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Posts Tagged ‘Teharan’

It is now quite a few weeks since I last wrote in this diary. There really hasn’t been much to write about, life has been so static lately. However just recently I have been on leave and that has given me much to write about.

First I must mention that up to a few days ago I hadn’t heard from Evelyn. for about three weeks and consequently I have been thoroughly browned off but all that has changed now and I have received some very thrilling letters from her which have made me love her more than ever if that is possible.

The weather just lately has been very bad indeed. We have had quite a bit of snow and now the rainy season has started and the rain comes down in torrents, driven along by a terrific wind. I hope this kind of weather doesn’t last long.

Well I have had four very good days leave in Teheran the capital of this desolate country. I took with me over 2000 Rials which is about £17 in English money. I spent most of it but over 900 Rials I spent on presents for Evelyn. and the family. I bought Evelyn. a bracelet mounted on silver and mother-of-pearl. I hope she likes it. The price was terrific, 290 Rials.

Most of the time I was eating at the various cafes and what a grand change it was to eat some real good food after the stuff we have been having. In the evenings we went to one of the cafes where there was a cabaret show and spent the time there sampling all the famous wines and spirits, including such famous drinks as Russian Vodka, Cognac, Cherry Brandy and Red Wine. I never got really drunk but I was very near to it. The chaps who did get drunk, and there were many of them, were taken back to camp in a lorry which was specially sent out to collect the drunken ones. As usual in these big eastern cities vice and prostitution was rampant. At a rough guess I should think that 25% of the women, mostly Polish, were prostitutes. Thank god I kept well away from such creatures.

There were quite a few Russian and American soldiers in Teheran and in my opinion they seem quite decent people, especially the Russians who were very quiet.

As far as Teheran itself, it was about the size of Leeds and quite the most westernized city I have seen out east, though of course it isn’t a patch on Durban. The citizens are very mixed, right from the usual dirty disease ridden beggars to the more civilized Persians who live in Teheran and district. Quite a large proportion of the population are Poles and Russians and altogether they are a queer mixture of people. The streets and shops are quite modern, traffic lights included but the traffic is much too noisy. The drivers of private cars seem to take a special delight in sounding the hooter as loud and as often as possible. All this is very interesting indeed, but what wouldn’t I give to see some real green fields and tall trees again.

On the way back in the lorry I saw a curious thing, an eagle. It was huge thing about 4 ft. high and it looked a ghastly sight.

There has been an outbreak of Typhus and Diphtheria and everyone is taking the utmost precautions against those dreaded diseases

Stanley has written at last after another spell of Malaria in hospital. Poor old Stan. I hope that was your last time in hospital.

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This being the last evening of the old year I feel that I should write a few lines on things in general.

I am still stationed at Qum in the middle of the Persian Desert and nothing much has happened since I last wrote, except of course that I have spent my first Christmas over-seas here. Christmas turned out to be much better than I had anticipated. We were given two whole days off to make merry ourselves. Christmas day was excellent, the meals were marvellous under the circumstances. Once again I tasted palm and plum pudding, and I had apples, oranges and nuts galore. On Xmas eve I went to see my first picture since I left Egypt, in Qum. Afterwards we had a little celebration in the tent and I managed to get ‘merry’. We had a party in our tent on Christmas night and between the seven of us we drank about 70 bottles of beer and six bottles of wine. Also we had a taste of the famous Vodka which has a reputation of putting the best drinker out for the count. I can well believe it.

And now Christmas 1942 is over and we are on the eve of 1943. Christmas and tonight has made me think of home and Evelyn. more than ever, and I am hoping and praying with all my heart that I shall be home again next year. I realise that up to the present I have been very lucky to keep out of any action and I shall be perfectly satisfied if I don’t see any at all because I want to go back in one piece to Evelyn. Here’s hoping for a victorious new year and a happy reunion of every soldier to his family.

    A happy new year darling. I am still in love with you more than ever.

The weather during the past week has been very cold and snow has fallen to a depth of two or three inches. I am still fairly happy here now that I have got my wireless to play with, and as ling as I can get plenty of letters from Evelyn. I shall be satisfied.

I must add before I close that there is a possibility of leave to Teheran starting in about 10 days. Teheran was the scene of riots against British troops a week or two ago and four British soldiers were killed. The Persians were under the impression (thanks to the fifth columnists) that the British troops were taking all the bread in the country to feed themselves, and so they rioted in a few of the large towns. This was all wrong and to satisfy them the government has given them a present of a few thousand bushels of wheat.

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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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