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Posts Tagged ‘Kermashan’

The main reason why I am writing again so soon is because I want to record my experiences in Qum before they fade from my mind. Qum is the third holiest city in this part of the world and I had the good fortune to pay it a visit last Saturday afternoon. The first thing I noticed about the place was the fact that the people seemed to be much more civilized and the class of the people was much higher than in any other town I have yet seen out here. Parts of the town are fairly modern and I certainly saw in one street a shop window. At the head of what seems to be the main street is a very large Mosque with a beautifully coloured dome and four great pillars round it. It is a very fine sight indeed and such a pity that it is out of bounds to troops. In one bazaar I bought two yards of cut silk for 40 Rials per yard and in a very nice shop near to the Mosque I bought a pair of fancy slippers to send home to Evelyn. along with the silk. Some of the women here especially are very well dressed and very clean too. They seem to be happier than most of the “women” I have seen out here and unlike the women of Baghdad and Kermashan every other woman is not pregnant. The people are at the moment definitely pro-British but they are very queer and dislike anyone staring at their places of worship or taking photos of their women folk. One American has been stoned to death recently for taking a photograph of a Persian woman. There is a shortage of food in the country and the army has issued orders forbidding any soldiers from buying food. Bread riots break out quite frequently and the M.Ps. have to clear the town of troops by 5 PM.

A few days ago I had a letter from Evelyn’s cousin Molly who is out here in Habbanya as a sister in an RAF hospital. Habbanya seems quite near Baghdad and I have written to Molly telling her what a fool I was for not seeing her while I was in Baghdad. She seems to be very like Aunt Polly judging by the way she describes things. I am going to try to get her to take my presents with her when she goes home to England in a few months time. She must be a brave woman to face this country for two years and I wish I had the pleasure of escorting her back to dear old England.

The situation at home seems to be improving a little. I have had one or two letters from Gerald. which quite obviously have been sent by mother and the last written by dad though it was supposed to be from Gerald. I write home regularly and I am hoping for a complete settlement before long.

The news from the middle east gets better every day and at long last I think I can start to think of the end of the war now that we have taken the initiative. I have had two letters from Stanley during the last two days and thank God he seems to be out of the war so far.

My first Christmas card came this week from Nan, bless her.

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Once again the unexpected has happened. I thought we were going to stay in this location for some months but now we are about to move again in about another 12 days or so. I think this time we are going nearer to the capital of Iran, Teheran which is about 333 miles from here.

Last week was a very good week for mail. I must have had at least eight including the long awaited photographs and two letters from Evelyn’s mother. The photograph is lovely and my darling looks so lovely and beautiful. I could kiss her photograph which is placed before me as I write this. Never did I think that she had such lovely eyes and hair, even now they are smiling at me from the photo. More than ever she must be happy and by heaven she will be after the war.

This morning I went for a ride into the nearby town of Kermashan.
(“Kermashan My Sweet Town” is a song by legendary Kurdish singer,Hassan Zirak. Located in the Eastern Kurdistan,historic Kermashan is one of the most populated Kurdish cities in greater Kurdistan.)

It is much the same as any other town, dirty streets and shops though in this one there are one or two quite decent ones. I tried to get a frame for our photograph but was unsuccessful. Everything is so very dear. There are 128 Iranian Rials to an English pound and these don’t go very far when such articles as bottles of ink cost 10 Rials, and paraffin stoves 250 Rials. Such fruits as walnuts, grapes, apples, pears, plums and radishes are plentiful and I make full use of this fact. Eggs are also fairly cheap and we get a fair amount of these.

Last week I had a letter from home written by Gerald. though it was obvious that my mother was behind it and I am glad because this may mean that she is coming round to my way of thinking and that is all I want. I replied with an air-graph and I shall probably send another later. Roland. and Frank. (10) are both doing well and I wish them more success and luck than I am having.

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The most important item to record since I last wrote here is that I have at last started to get regular mail from E. Since those first three inspiring letters I got at Basra I have had a further 8 or 9 including about 5 airgraphs. I shall never fully realise the value of those life-saving letters. I have had letters from Nan, Benny and Stanley and what I am most needing now is the photograph of Evelyn. and myself which I know must be nearly here by now.

The big disappointment is that I am still without my own job after all this time though it has been on the way for weeks now. Brian and I are both fed up to the back teeth and we are seriously thinking of putting in for a transfer back to the workshops in the near future. I have almost given up hope of ever getting back on my own job and at the moment I don’t give a hoot what happens. I am no longer called private now. The R.A.O.C. is now known as the R.E.M.E. and all tradesmen are now craftsmen instead of private.

Since leaving Basra about 3 weeks ago we went to Baghdad for a week to join up with the road party which was waiting for us with the lorries and guns etc. I had a glorious time in Baghdad, the city itself is fairly modern and it is as everybody knows world famous. Other cities which are mentioned in the Bible, such as Nineveh and Babylon are situated not far from Baghdad. Broadly speaking Baghdad is much the same as Cairo except that the people are slightly more intelligent. We left Baghdad nearly a fortnight ago to come to this place which is in the mountains of Persia. I don’t have the exact position but we are not far from the Caucasus Mountains or from the Turkish border. Kermashan is not far from here though up to the present I have not visited this town. There is absolutely nothing here, no entertainment of any description, all we have got is a small canteen which quite often has nothing to sell. It looks as though we shall be here for months and already I can see that if I remain here much longer I am going to get into the state where I don’t care what happens. Again it is a good thing that my darling Evelyn. is writing again. Without her letters life just wouldn’t be worth living. Please God keep her safe for me.

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