Jump to content
wdbikemad

70s / 80s Ration Packs

Recommended Posts

As for the side effect of compo- it was said that a week or more on compo bunged you up for a week afterwards - and then the world fell out of your back side!! :D:D:D

 

Neil, Bottom fallen out of your world, then take Alka-Seltza, & let the World fall out of your Bottom!........;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As for the side effect of compo- it was said that a week or more on compo bunged you up for a week afterwards - and then the world fell out of your back side!! :D:D:D

 

Neil, Bottom fallen out of your world, then take Alka-Seltza, & let the World fall out of your Bottom!........;)

 

Ugh - think I'd rather eat the compo than take that stuff!!! :wow: :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blimey, I go away for a month, and this happens! Coincidentally, I wrote a blog entry the other day around the subject of ratpacks... enjoy...:D

 

 

Squaddie Stew*

 

OK, a quick one this (oo-er!)...

 

I was chatting with the better half earlier via Skype, and it turns out that I am actually expected to cook for us both on Monday, rather than rely on infrequent fridge and snack cupboard raids for sustaining the two of us over the bank holiday weekend.

 

So I offered up a menu.

 

 

 

 

  • Breakfast:
    Bacon grill and reconstituted powdered eggs with a slice of white bread and margarine, an oatmeal block, and tea or coffee, NATO standard.
  • Snack lunch:
    Biscuits, Brown, AB, with beef pate spread, and either tea or coffee NATO standard, or powdered isotonic fruit drink.
  • Main meal:
    Squaddie Stew, with tea or coffee, NATO Standard, and mixed fruit Pudding.

 

 

Needless to say the menu was shot down in flames before I'd even reached the main meal items. My better half can tell when I'm quoting from a 1980s British Army-issue Ration Pack, but there was a query. "What on Earth is squaddie Stew? Are there real squaddies in it? Do you lop the boots off before you cook them?"

 

After some evil laughter, and giving points for the misquote from the film "Addams Family Values", I went on to explain what went into the 'stew', which wasn't really a stew, so much as reheated tinned food.

 

Ration packs, or "Rations, one-man x 24-hours, GS", to give them their full name, were actually rather good kit. They included all manner of stuff to keep a soldier fully fed under operational conditions in the field, and contained tins of food, bars of chocolate, packs of boiled sweets, tea, coffee, biscuits (well, practically hard tack in their case), and so on. The retail cost in todays terms might be as much as fifteen to twenty quid, if bought individually. The Army paid (and still does, a couple of decades later) much less, of course.

 

The tins usually comprised one tin for breakfast, normally bacon grill or similar, two tins for the main meal, and a dessert tin, such as mixed fruit pudding, fruit in syrup, or something along those lines.

 

The two tins for Squaddie Stew to be available were minced steak in gravy (with onions), and Mixed Vegetables (in water). the normal way to cook these were to bang a dent in the sides of the tins, and plonk them in a mess tin, which was then filled with water to half-way up the dented tins. you then cooked it over a 'tommy cooker' or "cooker, field, individual, hexamine fuelled, folding, soldiers for the burning of", until the sides of the dented tins popped out again. You then opened them very carefully, considering that the contents were now supernova-hot and under pressure (Boyles law, anyone?)...

 

Squaddie Stew, on the other hand, was a damn sight easier. You dumped the contents of the tins into the mess tin, sprinkled a sachet of 'Beef Stock drink' (basically a powdered OXO cube in a sachet) over the top of it, and cooked away, stirring as required to prevent burning, and unless you were a complete Muppet, good flavour, consistency, and a satisfying meal - even when it was bucketing down with rain - were pretty-much guaranteed.

 

There were pros and cons with both methods, of course. The dented tin method meant that you had a clean mess tin at the end of the day, and a quick rinse with cold water sorted out the tin for next time. The Squaddie Stew method resulted in a tin that really needed to be washed and cleaned immediately you finished your meal, which meant that two of you grouped together, one of them cooking the pairs main meals in his mess tin, over his cooker, the other keeping a simmering - or at least very hot - hot mess tin of water on the go, for tea/coffee and washing water.

 

You also found out who your really good mates were with Squaddie Stew if no-one yelled something like "OI! you greedy gannet!" or suchlike (normally rather foully-worded during the meal)!

 

Anyhow, back to the present, it looks like I'll be doing some other, more civilian menu instead, requiring about ten times the effort, come Monday.

 

Oh well. It was a nice idea while it lasted!

 

* No Troops were stewed in the making of this entry!

