H C Armstrong

H.C. Armstrong
( April, 1939)

DURING the War [World War I] he was caught in the siege of Kut and captured by the Turks with the whole of the Sixth Army Division. He marched as prisoner from the extreme south of Arabia, through Syria and up into Turkey. While prisoner he tried to escape, was given six months imprisonment for the attempt, told Enver Pasha what he thought of him and was imprisoned in the condemned cell. Subsequently, and as an illustration of the bizarre side of Turkish life, he was released from prison, made Staff Officer for all prisoners of war, and on one occasion acted as prosecutor and interpreter on the Turkish courts-martial which tried prisoners-of-war camp commanders for offences against prisoners. He escaped from Turkey before the end of the War, mainly through bribery. After the War he was posted back to Turkey for some years, during which he was in constant touch with the Turks, including Mustafa Kemal, and watched the rise of New Turkey. He has written Turkey in Travail, Turkey and Syria Reborn, Unending Battle, and Grey Wolf, Lord of Arabia, the latter two both in Penguin Books.