September 4th 1941 – Kohat

Haig and I suddenly get posted, he to 20 squadron and me to 28. I am told on Saturday to pack up straight away, and leave on Monday at 15.45, reaching here on Tuesday at 17.30. Alan’s marriage fixed for 17th, and I agree to try and meet him at Faletti’s on 16th. I travel up with two Nepalese officers, who look a bit Scottish. I get a room and a bearer here, and meet the C.O. in the Mess and have a few drinks. The adjutant, F/Lt Johnson, is very anxious to strip me of my wings and medal, especially the latter, as it is not yet being worn by the RAF.

First day I take four naval ratings up for air experience, and then half an hour’s engine test. Nothing to do today, but I fix myself up with an hour’s morse, and spend the rest of the time in A.I.L.O.’s office reading back publications of military interest, which I haven’t seen in the last year. Last night went along to the “Piffer Mess” (Frontier Force Rifles), but 7/13 out at Thal, though I saw Hugh Garton there, in the Club, and had a few beers with him. The Mess here is some way from the aerodrome, outside the Cantonment, and a lorry goes every morning at 8am and back at 1pm. Tuesday and Thursday they go 7 to 9pm for some reason. Peter Petit recaptured, and with his face in this month’s “Onlooker”. Five Lysanders on their way from Karachi, and then I will be foxed, as someone will remark on my wearing goggles, if they aren’t noticed in the flight office beforehand, blast it.


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