Turkish POW Treatment by the British

Katran Kazaninda Sterilize book cover

From the book “Katran KazanInda Sterilize” (“Sterilized in Tar
Cauldron”) by Imge Publications, written by Ahmet Duru who revealed
the diary of the sub-lieutenant Ahmet Altinay from Karaman…

“In WWI, 150 thousand of our soldiers were captured by the British.
And some of these soldiers were imprisoned in Seydibesir Useray-i
Harbiye Camp  near the city of Alexandria in Egypt. The full name of
the camp was “Seydibesir Kuveysna Osmanli Useray-i Harbiye (4) Kampi”.
In this camp, the Ottoman soldiers of 16th Division’s 48th Regiment
who were captured at the Palestine fronts in 1918 were interned. For
two years until June 12th, 1920, they were subjected to any kind of
torture, oppression, heavy insults and humiliation.

The reason for this inhumane treatment was the Armenians. The war was
over. Nevertheless, to release the soldiers besides the ones who died
because of heavy conditions in the camp was not to the benefit of the
British. Because the British were brainwashed by Armenians, being told
that in a potential new war they could come up against these soldiers
again. The solution was massacre…
Our soldiers, forced by bayonets, were put in disinfection pools with
the excuse of wiping out germs. But the chemical, krizol, was added a
lot more than normal in the water. Even just when they put their feet,
our soldiers got scalded. However, the British troops didn’t let them
get out of the pool by threatening with rifles.

Turkish POWs, 1917

Our soldiers didn’t want to put their heads under the water that
reached waist level. But then the British started shooting in the air.
Our soldiers knelt and put their heads under water not to die.
But the ones who got their heads out of the water couldn’t see any
more. Because the eyes were burned…The resistance of our soldiers who
saw what happened to the ones that got out was no use and our 15
thousand men got blinded.

This savagery was discussed in May 25th, 1921, in the Turkish Great
National Assembly. The congressmen Mr. Faik and Mr. Seref proposed
that 15 thousand sons of this country were blinded in Egypt by being
put in the “krizol” pool; and wanted the Assembly to make an attempt
for punishment of the British physicians, commanders and soldiers who
were guilty of this act.

Of course the newly founded government had a thousand other problems.
Demanding an explanation for this act was easily forgotten.

The British commanders of the camp, because of the wrong, mendacious
translations and provocations of Armenian translators who knew
Turkish, had become fierce Turk enemies.

The British run PoW camps in Egypt were regularly inspected by the
diplomatic representatives of neutral countries and by the
International Committee of the Red Cross
Sidi Bishr Camp (Seydibesir Useray-i Harbiye Camp) was visited on 6th
January 1917 and the report on that visit can be read in chapter 7,
here http://www.gutenberg.org/files/10589/10589-h/10589-h.htm

The other claim made by Yücel Yanıkdağ in his unpublished PhD thesis
Ill-fated Sons of the Nation: Ottoman Prisoners of War in Russia and
Egypt, 1914-1922 makes the claim that the British authorities
deliberately infected Turkish POWs with Pellagra. This particular
story is also doing the rounds of the “British plot to kill Turks
inspired by Armenian” circuit and has equal credibility.

The nub of the Pellagra claim is that the British deliberately singled
out the Turks for ill treatment by inadequate diet leading to the
ex-POWs having the highest death rate from Pellagra amongst all the
other prisoners. On the basis of the death rate, it was concluded that
Pellagra was a deliberate policy. That Turkish POWs died in great
numbers from Pellagra is well documented in British sources. However,
this churlish complaint does not mention that Pellagra takes 5-6 years
to manifest itself into a fatal condition. No Turkish POW spent that
long in their incarceration leading to the conclusion that these men
suffered from Pellagra prior to becoming a POW. It wasn’t until the
mid 1920’s that it was discovered that Pellagra was due to dietary

Cholera  at Berramke Barracks in Damascus  was deliberate to kill Turks.

A search of the Australian archives – every single available file
relating to POWs is very much available and they provide information
with the good and the bad. Nothing is covered up. The worst case
regarded the 12,000 Ottoman soldiers who surrendered at the Berramke
Barracks in Damascus after its fall on 1 October 1918. These men were
deserted by their own support teams and left to fend for themselves
without any resources with neither food nor medicines. After a few
days being held as POWs, cholera broke out amongst this group. Over a
two week period many hundreds of men died through cholera, the worst
day recording over 150 deaths. By dint of hard work, the POWs were put
to work to provide a satisfactory sanitation and drinking water
system. Some men had to be coerced into working towards the common
good. The result – cholera was brought under control. The deaths from
cholera did not only effect the Turks but also the Australian, Indian,
French and British soldiers in the area with many of these troops also

So the cholera outbreak at Damascus was not a sinister British plot to
kill Turks, it was a problem brought on by the neglect of the Turkish
command for the health of their soldiers and citizens in Damascus. The
ordinary soldier in both the Allied forces and the Turkish army paid a
high price for this neglect.

5 Replies to “Turkish POW Treatment by the British”

  1. A few words about Claim 2:
    Whoever posted this clearly has no idea what he or she is talking about.This is, I suppose, one of the downsides of the internet–anyone gets to say something no matter how wrong, inaccurate, and even stupid it might be. Yanikdag’s “Ill-fated Sons of the Nation” does not make the claim mentioned above at all. The statement above is a complete misrepresentation of what is said in the dissertation. One person cannot infect another with pellagra. However, if you deny someone nutritious food–food with vitamin B-3, etc–for months and years, then you can be sure that person will develop pellagra. Dissertation does NOT conclude that it was a deliberate policy at all. WRONG, Wrong, wrong! Pellagra does not take 5-6 years to develop. It can develop as short a period as 3-4 months; it depends on how severe the shortage of B-3 is. British documents themselves admit that healthy Ottoman POWs coming from India and Burma to Egypt developed pellagra within 3 months of their arrival in Egypt.

    Additionally, are you really, really sure, no Ottoman POW spent that much time in Egypt? While the majority were captured in 1917 and 1918, there a good number who were captured in early 1915 and were not repatriated until 1921. If my math is correct, that’s 6 years–not that you need 6 years to develop pellagra.

    Perhaps the thing to do is to go read things (the dissertation, articles, etc) instead of believing the words of an ignorant fool.


    A Report By The Delegates Of The International Committee Of The Red

    _Extracted and translated from the Official Reports of the Red Cross

    _(Documents publiés à l’occasion de la Guerre Européenne, 1914-1917)_

    Published in 1917

    _A Report on a visit made in December, 1916, and January, 1917, to the
    Camps for Turkish Prisoners of War in Egypt, by the Delegates of the
    International Committee of the Red Cross._

    Turkish Prisoners in Egypt


    Being deputed by the Red Cross International Committee to visit Turkish
    prisoners of war in Egypt, we presented ourselves on December 3, 1916,
    to the officer for Naval Transport in the British office at Marseilles.
    By order of the War Office he obtained berths for us on the liner
    _Morea_, of the P. and O. Line. We embarked at Marseilles on December
    19, 1916, and after an uneventful journey reached Port Said on December

    At Cairo General Murray, Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in
    Egypt, was good enough to put us in touch with Brig.-General II. G.
    Casson, C.M.G., Director-in-Chief of the Prisoners of War Department.
    With the help of Colonel Simpson we drew up a programme of visits. A
    motor-car was placed at our disposal, and permission given us to take
    photographs in the camps, distribute gifts among the prisoners, and
    talk freely with them.

    We have to express our warmest thanks to General Murray and to the
    officers who allowed us to make our enquiries everywhere, without
    restriction. We should also like to offer our deepest gratitude to Sir
    Reginald Wingate, British High Commissioner in Egypt, for the kindly
    care accorded us throughout our stay.

    ~1. Heliopolis Camp.~

    _(Visited on January 2, 1917.)_

    This camp is laid out quite close to the new city of hotels and villas
    founded in 1905 under the name of The Oasis of Heliopolis. The camp site
    is 134 feet above the level of Cairo.

    _Strength._–3,906 Turkish non-commissioned officers and men.

    3 Turkish soldiers of the Sanitary Corps.

    2 Armenian doctors (officers in the Turkish Army).

    The camp is arranged to hold a total population of 15,000 men. A
    barbed-wire fencing separates it from adjoining property.

