Mess Rules of the Infantry School

An officers' glengarry badge for the Infantry School Corps.

B. Company

The following rules are published for the guidance of the Officers of the School, and all will provide themselves with a copy.

G. d'Odet d Orsonnens,
Lt. Colonel
Commandant Inf. School.

1st April, 1884.

Mess Rules

The Mess is established to bring together the officers of the Corps and enable them to live cheaply and comfortably, by uniting the means at their disposal. It should be considered as a home, and every one ought to do his utmost to make it cheerful and agreeable. It should approximate as nearly as possible to the establishment of a private family, and be conducted with such attention to economy as to enable every officer to belong to it without inconvenience.

The commandant wishing to create and support such an establishment, in which the comfort and respectability of the officers under his command will be so much concerned, demands from all their support in carrying out the following rules.

1.     Every officer will be a member of the mess, and every unmarried officer or attached officer will be a regular dining member.

2.     Tho Mess expenses will be controlled by a committee of four officers of the corps, one of whom may be an attached officer for a long course.

The committee will consist of one President, one Secretary-Treasurer and two members.

This committee will be appointed for six months, every 2nd day of January and July of each year. They will be responsible that the mess rules are not infringed, and the expenses are kept within limits.

3.     The commandant being invested with the general superintendence of the regimental funds no expenditure larger than $20 will be incurred without his sanction.

4     Married officers, except the commandant, will be required to dine at tho Mess once a week on guest night.

5.     Thursday will be the Guest night of the corps.

On Thursdays, every officer regular member of the Mess, will be at liberty to invite one or two guests whose expenses shall be paid by the officer inviting them; but no "honorary member" shall have the right to introduce or invite any one to the mess of the corps.

6.     Strangers or officers belonging to other corps can be made "honorary members" of the mess upon the application of one member seconded by an other to the committee. The committee will have power to refuse any such application without giving reasons. If the persons proposed are admitted they will have all the privileges of ordinary members with the exceptions above enumerated, and officers introducing them will be responsible for their expenses incurred at mess.

7.     No officer can take his name out of the mess books, except on the sick list or on leave of absence for more than seven days.

8.     Although officers meet at mess on a footing of social equality, it nevertheless ought to be distinctly understood that mess is a parade, and that officers attending thereat are under the orders of the Senior officer.

9.     The Senior combatant officer present is always in charge, being responsible for all that takes place at table, and in the ante room, both before and after dinner,and should any individual persist in disobeying orders, he should at once order the person so offending into arrest.

10.     Two officers will be detailed weekly to act as President and Vice-President at the table.

11.     The President will be responsible for the correct carrying of all details connected with the service of the table, and will order the wines to be drank after dinner, he has the power to order any officer irrespective of rank to desist from doing anything contrary to rule.

12.     Should any improper occurrence take place at the table unobserved by the Senior officer the President or the Vice-President through the President should at once bring it to that officer's notice.

He should if necessary, report on the ensuing day any one violating rules.

13.     The Vice-President will in every way assist the President in the execution of his duty, and will sit at that end of the table which is nearest the point of entrance for servants.

14.     All servants attending mess will be under the immediate order of the President and Vice President.

Any officers having cause to complain of any of the servants employed in the mess, will prefer his complaint to the President of the mess committee.

15.     The discussion of any regimental subjects whatever at the mess is strictly forbidden.

16.     No spirits will be placed on the table during dinner.

17.     The practice of officers taking wine with one another is obsolete at mess. Every one will order his own wine, but no champagne will be served to one individual without the sanction of the mess President.

18.     Two officers may share one bottle of wine but the whole bottle will be charged to the one ordering it.

19.     No member of the mess (except members of the committee) is to enter the mess room before diner is announced.

20.     No article of any description belonging to the mess is on any account to be taken out of tho mess, and no periodicals are to be taken out until relieved by a later copy or number, and no book or news paper is ever to be taken from the ante room without informing the mess sergeant, or one of the waiters.

21.     No mess servants are to be employed in carrying notes, in conveying messages or indeed for any purposes, except those for which they are entertained.

22.     A mess-man will be detailed from the corps, and paid 20 cts. extra per day from the mess funds. He will have, during his service as such, the temporary rank of sergeant and will be responsible for the conduct of the officer's servants or others attending at mess. He will also keep a regular account of the daily expenditure, enter on his blank form sheet, printed for that purpose, every expenses incurred by officers or members of the mess; he will produce each day at noon the accounts of the day's previous expenses. These accounts will remain on the table in the dining room until after lunch. Officers and members are requested to inspect them, for after that hour the accounts will be countersigned by the mess Vice-President, and no changes will afterward be allowed.

