Finsbury Rifles

Away from the Western Front : 25th – 26th December 1917.

Merry Christmas ?

Army Biscuits ww1 IWM
British Army issue ration biscuit, ‘Huntley & Palmers Army No 4’, made under government contract by the famous biscuit manufacturers Huntley and Palmers. This thick specimen (10cm square) is typical of the robust mass-produced comestibles that challenged the dental health of British Army personnel in both world wars. A typical way of rendering the product more edible was to grind or crumble the biscuit and add water to make a paste or ‘duff’ which could be added to mixed vegetables or stew. 


The battalion’s arrangements for Christmas 1917 were a far cry from the warmth and hilarity of the seasonal celebrations of the year before.

Not only was it the rainy season when temperatures could be more like those back in London but festive meals were impossible to organise. As Ottoman forces had occupied the area so recently and requisitioned whatever extra food was available from the nearby villages, there was little apart from oranges to supplement basic field rations.



Xmas day. Weather conditions very bad. Wet and cold. Bns Xmas fare. Bully beef, biscuits and oranges. Small mail received.

Location BIVOUAC AREA Date 26.12.17

Boxing Day. Weather wet and unsettled.


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