Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 125 )
‘Usually we only wear Mess Dress for special occasions, or if we have a high – ranking guest joining us for dinner its generally a bit of a posh to-do, polish the Regimental silver and all the bullshit that goes with it, but its not all bad, we occasionally get a half decent wine or a drop of champers!’ explained Jimmy.
We stayed together for the remainder of the day, acquainting ourselves with the layout of our floating home, albeit for a few weeks only. A little time was spent chatting to the troopers, who to my untrained eye, seemed an amicable bunch, not short on intellect.
Late afternoon we returned to our quarters, to do our ablutions and change for dinner, everything, must be just so if the Colonel himself is finally to make an appearance.
I asked my colleague, ‘Will I do?’ his answer was, ‘ You look fine, its only for the Colonel, not some top-brass, spit and polish General, don’t get all on edge.’
‘Well!’ I replied, ‘You have to realise I’m new to all this, I don’t want to stagger in to your Mess, like a bull in a china shop,’ ‘ Just relax and you’ll be fine, even with the Colonel present, its quite an amicable affair and the food is usually quite decent.’
I was pleasantly surprised, the atmosphere was quite sociable, and I was made welcome and not made to feel like an outsider at all. The food was excellent, but then, the ship had been a cruise liner before being converted to a troop carrier so I imagined the crew knew their business.
(C) Damian Grange 2019