Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 122 )
I studied my companion, he was tall, reasonably well built and with an air of authority about him. In his mid-twenties I would have guessed. He seemed like he would be a good Officer, My first impressions were, I rather liked him.
‘Have you made any arrangements regarding your meals?’ Queried Jimmy. ‘ To be totally honest, I never gave them a thought, It’s my first time at this kind of thing’ I replied in all honesty. ‘I’ll have a word with our Adjutant, as an Officer, you really should be dining in an Officer’s Mess, we can’t have you eating with the other ranks,’ he said.
‘That’s awfully good of you, I don’t wish to inconvenience anyone’ I stated. ‘It’s just Army, Officers and other ranks, we can fight together, we can die together but we definitely can’t eat together, I agree it’s totally ludicrous’ he said light -heartedly.
‘What is your Commanding Officer like? I inquired. ‘Our Colonel, the honourable James Ponsonby – Smyth is descended from a long line of English warriors, which be the way he will never let you forget. Wherever we English have fought, there has been a Ponsonby – Smyth leading them, or so he insists, often! was his slightly sarcastic reply.
‘I’ve been warned about Senior Officers with Crimean War mentality, is he one of that type? I asked. ‘ I’ve no doubts a Ponsonby – Smyth fought there, but no he’s not totally inflexible, why do you ask? ‘ I wondered if he would let me teach your soldiers basic first aid, on the battlefield it could save lives. As we are all travelling in idleness, I hoped to put the time to good use.’
(C) Damian Grange 2018