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23rd January 1942, Cod a la Biscaienne

Today is Armistice Day so a good day, I thought, to share with you something we found amongst my Grandfather’s papers. It is a menu from the Troop Ship HMT Thysville, setting out Breakfast (love that the Oats are branded – not just any old oats!) Luncheon and Supper for Friday 23rd January 1942. On the back are lots of hand-written names, notes and messages, mostly in Afrikaans/Dutch.  I do not know where the ship was going, but do know that my grandfather served in the Military Policy and the Royal Artillary in Burma. Does anyone have any information on this ship? I would love to hear it.

In the meantime I thought I would share this menu, I do wonder if this was for officers or all ranks, but have no idea. There are two courses – Brandade of Cod a la Biscaienne and Ragout of Mutton Printanier that I can find no on-line recipes for, if anyone can help with the ingredients for these I would be extremely grateful. Thank you.


  1. Hi,
    I have located two recipes for Cod a la Biscaienne:
    The first is here, and the second is here,
    “Biscaienne” is French for “Basque” (meaning from the Basque country in north eastern Spain).

    Also, I have found a few online references to the troop ship HMT Thysville. The ship was renamed Empire Test in later years, and you can see photos of the ship and a little information about it at the following links:

    I hope you find this helpful.

    Best regards,
    South Australia

  2. You may like to look at these recipes for Bandade a la Cod Biscaienne: and
    The word “Biscaienne” is French for “Basque” (meaning from the Basque country in north eastern Spain).
    There are also a few references online to the troop ship HMT Thysville. Later in the life of the ship it was renamed Empire Test. You can see photographs of the ship in some of the links.

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