The aeroplane arrived all right yesterday and gave a good show that impressed the people. To-day the democrats have engineered a run on the Bank – if it goes broke we’re done. Meantime Baghdad will not get troops on the move and things are very serious indeed. To-day I hope to get in a few men of the Hants and there are about 100 of the Cossacks still here if there is a row, but I want a squadron of cavalry and a couple of guns. The Germans and Turks are drilling the Kurds in the mountains close by, with the intention of swooping down on the towns, and I cannot stop them, and the famine is awful. It all makes me feel very, very old. But God is with us always. The news from France is bad, still retiring. Only from Baghdad the good news that we have captured 3000 Turks on the Euphrates.
Marched to Wulai* for Brigade Training. I have had a fearfully busy time inspecting and reporting on 7 Infantry battalions and doing in addition the Command of this huge station and interior economy and discipline of 3 batteries of artillery, 1 Regt. of Cavalry, 1 Sappers and Miners, 3 Field-Ambulances, 3 Motor Units, 1 Armoured car unit and 5 Transport units – no time to breathe.
* possibly here
Had to go in to see Divisional General – all his Staff have got fever – fever is very bad just now, the men go down in scores. A nice morning and lunch with Daisie. The enemy are not very active, but there is a good deal of sniping and raiding at night and my cavalry patrols are always fired on – the armoured cars get a look in now and then, but there are not many casualties on either side.
Arrived Villeneuve at 4 a.m. A lot of work rearranging trains as everything is now altered. I am taking stuff for the 1st Army only, to Mont Notre Dame and a few trucks to Fère-en-Tardenois and Neuilly gl. Front. The 2nd Army go to Abbeville, 3rd Army Crépy, 1st and 2nd Cav. at Amiens. G.H.Q. R.F.C.Q. Abbeville – all big and portentous moves. Saw 7 engines going North of the Belgian North line, which looks as if we were reopening Belgium but how can that be? Also I hear our Cavalry are in Belgium. I hear the real reason of the German swinging off S.E. from Paris was that they thought the English Army had been wiped out! and then they found that same beastly little army hitting them on the right shoulder, and so began the Débâcle. It was the contemptible little English Army that did the trick from first to last.