ADMS Basra. 1916


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Jan 1

Interviewed representatives of Mr. ASFAR with reference to taking over part of one of his houses on the river front for Indian General Hospital and inspected the accommodation with O.C. I.G.H.

Fire occurred in Base Depot house.

Jan 2

HS TAKADA sailed for BOMBAY at 8am.

Secunderabad General Hospital disembarking at Hospital pier under command of Lt. Colonel WIMBERLY, IMS.

Orders issued for No 9 I.G.H. to relieve No 19 C.H. of charge of the convalescent depot at MAKINA MASUS Camp.

No 1 F.A. embarking at MAGIL for AMARA.

Jan 3

Nothing of importance.

Jan 4th

No 21 I.F.A. disembarked & went into standing camp at MAGIL.

No 129 I.F.A. personnel arrived from France under command of Major DEAS, IMS, equipment following on. HT KALYAN saw at mouth of river. No 130 I.F.A. arrived from France. Personnel and Lorries & mules only. Equipment and wagons following later.

Jan 5th

Orders sent to No 19 Clearing Hospital at MAKINA MASUS to march to AMARA with as many sections as transport is available for. With the Echelon Column moving off on 7th instant under command of Lt Col LEA, 59th Punjabees.

No 21 Field Ambulance ordered to move from MAGIL to convalescent depot camp at MAKINA MASUS & to move out of standing camp into their own tents if they have been disembarked.

Jan 6th

Cases of Mumps have occurred on ? among men of 1st 9th Gurkha Rifles & 93rd Burma light infantry. As both these regiments are to proceed up country on river steamers it was decided that a M.O. should be sent up with the steamer with a supply of disinfectant under orders to return with the steamer to BASRA & thoroughly disinfect her en route.

Field Ambulances No 21 Personnel of 129 & 130 in camp at MAKINA MASUS – equipment of the latter not yet arrived.

One case of measles in 26th PI indicated with comforts at MAKINA MASUS.

New water supply scheme at MAGIL progressing.

Jan 7th

No 19 GCH left with No 4 Echelon Column for AMARA.

Jan 8th

Two sections No 21 CFA left for AMARA with No 5 (old No 6) Echelon for AMARA.

Jan 9th

Orders were issued 15 OC No 130 IFA to march with No 6 (old No 5) Echelon Column leaving on January 10th for AMARA. Personnel only.

Jan 10th

S.M.O. I.G.H. informs he will move non serious cases to MAKINA overflow at the rate of about 200 per diem and will send 275 cases by HT PENTACOTTA to Bombay tomorrow. One Section IGH move to MAGIL today. No 19 BGH & 128 IGH reported arrival today.

Telegram received from SMO AMARA updating departure of wounded. Two British Officers in SALIMI – 25 on P.1. also 92 British ranks. 18 Indian Officers & about 280 Indian Ranks & followers also on PI. 60% of latter stretcher cases & nearly all British Ranks.

Orders issued at night for certain personnel of No 19 BFA and No 128 IFA to proceed by steamer “SALIMI” to AMARA at once leaving most of the equipment not yet arrived with animals and wagons to follow by road later.

Jan 11

Meerut Casualty Clearing Hospital under command of Lt. Colonel HAMILTON, IMS arrived.

Orders issued to No 20 BFA to send Officers & details up river also by SS SALIMI sailing at daybreak on 12th instance.

Cases being evacuated to MAKINA MASUS Convalescent depart from Indian General Hospital to make room for convoys of wounded coming down river immediately.

No 19 BFA almost complete – 3 Officers 50 followers 3 Batmen NCOs not yet arrived in Camp MAGIL. Other units presently more or less complete – are No 18 IFA. No 4 Sanitary Section, No 118 IFA – Meerut Casualty Clearing Hospital, No 20 BFA – No 3 Advanced Depot Medical Stores.

Convoy of wounded arrived 9:30pm from the front.

Jan 12

Urgent orders arrived from DMS this morning to send all Personnel & equipment of 112 – 113 IFA also No 3 Advanced Medical Store Depot up river by SS SALIMI sailing on 13th instant. All units on board this vessel with equipment to join TIGRIS Column except No 3 Advanced Medical Depot which is to remain at AMARA.

Orders issued to O.C. Meerut Casualty Clearing Hospital to open in No 1 Customs Shed as an additional base hospital for wounded evacuated from the front. This shed at present occupied by British Troops will be evacuated by them tomorrow. Water Tanks and Latrines are in readiness and there is a space between the shed and the church on which tents can be pitched.

Orders arrived to OC Casualty Clearing Hospital to be ready to staff the SS KARADENIZ which is to be placed at the disposal of the medical department on evening of 31-1-16 for use as a hospital carrier to the Hospital Ship SECILIA which can not cross the Bar at the mouth of the river. OC British General Hospital is named to assist OC Casualty Clearing Hospital with any establishment he may require on the ship. OC Sanitary Section has been ordered to send men to assist in cleaning up Customs Shed and SS KARADENIZ

Jan 13

SST8 was placed at my disposal for personnel numbering up to 200 & stores for up river. All Medical replacements for KURNA & AMARA.  No 4 sanitary section Captain BATRICE. These Medical Officers from No 129 IFH for TIGRIS column & possibly 2 Medical Officers from 19 BFH for TIGRIS column. All ordered to embark on her at 3pm on 14-1-16.

25 boxes of stores for Bengal Stationary Hospital. 1 box Sulphate Tablets. 33 boxes & 4 drums for No 19 Clearing Hospital to be dispatched on boat to AMARA.  31 Boxes first field dressings just arrived from France on SS ECLUARD to be embarked addressed to DDMS TIGRIS Column – No 7 Echelon with which 130 IFA left for AMARA.

Jan 14th

No 8 Echelon left for AMARA with most of 129 IFA

Capt. LYNN 130 IFA arrived reporting equipment of 130 IFA still not arrived and that all British Tentage of the ambulances which was loaded from “KALYAN” on to HT “THONGWA” can not be got off as a quantity of these kits from MARSEILLES had been loaded onto the “THONGWA” on the top of the this tentage which will therefore probably have to go to BOMBAY and back before unloading – Embarkation was informed of this at once.  Sick convoy of Indians & Turks under Major COOK YOUNG, IMS left AMARA at 1-30pm.

Jan 15

Rough weather. HS VARELA arrived last night unable to embark lying down cases today, steamer not being available walking cases only can be embarked with mahela & launch to avoid possible congestion at the Indian General Hospital. The Casualty Clearing Hospital prepared to receive 100 wounded at short notice in the Customs House Shed, it not being possible owing to the need to place equipment on SS “KARADENIZ”.  The Mission Hospital are prepared to receive 50 Turkish wounded arriving today with convoy & assistant Provost Marshall warned accordingly re escort and additional Tents to be pitched in the Mission Hospital compound.

Telegram received from S.M.O. AMARA instructing departure of convoy of wounded at 5pm yesterday in P.5. BOs 14 – rank & file 135 – Indian 41.

Jan 16

Sick convoy on P.4 with Major COOK YOUNG, IMS arrived last night. Turkish wounded remained on board P.4 for the night and were sent off to the American Mission Hospital this morning.

Sick convoy for HS SYRIA being embarked today –

Orders issued to O.C. Meerut Casualty Clearing Hospital to send bedding, medicines, comforts, etc. & personnel sufficient, onto SS “KARADENIZ” now in the stream, with a view to preparing her for work as a hospital carrier to the HS SICILIA on or about the 18th instant – 4 days rations for 258 Indian Sick to be put on Board – that being the ordinary accommodation of the ship – Assistant Provost Marshall directed to furnish 6 E. P. Tents in the Mission Hospital Compound and match them with a double thickness of matting on the ground as additional accommodation for wounded Turkish Prisoners.  OC Indian General Hospital was again impressed with the paramount importance of clearing as many sick non-serious cases as possible to convalescent Camp accommodation MAKINA MASUS.

Jan 17

HS VARELA sailed this morning after embarking convoy off P.5 which arrived about 3:30am.

Convoy on MOSUL 15 BO, 240 British + 240 Indian Ranks expected on 18th wounded from AMARA.

Convoy on P.2 has left front for AMARA & BASRA.

BO 7. BR 200. Indians 460. I endeavored to arrange Third Transport to take 150 BR and 400 Indians to BOMBAY but all ships in harbour totally unsuitable. HS SICILIA expected on 19th and HS TAKADA on 20th at BASRA – if former gets over the Bar.

Jan 18

Convoy of wounded on MOSUL arrived this morning. Heavy rain all last night. Indian General Hospital reports 1 inch of water in most huts this morning. Casualty Clearing Hospital in Custom Shed opens today. Accommodation about 700. Arrangements were made to take over No 2 Customs Shed this afternoon.  D.D. Works will commence work on it early tomorrow morning to be ready by 20th if possible. HT MUTTRA was inspected with a view to dispatch in her of convalescents to India & found suitable, but not yet unloaded.

Jan 19

Hospital Ship SICILIA arrived this morning to be filled up at once.

Sick convoy arrived from AMARA last night on P.2 and on the BAHRAIN, no notice had been received that convoy on BAHRAIN was coming. Inspection of HT “KHOSRU” to be made with a view to sending convalescents to India in her.

PSS KARADENIZ advised to remain in stream opposite Hospitals.

[Side Note] Sir PERCY LAKE arrived to relieve Sir JOHN NIXON last night & latter sailed on the “THONGWA”.

Jan 20

HS SICILIA sailed today. HS TAKADA arrived last night.

Convoy of wounded on P.3 arrived early this morning. British convoy for TAKADA put on board.

Jan 21

INDIA convoy of invalids from British Clearing Hospital in Customs House being loaded on the TAKADA.

D.M.S. INDIA leaves on HS TAKADA today with Staff Officer Major C MELVILLE, IMS.

Information received that Meerut Stationary Hospital part II & Rawalpindi General Hospital (British) also 113 Field Ambulance had arrived in stream – five lady nurses with British General Hospital.

[Side Note] Rain this morning.

[Side Note] More rain in evening.

Jan 22

Arrangements made for immediate dispatch by steamer & barges of Rawalpindi General Hospital, and No 113 Field Ambulance to AMARA, less wagons, etc.

Port Health Officer reports suspicious case of Plague on board CITY OF NEWCASTLE just arrived.  Pratique not given.

Jan 23

Sanitary Officer directed to proceed to CITY OF NEWCASTLE and investigate suspicious case of Plague. Sputum & specimens of blood & content of bile, etc.

Jan 24

KHOSRU HT left with 400 Indians & two British Officers as carrier to HS LOYALTY. Case of suspected Plague on “CITY OF NEWCASTLE” was found out to be Plague and Pratique was given to the ship by Port Health Officer. Convoy on SALIMI of wounded from AMARA expected early tomorrow morning. P.1 left AMARA at 12:30pm today with convoy of wounded on steamer & barges.

Jan 25

Arrangements were made to take up the HT TEESTA as ship to convey convalescents to BOMBAY. Inspected her throughout and she is quite fit in every way for the matter of convalescent – Hammocks are provided also two blankets to each hammock for 800 men.

Good galleys for British and Indian Troops, and ample latrine accommodation for the numbers it is proposed to send.

Jan 26

P.1 arrived with convoy of wounded from AMARA & the front. The Meerut Stationary Hospital was informed in No 2 Customs Shed for reception of sick – accommodation was provided yesterday in the British Base Hospital for the reception of convalescent from the British Hospital. Capt. McCORMIC detached on a temporary measure to look after them – Pending a permanent arrangement.

Jan 27th

On night of 27th & 28th P.4, P.7, P.6 and BAHMASHIR arrived with sick convoys. Half the DSS KARADENIZ was reserved as an overflow for Indian sick. And O.C. Meerut Stationary Hospital warned to have a section ready to place on same if required.

Jan 28th

One section British of Meerut Casualty Clearing Hospital was put in to ASHAR BARRACKS to run the British Convalescent Depot being established there of a strength up to 500 men. Arrangements made for cooks, etc. with the Base Depot Authorities there. Some repairs required in each h? which were arranged for with O.C. Works.

Jan 29th

ALLORA arrived aft General Hospitals taken up to carry convoy of wounded to BOMBAY & establishment & medical officers to proceed on her arranged for from Indian General Hospital to be replaced as a temporary measure from the Lahore Casualty Clearing Hospital now at MAGIL.

Jan 30

Site for new base hospital inspected with Base Commandant in a Serai about 500 yards up the KHANDAQ Creek behind ASFAR House at the Indian General Hospital. Good covered sheds with mud roofs accommodating some 800 men with courtyard in the centre where E.P. Tents could be pitched.

Jan 31

Took DMS & OC Works to inspect afore mentioned House and it was agreed to take it up as a hospital.

Feb 1st

Took up HT EDAVANA as transport for Indian sick to Bombay. She has good accommodation for Indian Troops. None for British at present.

Feb 2nd

Hospital Ship VARELA has arrived. She will take a British only this time and evacuate mainly stretcher cases from the British General Hospital.

Details of No 19 BFA – with Hon Capt. MARSH, ISM & transports & wagons of 19 BFA. 3 Wagons & 50 mules of No 20 BFA with transport personnel left with Echelon Column on Feb 1st.

Feb 4th

HT EDAVANA embarked sick convoy today. Captain BARRY, RAMC in charge.

HS VARELA sailed for BOMBAY at daybreak with 16 British Officers, 391 British Rank & File invalids for India. Inspected the Turkish Prisoners Camp across the river, about 500 prisoners there at present. Accommodation for 1,500 in E.P. Tents. Sanitary & water arrangements satisfactory. DMS left for AMARA on tour. HS SECILIA arrived in the evening. Colonel GRIMLETTE, IMS (retired) commanding.

