Prisoners of the Turks (First World War)

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Officers who were captured were generally treated better than “other ranks”, who almost always experienced terrible conditions, often leading to death.

Of approximately 2,962 white British officers and other ranks captured at Kut, 1,782 would go on to die in Ottoman captivity. Indian prisoners along with their white comrades, experienced a horrific death march from Kut-al-Amara to the northern railhead at Ras-el-Ain (in modern day Syria).[1] Some died in captivity while still in Mesopotamia, including at a camp at Mosul.

Officers were not required to work, but other soldiers were. The horrible truth appears to have been that only those men fit enough to work survived. Those who were unfit to work died due many reasons, but including the policy that only working prisoners were provided with food.

Afyonkarahisar was used as a prison camp from early 1915 both officers and men being kept in houses, rather than in a proper camp with barbed wire around it. The first prisoners there were Russians, joined in early 1915 by officers and men from the French navy. From late April onwards, there was a small but steady flow of sailors and soldiers captured during the Gallipoli Campaign. Later, there were some prisoner captured at Kut in Iraq sent to the camp and other officers captured in Egypt, Syria and Jordan.[2]

Most subsequent camps were associated with the construction, or running, of the Baghdad Railway, including related roadworks.

There were camps in Kastamonu, Eskisehir, Capadoccia, Cankiri, Afion, Sivas, Yozgat, Hacikiri, Belemedik.[3]

A listing [4] provides the following work camps in the Amanus (now Nur) and Taurus Mountains:
Amanus Mountains: Baghtche with associated camps at Amanus, Airan, Entelli, Tasch Durmas, Yarbaschi.
Taurus Mountains: Bozanti wirh associated camps at Bilemedik, Gelebek, Hadji-Kiri, Kouchdjoula.
Taurus Mountains, South Sector : Boudjak with associated camps at Adana, Dorak, Tarsus (H). (Another source suggests Dorak was the major camp)

These railway work camps were under control of the German construction company.

A map additionally mentions camps in the Taurus Mountains at Tchekerdere, Iola and Karapunar.[5] The railway line extended to Karapunar before the war. Karapunar appears to be near to Belemedik, or one source advises it was the earlier name for Belemedik.[6]

The section between Bagtsche and Airan –Entilli was at kilometres “485,800-502,800”[7]. William Fratel of the Indian Subordinate Medical Department, who had been captured at Kut, was court-martialled in England in 1919 for his actions at Bagtsche.[8]

In 1917 Angora (Ankara) became the centre of the working groups engaged in laying the narrow-gauge line towards Yozgad. [9]

Gedos was a parole camp on the shore of the Black Sea established late in 1917, where officers who gave their word that they would not escape were well treated.[10] Eskichehir and Konia were camps for Indian officers only. [11]

There was a camp at Smyrna, which was used as an repatriation camp c September-October 1918.[12]

Transfers between different camps were common.[13]

Treatment of prisoners appears to have varied considerably, depending on who was in charge of the camps.

A POW Museum has now been established at Afionkarahissar in the main (namazgah-chapel) section of the Madrasa[14]

Spelling variants

  • Ada Bazar, Ade Bazar, Ada Pazar, Ada Bazan, not far from Ismidt/Izmit about 100 km (62 mi) east of Constantinople/Istanbul.
  • Afyonkarahisar (modern name), Afyon Karahisar, Afyon Kara Hisar, Afyon, Afion, Afionkarahissar, Afion-Kara-Hissar, Afion Karahissar, Afioun Karahissar, Afium-Kara-hissar.
  • Amanus, Giaur Dagh
  • Ankara, Angora
  • Bagtche, Bagche, Baghche, Bahçe (Amanus Mountains)
  • Belemedik, Bilemedik, Bedernadik (Taurus Mountains)
  • Bor, Bora, Bore (north of the Taurus Mountains)
  • Brousse
  • Bozanti, Pozanti, Boganti (Taurus Mountains)
  • Eskichehir
  • Karapunar, Karapinar (Taurus Mountains).
  • Kastamuni, Kastamouni, Kastamonu, Castamuni , Castamouni, Castamonu, Castamoni, Castamowni
  • Kiangri, Kangri, Changri, Çankırı, Cankiri, Cangara. Situated approximately mid-way between Ankara and the internment centre at Kastamuni (Kastamonu)[15]
  • Konia, Konya
  • Entelli, Entilli, Intilli, Intille, Intaley. A work camp in the Amanus Mountains.
  • Gedis, Gediz, Gadiz. Appears to have been established late 1917, about 60 miles north-west of Afion.[15]
  • Gelebek, Kelebek (Taurus Mountains)
  • Hacikiri, Hadji Keri, Hadschkiri, (the latter may be the German name), Hacýkýrý . A work camp in the Taurus Mountains.
  • Islahiya, Islahia, Islahin, at the foot of the Amanus mountains (Aleppo side).
  • Ngde, Nigdeh, Niğde (north of the Taurus Mountains). Nigdeh was located near Bor.
  • Sheher Dere, Shehr Dere. A work camp in the Amanus Mountains.
  • Tasch Durmas, Tasch Dumas. A work camp in the Amanus Mountains.
  • Tel-Hafer, Tal Afar. 50-60 km west of Mosul in Mesopotamia (Iraq).
  • Yarbashi, Yarbachi, Yarbaschi, Zarbaschi. A work camp in the Amanus Mountains.

