August 19th 1940


Went off to Peshawar on Thursday for the weekend. Had some stomach trouble and car conked out at Attock – this was mended (carburetter) by a lorry driver and I reach Peshawar Club and hand it over to Ghulam Sarwar. Dudley Withers in Srinagar unfortunately, and I know what he is doing! A chap called Dibben 1/4 GR turns up, whom I apparently played rugger against at Stowe. Friday the car was mended and I fix up to go to Landikotal for breakfast on Saturday and to look at the Khyber Pass. Also saw Major Loreto DDI and got a man to show me the bazaar. Bathed and drank draught beer in the club. Saturday Dibben and I depart and at milestone 5 the car breaks down again. There is a police post nearby and I ring up the garage. Out comes a man, looks at it, says he must go back for new platinum points, and will be just five minutes. I spend the ensuing hour until his return in smoking and throwing stones at frogs. A mad fakir gives us a brace of corn cobs, our only breakfast. Then start off again, but a temperamental piston frightens me and we return to Peshawar.

Reggie Malone comes down after lunch and we spend the evening swimming, and then beer on the lawn. Jobber is in Derha Dun with 6/14th. On Sunday we go round the bazaar. The guide is a Turk, of the royal family driven out by the Russians in 1910, and speaking 7 or 8 languages. We see the money changers, the streets of the leather, goldsmiths, silversmiths and brass workers, and painted birds in cages. We go to the pottery works, the Police Post roof, and the Afridi bazaar. Jews, beggars, locals with rifles strut about.

I set off at 11.30 and at 1 stop for an hour on the roadside. Here my car is looted of some Punjabi slippers I had bought in the bazaar. Reggie had told me that Peggy Hennessy, of the SS City of Venice (JDW: the passenger cum troopship my father came out on in 1938, later sunk off Algiers by a U-boat in 1943), lived in Wah, her father being chief Punjab cement man there, so I stopped in order to arrive for tea there. This I did and found them all in Murree, but was given tea by the bearer, a very civil bloke. The house palatial. The car now gives trouble. I have been nursing it all the way, but it gets fits of not pulling in top gear, being OK in second. This they say is due to bad carburation. I don’t know though.

C.A. Blackwell, C.D. Yarrow missing at Dunkirk. Also hear that Peter Petit had his girl, “the Minx”, staying out in Mhow when he was there.

No second pips until two and a quarter years service or 18 months of war, whichever first. Three more months to do for me.

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