Bully-Beef and Pozzy

Discussion in 'World War I' started by Hobilar, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. Hobilar

    Hobilar Member

    Nov 3, 2007
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    The staple diet of the British 'Tommy' during the Great War consisted mainly of Bully-Beef, Meconochie (tinned vegatable stew with meat gravy) or sometimes M&V (Meat and vegatables).

    For Breakfast there might be a little Bacon, and there was always a good supply of ration biscuits which were often so hard that they needed to be broken up and soaked in water for a couple of days, and plum and apple jam, known to the troops as 'Pozzy'.

    There was also Tea to wash down the meal and revive spirits. Made with condensed Milk, and using water that often retained the tang of petrol from the cans in which it was carried.

    If he was lucky he might receive a parcel from home containing little extra items like cake or chocolate which he would share among his comrades. When out of the line there was always the local Estaminet to go to for a meal of egg and chips, and a glass or two of watery French beer or wine.

    Many units, when out of the line and in hutted camps would tend allotments where supplies of other vegatables could be grown.

    Poor as this diet would seem today, the 'Tommy' was a lot better off than his German counterpart, and more often than not, better fed than many civilian families residing near the War zone.
  2. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

    Oct 17, 2006
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    QR Train crew Guard
    Brisbane Queensland
    I know Hobilar. Have read some of the dietry staples and menus that the front line Commonwealth Troops were fed during World War 1. The Australians referred to ration biscuits as ANZAC Waffers. You needed the usual false teeth and jack hammers to crack or crush them into a stew. Bully Beef the Troops depised it. And most times the Bacon was that rancid and mouldy it would appear to be camoflagued. But I suppose the weevils enjoyed the varying colours of the meat because the Troops bloody didn't.

    And the Jam Tins especially on Gallipoli were used once emptied as make shift bombs with a fuse and lid placed back onto the tin. Or tied to barb wire entanglements as a warning device.

    And the parcels from home containing Cake Sweets Cigarettes or Tobacco Playing Cards Woolen Clothing Scarves Gloves and Writing Paper and even Toilet Paper Post Cards Photos and the occassional bottle of Rhemy Rum or Brandy. Some kindly old Woman back in Aussie sneaking a bottle of alcohol into the parcel under the nose of her colleagues in a Church Group Volunteer packing parcels for the Boys. In Australia this was called Billy's for the Boys. I suspect British Mums and Sisters etc Did the same for their men on the front lines Hobilar. But I would say that the Germans and Austrians back home did the same for their troops

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