Last night was the annual 1 Infantry Training Battalion Soldiers’ Christmas Dinner, where the officers and NCOs of the Infantry Training Centre wait on the recruits.
This is quite an event from a logistical perspective, with nearly 600 recruits being sat down, fed a three course meal, singing some carols, and departing, all in the space of one hour. The staff from Sodexo cooked and served up the food and the officers and NCOs of the permanent staff delivered it to the tables and cleared it away afterwards, with shouted directions of “one here, two here, cancel that, three here”.
Speaking with one of the welfare officers, I was told that many recruits arrive at basic training never having had a sit down meal. The Army therefore becomes a kind of surrogate family, and the recruits are well looked after.
After their meal, the recruits were led in carol singing by the padre, with music from a quartet from the Armoured Corps Band.