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Title: Mons, Anzac and Kut
Author: Herbert, Aubrey
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[_All rights reserved_]







Journals, in the eyes of their author, usually require an introduction
of some kind, which, often, may be conveniently forgotten. The reader
is invited to turn to this one if, after persevering through the pages
of the diary, he wishes to learn the reason of the abrupt changes and
chances of war that befell the writer. They are explained by the fact
that his eyesight did not allow him to pass the necessary medical
tests. He was able, through some slight skill, to evade these obstacles
in the first stage of the war; later, when England had settled down
to routine, they defeated him, as far as the Western Front was
concerned. He was fortunately compensated for this disadvantage by a
certain knowledge of the East, that sent him in various capacities to
different fronts, often at critical times. It was as an Interpreter
that the writer went to France. After a brief imprisonment, it was as
an Intelligence Officer that he went to Egypt, the Dardanelles and

The first diary was dictated in hospital from memory and rough notes
made on the Retreat from Mons. For the writing of the second diary,
idle hours were provided in the Dardanelles between times of furious
action. The third diary, which deals with the fall of Kut, was written
on the Fly boats of the River Tigris.

In a diary egotism is inevitable. Julius Cæsar cloaked it by using the
third person and Lord French by preferring to blame others, rather than
to praise himself, but these devices are no precedents for one who is
not a generalissimo. There remains anonymity. True, it is a very thin
covering for modesty, but, like a modern bathing-dress, it may serve
its purpose.

When dots occur in the journal, they have their usual significance. The
author was thinking his private thoughts, or, perhaps, criticizing some
high authority, or concealing what, for the moment, at any rate, is
better not revealed.

In the Retreat from Mons, only Christian or nicknames have generally
been used. In the case of the other two Expeditions, names have been
used freely, though where it was considered advisable, they have
occasionally been disguised or initials substituted for them.

This diary claims to be no more than a record of great and small
events, a chronicle of events within limited horizons--a retreat, a
siege and an attack. Writing was often hurried and difficult, and the
diary was sometimes neglected for a period. If inaccuracies occur, the
writer offers sincere apologies.



  MONS, 1914        5

  ANZAC, 1915      61

  KUT, 1916       189






On Wednesday, August 12, 1914, my regiment left Wellington Barracks at
seven in the morning. I fell into step in the ranks as they went out of
the gateway, where I said good-bye to my brother, who left that day. It
was very quiet in the streets, as the papers had said nothing about the
movement of troops. On the march the wives and relations of men said
good-bye to them at intervals, and some of our people came to see us
off at the station, but we missed them.

We entrained for Southampton--Tom, Robin, Valentine and I got into the
same carriage. We left Southampton without much delay. I was afraid of
a hitch, but got on to the ship without any trouble. On board everybody
was very cheerful. Most people thought that the first big engagement
would have begun and very likely have ended before we arrived. Some
were disappointed and some cheered by this thought. The men sang
without ceasing and nobody thought of a sea attack.

The next day (the 13th) we arrived very early at Le Havre in a blazing
sun. As we came in, the French soldiers tumbled out of their barracks
and came to cheer us. Our men had never seen foreign uniforms before,
and roared with laughter at their colours. Stephen Burton of the
Coldstream Guards rebuked his men. He said: “These French troops are
our Allies; they are going to fight with us against the Germans.”
Whereupon one man said: “Poor chaps, they deserve to be encouraged,”
and took off his cap and waved it and shouted “Vive l’Empereur!” He was
a bit behind the times. I believe if the Germans beat us and invaded
England they would still be laughed at in the villages as ridiculous

We were met by a Colonel of the French Reserves, a weak and ineffective
man, two Boy Scouts, and a semi-idiotic interpreter. We shed this
man as soon as we were given our own two excellent interpreters. We
had no wood to cook the men’s dinners, and I was sent off with Jumbo
and a hundred men to see what I could find. A French corporal came
reluctantly with us. We marched a mile, when we found an English
quartermaster at a depot, who let us requisition a heap of great
faggots, which we carried back.

After breakfast I was sent with Hickie to arrange for billeting the
men. Hickie rode a bicycle and lent me his horse, which was the most
awful brute I have ever mounted in any country. It walked ordinarily
like a crab; when it was frightened it walked backwards, and it was
generally frightened. It would go with the troop, but not alone, and
neither whip nor reins played any part in guiding the beast. Hickie
couldn’t ride it. Some French soldiers threw some stones at it and hit
me. Finally we got a crawling cab, then a motor, and went off about 11
kilometres to the Café des Fleurs, where the camp was to be. It was a
piping hot day. We got a house for the Colonel and Desmond belonging
to Monsieur Saville, who said he was a friend of Mr. Yoxall, M.P. He
had a very jolly arbour, where we dined. In the afternoon the troops
came marching up the steep hill in great heat. Hickie and I found a man
rather drunk, with a very hospitable Frenchman. The Frenchman said: “We
have clean sheets and a well-aired bed, coffee, wine or beer for him,
if he desires them.” There was no question about the man’s desiring
them. Hickie almost wept, and said: “How can you keep an army together
if they are going to be treated like this?” The sun had been delightful
in the morning at Le Havre, but was cruel on the troops, especially on
the Reservists, coming up the long hill.

The French had been very hospitable. They had given the men, where they
had been able to do so free of observation, wine, coffee and beer. The
result was distressing. About twenty of the men collapsed at the top of
the hill in a ditch, some of them unconscious, seeming almost dying,
like fish out of water. The French behaved very well, especially the
women, and stopped giving them spirits. I got hold of cars and carried
the men off to their various camps. Jack, Tom and I slept all right in
a tent on the ground. The next day I was sent down by the Colonel with
the drum-major, to buy beer for the regiment at 1s. 1d. a gallon, which
seemed cheap. I met Stephen while I was buying things. He told me we
were off that night, that we were to start at ten, but that we should
not be entrained till 4.30. I lunched with Churchill, who very kindly
tried to help me to get a horse. Long sent me back in his motor. At the
camp, the Colonel complained that the beer had not come, and that the
drum-major and the men had been lost. I commandeered a private motor
and went back at a tremendous rate into the town, all but killing the
drum-major at a corner. We had a capital dinner. M. Saville gave us
excellent wine, and the Colonel told me to make him a speech. We then
lay down before the march.

The next camp captured a spy, but nobody paid any attention. About
10.30 we moved off. It was a warm night with faint moonlight. Coming
into the town the effect was operatic. As we marched or were halted all
the windows opened and the people put their heads out to try and talk
to us. At about half-past eleven it began to rain, but the men whistled
the Marseillaise and “It’s a long way to Tipperary.” The people came
out of the houses, trying to catch the hands of the men and walking
along beside them. We were halted in front of the station, and waited
endlessly in the rain. We then had an almost unspeakable march over
cobbles, past interminable canals, over innumerable bridges, through
what seemed to be the conglomeration of all the slums of all the world,
to light that always promised us rest but never came. It poured without
ceasing. At last we arrived at the station, and when we saw the train
pandemonium followed. Everybody jumped into carriages and tried to keep
other people out, so as to have more room. We were all soaked to the
skin, and nobody bothered about any one else. After that we got out
and packed the men in. Tom, Charles, Jack, Hickie and I got into one
carriage. Lieutenants who tried to follow were hurled out. It was very
cold. Tom had a little brandy, which did us some good. At about 5 a.m.
we moved off. The next day we arrived at Amiens.

Saturday, the 15th, we arrived at Amiens to see a great stir and
bustle. We had not had much to eat. We found several officers of the
Coldstream Guards in their shirt-sleeves, who had got left trying to
get food. I got masses later on at a wayside station, and a stream of
people to carry it, and returned with rousing cheers from the men. At
every station we were met by enormous crowds that cheered and would
have kissed our hands if we had let them. They made speeches and piled
wreaths of flowers upon the Colonel, who was at first very shy, but
driven to make a speech, liked it, and became almost garrulous. At
Arras we had the greatest ovation of all. An old man in the crowd gave
me a post-card, which I directed to a relation at home and asked him
to post. This he did, adding a long letter of his own, to say that I
was well and in good spirits. This letter and my post-card got past the

Late that night we came to a place called Wassigny, where, after a lot
of standing about, we went up to a farmhouse. Hickie and I lay down on
the floor in a sort of an office at about half-past two, with orders
to be off at five. The Colonel slept outside, half on and half off a
bench. He never seemed to need sleep.

We left the next morning, Sunday, the 16th, at five, for Vadencourt. I
was wearing Cretan boots, and my feet already began to trouble me.

At Vadencourt we met the Maire and his colleague, Monsieur Lesur. He
took us first of all to the most beautiful place for a camp, a splendid
field by a river for bathing, wooded with poplars, but no sooner had we
got there than we were told the Coldstreamers had the right to it.

In Vadencourt everybody helped us. The people threw open their houses,
their barns and their orchards. They could not do enough; but it was a
long business and we had not finished until 1 o’clock, by which time
we were pretty tired. Then the troops turned up, and we had to get
them into billets. After that we lunched with the Colonel. The French
cottages were extraordinarily clean, never an insect, but plenty of
mice rioting about at night. There were many signs of religion in all
these cottages. Most of the rooms were filled with crucifixes and
pictures of the Saints. The priests seemed to have a great deal of
influence. Vadencourt was very religious, and the morning we went off
they had a special service for the men, which was impressive. All the
people seemed saintly, except the Maire, who was very much of this

The men had fraternized with the people and, to the irritation of
the Colonel, wore flowers in their hair and caps. There was no
drunkenness--in fact the men complained that there was nothing strong
enough to make a man drunk. Generally there was not much to do, though
one day the men helped with the harvest. The people could not have been
kinder. It was, as one of the men said, a great “overtation.” Every day
there was a paper published in amazing English. In one paper we found
a picture of Alex Thynne, with contemptuous and angry references to a
speech he had made against English tourists going to France; he wanted
them to go instead to Bath, in his constituency, and so to please both
him and his constituents.

It was a quiet life. There was very little soldiering, and that,
as some one said, was more like manœuvres in the millennium than
anything else. Everywhere corn was offered for our horses and wine for
ourselves, but there was a great fear underlying the quiet. We were
constantly asked whether the Germans would ever get to Vadencourt, and
always said we were quite sure they would not. We used to mess at the
inn close to my house. Of French troops we saw practically nothing,
except our two interpreters, Charlot, who talked very good English,
and Bernard, a butcher from Havre, a most excellent fellow, who was
more English than the English, though he could only talk a few words
of the language. There was also another interpreter, head master of a
girls’ school in Paris. He said to me: “Vous trouverez toutes espèces
d’infames parmi les interprets, même des M.P.s.”

One day Hugo said that it would be interesting, before going into
battle, to have our fortunes told. I told him he could not get a
fortune-teller at Vadencourt. “Not at all, there is one in the
village; I saw it written over her shop, ‘Sage Femme’.” ... I was very
comfortable in my house, which was just out of bounds, but not enough
to matter.

Monsieur Louis Prevot came in one day, with a beautiful mare, brown to
bay, Moonshine II, by Troubadour out of Middlemas. He said that she
could jump two metres. Her disadvantages were that she jumped these two
metres at the wrong time and in the wrong place, that she hated being
saddled and kicked when she was groomed: while Monsieur Prevot was
showing me how to prevent her kicking she kicked right through the barn
door. I bought her for £40. I think Prevot thought that the French
authorities were going to take his stables and that I was his only
chance. When she settled down to troops she became a beautiful mount.

That day I went with Hickie through Etreux to Boué, foraging. I drove
with a boy called Vanston behind a regular man-killer. It was far worse
than anything that happened at Mons. Vanston talked all the time of
the virtue of Irishwomen, of the great advantage of having medals and
the delight old men found in looking at them, of the higher courage
of the unmarried man and his keen anxiety to get into battle, and of
the goodness of God. Hickie was upset because he thought that the
man-killing horse was going to destroy the Maltese cart, which was,
apparently, harder to replace than Vanston or me.

The night before we left the Colonel gave us a lecture. As an
additional preparation for the march we were also inoculated against
typhoid, which made some people light-headed.

We left Vadencourt on August 19th, Hickie and Hubert both ill,
travelling on a transport cart. I rode ahead, through pretty and
uneventful country. At Oisy, Hickie was very ill, and I got him some
brandy. We were to camp beyond Oisy. When we got to the appointed place
the Maire was ill and half dotty. S. and I laboured like mad to find
houses, but at last, when our work was finished we found that they
had already been given to the Coldstreamers. Some of the people were
excellent. One old fellow of seventy wept and wished that his house
was as big as a barn, that he might put up the soldiers in it. A rough
peasant boy took me round and stayed with us all the afternoon and
refused to take a penny. But some of them were not so kind. In the end,
billets were not found for a number of officers and men, who slept
quite comfortably in the new-mown hay. We passed a big monastery where
two Germans, disguised as priests, had been taken and shot the week
before. I slept in a house belonging to three widows, all like stage
creatures. They had one of the finest cupboards I have ever seen.

The next morning (August 20th) we marched off to Maroilles--a big dull
town, and again some of the people were not overpleased to see us. Here
we had an excellent dinner. I slept at a chemist’s. Hickie was sent
back from Maroilles to Amiens with rheumatic fever. We got up at 4
o’clock the next morning (August 21st), and had a pretty long march to
Longueville by Malplaquet.

As we crossed the frontier the men wanted a cheer, but they were
ordered to be quiet, “so as not to let the Germans hear them.” This
order gave an unpleasant impression of the proximity of the Germans.

The men began to fall out a great deal on the road. The heat was very
great. Many of the reservists were soft, and their feet found them
out. Their rough clothes rubbed them. Tom carried rifles all day, and
I carried rifles and kit on my horse, while the men held on to the

By this time the Maires of France seemed to be growing faint under the
strain of billeting. We never saw the Maire of Longueville. The country
made a wonderful picture that I shall never forget. We marched past
fields of rich, tall grass, most splendid pasture, and by acres and
acres of ripe corn which was either uncut or, if cut, uncarried.

There was any amount of food for our horses, but one felt reluctant at
first at feeding them in the standing corn. I went ahead when I could
to forage for the mess, and because Moonshine danced continuously and
produced confusion.

We lived chiefly on hard-boiled eggs, chocolate and beer, but we did
better than most other companies, because generally, as Valentine said,
the officers’ vocabulary was limited to “omelette” and “bière.”

Longueville is a very long town, with fine houses, and we did capitally
there, but the men were tired. No. 3 dined luxuriously at a farm. Hugo
and I billeted at two houses close to each other. At 6 o’clock I went
to get some rest, when my servant told me that the order had come to
stand to arms at once, as the Germans were close upon us.

I went outside and heard one cannon boom very faintly in the distance.
Women were wringing their hands and crying in the streets, and the
battalion was ordered to stand to arms. Then, after a time, we were
ordered to march at ten, and went back to quarters. At this time we
began to curse the Germans for disturbing the peace of Europe.

The women of the village brought us milk, bread, everything they could
for the march. While we were dining the order came to make ready for a
German attack. We went out at once. Bernard took me up and down various
roads, and we put iron and wire and everything we could lay hold of,
across them, making a flimsy defence. When we returned we heard that
we were to march at 2 a.m., and at 11 those who could lay down to
sleep. The woman in my house was very kind in getting bread and milk.
At 2 o’clock we began marching. The horses were all over the place.
Moonshine nearly kicked a man behind her heels, and Tom just missed
being killed by the ammunition horse in front. It was very dark.

We marched to a place called Senlis. Dawn came, and then an enemy
aeroplane appeared over us, which everybody at once shot at. Moonshine
broke up two companies in the most casual way. The aeroplane went on.
In Belgium the people were very good to us, during the week-end that
we spent there. They were honest and pathetic. There were no signs of
panic, but there was a ghastly silence in the towns.

Beyond Senlis we were halted on a plain near a big town which we did
not then know was Mons. We were drawn up and told that the Germans
were close to us and that we had to drive them back. Valentine and
I lay down under the shelter of a haystack, as it was raining. It
was a mournful day in its early hours. At about 10 a.m. I was sent
for by the Colonel, who had been looking for me, he said, for some
time. He told me to ride after S. to Quevy-le-Grand. I rode fast, and
caught up S. We stabled our horses and went round the town. Soames,
a Staff officer, told us we could have both sides of the road--as we
understood, the pompous main road. Unfortunately he meant both sides
of an insignificant road we had not even noticed. We took one of the
biggest and most beautiful farms I have ever seen for Headquarters, and
proposed to put seven or eight officers in it. We then, as usual, found
that this house and all the rest had been given to the Coldstreamers,
and we went to hunt for other billets. I thought I heard cannon, faint
and dim. As we went on with our work the noise grew louder and louder.
There was a big battle going on within four or five miles. Then in came
the battalion from Senlis (which was burnt twenty-four hours later) at
about twelve, and got into billets, while, at last, we had luncheon.
Valentine and I were eating an omelette and talking Shakespeare, when
suddenly we saw the battalion go past. We both got cursed because we
had not been able to prophesy that the battalion would start within
twenty minutes. We marched on till about half-past three, through
rising and falling land, under a very hot sun. We were getting nearer
to the battle. The sky was filled with smoke-wreaths from shells. “We
are going slap-bang at them,” said Hubert. At 3.30 we found ourselves
on a hill, by a big building which looked like a monastery. The road
was crowded with troops and frightened peasants. Below the road lay the
green valley with the river winding through it, and on the crest of the
wooded hills beyond were the Germans.

We left our horses and marched down to the valley. As we passed the
village of Harveng I inconsiderately tried to get a drink of water from
a house. The men naturally followed, but we were all ordered on, and I
had nothing to drink until 7 o’clock the next morning. The men, or some
of them, got a little water that night.

From behind us by the monastery the shells rose in jerks, three at a
time. The Germans answered from the belt of trees above the cliffs. Our
feelings were more violently moved against Germany as the disturber of
Europe. I went into the first fight prepared only for peace, as I had
left my revolver and sword on my horse. Tom said: “For goodness’ sake
don’t get away from our company; those woods will be full of Germans
with bayonets to-night.” We never doubted that we should drive them
back. The Colonel called the officers together and told us that the
trees above the chalk cliffs were our objective. We then lay down in
some lucerne and waited and talked. The order to move came about 5.30,
I suppose. We went down through the fields rather footsore and came
to a number of wire fences which kept in cattle. These fences we were
ordered to cut. My agricultural instinct revolted at this destruction.
We marched on through a dark wood to the foot of the cliffs and,
skirting them, came to the open fields, on the flank of the wood,
sloping steeply upwards. Here we found our first wounded man, though
I believe as we moved through the wood an officer had been reported

The first stretch was easy. Some rifle bullets hummed and buzzed round
and over us, but nothing to matter. We almost began to vote war a dull
thing. We took up our position under a natural earthwork. We had been
there a couple of minutes when a really terrific fire opened. We were
told afterwards that we were not the target--that it was an accident
that they happened to have stumbled on the exact range. But even if we
had known this at the time, it would not have made much difference. It
was as if a scythe of bullets passed directly over our heads about a
foot above the earthworks. It came in gusts, whistling and sighing.
The men behaved very well. A good many of them were praying and
crossing themselves. A man next to me said: “It’s hell fire we’re going
into.” It seemed inevitable that any man who went over the bank must be
cut neatly in two. Valentine was sent to find out if Bernard was ready
on the far left. Then, in a lull, Tom gave the word and we scrambled
over and dashed on to the next bank. Bullets were singing round us like
a swarm of bees, but we had only a short way to go, and got, all of
us, I think, safely to the next shelter, where we lay and gasped and
thought hard.

Our next rush was worse, for we had a long way to go through turnips.
The prospect was extremely unattractive; we thought that the fire came
from the line of trees which we were ordered to take, and that we
should have to stand the almost impossible fire from which the first
bank had sheltered us. This was not the case, as the German trenches,
we heard afterwards, were about 300 yards behind the trees, but their
rifle fire and their shells cut across. We had not gone more than
about 100 yards, at a rush and uphill, when a shell burst over my
head. I jumped to the conclusion that I was killed, and fell flat. I
was ashamed of myself before I reached the ground, but, looking round,
found that everybody else had done the same.

The turnips seemed to offer a sort of cover, and I thought of the
feelings of the partridges, a covey of which rose as we sank. Tom gave
us a minute in which to get our wind--we lay gasping in the heat, while
the shrapnel splashed about--and then told us to charge, but ordered
the men not to fire until they got the word. As we rose, with a number
of partridges, the shooting began again, violently, but without much
effect. I think we had six or seven men hit. We raced to the trees.
Valentine was so passionately anxious to get there that he discarded
his haversack, scabbard and mackintosh, and for days afterwards walked
about with his naked sword as a walking-stick.

When we reached the trees in a condition of tremendous sweat we found
an avenue and a road with a ditch on either side. We were told that our
trenches were a few yards over the farther hedge, faced by the German
trenches, about 250 yards off. There was fierce rifle and machine-gun
fire. Night fell; the wounded were carried back on stretchers; we
sat very uncomfortably in a ditch. I was angry with Tom for the only
time on the march, as he was meticulous about making us take cover in
this beastly ditch when outside it there was a bank of grass like a
sofa, which to all intents and purposes was safe from fire. We were
extremely thirsty, but there was nothing to drink and no prospect of
getting water. After some time we moved down the road upon which we
lay, getting what sleep we could. In the earlier part of the night
there were fierce duels of rifle fire and machine-guns between the two
trenches. It sounded as if the Germans were charging. Our men in the
road never got a chance of letting off their guns. Most of us dozed
coldly and uncomfortably on the hard road. I woke up about 2 a.m.,
dreaming that a mule was kicking the splash-board of a Maltese wagon
to pieces, and then realized that it was the German rifle fire beyond
the hedge, hitting the road. I walked up the road for a few yards
and heard two men talking, one of whom was, I suppose, Hubert, and
the other must have been C. Hubert said: “Have I your leave, sir, to
retire?” “Yes, you have; everybody else has gone; it is clear that we
are outflanked on the left, and it is suicide to stay.” The battalion
was then ordered to retire; No. 3 Company, doing rearguard, was ordered
back to the fields which we had already crossed. I said to Tom: “I hear
upon the best authority that this is suicide.” Tom said: “Of course it
is; we shall get an awful slating.” We moved back. There was a faint
light and a spasmodic rifle fire from the Germans as we went back to
the fields we had crossed. We could not make out why they did not open
on us with shrapnel, as they had the range. We lay down on the new-cut
hay, which smelt delicious. It seemed almost certain that we should be
wiped out when dawn came, but most of us went fast asleep. I did. At 4
o’clock we were hurried off. We went down into the blinding darkness of
the wood by the road we had gone the evening before. We went through
the wood, past the monastery, up into the village. There we waited. The
road was blocked, the villagers were huddled, moaning, in the streets.

The men were very pleased to have been under fire, and compared notes
as to how they felt. Every one was pleased. But they felt that more of
this sort of thing would be uncivilized, and it ought to be stopped by
somebody now. In the dawn we crossed a high down, where we expected to
be shelled, but nothing happened. We were very tired and footsore.

At 7 o’clock we got to Quevy-le-Petit and had a long drink, the first
for seventeen hours. The smell of powder and the heat had made us
very thirsty. Two companies were set to dig trenches. We were held
in reserve, and all the hot morning we shelled the Germans from
Quevy-le-Petit, while their guns answered our fire without much effect.
One shell was a trouble. The remainder of the ---- Regiment (men
without officers), who had had a bad time at Mons, had a shell burst
over them and rushed through our ranks, taking some of our men with
them. This was put right at once.

We were told that a tremendous German attack was to take place in the
evening; we disliked the idea, as, even to an amateur like myself, it
was obvious that there was hardly any means of defence. To stay was to
be destroyed, as the Colonel said casually, causing “une impression
bien pénible.”

We wrote farewell letters which were never sent. I kept mine in my
pocket, as I thought it would do for a future occasion. They began to
shell us heavily while we helped ourselves from neighbouring gardens.
We did this with as much consideration as possible, and Valentine and I
went off to cook some potatoes in an outhouse by a lane.

The peasants were flying, and offered us all their superfluous goods.
They were very kind. Then an order to retire came, and in hot haste
we left our potatoes. We retired at about 1 o’clock in the afternoon
and marched to Longueville, or rather to a camp near it called Bavai.
We reached this camp at about 10.30 at night. Moonshine behaved like
the war-horse in the Bible. She had hysterics which were intolerable;
smelling the battle a long way off. She must have done this the night
before, when it was much nearer and I had left her with Ryan, for when
I found her again she had only one stirrup. A sergeant-major captured
her and picketed her for the night.

The orchard in which we camped blazed with torch-light and camp-fires
and was extremely cheerful. Every now and then a rifle went off by
accident, and this was always greeted with tremendous cheers.

I was very tired, and threw myself down to sleep under a tree, when up
came the Colonel and said: “Come along, have some rum before you go to
bed.” I went and drank it, and with all the others lay down thoroughly
warm and contented in the long wet grass, and slept soundly for three
hours. Next morning we were woken about 3 o’clock, but did not march
off till 6 o’clock.

From Bavai we marched to Landrecies. Hubert rode ahead with me to
do the billeting. We pastured our horses in the luxuriant grass and
got milk at the farms. We did not see much sign of panic amongst the
people, but coming to a big railway station we saw that all the engines
of the heavy ammunition wagons had been turned round. Hubert saw and
swore. In the morning we occupied a farm, where I tried to buy a strap
to replace my lost stirrup. We lay about under haystacks and talked
to the farmer and his son. After about an hour it was reported that
two hundred Germans were coming down the road, and Eric went off after
them, with machine-guns.

The retreat had begun in real earnest. This whole retreat was curiously
normal. Everybody got very sick of it, and all day long one was hearing
officers and men saying how they wanted to turn and fight. I used to
feel that myself, though when one was told to do so and realized that
we were unchaperoned by the French and faced by about two million
Germans, it did something to cool one’s pugnacity, and one received
the subsequent order to retire in a temperate spirit. Men occasionally
fell out from bad feet, but the regiment marched quite splendidly.
There was never any sign of flurry or panic anywhere. I think that
most people, when they realized what had happened, accepted things
rather impersonally. They thought that as far as our Army in France was
concerned, disaster, in the face of the enormous numbers that we had to
fight, was inevitable, but that this disaster was not vital as long as
the Navy was safe.

My dates are not quite accurate here, as I cannot account for one day.
It was Sunday, August 23rd, that we had the fight at Mons; I remember
several men said: “Our people are now going to Evening Service at
home,” as we marched out; and it was Tuesday, September 1st, that we
had the fight in which I and the others were taken prisoners.

Hubert and I arrived at Landrecies about 1 o’clock. Going in, we met
S., a Staff officer, who told us where we could quarter the men. We
went to a big house belonging to a man called Berlaimont, which Hubert
wanted to have as Headquarters. Berlaimont was offensive and did not
wish to give his house. We went on to the Maire, who gave us permission
to take it. After lunch we went on billeting, finding some very fine
houses. We had a mixed reception. Berlaimont gave in ungraciously,
and wrote up rather offensive orders as to what was not to be done:
“Ne pas cracher dans les corridors.” In other houses, too, they made
difficulties. I said: “After all, we are better than the Germans.”
They soon had the chance of judging. The troops came in to be billeted.
At 6 o’clock fire suddenly broke out in the town, and the cry was
raised that the Germans were upon us. I ran back and got my sword and
revolver at Headquarters, and going out, found a body of unattached
troops training a Maxim on the estaminet that was my lodgings. I
prevented them firing. Troops took up positions all over the town. The
inhabitants poured out pell-mell. It was like a flight in the Balkans.
They carried their all away in wheelbarrows, carts, perambulators and
even umbrellas. I met and ran into M. Berlaimont, very pale and fat,
trotting away from the town; he said to me with quivering cheeks: “What
is it?” I said: “It is the Prussians, M. Berlaimont. And they will
probably spit in your corridors.”

We had some dinner in a very hospitable house. At 8 o’clock there was
some very fierce fighting; the Coldstreamers had been ordered outside
the town. The Germans came up, talking French, and called out to
Monk, a Coldstream officer: “Ne tirez pas; nous sommes des amis,” and
“Vive les Anglais.” A German knocked Monk under a transport wagon.
Then our men grasped what was happening; they charged the Germans and
the Germans charged them, three times, I believe. They brought up
machine-guns. Afterwards one of our medical officers said that we had
lost 150 men, killing 800 to 1,000 Germans. It was there that Archer
Clive was killed.

Just before dinner I met an officer of the regiment. I asked him if
he had a billet. He told me he could not get one, and I said he could
have mine and that I would find another. However, I found that my
kit had already been put into the estaminet, and took him up to the
market-place to find a lodging. We first went to an empty café, where
all the liquor was left out, with no master or servants. We left money
for what beer we drank. I then found a room in a tradesman’s house.
After dinner I went down to the main barricade with Jack. Wagons,
including one of our own that carried our kit, had been dragged across
the road and defences were put up like lightning. We loopholed the
houses and some houses were pulled down. It was an extraordinarily
picturesque scene. The town was pitch-black except where the torches
glowed on the faces and on the bayonets of the men, or where shells
flashed and burst. I thought of the taking of Italian towns in the
seventeenth century. The Germans shelled us very heavily. It did not
seem as if there was much chance of getting away, but no one was
despondent. At about 1 a.m. there was a lull in the firing, and I went
back to lie down in my room. There I fell asleep, and the shelling of
the town did not wake me, though the house next to me was hit. About
2.30, in my sleep I heard my name, and found Desmond calling me loudly
in the street outside. He said: “We have lost two young officers, L.
and W. Come out and find them at once. The Germans are coming into
the town, and we shall have to clear out instantly.” I said to him:
“I don’t know either L. or W. by sight, and if I did it is far too
dark to see them.” “Well,” he said, “you must do your best.” I went
out and walked about the town, which was still being shelled, but I
was far more afraid of being run over in the darkness than of being
hit. Troops were pouring out in great confusion--foot, artillery,
transport mixed--and there were great holes in the road made by the
German shells. I met Eric, who said: “Come along with me to Guise”;
also the driver of a great transport wagon, who said he had no orders,
and begged me to come with him: he felt lonely without an officer.

It was quite clear to me that it was impossible to find these two
officers. I met Desmond by Headquarters and told him so; he said: “Very
well, fall in and come along.” The regiment passed at that moment.
Hubert and Tom told me to fall in, but I would not leave Moonshine,
though there did not seem to be much more chance of finding her than
W. and L. My groom and servant had both disappeared. The houses were
all locked or deserted. I battered on a door with my revolver. Two old
ladies timidly came out with a light. They pointed to a house where
I could find a man, but at that moment a Frenchman came up, whom I
commandeered. I went off to Headquarters to see if a sergeant was left.

There was nobody there. The dinner left looked like Belshazzar’s feast.
I had a good swig of beer from a jug. My saddle and sword had gone. I
went out with the Frenchman and saw that the troops were nearly all
out of the town. I determined to stay, if necessary, and hide until I
could find my horse, but the Frenchman turned up trumps and we found
her. We were terrified of her heels in the dark. I thanked the old
ladies and apologized for having threatened them with my revolver.
There was no question of riding Moonshine bare-back. I went back to
get a saddle, below Headquarters, but the Germans were there, so the
Frenchman swore. It was too dark to see, but they weren’t our men. I
took her back to where the medical officer was billeted. He had been
waiting with a dying man and was about to leave the town. I asked him
to let one of his men lead her, and went forward to see if I could get
a saddle. In this I failed. As I got out of the town dawn was breaking.
For some obscure reason one of our gunners fired a shell. Everybody
said: “I suppose that is to tell them where we are.” We all thought
that the German artillery fire must catch us going out of the town. For
the second time they let us off. By that time we had grasped the fact
that they could outmarch us, but we did not know that they had come on
motor-cars, and ascribed their greater pace to what we believed to be
the fact--that we were entirely unsupported by the French. My regiment
were a good long way ahead. I joined an officer who was leading a
detachment, and he was anxious that I should stay with him. As I walked
along, pretty footsore, an unshaven man came up and asked me if I liked
this sort of thing better than politics. I didn’t say much, as I had
heard the soldiers discussing politicians in the dark at Landrecies,
cursing all politicians every time a shell fell, and saying: “Ah,
that’s another one we owe to them. Why aren’t they here?” He offered
me a horse. He was the Colonel of the Irish Horse, Burns-Lindow. I
took the horse gratefully, which had a slight wound on its shoulder
and was as slow as an ox, poor beast. This drove me almost mad after
Moonshine, and, meeting another officer, I fell into conversation with
him. I asked if he saw anything wrong in my taking the saddle off this
horse and putting it on to Moonshine, when I found her. He said it
was certainly irregular, and I then recognized who he was. I got away
from him as soon as possible and, finding another officer of the Irish
Horse, persuaded him to help me to take off the saddle and put it on to
Moonshine, whom I had regained fairly chastened. I found the Colonel,
and we rode on to Etreux. Here we brought down an aeroplane after
it had dropped a bomb on us. The officers tried to prevent the men
shooting, but the noise made their commands useless. The C.O. was very
angry. He said: “I will teach you to behave like a lot of ... s. Off
you go and dig trenches.” One of the men said as we marched off: “If
that was a friendly aeroplane, what did it want to drop that bomb on us
for?” He was quite right. It had done this, and the shell had fallen
about thirty yards away. Our fire prevented us hearing it. Stephen came
down in a Balaclava helmet and said that officers were the best shots
at aeroplanes because pheasants had taught them to swing in firing.

At Etreux we were ordered to dig trenches, which we did. After this I
slept under a hedge, where Bernard, the Frenchman, gave me some rum,
which was very welcome, as it was raining. At about 9 o’clock I felt
Hubert, very angry, thumping me, as he thought I was a private who had
taken his haversack to lie on.

The next morning everybody was in tremendous spirits. They had slept
very well in the trenches and those outside had been housed in nests
of straw. The officers were called up and spoken to by the Colonel. He
read out a message from Joffre to say that the British Army had saved
France. He told us that the retreat had been inevitable and had given
the French time to take up adequate defensive positions. The impression
I think most of us had was that we had been used as a bait. Then we
were once more ordered to retire.

As I rode along in the morning going to La Fère an aeroplane passed
fairly close over us; everybody fired at it at once; thousands of
rounds must have been fired, and I found it useful in teaching
Moonshine to stand fire. She took her first lesson well, though she
broke up the formation of half a company. We often saw aeroplanes, and
they were nearly always shot at, whether they belonged to friend or foe.

That day we marched to Origny, where we camped below a hill with a
steep cliff to it. I went into the town and bought eggs, brandy,
etc. There was every kind of rumour about: that we were completely
surrounded by the Germans; that there were millions of them in front
and behind; also that there had been a great French defeat at Charleroi.

We were all very jolly. At night the artillery poured past with the
sound of a great cataract. We lay down on the hillside, and every
man going to get straw to cover him walked over Tom’s face, who
swore himself almost faint with rage. All our kit had been lost at
Landrecies, and many of us had not great-coats.

We started at dawn; but had to wait to let other troops pass us. I was
sent back to look for communicating files of the regiment that had been
lost. I found them with difficulty and brought them on. The Germans
were too near to us. That day we marched through great avenues of tall
poplars and through a pleasant smiling country to La Fère. Moonshine
began to grow lame. I stayed behind to get food for my company and lost
the regiment, only finding them again after long wanderings and with
the greatest difficulty. We camped near La Fère. The regiment forgot
its tiredness in a hunt after a strange horse which strayed into our
camp and which Eric finally captured for the transport. Both Desmond
and he tried hard to take my saddle from me; for the saddle which I
had first put upon Moonshine was Hickie’s harness. Then Hickie was
invalided, and I lost his saddle at Landrecies and then got the saddle
from B. L., Colonel of the Irish Horse. I beat them in argument, but
thought they were quite capable of taking the saddle in spite of that.

We stopped some time to smoke and rest. The men were drawn up on a
torrid cornfield. Valentine was overdone. He volunteered, like the
man in the Bible, to get water. Finding that he would have to wait
in a long queue, he returned without the water. Tom’s anger beat all
records. A deputation from another regiment came and asked him to
repeat what he had said. They were surprised to find that it was his
brother-in-law who had provoked these comments.

I saw John Manners and George Cecil, and gave them cigarettes. Near a
great factory of some kind we marched past Sir Douglas Haig. I hurried
past him.

La Fère was an old fortified city. We were told we were to have a rest
and the next day’s march was to be a very short one. We camped near
Berteaucourt. It was very hot. I hobbled up to the village to get
provisions, and found a French girl, the daughter of a farmer, who
talked fair English. Near the village I spoke to a number of people. I
told one peasant I thought it was a mistake that everybody should fly
from their houses if they did not mean to clear out altogether, and
that it was an invitation to the Germans to loot and burn. He said:
“Monsieur, I quite agree with you. Moi, je vais agir en patriote quand
ils viendront. Je vais tout bonnement descendre dans ma cave.” The next
day (the 29th) we camped above the village of Pasly. On the road I got
boracic cream for my horse’s cracked heel. We passed through a big
town, Coucy, crowded with curious, frightened, silent people. It had a
very fine castle. I bought some cigarette-holders, with cinema pictures
inside, for the Colonel. People pressed chocolate and all they could
get into my hands, taking payment unwillingly. Moonshine lost a shoe,
but I managed to get her shod there. Reluctantly at Pasly I lent her
to Robin, who went off to post his men in the village. The moment he
had gone the O.C. sent for me and told me we had got outside the area
of our maps, and asked if I could get him a map. I started off at once
to walk to Soissons. When he discovered where I was going he said it
was out of the question; so I walked down to Pasly either to get a map
there or to take the Maire’s carriage and drive to Soissons. In Pasly
there was a tenth-rate Maire and a schoolmaster. They provided me with
an ancient map, the date of which was 1870. It did not even mark the
monument of the schoolmasters whom the Germans had lightheartedly shot
on their last visit to the village.

I found a half-wit, and paid him to carry up some wine, bread and eggs.

We camped above a quarry and talked of what was going to happen. There
seemed only two alternatives. One was that we should get into Paris and
take first-class tickets home to England, and the other that we should
stay and get wiped out. For we still saw no French troops; we still
believed ourselves to be 100,000 against a force of anything from one
to two millions.

Eric had met a Lancer who had been full of the German atrocities. I
met him and talked to him afterwards. His stories sounded improbable.
Eric had also seen an extraordinary thing happen that morning. He had
seen an aeroplane which we were bombarding. It was flying in the blue
sky when it was struck. It was there, and then it was not. It just

_August 31st._ We got up fairly early, and I rode with Eric past caves
in which there were houses and quarries down the steep hillside to the
plain of Soissons. It was a beautiful morning, very peaceful, and the
air was scented. There was bright sunlight over the marching soldiers
and the fields of green, tall grass. The C.O. told me that our camping
ground was at Cœuvre. I asked leave to ride into Soissons and see if
I could not get clean shirts and handkerchiefs to replace what we had
lost at Landrecies.

Soissons was like a sunlit town of the dead. Four out of five houses
were shut. Most of the well-to-do people had gone. It was silent
streets and blind houses. The clattering which Moonshine made on the
cobbles was almost creepy. I stopped first of all at a saddler’s shop
and tried to get a proper bridle. The saddler was a rough democratic
Frenchman, not a bad fellow, the sort of man who made the Republic. He
took me to a boot shop which was my first need, where the people were
very kind, and I bought a capital pair of boots for twelve francs. I
went into the “Lion d’Or.” They refused me a stall for Moonshine on the
ground that the landlord and all his family were going. I insisted,
and bought her some fodder, also some food for myself. They drove hard

Out of doors I met some English officers having breakfast. They had
only just arrived. I left a man called Gustave to look after Moonshine
and went out to spend a most laborious morning of shopping. After going
to many different shops I found a bazaar like a mortuary, with two
old women and a boy. They said to me: “Take whatever you want and pay
as much or as little as pleases you. If the Germans come we shall set
fire to this place.” They pressed every kind of souvenir on me, but
it was extraordinary, with plenty lying round, how difficult it was
to get what one needed. I was buying mostly for other people. It was
like being turned loose in Selfridge’s--boots, scissors, pocket-knives,
electric torches, watches, bags, vests, etc. I also bought an
alpenstock, as I had lost my sword and thought it might be useful as a
light bayonet.

I then went and had a bath, the first proper one since England. The
heat was very great. I felt dirty and wanted to shave my beard, as the
men said every day that I became more like King Edward. I then intended
to go to the Cathedral, but found the few English soldiers in the town
moving out hurriedly. They said the Germans were coming in an hour.
So I gave up the Cathedral and went and had lunch in a jolly little
inn. There were some very excitable Frenchmen, one of whom asked me
if I would sell him a lucky sixpence for a franc which he could wear
round his neck. I suppose he was really pathetic; at the moment he
only irritated me. He said: “J’ai confiance--même s’ils vont à Paris
j’aurais confiance.” “But,” he said, “where is the French Army?” They
were all saying that by this time.

I went back to my boot shop. All the women there were crying.
They insisted upon giving me some wine. At the hotel I found the
hotel-keeper and his family going off, squeaking with anger at the
ostler, Gustave, who was helping me to carry all I had bought in two
great bags. The weight was very oppressive in the heat, and I was
afraid of making Moonshine’s tender foot worse on the hard road. Before
I had got outside the town I had to get off and readjust everything,
with the help of some very kind French people. While I was doing
this, Westminster, with Hugh Dawnay, drove up in his beautiful car. I
suggested his taking my things on to Cœuvre. He said, unfortunately he
had other orders, and wanted to know where to lunch. I told him where
I had lunched, but said that he would probably have to share his lunch
with the Germans if he went into the town, as they must now be close
behind us.

