1916 – November 16

Yesterday the Mohmands put up a half-hearted fight, my Brigade remained in Reserve on the wire, but I rode forward to the 2nd Brigade on the downs and saw little. The Durham Light Infantry lost about 10 men. The aeroplanes were very interesting and the enemy didn’t like them at all. Another man caught on the wire – a holy youth of 18, who armed himself only with two Korans which were not effectual against the 2000 volts.

1916 – October 3

House shut up and everything locked away so ate my breakfast at 6.30 a.m. with my fingers – 3 poached eggs! Column marched at 8.30 a.m., punctually arrived Nagoman camp 12, noon. Very hot, but only one case of heat-stroke. Troops are Kings Regt., 72 Punjabis, 15th Sikhs, 12th Pioneers90th Batt. Field Artillery, 24th Batt. Mountain Artillery, 2 Squadrons, 30th Lancers, No. 1 Co. Sappers and Miners. Transport very bad, a bad class of mule, badly trained, badly fed, in bad condition, gear bad, personnel bad, officers useless. I would not care to have to undertake anything very desperate with this lot. It’s not their fault – everything of the best has been sent to the big front.

1916 – September 27

Susanna went to a fancy dress tea-party at the Thomases’ yesterday. She looked very smart as a General in summer white Mess uniform. The Mohmands have begun raiding again and the Flying Column has been sent out, as General Davies is commanding for me in my absence there seems no need for me to return unless things get more serious. Our aeroplanes flew over the Mohmand country yesterday and I am anxious to hear the result.

1916 – August 10

These Pathans are very outspoken and impertinent. Old Khalu came to see me to-day, an enemy Mohmand who did some secret service for me during the trouble last year. He says “You soldiers are like hawks, never know where you will be next. Sometimes like you in France, then on the Frontier here, then perhaps in Mesopotamia and so on. The Civilians are like your women-folk, while you fight and kill and lose your lives, they stay at home and look after the house and eat presents of fruit and reap the rewards of your deeds of valour!” A rather unjust view of the Indian civilian who’s just as ready as anyone to take his place in the firing line.