up in a liquor flavoured with vegetables. For the same purpose the British use a compressed pea soup. At the opening of the Afghan war, in 1878, an enterprising Englishman supplied the army with this product, in the form of a yellow soup, put up in four-ounce cans, bearing directions that the contents be mixed with a quart or so of water and then boiled to the proper thickness. When General "Bobs" made his famous march on Kandahar, his troops were fed almost wholly on this soup, which occupied such a small space that a single mule could carry a day's food for the whole battalion. Subsequently, in the Zulu and other campaigns it was largely utilized.

The popularity of peas as a war diet is attributable to the fact that they are the most nutritious of known foods, surpassing in this respect even lean meat. Another advantage they have over meat is that they afford what is called a "balanced ration," containing as they do both fuel stuff to keep the fighting machine going and "protein" to make muscle and blood. The army soup above described is made by steam-roasting the peas, grinding them fine, adding some beef extract for stock (with suitable seasoning), and reducing the mixture to the smallest possible bulk by elaboration and pressure.

The British army also uses a kind of hard bread which looks something like a dog biscuit, four inches square and weighing three ounces. It is of whole wheat, compressed—a sort of condensed loaf. For the Russian troops in the field is provided a "war bread," the ingredients of which, as well as the process for making it, are a government secret. When a piece of it is put into hot water or soup, it swells up like a sponge, and is said to taste much like fresh bread.

Vegetables are necessary to health. Accordingly, Whenever practicable they are supplied as part of the regular ration of an army. The French have a concentrated mixture of vegetables and meat, which comes in six ounce tin boxes, holding 21 tablets wrapped separately in red paper. One of these, dropped into a pint of boiling water yields a plate of delicious soup.

Onions and carrots are deemed especially valuable. The German army is supplied with carrots evaporated to absolute dryness and granulated to the size of snipe shot. Onions are provided in one pound tins, similarly desiccated. There is much water in onions, so that this quantity of the concentrated vegetable is equal to ten pounds of the fresh. One pound represents a day's ration for 48 men. Cabbages, prepared in the same way, come in four ounce tablets.

The old process of evaporation by heat is not used in the preparation of concentrated vegetables for use by the European armies now in the field, because it incidentally deprives the cabbages, onions, or what not of the volatile essential oils and ethers which have much to do with their flavours. A method of comparatively new invention is employed, the material being shredded, spread on shallow trays, and run on cars into a tunnel through which dry air of only moderate warmth is continually passing. The dry air sucks the moisture out of the vegetables, which, when out up in tine with screw tops, will keep indefinitely. When wanted for use, it is necessary merely to restore the water, incidentally to cooking. The taste like fresh vegetables. Soup greens preserved as a mixture in this fashion are particularly good.

The main standby of the Japanese troops now moving against the Germans in the far east is rice—not supplied in the raw state, be it understood, but cooked and there-upon made water free by evaporation and pressure. It is furnished to the soldiers in the shape of balls, one of which, dropped into a pot of boiling water in camp, affords a hearty meal for several men. Or if preferred, the balls may be cut into slices and roasted.

Another item of the British rations is desiccated beef, one ounce of which is equal to five ounces of ordinary meat. It is absolutely water-free, and so hard that the fighting man can hardly cut it with a jack-knife. He chops off a small hunk of it, puts it into a little machine resembling a coffee mill and grinds it up. It comes out in small shavings, which may be eaten on bread or used for soup stock. Two ounces of this beef will make soup for eight soldiers.

Mutton is supplied in the same way, in little rectangular blocks three inches long, two inches wide, and one inch thick. A manufacturer in England who puts up such concentrated food for army use says that he can compress the edible parts of ten sheep into the bulk of one cubic foot. Into the same space he can condense 3,000 eggs, rendered water-free by evaporation and reduced to the hardness of a brick by hydraulic pressure.

The news despatches a few days ago stated that the German crown prince had wired to Berlin for large supplies of tobacco, needed immediately for his troops. An American woman in London gave $20,000 to the British war fund, expressing a wish that the money be spent in the purchase of "chewing" and "smoking" for the soldiers of the expeditionary force now fighting in France. There is no doubt that the idea was an excellent one, judging from an opinion expressed on the subject not long ago by our own military authorities.

The bureau of subsistence of our war department, in an official report said: "Under the influence of tea, coffee or tobacco a man seems to be brought to a higher efficiency than without them. They keep up cheerfulness and enable soldiers to endure fatigue and privations, while deprivation of them may cause depression, homesickness, feebleness and indeed may lead to defeat in battle. Depressed troops do not fight well. A wise military leader will see to it that he men are not deprived of tobacco, or he will regret his carelessness.

The British soldiers now fighting in France, privates as well as officers, take their cup of tea regularly. It is a national habit which even battles can hardly interrupt. Also, the commissariat provides candy, which the men are encouraged to buy. In our own army candy (a highly concentrated kind of food) is supplied—not chocolate creams and bonbons, of course, because they too are perishable, but such sweets as lemon drops, hard gum drops and chocolate.

The enormous total quantity of provender required to supply armies that number millions of men may be judges from the fact that in 24 days a soldier consumes just about his own weight in food and water. Half the water he takes into his body is in the food, the other half is drink. The total dry matter in the food consumed daily is in round numbers one per cent of the weight of the body. Thus in 100 days a man weighing 150 pounds will absorb his own weight of dry matter—not reckoning, that is to say, the water his food contains.