Riding on, I met some French troops evacuating the town and with them
a man of my regiment, who had hurt his knee. He could not walk, so I
put him under the charge of a French sergeant. While I was talking to
him two other men of my regiment came up. They had fallen out on the
previous day and had had nothing to eat since yesterday’s breakfast. I
took them into a French house, where the people were very hospitable;
gave them food at once and insisted on giving them champagne, which
they said was “déchampagnisé.” The men ate like wolves. One of them was
a splendidly built fellow, called Sheridan.

Then we marched slowly on in the heat, for about two hours, when
Sheridan said: “What is it is happening yonder, sir?” pointing to the
horizon about a mile away. Soon rifle fire broke out, and Sheridan
said: “There are Uhlans coming down the road.” There was a wood on
our left, and we made preparations to get into this; the other man
had fallen behind. They were both very done, but Sheridan was like
a different man at the prospect of a fight. Our people, however, or
rather the French, drove the German cavalry back at this moment, and
we went on quietly. I was glad to be able to turn to the left, as the
fighting on our right was pretty hot and I was weighed down with all
the extra things I carried.

I fell into conversation with a medical officer, and asked him if he
knew where Cœuvre was. Then an R.A.M.C. Colonel came up and looked at
my kit very suspiciously. He asked me who the General in command of the
Division was. I said I had forgotten his name; I could not keep my head
filled with these details. He said to me: “You don’t seem to know who
you are.” I said to him: “I know who I am; I don’t know who you are, I
don’t want to. I hope to God I shall never see you again. Go to hell
and stay there.” This made him angry, and he said: “Your regiment is
ahead on the left, but the Germans are in front of you, if you wish to
rejoin them,” pointing in the direction from which I had come.

All this time I had been waiting for Sheridan and other now numerous
stragglers behind me, and at this point I turned round and rode off
to see what had happened, thoroughly irritated with the R.A.M.C.
Colonel. This apparently convinced him that I really was a German,
as the engagement in the rear was going on fairly close, and he came
after me with a Major of the K.R.R., who was unhappy. He said: “Will
you come with me to my Colonel?” I said: “I will go with you anywhere
to get away from this fussy little man, but if you think that a German
spy would come on a racehorse, dressed like the White Knight, with
an alpenstock, you are greatly mistaken.” He promised to have my
stragglers looked after, and then I rode up to his regiment with him,
when Blank came up and shook hands. We had not met since Eton. He
cleared my character. After that I went on as fast as I could. I picked
up some more of my regiment, including a sergeant who had sprained his
ankle. I told him to ride, but found a motor and put him in that.

Soon we were stopped by a sentry in a wood, as it was growing dark. He
said that his officer had told him to stop all on the road and to send
for him. Then came General Monro, who was also stopped. He was with a
sad man. He forced his way through, and I asked permission to take on
the men of my regiment. He told me that I should find my regiment at
Soucy, and gave me the permission I wanted. In a few moments I met the
officer who had had us stopped. He said the Germans were very close to
us. We could hear firing near by.

I reached my regiment as night was falling. They were delighted with
my arrest. We spent our last night very comfortably, though there was
heavy dew. Tom, who had been frightfully overdone, always carrying
rifles, was recovering, and every one was cheerful and very keen to
have a fight. Until now only Hickie had been invalided. The rum at
night after a long march made a wonderful difference. The men got in
very tired, footsore, cold and hungry, and had to sleep on the wet
ground. A tot of rum sent them to sleep, and sent them to sleep feeling
warm. Teetotalism on the march is an excellent thing, better still to
drink nothing, but that nip at night made the difference between health
and sickness, comfort and misery.

_September 1st._ The next morning we got up at 2 o’clock. The Army
was passing all round us already. It was like the sound of deep, slow
rivers. For the first and last time we took a wrong turning, only for
a couple of hundred yards. This was the only mistake I saw at all in
the long march. After two hours we halted, and S. and I sat under a
dripping tree and talked about the West Country. At the beginning S.
had said to me: “I shall be very disappointed if I go home without
seeing a fight, but the worst of it is you can’t make an omelette
without breaking eggs, and I don’t want to see my friends killed.” I
said to him: “You are going to get your omelette all right now.” Some
constituents passed me. They said: “This be terrible dangerous. Do’ee
come along with we.”

Moonshine would eat nothing, and this worried me. I had become very
fond of her.

At about 6 o’clock we halted on what I knew to be a tragic plain. In
my mind I associate this plain with turnips, though I am not sure that
any grew there. There was stubble, high and wet lucerne, and a mournful
field where corn had been cut but not carried. We sat about on the wet,
muddy ground for breakfast, while a thin, dismal rain fell.

The C.O. called us round and gave us our orders. He said: “We are
required to hold this wood until 2 o’clock in the afternoon. We may
have to fight a rearguard action until a later hour if there is a block
in the road. We are to retire upon Rond de la Reine.” After this we
breakfasted on hot cocoa; it tasted of vaseline or paraffin, but it was

It was apparent that if the First Division took long over their
luncheon we should be wiped out. By this time every one had got their
second wind, their feet were hard and they were cheerful. Jumbo said he
could go on walking for ever. I talked to Alex and agreed that we had
seen a great deal of fun together. He had said, while we were crossing
the Channel, that it was long odds, not, of course, against some of us
going back, but against any particular one of us seeing it through.
This was now visibly true; we believed that we were three divisions
against twenty-one or even twenty-eight German divisions. I wrote two
letters, one of them a eulogy of Moonshine. I went to Desmond, asking
him to post them. He said crossly: “You seem to think that Adjutants
can work miracles. Charles asks for letters under fire, you want to
post them on the battlefield. It is quite useless to write letters now.”

He then borrowed some of my paper and wrote a letter. I have the
picture in my mind of Desmond constantly sitting, in very tidy
breeches, writing and calling for sergeants. We had little sleep. He
never seemed to sleep at all. He was woken all the time and was always
cheerful. We had nothing to do for a bit, and I read scraps about
cemeteries from Shakespeare, to irritate the others. They remained
cheerful. Then we moved off to the wood. Nobody had any illusions about
the immediate future. One man said to me: “I may live to see many
battles; I think I shall, for I am very keen on my profession, but
I shall never forget this plain or this morning.” It must have been
about 7.30 when we went into the wood. No. 4 held the extreme right;
they were protected by a wall, which they loopholed, and a wire fence
outside. No. 3 was next on a road that ran through the heart of the
wood to Rond de la Reine. I did not see Tom; I thought I was sure to
see him some time in the morning. Stubbs was behind No. 3, down in the
village (I forget the name). The C.O. said to me: “I want you to gallop
for me to-day, so stick to me.” I lost him at once in the wood behind
No. 4, but rode right down to a deserted farm and, swinging to my
right, found him at the cross-roads.

I had seen a good deal of him the last days. He had a very attractive
personality, and it was a delight to hear him talk about anything.
I asked him what chance he thought we had of getting more than half
of us away. He said he thought a fairly good chance. Then he said to
me: “How is your rest-cure getting on now? There is very little that
looks like manœuvres in the millennium about this, is there?” I had
told him some time before that I looked upon this expedition as a
rest-cure, as in some ways it was. We talked about Ireland and Home
Rule, riding outside the wood. The grey, damp mist had gone and the day
was beautiful.

He sent me first to Hubert, Second-in-Command, with the order that in
the retreat every officer was to retire down the main road, with the
exception of Stubbs, who was to retire as he liked. I imagine that he
was afraid that men would be lost in the wood. By this time the firing
had begun, some way off, but our men could see the Germans coming
over the rising land. The C.O. ordered me to find Colonel Pereira of
the Coldstream Guards and tell him that, as soon our own troops, now
fighting the Germans in front of him, would fall back through his
lines, after this he was to fall back himself.

I went off at a hand gallop, and had got half-way there, with the
wood on my left and open land on my right, when the Germans began
shooting at about three-quarters of a mile. Our men were firing at
them from the wood, and I felt annoyed at being between two fires and
the only thing visible to amuse our men and the Germans. I turned
into the wood, and, galloping down a sandy way, found the road filled
with refugees with haunted faces. We had seen crowds of refugees for
days, but I felt sorrier for these. I suppose it was that the Germans
were so very near them. I gave my message to Pereira, who advised me
to go back through the wood, but I knew the other way and thought I
should soon be past the German fire. I had not, however, counted on
their advancing so quickly. When I came to the edge of the wood they
were firing furiously--shrapnel, machine-gun and rifle fire. Our men
had excellent cover, and were answering. I then tried to make my way
through the wood, but it was abominably rough. There were ferns and
brambles waist-high, and great ditches; the wood was very beautiful
with its tall trees, but that, at the moment, was irrelevant. Moonshine
stood like a goat on the stump of a tree that made an island among the
ditches, and I turned back to take the way by the open fields. When I
got outside the fire had grown very bad. I raced for an orchard that
jutted out of the wood. Bullets hummed and buzzed. Coming to it, I
found that there was wire round it. I then popped at full speed, like a
rabbit, into the wood again, through a thicket, down an enormous ditch,
up the other side, bang into some barbed wire, which cut my horse. It
was like diving on horseback. I turned round and galloped delicately
out again, riding full tilt round the orchard.

I found the Colonel, who was standing under shelter at the cross-roads
to the left of the road, facing the enemy, that led through the heart
of the wood. He mounted the bank and watched the Germans advancing. I
sat under the bank with M. and Alex. The German shells began to fall
close to us, knocking the trees about in the wood. There were some
sergeants very excited and pleased at the idea of a fight. They said:
“Now has come the time for deeds, not words.” They felt that they were
the men of the moment.

We considered whether the Germans were likely to charge down the road
along which I had come, but thought we could hold them effectively in
check from our corner and that the fire from the wood would reach them.

It was, I suppose, now about 10.30. Desmond, the Colonel and I rode
back into the big, green wood. It was very peaceful. The sun was
shining through the beech-trees, and for a bit the whole thing seemed
unreal. The C.O. talked to the men, telling them to reserve their fire
till the Germans were close on them. “Then you will kill them and
they won’t get up again.” That made them laugh. The German advance
began very rapidly. The Coldstreamers must have begun falling back
about this time. The Germans came up in front and on our left flank.
There was a tremendous fire. The leaves, branches, etc., rained upon
one. One’s face was constantly fanned by the wind from their bullets.
This showed how bad their fire was. My regiment took cover very well,
and after the first minute or two fired pretty carefully. Moonshine
was startled to begin with by the fire, but afterwards remained very
still and confidential. Desmond did not get off his horse; he told me
to lead my horse back into the wood and then come back to the firing
line. The Colonel then told me to gallop up to the Brigadier to say
that the retreat was being effectively carried out; that there were
two squadrons advancing and he did not know what force of infantry. In
this estimate he was very much out, as subsequent events proved. Eric,
now at home wounded, said to me: “The Germans seemed hardly to have
an advance guard; it was an army rolling over us.” When I found the
Brigadier he wanted to know if the C.O. seemed happy about things. I
said I thought on the whole he did. There were bullets everywhere and
men falling, but the fire was still too high. One bullet in about half
a million must have hit a man. I returned to the Colonel. Our men had
then begun to retire down the main road to Rond de la Reine. A galloper
came up and, as far as I heard, said that we were to hang on and not
retreat yet. This officer was, I think, killed immediately after giving
his message. The Colonel said that the Coldstreamers had already begun
to retreat, that we couldn’t hold on there, but must go back to the
position we had left. We were ordered to resume the position which
Hubert had been told to leave. The Germans were by this time about
250 yards away, firing on us with machine-guns and rifles. The noise
was perfectly awful. In a lull the C.O. said to the men: “Do you hear
that? Do you know what they are doing that for? They are doing that to
frighten you.” I said to him: “If that’s all, they might as well stop.
As far as I am concerned, they have succeeded, two hours ago.”

The men were ordered to charge, but the order was not heard in the
noise, and after we had held this position for some minutes a command
was given to retreat. Another galloper brought it, who also, I think,
was shot. Guernsey, whom I met with his company, asked me to gallop
back and tell Valentine he must retire his platoon; he had not received
the order. I found Valentine and got off my horse and walked him some
yards down the road, the Germans following. He, like everybody else,
was very pleased at the calm way the men were behaving.

I mounted and galloped after the Colonel, who said: “If only we could
get at them with the bayonet I believe one of our men is as good as
three of theirs.” He started in the direction of the Brigadier. Men
were now falling fast. I happened to see one man drop with a bayonet
in his hand a few yards off, and reined in my horse to see if I could
help him, but the C.O. called me and I followed him. The man whom I had
seen was Hubert, though I did not know it at the time. The C.O. said:
“It is impossible now to rescue wounded men; we have all we can do.”
He had a charmed life. He raced from one place to another through the
wood; cheering the men and chaffing them, and talking to me; smoking
cigarette after cigarette. Under ordinary conditions one would have
thought it mad to ride at the ridiculous pace we did over the very
broken ground, but the bullets made everything else irrelevant. At
about 1 o’clock we went up to the Brigadier at the corner of the road.
The fighting there was pretty hot. One of the men told the Colonel that
Hubert was killed. The Colonel said: “Are you sure?” The man said:
“Well, I can’t swear.” I was sent back to see. The man said he was
about 400 yards away, and as I galloped as hard as I could, G. called
to me: “To the right and then to the left.” As I raced through the wood
there was a cessation of the firing, though a number of shots came from
both sides. They snapped very close. I found Hubert in the road we had
been holding. I jumped off my horse and put my hand on his shoulder and
spoke to him. He must have been killed at once, and looked absolutely
peaceful. He cannot have suffered at all. I leant over to see if he
had letters in his pocket, when I heard a whistle 25 or 30 yards behind
me in the wood. I stood up and called: “If that is an Englishman, get
outside the wood and up to the corner like hell; you will be shot if
you try and join the rest through the wood. The Germans are between
us.” I bent over to pick up Hubert’s bayonet, when again a whistle came
and the sound of low voices, talking German. I then thought the sooner
I was away the better. As I swung into the saddle a shot came from just
behind me, missing me. I rode back as fast as Moonshine could go. The
lull in the firing had ceased, and the Germans were all round us. One
could see them in the wood, and they were shooting quite close. The
man who finally got me was about 15 to 20 yards away; his bullet must
have passed through a tree or through Bron’s great-coat, because it
came into my side broken up. It was like a tremendous punch. I galloped
straight on to my regiment and told the Colonel that Hubert was dead.
He said: “I am sorry, and I am sorry that you are hit. I am going to
charge.” He had told me earlier that he meant to if he got the chance.

I got off and asked them to take on my horse. Then I lay down on
the ground and an R.A.M.C. man dressed me. The Red Cross men gave a
loud whistle when they saw my wound, and said the bullet had gone
through me. The fire was frightfully hot. The men who were helping me
were crouching down, lying on the ground. While he was dressing me a
horse--his, I suppose--was shot just behind us. I asked them to go, as
they could do me no good and would only get killed or taken themselves.
The doctor gave me some morphia, and I gave them my revolver. They
put me on a stretcher, leaving another empty stretcher beside me. This
was hit several times. Shots came from all directions, and the fire
seemed to be lower than earlier in the day. The bullets were just above
me and my stretcher. I lost consciousness for a bit; then I heard my
regiment charging. There were loud cries and little spurts of spasmodic
shooting; then everything was quiet and a deep peace fell upon the
wood. It was very dreamlike.

It is really very difficult to reconstruct this fight. I think every
man’s attention was fixed like iron on doing his own job, otherwise
they would all have noticed more. I carry in my mind a number of very
vivid pictures--Desmond on his horse, Valentine and I discussing
fatalism, the C.O. smoking cigarettes in the cinema holders that I had
bought for him a few days before.

As I lay on the stretcher a jarring thought came to me. I had in my
pocket the flat-nosed bullets which the War Office had served out to us
as revolver ammunition. They are not dum-dum bullets, but they would
naturally not make as pleasant a wound as the sharp-nosed ones, and
it occurred to me that those having them would be shot. I searched my
pockets and flung mine away. I did not discover one which remained and
was buried later on,--but neither did the Germans. It was first hearing
German voices close by that jogged my memory about these bullets, and
the Germans were then so close that I felt some difficulty in throwing
the bullets away. The same idea must have occurred to others, for later
I heard the Germans speaking very angrily about the flat bullets they
had picked up in the wood, and saying how they would deal with any one
in whose possession they were found.

The glades became resonant with loud, raucous German commands and
occasional cries from wounded men. After about an hour and a half,
I suppose, a German with a red beard, with the sun shining on his
helmet and bayonet, came up looking like an angel of death. He walked
round from behind, and put his serrated bayonet on the empty stretcher
by me, so close that it all but touched me. The stretcher broke and
his bayonet poked me. I enquired in broken but polite German what he
proposed to do next; after reading the English papers and seeing the
way he was handling his bayonet, it seemed to me that there was going
to be another atrocity. He was extraordinarily kind and polite. He
put something under my head; offered me wine, water and cigarettes.
He said: “Wir sind kamaraden.” Another soldier came up and said: “Why
didn’t you stay in England--you who made war upon the Boers?” I said:
“We obeyed orders, just as you do; as for the Boers, they were our
enemies and are now our friends, and it is not your business to insult
wounded men.” My first friend then cursed him heartily, and he moved on.

The Germans passed in crowds. They seemed like steel locusts. Every
now and then I would hear: “Here is an officer who talks German,” and
the crowd would swerve in like a steel eddy. Then: “Schnell Kinder!”
and they would be off. They gave a tremendous impression of lightness
and iron. After some hours, when my wound was beginning to hurt, some
carriers came up to take me to a collecting place for the wounded.
These men were rather rough. They dropped me and my stretcher once, but
were cursed by an officer. They then carried me some distance, and took
me off the stretcher, leaving me on the ground. The Germans continued
to pass in an uninterrupted stream. One motor cyclist, but with a
bayonet in his hand, was very unpleasant. He said: “I would like to put
this in your throat and turn it round and round,” waving it down to my
nose. That sort of thing happened more than once or twice, but there
were always more friends than enemies, though as night fell the chance
of being left without friends increased. As it grew dark, I got rather
cold. One of the Germans saw this, covered me with his coat and said:
“Wait a moment, I will bring you something else.” He went off, and,
I suppose, stripped a dead Englishman and a dead German. The German
jersey which he gave me had no holes in it; the Englishman’s coat had
two bayonet cuts.

The wounded began to cry dreadfully in the darkness. I found myself
beside Robin, who was very badly wounded in the leg. The Germans gave
me water when I asked for it, but every time I drank it made me sick.
At, I suppose, 9.30 or 10 p.m. they took us off into an ambulance and
carried us to a house that had been turned into a hospital. I was left
outside, talking to a Dane who was very anti-German, though he was
serving with them as a Red Cross man. He cursed them loudly in German.
He said it was monstrous that I hadn’t been attended to, that the
Germans had had a defeat and would be beaten. I said: “Yes, it’s all
true, but please stop talking, because they’ll hear you and punish me.”

Just before 12 o’clock they carried me into the hospital on to the
operating table, and dressed my wound quickly.

Then I was helped out to an outhouse and lay beside Robin. It was full
of English and German wounded. They gave us one drink of water and
then shut and locked the door and left us for the night. One man cried
and cried for water until he died. It was a horrible night. The straw
was covered with blood, and there was never a moment when men were not
groaning and calling for help. In the morning the man next to Robin
went off his head and became animal with pain. I got the Germans to
do what was possible for him. I asked the Germans to let me out, and
they helped me outside into a chair, and I talked to an officer called
Brandt. He sent a telegram to the German authorities to say that Robin
and I were lightly wounded, and asking them to let our families know.
He would not let me pay. I would have liked to have done it for every
one, but that wasn’t possible. They took us away in an ambulance at
about 11 o’clock. It was a beautiful September day, very hot indeed.
The heat in the covered ambulance was suffocating, and Robin must have
suffered horribly. He asked me the German for “quick,” and when I told
him, urged the Germans on. There were great jolts and....

At Viviers I found Shields, who said to me: “Hullo, you wounded, and
you a volunteer, too?”--as if a volunteer ought to be immune from
wounds. We were carried upstairs and told that Valentine and Buddy,
whom I had last met under the cedars, were in the same hospital.
Valentine had the point of his elbow shot away just after I had
left him. He raised his hand to brush a wasp off his neck, and only
remembered pitching forward when a bullet struck his elbow. He woke
up in a pool of blood. A German came up and took the flask of brandy
that I had given him after my visit to Soissons. He gave Valentine a
drink, and then, when Valentine had said he did not want any more,
swigged the whole of the rest off. It was enough to make two men drunk,
solidly, for hours. Later, five Germans came up to Valentine and ragged
him. One of them kicked him, but an officer arrived, took all their
names, promised Valentine they should be punished, and attached an
orderly to him for the night. Buddy was badly wounded in the back and
arm. He found his servant in the church at Viviers. Then we all met at
the house in Viviers. The doctors gave Robin and me a strong dose of
morphia. That afternoon a German doctor, whose name was Hillsparck,
came in and woke me. He gave me a gold watch with a crest on it, and
a silver watch and a purse of gold (£8 in it). He said that a Colonel
to whom the watch belonged had been buried close by in the village of
Haraman, and asked me if I could say who he was. We heard that the
Colonel had been killed, and I imagined it must have been him, but
we could not tell, as apparently every single man of the seventy odd
who had charged with him had been killed. The doctor left this watch
with me. In the hospital we believed that the General of the Division,
Monro, and also our own Brigadier, General Scott Kerr, were wounded,
and that the Colonel and T. were killed; Hubert we knew was killed.

Our experiences on the field were all the same. We were all well
treated, though occasionally we were insulted. In hospital an old
_ober-stadt_ was in command of the doctors. He was very good to us. The
English doctors were W., in command, S. next, Rankin and Shields. They
were all good doctors. W., Rankin and Shields were excellent fellows.
Rankin, who has been killed since, himself wounded, was dressing the
wounded on the field and was recommended for the V.C. Shields has been
killed in the same way, and I believe would have been recommended but
that his C.O. was also killed. They were both the best sort of man you
can find.

After a couple of days I moved into Buddy and Valentine’s room. A
little way down the street there was the château, full of wounded
Germans. Our men were carried there to be operated upon.

W. and the other doctors who went to help discovered that there were
311 wounded Germans as against 92 of our own, so we didn’t do badly.

Every morning the German sentries used to come in and talk to us. My
German and Buddy’s was very weak, but we managed to get along all
right. Downstairs those who were lightly wounded sat outside in the
chairs they took from the house, in the sunny garden. It was a fairly
luxurious house, with paper marked “F. H.” I thought it was a girls’
school, for the only books we could find were the _Berger de Valence_
and Jules Verne. My side was painful the first few days. Then they cut
me open and took out the bullet, which was all in bits. It was rather
hard lines on the others to perform an operation in the room, but I
felt much better after it. The food difficulty was rather acute. There
was very little food, and what there was was badly cooked. We lived
principally on things that S. called “chupatti”--thick, unleavened
biscuits. The men began to give trouble. There was nobody in command of
them. There was an ex-comedian who was particularly tiresome. We had to
ask the Germans to punish one man for us. About the fourth day one of
the orderlies escaped--Drummer McCoy. He passed for four days through
the German lines, and on one occasion watched a whole Army Corps go by
from the boughs of a tree. Then he found the French, who passed him on
to the English, where he went to the Staff and told them of us. That is
how we were picked up so quickly on the 11th.

       *       *       *       *       *

Here is a copy of my diary for September 9th:--

The people are beginning to return, but not the priest, who is with the
Army. We want him for the regiment. Up till this time only six of the
wounded have died. The Germans tell us every kind of story--the United
States are declaring war on Japan, Italy on France, Denmark on England,
etc., etc. Also that Paris has been given twelve hours to accept or
reject the German terms, and if the French Government is obdurate
the town will be bombarded. We are told that we are to be taken as
prisoners to Magdeburg. It is a week since I have had a cigarette.

_Thursday, September 10th._ We are all very anxious to get news home,
but there is no chance. Last night S. Herbert died. I had a Testament,
and Valentine and I found verses which W. read over his grave.
Valentine has bad pain. Three bones broken in his arm and the point of
his elbow gone. Buddy is better, but hit cruel hard. Robin has a bad
wound, and is very restless. They don’t like giving us morphia. Luckily
I have got my own medicine chest, which is a good thing for all of us,
as I can give the others sleeping draughts. Last night a French cavalry
patrol came within two miles of us. Early this morning there was rifle
fire close by. It sounded in the wood that we suppose is Haraman. We
think the Germans may evacuate this place any time. The bandages have
given out. Stores are not coming in. There is a big aeroplane depot
quite close by, and the whole air is full of aeroplanes. It looks and
feels as if there might be a big battle round here soon. They have shot
an old man wandering about the aerodrome. But he was asking for it.

_9 a.m._ The aeroplanes are being shifted from the depot. Last night we
heard that arms were issued to all the wounded Germans in hospital who
could carry them. This morning the Germans are digging trenches hard.
There are Red Crosses everywhere. The doctors want us to go down to the
cellars if we are shelled. The French women in the village say that the
French are coming. The firing is increasing.

_9.15 a.m._ The German hospital across the way is ordered to be ready
to move at once.

_10.25 a.m._ An order has come for all prisoners to parade at the
church at 12 o’clock. The German lightly wounded are being sent on. We
are very anxious as to whether they mean to take us too. More of our
wounded who have died are being buried.

_11.10 a.m._ A German doctor has come. He said: “They are going and
taking all (of our) prisoners, 18 (of our) lightly wounded, and leaving
25 (of their) badly wounded.” French wounded are now coming in. We have
no more bandages at all. A German sentry with whom I had talked has
just come in. I asked him some days ago to buy some handkerchiefs. He
said: “I have not been able to buy you any handkerchiefs, or to get the
cigarettes you wanted, but here is one of my own handkerchiefs, which I
have washed. We have got to go.”

_8 p.m._ The last order is that the previous orders are countermanded
and the Germans are to stay on ten days.

_Friday, September 11th._ Our English prisoners were marched off this
morning. We are full of speculation as to what has really happened.
Valentine, Buddy and I are well.

_10.10 a.m._ There are machine-guns about four miles away.

_10.30 a.m._ There is a heavy rifle fire within a mile. It is very
trying lying here in bed. We have nothing to read except _The
Rajah’s Heir_ which V. sent to me and which has become known as the
treasure-house of fun. It is a sort of mixture of Hymns Ancient and
Modern and the _Fairchild Family_.

_2 p.m._ There is a Maxim within a few hundred yards of the house.
Rifle volleys outside in the garden. A rising wind and rain threatening.

_3 p.m._ Heavy rain. The French are visible, advancing.

_3.10 p.m._ The French are here. They came in in fine style, like
conquerors; one man first, riding, his hand on his hip. The German
sentries who had been posted to protect us wounded walked down and
surrendered their bayonets. The German doctors came to us for help.
I offered to go, but W. went. The French infantry and cavalry came
streaming through. Our wounded went out into the pouring rain to cheer
them. They got water from our men, whose hands they kissed. The German
guns are on the skyline. The Germans are in full retreat, and said to
be cut off by the English.

_5 p.m._ A heavy bombardment of the German guns began from here. I have
come upstairs to a long low garret with skylights, in order to leave
Valentine and Buddy more room. Through the skylight one can see every
flash of the French and German guns. The doctors all come up here to
watch with their field-glasses through my skylights.

_Saturday, September 12th._ Yesterday, when W. went down, he found
the German doctors receiving cavalier treatment from the French. He
explained to the French that they had treated us with the greatest
kindness; after that the French treated with courtesy the old
_ober-stadt_. Shields carved a great wooden tombstone for the thirteen
men who had died up to date. It is a month to-day since I left England.

This afternoon Colonel Thompson, English Staff Officer attached to
General Manoury, who had been attached to the Serbian Army through the
last war, came in. McCoy, who had escaped, had found him and told him
about us at Viviers. He said he would take me into Villers Cotterets
after he had done some other business. We talked a lot about the
Balkans, but I finally went back and lay down in my garret and shall
not get up again to-day.

_Sunday, September 13th._ I went off with Thompson this morning. We
passed through the wood where we had had the fight, and a long grave of
120 men was shown to me by McCoy.




ANZAC, 1915

When I was passed fit for Active Service, after some time in hospital,
I left England for Egypt with five other officers. Four of these had
strange histories. One is, perhaps, the most romantic figure of the
war, another now governs a great Province, while two, after many
adventures, were prisoners of war in Turkey, for different but dreary

I was sent to the East because it had been my fortune to have travelled
widely, and I had a fairly fluent smattering of several Eastern
languages. On arriving at Gibraltar about December 14, 1914, we heard
the first news of submarines. One of these was reported to have passed
through into the Mediterranean a few days previously.

When I reached Egypt just before Christmas, superficially everything
was calm. This calm did not last very long. I was given Intelligence
work to do, under Colonel Clayton, who has played a very great part
in achieving our success in the East. Reports constantly came in from
Minia, Zagazig and Tanta of Turkish and German intrigues. General Sir
J. Maxwell commanded the Forces in Egypt. Prince Hussein had just been
proclaimed Sultan, and Egypt had been declared to be under British
protection. Rushdy Pasha was Prime Minister and a triumvirate of Sir
Milne Cheetham at the Residency, Sir R. Graham as Adviser to the
Ministry of the Interior, and Lord Edward Cecil as Adviser to the
Ministry of Finance, directed the Government.

It was difficult to believe that the Egyptian, who then had all the
advantages of neutrals without any of the disadvantages, really meant
mischief. Most people, I think, agreed with Lord Cromer, and believed
that his policy of making taxes light and life easy for the Egyptian
had succeeded, but the East is never logical, as we all know, and the
natural consequence constantly does not follow the parental cause.
Mecca rose to join us after Kut had fallen; the rebellion in Egypt
only took place when the English had achieved a complete victory over
Turkey, and held Palestine and Syria. I quote the following incident
as an illustration of the difficulty of sometimes following this

A Syrian reported to me that a great Egyptian family, whom I will call
the Ashakas, had conspired to bring 15,000 rifles into the country and
to engineer a rising. The rifles were to be imported from the Greek
islands and from Greece, by means of Greek sponge-fishers. One of
these, who had the pleasant and appropriate name of Son-of-the-Dagger,
met me in a café in an obscure side street in Cairo. There he revealed
the conspiracy, explaining that only the landing-place for the arms
had still to be decided upon. He and his companions were to receive
a commission on every rifle landed, and he wanted to know what the
British Government would be ready to pay for his betrayal of his

On reporting this to the proper authorities, I was told that they were
aware of the existence of this plot. The next day frantic messages from
the Greek came, and I met him, disturbed in his mind. He said that the
Ashakas had become suspicious of him and the other Greeks, and that
he feared for his life. He asked to be arrested immediately after the
seizure of the arms and thrown into prison with the Egyptians, and
then to be flogged before them, in order to convince them that he was
acting honourably by them. He was very anxious to be paid for both
pieces of treachery, by the Egyptians and by us. On making my report to
the authorities I learned that the Ashakas had betrayed the Greeks by
denouncing them as traitors.

The whole affair had been a result of Levantine nerves. The Ashakas in
the past had been strong Nationalists. When the war between the Turks
and ourselves broke out, in spite of the fact that it seemed possible,
and indeed likely, that Egypt might again become a Turkish province,
their politics changed, and they hastily became Anglophile, but their
past record haunted them. They feared the British Government almost as
much as the Turks, and yearned to prove themselves loyal.

After much thought it appeared to them that the simplest way of
achieving this would be to supply valuable military information
to the British. That, however, was an article which they did not
possess, and they therefore hit upon the idea of getting up a bogus
conspiracy in order to be able to denounce it. This seemed the simplest
way to safeguard themselves, and they hurriedly adopted the plan.
The instruments that they chose were subtle Greeks, who were more
proficient in the art of intrigue than the Ashakas, and had an even
more degraded morality. It took only a few days for the Ashakas to
realize the infidelity of the Greeks, and to inform against them still
more hurriedly, but meanwhile the Greeks had spoken first. In the end,
when the hair of the Ashakas had turned grey, they made a clean breast
of the whole affair to the British authorities, and were, I believe,

       *       *       *       *       *

“Happy is the country that has no history” is a proverb which is
often untrue, but Egypt was certainly happy, compared with the rest
of the world, early in 1915. Then history moved rapidly towards us.
The thunder of the guns in France was no longer something remote
and irrelevant. The Turks massed across the desert, and prepared to
attack the Canal. Many of the English thought that we were living on a
sleeping volcano, but there was general confidence, and no one doubted
our power to cope with the situation. The Turks attacked skilfully and
bravely, but the odds against them were too heavy. They were, however,
able to shell H.M.S. _Harding_ in the Canal, and a few of their men
swam across to Egypt. Complete serenity reigned in Cairo. I remember
going to the Opera that night. General Sir John Maxwell was listening,
quite unruffled, to the performance. I heard a civilian say in a
scandalized voice to him: “They have gone and broken the _Harding_.
What next?” To which Sir John answered: “Well, they’ll have to mend it,
I suppose.” Two ladies landed at Port Said and had their train shelled
as it steamed slowly along the banks of the Canal to Cairo. They
wondered placidly if this was the normal state of things in Egypt.

These attacks added to the labours and quickened the energies of the
Intelligence in Egypt, but still there were only vague rumours to be
heard. One of these foretold that there was to be a general rising of
Islam on April 27th.

I remember long conversations with a specialist with regard to this
possibility; he disbelieved in it, then or at any time, for, as he
said very rightly, Islam had to contend with great difficulties from
the point of view of communications--waterless deserts, impassable
seas, mountain ranges, unbridged by our telegraph. My friend, who
was remarkable, would not have an office like any other man in his
position; he disconcerted friend and foe alike by changing his address
every few days, and when one wished to see him, and after the unusual
event of catching him, he would make an appointment such as: “The third
lamp-post in the Street of Mohammed Ali at dusk.” When he had gone
beyond recall, one remembered that the Mohammed Ali Street was several
miles long, and that he had not said at which end was the appointed
lamp-post; so he was well qualified to speak of the disadvantages
accruing from lack of communications.

Prisoners began coming in, but not much news was to be obtained from
them. They were mostly shattered and rather pathetic men. The first to
arrive were some escaped Syrian schoolmasters, who had been conscripted
by the Turks, and gave a very graphic account of a hot and harassing
journey ahead of their comrades to Egypt, where their friends and
relations lived. Then came a blind old gentleman of eighty, who fell
into our front-line trench. It had been his habit, every two years, to
visit his son in Egypt, and he had not realized that there was a war
going on.

Amongst the Turkish prisoners of the first attack there was one old
quartermaster seriously ill, whose manners and courage made him the
friend of all his captors, but, like the rest, he told us nothing.
There was probably more information amongst the prisoners who had been
interned, if they had been willing to speak, but they were not. I met
one of these to whom fate had been unusually cruel. He was an Albanian
whose home had been in Montenegro. When the amiable Montenegrins seized
the land of the Albanians, he had been beaten and cast out; thence he
had gone to Turkey, but the Albanians had been the first to attack the
Turks, and were, indeed, the main cause of the ruin of the Ottoman
Empire, so in Turkey he was bastinadoed and thrown into prison. Somehow
he managed to escape and arrived in Egypt. In Egypt he was arrested
as a Turk, and again thrown into prison. In prison he was continually
beaten by his fellow-prisoners, who were Turks, as an Albanian and an
enemy of Islam.

There were no tangible proofs of a conspiracy; one used sometimes
to get black looks in the bazaar, and scowls from the class of the
Effendis. On the other hand, we were very strongly supported by men of
the type of the late Sultan Hussein and Adly Yeghen Pasha.

It would be difficult to meet a more attractive or courteous gentleman
than the late Sultan. He was of the advanced school of enlightened
Islam; neither his literary tastes, his philosophy, nor his pleasure in
European society allowed him to forget his own people for a moment.
Adly Yeghen Pasha, then Minister of Education, is an exceptional and
outstanding figure in Egypt, with a marked personality. The other
Ministers mixed freely with European society, and there was no sign of
anything but friendliness.

At the end of February I was sent on the battleship _Bacchante_,
commanded by Captain Boyle,[1] which lay for about a fortnight off
Alexandretta, occasionally bombarding telegraphs, or wagons that were
said to be loaded with artillery wheels. One morning we saw two carts
crawling along, drawn by bullocks, carrying the alleged wheels of
artillery northward from Alexandretta. In order to warn the two drivers
shells were fired from the great battleship a hundred yards ahead of
them. The men left their oxen, taking refuge in a neighbouring ditch,
while the oxen went slowly forward alone, like automata. Our guns then
fired upon the carts, which were about half a mile distant, and one
of the oxen was immediately hit. On this one of the two Turks left
the ditch, cut the wounded animal free, and continued to lead the two
carts. Again our guns fired ahead of him to give him warning, but he
went on steadfastly at about a mile an hour to what was certain death.
In the end he was left lying by his dead oxen and his broken cart. We
had given him every chance that we could, and if the admiration of a
British ship for his courage could reward a dead Anatolian muleteer,
that reward was his.

Life outside Alexandretta was uneventful. Occasionally a Turkish
official came out to discuss various questions that arose. He used to
sway and bow from the tiller of his boat while I swayed and bowed
from the platform below the gangway of the cruiser. It is perhaps
worth saying that when I expressed to him Captain Boyle’s regret for
the death of the Turkish muleteer it was an event that he would not
condescend to notice.

We discovered one curious fact of natural history, that with a
searchlight you can see the eyes of dogs or jackals at night more than
half a mile away. A previous ship had reported that men came down to
the shore with electric torches, and it was only after some days that
we discovered that these will-o’-the-wisp appearances were in reality
the eyes of dogs.

But though life was uneventful, it was very pleasant on the ship, and
all were sorry when the cruise came to an end.

I remember the last night at dinner in the wardroom the name of a
distinguished Admiral occurred in the conversation. He was a man who
had a great reputation for capacity and also eccentricity, that came
mainly from his habit of concentrated thinking. When he was deep in
thought and his eyes caught any bright object, he would go up to it
like a magpie and play with it. He would sometimes go up and fiddle
with the button of a junior officer on the quarter-deck, looking at it
very attentively, to the great discomfort of the junior officer, or
even with that of a stranger to whom he had been introduced. The legend
grew from this idiosyncrasy, that those may believe who wish to. It was
said that one night at a dance he sat out for a long time with a girl
in a black dress. His eye caught a white thread on her shoulder, and
unconsciously while he talked he began pulling at it. The story goes
on to say that when the girl went home she said to her mother: “I know
I went out with a vest to-night, and now I wonder what has happened to

I remember at the same dinner Dr. Levick, who had been with Captain
Scott in the Antarctic voyage, told a curious story of prophecy. He had
been to a fortune-teller after the idea of going with Captain Scott had
occurred to him, but before he had taken any steps. The fortune-teller
gave a description of the melancholy place where he was to live for
two years, of the unknown men who were to be his companions, and
particularly one who had strangely flecked hair.

I returned to Cairo and office work with some reluctance. Friends
of mine and I took a house, which somehow managed to run itself, in
Gezireh. It was covered with Bougainvillea and flowers of every colour,
and was a delight to see. Sometimes it lacked servants completely, and
at other times there was a black horde. Gardeners sprang up as if by
enchantment, and made things grow almost before one’s eyes.

       *       *       *       *       *

I quote from my diary of March 8, 1915:--

News to-day that King Constantine won’t have Greece come in, and that
Venizelos has resigned. At a guess, this means that either Greece or
King Constantine is lost. If Constantine goes, Venizelos might shepherd
his son through his minority.

_March 14, 1915._ I left Luxor Tuesday night, after a wonderful time.
My guide was a Senoussi--something-or-other Galleel. He had a tip of
white turban hanging, which he said was a sign of his people. He was
rather like one of the Arabs out of a Hichens book, and I expect about
as genuine. A snake-charmer came with us. He gave me the freedom of the
snakes as a man is given the freedom of a city, but as one scorpion
and two snakes--one of them a so-to-speak soi-disant cobra--stung and
bit him during the day, it’s not likely to be of much help to me. He
did some very mysterious things, and called snakes from every kind of
place--one from a window in the wall, a 5-foot long cobra, and a Coptic
cook found its old skin in the next window.

       *       *       *       *       *

In justice to the snake-charmer it ought to be said that he was only
stung and bitten as a consequence of a quarrel with an archæologist.

In Egypt every archæologist looks upon the local magician or
snake-charmer as his competitor, and hates him. When the archæologist
is telling the tourist the history of Rameses II the attention of the
tourist is distracted by a half-naked man doing the mango trick. My
archæologist friend, irritated by the presence of the snake-charmer,
declared that his snakes were all doped and his scorpions were tame
town scorpions, green, and not yellow like the country scorpions. He
found a bucolic scorpion under a stone, of the proper colour, which
instantly stung the snake-charmer; he then insisted upon stirring up
his snakes with a stick, with the unfortunate results that have already
been mentioned.

The Egyptian has always seemed to me harder to understand than his
neighbours. It may be because there is less in him to understand. The
Greeks, Turks, and Arabs have all got very salient characteristic
qualities, but though the characteristics of the Egyptians are
probably as strongly marked, they are less conspicuous to the
foreigner’s eye; in other words, the Egyptian has less in common with
the outer world than any of the Asiatic, or even African, peoples who
surround him. Lane, in his _Modern Egyptians_, says that they refused
to believe that the ordinary traveller was not an agent for the
Government, because they could not understand the desire for travel,
and their character has not changed since his day. Here is a story of
Egyptian guile and credulity:--

An Egyptian was anxious to get some job profitable to himself done,
and he went to one of the kavasses (guards) at the Agency for advice.
The kavass professed himself able to help. He said: “The man for you
to go to is Mr. Jones, that high English official. He will get what
you want done, but I warn you that Mr. Jones is an expensive man. Give
me three hundred pounds, and I will see what can be done.” The three
hundred pounds was duly paid, and for a long time nothing happened. The
petitioner grew impatient and importunate, and was eventually satisfied
for the moment by an invitation to lunch with a Levantine who passed
himself off as Mr. Jones. At luncheon the Levantine, who was of German
extraction, wore his hat, banged his fist on the table, smoked a pipe,
interrupted, and generally acted as an Englishman abroad is supposed by
some to behave. Then occurred an interval of inaction; the petitioner
again grew restive, and this time he complained to the authorities.
Finally the transaction was discovered, and the kavass was sent to gaol.

