James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Promotion, gongs, NW Frontier

Following the Fall of Kut, Major-General Stanley Maude, then commanding 13th Division, took command of the so-called Tigris Corps in July 1916 and the following month he took command of the entire front. He immediately set about reorganising and re-supplying British and Indian forces in the region and rapidly established a reputation as the most successful commander of either side operating in Mesopotamian. 13th Division was involved throughout the ensuing campaign and helped close the net on the Turks in Mesopotamia. Maude’s new approach and improvements due to the changes he instigated culminated in a decisive defeat of the Turks in February 1917 and the capture of Baghdad on 11 March 1917. The simultaneous capture of the Berlin-Baghdad railway brought about the end of Germany’s involvement with Turkey. Gethin was promoted Lieutenant Colonel in June 1917 and became General Staff Officer Grade 1 of 13th Division, Mesopotamian Exeditionary Force, in September, a month after Maude had mentioned him in dispatches. He was mentioned in despatches five times during the second and third attempts to relieve Kut, and during the occupation of Baghdad in 1917. In December that year he spent a week in hospital with a fractured rib and in May 1920 he sailed on HT Bankura to India where he spent six weeks on leave, returning in HT Erinpura.

From February to October 1920 he took command of the young soldiers of the 52nd Graduated Battalion (S.W.B.). He then headed east again to take up his appointment as Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General, Waziristan Force. Waziristan, a mountainous region lying along the border of Afghanistan (map) had been an area of unrest for some time but the so-called Third Afghan War (1919-22) when one branch of the native Wazir tribe, the Mahsuds, revolted against the British was the most serious uprising. Gethin became Assistant Adjutant General and then Assistant Quarter Master General of the Waziristan Force and in November 1920 Assistant Adjutant and Quarter Master General. of the Wana Columns – Wana is the former name of South Waziristan. For his involvement in this campaign he was awarded the CBE and again mentioned in dispatches.