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Attachment 2. Service Ration Scales - World War 2

Document

Timetable for Operation of Service Rations

During World War 2, Army Head Quarters were primarily responsible for the victualling of the Royal Australian Air Force and the Royal Australian Navy, as well as victualling the Australian Military Forces. So the following service rations generally applied across all three services.

Time Period Service Rations
Timetable for Operation of Service Rations - Australia

27 September 1939 to 30 March 1942

Standard commodity list and menu of Eastern and Northern Command

1 April 1942 to 15 August 1942

Ration Scale A - AHQ Instructions for War, Supply and Transport Service

16 August 1942 to 28 January 1945

Ration Scale B - tropical zone (applied to male personnel in Queensland - west of 1500 longitude, including the Torres Islands; in the Northern Territory - north of 260 latitude; and in Western Australia - north of 260 latitude.


Ration Scale C - temperate zone (applied to male personnel in Queensland - east of 1500  longitude; Western Australia - south of 260 latitude and for all of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania.

28 January 1945 -

Ration Scales B and C amended in respect of area of application.

 

Time Period Service Rations
Timetable for Operation of Service Rations - Middle East

28 April 1941 -

AIF Ration Scale - normal basis of issue

6 August 1942 -

Field Service Ration Scale - basis of feeding the AIF in operation.

 

Time Period Service Rations
Timetable for Operation of Service Rations - New Guinea and Pacific Islands

16 August 1942 to 3 April 1943

Ration Scale B

4 April 1943 to January 1944

Pacific (New Guinea) Ration Scale.

February 1944 to 24 October 1945

Pacific (New Guinea) Ration Scale amended in relation to food quantities.

1 August 1943 -

AMF Operation Ration - Special Ration Pack.

15 January 1944 -

AMF Emergency Ration - Special Ration Pack.

 

Australia

Service Ration Scales

*Daily scale/man (ounces)

Food E&NC* Scale A* Scale B* Scale C*
Service Ration Scales - Australia

Bread

or Biscuits - Service

14

12

14

12

14

12

12

10

Meat - fresh

or Meat - preserved

or Fish - preserved

16

-

-

13 5/7

1 5/7

1 5/7

13 5/7

1 5/7

1 5/7

13 5/7

1 5/7

1 5/7

Bacon 1 1/2 1 1/2 1 1/2 1 1/2
Butter 1 3/4 1 3/4 1 3/4 1 3/4
Cheese 1 1/7 1 1/7 4/7 6/7
Baking powder 1/15 1/30 1/30 1/30
Coffee 1/5 1/5 1/5 1/5
Curry powder 1/50 1/50 1/50 1/150
Flour/oatmeal or wheatmeal 2 2 2 2
Rice - - 1/2 1/2
Fuits, dried 1 1 2 1
Jam/marmalade or golden syrup 2 2 2 2

Milk, fresh

or Milk, cond. u/s

10

2 1/2

10

2 1/2

12

3

10

2 1/2

Peas, blue 1 1 1 1
Pepper 7/100 7/100 7/100 7/100
Salt 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2
Sugar 3 3 4 3
Tea 3/8 1/2 7/16 1/4
Onions 3 3 2 2
Potatoes 12 12 10 10
Vegetables, fresh 12 12 12 12

Cash Allowance

1 1/2 pence per day - official suggestions for expenditure

Food E&NC Scale A Scale B Scale C
Official suggestions for expenditure of cash allowance - Australia
Fruit 1 piece 1 piece 1 piece 1 piece
Icecream 3/7 portion 3/7 portion 3/7 portion 3/7 portion
Custard powder 1/20 1/20 1/20 1/20
Tomato sauce 1/15 1/15 1/15 1/15
Sugar 1/5 1/5 1/5 1/5

Ration Equivalents

Ration equivalents - Australia
Bread 14oz. = Bread 12oz. and Service Biscuits 1oz.
Bread 1oz. = Service Biscuits 3/4oz. or Flour 3/4oz.
Oatmeal 1oz. = Bread 1oz. or Service Biscuits 3/4oz.
Milk, cond., u/s 2 1/2oz.

