« PreviousContinue »
complete inability to learn a P. and me with considerably single word of Arabic (none less cordiality than that with of as talked Tarkish), despite which we greeted them. To the praise worthy offorts of P.'s as they represented the oatEgyptian soldier - servant to ward sign of the accomplishinstruot him in that language. ment of our task and our own
After breakfast we marched safety. To them we repreon past Tafas, the scene of the sented as embarrassing a situfighting of the previous day. ation as ever confronted a Outside the village were the British General. Our column naked bodies of three or four was an Allied column, composed Turkish soldiers, who had been in the main of Arabs with some found by the Arab inhabitants French; we few British officers, hiding in some outhouses that so far as we were under anymorning, and who had been sum- body's orders, were directly marily executed and their bodies under Allenby's G.H.Q.; the stripped in revenge for the Arab leaders were being hailed murders of women and children. by the hundreds and indeed One could soaroely blame the thousands of desert Arabs and Tafas villagers, but, at the looal inhabitants who were same time, there was something pouring into Deraa, not only revolting in the sight of these as military conquerors, but as Turks, naked and unburied, political and national saviours; lying where they had fallen on L. was looked upon as the direct the Deraa road. One, a boy representative of that far-off who looked about seventeen, country whose support had was actually in his death-agony assisted the freeing of Arabia, as we rode ap, and died just and the British General and afterwards. Á few hundred his Staff were regarded as very yards away was a listless sor- inoidental adjunots to that viorowful
group of women of the tory. Add to this the faot that place, mourning their dead off- there existed such a thing as a spring, and over everything Sykes - Picot agreement, and there was
an air of tragedy that there was a town which and hopelessness. Altogether obviously some one was soon a pitiable soene.
going to capture, called DamasA mile or two farther on we ons, and you have a really heard that the Arab leaders complioated situation, which and L. were in Deraa, where & British divisional General they had arrived just before without previous instructions, the G.O.C. of the British already exhausted by days of Cavalry Division, who was now continual fighting and pursuit, there also. Just after this news was hardly competent to unreached 08
oame on an ravel. Indian cavalry pioquet, and To order our bucoaneers to then on a party of British quit the town of Deraa would motor - oyolist orderlies, and probably result in armed confinally on a British General and fliot with the now wildly excited bis Staff. The latter greeted and exultant Arabs, and cer
tainly produce complioations orators. Siok and wounded with "authority,” in view of Tarks and townspeople were the allianoe with King Hussein, everywhere, and it was not as well as the presence of French for a day or two that the troops in the column. To allow Arab doctors, who really both the British Division and worked well, managed to colour column to remain in Deras leet all of them and attend would as surely lead to trouble, to their needs. The town was sinoe a British Division, com- ohook-a-blook with Arabs from posed, to use an Irishism, mainly the surrounding districts, who of Indian troops, would not long galloped about the roads and tolerate the presence, cheek paths with complete disregard by jowl with them, of a foroe of their own and every one who disregarded all established else's neoks. Food for the military etiquette : who slept troops, inoluding the British, and fed themselves, and watered was dangerously short, and and picketed their animals the problem of feeding and where they listed; took the watering the animals was very food and forage they ro- great. In these oireumstances quired, wherever and when the Arabs showed both organiever they found it, and con- gation and humanity in being stantly discharged their rifles able to feed somehow the hunin the air as a light-hearted dreds of prisoners who were feu de joie. Moreover, the now colleoted in the town. Arabs cordially dislike Indians, It is soarcely necessary to and have a distinct colour- say that the Turks had left prejudice against them. In the town in a state of indeed, in the short hour or so desoribable filth. Nothing, to that the two forces were in my mind, so illustrates the Deraa, some Arab soldiers and progressive decay of Turkish
Indian cavalry picquet military morale as the squalor nearly came to armed blows, and dirt of their captured and more serious trouble was lines in 1918, as compared with only averted by L. The latter the comparative cleanliness of immediately afterwards went their trenches in Gallipoli in to see the G.O.C. of the British 1915. When I saw, too, the Division, and, after consider- Turkish prisoners at Deraa, able discussion, it was decided they did not appear to belong that the Arabs should "ad to the same nation who faced minister” Deras, and that the us at Helles. I suppose it will squadron of Indian cavalry, in never be known the extent to charge of some stores, which which the flower of their army the Division was to leave was killed in action, died of behind when it continued its wounds, of sickness, or pursuit of the Turk, should posure, in 1915; but, contrary bivouao outside the town,
as my opinion may be to that Deraa was wholly unpleag- of the experts, I always believe ant. Every hundred yards or that the Palestine viotories !0 were dead Turks and bomb- were partly won on the old
Peninsula, and by the Russian retreat, and in doing so put the viotories in the Cauoasus; and ooping-stone on several years I remember that day at Deraa of dogged determined effort oonjuring up for a moment towards the attrition of the the well-remembered pioture Turkish army. J., on whom of the River Clyde and "Lanca- the burden and heat of the shire Landing,” and thinking day as regards the military how much we all owed to the advice” to the Arabs had spirit that the immortal ship fallen, and who is one of the symbolised.