 

 

 

 

 

:nut:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our cooks used to make "all-in curry" which -as the name implies - meant opening every can and sachet of food and dumping it, along with the contents of a tub of curry powder into a dixie which was then put beside another dixie full of rice on top of the flame trench for a No1 field burner (aka Cooker, cooks constipation for the curing of). Sounds revolting but when doshed into a mess tin together with tea scooped from a third dixie in a 58 pattern mug was actually very edible and every one went back for more. Last man to empty the dixie got the job of cleaning it out! :-D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm amazed, but delighted, at the responses to my light-hearted original post.....the feedback since has highlighted many of the items I'd long forgotten about (in some cases, rather fortunately...:cheesy:).......it's great to get so much feedback and the memories of others.....we all suffered the same !! This is this area of the Forum at its best.........:-D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I posted these photos in an earlier thread on 10 man packs but here they are again for your culinary enjoyment! I bought two them, badly listed on eBay for 99p each! Not only that the seller was only a few miles from me so no postage either. Both boxes date to 1974.

 

Cheers

 

Paul

 

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1336357680.530644.jpg

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1336357712.052010.jpg

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1336357747.080760.jpg

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1336357763.414274.jpg

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1336357785.149140.jpg

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1336357803.002276.jpg

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1336357819.276304.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Id quite forgotten aboutb the blue plastic salt dispensers! VERY usefull, even for shows today. Keeps the salt nice & dry if you add half a dozen grains of DRY rice into them. (Absorbs any moisture that MAY get in & prevent the salt clogging into lumps!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Our cooks used to make "all-in curry" which -as the name implies - meant opening every can and sachet of food and dumping it, along with the contents of a tub of curry powder into a dixie which was then put beside another dixie full of rice on top of the flame trench for a No1 field burner (aka Cooker, cooks constipation for the curing of). Sounds revolting but when doshed into a mess tin together with tea scooped from a third dixie in a 58 pattern mug was actually very edible and every one went back for more. Last man to empty the dixie got the job of cleaning it out! :-D

 

Neil, A common paractice with MOST units in the field, with centralised catering. Must have been a standard instruction from the ACCs training school! Nothing got wasted in the Field, food wise. suplemented with 20% fresh rations (Veg) it was quiet palitable as I remember..............

I shudder to think of some of the things that quite possibly MAY have gone into 'All in'. But it never did us any harm I guess?.................:0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beans in tomato sauce, fruit cocktail.....and mashed potato powder.......oh the memories......:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ermmmmmmmmmmmm... do you wanna know what I hauled 250 miles home yesterday.....

150Kg of rat packs

 

IMG_3023 - Copy (2).JPG

see my Album http://hmvf.co.uk/forumvb/album.php?albumid=581

 

Just thought I'll make you cry.

Jon

 

Ps. this was an earlier thread http://hmvf.co.uk/forumvb/showthread.php?22757-1970-80s-Rations&highlight=ration

maybe an ADMIn could merge the two threads?

Edited by Panzer nut

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And I notice, the Hexi burners to cook it. Barbeque night at the clubhouse then?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is what it´s all about:D Compo. We used to get one man packs. It was pot luck. Some were okay but most of it was a good substitute for underseal for the car. Treacle Pudding. That lost me a grade on the final exercise in Brecon. It made me absolutely sick. Couldn´t get rid of it and it ended up the only thing I had left and 24 hrs left in the snow. Blood sugar must have gone down to about 2 and I flipped out. If we were out for say 5 or six days they would issue with 2, one man ration packs. When the new blokes used to complain they were told -use your Para initative- or -live off the land- So there was always a few live rounds about (so I´ve been told:rolleyes:) just incase we bumped into a sheep or such:D

 

Fourty years on (God I´m old:red:) Still works perfectly.

 

DSC05852.jpg

DSC05853.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Cheese THE CHEESES! Could be used to repair boot soles, fix radiator leacks, place tin in issue sock and it was a devestating close range weapon. A pice of string pocked down through and you have a candle. Any thing but eat the bloody stuff! :D Apparently it was illeagal to feed it to prisoners. Now Babies Heads, I still drool over the thought of Baby Head and Smash. Followed by dried apple and sugar, if the apple hadn't gone into the porridge.

 

My attention could always be diverted by a slice of compo fruit cake with a slice of cheese possessed on it.

 

Something that my Det commanders very quickly realised............

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is what it´s all about:D Compo. We used to get one man packs. It was pot luck. Some were okay but most of it was a good substitute for underseal for the car. Treacle Pudding. That lost me a grade on the final exercise in Brecon. It made me absolutely sick. Couldn´t get rid of it and it ended up the only thing I had left and 24 hrs left in the snow. Blood sugar must have gone down to about 2 and I flipped out. If we were out for say 5 or six days they would issue with 2, one man ration packs. When the new blokes used to complain they were told -use your Para initative- or -live off the land- So there was always a few live rounds about (so I´ve been told:rolleyes:) just incase we bumped into a sheep or such:D

 

Fourty years on (God I´m old:red:) Still works perfectly.

