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Maconichies Stew

by stoke_on_trentlibs

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Tom Berrisford
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Contributed on: 
18 May 2004

This story was submitted to the People's War site by Stoke-on-Trent Libraries on behalf of Tom Berrisford and has been added to the site with his permission. The author fully understands the site's terms nad conditions.

We were in France and we'd lost the cook's truck. Consequently we'd been eating cold stew for 3 days...congealed fat and all!
We were in the Bocage. I was a Corporal so I got my section into position behind a big bank witha hedgerow. We were dug in and I had the inspiration to get them a hot meal. I went to the Bren gun carrier and retrieved a biscuit tin. I filled it with sand, got hold of an old dirty bucket, got back in the trench and then poured petrol over the sand to ignite it. I had everyone's tin of stew, tipped them all in to the bucket then stirred it up with a stick I'd found. It was bubbling up nicely and the lads were calling out "How's it doing?"
Suddenly a tiger tank started gunning the hedgerow, then he let go an 88mm shell. It hit the back on the opposite side. I was sucked out of the trench by the explosion... the bucket, contents and all, landed all over me!
When the stretcher bearers came they thought I was really badly injured but it was only the stew all over me
Needless to say I got no sympathy from those waiting for their hot meal!!

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Message 1 - MacConnachies Stew

Posted on: 18 May 2004 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

we also had our problems with the famous M&V stews - being in Tanks we had what was known as a Tommy Cooker which was a bit slow for cooking so in order to speed things along - as we thought it was the end of the day's fighting - we would put five tins of M&V in the engine compartment to heat up for a couple of minutes - then Jerrie would surprise us and the tins would be forgotten - until later when the tins exploded all over the engine ! Before we had dinner the mess had to be cleaned out ready for the next day's fighting !This happened a lot - we never seemed to learn !

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