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 Compo Favourites

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Mike_2817
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PostSubject: Compo Favourites   10/9/2009, 20:53

OK then all you Cold War Warriers.

Whats your favourite Compo item?

What things you can get today is even close to what we used to enjoy.

Corned Beef has never changed for example!

Watch and Shoot.
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PostSubject: Re: Compo Favourites   10/9/2009, 21:01

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alan8376
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Places Served : Carlisle AAS, Aden, Hildesheim, Bordon, Fallingbostel, Dover, NI Tours, Osnabruck, Herford, Muenster, UN Nicosia, SBA Dhekellia Cyprus x2, Waterbeach, Civi Street 1988. Retired from VOSA 2007.
Registration date : 2009-07-28

PostSubject: Re: Compo Favourites   10/9/2009, 21:08

Sausage and beans always went down well, especially as it was palatable either hot or cold. It was a meal that could be heated up on a vehicle exhaust system quite easily.

In the early Compo packs there was the Tiffen Choco Bar and still love the Oatmeal blocks.

One meal I hated was in the early boxes, it was the bacon rashers, each rashers wrapped in a sort of plastic strip of cellophane.

The toilet paper didn't go far did it!
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298HALL
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PostSubject: Re: Compo Favourites   10/9/2009, 21:25

Mike_2817 wrote:
OK then all you Cold War Warriers.

Whats your favourite Compo item?

What things you can get today is even close to what we used to enjoy.

Corned Beef has never changed for example!

Watch and Shoot.

Has to be the sausages, but also loved the "baby's heeds" (steak and kidney pudding) !.

Corned beef was another good one - bacon grill also - but I absolutely hated the dog biscuits, pilchards / sardines - would have rather starved than eat that rubbish !

Would love to know where to get compo sausages, the steak and kid you can get very close to anyway and corned beef is - well, corned beef !

The white chocolate (so old it turned white in the tin !) was strangely still edible !!
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PostSubject: Re: Compo Favourites   11/9/2009, 01:43

The boiled sweets were always a hit with the local kiddies. My fav was the apricot roll. Heated up a really good taste pleaser. The oat meal blocks, I remember those, also a good item. Lots of tea, but that wasn't a big hit with the Canadians.

I well remember when on a Northern Defence of NATO exercise in Norway in 71. We were on Canadian, British, American hard rations. We were told to leave all our left over rations in a neat pile beside the local shooting house in this small village at the end of the exercise. They were to be piled according to nationality and left for the locals to pick through. The Canadian hardrations were first to go, then the UK and not much of the USA were taken. Mind in those days Canadian hardrations were tinned brand name products. Incidentally the Norwegian hard rations came in a super waxed box that looked like a 509 battery. Apparently they were from the 50's. I remember Norwegians who got captured demanding to be fed Canadian or UK hard rations. The Norwegion bacon tasted of fish meal and the bread (not RAOC) wasn't bad when fresh, tiny individual loaves.
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nobby clark
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PostSubject: Re: Compo Favourites   11/9/2009, 09:31

I did find tins of Mixed Fruit Pudding in the CO-OP in Hyde.
They were definitly Compo, even though the lable said Goblin Fruit Pudding,the gold coloured tin and black lettering around one end was a dead give away.
Yes I did purchase several tins and enjoyed them.
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PostSubject: Re: Compo Favourites   11/9/2009, 10:22

Ive just put "Compo Rations" into Google.

Try it lol!


Last edited by Chemist on 11/9/2009, 18:02; edited 1 time in total
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Mike_2817
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PostSubject: Re: Compo Favourites   11/9/2009, 13:39



I was in my local Jack Fulton a few weeks back and came across tins of Westlers 'Sausages in Lard' @ 50p a can [Well 2 for a £1, and yes I did buy 2 to try]

Westlers is based in North Yorkshire at Malton, and produces a few tinned items for the MoD and for sale under its own name or 'Tyne Brand' but I have never come accross Sausages in Lard in the shops before. They also produce the modern 'Boil in the Bag' for the British and Irish Army and Camping Shops.

http://www.westlerfoods.com/Contact-us.html

Many of you battle hardened Cold War Warriors will remember Tinned Compo Sausages in the Gold tins with printed lids, well this is the later contract packing version for the commercial packed 10 Man Ration Pack of the late 90's (and still is I believe?) Not an inspiring name but describes it well!

Not the square sausages we remember, but round, but very close in taste!

These tins were it seems a contract overrun and close to thier 'Use by date' [not that worried the army back in the old days] and it can be ordered direct in packs of 12 tins.
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dandc
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PostSubject: Re: Compo Favourites   11/9/2009, 17:17

i used to like the chicken supreme,apple pudding,and tinned sausages,i also liked the individual 24hr ration packs[the ones with the irish stew in],dave.
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Mike_2817
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PostSubject: Re: Compo Favourites   11/9/2009, 17:49

298HALL wrote:
Mike_2817 wrote:
OK then all you Cold War Warriers.

