Officers advanced training school - welfare questions and precis on officers mess



Officers advanced training school - welfare questions and precis on officers mess


List of eighteen questions on welfare. Officers mess precis covers membership, furniture/property/insurance, procedures on change of station, procedure on taking over mess, procedure on change of command, WAAF messes, new station or unit - opening mess, responsibility of station commander, mess committee, duties of PMC and mess secretary, control of expenditure, general mess meetings, entertainment, mess accounts, custody and disposal of money, subscriptions and contributions, mess bills, sale and consumption of liquor, bars in messes, system of accounting for sales and bar stock and King's health. Followed by questions.



Temporal Coverage




Six page typewritten document

Conforms To


No 1 Officers Advanced Training School


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WELFARE: QUESTIONS [/underlined]
1. What are the aims of service welfare?
2. What is the organisation for Welfare at Air Ministry?
3. What are the functions of the County Welfare Officer?
4. You are the Station Commander of a newly opened operational station. How would you set about organising a Welfare Committee?
5. What do you consider suitable to include in your “Notes for New Arrivals”?
6. How would you obtain a grant for an airman from the R.A.F. Benevolent Fund?
7. What are War Service Grants, and how can they be obtained?
8. What is the organisation for obtaining legal aid?
9. What points should you, as C.O., bear in mind when dealing with interviews?
10. How would you arrange for Service transport for journeys to the nearest recreational town.?
11. How would you set about getting an E.N.S.A. show at your station?
12. How would you arrange for a C.E.M.A. show to be given on your station?
13. Where would you obtain costumes for a Station Concert Party?
14. What sources are there for the supply of gramaphone [sic] records?
15. What sources are there for the supply of cinema films?
16. What hospitality schemes are available?
17. You are Entertainments Officer. How would you organise your committee?
18. Lay down a simple week’s programme of entertainments for a station of 1000 personnel.
[page break]
[date stamp of No. 1 Officers Advanced Training School Jun 1945]
PRECIS: OFFICERS’ MESS [/underlined]
References: K.R. & A.C.I. Chapter XX, paras. 1671-1699
A.P. 128, A.P. 1407
A.M.Os. A.621/41, A.746/41, A.83/42, A.66/44,
A.651/44, A.835/44, N.365/45, A.168/45
[underlined] Membership [/underlined]
1. Members are either full, affiliated or honorary. Excluding Royalty, ladies are not invited to be honorary members (K.R. 1672).
[underlined] Furniture – Property – Insurance [/underlined]
2. (a) Furniture, plate, cash and other assets property of Mess – not removed.
(b) Plate, pictures, gifts presented to a particular unit – property of unit.
(c) Mess liable for all damage to furniture and equipment in excess of fair wear and tear – for breakages and damage to china, glass, crockery in excess of “free” allowance – A.P. 830, Vol. I.
(d) Insurance – Fire, theft, War-risk, W.C.A., Fidelity Guarantee (K.R. 1674, A.M.0. A.621/41). See A.P. 837, para. 435.
(e) Mess property and Plate may be stored with No. 222 M.U. Dumfries when unit posted overseas (AMO. A.835/44).
[underlined] Procedure on change of Station [/underlined]
3. Unit or formation transferred in its entirety to another station within the same command – Mess Funds and property used to establish Mess at new Station (K.R. 1675)
[underlined] Procedure in Taking over Mess [/underlined]
4. (a) Incoming unit will not reduce assets of mess without sanction of higher authority.
(b) If financial position unsatisfactory steps to be taken to establish credit at a satisfactory level.
(c) Funds strictly confined to their legitimate purposes. (K.R. 1677).
[underlined] Procedure on Change of Command [/underlined]
5. When C.O. or Unit Commander is relieved by another officer, appropriate handing-over certificates prepared and signed. (K.R. 73 and 1678)
[underlined] W.A.A.F. Messes [/underlined]
6. (a) The general principles, administration, conduct and procedure for Officers’ Messes in K.R. Chapter XX and in A.P. 128 will be applied as far as practicable.
(b) Where no separate W.A.A.F. Mess exists on a station, W.A.A.F. Officers and also female R.A.F. officers (medical and dental) may become members of an R.A.F. Officers’ Mess. It is essential to provide a retiring room. (A.M.Os. A.880/40, A.83/42).
[underlined] New Station or Unit – Opening Mess [/underlined]
7. Initial grants and loans can be secured from R.A.F. Central Fund by R.A.F. and W.A.F. Messes for the provision of amenities not provided from public funds:-
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(a) Subscriptions are levied on all Messes on 30th June and 30th December in each year at a rate of 2/6d. per R.A.F. officer and 2/- per W.A.A.F. officer.
(b) Subscription based on number of R.A.F. and W.A.A.F. officers are paid to Command Headquarters.
(c) [underlined] Grants [/underlined] are made up to a maximum of £100 fixed at £4 for each officer on the establishment.
(d) When run independently on a station R.A.F. and W.A.A.F. messes each may apply for a grant.
