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James Mason | all galleries >> Galleries >> The Brits in Vitez > Cleaning the kitchen
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July 93 James Mason

Cleaning the kitchen

Vitez, Bosnia

British army food is great. I was eating at the mess in Vitez and gaining weight. When I'd go to Zagreb a friend would say "you're always going to places where people are starving and coming back fatter." The British Army is so different from the American Army. I asked a cook what was the oldest piece of equipment he had in the kitchen. He led me to a roaring stove. "This stove was issued to go to the Boer War. Not one like it, this particular stove." That means the stove had been through WW1, WW2, and all the other little conflicts in between. There's nothing even similar in the American Army.

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James Mason27-Nov-2010 18:24
Another thing about this same chef: the first morning I ate with the British I had my tin of great-looking breakfast and was looking for the coffee. Flummoxed, I asked the sergeant "Where's the coffee?" He snapped to attention and barked "Wrong Army Sir!"
Roy Hunter 17-Nov-2010 09:04
And another thing! I trust that wasn't the journalist in you speaking. :)
Roy Hunter 17-Nov-2010 09:03
I couldn't agree more! Wouldn't be surprised if the aggrieved chef comes on line and tells us it's all true. I've just put a link to your photos on an unofficial Army website, so it shouldn't take long for him to arrive.
James Mason17-Nov-2010 03:56
Roy, it's more important that a tale be a good one than that it be true. Besides, that the unit has been using the same cooker since the Boer war sort of fits the image of the British Army, don't you think?
Roy Hunter 16-Nov-2010 23:44
Hate to say this , James, almost certainly a tall story. Probably a No 1 petrol burner, made some time in the second half of the 20th century, closer to the middle than the end so still old. The lads do like a joke, as I'm sure you know.

But, looking at the drive sprocket beyond on the 432, maybe the answer to the other picture at the sangar. So, shall we call this a draw?