September 5th 1940

Set off for Nasirabad on 30th. Took over train, but my lilo was punctured of course, and with John Stephenson I set off. Parted company at Lahore, where he went on to Solon. Got onto the metre gauge railway at Bhatinda and nearly shook my guts out. Fed very well on a tin or two a day with bread, fruit from the stations and pinky pani (JDW: a potassium permanganate solution used to wash fruit and vegetables in – pani meaning water in Hindi). Passed through Ajmer, a big railway colony, and looking prosperous with a car practically at every door. Keith Dawson objected to the boys arriving with their feet out of the windows and on arrival Pinsent Q/M gave me a sort of operation order for unloading, which I promptly forgot and do no more about.

Lunch with the Dawsons, a bit drunken, and me trying to get a word in here and there. Sleep, walk and booze with Hugh Easton and Pat Thompson 2/11, ex Razmak, with their new battalion there. Bridge with Bill, Springheel who is making a nuisance of himself here, and Felix Williams, and I come back on Sunday arriving here on Tuesday night after a bloody journey. Nasirabad was evacuated in May owing to water shortage, but now they have returned as it rained alot recently. Expect to go to Bannu shortly and relieve 1/12 who are due for mechanisation. Akhbar of 6/13 there. He said we had been going to invade Persia with that force and seize the oilfields, but now not, so expect 59th have gone to Egypt.

Rumours of the boys moving Wana to Jallundur or Ambala shortly – what the hell do there? Sikhs in C.I.H. refused to embark at Bombay for overseas, so half a dozen of them shot by court martial sentence. One transported for 15 years, but not dismissed the service, so presumably will return on completion.

Abbottabad as bloody as ever, and depression gets worse. Kitty Cole married to a Captain Desmond Verney.


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