(e) [underlined] Loans [/underlined] – at discretion of Command – may be made up to double the amount of the grant – repayments to commence 6 months after date of loan and completed within 12 months. (A.M.O. A.168/45
(f) Loans from Command Central Fund for a specific purpose. Payment of outstanding Mess bills of Members deceased missing or P.O.W.
[underlined] Responsibility of Station Commander [/underlined]
8. (a) General discipline, tone and managment. [sic]
(b) Mess conducted without unnecessary expense and extravagance.
(c) Observance of all rules and regulations.
(d) Appointment of P.M.C. and Committee of Management.
(e) Appointment of audit board.
(f) That Mess Funds are properly applied and that cash transactions are reduced to a minimum.
(g) Examination of daily wine and charges book. Consumption of liquor.
[underlined] Note: [/underlined] The Commanding Officer has absolute powers of veto in connection with all decisions made by Mess Committee, resolutions passed at General Meetings and election of officers of Mess. (K.R. 16 [deleted] 79 [/deleted] [inserted] 90 [/inserted]).
[underlined] Mess Committee [/underlined]
9. (a) Generally appointed half yearly.
(b) Not less than 4 members (P.M.C. and Mess Secretary included).
(c) P.M.C. [underlined] appointed [/underlined] by Commanding Officer.
(d) Other members elected must be approved by Commanding Officer.
(e) Members receive written instructions from P.M.C.
(f) Paid civilian secretary can be appointed.
(g) Secretary must NOT be Accountant Officer (K.R. 2727).
(h) Accountant and Catering Officers may be co-opted to give specialist advice.
(j) Business transacted must be recorded in minute book – submitted to Commanding Officer for approval.
(k) Sub-Committees should be appointed to draft Mess Rules, fix bar prices, organise entertainments, dances etc.
(l) P.M.C. responsible that limit of expenditure not exceeded by added or co-opted members. (K.R. 1682).
[underlined] Duties of P.M.C. and Mess Secretary [/underlined]
10. Those defined are official duties and are given in writing – there are many unofficial duties which must be undertaken if Mess is to be efficiently run, hospitable and popular. (K.R. 1683/1684).
[underlined] Control of Expenditure [/underlined]
11. (a) Subject discretion of Commanding Officer – Mess Committee responsible for ordinary expenditure.
(b) Extraordinary expenditure NOT to exceed £20 per quarter, except by approval of majority at General Meeting and also of Commanding Officer (K.R. 1685).
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[underlined] General Mess Meetings [/underlined]
12. (a) Held every four months.
(b) All available officers attend.
(c) Mess Accounts presented, discussed and approved.
[symbol] (d) Notice of date, hour and place to be notified to members seven days in advance.
[symbol] (e) Audited balance sheet to be made available to members seven days in advance.
(f) Propositions by members to be notified to Secretary seven days prior to meeting.
(g) Extraordinary General Meeting held any time by desire of one-fifth of members – notified in writing to Mess Committee. (K.R. 1690).
[underlined] Entertainments [/underlined]
13. Normally given only with consent of majority of members and sanctioned by Commanding Officer. (K.R. 1692).
[underlined] Mess Accounts [/underlined]
14. (a) This is perhaps the most arduous and difficult work undertaken by a member of Mess Committee and specially devolves upon P.M.C., Secretary, and Bar Member.
(b) A.P. 1407 should be studied and applied.
(c) It is desirable to enlist the services of an Accountant Officer to give specialist advice. (K.R. 1693, A.M.O. A.66/44).
[underlined] Custody and disposal of money [/underlined]
15. (a) Banking arrangements
(b) Signing of cheques. (K.R. 1694).
[underlined] Subscriptions and Contributions [/underlined]
16. (a) Subscription normally one-half of one day’s pay of rank per month for living-in officers. (One quarter for living-out officers).
(b) Monthly contribution limited to 10/- or in extraordinary circumstances to 15/-.
(c) Additional levies not permitted except charges for entertainments or contributions to unit sports. (K.R. 1695)
(d) Daily Messing charge. Supper element.
[underlined] Mess Bills [/underlined]
17. (a) Payable to Mess Secretary on or before 10th day of month.
(b) P.M.C. will report delinquents in writing to Commanding Officer. (K.R. 1696).
[underlined] Sale and consumption of liquor [/underlined]
18. (a) Existing regulations which forbid treating are to be strictly enforced.
(b) Visiting officers and certain guests may be entertained.
(c) Treating of Mess staff forbidden.
[underlined] Limitation of Wine Bills [/underlined] (d) £5 limit for all officers below rank of S.L.
(e) No limit for officers of rank of S.L. and above, or officers of the age of 40 and upwards.
K.R. & A.C.I. para. 1697, clause 6 modified accordingly.
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[underlined] Bars in Messes [/underlined] As war-time measure bars are permitted in Messes. (K.R. & A.C.I. para. 1697, clause 3 modified accordingly).
[underlined] System of Accounting for sales from bar stock [/underlined] The cash or chit system may be introduced at discretion of A.O.C.-in-C. Commands. Commands responsible for issuing detailed accounting instructions on following points:-