Speaking of water, it is curious how many different solutions of the canteen problem have been found by various nations. The canteen carried by the British soldier is of glass, covered with canvas. That of the Italian fighting man is of wood, while the Spaniard's water vessel is a goatskin. The regulation canteen os the United States army is of tinned iron.

For emergency rations our own army formerly used a mixture of dried lean meat and toasted cracked wheat. This, deprived of moisture and pressed to the hardness of a brick, was put up in three packets, each containing also a tablet of chocolate—the whole representing one day's meals, to be carried in the knapsack.

Special machinery was required to put the stuff up, and the war department, in order to make it worth while for the manufacturer to produce it, was obliged to order it each year in large quantities. It had to be used up somehow and, to get rid of it, was fed out to the soldiers at army posts, who were thus obliged, however unwillingly, to consume emergency rations for their regular meals. As may well be imagined, there was much grumbling.

In 1910 a new kind of emergency ration was adopted. It was a mixture of chocolate, sugar, egg and malted milk, put up is such a shape as to look like ordinary commercial chocolate, in flat cakes wrapped in tinfoil. Three cakes, three meals. Weight, 12 ounces for the three, including the can containing them.

What has already been said will serve to show that the soldiers of the various armies now fighting in Europe are much better and more luxuriously fed than troops in any previous war in history. It costs money, but it pays; for, other things being equal, it is the well fed man that wins in battle, when opposed by an under-fed adversary.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 24 July 2016

Army Rations for One Day
Topic: Army Rations

Army Rations for One Day

What Soldiers of Various Countries Have While on March

Morning Oregonian, Portland, Oregon, 2 December 1908
London Special to New York Times.

Herman Senn, the organizer of the Universal Cookery and Food Exhibition, which has just been opened here, has received, as one of the most interesting exhibits, specimens of the ideal army rations of the leading countries of the world. The exhibits present a day's rations for men on the march, and nearly every country is represented.

The Japanese dietary scale is the most frugal, and is as follows:

  • Rice – 5.64 oz.
  • Meat – 7.05 oz.
  • Fish (which may be had Instead of meat) – 3.50 oz.
  • Cabbage Or other vegetable – 5.29 oz.
  • Biscuit – 20.00 oz.
  • Tea. – .71 oz.

Great Britain's soldier gets in one day:

  • Fresh moat – 1 1/4 lb.
  • Or, preserved meat – 1 lb.
  • Bread – 1 1/4 lb.
  • Or biscuit or flour – 1 lb.
  • Tea – 5/8 oz.
  • Jam – 1/4 lb.
  • Sugar – 2 oz.
  • Salt – 1/2 oz.
  • Pepper – 1/36 oz.
  • Fresh vegetables – 1/2 lb.
  • Or dried vegetable – 2 ox.
  • Or preserved fruit – 4 oz.
  • Lime juice (with 1/2 oz. sugar on days when fresh vegetables are not issued) – 1/20 gill.
  • Rum – 1/4 gill.
  • Tobacco (per week), not exceeding – 2 oz.

The scale of Germany is as follows:

  • Bread – 26.60 oz.
  • Or biscuit – 17.00 oz.
  • Fresh or salt meat – 13.00 oz.
  • Or salted beef or mutton – 9.00 oz.
  • Or bacon – 5.70 oz.
  • Rice – 4.40 oz.
  • Barley or groats – 4.40 oz.
  • Or peas, beans or flour – 8.60 oz.
  • Potatoes – 52.80 oz.
  • Salt – .70 oz.
  • Coffee (roasted) 1.00 oz.

The French soldier on a march gets per day:

  • Meat without bone – 8.40 oz.
  • Bread – 35.30 oz.
  • Or biscuit – 26.50 oz.
  • Dried vegetables – 2.12 oz.
  • Salt – .50 oz.
  • Sugar – .70 oz.
  • Coffee – .60 oz.

The Belgian dietary scale includes concentrated bouillon. Prunes, tomatoes and apples are among the American soldier's rations, and the Dutch army's diet includes horseflesh.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 24 July 2016 12:07 AM EDT
Tuesday, 19 July 2016

An Officers' Mess on Active Service
Topic: Army Rations

An Officers' Mess on Active Service

The Age, Melbourne , Australia, 31 January 1900

Mr. W.C. Hannah, a son of the Vicar of Brighton, went to Ladysmith to secure from officers of the Leicestershire Regiment details of the death of his brother, Lieutenant Hannah, who was the first officer killed at Dundee. Mr. Hannah, in the course of his letter, dated 3rd November, says:—

"I dined with the Dundee column last night. I will give you a description of this dinner as showing how Burns's "gilded popinjays" fare when times are warlike. To begin with, there was no sign of furniture either in the mess-room or the ante-room. If you wanted to sit down you did so on the floor. We each got hold of a large tin mug, and dipped it into a large tin saucepan of soup and drank it, spoons not existing. A large lump of salt was passed round, and every one broke off a piece with his fingers. Next you clawed hold of a piece of bread and a chunk of tongue, and gnawed one and then the other—knives and forks there were none. This finished the dinner. Add to this two or three tallow candles stuck on a cocoa tin, and the fact that none of the officers had shaved, or had their clothes off for a week, and had walked some 45 miles through rivers and mud, and you will have some idea of how the officers' mess of one of the smartest of her Majesty's foot regiments do for themselves in times of war. Not a murmur of complaint was to be heard."

elipsis graphic

The "Gilded Popinjays" Reference

John Burns, M.P., on Militarism

The following extract from a speeh by Burns was published in The Herald of Peace and International Arbitration, Volumes 23-24, 1st February, 1895:

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT

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