June 7th 1940 – Lahore


We go to the Moriani Club on Saturday 1st and then I go off for a night with Peter Allan, and what a night. Tennis, a drink and change, then a game of pills (?), some bridge, and then boozing in the bar with a chap who knew John Macneil, and we leave at 12pm. Finish dinner at 2am and so to bed. In the Club I had retired at about 10pm, and after that got my second wind OK.

The next day tennis with the Butters and back home. We discuss Allan family history since I left them, and this and that. I push off to Calcutta on 3rd and spend 4th night in the Grand Hotel (12/8). I go out to Dum Dum aerodrome, and am allowed up dual which I manage OK. The next morning I go out solo, but a damn Indian smashes his undercarriage the turn before me, so no more flying. That being so I push off to Lahore where I am now, in Falletti’s hotel (signed into the book as “Marmaduke, Undertaker”).

4th June a memorable day, for that night I discover a secret of nearly 9 years standing, though I admit I had overestimated it. Enough said! (JDW: what is this all about? Finally getting his legover? And why nine years?)

A bloody journey on the Punjab Mail, though met one Gilroy (ex 53rd), now AIRO in RIASC. Arrive here at 7am and breakfast and off up to the aerodrome. After 25 minutes dual, am allowed solo, and just circle and land, though a bit bumpy. I’m fed up with doing landing circuits for ever. Still, it certainly is an expensive hobby, and I can’t see what good is going to come out of it ever. (JDW: little did he know – less than a year later he is in the RAF bombing Iraqi insurgents at Falluja).

Met Appleton, joining the RAF (3 Blenheims) in Calcutta. Up again this evening for 40 minutes. Walters the pilot instructor unable to teach me aerobatics, so I go on a recce over Lahore, about ten miles away. Keep at 2000′ and try to take a couple of photographs. A bit of a haze and much smoke, but most enjoyable and finish with a perfect landing. The damn man won’t let me spin her, me who has spun at 3000′ in Madras – he says he doesn’t like chaps of only 6 or 7 hours flying throwing the planes about. What the hell’s he think I am? Met a flying British officer there and was telling him what Adams had told me about Haig going to the RAF, and found he WAS Haig, and that they had accepted him and then done nothing more about it.

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