[May 1st 1916]
driven by our gunboats from the river bank and were forced to remain in the waterless desert.
Later in the morning we sighted the great river Euphrates. Here it displayed a broad but shallow stretch of water extending on the further bank into large marshes so as to give the impression of a calm sea rather than a flowing river. This is known as the “new channel” of the Euphrates. The main navigable channel lies further to the North but the river is gradually shifting its bed southwards and is encroaching on the desert. In a later portion of this journal I intend to discuss the reasons when the bed of this ancient river is shifting to the South. We encamped on the bank of the river. We were thirsty on arrival and wallowed in the water. I could not help