UK members should already have received the latest edition of The New Mosquito, timed to coincide with the centenary of the First Battle of Doiran. Issues for overseas members are on their way and should be arriving soon. If you are expecting a copy, but haven’t, please contact the Society. Continue reading “The New Mosquito #35 : April 2017”
The Salonika Campaign Society sends it’s very best wishes to Redwings Adoption Star Muffin – who is also SCS Honorary Member Salonika 4 – on his 30th birthday. We wish you a very happy birthday and hope you enjoy your special party at Redwings Caldecott in Norfolk.
A driver taking mules to water, Salonika, September 1916. © IWM (Q 32318)
Men of an Indian transport unit wrestling whilst mounted on mules at a sports meeting near Salonika in May 1916. THE MACEDONIAN CAMPAIGN 1915 – 1918 © IWM (Q 32057)
In 2015 the Salonika Campaign Society adopted Muffin, a mule resident at the Redwings Horse Sanctuary at Caldecott in Norfolk. This was felt to be a fitting way to commemorate the mules on which the BSF depended one hundred years ago. At the Society’s annual meeting in that year, Muffin was made an honorary member of the Society with the special membership number Salonika 4, as a reminder of the BSF’s pack transport establishment of the same name.
In a few days time, Muffin is celebrating a very special birthday as he turns 30. Rescued from slaughter with his mum, who died shortly after, he has been on Redwings’ adoption programme ever since, making him their longest serving ‘Adoption Star’. He is having a birthday party on Sunday 16th April from 11.30am and visitors are welcome. To find out more about his party, visiting Redwings and to see a very cute photo of baby Muffin, visit this web page:
Muffin’s story has a happy ending, but it is unlikely there was any such for most of the mules and horses of the BSF. George Armour, equine artist and officer in the Army Remount Service describes in his autobiography, Bridle & Brush (1937, republished 1986 by Ashford Press Publishing) the selling of 25,000 and comments:
It was a very distasteful thing to have to sell these animals into the slavery which would inevitably be their fate, but there was no alternative. Orders were issued and carried out that all over sixteen years of age should be destroyed, a well-intentioned thought though hardly logical, as the younger the animal the longer would be his time of suffering. The heavy draught horses were unsaleable, as what one of them required in the way of food would have consumed all there was to keep the other animals on a farm alive.
Regular readers of The New Mosquito or The New Balkan News will know that at the start of the centenary the Salonika Campaign Society ‘adopted’ Muffin, a mule at Redwings Horse Sanctuary in Norfolk. This was in recognition of the vital part played by mules and other animals in the campaign. Continue reading “Mule Lines – “The Wisdom of Mules” on BBC Radio Four”
On a visit to the Allied Cemetery in Thessaloniki in April 2016, I was struck by two graves from 1916, both non-battle casualties. I offer them here for Armistice Day. Continue reading “One hundred years on : two Salonika graves”