 

 

 

Live rounds - you never wasted taxpayers £sd on food did you?? We'd have got shot ourselves for doing that - anyone wanting fresh mutton (or lamb in season) officially used either the garotte or the FS having first spent a goodly time chasing the damned thing.

(Did I hear some sneaky, underhanded person say the dirty word "crossbow"....:whistle::readbook:)

Fresh fish came care of a thunderflash....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Live rounds - you never wasted taxpayers £sd on food did you?? We'd have got shot ourselves for doing that - anyone wanting fresh mutton (or lamb in season) officially used either the garotte or the FS having first spent a goodly time chasing the damned thing.

(Did I hear some sneaky, underhanded person say the dirty word "crossbow"....:whistle::readbook:)

Fresh fish came care of a thunderflash....

 

:rofl::rofl::rofl:Lots of things we did that -were frowned on- but we always got the job done so there were very few reprisals. It was called -airborne initiative-:cool2:. Standing the PM -and party- up against the wall on one occasion for not stopping at our guard post. Didn´t go down very well either. They just wandered past the sentry when challenged and made no effort to show some ID. The sentry shouted and within a couple of seconds -the party- were surrounded by blokes with cocked weapons. Needless to say they showed their ID, just like everybody else. That episod has never come out and I´m only going from what I´ve heard of course;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
:rofl::rofl::rofl:Lots of things we did that -were frowned on- but we always got the job done so there were very few reprisals. It was called -airborne initiative-:cool2:. Standing the PM -and party- up against the wall on one occasion for not stopping at our guard post. Didn´t go down very well either. They just wandered past the sentry when challenged and made no effort to show some ID. The sentry shouted and within a couple of seconds -the party- were surrounded by blokes with cocked weapons. Needless to say they showed their ID, just like everybody else. That episod has never come out and I´m only going from what I´ve heard of course;)

 

Heh, heh!! How about the infamous "Rottweiler" + then husband + party of followers stopped at bayonet point from entering the DoY whist trying to gate crash an invitation only party which had a certain member of the Royal Family as guest of honour and escorted back to car park. All under orders of the OOD... :angel:

Nothing to do with that era's compo ration packs - although her face would probably have curdled all the tins of condensed milk in a 4 tonner load of 10-man packs... Come to think of it - it probably still would!! :-D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heh, heh!! How about the infamous "Rottweiler" + then husband + party of followers stopped at bayonet point from entering the DoY whist trying to gate crash an invitation only party which had a certain member of the Royal Family as guest of honour and escorted back to car park. All under orders of the OOD... :angel:

Nothing to do with that era's compo ration packs - although her face would probably have curdled all the tins of condensed milk in a 4 tonner load of 10-man packs... Come to think of it - it probably still would!! :-D

 

We did have some fun didn´t we:D The day they bombed the Co-op on York Street (for the second time). Me watching out for the OCs back when from around the corner comes the dullset tones of a certain clergyman. -Booming- out his opinions as usual. Wait till he gets to the corner and then stick my boot out:-) Does a terrible forward roll, gets up shouting -who´s in charge of this maaan- The rest is history;)

 

Funny how quite a few of the compo -cocktails- were quite good but a lot of them were hiddious. Wonder if anyone has managed to get the -menus- for the different -assortments-:red:

 

No -divvy- in this Co-op:shocked:BrownSquare Police Station D Coy 2 Para 1972 Bombing the Co-op on York Street first time-01.jpg

23.jpg

Edited by alan869

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I enjoyed was the tube of jam (usually Blackcurrant, raspberry, gooseberry or Damson) great to suck out on a tab or spread over the hard tack. The other was the green tube of margarine to fry with or lube rusty items and waterproof weapons- smelled rancid though.

 

Remember the baconburgers (in different menu box from bacon grill - wrapped in grease and heartburn for most of day)

 

 

One supplementary ration from the NAAFI was the small tins of creamola foam to add to the purified 'swimming pool' water bottle.

 

 

Character building and great times

 

Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh I yearn for those compo sausages in the 4/10 man rat packs, all that fat packed around them, used to pierce the top, slap around my LR manifold, 15 minutes later hot wall sausages Yummm......:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/3/2012 at 8:56 PM, airportable said:

Guess what I'm working on for our living history displays! Found exact size tin in the local supermarket (peas only though....yet!) Need to sort correct colour varnish for the tin. Mate as sorted a few transfers so I can do a trial run. Still need exact tin sizes for any other products 70-early 80's.

Rations (2) - Copy.JPG

 

I know this is an okd post , but is there a link to the person who made these transfers

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny how things change. That much maligned ass ripping bog roll, is probbaly one of your most highly valued possecions now. 😁

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Tony B said:

Funny how things change. That much maligned ass ripping bog roll, is probbaly one of your most highly valued possecions now. 😁

Not the same as the "tracing paper" of school days by any chance?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...