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.
Arrived H.Q. 14th Division at Mirjaneh and stayed with General Frazer. Met Nicholson, 37th Dopas and George Gunning, 21st Cav. also Maclachlan, 40th Pathans commanding a Brigade – such a nice atmosphere to be back once more among real soldiers.