Tommy Tucker: Food in WW1

What did the British Tommy in the trenches of the Western Front eat? How was it supplied, how good was his food, how did it reach him, and having had a meal, how did he go to the toilet?


Transporting Rations

Water on the Battlefield

WW1 Toilets

15 Comments on “Tommy Tucker: Food in WW1

  1. One of my favourite aspects of life in general! Brightened up a dark train journey this morning. Thanks Paul.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great podcast as always, Paul: a subject I previously seem to have ‘forgotten’ to think about in any detail! Dumb of me really as I do remember compo being important in my own time!

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  3. Loved your program on food. Very important subject. Did the Brits use Rolling Kitchens like the AEf? My grt uncle in AEF remembered coming across small parties of Poilus cooking rations over a fire. .He said they would generously invite the Americans to join them

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  4. Great stuff…Biscuits AB formed part of the Rat Packs in the 1970’s and 80’s and I’ve never forget the Corporal; saying they tasted of manhole covers….also by then toilet paper had been included and as I said to you once 3 sheets 1 for up 1 for down and 1 to polish! Keep up the excellent standard!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  5. Another great episode, Paul. You may have mentioned it (and I missed it) but I’m reminded a little of Charles Horton’s memoir (Stretcher Bearer!) where he talks about the tins of Simcoes pork and beans which the men received while at the front. He described the beans as being bland and much paler than todays baked variety, and the bit of pork floating on top so miniscule that halfway through the war, the men proclaimed that Simocoes had killed another pig!

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  6. Paul,
    For future reference, I’ll give the podcast on ‘flies on paste’ a miss – thanks – it would make anyone become a vegan

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was once invited to give a talk on my grandfather’s GW experiences to our local historical society, and to add a bit of interest I made a batch of hardtack biscuits to the original recipe. I’m not sure which was more poorly received… my talk or the biscuits. I can confirm though that they do indeed have the consistency and appearance of concrete. I guess if all else failed they could always throw them at the Germans.

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  8. Thanks for another great podcast. I’m glad to see that the Timewatch War Revolution is still available on YouTube, so I will watch it again soon. In my hometown of Southport one of the town’s 5 VCs, Private G Masters, was in the RASC; he won it near Bethune in 1918. I once heard Richard Holmes describe McConachie stew as notorious. He didn’t say why, although I guessed the reason. Thank you for your euphamistic explanation confirming it! Also the importance of water supply can never be underestimated. A fact driven home in Christina Holstein’s book on Fort Vaux that I’m just finishing.

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