A novel approach to the Salonika Campaign

The Birdcage

Book cover image: The Birdcage - a novel of Salonika, by Clive AsletWhilst novels set on the Western Front are not uncommon, those with a background of the Salonika campaign are even rarer than home leave was for members of the BSF, so it has been a pleasure to see the publication – during this centenary year – of The Birdcage by Clive Aslet.

Published by Sandstone Press on 16 June 2016, you can find out more about the author and the book at the publisher’s website.

Salonika in 1916 is a city more than half-Jewish and, until a few months ago, one of the jewels in the Ottoman crown. It is now suddenly Greek. Nominally neutral, it is filled with French, British and Serbian soldiers defending it against the Austro-German and Bulgarian forces to the north. In a city seething with intrigue, cafe society continues unperturbed and the native inhabitants make from the soldiers what money they can. Young nurses from the Women’s Hospital join seasoned soldiers, and Kite Balloonists must trade their traditional chivalry towards the enemy against the need to survive.


I know of several other novels with a Salonika setting, but if you know of more, please let me know.

The Long Shadow

Book cover image: The Long Shadow, by Loretta ProctorBy SCS member Loretta Proctor and published in 2013 by Troubador (ISBN 9781783060542).

Fourteen-year-old Andrew discovers his mother’s hidden diary at his grandmother’s house during a Christmas holiday. His eyes are opened to a family secret when he reads about her time as a nurse on Salonika during the First World War …

The Thread

Book cover image: The Thread, by Victoria HislopBy Victoria Hislop and published in 2011 by Headline Books (ISBN-10: 0755377737 and ISBN-13: 978-0755377732). It takes, as its starting point, Salonika’s Great Fire of 1917.

Thessaloniki, 1917. As Dimitri Komninos is born, a fire sweeps through the thriving multicultural city, where Christians, Jews and Moslems live side by side. It is the first of many catastrophic events that will change for ever this city …

Author: scswebeditor

Robin Braysher joined the SCS in 2003 and from 2008 has been the Society's web editor. His interest in the campaign comes from his grandfather, Fred, who served as a cyclist with the BSF from 1915 to 1917, mainly in the Struma valley. Robin hands over the role in October 2021 to Andy Hutt. Andy's interest in the campaign comes from his grandfather, Arthur, who served as a Royal Engineer from 1916-1918. All posts prior to February 2021 are by Robin. Opinions expressed in these posts are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society.

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