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The record is made up of 1 volume (223 folios). It was created in 1923. 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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The second column, under General Lean, comprised the
West Kents, the 67th Punjabis, half the 12th Sapper and Miner
Company with canvas boats and bridging material, and a
company of the 48th Pioneers. This column moved along
the left bank of the Karkha.
The remainder of the troops remained at Ilia to protect the
crossing and to assist in bringing up more supplies. A second
flying bridge was erected here by them and more canvas boats
were put together.
Before daylight on the 14th, the infantry and field battery
of General Gorringe’s column under General Melliss occupied
a concealed position in the hills east of Khafajiya, while
General Gorringe with the Cavalry Brigade and the Maxim
Battery reconnoitred as far as Bisaitin. Here no signs of the
enemy were found and it was subsequently ascertained that
they had retired from there towards Amara one or two days
General Lean’s column, which had in the meanwhile been
advancing in readiness to co-operate if necessary with the
cavalry retirement, was now ordered to move on Khafajiya,
as the cavalry were experiencing no opposition. At 4 p.m.,
General Gorringe instructed General Melliss to move down
to the Karkha and try to seize some boats for operations
next day against Khafajiya in co-operation with General
Lean. But General Melliss had already commenced an advance
towards Khafajiya in response to a request from General Lean
for artillery support in case of opposition. The advance of
General Melliss’ force was strongly opposed by the Arabs ;
but, well supported by the fire of the 82nd Field Battery,
his two battalions (76th Punjabis and 2/7th Gurkhas)
pushed their way through the intervening marsh to the right
bank of the river opposite the Shaikh’s fort at Khafajiya.
This place, which was held by the Arabs, consisted of a
collection of straggling villages composed of mud houses
and stretched for about four miles along the left bank of
the Karkha. By 5 p.m., the cavalry had returned, and
although many of the men were suffering from the effects of
the intense heat, the horse artillery and maxim batteries came
into action to support General Melliss’ advance.
The progress of General Lean’s column had, however, been
very slow on account of the physical difficulties it had encoun
tered. The great heat had affected the troops considerably,
and the ground to be traversed was intersected by numerous
creeks and marshes. Many men fell out affected by the heat

About this item


The volume is the first volume of an official government publication compiled at the request of the Government of India, and under the direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence, by Brigadier-General Frederick James Moberly. The volume was printed and published at His Majesty's Stationery Office, London.

The contents provide a narrative of the operations of 1914-1918 in Mesopotamia, based mainly on official documents.

The volume is divided into two parts. The first part, entitled, 'Part I. Before the Outbreak of Hostilities', consists of the following five chapters:

  • General Description of the Country
  • The Turks in Mesopotamia
  • British Pre-War Policy
  • The Army in India and Pre-War Military Policy
  • Inception of the Operations

The second part, entitled, 'Part II. The Campaign in Lower Mesopotamia', consists of the following seven chapters:

  • The Landing in Mesopotamia of Force "D" and the Operations Leading to the Occupation of Basra
  • The Occupation of Basra and the Capture of Qurna
  • Commencement of the Turkish Counter-Offensive
  • Development and Defeat of the Turkish Counter-Offensive
  • Operations in Arabistan and the Capture of Amara
  • Operations on the Euphrates and the Occupation of Nasiriya
  • The battle of Kut and Occupation of Aziziya

The volume also includes nine maps, entitled:

  • The Middle East
  • Lower Mesopotamia
  • Map 1 - To illustrate operations described in Chapter VI
  • Map 2 - To illustrate fighting near Qurna
  • Map 3 - To illustrate fighting round Shaiba
  • Map 4 - To illustrate operations in Persian Arabistan
  • Map 5 - To illustrate operations in the Akaika Channel 27th June to 5th July 1915
  • Map 6 - To illustrate operations near Nasiriya 6th to 24th July 1915
  • Map 7 - To illustrate the Battle of Kut 28th September 1915
Extent and format
1 volume (223 folios)

The volume contains a page of errata (folio 5), a list of contents (folios 6-8), a list of maps and illustrations (folio 9), appendices (folios 185v-192), an index (folios 192v-214v), and eight maps in a pocket attached to the inside back cover (folios 217-224).

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence commences at the inside front cover with 1 and terminates at the inside back cover with 225; 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.

Pagination: the volume also contains an original printed pagination sequence.

Written in
English in Latin script
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'HISTORY OF THE GREAT WAR BASED ON OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS. THE CAMPAIGN IN MESOPOTAMIA 1914-1918. VOLUME I.' [‎127r] (258/454), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/15/66/1, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 22 August 2019]

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