Feb 5th

Visited HS SECILIA, convoy not being ready she will not embark sick today.

Orders arrived regarding medical arrangements for No 11 and 12 Echelon Columns in which endeavour is being made to push up a number of the GS & ambulance wagons belonging to Medical units which have been sent up country by boat.

Feb 6th

Inspected the site for the new General Hospital on the KHANDAQ Creek. Latrines are being put up. Incinerator not yet made. Two water tanks have arrived but have not yet been erected.

Also inspected ship for sick at ASFAR House, ward flooring of which is nearly completed.

Feb 7th

Inspected PSS KARADENIZ with reference to certain affairs, etc. required on board her. HS TAKADA reports by wireless that she will be at BASRA on morning of the 8th. HS SYRIA reports she will be at the Bar on afternoon of 9th & unable to cross the same.

Lahore Casualty Clearing Hospital decided to move into the AGA JAFFA House in the KHANDAQ CREEK.

Feb 8th

HS TAKADA arrived BASRA. Convoy of invalids on P.1 left Tigris Column today at 4:30pm.

Lt HUCHESON, RAMC with Ambulance Transport details of No 20 BFA and 128 IFA left with No 11 Echelon [Column] yesterday for the front.

Feb 9th

HS TAKADA loading today.

Feb 10th

HS TAKADA sailed with convoy of 362 all told.

Feb 11th

HS SYRIA arrived at BASRA.

Feb 12th

Convoy of sick with P.1 arrived last night from AMARA and loaded onto SYRIA this morning.

I attended conference at LoC headquarters on the new camp to be laid out at MEKINA & MAGIL.

Captain LEA was detached to accompany & assist the officer laying out the Camps.

[Side Note] HS LOYALTY & GLENART CASTLE both arrived at Bar & HS MADRAS due at BASRA on 16th.

Not able to fill the LOYALTY, after consulting DADMS force, in absence of DMS, I permitted A.P.M.T.O. to let her sail for BOMBAY empty.

Feb 13th

The HS SYRIA finished embarking invalids & sailed at 4pm for India with convoy.

Feb 14th

Inspected certain sheds on the old mule lines with a view to the feasibility of their use for the General Medical Stores Depot to be established shortly, with the DADMS force & found that in their present condition they were far from suitable, though the situation might serve.

Feb 15th

The DMS returned from tour. I interviewed the Embarkation Commandant and the DAAG LofC regarding the importance of the very early dispatch of two Thresh Disinfectors to the front as ordered by the DMS on account of the report that Typhus Fever had broken out among the Turkish troops in the vicinity of KUT, and was told that it should be quite impossible to send them up before the 24th instant. Also submitted a letter to LofC staff to the same effect.

Feb 16th

GLENART CASTLE Hospital Ship now reported unable to cross the Bar. Proposed to APMTO that KARADENIZ should be used to tranship convoy to her. This was agreed to & orders issued to load up tomorrow.

Feb 17th

Hospital Ship MADRAS due this afternoon from BOMBAY arrived. Application made to Embarkator for two decker Barges to embark stretcher cases morning of 18th was refused, as there were three troopships to be disembarked & barges not available for few days. This was requested to DAAG LofC. It was stated that not more than one day’s delay was permissible. PSS KARADENIZ left at daybreak with convoy of invalids to Hospital Ship GLENART CASTLE at the Bar of Shatt el-Arab.

Feb 19th

Three cases of Small Pox occurred amongst the firemen on the HT TEESTA, after most of the troops & details on her had disembarked. The cases were removed to the Isolation Hospital and the GLENART placed in quarantine. Orders were issued to all Camp Commandants, MO Officers, OCs Base Depots with reference to immediate inspection & vaccination of any men & followers under their jurisdiction who were disembarked from HT TEESTA.

Feb 20th

Port Health Officer reports this morning two cases of Small Pox on HT PUMEA.

Feb 21st

One case in British General Hospital of Cerebro Spinal Meningitis.

Feb 22nd

Reference to above case, it was isolated with contacts also isolated. Cerebro Spinal Fluid examined & Cultures made therefrom, which appeared to confirm the diagnosis. The contacts in the British Base Depot were isolated in the grain market.

Feb 23rd

Case of probable Cerebro Spinal Meningitis occurred amongst the contacts isolated in the Grain Market, sent to the British General Hospital.

M.O. ASHAR Area reports a case of Cerebro Spial Meningitis occurred amongst native Christians in ASHAR – Case was sent to Civil Hospital with all contacts in town & measures taken to ascertain names of all people who had visited the town who are to be inspected every second day by M.O. ASHAR.

Feb 24th

No 22 CFA under orders to move tomorrow with two Regiments of the Btn. each to GURMAT ALI Bat. Camp having at the Base 2 M.O.s, 2 I.A.S. and the equipment to deal with other regiment of Bat. arriving shortly.

Feb 25th

Formation of 5 improvised River boat medical units to be sent up to Tigris Column for service with cargo of sick & wounded was put in hand. Two Medical Officers to go with each unit and stores & equipment up to 12 cots.

Feb 26th

Embarkation of No 12 Indian General Hospital was cancelled for the present to permit Of 37th Bat. with No 22 Combined Field Ambulance being put up first.

Feb 27th

One pair of field panniers dispatched to MO detail – EZRA’S TOMB with medical comforts, etc. as asked for by him by telegram for use of Road Parties.

Major SKITTER, DADMS 13th Division reported his arrival and sent round sets of proposed Camps for that division with O.C. Sanitary Section.

Feb 28th

Five river boat units each with two Medical Officers, equipment, comforts, etc. are today embarked on the MEJIDIEH for the front. 105 Comf folding cots were sent with them.

One pair of Field Medical Panniers with extra medicines, comforts and equipment was dispatched on same boat to IAS with details of Road making parties at EZRA’S TOMB with one ADMS from Sanitary Section in charge, at request of IAS.

Feb 29th

Cases of Small Pox and Measles reported by Embarkation Commandant on HT ELLENGA now arriving. OC Sanitary Section directed to go on board vessel with Dr. BERRIE, Port Health Officer, and see the cases also to advise on measures to be taken regarding troops, etc. on board. HT NILE at KUWAIT was reported yesterday to have infectious disease on board. Embarkation Commandant was asked to call wireless to ship and ascertain what disease it was. The disease was later reported to be probably Plague. One death and three other cases. Arrangements were made to dispatch a Medical Officer with practical knowledge of Plague and an Assistant Surgeon skilled in Bacteriology on HT VITA proceeding to Bar to take troops off NILE. He takes with him apparatus for inoculation and two thousand doses of Plague Serum and instructions to make a definitive diagnosis and inoculate all cases as necessary.

Inspected Prisoners Camp across river with Sanitary Officer, DADMS and MO in charge. Various recommendations were made to OC Camp for improving conditions there and the supervision of the Sanitary arrangements generally.

[Side Note] Heavy rain last night and this morning.

Mar 1st

Case of Scarlet Fever reported on HT MARATHON at KUWAIT. Authority received from DMS to take over house at back of Quarantine station & proceed with building of huts for contacts. Report sent in on Prisoner of War Camp.

Mar 2nd

Specialist MO with Assistant Surgeon BROWN left on HT VITA for transport NILE at KUWAIT to mitigate Plague outbreak on that ship.

Inspected Quarantine Station with DADMS and Port Health Officer & house now being taken over.

Arranged with IGC that HT VITA had best be detained on arrival of troops from HT NILE on her & used for the majority of them to complete their quarantine. Some 500 to be accommodated ashore at Quarantine so as not to overcrowd the ship.

MO Prisoners Camp reports he has found a spirillum on one of the fever cases in the Prisoners Camp.

Mar 3rd

Dr. BENNET reports that the Spirillum of Relapsing Fever has been found in two cases of Fever in the Mission Hospital.

The method of soaking clothes in Petrol to get rid of lice is to be given a trial at once and 100 gallons of crude Petrol ordered from Strick Scott & Co. 50 gallons to the Prisoners Camp and 50 gallons to the Mission Hospital, with six iron tubs with covers also to each institution.

The method of destroying vermin by means of a hot flat iron is also being tried at the Mission Hospital.

Lt. Col JAMES, SMO MAGIL came in to report several cases of measles in a Gurkha detachment at Camp MAGIL. Was directed verbally to isolate his cases under a guard in a tent near his own hospital and to isolate his contacts 100 yards from other troops under a guard taken from contacts themselves – He was also directed to send in an official report on measures taken.

Inspected Hospitals at Customs House in the afternoon.

Sent in a recommendation to the DMS that fit Prisoners of War should be removed from the country as soon as possible after disinfection of their clothes & bedding owing to one case of Relapsing Fever having recurred in the Camp & two amongst patients in the Mission Hospital.

Made arrangements for handing over Ambulance Transport of Field Ambulances 3rd & 7th Divisions to ADS&T.

Mar 4th

Special MO, sent down to HT NILE at KUWAIT, reports by wireless that diagnosis is not Plague but possible Relapsing Fever. Troops on NILE being transhipped to HT VITA for BASRA. Orders sent to MO by wireless to disinfect men & kits as far as possible on the ship coming up & arrangements for Quarantine, etc. made in BASRA.

Mar 5th

Saw IGC with reference to Prisoners of War Camp and recommendations made in concern therewith.

DAQMG LofC informed me that there was no prospect of Ambulance Wagons being dispatched by river transport this month under direct orders from GHQ. 4 Motor Ambulances dispatched to TIGRIS Column by river yesterday.

Mar 6th

The VITA with troops off HT NILE arrived this evening in the stream.  Major SWAN, IMS reported no Spirillum had been found nor had the Plague Bacillus been isolated. Two deaths had occurred since NILE left SUEZ. Patients both got high fever and both complained of some tenderness in the groin. One died 12 hours the other 24 hours after seizure.

Rats began to die in large numbers on board HT KHOSRU being in the stream. She brought no troops only indigenous from India. Work was stopped on her & coolies kept on board.

Mar 7th

It was decided to quarantine and disinfect troops on the VITA ex NILE. A batch of 500 to go to quarantine today disinfect and leave on 10th to complete segregation fenced in corner isolated near 13th Division Camp – remaining thousand to go quarantine on 10th & 11th and stay out their segregation fenced at Quarantine – more tents being provided

Sanitary Officer investigating death of rats on KHUSHRU. Spleens appear normal.

HS VARELA arrived.

Mar 8th

Master of HS SYRIA reports by wireless his arrival at Light Ship at 6:30am.  DST informs that she can not come up to BASRA – Arrangements made for VARELA to act as ferry boat to SYRIA.

Sanitary Officer reports rats on KHUSHRU not dying of Plague.

DADMS entered quarantine with OC Sanitary Section.

HS SYRIA came over Bar & got to ABADAN. Will be at Hospital berth, 9am. Embark convoy at once & proceed INDIA.

Mar 9th

Inspected the BEIT NAMA House, allotted to General Medical Stores Depot and the new huts being built in British & Indian General Hospitals with D.D. Works.

Mar 10th

Report from British General Hospital in the evening that six cases of Relapsing Fever had been admitted from the Gloucester Regiment which came from EGYPT in the HT GRAMPIAN and up river in the [blank]. Diagnosis was made in the General Hospital Laboratory including blood slides to be sent to OC Sanitary Section for their information.  This morning I sent Captain LEA out to see the Gloucester Regiment at MAKINA to arrange about segregation & to get a Thresh Disinfector sent out there, through which the men’s clothing & bedding could be put. ADMS 13th Division was informed verbally concerning this & the necessary segregation, etc. Letter to petition to DAGQMG LofC sent. DMS recommending segregation & observation of contacts disinfection of infected Regiment, etc.

Mar 11th


Mar 12th

Dr. BENNET ill at Mission Hospital arrangements made for MO from IGH to visit there daily.

[Side Note] Lt. Col JANUS arrived, ADMS Sanitary IEF D.

Mar 13th

Received letter form OC MAGIL Area concerning occurrence at Indian General Hospital. Wrote to OC thereof for full explanation.

HS MADRAS embarking invalids for India.

Mar 14th

Visited Mission Hospital with ADMS Sanitary & DADMS Force D. An MO from the Indian General Hospital has joined and is now on visiting duty there. Also a memo has been circulated to help him and two more sweepers from Sanitary Section.

Sent DADMS to MAGIL to make enquiries regarding circumstance detailed in Area Commandant’s letter mentioned above.

HS TAKADA arrived this morning. Also two convoys of wounded from the front.

Mar 15th

Visited MAKINA re disposition of Gloucester and Warwick Regiment with ADMS Sanitary Force D.

1 Section 137 IFA sent to Mission Hospital and 1 Section to Prisoners Camp.

Mar 16th

Section No 137 IFA arrived at Mission Hospital this morning.

Capt. TALBERT, IMS in charge. Prisoners Camp sent to Hospital.

Mar 17th

Visited Mission Hospital & arranged with Captain STACKER that the Church should be asked for as accommodation for sick which will take about 25 Beds.

No cases of Relapsing Fever reported from Gloucester Regiment since 9th instance.

Mar 18th

Visited Mission Hospital. Work proceeding rapidly. 3 tents pitched outside north of Hospital. Water Tanks arranged for & Fly proof netting for doors & windows. Hut nearly finished.

Interviewed the IGC with Base Commandant ADMS LofC & Captain LEA CO Sanitary Section & represented the paramount importance of having about 300 Sweepers at BASRA. Some 150 of which will be required to replace men of the Sanitary Section at present employed on latrine work in British and Indian Base Depots & other odd jobs about the place. It was suggested meantime that a number of Arab Sweepers and additional orderlies, British and native, should be employed as a temporary measure.

