EXTRACTED FROM THE REGIMENTAL CHRONICLES OF THE OXFORDSHIRE & BUCKINGHAMSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY
THE WITHDRAWAL FROM CTESIPHON.
(See Map No. 1.)
Lajj offered no possibilities for defensive action even for a strong force. The 6th Division had lost upwards of 4,000 out of a total of 11,000 in the battle of Ctesiphon, and there was no hope of receiving immediate reinforcements. General Townshend, therefore, decided to withdraw farther down the river, and early on the 28th November the Division reached Aziziyeh unmolested, save for some Arab sniping during the night march. It was now settled that the retreat should continue as far as Kut-el-Amara, the situation of which place in a loop of the river had many advantages as a halting-place for the weary troops until reinforcements should arrive. So the retreat was continued from Aziziyeh, the 30th Brigade l having been sent on ahead to Kut. The pursuing Turks now drew nearer, and soon our rearguards were heavily engaged. Fierce fighting took place on the 30th November and 1st December, and the 30th Brigade had to be recalled to relieve the pressure. These matters will be fully dealt with in the accounts of eye-witnesses which follow ; suffice it to say here that Townshend extricated his force, and, after arduous marching, brought, it into Kut on the 3rd December, with a loss during the retirement of barely 400 of all ranks.
The 30th Brigade belonged to the 12th Division, hut was attached to the 6th Division for the Ctesiphon operations, and remained with it during the Siege of Kut,