How to Cook a German Sausage

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Bob Teevan

How to Cook a German Sausage

A Culinary Delight for the Allied Armies

I found this card buried by a pile of rubbish in the corner of an antique shop. The only part of the card I first saw was the title How to Cook a German Sausage. When I uncovered it, I was delighted to learn that it wasn’t a recipe.

In the years of the first World War both propaganda and patriotism went hand in hand and there is a vast array of postcards issued by publishers on both sides of that international argument. There were many times that it was difficult to think of something positive to say about your country’s own army and on those occasions what better to do than to insult the army of the enemy. This card most definitely sits on the side of insult and rather unoriginally refers to the German soldier as a “Sausage.”

This card is buff colored with an undivided back. The face is blank. A typewritten message that reads like a recipe has been added.

“Clip whiskers and skin thoroughly.
Shrivel in front of a BELGIAN FIRE.
Cook till done on a BRITISH KITCHENER,
Using a JAPAN enamelled stew pot.
GREECE well with RUSSIAN Tallow,
Flavour with a little JELLICOE, and SERVIA
Up with FRENCH Capers and BRUSSELS Scouts.
Any foreign matter seen floating about
Should be removed or bottled up immediately
To prevent escape, a little BRITISH TAR
Goes a d. . . . . . . . d long way.”

I’m sure that you will recognize that the reference to Belgium and Brussels, Japan, Greece, Russia, Servia (now Serbia) and France are all references to the World War allies of Great Britain and the author has tried to link these to his recipe using cooking terms. The word ‘Kitchener’ fits nicely with these use of a ‘kitchen’ in cooking although is a reference to Lord Kitchener who was the Secretary of State for War and the owner of the face which regularly appeared with his pointed finger advising the public that Your Country Needs You. “Jellicoe” is a reference to jelly although also to John Jellicoe who was the Admiral of the Fleet in the British Royal Navy.

In the same context a “British Tar” is an alternative nickname for a British sailor often called a “Jack Tar.”

The card is a fine addition to a World War collection, but it is certain that the card was produced in the early years of the war, an assumption based on the sentiments of the recipe and the fact that Kitchener was lost at sea in June 1916.

The card looks to be ‘home produced,’ as opposed to being professionally typeset and printed. Propaganda was heavy during the war and if this was a homemade card, could it be a copy of a popular ‘recipe’ of the time?

I used Google which confirmed my initial thoughts that the reference to the German soldier – or even the Kaiser – as a sausage was not original and I discovered several cards which illustrated this. I also discovered an example of a postcard which had a small illustration and the following wording.

“Special War News!! RECIPE. How to Cook a German Sausage.

Cook on a British Kitchener, use a Japan enamelled saucepan,
Greece well with Russian tallow, flavour with a little Jellicoe;
Servia up (Help!) with little French capers and Brussels scouts.”

This card was published by A. Adlington, Southampton.

Well, clearly my card wasn’t a “one of” card and perhaps the recipe was widely known at the time. Someone with time on their hands made this postcard rather than buying one.

I then turned to the British Newspaper Archives to find out if this recipe was well-known or popular at the time. I found seven references to the recipe with these all published between September 1914 and March 1915. Six of the articles quoted the recipe as per the Adlington published card with the seventh having modest variations but close enough to be cloned from the Adlington card.

Having discovered the above articles I assumed that to be the end, except in the Rochdale Observer of December 12, 1914, there was a bit more information. It read as follows.

“How to Cook a German Sausage.”

A Rochdale man, Private S. Tweedale, Royal Marine Light
Infantry, H.M.S. Achilles, has composed a verse “How to cook
a German sausage,” which he had reproduced on postcards,
the receipts from the sale of which will be given to the
Belgian, relief funds. The verse is as follows:

“Cook on a British Kitchener, Use Japan enamelled saucepan,
Greece well with Russian tallow, flavour with a little Jellicoe.
Servia (Help!) with a little French Cappens and Brussels Scouts.”

This isn’t ‘word for word’ the lines on my card, but close enough to consider that what I have is very likely an early version of Private Tweedale’s recipe.  

So, is my card the work of Private S. Tweedale, and did he actually exist? I will never be able to say with certainty that my card is a Tweedale-original, but as to whether Private S. Tweedale did exist, the answer is definitely, “Yes.”

Samuel Tweedale was born in Rochdale on July 24, 1881. The first identification is found in the census record of 1901, when he was a 19-year-old private in the Royal Marine Light Infantry. He was a crew member on H.M.S. St. George. In 1911 he is still a private in the Royal Marine Light Infantry and is then serving on H.M.S. Revenge.

Samuel Tweedale enlisted in October 1899 and served with good conduct until his discharge on October 24, 1920. In 1939 Samuel Tweedale and his wife Yvonne lived on Guildford Road, Southport. Samuel worked in a motor works. He died in February 1954.

This card surely lacks in color, but since it is a satirical propaganda card obviously made by a serviceman, it will sit proudly with the colorful cards of its time.

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Amazing! Thanks for sharing!

For some reason, the British equate Germans with sausages. It annoyed Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband, that British cartoonists depicted him as a sausage. The postcard was a great find and adds a human element to World War I history. I’m glad you researched the creator.

As i read the “recipe”, I assumed “Servia” was just a play on “serve” and “Serbia”, but the country was indeed called “Servia” at one time. It is now considered archaic and somewhat offensive, similar to how residents of Kyiv’s country prefer “Ukraine” to “the Ukraine”, as the latter suggests the nation is still just a part of “Greater Russia”.

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