1916 – November 1

My lucky month of birth and marriage. Nothing doing except on the right of the line, where the Guides exchange shots with about 50 of the enemy at long range. There are probably about 500 of them gathered there, but not ready to attack. The position is really impregnable. It overlooks the right bank of the Swat river and is very picturesque. I chose sites for 3 picquets here over the frontier in the Burhan Khel country and they are naturally mad about it and swear revenge. The line had to go forward there to protect the weir in the river below.

1915 – October 8

Another battle with the Mohmands. My lot in the middle on the same ground as before, but I put the Kings in the centre – on the right the 4th Brigade under Christian, the 3rd Brigade on my left under General Woodyatt*. Finished and withdrew at 4 p.m. arriving in camp at 5.0. The enemy were very half-hearted and didn’t follow up much. I had only 8 casualties and the whole Force only 3 officers wounded and 60 men knocked over. We had an awful lot of artillery, 30 guns, howitzers, field and mountain and it was mostly an artillery show. The Guides had rather a hot time on the left. I asked the third Brigade to advance there to cover my left, but I never asked them to wheel. Woodyatt stupidly wheeled them and that brought their left, the Guides, with their left shoulders up against the enemy’s trenches. Battye of the Guides** was shot through the groin, but doing well.

* Likely to be Major General Nigel Woodyatt, author of this book.
** Likely to be Captain U. I. Battye.

1915 – August 19

Still no rain and the country is quite parched. But the great heat has gone and we are having a beautiful cool spell. The heat will come back again, but will never be as fierce as it was before. The Bunerwals swarmed down onto Rustam* two days ago, about 4000, but the Guides were waiting for them and I think they must have suffered severely. The Guides only lost 1 Officer and 1 N.C.O. killed and 2 wounded. The Mohmands, who are my particular lot, seem quiet just now and the news of the Buner failure will probably put them off.

* Unable to ascertain where this is