Aid from the British
Oral History Item Type Metadata
We ran all night, and finally ended up in some orchards. We stopped there, and we were close to the city of Urmi. The enemy was not that close to us. Next day, we ended up on a river that runs through Urmi, on the banks of that river. We stayed there, and the enemy was on all sides. We could hear and almost see them. It was awful.
But finally we were able to push the Turks back, and on the eighteenth of July of 1918, a plane landed. A British plane landed in Urmi, saying that the British were close by, near Hamadān, but they were not able to come as far as we were. But if we wanted any help, we had to go to them. Well, our hopes of going to Caucasus were shattered, so our salvation was to go to the British for safety. And so preparations were made to go to the British near Hamadān. And by this time, my sister-in-law's wound was healed, so the family was made up of the four of us.
Somehow my mother -- I don't know where she found the money, but she bought a donkey. So my nephew could ride, and occasionally my sister-in-law, 'cause the wound was still there. And we went along, two or three days, and came to a city, Sarin Kaleh. And there, supposedly we met the British. They were supposed to be there. And the biggest tragedy that could have fallen to us happened there.
A group of uniformed officers, horsemen, stopped the most popular Armenian leader, that the people really cared for and he cared for the people, Gosti Hampartzoomian. Gosti asked these uniformed officers and men -- he asked them in Russian, no answer. German, English, no answer. Then finally, one of them in Turkish says, "Which one of you is the leader?" and of course they point out Gosti. With his sword, he chopped his head right off, caught him by surprise. Of course, right away he was shot; they killed him. But when we heard of Gosti's death, that was the beginning of the most awful period. We experienced a lot of them, but that was the worst. We ran. Everybody dropped everything. We just ran. We ran, ran, ran. (inaudible)