1915 – May 27

Nights quite cool, days fiercely hot. Yesterday General Campbell, commanding the Division, Colonel Rice G.S.O. and myself, motored out to Shabkadr* and Matta to look round the Mohmand frontier. It was strange to be back in these wild parts after that war in France, all this seems like another planet. I like this command, but rather regret the pay and interest of my railway work and the comfort of Mme. Delaporte’ s house and my beloved Germaine’s French lessons. The road from Peshawar to Shabkadr in the early morning at this time of the year is very beautiful, especially the beds of lotus.

 

* Now spelt Shabqadar

1915 – May 23

Weather has cooled down. We came into General Young’s bungalow on Thursday night, mosquitos and sand-flies very bad. I bought all Young’s furniture and things just as they stood, for £81, including garden etc. There is a beautiful grass tennis-court and two badminton courts.

It looks like fighting the Mohmands in June. War news is good and Italy is coming in at last, casualties are fearful.

1915 – May 17

It is frightfully hot for the time of year. Left by the mail at 1 o’clock. Arrived Peshawar 9 p.m., went to Dean’s Hotel. So here we are in Peshawar and Generals at last. My phlegmatic and unemotional wife is not in the least impressed with the grandeur of commanding the 1st Brigade in the 1st Division in India.

India is indeed a back number and a back-water. Here, in the 10th month of this terrific war the Government still grudges money to the Army. Machine–guns are an old pattern, the N.W.R. line on which we all depend is still single, the railway bridges are all dicky, and in Peshawar there is not one aeroplane or motor-bike.

1915 – May 2

Left 1.47 a.m. Monday morning special carriage Murree. Susanna has been having fever. She and Rose stay with Miss Key up there and we two return on Thursday by which time I hope punkahs will be up as the mosquitoes are bad and we are dreadfully bitten. It is wonderful how stupid C.O’s are – In the 20th we always had mixed guards, half Mahomedan and half Hindu, anyone with a grain of sense would naturally do this. My guard is now furnished by the 25th P.I. who were in China and whose Sikhs are supposed to sympathise with the mutiny that is ready to break out – and the O.C. that noble regiment gives me a pure Sikh Guard! Of course I can say nothing about it as it would look like scares, so there it is and we are quite happy, but it is rather silly, isn’t it? Last night as we lay in bed, the Sikh sentry kept stopping just outside the chick and bumping his rifle down with a thud which made Daisie think he was going to shoot, and so he was perhaps, but he didn’t. I want a guard to guard me from my guard.

C.O.: Commanding Officer
O.C. Officer in Command