Inspected MAGIL wharf area, Standing Camp & No 2 Camp, Labour Camps & Porter Corps Camp, with Sanitary Officer and IMO MAKINA. Found some latrines neglected but place generally fairly clean. Recommendations will be made regarding construction of permanent latrines, filling up certain ditches and improvement of present Slaughter House arrangements, etc.

DADMS inspected Prisoner of War Camp this afternoon, I found matters generally improved.

Mar 19th

Visited Camp of 7th Gloucesters with DADMS MAKINA, and after, Camp of No 135 IFA and 41 FA.

3 more cases if Relapsing Fever from 7th Gloucesters reported by BGH today.

Customs House No 2 Area report a suspicious case of Fever with a rash in an Officer living in a tent in 48th Street BASRA. Lt Colonel COLLINS, RAMC asked to see case in consultation. The case was also seen by Captain LEA Sanitary Officer and the united opinion expressed was that the case was very probably Typhus Fever. Arrangements were made at once for accommodation of patients and contacts in tents on the north nob of the Creek at Quarantine Station on the left bank of the river, and in the evening they were transferred there for isolation.

Captain HIBBERT ISM in British General Hospital with Relapsing Fever died about 5pm.

Mar 20th

Four more cases of Relapsing Fever reported in Gloucester Regiment from BGH today & reported by hospital to MO of the regiment.

Mar 21st

Case of Small Pox – 2nd Engineer HT BASPETA – bringing British troops from HT PERSIC at KUWAIT – case sent to Quarantine Isolation Hospital. Men with good vaccination marks vaccinated within last two years to be disembarked. Men with fair vaccination marks not vaccinated within 5 years to be revaccinated & leave ship also. Remainder to Quarantine for vaccination & segregation to usual period.

Ship’s crew to be vaccinated.

DST informed that ship must not carry any more Troops but proceed to KARACHI or BOMBAY for disinfection.

More cases Relapsing Fever reported from BGH in 7th Gloucesters.

Mar 22nd

Visited 7th Gloucesters camp at MAKINA and interviewed MO.

Sent DADMS to inspect Prisoner Camp across river. Definite orders given to MO that no prisoners liable to carry infection were to proceed to INDIA in BARODA i.e. The prisoners sent, must not be men recently out of hospital & must be free from lice.

Mar 23rd

Inspected Prisoner of War Camp. All in hospital are now provided with beds, mattresses, pillows, mosquito nets where necessary, cups, plates & spoons. Spittoons. Hospital clothing for 100 patients. 4 temporary huts & 2 tents being used as accommodation. Water is at present being brought from the river, in terms of a drinking purposes by gangs of prisoners.  9 Zinc troughs and 16 Iron tubs are being used for delousing clothing in paraffin oil. I gave verbal orders to MO that no men recently sick to be sent to INDIA & that all who were sent must be absolutely free from lice. Overalls and blouses have been provided for them working in the hospital. Interviewed Dr. SABI BEG who represented the men of the Turkish Doctors there regarding them working in the hospital. I told him that if they did not agree to work under the supervision & under the orders of the SMO there that it should be better that they should not work at all. In which the SMO fully concurred.

Colonel COLLLINS, RAMC was asked to see 2 or 3 cases of Pyrexia of doubtful origin in the Prisoners Camp Hospital unit. Major SEALY SMO Camp, thought it was possible they were cases of Typhus Fever, but that the diagnosis was not certain.

Mar 24th

Inspected Indian Base Depot with OC Sanitary Section.

3 RAMC Officers arrived ex HT PERSIA to be retained for duty with BGH.

HS SICILIA to be embarked tomorrow.

[Side Note] HT ERINPURA sailed with 198 invalids

[Side Note] Lt Colonel JAYGOULD, IMS arrived on SICILIA

Mar 25th

Inspected Mission Hospital. Nearly all wards have been lime washed. One hut completed & ready to receive sick. Another hut has been commenced and will be ready shortly.

DADMS visited Camp of 7th Gloucesters at last inspected for lice of men & clothing. Only one man was found to be infected with them.

Telegram from Chief of General Staff Officer; Appointment of Lt. Colonel P COLLINS, RAMC as ADMS Base & Lt. Col WOODSIDE, RAMC as O.C. British?

Mar 26th

HS VARELA arrived & embarked one convoy off JULNAR direct

Mar 27th

HS VARELA finished embarkation.

Mar 28th

HS VARELA sailed this morning. HS SYRIA arrived and embarked MALAMIR convoy direct.

Inspected Mission Hospital. Disinfecting and lime washing of wards almost complete. It has been decided that after Prisoners Camp & Hospital has been completed the Mission Hospital will not further be used to accommodate sick connected with Force D.

DADMS inspected Prisoners Camp & Hospital this morning & suggested that some of Fire regulations could be advisable. The question of the best method of disinfecting tents also to be considered.

[Side Note] “Z” Indian General Hospital reported to have left BOMBAY on 27th instant on HS MADRAS. 9 Medical Officers.

Mar 29th

3 Copies Board Proceedings on Surgeon General HATHAWAY handed to Capt. HAMILTON, DADMS. Medical Board held on Major General CAUCHIN, IGC.

[Side Note] HS SYRIA sailed.

Mar 30th

Cases of Small Pox amongst Troops on ARANCOLA arriving 31st from BOMBAY reported by DST.

Wireless message sent to SMO ARANCOLA to report details & action taken.

Mar 31st

Four cases of Small Pox arrived amongst drafts from INDIA on the HT ARANCOLA. 95 men requiring vaccination were vaccinated. Cases transferred to Quarantine Hospital.

Remainder to be under observation on ship until the morning of April 4th.

Order received to mobilize six river boat units complete for the front to arrive there by April 6th. Orders were issued accordingly.

Apr 1st

Conference of Commanders of River Boat Units at the office to discuss the question of equipment & Red Cross gifts, etc. to be taken up with each unit. All units to be at the front by April 6th each to bring down convoys of wounded.

Reference? passage for River Boat Units to TIGRIS Corps, applied for to DAQMG LofC yesterday. I was informed verbally by DAQMG on telephone this afternoon that it was impossible they should start before morning of 4th in the BLOSSE LYNCH.

[Side Note] HS MADRAS arrived at Bar

Apr 2nd

HS MADRAS arrived with personnel only of “Z” Indian General Hospital.

HS ASSAYE reported at KUWAIT with No 32 British General Hospital on board with 950 cubic tons of Medical Equipment.

[Side Note] HS ASSAYE Accommodation: BO 42, ORB 364, Deck Cases 200

Apr 3rd

HT PENTACOTTA embarked invalids for India

HS MADRAS at new Jetty General Hospital disembarking reinforcements.

River Boat Units left for the front.

Apr 4th

ADMS Base Officer was moved from No 1 Strand to building in British General Hospital.

Apr 5th

HS TAKADA arrived form BOMBAY & embarked British invalids in the afternoon to transfer to the HS ASSAYE now at the Bar. Message received in the evening to say that P.23 with sick convoy had left KHURNA.

Apr 6th


Apr 7th

Handed over charge of the office of ADMS Base to Lt Colonel B J COLLINS, RAMC. FW GEL Lt Col IMS

Hospital River Steamer (HRS) SIKKIM arrived from ORAH at 6pm with the first of the casualties from the attack now proceeding for the relief of KUT. She made a record run having left the front yesterday morning & arrived this morning – 12 hours from AMARA, for which we have previously allowed 30 hours. Casualties so far about 2,000.

Apr 8th

Visited Prisoners of War Camp & Hospital – Am strongly in favour of taking up the whole area which is none too large as hospital only and moving the PoW Camp to another site on the other side of the river. Saw Base Commandant on this subject, & in the afternoon went up to MAGIL and saw No 3 Camp, which when enclosed with wire, will make an excellent site, as it had plenty of water & bathing facilities.

Apr 9th

Inspected Liquorice Factory, etc. at MAKINA where No 32 BGH (from Egypt) is to arrive tomorrow. HS TAKADA returned from Bar & loaded today about 500 all British & Serious lying down cases. Lent them 3 medical officers and some nursing sisters, as they had only 3 officers and 2 sisters on board which is totally inadequate. Also as usual had to supply nursing orderlies. HS VARELA arrived at 6pm

Apr 10th

Went on board ARONDA with 32 BGH on board; Saw Col STARR RAMC and described to him position of affairs & gave him details concerning the Liquorice Factory, where half the hospital is to open (500 beds). The other half to AMARA as equipment is sorted out and completed. Attended conference at Base Commandant’s Office when the proposed transfer of PoW Camp to MAGIL was affirmed.

Apr 11

HS VARELA sailed with 17 B.O.s, 187 British Ranks & 200 Indian ranks.

Apr 12

Inspected Mission Hospital – about 90 Prisoners of War under treatment – no serious cases & no further cases of infectious disease.

A case of Small-Pox (a fireman) on the ITAURA isolated at Infectious Hospital, & all on board vaccinated.

8 nursing sisters, 2 medical officers & 8 ranks (32 BGH) left for AMARA in P.8.

Apr 13

Visited Field Park re installation of jumhahs? at P of War Hospital- Base Commandant re changes on KARADITZ & Director of Army Signals.

HS SYRIA arrived at noon. Arranged with SMO to take all British this time as the ship is mainly intended for Indians, we have to put on 4 Nurses and 20 Orderlies (Br) for the voyage.

COROMANDEL a new hospital steamer left for AMARA, taking 8 Officers & 32 ranks of 32 BGH for duty at AMARA where half of 32 BGH (500 beds) is to open later.

Apr 14

SYRIA sailed at 10am with 22 Officers & 363 British ranks – total 385.

HRS SIKKIM arrived from front with 25 Officers & 119 men including a good many serious head cases.

Apr 15


Apr 16

Sir WILLIAM VINCENT attended at my office to take evidence from me as late OC 3 BGH regarding the alleged medical shortcomings after the battle of CTESIPHON. He informed me that no complaints had been received regarding 3 BGH, but that on the contrary everyone had given it the highest praise.

HS MADARS left BOMBAY yesterday.

HS SICILIA arrived 6pm. Arranged to send all British this time – No 3 BGH providing 2 nursing sisters & 12 orderlies.

Issued orders for 1 section 108 IFA to proceed immediately to BUSHIRE – arranged passage on OZARDA; and for 23 CFA to hold itself in readiness to proceed to NASIRIYEH.

Apr 17

29 Officers & 314 British ranks embarked on SICILIA – accompanied Sir V. HORSLEY round No 3 BGH & also to No 32 BGH at MAKINA. Also visited with him P.6 which had just arrived from ORAH. Arranging to send all motor ambulances, ambulance wagons and tongas, except what are barely necessary for here, up the river, where there is urgent need of them.

Ordered 1 Section 108 FA at present at Quarantine Station to Customs House in relief of the Section gone to BUSHIRE.

Visited Prisoners of War Camp MAGIL in the evening.

Apr 18

Accompanied Sir V. HORSLEY to Nos 9 & 10 IGH, 15 CCH, Gen, Stores & 83 Stationary Hospital.

Recommended to DMS, (i) Construction of a light railway from river front to 32 BGH MAKINA, for the conveyance of stretcher cases; otherwise 32 BGH will not be of much use for lying down cases from up river. (ii) that the question of taking the water supply of BASRA from the EUPHRATES be considered.

A Sanitary Section (without a number) & No 7 (Meerut) Advanced Depot Medical Stores left for AMARA on P.31.

7 Thresh Disinfectors sent up river today.

Apr 19

Accompanied Sir V HORSLEY to Mission Hospital, P of War Hospital, Infectious Hospital & No 10 Sanitary Section.

Recommended construction of a road between IGH & Gen Med Stores, and Dorset Road – at present the former buildings are completely isolated and have no road connection with the outer world.

Apr 20

Attended conference at Base Commandant’s Office, where the question of re-distribution of military sanitary areas was considered. I propose having in future 6 areas and MAGIL, and nominating D. BORRIE Ph.D. as Civil Surgeon of ASHAR, to supervise purely civil sanitation, etc. I hope to be able to allot a Sanitary Officer to each area for military duties.

Inspected at MAGIL. Drew attention of SMO to the insanitary conditions of old slaughter yard, and recommended that it be thoroughly dug up and all litter buried in situ.

Apr 21

Inspected “Z” IGH at MAKINA where the commission found the latrines in a “disgraceful” condition. Impressed upon the CO, Lt Col GRANT, IMS, that he was entirely responsible for the sanitation of his own unit. This is laid down in FSR Part II, Chapter XI, Section 83, para 2.

Recommended to base Commandant that a separate civil surgery be created for ASHAR to control and supervise the area outside that of Civil Surgeon BASRA.

Evening visited P.8 with IGC, etc. with a view to her conversion into a hospital river steamer. She can be adapted for 56 cots – not very much use, but it establishes a precedent, & better things may follow later.  P.8 is only given to us as she is no use for anything else. Visited other ships to arrange a scheme for fitting a certain amount of medicines, dressings, comforts & stores on board all steamers going up river, so that on return journey they may be used for hospital purposes. Stipulated for a room or cabin 10’x8′ in each river boat to be constructed for this purpose.

Apr 22

Visited P.8 again with reference to her reconstruction. DMS has approved my proposal for an Infectious Hospital for civil population of BASRA & ASHAR, so that it will be no longer necessary to send such to the military Infectious Hospital.

P.3 arrived 9pm with 9 Officers and 243 British ranks. There were two suspicious cases of Cholera on board, which were removed in the WESSEX to Infectious Hospital & the P.3 ordered to moor down river off Quarantine Station.

[Side Note] These were true, both cases died.

