HMS Alliance -Domestic Services and Galley

The heads and wash places are along one side of the passageway leading into the Engine Room. Although there were two fresh-water distillers they used too much electric power to run continuously and water was always short on patrol; sometimes it had to be rationed and was generally limited to about one gallon for each man per day for all purposes including cooking and washing-up. There was certainly no water to spare for bathing and men rinsed the worst dirt off their hands in a communal bucket before having a more thorough wash in one of the basins. The heads (W.C.’s) were rather more civilised than in earlier submarines where the contents had to be blown direct to sea when “pulling the plug”; in the old days this sometimes resulted in an occurrence known as “getting your own back” when sea pressure overcame blowing pressure. Alliance had a sewage tank into which all the heads drained and this was blown periodically, usually at night when there was no risk of the bubbles being seen on the surface.

The Heads

The small galley catered for the whole crew and the Chef was a very busy man. When the bread embarked before going on patrol eventually went mouldy he had to bake as well as cook; the aroma of fresh bread in the early morning was a welcome contrast to some of the other smells onboard at sea! On the whole, the food was good and adequate; and every Chef had his own specialities. One favourite was Cheese Oosh, the lead-heavy submarine version of a Cheese Soufflé this particular dish might not have been popular in restaurants ashore but it was a delicacy on board.

The Galley