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 Ration Packs.

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Wilf
Lt Col
Lt Col
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Number of posts : 314
Cap Badge : RAOC
Places Served : Bicester-Soltau-Canada-Kineton-Paderborn-Osnabruck (Inc Gulf 1) Donnington-Civy Strasse.
Registration date : 2008-10-22

PostSubject: Ration Packs.   29/10/2008, 07:01

A great source of complaints over the years, some justified some not perhaps. I have fond memories of "Babies Heads" when your freezing your pods off on some winter exercise few things were more welcome than a piping hot babies head. And lets not forget "Exercise Tea" which was a flask of hot tea with a generous tot of whisky. I would sit and savour the smell for a few minutes with my hands wrapped around the mug before taking a sip, the little things really did count. I seem to remember some of the lads hated compo sausages, I loved them (were they soya?) there was only one sight more welcome than a pan of beans & sausages when on exercise, yes it's those babies heads, they were universally popular.
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PostSubject: Re: Ration Packs.   30/10/2008, 01:01

The exercise tea I remember certainly lacked the addition of any tinctures more interesting than tinned evaporated milk.... which was poured into the urn along with the tea.

Range stew took some beating, ladelled gloopily into mess tins from a 'Norwegian' and lovingly garnished with a couple of slices of Wonderloaf. However, I suspect that were you to be served it in a restaurant, you would have good cause to demand the chef's head on a plate. All to do with the circumstances, the waiting, the boredom and the bitter cold (usually) encountered on range days, I suspect.

Very often, the compo chocolate was "Needlers". I don't think that it's been available anywhere other than the army for years. I think that the WD must have over-ordered for the D-Day landings.

Compo boiled sweets. So acid they could strip the enamel of your teeth and the flesh from the inside of your cheeks. Tinned processed cheese ditto... and why did it have that greenish tinge? Camouflage probably.

Biscuits AB... impossible to swallow or digest without the help of the entire contents of a water bottle. Industrial strength cream crackers.

Bacon grill - very salty and greasy. Small pieces could be attached to a pull-through if you'd run out of barrel oil.

Oatmeal block - good kit.

Tinned chicken supreme - All the flavour of wallpaper paste but without its chunky consistency.

Tinned chicken curry - Quite acceptable, but would never put your local tandoori out of business. Greatly improved with the addition of spices and any other bits and pieces judiciously tucked away in your webbing.

Tinned margarine - There must have been a warehouse somewhere that was filled with surplus WW1 engine oil that had solidified... so they packed it into small tins and marked them up as margarine.

Dextrasol tablets - poor man's amphetamine.

Hexamine blocks - never could develop a taste for them. Undoubted laxative qualities.

Compo toilet paper - not at all tasty or nutritious and when used for its intended purpose, proved to have the absorbency of polythene and the texture of ground glass. Probably made from recycled Shirts KF. Come to think of it, the bog roll provided back in barracks was Izal. Something probably unheard of in the UK since the depression, at a time when it was considered to be the posh alternative to sheets of newspaper on a hook. Very old people probably still like it... it would remind them of tin baths, outside lavatories, rationing and the blitz.

Do the slop jockeys still use those lethal No 1 burners (fuelled by petrol) on exercise? A failed first attempt in the British bid to be the first with a nuclear bomb. They must have been responsible for more casualties than anything the enemy could have thrown at us!
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PostSubject: Re: Ration Packs.   30/10/2008, 01:18

Oh... and the garibaldi biscuits in the green foil packets. I think that these were really intended to be Biscuits AB. Someone had left the lid off the mixing vat at the factory and some bluebottles had fallen into the mixture.
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Ian-redcap70
SSgt/CSgt
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Number of posts : 65
Age : 86
Localisation : Brisbane, OZ
Cap Badge : RMP
Places Served : Bielefeld, Colchester
Registration date : 2007-08-16

PostSubject: Re: Ration Packs.   30/10/2008, 05:53

The latter were commonly known as 'Dead fly bikkies'!!!
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Wilf
Lt Col
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Number of posts : 314
Cap Badge : RAOC
Places Served : Bicester-Soltau-Canada-Kineton-Paderborn-Osnabruck (Inc Gulf 1) Donnington-Civy Strasse.
Registration date : 2008-10-22

PostSubject: Re: Ration Packs.   30/10/2008, 07:15

LOL, yes indeed Claymore "Range Stew" I'd almost forgotten about that stuff, with as you say two slices of bread to dip into it...nightmare fodder. I seem to remember compo chocolate often had small white dots on it, I later found out that was because it was so old. I thought boilies were ok but I agree, it was impossible to break biscuits AB with anything lighter than a rifle butt.

