1918 – March 1

No cables yet from the Home Government – situation in Persia is dangerous and I have to be ready to meet attack. Revolutionaries in the town and social democrats trying to stir up the people against us. To-day is the first and I hope not the last fine day, a beautiful blue sky and quite a spring feeling. Coming over the Asadabad Pass yesterday, a Russian convoy of ammunition lost 30 mules and 6 men froze to death – glad I was not as bad as that.

* The diary records this entry as 29th February, but there was no such date in 1918, so I am assuming this is actually 1st March.

1918 – February 7

Snowing again, confound it, and all yesterday’s work spoiled. I determined to ride over with Duncan and no escort – all went well – snow in drifts 12 to 15 feet – got men working both sides. At Zagha a Russian officer Lieut. Zypaloff, took us on in a motor to Hamadan, where we arrived at the Mc.Murrays, Imperial Bank of Persia at 4.30 p.m. A lovely house and every comfort which made me unhappy, thinking of the others in the old serai at Asadabad. General Shore* meets me here from Tiflis to explain the situation.

*Brigadier General Offley Shore is mentioned in this book here, in which the situation in the area is being discussed. It is well worth spending a bit of time reading it.

1918 – February 4

A day of disasters. Got up 3.30 a.m., breakfast 4.30, left at 5.30. Splendid day, Lt. Georgiev of the Cossacks comes with us as a guide. Difficulties began at once. It was dark when we started and one of the cars dropped into a ditch and broke something which delayed us for 1½ hours – when every moment was precious. Reached the Kangavar Pass 5,600 feet (snow) about 12 noon. We had to get out and push every single car over the Pass one by one – it took us 3 hours. Reached Kangavar 4 p.m. Here the kind Russians had a hot meal waiting for us, which took us an hour to eat, but I did not grudge the delay, as I thought with a hot meal inside us we could take whatever chances might lie before us. Left Kangavar 5 p.m., darkness soon came on, the road was often no road, and there were risks of cars losing their way, however, we eventually reached Asadabad and got cars and all tucked in about 9 p.m. Some Russian chupattie, some cheese and rum and a very welcome bed. The drivers are splendid Englishmen and grouse about nothing – they were on the go from 3 a.m to 10 p.m., 19 hours, and were quite cheery. Ready to start to-morrow at 7, get over the big Pass 7,600 feet and hope to reach Hamadan about 11 a.m. There will be lots to do there.