Whats your favourite Compo item?

What things you can get today is even close to what we used to enjoy.

Corned Beef has never changed for example!

Watch and Shoot.

Has to be the sausages, but also loved the "baby's heeds" (steak and kidney pudding) !.

Corned beef was another good one - bacon grill also - but I absolutely hated the dog biscuits, pilchards / sardines - would have rather starved than eat that rubbish !

Would love to know where to get compo sausages, the steak and kid you can get very close to anyway and corned beef is - well, corned beef !

The white chocolate (so old it turned white in the tin !) was strangely still edible !!

Do not remember Pilchards or Sardines in compo packs from 1970 at least!

Biscuits Brown were Hard Tack I agree, but compo should wherever possible be supplemented with Bread, a fact so often ignored.

Never came across chocolate turned white with age [Its only the Cocoa Butter leaching out] and when it did happen it was hoarded tins or badly stored that caused it.
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ciphers
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PostSubject: Re: Compo Favourites   11/9/2009, 19:42

I recall once on a scheme in '52 sitting up all night as Duty Super operating the switchboard, just to let the whacked out crew get some sack time as they had been going at it strong for several days .. we were running two schemes back to back and had a days layover ... well glory be, a NAAFI wagon showed up, and being a bit of a glutton for Cadbury's Fruit and Nut chocolate I grabbed half a dozen bars just to tide me over the night hours. Next morning at Stand To the Duty Officer came into the Sig Cen helped himself to some of my chocolate and the spat it out saying Jesus Corporal, this stuffs full of maggots .. sure enough, and I had been scoffing it all night. The Duty Officer said let me sort it out for you, off he went to the NAAFI wagon and returned with a huge grin on his face .. best thing I could do was to get you a couple of free bars in compensation he said ... do you want them.
I said I would take them but see the RSM about sorting out the NAAFI manager on return to barracks ... so I wrote a note to the RSM and left it in his tent with the two chocolate bars .. an hour later all hell broke loose as Tara wanted to know who had left him the chocolate .. yes the greedy bugger had scoffed one before reading my note .. the NAAFI wagon was gone in less than 10 minutes. Cadbury's Fruit and Nut has never been the same since.

Len (Ciphers)
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mjm34
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PostSubject: Re: Compo Favourites   12/9/2009, 10:33

Obviously the tins of chocolate and sweets were the first to get opened. Were there 1 or 2 tins in a 10 man pack? Originally it was Carsons chocolate which had a strange, but not unpleasant taste, but later it was either Cadburys or Rowntrees, I can't remember which.

The space around the chocolate bars contained either Fruit Gums or boiled sweets. You didn't need to clean your teeth after eating the boiled sweets as they stripped the enamel off after the first couple.

Tins of M&V. Ughh!!! Always tried to get the packs with irish stew. Can't remember which letter they were though.

Oh, and everyone in the other thread seemed to slag off cheese "possessed". OK, it was fairly unpalatable on its own, but I actually found it edible when eaten together with the jam.
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PostSubject: Re: Compo Favourites   12/9/2009, 10:54

Her indoors says the cheese made a good macaroni or cauliflower dish. Where the hell would you get those on exercise?
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alan8376
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PostSubject: Re: Compo Favourites   12/9/2009, 11:48

How about discussing what else the Compo got used for?

We Reme bods used the Mustard Powder for bunging in leaky radiators.

Whilst we are at it. Did ANYBODY ever master the correct use of the powdered 'Pom?' I am sure it was always cast aside as non useable by the guys. However, the ACC Cooks were deft with it though, probaly becase they had a whisk.

Remember the No1 Petrol Burner? Many a singed hair or worse with those. Remember digging the trench to put it in. Remember the Portable Oven which the cooks used the No1 on to create nice pies and apple crumble etc?

Can't remember the name right now, but one knew it was time to get up when the duty guard lit the water boiler for washing and plate washing, again with the No1. You would hear a 'whoosh' as the petrol flames shot up the chimney!

Remember 'Hay Boxes' and the Dixies inside with stew for the ranges? Seemed to keep stuff warm for ages.
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PostSubject: Re: Compo Favourites   12/9/2009, 15:44

Boilers.... We called them immersion heaters. Night piquet had to light them at around 0500 hrs. The fun trick was to drip a bit extra naphtha into the bottom then light. #1 a loud boom to wake all and asundry in their hootches #2 Possibly there would be a funny whooshing sound, this was the stove pipe chimney going into orbit and praying it wouldn't land on some poor sods hootch. Then there was the time in Celle on exercise. They brought all sorts of odds and sods into watch a firing of the Honest John Rocket in 1 SSM Bty RCA. I was duty operator on the mid night shift. So I heated my shaving water on a small stove on the back step of the van. Every one else got theirs out of the immersion heaters which were in heavy duty garbage cans (only used for water not garbage). An RCAF officer WW 2 vet with the DFC came over to ask me where he could get hot water as he saw me shaving. I told him he could get his from an immersion heater as I heated mine here being on duty and couldn't leave the radio or switch board. He says," but those are garbage cans". I explained the difference but he wasn't buying it. So he ended up heating his water on my stove. Often wondered how he got by in WW 2. But then they did have nice little orderlies to bring them their morning tea, etc.
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Mike_2817
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PostSubject: Re: Compo Favourites   12/9/2009, 16:50

