Susanna and Miss Key arrived from Murree by the early morning train and brought with them the wonderful news of:
P E A C E A T L A S T !
and this GREATEST WAR is over.
We are so accustomed to war in this fifth year that we can hardly believe the news.
Meantime I have been more or less forgiven and am to have command of a new Brigade at Agra – but I do not believe now that the war is over that they will ever want any new Brigades. Susanna and Miss Key are staying with the Bomfords and we go over there also in a few days.
We celebrated Peace at the Club with a Champagne dinner party with the Rennies.
Very cold, Daisie and I left by motor at 3 p.m. for Pindi and thence train to Peshawar – Susanna and Miss Key remain here.
Pencilled note: “End of War Diary C. Return to page 132 Vol 10”
7 a.m. Just off! It is sad breaking up this little home where we have had 2½ happy years – but I felt all the time it was wrong to have so much happiness amidst the misery of War time. Our Christmas Dinner was a great success in spite of all – and my farewell to the Home was also inspiring. Last night I had 36 men of the Church of England Men’s Society to tea – including Corporal Gould. Daisie comes down to the port with me and Susanna stays here with Miss Key.
I suppose I go to Baghdad* and thence go on to serve with the Russians, the very job I am fitted for and that I have desired since I knew that we had linked up with them. Daisie thinks the Russian anarchists and Bolsheviks will kill me, which is quite likely!
* Reference to Fall of Baghdad, 1917
I begin the 53rd year of my life and my 21st year with my sweet companion, Daisie, I should have liked a quiet wedding evening at home, but had to go to a big Durbar at Sir George Roos-Keppel‘s so the celebration was rather spoilt, but we had our bottle of champagne last night and drank to the health of the two boys at home. Miss Key arrived last night to help Daisie look after Susanna, and be also an unpaid companion to her.
Quite settled down now and comfortable – Weather ideal, very few sand-flies or mosquitos. Daisie has no one to help her with Susanna till Miss Key comes, so is tied to the house. Mrs. Denne arrived on Tuesday 20th to run the Home for us and stayed with us till yesterday morning. She is a good sort and will do well I think.
Weather fine but very cold after hail. After Miss Key and Susanna to Murree and Daisie and I walked to Doonga by the long main road, arriving in time for tea.
Took Susanna for a long walk down the cliff and up through the woods. She was very tired but wouldn’t give in. Afternoon we walked down the road to meet the others coming in, and they arrived at 6.30 p.m. Miss Key in dandy and Daisie walking.
We buried poor Rose yesterday evening in the cemetery at the foot of the hill – she was taken down by 6 men of the Yorkshire regiment*. Mrs. Thompson, a friend of hers, was there, Miss Key, Daisie and myself. Rev. J. Williams, Major Dunsford and Miss Attree of the G.F.S. Revd. Dixon conducted the funeral – a nice fellow. Susanna has not been told about it yet.
It is nice to escape from hospital, but I have a fresh boil on my right knee. I believe Velia, the dog, misses Rose most, she runs from room to room looking for her. Daisie told Susanna this morning that she would never see Rose again, that Rose had gone to God to be an angel and nurse little angel children in heaven. Susanna took hardly any notice and asked no questions – it was as if she had known it all along. But who can tell what a child’s thoughts are? It is very merciful. I also cannot, I’m glad to say, realize our loss till I deliberately turn my mind on to it. From a purely selfish point of view the loss is irreparable.
* The Yorkshires came in various incarnations, as listed here. The ones referred to here are most likely to be this regiment (from the brief research I have done).
Miss Key came to stay. Life goes on. A year ago I was a Colonel on the Railways in France – now I am a Brigadier General and an Aide-de-Camp to His Majesty, King George V. the latter is a great honour and one I appreciate very much indeed. Nothing but bad news from every part of the front, bar in France and Russia – but the Germans must be feeling the war terribly I am sure – much more than we do.
Arrived Forest Dell, Murree, Miss Key, where Susanna was born – 11. a.m. such joy to see Susanna, such a dear and looking so well – though thin.