(Lance Corporal 1/5 Buffs, of the Indian Expeditionary Force "D" to Mesopotamia)
Long Autograph Letter Signed signed 'Sandro' in pencil, to Martin Wood
at the Chelsea Arts Club, saying "Fancy my finding myself in this part of the world at last! It's the 3rd time that I've volunteered ... There is seldom more than one point of excitement ... it may be a cluster of palms about the reed huts of an Arab encampment - or a majestic dhow sailing down the river", near a village "an excited crowd of men women & children ... run along the banks with fowls eggs, & fish to sell ... They are ... classicly grand ... Yesterday a tall beauty reminded me ... in features & pose of the tragic musing girl in Walker's "Vagrants" ... The day before yesterday we passed Kurnah the site of the Garden of Eden ... Since we left the Gulf for the river, we have been steaming for 5 days & it is at least another 3 before we reach the farthest line of the British conquest", he talks of the marvellous fertility of the riverside, "If her vision were not obscured by the startling events nearer home", Great Britain "would rub her eyes to see this enormous rich gain to her Empire ... I wonder if the Dilettanti still meet ... I like to imagine you stepping into the breach & giving a paper", he jokes about the subject of his next, envelope with F.P.O. postmark, 3 sides 8vo., 'On the Tigris - past Ezra's Tomb', c/o Postmaster, Bombay, 17th November
Kut had been recaptured in February 1917 and Bagdad reached by river on the 11th March. The expedition relied for most of the length of the Tigris on boats drawing only 3½ or 4 feet.