Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Horlick's malted milk lunch tablets


marc coene
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello,

Please see the photo in annex. This is a bottle I have found on our farm but don't completely understand what was in it. This product (Horlick's malted milk lunch tablets) was used by the first World War soldiers.

I looked on the internet to find info about this bottle and its contecnt but it is not complete clear to me. There is described that 10 to 20 tablets dissolved in the mouth can be seen as required supply for the nourishment given by an ordinary meal and they quickly restore energy and vigour for 24 hours, without an other food and in addiction the tablets releave thirst.

So it is not clear for how the tablets worked. it seems the soldiers would have to eat for 24 hours and also thirst was releaved? What kind of product were the tablets made of (vitamins, other)?

Was this product commonly used? Was it natural product, I think it was? So quite some questions. Thanks if somebody could help me with this mystery.

Kind regards,

Marc

post-46229-0-65914000-1378841073_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to love the little Horlick's tablets. Haven't seen them for years though. Are they still available?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Marc

Spotted this in Wikipedia , they have a Timeline on Horlicks with this entry:

  • 1935: Richard E. Byrd named the Horlick Mountains on the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf after William, in appreciation of his support. A small factory opened in Australia for the local market, including New Zealand. Horlicks milky-chocolate-flavoured disks in paper packets, which were eaten as candy, were marketed in the USA via radio commercials touting the ease with which they could be taken to school by children.
    In America, Horlicks Tablets were sold as a candy, offered in a glass bottle resembling an aspirin jar. These tablets were used duringWorld War II as an energy boosting treat by U.S., UK and other soldiers, as well as being a component of aircrew escape kits. Today, these are packaged in foil pouches, manufactured in Malaysia as Horlicks Malties

Maxi

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A slight digression. Sir James Horlick's son, Major Gerald Nolekin Horlick, who was Assistant Works Manager at the Slough factory and served with the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars, died of malaria in Alexandria, 5th July 1918.

Phil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great tasting and chewy tablets,presumed to contain malt and milk powder,but in one of tender years at the time (10 to 12 at max intake) who cares what else was in them ! We bought small tins of them on the way to Sunday church,each tab individually wrapped,and spent the service eating them and stuffing the papers in the cracks of the wicker seating. Several years after this time and in the area I had to look and found some still wedged there ! Now you know,Romsey Abbey !

Often associated with assisting restful sleep not once did I drop off during the sermon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can remember them sold in the 60s as something to be carried when hill walking as an emergency ration in case you got stuck out overnight - a quick energy fix.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My mum worked at the Slough factory after WWII. I tend to collect things made in Slough. Great War link on some of the tins so not totally off topic. Large jar mentions appointment to the late George V and the Prince of Wales, so I think late '30s. Regards, Paul.

post-14843-0-07460200-1378848203_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My mum had to make sure the stone mason had all the correct names and details for the memorial,

which she called the weeping widow. It is still located at the Slough factory. Regards, Paul.

post-14843-0-56573300-1378852144_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Paul, thanks for that fascinating insight. It is strange how nowadays, and indeed for my whole life Horlicks has been sold as encouraging rest and sleep. Yet in wartime it was sold as doing the exact opposite, promoting energy and vigour. The power of advertising I suppose.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Horlicks was considered a life saver at Gallipoli - As highlighted above, Lt G N Horlick was in the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Yeomanry. He was the Brigade Machine Gun Officer at Suvla Bay in Gallipoli where dysentery was rife. Horlick's Malted Milk was used as a medicine and specifically prescribed for men with dysentery by the MOs. Interestingly one of Horlick's brother Officers 2nd Lt E T Cripps (D Sqn) mentions him (known variously as Jerry or Gerry) in his personal diary and his family's product...Note the underlinings are mine.

