Dates Factory

The Facility

Dates Factory

The Process

Date Pickers at Rest
Date Packing
Loading the Dhow with Dates
Loading the Dhow
Dates Loaded on the Dhow

Factory Personnel

Date Packer and Family
Date Packer's Hut
Dates Factory Workers' Huts

Factory Management

Dates Factory Head Man

Somewhere to Eat

River Cafe, Mesopotamia


21 British General Hospital, Alexandria

No 21 BGH was located at the Ras-el-Tin barracks in Alexandria.

When it was decided to undertake operations in the Dardanelles, four general hospitals were sent to Egypt from the United Kingdom, to act as base hospitals for the force. Two (Nos. 15 and 17) arrived in March, and the other two (Nos. 19 and 21) at the beginning of June 1915. They were all opened in Alexandria, No. 15 in the ”Abbassia Schools,” No. 17 in the Victoria College, No. 19 in the Deaconesses’ Hospital, a German hospital, and No. 21 in Ras-el-Tin barracks. They were nominally under the administrative control of the D.M.S. of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Surg.-General W. G. Birrell, whose representative in Egypt was Colonel Sexton, the A.D.M.S. of the Base at Alexandria.

Source: Medical Services General History Volume III (Medical Services during the Operations on the Western Front in 1916, 1917 and 1918; in Italy; and in Egypt and Palestine), by Major-General Sir W. G. MACPHERSON.

No 21 BGH Alexandria
No 21 British General Hospital, Ras-el-Tin Alexandria
Courtesy: Museums Victoria, Photographer: John Lord, URL:
Compound 21st General Hospital Alexandria, Egypt.
European Pattern Tents at 21 BGH

21 BGH Compound
Officers Quarters, 21 British General Hospital
Rock Breaker, 21 British General Hospital

No 3 British General Hospital, Basra

No. 3 B.G.H. is in the Sheikh of Mohammerah’s town palace. It has some fine rooms off the main hall, which make excellent wards. Adjoining the palace are large hut extensions. They are solidly built to resist the heat. The roofs are thick and sun-proof, the wards are high and airy, with electric lights and fans. So far as structure and conveniences go this Hospital is as good as any one could hope to find in Mesopotamia. A very competent Staff of Doctors and Nurses maintain a high standard of efficiency. Here there is a very nice officers’ ward, to the furnishing of which the Red Cross has done not a little.


No 3 British General Hospital Basra
Hospital Pier No 3 British General Hospital

Beit Nama Officers Convalescent Hospital, Basra

The Officers’ Convalescent Hospital at Beit Nama was opened on July 26, 1916 and was situated just downstream of the No. 3 British General Hospital.

Map of Beit Nama Officers' Hospital Basra
Beit Nama Officers Hospital Photo
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33 British General Hospital, Makina (Basra)

Personnel of 33 British General Hospital (BGH) arrived at Basra on June 11, 1916 on the HS VITA from Bombay. The hospital was initially deployed at TANOUMAH (on the right bank of the river) in 40 European Pattern tents. Within a month, the hospital was split between two locations; TANOUMAH and in the old Liquorice Factory at Makina which had been vacated by the 32 BGH.

No. 33 B.G.H. is in the liquorice factory, not nearly so happily situated as No. 3. It is shut in and airless. There is a mule depot just across the creek which brings an ” infinite torment of flies,” and on the occasion of my visit I found the wards somewhat topsy-turvied by the discovery of plague-infected rats, and consequently of course of plague-infected fleas. The O.C. and the Staff have, however, been well trained to cope with difficulties, and as in the past, so in the future, their cheery optimism, skill and courage will carry them through every difficulty.


Map of 33 BGH Locations at Basra
Compound of No 33 British General Hospital

Llandyrnog Red Cross Convalescent Hospital

Llandyrnog Red Cross Hospital
Staff & Patients Llandyrnog Red Cross Hospital

Bandar Abbas

The HM HS VITA sailed from Basra to Bandar Abbas, Persia on October 4, 1917 arriving the following day.

Bander Abbas Dwelling
Bander Abbas Village Smithy
Bander Abbas Caravan Preparations


Photos of HM HS VITA between 1916 and 1918.

HM HS VITA Leaving Harbour

HM HS VITA (Bombay)

HM HS VITA from Hospital Pier
Pontoon Bridge from Pier to Ship

Life Below Decks

VITA CO's Cabin
HM HS VITA Smoke Room
HM HS VITA Dining Salon
HM HS VITA Lounge & Staircase
HM HS VITA RAMC Orderly's Cabin
RAMC Crew Bunks

On Deck

HM HS VITA Port Promenade Deck

When the VITA was passing through areas known to be mined, patients were brought on deck as a safety precaution.

