Meanwhile the skeleton left on our left flank and the force B. were pressing a frontal attack, supported by the guns: and by the afternoon the outflanking force A. was able to resume its advance, which it was keen to finish as the men were very tired and had run out of water. But just then the whole Turkish reserve turned up on their right front and flank, having been hurried back from the right flank to which our feint had drawn them, across the bridge D. whence they deployed in crescent formation. Apparently this new danger had a very bracing effect on the thirsty ones; it is a rash man that stands between T.A. and his drink. They went straight for the centre of the crescent, as far as I can make out, with the Turkish reserves on their front and flanks and the Turkish firing line in their rear. This was where most of the casualties occurred, but after a stiff fight the Turks broke and ran: and there was a tremendous crush at the bridge D. where they started shooting each other freely.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Commander announced that he had received a telegram from the Sultan requiring the immediate presence of himself and army at Constantinople: so the firing line took the hint and started for the new alignment by the shortest route. However, as everybody’s great idea was to put the river between himself and the enemy he’d been facing, two streams met at the bridge D. and there were further scenes. By this time it was dark, and our troops were utterly exhausted, so nothing more was done for the moment.
Our casualties were 85 killed and 1,158 wounded, an extraordinary proportion. We haven’t had any reliable information of the enemy’s losses yet: but we took about 1,300 prisoners.
I must stop now. I am very fit and a Capt., 3rd Senior Officer out here for the moment (excluding Adjutant O.M.O.) and am commanding “A” double Coy.
* * * * *
Two lots of letters arrived this mail, including yours of August 30th and September 6th, for which many thanks.
If I said that this war means the denying of Christianity I ought to have explained myself more. That phrase is so often used loosely that people don’t stop to think exactly what they mean. If the Germans deliberately brought about the war to aggrandise themselves, as I believe they did, that was a denial of Christianity, i.e. a deliberate rejection of Christian principles and disobedience to Christ’s teaching: and it makes no difference in that case that it was a national and not an individual act. But once the initiating evil was done, it involved the consequence, as evil always does, of leaving other nations only a choice of evils. In this case the choice for England was between seeing Belgium and France crushed, and war. In choosing war I can’t admit there was any denial of Christianity, and I don’t