I seem to remember Izal was good for cleaning windows, but not much good for the purpose for which it was designed, and yes the slops were still using number 1 burners in the 1980's and they were as you say, lethal. One of our cooks was taken to hospital with burns to his face & arms after one blew up on exercise. The offending burner was still used after the accident, some brave slop performed a bodge and carried on cooking (I use the term loosely) We laughed in the face of health & safety in those days.

Some bits of compo were good, as I say babies heads, and sausages & beans were always popular. I seem to remember tubes of condensed milk that were supposedly to use as sweetener for tea but were usually squeezed straight down the throat and tea was drunk without sweetener.
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PostSubject: Re: Ration Packs.   30/10/2008, 08:58

"...it was impossible to break biscuits AB with anything lighter than a rifle butt."

It would have to have been at least a SMLE or SLR. A SA80 would have hoisted up the white flag or shattered into a thousand pieces! Tanks were known to have lost their tracks running over discarded AB biscuits.
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jim
Let Gen
Let Gen
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Number of posts : 1291
Localisation : Sutton Coldfield
Cap Badge : RAOC
Places Served : Dad, Hamburg, Bad Oeynhausen, Iserlohn, Bury, Osnabruck, Worcester. Me Detmold, Bielefeld, NI, HK
Registration date : 2008-01-03

PostSubject: Re: Ration Packs.   5/11/2008, 11:48

I loved cheese possessed, you could make a fantastic cheese sauce with it. Smile
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soprano54
WOI
WOI
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Number of posts : 159
Age : 59
Localisation : Gloucestershire
Cap Badge : RTR
Places Served : Fallingbostel, Tidworth, Paderborn, Cyprus, Bovington, Hemer, NI, Coltishall, Incirlik, Benson
Registration date : 2007-03-10

PostSubject: Re: Ration Packs.   5/11/2008, 15:45

Claymore wrote:
"...it was impossible to break biscuits AB with anything lighter than a rifle butt."

It would have to have been at least a SMLE or SLR. A SA80 would have hoisted up the white flag or shattered into a thousand pieces! Tanks were known to have lost their tracks running over discarded AB biscuits.

ISTR they changed the name to 'Biscuits Man-hole Cover' sometime in the 80s!
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griff029
LCpl
LCpl


Number of posts : 7
Age : 58
Localisation : Leeds/Tanygrisiau
Cap Badge : RWF and 16th/5thl
Places Served : Lemgo, Wolfenbuttel, Herford
Registration date : 2008-11-05

PostSubject: Re: Ration Packs.   5/11/2008, 16:52

This is spooky guys. Was only thinking of compo sausages yesterday. I want some. Where can I get some?

griff029
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PostSubject: Re: Ration Packs.   5/11/2008, 20:58

There was also that entirely tasteless pâté (posh for meat paste!) stuff that you spread thickly onto the Biscuits AB in the forlorn hope that it would make them more palatable and/or digestible.

What was it made from? Was there any actual meat in it, or was it just pure Polyfilla?

Actually, perhaps it's best not to know. If there was any small proportion of meat in it, it would probably have been of the finely minced earholes, @rseholes and lips variety.

I can remember sitting in the bottom of a muddy hole eating all this swill while the US Army deployed on the same exercise were getting hot steaks flown in by chopper. (This may have been the same exercise that the Canadian contingent scrawled chalked crosses on the side of their vehicles to signify to the observers that they had remembered to 'cam them up').

