The campaign in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) was one of the great sideshows of the Great War, reaching a ration strength of 440,000 men. It is also one of the least well known, except for the Siege of Kut. Yet either side of Kut was a remarkably well fought campaign in the worst in the worst of environmental conditions. General Townsend’s 1915 advance from Qurna to Al-Amara was probably the most successful advance of the war while the Second Battle of Ramadi in 1917 was as nearly a perfectly fought battle as is possible.
Despite being a sideshow, the campaign included a number of generals and politicians who were critical to WW2, lots of Indians (who unfortunately have left no accounts), a few ANZACs (but not enough to warrant a film), Gertrude Bell (sometimes called the female Lawrence of Arabia, but actually for more important) and a flying visit by the future Lawrence of Arabia.
Refreshments are served after the talk, which enables visitors to prepare for the question and answer session, which are always interesting and draw out further details from the presentation.
Members and non-members of The Western Front Association are equally welcome. Any new visitors are guaranteed a friendly atmosphere and a warm welcome from a group of like-minded enthusiasts.