HM HS Vita Patients on Deck in Mined Areas.
HM HS VITA Patients on Deck
Patients on Deck

Patient’s Wards

HM HS VITA Forward Ward (70 Patients)
HM HS VITA Lower Tween Decks Ward (100 Patients)
VITA Upper Tween Decks Ward (70 Patients)

Operating Theatre

HM HS VITA Operating Theatre
HM HS VITA Operating Theatre

Medical Staff

HM HS VITA Medical-Staff 1917
Angels of Mercy December 1916. HM HS Vita.


HM HS VITA Ventilation System
Thresh Disinfector HM HS Vita

Repatriated Turkish PoWs

HM HS VITA Repatriated Turkish Officers


Photos of Bombay

Photos and images of Bombay 1916 – 1918.

Bombay Apollo Bunder
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Bombay Pioneer Dock
Bombay Unloading-Patients (Governor General Present)
Bombay Unloading Patients to Ambulance
Bombay Loading Troops


Photos and images of Basra.

Ezra’s Tomb:

Ezra's Tomb
Copyright: © IWM (Art.IWM ART 1848)

Beit Nama:

Originally, the BEIT NAMA House had been taken over and allotted to the General Medical Stores Depot. In July 1916, an Indian Medical Services (IMS) officer, Major MUNRO, was appointed in charge of converting it into a new Officer’s Hospital with a capacity of 100 beds. During July, equipment was landed and the place was cleaned by the Sanitary Section.

Beit Nama Officers Hospital Photo
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Zobeir Gate:

Zobeir Gate Basra

Wrecks in the Shatt-el-Arab:

Wrecks in the Shatt-el-Arab deliberately sunk by the Turks to block the channel. The Shatt-el-Arab is the principal stream of the delta of the Euphrates and Tigris after their junction.

Wrecks in the Shatt-el-Arab
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P Boats on the TIGRIS:

British river steamers, known as ‘P Boats’ on the River Tigris below Amara. Each boat would typically have a barge lashed to each side to increase its carrying capacity for troops or equipment. This was standard practice in Mesopotamia during 1915 and 1916, when the number of river steamers was limited.

P Boats on the Tigris
© Col. L A Lynden-Bell MA MC (Q 71329)
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Townshend Bridge:

There were many small bridges constructed over the creeks in and around Basra:

‘MAP OF BASRA AND MAGIL’ [‎42r] (1/2)

Whiteley Bridge     – Ashar Creek
Barratt Bridge         – Ashar Creek
Baghdad Bridge     – Ashar Creek
Dorset Bridge          – Rubat Creek
Malerkotla Bridge – Rubat Creek
Nixon Bridge           – Khandaq Creek
Lake Bridge             – Khandaq Creek
Sapper Bridge        – Unnamed creek/inlet
MacMunn Bridge  – Unnamed creek/inlet
Riddells Bridge      – Unnamed creek/inlet

Townshend Bridge Basra

No 3 British General Hospital:

The No 3 British General Hospital (BGH) arrived at Basra in November 1915 and was located close to the Beit Nama Officer’s Hospital.

Map of Basra Showing No 3 B.G.H.

The following is taken from the Medical History of the War, Volume IV, page 180.

The general hospitals had not arrived in Mesopotamia until after the battle of Sahil. On arrival at Basra “A” section of No. 3 British General Hospital was opened in the palace of the Sheikh of Mohammera, a large two-storied building situated on the right bank of the Tigris. The ground floor was somewhat damp and dark, but the first floor was bright and airy. When it was first opened all casualties were brought to it. The sick of the troops in Basra were collected daily at the main supply depot, a central point on the Shatt-al-Arab, whence they were brought to the hospital by steamer. The steamer on its return journey, carried patients who had been discharged from hospital and were rejoining their units. At the palace a wooden pier was constructed to facilitate the landing and the embarking of cases. The building itself could accommodate 150 patients, and the wards were at first used by both British and Indian sick and wounded. As the number of British troops increased only British casualties were accommodated in the buildings while the Indian troops and followers were treated in European pattern tents pitched in the compound of the palace. Considerable work was done to make the building conform to the requirements of a modern hospital. Fireplaces were made, the walls and floors of the operating theatre were covered with cement, a skylight was constructed and electric light was installed. As an extension was required reed huts were erected in the compound. At first there was a great shortage of bedsteads and the patients lay on mattresses on the brick floors of the palace or on the ground in tents. Local Arab bedsteads, costing one rupee each, were obtained and used until iron bedsteads were sent from India. A portable steam disinfector was used extensively to sterilize the clothing and bedding of the infectious cases and the garments of lice-infested men. Its capacity however was limited and it could not cope with all the work that required to be done.

No 3 British General Hospital Basra