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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.
The meals that fuelled the British soldiers to victory in the trenches during the First World War have been revealed in a new book.
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.
Then there was the dreaded Maconochie stew, which had been a standard part of rations since the Boer War.
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.
One unfortunate side-effect was it caused flatulence amongst the ranks.
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.