The New Mosquito #16 : September 2007

On the centenary of Salonika’s Great Fire, it seems appropriate to provide details of an issue which contained a major 90th anniversary article on the fire by Nigel Crompton, SCS member and a member of the Fire Brigade Society.

The New Mosquito issue number N16: September 2007

  • Edited by Robin Braysher
  • 24 printed pages (including covers)

Cover image

IWM Q 31707: Soldiers making a pump. This photo shows men of 2/DCLI operating a manual fire engine in the aftermath of a raid by Zeppelin LZ85 on Salonika, 2 February 1913.



Chairman’s Report

Gone to Blazes

By Nigel Crompton

A comprehensive account of the Great Fire – with a summary of previous and subsequent fires, and fire fighting, in the city –  and a detailed look at the British response in particular and the aftermath, including the huge losses incurred by British insurance companies – estimated at some £92 million at 2007 values! A further £60 million was lost by non-British insurance companies.

The article is illustrated with a painting by W T Wood RWS of burnt-out shops after the fire, which can be found in ‘The Salonika Front’ by A J Mann (1920).

On Campaign with Ally Sloper’s Cavalry – the Diary of Bertie Hutton, Army Service Corps

From a diary in the posession of Beverley Macfarlane, typed by Mary Vidal and edited by Robin Braysher. The original is now held in the Imperial War Museum.

A fascinating, first-hand account of service with the ASC in Salonika from August 1916 to December 1917 by young Bertie Hutton who served with various horse transport units of 28th Division as a Driver and, later, lance-corporal. He mainly seems to have been employed in clerical duties. Given the date it seems appropriate to quote these entries:

  • 19th August 1917: Hear Salonika is on fire.
  • 20th August 1917: Hear half town destroyed, including Base PO, CP’s Office and Base Signals. No coomunication with Base since the morning of the 19th. All out of bounds.

Obervation Post – Resources for the Salonika Enthusiast

  • Review of ‘Ever Yours Sincerely: the Life and Work of Kathrine MacPhail’ (ISBN-10: 1905399278 / ISBN-13: 978-1905399277).
  • Useful articles from The Gallipolian 114: fiction of the First World War, Highland mountain gunners and a review of a history of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (Merrell 2007).

SCS Annual Meeting and Wreath Laying at the Cenotaph, 6 October 2007

Following the wreath laying at the Cenotaph, members met at the†Civil Service Club where they enjoyed a talk by Alan Wakefield entitled: Salonika at the Movies – moving images of the Salonika Campaign from the IWM collection

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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