Arrived Peshawar 6.30 a.m., staying with the Rennies – I am glad we came here, there is no spot on earth where we would have more friends and they are good friends. Quite enough friends to keep us cheery – and I am not down on my luck. The telegrams I sent the War Office were certainly impertinent and much too strong, I see that now in cold blood, but they should make allowance for circumstances and let me off with an apology – their present treatment is certainly unjust. But what do all these petty little private matters weigh against the splendid war news – Austria, Turkey and Bulgaria unconditional surrender! and the end of the war – a victorious end – in sight.
There is a sense of unreality in life when one lives in the scenes of bygone Kingdoms – down below in Mesopotamia, English soldiers are handling bricks from Babylon with Nebuchadnezzar’s seal on them, the Turks are just beyond them in Nineveh, and here I live in the town of King Darius, King Cyrus and the Great Alexander. How paltry human life seems. 2nd party arrived Zagha and we sent out a motor to bring in our mails. I purposed to call on the Governor, but he made excuses – didn’t want to see me, I suppose, as he is harbouring one of the Persian revolutionaries just returned from Turkey. That’s the very man I want to see.
Keep your tails up! We lost a Battleship yesterday, mined in the Mediterranean, a submarine the day before, and to-day we get news (long expected as far as I am concerned) of Townshend surrender to the Turks at Kut el Amara with 9000 men! 9000 men doesn’t matter tuppence and very few white, but the whole thing will be greatly magnified and be a heavy blow to our prestige in the East, it may even bring the Afghans down on top of us, as they have long been hanging on the brink – however, it’s all God’s will and certainly our nation with its pre-war concentration on trade and rubbish, and utter neglect of its army, does not deserve to win this war.
Arrived Suez at noon and straight off for Aden. Weather fine and not too warm. It was interesting going through the canal, all lights out and portholes closed on the port side for enemy’s snipers. Bridge protected with sandbags. Troops and defences all along. Saw the 56th that is the old 2nd P.I., and passed two French cruisers and one British. The ship is very empty and nice and quiet. Daisie and I enjoy that but other passengers complain that it is dull with no dancing or athletic sports. Susanna keeps well and cheerful with occasional fits of bad temper. She has one nice little boy to play with and seems in no hurry to get to the end of the journey. No particular war news. Where is our new force going to? The Dardanelles or to Bosnia, via Montenegro? Rumours of a naval expedition off Norway. No prospect of the war ending but of course some day it will end. I am certain that we will strike a blow between now and middle of May, that it will be successful and that the war will end in the Autumn. The Turks seem to be still quite serious in their advance on Egypt, but I do not think they can do much in that direction.