On UNESCO World Poetry Day it’s good to be able to highlight a book which takes the Salonika campaign as its theme: Bill, by Richard Devereux. Richard is a Bristol based poet who has been widely published in anthologies and magazines.
This collection of poems tells the story of Richard’s grandfather, Bill Devereux, who enlisted in 1914 ‘…to escape. For adventure’. Described as ‘Private Everyman’, Bill spent three years on the Balkan front in northern Greece with 11/Worcestershire (26th Division), where he was wounded in action. On returning home he married his sweetheart, Charity Burden, and moved to find work in the Black Country. Themes explored in the book include the interaction between the men and their young officers and a view of Greece in the years immediately following the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Richard describes Bill as “… a warm and generous man, a fine athlete in his youth and the ‘life and soul’ of any social gathering. He could ‘recall long yards of verse’.” So this sounds like the ideal tribute.
Today is also World Puppetry Day, but I’ve failed to find anything of relevance to the Salonika campaign!