"Friend's Ambulance Unit

The Friends Ambulance Unit (FAU) was originally set up in World War I 
to provide a channel of service for Conscientious Objectors (C.O.), 
mainly Quakers.  It was resurrected in 1939 for the same purpose; to 
provide opportunities for COs to take part in the relief of suffering 
brought on by war.  One of these opportunities was the China Convoy.

The only available land route into 'Free China', the part controlled by 
the Guomindang under Chiang Kaishek, was via Burma and the new Burma 
Road over the mountains from the railhead at Lashio in north Burma to 
Kunming.  The original plan for the China Convoy was to carry out two 
tasks; to transport medical and relief supplies into 'Free China' via 
Rangoon and the Burma Road and to provide medical teams to work with 
the Chinese Red Cross in military hospitals.

During the summer and autumn of 1941, members of the original team of 
40 arrived in Rangoon and set about assembling their trucks, mobile 
operating theatre and mobile workshop, all of which had come from The 
States.  Then came December 8th 1941 and by early 1942 the Unit was 
desperately engaged in getting trucks and supplies off the Rangoon 
docks and into China.  By the end of 1942 a transport system was in 
operation; having no supplies of petrol some trucks were converted to 
run on charcoal-fuelled producer gas, others had diesel engines running 
on rapeseed oil installed and some were run on alcohol and 'petrol' 
distilled from tung oil."


This seems at variance with the mention of the use of Tung oil directly 
in diesels (which struck me as odd odd, since it's a drying oil, 
correct?), by Mike Brown, in the article below....

"Then, in the twentieth century, the Chinese were hit by terribly 
inflated petroleum prices . . . and they solved the problem—in part—by 
running their diesel engines on vegetable oil!

It seems that—prior to World War II—diesel fuel cost about twice as 
much as did vegetable oil in China . . . and the petroleum product’s 
price doubled and trebled following the war. So, under those 
circumstances the vegetable-based fuel made good economic sense. (For 
all I know, the folks in China may still be running their tractors on 
tung oil.) "


..and a bit more wartime trivia...about rapeseed oil and Canola in 

"The development of rapeseed as an oilseed crop on the prairies was 
also triggered by World War II. Rapeseed oil was an essential lubricant 
for marine engines, and the disruption of ocean shipping as a result of 
the war threatened to cut off Canada's supply from Europe. In 1942, 
Stevenson secured a supply of seed of Brassica napus from Argentina and 
distributed it the following spring. The first Canadian rapeseed crop 
was grown in 1943 on 1300 ha in Saskatchewan and Manitoba; by 1948 it 
had increased to 32,000 ha.

Because of its origin, the first lot of seed was called "Argentine" 
rapeseed and the name stuck. In the meantime, a Shellbrook district 
farmer, Mr. Fred Solvoniuk, had been growing a different type of 
rapeseed in small plots on his farm since 1936. He had obtained the 
seed originally from a friend or relative who had brought it with him 
when he emigrated from Poland in 1927. As information on rapeseed 
cultivation became more available after 1943, Mr. Solvoniuk began field 
scale production of his rapeseed strain, and sold seed to his 
neighbors. It was quite different from the Argentine type and it soon 
bécame known as "Polish" rapeseed. It was determined later that it was 
a different species, Brassica campestris. It was much earlier than B. 
napus and it rapidly gained favor with farmers in the more northern 
growing areas.

It was well known at the time that rapeseed was an important source of 
edible oil in other parts of the world. With the end of the war, and 
with it the critical need for marine engine lubricants, White, with an 
eye on the edible oil market, started a modest research program to 
breed a better rapeseed. The original material appeared highly variable 
and it was obvious that improved selections could be made from it. Mr. 
H.G. Neufeld of Nipawin was one of the original growers of Argentine 
rapeseed in 1943. With great foresight he had selected 40 single plants 
from that crop and kept the seed of each separate. He offered the seed 
to White, who grew it out in the first rapeseed yield test in 1944.

At first, selection was limited to Argentine rapeseed, partly because 
it was the only type available initially. It was also fairly 
self-fertile and this made it relatively easy to develop pure lines. 
Selecting lines for higher seed yield and earlier maturity was routine, 
but determining oil content and oil quality was another matter. At that 
time, methods of analysis were cumbersome, requiring a lot of time and 
a large sample of seed. As a result, progress in breeding was very slow 
at first and it was not until much later that highly sophisticated 
methods of analysis enabled the production of today's greatly modified 
cultivars. Nevertheless, progress was made and Golden, the first 
licensed cultivar, was released in 1954. "


(Later varieties became known as Canola)

"Canola and rapeseed are actually the same species.  Rapeseed was good 
for industrial uses; it was used as a lamp     and cooking oil by 
ancient civilizations in Asia and Europe, and was found     to be the 
best lubricant to cling to steam washed surfaces on steam engines. "


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