Jump to content

70s / 80s Ration Packs


Recommended Posts

Having a laugh with my better half tonight (she was a WREN in the 70s) about the standard British 24 hour ration packs issued during the 70s and 80s.......

 

A supposedly varied menu....but we always ended up with the same......everything in tins or satchets....and weighed a ton to cart around....

 

"bacon grill"...rather nice if sliced and fried...plus tinned "stewed steak" or, as a treat "steak and kidney"....and invariably good quality......but it went somewhat downhill from there....."biscuits AB" and "biscuits AB fruit" (dead fly biscuits) were bloody indestructible and were rumoured to have been used by SCRDE in early body-armour tests for ballistic resistance.......add to that "chicken supreme" (anything but) and "curry powder" and it was.....well.....

 

We used to chuck the whole lot into a burner by day 3 of a 3-day exercise, including the "lemonade powder"..........it was warm, with fizz, if nothing else.......rumour has it that the packs were designed to bung your system up for 3 days, just right for a 3-day exercise....but God help you on day 4 if things overran.....:embarrassed: The toilet paper provided was dismal and never in sufficient quantity......and made of grease-proof paper with "Government Property" marked on every sheet, supposedly as a deterrent to theft !!!:undecided: Who the bloody hell in their right mind would ever nick the stuff, unless of course your kids needed some extra tracing paper for school.........rather oddly, it disappeared almost overnight from the MoD......they probably had a hangar-full of the stuff that was subsequently off-loaded to some third-world army as survival food........

 

I always recall sitting on the can during the early 80s and reading on the karzee door "give blood....use MoD bog roll".....hmmmmm

 

And remember "Spangles"...? Only ever found after the 80s in Woolworth's or rat-packs......:D

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 55
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

The worst i found was `Mock turtle soup` disgusting, and as for trying to squeeze the condensed milk from the tubes and get to dissolve in tea a exercise on its own... :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I can remember one of my mates putting "processed cheese" (not confident about what that process actually involved in order to muller the cheese....) into our brew rather than "condensed milk"....he either couldn't see in the dark, or couldn't read.........made for an interesting brew, although by that point I was past caring....! :embarrassed:

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I can remember one of my mates putting "processed cheese" (not confident about what that process actually involved in order to muller the cheese....) into our brew rather than "condensed milk"....he either couldn't see in the dark, or couldn't read.........made for an interesting brew, although by that point I was past caring....! :embarrassed:
Cheese "possesed" and rough cut marmalade in a bun........the food of kings!!!!!!! I munched endless quantities of biscuits AB in the cab of my digger. ( But then again i was always a little weird)Tim
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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't forget the Tiffin bars & boiled sweets in a tin (hmmmm).....in 4 man & 10 man packs if memory serves. As we worked as a 3 man crew on the ARV we always had spare rations to go round....quite convenient really !

 

Your right though, that fish soup was diabolical. Could'nt face the AB biscuits myself unless seriously hungry....the the imitation Gardibaldi (dead fly) biscuits were great.

 

Cheese possessed reputedly fired down range by Cheiftains of QOH at Hohne...in lieu of SABOT & with similar effect on the target.

 

No one has mentioned the highlight of the 10 man pack though....Oatmeal Blocks (HMMMMM big style). The cause of many an argument if not shared fairly on the ARV. Don't mess with another mans Oatmeal Block

 

Our 'scheme box' always carried a good supply of Andrex Luxury bog roll too.

 

Oh for the chance to do it all again :-D:-D

H

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.

 

I have just hired into my team an Ex-REME LE Captain and he swore by compo cheese as THE key tool for changing gearboxes in Centurion tanks. Apparently if you unbolt the gearbox from the clutch without supporting the clutch it would fall a couple of inches and potentially break the crankshaft. The solution - wedge a can of compo cheese under the clutch assembly to stop it falling. He swears that it was custom made for this job - exactly the right height and, as we all know, very rigid! He also said you would never find an old sweat REME lad who worked on Centurion who didn't carry a can of cheese in his tool box...:-D

 

The second preferred use was when training with tank battalions. A can of cheese and a full charge blank out of a Scorpion gun could get some useful range and used to really annoy the tankies when they came to clean the cheese off the tank....!

Edited by Eaglehurst
Wrong tank!
Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Link to post
Share on other sites

NOW I'm feeling old !!!!! Repro rat packs......!!!!!:( I never thought it possible to replicate that level of culinary incompetence (apart from myself offering to cook dinner....:-\)

 

I bet the MoD still has an aircraft hangar full of the things in a remote part of the UK......"just in case"......:-D

Link to post
Share on other sites

Quote "Repro rat packs......!!!!!:-( I never thought it possible to replicate that level of culinary incompetence"

 

:rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

 

Seen it all now.

 

Will the 'living history display' include a shovel stuck in the ground, bog roll on handle, next to a shallow hole at a discreet distance.???????:cool2::cool2:

 

What about those magic compo tin openers though ?. After getting married we had several of those in the KFS draw at home. Fancy high street tin openers came & went by the dozen but those things were indestructable. I do believe we had one for 30 years & it still worked just fine. Not bad for a 24 hour throw away item.

 

H

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can still get the Izal A** scraper. And don't forget! 1 fold one sheet in half 2 Tear a half circle out of the centre of the folded edge (Keep for later) 3 stick finger through hole 4 Use sheet as appropriate 4 Take previously torn half circle 5 Use to clean underfingernails. :-D

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mock turtle soup was foul and I heard it was made off sheep brains.

Biscuits brown were brilliant and the condensed milk was sucked straight from the tube without going into the tea.

I agree, Oatmeal blocks were brilliant

Link to post
Share on other sites
Mock turtle soup was foul and I heard it was made off sheep brains.

Biscuits brown were brilliant and the condensed milk was sucked straight from the tube without going into the tea.

I agree, Oatmeal blocks were brilliant

Sheep brains? Ah that might explain a lot then,. Anyone seen acting odd after eating it?

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

You underhanded temptress !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Posting a link to a valued and much sought product that does not work......

 

Bacon Grill not seen!!!!!

 

Tim!:wow:

Link to post
Share on other sites
You always knew when the compo was Old & Out of date. You still found AZTEC sweetie bars in them!

(Appologies to the younger members of the forum who werent born in the seventies!...)

 

Go on - put me out of my misery (dob: 1974) what is an AZTEC sweetie bar....?:blush:

Link to post
Share on other sites

A sort of Twix bar on steroids as I remember. Like a picnic or more resembeling a dog's.... Made by Cadbury. The Mar's factory at Slough used to devote Wednesday afternoons production to Rat packs. You could always tell the coco smell became much stronger.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember them there bars :-) It was considered a treat to get the packs that contained them. One year there was a cock-up on the supplies front (oh what a surprise!!) and we were issued RAF aircrew survival rations that came in tins about a foot long. When we opened them they contained cans of fresh water - dated 1958!!!! But were actually drinkable 20 years on.....

The tins were heavy to lug - but made an interesting weapon of last resort as some members of OpFor found found when they came whizzing out of the darkness....

Surprised no one mentioned the other great use for cheese possessed - squirting into fuel systems.... It really gunged up the works and need a lot of attention to get cleaned out!!

 

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

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...