    _Accommodation._–The barracks for the prisoners are arranged in groups,
    in parallel lines separated by passages 65 feet wide. These barracks,
    built under the supervision of the Egyptian Engineering Department, are
    of uniform construction, and about 42 feet long by 30 feet wide. They
    are solid frames of wood with the spaces between filled in with reeds
    arranged vertically and held in place by crossbars. The roof is of reed
    thatch edged with tarred felt. Thanks to the design, the ventilation is
    perfect. The sandy soil shows hardly a sign of dampness. The passage
    between the rows of beds is made of hard-beaten earth which is very dry
    and easily kept clean. All along this corridor, as in all the camp
    roads, buckets full of water are arranged in readiness to meet an
    outbreak of fire. The water in these buckets is not meant for drinking,
    and therefore contains a little cresol to prevent prisoners drinking it.
    The danger of fire is further reduced to a minimum by the fact that the
    men smoke only out of doors and that the mildness of the climate does
    away with the use of stoves. Each barrack accommodates 50 men.

    _Bedding._–Each prisoner lies on a mat of plaited rush, and has four
    blankets. Every morning the mats are brushed and rolled up and the
    blankets folded, so that during the day there is a large clear space
    inside the building. The detention cells have the same sleeping

    _Exercise._–The space left between the barracks of the separate
    sections is amply sufficient for exercise, which is quite unrestricted
    during the regulation hours.

    _Food._–Provisions are purchased by the commissariat and brought every
    morning into a special barrack, whence each section draws its daily
    rations. Bread comes from the Cairo bakeries. It is of good quality and
    agreeable to the taste. The kitchens are in the open and heated by wood
    fires. They are staffed by a detachment of prisoners under a head cook.
    At meal times each section sends men to draw the rations for each room
    in large metal bowls. Every man has his own spoon, bowl and drinking
    cup, all of metal. The hours of meals are ordinarily as follows:

    5 a.m.; 11 a.m.; and 4 p.m.

    The last meal is the principal one of the day.

    We have examined the various food materials given the prisoners and
    found them to be of excellent quality.

    The menu of the Turkish prisoners of war now interned in Heliopolis Camp
    consists of bread, meat, vegetables, rice, butter, pepper, salt, onions,
    tea (7-1/2 grammes), sugar (42 grammes), cheese and jam or olives.

    Each prisoner receives 42-1/2 grammes of cigarettes and two boxes of
    matches every week; two lbs. of firewood per day; and soap.

    It interested us to make a note of the expenses involved by the support
    of each Turkish prisoner, according to figures supplied by the English

    The calculation is based on a period of six months (in winter).

    £ s. d.
    Clothing and linen 3 0 0
    Periodical renovation of winter
    clothes 0 6 6
    Renovation of linen, footwear,
    and towels (twice) 1 10 0
    Food at actual contract prices 5 0 0
    Tobacco 0 12 6
    Wood (average price) 0 7 6
    Lighting (as for Maadi Camp) 0 2 0
    Water filtration (Maadi) 0 0 6
    Total £10 19 0

    Depreciation of buildings, fittings, blankets and other things provided
    is not included in these figures.

    _Canteen._–The regulation food of the prisoners being ample, the
    canteen plays a very minor part in the feeding arrangements. It sells
    tea, coffee, and light refreshments. A cup of sweetened tea costs 5
    paras, or about one-third of a penny. The canteen also deals in letter
    paper, post-cards, thread, needles, buttons and other small odds and

    The men receive 2 ounces of tobacco free every week. They never get

    _Clothing._–Each prisoner is supplied with two complete sets of
    underwear: shirts, drawers, and socks. The uniform consists of trousers
    and coat of dark blue cloth. The brass buttons give it a military

    All the men wear the red fez. They are allowed to wear their
    decorations. That they are prisoners is shown only by their having on
    them a white metal plate about 1-1/2 inches in diameter, bearing a
    registration number and the two letters P.W. (Prisoner of War). In our
    opinion this kind of medallion is a more judicious form of indication
    than the bands, armlets or large letters used elsewhere. In summer the
    cloth uniforms are replaced by linen uniforms of the same cut and

    All men wear indoors leather slippers of the Eastern kind. Shoes are
    used only by prisoners engaged on gardening, and by non-commissioned

    Linen, clothes and footwear are renewed on fixed dates or according to

    _Hygiene._–Everything that has to do with hygiene and the sanitation of
    the camp is the province of Lieut.-Colonel E.G. Garner, Medical Office
    Inspector of Prisoner-of-War Camps in Egypt.

    Water is supplied from the Heliopolis town mains, is of good quality,
    and is provided in sufficient quantities.

    For toilet purposes the prisoners have the use twice a day of shower
    baths and water taps. The floor of the lavatories is sloping cement, and
    the water drains away through a gulley between the two rows of baths.
    Prisoners can get hot water from the kitchen when they need it. Soap is
    supplied _ad libitum_.

    For washing their clothes the prisoners have some very convenient
    arrangements. Once a week each prisoner’s blankets and clothes are
    passed through the disinfecting chamber and thoroughly sterilised.
    Thanks to this precaution, there is not a trace of vermin to be found in
    the camp.

    Ten Turkish barbers are occupied in cutting the hair of prisoners and
    shaving them in a well-managed barber’s shop.

    The latrines are clean and numerous enough. Some of them are on the
    English system; the rest on the Turkish. They are disinfected daily with
    carbolineum. All discharge into the sewers.

    _Medical attention._–The camp medical service is staffed by Colonel
    E.G. Garner and two Armenian doctors (Arsen Khoren and Léon Samuel).
    Four English hospital orderlies are assisted by three Turkish orderlies.
    An English dentist visits the camp at the doctor’s request.

    At the infirmary, which is clean and well looked after, all prisoners
    not seriously ill are accommodated with beds having mattresses and steel
    springs. The consulting room is well supplied with medicines. Serious
    cases are sent to the hospitals set apart for prisoners of war.

    From 20 to 30 men come to the infirmary daily for medical attention. All
    the cases are entered in a register, which we have examined; after each
    name is the complaint and the treatment prescribed.

    At the time of our visit there were six lying-down cases in the
    infirmary; two with tuberculosis in the first stage (prisoners captured
    recently at El Arish); one with diarrhoea; one with conjunctivitis; one
    with malaria; and one with a wounded leg.

    Of the prisoners in camp 3 per cent. have been attacked by malaria–old
    cases from the marshy districts of Turkey, such as Angora Yosgath, for
    instance. Nine per cent. have been attacked by chronic bacillar
    dysentery; these are treated periodically with anti-dysenteric serum.
    Some cases of amibian dysentery are being treated with calomel, salol,
    and emetine. Twenty per cent. were affected by ophthalmia due to their
    stay in the desert before being captured. These were treated with
    sulphate of zinc and protargol.

    Four prisoners are suffering from trachoma of old standing. Recent cases
    are ordinary ailments, bronchitis and simple diarrhoea.

    As a general rule the camp prisoners look well, have a good colour and
    are well nourished.

    The prisoners were inoculated in Turkey against typhoid fever and
    smallpox. All who no longer showed traces of vaccination were vaccinated
    immediately after being captured. They were also inoculated against

    There is no typhoid fever in the camp, nor exanthematic typhus, nor any
    other infectious disease.

    _Work._–The prisoners have no regular work to do. No prisoner is
    employed in workshops outside the camp. Even inside, except for ordinary
    camp fatigue duties, and some light gardening, no labour is exacted.
    During our inspection we saw the digging for a water supply through the
    camp being done by Arab workmen, not by prisoners.

    In any case, corporals and sergeants are not allowed to work.

    _Religion and Recreation._–The prisoners are quite free to follow their
    own religious practices, which are performed thrice a day ordinarily,
    and six or seven times daily during Ramadan. Music and singing are
    permitted; prisoners have manufactured several guitars and violins.

    _Correspondence._–Most of the prisoners brought money with them; some
    have received sums of money from their families through the Turkish Red
    Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross. They receive the
    amount in weekly instalments of 30 piastres (about 6 shillings) per
    month. Each person has a separate current account with the camp

    Letters take from three weeks to three months to get from the sender to
    the prisoner to whom they are addressed. Some of them are sent through
    the American Consul at Cairo. Very few of the prisoners can write, but
    these may do so as often and for as long as they wish. There is no
    system of delaying correspondence after delivery or before despatch.

