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Report on the Operations in the Vicinity of Shaiba 12th-14th April 1915. Simla: General Staff India, 1915. [‎2] (8/70)

The record is made up of 35 folios. It was created in 1915. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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On the nth it was reported that the enemy's cavalry had occupied
Barjisiyah wood, and that some 4,000 infantry were moving into'Shwebda ; later
in the day Major-General Fry, who had succeeded to the command of the
6th Division, reported that he considered them to be the advanced guard of the
enemy's main forces, and that a serious engagement was probable within the next
day or two.
I ordered the 30th Brigade, reinforced by the 30th Mountain Battery, under
the command of Major-General Melliss, V.C., CB, to move lo Shaiba the
following morning, and since he, as senior officer, would command all the forces
there, I placed at his disposal the staff of the 6th Division and ordered them to
proceed to Shaiba with him.
4. At about 7 30 a.m. on the 12th, General Fry reported that he was attack
ed from the south in force, and at 11 -20 a.m. that he was confident of being
able to resist all attacks but was unable to prevent the occupation of Old Basrah
by the enemy.
Meanwhile, General Melliss' Brigade, having marched from Makina Masus,
commenced its crossing about 9 a.m.
The water was high and the enemy disclosed guns and infantry near Old
Basrah ; at about 10 a M. General Fry sent word to say that the enemy were in
force betv/een Shaiba and Old Basrah, and that he could not spare more than
two battalions to co-operate with General Melliss' Brigade.
As, owing to the distance, I was unable to cover with guns the crossing of
General Melliss' Brigade, and, moreover, as he could make no use in the water
of the Mountain Battery which accompanied him, i ordered him to return after
he had accomplished about one third of the journey, and to cross by 14 bellum "
by the second route.
The boatmen refused to assist and only about 80 " bellums" were available •
therefore ordered men of the 20th Punjabis, who readily came forward to
punt them. By about 4 p.m. General Melliss, accompanied by the Staff of' the
6th Dmsion and most of the 24th Punjabis, started and got successfully across
to bhaiba that evening by about 10-30 p.m. During the return journey these
. bellums were attacked by the enemy in some force.
These were the only reinforcements which I found it possible to send bv
the evening of the 14th. The enemy in "bellums" were in considerable force
in the lagoon on the route taken on the 13th, and it was therefore necessary to
organise better protection for the next day in the shape of a special guard with
mountain guns placed on ,, bellum " rafts. This convoy got across on the 14th
with gun ammunition and the remainder of the 24th Punjabis and the arranae-
ments made would have allowed this convoy to be continued daily.
s. The actions themselves are described by the Commanders, and I will
now pass on to the part played by the Euphrates Blockade Flotilla, consisting of
armed launches, small steamers and gun barges on which were mounted Two
tJn' f-'n e !i 3 " pr | NaVal guns ' one 5" B. L. and one tS-pr.
IT, r. ^ ' under 'hf command of Lieutenant-Colonel R. P.
M esworth, R.G.A., was enabled to do good service, aided as it was by the
uaole assistance of Lieutenant A. G. Seymour, R.N., HMS " Esoieele "
officers and men of the Royal Navy on this station • • sp egle,
When the fighting commenced round Shaiba on the 12th. this Flotilla was
operating off Nakhailah intercepting supplies, which were coming to the enemv
across the water in "mahailas" (country boats of from 30 to 80 tons burthen).
Bariisivah^oif thf> C °y lmancl!n g tf I e M B ' 0 L c, ! 1 a< | e ' ha ving observed the action of
J J c j | the ^th, approached Nakhailah early on the morning of the icrh
chase an^pursuedThe' 1 'k ^ ^ in era" at ga^e
a heavv tale on ill f n to . Rat ? w \ rfes t>;oy.ng8 and capturing 4 large "mahailas";
a neavy gale on the following day forced him to lie to.
On the ly.h he reached Chubashiah but found it entirelv desertpd Thp
enemy were seen retiring in scattered groups across the desert, and though he fired

About this item


This file contains military despatches regarding the Battle of Shaiba that took place between British and Ottoman forces on 12-14 April 1915.

The file begins with an introductory letter from General Sir John Eccles Nixon, Commanding Force "D" to the Chief of General Staff, Simla (folios 4-6) that is followed by a report related to events of 11-12 April written by Major-General C. I. Fry (folios 8-10) and another report that concerns events of April 13-14 written by Major-General C. J. Melliss (folios 14-19).

The file contains a number of maps and sketches of the battlefield and surrounding area.

Extent and format
35 folios

The file contains an contents page (that uses the original printed pagination system) on folio 3.

Physical characteristics

A bound, printed volume. The file's foliation sequence commences at the front cover and terminates at the inside back cover; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio. Please note that ff. 31-34 are housed within f. 35.

The volume also contains an original printed pagination sequence.

Written in
English in Latin script
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Report on the Operations in the Vicinity of Shaiba 12th-14th April 1915. Simla: General Staff India, 1915. [‎2] (8/70), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/15/95, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 5 April 2020]

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