Chapter: Home Sweet Home

Mess Tin / Knife Fork Spoon Combination

"An army marches on its stomach"
WWII-80s Canadian soldiers Mess Tin with Knife Fork & Spoon (KFS) Mess Tins & Knife-fork-spoon


During World War II soldiers were away from home for years; they were frequently wet, cold and tired. Many times in the field the only food they had access to was prepackaged, flavourless, barely edible and often past its expiry date. A fresh hot meal brought comfort and improved morale.

When the Canadian Army Service Corps was formed in Manitoba (1907), they knew that "an army marches on its stomach" and proceeded to hire many civilian cooks, offering them a higher wage than a combat arms soldier.

Each soldier was issued a mess tin that could be filled with stew, soup, coffee or other hot and comforting delights. The rectangular shaped tins came equipped with wire handles and fit nicely inside one another to take up less space. Soldiers were also provided with a KFS, a knife, fork, spoon combination, which also fitted together.