The School of Cookery

St Albans

First World War



School of Cookery

St Albans

No 13



L. L. Christmas

23 Catherine Street

St Albans


from Herts Memories

Here you see a row of Kettle trenches both in and on top of the ground. Some are built with tea tins and some with part brick & part tomato cans or anything at all. You can see ovens & holes for kettles all over them. Some have kettles in them. They are all held in with 'pug' which is just clay mixed with water and which hardens when heated. It is a caution what one can do with next to nothing. If it was a little warmer we would have a very good time. You should taste some of our pudding. How are things going? Our books are to be handed in tomorrow for exam.

When 59th Division were at St Albans a School of Cookery was set up with courses running in November and December 1915. This may be linked to the 309 Company Army Service Corps that were based at St. Albans for quite some time. As a base it seemed to fall out of favour when what was known as Central Force was amalgamated with Eastern Command in March 1916. However, it was used to train Canadian recruits brought over to avoid the harsh Winter (back in Canada) in late 1916. [Ref: David Porter]

Images from google (online sales) - photographs by L. L. Christmas, St Albans

School of Cookery, St ALbans, First World War, by L L Christmas

School of Cookery No 11


School of Cookery, St ALbans, First World War, by L L Christmas

Oil Drum Ovens, Kettle Trench No 12

Designed by Staff Sgt Anker, School of Cookery

No 10 was of a horse drawn travelling kitchen

(Anyone know what the other pictures showed?)


School of Cookery, St ALbans, First World War, by L L Christmas

12th Class, School of Cookery, St Albans


The 23rd Training Reserve Battalion at St Albans 1916/17

Orderlies, 23rd TRB, First World War, PC by Christmas, St Albans


Orderlies, 23rd T.R.B.

published by L. L. Christmas, St Albans


As these soldiers are clearly concerned with cooking this was posted here because they might have been on a course at the School of Cookery.


Peter has kindly drawn my attention to the page on the Training Reserve Battalions on The Long, Long Trail Web Site.

The Training Reserve Battalions were created in September 1916 as part of a significant reorganisation of the infantry reserve battalions. "The TR units dropped the cap badges and shoulder titles of their former regiments and instead wore a large General Service button on a red disc on the cap and the letters TR as a shoulder title. " An examination of the picture shows that one of the soldiers has a "TR" shoulder title. The 23rd Battalion was formed out of the 10th (Reserve) Battalion, the Royal Sussex Regiment, which was based at Shoreham. In May 1917 there was another reorganisation and the Battalion became the 25th Young Soldier Battalion.


February 2013   Page Created
March 2014   Orderlies picture added?