Apr 23

Went down to Quarantine Island & made arrangements for getting the wounded ashore. This virtually meant opening a 300 bedded hospital & equipping it with medical, ordnance, engineer & S&T Stores. Buildings were not ready & a large number of E.P. Tents pitched, where the swampy nature permitted. Arrangements had to be made for drinking water, cooking, latrines & incinerators. By evening 160 men were ashore & the rest left on board.

One further case of Cholera occurred and was removed to Infectious Hospital.

Apr 24

The unloading of the remaining stretcher cases from P.3 & barges completed.

VARELA arrived 9am & left 4pm with 15 Officers, 187 British & 274 Indian ranks.

My proposals for the re-organization of the Infectious Hospital have now been approved as also the proposal for a separate Infectious Hospital for Arabs in BASRA city.

Apr 25

Inspected at Mission Hospital – the transfer to P of W Hospital should be completed by tomorrow. The place will then be thoroughly disinfected & closed for 3 weeks. No further cases of Cholera reported today.

Went to BASRA city with Military Governor, Civil Surgeon & Port Health Officer to select a site for a Civil Infectious Hospital. Saw an excellent building with a large open space capable of extension. Asked Military Governor to get the matter in hand as soon as possible.

Apr 26

BLOSSE LYNCH arrived from front with wounded prisoners of war – these were sent to P of W Camp, TANOUMA.

Telegram received late that P.16 had landed 4 cases of Cholera at AMARA and that 11 Officers & 232 British ranks were coming down in her. They will have to be quarantined.

[Side Note] Another case of Cholera ex P.3 occurred at Quar Stn.

Apr 27

Had a Base Order published ordering all troops & followers proceeding to the front to be vaccinated for Cholera.

To Quarantine Stn at 6:30, to arrange for the 250 wounded coming down today. There is hardly a spot of dry ground left which to pitch tents & no personnel to look after the sick.

It is quite likely now that every steamer coming down will have a case or two of Cholera on it, and all contacts will have to be segregated. Problems – where to put them & where to get staff for them. Between providing staff for hospital ships, transports and river boat parties, the hospitals are sadly depleted.

Apr 27

SMO TAKADA who arrived today demanded 5 nurses, 13 orderlies & 2 medical officers; gave him all except 4 nurses, as 5 nurses had to be sent to AMARA today & there are no nurses left to look after about 500 wounded at Quarantine Station. He had already got 7 nurses on board.

Apr 28

Gave evidence again before the Medical Commission with reference to KURNA, SHAIBA, AMARA & NASIREYAH.

Red Cross Commissioner (Mr. RIDSDALE) informed me that he proposed removing the Red Cross launch from Infectious Hospital & Quarantine Camp. If this is done they will be practically cut off from the outside world & will have the greatest difficulty in getting supplies, stores, etc.; also that the British General Hospitals are now without a launch, as is the ADMS Base & that it is impossible for the latter to perform his duties efficiently without a launch, as there are so many hospitals and camps on the other side of the river.

P.16 arrived with 243 Cholera contacts who were sent on to Quarantine Station.

SMO BGH reports that during month of April, to date, 277 Officers & 3,299 British ranks were invalided to INDIA.

Arranged with Port Health Officer for inspection of all casualty craft coming down river.

Apr 29

Visited Quarantine Station to see wounded who came down yesterday – all comfortable & dressings in good order. Saw IGC at 10:30 about the precautions to be taken for Cholera. Afterwards saw Political Officer about getting a site down river for the isolation of Arabs in the event of an extensive outbreak in BASRA & ASHAR.

As there has been a little friction at MAGIL between the SMO & the local military authorities, ordered Capt. [Frank Phillips] WERNICKE, IMS for duty there, vice Lt. Col. GRAVES IMS who reverts to No 9 IGH.

Apr 30

Went down river 4 miles with AQMG, LofC, PHO & DADMS to MUSHARI to select site for Cholera Hospital and large contact for the civil population if BUSRA and ASHAR, for use in the event of an outbreak of Cholera in the city. Embodied my recommendations in a letter to Base Commandant.

Also saw some very fine buildings on right bank of river about 3 miles below BASRA which would make an excellent site for BGH.

KUT surrendered yesterday.

May 1

Visited Infectious Hospital with GD Works with a view to getting more suitable buildings, etc. erected. There are now 600 patients there (chiefly wounded who were Cholera contacts) & nearly all in tents.

Evening visited P of War Camp at MAGIL.

HS VARSOVA arrived. In view of the sick from KUT being handed over to us by the Turks, arranged with Embarkation Commandant to take up all hired transport returning to BOMBAY for the walking cases. The problem of staff again arises but the sick & wounded must be got away at any price, before the hot weather is on us.

May 2

Yesterday 5 cases of Cholera occurred locally; one at Indian Base Depot, one S & J Depot, one at 88 Stationary Hospital, and 2 in 56th Bde. RFA at MAKINA. Both the latter were removed to 32 BGH at MAKINA and proved rapidly fatal. Complete precautions have been adopted and information circulated in Base Orders, etc. for preventing the spread of the disease. Instructions have been drawn up for Captains of river craft travelling without an MD and every effort is made in order to keep Cholera out of BASRA but I am informed that epidemics are usually preceded, as this year, by a few cases from up river & then the Arabs are attacked wholesale.

Vigorous Cholera inoculation is proceeding and I arranged today to have the tea & sugar ration (also firewood) doubled to encourage men to fill their water bottles with tea.

Conference with IGC regarding various hospital and sanitary matters. He is strongly in favour of my proposal to have a BGH located 3 miles downriver. Recommended to DMS that when Nos 2 & 3 BGH’s are provided with adequate personnel. No 2 BGH should move down river. Both are now working together, each being equipped for 200 beds only. Yesterday they had over 1,200 in hospital.

The greatest inconvenience & loss of time is caused to one by not having a launch. Today I had to go down river & back in a bellow & was absent 3 1/2 hours; Now with Cholera about, & so many camps & hospitals to be visited, every minute is valuable.

A fatal case of Cholera (British) occurred on P.12 shortly after her arrival at hospital pier last night – total cases to date 13 all imported.

May 3

Another case of Cholera occurred last night – this one was on the KARAMITZ which is used as an overflow of the BGH. Case & contacts were sent to hospital and all on board vaccinated.

May 4

Visited MAKINA and saw OC “Z” IGH (Lt Col JW GRANT IMS) with reference to a habit he has got into of writing letters to ADMA on various minor matters which he should be able to adjust for himself. Also impressed on him the necessity for getting into personal touch with various departments, S&T, ordnance, Field Park, etc. and not to write letters to me on every petty affair that turns up. Also asked him not to write letters to the Sanitary Officer who lives a few yards from him, but to tell him personally. Read him a note on this question in which I stated that he did not appear to have either the spirit or the capacity for coping with the difficulties that beset all COs in Mesopotamia.

Hospital Ship GASCON which was yesterday stuck in the Bar is now aground at MOHAMMERAH. This illustrates the futility of employing heavy draught boats in the river. When the monsoon blows, in a very short time from now, the following will not be able to come up – MADRAS, TAKADA, SYRIA & SICILIA. What is wanted here is all the boats of the “E” Class BISN Co namely the “ERINPURA, EGRA, ELEPHANTA, ELLENGA & EDEREMBA. These are very fine large boats, with splendid deck space, and can come up to BASRA at any time of the year.

May 5

GASCON is still stuck at MOHAMMERAH, so we have had to load sick on the BANDRA, provide Staff, etc. & send her down to tranship to the GASCON.

GASCON still in the Bar at 3pm so cannot send patients by BANDRA until tomorrow morning. This causes great inconvenience and delay in evacuating sick and wounded. Wrote to DMS recommending that five BI boats that will cross the Bar at any time be taken up instead of five hospitals which are unable to come over the Bar from now onwards.

Recommended to BC the establishment of 9 drinking water depots at different posts in ASHAR & BASRA where troops can get a supply of cool, sterilized drinking water, during the hot weather. At present men drink anywhere & anyhow.

May 7

Visited MAKINA with AD Works to see some samples of fly-proof latrines which the sappers have made; also a new type of incinerator. Afterwards selected a suitable site for a series of anaerobic beds and aerobic filters for the disposal of the urine of BASRA & ASHAR.

Two cases of Cholera arrived at “Z” IGH MAKINA yesterday and one suspected case at MAGIL. All cases with contacts were sent to Quarantine Station. Thorough disinfection and general vaccination are proceeding. The total number of cases to date is 15 with 5 deaths.

May 8

Inspected at MAKINA. Have arranged for two mahelas for infectious cases to be kept at Liquorice Factory MAKINA and at Base Commandant’s Pier. A launch to tour there will be sent on telephoning to me. The mahelas to be disinfected after each trip at the Quarantine Station. Total Cholera cases to date 19 with 9 deaths.

Asked the DMS (yesterday) to apply to GHQ for permission to cable to India for a motor car for use of ADMS Base, without which it will be quite impossible for one to perform my duties efficiently. The district is a very large one and it is quite impossible to get around on a horse as the distances are so great and the heat is now becoming intense. I have already reported to DMS that a launch was necessary also for the efficient performance of my duties but am as far as ever from getting one. There are nine hospitals in my district, of which two, and three contact camps, are on the other side of the river. For want of transport, I have not been able to visit MAGIL, TANOUMA, Quarantine Hospital, Indian Base Depot and other places for a considerable time. The ADMS Base must have a car and a launch to perform his duties properly and to secure the best results.

May 9

Six suspected cases of Cholera were sent to Infectious Hospital today. Of those, 3 were ordinary diarrhea, & 3 will probably prove to be Cholera. Placed Lt. Col O’FLAHERTY, RAMC 24 CFA temporarily at MAKINA, in charge of Cholera measures at that place, and in a note indicated the lines to go on were – (1) boiling all drinking water, (2) treating with Listerine or Cresol all ponds and creeks which might be used by Indians for drinking from & washing teeth, etc. (3) vaccination.

May 10

Visited MAKINA Camp to see the two new 150ft grids and the forced draught refuse destructor working. All are going well and several more grids will be necessary.

Of the six suspected cases of Cholera sent to Infectious Hospital yesterday, two were Cholera. And of five sent today to “Z” IGH none were Cholera.  Total cases to date 21 with 10 deaths.

May 11th

Visited the large buildings down river with Base Commandant and AD Works with a view to taking them over as hospitals for British sick. They were well adapted for this purpose.

Hospital Ship MADRAS & VARELA arrived.

TAKADA arrives at Bar tomorrow & wires she will probably not be able to cross the Bar. Accordingly, arranged for VARELA to tranship patients to TAKADA & return to BASRA. Then load for ASSAYE due at Bar on 13th. Then arrive back again to BASRA & finally load for INDIA about 15th.

May 12th

Visited MAKINA again – owing to not having a launch or car my sphere of action is practically limited to a radius of 3 miles where I can ride on a horse in the morning and evenings. There are numerous other places I badly want to go but am unable to do so. Reported the   condition of affairs to Colonel WILLCOX, RAMC Casualty Physician, in the hope that he may be able to do something to provide one with transport. He promised to see the Army Commander on the subject,

In the afternoon, visited proposed new hospital buildings down river with Sir WILLIAM VINCENT, Gen BINGLEY, & Colonel WILLCOX, all of whom were unanimous regarding the desirability of this site. Three fresh cases of Cholera today, making total to date 29 with 11 deaths.

May 13th

TAKADA arrived. As she had great difficulty with both Bars she is unable to do feeder to ASSAYE, which arrived at Bar today. She will therefore take a mixed British & Indian convoy to INDIA tomorrow & I have assigned for VARSOVA (left INDIA 11th) to take Medical Details (95 Officers & 195 Ranks RAMC) of ASSAYE at the Bar on 16th, bring them up here & then take a convoy of British to the ASSAYE. VARSOVA will then return to BASRA.

Saw Base Commandant again with reference to Bath and Water Stations, also re treatment of heat stroke, which may be expected soon.

May 14th

The new water installation at MAKINA is now working satisfactorily & provides 16,000 gallons of sedimented & chlorinated water; the Tanks however get very hot in the sun. Recommended to AD Works putting a Chitai? Roof over them. Accompanied DMS (Surgeon General LOEHERING CMG) round several of the hospitals today. Recommended the Port Health Officer (Dr. DF BARRIE) be granted a commission as temporary Captain RAMC. In addition to being PhD he has been in sanitary employ for over a year.

May 15th

Visited No 8 Advanced Depot of Medical Stores. The late Officer in charge, Hon Lt BROWN, ISMD, has been invalided to INDIA, this has left the Stores in a chaotic condition. Several boxes & panniers were half empty, things had been lent and not replaced, & no proper accounts or ledger has been kept. The OC No 1 Gen Med Stores informs me that a stock ledger need not be kept by the Advanced Depot, but I have ordered the Warrant Officer who is now in charge to take one into use; to replenish all boxes & panniers and to maintain an adequate reserve of field medical companions & extemporised panniers for issue to river boat parties and hired transports proceeding to INDIA.

83 SH left for NASIRIYEH.

May 16th

Visited Indian Contact Camp, TANOUMAH, & 32 BGH with DMS. East of the Contact Camp TANOUMAH, is a fine site which ought to serve for the accommodation of 33 BGH (1,040 beds) expected to arrive about 3rd week of June.

4 cases of Cholera (all civilians) yesterday.

Evening visited Infectious Hospital. There are now 29 cases of Cholera under treatment.

“Y” IGH (without equipment) left for AMARA.

95 Officers & 195 ranks RAMC arrived on VARSOVA, ex ASSAYE from England.

May 17th

Visited “Z” IGH & 32 BGH at MAKINA. A second refuse destructor has been erected at the former place. GA out circulars to all units re Water Chlorination so as to put it on a uniform basis, as different units have different methods at present.

