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Patrolling the North West Frontier (4)



103 years ago in April 1916, 22nd Battery Motor Machine Gun Service continued their familiarisation patrol of the North West Frontier. Sgt Fielder's letter to "The Motor Cycle" continues: "On the 17th we left Kohat for Thal, a nice journey; distance sixty-one miles. On the 18th we left for Parachinar, right up on the hills, where it was very cold at night, snow being on the hills just above; distance fifty-nine miles. On the 19th we went field firing on the Afghan frontier, afterwards returning to Thal; distance eighty miles. Here the natives held sports in our honour, and some of the performances were very good, especially their horsemanship. On the 20th we left for Kohat, where we were inspected by the General in Command, afterwards going field firing; distance seventy miles. On the 22nd we left for Banu, a good journey, crossing several fords two feet deep; distance seventy-nine miles. On the 24th we left for Mirenshaw, over most awful roads; distance forty miles. One of the biggest frontier ‘scraps’ have occurred here. Quite a pleasant place to spend Bank Holiday in. On the 25th we left for Banu, a distance of forty miles, tuned up machines, etc. On the 26th we went field firing, and afterwards had a lecture by General Fane. On the 27th we returned to Kohat, a good journey; distance seventy-nine miles." The Battery would get to know Parachinar much better in 1919, during the Third Afghan War.

In a letter once back in Rawalpindi, dated 10th May [1916], to his wife to be Avis Prosser, "Bill" Macro records, "all that has happened is that a sniper struck one of our cars as we were coming thro' the Kohat Pass but although we searched the hillside we were unable to find the culprit as there were hundreds of small caves & crevices in which he could hide needless to say no damage was done."




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