Monday 22 December 2014

Ally Sloper's Cavalry

Tuesday 22nd December 1914: the adjutant of the 1st Battalion tells us that they have had a hard frost during the night. This has added a frosting of ice to the unholy Victoria Sponge of mud and water. Those of us safe abed last night should give thanks for our clean, dry, warm blankets.

The enemy continues to shell the roads leading up to the front line. They are trying to kill men and animals in the wagon and mule trains bringing up food, drinking water, ammunition and other provisions. The adjutant adds that we should spare a thought for the men of the Army Service Corps engaged in this dangerous activity. The ASC is usually looked down on by the fighting troops and dismissed as Ally Sloper's Cavalry(1) so their situation must be quite hazardous for front line troops to be sparing them any thought.

Source: X550/2/5

(1) Ally Sloper (1867-1916) was a cartoon character of the time, renowned for being lazy and dreaming of useless get-rich-quick schemes.

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