May 17th 1939 – Razani

Yesterday our first casualty. We are all out watching the final of British company Bde football. Suddenly bullets come over from Horseshoe way and land on the pitch. The course soon clears, except for the Brigadier, who sits there as if he didn’t know what was the matter. Chaps line the ditch and take cover. Then ‘Bakhshi Joe’ starts up an enfilade. He hits a man in C Coy in the chest, just coming out of his bungalow. The man dies in hospital shortly afterwards, the doctors saying he never had a chance. We are all damn lucky out there not to cop it, as I see two or three which, with a slight alteration of the Dushman’s aim, would have found marks.

An awful lot of flies come out here now. They wake me up between 6am and 7am by buzzing around my head and settling on my face. There is an O.H. (Old Harrovian) up here, the district ordnance officer, M.W. Scott, from D.I.K. (a house at Harrow). Mickey Wardle gives me the ‘lowdown’ on Palestine, and from what he says it seems there is some truth in the atrocity stories which the German press gets hold of. He hasn’t much of an opinion of the Royal Scots, a pretty blood-thirsty lot apparently.

Went up to Das picquet on 15th. A very steep climb, one of the steepest I think. On the top a sangar or two and a knife edge, overlooking Shimi village. I hold the knife edge, and we get a wonderful view from there.


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