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Hard Tack Biscuit

1914 - 1918

Hard tack biscuits were part of a soldier’s rations during the First World War. They were so unsatisfying that many were not eaten. Instead they were kept as souvenirs, sometimes decorated with Regimental images. The biscuit pictured here was utilised as a letter and posted by Sergeant Percy Lockett 250177 1/6 Battalion Manchester Regiment to his wife May.

It was sent home from the Front Line of the First World War.

The biscuit demonstrates the lengths soldiers went to keep in touch with loved ones, and also how dire the rations must have been to have remained uneaten. On the front of the biscuit Sgt Lockett wrote:

May 15th 1915. Dear May, Going down south to ….. tonight Saturday on 11-10 train and this is a sample of our ration. We will arrive in London 6.30 Sunday and then entrain to our huts. Don’t write until I let you know. Over.

On the back of the biscuit he wrote:

My new address. Trusting you are well. Percy xx. PS What I done to d(eserve) this?