Salonika Battlefield Tour : 19-25 September 2017

SCS tour photo - a participant surveys one of the battlefields.The SCS Tour Team is pleased to announce details of the Society’s September 2017 battlefield tour. This will include visits to key sites associated with British Salonika Force operations: The ‘Birdcage’ defence line, Doiran, Kosturino, the Struma Valley, as well as attendance at official ceremonies of commemoration in Greece.

Itinerary

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Fly Gatwick to Thessaloniki: leave 05:55am, arrive 11:10am

Visit to the ‘Birdcage Line’ to see the remains of British and French defensive positions constructed between December 1915 and April 1916 in case of a Bulgarian advance on Salonika. We will also take in the CWGC’s Struma cemetery and view the Struma Valley from British artillery positions overlooking the valley.

Overnight hotel accommodation near Serres, Greece – Hotel Siris.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

A day in the Struma Valley covering ground over which the British XVI Corps fought a number of actions between 1916 and 1918. These include the actions at Karajakois and Yenikoi (1916), Tumbitza Farm (1916), Homondos (1917) and Prosenik (1918). We will also visit trenches, caves and tunnels that formed a Bulgarian forward position near Paleokastro in the north of the Struma Valley. The group will then cross the border from Greece into the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

Overnight in Doiran, FYROM – Hotel Romantique.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

A day walking the Doiran battlefield to visit Grand Couronné, with the Devil’s Eye bunker, Bulgarian second line positions at The Hilt and Hill 340 and Petit Couronné, scene of fierce fighting during the two Battles of Doiran in 1917 and 1918.

Overnight in Doiran, FYROM – Hotel Romantique.

Friday, 22 September 2017

A day walking the 1915 Kosturino battlefield where the 10th (Irish) Division became the first element of the British Salonika Force to fight the Bulgarians. Afterward we will pay our respects at the 10th (Irish) Division memorial near Rabrovo.

Overnight in Doiran, FYROM – Hotel Romantique.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

The group will return to Greece to attend an official ceremony of commemoration at the Lembet Road Allied Military Cemetery in Thessaloniki. In the afternoon, members of the group will be free to explore the city of Thessaloniki.

Overnight hotel accommodation in Thessaloniki.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

SCS tour photo - the SCS flag at the annual commemorations in northern Greece.The group will attend an official ceremony of commemoration at the Five Nations Memorial near Polykastro (formerly Karasouli) and in the afternoon a ceremony at the Doiran Memorial, which offers members of the group a chance to visit the CWGC Doiran Cemetery. If time allows, on the return from the ceremonies the group will visit the CWGC Sarigol cemetery, an infrequent stopping point on SCS tours.

Overnight hotel accommodation in Thessaloniki.

Monday 25 September 2017

Fly from Thessaloniki, Greece 11:50am

Costs

  • Estimated cost of the tour: £700 to £900 (dependent on numbers travelling)
  • This covers accommodation,  food, in-country transport and guides.
  • A £200 deposit is payable to reserve a place;  this is refundable should the tour not go ahead.
  • As usual with SCS tours, individuals are responsible for organising their own flights.

BOOK NOW AS THERE ARE ONLY A FEW PLACES LEFT!

Don’t forget to pack …

  • good walking or hiking boots/shoes, which are essential (trainers will NOT be suitable for the terrain);
  • waterproofs, for surprise showers;
  • spare socks for your day pack, for those ‘stuck in the mud’ moments;
  • a torch for exploring bat-filled bunkers!
  • insect repellent, as you will be delving into ‘the bush’
  • sunscreen as you will be out in the sun
  • a walking aid, as you trek through  the highs and lows of an uneven topography, a walking aid can ease the burden on the knees.

SCS tour photo - participants admiring the view from a high rock

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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