Amongst my modest collection of Salonika-campaign-related ephemera, my favourite item is this 1917 Christmas card produced by or for the Corps Cavalry and Cyclists of the BSF. Sadly not a family heirloom – my grandfather, a cyclist, was on his way home with malaria by Christmas 1917 – but a lucky purchase from eBay.
The card doesn’t specify which Corps, but I like to think it represents a forward patrol of XVI Corps cavalry and cyclists in the Struma valley, but it could just as easily be their XII Corps counterparts on the Doiran front. From a sales point of view it would not have done to be too specific!
The Corps mounted troops of the BSF were provided by:
- XII Corps Cavalry Regiment: 1/1st Lothians and Border Horse (less one squadron)
- XII Corps Cyclist Battalion (from 22nd and 26th Divisional Cyclists)
- XVI Corps Cavalry Regiment: 1/1st Surrey Yeomanry (less one squadron)
- XVI Corps Cyclist Battalion (from 10th, 27th and 28th Divisional Cyclists)