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Christmas 1916

December 21, 2015
A Kitchen Maid 1919 / Anders Zorn

A Kitchen Maid 1919 / Anders Zorn

As we’re still in the Centennial period of WWI, here is a poem to remind us all of what life was like for some at that time:


“Christmas 1916: thoughts in a V.A.D. hospital kitchen”

There’s no Xmas leave for us scullions,

we’ve got to keep on with the grind:

just cooking for Britain’s heroes.

But, bless you! we don’t really mind.

We’ve scores and scores of potatoes,

and cabbages also to do;

and onions, and turnips, and what not,

that go in the Irish stew.

We’re baking , and frying, and boiling,

from morning until night;

but we’ve got to keep on a bit longer,

till Victory comes in sight.

Then there’s cutting the thin bread and butter,

for the men who are very ill;

but we feel we’re well rewarded;

for they’ve fought old Kaiser Bill.

Yes! we’ve got to hold on a while longer,

till we’ve beaten the Hun to his knees:

and then ‘Good-bye’ to the kitchen;

the treacle, the jam, and the cheese!

M. Winifred Wedgwood


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