barge under Lt White S&T, by the “Shihab”. The complete Division assembled at Azizieh on Oct 9th and no attack had come off. General Townshend after he saw that there was nothing to gain by pursuing the Turks up river, for they had retreated so rapidly, wished to return to Kut-el-Amarah, where he wished to consolidate his position and remain on the defensive, for, he said, “I cannot advance to Baghdad unless I have at least Two Divisions”. This statement he put into writing & forwarded to the Army Commander, Sir John Nixon.
But John Nixon, led away by ambition and self glorification, ordered Townshend to advance & thereby forcing the hand of the Government into believing that the situation was safe for an ultimate advance on Baghdad. The most commonplace soldier amongst us could not understand this useless pushing forward of such a small force, along such a long & difficult line of communication, so far into the Enemy’s country. Later on we wondered still more, when we found ourselves marching on Baghdad.