    _Prisoners’ Aid._–There is no relief committee in the camp; so far, no
    general relief funds have been sent. Sergeant-Major Hussein Hissan, a
    native of Constantinople, told us that, although there were many poor
    prisoners in the camp, there was no need to send help, as all prisoners
    are well fed, well clothed and supplied with tobacco.

    _Prisoners’ Behaviour._–What strikes one more than anything else on
    entering the camp is the prevailing orderliness and cleanliness. A
    Turkish sergeant-major commands each group of huts, and a Turkish
    sergeant is responsible for each dormitory. The prisoners are smart,
    give the military salute and come to attention at the orders of the
    non-commissioned officers when those in command pass through the camp.

    Sergeant-Major Hassar Mohammed, from Angora, and Hamid Abdallah, from
    Koniah (Asia Minor), told us, on behalf of their fellow prisoners, that
    they had no complaints to make, and assured us of the kind treatment
    which they receive.

    On their part, the English officers and non-commissioned officers
    declared that the prisoners are well disciplined and very willing. In
    short, we took away with us an excellent impression of Heliopolis Camp.

    ~2. Hospital No. 2, at Abbassiah, near Cairo.~

    _(Visited on January 2, 1917.)_

    This hospital, on the pavilion system, and arranged in accordance with
    the requirements of modern practice, is reserved exclusively for
    German, Austrian, Bulgarian and Turkish prisoners of war. It is staffed
    by head doctor Wickermann, assisted by four English doctors. Some
    English Red Cross nurses and 18 Turkish orderlies attend to the sick and
    wounded. These nurses and orderlies are engaged only with treatment. The
    rough ward work and cleaning are done by native employés. The pavilions
    are built of stone and separated by intervals of 32-1/2 feet. The roofs
    are of cement. Along one side runs a covered gallery wherein beds and
    arm-chairs are placed for the open-air cure of patients for whom it is
    prescribed. The floor of the pavilions is a kind of linoleum made of
    sawdust and cement, and is covered with palm mats. The windows are
    large, and the cubic space per patient ample. The beds are arranged in
    two rows and have spring and stuffed mattresses. Blankets are not
    stinted. The rooms are scrupulously clean; and the hospital sterilising
    chamber serves to disinfect the clothes, which, after being washed and
    labelled, are stored in a wardrobe and handed back to the owners when
    they leave the hospital. The prisoners have no trouble over them. A
    large supply of things for the patients is kept in the laundry.

    _Clothing._–The hospital patients wear pyjamas like those of British
    soldiers; and, like the latter, convalescents wear a bright blue suit
    with white facings and a red necktie. Patients able to sit up have
    folding easy-chairs at their disposal.

    _Dressings._–The hospital drug department is well stocked. The wounded
    are supplied with surgical appliances, and with artificial limbs of the
    most perfect make.

    The day before our visit 80 wounded prisoners arrived at the hospital
    from El Arish in an exhausted and emaciated condition. We saw each case
    receive the most suitable treatment. The apparatus most generally used
    for dealing with fractures consists of a metal frame with flannel strips
    stretched from side to side to form a kind of trough. When the broken
    limb is in position the apparatus is suspended from the ceiling by means
    of pulleys. We have never seen this ingenious arrangement in any German
    or French hospital; it seems to us to be a very practical idea and
    likely to prove of great benefit to the wounded. At the head of each bed
    is a temperature chart, a diet chart, and a clinical summary of the

    _Special Quarters._–The operating theatre is well arranged; a
    sterilising stove is heated by paraffin. In the wards for prisoners
    suffering from malaria the beds are enclosed by mosquito nets to prevent
    the _anopheles_ mosquito infecting itself and then biting other patients
    or people of the neighbourhood. Two wards are kept for convalescent
    cases, who have a dining-room to stay in during the day.

    Cases of venereal disease are also confined to separate premises.

    The orderlies live in two comfortable tents in the hospital garden, one
    of which, is occupied by those on day duty, the other by those on night

    _Hygiene._–The water is of good quality, supplied from the Cairo water
    system. The prisoners can use the well-equipped hot and cold baths at
    their pleasure. Invalids wash themselves, or are washed with the aid of
    bowls. Convalescents wash at the taps supplied for their use.

    The latrines are on the Turkish plan, with automatic water-flush, and
    discharge into the town drainage.

    _Food._–The hospital management employs a contractor to do the
    provisioning. The food is prepared in the kitchen by 4 Egyptian
    employés. The dietary of the Turkish soldiers differs somewhat from that
    of the German and Austrian prisoners, in order to suit the palates of
    each. For example, the Turks prefer flat loaves, which are baked for
    them; while European prisoners get what is called English bread,
    toasted. Bulgarian curdled milk is prepared for dysentery patients, and
    the English doctors testify to its good effects.

    An ice-box in each pavilion keeps such provisions as must stay there
    quite fresh. The diet for invalids is divided into full diet and milk

    1. FULL DIET.
    _Breakfast_: Bread; milk.
    _Lunch_: Meat stew; vegetables; rice; bread.
    _Supper_: Bread; soup; rice; milk.
    _Extra, when ordered_: Chicken; pigeon; rabbit; butchers’
    meat; lemons; eggs; cheese; curdled milk.

    2. MILK DIET.
    _Breakfast_: Bread; milk.
    _Lunch_: Soup; bread; milk; rice.
    _Supper_: Bread; milk; sugar.

    The quantities of food allowed to invalids are given below:

    _Diet for
    _Ordinary _Milk Fever
    Diet. Diet. Patients.
    grm._ grm._ grm._

    Native bread (baladi) 937 625
    Beef 115 100
    Vegetables 120
    Rice 115 50
    Milk 200 800 1,200
    Fat 20
    Sugar 20 25
    Salt 15 5
    Pepper 3 1
    Onions 20
    Tomatoes 10

    We examined all these provisions and found them to be excellent in

    _Sickness._–Sick prisoners are transferred from the camps to the
    hospital in specially fitted motor vehicles. The English doctors without
    exception praise the patience and brave endurance of pain shown by the
    Turkish prisoners. The cases treated in the hospital up to January 2,
    1917, the date of our visit, are analysed below.

    Turks Bulgarians Germans
    Tuberculosis 27 0 0
    Bacillar dysentery 37 3 2
    Malaria 3 0 0
    War wounds 74 2 4
    Anaemia and weakness 30 12 5
    Various 96 5 0
    — — —
    Totals 267 22 11
    === === ===

    There is no epidemic disease in the hospital.

    _Deaths._–Sixty-six Turkish prisoners died in the Abbassiah hospital
    between August 8, 1916, and January 1, 1917.

    From Dysentery 45
    ” Tuberculosis 9
    ” Beri-beri 1
    ” Malaria 1
    ” War wounds 9
    ” Typhoid fever 1


    In addition, one German prisoner died of pneumonia. As regards deaths
    from dysentery, most of the prisoners attacked by the disease came from
    the Hedjaz, and were in a seriously weak and exhausted condition.

    Turkish prisoners are prepared for burial in the manner prescribed by
    their religion. They are buried in a Moslem cemetery. British soldiers
    from the garrison pay them the last honours, and the prisoners are
    represented at the cemetery.

    ~3. Maadi Camp.~

    _(Visited on January 3, 1917.)_

    The chief camp at Maadi is 9-1/3 miles south of Cairo, on the right bank
    of the Nile. All prisoners are taken to it after capture, and thence
    distributed among the other camps in Egypt.

    _Strength._–Five thousand five hundred and fifty-six Turkish
    non-commissioned officers and men, including 1,200 men recently captured
    at El Arish in the Sinai peninsula.

    No officers are interned in this camp. Three imaums (priests) were not
    classed with the officers, as they had served as privates.

    The prisoners include–besides Turks–Arabs, Armenians, Greeks, Jews
    from Palestine and Mesopotamia, and some Senoussi. Only a small number
    have been captives ever since the beginning of the war; a large
    proportion come from Gallipoli. We found among the prisoners a boy 8
    years old, named Abd-el-Mohsen, who lives in camp with his father.

    The camp is divided into 41 sections and 4 quarters. The last are
    divided off from one another by barbed wire fences.

    _Accommodation._–The quarters of the Turkish prisoners in Maadi Camp
    include: (1) Old buildings originally erected as a school of music and
    subsequently used as a factory; (2) barracks built recently for
    prisoners of war.