Events moved in Egypt. The Australian and New Zealand troops poured in,
and splendid men they were. But there was little love lost between
the Australians and the Egyptians, though the British troops and the
natives fraternized occasionally. The native Egyptian was, it must be
admitted, constantly very roughly treated, for the average Australian,
while he was at first apt to resent superiority in others, felt little
doubt about his own claim to it. The Australian and New Zealand Corps
was commanded by General Birdwood, and the New Zealand and Australian
Division by General Godley.

I joined the New Zealand Division as Interpreter and Intelligence
officer, and we all made preparations to start early in April. I was
anxious to buy a beautiful snow-white Arab, that had won most of the
races at Cairo, from a friend of mine, but General Godley spoke simply
but firmly. “You aren’t the Duke of Marlborough,” he said. “You can’t
have that white pony unless he’s dyed, and even then it would wash off
in any rain-storm. You may get yourself shot, but not me.” I agreed
with the less reluctance because I had found that the pony pulled
furiously and would certainly lead any advance or retreat by many miles.

The day for our departure approached. The golden sunlight and
tranquillity of Egypt was tragic in its contrast to what was coming.

Every Intelligence officer was a Cassandra with an attentive audience.
In every discussion there was, as far as I saw, unanimity between
military, naval, and political officers, who all wished the landing to
take place at Alexandretta, and deplored (not to use a stronger word)
the project of the Dardanelles, which the Turks had been given ample
time to fortify.

The heat increased, and the English officers’ wives, who had come to
Egypt to be with their husbands, were given a taste of a ferocious
khamsin that affected their complexions. In the spring of 1915 this
wind came in waves and gusts of lurid heat. It was like a Nessus shirt,
scorching the skin and making slow fire of one’s blood. After the
khamsin, which has the one advantage of killing insects with its heat,
locusts came. They made a carpet on the ground and a shadow against the
sun. Life was intolerable out of doors, and they followed one into the
recesses of the house. A friend of mine said to me: “What on earth had
they got to grumble about in Egypt in the time of the Pharaohs? They
had one plague at a time then; we are having all the lot at once.”

       *       *       *       *       *

I quote from my diary:--

Yesterday I saw Todd, who had been on the _Annie Rickmers_ when she was
torpedoed off Smyrna. The crew was Greek. There were five Englishmen on
board, and a good many wounded. The Greeks were all off at once, taking
all the boats. They had no interpreter with them. He said the English
in Smyrna were angry at being bombarded, and came aboard with Rahmy
Bey, the Vali, to complain. Rahmy was always Anglophile.

       *       *       *       *       *

Early in April Sir Ian Hamilton came and went. He had a great review
of the troops in the desert on a glorious day. It was a very splendid
sight, and one I should have enjoyed better if I had not been riding a
mountainous roan horse that bolted through the glittering Staff.

Many old friends, Ock Asquith, Patrick Shaw-Stewart, Charles Lister,
and Rupert Brooke, had come out to Egypt in the Naval Division, and we
lunched, dined, and went to the Pyramids by moonlight.

The first week in April we made our preparations for leaving, and I
went to say good-bye to native friends. One of them was an old Albanian
Abbot of the Bektashi sect, whose monastery was in the living rock
in a huge cave behind the Mokattan Hills. He had a fine face and a
venerable beard, and I spent much time talking to him, drinking his
coffee, by a fountain in the cool garden outside his home. I was sorry
to say goodbye to the delightful Zoo in Cairo, with the hawks calling
unceasingly in the sunlight, and a hundred different birds. Another
pleasure there was Said, an attractive and intellectual hippopotamus,
who performed a number of tricks.

On April 10th I went to Alexandria to report aboard the German prize
ship _Lutzow_, and on the 12th we sailed. We discovered that night at
dinner that the puritanical New Zealand Government had ordained that
this boat should be a dry one, but it made no difference to our mess,
which was very pleasant. On April 13th we made a new discovery, that
the boat was even drier than we expected, as there was not enough
water, and the men had to shave in salt water. On April 15th we came
into Lemnos Harbour, with a keen wind and a rustling deep blue sea,
and white-crested waves, with cheer on cheer from French and English
warships, from German prizes with British crews, from submarines, and
even from anchored balloons.

The next day I went ashore with a couple of other officers to buy
donkeys, who were to carry our kits. Mudros was not too bad a town,
and was a very curious spectacle in those days. There were great black
Senegalese troops with filed teeth who chased the children in play,
though if the children had known what their home habits were the games
would probably have ceased abruptly.

There were Greeks dressed in fantastic costume and British troops
of all sorts. Many old friends from the East were there, among them
Colonel Doughty Wylie, who in a few days was to win his V.C. and lose a
life of great value to his country.

I met a friend, Bettelheim, nicknamed “Beetle,” whose life had been
one long adventure. When last I had seen him he had been an official
in Turkey, and in a rising had been dragged from his carriage on
Galata Bridge in Constantinople by the mob, with his companion, the
Emir Arslan. Emir Arslan was torn to pieces, but “Beetle,” with his
marvellous luck, escaped.

Many of us lunched together under a vine, drinking excellent wine at a
penny a glass. Everybody was extremely cheerful, and there was great
elation in the island air. The talk was, of course, about the landing.
A friend of mine said: “This is a terrible business; entire Staffs
will be wiped out.” He seemed to think that the Staffs were the most
important thing.

After lunch I went to see the Mayor, to help me buy all that I wanted.
He was rather shaky with regard to his own position, as Lemnos had not
yet been recognized by us as Greek, and our recognition was contingent
on the behaviour of the Greek Government. He was a very good linguist,
talking French, a little English, Italian, Greek, Turkish and Arabic.
I think it was he who quoted to me the story of the Khoja Nasr-ed-Din.
Nasr-ed-Din was lent a saucepan by a friend; he returned it with
another small saucepan, saying it had produced a child. Next year the
friend offered a huge saucepan at the same date, which the friend
considered the breeding time of saucepans. Later on, when his friend
applied for the return of the saucepan, Nasr-ed-Din said: “It is
dead.” His friend expostulated: “How can a saucepan die?” “Well,” said
Nasr-ed-Din, “if it can have a child, why can’t it die?”

Lemnos itself, though then it was a pageant, is on the whole a dreary
island. The land was green, as all lands are in the spring, but there
was not the carpet of anemones that one finds in Crete, Cyprus, and
other islands, nor was there even asphodel.

On Friday, April 16th, we heard that the _Manitou_ had been torpedoed,
and that a number of men had been drowned. This was not the case,
though she had had three torpedoes fired at her.

At this time we believed that we were to make three simultaneous
attacks, the New Zealanders taking the centre of the Peninsula. A
rather melancholy call to arms was issued by General Birdwood, the pith
of which was that for the first few days there would be no transport of
any kind. This made it all the more necessary to obtain the donkeys,
and with the help of the Mayor of Mudros I bought six, and one little
one for £1 as a mascot. It was a great deal of trouble getting them on
board. The Greek whose boat I had commandeered was very unfriendly, and
I had to requisition the services of some Senegalese troops.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ _April 21, 1915._ _Mudros._ Inner Bay. Monday, the 19th, I
tried to dine on H.M.S. _Bacchante_, but failed to find her. Dined
on the _Arcadia_. Came back with Commodore Keyes.... Met ---- (a
journalist turned censor). He said that the Turks had thirty 15-inch
howitzers on Gallipoli, also wire entanglements everywhere. The general
impression is that we shall get a very bad knock, and that it may set
the war back a year, besides producing an indefinite amount of trouble
in the East.

_Tuesday, April 20th._ I went ashore to get porters, but the Mayor
was in a nervous state, and I failed. I tried to get back in a dinghy
with a couple of Greeks, and we nearly swamped. A gale got up. Finally
I made the _Imogen_, tied up by the _Hussar_, and at last reached my
destination. Great gale in the night. I hope we don’t suffer the fate
of the Armada. It is said that our orders are to steam for the outer
harbour at once.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was curious to see the _Imogen_, once the Ambassador’s yacht at
Constantinople. In those days she was treated with reverent care. The
Mediterranean had to be calmed by the finest of weather before she
travelled. Now she had to sink or swim with the rest. Her adventures
did not end at Lemnos. Travellers may see her name written proudly
on the harsh cliffs of Muscat in the Persian Gulf, and to-day she is
probably at Kurna, the site of the Garden of Eden.

On Thursday, April 22nd, I was able to get two Greek porters, Kristo
Keresteji (which being interpreted means Kristo the Timber-merchant)
and Yanni, of the little island of Ayo Strati. Kristo was with me
until I was invalided in the middle of October. He showed the greatest
fidelity and courage after the first few days. The other man was a
natural coward, and had to be sent away when an opportunity offered,
after the landing.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ _Friday, April 23rd._ I have just seen the most wonderful
procession of ships I shall ever see. In the afternoon we left for the
outer harbour. The wind was blowing; there was foam upon the sea and
the air of the island was sparkling. With the band playing and flags
flying, we steamed past the rest of the fleet. Cheers went from one end
of the harbour to the other. Spring and summer met. Everybody felt it
more than anything that had gone before.

After we had passed the fleet, the pageant of the fleet passed us.
First the _Queen Elizabeth_, immense, beautiful lines, long, like
a snake, straight as an arrow. This time there was silence. It was
grim and very beautiful. We would rather have had the music and the
cheers.... This morning instructions were given to the officers and
landing arrangements made. We leave at 1.30 to-night. The Australians
are to land first. This they should do to-night. Then we land.... Naval
guns will have to cover our advance, and the men are to be warned that
the naval fire is very accurate. They will need some reassuring if the
fire is just over our heads. The 29th land at Helles, the French in
Asia near Troy. This is curious, as they can’t support us or we them.
The Naval Division goes north and makes a demonstration.... The general
opinion is that very many boats must be sunk from the shore. Having
got ashore, we go on to a rendezvous. We have no native guides.... The
politicians are very unpopular.

The sea was very quiet between Lemnos and Anzac on April 24th. There
were one or two alterations in plans, but nothing very material. We
expected to have to land in the afternoon, but this was changed, and we
were ordered to land after the Australians, who were to attack at 4.30
a.m. Some proposed to get up to see the first attack at dawn. I thought
that we should see plenty of the attack before we had done with it, and
preferred to sleep.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ _Sunday, April 25th._ I got up at 6.30. Thoms, who shared my
cabin, had been up earlier. There was a continuous roll of thunder
from the south. Opposite to us the land rose steeply in cliffs and
hills covered with the usual Mediterranean vegetation. The crackle of
rifles sounded and ceased in turns.... Orders were given to us to start
at 8.30 a.m.... The tows were punctual.... We were ordered to take
practically nothing but rations. I gave my sleeping-bag to Kyriakidis,
the old Greek interpreter whom I had snatched from the _Arcadia_, and
took my British warm and my Burberry.... The tow was unpleasantly open
to look at; there was naturally no shelter of any kind. We all packed
in, and were towed across the shining sea towards the land fight.... We
could see some still figures lying on the beach to our left, one or two
in front. Some bullets splashed round.

       *       *       *       *       *

As we were all jumping into the sea to flounder ashore, I heard cries
from the sergeant at the back of the tow. He said to me: “These two men
refuse to go ashore.” I turned and saw Kristo Keresteji and Yanni of
Ayo Strati with mesmerized eyes looking at the plops that the bullets
made in the water, and with their minds evidently fixed on the Greek
equivalent of “Home, Sweet Home.” They were, however, pushed in, and
we all scrambled on to that unholy land. The word was then, I thought
rather unnecessarily, passed that we were under fire.

It was difficult to understand why the Turkish fire developed so late.
If they had started shelling us during our landing as they shelled
us later, our losses would have been very heavy. We frequently owed
our salvation in the Peninsula to a Turkish weakness and a Turkish
mistake. They were constantly slow to appreciate a position and take
full advantage of it, and their shrapnel was generally fused too high.
Hardly any man who landed escaped being thumped and bumped on different
occasions by shrapnel, which would, of course, have killed or seriously
wounded him if the burst had not been so high. I remember on the
afternoon of the first landing a sailor was knocked down beside me, and
I and another man carried him to what shelter there was. We found that,
while the bullet had pierced his clothes, it had not even broken his
skin. Said the sailor: “This is the third time that that’s ’appened to
me to-day. I’m beginning to think of my little grey ’ome in the West.”
So were others.

We had landed on a spit of land which in those days we called Shrapnel
Point, to the left of what afterwards became Corps Headquarters, though
later the other spit on the right usurped that name. I took cover under
a bush with a New Zealand officer, Major Browne. This officer had risen
from the ranks. He fought through the whole of the Gallipoli campaign,
and in the end, to the sorrow of all who knew him, was killed as a
Brigadier in France.

The shrapnel fire became too warm to be pleasant, and I said: “Major,
a soldier’s first duty is to save his life for his country.” He said:
“I quite agree, but I don’t see how it’s to be done.” We were driven
from Shrapnel Point to the north, round the cliff, but were almost
immediately driven back again by the furious fire that met us.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ We were being shot at from three sides. All that morning
we kept moving. There were lines of men clinging like cockroaches
under the cliffs or moving silently as the guns on the right and left
enfiladed us. The only thing to be done was to dig in as soon as
possible, but a good many men were shot while they were doing this.
General Godley landed about twelve, and went up Monash Gully with
General Birdwood. We remained on the beach.... We had no artillery to
keep the enemy’s fire down.

       *       *       *       *       *

We spent a chilly night, sometimes lying down, sometimes walking, as
the rain began to fall after dark, and we had not too much food. My
servant, Jack, who was a very old friend, and I made ourselves as
comfortable as we could.

There was a great deal of inevitable confusion. We were very hard
pressed; as every draft landed it was hurried off to that spot in the
line where reinforcements were most needed. This naturally produced
chaos amongst the units, and order was not re-established for some
time. It was a terrible night for those in authority. I believe that,
had it been possible, we should have re-embarked that night, but the
sacrifices involved would have been too great. Preparations for the
expedition had been totally inadequate. The chief R.A.M.C. officer
had told me the ridiculously small number of casualties he had been
ordered to make preparations for, and asked my opinion, which I gave
him with some freedom. As it was, we had to put 600 men on the ship
from which we had disembarked in the morning, to go back to hospital in
Egypt, a four days’ journey, under the charge of one officer, who was a
veterinary surgeon.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ _Monday, April 26th._ At 5 o’clock yesterday our artillery
began to land. It’s a very rough country; the Mediterranean macchia
everywhere, and steep, winding valleys. We slept on a ledge a few feet
above the beach.... Firing went on all night. In the morning it was
very cold, and we were all soaked. The Navy, it appeared, had landed
us in the wrong place. This made the Army extremely angry, though as
things turned out it was the one bright spot. Had we landed anywhere
else, we should have been wiped out.

       *       *       *       *       *

I believe the actual place decided on for our landing was a mile
farther south, which was an open plain, and an ideal place for a
hostile landing from the Turkish point of view.

Next morning I walked with General Godley and Tahu Rhodes, his A.D.C.,
up the height to the plateau which was afterwards called Plugges
Plateau. The gullies and ravines were very steep, and covered with
undergrowth. We found General Walker, General Birdwood’s Chief of the
Staff, on the ridge that bears his name. Bullets were whining about,
through the undergrowth, but were not doing much harm, though the
shelling on the beach was serious.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ We believed that the Turks were using 16-inch shells from the
Dardanelles, and we were now able to reply. The noise was deafening,
and our firing knocked down our own dugouts. The Generals all behaved
as if the whole thing was a tea-party. Their different Staffs looked
worried for their chiefs and themselves. Generals Godley and Walker
were the most reckless, but General Birdwood also went out of his way
to take risks. The sun was very hot, and our clothes dried while the
shrapnel whistled over us into the sea.

At noon we heard the rumour that the 29th were fighting their way
up from Helles, and everybody grew happy. We also heard that two
Brigadiers had been wounded and one killed.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Australians had brought with them two ideas, which were only
eliminated by time, fighting, and their own good sense. The “eight
hours’ day” was almost a holy principle, and when they had violated it
by holding on for two or three days heroically, they thought that they
deserved a “spell.” Their second principle was not to leave their pals.
When a man was wounded his friends would insist upon bringing him down,
instead of leaving him to the stretcher-bearers. When they had learned
the practical side of war, both these dogmas were jettisoned. In Egypt
the Australians had human weaknesses, and had shown them; in Gallipoli
they were the best of companions. Naturally, with the New Zealand
Division, I saw more of the New Zealanders, who had the virtues of the
Australians and the British troops. They had all the dash and _élan_ of
the Australians, and the discipline of the Englishmen.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ _Tuesday, April 27th._ Last night, or rather this morning at
about 1 o’clock, I was called up by C. He said: “We are sending up
40,000 rounds of ammunition to Colonel Pope.” Greek donkey-boys, with
an Indian escort, were to go up with this ammunition. I asked if any
officer was going, and was answered “No”; that there was no officer to
go. I said that I would go if I could get a guide, but that I did not
talk Hindustani, and that the whole thing was risky, as we were just
as likely without a guide to wander into the Turks as to find our own
people; also that if we were attacked we should be without means of
communicating, and that the Greeks would certainly bolt. At the Corps
Headquarters I found an absolutely gaga officer. He had an A.D.C. who
was on the spot, however, and produced a note from Colonel Pope which
stated that he had all the ammunition he wanted. The officer, in spite
of this, told me to carry on. I said it was nonsense without a guide,
when Pope had his ammunition. He then told me to take the mules to one
place and the ammunition to another. I said that I had better take them
both back to my own Headquarters, from which I had come. He then tried
to come with me, after saying that he would put me under arrest, but
fell over two tent-ropes and was nearly kicked by a mule, and gave up
in mute despair.

       *       *       *       *       *

I may add that this officer was sent away shortly afterwards. The next
night he was found with a revolver stalking one of the Staff officers,
who was sleeping with a night-cap that looked like a turban, to shelter
his head from the dew. My persecutor said that he thought he was a Turk.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ Three of us slept crowded in one dugout on Monday night. The
cliff is becoming like a rookery, with ill-made nests. George Lloyd
and Ian Smith have a charming view, only no room to lie down in.
Everybody’s dugout is falling on his neighbour’s head. I went round
the corner of the cliff to find a clean place to wash in the sea, but
was sniped, and had to come back quick. The Gallipoli Division of
Turks, 18,000 strong, is supposed to be approaching, while we listened
to a great artillery duel not far off. An Armenian who was captured
yesterday reported the Gallipoli Division advancing on us. On Tuesday
night things were better. I think most men were then of the opinion
that we ought to be able to hold on, but we were clinging by our
eyelids on to the ridge. The confusion of units and the great losses in
officers increased the difficulty.

This was the third day of battle. My dugout was twice struck. A tug was
sunk just in front of us.... The interpreters have all got three days’
beards which are turning white from worry. The shells to-day did not do
so much damage; they whirled over us in coveys, sometimes hitting the
beach and flying off singing, sometimes splashing in the sea, but a lot
of dead and wounded were carried by.

       *       *       *       *       *

About this time the spy mania started, which is one of the inevitable
concomitants of war. Spies were supposed to be everywhere. In the
popular belief, that is “on the beach,” there were enough spies to
have made an opera. The first convincing proof of treachery which we
had was the story of a Turkish girl who had painted her face green in
order to look like a tree, and had shot several people at Helles from
the boughs of an oak. Next came the story of the daily pigeon post from
Anzac to the Turkish line; but as a matter of fact, the pigeons were
about their own business of nesting.

We had with us, too, a remarkable body of men who were more than
suspect, and whose presence fed the wildest rumours. These were called
Zionists, Zionites, and many other names. They were the Jewish exiles
from Syria, who looked after the mules, and constituted the Mule Corps,
under Colonel Patterson, of lion-hunting fame. They performed very fine
service, and gave proof of the greatest courage. On several occasions
I saw the mules blown to bits, and the men of the Mule Corps perfectly
calm, among their charges. One night it did seem to me that at last we
had got the genuine article. A panting Australian came to say that they
had captured a German disguised as a member of the Mule Corps, but that
he had unfortunately killed one man before being taken. When I examined
this individual he gave his name as Fritz Sehmann, and the language
in which we conversed most easily was German. He was able to justify
himself in his explanation, which turned out to be true. He had been
walking along the cliff at night with his mule, when the mule had been
shot and had fallen over the cliff with Fritz Sehmann. Together they
had fallen upon an unfortunate soldier, who had been killed by the same

It was a work of some difficulty to explain to the Colonial troops
that many of the prisoners that we took--as, for instance, Greeks and
Armenians--were conscripts who hated their masters. On one occasion,
speaking of a prisoner, I said to a soldier: “This man says he is a
Greek, and that he hates the Turks.” “That’s a likely story, that is,”
said the soldier; “better put a bayonet in the brute.”

The trouble that we had with the native interpreters is even now a
painful memory. If they were arrested once a day, they were arrested
ten times. Those who had anything to do with them, if they were not
suspected of being themselves infected by treachery, were believed to
be in some way unpatriotic. It was almost as difficult to persuade the
officers as the men that the fact that a man knew Turkish did not make
him a Turk. There was one moment when the interpreters were flying over
the hills like hares.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ _Wednesday, April 28th._ I got up at 4 a.m. this morning,
after a fine, quiet night, and examined a Greek deserter from the
Turkish Army. He said many would desert if they did not fear for their
lives. The New Zealanders spare their prisoners.

Last night, while he was talking to me, Colonel C. was hit by a bit of
shell on his hat. He stood quite still while a man might count three,
wondering if he was hurt. He then stooped down and picked it up. At
8 p.m last night there was furious shelling in the gully. Many men
and mules hit. General Godley was in the Signalling Office, on the
telephone, fairly under cover. I was outside with Pinwell, and got
grazed, just avoiding the last burst. Their range is better. Before
this they have been bursting the shrapnel too high. It was after 4
p.m. their range improved so much. My dugout was shot through five
minutes before I went there. So was Shaw’s....

Colonel Chaytor was knocked down by shrapnel, but not hurt. The same
happened to Colonel Manders. We heard that the Indian troops were to
come to-night. Twenty-three out of twenty-seven Auckland officers
killed and wounded.

_11 a.m._ All firing except from Helles has ceased. Things look better.
The most the men can do is to hang on. General Godley has been very
fine. The men know it.

_4.30 p.m._ Turks suddenly reported to have mounted huge howitzer on
our left flank, two or three miles away. We rushed all the ammunition
off the beach, men working like ants, complete silence and furious
work. We were absolutely enfiladed, and they could have pounded us,
mules and machinery, to pulp, or driven us into the gully and up the
hill, cutting us off from our water and at the same time attacking us
with shrapnel. The ships came up and fired on the new gun, and proved
either that it was a dummy or had moved, or had been knocked out. It
was a cold, wet night.

       *       *       *       *       *

The material which General Birdwood and General Godley had to work
upon was very fine. The Australians and the New Zealanders were born
fighters and natural soldiers, and learnt quickly on Active Service
what it would have taken months of training to have taught them. But
like many another side-show, Anzac was casual in many ways, as the
following excerpt from this diary will show:--

_Diary._ _Thursday, April 29th._ _Kaba Tepé._ I was woken at 2.30 a.m.,
when the New Zealanders stood to arms. It was wet and cold, and a wind
blew which felt as if it came through snowy gorges. The alarm had been
given, and the Turks were supposed to be about to rush the beach from
the left flank in force. Colonel Chaytor was sent to hold the point.
He told me to collect stragglers and form them up. It was very dark,
and the stragglers were very straggly. I found an Australian, Quinn,
and told him to fetch his men along to the gun emplacement, beyond the
graves, on the point where Chaytor was. Every one lost every one.

I found Colonel Chaytor with an Australian officer. He said to him: “Go
out along the flank and find out where the Canterbury Battalion is, and
how strong. On the extreme left there is a field ambulance. They must
be told to lie down, so that the Turks will not shoot them.” I said I
would look after them. We started. I heard the Australian, after we
had gone some hundreds of yards, ordering the Canterburys in support
to retire. I said: “But are your orders to that effect? A support is
there to support. The Canterburys will be routed or destroyed if you
take this support away.” He said: “Well, that’s a bright idea.” He went
back, and I heard him say, in the darkness: “This officer thinks you
had better stay where you are.” I don’t know if he was a Colonel, or
what he was, and he did not know what I was.

I found the field ambulance, a long way off, and went on to the
outposts. The field ambulance were touchingly grateful for nothing, and
I had some tea and yarned with them till morning, walking back after
dawn along the beach by the graves. No one fired at me.

When I got back I heard the news of Doughty’s[2] death, which grieved
me a great deal.... He seems to have saved the situation. The
description of Helles is ghastly, of the men looking down into the red
sea, and the dying drowned in a foot of water. That is what might have,
and really ought to have happened to us.

One hears the praise of politicians in all men’s mouths....

A beautiful night, last night, and a fair amount of shrapnel. Every
evening now they send over a limited number of howitzers from the great
guns in the Dardanelles, aimed at our ships. That happens also in the
early morning, as this morning. To-night an aeroplane is to locate
these guns, and when they let fly to-morrow we are to give them an
immense broadside from all our ships.

       *       *       *       *       *

At this time the weather had improved, but we were living in a good
deal of discomfort. We were not yet properly supplied with stores, the
water was brackish, occasionally one had to shave in salt water, and
all one’s ablutions had to be done on the beach, with the permission of
the Turkish artillery.

The beach produced a profound impression on almost all of us, and
has in some cases made the seaside distasteful for the rest of our
lives. It was, when we first landed, I suppose, about 30 yards broad,
and covered with shingle. Upon this narrow strip depended all our
communications: landing and putting off, food and water, all came and
went upon the beach--and the Turkish guns had got the exact range.
Later, shelters were put up, but life was still precarious, and the
openness of the beach gave men a greater feeling of insecurity than
they had in the trenches.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ Our hair and eyes and mouths are full of dust and sand, and
our nostrils of the smell of dead mules.

       *       *       *       *       *

There were also colonies of ants that kept in close touch with us, and
our cigarettes gave out. Besides these trials, we had no news of the
war or of the outer world.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ Tahu and I repacked the provisions this morning. While we did
so one man was shot on the right and another on the left. We have been
expecting howitzers all the time, and speculating as to whether there
would be any panic if they really get on to us. The Turks have got
their indirect, or rather enfilading, fire on us, and hit our mules.
One just hit a few yards away.... Imbros and Samothrace are clear and
delicate between the blue sea and the hot sky. The riband of beach is
crowded with transport, and Jews, Greeks, Armenians, New Zealanders,
Australians, scallywag officers, and officers that still manage to keep
a shadow of dandyism between their disreputable selves and immaculate
past. And there’s the perpetual ripple of the waves that is sometimes
loud enough to be mistaken for the swish of shrapnel, which is also
perpetual, splashing in the sea or rattling on the beach. There is
very little noise on the beach in the way of talk and laughter. The
men never expected to be up against this. When we left Lemnos we
saw one boat with an arrow and in front of it “TO CONSTANTINOPLE
AND THE HAREM.” Precious few of those poor fellows will ever see
Constantinople, let alone the Harem.

_May 1st._ A beautiful dawn, but defiled by a real hymn of hate from
the Turks. Last night the _Torgut Reiss_ sent us some shells. This
morning it was supposed to be the _Goeben_ that was firing. I woke to
hear the howitzers that everybody had been talking of here droning
over us, and watched them lifting great columns of water where they
hit the sea. Then there came the sigh and the snarl of shrapnel, but
that to the other is like the rustle of a lady’s fan to the rumble of
a brewer’s dray. This hymn of hate went on for an unusually long time
this morning from the big stuff. A lot of men were hit all round, and
it has been difficult to wash in the sea. All the loading, unloading,
etc., is done at night. The picket-boats are fairly well protected. The
middies are the most splendid boys. We are all very cramped and the
mules add to the congestion. We shall have a plague of flies before we
are done, if we don’t have a worse plague than that. The New Zealanders
are all right....

Colonel White, Rickes and Murphy, all hit at breakfast this morning,
but not hurt. One of the Greek donkey-boys says he is a barber. This
would be a great advantage if he wasn’t so nervous and did not start so
much whenever there is a burst.

There is a fleet of boats in front of us, and even more at Helles; the
Turks must feel uncomfortable, but another landing, between us, would
be pretty risky. They are fighting splendidly. Opinions are divided as
to what would happen if we fought our way to Maidos. Many think we
could be shelled out again by the _Goeben_. This expedition needed at
least three times the number of men. The Indians have not come, and the
Territorials cannot come for a long time.

General Godley wants to change Headquarters for us. Colonel Artillery
Johnston’s battery is on our right, facing the Turks, and only a few
yards away. The Turks spend a lot of time shooting at it, missing it,
and hitting us. Another man killed just now. Shrapnel, heaps of it, is
coming both ways on us. Nobody speaks on the beach. We have two tables
on the top of the dugout. One is safe, and the other can be hit. The
punctual people get the safe table.

B. has lunched. He says that Rupert Brooke died at Lemnos. I am very
sorry; he was a good fellow, and a poet with a great future. B. was
blown up by a shell yesterday. He has to go back to-night. While we
lunched a man had his head blown off 20 yards away....

Orders have come that we are to entrench impregnably. We are
practically besieged, for we can’t re-embark without sacrificing our
rear-guard, and if the howitzers come up we shall be cut off from the
beach and our water. A lot more men have been killed on the beach....

_Sunday, May 2nd. 6 a.m._ Shrapnel all round as I washed. Beach opinion
is if this siege lasts they must be able to get up their heavy guns.
The Indians have gone to Helles, and the Naval Division is being taken
away from us. New Turkish Divisions are coming against us. There are no
chaplains here for burial or for anything else.

Waite took a dozen prisoners this morning--gendarmes, nice fellows.
They hadn’t much to tell us. One of them complained that he had been
shot through a mistake after he had surrendered. There ought to be an
interpreter on these occasions....

It is a fiery hot day, without a ripple on the clear sea, and all still
but for the thunder coming from Helles. I bathed and got clean. The
beach looks like a mule fair of mutes, for it is very silent. We are to
attack to-night at seven. We have now been here a week, and advanced a
hundred yards farther than the first rush carried us. There is a great
bombardment going on, a roaring ring of fire, and the Turks are being
shelled and shelled.

At night the battleships throw out two lines of searchlights, and
behind them there gleam the fires of Samothrace and Imbros. Up and down
the cliffs here, outside the dugouts, small fires burn. The rifle fire
comes over the hill, echoing in the valleys and back from the ships.
Sometimes it is difficult to tell whether it is the sound of ripples on
the beach or firing.

_Monday, May 3rd._ I was called up at 3 a.m. to examine three
prisoners. Our attack has failed, and we have many casualties, probably
not less than 1,000. The wounded have been crying on the beach
horribly. A wounded Arab reported that our naval gun fire did much

The complaint is old and bitter now. We insist that the Turks are
Hottentots. We give them notice before we attack them. We tell them
what we are going to do with their Capital. We attack them with an
inadequate force of irregular troops, without adequate ammunition (we
had one gun in our landing) in the most impregnable part of their
Empire. We ask for trouble all over the East by risking disaster here.

The _Goeben_ is shelling the fleet, and (11.30) has just struck a
transport. The sea is gay, and a fresh wind is blowing, and the beach
is crowded, but there is not a voice upon it, except for an occasional

The Turks are now expected to attack us. We suppose people realize what
is happening here in London, though it isn’t easy to see how troops and
reinforcements can be sent us in time--that is, before the Turks have
turned all this into a fortification. A good many men hit on the beach
to-day. The mules cry like lost souls.

_Tuesday, May 4th._ The sea like a looking-glass, not a cloud in the
sky, and Samothrace looking very clear and close. The moon is like a
faint shadow of light in the clear sky over the smoke of the guns.
Heavy fighting between us and Helles. A landing is being attempted.
Pessimists say it is our men being taken off because their position is
impossible. The boats coming back seem full of wounded. It may have
been an attempt at a landing and entrenching, or simply a repetition of
what we did the other day at Falcon Hill or Nebronesi, or whatever the
place is.

The attack has failed this morning. Perfect peace here, except for
rifles crackling on the hill. Ian Smith and I wandered off up a valley
through smilax, thyme, heath and myrtle, to a high ridge. We went
through the Indians and found a couple of very jolly officers, one of
them since killed. There are a good many bodies unburied. Not many men
hit. We helped to carry one wounded man back. The stretcher-bearers
are splendid fellows, good to friend and enemy. At one place we saw
a beastly muddy little pond with a man standing in it in trousers,
shovelling out mud. But the water in a tin was clear and cool and very

General Godley and Tahu Rhodes got up to the Turkish trenches, quite
close to them. The Turks attacked, threw hand-grenades, and our
supports broke. The General rallied the men, but a good many were
killed, amongst them the General’s orderly, a gentleman ranker and a
first-rate fellow.

_Wednesday, May 5th._ _Kaba Tepé._ The other day, when our attack below
failed, the Turks allowed us to bring off our wounded. This was after
that unfortunate landing.

Went on board the _Lutzow_ to-day, and got some of my things off.
Coming back the tow rope parted, and we thought that we should drift
into captivity. It was rough and unpleasant.

_Thursday, May 6th._ Very cold night. The dead are unburied and the
wounded crying for water between the trenches. Talked to General
Birdwood about the possibility of an armistice for burying the dead and
bringing in the wounded. He thinks that the Germans would not allow the
Turks to accept.

Colonel Esson[3] landed this morning. He brought the rumour that 8,000
Turks had been killed lower down on the Peninsula. We attacked Achi
Baba at 10 a.m. There was an intermittent fire all night.

This morning I went up to the trenches with General Godley by Walker’s
Ridge. The view was magnificent. The plain was covered with friendly
olives.... General Birdwood and General Mercer, commanding the Naval
Brigade were also there. The trenches have become a perfect maze. As we
went along the snipers followed us, seeing Onslow’s helmet above the
parapet, and stinging us with dirt. Many dead. I saw no wounded between
the lines. On the beach the shrapnel has opened from a new direction.
The Turks were supposed to be making light railways to bring up their
howitzers and then rub us off this part of the Peninsula. This last
shell that has just struck the beach has killed and wounded several men
and a good many mules....

_Friday, May 7th._ A bitter night and morning.... This morning a shell
burst overhead, when I heard maniac peals of laughter and found the
cook flying up, hit in the boot and his kitchen upset; he was laughing
like a madman. It’s a nuisance one has to sit in the shade in our
dining place and not in the sun. They have got our exact range, and are
pounding in one shell after another. A shell has just burst over our
heads, and hit a lighter and set her on fire.

       *       *       *       *       *

The mules, most admirable animals, had now begun to give a good deal
of trouble, alive and dead. There were hundreds of them on the beach
and in the gullies. Alive, they bit precisely and kicked accurately;
dead, they were towed out to sea, but returned to us faithfully on the
beach, making bathing unpleasant and cleanliness difficult. The dead
mule was not only offensive to the Army; he became a source of supreme
irritation to the Navy, as he floated on his back, with his legs
sticking stiffly up in the air. These legs were constantly mistaken
for periscopes of submarines, causing excitement, exhaustive naval
manœuvres and sometimes recriminations.

My special duties now began to take an unusual form. Every one was
naturally anxious for Turkish troops to surrender, in order to get
information, and also that we might have fewer men to fight. Those
Turks who had been captured had said that the general belief was
that we took no prisoners, but killed all who fell into our hands,
ruthlessly. I said that I believed that this impression, which did us
much harm, could be corrected. The problem was how to disabuse the
Turks of this belief. I was ordered to make speeches to them from those
of our trenches which were closest to theirs, to explain to them that
they would be well treated and that our quarrel lay with the Germans,
and not with them.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ _Friday, May 7th._ At 1.30 I went up Monash Valley, which the
men now call the “Valley of Death,” passing a stream of haggard men,
wounded and unwounded, coming down in the brilliant sunlight. I saw
Colonel Monash[4] at his headquarters, and General Godley with him,
and received instructions. The shelling overhead was terrific, but did
no damage, as the shells threw forward, but the smoke made a shadow
between us and the sun. It was like the continuous crashing of a train
going over the sleepers of a railway bridge.

Monash, whom I had last seen at the review in the desert, said: “We
laugh at this shrapnel.” He tried to speak on the telephone to say I
was coming, but it was difficult, and the noise made it impossible.
Finally I went up the slope to Quinn’s Post, with an escort, running
and taking cover, and panting up the very steep hill. It felt as if
bullets rained, but the fact is that they came from three sides and
have each got about five echoes. There’s a _décolleté_ place in the
hill that they pass over. I got into the trench, and found Quinn, tall
and openfaced, swearing like a trooper, much respected by his men. The
trenches in Quinn’s Post were narrow and low, full of exhausted men
sleeping. I crawled over them and through tiny holes. There was the
smell of death everywhere. I spoke in three places.

       *       *       *       *       *

In conversations with the Turks across the trenches I generally said
the same thing: that we took prisoners and treated them well; that
the essential quarrel was between us and the Germans and not between
England and the Turks; that the Turks had been our friends in the
Crimea; and I ended by quoting the Turkish proverb “Eski dost dushman
olmaz” (An old friend cannot be an enemy). These speeches probably
caused more excitement amongst our men than in the ranks of the Turks,
though the Constantinople Press declared that a low attempt to copy
the muezzin’s call to prayer had been made from our lines. There were
many pictures drawn of the speech-maker and the shower of hand-grenades
that answered his kindly words. It must be admitted that there was
some reason for these caricatures. Upon this first occasion nothing
very much happened--to me, at any rate. Our lines were very close to
the Turkish lines, and I was able to speak clearly with and without a
megaphone, and the Turks were good enough to show some interest, and in
that neighbourhood to keep quiet for a time. I got through my business
quickly, and went back to the beach. It was then that the consequences
of these blandishments developed, for the places from which I had
spoken were made the object of a very heavy strafe, of which I had been
the innocent cause, and for which others suffered. When I returned two
days later to make another effort at exhortation, I heard a groan go
up from the trench. “Oh, Lord, here he comes again. Now for the bally
bombs.” On the first occasion when not much had happened it had been:
“Law, I’d like to be able to do that meself.”

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ _Friday, May 7th._ On getting back here we had a very heavy
fire, which broke up our dinner party, wounded Jack Anderson, stung
Jack (my servant), hit me. Jack is sick.... Here are three unpleasant

1. Any strong attack on the height. The Navy could not help then. We
should be too mixed in the fighting.

2. The expected blessed big guns to lollop over howitzers.

3. Disease. The Turks have dysentery already.

There is an uncanny whistling overhead. It must come from the bullets
and machine-guns or Maxims a long way off. It sounds eldritch. T. very
sick after seeing some wounded on the beach, and yet his nerves are
very good. Eastwood told me that he was sure to get through. I told
him not to say such things. He had three bullets through his tunic the
other day. I went on the _Lutzow_ to get the rest of my stuff off, and
found Colonel Ryan (“Turkish Charlie”)[5] full of awful descriptions
of operations. Many wounded on the boat, all very quiet.... Had a
drink with a sailor, the gloomiest man that ever I met. He comes from
Southampton, and thinks we cannot possibly win the war. It’s become
very cold.

       *       *       *       *       *

Most of the diary of May 9th is too indiscreet for publication, but
here are some incidents of the day:--

Worsley[6] says it’s very hard to get work done on the beach; in
fact its almost impossible. It was said that the gun which had been
enfilading us was knocked out, but it is enfilading us now, and it
looks as if we shall have a pretty heavy bill to pay to-day. The beach
is holding its breath, and between the sound of the shrapnel and the
hiss there is only the noise of the waves and a few low voices....
Harrison, who was slightly wounded a few days ago, was yesterday
resting in his dugout when he was blown out of it by a shell. To-day he
was sent to the _Lutzow_, and we watched him being shelled the whole
way, his boat wriggling. It seems as if the shells know and love him.
I am glad he won’t be dining with us any more; a magnet like that is a
bore, though he is a very good fellow. The land between us and the 29th
is reported to be full of barbed wire entanglements.

_Monday, May 10th._ Raining and cold. Jack better.

Colonel Braithwaite woke me last night with the news of the sinking of
the _Lusitania_. Last night we took three trenches, but lost them again
this morning. S. B. came last night; I was glad to see him.

S. B. had been a great friend of mine in Egypt and brought me and
others letters, of which we were badly in need, and stores, which were
very welcome. We met upon the beach, and decided to celebrate the
occasion in the Intelligence dugout, for my friend had actually got
some soda and a bottle of whisky, two very rare luxuries on the beach.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ We went into the Intelligence dugout and sat there. Then a
shell hit the top of the dugout. The next one buzzed a lot of bullets
in through the door. The third ricochetted all over the place and one
bullet grazed my head. I then said: “We’d better put up a blanket to
save us from the ricochets.” At the same time J. was shot next door
and Onslow’s war diary was destroyed. A pot of jam was shot in General
Cunliffe Owen’s hand, which made him very angry. V., the beachmaster,
dashed into our Intelligence dugout gasping while we held blankets in
front of him. Two days ago a man was killed in his dugout next door,
and another man again yesterday. Now two fuses had come straight
through his roof and spun like a whipping-top on the floor, dancing a
sort of sarabande before the hypnotized eyes of the sailors....

