In an Article on the Capture Kut by Major Donald Clark, he states :-
" The surrender of Kut was an inglorious end to a sad chapter of British military muddle. The Turks, having closed the ring around Kut, were content to fight off the relief attempts while waiting for the town to starve into submission, yet during this time of waiting Townshend made no attempt to break out or join up with the relieving force. Nor did he immediately conduct a thorough assessment of his force's food supply. Certainly Townshend's conduct, his character and personality, are at the centre of the controversy which surrounds the surrender of Kut. "
Attached are two signals, one personal and one official, sent by General Townshend at the time of the Kut surrender. The personal signal was a message to his wife sent c/o Sir Wilfred Peek just two days before the surrender, which seems to be full of self-pity and devoid of self-blame.
The signal to his wife reads :-
" Write Alice tell her the hole I am in here through the fault of others, when I think, tell her how all conduct of operations was put on to me and not one word of praise and no thanks for all I have done throughout this campaign. I have only one desire that to leave the Army as soon as peace comes. I am ill and weak but a little better today. Tell her I have some six or seven hundred pounds in pay at ? which I will instruct them to send her. If I have to go into captivity, it will kill me.
signed - Charles Townshend - April 27th.
The final official signal sent 29/4/16 from Kut to HQ. B.E.F. at 1.20 pm reads :-
" A Turkish regiment approaching fort to take over guards in Kut. I have hoisted the " white flag " over town and fort. Troops commence going into camp near Shumran at 2 oclock. Will shortly destroy the wireless, it is worn out as it is.
1.35 pm - General Townshend
To All Ships and Stations from Kut, Good-Bye and Good Luck to all.
The surrender followed a failed attempt to buy the Garrison's freedom, first with 1 million pounds, and then with 2 million pounds.
On April 29 Townshend destroyed his guns and ammunition and told Khalil he was ready to surrender. At 1300 hours the Garrison wireless tapped out ' Good-Bye ' and was destroyed.
The strength of the Garrison when surrender came was 13,309. The total casualties amounted to 3,776 of which 1,025 had been killed or died of wounds, 2,446 were wounded and 721 had died of disease. The hospital in Kut contained 1,450 sick and wounded on April 29 most of whom were exchanged at once, followed by a further group three months later.
Copies of the 2 signals attached, also a photograph of General Townshend ( seated in the middle ) taken with his Turkish captors immediately after the surrender.