December 25th 1939 – Madras

The night opp. goes off fairly successfully, and we start for Madura at 4am – arriving at 4pm – 31.5 miles in all and with a stop for one hour. I find it pretty bloody on the feet, everything else being alright, but the Dogras look after me and feed me with fruit all the way. In Madura we camp on police football ground, and John and I nip off to Essex’s for a bath. I have two beers and one whisky there – then whisky in the club – and when I get to Brisley’s the Collector’s where we all dine, I feel bloody, but just manage to last the course, by consuming lots of lime juice during dinner. Next morning we march through Madura, saluting the Collector on the way. All the locals are grouped solemnly on the saluting base, but I manage to keep a straight face, and pass grimly out of their lives (maybe).

Received Christmas card from Guy Hamlet, now on the staff in Quetta, also one from Biddy. Leicesters are in Agra now I hear. Arrived back here yesterday morning and went straight up to the aerodrome, where I did landing circuits, fairly successfully, though I was inclined to misjudge my glide, and had to use a bit of engine, or found myself overshooting. Had 20 mins in the afternoon too, and find I am lighter on the stick, but a bit heavy with my feet.


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