June 25th 1939 – Razani

I win the officers and sergeants under 30 cross country race. The C.O. says he will give Rs 10 to the winner, and I just pip Lonsdale for it. Up Dun on R.P. yesterday.  Practically every piquet was shot up except Das, Dun, Nullah and Goat. 7101 was in action the whole day. About 2000 rounds fired, and no known enemy casualties. One gunner, Indian, wounded on Crocus. You just hold the Khassadar Hut on Dun now. The roof is sandbagged, with a loop hole or two, and you sit up there all day.

I sat on a chair in the shade down below, talking to the Khassadars and eating fresh made chapatties. They even shot up Toq. A richochet from down below bounced over us on Dun. I come running down Dun, just fail to make the Red Flag on a hill, miss it down below in a nullah, and eventually scramble up Crocus to report in. Harvey, the adjutant says, “What are you doing?”

I say, “Reporting in.”

“Well,” he says, in a nasty voice, “You’re taking your time about it, aren’t you!”

Willingly I would have shot him, me on my last legs and all. I heard nothing myself, but the air was pretty thick with lead, all down the road. The staff captain reckons the policy is to sit and wait until the locals get fed up with the Badmashes sniping every day, and when they have killed a Khassadar or two, perhaps the Waziris will take action against them.

I had halted coming back between a couple of M.G. sections and a V.B. or two, and never have I heard such a noise.


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