Online Collection

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Rum jar, British Army, 1916 (c)

Stoneware jar, impressed with the characters 'S.R.D', Supply Reserve Depot.

These jars, produced in vast numbers during World War One (1914-1918), were used to store and transport rum and other liquids. This jar was excavated in 1982 from the site of a trench occupied by British troops at Messines Ridge on the Western Front.

As in earlier conflicts, British and Commonwealth soldiers were entitled to a daily rum ration in the trenches. Army regulations ordered that the rum ration was to be drunk in the presence of an officer or non-commissioned officer so it could not be hoarded.

British service personnel had their own take on what the initials 'S.R.D' on jars like this one stood for; examples included, 'Seldom Reaches Destination', 'Service Rum Diluted' and 'Soon Runs Dry'.

NAM Accession Number

NAM. 1983-01-4-1


National Army Museum Copyright


National Army Museum, Conflict in Europe gallery

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