Definition of an officer

I recently heard a pretty humourous definition of an officer,by some bloke I think served in India in the early 1900s.

It included something about smoking slim panatellas, having well-oiled hair and facial adornment, eating before his troops and having prowess in the bedroom... or something like that.

Anyhoo, I was wondering whether anyone might be able to point me in the direction of it, as I wouldn't mind getting a copy.




The British Officer is a beautiful aristocrat, extremely rich, an independent sybarite and epicure. He has a spoilt, capricious and blasé character and loves pornographic literature, suggestive pictures, recherché food and strong drink. His chief amusements are gambling, racing and sports. He is of independent means but keeps no accounts as he is incapable of keeping accounts. The pay he receives from the government hardly keeps him in scent and gloves.


Advice for young officers....
“An officer should be comely, sprightly and above all else confident in his own dress and bearing. He should, where possible, eat a small piece of meat each morning with molasses and beans. He should air himself gracefully when under fire and never place himself in a position of difficulty when being shot at. He should eat his meals comfortably and ahead of his soldiers, for it is he whom is more important tactically on the battlefield and therefore he who should be well nourished. His hair should be well groomed and if possible he should adorn a moustache or similar facial adornment. When speaking to his soldiers he should appear unnerved and aloof and give direction without in any way involving himself personally in the execution of arduous or un-officer like duties.

He should smoke thin panatellas except when in the company of ladies where he should take only a small gin mixed with lemon tea. He should be an ardent and erudite gentleman and woo the ladies (naughty bit deleted).

I say to you these are the qualities of an officer that set him apart from the lay person and the common soldier.”

Lt Gen Hubert Worthington
Commander in Chief
5th Royal Indian Mountain Division
12th December 1907

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