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The Road to a Man's Heart.
The Road to a Man's Heart. 
 

Western Mail, Thursday 2 March 1933, page 2

The Road to a Man's Heart.

(By 147344, R.A., Forest Grove.)

To the war-battered soldier the 45th Stationary Hospital at El Arish was something more than a mere repair shop and temporary haven of peace; it was a place where he might gorge himself into requiring additional medical attention - for digestive trouble, thanks to the ministrations of the sister in charge of the mess tent. This doll-like little lady (she was scarcely more than five feet in height) would flit from table to table and from patient to patient, as plates were emptied, smilingly inquiring: "Would you like some more?" or, encouragingly, "Now, I'm sure you could eat some more!" And after the starvation rations of a Palestine advance one invariably would and did!

But when some hundreds of men were receiving a second and third helping occasional embarrassing situations were inevitable. Thus one day Sister called to the mess orderly for more stew for a certain table. "Stew's all gone, Sister," replied the orderly.

She sent him to the cook-house for more, but he returned with the same tale. Undaunted, she went with him. They returned, the orderly carrying two steaming dixies.

Her crowning achievement during my stay, however, was when the bread ran out. "More bread, orderly," she ordered.

"No more bread, Sister," came the reply.

She sent for the sergeant cook. He had no bread. She sent for the quartermaster-sergeant, then for the orderly officer. "Have the men had their rations?" the officer asked.

"Rations?" The word seemed to puzzle her. "They haven't had enough. They want some more to eat," she ingenuously explained.

The orderly officer, being a gentleman, could not argue with a lady. He stepped aside for her to pass out. He accompanied her to the Q.M.'s stores. The Q.M. followed, and the sergeant-cook and the mess orderly.

A few minutes later the procession returned. The orderly officer was carrying a couple of loaves as tenderly as though they were his first-born; the Q.M., strutting arrogantly, had a pile of loaves stacked against his chest; the sergeant cook, a picture of outraged dignity, was also loaded with bread, and the mess orderly, not caring a continental, brought up the rear with more. The bright-eyed sister came tripping down the tables: "Would you like some more? ... I'm sure you could eat some more!"

Those in the story:

Narrator = 147344 Gunner Charles M Coote, Royal Field Artillery