Repatriation, before the end of the war, and after

  • There were two exchanges of PoWs with the Turkish in Mesopotamia in 1916.[16]
  • There was a release of seriously wounded men in Feb 1918 who passed via Constantinople to Switzerland then to England c Feb 1918. [17]
  • There was a prisoner exchange program, based on medical criteria, almost at the end of the war. Men were selected from all over Turkey and were sent to Smyrna. John Still was one of those evacuated by ship on 1 November 1918. See his account A Prisoner in Turkey in Historical books online, below.
  • For the situation after the Armistice with Turkey on 30 October, 1918, see the account "How British Prisoners Left Turkey" by Lieutenant-Colonel E H Keeling, in Historical books online, below.
The situations in respect of Australian POWs, after the end of the war, is covered by Kate Ariotti in Coping With Captivity: Australian POWs of the Turks and the impact of imprisonment during the First World War, in "Armistice and Homecoming", part of Chapter Six, page 195, refer External links, below.

The most common evacuation route appears to have been by ship, from a Turkish port to Alexandria in Egypt, by another ship to Italy, (e.g. Brindisi or Tarranto), and then by train to Britain. (More details of the route.[18])

Some returned POWs from Turkey are mentioned in the Weekly Casualty Lists, see British Army - WW1 Casualty Lists. As an example Weekly Casualty List No. 82, 25th February 1919, page 7 contains some names. [19]

Exhumation from graves and reburial, after the War

After the War, c 1927, bodies from those POW graves from across Turkey which could be identified, were exhumed and reburied in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery.[20] The website of the CWGC may contain a 'concentration' record if this has occurred, or if there is no 'concentration' record, there should be details in the grave registration reports. For graves which could not be identified, the names of the soldiers generally appear on a Memorial at Baghdad.

It is possible that only British soldiers, and not soldiers from the Indian Army, were exhumed and reburied.

Prisoners who died in captivity in Mosul, Mesopotamia are commemorated on the Memorial at Basra. It seems likely that none of the individual graves could be identified.[21]


For many accounts of members of the allied forces taken prisoner in Mesopotamia, especially after the fall of Kut, see Mesopotamia Campaign-External links and Historical books online

It appears there were many deaths of prisoners in Mesopotamia. There are records of deaths at a Prisoners Camp at Mosul.

Additional information

Also see

  • Chaplains Returns for information about GRO War deaths databases including "War Deaths Indian Services 1914-1921".