Saw DMS with reference to proposed hospital accommodation at BASRA. It is to be on basis of 9% for TIGRIS Force & 14% for EUPHRATES Force. That will give (a) for Sick, British 1960 beds; Indians 3,840 beds; (b) Convalescent Camp, British 750, Indian 1,000. This will be provided as follows:

No 3 BGH to be increased 1,000 beds & KARADENIZ (500) to be given up.
No 33 BGH on arrival to be opened near Aviation Park, TANOUMAH.
Total 2,040 Br Beds

Nos 9 & 10 IGH – 1,700 beds
No 15 CCS (Aga Inffer Hospl) – 500 beds
No 8 IGH (to be located in Liquorice Factory when 32 BGH goes to MAKINA) – 1,000 beds
“Z” IGH MAKINA – 640 Beds
Total 3,840 beds

Convalescents, British 750 – at TANOUMA, Indian 1,000 – at MAKINA.

15 British Officers and 229 British ranks left on HS VARSOVA for transfer to ASSAYE at the Bar.

Accompanied DMS on his inspection of “Z” IGH MAKINA.

May 18th

Got out details of scheme for Bath Stations & circulated to all concerned. Visited Engineer Field Park to see what progress was being made with baths & surahi stands; found that practically nothing had been done – reported matter to Base Commandant.

May 19th

Owing to extensive floods the road from BGH to MAKINA is flooded & all communication with the British & Indian Hospitals Area by road is cut off. Have notified DDW & asked him to treat the matter as urgent.

Ordered OC 108 IFA to hand over equipment of one section (D) to the Infectious Hospital, and to re-equip that Section. His equipment has not been used since the arrival of the ambulance in country & it has been lying in the Custom House. The remainder of the equipment is up river & has to be brought down to complete the four sections. The Infectious Hospital is urgently in need of equipment.

Visited MAGIL in the evening & inspected site for a new Arab encampment. The water pump engine is now working but only pumps to tanks near the engine; no pipes for distribution to the camp being yet available.

May 20th

VARSOVA returned from the Bar & loaded up with British Officers and Indian ranks.

May 21st

The VITA arrived on her first trip.

Information received of the dispatch on 5th May from England of a 1,400 bedded hospital for BASRA. A good site for this hospital will be TANOUMA but they will have to pitch tents as it is impossible to get any building done at present under shortage of labour.

Attended conference at Base Commandant’s Office on various sanitary matters. The question of taking up all the best Soda Water Factories in the town & running them under our supervision is now an accomplished fact; the bath stations for heat stroke are also ready; & the depots for supply of cold water to troops are in train.

May 22nd

All the RAMC officers ex ASSAYE (70) have now been sent up river.

Inspected at Infectious Hospital, and afterwards visited site for 33 BGH at TANOUMA.

May 23rd

Dispatched the VITA with 17 Officers & 341 ranks, and the CHAKDARA with 12 B. Officers & 260 ranks. Drew up regulations for the transfer of Cholera cases to Infectious Hospital in boats; especially with reference to disinfection of the latter. A number of boats flying the Yellow flag has now been arranged for, along the river front, & a launch is sent on receipt of a telephone message at my office.

Total cases of Cholera to date 66 with 22 deaths.

May 24th

An order received from CGS SIMLA saying that only Cholera vaccine from INDIA was to be used in inoculating troops up here. This means stopping inoculation altogether as INDIA has completely broken down in the supply of vaccine. The only vaccine sent up recently, so far as I know, being that sent up by EMO BOMBAY in response to my Cable V/1/43 of 26th April. This, a small quantity, arrived in CITY OF NEWCASTLE about a fortnight ago & was sent up country. On 23rd April I cabled KASAULI for 50,000 double doses & on 25th April for 30,000 double doses; and again on 5th May I cabled for 50,000 doses. None of these have been received so far.

Accordingly, I got Captain BONEY, RAMC to prepare a Cholera vaccine from local strains of vibrios; and I consider with excellent results, for the past fortnight.

On receipt of wire above referred to from SIMLA I sent the following to DMS, IEF “D”:

“There is no Cholera vaccine in Mesopotamia except what has been prepared from local strains by Capt. BONEY, RAMC at No 3 BGH, Buson. INDIA has failed completely in this respect and the General Medical Stores has not received any except what I ordered from EMV BOMBAY a month ago. Should not SIMLA be informed of this?

If Inoculation is stopped here, an extensive outbreak at the Base is highly probable.”

Cholera to date at Base – 73 cases with 24 deaths.

May 25th

Two cases of Cholera have occurred amongst the civil population of ASHAR & one at BASRA.

Saw the IGC with reference to the Civil Contact Camp, etc. at MUSHARI. Nothing has yet been done on the matter although I put in my recommendations on this subject on 30th April. IGC ordered AQMG to see the Political Officer with a view to getting things going.

Also spoke to Military Governor of BUSRAH & impressed him with the necessity of making adequate arrangements in view of the threatened outbreak of Cholera.

May 26th

Visited camp at MUSHARI; things are now beginning to move. Dr. BARRIE, Port Health Officer, will be in charge and I have detailed a Senior Assistant Surgeon, with a knowledge of Arabic for the sub-charge? The place should be ready by Sunday. A very good out-building will hold 30 beds comfortably.

No 105 FA reported arrival from EGYPT. They are to go up to Corps as soon as possible.

Cholera cases – 80 with 25 deaths.

May 27th

A case of Cholera on the BI Steamer EKMA, and several cases in the ASAR Bazar. Am starting an inoculation Station for the Arab population. They are quite keen on inoculation.

Sanction received from DMS to continue inoculation with BONEY’S vaccine pending arrival of vaccine from INDIA.

May 28th

Borrowed a motor car from IGC & at last got out to see the Camps on SHAIBA BUND where the cases of Cholera have occurred. Found that they were entrenching night soil which stopped at once & ordered them to make incinerators. A large Arab coolly encampment was in a filthy condition. Sent special medical officer (L DENDON RAMC) out to live there & take the sanitation in hand.

Loaded the KARADINIZ with British & Indian sick for the Bar, to tranship to the MADRAS. The TAKADA also is not coming up this time, so I propose using the VARELA as a feeder. I have taken up the EKMA & ALNWICK CASTLE for 31st to take walking cases to KARACHI & BOMBAY.

May 29th

Borrowed a launch from Gen COWPER AQMG & so was able to visit the Infectious Hospital at Quarantine Island, where they have had 86 cases of Cholera to date, with 27 deaths. An Officer (Flight Lt HODGES) admitted yesterday with Cholera, is doing well. The Engineers have now got the new huts in hand and an improvement may shortly be looked for.

Cholera cases to date 96 with 28 deaths.

May 30th

Owing to illness of Capt. ELLIOTT RAMC ordered Capt. DUNBAR for duty with OC Infectious Hospital. Recommended that Infectious Hospital be reorganized for purposes of changing it as a General Hospital of 200 beds.

Owing to the gradual extension of MAKINA & MAGIL Camps & the increasing distance from the hospitals, made the following arrangements today –

  1. No 24 FA to move further out in the desert so as to divide between 41st Brigade & outlying Camps
  2. Increased hospital accommodation to be provided at MAGIL; patients (British) to be detained during the heat of the day, and sent in evening by 5:45pm ferry to Pontoon Pier; here they will be taken in by Red Cross launch to 32 BGH. This will save the long road journey across the desert.
  3. A Medical Officer RAMC to be attached for temporary duty to the Herts Yeomanry at MAKINA.

Owing pressure of accommodation for British sick, ordered 15 CC Stn. to prepare to receive 50 British at Jaffa Khan’s Bldg KHANDAK Creek.

Cholera – 102 with 29 deaths.

May 31st

Arranged to place two Medical Officers with special knowledge of Cholera Camps in charge of Cholera operations in BASRA & ASHAR. Saw DMG ASHAR about finishing inoculation & circulating in vernacular some simple anti-Cholera rules which I have drawn up.

Accompanied Army Commander & DMS around the hospital areas with a view to seeing what additional tinkering is necessary.

Cholera to date – 108 cases, 32 deaths.

Am still badly hung up for want of a launch and motor car.

June 1st

Ample supply of Cholera vaccine having been received from INDIA, the local manufacture has been discontinued.

Another Contact Camp for civilians of BASRA & ASHAR has been selected – in the desert, SW of ZOBEI GATE. This will be more convenient and popular than the camp down river at MUSHARI, which however will be continued.

With a view to relieving congestion at River Front in neighbourhood of Post Office, selected a camp at Indian Base Depot area, KORUN as “Gordons Camp”. The place will require some levelling, filling and treatment with heavy oil – reported to Base Commandant.

Accompanied Army Commander to Infectious Hospitals.

June 2nd

Ordered the drawing down of the British General Restaurant & Soda Factory much patronised by Troops, owing to general insanitary conditions. A YMCA restaurant opening close by in a few days will replace it.

Attended conference at DMS Office with reference replacement of certain Indian personnel in British Hospital by British (RAMC).

Cholera 116 cases, with 33 deaths.

June 3rd

AQMG lent me his launch so I was able to inspect at MAGIL, where I found several matters requiring attention, more specifically the lack of sufficient hospital accommodation, now that the camp has grown so large. 197 British ranks reported sick yesterday. I propose putting No 15 CCS at MAGIL, in replacement of one section of No 9 IGH – if DMS approves.

SICILIA arrived & reported one fatal case of Bubonic Plague – a ward servant re-enforcement buried at sea.  All necessary vaccinations taken.

Posted Capt. BISHOP IMS as Civil Surgeon BASRA, during the period he is employed in Cholera operations. Asked Civil Surgeon and Port Health Officer to furnish me with names of civil medical practitioners who might be used for Cholera inoculation, etc. if required.

Cholera Cases to Date 118, with 34 Deaths.

June 4

Inspected No 8 IGH at Custom House & also the Infectious Hospital. Put in several recommendations to AD Works in connection with each.

Accompanied DMS on his inspection of the present hospital at MAGIL, the new huts for the future hospital for 50 British & 150 Indian sick being visited.

June 5/6/7

On sick list with fever. Lt Col PERRY, IMS DADMS (San) being also ill, the whole of the office was carried in for three days by Capt. JS McCOMBE RAMC.

June 8th

HS VARSOVA arrived bringing DMS India and 14 RAMC officers for duty. One there one was detailed for duty with Hotchkiss Battery proceeding up river – one for NASIRIYEH tomorrow. One to 3 BGH & one to No 2 Sanitary Area. The others will be posted in due course.

Have established a Medical Reinforcement Camp at MAKINA, under command of a Medical Officer. As many as 400-500 have recently been in camp awaiting passage up river, & at one time last month, there were over 70 medical officers also waiting. Reinforcements will in future be distributed by the EMO who is to be kept posted as to transport requirements by the OC Medical Reinforcement Camp.

Instruction received that the personnel of 33 BGH is to arrive on the HS VITA on 11th; their equipment being ahead at the Bar.

Arranged for 40 EP Tents for personnel (33 Officers & 187 men) to be pitched at TANOUMA. The equipment to be landed at Dorset Camp.

Cholera to date: Military (incl. Followers) 150 cases with 40 deaths. Civilians 40 cases with 21 deaths.

Four cases of Plague in ASHAR.

June 9th

Inspected camps at MAKINA in the evening. My recommendation regarding a new Officers Hospital to relieve present congestion has gone in to GHQ.

One case Plague in ASHAR.

June 10th

Attended IGC’s conference at 11am where various medical matters were dealt with.

In the afternoon conference with DMS – reference dispatch of river boat convoys to FILAYIEH. There are now 21 RAMC & 3 IMS Officers available for this purpose but the supply of medical subordinates (ISMD) is nil.

As S&J have no mosquito nets and young British troops are arriving in large number, asked D.M.S. to cable INDIA with a view to providing troops with nets before they leave in INDIA.

Owing to Cholera at MOHAMERAH assuming epidemic form had to send a Sub-assistant Surgeon to British Consul MOHAMERAH for duty there. They asked for a compounder but none are available.

NASIRIYEH wired that a hospital river steamer was urgently required. Ordered the ARDLUI to proceed there as soon as her repairs are completed.

Cholera: Military 161 cases with 50 deaths. Civilians 40 cases with 22 deaths.

June 11

No 33 BGH arrived on VITA. It is to be located, half at Liquorice Factory (in place of 1/2 32 going to AMARA), and half at MOHAMERAH.

Arranged details of River Convoy Unit consisting of 6 sections, under command of Major BEANCHARD WILLIAMS IMS. They will probably proceed to Advanced Base on 14th

Cholera: Military (with Followers) cases 163, deaths 51. Civilian cases 41 with 26 deaths.

June 12

No 33 BGH disembarked from VITA & proceeded to Camp at TANOUMA. 105 F.A. embarked for Advanced Base to act as river convoy. Visited TANOUMA Camp with Sanitary Engineer (Col EWBANK RE) & A.D.M.S. Sany.

June 13

Borrowed a launch from Gen COWPER & visited Infectious Hospitals. Considerable progress has been made with new huts which are being built on piles.

At 11am had to go down river in a bellum, or native boat, to attend Committee at Base. This, in addition to being very wasteful of time, is a highly dangerous method of progression during the present heat stroke period. I must again place on record that it is impossible for one to perform the duties of A.D.M.S. Base efficiently without a launch & motor car.

Greatest difficulty experienced in the to visit of sick at the Base owing to shortage of motor launches. They are all being sent up river. They are still under the control Lt Col GOULD, IMS, Red Cross Commissioner, instead of being run by the D.M.S.

Committee had reference to accommodation & water supply at MAGIL – 12,000 MAKINA, 6,000 MAGIL.

Cholera: Military (with Followers) cases 174, deaths 43. Civilian cases 54 with 27 deaths.

