Happy New Year!

We wish all members, friends and visitors all the very best for 2020. Here’s an appropriate, topical image from The Illustrated War News, 9th February 1916 [Part 79, 19] …

Decorated with old boots, slices of bacon, gloves, and cans of bully beef! A Scot’s New Year’s tree in the Balkans.

Scottish troops celebrating New Year in Salonika, 1916

As everyone knows, the Scots keep New Year’s Day as an occasion for festivities more than Christmas. In London, for instance, the assemblage outside St Paul’s on New Year’s Eve, of persons hailing from north of the Tweed, was until the war a time-honoured event. Campaigning in the Balkans in winter does not offer great scope for such celebrations, but, as our photograph shows, the Scots made the best of it with the limited materials available. The group illustrated is a party of regimental cooks, belonging to a Scottish regiment. They have decorated their tree, in the absence of the customary accessories, with a heterogenous assortment of articles – boxes, bottles, stockings, boots, gloves, horns, biscuits, slices of bacon, and cans of bully beef. [Photo. by Topical].


Author: Andy Hutt

Andy's interest in the campaign comes from his grandfather, Arthur, who served in Salonika as a sapper with the Royal Engineers from 1916-1918. Opinions expressed in these posts are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society.

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