External links

Diary of Grace Williamson Smyrna 1914-1920. Includes October-November 1918 entries concerning repatriation of British POWs from Smyrna.
Also see personal accounts in Historical books online, below.
  • Imperial War Museums Catalogue entry: Private Papers of Colonel W C Spackman: Ts memoir (331pp) covering his service as Regimental Medical Officer to the 48th Pioneers, 6th Indian Division in Mesopotamia, 1914 - 1915, at Kut during the siege, December 1915 - April 1916, and as a prisoner of war in Anatolia, 1916 – 1918. An edited version has been published, Captured at Kut, Prisoner of the Turks. The Great War Diaries of Colonel W C Spackman (available at the British Library UIN: BLL01014822005). Sample pages, Google Books.
In August 1916 he was a prisoner in Mosul, Mesopotamia, where there were many deaths.[21]
  • The Liddle Collection at the University of Leeds has a number of books, manuscripts and tapes, including transcripts in its collection, relating to Prisoners of War in Turkey. For catalogue references, use terms such as prisoner, Turkey in the Search. Includes a photocopy of the book The Sufferings of the Kut Garrison during their March into Turkey as Prisoners of War, 1916-1917 by F A Harvey, Lt & Q-Mr, published 1922. (The author was in the 2nd Battalion, Dorsetshire Regiment, and this book was privately printed after his death in 1921, as a memorial. Another photocopy is available at the Imperial War Museums). Note, the actual items do not appear to be available online.
  • Foreign Office Files (FO 383) at the National Archives:
    • Finding Aid: Foreign Office Files (FO 383) at the National Archives: Regarding Military & Civilian Prisoners of War: List of Files and Contents: 1915-1919. Compiled September 2014 by seaforths of the Great War Forum, and now available as a pdf from that Forum.[22] Contains references such as "FO 383/090 1915 Description: Turkey: Prisoners, including…"
    • Catalogue entry FO 383/231 Turkey. Prisoners... includes mention of camps at Magnesia, Smyrna, Tchoroum, and transfer of British and French prisoners from camps at Kiangri and Afion Kara Hissar to Bosanti for employment on railway construction.
    • Other records from FO 383 include catalogue entries Turkey: prisoners FO 383/335, Turkey: Prisoners FO 383/452 and FO 383/456 File 117571 (03/09/1918) Various lists: Nominal role of British Officers, Warrant Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, Men and Indian military personnel held at Afrion Kara Hissar, Kedos, Konia, and Magnesia in Turkey providing rank, name and unit/ship… 2. List of Assistant Surgeons of the Indian Medical Service: PoWs in Turkey. 3. List of Sub Assistant Surgeons of the Indian Medical Service; PoWs inTurkey…[23]
Note 1: findmypast has a dataset of records "Prisoners Of War 1715-1945" and a similar Browse dataset (both located in Armed forces & conflict/Regimental & service records) which contain selected records from FO 383, including some for Indian Army soldiers, together with some other records from The National Archives. Includes at least parts from FO 383/336, POWs in Turkey, 1917; FO 383/456, POWs in Turkey, 1918. Also includes AIR 1/892/204/5/697 "Lists of British prisoners of war in Turkey", the findmypast link for the latter (must be signed in to findmypast), dated Feb-March 1915. This document also includes page 14 some deaths at Tache Kichla (or Tash Kishla) Hospital. This was at a military barracks in Constantinople.
Note 2: FamilySearch has selected FO 383 images, catalogue entry viewable on a FamilySearch computer at a FamilySearch Centre.
  • International Committee of the Red Cross Historical Archives contains online records, searchable by name, the record series including:
    • R 50410-R 50508. Also from this link scroll forward to the beginning of the file, which advises "C G1 E01-3.03 R 14246-14426 and R 50353–R 50508. PG britanniques en mains turques". The first series R 14246-14426 seem to be largely in respect of deaths, while the latter series are mainly Lists of Prisoners at Camps, from Croissant Rouge Ottoman. Includes Indian Army soldiers. Note: there appear to be some unrelated records included.
