Ration biscuit : Corporal J Richards, 5 Victorian Mounted Rifles Contingent

Accession Number REL32800
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Foodstuff – dry
Maker Unknown
Date made c 1899-1902
Conflict South Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)

Square, hard tack ration biscuit with forty-nine perforations in a grid pattern across the top. There is also a halved circle pressed into the centre. The biscuit is wrapped in tissue paper and housed in a brown cardboard box with lid that was originally used for photographic plates. Glued to the lid is a paper label for ‘Wellington ‘XTRA SPEEDY PLATES.’

History / Summary

This ration biscuit was collected by 829 Corporal Joseph Richards during the Boer War. These biscuits were issued to troops and known as ‘forty-niners’ because of the 49 holes indented across the top. Richards, born on 31 May 1880, was working as a stereotyper before the war and also served as a lance corporal in 1 Battalion Infantry Brigade of the Victorian Military Forces with the service number 3651. On 15 February 1901 he sailed for South Africa from Melbourne with 5 Victorian Mounted Rifles Contingent. He returned to Melbourne on 26 April 1902.