finest British regular officers There was one feature of that I have ever met, as well Daraa which made us all very as L., must have felt an espeoial proud: in the station was å pride and joy that day. Deraa quantity of rolling-stook and was the ooping-stone of their at least two engines in good effort. order, which, but for our last Whilst the British and demolition on the Damasous Turkish authorities were conline, would have carried hun- ferring that morning, P. and dreds, if not thousands, of I, with the sure instinct of Tarks northwards, probably old soldiers, had chosen the eventually to join Mustapha most substantial and cleanest Kemal and add to present-day building (it was a very relative difficulties in Anatolia. Other term !) in Deraa for our lodg. rolling-stook had been simi- ing. Hastily surrounding it larly imprisoned west and with sentries, baggage, and south of Deras.
other impedimenta, we get a That alone justified the high party of Egyptian soldiers to value which many of us have work to brush and scrub floors, set, myself for example, in a passages, and walls, and soon certain green-benched chamber Ahmed and P.'s servant were to whioh I have access, on the arranging our effects in a high, military achievements of the cool, whitewashed room that Arabs; and, after all, the bad apparently been a German BUOoOss of our column, however officers' mess. much direoted by British effort, The next day was aneventwas really and truly an Arab ful, but on the 30th L. oame B000e88. No sneers by Conti- to tell us that he and Sherif nental editors, no depreoatery Nasser and S. were leaving in references by British military & car for Damascus, to be folauthorities—though never by lowed by Prince Feisul, J., and Lord Allenby-many of whom Y. The Camel Corps and oannot understand because Gurkhas were to return to they would be incapable Palestine, and I was given themselves of direoting desert the choice of going with them warfare, to L’s “exaggerated or accompanying L. I chose ideas of Arab possibilities,” the former course, as my term can alter the faot that our of detachment from my own column helped Allenby's viotory battalion was nearly up, and, and disorganised the Turkish confession of materialism
though it be, I was more truth, and stammered out, anxious to get & hot bath, “I can't sufficiently apologise, some fresh clothes, and a sir, to you.” Worst blow of taste of civilisation than to all, &
garrison battalion see the glories and plunge into private soldier, & perfeot "Old the politics of Damasous. Bill” type, just outside Jaffa
It took P. some days to itself, who, armed with a red oolleet enough rations and flag, was prepared to keep forage for his men, bat finally native traffio from using a we left on Ootober 2nd, and certain bridge, and had waved reached Jaffa seven days later, the flag in question fiercely at meeting on the way with much me as I rode in front of the humorous comment from vari. company, roared out in a most ous British units. Few sus- threatening voice, “You black peoted P., S. H., and me to be oan't yer see my flag ?” British officers. One motor. My dignity was outraged for oyolist orderly shouted, one the whole day, and it was not day near Nablas, at S. H., until shaved, comparatively " Come
off the road, old clean, and fitted out with 18&acs”& reference to that various needed garments "off
" officer's patriarchal beard. the peg" in Jaffa, I was eating An Indian oavalry officer tried a most excellent dinner with to arrest our thirty Gurkhas, the “great ones” at E.E.F., on the ground that they must G.H.Q. (then at Ramleh, near bo deserters because they Jaffa), that I regained my were marching with "ragged equanimity. Two days later Arabs," and, being young, I was in Cairo, and a week was very embarrassed when later on my way home on we haughtily told him the leave.
A PILGRIM OF PEACE.
BY C, E, MONTAGUE.
As the Sister went out of right, was a model in wax, the ward she paused to look awaiting only some one final back, with the knob of the touch of rigidity and refinedoor in her hand.
ment. Into the thirtieth bed, Boys,” she said, in the voice at the dim far end of the ward, that made babes of us all, & vast bulk, in a white shirt “ five minutes to get into bed." less vast, flow through the air We knew that five minutes, no from afar with astonishing more and no less, it would be. momentum and dived in fear The door elosed behind her, the and shame under the blankets. little pat noise of it putting &
The Sister took it all in. A kind of full stop to her words. Sergeant-Major had been lost
Of thirty wounded men in to the world when she turned the ward, twenty-two had been out a girl. But not one to rule up for the day. We were the men wholly by terror. She blest. But bliss
went first to the wax-faced carious. If we were not good, man on my right that always the Sister night keep us in lay on his back with his eyes bed in the morning. So we open, sorutinising the ceiling. eagerly slipped off and folded te
He turned his face a few our sooks and red ties and blue degrees at the touch of her tunios and slaoks. The shirt hand on his wrist and smiled did not have to come off. A a little. He had a great shirt by day, it was a nighty dignity then, the austere by night-a good plan, I can prestige of the dying, who tell you, when any delay may are an esoterio patriciate, lifted oost dear. In five minutes, above desire and fear and all
, dead, the door opened; the quarrels. Sister looked down the long The Sister went on to the ward.
far end of the ward where the I lay next but one to the meteorio giant had gone to door; so I saw what she saw. earth under his blankets. His There were twenty-nine faces great shafts of limbs were condaly laid on their pillows. vulsing them now, in his efforts Some geven looked dull and to settle down for the night; bed-weary. Twenty-one others the bed looked like a smalí -I throw myself in, for I felt linen bag with a large and like it too-looked shiny and terrified oat imprisoned in it young with the glee that you and plunging. The plunging feel when the life in you has instantly stopped when the taken heart to go on with a Sister began tuoking in the will, after a cheok. A twenty- disarranged elements of the ninth face, in the bed on my bed.