    • R 50509-R 50840. Further List of Prisoners from Croissant Rouge Ottoman. Includes some Lists of deaths, with causes of death. Includes Indian Army soldiers. Note: there appear to be some unrelated records included.
    • R 51794, R 51795 is a two page list of British Officers repatriated Prisoners of War from Turkey, reported at Alexandria October 1918. This appears to be a British War Office document.
    • There are also additional records available, which appear only able to be found by a name Search. As an example a partial alphabetical list of deaths, letter A includes R 13783-4…13868-71-85-95-13896 Prisoner deaths at Mosul. Also R 13842 show the death at Mosul of Walter Rudge, and is part of a partial alphabetical list of deaths, letter R.
If these links are not permanent, from the ICRC Prisoners of the First World War Home Page select Examples of Index Cards/Cards of a British serviceman, and then enter the record number in the Search.
  • Ancestry (pay website) contains the database "UK, British Officer Prisoners of War, 1914-1918"[24] (located in category Military) consisting of data transcribed from the 1919 publication List of British Officers Taken Prisoner in the Various Theatres of War Aug 1914 to Nov 1918 [25], compiled from records kept by Messrs Cox & Co.'s Enquiry Office. Transcribed records from this source are also available in the findmypast database above "Prisoners Of War 1715-1945".
  • The British Library collection contains the book Çanakkale Muharebeleri'nin esirleri : ifadeler ve mektuplar = Prisoners of war at the Çanakkale Battles : testimonies and letters (in two volumes) by Ahmet Tetik, Y. Serdar Demirtaş, Sema Demirtaş. UIN: BLL01015395994 Search the catalogue. In Turkish and English. Contains Lists of prisoners taken at Gallipoli (Çanakkale) derived from records in Turkish Archives. (Sample pages.[26])
  • Another Turkish language publication is Kralın Esir Askerleri (I. Dünya Savaşı'nda Anadolu'daki İngiliz Esirleri ve Esir Kampları) by Mahmut Akkor, Google Translate title King's Prisoner Soldiers (British Prisoners and Prison Camps in Anatolia during the First World War). (Details.[27])
2013 Doctoral thesis, Turkish language I. Dünya Savaşı'nda Anadolu'daki İngiliz Esirleri ve Esir Kampları by Mahmut Akkor. Use Google Translate for individual sections.
"Appendix A: Prison Camps: Turkey". This alphabetical list, which contains information about location, appears to be from an earlier/different version of the above book, and does not appear to be included in the last version. If you are looking for a particular location which you cannot find, it is suggested you read through all the entries, because some entries mention smaller camps in the vicinity. For Nigdeh, see Bor.
"First World War Central Power Prison Camps" by Kenneth Steuer 1-1-2013 History Faculty Publications, Western Michigan University . Includes Turkish Prison Camps
“Australian Prisoners of the Turks: Negotiating Culture Clash in Captivity” by Kate Ariotti, pages 146-166 ‪Other Fronts, Other Wars?: First World War Studies on the Eve of the Centennial‬. 2014 Google Books
"Holzmann in Nahost" German language. Scroll down to photograph groups titled Bagdadbahn, Adana, Türkei; Bagdadbahn, Konstantinopel; Bagdadbahn, Taurusgebirge, Belemedik, Adana; Bagdadbahn, Türkei. Both from Bildarchiv der Philipp Holzmann AG.
  • Photographs: Historical : Baghdad Railway including
    • Belemedik c 1915-18 which includes text about Allied POWs, British and Indian, working along the railway. Working meant tunnel works, laying tracks but often loading and de-loading wagons. Others had to join road-construction teams. Gunter Hartnagel Collection on There are also associated photograph collections titled "Baghdad Railway: Now and then", and "Baghdad Railway: Taurus/Toros section"
  • Archive views of the Baghdad Railway Levantine Heritage Foundation. Includes Belemedik.
