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A Kut Prisoner   By:

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A KUT PRISONER

On Active Service Series

[Illustration: KASTAMUNI]

[Illustration: THE CASTLE ROCK (KASTAMUNI)]

A KUT PRISONER

by

H. C. W. BISHOP

London: John Lane, The Bodley Head New York: John Lane Company. MCMXX

Printed by the Anchor Press Ltd., Tiptree, Essex, England.

TO THE MEMORY OF ALL THOSE BRITISH AND INDIAN OFFICERS AND MEN OF THE KUT GARRISON WHO HAVE SUFFERED AND DIED IN CAPTIVITY THIS BOOK IS REVERENTLY DEDICATED

INTRODUCTION

The experiences related in the following pages are simply the individual fortunes of a subaltern of the Indian Army Reserve of Officers who had his first taste of fighting at the battle of Ctesiphon, and was afterwards taken prisoner by the Turks with the rest of the Kut Garrison, ultimately succeeding in escaping from Asia Minor. It is not intended to generalize in any way, since an individual, unless of exalted rank, sees as a rule only his own small environment and cannot pretend to speak for the majority of his comrades.

The book is published in the hope that it may prove of interest to the many relatives and friends of the Kut prisoners.

Acknowledgments are due to Messrs. Blackwood, the Times of India , and the Pioneer for their kind permission to republish those chapters which originally appeared in these papers.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I. CTESIPHON 1

II. KUT 14

III. FROM KUT TO KASTAMUNI 34

IV. LIFE IN KASTAMUNI 80

V. ESCAPE FROM KASTAMUNI 104

VI. THE FIRST NIGHT 115

VII. ON THE HILLS 126

VIII. SLOW PROGRESS 135

IX. BLUFFING THE PEASANTS 147

X. REACHING THE COAST 158

XI. RECAPTURED 166

XII. RESCUED 174

XIII. IN HIDING WITH THE TURKS 184

XIV. CONTINUED DELAYS 194

XV. THREE DAYS ON THE BLACK SEA 208

XVI. THE CRIMEA AND HOME 219

XVII. FRIENDS IN CAPTIVITY 230

APPENDIX A 235

APPENDIX B 238

APPENDIX C 242

APPENDIX D 244

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

KASTAMUNI Frontispiece

THE CASTLE ROCK, KASTAMUNI "

TO FACE PAGE

ELMEY BEY 48

MAP USED ON JOURNEY TO THE BLACK SEA 126

MAP SHOWING ROUTE OF ESCAPE 180

BIHGAR BEY 196

BOAT IN WHICH THE PARTY CROSSED THE BLACK SEA 210

MAP OF BLACK SEA 214

ALUPKA 220

ALUPKA BATHS 220

YALTA 224

THE THREE OFFICERS AND THREE OF THEIR RESCUERS 226

THE THREE OFFICERS AND THE AKHARDASH 228

A KUT PRISONER

CHAPTER I

CTESIPHON

In India, in the early days of the war, a newly gazetted subaltern of the Indian Army Reserve of Officers was sent for a month's preliminary training to one of the few remaining British regular battalions. Afterwards he was attached to an Indian Regiment, and, if fortunate, went on service with the same battalion. A great number, however, were sent off to join other units in the field. In this way I found myself arriving in Basra on October 2nd, 1915, with a draft for a regiment[1] of whom I had known nothing a few days before leaving India. However, the "Nobody's Child" feeling was very soon a thing of the past, and I was welcomed by a mess full of the best comrades any fellow could desire.

[1] The 66th Punjabis.

The battle of Es Sinn had just taken place, and the 6th Division under General Townshend were then following the Turks up the Tigris above Kut... Continue reading book >>




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