Days are very busy. To-day I saw Lt. Maurice of the French Army about certain secret matters connected with the oil-fields, then Captain Noel about some mills that want shuttles from England to increase supply, we to purchase increased supply and exchange for grain in ports where cash is not accepted – we get back to barter in these days, also about Noel’s plans for the N. Caucasus where Pike has been killed and I propose Noel takes his place. Then Mr. Clarke Head of the Food Control about food supplies for population here, 300,000. Then Gendre the Social Revolutionary about his plots, then Araratiantz the Armenian about Armenian Army Reform, then Chardigny about wiring present situation to Paris – then Ragozin about his plans, Albizzi about the Russian armed cars. In the evening 5 p.m. a Georgian Prince re Tartar affairs and hopes. Then a Committee meeting at the War Minister, Bogratuni, reorganization. Then Captain Colmanautz, re the situation in Erivan, Major Conrans en route to Bicherakov with instructions, Colonel Rawlinson re destruction of bridges.
The world seems very small!! On October 15th 1914, I wrote in my diary in France: “Braisne is being shelled, where I was on Sept. 18th and Oct. 3rd, and two old ladies have fled from there, I am taking them down with me to Paris.” To-day I get a letter from Captain Elliott. from North Wales and he says: “They had a most interesting old French lady with them, Mademoiselle Menesson…. in this War she was at Braisne on the Aisne, and had French, German and British alternately billeted on her, finally they started bombarding and she fled to England, this was on Oct. 15th 1914, she says that at 7 p.m. that evening at Mont Notre Dame, she was assisted by an Indian Army Colonel, “bel homme, distingué, d’une grande taille,” [good-looking man, distinguished, very tall] who was “chef de train”, could it have been yourself? Anyhow she quite fell in love with him and tells everyone she meets of her wonderful Colonel who had come all the way from India to be a train conductor – the said Colonel was most attractive, fed her on the best bully beef, opening the tin with his own fair hands, etc. etc.” It is very interesting.
Off Algiers – fine and hot but cold breeze – ideal weather. Think of them shivering in England, France and Belgium. Everyone plays the same old ship games which bore me. I hope we are beyond reach of the sub-marines now, but there was one on the lookout for us before Gibraltar. Tied on our lifebelts, Susanna’s is an enormous one, it would certainly drown her.
India Office and shopping and altered my will to leave Daisie freer, cost 13/4 for the codicil, not a large sum.
[13/4 = 13 shillings and 4 pence, approx. £70 in 2015.]
Left Green 3.36 p.m. to Paddington, Galfrid on the same train – nice boy and looking very well. Arrived 4, Ilchester Gardens at 9.0 p.m. Galfrid’s box lost. Dora and Bettie here and my dear Leo looking cheerful and nice.
Newton Abbott to see Mr. Bayliss about Galfrid. Soldiers looking smart and quite decent officers. Daisie is working herself to death packing, with an awful influenza cold and a bad toe.
Devonshire looking beautiful, so sad to leave it all in such a hurry. Went to Church in uniform, shall be sorry to get into mufti to-morrow after 7 months uniform.