= Milk, cond., u/s 1 1/2oz. and Milk, dried, full cream 1oz.

or

= Fresh Milk 10oz.

Meat, fresh 1oz. = Preserved Meat 3/4oz. or Fish, tinned 3/4oz.
Fish or Preserved Meat 12oz. = Fish or Preserved Meat 8oz. and Eggs, dried 2oz.
Bacon 1oz. = Butter 1oz. or Lard 1oz. or Wheatmeal 1oz.
Fresh vegetables 1oz. = Dried Vegetables 1/4oz. or Fresh Fruit 1/4oz.
Flour 1oz. = Rice 1oz. or Oatmeal 1oz. or Wheatmeal 1oz.
Cocoa 1oz. = Tea 1/2oz. or Coffee 4/5oz.
Dried egg 1oz. = Fresh Eggs 3 no.
Potatoes 12oz. = Potatoes 8oz. and Rice 1oz. and Tomato Puree 1/8oz.
Fruit, dried 1oz. = Jam 1oz. or Syrup 1oz. or Honey 1/2oz.

 

Middle East and the Pacific (New Guinea)

Service Ration Scales

*Daily scale/man (ounces)

Food AIF Ration Scale (ME)* Field Ration Scale (ME)* Pacific 4/43* Pacific 2/44*
Service Ration Scales - Middle East and the Pacific (New Guinea)

Bread

or Biscuits - Service

16

11 1/2

12

9

12

9

14

9 1/3

Meat - frozen

or Meat - fresh, local

or Meat - fresh, boneless

plus cooking fat

14

16 4/5

9

1 1/2

8

10

6

1

13 5/7

 

 

 

13 5/7

 

 

 

Salmon

or Herrings

or Sardines/Pilchards/tnnd

6/7

6/7

3/7

3/7

4/7

2/7

1 5/7

1 5/7

1 5/7

1 5/7

1 5/7

1 5/7

Bacon, mild, cured

or Bacon, tnnd

or Eggs (issues/week)

or Sausages

3

2

-

4

3

2

2 (to 5)

4

-

6/7

-

-

-

1 2/3

-

-

Butter 2 1 1/2 (margarine) 1 3/4 1 3/4
Cheese 1 1/7 3/4 6/7 4/7
Lard - - 1/2 1
Custard powder - - 1/8 1/8
Curry powder 1/100 1/30 1/50 -

Flour

or Oatmeal

or Rice

2

2

2

2

1 1/2

1

2

-

1/2

2

-

1/2

Wheatmeal - - 1 1
Fruit Cake - - 3/7 3/7
Fruits, dried 1 1 2 1

Jam/Marmalade

or Golden Syrup

2

1 1/2

2

1

2

2

2

-

Tomato Sauce - - 1/4 1/4
Milk, cond, u/s 2 2 2 1/2 4
Pepper 1/100 1/100 1/100 1/100
Salt 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2
Sugar 4 3 3 1/4 4
Tea 3/8 1/2 5/16 1/2
Coffee - - 1/5 1/5
Mixed Spices - - 1/350 1/350
Beans/Lentils/Peas/dr - 1 2/7 (blue peas) 2/7 (blue peas)
Onions 3 2 1/2, dehyd 1/2, dehyd
Potatoes 12 12 2, dehyd 2, dehyd
Vegetables, fresh 16 8 12 12
Tomato Puree - - 3/7 3/7
Oil, cooking - 5/7 - -

Fresh Fruit

or Orange

or Grapefruit

or Fruit Juice

4

1

1/2

3 (4 times weekly)

4

1

1/2

-

4

-

-

2

4

-

-

3

Cash Allowance

1 1/2 pence per day -  Middle East only

Ration Equivalents

Ration equivalents - Middle East
Meat, frozen with bone 8oz. = Preserved Meat 6oz with Pickles 2/7oz. or Chutney 1/14oz.
Milk, tinned 2oz. = Milk, fresh 5oz.
Potatoes, fresh 12oz.

