“Vickery, who had directed the battle, was satisfied, but I could not share his satisfaction. To me an unnecessary action, or shot, or casualty, was not only waste but sin. I was unable to take the professional view that all successful actions were gains. Our rebels were not materials, like soldiers, but friends of ours, trusting our leadership. We were not in command
nationally, but by invitation; and our men were volunteers, individuals,
local men, relatives, so that a death was a personal sorrow to many in the army. Even from the purely military point of view the assault seemed to me a blunder.
“The two hundred Turks in Wejh had no transport and no food, and if left alone a few days must have surrendered. Had they escaped, it would not have mattered the value of an Arab life. We wanted Wejh as a base against the railway and to extend our front; the smashing and killing in it had been wanton.”
Events of 25 January 1917 as recounted by T. E. Lawrence in Seven
Pillars of Wisdom (1926).
On 24 January, Feisal’s army had arrived at Habban to find the ship Hardinge waiting in the bay. Here, Lawrence learned that Wejh had indeed already fallen.
Riding into the town the next day, Lawrence was disappointed by the scale of looting, and to learn of a number of casualties suffered by the British and Arabs.