What a scorcher!

Are you enjoying the hot weather? I don’t mind it hot as long as I can sit in the shade and not do anything! When it is particularly hot I often think about the BSF and the trials of putting up with hot weather – day after day – along with the dust and flies and having to dig or lug around ammunition boxes and stores or maybe a Lewis gun.

I’m lucky enough to live in the fine county of Norfolk so, when it’s hot, we can easily head to the coast – especially in the evening – to dodge the crowds and find the sea breeze. We can even swim, which I did yesterday – my first time in the sea in the UK for ten years and very good it was too.

A swim must have been a rare treat for the men of the BSF. Of course, those best placed to have a dip were the units of 27th Division which held the very end of the British line at the mouth of the Struma on the Gulf of Orfano, as seen in this photo:

At Stavros the sea bathing is excellent and thousands of soldiers enjoyed a swim morning and evening. A wrestling match in the water. 27th Division, July 1916. At Stavros the sea bathing is excellent and thousands of soldiers enjoyed a swim morning and evening. A wrestling match in the water. 27th Division, July 1916. (click on image to see full size) © IWM (Q 32165)

For those in the interior there was perhaps the chance of a dip in a river – as these Russian troops are enjoying – or maybe in a specially created pool, as shown in this postcard from my collection:

Postcard: Tommy's bathing place at Salonica

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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