War Diary of WALTER ERNEST MOUNT' ‘AN ACCOUNT OF A PUNITIVE EXPEDITION ON, THE N.W. FRONTIER OF INDIA.’

11 There was moreno fighting and except for an occassional sniping shot from an enthusiast who found the temptation too great to resist we were left in peace. On the day appointed for the official "Jirga" we became aquatinted with hundreds of our former enemies who crowded around at a safe distance from our perimeter wall. There appeared to be no ill feeling. We won this time it was all part of the game but next time perhaps —After two months of hard campaigning there was not much left of our uniforms and the quartermaster had to appeal to the whole regiment to get enough clothes to equip in a fitting manner the few men who formed the "guard of honour" at the Jirga. The meeting was held in the shade of a tree. The G.O.C. surrounded by his Political Officers And advisers sitting instate. The chieftains lead by a bearded old Malik came within their bodyguards of wild looking ruffians. Greetings were exchanged and negotiations commenced. We remained in force at Ispana Raghza while the peace terms were carried out. One of the clauses insisted on the surrender of so many hundred rifles and as a rifle is as valuable to a hillman we experienced some difficulty in collecting them all. Eventually they were ingathered and they made an interesting collection ranging from the old fashioned muzzle loader of a hundred years ago to the latest military model. By this time the Summer was over and the monsoon season had commenced. Dense soaking rain fell and the nights were becoming increasingly cold. Dysentery and Malaria were playing havoc with the health of the troops and hundreds were being sent down weekly to the base at Tank. The sick were carried two to a camel in a sling one hanging on each side if the hump and several did not survive the long trek through the mountains. Eventually we received our marching orders and broke camp. Our return route lay through the Shuhur Tungi the long narrow gorge we had encountered on the way up and although the stream running through it had not yet become a torrent it was waist high and Arising. machine gun section and a number of camels were on their throughway the Tungi when suddenly with a noise like the roar of an aeroplane engine a huge spate of water about five feet high came rushing around bend in the riverbed trapping the men and animals in the gorge. Several lives were lost and most of the animals were drowned. We had to await day and a night in the pouring rain for the flood to subside and we could pass through. But indue course we arrived et Tank –and our war was over. The Londons did not need so much transport to carry them back to India for although 850 men had marched into Waziristan only 300 odd marched back most of the remainder returned on camels under the care of the Medical Service and some stayed in the hills with a heap of stones to mark their place. The operations of the Waziristan Field Force overextended a period of three months— A squadron of modern aeroplanes could have done the work as ineffectively three days and so the old spectacular methods of frontier warfare became obsolete.
Add Names

Disclaimer

We have sought to ensure that the content of this website complies with UK copyright law. Please note however, that we may have been unable to ascertain the rights holders of some items. Where we have digitised items, we have done so with items that to the best of our knowledge, following due investigations, are in the public domain. While the original works are in the public domain we reserve all rights to the usage of the digital works.

Small Medium Large Landscape Portrait