In the BBC series Blackadder Goes Forth, Baldrick memorably described the finest culinary delight available in the trenches of the First World War as “rat-au-van” – rat that had been run over by a van. In fact, new research suggests the standard of fare on offer to the men on the Western Front was, if perhaps repetitive, at least nutritious, plentiful and, on occasions, flavoursome.
Andrew Robertshaw, curator at the Royal Logistic Corps Museum, has produced a guide to the food eaten by British soldiers of the First World War, complete with recipes for some of the meals.
Although there was no rat-au-van, there were some now largely forgotten dishes, such as beef tea, mutton broth, brawn, potato pie and duff pudding.
But Mr Robertshaw also shows how some modern favourites, such as egg and chips, and curry were popularised by the conflict.
The research, contained in a new book Feeding Tommy, involved an investigation of the archives of the RLC – the successor to the Army Service Corps, whose job it was to feed the men – as well as study of memoirs from serving soldiers....
Visitors to a Second World War-themed event celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Dambuster have turned out in Nazi uniforms despite a ban on the costumes.
Organisers of the 1940s weekend in Haworth, West Yorkshire, faced complaints last year from a party of German tourists about the flaunting of regalia linked to the Holocaust.
This year, an attempt to prevent a repeat of the controversy, signs warning "No Nazi or SS Insignia or uniforms on these premises" were displayed on shops pubs and camp sites.
Businesses all over the town were given signs saying Nazi or SS uniforms "not welcome," in a bid to avoid "unnecessary offence"....
As one of Britain’s top spies in the Second World War, being arrested in Spain dressed as a woman caused a major headache for his political masters.
Lieutenant Colonel Dudley Clarke, a key figure in British intelligence in the Middle East, was detained in Madrid after being seen “in a main street dressed, down to a brassiere, as a woman”.
The spy was on his way to Egypt to pass on key information and the incident sparked a mad scramble in London to ensure he was released and sent on his way as quickly as possible.
Files released by the National Archives show that Lt Col Clarke – who was supposed to maintain a low profile, travelling under cover as a war correspondent for The Times – had stopped off in the Spanish capital on his way to north Africa in October 1941....