I have’nt written for ever such a long time, nearly a fortnight now, as you will understand why. We have had a very busy time indeed, as you will probably have seen by the accounts in the papers, but it all ended up successfully with the surrender of the whole Turkish army opposed to us, followed next day by the announcement that an armistice had been declared with Turkey-
So we only got our show finished with one day to spare! But we worked awful hard for it. In 9 days we marched hard, & the last 4 days of those 9 we were fighting most of the time. A fight in the morning, a pursuit in the afternoon, just a short rest for food at nightfall & on again at 1 o’clock in the morning, hard on the heels of the Turk- The men were splendid. We had our first battle on 26th, & fought all that day & did’nt make much progress, & hung on to such ground as we had won by nightfall.
During the night the Turk retired & we followed him up at 12 noon on the 28th & fought him & drove him from a strong position & bivouaced that night on the groud captured. All very tired & hungry & thirsty, but we had to press on again at 6 am on 29th & ran into the Turk once more about noon, & went for him at 3 in the afternoon, but he had a splendid position & our men were frightfully tired, but managed to get right up to the position under very heavy fire, & also got round his flank a bit & then night fell.
The men were digging all night & on the morning of the 30th the Turk surrendered, as we had driven him into the arms of a cavalry force which had crossed the river higher up & got behind him – about 9000 surrendered & 40 guns, a splendid haul & reward for all our efforts- Our casualties were not very heavy but the time was one of the most strenuous I ever spent- I am so glad I took part in it all & saw the best of the fighting, as now I feel I have done something at last to help things on. My brigade had its full share of the fighting, & it was all so interesting to me in my job as Bde Major so of course I had tons of work to do & I was so tired & sleepy at times.
Jim’s regiment was across the other side of the river but I have heard nothing of him- The Turks fought very hard & well & we had a tough job driving him along & we were right glad he surrendered when he did! We began on 21st & finished up on 30th, so had a good long continuous spell. Rather curious I went into the trenches in France for the first time on 29th Oct 1914, & this I expect is my last battle in this war and that was on 29th October, as the Turk surrendered on morning of 30th. We have been busy clearing up the mess on the battlefield since then, asn collecting all the booty & guns & prisoners- It’s the first action my brigade has been in & they did awfully well, & the general is most fearfully pleased of course.
So that’s the end of Turkey, and the end of the War out here & let’s hope elsewhere too. It’s gorgeous to know we were able to give the absolute last blow to Turkey, the very day before the Armistice was signed. I expect you’ve been wondering whether I was in the show or not. I sent you a cable saying I had been very slightly hit, as I found I had been reported wounded officially & I thought they’d be sending alarming wires home, so I thought it best to cable- a shell burst close to me & I got some splinters in my hand & arm, nothing at all serious, but they bled a lot & looked ghastly in consequence! But beyond making my arm & hand rather stiff & painful for a day or two there was no harm done & I only went to hospital to have them dressed but did not stay there. I’m afraid I shan’t even have any marks to show they are so small, less than I was hit before even & they were absurd enough. Anyhow I’m absolutely all right-
We are within about 50 miles of Mosul & hoped to go on there, but now this Armistice is on I suppose that’s off. I wonder what they’ll do with us now, as the Palestine & Mesopotamia armies are now freed- Austria seems tottering & really things are looking much more hopeful & bright all round- we’ve come over some awful rough country, awful hills & fearfully windy roads, very steep in places, in & out of deep dark valleys quite impossible for carts, only men & horses & mules could get along, though in some marvellous way they did manage to get some guns along- We are on very light kit, but fortunately the weather is fine & warm with cold nights. I dunno when we shall see our kit again, not yet awhile I’m afraid. Our post office is 50 miles or more behind so I dunno when I can post this, but I’ll try.
Well, I must end up- Sorry I’ve given such a vague description of things, but it’s all been such a rush & hurry itself for the last 10 days that really I’m not quite clear when or where or how we marched & fought, except that it was long & hard & often & we were absolutely dog tired at times & wondered how on earth we should ever crawl another yard- It’s been a great show & we are all fearfully pleased with ourselves. Best love to all
yr loving son