Boer War: Letters of Appreciation from the Front for the Jam

Deakin’s Jam for the Troops fighting the Boer War

During the Boer War, over half a million packages of Deakin’s Jam was amongst the rations sent to the troops fighting the war in South Africa. The following letters were received by William Deakin from troops fighting the Boer War:

29th August 1900

Dear Sir,

We, the undersigned, men of the 1st Coldstream Guards, Protectorate Regiment, No. 6 Company, have much pleasure in testifying to the exceptional purity and abilities of your Apricot Jams. During the campaign, while living upon short rations, we have used large quantities of it for mixing with our mealies which we got served out with; and also used it for our hard biscuits which we all enjoyed and thought it a splendid luxury I can assure you, and thus been enabled to keep up our condition and strength much to the discomfort and surprise of the Boers around here. Now, unfortunately like all other good things, the supply has come to an end, not, however, before the price reached 4s. per tin.

Trusting this will carry safely through the enemy’s lines, and convey to you our heartfelt appreciation of your valuable manufacturers.

We are, dear sir, the Sons of Old England.

This in short from a Lancashire Lad from Ashton-in-Makerfield.

Private Frederick Moss
No. 2045, No. 6 Company, 1st Coldstream Guards, 1st Division, South African Field Force.

Gladstone Kopje, Christians
6th October 1900

Dear Sir,

I dare to say it is no use telling you anything about the war, because it is all over. Only a few bands of men under De Wet and Botha, who are fighting a hopeless fight; war, because it is all over. Only a few bands of men under De Wet and Botha, who are fighting a hopeless fight; and I am expecting to be home before Christmas, but if I am not I will send you word where to send the Christmas pudding so, I have not much to say this time, except that we have just had a consignment of Deakin’s jam sent out to us, and we were very glad of it to [sic], because the jam we had been getting from Canada had been condemned by the doctor, and we had to eat dry bread for a month. I dare say that you will think I am making a lot of fuss over jam, but it is the only luxury Tommy Atkins is allowed.

If you happen to see Mr. Deakin just show him this letter, and tell him that the Fig and Lemon is the best jam I have tasted since I left the old country, and that is saying a great deal, because I have tasted some dozens of different brands of jams.

I am yours truly,
F. Burchall, Private 3700, E Company, 6th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers’ Field Force, Christiana, South Africa

One day we got Deakin’s Marmalade, and I tell you there was a change. The men said they would not care if they had Wigan Jam every day. So Wigan is good for something.

Alfred Trickett
32nd Company, 2nd Battalion Imperial Yeomanry Died Forces, South Africa

8th December 1900


We have had the splendid opportunity of tasting the different kinds of Jams, both Colonial and English, and can simply testify to the Jam of your Fig and Lemon, being the jam most suitable to troops on the march.

Gunners and Drivers
8th Division Field Forces, South Africa

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