It was indeed a holiday — no work at all except stable parade to look after the horses and mules. (1)
Other correspondents provided a little more information about the battery menus:
“We had a great dinner at about half past four, just after evening stables – more than we could eat. There were three good sized geese for the 27 or 28 men – stuffed with dressing and apple sauce to go with it. Then we had corn, mashed potatoes, apple pie, coffee, plum pudding and sauce besides biscuits, nuts etc. so you see we fared pretty well.” (1)
Nuts would be the “kernels” on the menu, I imagine — at least they didn’t spell it colonels. The puns were pretty awful … remember the “sentry beets”!
Like Percy’s menu, that for Archie Wills’s battery was, like the meal itself, designed to produce groans in the diners.
(1) Brown, Robert Gordon. Letter to his mother, December 26, 1916. Available from the Canadian Letters and Images Project.
The first image is of a cook of the Royal Household with the ingredients for Christmas pudding. © IWM (Q 30236)
The second image is of the Christmas 1916 menu of the 62nd Battery, CFA; it is part of the Archie Wills Fonds at the University of Victoria.