The Yanks used to love our compo and would cheerfully trade their youngest daughters to get hold of it. That may speak volumes about a) the quality of their MRE rations or b) the quality of their daughters.
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Teabag
Maj Gen
Maj Gen
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Number of posts : 960
Age : 67
Localisation : Merseyside
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Wildenrath Detmold
Registration date : 2008-10-30

PostSubject: Re: Ration Packs.   5/11/2008, 21:54

I remember one exercise with yank infantry and they had virtually nothing compared to us. They had little sachets of sugar and were over the moon when I gave them a can of sugar and in their words "A whole tin of candy bars"?

Worked with the Canadians once and they were driving around in WW2 jeeps but had these dirty great cook house wagons that you entered one end and exited the other with all kinds of goodies including the usual massive steak.

I had never heard of tuna never mind tried it until a yank gave me a 24 hour pack of theirs. Thought it was brilliant.
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jim
Let Gen
Let Gen
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Number of posts : 1291
Localisation : Sutton Coldfield
Cap Badge : RAOC
Places Served : Dad, Hamburg, Bad Oeynhausen, Iserlohn, Bury, Osnabruck, Worcester. Me Detmold, Bielefeld, NI, HK
Registration date : 2008-01-03

PostSubject: Re: Ration Packs.   6/11/2008, 10:02

Oh yes square compo sausages,

Claymore was that the bright pink stuff?

amazing how age and alcohol destroys memories Smile
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JAL
SSgt/CSgt
SSgt/CSgt


Number of posts : 62
Age : 73
Localisation : York
Cap Badge : RASC & RAOC
Places Served : Bielefeld, Minden, Mannheim/Seckenheim
Registration date : 2007-07-13

PostSubject: Re: Ration Packs.   6/11/2008, 19:55

Teabag wrote:
I remember one exercise with yank infantry and they had virtually nothing compared to us. They had little sachets of sugar and were over the moon when I gave them a can of sugar and in their words "A whole tin of candy bars".

I had the misfortune, during a 3 year period to to be regularly fed by the US Army. Their "C" Rations were absolute crap and didn't compare to our Compo packs. Now the Canadians were something else again. Their tinned rations were all commercial brands and not made up crap.
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JAL
SSgt/CSgt
SSgt/CSgt


Number of posts : 62
Age : 73
Localisation : York
Cap Badge : RASC & RAOC
Places Served : Bielefeld, Minden, Mannheim/Seckenheim
Registration date : 2007-07-13

PostSubject: Re: Ration Packs.   6/11/2008, 19:56

Teabag wrote:
I remember one exercise with yank infantry and they had virtually nothing compared to us. They had little sachets of sugar and were over the moon when I gave them a can of sugar and in their words "A whole tin of candy bars".

I had the misfortune, during a 3 year period to to be regularly fed by the US Army. Their "C" Rations were absolute crap and didn't compare to our Compo packs. Now the Canadians were something else again. Their tinned rations were all commercial brands and not made up crap.
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Wilf
Lt Col
Lt Col
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Number of posts : 314
Cap Badge : RAOC
Places Served : Bicester-Soltau-Canada-Kineton-Paderborn-Osnabruck (Inc Gulf 1) Donnington-Civy Strasse.
Registration date : 2008-10-22

PostSubject: Re: Ration Packs.   7/11/2008, 09:26

jim wrote:
I loved cheese possessed, you could make a fantastic cheese sauce with it. Smile

"Cheese Possessed" LOL I haven't heard that for a long time. I never made cheese sauce with it but I seem to remember cheese possessed jam butties were quite popular, apparently the jam masked the taste of the cheese!
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PostSubject: Re: Ration Packs.   7/11/2008, 11:55

"Claymore was that the bright pink stuff?"

The very same.

As I remember, it had a strangely fibrous texture. Probably a polyester/cotton mix.


Last edited by Claymore on 7/11/2008, 12:24; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Ration Packs.   7/11/2008, 12:07

How sad is this? Pure Compoporn!

http://www.mreinfo.com/
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Teabag
Maj Gen
Maj Gen
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Number of posts : 960
Age : 67
Localisation : Merseyside
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Wildenrath Detmold
Registration date : 2008-10-30

PostSubject: Re: Ration Packs.   7/11/2008, 13:14

Those MRE are really great. They even have Desert in them.

