13th December 1914: Bad apples and a mishap in the kitchen

by Dr Ruth Salter [1]

Great-grandad in uniform 1

My great-grandfather, Arthur John Pidgeon

The second entry taken from my great-grandfather, Arthur John Pidgeon’s W/T Signal Log (see the first entry).

13th December 1914, 1

13th December 1914, 2

Saturday 13th December 1914

7.0 Found us still off the Lizards & rolling about weather about the same. 9.30 Prayers & then apples were served out to the ships company.  How long they had been in boxes goodness only knows but the majority were not fit for eating & had to be thrown away.  I should say myself that they had been raked up from an orchard & while they were wet put into the boxes & it would have been just as well had they been left home for cider making.  No doubt the people that sent them had good feelings towards us but the time they were kept in the Depot’s & different places did not improve them a small bit.  10.0 Transport sighted off the Stbd. Bow.  A big parcel of woollen gear was served out to the Roman Catholics in the ship & each man gave something to charity for the article that he received.  12.0 Two more transports joined up & at 12.30 two more joined us.  A cruiser signalled to us from right ahead & the ship was still rolling heavily.  Much laughter was caused when Cookey opened the galley over door & a few dishes of meat & spuds came tumbling together on the deck.  There was a shoulder of pork & a leg of mutton in two of the dishes & with lightening rapidity Cookey halves the spuds that was on the deck between the two dishes & in his hurry & cursing all the time puts the leg of mutton where the shoulder of pork should have been & pops the lot in the oven once more to brown off.  Dinner time comes & Cookey sings out the No’s on the tin dishes when it comes for the mess to have a leg of mutton they find out they have a shoulder of pork.  The cook of the mess says to Cookey this is _____ strange.  I brought up a leg of mutton & now you give me pork.  Never mind says Cookey pass over the leg of mutton & give him.  Then the row starts between the two cooks of messes about the wrong dishes & more spuds in one dish than the other until finally Cookey tells them he had an accident the pork and mutton rolling out of the over & he must have made a mistake when he picked it up by putting them into the wrong dish.  One chap tells Cookey that if he was in his last ship & presented a dinner like that to him or any one else he would have had it around his ______ neck by now.  I was very glad myself that we had rabbit stew for dinner & a nice drop of stew it was too.  The remainder of the day passed without anything of importance occurring.


Poor Cookey, not a great day on board HMS Talbot for him!  Look out for a final entry from Arthur’s Signal Log later in the series.

Great-grandad on HMS Collingwood (middle row, right)

Arthur John Pidgeon on HMS Collingwood (middle row, right) with other crew members


[1] All materials published in this blog post are property of myself and my family unless otherwise stated.

This entry was posted in Anniversaries, British History, Christmas 2017: December Dates, European History and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to 13th December 1914: Bad apples and a mishap in the kitchen

  1. Pingback: 25th December 1914: Christmas Day on board HMS Talbot | READING HISTORY

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