Also S. B.’s whisky was destroyed in the luncheon basket. He broke into
furious swearing in Arabic.

_Wednesday, May 12th._ Rain, mud, grease, temper all night, but we
shall long for this coolness when it really gets hot. No bombardment
this morning, but the Greek cook, Christopher of the Black Lamp, came
and gave two hours’ notice, with the rain and tears running down his
face. I am not surprised at his giving notice, but why he should
be meticulous about the time I can’t think. Conversation about the
shelling is getting very boring.

Had a picturesque walk through the dark last night, past Greeks,
Indians, Australians, across a rain-swept, wind-swept, bullet-swept
hillside. Many of the Colonels here are business men, who never in
their wildest dreams contemplated being in such a position, and they
have risen to the occasion finely. The Generals have at last been
prevailed upon not to walk about the beach in the daytime.... Two
German and one Austrian submarine expected here. The transports have
been ordered to Mudros.

_Thursday, May 13th._ Very calm morning, the echoes of rifle fire on
the sea. I went with C. to take General Russell[7] up from Reserve
Gully to Walker’s Ridge. It was a beautiful morning, with the sky
flaming softly, not a cloud anywhere, and the sea perfectly still.
The scrub was full of wild flowers; not even the dead mules could
spoil it. Guns thundered far off.... After breakfast examined an
intelligent Greek prisoner, Nikolas, the miller from Ali Kenì. Then I
was telephoned for by Colonel Monash in great haste, and went off up
his valley with a megaphone as quickly as possible. In the valley the
men were in a state of nerves along the road because of the snipers.
The Turks had put up a white flag above their trenches opposite Quinn’s
Post. I think this was an artillery flag and that they hoped to avoid
the fire of the fleet by this means.... The people at Helles aren’t
making headway, and it seems unlikely, except at tremendous cost, and
probably not then, that they will. We are pretty well hung up except
on our left; why not try there? The Turks are not yet entrenched or dug
in there as in other places.... I had to bully Yanni of Ayo Strati till
he sobbed on the cliff. I then threatened to dismiss him, after which
he grew cheerful, for it was what he wanted....

The Turks have again got white flags out. Have been ordered to go up at

_Friday, May 14th. 4 a.m._ Walked up the valley. The crickets
were singing in the bushes at the opening of the valley and the
place was cool with the faint light of coming dawn. Then a line of
stretcher-bearers with the wounded, some quiet, some groaning. Then
came the dawn and the smell of death that infects one’s hands and
clothes and haunts one.

They weren’t over-pleased to see me at first, as after my speech the
other day they had had an awful time from hand-grenades, and their
faces fell when I appeared. I spoke from the same place. Then I went
to another, and lastly to a trench that communicated with the Turkish
trench. The Greek who had surrendered last night came down this trench
and the Turks were said to be five to ten yards off. It was partly
roofed, and there were some sandbags, between two and three feet high,
that separated us from them. Leading into this was a big circular
dugout, open to heaven. I got the men cleared out of this before
speaking. In the small trench there were two men facing the Turks and
lying on the ground with revolvers pointed at the Turks. I moved one
man back out of the way and lay on the other--there wasn’t anything
else to be done--and spoke for five minutes with some intervals. Once
a couple of hand-grenades fell outside and the ground quivered, but
that was all. I then got the guard changed....

The loss of the _Goliath_ is confirmed and the fleet has gone, leaving
a considerable blank on the horizon and a depression on the sunlit
beach. Four interpreters were arrested to-day and handed over to me.

I put them on to dig me a new dugout, round which a colony of
interpreters is growing: Kyriakidis, who is a fine man and a gentleman;
Ashjian, a young Armenian boy, aristocratic-looking, but very soft,
whom I want to send away as soon as possible; and others. My dugout is
in the middle of wild flowers, with the sea splashing round. Since the
ships have all gone we are, as a consequence, short of water.... The
Turks have been shelling our barges hard for an hour. We are to make an
attack to-night and destroy their trenches.

_Saturday, May 15th._ The attack has failed. There are many of our
wounded outside our lines. Have been told to go out with a white flag.
Was sent for by Skeen[8] to see General Birdwood in half an hour. While
Colonel Skeen and I were talking a shell hit one man in the lungs and
knocked Colonel Knox on the back without hurting him. General Birdwood
was hit yesterday in the head, but won’t lie up, General Trottman the
day before. While we talked water arrived. A message came from Colonel
Chauvel to say there were only two wounded lying out.... In a few
minutes a telephone message arrived from the doctor in the trenches
that the two wounded had died.... I came back to Headquarters, and
heard General Bridges[9] asking the General if he might go up Monash
Valley. In a few minutes we heard that he was shot in the thigh. The
snipers are getting many of our men. If the Germans were running this
show they would have had 200,000 men for it.

Last night Kyriakidis heard a nightingale. I notice that the cuckoo
has changed his note, worried by the shrapnel. I don’t blame the bird.
My new dugout is built. It has a corridor and a patio, and is sort of
Louis Quinze. The food is good, but we are always hungry.

Went out with Colonel N. He is a very great man for his luxuries, and
looks on cover as the first of these. He is very funny about shelling,
and is huffy, like a man who has received an insult, if he gets hit by
a spent bullet or covered with earth. They have got the range of our
new Headquarters beautifully--two shells before lunch, one on either
side of the kitchen range. The men and the mess table covered with dust
and stones. The fact is our ships have gone; they can now do pretty
much as they like.

Most people here agree that the position is hopeless, unless we drive
the Turks back on our left and get reinforcements from Helles, where
they could quite well spare them.

_Sunday, May 16th._ A day fit for Trojan heroes to fight on. As a
matter of fact, there is a good deal of Trojan friction. Went into the
Intelligence dugout, as five men were hit below it. They have just hit
another interpreter, and are pounding away at us again. I was warned to
go out with a flag of truce and a bugler this afternoon.

_Monday, May 17th._ I walked out to the left with S. B., and bathed in
a warm, quiet sea. Many men bathing too, and occasionally shrapnel
also. There was a scent of thyme, and also the other smell from the
graves on the beach, which are very shallow. I got a touch of the sun,
and had to lie down. When I got back I heard that Villiers Stuart had
been killed this morning, instantaneously. He was a very good fellow,
and very good to me.

_Tuesday, May 18th._ Last night Villiers Stuart was buried. The
funeral was to have been at sunset, but at that time we were savagely
shelled and had to wait. We formed up in as decent a kit as we could
muster, and after the sun had set in a storm of red, while the young
moon was rising, the procession started. We stumbled over boulders,
and met stretcher-bearers with dead and wounded, we passed Indians
driving mules, and shadowy Australians standing at attention, till we
came to the graves by the sea. The prayers were very short and good,
interrupted by the boom of our guns and the whining of Turkish bullets
overhead. His salute was fired above his head from both the trenches....

We shelled the village of Anafarta yesterday, which I don’t much care
about. A good many here want to destroy the minaret of the mosque. I
can see no difference in principle between this and the destruction of
Rheims Cathedral. Kyriakidis told me a Greek cure for sunstroke. You
fill the ears of the afflicted one with salt water; it makes a noise
like thunder in his head, but the sunstroke passes. Christo thereupon
got me salt water in a jug without telling me, and several thirsty
people tried to drink it....

A German submarine seen here.... A day of almost perfect peace; rifle
fire ceased sometimes for several minutes together, but 8-inch shells
were fired into the trenches.... Men are singing on the beach for the
first time, and there is something cheerful in the air. The enfilading
gun has been, as usual, reported to be knocked out, but gunners are
great optimists. No news from Helles.... Turkish reinforcements just
coming up. Attack expected at 3 a.m. We stand to arms here.

_Wednesday, May 19th._ Work under heavy shell fire. This grew worse
about 6.30. Several heavy shells hit within a few yards of this
dugout and the neighbouring ones, but did not burst. A little farther
off they did explode, or striking the sea, raised tall columns and
high fountains of white water. Colonel Chaytor badly wounded in the
shoulder. A great loss to us. He talked very cheerfully. I have got
leave to send away Ashjian.... This, after all, is a quarrel for those
directly concerned. The Germans have brought up about twelve more
field-guns and four or five Jack Johnsons, and the shelling is very
heavy. Saw a horrid sight: a barge full of wounded was being towed
out to the hospital ship. Two great Jack Johnsons came, one just in
front of them; then when they turned with a wriggle, one just behind
them, sending up towers of water, and leaving two great white roses in
the sea that turned muddy as the stuff from the bottom rose. They had
shells round them again, and a miraculous escape. It’s cruel hard on
the nerves of wounded men, but of course that was bad luck, not wicked
intentions, because the enemy couldn’t see them.

If the Turks had attacked us fiercely on the top and shelled us as
badly down here earlier, they might have had us out. Now we ought to
be all right, and they can hardly go on using ammunition like this.
Their losses are said to be very great. New Turkish reinforcements
said to be at Helles. They have done what we ought to have done. Now
they are throwing 11-inch at us. It’s too bad.... I saw Colonel Skeen.
He said to me: “You had better be ready to go out this afternoon. We
have just shot a Turk with a white flag. That will give us an excuse
for apologizing”; quite so: it will also give the Turk an excuse for
retaliating. A Turkish officer just brought in says that the real
attack is to be this afternoon, now at 1.30. I spent an hour in the
hospital, interpreting for the Turkish wounded. The Australians are
very good to them. On returning I found the General’s dugout hit hard.
Nothing to be done but to dig deeper in.

From the third week in May to the third week in June was the kernel of
our time at Anzac. We had grown accustomed to think of the place as
home, and of the conditions of our life as natural and permanent. The
monotony of the details of shelling and the worry of the flies are of
interest only to those who endured them, and have been eliminated, here
and there, from this diary.

During this month we were not greatly troubled. The men continued to
make the trenches impregnable, and were contented. It was in some ways
a curiously happy time.

The New Zealanders and the Australians were generally clothed by the
sunlight, which fitted them, better than any tailor, with a red-brown
skin, and only on ceremonial occasions did they wear their belts and

Our sport was bathing, and the Brotherhood of the Bath was rudely
democratic. There was at Anzac a singularly benevolent officer, but
for all his geniality a strong disciplinarian, devoted to military
observances. He was kind to all the world, not forgetting himself, and
he had developed a kindly figure. No insect could resist his contours.
Fleas and bugs made passionate love to him, inlaying his white skin
with a wonderful red mosaic. One day he undressed and, leaving nothing
of his dignity with his uniform, he mingled superbly with the crowd of
bathers. Instantly he received a hearty blow upon his tender, red and
white shoulder and a cordial greeting from some democrat of Sydney or
of Wellington: “Old man, you’ve been amongst the biscuits!” He drew
himself up to rebuke this presumption, then dived for the sea, for, as
he said, “What’s the good of telling one naked man to salute another
naked man, especially when neither have got their caps?”

This month was marked by a feature that is rare in modern warfare. We
had an armistice for the burial of the dead, which is described in the

On the Peninsula we were extremely anxious for an armistice for many
reasons. We wished, on all occasions, to be able to get our wounded in
after a fight, and we believed, or at least the writer was confident,
that an arrangement could be come to. We were also very anxious to
bury the dead. Rightly or wrongly, we thought that G.H.Q., living on
its perfumed island, did not consider how great was the abomination of
life upon the cramped and stinking battlefield that was our encampment,
though this was not a charge that any man would have dreamed of
bringing against Sir Ian Hamilton.

_Diary._ _Wednesday, May 19, 1915._ _Kaba Tepé._ General Birdwood told
me to go to Imbros to talk to Sir Ian Hamilton about an armistice, if
General Godley would give me leave.

_Thursday, May 20, 1915._ _Kaba Tepé._ Have been waiting for four
hours in Colonel Knox’s boat, which was supposed to go to Imbros.
Turkish guns very quiet.... Hear that Ock Asquith and Wedgwood are
wounded. A liaison officer down south says: “When the Senegalese fly,
and the French troops stream forward twenty yards and then stream back
twenty-five yards, we know that we are making excellent progress.”
There is a Coalition Government at home. We think that we are the
reason of that; we think the Government cannot face the blunder of the
Dardanelles without asking for support from the Conservatives.

_6 p.m._ “_Arcadian._” Found George Lloyd. Have been talking to Sir Ian
Hamilton with regard to the armistice.... Clive Bigham[10] was there.
He lent me some Shakespeares.

_Friday, May 21, 1915._ _Kaba Tepé._ Saw Sir Ian Hamilton again this
morning. The Turks are said to have put up a white flag and to have
massed behind it in their trenches, intending to rush us. Left with
four “Arcadians.”

There was a parley yesterday while I was away. The Turks had put up
some white flags, but it was not a case of bad faith as the “Arcadians”
believed. We are said to have shot one Red Crescent man by mistake.
General Walker went out to talk to the Turks, just like that. Both
sides had, apparently, been frightened. I walked back to Reserve Gully
with the General, to see the new brigade. The evening sun was shining
on the myrtles in all the gullies, and the new brigade was singing and
whistling up and down the hills, while fires crackled everywhere.

_Saturday, May 22, 1915._ _Kaba Tepé._ S. B. was sent out yesterday
to talk to the Turks, but he did not take a white flag with him,
and was sniped and bruised.... This morning, suddenly, I was sent
for. S. B. and I hurried along the beach and crossed the barbed wire
entanglements. We went along by the sea, through heavy showers of rain,
and at last met a fierce Arab officer and a wandery-looking Turkish
lieutenant. We sat and smoked in fields splendid with poppies, the sea
glittering by us.

Then Kemal Bey arrived, and went into Anzac with S. B., while I went
off as hostage.

       *       *       *       *       *

S. B. and Kemal Bey, as they went, provided the Australian escort with
much innocent laughter. Our barbed wire down to the sea consisted
only of a few light strands, over which the Turk was helped by having
his legs raised high for him. S. B., however, wished him, as he was
blindfolded, to believe that this defence went on for at least twenty
yards. So the Turk was made to do an enormously high, stiff goose-step
over the empty air for that space, as absurd a spectacle to our men as
I was to be, later, to the Turks. The Australians were almost sick from
internal laughter.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ Kemal Bey asked for a hostage, and I went out. They bandaged
my eyes, and I mounted a horse and rode off with Sahib Bey. We went
along by the sea for some time, for I could hear the waves. Then we
went round and round--to puzzle me, I suppose--and ended up in a tent
in a grove of olives, where they took the handkerchief off, and Sahib
Bey said: “This is the beginning of a life-long friendship.”

       *       *       *       *       *

At one moment, as I was riding along, the soldier who was supposed to
be leading my horse had apparently let go and had fallen behind to
light a cigarette or pick flowers. I heard Sahib Bey call out: “You old
fool! Can’t you see he’s riding straight over the cliff?” I protested
loudly as I rode on, blind as fate.

We had cheese and tea and coffee, Sahib Bey offering to eat first to
show me that it was all right, which I said was nonsense. He said:
“It may not be political economy, but there are some great advantages
in war. It’s very comfortable when there are no exports, because it
means that all the things stay at home and are very cheap.” He tried to
impress me with their well-being. He said he hated all politicians and
had sworn never to read the papers. The Turks had come sadly into the
war against us, otherwise gladly. They wanted to regain the prestige
that they had lost in the Balkans.... He said, after I had talked to
him: “There are many of us who think like you, but we must obey. We
know that you are just and that Moslems thrive under you, but you have
made cruel mistakes by us, the taking of those two ships and the way in
which they were taken.” He asked me a few questions, which I put aside.
He had had a conversation with Dash the day before, when we parleyed.
Dash is a most innocent creature. He had apparently told him that
G.H.Q. was an awful bore, and also the number of Turkish prisoners we
had taken....

_Sunday, May 23, 1915._ _Kaba Tepé._ We landed a month ago to-day. We
now hold a smaller front than then. Also the _Albion_ has gone ashore.
The rest of the fleet has left; she remains a fixture. All the boats
are rushing up to tow her off. The Turks are sending in a hail of
shrapnel.... It will be a bad business if they don’t get her off....
They have got her off, thank the Lord, and every one is breathing more

We wonder if all the places with queer, accidental names will one day
be historical: Johnson’s Jolly, Dead Man’s Ridge, Quinn’s Post, The
Valley of Death, The Sphinx, Anzac--by the way, that’s not a name of
good omen, as “anjak” in Turkish means barely, only just--Plugge’s
Plateau. Plugge is a grand man, wounded for the second time. The New
Zealanders are all most gallant fellows....

The big fight ought to come off, after the armistice. Two more
divisions have come up against us. All quiet last night, but a shell
came into the New Zealand hospital on the beach and killed four wounded
men and a dresser and some more outside. It’s these new guns whose
position we still do not know.

_Tuesday, May 25, 1915._ _Kaba Tepé._ We had the truce yesterday. I was
afraid something might go wrong, but it all went off all right. Skeen,
Blamey,[11] Howse, V.C.,[12] Hough and I started early. Skeen offered
me breakfast but, like a fool, I refused. He put some creosote on my
handkerchief. We were at the rendezvous on the beach at 6.30. Heavy
rain soaked us to the skin. At 7.30 we met the Turks, Miralai Izzedin,
a pleasant, rather sharp, little man; Arif, the son of Achmet Pasha,
who gave me a card, “Sculpteur et Peintre,” and “Etudiant de Poésie.”
I saw Sahib and had a few words with him, but he did not come with us.
Fahreddin Bey came later. We walked from the sea and passed immediately
up the hill, through a field of tall corn filled with poppies, then
another cornfield; then the fearful smell of death began as we came
upon scattered bodies. We mounted over a plateau and down through
gullies filled with thyme, where there lay about 4,000 Turkish dead.
It was indescribable. One was grateful for the rain and the grey sky.
A Turkish Red Crescent man came and gave me some antiseptic wool with
scent on it, and this they renewed frequently. There were two wounded
crying in that multitude of silence. The Turks were distressed, and
Skeen strained a point to let them send water to the first wounded man,
who must have been a sniper crawling home. I walked over to the second,
who lay with a high circle of dead that made a mound round him, and
gave him a drink from my water-bottle, but Skeen called me to come on
and I had to leave the bottle. Later a Turk gave it back to me. The
Turkish Captain with me said: “At this spectacle even the most gentle
must feel savage, and the most savage must weep.” The dead fill acres
of ground, mostly killed in the one big attack, but some recently. They
fill the myrtle-grown gullies. One saw the result of machine-gun fire
very clearly; entire companies annihilated--not wounded, but killed,
their heads doubled under them with the impetus of their rush and both
hands clasping their bayonets. It was as if God had breathed in their
faces, as “the Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold.”

The line was not easy to settle. Neither side wanted to give its
position or its trenches away. At the end Skeen agreed that the Turks
had been fair. We had not been going very long when we had a message
to say that the Turks were entrenching at Johnson’s Jolly. Skeen had,
however, just been there and seen that they were doing nothing at all.
He left me at Quinn’s Post, looking at the communication trench through
which I had spoken to the Turks. Corpses and dead men blown to bits
everywhere. Richards was with me part of the time: easy to get on with;
also a gentleman called indifferently by the men Mr. or Major Tibbs. A
good deal of friction at first. The trenches were 10 to 15 yards apart.
Each side was on the _qui vive_ for treachery. In one gully the dead
had got to be left unburied. It was impossible to bury them without one
side seeing the position of the other. In the Turkish parapet there
were many bodies buried. Fahreddin told Skeen he wanted to bury them,
“but,” he said, “we cannot take them out without putting something in
their place.” Skeen agreed, but said that this concession was not to be
taken advantage of to repair the trench. This was a difficult business.

When our people complained that the Turks were making loopholes, they
invited me into their trench to look. Then the Turks said that we were
stealing their rifles; this came from the dead land where we could not
let them go. I went down, and when I got back, very hot, they took my
word for it that we were not. There was some trouble because we were
always crossing each other’s lines. I talked to the Turks, one of whom
pointed to the graves. “That’s politics,” he said. Then he pointed to
the dead bodies and said: “That’s diplomacy. God pity all of us poor

Much of this business was ghastly to the point of nightmare. I found
a hardened old Albanian chaoush and got him to do anything I wanted.
Then a lot of other Albanians came up, and I said: “Tunya tyeta.”[13] I
had met some of them in Janina. They began clapping me on the back and
cheering while half a dozen funeral services were going on all round,
conducted by the chaplains. I had to stop them. I asked them if they
did not want an Imam for a service over their own dead, but the old
Albanian pagan roared with laughter and said that their souls were all
right. They could look after themselves. Not many signs of fanaticism.
One huge, savage-looking Anatolian looked curses at me. Greeks came up
and tried to surrender to me, but were ordered back by the Turks pretty

Considering the number of their men we had killed, they remained
extraordinarily unmoved and polite. They wouldn’t have, if we had been
Russians. Blamey came to say that Skeen had lost H. and wanted me, so
he, Arif and I walked to the sea. The burying had not been well done.
It was sometimes impossible to do it.... As we went, we took our rifles
from the Turkish side, minus their bolts, and gave the Turks their
rifles in the same way....

Our men gave cigarettes to the Turks, and beyond the storm-centre at
Quinn’s Post the feeling was all right. We sat down and sent men to
look for Skeen. Arif was nervous and almost rude. Then Skeen came.
He told me to get back as quickly as possible to Quinn’s Post, as I
said I was nervous at being away, and to retire the troops at 4 and
the white-flag men at 4.15. I said to Arif: “Everybody’s behaved very
well. Now we must take care that nobody loses his head. Your men won’t
shoot you and my men won’t shoot me, so we must walk about, otherwise
a gun will go off and everybody will get shot.” But Arif faded away. I
got back as quickly as possible. Blamey went away on the left. I then
found that the Turks’ time was eight minutes ahead of ours, and put on
our watches. The Turks asked me to witness their taking the money from
their dead, as they had no officer there. They were very worried by
having no officer, and asked me if any one were coming. I, of course,
had no idea, but I told them I would see that they were all right.
They were very patient....

The burying was finished some time before the end. There were certain
tricks on both sides.

Our men and the Turks began fraternizing, exchanging badges, etc. I
had to keep them apart. At 4 o’clock the Turks came to me for orders.
I do not believe this could have happened anywhere else. I retired
their troops and ours, walking along the line. At 4.7 I retired the
white-flag men, making them shake hands with our men. Then I came to
the upper end. About a dozen Turks came out. I chaffed them, and said
that they would shoot me next day. They said, in a horrified chorus:
“God forbid!” The Albanians laughed and cheered, and said: “We will
never shoot you.” Then the Australians began coming up, and said:
“Good-bye, old chap; good luck!” And the Turks said: “Oghur Ola gule
gule gedejekseniz, gule gule gelejekseniz” (Smiling may you go and
smiling come again). Then I told them all to get into their trenches,
and unthinkingly went up to the Turkish trench and got a deep salaam
from it. I told them that neither side would fire for twenty-five
minutes after they had got into the trenches. One Turk was seen out
away on our left, but there was nothing to be done, and I think he
was all right. A couple of rifles had gone off about twenty minutes
before the end, but Potts and I went hurriedly to and fro seeing it was
all right. At last we dropped into our trenches, glad that the strain
was over. I walked back with Temperley. I got some raw whisky for the
infection in my throat, and iodine for where the barbed wire had torn
my feet. There was a hush over the Peninsula....

_Wednesday, May 26, 1915._ _Kaba Tepé._ This morning I was talking
to Dix, asking him if he believed there were submarines. “Yes,” he
said, and then swore and added: “There’s the _Triumph_ sinking.” Every
picket-boat dashed off to pick up the survivors. The Turks behaved well
in not shelling. There was fury, panic and rage on the beach and on the
hill. I heard Uncle Bill, half off his head, saying: “You should kill
all enemies. Like a wounded bird, she is. Give them cigarettes. Swine!
Like a wounded bird. The swine!” He was shaking his fist. Men were
crying and cursing. Very different from yesterday’s temper.

This afternoon I went round past Monash Gully, towards Kaba Tepé, and
bathed. I got shelled, and came back over the ridges having a beastly
time from the shrapnel which hunted me.

We have now got a sap under Quinn’s Post. The flies and ants are past

_Thursday, May 27, 1915._ _Kaba Tepé._ A very wet night. I wish the
Turks would forget how to shoot. Here we are for an indefinite period
without the power of replying effectively and with the knowledge that
we are firmly locked outside the back door of a side-show....

Went with the General to General Russell’s trenches. They are very much
improved. The men call an ideal trench a Godley-Braithwaite trench;
that is, tall enough for General Godley and broad enough for Colonel
Braithwaite. Bathed. Charlie Bentinck arrived. His destroyer lay just
off the beach and was shelled. Some sailors and five soldiers killed.
Forty-five wounded. Very unfortunate. If they had come yesterday,
it would have been all right--a quiet day, though we had thirty men
sniped. The _Majestic_ reported sunk off Helles. Off to Mudros to get

_Friday, May 28, 1915._ _Mudros._ Left after many delays, and slept on
deck. Very cold. It’s a pretty tall order for the French to put black
Senegalese cannibals into Red Cross uniform....

_Saturday, May 29, 1915._ _Lemnos._ Drove across the island to Castro.
There was a delightful spring half a mile from Castro and a café kept
by a Greek. His wife had been killed by the Turks. Great fig-trees
and gardens. I met two naval officers, who told me Wedgwood had died
of wounds. I am very sorry; he was a very fine man. I admired him a
lot. Castro is beautiful, with balconies over the narrow streets, half
Turk and half Greek, and shady gardens. I bathed in a transparent sea,
facing Athos, which was gleaming like a diamond. I watched its shadow
come across the eighty miles of sea at sunset, as Homer said it did. I
found a Greek, who had been Cromer’s cook. He said he would come back
and cook for me, if there was no danger. He said he knew that G.H.Q.
cooks were safe, but his wife would not let him go on to the Peninsula.
He said her idea of warfare was wrong. She always thought of men and
bullets skipping about together on a hillside.

_Sunday, May 30, 1915._ _Mudros._ I bathed before dawn and went back to
Mudros with masses of mosquito-netting, etc. Turkish prisoners of the
French were being guarded by Greeks. It was rather like monkeys looking
after bears. They wore uniforms that were a cross between Ali Pasha of
Janina and Little Lord Fauntleroy. I saw H., who had been on the River
Clyde. He looked as if he were still watching the sea turn red with
blood, as he described the landing on Gallipoli. Jack was sick, and I
had to leave him with my coat. Went and saw my friend the Papas of the
little Greek church on the hill.

_Monday, May 31, 1915._ _Anzac._ I saw Hutton this morning, slightly
wounded. Bathed at the farthest point towards Kaba Tepé, but had to fly
with my clothes in my hand, leaving my cigarettes....

_Wednesday, June 2, 1915._ _Kaba Tepé._ Had a picturesque examination
of a Greek peasant this morning. It was a fine picture, with the
setting of the blue sea and the mountains. The man himself was
patriarchal and biblical, surrounded by tall English officers and
half-naked soldiers. Last night we sent up bombs from Japanese mortars
by Quinn’s. It sounded beastly. This morning I went to Reserve Gully
with the General. Monash’s Brigade is resting there for the first
time for five weeks. The General, looking like a Trojan hero, made
them a fine speech from a sort of natural throne in the middle of
the sunlit amphitheatre, in which they all sat, tier after tier of
magnificent-looking fellows, brown as Indians. Bullets swept over all
the time, sometimes drowning the General’s voice.... Have just heard
that Quinn is killed. I am very sorry. He was a fine, jolly, gallant

_Friday, June 4, 1915._ _Anzac._ Nothing doing. George Lloyd came over.
Very glad to see him. This morning I went with Shaw to the extreme
left, through fields of poppies, thyme and lavender. We saw a vulture
high overhead, and the air was full of the song of larks. At Helles
there was a savage attack going on. There was very bad sniping. In
some places the trenches are only knee-high; in other places there
are no trenches and the Turks are anything from four to eight hundred
yards off. Yesterday seventeen men were hit at one place, they said,
by one sniper. At one place on the way, we ran like deer, dodging.
The General, when he had had a number of bullets at him, also ran.
Sniping is better fun than shrapnel; it’s more human. You pit your wits
against the enemy in a rather friendly sort of way. A lot of vultures

_Saturday, June 5, 1915._ _Anzac._ Examined sixteen prisoners. Food
good, munitions plentiful, morale all right. The individuals fed up
with the war, but the mass obedient and pretty willing. No idea of
surrendering. They think they are going to win. There was one Greek, a
Karamanly, who only talked Turkish. He did not say until to-night that
he was wounded. The flies are bad.

_Sunday, June 6, 1915._ _Anzac._ Went to the service this morning
with the General, in the amphitheatre. The sermon was mainly against
America for not coming into the war, and also against bad language.
The chaplain said he could not understand the meaning of it. The men
laughed. So did I.

_Monday, June 7, 1915._ _Kaba Tepé._ This morning the land was sweet
as Eden and there was the calm of the first creation. H. has been
made a new Uriah the Hittite, but not because of Mrs. H. Last night I
was invaded by mice. There is tremendous shelling going on now. This
afternoon S. B., Onslow and I climbed a hill and had a beautiful view.
Every one is rather ill and feverish. I have no news about Jack. The
Intelligence office has been moved to a higher and safer place. Pirie
Gordon, poor chap, has gone sick a long time ago. I rather liked the
stuffy old place, which was called “The Mountain Path to the Jackal’s

The attack last night failed, but the drone of the rifles went on
unceasingly, like the drone of a dry waterfall. We shall not get to
Constantinople unless the flat-faced Bulgars come in.

Yesterday I lunched with Temperley at the H.Q. of Monash Valley. Times
have changed: it’s fairly safe going there through a long sap they
have dug, and the noise is less bad.

Colonel ---- had seen a lot of the Crown Prince in India, and said he
was a very good fellow. Dined with Woods, Dix, S. B. and Edwards. Lots
of champagne for once; a very good dinner.

I went to No. 2 Outpost with the General. There is a sap all the
way now. Only one sniper the whole way. The Turkish birds were
singing beautifully as we went. There was also a Turkish snake,
which I believed was quite harmless, but Tahu killed it. The men are
getting pretty tired. They are not as resigned as their ten thousand
brother-monks over the way at Mount Athos.

_Friday, June 11, 1915._ _Kaba Tepé._ The Australians and New
Zealanders have given up wearing clothes. They lie about and bathe and
become darker than Indians. The General objects to this. “I suppose,”
he says, “we shall have our servants waiting on us like that.” The
flies are very bad, so are the mice, and so is the shelling....

_Sunday, June 13, 1915._ _Kaba Tepé._ A lot of mules and several men
hit yesterday. Last night, S. B. and I were on the beach, when a man
on a stretcher went by, groaning rhythmically. I thought he had been
shot through the brain. Later on I went into the hospital to find a
wounded Turk, and found that this man had never been hit at all. He had
been doing very good work till a shell exploded near him and gave him a
shock. Then he went on imitating a machine-gun. Some men in a sap up at
Quinn’s have been going off their heads.

Awful accounts of Mudros: flies, heat, sand, no water, typhoid. To-day
are the Greek elections.

Am dining with H. Woods. “The beach” now says that Ot has been poisoned
by the Greek guides, whom he illtreats and uses as cooks. I shouldn’t
wonder. The shelling is bad. I am going to make a new dugout to get
away from the flies and mice. The Turkish prisoners will do this. I pay
them a small sum.

_Tuesday, June 15, 1915._ _Kaba Tepé._ Colonel Chauvel[14] has
pleurisy, Colonel Johnston[15] enteric. The sea’s high and the Navy
depressed.... One man and two mules killed in our gully this morning;
the body of one mule blown about 50 yards both ways.

_Wednesday, June 16, 1915._ _Kaba Tepé._ Rain. I was to have gone to
Helles with Woods to see Dedez, but no boats went; it was too rough.
I was going to talk about spies to S. B., when General Cunliffe Owen
said to me: “Wait a bit. The shelling is too bad. We will go along
together.” But I was in too much of a hurry. A shell fell in the gully
as I crossed, and Woods came out to see where it had hit. It went into
Machonochie’s dugout, where H. was, and blew him out of his dugout,
black and shaken. It destroyed his furniture. I felt sorry for him. Ot
tried to turn him out of the Intelligence dugout, but we protested.

The General has come back with the latest casualty lists from France....

_Thursday, June 17, 1915._ _Helles._ Thirty men killed and wounded
on the beach to-day. This morning I came to Helles with Woods. As
we got there a submarine had two shots at one of our transports by
us. I was to have seen Dedez, but he had gone off to see Gouraud.
George Peel walked in and took me round the beach, two miles on. We
climbed on to the headland, in what he called “the quiet track of the
Black Marias.” He talked of every mortal thing--the future Liberal
and Socialist, the possibility of touching the heart of the people,
the collapse of Christianity, our past and our policy. I left him and
walked back across thyme and asphodel, Asia glowing like a jewel across
the Dardanelles in the sunset. At night I talked late and long with
Dash. Every Department is jealous, every one is at cross-purposes, no
co-operation between the War Office and the Foreign Office.

Walked in the morning to the H.Q. of the R.N.D. with Whittall. We were
shelled most of the way in the open landscape. There was no cover
anywhere. It felt unfamiliar. I was unfavourably impressed with the
insecurity of life in this part of the world, and wished for Anzac. In
the evening we drank mavrodaphne and tried to get rid of----

_Friday, June 18, 1915._ _Kaba Tepé._ I left Helles in the middle of
very heavy shelling, a star performance. A lot of horses killed this
morning. A submarine popped up last night. As we came back to Anzac
the Turks shelled our trawler and hit her twice, but without doing any

       *       *       *       *       *

Shelling grew worse at Anzac, and sickness began to make itself felt.
Men were sent across to Imbros when it was possible to rest.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ On June 25th I went across to Imbros with H. Woods and the
Greek miller, Nikolas. Hawker was there, and E. of Macedonia. E.
is very unpopular. If he takes a dislike to a man he digs around
his dugout, until it falls in on him. The chief R.A.M.C. officer,
an Irishman, was mourning over the ruins of his home. We slept
uncomfortably on the ground, with flies to keep us warm.

       *       *       *       *       *

As I was writing this a shell burst outside my dugout, a lot of
shrapnel coming through, and one bullet glancing off the typewriter,
which has just come. At the same time Jack was hit across the gully
going from my dugout to his. Conolly, the escort, and I carried him
down, after binding his leg up, under heavy fire. Then I nipped back to
get some of his stuff to take off, but on going back to the beach found
that he had gone. Many men hit on the beach. Thousands of flies on the
wounded. The General’s blankets riddled with bullets. They have our
range, pat. Two days ago Colonel Parker had his chair and table smashed
while he was in his dugout. He left it to have tea with Wagstaffe.
There he was reading when another bullet tore his paper in two. I have
been covered with dirt several times in the last days. L. S. Amery came
with K. I only saw him for a minute, worse luck, but he is coming back
to-morrow, I hope, when we can have a talk. G.H.Q. turned up in force,
and walked about like wooden images.

We have a clerk here, Venables. He has got tired of writing, and,
wanting to change the pen for the sword, borrowed a rifle and walked
up to the front line at Quinn’s Post. There he popped his head in and
said: “Excuse me, is this a private trench, or may any one fire out of

The sound of battle has ended. Men are bathing. The clouds that the
cannonade had called up are gone, and the sea is still and crimson in
the sunset to Imbros and Samothrace.

_Tuesday, June 29, 1915._ _Anzac._ We have advanced 1,000 yards down
at Helles, but no details yet. Many men shot here yesterday by the
Anafarta gun. I should think this gun had as good a tale of killed and
wounded as any gun in the war. Every day it gets its twenty odd on the
beach. The Australians attacked on the right yesterday. Fifty killed
and wounded; they think the Turks suffered more heavily. I went with
the General to the extreme left. Terrific heat. We came to a valley
filled with thyme and lavender, which the Maoris are to inhabit. The
men were bathing beyond Shrapnel Point. They say the Turks let them.
I had two letters--one two months old, a curious one to receive here,
from an Englishwoman, wife of the ex-Grand Vizier of Afghanistan. He
was a progressive man, and is therefore in an Afghan prison. She wants
work for her son. Wants him to be a saddler, a job a lot of men here
would like. All my stuff looted coming from Egypt.

Men are practising bomb-throwing, all over the place. They are mostly
half-naked, and darker than Red Indians. It’s a day of blessed peace,
but there’s a lot of feeling about the Anafarta gun, and bathing is
stopped on the beach till night.

_Wednesday, June 30, 1915._ _Anzac._ Last night I went down to the
hospital and was inoculated for cholera by C., a witty man. A trench
had been blown in, and men were lying groaning on the floor, most of
them suffering from shell-shock, not wounds, but some of the wounds
horrible.... I asked C. why the wounded were not sent to Cyprus instead
of Mudros. He said: “Because it’s a splendid climate and there is heaps
of water.” The chief doctor at Mudros is useless, the second ---- (With
regard to the second doctor I regret that the diary is libellous.)
Anyway, what is certain is that the condition of the sick and wounded
is awful. This morning it’s very rough, and I can’t get out to Jack at
the hospital ship, as prisoners are coming in....

_July 1, 1915._ _Anzac._ I examined the prisoners, amongst them a
tall Armenian lawyer, who talked some English. I asked him how he had
surrendered. He said: “I saw two gentlemen with their looking-glasses,
and came over to them.” By this he meant two officers with periscopes.
He said that the psychology of the Turks is a curious thing. They do
not fear death, yet are not brave....

No water came in yesterday. The storm wrecked the barges and the beach
is covered with lighters. We got brackish water from the hill. I could
not get to Jack for work.

At lunch I heard there were wounded crying on Walker’s Ridge, and went
up there with Zachariades. We found a first-rate Australian, Major
Reynell. We went through the trenches, dripping with sweat; it was
a boiling day, and my head reeled from inoculation. We had to crawl
through a secret sap over a number of dead Turks, some of whom were in
a ghastly condition, headless and covered with flies. Then out from the
darkness into another sap, with a dead Turk to walk over. The Turkish
trenches were 30 yards off, and the dead lay between the two lines.

When I called I was answered at once by a Turk. He said he could
not move.... I gave him a drink, and Reynell and I carried him
in, stumbling over the dead among whom he lay. I went back for my
water-bottle, but the Turks began shooting as a warning, and I had to
go back into the trench.

An awful time getting the Turk through the very narrow trench. I got
one other, unwounded, shamming dead. We threw him a rope, and in he

       *       *       *       *       *

The taking of the second Turk was a curious episode that perhaps
deserves a little more description than is given by the diary. The
process of catching Turks fascinated the Australians, and amongst them
an R.A.M.C. doctor who came round on that occasion. This officer prided
himself upon neatness and a smart appearance, when the dust and heat
of the Dardanelles had turned every one else into scallywags. After he
had attended to the first wounded man, he pointed out the second Turk
lying between our trenches and the Turks’ and only a few yards from
either. “You go out again, sir,” said the Australians; “it’s as good
as a show.” I, however, took another view. I called out to the Turk:
“Do you want any water?” “By God,” he whispered back, “I do, but I am
afraid of my people.” We then threw him a rope and pulled him in. He
told us that the night before he had lost direction in the attack. Fire
seemed to be coming every way, and it had seemed to him the best plan
to fall and lie still amongst his dead comrades. The doctor gave him
some water, with which he rinsed his mouth, and I left him under the
charge of the R.A.M.C. doctor. This is what happened subsequently. They
had to crawl back through the secret sap, from which the bodies of the
dead Turks had by that time been removed and left at the entrance. The
Turk was blindfolded, but he was able to see under the handkerchief,
and when he saw his dead comrades, over whose bodies he had to step, he
leapt to the conclusion that it was our habit to bring our prisoners to
one place and there to kill them. He gave one panic-stricken yell; he
threw his arms round the neck of the well-dressed officer; they fell
and rolled upon the corpses together, the Turk in convulsions of fear
clinging to the neck of the doctor, pressing his face to the faces
of the dead till he was covered with blood and dust and the ghastly
remains of death, while the soldiers stood round saying to the Turk:
“Now, don’t you carry on so.”

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ _Friday, July 2._ _Anzac._ This morning I had a magnificent
bathe with General Birdwood. At night a great storm blew up. The
lightning played in splendid glares over Imbros and Samothrace. The sea
roared, the thunder crashed and rain spouted down. After a time that
stopped and a cloud, black as ink, came down upon us like a pall.

Yesterday mourning met the two Whittalls going to Helles with General
de Lotbiniere and his periscopes.

I went off to the _Sicilia_ to see Jack, and had a lot of trouble about
a pass. I saw Jack. He said they had re-bound his leg on the beach, but
that it had not been looked at for eighteen hours on the boat. It had
swelled to double its size. Then a doctor came and said the bandage had
been done too tight, and there was a chance of his losing his leg. I
felt absolutely savage.... Saw General House,[16] V.C., on shore and
got him to promise to do what he could. We had a bad time going home.
We were slung off the ship in wooden cases. It was very rough indeed,
and when the wooden case hit the flat barge it bounced like anything.
Then we were towed out on this flat barge, open to the great waves and
shrapnel, to a lighter, and left off Anzac for a couple of hours. The
Turks sent a few shells, absent-mindedly. Finally, a trawler brought us
off, very angry.

S. dined, a scholarly fanatic, interesting about the next war, which
he thinks will be with Russia, in fifteen years. A lot of people going

I saw Cox to-night, who said that this is the worst storm we have had.
We have only one day’s water supply. We could have had as much as we
had wanted, but many of the cans stored on the beach are useless, as
they have had holes knocked in them by the shrapnel. We are not as
abstemious as the Turks, who had been lying for so many hours under the
sun, and shall suffer from thirst badly.