June 14

Visited camps at SHAIBA BUND.

Later visited 15 CCS at KHANDUK CREEK.

Ordered 1 section 108 FA to open at MAKINA for treatment of local sick; & 2 sections of 24 CFA to proceed to SHAIBA; also 20 motor ambulances to be in readiness when required.

June 15

Inspected 2 sections of 24 CFA proceeding to SHAIBA today. Visited also Medical Reinforcement Camp & No 32 BGH. Arranged there the dentist of 33 BGH, installed in a hut at MAKINA.

June 16

Arranged details of transfer between Nos 32 & 33 BGH. The former is to go to AMARA; latter to open half at TANOUMA & half at LIQUORICE FACTORY, taking over from No 32. The equipment actually in use replacing it with their unopened equipment.

A considerable shortage of ice for hospitals is being experienced. Wrote BC recommending taking over a BASRA Factory & moving it under the Military Governor.

Over 5,000 in hospital at Base. Shortage of hospital ships, as long ago pointed out. Informed DMS several months back that we should need a hospital ship every other day during June & July. Have taken up three transports for class III cases – the CHILKA, CHAKDARA & EDARAMA? Great difficulty in getting IMS office & subordinate personnel to man these ships. Recommended that two IMS officers be taken off each hospital ship and replaced by RAMC officers. We must have IMS officers speaking Hindustani on transports taking Indians.

Also recommended to D.M.S. today shortage of hospital ships that the ERINPURA & ELLORA be expedited & that some of the Egyptian ships be directed here.

June 17

Attended IGC’s conference. The question of allocating a 1,000 bedded hospital to MAKINA (near railway) was considered, to deal with Indian sick of MAKINA & MAGIL.

Two more deep draught hospital ships have been cabled for to come to the Bar, as all hospitals are becoming clogged.

June 18

Heat very great. Only 5 degrees between wet and dry bulb. Five deaths occurred last night amongst men newly landed from ships & marching to MAKINA – 4 Wilts & 1 HLI. At each of the 3 landing places two motor ambulances with supplies of chlorinated drinking water and a medical officer are stationed. Both stations are already close to each place. These men fell, out on the way to camp. There now arranged for the ambulances to follow in rear of each party of young troops landing to pick up stragglers. Landing young troops in BASRA at this time of year is trying them rather high. They simply go in to hospital & return to INDIA in many cases.

June 19

Heat again very great. Numerous cases of heatstroke. Ice is short and water limited, especially at TANOUMA, where 33 BGH is encamped. Urgent representations regarding provision of more water were made to A.D. Works.

June 20

Owing to very great number of sick had to send a Medical Officer for duty to SHAIBA FORT and one to No 2 Base Depot. All hospitals at the Base are crowded & sick are coming down from AMARA in large numbers daily. Have taken up 4 hired transports for walking cases.

Cholera Report: Military (inc. Followers) cases 208, deaths 67. Civilian cases 48, deaths 37.

DAG & QMG informed that the 50 tents which I asked him last night at TANOUMA had not been pitched, as owing to the shortage of water, there he did not consider it advisable. Asked him to carry out my instructions at once, as great inconvenience was being caused by shortage of tents for sick. SMO TANOUMA now reports that he has enough water.

Orders received from DMS that all motor ambulances at the base were to stop working. Many of them have got bent axles; the cars sent out are much too heavy (2 tons 6 cwt) for the bad roads of this country. Light cars of the Ford type are what are required here.

June 21

Attended conference with IGC touching the arrival of a Cavalry Brigade next month – the trouble being to find a dry place for them to encamp in, & where they will be able to get drinking water in sufficient quantity.

June 22

Arranged that the river steamers with sick are not to arrive here before 6pm, so that the embarking can be done after dark. Numerous cases of heat exhaustion having occurred amongst the fatigue parties embarking – mostly mere boys just landed in the country.

Visited the Isolation Hospital in the evening. Much progress has been made and a considerable improvement is noticeable, although much still remains to be done. Cholera remains steady – 3 or 4 cases a day. The Arab doctors say that it will continue like this until September when it will fulminate.

No sign of the SHAMAL, or NW Wind, & it continues extremely hot and unhealthy.

Accompanied D.M.S. at his inspection of No 20 IGH. A general untidiness and dirtiness of the wards was noticed; accumulations of blankets, shirts, pajs, etc. in the wards; inaccuracy of diagnosis, no microscopic or bacteriological work being done, and such diseases as Malaria & dysentery being diagnosed by guesswork. Dozens of cases diagnosed in their admission as “PUD”, with no attempt to secure accuracy of diagnosis.

June 23

Asked DA & IMG to send permanent fatigue party to TANOUMA for the present until expansion of camp is complete. Ordered 15 CC Station to provide increased accommodation in tents or otherwise, as all the hospitals at the Base are full. There are 15,000 sick in the Force, of whom 6,000 are at the Base. Evacuation is proceeding apace, but the steady flow of sick from up river, and from the Base continues. This evening 30 Officers and 475 men were loaded on to the KARADINIZ for transit to HS DEVANHA at the Bar. The HS SICILIA also left here with a full load, and HT ARONDA with walking cases. The CHILKA and CHAKDARA are to be loaded tomorrow with Class II cases.

Cholera: Military cases 211, with 71 deaths. Civilian cases 54, with 39 deaths.

June 24

Attended IGC’s conference at 11am. The shortage of mosquito nets was again drawn attention to. Also the question of medical attendance for dredges in the HAMAR Lake, this I shall arrange from KURNA.

June 25

Accompanied Army Commander at his visit to 3 BGH & 32 BGH. The extreme slowness with which the engineers are building the huts for sick was commented on.

Numbers transferred from up river to Base since 1st June: 5,600. Numbers transferred to INDIA since 1st June: 7,700.

June 26

Visited the British Base Depot MAKINA where there were about 4,000 men awaiting passage up river. There was a great deal of sickness amongst them, chiefly “effects of heat”. Men are actually being sent out to this country without helmets. No mosquito nets, spine pads or goggles are yet attainable. Is it to be wondered that the sickness and invalidity are so great?

Put in application for 3, 40ft huts for sick, dispensary, etc. at No 2 British Base Depot, MAKINA. These are urgently needed owing to high sick rate amongst young recruits.

Visited MAGIL with DMS – a noticeable improvement in hospital conditions since last visit. Visited also Prisoners of War Camp, which is extremely hot and steamy.

June 27

As a result of his recent inspection of No 2 IGH and also of various letters and correspondence which I had forwarded to him, the DMS has decided that Lt Col JW GRANT, IMS is unfitted for his command & his return to INDIA has been applied for.

Cholera to date: Military cases 228, with 62 deaths. Civilian cases 79, with 43 deaths.

June 28

Inspected No 33 BGH and P of War Hospital at TANOUMA. Former is now capable of taking in 500 light cases and convalescents in tents. Indian Contact Camp has been closed, and the tents, etc. taken over by 33 BGH.

Major MUNRO, IMS appointed in charge of new Officer’s Hospital (100 beds) at BEIT NAMA, which will be taken over in part on 1st July.

Lt Col MADDEN, IMS appointed to take over equipment, etc. of No 22 IGH & to establish at KHANDUK CREEK in lace of 15 CC Station.

June 29

Accompanied DMS India to 32 BGH, 20 IGH, 9 IGH (MAGIL Section) & 3 BGH.

Evening visited P of War Hospital, & 33 BGH.

June 30

DMS India inspected Convalescent Depot & British Base Depot in the morning & in evening, the Isolation Hospital at Quarantine Island.

July 1

Attended IGC’s conference – the main points were the shortage of ice & incineration of litter at MAKINA; the removal of the Veterinary Hospital from its present site in the heart of the town. D.D. Works was told that all open incinerators were to be covered in before the onset of the rains.

July 2

6,300 patients in the base hospitals today & great difficulty in getting transports.  No hospital ship until SYRIA on 4th, mainly for Indians & no likelihood of getting a transport for a week. The river is full of transports but owing to shortage of labour they cannot be unloaded.

Issued orders for 15 Casualty Clearing Station to proceed to SHAIBA SAAD on 6th inst.

July 3/4

On sick list.

July 5

Ordered Lt Col JHR BOND, RAMC to take over half No 33 BGH TANOUMA from Lt Col DELAP; the other half will open (500 beds) at LIQUORICE Factory, MAKINA, on 9th inst. on departure of 32 BH to AMARA.

July 6

Visited British and Indian Base Depot. At both places complaints of shortage of ice, and many men suffering from effects of heat. Wrote DMS asking that the whole of the YMCA hut at Custom House should be handed over to No 8 IGH, by whom it is urgently needed, whereas there’s no raison d’etre for YMCA in this situation.

Visited 32 BGH MAKINA, whither transfer to No 33 is taking place.

July 7

Visited the new Officer’s Hospital at BEIT NAMA – equipment is being landed and the place is being cleaned by the Sanitary Section.

Evening selected site for an infectious hospital and Cholera Contact Camp for BASRA city, in the desert West of the ZOBEIR Gate of BASRA.

No 16 Sanitary Section and the Benares Ambulance Corp arrived from INDIA.

No 15 CCS left for SHAIKH SAAD.

July 8

Visited site for a new British General Hospital which is arriving shortly from England. The site is at the Northern extremity of the MAKINA Camps in the desert; a fairly good site close to road & railway, but a long way from the river.

July 9

Visited DMS with reference to the appointment of an OC for No 16 Sanitary Section & for the new BGH, TANOUMA, in the event of Lt Col BOND going to AMARA. It was decided to appoint Major FOSTER, RAMC to command this hospital. Evening inspected British & Indian Base Depots at MAKINA.

July 10

Attended Committee at ASHAR Barracks to enquire into the ages & physique of the recruits now being sent from England to this country.

No 32 BGH, No 18 Sanitary Section, & 1 Section of No 13 IFA left for AMARA on MALAMIR.

Accompanied DMS at his inspection of No 33 BGH MAKINA. Some structural alterations to Sisters Quarters are required.

July 11

Again attended Committee on recruit question, where several medical witnesses were examined.

Accompanied D.M.S. to HT EGRA to inspect the Bengal Ambulance Corp prior to return to duty.

July 12

There is now talk of abandoning the excellent site for a hospital at TANOUMA, & the IGC has offered the DMS, as an alternative, DORSET Camp, which as I informed DMS today, is easily the worst camp in BASRA being at the present moment nothing but a stinking swamp. It would take a year’s filling to make it fit to build on & then it would be a very hot and dirty place.

July 13

The Committee on drafts from home concluded its investigation this evening; the main findings were – that it is inadvisable to send men under 20 to this country, & equally unwise to send old men, and that all drafts from home should be acclimated to Eastern methods in INDIA before sending them to the Persian Gulf.

Visited (with DMS) site of new BGH which is to be opened in SALONIKA huts at MAKINA, Northern end.

Cholera Report: Military cases 272, with 66 deaths. Civilian cases 104, with 47 deaths.

July 14

Two Hospital Ships arrived today – the SYRIA and VARSOVA – being the result of my demand for a Hospital Ship daily. From this onwards, whilst the heavy invaliding continues, there will be a daily service of Hospital Ships – this ought to help get rid of the enormous number of sick at present in the force.

Selected, with Base Commandant, a new site for No 8 IGH which is to be moved out of the Custom House as soon as a water supply is available at the new site.

July 15

Visited BGH TANOUMA & the Isolation Hospital. On today, the hottest day so far, with room temperature 105 degrees, & wet bulb 85 degrees, the supply of ice failed, and numerous cases of heatstroke resulted. As far back as December last, the question of provision of ice was raised, and I now understand that several machines are on ship in the river, but cannot be unloaded. Even if they were now unloaded, it is doubtful whether ice would be available before the cold weather.

July 16

Another hot day – wet bulb up to 89 degrees, which is a record for BASRA.

Cholera Report to date: Military cases 282, with 66 deaths. Civilian cases 107, with 47 deaths.

D Section of 122 Indian Feld Ambulance arrived from BOMABY ex CHAKDARA without equipment, which is to follow them.

July 17

Col COLLINS visited the new Officer’s Hospital at BEIT NAMA this morning & returned ill. This Diary is carried on now by Lt Col T. L. PERRY, IMS DADMS (San) Base.

The new Officer’s Hospital is progressing and as soon as a supply of soda water can be secured a few Officers can be taken in.

July 18

In evening visited 33 BGH at LIQUORICE Factory. Saw many cases of heatstroke. It is excessively dusty, sultry and depressing at the LIQUORICE Factory. The sun in evening beats on the corrugated iron side of the large shed and the North side of this requires matting over it as several cases of heatstroke have occurred along this side of the shed. Other cases of heatstroke may have occurred in wards where men lie on the floor.

July 19

Col COLLINS transferred sick to INDIA left this morning on HS SICILIA.

For last 3 days strong South winds have prevailed with high wet bulb temperatures and excessive sultriness. Today a strong hot North wind as begun to blow giving great relief.

The BLOSSE LYNCH went up stream with following medical details:

Lt Col BOND, RAMC to command 32 BGH at AMARA.
Lt Col GRAVES, IMS to be SMO at KURNA.
15 Nursing Sisters to AMARA
100 personnel of 16 San Sec for NASIRIYEH
160 personnel medical reinforcements for DDMS 3 each 3 Army Corps
136 personnel medical reinforcements for AMARA
40 personnel reinforcements for River Steamer Convoy Units

As only as 50% of drafts sent up stream during present hot weather reach their units, IGC has stopped all British drafts except medical personnel going up stream.

There is a grave shortage of fluid milk at the local supply depots. I have telegraphed for DD S&T to take action.  He has purchased supplies from local firms to meet present emergency & is expediting unloading of stocks in the stream. Recently the supply of gur failed at some depots for a fortnight. Many troops, both the British and Indian, are without mosquito nets still.

