Otaki Historical Society May 2016

F_R_OtakiHistoricalSocietyThe April talk was given by Professor Glyn Harper — a fascinating though horrifying look at the appalling food dished out to our troops at Gallipoli by the Imperial Army.  

The usual diet comprised salty and fatty tinned bully beef from Argentina;  biscuits made from flour, salt and water and baked so hard they could not be bitten but had to be soaked (the Australians called them ‘concrete macaroons’);  and black tea.  These were the main items, with the occasional addition of some jam.  

The diet obviously lacked several minerals, fibre and many vitamins, though these were not known then.  Tinned fruit would have made a huge difference.  Vitamin C was particularly lacking so many suffered from scurvy.  It was a relief to hear that the food was a little better on the Western Front!