Rum Jar : British Army

Accession Number REL/06474
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Pottery
Maker Moira Pottery Co
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1914-1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

British Army one gallon pottery jar for storage of rum. The cylindrical jar tapers at the top to a narrow circular neck and mouth. The lower section has a natural glazed stoneware appearance, but the shoulders and upper part are glazed a light yellow-brown. The letters 'S.R.D.'appear in black below the neck, and there is an impressed circular makers' mark reading 'MOIRA POTTERY' at the bottom of the shoulder section. Between the neck of the jar and the S.R.D. marking is a red stain.

History / Summary

Hundreds of thousands of these jars were produced during the First World War for the storage and transport of rum, lime juice and various other liquid supplies. The markings 'S.R.D.' (which stand for 'Supply Reserve Depot', contrary to the views of the troops, who maintained that it represented 'Seldom Reaches Destination', 'Service Rum Diluted' and 'Soon Runs Dry') on this example indicate that it originally contained rum, a staple ration item for British and Empire troops in the front line, particularly in cold weather. Some 3577 rum jars were destroyed on the Gallipoli peninsula prior to the Allied withdrawal in December 1915.