One of the major adjustments for Canadian soldiers training in Britain was to British army food. Unused to herring for breakfast and fatty mutton stew for supper, many of the soldiers refused to eat at first. Some even became ill on this new diet. Eventually, compromises were made. Canadian cooks worked with the available food to make it more compatible with the stomachs of Canadian soldiers and the soldiers learned to eat the food that was available, even though they may not have liked it.

For Canadian soldiers in the field, food was a constant item of interest. When the soldiers were unable to eat hot cooked food at a field kitchen they were forced to rely on compo rations. These were bulk packages of food measured to feed a total of ten men for one day. Four different types of compo rations provided breakfast, a main meal, tea, snacks and smaller items. The main meal of the day included corned beef, stewed steak, steak and kidney pudding and meat and vegetables.

This was the last ball used in the Brigade Softball Championship, which took place in Sicily 1943. The RCR was the winner of the championship, and all members of the team signed the ball. Unfortuna Read More
One of the major adjustments for Canadian soldiers training in Britain was to British army food. Unused to herring for breakfast and fatty mutton stew for supper, many of the soldiers refused to eat at first. Some even became ill on this new diet. Eventually, compromises were made. Canadian cooks worked with the available food to make it more compatible with the stomachs of Canadian soldiers and the soldiers learned to eat the food that was available, even though they may not have liked it.

For Canadian soldiers in the field, food was a constant item of interest. When the soldiers were unable to eat hot cooked food at a field kitchen they were forced to rely on compo rations. These were bulk packages of food measured to feed a total of ten men for one day. Four different types of compo rations provided breakfast, a main meal, tea, snacks and smaller items. The main meal of the day included corned beef, stewed steak, steak and kidney pudding and meat and vegetables.

This was the last ball used in the Brigade Softball Championship, which took place in Sicily 1943. The RCR was the winner of the championship, and all members of the team signed the ball. Unfortunately, many of those members would be killed in later fighting throughout Italy.

© 2002, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Troops Having lunch

Troops having lunch during a bridging demonstration at Ringwood, north of Bournemouth, England, June 19, 1941.

Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regimental Museum and Archives
1941-06-19
© Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regimental Museum and Archives


 This document provides details for military cooks

This document provides details for military cooks on how to cook field ("compo") rations for ten men.

Ken Reynolds

© The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa Regimental Museum


Last Ball used in the Brigade Softball Championship

Last ball used in the Brigade Softball Championship, Sicily, 1943. The RCR won the championship and all of the members of the team signed the ball. Many of these same men died in the battlefield in Italy.

The Royal Canadian Regiment
c. 1943
© The Royal Canadian Regiment


Card games were a favourite off-duty activity for many Canadian soldiers. Capitalizing on the soldiers’ interest in cribbage, poker, and solitaire, the army provided the soldiers stationed in England with decks of cards emblazoned with Allied and Axis planes. Designed to help the soldiers memorize the different aircraft, the cards were an excellent training tool for aircraft spotters.
Card games were a favourite off-duty activity for many Canadian soldiers. Capitalizing on the soldiers’ interest in cribbage, poker, and solitaire, the army provided the soldiers stationed in England with decks of cards emblazoned with Allied and Axis planes. Designed to help the soldiers memorize the different aircraft, the cards were an excellent training tool for aircraft spotters.

© 2002, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

A deck of cards used to train aircraft spotters

A deck of cards used to train aircraft spotters to recognize the different Allied and Axis planes.

Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regimental Museum and Archives

© Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regimental Museum and Archives


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Develop an understanding of the participation and role of Canada’s Army in the World War II
  • Examine the contributions, sacrifices and experiences of individuals who participated in military events during World War II
  • Identify key locations in which Canada’s military operated during World War II
  • Evaluate the weapons and technology used by Canadian soldiers

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