Through a terrible 60 mile defile, worse than the Khyber and over a long snow Pass, road good, reached Mendzil where we put up at a house calling itself a hotel. Met many Bolshevik soldiers and had long talks with them, but there’s not really much the matter with them after all, but lack of discipline which leads to disorder and murder.
All wire completed. All very quiet so far. The Division, the Cavalry Brigade, the 2nd Brigade and all artillery and cavalry from my lot have been taken away, which leaves me very thin, but they fear disturbances in the Khyber and I must try my best to hold this 17 miles with 5 battalions 1 Battery and 50 Sabres.
No ladies are allowed at Landi Kotal fort, but Sir George Roos Keppel gave me special permission to take Daisie up to have a peep at Afghanistan, and Pears, the Political agent, Khyber, asked us to lunch. We started in Major Finlay’s car at 9.30 a.m. after the parade service of Intercession, 2nd anniversary of the Declaration of War – Arrived there, 30 miles up hill about 11.30, wandered about the country, had lunch and returned by 4.30 p.m., roasted to death as we had the top off the car to see the view. It is hot and sticky after the rain.
The Campbell Wards came to stay and left on Friday March 3rd. Such a pleasant week. We took them everywhere, up the Khyber, Shabkadr etc. Meg* looked very cheerful and happy – my Godchild. The Bishop of Lahore (Durant) was also here, a very good man and we had some interesting talks. Stein** is back from Central Asia and is coming to see us here.
Early morning got orders to march out the Khyber Moveable column [see also 1st June 1915] as the Mohmands are really on the move at last. Marched at 6 p.m. Frightful heat, the Kings fell out 50% and the native troops were not much better. Camped at Nagoman on the Cabal [now known as Kabul] River, we just lay down as we were.
[See also this, which is a history of the King’s Regiment (Liverpool), and which makes reference to this date.]