    The first consist chiefly of a huge hall 252 feet long and 49 feet wide,
    with many large openings in the walls. The roof, of match-boarding, is
    33 feet above the floor. Standpipes are fixed all along the hall. There
    are, in addition, some out-buildings used by the management and as

    In the other camp sections new barracks, measuring as a rule 100 by 39
    feet, were erected by a building firm. Walls and roof are of wood and
    thatch; the floor is hard-beaten earth. All camp quarters are well open
    to the air, so that proper ventilation presents no difficulties.

    _Sleeping Accommodation._–Lengthwise of all the quarters run platforms
    of beaten earth, 6-1/2 feet wide, and 9 inches above the floor. On these
    are placed the woven rush mats which serve for beds. Each prisoner has 3
    blankets. During the season when the temperature falls appreciably at
    night extra blankets are served out. All bedding is cleaned and
    disinfected at regular intervals. Shelves whereon the prisoners can keep
    their belongings are fixed between the rows of beds.

    _Food._–The food of the prisoners of war is according to the scale
    already given. Kitchens are provided in each section and staffed by the
    prisoners themselves. We tasted the soup and meat stew, and found them
    of good quality and very appetising. The prisoners receive _baladi_ or
    native bread, which resembles their usual food and is supplied by Cairo
    bakeries. We questioned many of the men, who assured us that they were
    satisfied with the food. The only complaint noted by us was that of a
    man who thought that he got rice too often. A small canteen supplies
    black coffee, sweetened, at a farthing per cup. It is run as a private
    concern under the supervision of the authorities. Tobacco is
    distributed every Thursday on the scale mentioned previously.

    _Clothing._–Soon after their arrival in camp the prisoners were taken
    to a large courtyard, in which they stripped off all their clothes and
    foot-gear. As a health precaution all this stuff was scrapped and
    destroyed. After being disinfected, the men received a complete new
    outfit consisting of two pairs of drawers and two flannel shirts, a
    cholera belt, socks, a pair of trousers and a dark blue cloth tunic with
    linen lining and uniform buttons, and a red fez. Leather slippers for
    privates and shoes for sergeants and corporals complete the outfit, the
    smartness of which leaves nothing to be desired. Although on the day of
    our visit the thermometer stood at about 53°F. many of the men were also
    wearing their thick cloth overcoats. Every prisoner has fastened in his
    tunic a small metal plate bearing his registration number.
    Non-commissioned officers are distinguished by a white linen armlet,
    crossed by a blue band for corporals, and by a red band for sergeants.
    The sergeant-major wears a red armlet.

    _Hygiene._–The drinking-water used in camp is drawn by two steam pumps
    from a well sunk to a great depth close to the Nile. The Nile water,
    after passing through a kind of natural filter, is thus lifted into a
    reservoir above the camp, and is distributed in all directions by
    gravity. The bacteriological analysis made every week when the supply
    was first opened–now once a month–showed the water to be perfectly

    Water for washing purposes is plentiful. Hot and cold shower-baths are
    installed throughout the camp. The prisoners are obliged to use them
    once a week, but may, if they choose, have a bath four times a day. In
    summer especially the baths are never idle.

    Prisoners get plenty of soap and wash their own linen on wooden tables
    arranged under water taps.

    Two high-pressure steam disinfecting chambers serve the camp, and once a
    week all blankets are passed through them. The camp contains no fleas,
    lice, or bugs.

    The day latrines are 100 yards from the living quarters. They are of the
    Turkish kind, with movable tubs–1 tub for every 10 men. Every tub
    contains some cresol solution. The night-soil is removed daily by the
    Cairo road authorities and converted into manure. Some latrines close to
    the barracks are kept for night use and are locked up during the day.

    _Medical Attention._–The medical service of Maadi Camp is in the hands
    of head-doctor Captain Scrimgeour, who in time of peace practised in
    Nazareth. He is assisted by an English doctor-adjutant, and 4 Arab
    doctors, natives of Syria. All these doctors speak Turkish and Arabic.
    Nine English orderlies and 12 Turkish orderlies carry out the sick
    duties. A dentist comes to camp when required.

    The infirmary included three well-appointed quarters built in masonry,
    and able to hold 40 patients.

    The infirmary bedding accommodation consists of iron bedsteads with
    spring mattress and stuffed mattress. The blankets are warm and
    unlimited in number.

    _Illness._–Every morning 300-400 prisoners come on sick parade. This
    number represents about 8 per cent. of the strength. Although these men
    often come to be treated for trifling ailments, such as slight
    constipation, or even a small boil, the doctors make it a rule not to
    prevent anyone going sick, as this course enables them to keep the
    closer watch upon the health of the camp.

    On the occasion of our visit there were in the infirmary 7 men laid up:
    1 with itch, 1 with diarrhoea, 1 with neuralgia, 1 with an abscess in
    the neck, 1 with articular rheumatism, and 1 with gastritis. A prisoner
    who had been trepanned by the doctors on account of damage done to his
    skull before his capture, was gradually recovering the power of motion
    and his normal sensibility.

    Since the camp was opened there have been 35 cases of tertian ague, all
    from the Hedjaz, Mecca, Taïf and Jeddah; but no case of aggravated
    malaria. Eleven cases of tuberculosis were sent into the Egyptian Red
    Cross hospitals and to that at Abbassiah. Six cases of trachoma are now
    undergoing treatment with applications of protargol. In summer there
    have been a few cases of ordinary diarrhoea. The camp has not suffered
    from dysentery, typhoid, typhus, nor any other epidemic disease.

    All prisoners are inoculated against smallpox, typhoid and cholera.

    _The Severely Wounded and those who have lost Limbs._–A special
    quarter of the camp contains 55 men who have lost limbs in the war. They
    are provided with the most perfect prothesis apparatus, jointed
    artificial limbs. Among them are 2 blind men. Sixty other wounded who
    have escaped more lightly suffer from stiffness of the joints, ankylosis
    and atrophy. They are well provided with sticks and crutches.

    _Deaths._–Two aged prisoners have died in the camp, both from apoplexy.
    They were interred with military honours in the Moslem burial-ground
    nearest to the camp.

    _Exercise._–No limit is placed upon the time during which exercise may
    be taken in the open space round the barracks.

    _Work._–The prisoners have not to do work. Several attempts have been
    made to teach them boot-making, but their results were so unpromising
    that they were given up. Although there are many agriculturists among
    the prisoners, it would not do to use them for work on the land along
    with the natives, owing to the ease with which they could escape and the
    need for having many soldiers to guard them. However, for some weeks
    past the camp commandant has made trial of using some prisoners for
    market gardening on lands beside the Nile, just outside the camp.

    _Discipline._–Under the head of discipline there are hardly any
    complaints to make, and punishment has rarely had to be inflicted. One
    case of escape was punished with three months’ imprisonment without any
    alteration in diet. Only tobacco was cut off. An old offender was
    brought before a court-martial, and sentenced by it to six months’
    imprisonment. The prison quarters are cells built entirely of cement,
    with two barred windows well above the ground to light the chamber,
    which is of ample size.

    _Right to Make Complaints._–The camp commandant makes a general
    inspection every day. Every prisoner has the right to step forward and
    make his complaints. The commandant converses with the prisoners through
    the medium of several British officers who speak Arabic and Turkish.
    Moreover, the prisoners have the right of appeal to the
    Commander-in-Chief and to Brig.-General Casson, who often make tours of
    inspection through the camps.

    _Religion._–The prisoners have every opportunity for practising their
    religious observances. For the Mahometans a small mosque has been built,
    round which they spread their praying carpets. Some of them read the
    Koran regularly; others seem indifferent. Despite differences of race,
    origin, and even of religion, good-feeling prevails among the prisoners
    and quarrels are very few in number.

    _Games and Recreations._–As regards games and recreations, the
    prisoners are interested only in wrestling, cards and dominoes. They
    have been introduced to football without success. Some have shown great
    skill in the manufacture of mandolines, guitars, and tambourines. All
    materials as well as games are provided gratis by the British
    Government. The camp commandant has bought the men some gramophones.
    Many prisoners make articles of coloured beads–handbags, purses,
    necklaces, bracelets, etc.–which show considerable artistic taste. We
    bought one of these beautiful pieces of work as a specimen. The articles
    sell readily in the curiosity shops at Cairo. One section of 1,200
    prisoners netted from the sales a sum of 2,500 francs in a fortnight.