The mess sergeant will be charged with the wines and cigars issued daily to him. He will do the marketing with a pass hook in which all orders will be initialed by the mess President or Vice President. The same thing will be done for the groceries.

A wine account will be kept separately and the book, and stock will be balanced every week by the mess President before he is relieved from his duty.

The mess sergeant will wear a plain black dress coat, with black vest in winter and a white vest in summer, white necktie and black pants.

23.     The officers' servants of the corps being supplied with the regimental livery, they will all attend on guest nights and one of them will be detailed weekly to attend dinner only.

24.     The Commandant's servant will attend each time the Commandant comes to mess, but not otherwise,

25.     No officer should, on any account, enter the ante room with his cap on or with his sword.

26.     No smoking will be permitted in the ante-room for a space of one hour before dinner.

Reviewed copy also included this ink amendment: "Treating among the members of the mess is strictly forbidden."

27     On the first bugle sounding (1/2 an hour before dinner) no officer in plain cloths should, on any pretext whatsoever, enter tho ante room without special leave from the senior officer present.

28     At the second bugle (5 minutes before dinner) every officer should be in the ante-room properly dressed. On entering the room they are to acknowledge the senior officer present and bow to him,the same on their retiring after dinner.

29.     Officers belonging to the corps will appear at dinner in mess uniform.

30.     Attached officers who have no mess dress will appear in tunics buttoned up, with silk sashes Military guests are expected in mess dress, if not supplied with them, they should appear in black civilian full dress.

31.     When dinner will be ready, the mess sergeant will open the dining room door, bow to the senior officer present, and announce dinner in this way: "Gentlemen, dinner is served" and go back to the dinig room, leaving the door open. The senior officer will lead; a few paces in rear, the other officers will enter the mess room without regard to rank or precedence, and no special places will be reserved for them at the table.

32.     On a guest night the senior officer present should sit at the centre of the table, right hand side, the second senior officer sitting opposite to him. The senior guest will sit at the right hand side of the senior officer, this place being considered the seat of honour. When officers have personal guests, they will have their guests seated near themselves,

33.     When at the conclusion of the dinner the wine has been placed before the President and Vice President: The President will make a sign to the Vice-President and say "Mr. Vice, the Queen" then the Vice President will say "Gentlemen, the Queen" both President and Vice-President will fill their glasses and pass the decanters to their left, each officer filling his glass and saying aloud before drinking his wine "The Queen."

Officers should take their wine sitting, except on special or extraordinary occasions such as the Queen's birthday or in the presence of the Governor-General; when in those cases they will wait until all the glasses are filled and each set of decanters has reached the next point from which the other set has started, to raise together saying aloud "The Queen."

As Her Majesty's health is proposed the mess sergeant should give a signal for the band to play a few bars of "God save the Queen."

It is in no way obligatory for officers' to take wine after dinner when Her Majesty's health is proposed.

34.     The old custom of having the band master or band sergeant in the mess room for a glass of wine is obsolete.

35.     After the "God save the Queen" has been played, the Senior officer present is the only one that can ask for some additional music.

36.     The wine will be passed round the table as often as the President sees fit—time for passing the decanters to be taken from the Senior officer.

37.     No officer is at liberty to leave the table before the wine has been thus passed round twice, without asking leave from the President.

38.     When the Governor General or a Lieut Governor, the Minister of Militia or the Officer Commanding the forces will dine at mess, the officers will rise when they leave the table after dinner, but it will not be necessary for them to follow them therefrom.

39.     On any day when there are guests; The President and Vice-President will sit until they retire—at other times they will remain until the wine has circulated twice, and then if others continue at the table and they themselves should wish to leave, they will ask an officer to sit for them.

40.     No songs of any kind will be allowed at mess.

41.     No smoking will be allowed at table except on guest night and that only with the permission of the Senior officer present.

42.     No wine, after dinner, will be placed upon the table without the order of the President who for every bottle will receive a ticket by which he will be able to check the charge the following morning. The key of the store cellar will be kept by that member of the committee to whom that department may be assigned by the President of the mess committee.

43.     This officer will daily give over, at any hour which he may name, to the mess sergeant a certain quantity of wine, beer &c., for the day's consumption, a memo of which, signed by the officer in charge of the cellar, will be sent to the President of the week.

44.     The officer in charge of the cellar will make the sergeant account to him for the previous day's consumption, and ascertain that the balance is forthcoming before making any fresh issues.

45.     Officers when any engagement may prevent them from dining at mess, will cause their names to be placed upon a slate as "not dining at mess this evening" before 2 o'clock p.m., to enable only the required number of covers to be laid.

Mess hours.

