Thursday, 26 March 2009

Phari Fort 26-03-1904

My dear Delia,

Just a line, We left Chumbi on the 24th and though the night before we left we had a snowstorm since them we have had splendid weather. The three-day march has been accomplished very quickly though in the early mornings it was bitterly cold and the ice in the paths made the riding sometimes very dangerous. However "Ping-tang" the pony carried me along very well and I have not been overtaken by any mountain sickness which generally seizes first coming in to Phari as we are 3,000 foot higher than Chumbi Valley.

We arrived yesterday about 1pm and I had a good lunch with the Battery who arrived before the hospital. In the afternoon all Officers commanding Units had to go and see the General - to learn what they had to do and what Transport would be allotted them. He has given my hospital three more mules so I shall travel more comfortably now. This morning at 9.30 am the General held a review of the whole advancing party - and put us through certain movements in case of attack at night. We of course the hospital are in the Centre and our place is between the Battery and the Guns under Lieutenant Luke RA - we are just behind the General and the Staff and in front of the Native Field Hospital so that if we are attacked and the General falls he will be popped in to our hospital before he can say "knife".

The order "form Square" was given and I gave the order to unload our Medicine Panniers from the mules - and we got everything ready to treat Wounded. On the "advance being given we all loaded up and went on again. I told the OC Battery to send me a man to cut up - but unfortunately he forgot all about it. We receive our final orders this afternoon and we start for Tuna tomorrow morning. We shall wait at Tuna for a few days and then start straight for Gyantsee and it is after Tuna we expect fighting as the Tibetans have assembled at Guru 16 miles from Tuna. Goodbye no time to write more as I have a lot of work to do, hoping you are all well.

Your affectionate brother C Wilmot Mainprise.

Editors Note: Photograph The Tibet Album. "Phari Dzong" 05 Dec. 2006. The British Museum. Accessed 26 Mar. 2009 . For more information about photographic usage or to order prints, please visit the The British Museum.

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