Christmas hard tack biscuit : Boer War

Place Africa: South Africa
Accession Number REL/10747
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Foodstuff – dry, Paper, Photographic paper, Steel, Wool
Maker Unknown
Place made South Africa
Date made c 1900
Conflict South Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)
Sudan, 1885

Standard issue army hard tack biscuit with 49 holes, made into a Christmas greeting by its original owner by the addition of a photograph, newsprint letters, cartridge heads and red, white and blue wool 'embroidery' wound through the holes in a decorative triangular pattern. In the centre a small black and white portrait photograph of the sender is held in place with wool. The age of the man and the fact that he appears to wearing an Egypt Medal ribbon suggests that he may have previously served with the New South Wales Contingent to the Sudan in 1885. The photograph is framed by eight .303 MK VI calibre projectiles with only the brass neck of the case remaining. The projectiles are joined together in pairs at the neck and are attached to the biscuit with wool. Pasted into gaps in the embroidery on the sides of the biscuit are individually cut out newsprint letters, which read 'SOLDIER FRIEND/ 1899/ 1900/ BOER WAR'. 'MERRY/ XMAS' is written on the biscuit in pencil down each side of the photograph.

History / Summary

The origin of this biscuit and the name of the soldier in the photograph is not known.