AUGUST 28th, 1915. The pigs have found it out and have given us such a doing. Lost several men I am sorry to say.... Otherwise quite a red letter day. Had a wash in my tooth and tea enamel cup.... I grow a moustache when I haven't a beard! Had the most lovely mail -- ever so many letters and the photos of the children.... May's brother, Arthur Clark, wounded slightly. Our Doctor was hit to-day: such bad luck, as he was invaluable, his pluck marvellous. He and the stretcher bearers earn V.C.s every day. We had an alarm last night and turned out in a hurry, but it was nothing. Have just come back from Jerry Horlick, who is with his gun above us on high ground. He stood me tea – sardines (with a pocket knife) and bully biscuit and tea in a mess tin -- so good; and he gave me a cigarette, which I haven't had for days. Rum rations tonight! by Jove!... The flies are awful, so many one doesn't bother about them. They crawl over you and the food, but it all tastes quite good.... A wild Irishman rushed into our dug-out the other night, shouting "The foe is upon us", and proceeded to load his rifle. We made short work of him, as there was every chance of his shooting us. It made us laugh so. Bertie had gone to the rest camp, so I tossed up with Micky who should have his bed, which he left behind here. Had a topping night and slept like a pig. Ralph, who is with Bertie, sent me a bottle of beer! I am going to have it for lunch! -- there will be some chaff! We are all in good spirits.... Sands is the only one it seems to depress.

SEPTEMBER 6th, 1915.Here I am by myself, rather enjoying the day. The Regiment moved off last night after dark to the trenches about a mile away. I have been seedy and Cecil insisted on my staying here a day or two. I am all right again, thanks to Jerry Horlick's malted. Wonderful stuff. It is supplied to the men who are ill, so long as we can carry it. Smith is here with me as guard with another man over the men's packs that they did not take with them. He is wonderful: never been better in his life, always cheerful....The Irish Regiment whom we relieve came into our dug-out in the middle of last night and began looting!... we shouldn't have anything left for breakfast this morning. Smith is just going to cook my dinner -- a soup square Micky left me and a rasher of bacon. He is cutting it now, on a piece of newspaper, and scraping the dust off! We mean to have a good feed together! They all say the trenches are much safer than this place. They have taken to shelling the ground below us from the Dardanelles. It is only five and a half miles from where we are on this hill. Chandler, Michael's servant, came back for something this morning and says there is any amount of water -- wells -- in the trench, and you can wash yourself and your clothes. My spare shirt will go into the tub first opportunity. The worst of this ground is that directly you get a cut it festers; you have to be careful not to scratch yourself. I cut my hand on a nail last night, moving the things when the Irish came in, and got the doctor to do it up with iodine at once....I have got quite a good moustache. Only shave my chin -- it saves trouble. I shall go on shaving as long as I can; it helps keep you clean. Flies simply swarm now. I got the mosquito curtain out of my valise, which came two days ago, and put it across the doorway of the dugout, and so got a little peace yesterday.

FRONT LINE TRENCH, SEPTEMBER 21st, 1915.CATOR HOUSE. Very busy digging. We are up in the new trench in the firing line. Two subalterns have to sleep there, so we had to make a small dug-out for two. It is quite comfy. I got a good bit of timber from a ruined cottage and some blankets and made a head cover, so we kept pretty snug and dry last night -- Sands and I. There are a lot of blackberry bushes close by. I crawled out and picked my cap full and am going to give them to the cook to mix with the rice. Charles and I have moved to Cecil's dug-out at our Regimental Headquarters in the support trench -- a big dug-out with excellent head cover -- and the mess is there. Cecil had to move to the Headquarters of the Brigade-Regiment when Boycott moved up after the Brigadier was wounded. It made a step all round. We go into reserve in five days' time, I believe. A rest won't hurt the men. Personally I would sooner be here, as you never get shelled and it is so much more interesting. Great triumph yesterday! One of our men shot a sniper taking a constitutional in front of his pitch, about 450 yards away. His pal dragged him in, and they nearly got him too! The Warwicks had the cheek to try and claim him. In the evening I had a lovely walk.... We walked to the sea, right across the open country, and sat on the shore and looked at the position and the wonderful view.... the most wonderful sunset you can imagine. The weather just now is perfect, hot in the day and cool at night -- quite cold sometimes, so cold that the beastly flies are dormant till after our 7 o'clock breakfast, which is a mercy. The performance you have to go through eating! You see a man spread his biscuit with jam and eat it in his right hand, waving his left all the time over the jam to keep the cloud of flies from settling. Dinner is the only meal you can enjoy, as they have gone to roost by then. I hope a few cold nights may kill some of them off. I got a tin of apricots from some kind person in Alexandria yesterday -- Franky, I expect. Cecil moving is a drawback, as his wife has just started to keep him well supplied with food, and it all goes to the other Mess now! Gerry Horlick's milk keeps this Regiment going. We lose a man or two every day: it will soon reduce our numbers if it goes on. It is this beastly form of dysentery. The men who are seedy use about six bottles of Horlick's a day. We had about ten cases of it, and it has been a Godsend. John Godman has retired sick, so Micky does Adjutant, which leaves Sands, Tom and I to work the Regiment. I suppose we shall have to do double duty now -- rather hard work.... Charles in command .Just got a lovely mail.... William's letter, which caused much amusement, as he said: "When you get up to the Turks don't spare them!"...Things have been pretty quiet and hardly any shelling to-day. We think they must be hatching something.

