Friday, July 08, 2005

Mesopotamia Photographs of the Great War

Mesopotamia Photographs of the Great War. Extensive picture collection taken in World War I in Iraq by Captain Charles Henry Weaver. Includes biography of the photographer.

This site is made up of 300 pictures taken by the photographer during his service in The Great War. This was the time of the creation of Iraq out of "Southern Turkey".

From the site:

The pictures and artefacts were kept by Mr Weaver's daughter Joyce Edna Huntly (1926-2002) to whom this site is dedicated.

Mesopotamia was the first foreign affray for the (British) Indian Military. By 1918 there were 304,000 Indian troops and 107,000 British troops stationed in Mesopotamia. The British Indian Command was different and the two armies did not always work well together. The Indian side was poorly invested in modern equipment, and medical facilities were pitiful. The war was called "MesPot" with good reason. Some order was established by 1920, from which the modern state of Iraq was established.

The pictures show a different Iraq in many ways, although many of the sites can be recongised when shown on television nowadays.

These pictures were taken on the British side, no doubt in during the times when things were slack.

Captain Weaver was a contemporary of Dr Maurice Nichols who was an RAMC doctor. Dr Nichols gave a copy his book "In Mesopotamia" to Captain Weaver. The book was written under the pen name Martin Swayne. Dr Nichols became a leading psychiatrist after the war, and was one of the first New Age thinkers, developing "The Fourth Way". Martin Swaine describes the heat in evocative detail, only hinted at in these pictures. "Through the double canvas of the tent the sun beats down like a giant with a leaden club" is just one line he uses. In one period from 7th-28th July 1917 temperatures did not fall below 116 Deg F in the shade and 423 British and 59 Indian troops died of heat stroke.

2 comments:

john said...

Try to get it right - or at least be consistent: it's "Martin Swayne"
And it's also "Maurice Nicoll", early pupil of C.G. Jung and subsequently pupil of G.I. Gurdjieff and P.D. Ouspensky. "The Fourth Way", as taught by Gurdjieff and Ouspensky is the general term for the teaching. Nicoll was one of, and probably THE most important teacher of the system in the UK. His school continues.

Gerard Bulger said...

Just come across Johns comment and i will correct it