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Diary of military operations in Iraq, 1917-08-18 - 1918-02-23

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 63/1

Scope and Contents

The diary begins with Crocker's battalion camped on the River Diyala, defending the perimeter of Windiyeh, to the northwest of Baghdad. There is a sketch map indicating this position on page 1a. The entries record Crocker's daily activities as commanding officer, inspecting company positions, overseeing the preparation of new defensive lines and training his men. There are brief references to contact with local sheikhs and an account of Crocker's trip to Baghdad on leave in early October to recover from a fever. Crocker makes reference to the trying climatic conditions and the continual difficulties in securing supplies, and describes the battalion's work digging trenches and building earthworks against possible Turkish attacks. The diary moves on to describe the action against the Turkish forces in front of the high ground at the Jebel Hemrin, which began in mid October 1917. There is a detailed sketch map to accompany these entries on p. 48. Thereafter, the battalion was encamped on Beacon Nullah, halfway between Seraijiq on the Khalis canal and Qalat al Mufti on the Diyala River, where it practised field exercises in the winter in preparation for the coming campaign in northern Iraq.


  • Creation: 1917-08-18 - 1918-02-23


Conditions Governing Access

From the Fonds:

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Biographical / Historical

Herbert Edmund Crocker (1877-1962) was born on 10 September 1877, the son of H.J. Crocker and Blanche Greenhill. He attended Shrewsbury School, 1892-1894, and studied French in Paris for two years. He obtained a commission as Lieutenant in the Essex Regiment in 1900, and served in the South African War. In 1901 he was seconded to the North Nigerian Regiment. During the First World War Crocker commanded the 13th Signal Company at Gallipoli, where he was wounded. He was appointed second-in-command of the 8th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, which arrived in Mesopotamia in late February 1916. He became battalion commander during the capture of Hai Salient on 15 February 1917, and retained this position until the end of the war. Crocker retired in 1929, and died on 13 May 1962.


1 volume(s) (1 volume (80 pages)) : paper

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

MSS Addenda, vol. I.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The provenance of the collection is unknown.


This collection level description was created by RAS using information from the original typescript catalogue and the entry on Herbert Crocker in 'Who was who', 1961-1970 (London, 1979), pp. 257-258.


Crocker, Herbert Edmund, 1877-1962, Lieutenant-Colonel

Finding aid date

2003-09-16 11:48:14+00:00

Includes index.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom