It was essentially a soldiers’ battle

TCD MS 3414 folio 8 recto

TCD MS 3414 folio 8 recto

[May 1915]

himself, & won. The approaches to the enemys position were flooded, and the advance was made through several feet of water, it was essentially a soldiers battle & one which will never be forgotten in the history of the Indian Army. It reflected great credit on those British officers who had brought their Indian soldiers to such a high state of efficiency. I am unable to describe the doings of the Royal Artillery, the Norfolk & Dorset regiments, as I was not present, but suffice it to say that their conduct throughout was as ought one expected from these famous regiments.V <I was informed by an officer who was present, however, that our firing line with all the reserves thrown in was held up within a few hundred yards of the Turkish trenches, and that the order for their retirement was issued. Gen Delamain replied that he could not extricate himself – the situation was critical. At that moment, the 63rd 76th batteries and <82nd> battery RHA opened such a rapid & accurate fire on the trenches which held up our infantry, that the infantry led by the Dorset regt charged, & took all before them – The Day was Won.> The enemy retired in disorder towards Nasarieh. Upstream some 4000 yds from Kurna, the enemy were occupying a position on some mounds on both banks of the Tigris: on the left bank a mound known as One Treehill, on the right bank three mounds known as Norfolk, Tower, & Gun hills. All the country between the enemy’s position & Kurna, & for miles round, was under 3 feet of water, as was always the case in that district from March till July. During May nothing of any interest had taken place; the usual Arab sniper had always been busy with his antiquated blunder buss. < & a few desultory bombardments on both sides had occured.>

Chapter 2

Kurna is a small Arab Town situated in the junction of the Tigris & Euphrates rivers, & consists only of a few mud houses