  • Photograph collection Bildsammlung Palästina including the Taurus and Amanus mountains. Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv (Bavarian State Archives). The Bavarian Squadron 304 (Bayerische Fliegerabteilung 304) travelled through the Ottoman empire to get to the Palestine front with their valuable aeroplanes. Part of their route took them through the Taurus and Amanus mountains 1917-1918. Bildsammlung Palästina Click on Findbuch –Vorwort for details of the collection. German language. Select Bodenaufnahmen, then go to page 11 for photographs commencing "Im Amanus-Gebirge" reference 1356. The photographs continue on to Constantinople over the next few pages.
  • "Australian Submariner P.O.W.'s After The Gallipoli Landing" by M. W. D. White Journal of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland Volume 14 1990 issue 4: pages 136-144. University of Queensland website.
From the Sea of Marmara to the North Gate of Baghdad: The Story of Four HMAS AE2 Crew Members by Colonel Marcus Fielding, Australian Army, written c 2009. The crew was taken into captivity by the Turks. With quotes from the diary of AE2 crew member Able Seaman Albert Knaggs.
Narrative of John Wheat c 1914-1918, who was a torpedoman on the Australian submarine A.E.2 which was sunk 30 April 1915 in the Sea of Marmora (Gallipoli), taken prisoner by the Germans, and subsequently became a prisoner of war in Turkey, working on the construction of the Baghdad Railway. Transcribed by, and from the collection of the Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW. Photographs and postcards from his album Click on the tab “Online” to display 8 items.
Extracts from the diary of Captain A.J. Shakeshaft of the 2nd Battalion, Norfolk Regiment. They cover the period 15 May to 25 June 1916, [although 1915 is stated].
  • Transcribed Diary of Stanley Cyril Beresford Mundey Captain Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (43rd). He went from India to Mesopotamia to rejoin his regiment in May 1915, flew with the RFC as an observing officer from 7th September 1915 (page The Union Jack Was Hoisted) and took part in the Siege of Kut, although there is no account of this period. The account for 1916 covers his time as a POW until December 1916. Trinity College Dublin
  • "Experiences of a Prisoner of War in Turkey : the Captain White story" by Amanda Rebbeck 20 October 2010. . White wrote of his experiences in Guests of the unspeakable : the odessey of an Australian airman - being a record of captivity and escape in Turkey by T.W. White (1928).
  • "Homesick Anzac POW offered full-time job by Turkish captors after WWI" by Mazoe Ford. 25 April 2015. Australian soldier George Kerr, ((AIF) 14th Battalion), wounded and captured at Gallipoli, became the paymaster at Belemedik POW camp.
  • John Charles McPherson 2309 AIF 3rd Bn, 11th Coy., Imperial Camel Corps. Contains a newspaper report of his time as a POW, from capture near Beersheba, in 1917, to working on railway construction in the Taurus Mountains.
  • National Archives of Australia contains a digitized service record for Chapman Mathers, Service Number-919, a POW who died and was buried in the Armenian Cemetery at Angora. This file contains some general information, and includes a copy of what appears to be a Turkish death certificate.[28]
  • RAMC profile of: Valentine Michael Flood [Service No: 46780] He was moved in early 1916 to the camp at Bilemedik-Pouzantri where he'd have been put to work on the Berlin - Baghdad railway. He appears to have died in the POW Hospital at Angora (Ankara) and was buried in the hospital cemetery.
  • New Zealand’s Gallipoli Prisoners of War. Scroll down for an account by Private William Robert Surgenor (10/724 Wellington Infantry Battalion) who was wounded and captured on Chunuk Bair on 8 August 1915 and was in various prisoner of war camps in Turkey. His account appears as an Appendix in the book Gallipoli: The New Zealand Story by Chris Pugsley.The original account is held at Archives, New Zealand (R24428210). January 17, 2013.
  • A man named Troy Private Martin John Troy 16th Battalion AIF. January 12, 2013 Mentions the conditions of the prisoners, some of whom were better off than others. The prisoners taken at Kut seemed to suffer the most.
  • Bugler Frederick Ashton 11th Battalion AIF. He was at the German railway camp at Belemedlk, and unsuccessfully tried to escape. January 9, 2013.
