PS MEDWAY QUEEN - VIRTUAL TOUR
As we move towards the bow of the ship, Immediately forward of the boiler room is the galley where a coal fired range was used to provide hot food and drinks. The old range was lost at some time whilst on the Isle of Wight but we don't think modern hygiene inspectors would have approved of it anyway. This compartment is being treated as "non heritage" and fitted out to meet modern food preparation standards.
In peace time food for consumption in the aft saloon and by the crew would be prepared here. Fish and Chips, hot drinks, high teas and other trippers' favourites.
This was also where the cook, Thomas Russell, and his assistant, Stanley Bell, laboured during the Dunkirk Evacuation to feed hundreds of men at a time. Sandwiches, stew and “Navy Cocoa” were produced in quantity and you can perhaps imagine the result when consumed by seasick men who had not eaten for several days.
Above: The galley refitted with modern equipment, ready to serve tea and coffee when required.
Photo: Joe Stokes.
Dunkirk undoubtedly had its moments of excitement but it was also continuous hard work. Cleaning and replenishing the ship, taking on fuel and ammunition, used up most of the day between night-time forays across the channel and after seven nights’ exertion in eight consecutive nights the crew were exhausted, both mentally and physically.