This film is part of Free

U.S. And Us

An American G.I. learns how to brew a proper English cuppa in this jolly wartime ad for Maypole tea.

Advert 1943 2 mins


An American GI enjoys the best of English hospitality in this jolly wartime tea advert. After a "swell" meal and a round of whist, our Yankee friend learns the secret of good tea making: one teaspoon per person and one for the pot. But with food rationing in full swing, the old adage is sorely stretched. The solution? Use Maypole Tea, "a brand which is so economical, you can drink tea all day long, and still have enough for an early morning cup".

The film was made a year after the first GIs were deployed in Britain, and draws on that popularly imagined 'special relationship' between Brits and Yanks. Our visitor's gleeful assertion that "you can drink tea all day long" may, however, have been optimistic. The tea ration enforced in Britain between 1940 and 1952 allowed just 2 oz per person - enough for around 2 or, at a push, 3 cups of weakish tea each day.