Arrived Peshawar 6.30 a.m., staying with the Rennies – I am glad we came here, there is no spot on earth where we would have more friends and they are good friends. Quite enough friends to keep us cheery – and I am not down on my luck. The telegrams I sent the War Office were certainly impertinent and much too strong, I see that now in cold blood, but they should make allowance for circumstances and let me off with an apology – their present treatment is certainly unjust. But what do all these petty little private matters weigh against the splendid war news – Austria, Turkey and Bulgaria unconditional surrender! and the end of the war – a victorious end – in sight.
Arrived at Basra about 9 a.m., where Colonel Senior of my old regiment, the 20th, very kindly put me up in G.H.Q., and took me all over Basra to see the wonderful things they have been doing since I was last there.
Kut-el-Amara: Very hot and dusty and the flies are awful. Had to wait until night-fall for the train. They did me very well, giving me a nice inspection carriage with a kitchen where I could brew a cup of tea – Stork travelled with me and my excellent Batman, Milam, 1/4 Hants Regiment. Slept comfortably and arrived at Basra about 9 a.m., on October 7th.
Spent the whole morning manoeuvring with steel hawsers on a sand-bank. Got off after some hours’ work. Stuck again a good deal and at midnight got into a regular dust-storm cyclone and were properly wrecked, but nothing can really happen to these big, shallow, flat-bottomed things, so we steamed on again quite cheerfully and got into Amara on October 6th at about 9 a.m.
Arrived Kut-el-Amara at 6 a.m. and sailed on board S/S Taraki. Lt. Colonel Wilmer, R.F.A. a very excellent companion, shares my cabin, and the 25th Punjabis, under Colonel Hunt, are on board – also Stork, my Staff Captain – The Captain of the ship is new on this ship and we have endless misfortunes – it is as well we are not in a particular hurry.
Dined last night with Stuart-Wortly – Left by train today at 8 p.m. for Kut-el-Amara. Arrived there at 6 a.m. on Oct 4.
Writing up dispatches, dined with Ready, Adjutant General. Everybody very nice, but a general sort of feeling that I have been a naughty boy and ought to be put in the corner. The Chief was very nice in my last interview, but begged to differ from me.
Writing up despatches. Dined with General Dixon of Rhodesia. The Marlings were there – glad to be out of Teheran. Also Grand Duke Dimitri Pavlovitch, 27, now with a Commission as Captain in the British Army, He is quite possibly the next Czar. He talked to me for an hour in gratitude for my help to the Russians etc., and told me of the horrible things he has to suffer at the hands of our blunt Englishmen. One Officer says: “the Russians always run away, don’t they?” and so on.
To Baghdad – thank God for the last of the Motor-cars for a bit after that 600 mile drive on a vile road. The Jilu refugees – poor things – blocked the road everywhere and I feel half responsible for them though it was not my fault that Government would not take up my Urmieh scheme. Billeted in No. 2 Mess – Stuart Wortley. Dined with the C.-in-C.