1936 - 1937 Mission Diary

The official diary of the Gould mission to Lhasa sent by the British government. Read more about the mission diary.

Dochen, 14,950 ft. 13 miles.

see photographs below

A short march today over a dead level gravelly plain brought us to Dochen before midday. Early this morning there was a glorious view of Chomolhari and other snow peaks to the east, and all the photographers got busy before breakfast, vieing with each other regarding the relative merits of Leica and contax cameras and various types of telephoto lens. Chapman had already climbed 1,000 ft. up the hill near by to collect plants and observe birds. We are now all pretty well acclimatised to moving and more especially sleeping at these heights of 15,000 feet. On one or two occasions slight breathlessness and headaches have occurred.

We passed the scene of one of the fights between Gen. MacDonald's troops and the Tibetans in 1904, when the Tibetans tried to stop us by lining a stone wall in the plain astride the path with one flank on a hill. The name of this place is Chhu-mi-Shing-Kung although Guru is the nearest village and it is by the name of Guru the fight is referred to in the official reports.

Not far from Dochen we met a Tibetan Lady on her way to Kalimpong and Calcutta to arrange for the shipment of her husband's baggage; he is one of the leading followers (Tea Serkang by name) of the Tashi Lama. This lady stopped and had a long talk with B. J. Gould and told him his mediation is strongly desired by the Tashi Lama in his dispute with the Lhasa Government. She also said it was believed the Tashi Lama had actually left China and moved into Tibet. But how far into Tibet one cannot tell, as the Chinese claim a large part of Inner Tibet, and call it the new province of Sikang, There will be grave doubt and difficulties between Chinese and Tibetans as to when and how the Tashi Lama crosses the frontier and under whose escort.

It was much warmer today as there was no wind.

Neame spent the afternoon developing photos from his Leica camera.

We had a broadcast programme in the evening from England as well as other European countries, arranged by our wireless experts.

Author: Philip Neame [see handwritten annotations in Diary by Hugh Richardson in MS. Or. Richardson 2, Bodleian Libary, Department of Oriental Collections, University of Oxford]

Page Reference: Pt II p.3

previous (6th August) entry next (8th August) entry