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A Haversack is bag or pouch used to carry food. A Haversack is usually carried at the side by a shoulder strap.

The name "Haversack" originates from its usage to carry "Havercake" and almost certainly related to Hafer, the German word for Oats. Havercake was a rough type of bread simply made from oats and water, with the addition sometimes of yeast to bulk it out. Oats were the staple food of the poor, especially in the textile districts of the north of England, during the privations caused by the Napoleonic Wars.

Havercake was made in the form of a thick biscuit as a convenient way to take food to the factory for the mid-day meal, and the Haversack was the bag it was carried in. This system, using havercake carried in a haversack, was also used widely by the military for the individual soldier to carry his rations.

The Duke of Wellington's Regiment was nicknamed the "Havercake Lads" because the recruiting sergeants used to display a piece of Havercake held aloft on a bayonet, to signify that food would never be a problem if enlisted; a great encouragement to recruiting when the general population was starving.
Posted on August 4th, 2014
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