Friday, July 6, 2012

Could you function and fight on a diet of iron rations?


“Iron Rations” for the British Tommies in World War I would be carried by soldiers when they were away from regimental cooking arrangements. A good example was when the Canadian Cavalry Brigade was in almost continuous action in late March 1918. Here’s what the troopers carried with them:

-          One tin of beef (“bully beef”; Frey Bentos; with an attached key for opening).

-          6 ounces or so of biscuits.

-          One ounce of beef extract (eg OXO).

-          One small package of tea.

-          Package of salt, and perhaps sugar.

Here is a photo taken in the Fort Garry Horse Museum in Winnipeg that gives another version of iron rations:


Pretty slim pickings for active men who could be fighting, riding, or marching--or doing all three--in a day. There probably weren’t many overweight soldiers.

1 comment:

Pat and Marcus said...

An SMH item on "Armour Rations":

http://www.militaryhorse.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=502

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