C Sqdn, 9th Battn R.T.R.
Jessie Mine: It is now well after midnight, but I must at least say a few words. I have not been able to write this evening because we have given dinner for the squadron corporals, in the mess – and it has been a rather hectic affair. There were only seventeen corporals, plus twelve sergeants and the S.S.M… but the mess now looks as though the entire squadron have had an indoor football match. I have just finished sorting out a few glasses – wine, and beer: have found eighty-seven so far – and all of them must have been used a few times. God! Can those lads drink! There were a dozen bottles of spirits and liqueurs, and a large barrel of beer, at 6.0pm – but every drop has gone.
The dinner was excellent… beautifully cooked and served by a German woman cook we are now employing in the mess. And the table looked like a real banquet – decorated with flowers and fruit – to say nothing of spotlessly white linen. The food consumed included sixteen chickens and a sheep: the latter arrived alive on Saturday-! We had chicken broth, chicken and lamb and umpteen veg, tinned fruit, apple pie and fresh cream, and a number of huge cakes decorated with icing, chocolate etc. Please don’t think this sort of thing is usual here – far from it. But we invited the corporals to a dinner, and then took steps to provide a decent meal – not without some trouble, but it has been worth it. I’m sure everyone has had a damned good time.
It will be my job tomorrow – as temporary mess caterer – to sort out the cost etc. – but I know already that we sergeants – twelve of us – will have something less than five shillings each to pay… and that is incredibly cheap!! Fortunately, we had a fair reserve stock of cigarettes – and these ciggys have worked wonders in procuring stuff for us-!
Please forgive me for closing down now, my darling:- will say lots more tomorrow.
Au revoir – Jess, my Jess.