1917 – March 11

Good news, the Capture of Baghdad. Friday, Saturday I took out the Devon regiment for their test, but they broke down, so I brought them home from bivouac – these new Territorial Battalions cannot be expected to take so high a strain.

Click here to read the official despatch by Sir Frederick Maude, detailing operations from December 1916 to March 1917, culminating in the Capture of Baghdad. Maude effectively laid much groundwork for Dunsterville’s later actions from the end of 1917.

1916 – December 29

Devons’ Pantomime very good – Yesterday we had ten South Devon men* to tea. One of them, Stoneman (now at Sidmouth), was at our wedding. The Christmas week, with its revels and drunkenness is nearly over, thank goodness! – we have such a weird way of celebrating the birth of our Saviour. The women by balls and parties, with nice decolletée dresses, and the men by drinking too much. Poor old humans, we are comic or tragic – I don’t know which.

* In researching this, I came across this link here, which suggests the men could be either from the 1/5th (Prince of Wales’s) Battalion or the 2/6th Battalion. If anyone has any firmer ideas, I would very much appreciate knowing a bit more.

1914 – November 9

18th anniversary of the famous Wedding Day. What luck to be together at such an awful time too. It seems unfair to have so much while others have so little. Knightley* has just lost his eldest son, Graham**, in the Devons, such a fine, splendid fellow. We moved in here on Friday, 32 Rue Clément Marical [Le Havre], nice big, clean, bedroom, but, alas, full of fleas which drive Daisie mad, also the whole house simply reeks of cooking and no ventilation.

*Knightley Stalker Dunsterville, CB (25 Jan 1857 – 08 Jan 1935). Stalky and Knightley were cousins, both sharing James Henderson Dunsterville (b. 1788) as a grandfather. 

 **Graham Eardley Dunsterville (09 Jul 1884 – 30 Oct 1914), second son of Knightley