On November 30th, 1944, Stanley Hall wrote in his diary that he is leaving Poona for Risalpur.
He will be arriving in Risalpur on December 6th, after quite an eventful journey.
November 30th, 1944
Have been in Poona again for a few days waiting for a train to go way up north west.
I’m very pleased to be going to a Transport job. Waiting is an awful bore really and I think I’ve done my share of it. I have bought a mattress and a pair of sheets to use in my next place so should be able to make myself quite comfortable.
Farewell at Poona
Arrival at Nowshera Dec. 1944
Look for Ray Spriggs…
December 7th, 1944
Arrived at Risalpur (Peshawar) yesterday after quite an eventful journey. The first stop was at Kalyan near Bombay where we had to wait for the main train.
Late November 1944
When it arrived the carriage, a 3rd class one which is pretty awful over here, was full of wogs and stinking dirty; they turfed the wogs out and when we saw the state it was in we refused to travel so the night was spent in temporary accommodation near the station and we caught a train the following afternoon.
Kalyan is a dirty looking place, we walked along what I presume was the main road where there were a few shops but I only bought a dozen boxes of matches.
The following evening we reached Delhi and stayed the night at the Wavell canteen – after a rather good meal and a hot shower (the first I have come into contact with over here). I was really ready for bed as it is practically impossible to sleep on these trains unless good accommodation is available.
The Wavell canteen is very up to date.
We left there about 8 the next morning. The country isn’t very pretty this side of Delhi. At some of the places we stopped the wogs would try to get into our compartment so several times during the night we were awake keeping a watch for them.
They are terribly crowded when they travel, about twice the number cram into one carriage and even some hang on the sides.
I’ve seen women trying to get aboard with their bundles get absolutely thrown off the steps, some landing on their backs beside the railway tracks. These of course are the lower class of Hindus. The “educated” types travel 2nd class the same as the average European.
We had day rations for the journey – such as they were. I think they were an excuse to avoid paying us meal expenses, so we ate in the dining car and at restaurants at our own expense.
We reached Rawalpindi at about 7am so it was a bit early to ring up the address I have there, we only stopped about 15 mins.
Now I am settled down in rather a nice billet and have a room to myself which adjoins another which is occupied by two N.Z. boys and an Aussie. We are going to hire a radio set and get some wood for the fire grate. We have a batman so haven’t much to worry about.
Will probably be doing a bit of flying soon.
December 19th, 1944
Have recently bought a few things to add to my collection of souvenirs to take home. I got another steel trunk to put the things in and I bought a silk square hankie Res 2/-, a vase bowl Res 8/-, a pair of vases Res 10/- made from cows horns and today I have ordered a table set made from satin and designed with peacocks etc. worked in wax for Res 45/-.
I went to Peshawar to play rugby for the station team.
It is quite a large town but after dark a bit dangerous, some officers were murdered recently and I believe quite a few shops have been violently robbed.
December 21st, 1944
Received chocolate from Thelma.
December 22nd, 1944
Received tobacco from Thelma.
December 27th, 1944
Received Farmers Parcel from Thelma. Parcel from Janet.
Patriotic parcel from Bombay.
About Ray Spriggs…
Next time January 1945…
January 3rd, 1945
Received Xmas parcel from Thelma and photo of Robin. Pyjamas and socks.