Faces of Salonika : Bill Devereux and the Great Fire

My thanks go to Richard Devereux who provided this photo of his grandfather, Bill, enjoying a cigarette in the ruins of Salonika in the aftermath of the Great Fire, having done his bit to help.

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The Great Fire : I Saw Salonika Burn, 18 August 1917

The author … here gives a magnificently graphic description of the inexorable fire which swept over the city in August 1917. Mr Collinson Owen at this time was editor of the soldier’s newspaper “The Balkan News”, and with the characteristic resource of a keen journalist only missed two days’ publication through the ravage of his office and printing works.

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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”

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.

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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!”