Regular readers will know that I have a fondness for mess china and cutlery and I have collected a small selection over the years to various regiments. Recently I picked up another piece, this time a mess fork from the Royal Army medical Corps:
The Corps’ badge is stamped into the end of the handle, and the crown indicates that this dates to before 1952:
Note also the block saying ‘Vols’, indicating that this fork came from a RAMC Volunteer unit. The fork itself was made by Elkington, whose mark is stamped on the reverse:
The RAMC had officers’ messes just like any other regiment, with individual messes set up across the Empire wherever a sufficient number of officers were grouped together to warrant it:
Set among green lawns and shady trees the Officers’ Mess of the Royal Army Medical Corps at Rawalpindi was a dwelling-place with a personality of its own- a personality of graciousness and charm- which inspired among its members an abiding affection akin to that of a family for its ancestral home…The house was officially described as bungalow no. 57. It was situated on the south side of the Mall…The constructional work included a new kitchen block, complete with pantry and preparation and store-rooms, re-building of several rooms in the Mess and quarters to new plans, new floors, new fireplaces, double teak doors and tiling of bathrooms.. most of the old furniture was replaced by new pieces made of shisham and a refectory table- an exact copy of the XVIIth Century oak tables in the Royal Hospital, Chelsea- was made for the ante room. Messrs. Hayat of Rawalpindi were responsible for the fine craftsmanship of the joinery and cabinet work. Curtains and furnishing fabrics were obtained from London. The electric installation was renewed.