Saturday, 14 November 2015

Army Cooks

Highland Engineers preparing dinner [X414/162]

Sunday 14th November 1915: By a soldier of the Black Watch previously billeted in Bedford:
One day some plucky survivor will write a book on ‘Army cooks’, and a wonderful book it should be. No man is ever appointed cook in the Army on account of any knowledge or previous experience of cooking. Often the dirtiest-looking man in the company is appointed, because the authorities feel that at any rate he can’t spoil a good tunic at his work. Sometimes a man is put on because he is a ‘hard case’, merely because he doesn’t fall in very well with company work, but never because he can cook. Our first cook was a painter by trade, and when he considered the stew had been mixed to a good colour, it was served up, regardless of taste. The M.G.S. cook’s genius lies in being a sort of Mr. Malaprop. Only a few days ago he told someone hotly that he wouldn’t ‘lower his dignity to do it’. Another tiem he assured someone that he couldn’t ‘dissolve that mystery’, and we all agreed that he was unconsciously comparing his problem with some of the soup compounds he is supplied with. But in times of great mental strain like those referred to, he is always consoled by being told, ‘Cheer up, Sandy: if you were shot tomorrow for being a cook you would die innocent’.
Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 16th November 1915

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