At one unit we had 'Lazy Man Boilers' These were 45 Gal Drums converted by the REME Detachment to have a fire hole at the bottom, and at the top a water outlet pipe which would only give you the same amount of water out as you put in though the top inlet pipe [which went to the bottom of the tank] Heated by a No1 Burner they were surprisingly efficient! A water bousour was placed next to them (we had 2 at our location) to supply the cold water, and of course they never ran dry...
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dandc
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PostSubject: Re: Compo Favourites   12/9/2009, 20:59

thinking about it the ten man ration packs were quite good,if you were lucky enough to have a decent cook on exercice with you,dave.
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nobby clark
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PostSubject: Re: Compo Favourites   16/9/2009, 11:52

The old Soyer stove was a great bit of kit for boiling water for brews etc.,I read somewhere that it was the oldest bit of kit still in use by the forces.
I always liked the Frys Tiffin and Five Boys chocolate bars in compo,proper thick chunky bars,not like the modern stuff.
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wrinkles
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PostSubject: Re: Compo Favourites   16/9/2009, 17:01

In one of the 10 man packs there was tinned salmon. When we got that it was hoarded until our scrounger could do a tour of local gardens and bring back the makings of a salad. Lettuce, potatoes, onions etc. Now big butch soldiers were not supposed to like salad but as an ocassional meal we used to really enjoy it. I still have a soft spot for salmon salad
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recce83
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PostSubject: Re: Compo Favourites   17/9/2009, 00:12

We usually drew compo rations for excersises. However we were fortunate in being only 3 or 4 men to a patrol. Consequently the small quantity cookery resulted in meals more satisfying than when the compo packs were dished up on a unit basis in the mess hall.

Usually we kept the bully beef, salmon, and some stews along with the plastic cheese and sweets. We supplemented that with a loaf of fresh German rye bread and whatever we could pillage from gardens at night, our conciences eased by our faith in the damage assessment officers' ability to offer ample recompense to the outraged garden owners.

Call me crazy, but I had a thing for "Mutton, Scotch Style" which was in pack 'G'. I still make it at home (not a hard recipe to copy). The steak and kidney pudding came in 2nd in the stew category. Stuff like vegetable mayonnaise, processed peas and sardines went straight into the dump.

An interesting aside to the canned salmon: I remember reading the label and discovered it was canned in the US border town of Blaine, Washington. Anyone on the west coast of BC knows the cannery sits on a spit a stone throw from the Canadian border. And so a Commonwealth member bought US fish from a firm about 300 yards inside the USA.
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ciphers
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PostSubject: Re: Compo Favourites   17/9/2009, 00:26

Hot breakfast ... EASY ... every morning we had to run the trucks/lorries for 10-15 minutes ... pierce a hole in the compo tin and place it between the manifold of your truck .. 5 to 10 minutes and a hot meal was ready, the other alternative was to light the candle in the base of the tin and wait a month ... what retard thought that one up ...

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PostSubject: Re: Compo Favourites   17/9/2009, 08:46

Quote :
Call me crazy, but I had a thing for "Mutton, Scotch Style" which was in pack 'G'.

Hi Crazy

Mutton "scotch style"? The very name makes me boak No
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alan8376
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PostSubject: Re: Compo Favourites   17/9/2009, 08:52

How about the Misc items in the Compo pack:

1. The tin opener. Still a favourite today on my key ring. Pity they never devised a bottle open with it, had to make do with my SMG Mag!

2. Matches

3. Bog paper

4. Mustard Powder

5. Some sort of written instructions!!!!
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Mike_2817
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PostSubject: Re: Compo Favourites   17/9/2009, 13:27

Known as Baby Can Openers on the packet when issued with 24 Hour Ration Packs or in the Envelope in 4 & 10 Man Ration Packs.

Also known as G.I. Can Openers because they used them as well.

I believe they are still packed in the new 10 Man 'Operational Ration Packs' which still contain tinned foods. 24 Hr Rat Packs are of course now all 'Boil in the bag'



Heres a more modern Back Packers version complete with Bottle Opener.



These can be found in packs of two for a couple of pounds in camping shops.

Heres a classic 'Church Key' Bottle Opener from 'Back in the day'



I used to carry one with a 'Baby Can Opener' and a Metal 'Marching' Spoon on a key ring on the end of my green combats lanyard.
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recce83
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PostSubject: Re: Compo Favourites   17/9/2009, 18:49

I never realized the problem with the compo can openers until someone pointed out one day: "Ever see a left-handed guy try to use one of these?" He was quite right.

A cynical person may suggest that, in many cases, those who couldn't open the tims were the lucky ones.
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