_Saturday, July 3, 1915._ _Anzac._ Macaulay has come as our artillery
officer. I dined with him and H. Woods last night. Yesterday it rained.
Jack’s boat has gone. We are being badly shelled here. I shall have to
change my dugout, if this goes on. The guide Katzangaris has been hit
in the mouth.

_Sunday, July 4._ Saw the Maoris, who had just landed. General
Godley made them a first-class speech. They danced a very fine Haka
with tremendous enthusiasm in his honour when he had finished. They
liked digging their dugouts, and seemed to like it when they came
to human remains.... More people going sick. Doctor F. told me that
he and another doctor had asked to be allowed to help on board the
hospital ships where they have more wounded than they can deal with,
short-handed as they are, but have been refused permission by the

There has been a great explosion at Achi Baba. Macaulay saw a transport
of ours sunk this afternoon.... G. L. came ashore with depressing
accounts of Russia. He is probably going to come on this beach. Hope
he does. Went off and bathed with Macaulay. Saw Colonel Bauchop, who
promised me a present of some fresh drinking-water to-morrow.

_Monday, July 5, 1915._ _Kaba Tepé._ A breathless, panting morning,
still and blue and fiery hot, with not a ripple on the sea. Colonel
Bauchop, commanding the Otago Mounted Rifles, was shot in the shoulder
last night. This morning we have had an exhibition of “frightfulness”
in the shape of vast shells. They burst with a tremendous roar that
echoes to the sky and across the sea for more than a minute. Their case
or bullets fall over the sea in a great area. They started by striking
the sea and raising great columns of water. Now they burst and fall on
land and sea.

It has had the great result of getting rid of Mr. Lock, the Socialist
Czech, from the doorway of my dugout. He was an undergraduate at ----
and afterwards a Labour candidate. Now he is Colonel P.’s cook.

The transport that Macaulay saw go down was French. Six lives lost. The
explosion down south was a French ammunition store. This shelling makes
one’s head ache.

_Tuesday, July 6th._ _Kaba Tepé._ Yesterday I went to Quinn’s Post with
General Godley in the morning. There was a fair amount of shelling.
They had just hit thirteen men in Courtney’s before we got there. We
went into a mine that was being dug towards and under the Turkish
trenches. At the end of the sap the Turks were only six to eight feet
away. We could hear them picking. The time for blowing in had very
nearly come. These underground people take it all as a matter of
course. I should hate fighting on my stomach in a passage two feet
high, yards under the ground. The Turks were throwing bombs from the
trenches, and these hit the ground over us, three of them, making it
shudder. Down below they talk in whispers. We went round the trenches.
Saw none so fine as last time, when we came to the Millionaires’ Sap,
so called because it was made by six Australians, each the son of a

In the afternoon I tried to sleep, but there was too much shelling.
Kyumjiyan was hit, and has gone; S. B. was grazed. It was 11.2 shells
filled with all kinds of stuff. We answered with a monitor whose
terrific percussions shook my dugout, bringing down dust and stones.
A submarine appeared, and all the destroyers were after her. Then
two aeroplanes started a fight as the sun set down towards Helles,
appearing and vanishing behind crimson clouds. Captain Buck, the Maori
doctor and M.P., dined with us, to wind up an exciting day.

This morning is like yesterday. No breath of air, but the day is more
clear, and Samothrace and Imbros look very peaceful. Early again the
shelling began. As I was shaving outside three shells hit the beach
just in front. I wasn’t watching the third, but suddenly heard a great
burst of laughter. At the first shell a bather had rushed back to his
dugout; the shell had come and knocked it in on the top of him, and he
was dug out, naked and black, but smiling and none the worse. “Another
blasted sniper,” he said, which made the men laugh.

Active preparations are being made to fight the gas, as the
Intelligence says it is going to be used. Am going out with the General
at 9.30. Was sent to get Colonel Parker, but found him sick, and under
pretty heavy fire, having a new dugout built. Came back and stood with
the General, Thoms and others outside Headquarters. A shell burst just
by us, bruised the General in the ribs, and filled his eyes with dirt.
Went out with Colonel Anthill and Poles. Talked of arranging a truce
to bury the Turkish dead on our parapet. They said that otherwise our
men must get cholera; the heat and sand and flies and smell is awful.
We met Colonel Bauchop with his arm in a sling, but the bullet out
of his shoulder, and Colonel White with his head still bandaged. The
Australians very cheerful.

_Wednesday, July 7, 1915._ _Kaba Tepé._ A fierce, expectant dawn. We
shelled furiously at 4.30 a.m. Now absolute peace on a glassy sea.
Last night Bentinck, Jack Anderson and I bathed. I was at the end of
the pier; as I was beginning to dress a shell burst very close, the
smoke and powder in my face. I fled half dressed; Colonel P. rose like
Venus from the sea and followed with nothing. A calm marine gave me my

One of the prisoners reported that on the occasion of the armistice
Turkish Staff officers had put on Red Crescent clothes in order to have
a look at our trenches.... No news of Jack.

The Turks put up five crosses yesterday, all of which we shot down.
I first thought it was probably Greeks or Armenians who wanted to
show they were Christians, wishing to surrender, and telephoned to
Courtney’s to see if I could get into touch with them, but now I think
it’s probably Turks who were anxious to make us shoot at the sign of
our own religion. In this they succeeded.

Colonel Johnson, Commanding the New Zealand Infantry Brigade, gone
sick. I persuaded the mess to get inoculated for cholera. Last night I
dined with Woods and Macaulay. They told Eastern stories, and we had a
very contented time, drinking mavrodaphne and looking at the sea.

The Turks shelled a little after eight, in answer to our tiresome
provocative monitor fire. This morning Tahu arrived from Egypt with
letters. The Turks are bombing something cruel from Kaba Tepé.... It’s
a beautiful sight--a sea like lapis-lazuli and a burning sun, with
columns of water like geysers where the shells hit. A good many men hit
here to-day.

_Saturday, July 10, 1915._ _Kaba Tepé._ I went with General Godley
to the _Triad_, and dined with Admiral de Robeck. Took the General’s
things to put them on board the picket-boat, but as I got there a
shell struck her and knocked a hole in her. There was another one,
and we sat and waited uncomfortably in this till he came.... Found
Alec Ramsay on board. Slept in Commodore Roger Keyes’ cabin. Very
comfortable. He was very kind. Went to G.H.Q. and had lunch with L. and
Bob Graves.

_Sunday, July 11th._ Felt much better. Went ashore and saw Colonel
Hawker and the Turkish prisoners.... Came back late at night, after
some very jolly days. Best week-end I ever spent. The Turks have asked
for another armistice in the south. This has been refused. If they
attack, they will have to do it across their dead, piled high, and this
is not good for morale.

       *       *       *       *       *

By this time the persecutions of the interpreters had greatly
diminished. They were still badly treated by a man called Ot, but to a
large extent they had won the respect of the troops by their behaviour.
The chief interpreter was an old Greek of some sixty-two or sixty-three
years, Mr. Kyriakidis, who was given a medal for conspicuous gallantry
at the bombardment of Alexandria and had served with General Stuart’s
unfortunate expedition. He was a gentleman, and one of the straightest
men I have met. His simplicity, courtesy and unfailing courage had
gained him many friends. He was also endowed with considerable humour.

A relation had sent me a gas mask, at that time a rarity at Anzac. I
did not believe that I should need it, and made a present of it to
the first man I met, who happened to be Mr. Kyriakidis. He went down
and played poker with the other interpreters on the beach. He put
on my respirator as a poker mask, with much swagger. This put the
fear of death into the interpreters, who sent a deputation to G.H.Q.
Intelligence, insisting that they should also be provided with masks.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Monday, July 12, 1915._ _Kaba Tepé._ By the way, an unhappy shadow was
shot yesterday, an interpreter of whom we none of us knew anything,
and who was on no list. Things are not very comfortable. The fire is
increasingly heavy. All the air is full of thudding and broken echoes.
No one minds anything much, but high explosive.... The hospitals are
being moved. They had too many casualties where they were before.

_Tuesday, July 13th._ _Kaba Tepé._ Tremendous fire round Achi Baba
yesterday. French advanced 150 and we 200 yards. Don’t know what the
losses were. I went with Macaulay and Woods to No. 3 Post, to Bauchop’s
Fountain. They can snipe there very close, and killed a man a couple
of days ago, two yards off under the olives, and wounded his mate,
who crawled back into the sandy way. On both sides there is tall wild
lavender and what M. calls pig’s parsley.

We crawled down a sandy path to the sea, M. rather sick. Met the
General going back, who told us not to bathe. In the evening Tahu got
out his gramophone and we had some good songs when the shooting was not
too much.

Ramadan began to-day. George Lloyd arrived this afternoon and said they
wanted to send me to Tenedos for a special job.

Yesterday evening General Godley went to Courtney’s Post. As he got
there the Turks shelled with heavy stuff, killing and wounding about
twenty men. Reynell came to see me. I like him very much indeed.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary. Sunday, July 18, 1915. Kaba Tepé._ They are now shelling the
pier, and killed a doctor, cutting off both his legs, and several other
people, when I was bathing from the pier. Everybody is again going
sick. The situation is changing. Every night we are landing guns. The
moon is young now and growing. It seems, therefore, reasonable to
expect that we cannot land forces of men that take time before the
nights are moonless; that is, in about a month’s time the preparations
ought to be ready.

A few days ago we had an attack on Achi Baba, won about 400 yards and
lost about 5,000 men. Two battalions got out of touch and were lost for
a considerable time. The “Imbros Journal,” “Dardanelles Driveller,” or
whatever it’s called, said “their return was as surprising as that of
Jonah from the belly of the whale.” Good, happy author!

A German Taube over us throwing bombs and also heavy stuff, but not
much damage lately. George Lloyd[17] was here this afternoon, and while
we talked a shell burst and hit four men.

_Monday, July 19, 1915._ _Kaba Tepé._ My dugout has now become a centre
for Australian and New Zealand officers, all good fellows. I had it
made small on purpose, so that no one would offer to share it with me,
and that makes it less convenient for the crowd that now sit in it. Two
old friends come when the day’s work is over, and grow sentimental by
moonlight; both ill and, I am afraid, getting worse. All the talk is
now about gassing. It is thought that they will do it to us here. As
usual, new troops are reported to be coming against us.

_Tuesday, July 20, 1915._ _Kaba Tepé._ There is always something fresh
here. Now a lot of sharks are supposed to have come in. During the last
two days there has been absolute silence, no shelling at all, nothing
but the sound of crickets and at night a singsong chorus as the men
drag up the great tanks prepared for water. S. B. yesterday worked out
a theory to prove that the Turks were to attack us last night. (1)
No gunfire yesterday; the reason being they (the Turks) were moving
troops. They didn’t want us to fire at their troops, therefore didn’t
draw fire by shooting at us. (2) Ulemas have come down. There must be a
special reason for this. (3) 10,000 coming up. Gas being prepared. All
this means an attack on Anzac. To wipe us out would be a great feather
in their cap. I am inclined to doubt another great attack.... Tempers
all a bit ruffled. General Birdwood is sick. The heat is fierce and the
stillness absolute. This afternoon I heard from Dedez, who asked me to
go to Tenedos for a time....

_Wednesday, July 21, 1915._ _Kaba Tepé._ There is something uncanny
about this calm. No shots at all. News that the Italian Ambassador at
Constantinople has gone nap. We have had very little news of Italy....
I wonder if the Turks are likely to attack on the eve of Constitution

_Saturday, July 24, 1915._ _Imbros._ On Wednesday I went over to G.H.Q.
and met old friends among the war correspondents. Met some of the New
Zealanders who had come over for a rest, but were coming back for the
expected attack. Meanwhile, they had been kept on fatigue most of the
time, and were unutterably weary. At Imbros I was ordered to go to
Tenedos and Mytilene.

_Thursday, July 22nd._ Came back to Anzac in the same boat with Ashmead
Bartlett and Nevinson,[18] and got leave to take them round in the

       *       *       *       *       *

Later on, during one of the worst days of the Suvla fighting, I met my
friend Nevinson picking his way amongst the wounded on their stretchers
under fire. “After this,” he said, decisively, “I shall confine myself
strictly to revolutions.”

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ _July 23rd._ Started for Imbros and went in the _Bacchante_
pinnace, which was leaking badly from a shell hole. There were six of
us on deck, and one man was hit when we were about a hundred yards out.
We put back and left him on shore.

_Saturday, July 24th._ _Imbros._ Went for a ride on a mule, and had a

       *       *       *       *       *

At this point in the campaign, though the morale was excellent,
depression began to grow. There was a great deal of sickness, from
which practically no one escaped, though it was less virulent in its
form than later in the summer. I had been ill for some time, and was
very anxious to avoid being invalided to Egypt, and was grateful for
the chance of going to the islands for a change of climate and light
work, for the few days that were sufficient to give another lease of

The feeling that invades almost every side-show, sooner or later,
that the home authorities cared nothing and knew nothing about the
Dardanelles, was abroad. The policy and the strategy of the expedition
were bitterly criticized. I remember a friend of mine saying to me:
“All this expedition is like one of Walter Scott’s novels, upside
down.” Walter Scott generally put his hero at the top of a winding
stair, where he comfortably disposed, one by one, of a hundred of his
enemies. “Now,” he said, “what we have done was, first of all to warn
the Turks that we were going to attack by having a naval bombardment.
That made them fortify the Dardanelles, but still they were not
completely ready. We then send a small force to attack, to tell them
that we really are in earnest, and to ask them if they are quite ready.
In fact, we have put the man who ought to be, not the hero, but the
villain of the piece, at the top of the corkscrew stair, and we have
given him so much notice that when the hero attacks the villain has
more men at the top of the circular stair than the hero has at the
bottom. It’s like throwing pebbles at a stone wall,” he said, mixing
his metaphors.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ _Sunday, July 25, 1915._ _On the Sea._ I left for Tenedos; a
most beautiful day. We have just been to Anzac, very burnt and wounded
amongst the surrounding greenery. Pretty peaceful there, only a few
bullets coming over.

       *       *       *       *       *

Perhaps the record of a sojourn in the Greek Islands on what was really
sick-leave, as the work was of the lightest, should not be included in
a war diary, but the writer looks back with amusement and pleasure to
days that were not uneventful. They were passed with friends who were
playing a difficult and most arduous part, and whose services, in many
cases, have not received the recognition that was their due.

It was pleasant once again to be lord of the horizon, to have space
through which to roam, and lovely hills and valleys to ride across in
the careless, scented air of the Mediterranean summer, with the sea
shining a peacock-blue through the pines. It is this space and liberty
that men cramped in a siege desire, more than the freedom from the
shelling of the enemy’s guns. There was much, too, that was _opéra
bouffe_ in the Islands, that made a not unpleasant contrast to the
general life at Anzac.

If there was spy mania on the Peninsula, it was multiplied tenfold,
and quite reasonably, on the Islands, where part of the population
were strongly pro-Ally, another part pro-German, while others were
anti-British by an accidental kind of ricochet. These were the royalist
followers of King Constantine, who hated Venizelos, and consequently
the friends of Venizelos, Great Britain and France.

The situation on the Islands was one with which it was extremely hard
to cope. We were very anxious to safeguard the lives of our men, and
to prevent information going to the enemy, and, at the same time, not
to pursue German methods. It was unceasing work, with a great strain
of responsibility. There was an inevitable _va et vient_ between the
Peninsula and Imbros. From Imbros boats could slip across to Tenedos,
Mytilene or the mainland. The native caïques would drop in at evening,
report, be ordered to stay till further notice, and would drift away
like ghosts in the night. Men, and women, performed remarkable feats,
in appearing and disappearing. They were like pictures on a film in
their coming and their going. Watchers and watched, they thrust and
parried, discovered and concealed, glowed on the picture and darkened.

Anatasio, a Serbian by birth, was one of our workers, conspicuous for
his quickness and intelligence. At the outbreak of the war he had
already been five months in an Austrian prison at Cattaro, but the
prospect of battle stimulated his faculties, and he escaped. One day at
luncheon I asked him where it was that he had learned Italian, which
he did not talk very well. “While I was in prison at Smyrna,” said he.
“What for?” said I. “For stabbing a Cretan,” said he, and added that
he would rather be five years in prison in Turkey than one in Austria.
Then there was Avani, one of the most vivid personalities that I have
ever met. He was a poet and a clairvoyant, a mesmerist and a masseur,
a specialist in rheumatism and the science of detection, once a member
of General Chermside’s gendarmerie in Crete, and ex-chief of the Smyrna
fire brigade. The stories of him are too many, and too flamboyant, to

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ Avani mesmerized the wife of the Armenian dragoman.
Unfortunately it went wrong. Her obedience to his volition was delayed
and she only obeyed his commands in the wrong company some hours after.

       *       *       *       *       *

He had given proof of rare courage, and also considerable indiscretion.
On one occasion, armed to the teeth, he burst into a perfectly innocent
house at night, and, revolver in hand, hunted a terrified inhabitant.
His only evidence against this man was, that when he had been caught
and hurled to the ground and sat upon, his heart had beaten very fast,
which would not happen, insisted Avani, if he had not been guilty of
some crime.

Amongst our opponents were the romantic but sinister Vassilaki family,
two brothers and three lovely sisters. Talk about them in the Islands
was almost as incessant as was talk about shelling on the Peninsula.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ _Monday, July 26, 1915._ _Tenedos._ Yesterday I was very ill,
and again to-day, but was injected with something or other and feel
better, but weak. Tried to sleep yesterday, but one of our monitors at
Rabbit Island bombarded hugely, shaking the bugs down on me. This place
is clean, but there are bugs and some lice. Last night I dined with the
Governor, Colonel Mullins, and a jolly French doctor, and Thompson, who
has fallen ill. Am carrying on for him at the moment.

_Tuesday, July 27, 1915._ _Tenedos._ Went to the trenches at Tenedos.
They face the enemy. That is the most military thing about them.
Thompson went out to see the inhabitants. I was going with him, but
felt worse and went to rest. The Turks here are in a very bad way. We
do not allow them to work. It’s inevitable. They mayn’t fish or work at
the aerodrome.

_Wednesday, July 28, 1915._ _Tenedos._ Interpreted for the Governor
of Tenedos, who, like Jupiter, rules with might, in the afternoon. In
the evening I saw the Mufti, who had a list of starving, widows and
indigent.... Last night the Cretan soldiers started ragging the Turks
and singing, till I stopped them. They were quite good.

Still ill, but better. Had a beautiful walk in the evening, and a long
talk with the Greek refugees working in the vines by the edge of the
sea. The old patriarch addressed me all the time as “chorbaji”--that
is, Possessor of the Soup, the Headman of the village.

_Thursday, July 29, 1915._ _Tenedos._ Yesterday I rode over to the
French aerodrome, coming late for luncheon, but had coffee with about
twenty French officers, all very jolly. Promised to let me fly over the
Dardanelles. I went on to the Cretans in a pinewood. Their officer, a
Frenchman, very keen on a show in Asia Minor.... The elder Vassilaki
has been arrested. His brother saw him go by in a trawler. Am going
to Mytilene, then return after three days, and leave here on Tuesday
for Anzac. No news of anything happening. Tenedos is a beautiful
town in its way, surrounded by windmills, with Mount Elias in the
background. Its streets are narrow, picturesque and hung with vines
that make them cool and shady. At the end of the town there is a very
fine old Venetian fortress, but its magnificence is outside; inside it
is furnished with round stone cannon-balls, ammunition for catapults.
In the last war the Greeks took the island, but one day a Turkish
destroyer popped her nose in. All the Greeks fled, and the Mufti and
the Moslems went and pulled the Greek flag down. Then in came a Greek
destroyer, and the Turkish one departed. The Mufti and the Turks were
taken off to Mudros, where he and they were beaten. He narrowly missed
being killed....

_Friday, July 30, 1915._ _Tenedos._ Slept very badly again. Had a
letter from the O.C. Poor Onslow killed, lying on his bed by his
dugout. A good fellow and a fine soldier. Aden nearly captured. I
prophesied its capture in Egypt. I shall be recalled before anything

       *       *       *       *       *

The radiant air of Tenedos gave health as it did in Homeric times,
and I left with the desire that others should have the same chance
as myself of using that beautiful island as a hospital; but all the
pictures there were not bright. Under the windmills above the shining
sea there were the motionless, dark-clad, desolate Moslem women,
sitting without food or shelter. Their case, it is true, was no harder
than that of the thousands of Greek refugees who had been driven from
their homes, but these at any rate were living amongst kindred, while
the unfortunate Moslems were without help or sympathy, except that
which came from their enemies, the British.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ _Friday, July 30, 1915._ _Mytilene._ I left by the Greek
boat yesterday. On the boat I met a man who might be useful as an
interpreter, Anibal Miscu, Entrepreneur de Travaux Publiques, black as
my hat, but talks English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Turkish,
Greek, Arabic, Bulgar, Russian and something else. The boat was stopped
by our trawler, No. ----, and searched for contraband of war. The
Greeks were furious. I landed at Mytilene, not having slept much and
feeling bad. Avani said they had tried to bribe him to allow some
raisins through, and kicked up the devil of a row. He seemed to think
that the raisins were dynamite. He was left guarding the raisins, all
night, I believe, with his revolver.

I was given a warm welcome by Compton Mackenzie in Mytilene. He,
fortunately for me, had been sent there by G.H.Q. I found several
old friends--Heathcote-Smith, the Consul, whose work it would be
impertinent for me to praise, and Hadkinson, whom I had last seen
at my own house in England, where he was staying with me when the
Archduke Franz Ferdinand had been murdered. Hadkinson had passed most
of his life on his property in Macedonia. Of the Eastern and Southern
languages he talked Greek, Italian, Turkish, Bulgarian, Serbian and
Albanian. His voice was as delightful as his knowledge of Balkan
ballads was wide, and his friends made him sing the endless songs of
the mountaineers. His personality had carried him through experiences
that would have been disastrous to most men; battles decisive in
European history had raged in front of his doors, while his house had
remained untouched; brigands of most of the Balkan races had crossed
his farm, rarely driving off his stock, and most of the local peasantry
in their misfortunes had come to him for help, for advice, doctoring
or intercession. Until the European war had crashed upon the world,
Hadkinson had been a good example of the fact that minorities, even
when they are a minority of one, do not always suffer.

The people of Mytilene, at that time, were very pro-English, though
the officials were of the faction of King Constantine. The desire I
frequently heard expressed was that Great Britain should take over
Mytilene, as she did the Ionian Islands, and that when Mytilene had
been put in order it should be restored to Greece.

_Diary._ _Friday, July 30, 1915._ _Mytilene._ ---- and Hadkinson have
gone out with a motor-boat and a machine-gun. The Vassilakis, or some
of them, have been deported, Vassilaki to Imbros and the beautiful
sisters to Mudros.... It’s a blazing, burning day.

_Saturday, July 31, 1915._ _Mytilene._ A gaming-house. Moved from
my first hotel to a larger and more disreputable one. Lunched with
Hadkinson and Compton Mackenzie[19].... At Thasos the Greeks have
arrested our agents under the orders of Gunaris. Have worked, and am
feeling better.

_Later._ The three Miss Vassilakis have not gone to Mudros. They turned
up this morning, and I was left to deal with them. Not as beautiful,
except one, as I had been led to believe. They got Avani out of
the room and wept and wept. I told them their brother would be all
right.... They wanted to know who prevented them leaving. I said it was
the Admiral. That good man is far away.

_Sunday, August 1, 1915._ _Mytilene._ Avani went off with the three
Miss Vassilakis, in hysterics, last night. They were very angry with
us. It seems probable that we shall have a landing on the mainland here
to divert attention from the Peninsula. Sir Ian Hamilton is coming down
to have a look. A good deal of friction over the blockade. The present
system causes much inconvenience to all concerned.

       *       *       *       *       *

They were enchanting days of golden light or starlit darkness, while
one drank health almost in the concrete from the hot pine-scented
air and the famous wine of Mytilene. The conditions of others was
unfortunately less happy. There were some 80,000 Greek refugees from
the mainland, for whom the Greek Government had done practically
nothing, while the patriotic Greek communities of England and America
had not had the opportunity of relieving their necessities. We all did
what we could to help these people.

There was another question allied to this to be considered: whether a
Greek Expeditionary Force, largely composed of these refugees, should
be sent into Asia Minor. The danger of such a campaign to the native
Greeks was obvious; mainly for this reason it was not undertaken. But
while no expedition occurred, there was much talk about one. The fact
that Sir Ian Hamilton had come was widely known. It was said that great
preparations were being made, and these rumours probably troubled the
Turks and kept troops of theirs in a non-combatant area.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ _Sunday, August 1, 1915._ _Mytilene._ Lunched with Mavromati
Bey. He was very heroic, saying he preferred to die rather than to
live under the German yoke, but there were no signs of a funeral at
luncheon, which was delicious.

Dined with Hadkinson, and was taken ill, but got all right and went
off with him on the motor-boat _Omala_ after dinner. H. said that for
a long time he had felt that I was coming, and had ordered a lamb for
me to be executed the following day; told the cook, too, to get some
special herbs.

The object of our journey was to find a wonderful woman, lithe as a
leopard and strong as a horse, and put her somewhere near Aivali to
gain information.

_Monday, August 2, 1915._ “_Omala._” _Off Moskonisi._ At dawn this
morning we came to Moskonisi, luminous in the sea. A decrepit shepherd
led a flock of sheep along the beach. His name is Panayotis and he has
a Homeric past; he killed two Turkish guards who courted a beautiful
sister-in-law before marriage. Then he killed two others for a
pusillanimous brother-in-law after marriage, and he has also sent two
other Turks to their rest, though H. does not know the reason for their

Hadkinson had collected a large band of Palikaris, but the motor-boat
only held a few, the cream of them. He had English names for most of
them--Little John, Robin Hood, etc. They were tall men, with very
quick, clever eyes and lithe movements, picturesquely dressed. One of
them had a cross glittering in his kalpak, and A. M. (for Asia Minor)
on both sides of the cross. He said to me, pointing to Aivali: “There
is my country; we are an orphan people. For 150 years we have shed our
blood and given our best to Greece. Now in her hour of triumph and in
our day of wretchedness she denies us help. May she ever be less!”
Another Greek had been to Mecca as a soldier and stayed there and in
the Yemen for some years. The Captain was a quiet man, but apparently
very excitable. They were delighted with their army rifles. The
woman, Angeliko Andriotis, did not turn up at Gymno, so we went on to
Moskonisi, the men often playing on a plaintive flute, and sometimes
singing low together. At breakfast, soon after dawn, we had a sort of

We arrived opposite to Aivali. The Turks have sunk three mauna....
Hadkinson saw one of their submarines.

The situation at Aivali is curious. It lies at the head of a bay. Above
it there are hills, not high hills, but high enough, the men said
who were with us, to prevent its being bombarded by the Turks. They
looked at it with longing eyes. Their families were there. They kept
on cursing the “black dogs” and saying they would eat them. There were
35,000 people in Aivali, now only 25,000; 10,000 have left lately. The
sword of Damocles hangs over the rest of them, for they might be sent
off into the interior at any moment. We went on to the channel between
Moskonisi and Pyrgos. There we found the child of the woman, who was
sent with a note to her. Men were moving in the olives and the scrub
some distance off, whom the Greeks said were their own compatriots.

The boy, who was thirteen, took the letter and put it under his saddle.
He went off calmly to get past the Turks, without any air of adventure
about him. The others realized the stage on which they were acting,
and swaggered finely. I got off on Pyrgos with Hadkinson, and went to
a small, rough chapel, where they were bringing the eikons back in

The beauty of it all was beyond words. I bathed on a silver sand in
transparent water between the two islands. Moskonisi, by the way,
doesn’t mean the Island of Perfume, but takes its name from a great
brigand who practically held the island against the Turks about thirty
years ago.

After a time the boy returned with a letter from his mother, and a
peasant with binoculars. He and the peasant both said that they had
seen a great oil-pool in Aivali Bay. We thought that this must be from
a submarine, and dashed round there at full speed, but found nothing.
Then we decided to come home. We picked up some of the men we had
dropped en route; and they brought us presents of gran Turco, basilica
and sweet-scented pinks. Then they played their flutes as the sun set,
and Hadkinson sang Greek, Bulgarian and Turkish songs, singing the
“Imam’s Call” beautifully and, to the horror of his Greek followers,

We might have bagged the twenty-five Turks, or whatever number there
were, quite easily, but H. thought this would have produced reprisals.
He was probably right.

_Tuesday, August 3, 1915._ _Mytilene._ We got back last night after
dinner and heard that Sir Ian Hamilton, George Lloyd and George
Brodrick had been here.... One of the poor Whittall boys very badly
wounded. They were a fine pair.

_August 4, 1915._ _Mytilene._ Yesterday we heard that the Turks had
sent the town-crier to the equivalent of the capital of Moskonisi to
say that any Greek going beyond a certain line would be put to death.
Miss Vassilaki turned up, and said that she and her sister would come
with me to Tenedos. I said they couldn’t.

We dined with General Hill and his Staff and slept on the _Canopus_....
Mackenzie no better.... A good deal of friction in Tenedos. Athanasius
Vassilaki has escaped, and every one is annoyed. Some men have been
arrested for signalling.

_Thursday, August 5, 1915._ _Tenedos._ Most of the officers sick. I was
asked to stay on at Tenedos, but felt I must get back at once. Christo
says that it’s dull here, and Kaba Tepé is better than this house.
Turkish guns have been firing at our trawlers. A couple of men wounded.
Examined a man just escaped from Constantinople. Constantinople is
quite cheery: theatres, carriages, boats, etc. The Germans say we can’t
hold out on the Peninsula when the bad weather comes.

Then I examined a Lebanon French soldier who had arrested a child and
an old man for signalling....

       *       *       *       *       *

Here there are some pages of my diary missing, but the events that
occurred are still vividly in my mind.

In company with other officers I went first to Imbros, hearing the
thunder of the guns from Helles. In passionate haste we tried every
means to get on to the Peninsula for the great battle. I left Christo
to follow with my kit, if he could, with the future doubtful before
him, and no certainty, except that of being arrested many times.

In the harbour at Imbros on that night there was a heavy sea, and in
a small, dancing boat we quested through the darkness for any ship
sailing to Anzac. One was found at last that was on the point of
sailing, and off we went.

The instructions of my friend Ian Smith were to get to Suvla, and luck
favoured him, for at dawn we lay off Suvla, and a trawler took him

Along the heights and down to the sea-shore the battle growled and
raged, and it was difficult to know what was the mist of the morning or
battle smoke. I got off at Anzac, which was calm, realizing that I had
missed the first attack.

_Diary._ _Saturday, August 7, 1915._ _Kaba Tebé._ I went out to
Headquarters, which are now beyond Colonel Bauchop’s old Headquarters.
He, poor fellow, had just been hit and was said to be dying. Dix[20]
again wounded in the leg and Cator killed when he had just been
promoted. I saw the General; on the way out I met 300 Turkish prisoners
and was ordered to return and embark them. We came to the pier on
the beach, then three shells fell on and beside it; both S. B. and I
thought we were going to have a very bad time, packed like sardines,
with panicky prisoners. Embarking them took time; we were all very
snappy, but we got them off. I was glad to find S. B. and Woods. All
the dugouts here are desolate. I saw General Birdwood, who was very sad
about Onslow.[21] He talked of the water difficulties. He was cheerful,
as usual, and said he thought we should know which way things were
going by 5 o’clock. S. was less cheerful.

I went back to Headquarters, a weary trudge of two hot, steaming miles,
past masses of wounded. The saps were constantly blocked. Then back to
Anzac for a few hours’ sleep, till I can get my kit.

_Sunday, August 8, 1915._ _Near Anafarta._ Slept badly last night
at Anzac. The place was very desolate with every one away. I got up
before a clear dawn and went out to the observation post, where I found
General Godley and General Shaw. Our assault began. We saw our men in
the growing light attack the Turks. It was a cruel and beautiful sight,
for it was like a fight in fairyland; they went forward in parties
through the beautiful light, with the clouds crimsoning over them.
Sometimes a tiny, gallant figure would be in front, then a puff would
come and they would be lying still. We got to within about forty yards
of the Turks; later we lost ground. Meanwhile, men were streaming up,
through awful heat. There were Irish troops cursing the Kaiser. At the
observation post we were being badly shelled. The beauty of the place
was extraordinary, and made it better than the baldness of Anzac, but
we were on an unpropitious hillside, and beyond there were mules and
men, clustered thickly.

Then I was sent back to Kaba Tepé, where I found a lot of wounded
prisoners, who had not been attended to. I woke a doctor who had not
slept for ages. He talked almost deliriously, but came along and
worked like a real good man. I saw General House, V.C., and suggested
attaching one doctor to the prisoners, so that we should not get
contagious diseases.

Returned to Bauchop’s Post and examined a couple of Germans from the
_Goeben_. Got a good deal of information. Then I was telephoned for to
interrogate a wounded Greek, who had, however, got lost. I went back
outside the hospital, where there were many wounded lying. I stumbled
upon poor A. C. (a schoolfellow), who had been wounded about 3 a.m. the
day before, and had lain in the sun on the sand all the previous day.
He recognized me, and asked me to help him, but was light-headed. There
were fifty-six others with him; M. and I counted. It was awful having
to pass them. A lot of the men called out: “We are being murdered.” The
smells were fearful.... I went down a sap to the north to find the
Greek. Fierce shelling began. The sap was knocked down in front and

I came to a field hospital, situated where the troops were going
through. There no one knew where Taylor’s Hollow, the place where the
Greek was supposed to be, was. While I was there shelling was bad.
Several of the wounded hit again. One man was knocked in on the top of
me, bleeding all over. I returned to meet Thoms, who said he knew the
way. We ran the gauntlet....

I had a curious, beautiful walk, looking for the wounded Greek, going
to nineteen hospitals. Many wounded everywhere. First I saw one of
our fellows who had met ten Turks and had ten bayonet wounds. He was
extremely cheerful. Then a couple of Turks in the shadow of some pines,
one dying and groaning, really unconscious. I offered the other water
from my bottle, but he refused because of his companion, using Philip
Sidney’s words in Turkish.

Men were being hit everywhere. After going by fields and groves and
lanes I came back to where the wounded were lying in hundreds, in the
sap going to the sea, near Bauchop’s Fountain. There a man called to me
in French. He was the Greek I was looking for, badly wounded. He talked
a great deal. Said 200,000 reinforcements were expected from Gallipoli.
No gas would be used here....

_Monday, August 9, 1915._ _No. 3 Outpost._ Slept uncomfortably on the
ground. Went before the dawn to observation post; returned to examine
prisoners. Had an unsuccessful expedition with Hastings to find some
guns which he said had been lost between the lines.

Bullets came streaming down our valley, and we put up a small wall, of
sacks, 3 feet high, behind which we slept. I was sitting at breakfast
this morning listening to Colonel Manders[22] talking, when suddenly I
saw Charlie B. put his hand to his own head and say: “By G----, he’s
killed!” Manders fell back dead, with a bullet through his temple. He
was a very good fellow.

Sir Ian Hamilton came ashore. I saw him for a moment. Then to Kaba
Tepé; going and coming one passes a line of bodies, some dreadful,
being carried for burial. Many still lying out. The last wounded have
been more pitiful than anything I have seen. Cazalet is badly wounded;
I hope he will recover; he is a good boy. Colonel Malone was killed
last night and Jacky Hughes wounded. Lots of shelling.

Coming back I had to go outside the crowded sap, and got sniped. Thoms
and I had a very lively time of it.

Came back for Manders’ funeral. I was very fond of him. General Godley
read a few sentences with the help of my electric torch, which failed.
Four others were buried with him. Later I saw a great shell strike the
grave. A cemetery, or rather lots, growing up round us. There are dead
buried or half buried in every gully.

_Tuesday, August 10, 1915._ _No. 3 Outpost._ Christo arrived with my
kit and some grapes last night. While we were eating these, two men,
one of whom was our cook, were hit, and he being the second cook, it
was decided to change our quarters, as a lot of bullets streamed down
the gully and we had been losing heavily. I was called up in the night
to see about some wounded. The General had said they had better go by
boat, because of the difficulty of the saps, but there were no boats,
and Manders’ death had caused confusion at the hospital. The doctor on
the beach said he could not keep the wounded there any longer, because
of the rifle fire. I woke Charlie B. We got 200 men from the Canterbury
reinforcements. They had been fighting without sleep since Sunday
morning, but evacuated about 300 wounded to below Walker’s Ridge. There
were no complaints. The Turks still had to be left. They called to me
at night and at dawn. I gave them drinks, and later, after sunrise,
shifted them into the shade, which made them cheerful. The General had
not slept for three nights. The day went badly for us. We lost Chunuk
Bair, and without it we cannot win the battle. The Turks have fought
very finely, and all praise their courage. It was wonderful to see them
charging down the hill, through the storm of shrapnel, under the white
ghost wreaths of smoke. Our own men were splendid. The N.Z. Infantry
Brigade must have ceased to exist. Meanwhile the condition of the
wounded is indescribable. They lie in the sand in rows upon rows, their
faces caked with sand and blood; one murmur for water; no shelter from
the sun; many of them in saps, with men passing all the time scattering
more dust on them. There is hardly any possibility of transporting
them. The fire zones are desperate, and the saps are blocked with
ammunition transport and mules, also whinnying for water, carrying
food, etc. Some unwounded men almost mad from thirst, cursing.

We all did what we could, but amongst so many it was almost
impossible.... The wounded Turks still here. I kept them alive with
water. More prisoners in, report another 15,000 men at Bulair and a new
Division, the 7th, coming against us here. I saw General Cooper,[23]
wounded, in the afternoon, and got him water. His Staff had all been
killed or wounded....

If the Turks continue to hold Chunuk Bair and get up their big guns
there, we are, as a force, far worse off than at Anzac. What has
happened is roughly this: we have emerged from a position which was
unsatisfactory but certain, into one that is uncertain but partly
satisfactory. If the Turks have the time to dig themselves in, then
we are worse off than before, because we shall again be held up, with
the winter to face, and time running hard against us, with an extended
front. The Turks will still have land communications, while we shall
only have sea communications, and though we ourselves shall be possibly
better off, because we shall now have a harbour, the Turks some time
will almost certainly be able to break through, though possibly not
able to keep what they take. But the men at Helles will not be freed as
our move proposed to free them.

I thought one of the wounded Turks had cholera to-day. There is very
little water, and we have to give them water out of our own bottles.
We have a terrible view here: lines of wounded creeping up from the
hospital to the cemetery like a tide, and the cemetery is going like
a live thing to meet the wounded. Between us and the sea is about 150
yards; this space is now empty of men because of the sniping. There
are a number of dead mules on it, which smell horribly but cannot be
moved. A curious exhibition of sniping took place just below us this
evening, about 50 yards away. Two men were on the open space when a
sniper started to shoot at them. They popped into a dry well that
practically hid them, but he got his bullets all round them--in front
and behind and on the sides. They weren’t hit. The camp watched,

_Thursday, August 12, 1915._ _No. 3 Outpost._ At 4.30 in the morning I
got up and walked with the General. We went up to Rhododendron Ridge to
have a look at the Turks. It is a steep, beautiful walk, and a glorious
view--trees everywhere and cliffs. We are fastening the cliffs up, and
camouflaging the trenches.

I took Nikolas the miller round the observation post in the morning. A
new Division is supposed to be against us, the 8th. In the afternoon
walked into Anzac to get a drink of water as have had fever and a cruel
thirst. The dugouts smell, and washing’s difficult. Anglesey gave me
excellent water.

_Friday, August 13, 1915._ _No. 3 Outpost._ Nothing doing. Bullets
singing about, but nobody getting hit. The heat’s ferocious, and
everybody’s feeling ill. Macaulay’s wounded.

Worked yesterday morning, also started on new dugout. In the afternoon
went with Turkish papers to Anzac. I saw C. He said that this beach for
cruelty had beaten the Crimea.... Savage feeling with the R.A.M.C....

Streams of mules took water out in the evening as the sun set. I met
several men with sunstroke coming in. I saw George Hutton, Royal Welsh
Fusiliers, who has become a Colonel. He had a hand-to-hand bayonet
tussle with a Turk, in the last fight. Another man came up, and killed
the Turk with his bayonet. Then, he said, the man, instead of pulling
his bayonet out, dashed to another man and asked him for his bayonet,
saying: “I have left mine in the Turk.”

       *       *       *       *       *

The battle-cries, by the way, were for the Turks the sonorous,
deep-voiced “Allah, Allah,” and “Voor” (“God, God,” “Strike”); while
the New Zealanders used often to shout: “Eggs is cooked.” This
apparently irrelevant, unwarlike slogan had its origin in Egypt. There,
on field days in the desert, when the men halted to rest, Egyptians
would appear magically with primitive kitchens and the cry of “Eggs is

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ _Monday, August 16, 1915._ _No. 3 Outpost._ Christo will spit
on my razor-strop; otherwise he is a good servant.... Bathed with
Charlie B. yesterday afternoon.... I don’t think we want Roumania in.
If she has no ammunition and takes a very bad knock from Germany, it
would give Germany a very strong strategic position. The Turks who have
come in do not really seem very disheartened.

       *       *       *       *       *

At about this time the Expeditionary Force entered upon a new phase.
The agony of the struggle had passed its crisis. Both sides sat
down grimly, to wait for the winter. In many ways our position had
distinctly improved. There was more room, and space banished the
sense of imprisonment that had afflicted us. The country was not as
battle-scarred as Anzac, and walking over the heights at sunset was a
feast of loveliness.

