Alcohol: a Funny Medicine p1

Onward, . (1902) Alcohol: a Funny Medicine p1. [Image]

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This shows a typical mix of material presented to young readers in Onward, April 1902: the end of an article on the life of the British soldier is followed by a compilation of amusing anecdotes about alcohol, and then a poem by the religious author Mary Alicia Steward, who had published ‘ Sketches of Bible child life’ in 1896.

Ball ammunition down a chimney
where a lot of men were sitting round the stove in the room. The shot exploded and blew the stove to pieces, but fortunately no one was injured. Of course severe punishment is attached to such jokes if the offenders are brought up.
In military prisons,
as in all other prisons, the discipline is most severe. Hard labour consists of shot drill – i.e.: carrying a 16 pound or 20 pound shot upon the flat hands, one hand upon the other, with the elbows close to the sides. The prisoner carries it about 12 yards, puts it on the ground, and then has to pick it up again and continue the practice for an hour; this is terrible punishment. The prisoners clean the barracks and do the navvy work. They also trim and dress the officers’ gardens. An escort is sent with them to see they don’t steal and eat the fruit. I have seen both escort and prisoners sitting down eating and enjoying the fruit to their heart’s content.
Whatever else may be said against soldiers, it cannot be said their barrack rooms are dirty. The boarded floors are kept as
Clean as a new planed board.
The rooms are scrubbed out with water once or twice a week with very hard scrubbers, and after each meal are dry scrubbed and swept. The tins, too, are cleaned every morning, and the blacking of stove, etc., is done each morning. So many men are told off to each job and they take a great pride in having
Each article in its place
scrupulously clean. A barrack room is well worth a visit before dinner. Each man’s bed is rolled up with blankets and sheets neatly folded between and strapped up to his bed-cot, and a bed-card with the man’s name and number on. Not a thing must be out of its proper place when the officer makes his morning visit to the rooms, and no dust or cobwebs must be found anywhere. A young officer visiting a barrack room discovered a cob in the corner and asked what it was doing there. The orderly, who happened to be a big Irishman, was in a fix, but got out of it by answering that it was kept in case anyone cut his finger, to be used to stop the bleeding.
There’s a kind of garrison sport, so Tommy calls it, which has to be done every Saturday; it is coal fatigue. So many boxes of coal have to be carried to the rooms, married quarters, and the officers’ mess and quarters. There is no fatigue which
Soldiers dislike
as this one. It takes about four hours to get through, simply four hours of grumbling, and non-commissioned officers have to keep a strict look out or the men would loaf. There certainly ought to be a better system than men carrying about 80 pounds of coal on their shoulders. This kind of thing makes Tommy long for warmer climes, where the sun spreads its rays in greater degree than in England.
(To be continued.)

Alcohol: a Funny Medicine.

Mr. A.: “I must have a drop because my blood is poor.”
Answer by Dr. Kerr: “Alcohol injures the blood.”
Mr. B.: “I can’t do without a little because I suffer from indigestion.”
Answer by Dr. Bowman: “Alcohol retards digestion.”
Mr. C.: “I have had brain fever, and I need alcohol.”
Answer by Sir Henry Thompson: “Of all the people who cannot stand alcohol it is the brain workers.”
Mr. D.: “I am rather nervous and, therefore, I take a little.”
Answer by Dr. Brunton: “The effect of alcohol upon the nervous system is to paralyse it.”
Mr. E.: “I suffer with my liver, so I take a little occasionally.”
Answer by Dr. Norman Kerr: “Alcohol hardens the liver.”
Mr. F.: “I am a victim to kidney disease, that is my reason for taking alcohol.”
Answer by Dr. Norman Kerr: “Alcohol destroys the kidneys.”
Mr. G.: “I am weak and I need something to strengthen my muscles.”
Answer by Sir B. Richardson: “The action of alcohol is to lessen the muscular power.”
Mr. H.: “I have to work in a cold place, and must have some alcohol to warm me.”
Answer by Dr. John Rae: “The greater the cold the more injurious is the use of alcohol.”
Mr. J.: “I don’t get enough food, so I rely upon a little alcohol to supply extra food to nourish me.”
Answer by Dr. J. C. Reid: “There is no support to the body in the use of alcohol.”
Mr. J.: “I have to undergo an operation, and I must take a little.”
Answer by Dr. Bantock: “I believe that all classes of operation are better without alcohol.”
Mrs. K.: “I have a little babe to nurse, and therefore I have to take stout.”
Answer by Dr. Heywood Smith: “It is a popular mistake to think that the drinking of stout makes you better nurses.”
Mr. L.: “I feel low sometimes, so it is needful for me.”
Answer by Dr. Wilkes: “Alcohol is a depressor, and people are under a delusion who think otherwise.”
Mr. M.: “I am rather ‘run down’ and I have to take a little alcohol to build me up.”

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