More sand vicar?
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jim
Let Gen
Let Gen
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Number of posts : 1291
Localisation : Sutton Coldfield
Cap Badge : RAOC
Places Served : Dad, Hamburg, Bad Oeynhausen, Iserlohn, Bury, Osnabruck, Worcester. Me Detmold, Bielefeld, NI, HK
Registration date : 2008-01-03

PostSubject: Re: Ration Packs.   10/11/2008, 11:15

LOL, I've bookmarked that site Claymore Smile

Yes Andrew I never ate the cheese raw, horrid stuff like salty plastic, but it did make a cheese sauce to die for, my missus and I found that out by accident when we ran out of cheese once.
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nobby clark
WOI
WOI
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Number of posts : 102
Age : 70
Localisation : manchester
Cap Badge : 1R.Hamps / RAOC
Places Served : baor-Hong Kong-Malaya-Borneo-Belize-F.I.-Cyprus-N.I.-UK.
Registration date : 2008-04-07

PostSubject: Re: Ration Packs.   10/11/2008, 13:57

I must disagree about the old cheese possesed,when you were cold and hungry bicuits brown and cheese were manna from heaven,you had to be starving though.
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jim
Let Gen
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Number of posts : 1291
Localisation : Sutton Coldfield
Cap Badge : RAOC
Places Served : Dad, Hamburg, Bad Oeynhausen, Iserlohn, Bury, Osnabruck, Worcester. Me Detmold, Bielefeld, NI, HK
Registration date : 2008-01-03

PostSubject: Re: Ration Packs.   11/11/2008, 09:24

Nobby,

I was a Staff Clerk mate, never got that cold or hungry Smile
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nobby clark
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Number of posts : 102
Age : 70
Localisation : manchester
Cap Badge : 1R.Hamps / RAOC
Places Served : baor-Hong Kong-Malaya-Borneo-Belize-F.I.-Cyprus-N.I.-UK.
Registration date : 2008-04-07

PostSubject: Re: Ration Packs.   17/11/2008, 13:23

Then you were a jammy barsteward,used to dream of being warm and full.[/img]
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jim
Let Gen
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Number of posts : 1291
Localisation : Sutton Coldfield
Cap Badge : RAOC
Places Served : Dad, Hamburg, Bad Oeynhausen, Iserlohn, Bury, Osnabruck, Worcester. Me Detmold, Bielefeld, NI, HK
Registration date : 2008-01-03

PostSubject: Re: Ration Packs.   18/11/2008, 10:03

Oh yes, lovely warm HQ trucks and 432's, lot's of piping hot tea and food. When I joined up my dad (a Lancashire Fusilier) told me never to join the PBI. He was right Nobby.

Smile
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nobby clark
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Number of posts : 102
Age : 70
Localisation : manchester
Cap Badge : 1R.Hamps / RAOC
Places Served : baor-Hong Kong-Malaya-Borneo-Belize-F.I.-Cyprus-N.I.-UK.
Registration date : 2008-04-07

PostSubject: Re: Ration Packs.   19/11/2008, 10:37

Jim, my uncle Alan Waudby was a WO1 in the Corps also tried to talk me out of joining the Infantry,you may have seen his obituary on our other favourite site,Raoconline.
As a headstrong youth I ignored his advice and followed my dad,who left 1 DWR as a CSM into 1 R. Hamps and saw the light six years later and teamed up with the RAOC.
It was character building the Infantry plus I would never have sampled the delights of Compo tinned Irish Stew or Mutton and Peas,(back on thread)
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jim
Let Gen
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Number of posts : 1291
Localisation : Sutton Coldfield
Cap Badge : RAOC
Places Served : Dad, Hamburg, Bad Oeynhausen, Iserlohn, Bury, Osnabruck, Worcester. Me Detmold, Bielefeld, NI, HK
Registration date : 2008-01-03

PostSubject: Re: Ration Packs.   19/11/2008, 12:00

I generally liked most of the compo Nobby, particularly babies heads. Smile The mutton stew was OK as well, but the chicken supreme was tasteless I thought.
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