= Potatoes, tnnd 6oz. and rice 2oz.

or Onions 2oz. and rice 2 1/2oz.

Vegetables, fresh 8oz.

= Vegetables, preserved 3 1/3oz.,
comprising Vegetables, tinned 2 2/3oz. and Beans/Lentils/Peas, dried 2/3oz.
or Beans/Lentils/Peas, dried 2oz.

Ration equivalents - Pacific (NG)
Bread, 14oz = Flour 10 1/2oz.
Flour, 2oz. = Rice Brown, Rice White, Oatmeal, Wheatmeal for Porridge, Wholewheat or Macaroni, 2oz.
Rice, brown 1/2oz. = Flour, Oatmeal, Wheatmeal for Porridge or Wholewheat 1/2oz.
Wheatmeal for Porridge 1oz. = Flaked/Rolled Oats or Oatmeal 1oz.
Butter, fresh 1 3/4oz.

= Butter, concentrated canned or Margarine, canned 1 3/4oz.

Lard 1oz. = Edible animal fat 1oz.
Fruit, dried, assorted 1oz.

= Fruit, canned, preserved 4oz.

= Fruit, fresh, assorted 5 1/3oz.

Fruit, fresh, assorted 4oz.

= Fruit, canned, preserved 3oz.

= Fruit, dried 3/4oz.

Bacon, tnnd 1 2/3oz.

= Sausages, tnnd, Preserved Beef/Mutton, or Fish, tnnd 3 1/3oz.

= Bacon, fresh 2oz.

Cheese, tinnd/leaf 4/7oz. = Egg powder, dried 1/6oz.
Fish, tnnd 1 5/7oz.

= Fish, fresh 3 3/7oz.

= Preserved Beef/Mutton, Ham salt-packed 1 5/7oz.

= Egg powder, dried 3/7oz.

Meat, fresh/frozen 13 5/7oz.

= Beef bone-out, Fish tnnd, Sausages tnnd, Preserved or Beef/Mutton 10 2/7oz.

= Meat packs, various 15 3/7oz.

Milk, condensed, unsweetened 4oz.

= Milk, fresh 16oz.

= Milk, condensed, sweet 4oz.

= Milk, dried, full-cream 1oz.

Onions, dehydrated 1/2oz. = Onions, fresh 3oz.
Potatoes, dehydrated 2oz. = Potatoes, fresh 8oz.
Blue peas, dried 2/7oz.

= Legume flour 2/7oz.

= Blue peas, tnnd 6/7oz.

Vegetables, fresh, assorted 12oz.

= Vegetables, dried, assorted 3oz.

= Fruit, fresh, assorted or Baked Beans 6oz.

= Vegetables, "quick-freeze" or Fruit Juice 9oz.

= Preserved Fruit, tnnd, assorted 10oz.

= Vegetables, tnnd, assorted 10oz.

= Egg powder, dried 2/7oz.

Tomato Puree, tnnd 3/7oz.

= Tomatoes, tnnd 6/7oz.

= Tomato Paste, tnnd 2/7oz.

Supplementary rations

Official suggestions for this expenditure with Canteens service were as follows:

  • Fruit, fresh - 1 piece (700 pieces/100men/week)
  • Icecream - 3/7 portion (300 portions/100men/week)
  • Custard powder - 0.05oz. (2 lb/100men/week)
  • Tomato sauce - 0.15oz. (4 x 26 oz. bottles/100men/week)
  • Sugar - 0.20oz. (8 1/2 lb./100men/week)

The supplementary ration of 1 1/2d per man per week was a component of the ration scales for the Eastern and Northern Command, Ration Scales A, B and C, and the ration scales for the Middle East. For the ration scales for the Middle East, the provision of one piece of fresh fruit daily was substituted in place of the daily ice cream portion (3/7). The weekly Australian cost of providing one piece of fresh fruit daily per 100 men was similar to that of providing one portion of icecream three times a week per 100 men.

