At the beginning of the war British soldiers were given 10 ounces of meat and 8 ounces of vegetables a day. As the size of the army grew the army could not maintain these rations and by 1916 this had been cut to 6 ounces of meat a day.
Food given to the soldiers in the trenches mainly included tinned food, which consisted of corned beef and soup. Most of their diet in the trenches did consist of corned beef, known then as 'bully beef', bread and biscuits.
Food supply was a major problem when soldiers advanced into enemy territory. All men carried emergency food called iron rations. This was a can of corned beef, a few biscuits and a sealed tin of tea and sugar. These iron rations could only be opened with the permission of an officer. This food did not last very long and if the kitchen staff were unable to provide food to the soldiers they might be forced to retreat from land they had won from the enemy.
The rations were: