April 20th – Pachmarhi


Doing plenty of work here. Up at 7, at it from 8.30 until lunchtime. I then relax for an hour or so, have tea and go off to tennis. (JDW: call this work, Dad? How things have changed in 70 years..) We have all fallen into our groups and cliques now. I am in one with Roger Green, Dudley Withers RAF, “Lord” Page, R. Berko and mixed up Mulhollands, Ox & Bucks, Retherwick Skins etc. We call ourselves ‘the snakes’, though Basil Henson is my idea of one (JDW: Basil Henson later became a well known stage and screen actor in the UK – is he the same Henson that my father refers to as being engaged to the girl who can’t apply make-up, Joan Strallan? If so, he did not marry her).

I am getting browned off with the social side, and saw my club bill the other day, so am laying off for a bit. I am now the underwater expert at Beedam, and last time crossed and re-crossed in one. They call me “Dornford-Yates” – it was “Sulky” with the Wilts. The course is interesting but confusing in the facts accumulated. I sleep very well here, out on the verandah, though storms get up occasionally. I wish I had a gun. Adams, 2/19, has got a panther and a sambhar. One Pughe, Kings Own, went up for his medical for the RAF and is now told to report to Hamble, near Southampton, on 13th May. God! A letter from Bill, just up from Cairo, and even in the Middle East they have the “Journey’s End” atmosphere, and plenty of fun with the nursing sisters, or so he says. Mac Bradley and Gillam 2/7 on this course. I have a 1/500 H.S. burn and some neat H.S. on the other arm. Neat H.S. removed with ointment. (JDW: anyone know what this means?) I win the plate-lifting at Beedam – money for jam!

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2 Responses to April 20th – Pachmarhi

  1. Kalyan says:

    HS Burn could probably refer to Heat Stroke Burn…interesting narrative as my dad was in the RIAF roughly in the same period. I have been to some of the places in the story e.g. Doakes home in Madura (now called Madurai), St Thomas Mount, Connemara – adds a bit of vividity! Thanks for sharing.

    • James Dunford Wood says:

      Hi there – thanks for all your very useful comments! Keep ’em coming! They make things alot clearer -James

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