By Anthony Clayton
The paintings has been compiled from records within the Royal Logistic Corps Museum at Deepcut, from memoirs, letters and interviews, and from the excellent selection of regimental histories within the library of the Royal army Academy Sandhurst. All royalties as a result of writer for this booklet should be despatched to the military Benevolent Fund, the warriors’ Charity.
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Additional resources for Battlefield Rations: The Food Given to the British Soldier For Marching and Fighting 1900-2011
In the infantry regiments, in peace composed of two battalions, one at home and one in India or Egypt, men were often recruited from the urban unemployed. In the regimental depots the best men had already been sent to the overseas battalion with the result that the home battalion hurriedly enlisted for South Africa had some of the least fit. Their need was a three-month period of good food and good training—they were given neither. Disease was to follow. The official authorised rations for a soldier at the outbreak of the South African ‘Boer’ War was: 1¼ lb of bread or 1 lb of biscuits � lb of preserved meat or 1 lb of fresh meat 3 ozs of sugar 4 ozs of jam 1/6 oz of pepper 2 ozs dried vegetables of if available fresh vegetables For emergencies each soldier was to carry with him a one pound tin of prepared meat, one pound of biscuits and a packet containing small quantities of salt, sugar and tea.
Occasionally, a few battalions were allowed to buy or acquire food, biscuits, tinned meat, jam and chocolate and a measure of wine from local villages on the road. F. staff had deposited quarters of beef and biscuits by the sides of the roads but in the heat the meat had generally deteriorated, and the stocks were not always seen or were taken by local people, or later by advancing Germans. The Army that finally arrived on the Marne had marched on, dazed and fatigued, many staggering, some hallucinating and propped up by comrades, and all gnawed by hunger pains.
The work has been compiled from documents in the Royal Logistic Corps Museum at Deepcut, from memoirs, letters and interviews, and from the superb collection of regimental histories in the library of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. All royalties due to the author for this book will be sent to the Army Benevolent Fund, The Soldiers’ Charity. A graduate of the University of St Andrews, he served in the colonial government of Kenya until 1963; he also served in the Territorial Army in the infantry and the Intelligence Corps, finishing as a lieutenant-colonel.
Battlefield Rations: The Food Given to the British Soldier For Marching and Fighting 1900-2011 by Anthony Clayton