1 January: Arrived at Penang late tonight.
2 January: Went ashore at Penang. Saw Mollie's cousin Chris Miles and her daughter, Mary. Sailed again same day.
5 January: Arrived Rangoon 6 a.m. Stayed with the Craws for the night.
6 January: Caught the Mandalay Mail train tonight.
7 January: Arrived Maymyo having come from Mandalay up the hill by car. On return from leave found several changes in the battery. Joe Edelmann and Fergie had gone to England and that MacCarthy and Cowie had taken their places. The two latter were at that time away in the WA States with detachments. That left only the Major and I with the battery for duty. During January I lived in my own bungalow and had meals with the Elliots. Also had some good polo this month, in addition to my own pony Ptolemy I had those belonging to Cowie and MacCarthy.
Decided to take my written promotion exam in March.
During this month also decided that to transfer to the I.A.O.C. would solve my present difficulties, i.e. earn more money to get married with; also to be able to help Mollie with the girls in case of Father's death leaving them unprovided for; secondly, to give myself a more satisfying and specialised job.
February: The Major and I went off to camp, with the remainder of the battery, to KANGYI.N.SS. That was a busy time because in addition to the usual exercises and manoeuvres - which were fairly strenuous - I utilised all my spare time in studying for my exam. About the third week of this month I heard the news of Father's death. I then made the first move in my transfer to the I.A.O.C. and was told that I would be accepted as soon as I applied officially. Decided not to apply until September so as not to upset the leave situation in the battery.
March: Returned to Maymyo a few days before the battery and sat for the exam which I passed with very satisfactory marks, considering the amount of preparation I had done for it. Cowie and MacCarthy returned from the WA States at the end of the month and the battery was complete again for the first time in several months.
April: Cowie and MacCarthy went off on leave to England. The latter got married whilst on leave. Old Freddie and I were left holding the baby again.
June: Went off on 10 days leave to Kalaw in company with John Warren (Burma Rifles), had a pleasant easy time, played golf most of the time.
July: Started to study for my promotion in exam in gunnery.
August: commenced an allowance of £4 per month to Mollie to assist her with the girls.
September: MacCarthy returned from leave plus wife - a nice girl. Sent in my application for transfer and was told I couldn't be allowed to go as the regiment was too short of officers. Applied again.
October: Cowie returned from leave. Sat for gunnery exam and passed.
November and December: Cowie and I got on well together and shared a bungalow and cook. A pleasant couple of months except for the anxiety re the transfer. Before the Xmas holidays the whole battery marched to Mandalay and camped in the fort. The object of the move was to take part in a Tattoo, which we did with success. The inhabitants of Mandalay had not seen a gun since the annexation of Upper Burma, I believe. We combined business with pleasure and stayed on in Mandalay for the Xmas week and had a good time. The four battery officers entered a team in the polo tournament. We had some exciting matches but were too badly mounted to do any good. Whilst in Mandalay received the news that I would be permitted to transfer to the I.A.O.C. after lst April.
January and February: Went to camp at Wetwyn on January 22 - whole battery. Training - practice with live shell - manoeuvres.
6th March the battery marched back to Maymyo completing a 37 mile march in 16 hours! Almost a record. It took nearly a week for us to recover, including the mules.
March: On return from camp commenced to prepare for the move of the battery from Burma back to India. Our new station in India is to be Ambala. Then followed a hectic couple of weeks, handing over, packing up, farewell parties - including a big drink party to the whole station which cost us Rs200/-. On 22 March entrained for Rangoon and had a great farewell from all the other units in the station. There were two bands at the railway station.
Arrived Rangoon 23rd.
24th embarked at dawn on B.I. ship "Egra" and sailed for Calcutta at 10 a.m.
27th: Arrived Calcutta. Entrained same day and commenced our long railway journey to Ambala.
30th: Arrived at Ambala at dawn. Ambala at this time of year is dry, hot and dusty.
Posted to I.A.O.C. to join at Ferozepore Arsenal.
April 5th: Left Ambala by train and arrived Ferozepore same day. Was met by C.O.O. and shown my quarters. Am living in R.A. Mess for present.
6th Made my first appearance at the Arsenal. it struck me as a vast hive of activity. Not having been in an Arsenal before, I was impressed by its magnitude and wide scope of activity - much greater than I had imagined. Decided that I was going to be interested in my new job. Everyone is too busy to give me any instruction so shall have to learn what I can for myself.
