The 14 man composite or compo ration came in a number of variations, but all included chocolate and boiled sweets as part of the standard contents. Two metal tins were provided in each wooden ration crate and between them they would typically carry 14x2oz chocolate bars and 16oz of boiled sweets. These tins are approximately 6”x 8” and about 2” deep:
The chocolate was divided into eight little pieces, 2×4 blocks in size and wrapped in greaseproof paper. The tin is painted in a chocolate brown with green lettering indicating its contents, manufactured by L.B.P.S.L. in August 1943:
The tin itself was manufactured by the Metal Box Company and the back of the tin lid has the letter code for this manufacturer:
The lid pulls off the tin to allow access to the contents within, the inside being lacquered to help prevent rust and damage to the contents:
Originally the tin would have had a tape seal around the edges where the body and lid met to further protect the contents. In this photograph taken on 4th July 1944 near Crepon, the tins can be seen on the table whilst the contents are distributed to men:
Chocolate and boiled sweets were and continue to be essential items in ration packs. They are relatively light and the sugar in them gives an instant boost of energy. Boiled sweets are also useful in promoting saliva production so can help reduce dry mouths when water is in short supply. The boiled sweets were distributed and placed in the pocket so they could be reached for whenever a short burst of energy was needed.