We moved our Headquarters again, and I went up to a large dugout in
what had been a Turkish fort. The troops quartered in this fort were an
Indian Field Battery and sixty-three New Zealanders, all that was left
of their battalion. These men had been in the first landing. They had,
every one of them, had dysentery or fever, and the great majority were
still sick and over-ripe for hospital.

As time went on, and illness increased, one often heard men and
officers say: “If we can’t hold the trenches with sound men, we have
got to hold them with sick men.” When all was quiet, the sick-list
grew daily. But when the men knew that there was to be an attack,
they fought their sickness, to fight the Turk, and the stream to the
hospitals shrank.

I admired nothing in the war more than the spirit of these sixty-three
New Zealanders, who were soon to go to their last fight. When the day’s
work was over, and the sunset swept the sea, we used to lean upon the
parapet and look up to where Chunuk Bair flamed, and talk. The great
distance from their own country created an atmosphere of loneliness.
This loneliness was emphasized by the fact that the New Zealanders
rarely received the same recognition as the Australians in the Press,
and many of their gallant deeds went unrecorded or were attributed to
their greater neighbours. But they had a silent pride that put these
things into proper perspective. The spirit of these men was unconquered
and unconquerable. At night, when the great moon of the Dardanelles
soared and all was quiet except the occasional whine of a bullet
overhead, the voices of the tired men continually argued the merits
of the Expedition, and there was always one end to these discussions:
“Well, it may all be a ---- mistake, but in a war of this size you will
have mistakes of this size, and it doesn’t matter a ---- to us whether
we are for it here or in France, for we came out to do one job, and
it’s nothing to us whether we finish in one place or another.” The
Turks were not the only fatalists in those days.

We were now well supplied with water, but food of the right kind was a
difficulty. It was very hard to obtain supplies for sick men, and here,
as always, we met with the greatest kindness from the Navy.

Horlick’s Malted Milk and fruit from the Islands did us more good than
anything else. Relations of mine in Egypt sent me an enormous quantity
of the first, which I was able to distribute to the garrison of the
fort. Later, when I was invalided, I bequeathed the massive remnants to
a friend who had just landed. Greedily he opened my stores, hoping for
the good things of the world--tongues, potted ham and whisky--only to
find a wilderness of Horlick’s Malted Milk.

Our position had at last been appreciated at home, and we were
no longer irritated, as in the early days, by the frivolity and
fatuousness of London. Upon one occasion, shortly after the first
landing, one of the illustrated papers had a magnificent picture
entitled, if I remember right, “The Charge that Won Constantinople.”
The picture was of a cavalry charge, led quite obviously by General
Godley--and those were the days when we were living on the edge of a
cliff, where only centipedes could, and did, charge, and when we were
provided with some mules and my six donkeys for all our transport.

There was a remarkable contrast between our war against the Germans
and the Turks. In France the British soldier started fighting
good-naturedly, and it took considerable time to work him up to a pitch
of hatred; at Anzac the troops from the Dominions began their campaign
with feelings of contempt and hatred, which gradually turned to respect
for the Moslems. At the beginning the great majority of our men had
naturally no knowledge of the enemy they were fighting. Once, looking
down from a gun emplacement, I saw a number of Turks walking about, and
asked why they had not been shot at. “Well,” said one man, “it seems
hard on them, poor chaps. They aren’t doing any harm.” Then up came
another: “Those Turks,” he said, “they walk about as if this place
belongs to them.” I suggested that it was their native land. “Well,” he
said, “I never thought of that.”

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ _Monday, August 16, 1915._ _No. 2 Outpost._ It’s curious the
way the men speak of the Turks here. They still can’t be made to wear
gas helmets, because they say the Turks are clean fighters and won’t
use gas....

It’s good to be high up in this observation post, above the smells,
with a magnificent view of hill and valley. We shoot from here pretty
often at the Turkish guns. Last night the Dardanelles droned on for
hours. This morning the machine-guns on both sides were going like
dentists’ drills. To-day it’s absolutely still, with only the whirr of
aeroplanes overhead.

Bartlett turned up to-night. He had not much hope.... Poor Bauchop is
dead. News came to-night.... A gallant man.

       *       *       *       *       *

On Wednesday, August 18th, I was sent to G.H.Q. at Imbros, and heard a
full account of the tragic battle down at Helles, and the condition of
the wounded at Mudros.

When men have gone to the limits of human endurance, when blood has
been spilled like water, and the result is still unachieved, bitter and
indiscriminate recrimination and criticism inevitably follow. But Anzac
had one great advantage. Our leaders had the confidence of their men.
The troops were able to see General Birdwood and General Godley every
day in the front trenches with themselves, walking about under fire as
if they had been on a lawn in England, and the men knew that their own
lives were never uselessly sacrificed.

The work of many of the doctors on the Peninsula was beyond all praise,
but there was black rage against the chiefs of the R.A.M.C. at Imbros
and in Egypt. The anger would have been still greater if their attitude
of complacent self-sufficiency had been known.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ _Thursday, August 19, 1915._ _No. 3 Outpost._ Returned to
the Peninsula with Bettinson and Commander Patch and Phillips, the
navigator. When we had come up to the fort I told them not to show
their heads at the observation post, as the fort did not belong to me,
and I did not want to become unpopular. I got Perry, Captain of the
fort, and he sat them down on the parapet, showing them the lines of
our trenches. While we talked, a sniper shot at Patch, just missing
him, and hitting the parapet beside him. They were very pleased, though
the others said I had paid a man to shoot in order to give them fun.
Perry said in a friendly way: “That’s a good sniper; he’s thirteen
hundred yards off, so it was a pretty decent shot.” Then he talked to
them, and they felt what any one must feel talking to these men. They
gave us a lot of things, and are sending all sorts of things to-morrow
for the men here.

_Friday, August 20, 1915._ _No. 2 Outpost._ Last night was the first
cold night. This morning I went out with the General, who was like a
bull-dog and a cyclone. We met Birdwood, who was there to see the last
Australians arrive, 17th and 18th Brigades, in Reserve Gully. They
looked a splendid lot, and it did one’s heart good to see them. Some
more officers from the _Bacchante_ turned up with stores, and special
cocoa for me. I was just going off to find Perry when I met him. He is
off out; there is a fight to-morrow. I gave him the cocoa. He was glad
to have it.... The men are all tired out with heat and dysentery and
digging and fighting. The General and I went up to Sazli Beit Deri. I
didn’t think it over-safe for him.

_Saturday, August 21, 1915._ _No. 2 Outpost._ Work in the morning. Was
to have gone with the General in the afternoon, but prisoners came in
to be examined. They said: “Curse the Germans! We can’t go on. There
are no more men left.” One of them was killed by their own fire after
I left. G. L. came to luncheon. Charlie B., he and I started off
together, I feeling pretty bad. It was very hot. We went at a great
pace over two or three ridges and across valleys, our guns thundering
about us. Finally, I felt so bad I let them go on, and came back....
The battle developed and the shooting was fierce and general. While
I hunted for General Monash’s Headquarters I met Colonel A. J., who
was rather worried. We had a close shave.... I left him, and had an
odd adventure.... Went home alone through deafening noise, all the
valleys under fire.... Got at last into a shallow nullah that led into
a regular gully, and so home.

       *       *       *       *       *

That day I saw an unforgettable sight. The dismounted Yeomanry
attacked the Turks across the salt lakes of Suvla. Shrapnel burst
over them continuously; above their heads there was a sea of smoke.
Away to the north by Chocolate Hill fires broke out on the plain. The
Yeomanry never faltered. On they came through the haze of smoke in two
formations, columns and extended. Sometimes they broke into a run, but
they always came on. It is difficult to describe the feelings of pride
and sorrow with which we watched this advance, in which so many of our
friends and relations were playing their part.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ _August 21st._ Charlie B. and G. L. came back all right....
The Turks had come over in three waves down Chunuk Bair. The first two
were destroyed by naval fire; the third got home into our trenches.
Charlie B. was full of admiration for one old fellow whom he had seen
holding up his finger and lecturing to the men when they hung back.

Hutton is wounded again.

_Sunday, August 22, 1915._ _No. 2 Outpost._ Last night, or this
morning at 1 o’clock, I was called up. They said there were 150 Turks
in one place and others elsewhere, anxious to surrender. I took the
miller, Zachariades and Kyriakidis out to Headquarters. Sent back
Kyriakidis and the miller, as there was nothing doing and I wanted to
keep Kyriakidis. Went on with Zachariades and guides sent by Poles
to Colonel Agnew to his H.Q. There we lay on the ground, very cold.
They said the Turks had wished to surrender, but there had been no
interpreter, and they had been fired on. The Turks were then attacking
heavily. Eastwood telephoned that they had fourteen prisoners. I went
back to see if they could give any news about our immediate front.

Every one worried. The ---- Battalion of Australians had gone wrong.
Nobody knew where they were. I sent my escort to try and find them. The
Hampshires, who ought to have arrived, had not come.... They came along

We attacked at about four in the morning. The Turkish fire tarried
a little, then got furious. We went towards Monash, and met the
Hampshires, very tired and wayworn. Bullets sang very viciously, and
burst into flame on the rocks. There was a thunder of rifle fire and
echoes in the gullies, men dropping now and then. Lower down the gully
I found the Hampshires running like mad upwards to the firing line;
beyond this a mixed crowd of men without an officer.... My guide, wild
as a hawk, took us up a ridge. I fell over a dead man in the darkness
and hurt my ankle. We had to wait. There seemed a sort of froth of
dust on the other side of the ridge, from the rifle fire, and I told
the escort to take us down and round the ridge across the valley. He
admitted afterwards we had no chance of crossing the other way. In the
valley the bullets sang. We came to the half-nullah where I had taken
such unsatisfactory cover in the afternoon. There we waited a bit, and
then ran across the hundred yards to the next gully. Zachariades and
the escort grazed. Found the prisoners; the other Zachariades examined
them.... Spent bullets falling about, but the Greeks never winked. A
surrendered Armenian could only tell us that the Turks were very weak
before us. The rifle fire died away in the end, and we walked back at
dawn, getting here by sunrise. Then examined more prisoners till about
11, and slept till 1.

The position is still indefinite. It’s on the same old lines, on the
hills we are the eyebrows and the Turks are the forehead.

_Monday, August 23, 1915._ _No. 2 Outpost._ Perry is wounded, but
not badly, I hope, in the arm. There is hardly any one in the fort.
The interpreter question becoming very difficult. They are all going
sick. Had a quiet evening last night, and read on the parapet. It will
be very difficult to keep these old troops here during the winter.
The Australians and New Zealanders who have been here a long time
are weak, and will all get pneumonia. There was a great wind blowing
and the sound of heavy firing. I went to Anzac to-day, and found men
bombing fish. They got about twenty from one bomb, beautiful fish,

_Tuesday, August 24th._ _No. 2 Outpost._ General Shaw has gone sick to
England; General Maude has taken his place. He commands the 13th. He
and Harter dined here last night. Longford was killed, Milbanke said to
be killed or wounded, and the Hertfordshires have suffered.

This morning we talked about the winter seriously and of preparations
to be made. I am for a hillside. The plain is a marsh and the valley a
water-course. We ought to have fuel, caves for drying clothes, cooking,
etc., and mostly this hill is made of dust and sand. A great mail came
in last night, but the machine-guns got on to the men as they passed by
the beach in the moonlight, killed some and wounded five men. So there
are the mails lying now, with the machine-guns playing round them....

I advised Lawless yesterday at Anzac to move out from the beach, lest
the sea should rise and take him like a winkle from his shell.

Saw D. to-day. He has a curious story to tell of the other night, when
I was telephoned for. He said I was called three hours too late. A lot
of Turks had come out of their trenches, some unarmed and some armed
and some with bombs. He had gone out and pointed his revolver at one
of them, who shouldered arms and stood to attention. Some of the Turks
came right up, and the New Zealanders said: “Come in here, Turkey,” and
began pulling them into the front trench. D. had feared that the Turks,
who were about 200, might rush the trench, and had waved them back and
finally fired his revolver and ordered our fellows to fire. It was a
pity there was no one there who could talk. Later I saw Temperley, who
said when we took Rhododendron Ridge there were 250 Turks on the top.
They piled their arms, cheered us and clapped their hands.

To-night I went to Chaylak Dere with the General and saw General Maude,
and his Staff, who looked pretty ill, also Claude Willoughby, who was
anxious to take the Knoll by the Apex.

There was a tremendous wind, and dust-storms everywhere. In the gullies
men were burying the dead, not covering them sufficiently. My eyes are
still full of the dust and the glow of the camp-fires on the hillside,
and the moonlight. It is an extraordinary country to look across--range
after range of high hills, precipice and gully, the despair of
Generals, the grave and oblivion of soldiers.

       *       *       *       *       *

Here the diary stops abruptly, and begins again on Saturday, September

_No. 2 Outpost._ After writing the above I had a bad go of fever, and
was put on to hospital ship. Went aboard with General Birdwood, General
Godley and Tahu Rhodes. The Generals had come to inspect the New
Zealand hospital ship, which was excellent. That night there was a very
heavy fire. I felt some friend of mine would be hit on shore, and the
next morning I found Charlie B. on board, not badly wounded, hit in the

My friend Charlie B. had a temper, and was often angry when others
were calm, but in moments of excitement he was calm to the point of
phlegm. When we were off Mudros there was a great crash, and a jarring
of the ship from end to end. I went into Charlie B.’s cabin and said:
“Come along. They say we’re torpedoed. I’ll help you.” “Where are my
slippers?” he asked. I said: “Curse your slippers.” “I will not be
hurried by these Germans,” answered Charlie B., and he had the right of
it, for we had only had a minor collision with another boat.

At Mudros the majority of the sick and wounded on our hospital ship
were sent to England, but my friend and I were luckily carried on to

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ _September 23rd._ There was a remarkable man on board the
_Manitou_, Major K. He had led 240 men into a Turkish trench; three had
returned unwounded, but he got most of his wounded back with eighteen
men. The Adjutant was killed on his back. He himself had already been
wounded twice. Finally, he left the trench alone, and turned round and
faced the Turks at 200 yards. They never fired at him, because, he
said, “they admired me.” This officer found a D.S.O. waiting for him
in Egypt, and has since earned the V.C. in France, for which he had
been previously recommended in South Africa. He and I returned to the
Dardanelles together while he still had a long, unhealed bayonet wound
in his leg.

       *       *       *       *       *

At Alexandria, fortunately for myself, I had relations who were working
there. I went to the hospital of a friend. It was a great marble
palace, surrounded by lawns and fountains, and made, at any rate,
gorgeous within by the loves of the Gods, painted in the colours of the
Egyptian sunset on the ceilings.

The Englishwomen in Alexandria were working like slaves for the wounded
and the sick. They did all that was humanly possible to make up for
the improvidence and the callousness of the home medical authorities.
Thanks to their untiring and unceasing work, day and night, these
ladies saved great numbers of British lives.

One day the Sultan came to inspect the hospital where I was a patient.
For reasons of toilette, I should have preferred not to have been seen
on that occasion by His Highness, but the royal eye fixed itself upon
my kimono, and I was taken aside for a few minutes’ conversation.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ (_Subsequently written on the Peninsula._) The Sultan said
that he was very grieved about the Conservative party, because of the
Coalition, I suppose, and also about Gallipoli. There I cordially

       *       *       *       *       *

I went up to Cairo for a few days, and found the city and life there
very changed. Shepheard’s was filled with the ghosts of those who had
left on and since April 12th.

In Egypt the danger of the Canal had passed, but anxiety had not gone
with it. There was much doubt as to what the Senoussi would be likely
to do and what consequences their action would have. They had little
to gain by attacking, but all knew that this would not necessarily
deter them. I was in Cairo when Fathy Pasha was stabbed, and those in
authority feared for the life of the Sultan.

My friend Charlie B. and Major K. and I left Alexandria in brilliant
moonlight. Our boat could do a bare twelve knots an hour. On the
journey rockets went up at night, S.O.S. signals were sent us, all in
vain: we were not to be seduced from our steady spinster’s course to
Mudros. When we again reached that place we found that our sister-ship,
the _Ramadan_, had been torpedoed.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ (_Written September 23rd._) General Godley was on the _Lord
Nelson_. He had been sick for some time, and had been taking three
days off. Roger Keyes desperately anxious to go up the Dardanelles,
come what may. He is the proper man to do it, but I think it’s only
singeing the King of Spain’s beard.

At Imbros the General, Charlie B. and I had a stormy row ashore and
a long walk to G.H.Q., where I found Willy Percy, who had been badly
wounded, now recovering. I saw Tyrrell, G. L. and Dedez. The news had
just come through of Bulgaria’s mobilization, but they did not know
against whom. I wonder if the Bulgars will attack both the Serbs and
the Turks. That would be a topsy-turvy, Balkan thing to do, and might
suit their book. We ought to have had them in on our side six months
ago. From G.H.Q. we came back to Anzac. The General has had my dugout
kept for me in the fort, where Christo and I now live in solitude, for
all the rest are gone. I found a lot of new uniforms and a magnificent
cap. When I put this on Christo cried violently: “No, no, no, not until
we ride into Constantinople as conquerors.”

H.Q. are on the other side of the Turkish fort, in a tiny valley across
which you can throw a stone. They have all the appearance of a more
comfortable Pompeii, and are scarcely more alive; it is the quietest
town I have ever seen; there lies in front a ridge of valley, a dip
of blue sea and a good deal of the Anafarta plain. The first night on
arriving the cold was bitter, also next morning. Pleurisy has already
started. This morning the General went up to the Apex and behind it.
He was not at all pleased with the fire trenches. He nearly drove C.,
the officer at that moment instructing the Australians, mad, first by
criticizing everything--I thought pretty justly--and then by standing
about in view of the Turks and not worrying about shells or bombs. I
did my best to get him in. The Australians were all laughing at C. for
his caution and fussiness. Incidentally, one of the big mortar-bombs
fell in the trench as we arrived. Hastings is Intelligence officer.
It’s luck to have got him.

_Sunday, September 24, 1915._ _No. 2 Outpost._ A lovely morning. There
was a bracing chill of autumn and yet warm air and a smiling, southern
look across Anafarta plain, with great hills on the other side, stately
and formidable. Swallows everywhere. Up till now it’s been very silent.
I thought that the noise of war was past, but bullets and shells have
been whining and moaning over us. At Anzac yesterday morning they had
about twenty men hit by one shell, and I saw a lot of mules being
dragged down to the sea as I went in. We walked through the “Camel’s
Hump” with Colonel Chauvel and Glasgow, on to No. 1 Outpost, now
deserted, with the beautiful trench made by the six millionaires. I
wonder what has happened to them all.

Cazalet, of whom I had grown very fond, is dead, Hornby’s missing. I
was very sad to hear that Reynell was killed on the night of the 27th,
when we left. A fine man in every way. His men worshipped him....

A lot of French transports were leaving Egypt as we left, maybe for
Asia. We shall do nothing more here unless we have an overwhelming
force. We have never done anything except with a rush. Directly we have
touched a spade we have ceased to advance, and have gone on adding
bricks to the wall which we first built and then beat our heads against.

This morning we had a service in the valley, which is extraordinarily
beautiful. The flies are awful, horrible, lethargic; they stick to one
like gum. The men in the trenches are wearing the head-dresses that
Egypt has sent. I went with the General in the afternoon to Anzac. We
walked back as shelling began. We had one whizz round us, and a man
fell beside me on the beach. I heard a tremendous smack, and thought
he was dead, and began to drag him in to cover, but he was all right,
though a bullet had thumped him.

       *       *       *       *       *

The flies and their habits deserve to live in a diary of their own.
They were horrible in themselves, and made more horrible by our
circumstances and their habits. They lived upon the dead, between the
trenches, and came bloated from their meal to fasten on the living. One
day I killed a fly on my leg that made a splash of blood that half a
crown would not have covered.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ _Monday, September 27, 1915._ _No. 2 Outpost._ Last night F.
dined. He said that the Indians could get back from Mudros if they
gave the hospital orderly ten rupees. The hospital orderly would then
certify them as having dysentery. Most of them did not want to go back,
some did. When they were reluctant about fighting, he thought it was
due to the fact that it was Moslems they were against.

This morning the General and I went round Colonel Anthill’s trenches.
Billy H. was there, as independent and casual as ever. He came out here
as a sergeant and is now Acting Brigade Major. I am giving him a shirt.

       *       *       *       *       *

Billy H. was not the only member of his family who was independent.
His father, a well-known Australian doctor, on one occasion gave one
of the chiefs of the British R.A.M.C. his sincere opinion about the
treatment of the sick and wounded. After a while the chief of the
R.A.M.C. said: “You don’t seem to understand that it is I who am
responsible for these things.” “Oh yes, I do,” said the Australian
doctor, “but it’s not you I’m getting at; it’s the fool who put you

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ _Thursday, September 28, 1915._ _No. 2 Outpost._ Last night
I dined with S. B. and H. Woods. Walked back through a still, moonlit
night, with the sea and the air just breathing. Very bright stars. We
sent up flares. The General was ill this morning, so did not go out.
The Greek interpreters have been called up for mobilization. This
Greek mobilization ought to do some good about the German submarines.
Last night at Anzac they had iron needles dropped from aeroplanes.
I always objected to this. This morning over our heads there was a
Taube firing hard at something with a machine-gun. It produces an
unpleasant impression, I suppose because it is unfamiliar, to hear
the noise straight above one. Two bombs were dropped--at least, I
suppose they were. They fell with a progressive whistle, but not close
to us; another big one, however, an 8-inch one, I believe, from the
Dardanelles, fell with a tired and sensuous thud just over the ridge.

_Wednesday, September 29, 1915._ _No. 2 Outpost._ The General went out
at nine this morning, P. and I with him. He went to the Apex and round.
In the evening Kettle and I talked in the fort.

_Friday, October 1, 1915._ _No. 2 Outpost._ Yesterday morning General
Godley, General Birdwood, de Crespigny and I went round the trenches,
Apex, Anthill’s, etc., from 9.30 until 3. A very hot day; I wish that
Generals were a hungrier, thirstier race. We had some light shelling,
into which the Generals walked without winking or reason, though they
made us take intervals.

G. L. has gone home. Ross turned up last night; glad to see him again.
He said that a statement was to be made almost at once, and that we
weren’t going to be here for the winter. He had a notion that the
Italians were going to take our place....

This morning there was a very heavy mist; the hills and the sea were
curtained in it. My clothes were wringing wet. The Greek interpreters
have been called up by the Greek mobilization and have gone to Imbros,
some of them to try to avoid going. They have, says Christo, “kria
kardia” (cold feet.) Xenophon, in a moment of enthusiasm, changed
Turkish for Greek nationality. He now speaks of the days of his Ottoman
nationality with a solemn and mournful affection, as of a golden age.
He envies his cousin, Pericles, who was not so carried away. Kyriakidis
is too old to go, thank goodness.

Going into Anzac with the General, and glad to be quit of the trenches.
It’s a weary business walking through these narrow mountain trenches,
hearing the perpetual iteration of the same commands. The trenches are
curiously personal. Some are so tidy as to be almost red-tape--the
names of the streets, notices, etc., everywhere--and others slums.
(_Later._) I went into Anzac with the General to see General Birdwood,
but he had gone out to see the bombardment from the sea. The General
went off to the New Zealand hospital ship, _Mahino_. I went to get P.
off, who was ill. The General and I had a very philosophical talk
coming back. There was a radiance over Anzac; the sunken timbership
shone against the sunset, with the crew half of them naked. Shells
screamed over us, and in the Headquarters hollow parts of them came
whimpering down.

_Saturday, October 2, 1915._ _No. 2 Outpost._ This morning General
Godley, Colonel Artillery Johnson and I went round to see the guns,
all across the Anafarta plain. Yesterday they had been shelling a good
deal and had killed some Gurkhas.... We trudged about in the open,
the Turkish hills in a semicircle round us. We kept about fifty yards
apart.... I thought it very risky for the General; however, nothing
happened. Have been meeting various school acquaintances these days....

_Sunday, October 3, 1915._ The General and Charlie B. went to Suvla.
I lunched with S. B. and H. Woods. We played chess. A good deal of
shelling. A fair number hit....

_Monday, October 4, 1915._ Changed my dugout this morning with
an infinity of trouble, I didn’t like doing it; it involved men
standing on the roof, and if one of them had been hit I should
have felt responsible. However, we did it all right. I stole some
corrugated iron, and am well off. This morning the Turks had a fierce
demonstration. The bullets kicked up the dust at the mouth of the
gully. Colonel Artillery Johnson just missed being hit, but only
one man struck. They shelled us with big stuff that came over tired
and groaning, bursting with a beastly noise and torrents of smoke.
General C. lunched. He said people sent curiously inappropriate stores
sometimes. In the middle of the summer they had sent us here mufflers
and cardigan jackets, and two thousand swagger canes. These were now
at Mudros. Chauvel has taken over command while the General is sick. He
borrowed all my novels.

_Tuesday, October 5, 1915._ General C.O. turned up. He said we are
going to attack through Macedonia. Heaven help us! Bulgaria has been
given twenty-four hours’ ultimatum by Russia.

Went into Anzac, to go by boat to Suvla. Met C., who was at W---- (my
private school). He said there was no boat. I went on and played chess,
coming back through one of the most beautiful evenings we have had, the
sea a lake of gold and the sky a lake of fire; but C. and I agreed we
would not go back to Anzac or to W----, if we could help it.

_Wednesday, October 6, 1915._ I was going into Suvla with Hastings, but
in the morning a Turkish deserter, Ahmed Ali, came in. He promised to
show us two machine-guns, which he did (one German, immovable, and the
other Turkish, movable), and seven guns which he had collected; this
he failed to do, and also to produce three more comrades by firing a
Turkish rifle as a signal.

In the afternoon I had a signal from S. B. to say he was leaving, sick,
for Egypt. I walked in to see, and found he had gastritis....

_Thursday, October 7, 1915._ _N.Z. and A. H.Q._ This morning we went up
with Ahmed Ali, and lay waiting for the Turkish deserters until after
six. One Turkish rifle shot, a thicker sound than ours, was fired at
Kidd’s Post, but no Turks came. Ahmed Ali was distressed. The dawn was
fine; clouds of fire all over the sky.

The Turkish deserters and prisoners were put through a number of
inquisitions. There was first of all the local officer, who had
captured the Turk and was creditably anxious to anticipate the
discoveries of the Intelligence. Then there was G.H.Q., intensely
jealous of its privileges, and then Divisional H.Q., waiting rather
sourly for the final examination of the exhausted Turks.

The Turkish private soldiers, being Moslems, were inspired rather with
the theocratic ideals of comradeship than by the _esprit de corps_
of nationality, and spoke freely. They were always well treated, and
this probably loosened their tongues, but Ahmed Ali was more voluble
than the majority of his comrades, and I append information which he
supplied as an illustration of our examinations and their results. The
two sides of Turkish character were very difficult to reconcile. On the
one hand, we were faced in the trenches by the stubborn and courageous
Anatolian peasant, who fought to the last gasp; on the other hand, in
our dugouts we had a friendly prisoner, who would overwhelm us with
information. “The fact is you are just a bit above our trenches. If
only you can get your fire rather lower, you will be right into them,
and here exactly is the dugout of our Captain, Riza Kiazim Bey, a poor,
good man. You miss him all the time. If you will take the line of that
pine-tree, you will get him.”

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ _Saturday, October 9, 1915._ _A. and N.Z. H.Q._ Ahmed Ali
proposed coming to England with me when I went there.... Last night we
had bad weather; a sort of whirlwind came down. It whizzed away the
iron sheeting over my dugout and poured in a cascade of water, soaking
everything. Iron sheeting was flying about like razors; it was not
possible to light candles. Finally, Ryrie came and lent me a torch, and
I slept, wet but comfortable, under my cloak. Our people and the Turks
both got excited, and heavy rifle fire broke out, as loud as the storm.
An angry dawn, very windy and rifles crackling.

       *       *       *       *       *

At this point the diary ends, for the writer was evacuated on the
hospital ship, and did not return to Active Service for several months.
Of all those who had sailed from Egypt with General Godley on April
12th, the General himself remained the only man who saw the campaign
through from the first to the last day, with the rare exception of a
few days of sickness.




KUT, 1916

After some months of convalescence, I was passed fit for Active
Service. Admiral Wemyss, Commander-in-Chief of the East Indian Fleet,
had done me the honour to ask me to serve under him, when I was well
again, as his liaison and Intelligence officer. I accepted very gladly,
for I knew how devoted to him were all those who served Admiral Wemyss.
The unappreciative War Office showed no reluctance in dispensing with
my services, but my orders got lost, and it was only late in February
when I left. When my weak qualifications in the way of languages were
put before the Department concerned, the brief comment was: “This must
be an immoral man to know so many languages.”

About this time the question was perpetually debated as to whether war
should be made mainly on the one great front or _en petits paquets_;
that is, practically all over the globe. “Hit your enemy where he is
weakest,” said some, while others were violently in favour of striking
where he was strongest.

When I left England, she was in a curious state of official indecision.
It would then have been, obviously, greatly to our advantage had we
been able to get the Turks out of the war, for the collapse of Bulgaria
would almost certainly have followed. On the other hand, Russia had
been promised Constantinople and the Church of Santa Sophia, and while
these promises held it was idle to think that the Grand Turk would
compromise or resign his position as head of Islam. So the dread in
the minds of Englishmen of friction with Russia was unconsciously
adding square leagues to the British Empire, by forcing us reluctantly
to attack an unwilling foe. In the end, we chose both Scylla and
Charybdis, for the Turks remained in the war, Russia went out. Yet we
survived, victoriously. Allah is greatest.

The story of this campaign is the most difficult to tell. The writer
was in a humble position, but in a position of trust, and can only
record what he saw and the things with which all men’s ears were too
familiar in Mesopotamia.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ _Monday, February 28, 1916._ _S.S. “Mooltan.”_ _Off
Marseilles._ The Germans are by way of not torpedoing our boats
until Wednesday, but to-day is St. Leander’s Day, not a good day, on
the sea, at this time of year. They have torpedoed four boats these
last days near Marseilles. We are off the coast of Corsica, dull and
unattractive.... John Baird is here....

_Wednesday, March 1, 1916._ _SS. “Mooltan.”_ Yesterday J. B., Captain
Cummings and I went ashore at Malta. We heard of the torpedoing of
the _Maloja_ off Dover. I saw Admiral Limpus, an old friend; then
dined with Admiral de Robeck. I saw R. K. He still wants to go up the
Dardanelles. This seems to me to be a war of ants and attrition, and
no one ought to think of the glory of the Army or the Navy before
winning the war. I do not think he cares if he is at the bottom of the
sea, as long as the country and the Navy is covered with imperishable
splendour. He talked about the blizzard as if it had been a zephyr.
You can’t beat that sort. A lot of old Admirals rolled up. They had
rejoined long past the age as Commanders of Sweepers, or in any and
every kind of capacity. The spirit of their Elizabethan ancestors was
not more tough or fine than theirs.... Left J. B. and Jack Marriott.

_Monday, March 6, 1916._ _Ismailia._ We landed without incident from
the _Mooltan_. The last day, at luncheon, there were two tremendously
loud bangs, the lids of hatches falling; they sounded exactly like
cannon shot. Nobody moved at lunch, which I thought was good. Am
staying with O’Sullivan. He has been eighteen years in Central Africa.
To-night I went to the Club and found Kettle, alive, whom I thought
dead--very glad to find it wasn’t true--and lots of Anzacs. Then went
for a walk with the Admiral; I understand why men like serving him.
Afterwards tea with General Birdwood and a yarn about the Peninsula.
All the men from Anzac talk of it with something like reverence. I
dined with General Godley. I have been doing work between the Navy and
the Army; found them very stiff. Yesterday they said: “What can you
want to know?” Also, in my humble opinion, what they are doing is wrong.

_Friday, March 10, 1916._ _Cairo._ Back again at Zamalek. They have
sown a proper, green, English lawn instead of the clover which we
put in for economy. Saw C. in the evening. Agreed that for the time
being our Arab policy was finished.... If the Russians go ahead and
threaten Constantinople, the French agreement may stand. If, on
the other hand, they cannot get beyond Trebizond, then Arabia will
probably be a Confederation, perhaps nominally under the Turks. The
Powers would probably look favourably at this, as it would be a return
to the bad old principle. It would constitute one more extension of
the life of the Turk, outside Turkey, made miserable to him and his
subjects, during which all his legatees would intrigue to improve
their own position. They would go on fermenting discontent amongst the
subjects of the Turk, and when it did not exist they would create it.
It is the old cynicism that this war has done nothing to get rid of.
On the other hand, if annexation follows there will be two results:
(1) The population in the annexed French and Russian spheres will be
rigorously conscripted. I think we ought to do our best to prevent the
Arabs being the subjects and victims of High Explosive Powers. They
themselves don’t realize what it means, and simply look forward to the
boredom of having to beat their swords into ploughshares and take up
the dullness of civilization. The second result is that we shall have
vast, conterminous frontiers with France and Russia, and that we shall
be compelled to become a huge military power and adopt the Prussianism
that we are fighting. There ought to be a self-denying ordinance about
annexation. We should none of us annex.

_Wednesday, March 8, 1916._ _Cairo._ I arranged for Storrs to come
down the Red Sea with the Commander-in-Chief. In the evening I saw
the Sultan at the Palace. He prophesied that the Russians would be in
Trebizond in eight days, and that we should be in Solloum in the same
time; he put our arrival at Bagdad at the end of May. The snows were
melting, he said, and the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates rising;
the Turks might be cut off, and might have to surrender.... He said we
did not understand the Moslems or what was their fraternity. In his
hall he had two signs, “God and His Prophet,” and the other, “I live
by God’s will!” Any Moslem who entered saw these, and knew him for
his brother. He would rather have been a farmer, dressed as a farmer,
and, he added, rather quaintly, sitting in his automobile, amongst his
fields, than in his Palace with interviews before him all day long.

He had accepted the Throne when it had been offered to him after
consideration, because the good of Egypt was bound up in our success,
and as Sultan he could help us. He regretted he had not been allowed
to help more. He was loyal, but neither we, nor any man, could buy
his honour. We could throw him over at any moment. So be it; he knew
what his honour and individual dignity demanded. General Maxwell, he
said, understood the Moslems. Even the Duke of Connaught could hardly
have done better in Egypt. He, the Sultan, had deplored Gallipoli,
both before and after. We English were _bons enfants_, but did not
understand the East. He gave many messages to his friends, especially
General Birdwood.

_Thursday, March 9, 1916._ _Cairo._ Saw Jaafar Pasha, a prisoner.
He was wounded by a sword-thrust in the arm. They had had a good
old-fashioned mêlée. He was just off shopping, taking his captivity
with great philosophy. It was beautiful weather. The Bougainvillea was
purple and scarlet all over the house. It looked as fairylike as a
Japanese dwelling.

_Friday, March 10, 1916._ _Cairo._ The Admiral came up on Thursday
night. I lunched with General Maxwell. Bron came. He said his leg
troubled him flying, but he loved it. I saw his Colonel, who told me
that he was worried, as if he fell in the desert he was done, as he
could not walk great distances like the others, with his wooden leg.

I have got a “Who’s Who,” for Arabia, but I want a “Where’s Where.”

_Saturday, March 11, 1916._ _Ismailia._ The Australians have
been having high old times in Cairo. We have to pay for their
extraordinarily fine fighting qualities, but it’s a pity that they
can’t be more quiet.... They admire General Birdwood, who’s got a
difficult job. We owed a lot to their initiative at Anzac, when all
their officers were killed. Salutes, after all, matter less than
fighting. In peace they resent General Godley’s discipline, and that’s
natural, but it’s inevitable, and they know it, when it comes to
fighting. Charlie Bentinck came down with us, going home; I hope he
gets there all right.

_Tuesday, March 14, 1916._ _Ismailia._ Maxwell is now definitely
recalled.... It’s a pity to take away the man whose name is everything
in Egypt. On Saturday I dined with the Admiral and Potts of the
Khedive’s yacht. Like Jimmy Watson, he was very fond of his ex-Chief.
Sunday I lunched with the Admiral and General Murray, and saw my old
friend Tyrrell. Yesterday the Admiral left with Philip Neville for
Solloum. I should have liked to have been in that show.

Here are criticisms and indescretions, which are better left lying at
the bottom of a drawer....

       *       *       *       *       *

All are very sad about Desmond Fitzgerald’s death. There was no
one quite like him. He would have played a great part. He was
extraordinarily fine, too fine to be a type, though he was a type, but
not of these times. I shall never forget him during the Retreat, always
calm and always cheerful. Bron came, and we had a long talk.

_Wednesday, March 15, 1916._ _Cairo._ This morning I saw Jaafar Pasha
for a minute. He is becoming less and less a prisoner. Was off to shop,
and said that he heard that Cairo was a nice town. He was unmoved by
the war. I said to M. that the war ought to prevent one’s pulses ever
fluttering again. M. said to me: “Yes, unless it makes them flutter for

       *       *       *       *       *

Here there followed naval, strategical, political and commercial
considerations which are irrelevant to this published diary.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ _March 15, 1916._ Went to the citadel to see the old Sheikh.
It was a lovely day of heat, fresh winds, clear air and flowers

_Wednesday, March 22, 1916._ _Ismailia._ I have neglected my diary.
Yesterday I went and said good-bye to General Birdwood. General Godley,
he and everybody went to see Maxwell off. It was a very remarkable
demonstration; all were there--red hats and tarbouches, blue gowns and
the khaki of the private soldier. We were all downhearted at his going.

To-day I rode with Temperley through the groves of Ismailia, out by
the lagoon. The desert was in splendid form. The Australians were
bathing everywhere and French sailors were paddling. I lunched with
General Russell.... I dined with General Godley. All the talk was of
Mesopotamia. Some one said at dinner that no securely beleaguered force
had ever cut its way out. I could only think of Xenophon, who, General
Gwynne said, quite truly, was not beleaguered, and also of Plevna, that
didn’t get out.

_Sunday, March 26, 1916._ _Cairo._ This morning we leave for
Mesopotamia, by the Viceroy’s train. He arrived yesterday, having
been shot at by a torpedo on the way. The soldiers are becoming
discontented. Their pay is four months due, and when they get it they
are paid in threepenny bits for which they only receive twopence in
exchange. Hence their irritation. Tommy Howard’s brigade has nearly all
got commissions. There are now forty-seven officers and only enough
soldiers left for their servants. Saw Uncle Bob G., who reminded me of
Sayid Talib, the Lion of Mesopotamia and the terror of the Turks, with
whom on one occasion I travelled from Constantinople. Sayid Talib once
wanted to get rid of a very good Vali of Basrah. He went round to all
the keepers of hashish dens and infamous houses and got them to draw up
a petition: “We, the undersigned, hear with anguish that our beloved
Vali is to be removed by the Merciful Government. He is a good man, has
been just to all, and most just to us, who now implore the mercy of the
Sublime Porte.” Constantinople was in a virtuous mood. The experts of
Basrah were summoned. They expressed their horror at the support which
the Vali was receiving from all the worst elements in the town. The
Vali was removed. Sayid Talib scored. He was on our side, and remained
in Basrah, but we made him a prisoner and sent him to India, I believe.

_Monday, March 27, 1916._ _H.M.S. “Euryalus._” _Gulf of Suez._
Yesterday, Sunday, the Prince of Wales, the Viceroy, General Birdwood
and the High Commissioner travelled down to Ismailia. Storrs and I were
also of the company. General Godley was at the station to meet the
Prince, and a lot of others.

_Tuesday, March 28, 1916._ _H.M.S._ “_Euryalus.”_ I wonder what
situation we shall find in Mesopotamia. Willcocks in Cairo said that
the Arabs were feeding Townshend’s people. “In the old days,” he said,
“Elijah was fed by the ravens--that is, ’orab,’ which means Arabs as
well as ravens.” That was how he explained that miracle.

It’s getting very hot. I am working at Hindustani. The Staff here are
all first class. It’s luck to find Colonel de Sausmarez, who was on the
_Bacchante_, now promoted.

_Thursday, March 30, 1916._ _H.M.S. “Euryalus.”_ Took a bad fall
down the ladder. Storrs sleeps in a casemate. The only ventilation
is through a gun whose breech has now been closed. Have been writing
précis and political notes. We are bound to make mistakes in dealing
with the Arabs, but they need not matter if they are passive mistakes;
they can be corrected. If they are active, they are much harder to
remedy.... Our people divide the world into two categories. The
Ulstermen, the Serbs and the Portuguese are good, loyal people, because
they are supposed to put our interests first, whereas the Bulgars,
the Arabs, etc., are beastly traitors because sometimes a thought of
self-interest crosses their minds.

It’s raining hard this morning and it’s cooler. Hope to get into the
trenches at Aden, but doubt there being time. Am learning Hindustani. A
number of the same words mean different things. _Kal_ means yesterday
or to-morrow, i.e. one day distant; but on the other hand _parson_
means the day after to-morrow or the day before yesterday. This must
occasionally make muddles about appointments.

_Friday, March 31, 1916._ _Aden._ Got up early this morning and went
over to the Northbrook. The Turks at Lahej are being bombarded. The
Admiral’s going part of the way to see it. Six seaplanes off. A heavy,
hot, grey day. The Turks are fighting well. There is no ill-will here.
They say the Turk is a member of the club, but has not been in it
lately. We are feeding the Turks and they feed us. Caravans come and
go as usual. There are great difficulties in the way of blockade. We
can’t hit our enemies without also hitting our friends, and yet if we
do nothing our prestige suffers.

