A little bit of Salonika in Suffolk

We recently received this intriguing email from Darrell Chalkley …

During recent work to the garden of a medieval property in Ipswich I uncovered what appeared to be yet another broken tile. However, on closer inspection and after cleaning, the item appears to be a commemoration plaque to the Salonika campaign. The rock is carved (with some skill) with an inscription that it was cut from the rock used in the 1st line of trenches in the defence of Salonica.  It also includes the dates 1915 – 1916 and two sets of initials. Whoever produced it had an eye for design and the skill to carry out the work.

The eye for design and the skill in execution was soon apparent when Darrell sent photos of the plaque, especially given how small the plaque is. The initials towards the bottom appear to be stylised “HF – RE”, suggesting a member of the Royal Engineers, a corps which, of course, contained many skilled craftsmen. I am grateful to Darrell for contacting us about the plaque, sharing the photos and allowing me to publish them here. If you have seen anything similar or can add anything, please contact us through the website.

Plaque found in the garden of a medieval property in Ipswich commemorating the construction of the Birdcage Lines around Salonika in 1915-16. Photo by Darrell Chalkley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plaque found in the garden of a medieval property in Ipswich commemorating the construction of the Birdcage Lines around Salonika in 1915-16. Photo by Darrell Chalkley.

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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