    _Correspondence._–Most of the prisoners receive very few letters or
    none. They are allowed to write in their language once a fortnight, but
    take very little advantage of the permission. It seems that many letters
    addressed to their families in Turkey come back again, as the addressee
    has not been found. Some Turks captured near Bagdad and transported to
    Burmah received their money from home, but have not received any more
    during the one or two months that have elapsed since they were
    transferred to Maadi. It is probable that the money was sent home again,
    or forwarded officially to the new place of internment, and this takes a
    long time. Several prisoners have taken advantage of their captivity to
    learn reading and writing with their comrades’ assistance. Many men had
    money on them when they were taken. This money is lodged, and handed to
    them at demand in monthly payments. Many soldiers have received money
    orders from their families through the International Committee of the
    Red Cross. Parcels, which are seldom received, are opened in the
    presence of the addressee. Only knives are confiscated.

    _Help for Prisoners._–Leaving out of consideration the wish expressed
    by some men to have a little money for buying extra tobacco and coffee,
    we are satisfied that there are no needy persons in the camp at Maadi.

    _Mentality._–The many questions which we have asked show that there is
    no dissatisfaction among the prisoners with regard to the treatment they
    receive. Prisoners have mentioned to us chiefly their anxiety about
    their families, of whom they have no news. The Armenian clergy at Cairo
    look after their fellow-countrymen.

    ~4. The Egyptian Red Cross Hospital at Cairo~.

    _(Visited on January 4, 1917.)_

    The Egyptian Red Cross, under the presidency of His Highness Prince Fuad
    Pasha, being anxious to help its co-religionists, founded in March,
    1915, a hospital for sick and wounded prisoners of war. This hospital is
    under the sole management of the Turkish Red Cross, which is in touch
    with the British authorities through Dr. Keatinge, Professor of the
    Faculty of Medicine at Cairo.

    _Sanitary Staff._–All the hospital doctors are Egyptian. In addition to
    the doctor-in-chief, Dr. Abbas Bey Helmey, two doctors, three surgeons,
    and one druggist live in the hospital.

    Consulting doctors come from the town when sent for to treat nose, ear
    and eye troubles. A Cairo specialist also places his X-ray apparatus at
    the service of the hospital patients. The matron is an American, and has
    three English nurses under her.

    Thirty-two orderlies do the ward work.

    _Accommodation._–The Egyptian Red Cross Hospital is installed in an old
    palace of Omar-Pasha Lufti, situated in a large garden, which is very
    shady and well kept. The dimensions of the wards assure easy circulation
    of air and perfect ventilation. As the building was not designed to
    serve its present purpose, the various staffs are somewhat scattered,
    but this difficulty has been got over in a most practical manner. A huge
    corridor gives communication between the wards, which are usually 23
    feet square and 26 feet high. The large wards considerably exceed these
    measurements, and their tasteful decoration gives them a characteristic
    style. On the first floor, the rooms for the consumptive patients
    measure 16 by 16 by 13 feet–a very good cubical allowance for the four
    beds in each. The floor is of large flag-stones. Most of the rooms
    command the garden and a courtyard planted with trees. The building
    occupied by the guard is quite separate from the hospital. Electricity
    is used throughout the buildings.

    _Bedding._–The iron bedsteads, painted with white ripolin, are
    separated from one another by pedestal tables. The spring mattress,
    stuffed mattress, sheets and pillows are in very sound condition. There
    is no limit set to the number of blankets allowed. The beds are covered
    with pretty blue and white quilts, with the Red Cross in the middle.
    This quite recent innovation has a very pretty effect.

    _Food._–The commissariat is arranged by contract with a head cook. The
    menus are drawn up by the doctors according to the diet prescribed. We
    tasted the day’s food and found it excellent. All provisions examined by
    us were of good quality and carefully overlooked. The kitchen, with its
    well-fitted ranges and polished utensils, struck us favourably. The
    cooking and attendance is done by persons engaged by the chef.

    Each man is provided with two bowls of tinned copper and a drinking cup.
    All invalids get sweetened tea twice a day. Officers may choose tea or
    coffee. The following is the hospital dietary:

    _Breakfast_: European bread; fresh milk; 3 eggs; tea; coffee.
    _Lunch_: Mutton; two dishes of vegetables, or macaroni rice;
    salad; rice pudding; coffee; fruit.
    _Dinner_: The same as lunch, but without fruit.

    _Breakfast_: Arab bread; sweetened fresh milk.
    _Lunch_: Arab bread; beef; rice, vegetables.
    _Dinner_: Arab bread; rice soup; rice pudding.

    _Breakfast_: Bread, 350 grm.; sweetened milk.
    _Lunch_: Arab bread; soup; beef-tea; rice pudding.
    _Dinner_: Bread, 350 grm.; sweetened milk.

    _Breakfast_: Milk, 400 grm., without sugar.
    _Lunch_: 400 grm. of milk without sugar.
    _Dinner_: 400 grm. of milk without sugar.

    On Sunday and Thursday mutton is replaced by game. On the same two days
    a course of sweetened rice and macaroni is substituted for fruit. The
    ration of Arab bread is 780 grammes for ordinary diet; that of European
    bread 450 grammes. The proportion of other articles is equally liberal.

    _Clothing._–The sick men’s garments are consigned to a storehouse, and
    are replaced by 2 nightshirts, a hospital jacket with a hood, and a pair
    of slippers.

    _Hygiene._–Drinking water is drawn from the town main and filtered
    before use. There is an ample installation of lavatories with running
    water, baths with hot and cold douches, and Turkish baths. Turkish
    latrines have been fitted in the annexes of the palace. Natives do the
    laundry work and ironing.

    _Special Quarters._–The Red Cross Hospital is provided with a spacious,
    well-lighted theatre for operations, and all the necessary apparatus. In
    a neighbouring ward a powerful fumigating stove, built by natives after
    a French model, enables instruments and dressings to be completely
    sterilised. Since the introduction of this perfected method of
    sterilisation cases of infection and erysipelas have entirely
    disappeared from the hospital, and post-operation mortality has been
    reduced to barely one quarter per cent.

    There is a laboratory devoted to summary analyses; more complete
    chemical or bacteriological analyses are carried out in the town
    institution. The dispensary is well supplied, containing all the most
    modern medicaments.

    Six wards are reserved for tuberculous cases, who have their own special
    nurses. Such consumptives as are not confined to bed pass most of the
    day in one of the palace gardens which is assigned to them.

    One ward is occupied by wounded officers; another by the
    non-commissioned officers. Two more wards are set apart for patients
    suffering from dysentery. Operation cases are assembled in a special
    chamber adjoining the theatre. Three comfortable English hospital tents
    erected in the garden serve as accommodation for convalescents who have
    to vacate their beds in the palace when an unexpected influx of sick or
    wounded prisoners takes place. All the wards are clean and well kept; at
    the head of each bed is a medical chart detailing the illness and the

    _Sickness._–Since March 17, 1915, the date of its foundation, up to the
    day of our visit, the Egyptian Red Cross Hospital has treated 2,245
    wounded or sick prisoners.

    There are at the present time 149 prisoners under treatment, 8 Ottoman
    officers and 141 soldiers, distributed as follows:

    Surgical cases (wounds): 66; among them 13 invalids and 6 who have
    undergone amputation and have been detained a long time in the hospital.

    Internal ailments: 38; we may mention among the most serious cases of
    this kind noticed by us, 4 suffering from bilious haemoglobinurea, all
    from Bagdad; 6 from dysentery, anaemic and enfeebled patients; 4 from
    chronic nephritis.

    Eye affections: 25.

    Consumptives: 20.

    Which make up the total of 149 cases.

    Among the officers under treatment we may mention: 1 wounded right knee,
    1 scalp wound, 1 compound fracture of the thigh, 1 neck wound, 1 bullet
    wound in the chest, 1 bullet wound in the face, all recent cases coming
    from El Arish.


    Number Number
    Cause of Death. of Deaths of Deaths
    in 1915. in 1916.
    Surgical cases 30 17
    Pleurisy 2 5
    Dysentery 8 19
    Typhoid 1 1
    Pericarditis 1 2
    Pneumonia 3 11
    Pulmonary tuberculosis — 26
    Intestinal tuberculosis — 21
    Nephritis — 5
    Gangrene — 1
    Hepatitis — 1
    Pernicious anaemia — 1
    — —
    Total 45 110
    === ===

    The dead were buried in the Musulman cemetery with military honours,
    such comrades as were well enough attending the ceremony.