A conference this morning. Fifty years ago Colonel Pelly said that the
Turks were like the Thirty-nine Articles; every one accepts them, but
nobody remembers them or what they are. India seems extremely apathetic
about Aden. We left early this morning. Last night I saw Colonel Jacob,
who has been twelve years at Aden and in the hinterland. In the evening
I went with the Brigadier to the Turkish prisoners. They said they had
surrendered because life was impossible in the Yemen. They had been six
to seven years without pay, had had bad food and perpetual fighting.
Then they had been put on a ship to go back to their families, then
taken off again and sent to fight us. Human nature could not stand it,
they said. They liked their Commander, Said Pasha, who was good to the
soldiers, but they complained of their non-commissioned officers....

We seem to be perpetually changing our officers here. This C.O. is
the fifth in a short time. Jacob is the only man who talks Arabic,
and there is not a soul who talks Turkish. Wrote to Egypt to get an

_Sunday, April 2, 1916._ _H.M.S. “Euryalus.”_ We are steaming through
a grey-black gloom, like an English autumn afternoon, only the
thermometer is 92 and there are no rooks cawing. There are lowering
skies everywhere. Talked about Arabia yesterday with the Admiral.

Have been re-reading Whigan’s _Persia_ and other Gulf books. Wish that
I had George Lloyd’s memoranda. The present position is unsatisfactory.
We have policed and lighted and pacified this Gulf for a hundred years,
and we are entitled to a more definite status. We ought to have Bunder
Abbas. Otherwise, if the Russians come down the Gulf to Bunder Abbas,
they hold the neck of the bottle of the Persian Gulf and we shall be
corked in our own bottle; they would be on the flank of India; they
would be fed by a railway, while our large naval station would be
cooking away in Elphinstone’s Inlet (which is only another name for
a slow process of frying), where we should have battle casualties in
peace-time from the heat. Elphinstone’s Inlet to Bushire is a poor
Wei-hai-wei to a first-rate Port Arthur. Then, if the Russians come
down, any defensive measures which we may be forced into taking
will appear aggressive when the Russians are on the spot. They would
not appear aggressive now. We have a prescriptive right to Bunder
Abbas, which we ought to strengthen. It doesn’t involve territorial

_Monday, April 3, 1916._ _H.M.S. “Euryalus.”_ Last night I had a long
and rather acrimonious argument with ---- and ---- on the question of
Arab policy. They said: “You must punish the Arabs if they don’t come
in on our side.” I said: “You have no means of punishing them. All you
can do is to antagonize them.”

There is news of a Zeppelin raid on London. Everybody is anxious.

_Tuesday, April 4, 1916._ _H.M.S. “Euryalus.”_ _Muskat._ Last night
I had my fourth Hindustani lesson, a very easy one. Jack Marriott is
extraordinarily quick at languages. My teacher said that his affianced
wife is fourteen and that he kept her in a cage at Bushire. Talked with
the Admiral and Captain Burmester....

To-day is a wild day, Arabia crouching, yellow like a lion, in a
sand-storm, and spray and sand flying in layers on the ship. All the
land is lurid and the sea foaming and the sky black. If only there
had been some sharks at sea and lions on shore, it would have been a
perfect picture. This afternoon it cleared and became beautiful. We
passed a desolate coast with no sign of life, where it looked as if a
man would fry in half an hour in summer. A few dhows on the sea were
all we saw. My last journey here came back vividly and the time at
Bahrein after we were wrecked in the _Africa_.

Wireless came into Basrah to say the spring offensive was beginning.
We put into Muskat. I found that the Resident, Colonel Ducat, was a
neighbour. There has been a row at Chahbar, and the _Philomel_, which
we expected to find here, has left, telegraphed for this morning.
The news here is that the tribes intend to attack Muskat, but it’s
not believed. We went ashore this evening, and a Beluchi boy took
the Admiral and all of us round. The people who had not been to the
East before were enchanted by the quiet, the scent of musk, and the
evening behind the Sultan’s Palace. Last time I was here was on
Christmas Day, with Leland Buxton. I was very sick, carrying a huge
bag of Maria Teresa dollars. The Portuguese forts and the names of the
ships that come here, painted in huge white letters on the cliffs, are
the remarkable things about the place. There is a sort of a silent
roll-call of the ships. The men like writing their names up in white
letters. Matrah is round the corner, and looks bigger than Muskat. You
have got to get to it by boat. Muskat itself is completely cut off. I
saw a straight-looking Arab from Asir who had been with the Turks and
had information, and asked the Agent to send him on to Aden.

_Wednesday, April 5, 1916._ _Muskat._ Came ashore early this morning.
Then came the Admiral and his Staff, and we went to the Sultan’s house.
He had about thirty followers. We drank sherbet like scented lip-salve,
and the sailors didn’t like it. The Admiral and the Sultan talked.
Later the Sultan came here with seven A.D.C.’s and a nephew who talked
very good English which he had learned at Harrow. The Sultan has got a
lot of rather nice-looking little horses and a monstrous goat with ears
that are about 3 feet long. The Sultan gets 5 per cent. of the customs
of this place. Jack Marriott went to see a prisoner in the Portuguese
fort. He was Sheikh of a village in which a murder had been committed.
They had failed to catch the murderer, and so the Sheikh had to suffer
imprisonment himself. Not a bad plan, really. It’s the old Anglo-Saxon
idea. That sort of thing discourages men from pushing for power and
makes them very energetic, for their own sakes, when they have power.
Everything seems quiet in the hinterland. The people here are Bunyas,
who cheat the Sultan, slim aristocratic Arabs, and gorilla-like
negroes. They are mostly armed to the teeth. Sheets of rain fell this

_Thursday, April 6, 1916._ _Persian Gulf._ We left early this morning.
Some very fine king-fish were brought aboard, about 4 feet long. Great
heat. We had an excellent telegram about Gorringe’s offensive in
Mesopotamia; the Turks driven back. The Admiral in great spirits. I
am tremendously glad, because I have always felt that we were coming
to a tragedy. I remember the telegram read out to us at Anzac and the
cheers--“The Turks are beaten! The way lies open to Bagdad!”--and our
enthusiasm and the disappointment after it, and I did not think this
would succeed. Hanna, on the left bank of the Tigris, is reported
taken. That ought to open Sinn on the right bank.

_Friday, April 7, 1916._ _Persian Gulf._... To-day we were told by
wireless telegram that we had a slave of the Sultan’s on board. Quite
true; so we have.... He said he had been with the Sultan eight years
and that if he were sent back he feared for his throat. He drew his
finger across it very tenderly, and everybody roared with laughter. I
do not see that the Sultan has a leg to stand on. If the man went to
him eight years ago, he went either of his own free will, in which case
he can leave, or he was sold, and we do not recognize anything except
bondage, no traffic in slavery.

The _Philomel’s_ prisoners have been transferred to us. One of them
looks like an old nobleman. His name is Shah Dulla. He held up Chahbar
for 4,000 rupees, like other old noblemen, and was captured with seven
bearded patriarchs by the _Philomel_ four days ago. They are dignified

_Friday, April 8, 1916._ _H.M.S. “Euryalus.”_ _Bushire._ A very cold
morning with a clear sky. It’s a nuisance having lost all my coats.
Here I leave Edward. I hope he will be all right. He is to follow by
the first opportunity with the other servants and my kit. McKay, who
is a jolly fellow, will look after him. The news this morning is that
we have again improved our position and have taken the second Turkish
line. The Russians are advancing. There was a fight here a couple of
nights ago. Our Agent, his brother and four sepoys were killed last
night at Lingah.

_Sunday, April 9, 1916._ _H.M.S. “Imogene.”_ _Shat-el-Arab._ Yesterday
Commodore Wake came aboard.... He said that an officer had put land
mines down, and that some time after this officer had been recalled.
People in Bushire naturally wanted him either to remove or to mark
his land mines, but he said that they were all right, as they were
only exploded by electricity. The following night, however, there were
loud explosions when dogs gambolled over these mines, so people still
walk like Agag, and walking is not a popular form of exercise round
Bushire. To-day we are in a brown waste of waters that I remember well,
a dismal hinterland to a future Egypt. We passed a hospital ship early
this morning, in these yellow shallow waters. It reminded me of the
Dardanelles, but there it was much better, for there the sea and sky
were beautiful and the climate, by comparison, excellent.

Ages ago, in Egypt, Machel used to talk of ghosts. This ship conjures
them up all right--trips with Sir Nicholas and the children to the
island and many other people, some of them still in Constantinople.
Sir Nicholas would have been surprised if he could have seen the name
of his yacht written on the rocks at Muskat, and, as the Admiral said,
he would not have liked any one else in command of his yacht, here or
in any other waters. Townshend has telegraphed some time ago to say he
could only hold out until April 1st. Here we are at the 9th.

_Sunday, April 10, 1916._ _H.M.S. “Imogene.”_ _Kurna._ Yesterday we
arrived at Basra. It looked very beautiful and green, but we only had
a short time. Everything seemed in a state of great confusion. Two
Generals came aboard. They said we had taken two out of three lines of
the trenches that we had got to take in the first attack. Then our men
had been checked. We ought to have taken the third line last night.
The Sinn position still remains to be taken. If we had been successful
last night (and we ought to have heard this morning), we have got a
chance of relieving Townshend. If not, I am afraid there is not much
chance.... The doctors are being pretty hotly criticized, also the
Royal Indian Marine, though how they can be expected to know this river
I can’t see. Apparently they asked for iron barges from India and were
given wooden barges that the banks and the current continually break.
They asked here for one type of river-craft from home, and were told
they must have another. Lynch out here says that Lynch in London has
never been consulted, though they deny this at home. The troops have
only two days’ supplies. The soldiers in Basra were cheerful; the
wounded also, for the first time, were cheerful, because they thought
it had been worth it and that we are going to succeed....

There is a great storm getting up. The river’s a vast rolling flood
of yellow water, palm-trees beyond and again beyond that, marshes and
glimpses of a skeleton land, with marsh Arabs always in the background,
like ghouls, swarming on every battlefield, killing and robbing the
wounded on both sides. The Turks, they say in Basra, had said: “Let
us both have a truce and go for the Arabs and then we can turn to and
fight again.” Nureddin, the Turkish Commander-in-Chief, is supposed to
have been at Harrow with Townshend. I should think that it was really
a _pension_ at Lausanne. I saw P. Z. Cox yesterday. He and Lady Cox
were very good to me years ago in the Gulf.... The Russians have not
yet met any considerable Turkish force. If we do not relieve Townshend,
and have to fall back, we shall be attacked by all the Arabs, who are
well armed. They say a Royal Commission is being sent to India because
at home they anticipate a failure here and want a scapegoat, which they
have already provided in Nixon.

I dined with Gertrude Bell, Millborrow, whom I had last seen at
Bahrein, and Wilson, whom I had known before. We transferred here at
Kurna from the _Imogene_ on to a tiny Admiralty gunboat, as usual
leaving all our kit. Dick Bevan says that he has a vision of perpetual
landings and expeditions until we arrive in China, with always the
same troubles, too few mules, too many A.P.M.’s, etc. This is a war
threshold to conjure up dreams and visions. It would be hard to find
one more tragic. It’s a curious fate that sends us a second time,
unprepared, to one of the richest countries in the world that, like
Egypt, has combined fertility and desert, with a stream controlling its

_Tuesday, April 11, 1916._ _H.M.S. “Snakefly.”_ Monday night we got
off the _Imogene_ on to the _Snakefly_, one of the twelve Admiralty
gunboats built for this expedition. The Admiralty don’t seem able to
stop building them, now they’ve started. They were sent out here in
pieces, then put together. One has been taken by the Turks.[24] The
_Snakefly_ draws 2 feet 9 inches only. Webster is her captain. We
slept on deck all right. We saw practically no traffic at first on the
river, and could not understand why we did not pass boats coming back
empty for supplies. We passed many Indian troops, mainly on the left
bank of the river; also isolated stations with telegraph-masters as
chiefs. These men go out two or four miles into the desert with only
a couple of rifles. These small posts contain the maximum of boredom
and anxiety, because there is nothing to do, and if any force of Arabs
came along they would be done in. An enterprising Indian sentry fired
at us in the night. We passed dour, scowling Arabs in villages and
groups on the bank with flocks and herds, buffaloes and goats, men more
savage than the Philistines, but armed with rifles. An almost endless
column of our cavalry wound its way through marsh and desert, over the
green grass, and here and there fires sent up their smoke where meals
were cooked. It struck me as more curious than the Australians round
the Pyramids. At 6 p.m. we reached Ali Gharbi. I talked to an officer
of the --th Punjabis. They were all very depressed at the failure of
Aylmer’s attack on the 8th March.... Townshend was the man they swore
by. The 4th Devons, where John Kennaway is, are said to be at the
front. There are flies that bite like bulldogs everywhere. Each night
we have had lightning over towards Kut like a sort of malignant and
fantastic Star of Bethlehem to light us on.

_Wednesday, April 12, 1916._ _H.M.S. “Snakefly.”_ Last night the
weather broke. The Admiral’s got a cabin about 6 feet long by 2-1/2
across. He put his head out of the window and said: “Would any of you
fellows like to come in?” It was a beastly night. Our clothes are the
thinnest tropical khaki, and they tear like a woman’s veil. There was
no shelter. I got into a conning-tower, like a telescope, but finally
walked about. There seemed to be people’s faces everywhere on deck,
though there was a lot of water. I kept my dictionary dry. Now it’s
fine and bright. At seven this morning, when I had gone below, a Boy
Scout of eighteen, one of the crew, went overboard. He was rescued
almost at once, and swam lightly and gallantly. He was lucky. To-day is
the 12th, my lucky day, but I have only got one extra shirt and one
blanket, and a Turkish dictionary for a pillow....

Everything seems greater and greater chaos.... We started this campaign
against one of the great military Powers of the world with two brigades
of Indians, who ought not to have been used at all, if it could have
been avoided, on this ground, which to them is holy. We started with
the wrong type of boat, and also Indian Generals who looked on the
expedition as a frontier campaign.... If we fail to relieve Townshend,
I suppose the best thing to do would be to cut our losses and retire
to Kurna and hold that line, but if we do that the Turks can fortify
the river and make it impregnable. We ran on to the bank last night,
and stayed there. We spent an uncomfortable wet night, but got off all
right this morning. There was an encampment close by. We couldn’t make
out if they were friends or enemies; the Admiral didn’t bother. We all
want a clean pair of socks and fewer mosquitoes.

_Thursday, April 13, 1916._ _Near Sanayat._ It was at noon yesterday
that we arrived at Ali Gharbi. The Admiral saw General Lake. We are
cruelly handicapped by lacking transport and not being able to get
it. In the afternoon I crossed the river and saw General Gilman at
Felahiya. I was very glad to see him again. He had been on our left
with the 13th Division at Anafarta. One of the best men I have met. We
had a long talk.... Then I came back with Dick Bevan. What’s happened
is this: we got in such a state about Townshend being able to hold out
till the end of January that we rushed up troops and attacked without
the possibility of making preparation for the wounded, ambulances,
etc., and we failed.... Townshend has got 5,000 Arabs with him, and
the _bouches inutiles_ have told enormously, but T. has apparently
promised these people his protection and nothing will make him send
them away, and he’s right. The strain on the men with him has been
very great indeed; some of the older men are very sick. No one thinks
that he’s got a dog’s chance of getting out. The --th were badly cut
up at Anafarta, but they kept their keenness, and at the beginning
of this show their officers could not keep them back, _on the 8th of
March_. The fight on the 9th of April was very bad luck. All the men
were very cold and tired. A hot cup of coffee might have made the
whole difference.... We shall have to face a lot of trouble with the
Arabs and look out for Nasryah, which could be cut off by marsh Arabs
from Basra way and turned into another Kut. Most people think that the
line that we ought to defend is Nasryah--Amara--Ahwaz. The Admiral’s
going to Nasryah. I suggested his taking General Gillman, and he is
off too. Every one is raging against the economy of India, especially
a man called Meyer, the Treasury member for the Council of India. He
is said to have refused to give any help. In this flat land they need
observation balloons; none forthcoming. They asked for transport from
May to Christmas, and then got one launch....

I saw the Admiral in the evening. He was cheered after talking to
General Gorringe. We walked by the river. We met some of the Black
Watch--clean, smart men. There was a great bridge of boats, without
rails, swaying and tossing in the hurricane and covered with driven
foam from the raging yellow water. Across this there lurched Madrassis,
Sudanese, terrified cavalry horses, mules that seemed to think that
there was only water on one side, and that they would be on dry land
if they jumped off on the other. We are out of range, but shelling
is going on and one can fix points in the landscape by bursts. The
eternal flatness is depressing. This morning I saw Leachman, the
political officer. He has had a lot of adventures in Arabia--a very
good fellow, whom everybody likes, which is rare.... He was against
our going farther back than Sheikh Saad, both from the point of view
of strategy and also because it would be playing a low game on our own
friendlies. The Arabs on the bank between Sheikh Saad and Ali Gharbi
are, apparently, past praying for.

This afternoon I went out with the Admiral.... Townshend has been
telegraphing to-day. His men are dying of starvation. The whole
situation is pitiful. Here the troops have been on half rations for
some time. Our boats are many, but insufficient. They are of every
kind, from an Irawaddy steamer to the steamers of the Gordon Relief
Expedition and L.C.C. boats. We met some of the 6th Devons, and I asked
them if the way the Admiral was going was safe. They said: “We be
strangers here zur,” as if they were Exeter men in Taunton.... The rain
is making the relief practically impossible. Last night there was heavy
firing and we advanced 2,000 yards, but the main positions are still
untaken. To-night I met Percy Herbert, very useful, as my tropical
khaki is coming to pieces.

_Friday, April 14, 1916._ _H.M.S. “Stonefly.”_ ... A furious wind got
up and drove mountains of yellow water before it, against the stream.
The skies were black. Captain Nunn, the Senior Naval Officer, wanted
to go to Sheikh Saad. I wanted to go to H.Q. to see Colonel Beach,
Chief of the Intelligence, who has written to me to come. We got off
with difficulty into the stream. It was like a monstrous snake, heaving
and coiling. We only drew 3 feet and we were very top-heavy with iron,
and I thought we were bound to turn over. I said so to Singleton, the
captain, who said: “I quite agree. It serves them d----d well right
if we do, for sending us out in this weather.” This thought pleased
him, though it did not satisfy me. Nunn said it was the worst weather
he had seen in the year. I got off at Wadi thankfully, and went to
see Beach, but it was not all over yet. He wanted to go and see how
the bridge of boats was standing the strain. The end of the bridge
of boats had been removed to let the steamers through, though there
were none passing. It was twisting like an eel trying to get free,
and going up and down like a moving staircase in agony. There was
foam and gloom and strain and fury and the screaming of the timber,
but the bridge held. The engineers were calmly smoking their pipes
at the end, wondering in a detached way if it would hold. I prefer
fighting any day to this sort of thing. Then I went walking with
Beach. He asked me to be ready in case Townshend wanted me. I dined
with General Lake, General Money, Williams and Dent; capital fellows.
Had an interesting time after dinner. The future is doubtful. If we
have to retire, we shall have a double loss of prestige, Kut gone and
our own retreat. When we want to advance later, we shall find all our
present positions fortified against us. A retreat will also involve
the abandonment of our friendlies. This campaign has taught me why we
have been called _perfide Albion_. It’s very simple. We embark upon a
campaign without any forethought at all. Then, naturally we get into
extreme difficulties. After that, we talk to the natives, telling them
quite truthfully that we have got magnificent principles of truth,
justice, tolerance, etc., that where the British Raj is all creeds are
free. They like these principles so much that they forget to count
our guns. Then, principles or no principles, we have got to retreat
before a vastly superior force, and the people who have come in with us
get strafed. Then they all say “_perfide Albion_,” though it’s really
nobody’s fault--sometimes not even the fault of the Government.

I slept on the _Malamir_, on deck. It was very wet in the night, but I
kept fairly dry.

_Saturday, April 15, 1916._ “_Malamir._” I went and saw the Turkish
prisoners in one of the most desolate camps on earth; some Albanians
amongst them. They said there were munition factories in Bagdad,
that 4,000 Turks had gone to Persia--they did not know if it was to
the oil-field at Basra or against the Russians. It’s Basra and the
oil-field that are important to us.

Lunched aboard the _Malamir_. General Lake was very kind. I went off
on an Irawaddy steamer, a “P” boat. The Captain told appalling stories
of the wounded on board after Ctesiphon. It took them seventeen days
to Amara, which sounds incredible. They had to turn back three times
at Wadi and return to Kut, because they were heavily attacked at Wadi
by Kurds. General Nixon had to turn back too. The transport was so
overcrowded that men were pushed overboard. I met an Indian political
officer on board ... (and again).... He said one thing to me that was
not indiscreet. Once at Abazai he had seen a Pathan wrestling. Before
he wrestled he held up his hands, and cried an invocation: “Dynamis”
(Might). He thought it must have come from the days of Alexander.
He had been in the Dujaila fight on March 8th, and talked about it,
unhappily. He also said that the corruption of the Babus at Basra was

On board our ship there were piles of bread without any covering, but a
swarming deposit of flies; good for everybody’s stomach.

_Sunday, April 16, 1916._ Half a day’s food is being dropped daily
by aeroplanes in Kut.... I met a very jolly Irish officer, a V.C. He
said that when the war broke out he, and many like himself, saw the
Mohammedan difficulty. They had themselves been ready to refuse to
fight against Ulster; why should Indians fight the Turks? We were
fighting for our own lives, but the quarrel did not really concern
Indians. They might have been expected to be spectators. Then the
orders came for them to go to France. They called up the Indian
officers and said to them: “Germany has declared war, and on second
thoughts, a Jehad. She quarrelled with England first and then pretended
she was fighting for Islam.” The Indian officers agreed, and came along
readily. They were then ordered to Mesopotamia. They again called upon
the Indian officers, who said: “We would sooner go anywhere else in
the world, but we will go, and we will not let the regiment down.” They
were told to go to Bagdad, and were willing to go, though their frame
of mind was the same.... Then I went off to interrogate prisoners. It
was tremendously hot. The prisoners were under a guard of Indians,
and I found it hard to make the Indians understand my few words of
Hindustani. The prisoners’ morale seemed good. They said they were not
tired of the war and that they did not think of disobeying orders, for
that, they said, would be awful and would make chaos. They thought that
what pleased God was going to happen, and they were inclined to believe
that that would be victory for the Turks. They said twenty-seven guns
had come up in the last eight days, 17 cm. and 20 cm. If that’s the
case, they can shell us out of here. I told the Admiral, and in the
evening we walked. We met General Gorringe ... I am tremendously sorry
for these men here. Last year the God of battles was on our side. We
ought not to have won, by any law of odds or strategy, at Shaiba, at
Ctesiphon, or Nasryah, but we did. They won against everything, and now
the luck has turned. They have brought Indian troops to fight on holy
soil for things that mean nothing to them. They have been hopelessly
outnumbered by the Turks. They have been starved of everything, from
food to letters, not to speak of high explosives. They have been
through the most ghastly heat and the most cruel cold, and they are
still cheerful. I have never seen a more friendly lot than these men
here. They have always got something cheerful to say when you meet
them. The weather has changed and it’s very fine, with a beautiful
wind and clear skies, but there are no scents, like in Gallipoli, of
thyme and myrtle. It’s a limitless bare plain, green and sometimes
brown mud, covered by an amazing mixture of men and creatures: horses
and mules and buffaloes, Highlanders, Soudanese and Devons, Arabs and
Babus. Camp fires spring up, somehow, at night by magic. We generally
have a bombardment most days, but no shells round us.

_Monday, April 17, 1916._ _H.M.S. “Waterfly.”_ Harris is Captain. While
we were having breakfast this morning a German aeroplane flew over and
bombed us ineffectually. Bombs fell a couple of hundred yards away in
camp, not doing any damage, but they’ll get us sometime, as we are a
fine target, three boats together.

_Tuesday, April 18, 1916._ _H.M.S. “Waterfly.”_ Last night the Admiral
went to Amara. He left Jack Marriott, Philip Neville, Dick Bevan and me
here. There was no work down there and a lot here. Last night we did
well, took about 250 prisoners and the Bunds that are essential to us.
If the Turks have these and want to, they can flood the country to the
extent of making manœuvring impossible. There was peace yesterday at
the crimson sunset. Then after that came the tremendous fight. Guns and
flares blazed all along the line. Now comes the news that we have lost
the Bunds and the eight guns we had taken. The position is not clear.
We are said to have retaken most of the positions this morning.

The prisoners’ morale here is much better than in Gallipoli. I asked
an Arab if he was glad to be a prisoner. He said that he was sorry,
because his own people might think that he hadn’t fought well, but
that he was glad not to have to go on fighting for the Germans. Jack
Marriott wrote for me while I translated. The prisoners could not or
would not tell us anything much about the condition of the river. This
morning I had an experience. I walked out through tremendous heat to
where the last batch of officer prisoners were guarded in a tent. As I
came up, I heard loud wrangling, and saw the prisoners being harangued
by a fierce black-bearded officer. I said: “Who here talks Turkish?”
and a grizzled old Kurd said: “Some of us talk Kurdish and some Arabic,
but we all talk Turkish.” I picked out Black-beard and took him apart
from the others, whom I saw he had been bullying. He was a schoolmaster
and a machine-gunner, and fierce beyond words. He began by saying
sarcastically that he would give me all the information I wanted. “You
have failed at Gallipoli,” he said. “We hold you up at Salonica, and
you are only visitors at Basra. I do not mind how much I tell you,
because I know we are going to win.” I answered rather tartly that it
was our national habit to be defeated at the beginning of every war and
to win at the end, and that we should go on, if it took us ten years.
“Ah, then,” he said, “you will be fighting Russia.” I did not like the
way this conversation was going, and said to him: “Do you know the
thing that your friends the Germans have done? They have offered Persia
to Russia. How do you like that?” “The question is,” he said, “how
do you like it?” He then said that he was sick of the word “German,”
that Turkey was not fighting for the Germans, but to get rid of the
capitulations. He said they had four Austrian motor-guns of 24 cm.
coming in a few days. I congratulated him. In the end he became more
friendly, but I got nothing out of him. One prisoner had a series of
fits: I think it was fright. He got all right when he was given water
and food. The river has given another great sigh and risen a foot and
a half. We have crossed over from the right to the left bank. It’s a
black, thundery day. Much depends on to-day and to-night.

_Good Friday, April 21, 1916._ _H.M.S. “Waterfly.”_ I have had no time
to write these last days. This morning is a beautiful morning, with a
fresh north wind. When we first came here Townshend was supposed to
be able to hold out until the 12th. Now the 27th April is the last
date. All the reports that we have been getting from the Turks are
bad. Masses more men and guns coming up, heavy calibre guns. Still,
Townshend is getting some food.... The _Julnar_ is to go up in a few
days, when the moon is waning. It is very difficult to get information
from the prisoners, without running the risk of giving things away.
Costello is chief of the Intelligence here, a capital fellow.

The Royal Indian Marine, freed from the obstruction of India, seem to
have done pretty well. A lot of the boats and barges sent here have
been sunk on the way. The Admiralty goes on building these river Fly
boats like anything. The _Mantis_, with Bernard Buxton captain, draws 5
feet and was intended for the Danube in the days when we were going to
have taken Constantinople. On Wednesday, the 18th, we fired a good deal
from the _Waterfly_. We are not well situated for firing....

The Dorsets and Norfolks, the Oxfords and the Devons, have done the
most splendid fighting. Twenty-two Dorsets saved the whole situation
at Ahwaz. Harris, who is only twenty-five, has been through all this.
He was the first up here, with Leachman. It’s awfully bad luck on
Townshend, being shut up again, the second time counting Chitral. On
Wednesday there was a tremendous fire. It sounded like a nearer Helles.
The Turks are three miles from us. They lollop down mines that go on
the bank, but this morning one was found close by the ship.

I examined a Turk this morning, who said that three Army Corps were
coming up under Mehemed Ali Pasha. I asked him if they could outflank
us on the Hai, to try and turn this place into a second Kut. “That,” he
said, “has always been my opinion.”

Yesterday, the 20th, I went to H.Q. in the morning, then talked to Dick
and got maps revised and borrowed a horse for the afternoon from Percy
Herbert, and got another from Costello for B.

       *       *       *       *       *

Here I should explain that I had promised my friend B., the sailor, to
take him up into the front-line trenches. He had never been in a front
trench before, and was determined to see what it was like.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary._ General Gillman gave B. and me luncheon. Then B. and I rode
out to the camp of the 18th Division, where I found Brownrigg, now
become a Colonel, with malaria. I congratulated and condoled. I asked
if we could get into the front trench, and Colonel Hillard said it
was unhealthy. B. said that didn’t matter, and I asked exactly how
unhealthy. Hillard said there were no communication trenches and we
should be under machine-gun fire at 80 yards. No rations were being
sent up till nightfall, but still, of course, if we wanted to go, we
could. B. was passionately anxious to go; I was not. We walked down a
shallow communication trench, which we soon had to leave, because of
the water, and then across the open to a beastly place called Crofton’s
Post, an observation post in the flat land, with a few sandbags and mud
walls. They had dug a kind of shelter about 6 feet deep below it. It
stood about 20 feet high. The Turks were eight to nine hundred yards
away. We passed other observation posts, these simply a ladder rising
from the flat land, and men like flies on it. It’s incredible that the
Turks leave these places standing or that they allow people to walk
about in the open in the way in which they do. Coming out, we passed a
lot of quail and partridge and some jolly wild flowers, but also the
smells of the battlefield.

After we had been at Crofton’s Post a little while, a furious
bombardment of the Turks by us began. I cursed myself for not having
asked what the plans of the afternoon were going to be. B. was
delighted. Shells rushed over our heads from all sides. I heard the
scream of two premature bursts just by us. They raised filthy, great
columns of heaving smoke. It was a wonderful picture; the radiant and
brilliant light of the afternoon, the desert out by the river, the
gleam of the gun flashes and the smouldering smoke columns.

The Gurkhas fought very well two nights ago, they said here. They used
up all their ammunition and what Turkish rifles they could get and then
they fought with kukris. At one place an unfortunate mistake happened.
We mistook the Indians for Turks, and we bombarded each other.

We went back almost deafened by our own guns, B. reluctant to leave.
I expected a heavy Turkish return bombardment every minute, which
would have been unpleasant without any cover, but beyond the ticking
of a machine-gun nothing happened. Found General Maude having tea. His
casualties have been heavy--nineteen officers killed and wounded in the
last ten days, simply trench work, no attacks. He said it was putting a
very heavy strain on the new army.

The more I see of this foul country, the more convinced I am that we
are a seafaring people, lured to disaster by this river. The River
Tigris has been a disaster and a delusion to us. These lines are
untenable without two railways, one across to Nasriyah and the other
up to Bagdad. At the present moment, we can be cut off if the river
falls or if they manage to put in guns anywhere down the river and sink
a couple of our boats, or even one, in the narrows, and so block the
channel. We have got no policy. We came here and we saw the Tigris and
we said: “This is as good as the sea, and up we will go,” and now it
will dry up and we shall get left.

Lawrence arrived at Wadi on Wednesday. Had some talk with him; I am
very glad to see him. Got a letter from John Kennaway yesterday--he is
down at Sheikh Saad--asking me to go there. I can get no news about
Bobby Palmer. Am afraid there is no doubt; he must be killed; am very
sad for his people.

_Easter Sunday, April 23, 1916._ _H.M.S. “Greenfly.”_ A curious
morning, with the whole of Pusht i Kuh standing blue and clear. The
last two foreigners who visited that place were given the choice of
embracing Islam or of being pushed over the precipice. They chose the

Yesterday morning we attacked. The 19th Brigade, the Black Watch,
the 20th and the 28th. We took two trenches, but were driven back to
our own. I was sent post-haste to H.Q. for news. There was a great
sand-storm and men and artillery going through it like phantoms.
Overhead it was lurid. One could hardly breathe for the sand. High
columns of it rushed across the desert. The repulse looks as if the
end’s very close. I came back to the Admiral and was sent back again.
This time they said there was a truce, and if the Admiral would give
permission, I was to go to the front at once. I came back and found
the Admiral and went on shore. I got a horse and rode up to the front
as fast as I could, passing many dead and wounded. I went to General
Younghusband and asked if I could be of any use to him. He said the
truce was ending. The Turks had pushed out white flags, which was
decent of them. We had done the same. A Staff officer came in to say
that the Turks were taking our kit, and he wanted to fire on them. I
was anxious we should not do so without giving warning.

We discussed the possibility of the Turks’ letting Townshend and his
men come out with the honours of war, to be on parole till peace. I
said that I could see no _quid pro quo_, and even if one existed,
we, here, could not use it, because of our ignorance of the Russian
situation.... The General said that the water had narrowed our front to
300 yards across which to attack. The Turkish trenches were half-full
of water and many of our men fell and got their rifles filled with
mud. The Turks attacked again at once. He said there were not many
troops who would do that when a brigade like the 19th had been through
them. There’s very little left of the 19th; beautiful men they were. I
have talked to a lot of them these last days. I rode back on a horse
that was always falling down. In the evening I crossed the river with
the Admiral and rode up to the front with Beach. There was shelling
going on, but nothing came near. The river was gorgeous in the sunset.
Overhead the sand-grouse flew. We talked about the future.... It seems
to me that if we have got to retreat 130 miles it’s less bad for
prestige to do it in one go. The Politicals’ point of view is that you
should not retreat at all, but that, of course, has got to depend on
military considerations. The Soldiers’ point of view is that you should
not do your retreat in one go, because you do not kill so many of the
enemy as if you fall back from one position to another; but then, I
suppose, that cuts both ways. None of these soldiers have had any
decorations since the beginning of the war. One of them said to me it
made them unhappy, because they felt that they hadn’t done their duty.
It’s an infernal shame. I asked the man who had said this if he had any
leave. He said: “Not much! I should have lost my job.” That would have
been quite a pleasure to a lot of men....

Lawrence has gone and got fever; Nunn also has it. The atmosphere makes
shooting difficult. Yesterday the Turks shot quite a lot at a mirage,
splashing their bullets about in the Suwekki marsh. We often do the
same. Curiously enough, I believe that we won the battle of Shaiba by
virtue of a mirage. We saw a lot of Turks marching up against our
position, and fired at them; these Turks were phantoms of men miles
away; but it happened to be the only road by which they could bring up
their ammunition, and our firing prevented that. To-night the _Julnar_
goes up the river on her journey. She has less speed than they thought.

       *       *       *       *       *

For various reasons I have barely mentioned the _Julnar_ until now,
though she had been very much in our thoughts. The _Julnar_ was a river
boat, and for some days past she had been preparing to set out upon her
splendid, tragic mission. In her lay the last hope of General Townshend
and his gallant force. Her freight was food, intended to prolong the
resistance of the garrison until the relieving force was sufficiently
strong to drive back the Turks and enter Kut. The writer of this diary
has many heroic pictures in his mind, but no more heroic picture and
no more glowing memory than the little _Julnar_ steaming slowly up the
flaming Tigris to meet the Turkish Army and her fate. Her Captains were
Lieut. Firman, R.N. and Lieut.-Comdr. Cowley, R.N.V.R., of Lynch’s
Company, who had spent a long life in navigating the River Tigris.

When Admiral Wemyss called for volunteers, every man volunteered, for
what was practically certain death. Lieut. Firman and Lieut.-Comdr.
Cowley were both killed, and both received posthumous V.C.’s.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Diary. April 23rd._ _H.M.S. “Greenfly.”_ We are alongside the
_Mantis_. I am sleeping in Firman’s cabin. He is down-stream, but
he comes up to-night. Many men badly wounded yesterday, but all as
cheerful as could be; one man with three bullets in his stomach, full
of talk and oaths. Fifteen of the Dorsets have died in the nearest
hospital and have been buried close by.

This afternoon an Easter Service was held on board. The Padre made a
good sermon three minutes long. It was a wonderful sight--the desert
covered with our graves, mirages in the distance and the river glowing
in the sun. At the end of the service the _Julnar_ arrived. Firman
is an attractive good-looking fellow. King, whom I met last year in
Alexandretta, whither he had marched from Bagdad, is also here. When
Buxton told the men of the hundred to one chance of the _Julnar’s_
getting through, they volunteered to a man. Gieve waistcoats are being
served out; the cannon’s sounding while they are loading the _Julnar_
and the Black Watch are playing on the bagpipes close by. Overhead go
the sand-grouse, calling and the river and the desert wind are sighing.
It’s all like a dream.... Even if she does get through, I don’t believe
we can relieve Kut. The Turks will have time to consolidate their
position and we shan’t be sent enough men from home to take them. If
this attempt fails, I suppose we shall fall back to Sheikh Saad. I see
three points: (1) Political. Don’t retreat. (2) Military. You’ve got to
retreat, occupying as many positions as possible, in order to attrition
the enemy. (3) If you do this last, you give the Turks the chance of
saying they have beaten you in a number of battles. Probably retreat
as little as possible is the best. A retreat may be more disastrous to
us than the loss of Kut. While we hold Sheikh Saad, it’s difficult for
them to outflank us on the right bank, and while we have the Vali of
Pusht i Kuh with us, they ought not to be able to get to Ahwaz. One
wonders if they realize the supreme importance of Basra at home and
that if we no longer hold it we do not hold the Indian Ocean.

_Monday, April 24, 1916._ _H.M.S. “Dragonfly.”_ Firman came last night,
and I sat next to him at dinner. The _Julnar_ could not start; she
starts to-night.

I went ashore this morning and saw Leachman, then Colonel Beach. The
flies are awful; one black web of them this morning; in one’s hair and
eyes and mouth, in one’s bath and shaving-water, in one’s tea and in
one’s towel. It’s a great nuisance being without Edward and having to
do everything oneself, besides one’s work. It destroys all joy in war.

_Tuesday, April 25, 1916._ _H.M.S. “Greenfly.”_ A year ago to-day we
landed at Anzac. To-day is the day of the fall of Kut, though the
surrender may not be made for some time. Last night the _Julnar_ left.
I saw old Cowley, an old friend. He is to pilot her. He has been
thirty-three years on this river. He is a proper Englishman. He laughed
and chaffed with Philip Neville and me on the _Julnar_ before starting.
Firman was very glad to have got the job, and felt the responsibility.
Everybody wanted to go. The sailors were moved. No cheers were allowed.
They pushed off, almost stationary, into the river, that was a glory
of light with the graceful mehailahs in an avenue on both sides of
it, with masts and rigging a filigree against the gorgeous sunset.
The faint bagpipes and the desert wind were the only music at their
going.... The Admiral told me to be ready to go out at any moment.
This morning Colonel Beach came aboard and told me to hold myself in
readiness. He proposed going out to see the Turks with Lawrence and
myself. He talked about terms. It’s a very difficult thing to get terms
when one side holds all the cards. If Townshend destroys his guns, as
he must, I don’t see what terms we have got. My own opinion is that
Townshend would make better terms for himself with the Turks than we
can get for him here. It will be difficult to stop the Arabs being shot
and hung. We have got to do our best....

The _Julnar_ has grounded above the Sinn position. Nothing is known of
what happened to the crew.

Wilfred Peek turned up here this afternoon, having seen John Kennaway
down the stream. We have no terms to offer the Turks except money,
general or local peace, or the evacuation of territory. I do not think
the first is any good. We cannot offer the second because of ourselves
and of Russia. The third might be all right, if it was not beyond
Amarah. I hope in these negotiations we do not meet a Prussian Turk in

After lunch I met Captain Potter. In the last attack this had happened:
A corporal had gone mad and, after rolling in filth, had come down the
trench with a bomb in each hand, shouting out that he was looking for
the ---- Arabs. The parapet was low, about shoulder-high, and there was
a good deal of shrapnel and bullets coming in. The corporal threw the
bomb into the middle of the officers’ mess, killing one and wounding
the Colonel, knocking Potter and the others out. They collared the
corporal, who had got a madman’s strength. Then the attack followed.
Potter went as soon as he recovered. They charged across 600 yards
under machine-gun fire, up to their knees in mud. The Turks were in
their third trench. The first and the second were filled with mud.
Then the Turks ran out a white flag, which suited us very well, as it
allowed our men in the Turkish trenches to get away, which otherwise
they couldn’t have done. He thought the Turks did it because they
wanted to bring up reinforcements. He now commands a battalion of 84,
all that are left of 650 men. He said they had reached the limits
of human endurance. He had three officers, including himself, left.
The Black Watch had been wiped out twice, and other regiments simply
annihilated. I told him that I thought there would be no more attacks.
He said a Turkish prisoner, a friend of his, had said to him: “Let’s
have a truce and both kill the Arabs.”

Beach says there is no question of going out to-day. I went out
shooting sand-grouse.

_Wednesday, April 26, 1916._ _H.M.S. “Mantis.”_ I am writing in great
haste, till the sun goes down, as the mehailahs stream past on a river
of fire, in the retreat that is beginning.

The news from home is good and bad. As usual, they are desperately
optimistic, but more men are coming. We must, if we can, save the Arabs
with Townshend. The last telegrams in were pitiful. Townshend quotes
military precedents and other campaigns, and it’s all mixed up with
famine and the stinks of Kut. Wilfred Peek’s his A.D.C. I am to try
and get him a safe conduct to take Townshend’s stuff up to him, also
one for us. If Townshend does not make it clear that it’s a return
ticket, we shall all be kept. I saw General Lake this morning. Captain
Bermester, the Chief of the Staff, Neville, Dick Bevan and Miller all
went off this morning. The Admiral is coming back. I have received
instructions about negotiations.

