Rum and guns, real and glass…

Originally posted 19 January 2013

I was reading an account of Australian troops in the Battle of the Somme in World War One in which an officer noted that his men were so fatigued that that when relieved from duty they lay down where they were, sometimes dropping their rifles and collapsing. The officer could tell they were not shamming, because when it was time for distribution of rum rations, only one man from a platoon of fifteen showed up. This was apparently the detail that impressed his superiors – men too tired to get their rum were desperately in need of relief. On another matter involving weaponry and rum, Troy from Bundaberg Showcase in Australia sent this picture of unusual rum liqueur bottles.


These glass pistols were originally filled with Rum Royal Liqueur and were distributed by a company called Frangos, probably in the 1960’s. Troy is looking for any information about exactly where and when these were made and where the liqueur was blended. From the style of the bottle and some markings on the glass I’m guessing the bottles are from Italy – there is a mark that reads “SE. Ve” on the butt of each pistol, and Ve is a likely abbreviation for Vetreria, the Italian word for “Glass works.” Does anybody out there have more information on these? We’d be obliged for the answer.