These diary entries are arranged by month in the right navigation, though due to the order in which they were posted (originally they were published on the same day exactly sixty years later), the posts within each month are listed in reverse order (most recent first).
They start in 1938 here.
A.and I have a drink with Jerry Philips in my favourite bar, the Mayfair, and then we have dinner with Bill and Daphne at Manetta’s, where I get a bit weary at 11.30 or so. We see Mary Churchill, who recognises A. with whom she was at school, and A. says “Yes, you are Mary – Mary?”
Next day we say farewell in the entrance to Marylebone underground in a flood of tears, and A. makes straight for the up escalator.
We come up to town and stay at the Majestic Hotel in Cromwell Road. I go to the Great Central Hotel and meet Jerry Philips, 10 Baluchis, Donald Gorden, 7 Jajputs, and Macdowall, now a Lt Col working at the India Office. The outlook appears a bit depressing in India, and no word of when we sail. I report there at 10.30 and 5pm every day. Saturday we have a party at Quaglinos. Mike Jacobs and Freddie, Bill and Daphne Lyell-Grant, Bob his brother, and dame, and the Osbornes, which is not too bad and I get quite a lot of financial support – from A. too! Sunday we go down to Sutton to the Williams’ and then have dinner with Mrs Fraser. Bill has got himself engaged to Daphne and we are going to have a party tonight. I shall be glad to get away at last, but do not see what the future holds.
I landed on 25th two years ago. Little did I know!
On 11th I get a wire postponing my report until 20th and I am annoyed. I go up to London the next day and find that I am on a draft leaving on “Britannic” ex Liverpool about 25th, so A. and I are going up to town tomorrow. We have arranged a small party tomorrow night. We walk and ride a bit here, and I knock off a couple more rabbits. My first English shooting since 1938 and very nice round here, as one can practically sunbathe. I get an urge for Scotland, and Tiree, but God only know when I shall get there.
A. thinks she is having a baby, which may well postpone her voyage to India – I hope not. I ger 2nd Lt Indian Army rates of pay, about £50, having sent a postcard to the India Office saying I am living on air and good literature – they pay me by return!
I get an urge to do some work again, as I have a lot to make up. At present I am wandering around with as many medals as a Lt Col at least! Follow the star…
I go out shooting with A. and get a rabbit and a grey squirrel. We also have a sort of family ride and I go over three jumps. The second one I do badly and come off, the first time ever in my life. I hurt my shoulder and go in to Oxford for an x-ray – it is OK and recovers after a bit of massage.
Plenty of sun here and I try and learn up a little Urdu, not very successfully. I get orders to report to the London Assembly Centre, Great Central Hotel, on 12th April at 4pm, and go up to town to see about my baggage. I have just over the prescribed 4 cwt and I want to put it all in the luggage room, which is not alllowed, so will hope for the best. I insure it, and find that I shall be a bit short of money. Yesterday we go to the Old Berkeley Point to Point at Kemble, but I am unable to pick a winner. It’s about time I got on with some work again.
We spend a couple of days in Brighton and then return home, and we ride a little and go out drinking here and there. I have a very good ride by myself along the Icknield Way, and see so many rabbits decide to unpack my .22.
We then go up to town for a few days and stay in the Dominions Hotel. We see aunts B. and V., Mama, and Bill Robinson, and go to the theatre and Ciro’s with the Broomes, who are local residents and rolling in the stuff. I go to the India Office and find that I shall only get four days notice to sail, and that A. will be unable to come until I can get her accommodation. I also see one Lt Col. Owens 1/8 G.R. in G1 Training, who advises me to write to the regimental centre and ask for a course when I get back, and set to work and start at the beginning again. We later return to Stokenchurch, plus rifle, and Tony and I beat around Beacon Hill yesterday. I miss one rabbit, but there are plenty there. I say farewell to Mama at Marylebone station. I have done no work for six months and it is time I did.
We go down to Brighton and lunch at the Old Ship, dine at the Crown at Chiddingfold, and yesterday morning I dress up and we go and visit the R.M.C. (JDW: Sandhurst). It is much the same, with the same ‘bluebottles’, but damned cold. I teach A. cribbage and we walk around the surrounding country.