_Friday, April 28, 1916._ _H.M.S. “Mantis.”_ For the last two days I
have been standing by to go to Kut, constantly dressing up for it and
then undressing for the heat. A wave of great heat has come and the air
is black with flies. Practically no firing, though they tried to shell
us yesterday and an aeroplane dropped bombs near here. We have got very
little to bargain with, as far as the Turks are concerned, practically
only the exchange of prisoners. The operations of this force are not to
be reckoned with as a bargaining asset. We are not to retire to save
Townshend. Yesterday Townshend saw Khalil at ten a.m., whom he liked.
Khalil said that Townshend would have as great a reception in Turkey
as Osman Pasha in Russia, but he demanded unconditional surrender, or
that Townshend should march out of Kut. This last is equivalent to an
unconditional surrender, and Townshend’s men are too weak. We are all
sorry for them.

Yesterday morning General Lake sent for me, and talked about the Turks.
I said it was quite clear to me that the Turks would procrastinate,
if it was only from force of habit, and the end of that must mean
unconditional surrender. General Lake was calm. He has been made
responsible for things for which other people are answerable. Townshend
has telegraphed to say that he has only food for two more days and
that Khalil has referred to Enver for better terms.... I still think
Townshend would get better terms for himself than we shall get for him.
He has made a desperately gallant fight of it, and his position has
not been taken. Lack of food makes him surrender, not force of arms.
We, the relieving force, have been checked by the Turks, but I suppose
all these men, Lake, Townshend and Nixon, will be made scapegoats. In
the last telegrams Townshend warns us that the Turks may attack. He
says he cannot move out, and that even if he were able to get his weak
men out the Turks would not have enough tents for them or transport to
Bagdad, and that there will be a terrible tragedy and that a lot of
sick and wounded will die.... We are not in a position to insist on
anything. One is more sorry for Townshend and his men than words can

_Sunday, April 30, 1916._ _H.M.S. “Mantis.”_ _The Events of Saturday_:
Yesterday morning Colonel Beach came to the _Mantis_ at seven and
took me off. We rode across the bridge to General Younghusband’s H.Q.
Nothing that I have ever seen or dreamed of came up to the flies. They
hatched out until they were almost the air. They were in myriads. The
horses were half mad. The flies were mostly tiny. They rolled up in
little balls when one passed one’s hand across one’s sweating face.
They were on your eyelids and lashes and in your lips and nostrils. We
could not speak for them, and could hardly see.

We went into General Younghusband’s tent. The flies, for some reason,
stayed outside. He put a loose net across the door of the tent. They
were like a visible fever, shimmering in the burning light all round.
Inside his tent you did not breathe them; outside you could not help
taking them in through the nose and the mouth. We left General
Younghusband and went on to the front trenches, where we met Colonel
Aylsmee. There Lawrence joined us. We three then went out of the
trenches with a white flag, and walked a couple of hundred yards or so
ahead, where we waited, with all the battlefield smells round us. It
was all a plain, with the river to the north and the place crawling
with huge black beetles and singing flies, that have been feeding on
the dead. After a time a couple of Turks came out. I said: “We have got
a letter to Khalil.” This they wanted to take from us, but we refused
to give it up, and they sent an orderly back to ask if we might come in
to the Turkish lines. Meanwhile we talked amiably. One of the Turkish
officers, a Cretan, had left school five years ago and had been in five
wars. He reckoned that he had been in 200 attacks, not counting scraps
with brigands and comitadjis. The Turks showed us their medals, and we
were rather chagrined at not being able to match them, but they and we
agreed that we should find the remedy for that in a future opportunity.

Several hours passed. It was very hot. I was hungry, having had no
breakfast. Again they asked us to give up our letter. I said that
our orders were to deliver it in person and, as soldiers, they knew
what orders were, but that Colonel Beach would give the letter up if
their C.O. would guarantee that we should see Khalil Pasha. This took
a long time. The Turks sent for a tent. A few rifle shots went off
from our lines, but Beach went back and stopped it. The Turks sent
for oranges and water, and we ate and drank. We had to refill these
bottles from the Tigris, and up and down the banks were a lot of dead
bodies from shot-wounds and cholera. After some time they agreed to
Beach’s proposal. We were blindfolded and we went in a string of hot
hands to the trenches of the Turks. When it was plain going the Turk,
who talked French, called: “Franchement, en avant,” and when it was
bad going, over trenches, “Yavash Dikatet.” We marched a long way
through these trenches, banging against men and corners, and sweating
something cruel. Beyond the trenches we went for half an hour, while
my handkerchief became a wet string across my eyes. Then we met Bekir
Sami Bey. He was a very fine man and very jolly, something between an
athlete and old King Cole. He lavished hospitality upon us, coffee
and yoghurt, and begged us to say if there was anything more he could
get us, while we sat and streamed with perspiration. He told us how
he had loved England and still did. He was fierceness and friendship
incarnate. He said it was all Grey’s fault, and glorified the Crimea.
Why couldn’t we have stuck to that policy? Then, as we were going off,
I said that he would not insist on our eyes being bandaged, showing him
my taut, wet rag of a pocket-handkerchief. He shouted with laughter
and said: “No, no; you have chosen soldiering, a very hard profession.
You have got to wear that for miles, and you will have to ride across
ditches.” Then he shook hands and patted us on the shoulder.

My eyes were bound, and I got on a horse that started bucking because
of the torture of the flies. The Turk was angry and amused. I heard
him laughing and swearing: “This is perfectly monstrous. Ha, ha! He’ll
be off. Ha, ha! This is a reproach to us.” I was then given another
horse that was not much of an improvement, and off we three went
with a Turkish officer, Ali Shefket, and a guard. Lawrence had hurt
his knee and could not ride. He got off and walked, a Turkish officer
being left with him. Colonel Beach and I went on. Then our eyes were
unbound, though as a matter of fact this was against the orders I had
heard given. The Turk Ali Shefket and I talked. He knew no French. He
said to me: “Formerly the Arabs would not take our bank-notes; now they
take them. Once upon a time they would not take medjids; two days ago
they took them. To what do you put that down?” I knew he meant the fall
of Kut, but it was not said maliciously. I said that I put it down to
the beautiful character of the marsh Arabs, “yerli bourda beule” (here
the native are thus). He laughed and agreed. We passed formidable herds
of horses and mules, our road a sand-track. The escort rode ahead of
us. The heat was very great, but we galloped. The Turks we met thought
that we were prisoners. They saluted sometimes at strict attention,
sometimes with a grin, and later our Indians were told in return to
salute the Turkish officers, who looked at them as black as thunder.

At last we came to Khalil’s camp, a single round tent, a few men on
motor cycles coming and going, horses picketed here and there and the
camp in process of shifting. Later on, Khalil said that the flies bored
him and that he meant to camp beside the river. Colonel Beach told me
to start talking. I said to Khalil, whose face I remembered: “Where
was it that I met your Excellency last?” And he said: “At a dance at
the British Embassy.” Khalil, throughout the interview, was polite. He
was quite a young man for his position, I suppose about thirty-five,
and a fine man to look at--lion-taming eyes, a square chin and a mouth
like a trap. Kiazim Bey, who was also courteous, but silent, was his
C.G.S. We began on minor points. The Turks had taken the English ladies
in Bagdad. Their husbands were sent across to Alexandretta, where I
met them last year; some of them, worse luck, are now prisoners again.
We had Turkish ladies at Amara and also twenty-five Turkish civilian
officials. This exchange was arranged. They were to meet each other at

I went on to speak of the _Julnar_. He said that there had been two
killed on the _Julnar_. He was afraid it was the two Captains. He was
sorry. It made Beech and me very sad. I did hope they would have got
through. Firman was a gallant man--he had had forty-eight hours’ leave
in four years--and old Cowley was a splendid old fellow. Well, if you
are going to be killed, trying to relieve Townshend is not a bad way to

After that, I began talking of the treatment of the Arab population
in Kut. I asked Khalil to put himself in the position of Townshend. I
said that I knew that he could not help feeling for Townshend, whose
lifelong study of soldiering was brought to nought through siege and
famine, by no fault of his own. I said that the Arabs with Townshend
had done what weak people always do: they had trimmed their sails,
and because they had feared him, they had given him their service. If
they suffered, Townshend would feel that he was responsible. Khalil
said: “There is no need to worry about Townshend. He’s all right.”
He added that the Arabs are Turkish subjects, not British, and that
therefore their fate was irrelevant, but that their fate would depend
upon what they did in the future, not upon what they had done in the
past. We asked him for some assurance that there would be no hanging or
persecution. He would not give this assurance, for the reasons already
stated, but said that it was not his intention to do anything to the
Arabs. Then Lawrence turned up.

We discussed the question of our sick and wounded. He said that he
would send 500 of them down the river, but that he required Turkish
soldiers for them in exchange. I said that he gained by having sound
men instead of wounded. He wanted us to send boats to fetch these men.
He said that he was sending them drugs, doctors and food, and doing
what could be done. Beach asked for the exchange of all our prisoners
in Kut against the Ottomans that we had taken. He at first said that he
would exchange English against Turk and Arab against Indian, because
he had a poor opinion of the fighting qualities of the last two. I
said that some of the Arabs had fought very well, and he would gain by
getting them back. He then pulled out a list of prisoners of ours, and
went through the list of Arab surrenders, swearing. He said: “Perhaps
one of our men in ten is weak or cowardly, but it’s only one in a
hundred of the Arabs who is brave. Look, these brutes have surrendered
to you because they were a lot of cowards. What are you to do with men
like that? You can send them back to me if you like, but I have already
condemned them to death. I should like to have them to hang.” That
ended that. We must see that Arabs are not sent back by mistake.

He then said that he would like us to send ships up to transport
Townshend and his men to Bagdad; otherwise they would have to march,
which would be hard on them. He promised to let us have these ships
back again. Colonel Beach said to me, not for translation, that this
was impossible. We have already insufficient transport. He told me to
say that he would refer this to General Lake. We then talked about
terms and the exchange of the sick and wounded. On this, Khalil said he
would refer to Enver or Constantinople as to whether sound men at Kut
would be exchanged against the Turkish prisoners in Cairo and India.
He did not think it likely. He was going to give us the wounded in any
case, at once. He would trust us to give their equivalent.

_Guns_: Townshend had destroyed the guns. Khalil was angry and
showed it. He said he had a great admiration for Townshend, but he
was obviously disappointed at not getting the guns, on which he had
counted. He said: “I could have prevented it by bombarding, but I did
not want to.” Later, one of his officers said to me: “The Pasha’s a
most honourable man; all love him. He was first very pleased and said
that Townshend should go free. After that something happened, I don’t
know what, and now Townshend will be an honoured prisoner at Stamboul.”

Beach told me to say that we would willingly pay for the maintenance
of the civilians and the Arabs of Kut. Khalil brushed this aside and
returned to his proposal that we should send up boats to transport
Townshend’s sick and wounded to Bagdad. Beach whispered to me that we
had not enough ships for ourselves at the present moment and no reserve

Then we talked of the general situation and its difficulties. I asked
him if all this business would be possible without an armistice. Khalil
said very strongly indeed that he was entirely against an armistice
and that he wanted his assurance given to General Lake that even if
there was a general offensive the ships carrying the sick and wounded
could still come and go. Beach told me to say that we had no idea of
an armistice. Khalil, at this point, grew very sleepy. He apologized
and said he had had a lot of work to do. He also said that he had seen
Townshend that morning and that he was all right, but he had slight

Our final understanding with Khalil was that we were to notify him when
we were sending up boats, so that he might clear the river. He laughed
and said that he had forgotten all about the mines, which we had not.

We ended with mutual compliments, and we said good-bye to him and
Kiazim Bey. As we were leaving he called to me and said that he hoped
we should be comfortable that night and that we were to ask for all we
wanted. After more compliments, we shook hands and rode away, all the
Turks saluting. I talked to Ali Shefket, who now seemed a fast friend
and said: “How angry the Germans would be if they could see the Turks
and the English.”

We rode on, and before sunset, came to the Turkish camp. There the
three of us sat down and, as far as we could for the flies, wrote

The Turks gave us their tent, though I should have preferred to sleep
out. They gave us their beds and an excellent dinner. We all sat and
smoked after dinner for a few minutes under the stars, with camp
fires burning round us. Muezzin called from different places and the
sound of flutes and singing came through the dusk. Then Colonel Beach
decided that I had better stay and go to Kut, where I was to meet him
and Lawrence, who would come up with the boats to take our prisoners
away. I didn’t believe that Khalil would accept this sort of liaison
business. Beach wanted to go straight back, but would not let Lawrence
or me. We pointed out that, if he got shot in the dark by our people,
it would upset everything.

I dictated a French letter to Lawrence, asking for permission for me to
stay and go across to Kut. I cannot think how he wrote the letter. The
whole place was one smother of small flies, attracted by the candle.
They put it out three times. B. and I kept them off Lawrence while he
wrote. We got an answer at about two in the morning. Khalil said that
it was not necessary. All this happened on April 29th.

_To-day. April 30th._ We left at 4.30 this morning, and this time rode
all the way with unbandaged eyes. We ended up on the river bank amongst
dead bodies. We walked across to our front line and Colonel Beach
telephoned to H.Q. While he was doing this a Turkish white flag went up
and we went out again. After several palavers, Ali Shefket came out and
said that the river was clear of mines. Beach and Lawrence went back to

Our boat could go up if it arrived by 2 o’clock in the afternoon. I,
with the Cretan, the man of a hundred fights, Ali Shefket and others,
went across. A fierce bearded Colonel came out, arrogant and insolent,
talking German. He boasted that he knew Greek, but when I talked to him
in Greek, he could not answer. He then harangued me in bad German,
talking rot. I said, in Turkish: “Neither you nor I can talk good
German, therefore let us talk Turkish.” “Yes,” said the other Turks;
“it’s a much better language.”

The ship tarried. At 5 o’clock in the evening she was in sight, but she
could not have arrived for another hour. It was decided that we could
do nothing that night and that she would have to be put off until next
day. A monstrous beetle, the size of half a crown, crawled up my back.
The Turks were as horrified as I.

_Monday, May 1, 1916. H.M.S. “Mantis.”_ I came back last night. I saw
General Lake this morning to report. I think Khalil is going to play
the game, but he has got something up his sleeve. A letter has come
in from him. The ships, he said, could go. He wanted boats to send
the prisoners to Bagdad. He was answered by General Money that His
Excellency would understand that we ourselves needed all our boats.
Beach went up this morning with two boats, but they stopped him at No
Man’s Land.

_Tuesday, May 2, 1916. H.M.S. “Mantis.”_ Last night I went on the
_P----_ to go to Kut, with a rather tiresome Padre. It rained and blew
in the night, and was very uncomfortable on deck. I got up at four, and
we started soon after. They opened the bridge of boats for us. A launch
followed for me, for I was to get off before entering neutral territory.

At the neutral territory I found white flags and an Indian Major,
who was tired and nervous. All the way up the river there had been a
curious feeling of expectancy and uncanniness; the Indians looked at
us, shading their eyes from the rising sun, and our own troops stared.
There was an uncomfortable, eerie feeling in the air. The Major said
the Turks refused to allow the boats to go on. I telephoned to Colonel
Beach, who was leaving H.Q. He told me to do the best I could.... I
took a white flag and went out into No Man’s Land and found the man
I had talked to before, the Cretan’s brother. I asked what all this
meant. This was neither war nor peace. He said that it was our fellows,
who had been shooting on the right bank, and there was quite enough
shooting while we talked to make one feel uncomfortable. I said that
Khalil had given his word that the boats could go up, even if there was
an offensive. This was telephoned to Khalil. Our fellows began loosing
off with a machine-gun. The beastly Colonel and the Cretan then came
out to say that they had telephoned, and later the Cretan came again,
alone, to say that our boats could not go through until the others had
returned from Kut. He said it might not be necessary to send them up
to Kut. We sat and talked in the great heat. I have given Ali Shefket
Bobby Palmer’s photograph and have asked him to make enquiries. He
sent it back to me by the Cretan, who read me out what Ali Shefket had
written me. It was to say that Bobby Palmer was killed. He spoke very
kindly and very sadly. I am so sorry for his family.

I went back very tired and found a lot of men making up burying parties
which, reluctantly, I sent back again. A lot of the bodies on the river
bank look as if they died of cholera. By the way, we have had a hundred
and fifty cases in the last three days. Then I shaved on the deck of
the launch, while the Turks looked on in the distance. Then I went and
telephoned from the front line to Beach. He told me to bring all the
four boats back, which I did. The only news is that the Turks have dug
in below us near Sheikh Saad.

_Wednesday, May 3, 1916. H.M.S. “Mantis.”_ You foul land of
Mesopotamia! This morning bodies raced by us on the stream and I spent
most of the day walking in the ruin of battle. I was sent for by
General Gorringe and General Brown. They wanted to know why our boats
had not come down from Kut. They said that the Turks had been shooting
on the right and sent out white-flag parties, 200 men strong, to bury
the dead. I said I thought it would be all right about the ships but
I would go and see Khalil. The fact that they did not want us to send
more ships showed that it was all right, but I thought they would
probably like to nag us into doing something indiscreet, and asked the
General if he would give orders that there should be no firing except
under instructions, as long as they had our hostages. He sent me off to
see the Turks.

I rode fast through suffocating heat, with an Indian orderly. At the
bridge I found our two ships, the _Sikhim_ and the _Shaba_, which had
come through from Kut. They were banking above the bridge, which was
being mended. This altered the whole situation, since the General had
sent me out to complain that they had not been let through, and I
galloped back. After a talk at H.Q., it was decided that I was only to
thank Khalil.

I jumped the trenches and finally arrived at the main trench, where
my horse stared down at a horrified circle, lunching. The circle said
that no horses were allowed there and that none had ever been there,
and that my horse, or rather Costello’s, would be shot immediately
by the Turks. So I went to General Peebles, who was lunching farther
along in the same trenches, and he had her sent back. I then got a
white flag and walked out.... I met a couple of Turks. They wanted us
to send up two ships to-morrow, and were quite agreeable. I asked them,
as a favour, not to send out again the Colonel who talked German, as I
couldn’t stand him, and they said they wouldn’t.

It was blazing hot; a Turkish officer and I sat out between the lines.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is one incident not recorded in the diary that is, perhaps,
worth mentioning, as it had a curious result that will find its place
in the sequel to this journal, if it is ever published. On one of the
occasions when I was talking to the Turks between the lines, a general
fire started from the British and the Turkish trenches. The Turks, for
the honour of their country, and I, for the honour of mine, pretended
to ignore this fire, and we continued to discuss our business, but
in the end the fire refused to be ignored, and, with loud curses, we
fell upon the ground and there attempted to continue the discussion. I
suggested to the Turks that the whole proceeding was lacking in dignity
and that it would be better for each to retire to their own trenches
and resume negotiations when circumstances were more favourable.

Next time I returned I was informed that one of the Turks had been hit
whilst returning. I naturally said how sorry I was, and that I hoped
they would not think it was a case of _mala fides_, as it might have
happened to one of us, and wrote a note explaining my regret.

_Diary._ It was curious and bitter sitting in that peaceful field
talking amicably with the Turks between the lines, with maize round us.
The river murmured and the larks were singing, while the stiff clay
held the knee-deep prints, like plaster of Paris, of the Black Watch
and the others, who had charged across that foul field, when it had
been a trap and a bog.

_Thursday, May 4, 1916. H.M.S. “Mantis.”_ Very tired to-day. I rode
back last night from the Turks, very fast. The flies made it impossible
to go slow, horses couldn’t breathe. At the bridge, I found that the
traffic was going the other way and had to hold up an unfortunate
brigade to get across, hating to do it.

I met Green Armitage, who had just come from Kut. He had got
Townshend’s terriers, who barked like mad. He said that there were
three Turkish officers on board the _Sikhim_, who were asking for me.
I didn’t know what to do, as I wanted to go to H.Q., but dashed on
board and found they were Ali Shefket and Mehmed Jemal and Salahedin
Bey, inspector to the Agricultural Bank of Smyrna. Our people on board
wanted me to stay. I told them I would come back. I saw the sick and
wounded Indians being carried away, terribly emaciated. I reported at
H.Q., where, apparently, half a dozen entirely contradictory orders
were being prepared for me. I then went back in a launch to the Turks,
who were reported to be taking notes of our position from the bridge.
On the _Sikhim_ I found crowds of our officers with the Turks and a
general jollification going on. I did not understand how or why they
had been allowed to come down. All the Intelligence came along to see
what the Turks could tell them. I was fed-up with the whole business,
and disliked the Turks being on deck. I said to them: “Of course, it’s
a pleasure to have you here, as guests, but we would much rather give
you hospitality in London, for there we can show you everything, and,
unfortunately, that’s not the case here. So in future, if you please,
Turkish officers will not accompany the boats down.” They agreed to

The same tiresome Padre came bumbling up again. I think he wanted to
go to Kut for the adventure, and I had no sympathy, as he would have
meant another mouth to feed. The Turks made no particular objection
to his going, but they said there was already a clergyman there, so I
told the Padre he could go if he liked, but that if he went he ought
to stay and let the other chaplain come back, as the other had had all
the hardships of the siege. He thought I was brutal, but cleared out
and gave no more trouble. It seems to me, however, that he runs a fair
risk, like the rest of us, of being made a prisoner.

I wish the Admiral was here. The Turks on board said that they had hung
seven Arabs at Kut, which made me furious. I said that Khalil had said
that he had no intention of doing that. The Turks said that these men
were not natives, but vagabonds....

Then they talked about the future. I said it would not be easy for
Turkey to dissociate herself from Germany, even if they wanted to. They
replied: “How long did it take the Bulgars and Serbs to quarrel?” They
said Khalil had sent messages, and I arranged that if there was any
hitch I should be able to get straight through.

I did not sleep much. This morning I went up with them to Sanayat,
where Husni Bey took their place. Then I came back by launch to the
bridge and found a motor, which I took to H.Q.

At dinner to-night Reuter’s came in, and the doctor, in a perfectly
calm voice, read out to us that there now seemed some chance of
checking the rebellion in Ireland. Somebody said: “Don’t be a fool.
Things are bad enough here. Kut’s fallen and we shall probably be
prisoners. Don’t invent worse things.” The doctor said: “It’s an
absolute fact,” and read it out again. Then somebody said: “Those
cursed Irish.” Then an Ulsterman leapt to his feet and said: “You would
insult my country, would you?” Then there was a general row. After
that, everything seemed so utterly desperate that there was nothing
to be done but to make the best of things, and we had an extremely
cheerful dinner. We must have missed a lot of news. Let’s hope this
Irish business is the bursting of a boil. I am more afraid of the
treatment than the disease.

_Friday, May 5, 1916. H.M.S. “Mantis.”_ Vane Tempest came back from
Kut with unpleasant stories. He said that our officers had been looted
at the point of the bayonet by the Arabs. He had seen four men hanging
and one man hanged. This was a curious incident. This man, as he was
going to execution, threw Vane Tempest his _tesbih_ (his rosary), the
ninety-nine Beautiful Names of God. Vane Tempest had still got it. It
means “I commend my cause to you. Take up my quarrel.” I told Vane
Tempest if he was superstitious he ought never to part with it.

Now there is a new position created. They can float down all their
guns and stores. There is a fight coming, but I wonder where. Eight
hundred Turks and Arabs below Sheikh Saad, with three guns. The country
is up behind us and we have only half a day’s provisions in reserve.
The guns are booming away behind us. It’s going to be very hard to hold
this position. I wish Edward was here, and hope he is all right, with
my kit. I want it badly, but I got some stuff from Percy Herbert this
morning. We agreed that we had a most excellent chance of being cut
off.... One is sorry for these men here. They are starved in every way,
ammunition excepted. They are not even given cigarettes and have to pay
six times their price to the Arabs. Last night the Arabs were looting
all over the place. A man told me this morning that a sick officer in
the 21st Brigade found five Arabs in his tent and lost everything.
Lucky for him that was all he lost.

_Saturday, May 6, 1916. H.M.S. “Mantis.” Sheikh Saad._ Yesterday my
typewriter broke. A jolly mechanic more or less repaired it and refused
money. “It’s all for one purpose,” he said. H.Q. suddenly determined to
come down to Sheikh Saad in the afternoon. General Gorringe and General
Ratcliffe went off, strafing like mad. Then the _Mantis_ sailed. I
found Edward on board the _Blosse Lynch_, with 200 “sea-gulls,” as he
called the sepoys. He was very upset about the Irish news, but glad to
have found me.

I walked at night with Bernard Buxton into the Arab village to find
H.Q. A curious sight: Devons and Somersets, Gurkhas, Arabs and frogs
all mixed up together. The Somersets were very glad to meet a friend.

This morning, after going through the evidence with the other officers
about Bobby Palmer, I sent a telegram to Lord Selborne. They did not
doubt the evidence of the Turks that he was killed.

This morning I walked along the banks of the Tigris, while bodies
floated down it. After a time I found the 4th Devons and John Kennaway,
Acland Troyte and the rest, also a lot of people from home. Promised
them cigarettes and that I would get messages home for them. The latest
out were a bit depressed and complained of the shortage of food. Their
camp isn’t too bad. Three miles away, one can see Lot’s Tomb, with
generally, they say, a Turkish patrol on it. Sheikh Saad is supposed,
J. K. says, to be Sodom. If you took our troops away, another dose of
brimstone would do it and its inhabitants a lot of good.

Then I saw Captain ---- of the Indian Transport. He was miserable at
the way that his men were treated. He said: (1) The drivers did not
receive pay equal to sepoys, nor did they receive allowances, which
mountain battery drivers and ammunition column drivers did receive. The
work the transport drivers did was equally dangerous and more onerous.
(2) There were no spare men. A transport driver went sick and the next
man had to look after his animals. (3) They got no fresh clothes.
Their clothes were in rags. (4) They had 21-lb. tents for four men. In
a hot or a cold climate this is unhealthy; very bad here. Also they
have only one flap, so later on they’ll be bound to get sunstroke. (5)
They do not get milk, cigarettes or tobacco. (6) They get no presents,
such as the other Indian regiments have received. (7) The treatment of
transport officers is not equal to that of a sepoy officer. _Vide_
Subadar Rangbaz Khan, about thirty years’ service. Recommended with
many others. No notice taken. Only two recommendations given, those
for actual valour. This man, if he had been with his relations in the
cavalry, would probably have done less good work, but would have been
covered with medals.

I walked back through rain, with frogs everywhere, a plague. It’s
a pity we can’t get our men to eat them. One can’t even teach the
officers to eat them. John said the Arabs sniped them most nights, but
they were well and not too uncomfortable. Jack Amory was there, but I
didn’t see him. He was out shooting sand-grouse.

_Sunday, May 7, 1916. H.M.S. “Mantis.”_ Harris came up last night.
He said all was quiet down the river. Subhi Bey, with a good many
troops, had tried to cut us off at Kumait, but the floods were out. He
said that last year Cowley prophesied that when the hot weather came
the river would fall and that five-eighths of our transport would be
useless. Cowley was generally right. If he was wrong then, he will
probably be right now. Harris had been fishing the other day, when two
of the Devons suddenly appeared, naked, beside him. They had swum the
river, being carried a mile and a half down, and intend to swim it
again. It’s very dangerous. They are wonderful fellows. I am on the
_Waterfly_ now.

Early this morning a telegram arrived to say the Corps Commander wanted
me at once. I spoke on the telephone to H. C. Cassel said: “Our men
have fired on the Turks and they have collared the _Sikhim_. You must
come and get her out”.... I transferred to the _Waterfly_ and came up
with Harris. I knew this would happen. What, apparently, happened was
that the Turks fired four shots at the _Sikhim_. The Turkish officer
was angry, and rigid orders had been issued to the Turks not to fire
again. Then our men had opened fire.... But they don’t all tell the
same story.... I have now got five contradictory orders from H.Q.

_Tuesday, May 9, 1916. Felahiah._ The last boatload of wounded is
coming down and the truce will, I suppose, end. The _Sikhim_ has made
her last journey. A telegram arrived from the Admiral ordering me to go
at once to Bushire. I am to get on board the _Lawrence_, sailing the
12th from Basra, and join him at Bushire.... (Here indescribable things
follow.) I went round and said good-bye to everybody.

There is a lot of cholera. General Rice died last night. There are many
bodies floating down the river. It’s tremendously hot. I have just seen
Williams, the doctor of the _Sikhim_. He says the Turks have been good
throughout. The Arabs have looted at the beginning, but this has been
put an end to. It’s not going well with the Arabs.... We must largely
depend on them for supplies.

_Wednesday, May 10, 1916. H.M.S. “Mantis.”_ I was to have left on S.1,
but when it was apparent that it would not start that night, I went
off to the _Mantis_. Buxton telephoned from Sheikh Saad that he would
take me to Amara, if I could get there by 4.30 a.m. I came down with
Colonel James. Many bodies in the river and much cholera at Wadi. Our
men lack every mortal thing. I should like to send a telegram like this
home, but don’t expect I should be allowed to: “From my experience of
this country, I see that, unless certain action is taken immediately,
consequences that are disastrous to the health of the troops must
follow. All realize here that the past economy of the Government of
India is responsible for our failure (_vide_ Sir W. Meyer’s Budget
speech). Unless this is realized in England and supplies taken out
of the hands of the Government of India, altogether, or liberally
supplemented from home and Egypt, the troops will suffer even more
during this summer than last year. Condensed milk and oatmeal are
essential to the troops. India cannot provide these under three months,
by which time we shall have sustained great and unnecessary losses.
Supplies of potatoes and onions will cease at the end of this month.
If cold storage is found to be impossible, a substitute, e.g. dried
figs, must be found. India cannot provide these substitutes in time.
Sufficient ice-machines and soda-water machines are as essential to
prevent heat-stroke in the trenches as to cure heat-stroke in the
hospitals. India, unless ordered to commandeer these from clubs,
private houses, etc., cannot provide them. Many Indian troops are in
21-lb. tents, single flap, one tent to four men. Numbers of these will
get sunstroke. If you mean to hold this country, you can’t do it on
the lines of Sir W. Meyer. A railway is essential. A fall in the river
would render half our present transport useless, above Kurna. Many
of the troops here are young and not strong. If a disaster to their
health, which, in its way, is as grave as the fall of Kut, and due to
the same reason, lack of transport, is to be prevented, supplies must
be taken in hand from England and Egypt.”

_Thursday, May 11, 1916. H.M.S. “Mantis.” Amara._ Yesterday was one of
the most beautiful days imaginable. We came very fast down the river,
with a delicious wind against us. On both banks there were great herds
of sheep, cattle and nice-looking horses. Every horse here is blanketed
by the Arabs, only our horses not blanketed. The Arabs vary a lot in
looks. One man, towing a bellam, glancing back over his shoulder, was
the picture of a snarling hyena. A great many of them were handsome.

We came to Amara in the evening and found a lot of cholera. I went
to the bazaar and bought what I could for J. K. and his mess, and
cigarettes for the men, but couldn’t get fishing tackle. Amara looked
beautiful in the evening--fine, picturesque Arab buildings, and palm
groves and forests up and down both sides of the lighted river. At
night we anchored to a palm and slept well, in spite of great gusts of
wind occasionally, which roared through the palm forests, and bursts of
rifle fire on the banks by us, at Arabs, who were stealing or sniping
us. Jackals cried in a chorus.

To-day the river has been enchanted. Long processions of delicately
built mehailahs, perfectly reflected in the water, drifted down, often
commanded by our own officers. The river turned into a glowing, limpid
lake, almost without a land horizon. We passed the _Marmariss_, which
the Turks fought until she caught fire. The Arab villages were half
afloat. There was a look of peace everywhere, and the flood is too high
to allow an attack on us. There was a glorious, dangerous sunset. The
sky was a bank of clouds that caught fire and glowed east and west over
the glowing water. The palms looked like a forest raised by magic from
the river. It was like the most magnificent Mecca stone on the most
gigantic scale.

Pursefield, whose last night it is in Mesopotamia, asked me how much
I wanted to get on. I said I couldn’t see the people I wanted to that
night, so it was the same to me if we got in after dawn next morning.
We tied up in mid-stream, to avoid being sniped. No flies at all.
Sherbrooke and I talked after dinner.

_Friday, May 12, 1916. H.M.S. “Lawrence.”_ The Army Commander and
General Money were both away, and I only spent twenty minutes at Basra.
I saw Bill Beach and Captain Nunn and wrote a line to Gertrude Bell
and George Lloyd. I wish I could have seen them both. The _Sikhim_
is there, in quarantine, her Red Cross looking like a huge tropical
flower. I got on to the _Lawrence_. Cleanliness and comfort and good
food. I wish the others could have it too.

  _Printed in Great Britain by_

  Telegrams: “Scholarly, London.”      41 and 43 Maddox Street,
  Telephone: 1883 Mayfair.                Bond Street, London, W. 1.
                                              _October, 1919._

Mr. Edward Arnold’s




  _With Portrait._      _1 vol._      _Demy 8vo._      =16s. net.=

The “History of John Redmond’s Last Years,” by Stephen Gwynn, is in
the first place an historical document of unusual importance. It is
an account of Irish political events at their most exciting period,
written by an active member of Mr. Redmond’s party who was in the
confidence of his chief. The preliminary story of the struggle with the
House of Lords and the prolonged fight over Home Rule is described by a
keen student of parliamentary action. For the period which began with
the war Mr. Gwynn has had access to all Redmond’s papers. He writes of
Redmond’s effort to lead Ireland into the war from the standpoint of a
soldier as well as a member of parliament. The last chapter gives to
the world, for the first time, a full account of the Irish Convention
which sat for eight months behind closed doors, and in which Redmond’s
career reached its dramatic catastrophe.

The interlocking of varying chains of circumstance, the parliamentary
struggle, the rise of the rival volunteer forces, the raising of Irish
divisions, the rebellion and its sequel, and, finally, the effect
of bringing Irishmen together into conference--all this is vividly
pictured, with increasing detail as the book proceeds. In the opening,
two short chapters recall the earlier history of the Irish party and
Redmond’s part in it.

But the main interest centres in the character of Redmond himself. Mr.
Gwynn does not work to display his leader as a hero without faults and
incapable of mistakes. He shows the man as he knew him and worked under
him, traces his career through its triumphs to reverses, and through
gallant recovery to final defeat. A great man is made familiar to the
reader, in his wisdom, his magnanimity, and his love of country. The
tragic waste of great opportunities is portrayed in a story which has
the quality of drama in it. Beside the picture of John Redmond himself
there is sketched the gallant and sympathetic figure of his brother,
who, after thirty-five years of parliamentary service, died with the
foremost wave of his battalion at the battle of Messines.



  _With Illustrations._  _1 vol._  _Demy 8vo._  =16s. net.=

Sir David Hunter Blair, late Abbot of Fort Augustus, in the first part
of these fifty years’ recollections, deals with his childhood and youth
in Scotland, and gives a picture full of varied interest of Scottish
country house life a generation or more ago. Very vivid, too, is the
account of early days at what was then the most famous private school
in England; and the chapter on Eton under Balston and Hornby gives
thumbnail sketches of a great many Etonians, school-contemporaries of
the writer’s, and bearing names afterwards very well known for one
reason or another. Eton was followed by Magdalen; and undergraduate
life in the Oxford of 1872 is depicted with a light hand and many
amusing touches. There was foreign travel after the Oxford days; and
two of the most pleasantly descriptive chapters of the book deal with
Rome in the reign of Pius IX. and Leo XIII., both of which Pontiffs the
author served as Private Chamberlain. There is much also that is fresh
and interesting in the section treating of the lives and personalities
of some of the great English Catholic families of by-gone days.

Sir David entered the Benedictine Order at the age of twenty-five; and
the latter half of the book is concerned with his life as co-founder,
and member of the community of, the great Highland Abbey of Fort
Augustus, of which he rose later to be the second abbot. The intimate
account given in these pages of the life of a modern monk will be
new to most readers, who will find it very interesting reading. The
writer’s monastic experiences embrace not only his own beautiful home
in the Central Highlands, but Benedictine life and work in England, in
Belgium, Germany and Portugal, and in South America. One of the most
novel and attractive chapters in the book is that dealing with the work
of the Order in the vast territory of Brazil.

The volume is illustrated with an excellent portrait, and with some
clever black-and-white drawings, the work of Mr. Richard Anson, one
of the author’s religious brethren, and a member of the Benedictine
community at Caldey Abbey, in South Wales.





  _With numerous Illustrations and Map._      _Demy 8vo._      =16s. net.=

Among the many “side-shows” of the Great War, few are so difficult for
the average reader to understand as the operations in Northern Persia,
an offshoot of the Bagdhad venture, which had for their object the
policing of the warlike tribes in an area almost unknown to Europeans,
and included the various attempts to reach and hold Baku, and so get
command of the Caspian and Caucasia.

The story of these operations--carried out by little, half-forgotten
bodies of troops, mainly local levies who broke at the critical moment
and left their British officers and N.C.O.’s to carry on alone--is one
of the most amazing of the whole War, and comprises many episodes that
recall the most stirring events of the Empire’s pioneering days.

By happy chance, Major M. H. Donohoe, the famous War Correspondent,
whose work for the _Daily Chronicle_ in all the wars of the past
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languages off the beaten tract peculiarly fitted him. He has written
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the Staff of the Military Mission under General Byron, known officially
as the “Baghdad Party,” and unofficially as the “Hush-Hush Brigade,”
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by day, in the thick of the most stirring events in history, he jotted
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cannot yet be published, enough is given to the world to form a graphic
and very human history.

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arranged for the burial of the dead.

Later, the author was in Mesopotamia, where he accompanied the
relieving force in their heroic attempt to save Kut. On several
occasions he was sent out between the lines to conduct negociations
between the Turks and ourselves.

“Mons, Anzac, and Kut”.... A day and a day will pass, before the man
and the moment meet to give us another book like this. We congratulate
ourselves that the author survived to write it.





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Capabilities of Aircraft; Theory in 1914; The flight to France and
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to cut the Turkish telegraph lines north and west of Baghdad, just
before the Battle of Ctesiphon. Then came the horrors of the journey
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This book is the life-story of a young New Zealander who was killed
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needful, with the utmost tact and discretion by his sister--and falls
naturally into three principal stages. Allen spent four very strenuous
years, 1907-1911, at Cambridge, where he occupied a prominent position
among his contemporaries as an active member, and eventually President
of the Union. Though undergraduate politics are not usually taken very
seriously by the outside world, yet this side of Allen’s Cambridge
career has an interest far transcending the merely personal one.
Possessed, as he was, of remarkable gifts, which he had cultivated by
assiduous practice as a speaker and writer, and passionately interested
in all that concerns the British Empire, and the present and future
relations between the United Kingdom and the Overseas Dominions, his
record may well stand as representative of the attitude of the _élite_
of the New Zealand youth towards these vital matters in the period just
preceding the war.

After Cambridge, he returned for a time to New Zealand, where he
resolved to make his permanent home, but came back to England in
December, 1913, to complete his legal studies and get called to the
bar, and was still in England when the war broke out. Consequently the
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officers, to the Dardanelles, arrived on May 25th at Cape Helles, and
was attached to the Essex regiment. The last stage, brief, glorious,
and terrible, lasted only twelve days but, brief as it was, he had
time to draw an enthralling picture of the unexampled horrors of this
particular phase of trench-warfare. The book is steeped, from beginning
to end, in a sober but fervent enthusiasm; and the cult of the Empire,
in its noblest form, has seldom been as finely exemplified as by the
life and death of John Allen.


Edited by HIS PARENTS.

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A series of charming sketches by a young New Zealander, who died in
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Ross was one of those daring Anzacs who made the landing on Gallipoli.
Wounded in the early days of the terrible fighting there, he was
discharged from the Army, came to London, rejoined there, and obtained
a commission in the Royal Field Artillery. Afterwards he became a
valued member of the Editorial Staff of _The Times_, on which his
genius was at once recognized and highly appreciated. Much of his work
appeared in _The Times_, and he was also a contributor to Punch. In
collaboration with his father, Captain Malcolm Ross, the New Zealand
War Correspondent, he was the author of “Light and Shade in War,” of
which the _Daily Mail_ said: “It is full of Anzac virility, full of
Anzac buoyancy, and surcharged with that devil-may-care humour that has
so astounded us jaded peoples of an older world.”

His writings attracted the attention of such capable writers as Rudyard
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that gallant and brilliant young Englishman, Rupert Brooke.



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[1] Now Admiral Boyle, C.B., C.M.G., M.V.O.

[2] Colonel Doughty Wylie, V.C.

[3] Colonel Esson was Q.M.G. of the New Zealand Division.

[4] Now Lieut.-General Sir John Monash, commanding the Australian

[5] Because he had been through the siege of Plevna and was covered
with Turkish decorations.

[6] Supply officer of the New Zealand Division.

[7] Now Lieut.-General Sir A. H. Russell, K.C.M.G., K.C.B.

[8] Now Chief of Staff in India.

[9] Commanding Australian Div.

[10] Now Lieut.-Colonel Bigham, C.M.G., Grenadier Guards.

[11] Now Brigadier-General, Australian Forces.

[12] Now Surgeon-General and Director-General, Medical Services of

[13] The usual Albanian greeting.

[14] Commanding 1st Australian Light Horse Brigade. Now Lieut.-General
Sir H. Chauvel, G.C.M.G., K.C.B.

[15] Commanding New Zealand Infantry Brigade. Afterwards killed at
battle of Messines in 1917.

[16] Now Lieut.-General Sir Neville, Director of the Australian Medical

[17] Now Sir George Lloyd, Governor of Bombay.

[18] War correspondents.

[19] The novelist.

[20] Naval beachmaster.

[21] His A.D.C., a Captain in the Indian Lancers, who had been killed.

[22] A.D.M.S., New Zealand Division.

[23] Irish Guards. Commanding 29th Irish Brigade.

[24] Taken back after.

[Transcriber’s Note:

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.

Page 151, “_Monday, July 2, 1915.” changed to read “_Monday, August 2,
1915.” to match the month in previous and subsequent diary entries.]

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