Published By Ben Hillidge
British interests in Mesopotamia were primarily concerned with securing oil, to achieve this the defeat of Ottoman Empire was required. In 1915 the British advanced up the River Tigris to capture the city of Baghdad. The campaign ended in failure with defeat at the Battle of Cteisphon (22-24 November 1915) and the British retreated back to Kut. Here they were besieged. During early 1916 the British attempted to relieve the siege but were beaten back and in April 1916 Kut surrendered with 9000 Indian and British troops taken prisoner. It was a humiliating defeat for the British. In 1917 efforts were renewed, this time with more success. Baghdad was captured in March 1917. The campaign continued up the Tigris taking Tikrit in November 1917 and leading in 1918 to the defeat of the Ottoman Empire. Conditions for the troops were very bad with over 12500 dying of sickness against about 15000 battle casualties,
Egypt and Palestine
The British had occupied Egypt for many years before the war to secure the vital Suez Canal and access to India, the Far East and also for Australia and New Zealand. The Ottoman Empire, aided by Germany, opposed British rule. Egypt was a base of operations for the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915 and the Macedonia Campaign in 1916-18. In 1915, in Egypt, the main actions were during the Senussi uprising, instigated by the Ottoman Empire and aimed at capturing the Suez Canal. After early successes the uprising was defeated at the Battle of Romani, 4-5 August 1915. In 1916 British forces were primarily concerned with the defence of the Canal, They also prepared for the 1917 Palestine campaign and the eventual defeat of the Ottomans in 1918.
158 Brigade, 53 Welsh Division
5 Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers.
7 Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers.
Battle of Tel el Khuweilfe. 1/5 Bn Welsh Regiment. 3 November 1917
Battle of Tel el Khuweilfe. 7 Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers. 6 November 1917.
25 Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers. December 1917.
CHECK Reg His RWF page (120)
The 25 Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers was formed at Helmia, Egypt on 4 March 1917 and came under the orders of the 231 Brigade 74 (Yeomanry) Division. The battalion was made up of men from 1/1 Montgomeryshire Yeomanry and 1/1 Welsh Horse. The Division took part in the advance into Palestine in March 1917 and fought at Gaza, Beersheba and the capture of Jerusalem on 9 December 1917.
Haifa. Port and supply base on Mediterranean coast captured by the British on 23 September 1918.
205 Siege Battery Royal Garrison Artillery. 6 November 1918.
1919 – Post War
Kantara. an important supply base and railhead on the Suez Canal about 50kms south of Port Said.
Army Service Corps Camel Transport. October 1919.