    ~5. The Cairo Citadel Camp.~

    _(Visited on January 3, 1917.)_

    This camp occupies the curious Jewel-Palace, one of the monuments of the
    citadel, and contains only women and children coming from Hedjaz, who
    were captured near Mecca.

    The dates of arrival are as follows:

    Women and Children.
    1st convoy of 123 September 11, 1916
    2nd ” ” 66 October 16, 1916
    3rd ” ” 26 ” 28, 1916
    4th ” ” 82 November 7, 1916
    5th ” ” 132 ” 29, 1916

    _Numbers._–The total includes 229 women and 207 children (7 of whom
    were born in camp), and a further batch of 200 women is expected

    _The Head Matron_ is Miss Lewis. It is she who has the management and
    full control of this camp, which, by its character and its diversity of
    nationalities, classes and religions, demands great patience, tact and
    kindness–qualities possessed in the highest degree by Miss Lewis. She
    devotes herself entirely, and most capably, to this often very
    ungrateful task, and we welcome this chance of conveying to her the
    expression of our appreciation.

    Those interned are divided into three classes. The first class consists
    of officers’ wives and children; the second class, of those of the
    non-commissioned officers; and the third class, of soldiers’ wives and
    servants. This classification has been adopted in order that the
    dormitories shall be occupied by persons of as nearly as possible the
    same social standing.

    _Accommodation._–The important group of buildings known as Saleh-el-din
    (Saladin) comprises a great number of rooms whose size and curious
    ornateness contrast strangely with their present use as a concentration
    camp for civilian prisoners. From the windows of these apartments one
    looks across the panorama of Cairo, with its mosques, its minarets and
    the misty background of the desert.

    The 40 inhabited rooms are allotted in three sections, corresponding to
    the social classification established for the interned women.

    The rooms and corridors are paved throughout with marble, but the
    general distribution of mats and even beautiful carpets gives an
    impression of comfort. The large dimensions of the chambers, as compared
    with the smallness of the number of occupants, give plenty of room for
    exercise and work. Corridors and vestibules connect the different
    buildings. They are lighted with paraffin lamps.

    An extensive garden is always at the prisoners’ disposal.

    _Bedding._–The japanned iron bedsteads are furnished with spring and
    stuffed mattresses, sheets, blankets, and pillows. In their arrangement
    one notices the influence of personal taste. Embroidered coverlets,
    hangings and upholstery give to some of the apartments an aspect of
    comfort and even of elegance. The military administration supplies all
    the furniture and the regulation bedding, to which the inmates may add
    what they like at their own expense.

    _Dress._–The English authorities supply women and children with all
    their linen and other clothing.

    _Food._–Provisioning is a private enterprise, carried out under a
    contract. The food is the same for all classes, and is unlimited in
    quantity. The women are given as much as they desire of each dish. No
    complaint was made concerning the food, which is wholesome and
    palatable. We visited the kitchen and sampled the day’s menu. Milk in
    large quantities is provided for the children. The meals are served in
    three well-appointed dining-rooms.

    The hours for meals are:
    Breakfast, from 7.30 to 8.30.
    Lunch, from 12.30 to 1.80.
    Supper, from 5.30 to 6.80.

    _Hygiene._–Water is supplied from the town mains. Lavatories are
    installed in the corridors near the dormitories. The inmates may have
    hot and cold baths every day. As to laundry work, those of the first
    class can have it done by their own servants or pay the third-class
    women to do it.

    The W.C.’s consist of movable tubs on the Turkish system, each
    containing a solution of cresol. They are emptied daily by contract into
    the citadel cesspool, which communicates with the main sewer of Cairo.

    _Medical Care and Illnesses._–The Head Physician, Captain Scrimgeour,
    comes to the camp every day; a Greek doctor also visits it four times a
    week at 9 o’clock in the morning. These two doctors both speak Turkish
    and Arabic fluently. Three trained nurses and an English midwife take
    charge of the infirmary. As Moslems usually have very good teeth, the
    services of a dentist are not often needed.

    The infirmary is very commodious. It consists of a consulting-room, with
    a couch for examinations; a surgery, and a sick ward.

    In the infirmary register the name, the disease, the treatment and the
    course of the illness are all duly noted.

    When the internment camp was opened a hundred prisoners applied for
    treatment daily; many had suffered great privations previous to their
    capture. At the present time only 5 or 10 patients take advantage of the
    doctor’s visit; and these are mild cases, chiefly bronchitis,
    constipation, diarrhoea, and eye affections among women and children,
    and some cases of heart affections and chronic bronchitis among the old

    There is neither malaria, dysentery nor typhus in the camp, and no
    epidemic malady. An early case of tuberculosis, without Koch’s bacillus
    in the sputa, was cured.

    On the day of our visit to the infirmary we found 5 patients in bed or
    crouched in the oriental manner upon their bedsteads; 1 suffering from
    senile paralysis, 2 from bronchitis, 1 from inflammation of the ears,
    and 1 from general debility.

    _Maternity._–Confinements not being uncommon, it was necessary to
    establish a maternity ward. There were 5 births during the last three
    months of 1915. Two more occurred upon the day we inspected the camp,
    mothers and infants doing well.

    _Deaths._–Up to that time there had only been one death at the Citadel
    Camp, that of a baby prematurely born, which died from debility at the
    age of 18 days.

    _Education._–A school has been started in the camp, and all boys as
    well as girls up to 12 years old are obliged to attend it. A mistress
    teaches them Turkish and Arabic, and also gives them half an hour’s
    instruction in English daily.

    _Religious Services._–The imaum came once to hold a Mahometan service,
    but the interned women expressed no desire that he should repeat his
    visit. However, an old woman, chosen from among them, reads the Koran
    aloud upon feast days.

    _Intellectual Diversions._–The women seem to have no needs or desires
    on this score. They pass their days in talking and smoking.

    The camp has been presented with a gramophone.

    _Work._–This is absolutely voluntary. The head nurse has organised a
    little dressmaking class, the wife of a former president, Sir B.
    McMahon, having given her £10 with which to buy the necessary materials.
    The results will be divided equally among those who did the work, but as
    most of the women have plenty of money they are not energetic over it.

    _Money._–Many of those interned had money on them, sometimes a large
    amount, when captured; the whole of which has been left in their hands.
    They often send money through the agency of British officers to their
    husbands who are prisoners in Maadi Camp, or at Sidi Bishr, near
    Alexandria. Others, on the contrary, receive allowances from their
    husbands. Some money orders have also come through the International Red
    Cross Committee.

    _Correspondence._–Each person interned has the chance of writing once a
    week; those who do not know how to write get help from their companions.
    An interpreter is attached to the camp. Many letters arrive through the
    medium of the International Red Cross Committee, but the exchange of
    correspondence is not generally very active.

    _Wishes of the Interned._–Some of the women express a wish to see their
    husbands more often, at least once a month; others wish to see their
    sons or brothers who are prisoners at Maadi or at Sidi Bishr. This being
    a legitimate and comprehensible desire, the English Government has
    several times already allowed the husbands to come from these camps (4
    hours distant by train) to spend three or four days with their wives in
    the Citadel. A part of the building containing 12 rooms has been
    reserved for these visits. But it would clearly be impossible to permit
    these indulgences often, as they entail considerable expense, and
    require much organisation and surveillance.

    _Repatriation._–Some of the women beg to be sent back to Turkey, which
    the British Government has already offered to do. Many, on the other
    hand, prefer to remain in Cairo. The American chargé d’affaires in
    Egypt, M. Knabenschuh, is considering this question. He has visited the
    camp several times, and has transmitted different propositions of the
    English Government to the Sublime Porte. The first offer was to
    repatriate the interned women and children by means of an American
    vessel, which would land them at the port of Mersina in Asia Minor. The
    second was to take them back to Turkey in an English hospital ship,
    which should at the same time carry medical supplies, food and clothing
    to the English prisoners in Asia Minor, and bring away about 25 English
    ladies who had been made prisoners in Mesopotamia. Finally, the English
    Government offered to repatriate the Turkish women without any
    reciprocity conditions. Unhappily, up to now all these proposals have
    borne no fruit. The English Government sincerely desires to be freed
    from the maintenance and surveillance of these people, whom it took
    under its care merely for reasons of humanity.

