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.
This is being a wonderful year so far. Heavy rain yesterday and black clouds now, quite cold and no idea of thin suits or punkahs – it is most abnormal. The War shows no sign of flagging, goes on just killing, killing, killing. I suppose it will end some day. Good news yesterday, the vile traitor, Roger Casement*, tried to land in Ireland with arms and was captured – everybody except Roger is very pleased. Am going up to Landi Kotal to-morrow to have a peep at Afghanistan.
I have given both the boys a good start in stamp-collecting and I hope they’ll take an interest in it and not swop valuable stamps for tame rabbits or white mice.
* Roger Casement was knighted in 1911 for his humanitarian work; yet, having been born in County Dublin, was a sympathiser of Irish nationalism due to the British oppression of the Irish. He was captured leaving a U-boat in April 1916, having tried to muster support from the German government for an uprising in Ireland. Despite his failure, the Uprising went ahead, on Easter Monday, 24 April 1916, in Dublin. While the uprising was crushed, it ultimately led to Ireland being granted Home Rule and paved the way for Eire (southern Ireland) to become independent of the United Kingdom.
Some doubts exist over the circulation of diaries purporting to show Casement as gay, which of course was a grave crime in 1916. These diaries removed any sympathy to his plight and he was executed for treason on 29 June of that year.