Tughlakabad Camp, nr Dehli
Nov 24th, 1916
My dear old Elsie
I’ve just been told the Xmas mail goes out tonight so I thought I simply must write to you. Fancy Xmas being in sight again – it really seems only the other day I was eating my dinner of bully beef and biscuits in a dug out in Mespot – how time flies. Its awfully difficult to know what wishes to send ones pals at home but you will understand my feelings and I shall be thinking of you at any rate we can all most sincerely wish that this old war would soon fight itself out and I expect that is the wish which will predominate everything else. Peace and a safe and speedy homecoming for the fighting men. Your last letter came yesterday forwarded from Chakrata – Many thanks dear for your congrats on my ‘mention’ – It’s very nice to have got some little honour out of the war – sometimes I feel that they won’t give me any further award and I suppose I ought to be quite satisfied. but Lloyd George said about 3 weeks ago that the list of awards for Mespot would be published shortly and until this appears I shan’t altogether give up hope! We are having a gorgeous time – plenty of hard training and a whole lot of night work – Lord Radnor1 is our Brigadier and is a real good soldier.
There is very little further news about our move to the Frontier except that advance party has already gone off to make preparations for us – it looks as if we are really going but I daresay we shall hear more about it next week when the Viceroy2 and the new Commander in Chief3 come to see us. I’ve had a busy time as Adjutant but now Frank Calway is back and I’m with my company again it was very interesting marching down and the men simply loved Delhi – we entered through the Cashmere Gate and came out through the Lahore Gate – the museums in the Fort are full of the most thrilling relics of the great Mutiny – very near our camping ground are the ruins of one of the 7 old cities of Delhi – in fact the whole country is a mass of old mosques and ruins. I’ve had several letters from Harold lately – he has had a turn in hospital with a poisoned knee but seems better now – he simply loves his staff job and of course is wildly excited at the thought of having Alice out with him and it will be awfully nice for them both. I’m so glad you got your holiday at last and I hope you have returned to Minch feeling all the better for the change – I’m sorry to hear you keep so thin and you really must try to get fattened up for Xmas.
I hardly know how to write to the dear old Pater for Xmas – and I’m afraid it will be full of the saddest possible memories for him but he bears up wonderfully and seems to keep well.
Heres my best love and warmest thoughts & wishes for Xmas
1 Jacob Pleydell-Bouverie, 6th Earl of Radnor, 1868- 1930. MP for Wilton Division of Wiltshire, 1892-1900 Lt-Col and Brevet Colonel, CO 4th Battalion Wiltshire Regiment. Served in South Africa 1900, India 1914-1917, Brig-General Dehra Dun Brigade 1915-1917 (Who was Who Vol III)
2 Viscount Chelmsford, Frederic John Napier Thesiger, 1st Viscount Chelmsford, GCSI GCMG GCIEGBE PC (1868 –1933) Viceroy of India from 1916 to 1921
3 Gen. CC Munro, in post 1916-1920.
Next letter Dec 2nd 2016