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To make a long story short.... I just returned from a holiday in France that was not intended to be a WWI tourist trip, but somehow I managed to squeeze in some WWI sightseeing anyway, visiting both Verdun and Somme.

Of course, as a souvenir I had to take home, not a medal or something else that is easily carried. No, I had to pick up a stoneware Rum jar, bulky and heavy! I cursed my lack of wisdom on the way as I travelled home by train and boat, not by plane, and carried it through numerous changes of trains. :eek:However, now that it is in my collection I don't regret buying it. :cheers: It cost me a song too. I picked it up in Albert and according to the seller at the museum shop it was found there on the Somme front. So, this may have contained the last drink for a few of the soldiers who went over the top?

It is marked S.R.D., Service Rations Depot. Of course the soldiers had their own interpretations of the abbreviation, "Seldom Reaches Destination" and so forth. It is in great condition. These are impossible to find here, so either I carry one home as I did, or I don't have one, of course I chose the latter.... ;)



Maker marked "SKEY Tamworth" both on the bottom and on the top.




 

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BC -

Very nice! And, I always wondered what the SRD stood for. That must have been quite the trip. Can't tell for sure, but it does look awfully large. How tall is it? Weight? Just want to prepare the wife if we come across one. :cross

Best regards! Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
.................... and are always empty !
Well, having one that was still full of WWI rum would be quite a unique collectible. The trouble would be to keep my hands off it if I had a party and we'd run out of booze... A scary thought, waking up with an aching head to find it empty...

Also, I think the soldiers who lived in such squalid and dangerous conditions needed it more than I do. Better that they got it, so no hard feelings because the jar is empty. Captain Carl Belfrage (a swedish volunteer who fought on the German side) stated that the frontsoldier can go days on end without food, but not without alcohol and tobacco. Hardly surprising considering the circumstances.
 

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That is a really nice jug. I especially like embossed SRD vice the applied SRD. An unscienitific observation is that these tend to be a bit rarer in my experience.

20 years ago I did the same thing on a retrn from France-I loaded 3 jugs into a suite case--paid 5ff each and a real pain to travel with but worth while.

The meaning of SRD will forever be debated but you'll find that (at least in my research) is that SRD means Supply Reserve Depot. This was located in Deptford and was the central location for Jug procuement, storage and fill. The IWM has an original filling tag on a jug identifying contents and ownership-return to "SRD (Supply Reserve Depot) Deptford".

The content tags were mandatory as much more than Rum filled these things. ASC manuals actually call them Lime Juice Jugs and were for Lime Juice and rum if unwickered and shipped in crates of 2.

If the bottles were wickered with colored bands painted on the wicker then they were filled with nasty stuff that was un-drinkable like ink. SRD can be found on stoneware jugs of variuos sizes, glass bottles, and containers.

Joe Sweeney
 

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I have one, and I was told it meant "service rum diluted" Drinking the undiluted stuff could kill you , it was that strong.


Actually Rum in the jug was issued "neat". That is undiluted at about 80% vol/160 US proof. The daily issue, if allowed, was 1/64th Gallon , which to a Jack Tar was the exact same 1/8th pint Pusser's rum issue which was the "ToT" that made up the "grog" by dilution with water.

The English Volume of an SRD jars that contained Rum was one Gallon.

A great plethora of information exists about these jars but most is anecdotal and not based on any type of research which can create many threads of incorrect information that sounds plausable.

Although, this would mean nothing to the soldiers other than ASC men. SRD stood for "Supply Reserve Depot". In WWI the depot was at Deptford. Deptford became a huge clearing facility for these bottles.

"Service Rum Diluted" is soldiers slang that has become for many (including WWI O.R.s)the official meaning. It is as official as "Seldom Reaches Destination" or "Special Ration Dept", or "Serve Rum Demarara", etc.

The Rum in the jar was not diluted.

Joe Sweeney
 

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Yes, there is a Tamworth in the UK (north east of Birmingham).
The "George Skey pottery" seems to have changed in "Couldon" later on and probably doesn't exist anymore either (not very sure of this, I didn't google any further).
 

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Let's say that I prefer, anytime, the Imperial gallon above the more antique Queen Anne's gallon:rolleyes:.
BTW, I was under the impression that the "Anglo-Saxon" countries (forgive me but I include the US) had agreed to adopt the "metric system" some decades ago? We, the continental Europeans, are always looking at each other when we still hear about "gallons,pints, quarts etc.". For me a 1/2" wrench is a "worn out" 12 mm wrench:rolleyes:.
 

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No Big Commander, you have that backward, a 12 mm wrench is one that you have to use a hammer to get on the nut. The US uses the Queen Ann wine callon, it is four quarts, while the Imperial gallon is 5 quarts (I never could figure that one out, a quart is a fourth, how can there be 5 quarts in a gallon) Years ago, before the Canadians went metric, I noticed that I always got better gas milage with Canadian gas, it was more expensive and I could not get as much in my tank.
The US has partially converted to the metric system, you never know for sure what wrench you need until you have rounded off the corners of the nut or bolt you are working on, then you need visegrips. I have one John Deere tractor that is half metric, and half English, that shows how the American system works, they planned on easing us into the metric system by gradually changing bits here and there, it would be nice it the different bolts were colour coded.
Another place that the metric system helped, was in the exploration of Mars, one of our space programs uses the metric system, and the other uses the English system, when they exchanged information, they forgot to make the conversion, and the Mars explorer crashed into the surface of mars because it was calibrated in kilometers, and operated in miles (or viseverse)
Best
Gus
 

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I think the US was supposed to go metric, by the time of the Bicentenial. That's what they told us in school anyway. Come to think of it, the Russians were supposed to have us taken over by then too. So much for those ideas. It seems that the Communism thing, is moving along faster than metric. Back in high school, I had a friend that owned a Yamaha motorcycle. But no metric tools. After liberal use of a hammer, his SAE wrenches worked just fine, on every nut and bolt.
 

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The metric tool sizes confuse me, every one knows that if the bolt is too big for a ½ inch wrench, you get a 9/16 wrench, but how can you tell which is bigger with a metric wrench, if the 12 mm wrench is too small, there is no 916 mm wrench, not in my tool box any way.
The Gemli Glider is another off shoot of the English to metric conversion, but the Canadians can claim that one, the pilot was not too good at math, but he was a top notch flyer.
The metric system is way superior, but I am afraid that we will never completely switch over, so we will always need that hammer to do a tune up on our cars.
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Gus
 

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The metric system has been legal in the U.S. since the Metric Act of 1866 was passed by the Congress. Several important measures have been changed. For instance, you can no longer buy a fifth of bourbon, it is now a 750ml bottle. As this shorts the consumer of 7.1ml for each bottle, I consider that a dead loss. Until my 7.1ml are restored, I will have to contunue using my miles, feet, and gallons. I am sure the British soldiers who used the rum bottle above would share that sentiment.

John
 

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Well my GM Sierra is inch, my Kubota Tractor is metric. So have two sets in each system to deal with. My wife had a Chevette and had to replace the starter. Didn't know it at the time but was half inch and half metric. Good thing I had both sets. One bolt would be inch and the other metric. I breathed a sigh of relief when she gave it away. Frank
 
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