February 17th 1940 – Madras

Did 30 mins solo at 5pm yesterday – did figure of 8’s at 600′ fairly successfully I think, though whether I can land on the mark I don’t know. I did a few landings, sort of settle down ones, as it was a bit bumpy. Shut off at 1200′ and landed, and took a look at the Mess. It was the best flight I ever had. Then I went out to the range and had a puncture and had to walk back. It took 40 mins, but I made 8.30 OK.

Wore white shirt, trousers, rugger blazer and a scarf – most chaps in shirt and trousers. Dined with the Wadsworths, plus Elsie and the two Mocketts and of course Marjorie, along with Steve, Jimmy, another Willie and a chap I didn’t know. Some good beer for dinner and I upset my coffee cup on the table like a bloody fool. I find myself seated next to Marjorie at dinner. I was told to send the driver away as soon as I arrive, and am next told to take Marjorie in Wadsworth’s car – everyone going in pairs – so I reckon Celia Mockett must have fixed that.

Arrive at Adyar and find it’s a programme dance. Get mine filled with a few horrors but allow three for Marjorie. Sign S. Marmaduke (JDW: a fictional character my father liked to assume, a man who ran up large bar bills all over Asia) on a drink or two, with his kind permission. There were chaps playing roulette, and there were lilos and mattresses everywhere. I take Marjorie for a walk or two and some more of her lipstick, though she isn’t very helpful. I don’t know why – I’m sure she likes it. Meet Willie Thyne (bart) who says I’m his rival. This goes on until 2.30 am when God Save the King is struck up. I’m pretty worn out, haven’t seen Marjorie for a couple of dances, and pretty angry. Bill turns up, the Colonel having gone off for a weekend in Madurai with Doakes. He is with the Barrington-Smythes and Mrs Dyson. All five girls get in Wadsworth’s car and take me home. No parades today thank god, so I get up at 8.30am.


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3 responses to “February 17th 1940 – Madras”

  1. I like the idea of S Marmaduke. A very good friend indeed!

  2. Today, while trawling the net for other stuff, stumbled upon the Madras Flying Club website – and they had a list of Alumni on their site – with Dunford-Wood’s name in the list http://madrasflyingclub.net/media/alu.pdf .. pretty sure his name is also in the lists put up in their class rooms ( https://picasaweb.google.com/Frankjollypaul/Latest2?authkey=Gv1sRgCKG9po-f9OqnxQE#5679273733990846530 ) . Funny thing was I didnt realise he learnt flying at the Madras FC till I read it in the list on their website.. then I came here to look up the corresponding entries… I love how everything is connected ..

    1. James Dunford Wood Avatar
      James Dunford Wood

      Thanks for those images – amazing. Odd they just listed him as ‘Dunford Wood’ – no rank, or initials. Obviously they did not have much paperwork on him.

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