April 1st 1939 – Razani

I come under fire for the first time today. I was up at 7022 Picquet which has been shot up before, and on which my platoon was shot up when I was in Nowshera. Well, Barlow’s platoon relieves me about 12 o’clock so that I can get lunch at Company HQ. I cover his platoon off with two rifle sections lining the nullah bank and the V.B. on Gaj Ridge. They start to move off the top, and his V.B. number stands up to prepare to move from his sangar, on the forward slope of the hill. About eight shots come over him, apparently from the usual place, the graveyard – about 1300 yards from Gaj Ridge. Well they all get down again, and eventually withdraw two or three at a time, without loss. The M.G.s open up and the artillery, and my two rifle sections. During spasmodic shooting three or four shots whistle over my head on Gaj and I quickly get down behind the V.B.’s sangar. One hits the bank in front of me, and another by the signaller behind me.

The R.U.R. (Royal Ulster Regiment) relieved us at Razani and we marched up without incident, although one of my chaplies was nearly sucked off in the wind on Greenwood’s Corner short cut. The R.U.R. have a wonderful reputation for letting off their rifles. They shoot up anyone who is not wearing a topee or a ghurka hat. The scouts refused to operate unless given shorts to distinguish them. They shot up the Bombay Grenadiers, who were not having any and replied.

Met Fregard, one of their Ulia’s for the Garhwal Rifles. The Shaktu incident was apparently as follows. The P.A. promised a safe conduct to the tribesmen in the cave. They came out and were hustled by the bayonets of the Dogras. Then, thinking that they were to die anyway, they turned on the Dogras, including the C.O., and were all slaughtered. The P.A. had to be hustled out of Waziristan and down to the Plains. Bad luck for him, but his life would have been in danger any longer up here.


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