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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Mess Utensils

Mess Utensils

Basins of disinfectant (1 per cent cresol) were provided at the entrance to the messrooms for all ranks to dip their hands in before entering. After the meal all mess utensils had to be washed in clean soapy water and then boiled in special stoves and stored in fly-proof containers in the messrooms. Objection was raised by quartermasters that cutlery and utensils were an individual issue and signed for by the men. This, however, was overridden as it was held to be useless to sterilise dishes and then permit men to carry them in pockets or haversacks and leave them about the tents. Nevertheless, this ideal arrangement did not last very long; mess utensils reverted to an individual issue and remained so, while washing facilities provided by mess fatigues were seldom adequate for the number of men at each mess.