8357: Siege of Kut-el-Amara
Based in Mesopotamia in 1914.
The visitor's father took part in the siege of Kut-el-amara, 1915-6, where the garrison were killed in the siege or died in captivity. The soldiers were surrounded for five months before surrendering. They were then marched 200 miles in 120 degrees Fahrenheit. When they reached the Turkish medics, they decided who was fit enough to continue and who would be kept to be swapped for other prisoners. The interviewee's father was declared unfit and left at the checkpoint. Two friends who had supported him on the march were declared fit and later died.
He returned from India in 1919, having been sent there to recover, and weighed only 5st 6lbs. He then helped to run the poppy appeal until the mid-1950s.