The GOC has sent the following letter to the Turkish Commander-in-Chief:
29 APRIL 191616/2/1332
Hunger forces me to lay down our arms, and I am ready to surrender to you my brave soliders, who have done their duty, as you affirmed when you said: "Your gallant troops will be the most sincere and precious guests."
Be generous then: they have done their duty. You have seen them in the Battle of Ctesiphon; you have seen them during the retirement; and you have seen them during the siege of Kut for the last five months, in which I have played the strategic role of blocking your counter-offensive and allowed time for our reinforcements to arrive in Iraq.
You have seen how they have done their duty, and I will be certain that the military history of this war will affirm this in a decisive manner.
I send two of my officers, Captain Morland and Major Gilchrist, to arrange details.
I am ready to put Kut into your hands at once, and go into your camp as soon as you can arrange details, but I pray to you to expedite the arrival of food.
I propose that your chief medical officer should visit my hospitals with my primary medical officer. He will be able to see for himself the state of some of my troops – there are some without arms and legs, some with scurvy. I do not suppose you wish to take these into captivity, and in fact the better course would be to let the wounded and sick go back to India.
The Chief of the Imperial Staff, London, wires me that the exchange of prisoners of war is permitted. An equal number of Turks in Egypt and India would be liberated for the same number of combatants.
Accept my high regards.
Commanding 6th Division and Forces at Kut
I would also add to the above that there are strong grounds for hoping that the Turks will eventually agree to all being exchanged. I have received notification from the Turkish Commander-in-Chief, to say I can start for Constantinople soon. Having arrived there, I shall petition to be allowed to go to London on parole and see the Secretary of State for War and get you exchanged at once. In this way I hope to be of great assistance to you all.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your devotion to duty and your discipline and bravery, and may we meet soon in better times.
29th April, 1916
Commanding 6th Division