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Show your WW1 Rations


doyler
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And hard tack that came in this M1885 mess kit from a flea market 25+ years ago for $2. The seller even apologized for it being in there.

 

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Great topic and great items. Unfortunately I don't have anything to contribute but I always found rations interesting. Would still love to see how the components of the haversack ration were packed.

 

Peter

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world war I nerd

This just turned up on Bay State Militaria's most recent catalog update ... A one pound can of chocolates whose label and lid states. "Made Expressly for the United States Forces."

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Great discussion and thank you all for sharing these photos (and for starting this topic, Ron)! We've seen or shared a lot of WWII ration items here over the years, but so little has been discussed or seen related to The Great War. Truly fascinating stuff!

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world war I nerd

I was looking for something else in my files and came across this image of Doughboys displaying some of their rations. Unfortunately the labels on most of the packaged articles are illegible.

 

The first man is carrying "war bread", a coarse dark bread with a very thick crust that was generally unpopular with the Doughboys who were used to home baked white bread. I've read that ration parties often impaled three or four loaves of bread on a bayonet fixed onto a slung rifle rather than carry it in their hands.

 

Photo courtesy of the John Adam-Graf collection

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world war I nerd

The enlargements showed up only marginally better in grayscale than in color. On the left is an unidentifiable can of something and another tin bearing the initials 'K' & 'C' ... perhaps somebody recognizes it?

 

On the left of the right hand image is a can of Karo Syrup (a hard to come by item at the front) which was used by the Doughboys on flap jacks, toast or to sweeten just about anything they thought needed sweetening.

 

To the right is a party sized package of Bull Durham smoking tobacco and another unidentifiable tin. Regulations stipulated that each Doughboy was to receive X number of "tailor made" cigarettes, which was Doughboy slang for pre-rolled cigarettes, or so many ounces of smoking, chewing or pipe tobacco each week. The tobacco always arrived with the rations.

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world war I nerd

A close up of the French bread. Not sure what the carton balanced on top of the bread is. It looks too short, but otherwise it is about the same size as the issued hardbread minus the tin. I suppose it could also be a carton of cigarettes, which would be divided up amongst the men.

 

Next to the above is probably a bottle cheap French wine and another can containing an unknown edible substance. It could be canned salmon ("Goldfish") pork and beans ("Repeaters"), corned beef hash ("Corned Willy"), tomatoes, roast beef ("Monkey Meat"), sweet peas, sweet corn, peaches, apricots, pineapples, stewed prunes, and so on ...

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Fixbayonets!

Great topic and excellent items posted here! Here is a crate I have that contained 2 dozen cans of peas dated October, 1918.

 

Rob

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  • 7 months later...
  • 1 year later...
world war I nerd

In recent months a few images of AEF rations went up for sale on eBay. I bid on all of them but was the highest bidder on only a couple of them.

 

I'll start with the seller's scans of the ones I didn't win.

 

The first one is a terrific photo of group of Quartermaster guys sitting on a bunch of Campbells Soup crates. This is the first time I'd ever seen or heard that Campbells Soup was used by the U.S. Army or the AEF.

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world war I nerd

Another really cool photo who's selling price soared to over $400!!! American flag, souvenirs, rations, weapons; I guess this image has it all, but is it really worth that much?

 

Anyway, note the small collection of rations in front of the graffitied shelter tent.

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world war I nerd

Close up of the guy's stash of canned rations ...

 

I can make out canned salmon, aka "goldfish" & Welches Grape-Ade, but what are the two large cans on the left?

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world war I nerd

Here's one of the one's I won. I'm guessing that it's a section from a butchery company at work. Note the "issued bacon" crates in the lower left & right hand corners and the array of canned rations on the shelf behind the men.

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