S.R.D. Rum

S.R.D. Rum

S.R.D. stands for Supply Reserve Depot. This jar has a makers mark and is dated 1944. WW1 era jars were not dated or stamped with a makers mark.
The same letters were also found on other supplies, such as crates of food.

(Picture Courtesy of Andrew David Upton)

To the average Tommie it is was often translated to

‘Soon Runs Dry’ or ‘Seldom Reaches Destination’

The rum ration was introduced in the winter of 1914, as a remedy against the bitter cold on the Western Front.
The S.R.D. jar is made of earthenware in 1 Gallon size, with one jar for 64 men. Some people say this made soldiers more willing to fight.

In North Africa, during WW2, the rum ration was mixed with the morning Tea, to make ‘Gunpowder Tea’, a tradition that is still performed on Cambrai Day in the Royal Tank Regiment.

On taking command of the 8th Army in North Africa, Montgomery put a stop to the rum ration, much to the dismay of the troops.