Old Henderson’s Relish bottle discovered on the site of the Battle of the Somme

A Henderson's Relish bottle found at the site of the Battle of the Somme by Tim Thurlow.

A Henderson's Relish bottle found at the site of the Battle of the Somme by Tim Thurlow.

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Most Sheffield people know just how well Henderson’s Relish can spice up almost any dish.

But a discovery on the site of one of history’s biggest battles suggests the South Yorkshire favourite was even used by First World War soldiers to add some flavour to their rations.

British infantrymen in a shallow trench during the Battle of the Somme

British infantrymen in a shallow trench during the Battle of the Somme

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A bottle bearing the words ‘Henderson’s Relish Sheffield’ was discovered in a field not far from the River Somme in France by Tim Thurlow.

The Solihull resident, aged 46, said: “I have been wandering the Somme and other battlefields for about 30 years with my brother.

“Over the years we have found badges and buttons, but it’s not often that you find glass in any decent condition near the surface.

Battle of the Somme

Battle of the Somme

“This year we found this bottle. I had never heard of Henderson’s Relish, so I looked it up and to my amazement it was still going strong.”

A quick Google search brought up the website of the condiment-maker.

Tim got in touch with the company and sent a photo of his discovery – and their response was one of astonishment.

General manager Patrick Byrne said: “Henderson’s Relish is just quite amazing. Every day turns up something different.

“One of the nicest things is that people talk to us about it, telling us their stories about smuggling it abroad. So many people say they have to have it at family get-togethers, as if it’s part of the family.

“Tim’s discovery put it in a new context. It’s very humbling. Someone was out there going through the horrors of that warfare, but they had a little bit of Sheffield with them through Henderson’s Relish.”

Patrick said he would send a bottle of relish to Tim as a thank you for his discovery. Tim has never tried Hendo’s before, but said he was looking forward to tasting it and finding out why the soldier felt he had to take a bottle with him into battle.

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