Special Commissions (Dardanelles and Mesopotamia) Act 1916

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The Special Commissions (Dardanelles and Mesopotamia) Act 1916 (6 & 7 Geo. V) was set up to investigate the World War I operations in the Dardanelles Campaign and the Mesopotamian campaign.

Following the disasters in Mesopotamia and the Dardanelles in 1916, the recently ousted British Prime Minister, H. H. Asquith, demanded a select committee to inquire into the relevant military campaigns. Instead the new Government appointed a statutory Special Commission, because a Government may…prefer to…appoint…an outside element...less likely to be influenced by party bias.[1]

The terms of the Act required that at least one naval and one military officer from the retired lists should serve on each Commission.

Mesopotamia 1916-17[edit]

The Commission of Inquiry's remit was to inquire into the origins, inception and conduct of operations of war in Mesopotamia.

The following were appointed

The Commission summonded over 100 witnesses. It was highly critical of many individuals and the administrative arrangements.

  • William Babtie, responsible for medical provision on the Mesopotamia front, was heavily criticised

Dardanelles 1916-19[edit]

See Dardanelles Commission

The following were appointed


  1. ^ Anson, I, 400, op.cit