this last phase of the Mesopotamian War, campaigns that were glorified raids. At the time of Tekrit, General Allenby settled for the Turk, once for all, the choice between Palestine and Mesopotamia.
Our Tekrit campaign was a sympathetic attack, concurrent with Allenby's great Gaza offensive. This campaign is the theme of the second portion of this book.
Red of gladiolus glimmering through the wheat-- Red flower of Valour springing at our feet!
Dark-flowered hyacinth mingling with the red-- Dark flower of Patience on the way we tread!
Scarlet of poppy waving o'er the grass-- Honour's bright flags along the road we pass!
Thorns that torment, and grassy spikes that fret, Thistles that all the fiery way beset!
These shall be theirs, when Duty's day is sped; They shall lie down, the living and the dead.
1. THE WAY TO BELED
Baghdad fell on March 11, 1917. The soldier's joy was deepened by the belief that here his warfare was accompli