 

Significant Changes in Ration Scales - Animal Fat and Other Foods

Meat

For all the above rations operable in Australia and the Pacific, there has been no change in the meat component. Except for the early Eastern and Northern Command (E&NC) rations, the daily allowance of fresh meat was 13 5/7oz (16oz issued 6 days per week) and 1 5/7oz preserved meat or fish equivalent (12oz issued once per week). The daily fresh meat ration for the E&NC was 16oz without any issue of preserved meat. However 12oz preserved meat was an equivalent issue for 16oz of fresh meat in that ration.

For the Middle East AIF Ration Scale,  the issue of fresh meat was marginally higher than that of E&NC at 16 4/5oz. For the Field Ration Scale for the Middle East, the fresh meat ration was reduced to 10oz per man per day.

Edible portion of meat in the rations

It should be noted that specific mention is made in an official submission to the Acting Minister of the Army on "Meat rationing in relation to personnel victualled in the Army", about the edible portion of the army meat ration. The weekly ration per man of six lbs ( i.e. 13 5/7oz/day)  was based on 'carcase weight', which provided substantially less consumable meat than 'butcher's weight', which applied to civilian rationing and civilian purchases. Specialist opinion had confirmed this and advised that wastage on "carcase weight' may range from 35 to 45 percent. Thus six lbs of  meat per man per week in "carcase weight" actually only provides 3 1/3 to 4 lbs of meat, i.e. 7 4/7 to 9 1/7oz/day. This figure impacts very importantly on the edible portion applied to the meat component of the service ration to estimate its nutrient value, especially that of the fat content. The edible percent of meat applied in the Davidson Report was:

  • Beef 90%
  • Mutton 82%

Bacon

The bacon ration of 1 1/2oz/day/man was standard across the ration scales operable in Australia. In the Middle East, the ration for tinned bacon was 2oz/day/man, which was reduced to 6/7oz for the Pacific ration and then raised to 1 2/3oz/day/man when this ration was amended in February 1945.

Cheese

In Australia, the cheese ration was decreased for the introduction of Ration Scale B and Ration Scale C from 1 1/7oz/day/man to 4/7oz and 6/7oz respectively. The Middle East rations included 1 1/7oz/day/man for the AIF Scale and 3/4oz for the Field Scale. For the Pacific ration, the cheese issue was originally 6/7oz/day/man, which was decreased to 4/7oz when the ration was amended in February 1945.

Butter and other fat

The butter ration of 1 3/4 oz/day/man was standard across the ration scales that were used in Australia and the Pacific Islands and New Guinea. In the Middle East, the butter/margarine scale was 2oz for the AIF Ration Scale and 1 1/2oz for the Field Ration Scale. A ration issue of lard of 1/2oz and 1oz was included in the Pacific ration and the amended Pacific ration respectively. In the Middle East, a ration of oil of 5/7oz /day/man was included in the Field Ration Scale.

Milk

The milk ration was listed as fresh milk or concentrated unsweetened milk and varied across the ration scales. In Australia, Ration Scale B provided 12oz fresh milk/ day/man, compared to 10oz in the other scales. The milk ration in the Middle East was 2oz of concentrated, unsweetened milk/day/head in both rations, which increased to 2 1/2oz in the Pacific ration and then to 4oz in the amended Pacific ration.

Bread and other cereal foods

There was some variation in the bread quantity across the rations. In Australia, the Scale C Ration provided 12oz/day/man of bread, compared to 14oz in the other ration scales. In the Middle East, the bread ration in the AIF scale was 16oz/day/man, compared to 12oz for the Field Ration. At the introduction of the Pacific Ration Scale, the bread ration was 12oz/day/man, which was increased to 14oz in the amended scale. An additional ration of 1oz of wheatmeal was included in the Pacific Ration Scale to increase the level of vitamin B-1 in the ration. The Pacific ration also included 3/7oz of fruit cake/day/man. Rice was an additional item included in Scale B and Scale C and the Pacific ration (1/2oz/day/man).