In early 1916 the relief force led by General Aylmer was still trying to reach General Townshend's army who were under siege by the Turkish army at Kut el Amara. Aircraft had begun dropping food parcels over the city but Townshend's soldiers were close to starvation. On 29th April Townshend surrendered. 13,000 soldiers were taken prisoner by the Turks. As a result of disease and neglect more than 4,000 of them did not survive captivity.

General Frederick Maude took over the job of leading an army up the Tigris River to Baghdad and set off in December 1916.

Indian soldiers from General Townshend's Mesopotamia force after four months under siege at Kut el Amara.