    _Special Inquiry at the Citadel Camp._–During our visit to the Maadi
    Camp, Dr. Suleïman Bey, head physician at Taïf, a town of the Hedjaz,
    told us that he had personally nothing to complain of in the camp
    treatment, but that his wife and children, interned in the Cairo
    Citadel, were suffering greatly from the conditions there. What he
    especially criticised was the diet and the medical attendance. These
    complaints, made in much detail, seemed to us to deserve a specific
    inquiry, and we went again to the Citadel next day. We closely
    cross-questioned Mme. S. and another of the ladies. Her replies,
    collected and confronted with the official data, our personal
    observations, and the testimony of the other interned, absolutely
    convinced us that Dr. Suleïman’s accusations had no real foundation.
    Mme. S. assured us that meat was only provided three times weekly. We
    have proof that meat is served six times each week, a quarter of an
    English pound being supplied to each person. After telling us that the
    cheese and olives were of the worst quality, she finished by owning that
    she only found the cheese too salt and the olives monotonous. Mme. S.,
    who purchased coffee, biscuits, fruit and bonbons at the canteen, would
    not touch ordinary bread because it was not good enough for her. This
    bread, which is provided by the best bakery in Cairo, is served fresh
    twice a day to whoever desires it. Mme. S. has enough money to buy any
    food that she wishes, either from the canteen or by ordering it in from
    the town. Her companions, less rich and less dainty, find the food
    provided by the camp kitchen both excellent and abundant.

    As Dr. Suleïman Bey complained that his two sick children, interned at
    the Citadel with their mother, received no medical care, they were
    examined by Dr. Blanchod. The one suffered on its arrival in camp from
    ophthalmia, now completely cured, no trace of photophobia remains, no
    redness nor oedema; the other had its sub-maxillary glands enlarged;
    these glands are now reduced and nothing to worry about.

    These two children have received constant care from (Dr.) Captain
    Scrimgeour, their names are repeatedly entered in the infirmary
    register, and their mother herself expressed gratitude for the care
    which had been lavished upon them.

    Dr. Suleïman Bey’s complaints upon this point therefore proved equally

    ~6. The Ras-el-Tin Camp.~

    _(Visited January 5, 1917.)_

    This camp of interned civilians is situated on a rising ground beside
    the sea, 5 kilometres (3 miles) from Alexandria.

    The camp contains 45 Ottoman civilians of military age, and 24 others;
    the latter are all elderly men, or have been exempted from military
    service owing to illness. There is one priest (imaum). We also found 400
    Austro-Germans interned at Ras-el-Tin; many of them had been in Egypt
    when war was declared and could not get home.

    Though our mission was to visit the Turkish prisoners, we made a point
    of concerning ourselves equally with the Austrians and Germans, and of
    entering into conversation with them.

    Several Ottoman prisoners in the camp were making the pilgrimage to
    Mecca when they were captured by the Sherif’s troops and passed over to
    the English authorities, who interned them. The camp at Ras-el-Tin was
    to be evacuated in a few days’ time, and all the occupants were to be
    transferred to Sidi Bishr Camp, now prepared to accommodate 5,000 men.
    In this camp there will be a special section for civilians.

    The commandant of Ras-el-Tin is Major F.G. Owens, who takes the greatest
    interest in his prisoners. Every day he personally receives anyone who
    has a wish or a complaint to bring forward.

    The camp was visited in 1916 by the American Consul from Alexandria, and
    also by the American chargé d’affaires from Athens.

    _Accommodation._–The civilians interned in the camp of Ras-el-Tin are
    placed in tents. These circular tents, set up either on the sand or on a
    cement base, each contain three men. Those of the Ottoman prisoners form
    one sectional group of 24 tents. In the centre of each tent is a
    wire-work cupboard to contain personal belongings. The space inside the
    tent is ample for the three beds. Some prisoners are provided with
    matting and small rugs.

    In the stone buildings surrounding the court a certain number of rooms
    are reserved which open upon a veranda. Each contains three beds. These
    comfortably fitted-up chambers are assigned to elderly prisoners or to
    those in weak health. The rest of the camp buildings are occupied by the
    administrative quarters, the kitchens, refectories, canteens, etc. The
    English guard is lodged under canvas in a special section. The camp is
    lighted by electricity.

    _Bedding._–The bedsteads are iron provided with a wire-spring
    mattress, a squab of vegetable fibre and a sufficient number of
    blankets. All the bedding is kept scrupulously clean.

    _Food._–The commissariat is supplied by a private contractor. A
    committee presided over by the camp commandant, and composed of
    delegates from among the prisoners, arrange the menus for each week. The
    kitchen is very clean, and the prisoners do not provide the personnel.

    Here is the menu for Friday, January 5, 1917,
    the day of our visit:
    _Breakfast_: Porridge; milk; chocolate; butter; bread.
    _Lunch_: Haricot soup; ragoût of beef and potatoes.
    _Dinner_: Rice soup; hashed meat (moussaka), with vegetables;
    eggs; tea.

    The prisoners’ menu is extended on Thursdays and Sundays by an extra
    dish and cake of some sort. We examined the day’s provision in the
    kitchen, and found it wholesome and appetising. When pork is included in
    the menu, which happens rarely, this item is replaced, in the case of
    the Turkish prisoners, by a dish of eggs and vegetables.

    A second kitchen staff, installed in a separate room, prepares a special
    menu which the prisoners can have by paying for it. The commandant
    himself authorised the reservation of this kitchen to provide for such
    prisoners as possess ample means.

    Here is the extra menu for January 5, 1917:
    _Lunch_: Italian dumplings; roast veal; salad and gherkins.
    _Dinner_: Soup “parmentier”; fish croquettes; braised beef with cabbage.

    The meals are served at:
    Breakfast, half-past seven.
    Lunch, one o’clock.
    Dinner, half-past five.

    Three canteens furnish all kinds of commodities to the prisoners–ham,
    sausages, preserves, cakes, chocolate, fruits, wine, beer, etc. The
    prices are exactly the same as in the English army canteens. A shop, run
    by a Bulgarian merchant, is permitted for the sale of tobacco, cigars
    and cigarettes. Besides this there is a Viennese who makes cigarettes in
    the camp itself. On Christmas Day the commandant made a generous
    distribution of cigarettes to all the interned men at his own expense.
    They can also obtain at the bar tea, coffee and other drinks. In point
    of fact, we made sure that the camp administration has organised the
    commissariat in a manner that meets all needs.

    _Clothing._–The men arrived in camp in their own clothes. When these
    began to wear out the administration furnished a new outfit, which
    consists of two flannel shirts, two knitted pairs of drawers, a vest and
    trousers of blue cloth, an overcoat, a police hat or a fez for the
    Turks, socks and slippers. The Mahometans receive Turkish slippers. All
    prisoners have a red scarf and two handkerchiefs. A well-found shop
    sells under-clothing at moderate prices, and articles of outfit, scent,
    post-cards and watches.

    _Hygiene._–Drinking water, abundant and wholesome, is brought from the
    mains of the town of Alexandria. Besides the toilet lavatories, there
    are 4 bathrooms supplied with hot water and cold douches always
    available. The prisoners go in parties to bathe in the sea near the
    camp, under guard of British soldiers.

    The prisoners do their own washing, numerous wash-houses being provided
    for the purpose.

    The latrines are partly on the English and partly on the Turkish system,
    1 to every 10 men, cleanly kept. They are disinfected daily. The floor
    and the lower part of the chambers are treated with cresol; the upper
    part is whitewashed. The sewers discharge into the sea. The sweepings
    are burnt in a special stove.

    _Medical Attention._–The sanitary condition of the camp is inspected at
    regular intervals by the Colonel, medical director of Hospital No. 21,
    Alexandria. Captain (Dr.) Dunne is resident in the camp; he pays a
    medical visit each day at 9 o’clock. Eight to ten prisoners out of the
    total in camp may present themselves for treatment, among them 1 or 2

    An interned Turkish civilian, Abrahim Assan, by calling an employee in a
    Constantinople factory, who speaks French and English perfectly, serves
    as orderly-interpreter.

