Christmas Day: Had parade, and the officer- gave us nuts, figs, cigarettes, and oranges. For dinner we had bully beef stew (rotten) and one eight-pound pudding between 18 men.
The War Office made huge purchasers of food supplies, to feed soldiers, sailors and airmen. In the trenches during the First War they kept soldiers pretty healthy on bully beef.
Even in times of peace, huge quantities of ‘bully beef’ were being ordered for the armed forces. In 1927, one and a half million tins of corned beef was bought by the War Office.
The meat was processed and canned at the largest meat works in the world in Argentina.
In April 1939, another deal was concluded in Buenos Aires for the sale of 3750 tons of canned meat to Britain.
The name bully” probably came from the French “bouilli,” meaning boiled meat and is said that bully beef has been known from the time of Queen Elizabeth, but Napoleon is said to have been responsible for the introduction of canned meat in order to feed his armies.
A Frenchman named Nicholas succeeded bottling food so that remained fresh for long periods, but it was Englishman, however, who invented the tin container which, contrast to glass, was almost indestructible, much cheaper, and more efficiently sealed.
The idea of carrying tinned food was first tried out by Russian expedition to the Arctic, while another expedition led by Sir John Ross discovered in the Arctic a stock canned food left behind another expedition in 1824. These tins, when opened 1911, were found to be in absolute perfect condition.
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