Vintage Video - British Troops Receiving Rations, 1914
The regular supply of rations to troops serving in the trenches was a key requirement for all military authorities.
As an example of the type of food distributed to troops, the British daily ration for 1914 consisted of the following items:
- 1 1/4 lb fresh or frozen meat, or 1 lb preserved or salt meat
- 1 1/4 lb bread, or 1 lb biscuit or flour
- 4 oz. bacon
- 3 oz. cheese
- 5/8 oz. tea
- 4 oz. jam
- 3 oz. sugar
- 1/2 oz salt
- 1/36 oz. pepper
- 1/20 oz. mustard
- 8 oz. fresh or 2 oz. dried vegetables
- 1/10 gill lime juice (if fresh vegetables not issued);
- 1/2 gill rum (at discretion of commanding general)
- up to 2 oz. tobacco per week (at discretion of commanding general)
In contrast the German daily ration for 1914 comprised the following:
- 750g (26 1/2 oz) bread, or 500g (17 1/2 oz) field biscuit, or 400g (14 oz.) egg biscuit
- 375g (13 oz.) fresh or frozen meat, or 200g (7 oz) preserved meat
- 1,500g (53 oz.) potatoes, or 125-250g (4 1/2-9 oz.) vegetables, or 60g (2 oz.) dried vegetables, or 600g (21 oz.) mixed potatoes and dried vegetables
- 25g (9/10 oz.) coffee, or 3g (1/10 oz.) tea
- 20g (7/10 oz.) sugar
- 25g (9/10 oz.) salt
- two cigars and two cigarettes or 1 oz. pipe tobacco, or 9/10 oz. plug tobacco, or 1/5 oz. snuff
- at discretion of commanding officer: 0.17 pint spirits, 0.44 pint wine, 0.88 pint beer.
Source of ration details: Philip J. Haythornthwaite, The World War One Sourcebook, Arms and Armour Press, 1992
'Alleyman' was British slang for a German soldier.
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