Joined Ferozepore club.
Had bowel trouble, probably due to the water most enervating and weakening. Like all other stations, Ferozepore has its own peculiar water to which the stomach must accommodate itself. However, the initiation period in other stations has never had such drastic effects as this place.
End of April went to live in Arsenal House which was run as a chummery by Major A.U. Douglas Iones (CVO), self, Sandy Gordon (S.O.M.E.) and Ken Anson.
May: Hot weather commences in earnest. Average maximum temperature 111 degrees F. Hot, dry and dusty. Detailed for ammunition course at Kirkie in middle August.
Decided to go on two months leave prior to course and get married whilst on leave and bring Helen back with me to Kirkie, where the climate is bearable at that time of the year. Got accustomed to new job and settling into a regular routine.
June: Stifling weather. Everyone is counting the days to when they can go on leave.
On 13th June caught the train for Bombay to go on leave. Up to the last moment thought that the frontier trouble in Waziristan would cause my leave to be cancelled. Train journey was very hot as far as Agra, after which place we ran into monsoon rains which lasted all the way to Bombay. Stayed night at Taj Mahal Hotel and sailed for Sydney on the Narkunda on 16th.
19th June spent a day ashore at Colombo.
28th: Fremantle. Good lunch at Carlton Cafe.
4th Melbourne: Visited A.H.Q. Learnt to my surprise that it was now possible for me to transfer to the Australian Staff Corps and return to Australia permanently. Decided at once to apply - before going to the I.A.0.C. I had decided that if the opportunity had occurred I would prefer to return to Australia.
Went to Sydney by train - air conditioned, very comfortable and very fast. Arrived Sydney on 5th at 8 a.m. Found Helen in bed - only a cold and nervous excitement. Stayed with Henry Sharpe and his wife (Flora, sister of Helen) in their small flat at Bondi. Followed a few hectic days, shopping and making arrangements for the wedding. Also sent off my application for transfer, asked for reply by cable - hoping my leave would be extended if my transfer could be put through quickly.
9th July Helen and I were married at St Andrew's Church, Summer Hill, Sydney. The photographers kept Helen from starting on time with the result that she was 17 minutes late! Mr Bidwell performed the ceremony. We had intended being married in the Registry Office but Helen's mother and Mr Bidwell talked us out of that. However, we were both pleased at the arrangement in the end. Spent that night and the following one at Hotel Astra at Bondi.
11th Set off to Gladstone by train, arriving same day. Stayed with Mollie and the girls for two nights. Mollie is comfortably settled in her hotel and seems to be able to make a living for herself and the girls out of it.
12th Set off on a motor tour up the North Coast Mollie lent us her little Standard car. Stayed one night each at Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Yamba. Returned to Gladstone on 16th and caught train same night for Sydney.
17th Arrived Sydney and put up at Hotel Metropole a very small room.
19th Received cable ordering me to return to Ferozepore. Decided Helen could not return with me.
22nd Sailed on return journey to India, leaving Helen behind - a sad but necessary break, in the circumstances. She is to go up to Gladstone and wait till I send for her to join me.
24th-26th Melbourne. Visited A.H.Q. again. Paid several visits to dentist - 2nd molar giving a great deal of trouble.
28th Adelaide. Paid visit to Merry's.
August: lst Arrived Fremantle. First visit dentist - had tooth extracted - face numbed rest of day.
10th: Day ashore at Colombo. Went for a trip to Candy.
13th: Arrived Bombay. Caught Punjab Mail same night.
15th Arrived Ferozepore. Hot. D.J. on home leave. Straight to work. Find there will be indefinite delays about the transfer and, owing to leave, plenty of work to do, everyone has several jobs.
September: Decided that Helen should come to India. Wrote and cabled accordingly.
October 8th closed up Arsenal House and went to live in Hotel.
10th: Helen arrived. Still no news of transfer. Have resigned ourselves to indefinite delay of some months.
December: Heard during first week of this month that I was posted to 13th Heavy Battery R.A. Karachi, pending final disposal of my application. Major Skinner (C.O.O.) showed great reluctance to fix a date for my departure. However, finally made him agree to release me first week in January. We left Ferozepore on 31st December and to Lahore to spend New Year weekend with the Bates in Lahore.
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