July 20

The Shamal continues to blow with great force.

2 cases of Plague (bubonic) occurred yesterday in shed used as ward by 9 & 10 IGH. One case occurred behind here one week ago. Another case has occurred this morning at the far end from where yesterday’s case occurred. The whole Shed, a large L shaped building, is being evacuated reducing accommodation by 300. Listerine is freely used, floors are being opened up and all huts are freely exposed to sun daily.

July 21

Cholera cases continue to occur in No 3 BGH. One case of cerebral-spinal meningitis also occurred in 3 BGH. A plan for a temporary pipe water supply for 3 BGH was submitted by Works Dept. today and approved for installation pending carrying out of more comprehensive scheme for both Indian & British General Hospitals. Great relief continues to be felt here from continuance of Shamal.

July 22

Conference with IGC where it was decided to establish a combined British & Indian Medical Base Depot at MAKINA to be located in camp at present occupied by the Medical Reinforcements.

Reports have been received of deaths amongst patients of heatstroke during transhipment at the Bar. Orders have today been issued that cases with history of hyper-pyrexia or in which there is reason to anticipate occurrence of hyper-pyrexia should only be sent on ships going direct to INDIA from BASRA.

A rather sultry day the Shamal having died down.

July 23

The increased service of hospital ships for evacuation to INDIA is beginning to make itself felt and congestion at the base is becoming reduced though the reduction of congestions not keeping pace with the depletion of medical personnel by sickness. There is a most serious dearth of regular RAMC Officers with a knowledge of service routine and eastern conditions. The only regular officers in the British Base Hospitals at present are the respective OCs.

July 24

Nothing to report.

July 25

Ill and went on sick list.

Aug 8

Arrived & announced appointment as ADMS Base W MENLIL, Colonel

Aug 9

Daily State shows 4,248 cases in hospital of which 62 were Officers, 962 other ranks British. For evacuation 60 British & 890 Indian, with the hospital ships now running, unless a large influx from above, base will soon clear.

Aug 10

With DMS visited No 20 IGH

Aug 11

Visited No 3 BGH this morning. Owing to the steady evacuation by hospital ships to INDIA there are plenty of vacant beds here now & the staff are having a welcome relaxation.

Visited GURMAT ALI this afternoon. Camp & all arrangements of Norfolk Regt. very satisfactory. Camp of Tehri Garwhal Sappers Labour Corps not so good. Defects were pointed out & M O/C Norfolks instructed to supervise the Sanitation. Went on to Medical Services Base Depot & found all the arrangements there quite satisfactory except as regards incineration, as the Beehive Pattern entered has not yet been built.

Aug 12

Attended conference at IGC Hd Qtrs this morning – it was arranged that alternate rows of huts in No 3 BGH should be pulled down as soon as possible, there being plenty of accommodation. The same is to be done in No 9/10 IGA as soon as the Serai is available – this is to lessen the danger of fire. Some closed rooms in Store at No 3 BGH & Officers Hospital are to be given us if the Base Commandant can arrange it with the owners.

Weather conditions are pleasant as the steady Shamal Wind is keeping the temperature down.

In hospital 60 Officers 930 OR British. 25 Officers 1,758 fighting men & 1,163 followers – Indian troops. The Cholera patients are 103. No case of Plague since 8th inst.

In the evening visited Indian Base Depot BASRA & find its sanitary state unsatisfactory & have written to the Base Commandant making suggestions.

I also went to British Base Depot in ASHAR Barracks & found all very satisfactory except that the convalescents were getting supper too early & directed that it should be provided not before 7pm.

Aug 13

Visited Nos 9 & 10 Combined IGH his morning. All in good order but made some suggestions on minor points.

No 2 Combined Casualty Clearing Hospital arrived today in Base Depot.

Interviewed Mr. GRIVE, Enterologst of the Base Verbally explained the position & duties to him. Introduced him to OC Sanitary Section. I am issuing him a memo defining his position, work, etc.

Went to SHAIBA in afternoon with DDMS L/C. Saw general situation Lines of 1/4 Somerset L.I., 6th Jats & No 22 Combined F Ambulance. Everything very satisfactory from a sanitary point of view except some minor matters. Somerset LI have an undue proportion of youths, & 6th Jats of recruits & OC. Fld Ambulance is of the opinion that at present only half of each battalion is fit for active duty.

Sister BLACKLOCK QAIMNS/R, died of acute dysentery this evening.

Visited MAKINA Area in the evening. General state very good, in parts excellent & it reflects great credit on Capt. ADAMS RAMC, the Sanitary Officer of the area. Lines of 56 Bgd RFA below required standard, wrote about it to Base Commandant.

Aug 15

Met ADW on site at Hyde Park Corner this morning to discuss matters regarding Nos 24 & 25 IGH.

Over 80 Officers & 750 other ranks RAMC are arriving on 19, 20 & 21st without equipment. The difficulties as regards their accommodation are naturally great. They are 2 Forward Units in advance of their equipment & the next re-inforcements.

Aug 16

Visited No 22 IGH this morning. Hospital in good order considering its situation & many improvements in progress & contemplation.

Went to MAGIL this afternoon with DDMS L/C & saw part of area & No 9 IGH (? Section).

Aug 17

Visited No 33 BGH MAKINA this morning.  Saw layout, etc. & reviewed matters with OC. In the evening visited No 33 TANOUMA, P of W Hospital & generally went over all occupied area there & found most in excellent order & nothing at all seriously wrong.

Aug 18

Selected site for a new Slaughter House for area S of ARHUR Creek & made recommendations. Also visited I.B.D. & surroundings with a view to getting a move on regarding removal of the defects I found at my last visit, & spent 3 hours there seeing CO representative, ADW, etc.

Visited Isolation Hospital. Found much work in progress to render this a satisfactory unit. The cases in hospital are well cared for & were quite satisfied, the care being excellent.

Aug 19

Attended IGC Conference today. Nothing particular to report.

Sick in Hospital today: British Officers 102 Other Ranks 873. Indian Officers 16 Fighting men 2,021 Followers 1,380.

No 8 IGH has practically evacuated Custom Sheds, will complete on 21st. All Stores, etc. have been transported to T. P. of W ? C at TANOUMA.

Aug 20

Visited Prisoner of War Camp at MAGIL today, & also went round much of the area. Present water supply is defective but matters are in hand to improve it.

1,700 Indian sick have come down the river during past 48 hours. This on account of difficulties of evacuation by Hospital Ship, has thrown a great strain on the IGH has caused sick to be returned for night on river boats owing to their late arrival, & No 8 IGH will have to reopen at TANOUMA in an imperfect state.

Issued circular forbidding dysentery recovered men, etc. being employed in any way in the handling of food – believe it has happened at No 1 Camp.

Wrote A.D.W. Base approving pattern of hut built at AMARA to be put up here. Suggested some minor improvements recommended by ADMS AMARA.

Aug 21

Visited 22 IGH this morning to arrange expansion as required, also went into Nos 9 & 10 IGH & 3BGH Officers Hospital.

RAMC Details arrived yesterday as follows:

40 BGH (Lt Col PRICE PORTER) O37 WO 2 OR 193 at Med Base Depot
31 B St TP (Lt Col STONE) 14 WO 1 OR 112 at TANOUMA
Reinforcements O4 OR 399 in No 1 BBD
Dispensers OR 49 at 3 BGH

Major STJOHN MOSES, IMS assumed appointment of DADMS (San) vice Lt Col PERRY, IMS who went on sick list the day I joined & has been invalided to INDIA.

The Army Commander visited Nos 9/10 IGH & No 3 BGH this afternoon.

Sent in a proposed establishment for Officers Hospital, BEIT NAMA.

Aug 23

Visited No 2 Area, this morning with OC 10 San Section. Position is very bad, many men of small units living in different sorts of accommodation all insanitary. Directed him to clean up whole occupied area with 60 new sweepers ported to him & to see OC with a view to their arranging for their own Sanitation which they apparently have not done at all or very badly supervised.

Have prepared Establishment Seale for Isolation Hospital.

Verbally authorized, as an urgent case, a large amount of rotten onions to be thrown into river 5 miles below towns, pending provision of destructors.

Met Army Commander who visited No 33 BGH TANOUMA & No 8 IGH.

Aug 24

Visited M.S.B.D. this morning, rode around various camps & noted no particular defects. In afternoon visited SERAI [Creek] BASRA & found it in very good order. Also proposed Camp for Camel Corps near ZOBAIR GATED Railway line & SALONIKA Hut Hospital.

Aug 25

1,100 Indian cases evacuated to MADRAS & TAKADA, in port 2 days, which has relieved congestion. Went to 22 IGH & BBD this morning.

Sep 1

Visited site & arranged for a Cholera Clearing Station near DORSET BRIDGE on the ROBUT CREEK.

Verbally informed D.D.M.S. L/C that I did not consider that the present service of Hospital Ships is sufficient to evacuate the sick without the occasional use of transports for walking cases.

Accompanied Army Commander to 8 IGH & 33 BGH TANOUMA in the afternoon.

Sep 2

IGC Conference this morning. Chief question is for medical matters were (1) site for a disinfecting station, (2) demolition of huts 3 BGH, (3) emergency rations on P boats.

Went to GURMAT ALI in evening to investigate an outbreak of Diphtheria on 2 Norfolk Regt. Arranged to exchange MO who is in bad health.

The Sanitary Commission, Lt Col LEGG Consulting Surgeon, 50 Officers & 750 OR RAMC arrived today.

Owing to non-arrival of hospital ships daily a great congestion of Indian sick at the base, which with the deficient personnel, is rendering their proper care a very difficult matter, particularly as with the increasing population (fighting men & followers) the local admissions to hospital is exceeding our expectations. Sandfly Fever is giving a great many admissions amongst British Troops.

Sep 3

Visited No 9/10 & No 22 IGH this morning. Sick are being well cared for as fortunately although the overcrowding is great there are but few serious cases. Interviewed A.D.W. (M&E) as regards the provision of adequate hot water supplies at Indian Hospitals in the winter.

Sect. A, No 137 Combined Field Ambulance left for KURNA yesterday.

Sep 4

Met the Sanitary Commission & went round No 33 B.G.H. with them.

In afternoon went to GURMAT ALI & inspected No 117 C.F.A. & lines 13th & 14th Lancers. Made a good many suggestions.

Sep 5

Visited ASHAR River Front Area in the morning & found an improvement since my last visit.

The direct admissions to British Hospitals at BASRA for the week ending 3rd were 794 including 14 cases Cholera with 3 deaths & 6 cases Enteric. To Indian Hospitals 1,288 of them 19 were Cholera with 6 deaths. 466 British ranks & 2,666 Indians were invalided to INDAI during the week. The deaths were 17 British & 21 Indians, a low rate of mortality.

I met the Army Commander at No 33 B.G.H. MAKINA this afternoon.

Sep 6

Inspected Supply Depot near Customs House. State on the whole satisfactory. Also RGM Dockyard the conditions there are very bad & but little done since. A report was made to SO a week ago by DADMS (Sanitary). I wrote again myself this morning. RGM authorities have used P.51 as a hulk for some 400 men, Cholera has broken out so I now had her sent to Isolation Hospital for “treatment” & as many contacts as possible to be landed.

I visited 6th Jats at SERAI & in BASRA Port this evening found the men very debilitated & many with a scorbutic taint, so have recommended an extra vegetable ration, total 1lb mixed vegetables only. Capt. McCOMBE, RAMC, my staff officer, on sicklist.

Sep 7

Cholera reported on RGM vessel KARLIN this morning so sent her to Isolation Hospital for disinfection & such contacts as possible to be burned.

Met Sanitary Committee at Isolation Hospital in the afternoon. Also discussed possibility of entering the Segregation Camp for contacts with OC.

Sep 8

Visited 22 IGH, 33 BGH & Med Reinforcement Camp

Sep 9

IGC Conference in the morning. No special medical points but I noted that more labour corps were coming.

The SIKKIM arrived with 11 sick Officers 131 sick other ranks 11 Medical Officers, 16 followers from BAGDAD, they were all placed on VARSOVA for passage to BOMBAY.

Sep 10

Transport BANKURA left for KARACHI & BOMBAY with 380 “fit” convalescents, special care to send no case requiring much attention was taken. Visited hospital sites at Hyde Park Corner to discuss matters.

In afternoon accompanied Army Commander to No 9/10 IGH.

Sep 11

Inspected portions 3 BGH. Went to see Norfolk Regt & gave special instructions as regard Diphtheria Contacts in view of their move up river.

Sep 12

Inspected remainder 3 BGH & noted & have forwarded various points to administrative departments concerned.

Visited BEIT NAMA to arrange improvements as regards water & dairy.

Lt Col LEGG Consulting Surgeon inspected the surgical arrangements at the same time.

Sep 13

Direct admissions at Base for week ending 10th:

British 926 including 4 Cholera, there were 5 deaths.

Indian 1,663 including 11 Cholera, there were 29 deaths.

Sandfly Fever is still giving many admissions amongst British Troops which accounts for the increase over last week.

Inspected 3 BGH in the morning. Camp of 10 GR & 4 Somerset LI at SHAIBA in the afternoon. Great improvement since my last visit at the latter camp. Most if not all my suggestions have been carried out, particularly as regards the feeding of the men. Visited Hyde Park Corner Camps later.

Sep 14

Visited Isolation Hospital, & discussed question of extending the Segregation Camp if required.

Sep 15

Visited MAKINA Area & agreed to sites for Hospital Destructors in the area. There is trouble over rotting onions at MAGIL & urgent action is being taken.

