Page 48 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
P. 48

Officers’ Mess
This year has been relatively full for the Officers’ Mess, as we have tried to thread events regularly into the busy Bn FOE. Following last year’s summer party, the subalterns had the opportunity to dust off their ‘Winchester order’ for The Rifles dinner in the Guildhall, which was shortly followed by a trip to the Races at Sandown which left a few significantly out of pocket.
On the 8th November, the Mess held a dinner night to mark the centenary of the 100 days campaign that led to the defeat of the Germans in the First World War. The night started with an introduction from the Commanding Officer and the chance to see some of the period weapon systems used in the campaign. During dinner, Officers presented accounts from the battle of Amiens on the 8th August 1918 and the breaking of the Hindenburg Line 27 Sep-9 Oct 1918. This was followed by the story of Private Francis Miles VC, whose picture hangs in the Mess and who was born near Beachley in the Forest of Dean. This dinner was followed closely by the inaugural 1 RIFLES bonfire night, where dinner was
served in the walled garden, whilst Capt Josh Leccia finally fulfilled his arsonist dream, burning any and all wood he could lay his hands on whilst setting off fireworks. A strand of mine tape randomly laid on the floor ensured that the event was safe.
In the run up to Christmas, the Officers finally hosted the WOs’ & Serjeants’ Mess, although they only turned up after the two newest subalterns were sent into their Mess with strict orders to march them over. The night started with drinks and short presenta- tions on some of the Mess property upstairs, before moving downstairs for a quiz on Bn life and a karaoke competition. The MTO and RSM won the karaoke by a margin after leading a particularly moving rendition of the Band Aid Christmas song.
The large event of the year was the extravagant Christmas ball, for which the Mess and guests crammed into the dining room for dinner and an exceptional bugle display. This was followed with dancing and music from Capt Gourlay’s LED electronic Saxophone band, which blew some of the power sockets, and most of the budget. Capt Ara made a convincing Father Christmas, dishing out presents, with Lt Young as his (not so small) elf assistant. All agreed it was a fantastic event which needs remembering until there is enough money to hold another.
There was little opportunity to hold large events during MST for Op TORAL 8, although the Mess did host Commander Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (COMARRC), Lieutenant General Tim Radford, in his capacity as Rifles Assistant Colonel Commandant (Home Command) for a fireside chat on leadership ahead of our deployment. The Officers’ Mess now sits deployed across Kabul, keeping in touch by comms only. This year the Mess has welcomed Capt Steve Boyd as MTO and Lts Savage, Dennison and Pudney as platoon commanders.
Capt Alex Aitken
Offrs’ Mess Sec & OC Recce Pl
   Suave subbies outside the Guildhall
  WOs’ & Sjts’ Mess
Throughout 2018/19 the Mess has kept alive with a variety of functions. As PMC of the Mess and wanting to keep a strong hold to life in the Mess, both CSjt D Hood (PEC) and I ran monthly nights out for SLI members and nights in for all Mess members. We were also able to run a Serjeants to Officers’ Mess regimental history night where we were well hosted by the Officers’ Mess (clearly not as well as we host them though). This was a success, organised by their PMC Maj T Redon, the night had a variety of listings such as Battle Honour talks from Lt M Burns (C Coy), Lt Shorland (B Coy) and Lt Clarke (A Coy). Before moving to the bar where we had a quiz event followed by karaoke (joey-oke) competition.
The two main functions of the year were the summer and winter balls. The summer ball was run by CSjt W Cooper (S Coy) and the theme for this was a festival (Mestival). We had a variety of acts from solo artists and a four piece band and a vast
   Some superb shots were discovered at the Fathers and Sons event

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