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4th and 6th Reserve Mechanical Transport Companies

Thursday, 20 November

Thursday, 20 November

The New Zealand Division stays put.

The 4th RMT Company orders its Christmas dinner: chicken 117 lb., pork 176 lb., Christmas pudding 119 lb., Christmas cake 90 lb., mince pies 950, mixed nuts 50 lb., beer 480 bottles, cigarettes 5000.2

2 Everyday rations, although they improved grudgingly as the war went on, were inferior to German rations. A man's daily ration in this campaign added up to about 2 lb. in all of tough brown biscuits, cheese, margarine, tea, sugar, jam (marmalade or fig), tinned milk, bully beef more often than M and V (meat and vegetable), and a fragment of tinned bacon and tinned herring. Where cooks' trucks could work men ate at least hot stews, porridge and perhaps rice (sometimes with dates or currants in it). Otherwise it was mainly bully and biscuits. Men with trucks handy would buy with their own money a reserve of tinned food and fruits, and odds and ends such as split peas. Fifty flat-tasting cigarettes of weird makes, the most notorious being Vs, were issued weekly. Not until 22 December 1943 did 4 RMT's war diary record: ‘Capstan cigarettes received in weekly issue in lieu of much discussed V brand.’