Sep 16

I.G.C. Conference in the morning, no special medical matters to be noted but minor matters brought up and agreed to be done as possible with labour.

Sep 17

Having been informed that I.W.T. details were going to be housed between GURMAT ALI & MAGIL, went there in evening and found 3 separate works in progress, with 200 residents OC had made good temporary arrangements. Wrote to D.D.I.W.T. asking for proposed strength & location of his present proposed personnel so that I can make proper medical arrangements.

Sep 18

Visited 33 B.G.H. in morning & called on D.M.S. In evening went to I.W.T. details TANOUMA & found a lamentable state of affairs, so wrote to Director.

Sep 19

Visited 24 IGH in progress at Hyde Park Corner. There are now hopes that it may be able to open early next month. Also with D.M.S. went to 40 BGH (SALONIKA Hospital Huts). Visited 22 IGH to oversee improvements with O.C.

Sep 20

Visited MAKINA area, Specialty Camps of 157 Bgd. RGA, 23 M.A.C. & 20 IGH. Interviews with Base Commandant & Embarkation Commandant on pending matter.

Direct Admissions at Base last week: 2,510 of which 691 B & 1,829 Indian. Deaths: British 12 Indians 28, of which 2 & 10 were Cholera. Enteric Fever 70 cases amongst British troops, with P.U.O. as chief causes. Scurvy 356 & Malaria 324 were chief causes amongst Indian troops.  694 British & 1865 Indians (all) Ranks sent to INDIA.

Visited 8 IGH in afternoon.

Sep 21

Owing to a series of 6 Deep Water Hospital Ships being sent to the Bar with only two “Ferry Boats” available, the HT ARONDA was sent to the Bar with invalids to tranship to the TAKADA. Ships at Bar have not been loaded in order of arrival as INDIA sent up contradictory telegrams & we had to act in order of embarkation.

Sep 22

Major MOSES, IMS DAMS Sanitary has been invalided to INDIA (20th Inst.). Capt. POWELL, IMS the E.M.O. has been on the sicklist from 17th inst.

Sep 23

IGC Conference this morning. No special medical or sanitary matters. Reports received that HS SICILIA is aground on the Bar which will delay evacuation of sick to ships at the Bar.

Sep 24

Met A.D.W. (M&E) & settled site of water intake for River Front Works Scheme, concerning previous site in the KHERA Creek, the intake will be above creek.

Visited B? Port & reported on it as HQ & Port for 41 Bde – it is overcrowded, accommodation for British NCOs & men bad & latrines too far off.

Sep 25

Visited most of RA Camps in MAKINA this morning. Sanitation on the whole satisfactory. Also Medical Reinforcement Camp.

In afternoon accompanied DMS & DAG at an inspection of No 33 BGH & Nos 9/10 IGH.

Sep 26

Visited 24 IGH this morning. Visited new hospital & arranged to begin to open on 1st October.

In evening went to GURMAT ALI & discussed matters with G.O.C. 7th Cav Bde, he agreed to take the necessary steps to remedy various insanitary matters I pointed out.

Sep 27

Visited 22 IGH & new area, arranged plans with OC.

Evening met Army Commander at Isolation Hospital. A case of Plague has been reported from TANOUMA, probably brought infection from INDIA with him as he only arrived in I.W.T. Camp from there on 11th inst. & was ill from 22nd. Two cases today are reported from ASHAR in home of A.A.G. 3rd Echelon Staff, no time for enquiry yet.

Direct Admissions to Hospital last week showed a marked diminution.  There were 480 British against 691 & 1,078 Indian against 1,829 (this figure last week was not absolutely accurate), of which each had 5 Cholera. Evacuations were 490 British & 1,236 Indians.

Sep 28

We were told VITA from BOMBAY was bringing repatriated Prisoners of War, no indication was given that they were sick men until S.M.O. reported to me. We then found 34 required hospital treatment so I sent them to 8 IGH. The remainder were convalescent & S.M.O. considered them fit to go Prisoners of War Camp.

More Hospital Ships are coming up than required so I am detaining them in stream.

Plague has been discovered in the River Front Area. 6 cases found in huts belonging to the Works Company, & dead rats also reported. Cases sent to Isolation Hospital. All people living in the area are to be inoculated. Contacts & good many others are being removed into camp. Trapping for rats will be energetically carried out & poisoned fruits laid in the area. Case at TANOUMA has no apparent connection with this.

The cases from ASHAR, Accounts Office are also associated with dead rats & the same steps of disinfection of rooms, evacuation of contacts, free inoculation are being carried out. Major KUNHARDT, a Plague specialist from INDIA attached for duty at the Base, has the whole matter in hand.

Sep 29

Accompanied D.M.S. in a visit to No 3 BGH & Nos 9/10 IGH to enquire into dietary arrangements.

Visited MAGIL re rotting vegetables, GURMAT ALI B?ppelds & camping area across EUPHRATES & made recommendations to BC.

Sep 30

Capt. MITCHELL, RAMC (SR) has joined my staff as an Assistant E.M.O. for river duties.

Visited 33 BGH re dieting? & Medical Reinforcement Camp about report of Medical & Sanitary Advisory Committee Report on it. Saw Base Commandant this morning & informed him that I did not consider that a case of Plague reported in a Sepoy of 44 Merwara Infantry in JEYPUR Lines need stop the regiment from leaving for the front on 22nd October. Plague Specialist would advise on necessary measures.

Oct 1

Went to MOHAMMERAH in connection with the formation of a Convalescent Camp for British Sick.

Lt Col PERRY, IMS having completed his duty with the Medical Advisory Committee has joined as D.A.D.M.S. Sanitary. Office 23 Church Street.

Oct 6

Have been absent from duty ill since last note.

Direct admissions to hospital showed a slight increase of 21 British, total 501 with 13 deaths, of which 7 admissions & 4 deaths were Cholera.

Indian ranks showed a decrease of 41, total 1,037 with 27 deaths, 4 cases with 2 deaths being Cholera.

Evacuated to INDIA 690 British Ranks & 1,685 Indian Ranks.

Oct 8

Visited 33 BGH & met the Army Commander there.

Oct 9

Went to 24 IGH which began to open on 1st. No water is yet laid on although promised for 27th. The pump at MAGIL does not seem to have sufficient power to deliver the water. 112 patients & can take but few more as long as dependent on carted water from MAKINA.

Also went to 33 BGH & have drawn attention of A.D.W. to defects.

Oct 10

Visited 22 BGH. The hospital is rapidly becoming a credit to all ranks as a remit of unremitting hard work of the Staff.

Selected a site in No 9/10 IGH for Sisters Quarters on river front to accommodate 10 ladies, 8 there & 2 for No 22 IGH, & wrote to Base Headquarters about them.

Oct 11

After a lull, four more cases of Plague reported amongst telegraphic employees living in River Front Area.

Oct 12

Direct admissions at the Base last week British 449, a decrease of 50, with 8 deaths, Cholera admissions 7 with 3 deaths.

Indian admissions 1,017 with 21 deaths. Cholera 22 admissions with 7 deaths.

Evacuated to INDIA 497 British 892 Indian Ranks.

Oct 13

Visited No 9/10 IGH in connection with an outbreak of Cholera in the ward. 5 scattered cases. Visited 8 IGH & also selected site for Sister’s Quarters there & wrote to Base Headquarters about building.

Oct 14

Visited SALONIKA Huts, very slow progress is being made. Have handed to No 10 medical Store Depot from England, two completed huts for now as a Store.

Visited BEIT NAMA in afternoon to enquire into cases there.

Oct 15

Visited 20 I.G.H. Hospital much improved real but not showy work being done there. Major WILLIAMS IMS has reported his arrival for duty. He will be D.A.D.M.S. Embarkation.

Oct 16

Visited No 9/10 I.G.H. in connection with Cholera outbreak.

Oct 17

Visited Isolation Hospital & found an unauthorized type of hut being erected & have written to AD Works.

Saw base Commandant & arranged extensions of dispensaries in No 2 Area & am detailing a third Officer for duty in it.

Oct 18

Visited SALONIKA Huts & found very slow progress & have written to A.D. Works, M&E re Water & Works MAGIL as to how I would like work carried on. Have handed over two complete huts to British Medical Store Depot & am arranging for a third.

Four Sanitary Sections (British) have arrived from England completely without any notification being given us.

Evacuation of cases to INDIA has been easy notwithstanding a temporary reduction in Ships.

Oct 19

Direct admissions at the base Hospitals shows a very small increase over last week. British 453 cases with 11 deaths. Indian 1,151 with 35 deaths. British Cholera less. Indian a few more but type has been severe. No prevailing disease but an increase of Malaria probably relapses one to chills as nights are colder.

45 BO sent to INDIA no men, Indian all ranks 1,754.

Oct 20

Visited 9/10 IGH. Cholera outbreak has ended. The probable cases have been put to rights, viz (1) patients surreptitiously using creek water contrary to orders, (2) a possible breakdown of milk sterilization owing to illness of the supervisor & his substitute not carrying out orders.

Capt. McCOMBE D.A.D.M.S. placed on the sicklist.

Oct 21

Attended IGC Conference. News received that Hospital Ships SICILIA & ERINPURA both aground at Shatt al-Arab Bar, which will stop evacuation of sick to several days.

Oct 23

Have arranged transfer of all Venereal patients in 20 & 22 IGH to 24 IGH for further treatment, all Indian Venereal patients on this side of the river will be treated there, those in TUNOOMA side will be treated at 8 IGH.

Oct 24

Visited 20 IGH & to relieve pressure arranged that 3 days General duty should be given to Convalescent Sepoys on discharge so as to accelerate discharges & to relieve pressure.

The British Convalescent Camp at MOHAMMERAH which has been formed there by a detachment of 40 BGH was opened yesterday. 100 cases being transferred. It will soon get 500 & ultimately will accommodate 1,000.

Oct 25

No 46 & 99 British Sanitary Sections having arrived from England are detailed for duty on the MAKINA-MAGIL & ASHAR Areas respectively.

The Sanitary Officers with their temporary personnel working in their areas, are (under instruction from G.H.Q.) being organized as No 27 & No 29 Sanitary Sections for duty in those areas.

The Cholera outburst has ceased & no new fresh cases of Plague have been reported.

The direct admissions to Hospitals at the Base show a small increase in British Ranks. Total 490 including 41 Officers with 3 deaths. Cholera 2 admissions no deaths. Malaria shows an increase, no other prevailing disease.

Indian admissions show a decrease 972 with 30 deaths, including 26 Cholera with 8 deaths, the type being very mild. No special prevailing disease but 17 admissions for Scurvy. This is good as a large influx of troops & followers has been reported.

Oct 27

Visited 3 B.G.H. & rearranged some accommodation, the new block up river is to be reserved for cases of the Enteric Group.

Oct 28

I.G.C. Conference. No special medical matters.

Oct 29

31 British Stationary Hospital left for SHEIKH SAAD today. Personnel of Nos 100 & 107 Sanitary Sections have also gone up river.

Oct 30

Visited 20 IGH & MR Camp today.

Oct 31

Visited MAGIL Area, specialty Sect No 9 I.G.H. & No 1 Camp & cursorily several other places.

Evacuation of cases to INDIA shows a marked decrease. British Ranks 1,730 instead of 2,949 a gain of 1,219. Indian Ranks 5,317 instead of 7,583 a gain of 2,266.

Direct admissions to the Base for week ending 28th show a decrease of 90 British ranks, being 399 with 7 deaths, 4 cases of Cholera, 1 death. The most serious cause of admission is Malaria but is lower than week before, 80 against 90 cases.

Indian admissions increased largely chiefly due to a large influx of labour & a heavy admission rate amongst them.  Total cases 1,342 with 29 deaths, 15 Cholera cases 7 deaths. “Dysentery” (sic?) gave most admissions but proportion was not serious.


EP Tents              European Pattern Tents
P.4                           Paddle Steamer No 4.
KARADENIZ      A captured enemy ship converted to a Hospital ship
Mahelas               A high-sterned yawl
Ballams                Small river craft
Serais                    Local administrative buildings
Pratique               Permission granted to a ship to have dealings with a port, on showing a clean bill of health

AAG                       – Assistant Adjutant-General
ADMS                   – Assistant Director Medical Services
ADS&T                 – Assistant Director Supply & Transport
ADW                      – Assistant Director Works
AQMG                   – Assistant Quarter Master General
BGH                       – British General Hospital
CFA                        – Combined Field Ambulance
DAG                       – Deputy Adjutant-General
DD                          – Deputy Director
DDIWT                 – Deputy Director Inland Water transport
DMS                      – Director Medical Services
EMO                      – Embarkation Medical Officer
GHQ                      – General Headquarters
IFA                         – Indian Field Ambulance
IGC                        – Inspector General Communications
IGH                        – Indian General Hospital
IMS                        – Indian Medical Service
ISMD                    – Indian Subordinate Medical Department
IWT                       – Inland Water Transport
LofC                      – Lines of Communication
OC                         – Officer Commanding
OR                         – Other Ranks
PUO                      – Pyrexia of Unknown Origin
PHO                      – Port Health Officer
QMG                     – Quarter Master General
QAIMNS/R         – Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve
RGA                      – Royal Garrison Artillery
SMO                     – Senior Medical Officer
S&T                       – Supply & Transport

Vincent-Bingley Commission:

In March 1916, a new commission was formed and Sir William Vincent, a senior Indian civil official, and Major General A. H. Bingley, two of the members of this commission, began their duties. They were subsequently joined at Basra bythe third member, Mr. E. A. Ridsdale, a Red Cross Commissioner. This group became known as thhe “Vincent-Bingley Commission”.  The report of this commission was damming, swiftly compiled and was signed on June 29, 1916 but not published.