September 4th 1942 – Ranchi

I go off on the train and reach Ranchi four days later, having passed the rail party. They change onto my train at Gaga. I feed myself well on bread, cold meat and sardines, with a pot of vegemite. We pass through alot of burnt-out stations (during the present Congress riots), and they are mostly guarded by British troops. I collected a bearer at Kohat but he is a bit dim and was a woman’s before. The trains don’t run at night but we get to Ranchi road only one day late.

I meet Johnson and Carvel of 17 sqn on ‘Pindi platform going on leave. Burt Mann told by the ‘allocator of a/c’ in Delhi that we should be reequipped the end of this month (august). No news of Hammerbeck, so presumably not posted, but quite a new spirit about in his absence. Tom Pierce still in Karachi presumably. Carmichael of 17th Dogras has joined us. We are doing a daily mail run to Patna, the other a/c standing by during the ‘trouble’ and doing armed reccos for rioters and what not. Rose gives a lecture on RTR, and it’s an illumination after what we had before.

We go to the club last night and have one or two, but most of the old “koihais” (?) seem to have changed. I bet these ‘Vengeances’ are a failure, if we get them. Old, never been used before, and with Allison motors which cut on take off. If they are good, why send them to India, and not more important fronts? Parachute troops being dropped in Burma, and then walking home, and Jap transmitting sets being found in villages along the Ganges!! A patrol of YSL (or Y8L?) – BO Sgt, Cpl and two men – scuppered by a mob. Bihar is the worst district, mostly Patna side.


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3 responses to “September 4th 1942 – Ranchi”

  1. […] Walking home from the Ranchi Club to the mess after a game of tennis – in the good old days of Teddy, Burt, Robin White, Tom […]

  2. Recently found out that “Carmichael of 17 Dogras” had an adventure of his own later on the Burma Front flying for No.28 Squadron. Story told here

  3. “Koihais” = Koi Hai? (Hindi for ‘anyone there?’) = Stewards, Waiters in the club!

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