Item 01: Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett diary, 1915-1917 - Page 93

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[Page 93]

self he suddenly burst forth on a tremendous discourse on the expedition and what might have been done addressed directly across the table in the form of a lecture to his mother who I must say listened most attentivealy just as does that old Lady I have always found at my own lectures sitting in the front row of the stalls, with immesne rows of empties behind her. Winston seemed unconscious at times of the limited number of his audiense. He seemed determined to get this discourse off his chest at all costs. He talked the most appaling nonscience about what the Fleet might have done on March I8th but I had not the heart to interrupt him at this stage by recalling the actual facts. His great point was that the fight had never been fought through to a finish and that had it been the Fleet could have got through. This is still the great obscession of his mind one which he will never get rid off.

He seemed to feel little or nothing for the brave fellows who had lost their lives in his ill starred enterprise his great regret was like that of some ancient Anahuac God that the sacrifices had been stopped before the full number of victims ready to be laid on the sacrifical altar had reached their destination. They ought to have fought until not a single ship remained not so much to get the Dardanelles as to keep him in office, because if he had to go anywau he preferred to go on account of the loss of the entire Fleet rather than for four or five vessels. But he has no idea of the facts. He never realises that the Fleet never reached the Minefield or the concealed Torpedo Tubes and that the guns of the forts were never permanently silenced. His ideas of geography and fact are very very vague. In fact I do not believe he has ever made a study of the Dardanelles and its fortific-

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