This Day in History: 1917-02-03

The 1st Battalion, part of the 37th Indian Brigade in Mesopotamia, led an assault on a Turkish position known as The Liquorice Factory on the south bank of the River Tigris, but met with fierce resistance before seizing the objective on 3rd February after 2 days’ fighting. Battalion casualties were substantial: from an initial force of 545 all ranks three British officers, two Gurkha officers and 82 Other Ranks were killed; two British Officers, five Gurkha Officers and 197 Other Ranks were wounded. The Brigade Commander, Brigadier Carey, wrote: ‘I consider 1/2nd Goorkhas to have particularly distinguished itself in recent operations….they attacked with the greatest gallantry and determination’.

Map showing location of ‘The Liquorice Factory’ near Kut (map from Volume 2 of the Regimental History)