July 16th 1939 – Razani

A snorter of a Brigade day on 14th. We went up Zargal Algad to False Narai, Green Dome, and onto Bare Patch. Out from 6am until 6pm. Quite a bit of shooting on the top of that ridge. I had to occupy a sangar position and whilst rushing towards it through the bushes, about 200′ away, I saw M.G.s kicking up dust all round it. Peter Withington I believe was screaming his head off, lest I get shot by the M.G.s. Eventually on another sangar, shooting starts off pretty close judging by the noise. One of the M.G. mule drivers claims to see where it comes from, a bush about 500′ away. I hold his mule and he opens up with his rifle on it, of course with no apparent result. This is too much for the remaining mule drivers, who hook their reins over the crook of their elbows and start blasting the countryside. I have to put a stop to that, as the mules attempt to bolt.

Eventually reach Bare Patch and find two empty (Dushmen’s) rounds. The Ghurkhas apparently surprised the enemy there, drew their kukris and put the enemy to flight, as the tribesmen didn’t wait. I also found his dried blood, from his arm, which was smashed by a bullet. There was a hell of a lot of it, in a dried pool. Also the cover of his 1st field dressing.

Peter Withington and I were sitting having lunch up there, and a couple of bullets passed over. We reckoned they came from Holly, aimed at another picquet lower down, and were ‘overs’. I get lost on the way back, and have to carry a rifle home from Bare Patch. A real good wind and rain, sweeping like Tiree. Ian Mitchell very rude when I reach him and ask him for D Coy HQ. Pretty bloody wet, but enjoyed it on the whole.

Next day covering range on Goat. Cpl Atkinson finds a sentry reading “Spicy Adventure Stories”, confiscates it, and when he has read a few, I pass a couple of pleasant hours reading it.

Harrow won at Lords, first time since 1908, and a free fight took place. How I wish I was there, to bash in a few toppers. R.P. tomorrow, advanced guard – and my heel is bruised through playing ice hockey.


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