  • Interviews. Imperial War Museums.
    • Listen to the 1984 interview with Jack William Callaway British gunner served as bugler with 82nd Bty, 110th Bde Royal Field Artillery in India and Mesopotamia, 1908-1916; present at siege of Kut-el-Amara, 4/1916; POW in Turkey, 1916-1918 . Catalogue number 8277
    • Listen to the 1985 inteview with Joseph William Lennox Napier, British officer served with the 4th Bn South Wales Borderers in Gallipoli and Mesopotamia, 1914-1917; POW in Turkey, 1917-1918. Reel 2. Catalogue number 7499
    • Listen to the 1984 interview with Thomas Edward Osmond British officer served with Royal Army Medical Corps in Mesopotamia, 1914-1916; captured at seige of Kut-el-Amara and POW in Turkey, 1916-1918. Catalogue number 8228
    • Listen to the 1976 interview with Henry Hampton Rich British officer served with 120th Rajputana Infantry in Mesopotamia, 1915-1916, including siege of Kut-el-Amara; POW in Turkey, 1916-1918. Catalogue number 766
    • Listen to the 1969 Interview with Horace Wake British private served with 1/4th Bn Essex Regt in Egypt and Palestine, 12/1915-3/1917; captured during First Battle of Gaza, 3/1917 and POW in Palestine and Turkey, 1917-1919. Catalogue number 33526.
  • Prisoners of the Turks: the fate of Frederick William Davey and Frank Turner following the surrender of Kut
  • Scroll to: "A Prisoner of the Turks" by Brian and Mari Walker, Winter 2012 Newsletter The War Graves Photographic Project. Herbert George May 9th Light Horse Regiment 5th Reinforcement, died of disease at Ngde (north of the Taurus Mountains) 26 September 1917. Private Colin Spencer Campbell, 2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance was captured in Palestine 26-3-17, and was sent to Bagtche (Amanus Mountains) to work on the railway line, where discipline was harsh. He subsequently went to Jarbaschi, another working camp , and when sick with malaria, to Bore camp (north of the Taurus Mountains).
  • Group portrait of Australian prisoners at Afion Kara Hissar [Officers] ( includes at least two who published accounts: Lieutenant L H Luscombe of the 14th Battalion AIF captured on Gallipoli on 8 August 1915 and Captain J A Brown, a Sydney doctor serving as a Medical Officer [Australian Army Medical Corps] with the Gloucestershire Yeomanry, captured on the Palestine front in 1916. Their books were: The Story of Harold Earl – Australian by L H Luscombe published Brisbane 1970 and Turkish Days and Ways by James Brown published Sydney 1940, the latter available online, see below.
  • Photo Collection World War 1, Gallipoli,Mesopotamia, Anatolia. lncludes photographs of the POW prison and hospital at Adana.
Photo collection: journey along the track of the WW1 POW's allied in Turkey Includes photos of Afion Kara Hissar.
  • Photograph: A railway construction site at Tachdourmas on the Taurus Mountain Railway.
  • "Julius, Stanley de Vere Alexander (1874 - 1930)" After the fall of Kut, he was a prisoner of war at Yazgad, Affiam Kara Hissar, and Broussa. During captivity he wrote poems, examples of which are included, published as Verse (Singapore 1924) and Poems (London 1928), the latter available at the British Library. UIN: BLL01001912053. He was also the author of Notes on striking natives and corollaries for British officers and soldiers Allahabad 1903. UIN: BLL01018929848. (He was then Royal Sussex Regiment).
  • Berlin-Baghdad Railway - The Great War
  • The Baghdad Railway by Valerie H. Atwood. Report presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Texas at Austin in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts, The University of Texas at Austin, May, 2013.
  • "The Baghdad Railway and the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1916. A Case Study in German Resistance and Complicity" by Hilmar Kaiser. Chapter 3, page 67, from Remembrance and Denial: the Case of the Armenian Genocide edited by Richard G Hovannisian 1998. Google Books version, version-(The link may be slow to open, or you may need to change browses, e.g. to Chrome.) Includes general information about the Baghdad Railway.

