Volume 1: Letters written on active service, A-L, 1914-1919 - Page 38
& were making a bolt for it back to Beer Sheba when a handful of our lads overtook & captured them. The General was the same man who captured Gen. Townsend in Mesopotamia. [Siege of Kut]
We then moved on behind the town & took up our position, capturing a few scattered parties as we went, galloping over open patches of country which were exposed to shell fire. By the time we were ready the frontal attack had begun & our guns in front were heavily bombarding the redoubts & other positions round the town. The Bombardment lasted till about 3 in the afternoon then the infantry in front began to advance, they had a hard nut to crack & no cover, they did splendidly but were repulsed & chopped about in places, only to come up again. At about 4 we
dismounted galloped in from the rear as far as possible, then dismounted & advanced on foot.
The outskirts of the city are composed of mud villages & the fences – which were numerous, composed of Prickly Pear Hedges, 6 ft high & 4 or 5 feet through, it was just like going through a maze, little narrow lanes running in all directions with Turks hidden all through it. We had to cut our way through the wretched stuff with our bayonets & got smothered with prickles & thorns. This went on till about 9 at night. We had captured & killed a lot of the enemy & thought things
weere were going well with us. Of course we were rather disorganised as no decent formation could be kept in the dark in such a place, & were operating in small bodies of from 10 to 30 men together. Well Of course we did not know how things were going on in the front but thought all was O.K. At 9 oclock word came through for a general & speedy retirement. Then the fun began, we had got so far into the maze of Prickly Pear & mud huts that we did not know which way to get out. So just had to do the best we could cutting & slashing to get through the cactus & dragging our prisoners along with us.
However we got out & found our horses & got away. And just in time, the 13,000 reinforcements had