For some time past many friends have been at some pains to impress upon me that, having had so many adventures in so many queer places, and having now come out of them alive and, if a bit knocked about, yet "still kicking," I ought to write down some account of my experiences, as they might prove of interest to many people who have had no knowledge of the kind of life which it has for the last few years been my lot to lead.
I therefore start by relating here that portion of my adventures which took place subsequent to the spring of 19181 when I went East once more after many years in other parts of the world.
Knowing nothing of how such a story ought to be written, I hope my readers will bear with my inexperience of "writing," in consideration of the variety of experiences of other kinds which this book endeavours to put before them.
Political questions have been avoided wherever possible, and only introduced where some knowledge of the actual "' conditions obtaining at the time becomes necessary to enable the reader to appreciate the incidents related.
I am anxious to express my very grateful thanks to my late Commanders, Major-General Dunsterville, General Sir George Milne, and Lieut.-General Sir Charles Harington, for their uniform kindness to me at all times, and particularly for the great honour they have done me in contributing the introductions to the various parts of this book, of which they have each such special knowledge, and I am more than satistied if, when serving under them, I have been able to carry out their orders in a manner which has met with their approval.
My thanks are doubly due to my old friend and chief, Admiral Sir Percy Scott, both for his general introduction to this book and for his great kindness to me on many other occasions.
January 15, 1923.
By Admiral Sir Percy Scott, Bart.,
K.C.B., K.C.V.O., LL.D.
I FIRST met the author of this book at the Admiralty early in 1915. I had then just been given the task of defending London against attacks from the air, and Mr. (now Lord) Balfour informed me that, while presenting me with this appointment, he could not give me the means necessary to protect London. It did not sound a very nice job, but in war-time one has to take anything.
Although I had never met Toby Rawlinson before, I was acquainted with part of his career. I knew that he had been in the Seventeenth Lancers and had played polo for England on many occasions, and that he gave up a soldier's life to let his mechanical knowledge make a fortune for him in the early days of motor-car racing.
This exciting amusement did not appear to off er Rawlinson sufficient chances to break his neck; flying was more dangerous, so he took to that new pastime, and his International Pilot's Ccrtifi.catc was the third one issued. He represented the British Aero Club at the earliest International meetings on the Continent, and he and Rolls were considered the most daring of fliers; they both crashed at the International races at Bournemouth in July, 1910. Rolls was killed, but Rawlinson recovered. He then went back into business, but gave it up on the outbreak of war, and in August, 19141 put himself, his motor-car, and his machine-guns at the disposal of General Headquarters in France as a volunteer. From that time the tale of his adventures, until I had the pleasure of meeting him, would fi.ll a big book. Eventually he got blown up, and ought to have been killed, but he was not.
Knowing much about the character and ability of Toby ...