[Ads-l] pozzy (jam) in South Africa in 1900?

Hugo hugovk at GMAIL.COM
Mon Oct 3 16:28:02 EDT 2016

Here's the link to the Great War Forum that Stephen found, with a
screenshot of the Worcestershire Chronicle scan:


Interestingly, the same thread has another link to Worcestershire and
South Africa in 1900:

Further evidence of its use during the South African War, by


The Centre Column (5th Battalion Mounted Infantry) in the Boer War

By R.S.M. Ernest J. Sullivan (Regimental No. 4430)

Being a personal account of the action of the Worcestershire Company
of the 5th Battalion Mounted Infantry in the fight near Bothaville, in
the Transvaal, on the 5th/6th November, 1900.

"We halt to enable a few mounted scouts from another company to pass
through, while arrangements are made to bivouac for the night. Our
horses are watered before they catch us up, so having unsaddled them
and pegged them down, we slip on their nosebags and they are fed with
mealies, salvaged from some farmhouse en route. No fires are allowed
to be made, so we have to be satisfied with plain unadulterated water,
some biscuits, and jam—that eternal “pozzy.” It must be about nine
p.m., perhaps later, and soon we try and find a soft spot on the
ground with a saddle blanket or numnah for a pillow, and in a very
short time most of us are sound asleep, greatly soothed by a gentle
breeze that is just coming up—so different from the scorching heat of
an unusually hot day."

Here's a link for this, which add a publishing date: "Note: This
article was orginally printed in the "FIRM" magazine in October 1929
(Map and Photo added)":


One of many nicknames for the Worcestershire Regiment is "The Pozzy
Wallahs (after a supposed predilection to removing other units' jam


The Pozzy Wallahs

This dates from early in WW1 and probably before, referring not to a
collective Regimental sweet tooth but to a supposed propensity for
removing other units' jam (and other) rations. If not self-attributed,
it at least shows a grudging admiration for those who had the ability
to look after themselves! It is kinder than 'The Jam Stealers' (ASC)
and very unusual in being a Hindustani nickname. (The only other
Hindustani one recalled, apart from a few based on place names, is
'The Charps and Dils', which older readers may know, or be able to
work out!). This particular nickname was widely used during WW1 and in
Italy in June 1918, after a temporary breakthrough by the Austrians,
it helped a group of 48 MG Battalion to safety. They had originally
been machine-gunners in the Regiment and when trying to get back after
being cut off they heard Worcestershire voices: 'Is that the Pozzies?'
they called quietly, with great presence of mind — that not being a
likely opening gambit from an Austrian patrol. The road block proved
to be manned by the 1/7th Battalion and all was well.


Bully Beef and Biscuits: Food in the Great War by John Hartley suggests:

"The origin of the slang term is unknown, but unlike many army terms
of the time [WWI], it is thought it probably did not come from India.
The word was in use during the Boer War and is thought to pre-date
that, as possibly a corruption of an African word for sweetmeat or



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