When Goldsmiths’ College decided to host a Victory Dinner in 1924 as an act of remembrance for the Great War of 1914-18, those who had lived through it embraced the occasion with gentle satire.
The Victory Menu for 15th November, four days after Armistice Day, was designed to mock the forms and documents that had been turning education in the post war period into a bureaucracy.
It became ‘Circular 1311’, and ‘Form 99 Pen T.’
There was choice of the main dish: ‘Pensioned Dover Soles, Fried- according to Form 60, Act 1918,’ or ‘Super Saddle of Annuation Mutton with Board of Education Jelly.’
For a side order, the following was on offer and something of a limited choice: ‘Dished – Whitehall Potatoes and Caulage Flower with Raymont sauce.’
The reference to ‘Raymont’ was the name of the second Warden of the college Professor Tommy Raymont.
For dessert, another choice on the menu:
‘Tart of Apples, From the Tree of Knowledge with cream that Nestlés bonny babies
Fruits of the Warden’s Victory
Gorgonzola with Odour of Sanctity
Coffee, Black, White or Red-Tape’
The menu is tailed off with ‘Dainty Drinks and Glorious Gargles as served to the law officers of the Treasury. Each teacher’s pink form should be filled with the above before Superannuation.’
It is the signatures on the other side of the menu that makes this event rather resonant and poignant.
The autographs are by ‘lost to history’ figures in the story of Goldsmiths: F H Cecil Brock, Harry E. J. Curzon, Frederick Marriott, Arthur H R Huggett, Edwin S F Ridout, Joseph Kay, and Graham T. White.