1916 – August 23

My Army birthday. To-day I begin my 33rd year of service and I give thanks to God that I have been allowed to do my work so long and to have enjoyed it so, and for the many blessings those 33 years have brought me – my wife and children not the least among them. I start my 33rd year as a Brigadier General. an A.D.C., and a C.B. Quite enough honours, thank you, and though I love my work I’d like to go. I want some home life and I want to see my children.

Yesterday we had tea in the city with Rai Bahadur Karm Chand, a wealthy old man with a fine house, furnished in the worst taste.

1916 – August 20

More rain, not at all wanted, and a sharp earthquake shock at 6.45 a.m. Daisie and I were in our dressing-rooms and lost no time in skipping out into the open where we met in the garden with our brushes and combs in our hands. The bungalow creaked and groaned and plaster began to fall, it was quite time to get outside. Church is at 7 a.m., or else we would probably have been in bed. Wrote to Leo and sent off letter as he joins at Haileybury on September 22nd.

1916 – August 16

Floods and deluges of rain – servants’ houses all flooded out and one washed right down. I am so pleased at having my proper pay of Rs.2100 a month that life seems quite different. My arrears are also Rs.1200 which enables me to pay all my debts at the shops. What a huge war this is. Bay writes from Belgium, others from France, Watts from Mesopotamia and Egypt, Irwin from East Africa, Cunliffe in West Africa, Bob and Wattie are in Salonica and here are we on the Afghan frontier. Bennett writes from Persia.


*Rs = Rupees

1916 – August 13

Poured like anything, a regular flood. A week ago we had four small earthquake shocks, yesterday we had one big one about 10.30 a.m., but it seemed to be straight upwards, just lifted the chairs and didn’t sway or make the roof creak.

To-day is a great day in my life. The beginning of the end of my money-troubles!! In the early morning I felt sure they were gone, I don’t know why, but I suppose these things are answers to prayer. I went over to the Club and met Major Jackson the Controller of Mil. accounts, who told me an order had just come that I am to have full Brigadier pay in the future – an increase of £240 a year, and 4 months arrears which is £80. The whole world seems so different – my financial web was looking sadly tangled and now it is all straight.

1916 – August 10

These Pathans are very outspoken and impertinent. Old Khalu came to see me to-day, an enemy Mohmand who did some secret service for me during the trouble last year. He says “You soldiers are like hawks, never know where you will be next. Sometimes like you in France, then on the Frontier here, then perhaps in Mesopotamia and so on. The Civilians are like your women-folk, while you fight and kill and lose your lives, they stay at home and look after the house and eat presents of fruit and reap the rewards of your deeds of valour!” A rather unjust view of the Indian civilian who’s just as ready as anyone to take his place in the firing line.

1916 – August 4

No ladies are allowed at Landi Kotal fort, but Sir George Roos Keppel gave me special permission to take Daisie up to have a peep at Afghanistan, and Pears, the Political agent, Khyber, asked us to lunch. We started in Major Finlay’s car at 9.30 a.m. after the parade service of Intercession, 2nd anniversary of the Declaration of War – Arrived there, 30 miles up hill about 11.30, wandered about the country, had lunch and returned by 4.30 p.m., roasted to death as we had the top off the car to see the view. It is hot and sticky after the rain.