Traditions of Alcohol within the Army

I am giving a group presentation of alcohol within the British Forces and I am looking at covering a bit of background history of booze and its association with soldiers through the years. I only need a few interesting facts, but my attempts of google sarching are proving fruitless. If anyone has any good knowledge, anecdotes or know of any web sites, please let me know, Thanks!
Used to know a bloke who could stretch his foreskin over the neck of a pint glass (connection with alcohol), & stretch his ballbag up to touch his nipples. Went down a storm with the Wives Club!
Cheap seats,

A bit of military booze history. During WW1, when Tommy was entitled to his ration of rum, it was brought up to the front in those earthenware stone jars that people collect now at antique fairs. The military jars were normally stamped with "S.R.D" There are a number of interpretations of S.R.D the one that seems closest to the truth is "Service Rations Department". However Tommy as always had his own:

"Seldom Reaches Destination"
"Sergeant Ruddy Drunk"

There was I believe a British Division in WW1, that was not allowed its rum ration on account of the GOC being a tee-totaler. I believe it was the 33 Div but may be wrong on that.

Another witty ditty, involves the men of one of the battalions of the Leinster Regt, in India at the turn of the 20th Centuary. They are parading prior to embarking onto a troop ship to take them home after an 8 year stint in India. They have been out heavily on the piss the night before as a Bn. Whilst forming up on parade they are doing the "From the right, Number" thingy. As the shouts reach the end of a line you hear "Forty eight, Forty nine, Forty -TEN Last man SIR!" due to the fact that he is still minging! From then on the Leinsters were known as the "Forty-Tens".



Book Reviewer
I drank a bottle of Tequila one night and shagged a really fat German bird. Hope this helps!
It is a way of forgetting what you have seen and a wake for the lads you have left behind. How often have we have we got bladdered after some after some conflict and we are far enough back from the lines to let of a bit of steam, and people wonder why soldiers get drunk.
We were at a blokes wedding up in Doncaster a fair few years back and the blokes were caning it down their necks, one of the barmaids asked why we drank so much, the simple answer came back ''Because we can''.
Pretty much summed it up for me.
:?:Is there still a rum issue in extreme cold weather/
PORT, IPA and Gin and Tonic!!!

The army is responsible for Port. The army has always liked its booze but the problem for the British Army in India was that wine could not be kept in the hot climate. Fortifying wine with brandy stops the fermentation process and increases the alcohol content. Most importantly for us it could be stored in the hostile Indian climate. It was not appropriate to obtain wine from France as we were at war with them at the time so we sourced the wine from our oldest ally, Portugal - hence "Port"

Similarly India Pale or IPA. This distinct style of beer is characterized as a sparkling pale ale with a slightly higher level of alcohol and hops than a typical Pale Ale; the hops lending it a distinct bitterness. This triumph was the result of tremendous efforts by British brewers to overcome the same problem, beer, like wine did not keep well on long ocean voyages, especially into hot climates. These hot environments resulted in the arrival of flat, sour beer. Before refrigeration and pasteurization, the brewer's only weapons against spoilage were alcohol and hops. Alcohol and hops provide an unfriendly environment for microbes, preventing the growth of the bacteria that cause sourness. Therefore high alcohol content and high hopping rates could protect beer from the souring associated with long storage times.

Thus the British Army was provided with Port Wine for the Officers and beer for the men (the SNCO's enjoying both).

Indian Tonic Water is a carbonated soft drink flavoured with quinine. The drink gains its name from the medicinal effects of this bitter flavoring. The quinine was added to the drink as a prophylactic against malaria, since it was originally intended for consumption in tropics where that disease is endemic. Soldiers in India did not particularly enjoy tonic water but found that its taste was greatly improved by the addition of gin.
Detmold_Drunk said:
:?:Is there still a rum issue in extreme cold weather/
Of course there is!

The medical profession have recognised the benefit of alcohol combined with cold weather prevents hypothermia :roll:
Detmold_Drunk said:
:?:Is there still a rum issue in extreme cold weather/
Most welcome on one extremely wet night on Soltau,'65.Rum was in a big jar,protected by whickerwork basket.Transmission decks and radiators up,sheet over the top,dried out in about 30 mins.(Mk.6 Cent.)
Why segregate the Army out from the rest of society?

Forbid that the Army drink for the same reasons as the rest of the world.

However, I have to recognise that it can help the healing process immediately after a traumatic incident. Getting those involved in an incident, into the bar together shortly after, will IMHO help folks to decompress and get over whatever they have just been through.
Traditions of alcohol within the Army. I am all for it.

Remember being ejected from the Coy. Office by the CSM with a fellow subbie after a Mess Dinner when the port decanter inexplicably went missing around Dwarf and fellow ne'er-do-well.
CSM claimed that red eyes and white faces were making him ill and we were to absent ourselves for the next hour or so.

Alcohol and soldiers are entwined, can't imagine it otherwise.

But if anecdotes are required check this thread
I remember getting a rum ration in warmer climates too!

Good post sandy_boots.

We used to be allowed 2 beers WOAS if the situation permitted. I recall on one patrol getting replen via airdrop that included 2 beers for each guy in the patrol. It must've been New Year - I remember it was deliciously cold from the high altitude though most burst on impact!

If anyone reading this was in that particular Air Dispatch Troop back in 65-66 (I think you operated out of Kuching) a belated thanks for the beer guys it made our day!
Scottish regiments always had RSMs Parade the morning after pay day (before soldiers had bank accounts) to discourage the binge drinking (though it wasn't known as that back then - just 'a guid bevvy') that was commonplace on pay night. Non drinkers made a fortune 'doing the kit' of the bevvy merchants.

Another delight was taking one's company on the morning road run after they had a night 'oan the bevvy.' Five miles at a swift clip with the platoon sergeants nipping at their heels was a great cure for the hangover though!
Detmold_Drunk said:
:?:Is there still a rum issue in extreme cold weather/
I fairly sure "No". I think that the last of the real stuff was poured down a disused coal mine. There was a hell of a fuss at the time: Usual things in the Daily Nazi and the Daily Hate about waste, should be sold off to the Public and other tripe.
There is this stuff CLICKY that claims to be the genuine article but I'm sure that the Rum, as issued, was far stronger than 54%ABV. It was then diluted at point of issue.

edit for mong spelign
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