Historical books online

"How British Prisoners Left Turkey" by Lieutenant-Colonel E H Keeling page 682 Blackwood’s Magazine January-June 1919, Volume 205 The practical difficulties associated with the repatriation of prisoners of war.
Tales of Turkey by Major E W C Sandes 1924. version, mirror from Digital Library of India.
  • Caught by the Turks by Francis Yeats-Brown 1919 The author was a member of the Royal Flying Corps who was captured near Baghdad in 1915. Also by the same author Bengal Lancer, (1930) which contains a chapter on his time in Mesopotamia prior to his capture: version, mirror from Digital Library of India; Another file, version, mirror from Digital Library of India. Golden Horn by Francis Yeats-Brown 1932 is available version, mirror from Digital Library of India. "A sketch of the political activities in Turkey from 1908 to the world war, and an account of the author's experiences as a prisoner of war of Turkey. This latter part (chap. V-XI) is a revision of the author's book published in 1919 under title: Caught by the Turks." Wikipedia
  • Prisoners of the red desert, being a full and true history of the men of the "Tara" by Captain Rupert Stanley Gwatkin-Williams RN 1919 HMS Tara was sunk by a German submarine near Sollum, Egypt in 1915. The surviving crew were handed over to the Senussi, allies of the Turks and were held prisoners at Bir Hakkim (Bir el Hakim) in Libya until rescued in 1916 in dramatic circumstances by British Armoured Cars under the command of the Duke of Westminster. HMS Tara was formerly the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) ship Hibernia, with more details in Prisoners of the Red Desert: Wartime Adventures of LNWR railwaymen National Railway Museum.
"The Tale of the Tara" page 253 True Stories of the Great War, Volume II. Editor in Chief Francis Trevelyan Miller 1917
  • A Kut Prisoner by H. C. W. Bishop, Indian Army Reserve of Officers. 1920
  • A Prisoner in Turkey by John Still 1920 The title page contains a handwritten note “Ceylon Civil Service (Forests)”. A book in the On Active Service Series
    • From page 220, the author became part of an exchange program. He ultimately was evacuated through Smyrna, initially by tug, out to the ship which lay off Phokea, outside the Gulf of Smyrna, on 1 November 1918.
Poems in Captivity by John Still 1919
Article about Captain Sir Archibald Cochrane: "Extraordinary tale of First World War hero submariner..." by Katie Feehan 27 July 2020 Daily Mail.
Part 7, page 10, Part 8, page 10 Part 9 page 10.
  • Sample chapters from Other Ranks of Kut by P. W. Long, M.M. Flight Sergeant R.A.F, 1938. Transcription of the Preface, Author’s Note, Chapter One and Chapter Six only, with details of the titles of the remaining chapters. The author was at the time Driver Percy Walter Long, 67528, 63rd Battery, R.F.A.[31] Long’s account starts on 30th April 1916, the day after the surrender of Kut. From the preface by Sir Arnold Wilson, M.P. “Of 2,592 British rank and file taken prisoner at Kut, 70 per cent died in captivity”. Also available in a reprint edition,[32] which in turn is available to read online on the Ancestry owned pay website fold3, Other Ranks of Kut, (located in World War2/Military books/Iraq).
  • First and Second Interim Reports from the Committee of Enquiry into Breaches of the Laws of War, with Appendices 3 June 1919 CAB 24/85/6 Records of the Cabinet Office, The National Archives. Link to a free download. Includes pages on Turkey/Ottoman Empire, including the march from Kut, (at page 194), Damascus Hospital (page 234). [33]
  • Report on hospitals conditions for Prisoners of War in Nazareth and Damascus The National Archives, FO 383/530. Report of Miss Edith Johncock, Matron of the British Hospital Nazareth, regarding the treatment of Prisoners of War (dated 1919). She had been Matron of the British Hospital in Nazareth from 1905, and became a prisoner of the Turks for four years, 3 years in Nazareth, and almost a year in Damascus.
  • Adventures in the Near East, 1918-1922, by A. Rawlinson 1924 Hathi Trust Digital Library. Pages 272-333 describe the author's imprisonment, when on 18 March 1920, he, and four British soldiers he commanded, were arrested by Turkish Nationalist Troops and confined for 20 months, until exchanged for Turkish prisoners 31 October 1921. version.
  • Turkish Days and Ways by James Brown MD 1940. The author was a Scot who had lived in Australia most of his life who qualified as a doctor in Edinburgh during WW1 and became a Lieutenant RAMC. He was in a Field Ambulance, serving with a Brigade of Yeomanry at the time of capture at Katia near Romani, twenty three miles from the Suez Canal, c April 1916. He was a POW at Afyon Karahisar. Catalogue details, digital file
  • Lost Anzacs : the story of two brothers by Greg Kerr 1998. Books to Borrow/Lending Library. With extracts from the diaries of Australians George Kitchin Kerr, 1892-1965 and Hedley Kitchin, 1894-1915. Hedley died at Gallipoli and it was here George was captured, eventually spending years as a POW at Belemedik in Turkey.
  • Captured at Kut. Prisoner of the Turks. The Great War Diaries of Colonel W C Spackman edited by Tony Spackman 2008 Books to Borrow/Lending Library. William Collis Spackman, Indian Medical Service was then a young Regimental Medical Officer with the 48th Pioneers, Indian Army.
  • The Early First World War Iraq Campaign, November 1914 - April 1916, and Captivity in Turkey by Brigadier KBS Crawford. A transcribed digitised account prepared by his son Nigel Crawford 2014. KBS Crawford was part of the Royal Engineers, with the 3rd Bombay Sappers and Miners. He was present at the fall of Kut, having been wounded in December 1915 and still on the sick list, and eventually arrived at Afion Kara Hissar. "Captivity" commences digital page 19. Forces War Records, generally a pay website, but this digital file, classified as a War Diary in the Historical Documents Library, is accessible for free.
  • Sample of Red Crescent Documents relating to POWs from “Translated Turkish Works on Gallipoli”, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.
  • An American Physician in Turkey : a narrative of adventures in peace and in war by Clarence D Ussher and Grace H Knapp 1917 The author was a medical missionary. The chapters from page 213 cover the war period.

Baghdad Railway

Baghdad Railway. Note: The German and American spelling is Bagdad.

