First Battle of Doiran : Centenary Tour

We wish the members of the ‘First Battle of Doiran Centenary Tour’ bon voyage as they make their way to Thessaloniki today. This is an exciting tour as the group – led by SCS Chairman, Alan Wakefield – will have the opportunity to walk the battlefield exactly one hundred years after the opening days of the first Battle of Doiran.

Continue reading “First Battle of Doiran : Centenary Tour”

Remembering Lt John Jones Savin

Lt John Jones Savin was mentioned in an earlier post on the formation of 16 Corps Cyclist Battalion (09/12/2016). It was a name I was familiar with, having read the war diary of 28th Divisional Cyclist Company many times. Continue reading “Remembering Lt John Jones Savin”

The death of Lady Harley

Lady Harley, the sister of Sir John French, was killed in Bitola, Serbia, on 17 March 1917. The New Mosquito issue 17 (April 2008) contained an article – Lady Harley and her Gravestone in Two Languages – by Philp Barnes. This is an extract from the article giving the circumstances of Lady Harley’s death and subsequent burial. Continue reading “The death of Lady Harley”

Faces of Salonika : Refugees

Refugees fleeing conflict are rarely out of the news today, but this is not a new phenomenon. With the Balkans facing its third war since 1912 it is hardly surprising that there were communities of refugees across the region, although they are rarely mentioned. Continue reading “Faces of Salonika : Refugees”

Remembering Edward George Thomas who died in Salonika on 4th March 1917

6/9115 Private Edward George Thomas of 3rd Battalion, Middlesex Regiment was killed on 4th March 1917 and is buried in the CWGC section of the Salonika (Lembet Road) Military Cemetery. He was just 19 and had joined the Battalion in France in August 1915. Continue reading “Remembering Edward George Thomas who died in Salonika on 4th March 1917”

‘Battle Honours’ tour to Salonika – September 2017

The well known battlefield tour company, Battle Honours is running a tour to Salonika in September 2017. The Salonika Walking Tour is from 24 to 29 September and is to be run with the assistance of SCS Chairman and joint-author of Under the Devil’s Eye, Alan Wakefield. You will find more details of the tour at the Battle Honours website. Continue reading “‘Battle Honours’ tour to Salonika – September 2017”

4th March 1917 : Air Raid!

As General Milne, for his part, began his preparations [for a major spring offensive] he was plagued by the German bombing squadron at Hudova. The RFC [Royal Flying Corps] dropped bombs on its aerodrome at dawn on 4th March [1917], but that did not prevent the German bombers from carrying out an attack against the base area later in the day, causing 64 casualties, mostly in No. 29 General Hospital, which had now been twice bombed.

From ‘Official History of the Great War Other Theatres: Military Operations Macedonia – Part 1’ (published 1934, reprinted 1997 and 2011 pp.296-297).

Lembet Road CWGC Cemetery contains the graves of 25 men who died on that day – from a variety of units – who may well have been killed in the air raid.  Canada’s McMaster University Library provides a handy online map showing the location of hospitals in Salonika in June 1916, although this shows 29th General Hospital at Mikra, which doesn’t tie-up with burials at Lembet Road. A photograph at the IWM (HU90800) shows a 29th Stationary Hospital in 1918 at Karaissi, north of Salonika. This is not far from Lembet Road and assuming it is the same establishment, makes more sense. The War Diary of 29 General Hospital will probably tell us more, although sadly as with all BSF war diaries it has not been digitised. If you know more we will be pleased to hear from you.


Damage in the ward of a British Red Cross Hospital caused by air raid carried out by 1st German Air Squadron Salonika, 4th March, 1917. Three people were killed.Damage in the ward of a British Red Cross Hospital caused by air raid carried out by 1st German Air Squadron on Salonika, 4th March, 1917. Three people were killed. © IWM (Q 32774)

BRITISH FORCES IN THE SALONIKA CAMPAIGN 1915-1918
Damage to the interior of a British hospital marquee following a bombing raid by German aircraft in March 1917. BRITISH FORCES IN THE SALONIKA CAMPAIGN 1915-1918 © IWM (Q 32773)

 

Campaigns ‘Away from the Western Front’ explored with help from the National Lottery

Away from the Western Front, a registered charity, is delighted to announce that it has received a grant of £99,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its dynamic First World War centenary project which will explore the heritage of the men and women from Britain and its former Empire who served in the often overlooked campaigns of Salonika, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia and Africa. Continue reading “Campaigns ‘Away from the Western Front’ explored with help from the National Lottery”

Salonika … and all that jazz!

Yesterday (26th February) was the centenary of the what is reckoned to be the first ever commercial jazz recording: Livery Stable Blues by the Original Dixieland Jass Band (they had to change ‘Jass’ to ‘Jazz’ because naughty children kept scratching the ‘J’ out on their posters!). Continue reading “Salonika … and all that jazz!”