1916 – October 16

Broke up Subhan Khwar camp and dispersed my force into 4 Sections, 4 little armies 3½ miles apart, self-contained under their own C.O’s. No.1 Section, 12th Pioneers, Major Hooker; No.2 Section, 15th Sikhs, Col. Gordon;, No.3 Section, King’s, Major Hyslop; No.4 Section 72 Punjabis, Col. Prentis. Each force 1 battn. inf. ½  Squadron Cav. Section of Mountain Battery, ½ Co. R.E. Section of Hospital. So now I have nothing to do.

Went in for Miss Campbell’s wedding to Learoyd, the 21st Lancers, a well run wedding and Susanna made a sweet bridesmaid and was not silly or shy. There were 7 Generals in a row! Stayed the night and returned to Shabkadr fort where my headquarters are, on Tuesday afternoon. Enemy fired desperately at the fort for an hour, from 9 to 10, but hit nothing.

1915 – July 6

Arrived Kalka 6 a.m. Left by motor rail at 7.45. a nice bath at the station. Very absent-minded, left my satchel in the train, braces, tie and tie-pin. Recovered the satchel from a passenger on another train later on. Arrived Simla fine, but so cold in a silk suit. An A.D.C. at the smart liveried Rickshaw in which I drove to Snowdon, the Commander-in-Chief’s beautiful residence, just in time for lunch. Sir Beauchamp Duff, very cheery but worried. In the afternoon the Chief drove me all round Simla in his phaeton.

I hoped to stay in Simla till the 10th and then at Murree till the 19th, but my leave is cancelled and I have to return to Peshawar immediately after the lecture, because General Campbell is at Cherat and there is no General at all in Peshawar. So I have 4 nights in the train and all this expense for 1 night in the hills and a hundred rupees fee for my lecture.

Poem From August 1914

This is an incredibly powerful poem written by Henry Chappell, a railway porter at Bath. In this you can sense the fears and anger of the nation. It was published in the Daily Express in August 1914 and was an immediate hit. The monies Mr Chappell received from the poem were donated to the British Red Cross. Apparently the Kaiser himself read it, and was understandably none too pleased.

The Day

YOU boasted the Day, and you toasted the Day,
And now the Day has come.
Blasphemer, braggart and coward all,
Little you reck of the numbing ball,
The blasting shell, or the “white arm’s” fall,
As they speed poor humans home.
You spied for the Day, you lied for the Day,
And woke the Day’s red spleen.
Monster, who asked God’s aid Divine,
Then strewed His seas with the ghastly mine;
Not all the waters of the Rhine
Can wash thy foul hands clean.
You dreamed for the Day, you schemed for the Day;
Watch how the Day will go,
Slayer of age and youth and prime,
(Defenceless slain for never a crime),
Thou art steeped in blood as a hog in slime,
False friend and cowardly foe.
You have sown for the Day, you have grown for the Day;
Yours is the harvest red.
Can you hear the groans and the awful cries?
Can you see the heap of slain that lies,
And sightless turned to the flame-split skies
The glassy eyes of the dead?
You have wronged for the Day, you have longed for the Day
That lit the awful flame.
‘Tis nothing to you that hill and plain
Yield sheaves of dead men amid the grain;
That widows mourn for their loved ones slain,
And mothers curse thy name.
But after the Day there’s a price to pay
For the sleepers under the sod,
And He you have mocked for many a day —
Listen, and hear what He has to say:
“VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.”
What can you say to God?