(a) [underlined] Cash System [/underlined] (i) Cash takings to be counted and reconciled daily with bar sales as shown by bar stock book.
(ii) Total cash takings to be paid [underlined] daily [/underlined] to a responsible officer.
(b) [underlined] Chit System [/underlined] (i) Daily record to be kept of books of chits received from printers, and of sales of books. Chit books to be in safe custody of Mess Secretary or other responsible officer and issued by him.
(ii) Daily record to be kept of cash received from sale of chit books and of the handing over of such cash to the officer appointed to receive it.
(iii) All chits tendered at the bar are to be cancelled immediately on receipt to ensure they do not return to circulation. It should be understood that chits are equivalent of cash and suitable safeguards must be devised to prevent any chit used on more than one occasion.
[underlined] NOTE: [/underlined] Recommended that expended chits should be date-stamped, or otherwise marked immediately after they have been tendered and posted in a locked box to be opended [sic] by a responsible officer.
K.R. 1697, A.M.O. A.651/44, A.M.O. A.746/41, para. 2, sub-para (ii) cancelled.
[underlined] King’s Health [/underlined]
19. May be drunk in any beverage – including water. (K.R. 1699).
[underlined] Amendments to this Precis [/underlined]
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1. In what capacity can civilians of officer status be elected Members of Mess? [inserted] Affiliated members if attached to station. [/inserted]
2. Who are eligible to be Honorary Members? [inserted] Officers of all other stations. [/inserted]
3. Can ladies by full honorary Member of a Mess? [inserted] No. [/inserted]
4. Can Mess Property, cash, assets etc. be taken away by a unit removing to a new station? [inserted] Yes if in same Command. [/inserted]
5. Can Property such as pictures and other gifts presented to a unit be taken away?
6. Is it necessary to insure Mess Property against Fire and Theft and War Damage? [inserted] Yes. [/inserted]
7. Must the Mess protect itself against claims arising under the W.C.A.? [inserted] Yes. [/inserted]
8. What procedure should be adopted to safeguard the insurance policies? [inserted] They should be Banked and receipt obtained [/inserted]
9. What procedure is adopted when the C.O. of a station is relieved by another officer? [inserted] Handing over procedure [/inserted]
10. Is it permissible for W.A.A.F. Officers and female R.A.F. Officers to be members of an Officers’ Mess? [inserted] Yes [/inserted]
11. A new Mess of a recently established Unit is being formed. How are funds obtained and under what conditions?
12. Who is responsible for ensuring that the Mess funds are properly applied? [inserted] Station Commander [/inserted]
13. How is the appointment of P.M.C. made? [inserted] Station Commander. [/inserted]
14. Who is responsible that Mess is conducted without unnecessary extravagance? [inserted] Station Commander [/inserted]
15. What is the minimum number of Members of the Mess Committee? [inserted] 4 [/inserted]
16. How do members of a Mess Committee receive their instruction and from whom? [inserted] P.M.C. [/inserted]
17. Can an Accountant Officer be elected Mess Secretary? [inserted] No. [/inserted]
18. Who is responsible that the ordinary and extraordinary Mess expenditure is controlled? [inserted] Mess Committee [/inserted]
19. What is the limit of extraordinary expenditure per quarter? [inserted] £20 [/inserted]
20. If it is desired to exceed the quarterly limit of extraordinary expenditure, how is permission obtained?
21. How can an Extraordinary General Meeting be called?
22. What information should be available to members of the Mess prior to a General Meeting? [inserted] 7 days notice + Bal. Sheet. [/inserted]
23. Can an officer who has signified his dissent be called upon to pay part of the expense of an entertainment? [inserted] No. [/inserted]
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24. Give the number of the official publication which defines how Mess Accounts will be maintained. [inserted] Standard instructions for keeping Non-[indecipherable word] accounts [/inserted]
25. What subscriptions and contributions normally are charged to full Mess members? [inserted] 1/2 day’s pay. [/inserted]
26. Is it legitimate to make additional levies on members, over and above subscriptions and contributions?
27. If Mess bills are not paid on the due date, what action is taken and by whom?
28. What is the official limit of the monthly wine account of:-
(a) Flight Lieutenant
(b) Wing Commander
(c) Flying Officer
(d) Squadron Leader
(e) An officer over 40 years of age.
29. Is it permissible to Treat:-
(a) Members of the same Mess?
(b) Members or honorary Members of another Mess?
(c) Mess employees?
30. What are the duties of a Mess Secretary? [inserted] Money matters generally [/inserted]
31. Is it permissible to have an open Bar in a Mess?
32. What steps should be taken to prevent tendered chits coming into circulation again?
33. What precautions should be taken if the cash system is adopted for bar sales? [inserted] daily check [/underlined]


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