The English Officer

#1
The English officer is least of all an officer. He is a rich landowner, houseowner, capitalist or merchant, and only an officer incidentally. He knows nothing about the Services and is only seen on parades and reviews. From the professional point of view he is the most ignorant officer in Europe. He enters the Services not to serve but for the uniform, which is magnificent.

The officer considers himself irresistible to the fair-haired, blue-eyed English ladies. The English officer is a beautiful aristocrat, extremely rich, an independent blasé character and loves pornographic literature, suggestive pictures, recherché food and strong drink. His chief amusements are gambling, racing and sports. He goes to bed at dawn and gets up at midday. He is usually occupied with two mistresses simultaneously, one a lady of high society and the other a girl from the opera or ballet. His income runs into several thousands, often tens of thousands a year, of which he keeps no account, being incapable of keeping accounts. The pay he receives from the Government hardly suffices to keep him in scent and gloves.

English officers, especially the young ones, do no work of any kind. They spend their days and nights in clubs noted for their opulence.

Extract from the Russian newspaper Odessa News, August 1959,
quoted in Mars & Mierva, June 1972


I certainly don't get paid enough to keep me in scent and gloves. Here's some more...

An Officer should be comely, spratly 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 give direction
without in any way involving himself personally in the execution of arduous
or un-Officer like duties. He should smoke thin panatelas 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 both
in the formal environment and in the bedroom where he should excel himself
beyond the ordinary soldier with his virulent lovemaking prowess. These I
say to you 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
Bombay
12th December 1907
 
#2
RTFQ said:
The English officer is least of all an officer. He is a rich landowner, houseowner, capitalist or merchant, and only an officer incidentally. He knows nothing about the Services and is only seen on parades and reviews. From the professional point of view he is the most ignorant officer in Europe. He enters the Services not to serve but for the uniform, which is magnificent.

The officer considers himself irresistible to the fair-haired, blue-eyed English ladies. The English officer is a beautiful aristocrat, extremely rich, an independent blasé character and loves pornographic literature, suggestive pictures, recherché food and strong drink. His chief amusements are gambling, racing and sports. He goes to bed at dawn and gets up at midday. He is usually occupied with two mistresses simultaneously, one a lady of high society and the other a girl from the opera or ballet. His income runs into several thousands, often tens of thousands a year, of which he keeps no account, being incapable of keeping accounts. The pay he receives from the Government hardly suffices to keep him in scent and gloves.

English officers, especially the young ones, do no work of any kind. They spend their days and nights in clubs noted for their opulence.

Extract from the Russian newspaper Odessa News, August 1959,
quoted in Mars & Mierva, June 1972


I certainly don't get paid enough to keep me in scent and gloves. Here's some more...

An Officer should be comely, spratly 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 give direction
without in any way involving himself personally in the execution of arduous
or un-Officer like duties. He should smoke thin panatelas 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 both
in the formal environment and in the bedroom where he should excel himself
beyond the ordinary soldier with his virulent lovemaking prowess. These I
say to you 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
Bombay
12th December 1907
The Odessa quote ... great nostalgia, thanks RTFQ.

Also enjoyed the "Sir Hubert Worthington" quote although slightly doubtful of its authenticity. Commander in Chief of a Division? "5th ROYAL Indian Mountain Division"?

However, through the serendipity of Google your post led me to these notes by a US exchange officer at Headquarters Land Warfare Centre, which throws some interesting light on the differences between our staff methods and theirs:

http://www.army.mod.uk/ukpep/majin_g3_training.htm
 
#3
Warminster is a lovely, market-style village nestled against the Salisbury Plain in Southwest England between the historic towns of Bath and Salisbury. The town offers a number of attractions but is within a thirty-minute drive from many historical sites as well as the two aforementioned cities. The natural beauty is unmatched, and even a short stroll through the countryside gives one the feeling of entering into any Thomas Hardy novel.
I'm still laughing my head off..... :)

Are we talking about the same Warminster I work in??
 
#4
I routinely sign correspondence for the Directing General of Training Support (DGTS), a Major General...
This is listed as a benefit?!
Ooh, sign me up!
 
#5
Macks said:
I routinely sign correspondence for the Directing General of Training Support (DGTS), a Major General...
This is listed as a benefit?!
Ooh, sign me up!
LOL but you can see the point he is making! Sometimes an "outsider's" perspective does throw light on what we are doing right, or not doing right. Mission command etc.

As to appreciating the countryside, I suppose it depends where you came from! TSW's quote from the guy seems reasonable to me, and I dont come from downtown LA....

OK, "Warminster is a lovely, market-style village" is tearing the arrse out of it... :wink:
 
#7
...is, according to the late Lord Attlee, to be found alive and well in the Indian subcontinent. He once described the officers of the Indian and Pakistani armies as 'the only pukka British officers left.'

'strordinary! The fellah's gorn 'bush'!
 
#8
Scary thing is, when I was at school I'd have taken that as only slight alteration of fact.

The dish of the day now seems to be underpaid and overworked.

If my best effort is good enough though, I would nontheless love to be an officer.

Don't say I didn't warn you..

:roll:
 
#9
not too sure about the "virulent lovemaking prowess" i prefer disease-free, if it is all the same. might stick to a "bit of rough" instead :wink:

i am also a little unclear as to why they should "appear unnerved" when speaking to their soldiers. perhaps a small gin with lemon tea may bolster flagging resolve.

and as for being occupied with two mistresses simultaneously no wonder he is virulent and gets up at midday...
 
#10
"He should be an ardent and erudite gentleman and woo the ladies both in the formal environment and in the bedroom where he should excel himself beyond the ordinary soldier with his virulent lovemaking prowess. These I say to you are the qualities of an Officer that set him apart from the lay person and the common soldier."

All this time I put it down to my natural good looks and undeniably charm.

Superb! Lady - I'm spent! Fetch my steed!
 
#12
He enters the Services not to serve but for the uniform, which is magnificent.

The officer considers himself irresistible to the fair-haired, blue-eyed English ladies. The English officer is a beautiful aristocrat, extremely rich, an independent blasé character and loves pornographic literature, suggestive pictures, recherché food and strong drink.
Rather sadly, the uniform is decreasingly magnificent due to a number of factors. Pyjamas are by their very nature not magnificent and as we now wear these, without doubt very comfortable, incredibly scruffy garments on a daily basis magnificence is beyond reach. The wearing of a shirt and tie with a jumper and combats eases the pain slightly, but this is frowned upon from the warrier quarters. Magnificent uniform is still to be seen if you spend enough time in the Mess, but it somehow loses it's elegance knowing that you have to actually polish your boots yourself rather than your spurs, metaphorically digging into the shoulders of others.

Sadly too, aristocracy or in reality (as aristocracy was never a prerequisite for entering any Officer's Mess, hush Blue Red Blue) gentility has evaporated from many messes. I would rather, and quite rightly, socialise with my own soldiers on a regular basis than with officers from certain units. This mythical Corps of Officers is just that and while we may share the love of good liquer (or just strong in some cases) we, as with the rest of humanity, as different at our poles as chalk for a pool cue and a crumb of fine stilton.

As you may have noticed I have too much time on my hands and as there seems to be an absence of Arabs to shoot at me, I shall look for trouble elsewhere. Pip pip.
 

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