Sep 26th - Reserve Trenches. We the officers have a row of dug-outs 7 ft long by 4 ft wide and 4 ft deep with a communication trench at the side. They are like cupboards. No head cover. Quite restful here as we can only hear the snipers in the distance. A depressing thing is seeing your best men going down with dysentery. Horlick's malted milk is the proper diet. These reserve trenches are half way between ANZA and A Beach a quarter of an hour's walk from the beach.....

SEPTEMBER 28th, 1915.Such a lovely mail to-day. I spent a good hour reading my letters over three times in my dug-out. We are in reserve for a bit and get our share of shelling. The pigs! -- they put one through my valise, which will let the wet in; and one through Smith's coat, which was on the side of the dug-out. Luckily he was under the parapet. Leave is stopped for all officers, and two of us were going on leave, I believe. They say there is to be an attack on the first line Turk trenches, to straighten out our line, but if so it will be over long before this reaches you....I have got the usual complaint and have had it some days. I am dosing myself with Horlick's malted milk and eating nothing else. Such bad luck, just as stores are beginning to come! It is maddening seeing them eating all sorts of things and you have to stick to Horlick's. All my best men are going into hospital: my two Troops, 80 men, are now 40. Our reserve trenches are half-way between Anzac and A Beach, a quarter of an hour's walk from the sea. Our firing trench was parallel across the valley from Chocolate Hill, immediately in front, which shows you how little we have got on. You can do nothing without artillery nowadays .... I heard two Irishmen going up the trench the other day, and one said: "Sure, and if I see two dogs fighting in Dublin street when I get home I shall dig myself in!" ... When the shelling is finished I shall go for a walk with Tom to-night to Lala Baba and get some exercise. We get none here, as except rifle and kit inspection we do nothing but lie in our dug-outs. My fly net is such a blessing....I can't tell you any details about Wilf. Barton. We was buried by a burying party and nothing was brought back but his identity disc and the little silver coin with his girl's name on it. I put a cross up on his supposed grave, but was not sure of it, there were so many. We heard the good news from France last night and those fools, Tullibardine's Scottish Horse, cheered. Result, a "straff" half the night all along the line, as the Turks thought we were attacking, and everyone started firing for about eight miles and the guns began and we had a broken night's rest. Silly idiots! Can't think what will happen in the winter in the low-lying ground. We shall be in deep water I expect. So far the weather has been kind, no rain at all except a couple of wettings a week ago. I wish they would give us the corrugated iron they talk about.

MG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Paul, thanks for that fascinating insight. It is strange how nowadays, and indeed for my whole life Horlicks has been sold as encouraging rest and sleep. Yet in wartime it was sold as doing the exact opposite, promoting energy and vigour. The power of advertising I suppose.

No inconsistency a hot milky drink will help sleep but the tablets contained a lot of sugar and a sugar high can help keep you going (unless you are diabetic of course). There is nothing that special about Horlicks in promoting sleep - any warm milky drink will do the job - hot chocolate, Ovaltine etc etc will do the job as well.. I have a feeling that Ovaltine also made tablets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No inconsistency a hot milky drink will help sleep but the tablets contained a lot of sugar and a sugar high can help keep you going (unless you are diabetic of course). There is nothing that special about Horlicks in promoting sleep - any warm milky drink will do the job - hot chocolate, Ovaltine etc etc will do the job as well.. I have a feeling that Ovaltine also made tablets.

Hello all thanks for the info.

Hereby still another publicity I found concerning the use of those tablets.

Kind regards,

Marc

Horlicks malted milk lunch tablets.pdf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...