    An English Red Cross orderly assists the doctor. An Austrian dentist,
    formerly in business at Cairo, gives dental attention to the prisoners;
    he has a complete outfit of instruments.

    The infirmary is well housed in a stone building. It contains a
    consulting-room, supplied with a full-flushed lavatory basin; a sick
    ward with 6 iron beds, mattress and coverings _ad libitum_; an isolation
    ward, and a dispensary.

    Only slight cases are treated at the infirmary; serious cases are
    removed to Hospital No. 21 at Alexandria, situated within 10 minutes of
    the camp, a large modern hospital overlooking the sea.

    On the day of our inspection there were in the infirmary 1 prisoner ill
    with bronchitis; at the hospital 1 tuberculous case and 1 with a wounded

    The sanitary state of the camp has always been excellent. Apart from two
    relapse cases of dysentery in 1916, there has been neither trachoma,
    typhoid, typhus, malaria, nor any other infectious disease. This is
    explained by the fact that the interned civilians were not in bad health
    before their captivity, as was the case with soldiers who had sojourned
    in the desert, whom we saw in the other Egyptian camps.

    There had been no deaths in the camp or at the hospital in Alexandria.
    The orderly, Abrahim Hassan, told us of his own accord that the sick
    receive the most assiduous attention, and have nothing but praise for
    the resident physician.

    _Religion and Amusements._–The prisoners offer their prayers daily. A
    mosque will be built for them in the new camp at Sidi Bishr.

    Catholics are looked after by several Austrian priests, who used to
    manage Catholic schools in Upper Egypt.

    For the Germans and Austrians there is a good circulating library,
    containing English, French and German books.

    The prisoners have formed an orchestra, and organised theatrical
    performances, for which they have painted pretty scenery.

    There is a cinematograph performance every evening. There are a piano
    and harmonium. A photographer, who had an establishment in Cairo before
    the war, practises his art in the camp.

    _Discipline._–The very occasional cases of infraction of rules which
    entail one or more days’ detention in the police cells, have a special
    diet prescribed for them. The military authorities find the general
    conduct of the civilians quite satisfactory.

    _Exercise and Sports._–The prisoners have at their own disposal that
    part of the grounds lying between the tents and the barracks, a broad
    space where they can amuse themselves all day long with football and
    other games.

    They have also a tennis-court, of which the Austro-Germans make more use
    than the Orientals; a committee of the prisoners arrange the hours for
    each set of players. Skittles are very popular. Fencing is eagerly
    learned; the English officer who teaches it being delighted with his
    pupils’ progress. Lessons in gymnastics, like those in other sports, are

    Periodically a gymkhana is got up, with donkey races, gymnastic
    competitions, and the distribution of prizes.

    _Work._–No work is demanded from the prisoners.

    _Correspondence, Money Orders and Parcels._–Very few money orders are
    received. The interned Turks are chiefly illiterate; those whose wives
    are interned at Cairo, and who are allowed to occasionally visit them,
    seldom write, as they know them to be well treated. Parcels are seldom
    sent to the camp, and hitherto no philanthropic society has busied
    itself over the necessitous.

    _Prisoners’ Aid._–The only plea which has been addressed to us by means
    of the Ottoman interpreter, who speaks French and English extremely
    well, comes from a certain number of destitute prisoners. They wish to
    have, in addition to the complete outfit with woollen overcoat supplied
    by the English Government, a change of warm garments, which they have
    not the means to buy. Many find it difficult to wear the kind of
    foot-gear in ordinary use–the heelless leather Turkish slippers–and
    wish for laced shoes such as they wear at home. We asked the interpreter
    to make out a list of names of the needy; and after submitting it to the
    commandant of the camps for verification, we decided to send him from
    the Ottoman Red Cross Fund the sum of 2,000 francs, to provide these
    prisoners with the extra garments which they require, and with shoes and

    ~7. Sidi Bishr Camp.~

    _(Visited on January 6, 1917.)_

    The camp of Sidi Bishr is situated 15 kilometres (9-1/2 miles) to the
    north-east of Alexandria in a healthy spot on the sea shore, where the
    sand dunes form little hillocks intersected by miniature valleys. Palms
    are scattered over it, and it lies open to the fresh breezes. The view
    from the highest points of the camp is very extensive. A recently
    constructed road for vehicular traffic leads into the camp, all the
    appointments of which give the impression that everything has been done
    to make the prisoners as comfortable as possible. A kitchen garden has
    just been laid out in a sheltered place, and a flat piece of ground
    surrounded by palm trees prepared for games, tennis, football, etc.

    _Strength._–The camp at Sidi Bishr contains 430 officers, 60 of whom
    have been here since February, 1915; 410 orderlies captured with their
    officers, on whom they attend, each officer having 1 orderly; 10 imaums

  3. Mr. Sckolnick,

    That was a most impressive piece that you wrote! However, I feel that you should know that ever since the Geneva Convention agreements, not everything is as it appears on the surface. While he was alive, a friend of ours was captured when shot done and became a POW (Army Air Corps) in Europe during WWII. He told us many stories that during WWII, all throughout Europe, the German Stalags holding Allied POW’s, treated their captives with torture and the most foul mistreatments, including starvation (the Japanese camps in Asia for Allied POWs were far worse!). When they got news of Red Cross representatives who were coming to inspect these camps, the had a habit of changing all of the beddings, fatting up the POWs, getting them all cleaned up, and stalling them just long enough to make sure that repairs were made to window-dress the camp so as to pass inspection. The POWs knew what would happen to them if they even uttered a word to the RD inspectors regarding the truth! As soon as the inspectors finished touring the camp, seeing the “bounty” of nutritious foods for the captives, they’d write a favorable report and leave. Of course, as soon as the inspectors were gone, all of the fresh linens, good food, etc were all removed and things went back to the way they were (poor hygeine, torture, etc.). The same things were done in Hanoi, Vietnam during that war, to the US POWs!

    All nations and people are capable of doing anything. It’s a well known fact that the British, for centuries, has been an imperialistic monarchy (The sun never sets on the British Empire)! They have constantly created wars, caused feuds between local tribes and nations, and have stuck their noses into other nation’s affairs. Just look at the Picot-Sykes Agreement, the British Blue Books (especially during WWI), etc. They have continuously robbed blind other nations of their state treasures, and then have the audacity to judge others! A good friend of mine, an Indian Cardiologist who was trained in the UK before coming to the US, told me something that I shall never forget…”The difference between the French and the British is that when the French leave a country after they’ve declared their independence, they leave that country wet! However, when the British leave a country after they’ve declared idependence, they leave that country BONE DRY!”. Do you understand what he meant by this statement? The British would steal anything that wasn’t nailed down from that nation! The British have tried to manipulate every country on the planet for their own greedy purposes! During WWI, the infamous Zimmerman Telegram is now known to have been sent by the British to get the US involved in the war to save their asses! There’s even speculation that the British may have sunk the S.S. Lusitania, blaming the Germans, to get the US into the war. In other words, there isn’t anything that the British wouldn’t do, no suffering that they wouldn’t create, no wars that they wouldn’t start, no allies that they wouldn’t sacrifice, to get what they wanted!! If it wasn’t for the US, the UK wouldn’t exist today!

    So I wouldn’t place a whole lot of creadence in all of that material which you posted above. Some of those reports may actually be true, to an extent. However, never forget that when one is in charge, one can do anything, including making certain “alterations, manipulations and other changes”. After all, consider the sources!

  4. As most of the health problems in the POW camps started and got out of hand towards the end of 1917 and into 1918 and 1919 (yes, that late), the ICRC report above does not prove anything at all. Yes, it gives some useful information, but only prior to the major “catches” of Ottoman POW starting in late 1917. Would we want to judge the destruction of the WWII, especially towards the end, by referencing reports which only cover the first couple of years? Well, then, the same holds true for the Great War. The ICRC report covers the period when conditions were relatively good. The diet of:
    Here is the extra menu for January 5, 1917:
    _Lunch_: Italian dumplings; roast veal; salad and gherkins.
    _Dinner_: Soup “parmentier”; fish croquettes; braised beef with cabbage.
    was for show to keep the ICRC happy.

  5. That dumbo carved big stripped lady presenting big breasts and directing his bottom. That graphic is shocking. This idiot might choose any tattoo from , although we assume he simply planned to get us angry.

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