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BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)<br />
Pic: JonathanReeve/BNPS<br />
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‘Luncheon in the trenches’ March 1917, Lancashire Fusiliers being served hot stew into their mess tins from a ‘dixie’ close to Ploegsteert Wood in Flanders.<br />
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The meals that fuelled the British soldiers to victory in the trenches during the First World War have been revealed in a new book.<br />
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And unlike the popular idea of just bully beef and tea, it reveals a suprising varied if largely unappetising mixture that included egg and chips, along with more challenging fare including gruel, calves foot jelly, and onion porridge.<br />
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Then there was the dreaded Maconochie stew, which had been a standard part of rations since the Boer War. <br />
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This watery stew consisted of turnips and vegetables, with minimal meat. Although it was recommended that the tin was warmed prior to eating, it was mostly eaten cold. <br />
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One unfortunate side-effect was it caused flatulence amongst the ranks.<br />
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The huge logistical challenge faced when attempting to keep millions of troops fed and watered is revealed in Hannah Holman's book The Trench Cookbook 1917.