A new online course will commemorate the outbreak of World War I by exploring eating habits on the front line with a focus on the north-east.
Today, Aberdeen University will launch the free resource and the project aims to pay tribute to those who died, fought, or were irrevocably damaged by the war.
Nutrition and War, developed by Steve Heys, Professor of Surgical Oncology, and Tom Scotland, retired orthopaedic surgeon, will use the north-east to illustrate the horror of the conflict.
It will reveal the “inadequate” diet soldiers survived on such as bully beef, bread and biscuits.
Maconochie’s factory in Fraserburgh played a significant role in this, churning out a stew containing fat lumps and black potatoes, but not all liked it.
The project will also explore the effect of the war on local communities where agriculture was hit like nowhere else.
One in four men who fought were wounded or died, leaving nobody to attend to the farms, meaning local woman had to take over, as they did throughout the UK.
Using images, videos, and the work of poets from Aberdeen and Alford, the course will have a “very local flavour,” according to Prof Heys.
Many of the scenes will feature the Gordon Highlanders, including images of men marching from Peterculter to the train station, many never to return again.
It will highlight how food was used as a weapon in war such as at Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands where British and German fleets tried to starve each other to death.
Mr Scotland said the project was particularly pertinent to the university which was the only institution in the UK to have its own company, the 4th Battalion of the Gordon Highlanders. U Company were wiped out in September 1915 at Ypres Salient in Belgium.
Prof Heys pointed out that Lord Boyd Orr, founding director of the university’s Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, served in the Great War where he saw first hand the poor health of soldiers, making the project extremely relevant. He also helped formulate food rationing during the last world conflict.