Item 01: Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett diary, 1915-1917 - Page 92
and in military and naval technical and strategical knowledge but chiefly in technical he only has the most elementary knowledge to jud-ge from the conversations I had with him in the course of the week. His errors have been great and consecquently his fall. Time will probably show that his original conception of the Dardanelles expedition was quite sound but the manner in which he went about it is so extraordianry that one might almost believe his mind was slightly disorganised by work worries criticism and fatigues. The poor devil needs a good rest. He started my making errors and has tried ever since to redeem his reputation by brilliant but impossible coups which have landed him deeper and deeper in the mire.
Nevertheless the country owes him a debt of gratitude for having the Fleet mobolised and ready for action at the outbreak of war. But now he cannot understand how it has all happened and this his career which has been one long uninteruppted success has temporarly at any rate suffered a grevious, but by no means fatal check for reasns I was careful to explain to him at a later stage in my narrative, Winston received me in a very friendly manner considering that my exposures of the true state of affairs at the Dardanelles gave the Morning Post and other papers a stick with which to belabour him, I was sorry for this at the time as I owe it to Winston that I was allowed out at all. However the exposure was bound to come from other quarters so it made but little difference in fact it was better it should come from a friendly critic and not from a hostile one. At dinner the conversation was more or less general and I said nothing about the Dardanelles except to Mrs Winston next whom I was sitting and to the Duchess of Marlborough, Winston was fairly quiet for some time but then unable to restrain him