"The Bagdad Railway" by H. Charles Woods The North American Review Vol. 208, No. 753 (Aug., 1918), pp. 219-228 Transcribed version


  1. "Prisoners of War" by Heather Jones. 'Section 6: Mistreatment' contains information about prisoners in Turkey. See External links, above.
  2. Eceabat [Bill Sellars] Turkish POW's and POW's in AfyonKarahisar Great War Forum 19 January , 2008. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  3. Dogan Sahin Kut POW Great War Forum 28 January 2008. Retrieved 19 June 2018..
  4. Image: “Internment Camps in Turkey”, from an unknown source, perhaps French, from Photograph Collection: Researche about WW1-Eastern Front
  5. michaldr. Kut Surrender Great War Forum 17 August 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2018. The source of the map is given as index30.jpg from Gallipoli – DVD from Mapping the Front Great War Map DVD Collection by The Western Front Association (in conjunction with the Imperial War Museum}
  6. Photograph and text: Belemedik, Ruins of the "German city" by Gunter Hartnagel The railway station Karapınar was opened in 1912. Even by then, the site was called Belemedik.
  7. Page 50 Geologie Kleinasiens im Bereich der Bagdadbahn by Fritz Frech 1916
  8. IPT Kut Cruelty - William Fratel Great War Forum 5 November 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  9. Page xv A Prisoner in Turkey by John Still 1920
  10. Timbob1001 [Tim] Bombardier A N Christison Indian Volunteer Artillery Great War Forum 26 October 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  11. Page xx A Prisoner in Turkey by John Still 1920
  12. JoMH et al. Smyrna Great War Forum 27 July 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  13. page 150 “Australian Prisoners of the Turks: Negotiating Culture Clash in Captivity” by Kate Ariotti, ‪Other Fronts, Other Wars?: First World War Studies on the Eve of the Centennial‬. 2014 Google Books
  14. Sahin, Dogan Henry James Harding POW held by the Turkish Army Great War Forum 23 May 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Captivity in Turkey: from the diaries of Lieutenant Colonel Francis Cecil Lodge Part 2: January-December 1917", refer External links above.
  16. charlie962. Mespot- PoW exchanges in 1916 Great War Forum 30 January 2019. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  17. charlie962. S/Sgt J.E.M Brunskill RAMC - was he a Turkish POW ? Great War Forum 14 November 2019. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  18. "Overland Route to the East 1917-1919" by Andrew Brooks Forces Postal History Society Journal No 300 Summer 2014, page 179, now an archived webpage. May be slow to open.
  19. charlie962. S/Sgt J.E.M Brunskill RAMC - was he a Turkish POW ? Great War Forum 14 November 2019. Retrieved 18 November 2019. Weekly Casualty List No. 82, 25th February 1919, page 7 National Library of Scotland.
  20. Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery
  21. 21.0 21.1 typandy. Taken prisoner relieving Kut and died either in Turkey or at Mosul. Great War Forum 29 December 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  22. seaforths Foreign Office Files on POWs (FO 383) Great War Forum 12 December 2021. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  23. themonsstar. POWs Great War Forum 13 January 2009. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  24. UK, British Officer Prisoners of War, 1914-1918 Ancestry
  25. List of British Officers Taken Prisoner in the Various Theatres of War Aug 1914 to Nov 1918 Reprint edition, Naval & Military Press
  26. emrezmen. Allied PoW Great War Forum 6 May 2018. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  27. Kralın Esir Askerleri (I. Dünya Savaşı'nda Anadolu'daki İngiliz Esirleri ve Esir Kampları) by Mahmut Akkor 2019. Publisher: Yeditepe Yayinevi ISBN 978-6052070-48-2
  28. Canberra et al. Ankara Municipal cemetery / Baghdad North gate Great War Forum 13 January 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  29. Lecture to Friends of the British Museum by HVF Winston 29 January 2002, now an archived webpage. Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie 1936. text and audio versions.
  30. Elias Henry Jones homefrontmuseum (accessed 22 July 2014)
  31. Driver P. W. Long 63rd Battery, R.F.A. The London Gazette Supplement 27/30 January 1920, page 1230
  32. Other Ranks Of Kut by P. W. Long. Naval & Military Press.
  33. PRC. S/Sgt J.E.M Brunskill RAMC - was he a Turkish POW ? Great War Forum 23 November 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  34. Palestine: Information with Provenance (PIWP database)
  35. "On the Baghdad Road: On the Trail of W. J. Childs" by John Fisher Archives Volume 24, No 101 (Oct 1, 1999): 53. First page only. Probably Journal of the British Records Association. Proquest.