1.     The mess will be open daily for the reception of officers at 8 o'clock a.m. in the summer and 8.30 a.m. in the winter, it will be closed on ordinary occasions not later than 11 o'clock p.m.

2.     On guest nights it may be kept open till 12 o'clock but never later than 1 o'clock a.m., the sanction of the commanding officer having been previously obtained,

3.     The breakfast hour will be from 8 o'clock till 9 o'clock a.m. in summer and 8.30 till 9.30 in winter.

Luncheon hour from 1 to 2.30 o'clock p.m. at which hours the tables will be cleared.

The dinner hour will be regulated as follows according to the season.

6 o'clock p m.
6.30 o'clock p m.
7 o'clock p m.

Contribution and contingent expenses.

Although it is indispensable to provide for the proper maintenance of officers' messes, yet it is essential to limit tho demands upon officers and to prevent their being liable to unnecessary expense, with this view the following regulations are to be observed. Q. M. Sect. VII, far. 38.

1.     On first appointment of officers to the corps ten days' pay according to rank will be given towards the mess fund, payable in two months: five days' pay on the first of each month

2.     Also, a monthly subscription of one days' pay will be paid towards the mess fund the 1st of each month.

3.     On promotion, a sum not exceeding ten days difference of pay between the original net rates of pay of the rank attained and of the rank from which the officer is promoted, will be paid in one single payment, by the officer promoted, to the mess fund.

4.     Attached officers will pay one day's pay per month, or any portion of month, according to their regimental rank in the militia whether substantive or provisional.

5.     Special arrangements will be made with attached officers for their board, and prices will be fixed by the mess committee.

6.     The regimental stationery used in the mess will be paid by the officers using it, at cost price.

7.     The wine or beer drank at dinner will be paid by individuals. The wine taken after dinner will be shared by those taking that particular wine or all wines.

8.     Officers or members not regular dining members will pay for:

Breakfast – 30 cents,
Lunch cold – 25 cents,
Dinner – 60 cents.

9.     Honorary members paying no subscription will be charged ten cents extra per meal for table money.

10.     The names of officers inviting friends with the names and number of friends they invite will be entered in a book kept for that purpose, one day previous. Should the invited guests not arrive, one half of the established price will be charged for each guest.

11.     Officers inviting guests are not to be charged with table money.

12.     The expenses incurred by guests officially invited by the corps will be shared by every one on the strength present or not.

13.     Official invitations will be decided by an absolute majority of the officers.

14.     Whenever it will be proposed to give an entertainment. The commandant will in the first instance cause to be circulated amongst the officers a paper notifying the proposal to give the entertainment, and it should be clearly understood that in the event of the proposal being allowed, only those officers who have signed the paper are to pay any share of the expenses incurred.

15.     In distributing the cost of any such entertainment amongst those concerned it will invariably be apportioned in shares of so many day's pay to each individual officer. The cost will therefore fall more lightly upon the junior than the senior officers. The shares will be the net pay of the rank without allowances or pay for extra duty.

16.     All articles of mess property, broken by an officer, will be paid for by him; and any article not exceeding $1.00 in value will be charged double for. If broken by a servant it will be charged against his master at cost price.

17.     All mess accounts must be paid monthly not later than the 7th of the subsequent month, and a certificate will be sent on that date by the Secretary-Treasurer of the moss committee to the commanding officer that every officer or otherwise has paid bis dues.

18.     A billiard room may be opened with regulations to be made hereafter.

19.     Games at cards are allowed in the mess anteroom provided that nothing higher than 5 cts. a point is played for.

20.     Gambling is strictly forbidden and any officer infringing this rule will be brought to the notice of the General commanding.

Mess Meetings.

1.     A mess meeting of all the officers of the corps will beheld once in every three months for the purpose of auditing the accounts and discussing any propositions that may be brought forward concerning the general management and comfort of the mess, as also to authorize any special outlay of funds that may be required for mess purposes. The votes of the officers will be taken upon any proposition on which a difference of opinion is found to exist and the point will be decided by the majority of votes, provided the commanding officer concurs. Q.R. Sect, VII Par. 61.

2.     Inventories will be giver to the commanding officer, at the end of each quarter, of the mess property, and statement of breakages and deficiencies, showing how it is proposed they should be renewed and also a list of the charges for breakages against individuals.

3.     No mess meeting is ever to take place without the sanction of the commanding officer, and no propositions, notices etc, etc. are to be circulated without his permission.

These rules and regulations will be printed, and a copy kept in the ante room of the mess. A copy will also be in possession of every member of the mess; but no officer of the corps shall be absolved from any infraction of these rules on any allegation of not having received them.

Original Printed at St Johns, Que. By Roy Brothers