Faces of Salonika : Somerset Miners

This rather small and tatty picture – another eBay purchase – shows a group of men sitting on a quayside, which may be Salonika. The mixture of service dress (as worn in the UK and on the Western Front) with a sun helmet would certainly be appropriate for men of the BSF after about mid-1916. The extremes of the Macedonian climate make all sorts of combinations of dress possible which, for me, is one of the fascinations of the campaign. Continue reading “Faces of Salonika : Somerset Miners”

The Great Fire of 1917 : an eyewitness account

My thanks go to David Shillito for providing the transcript of a letter written by his father – Second Lieutenant John Ewart Shillito of 2nd East Yorkshire Regiment (83 Brigade, 28 Division) – to his family describing the fire of August 1917. Continue reading “The Great Fire of 1917 : an eyewitness account”

Mule Lines : Working Mules

We talk quite a lot about mules in Salonika (or is it just me?), but I wonder how many of us have actually seen mules at work. There are mules in the UK – there is a British Mule Society after all – but until I met our adopted mule, Muffin, last year, I’m not sure that I had ever knowingly seen one. Whilst Muffin has worked hard for Redwings Horse Sanctuary for nearly thirty, it’s been in a fundraising and public relations, rather than a draught or pack role! Continue reading “Mule Lines : Working Mules”

Faces of Salonika : Bill Devereux and the Great Fire

My thanks go to Richard Devereux who provided this photo of his grandfather, Bill, enjoying a cigarette in the ruins of Salonika in the aftermath of the Great Fire, having done his bit to help.

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The Great Fire : I Saw Salonika Burn, 18 August 1917

The author … here gives a magnificently graphic description of the inexorable fire which swept over the city in August 1917. Mr Collinson Owen at this time was editor of the soldier’s newspaper “The Balkan News”, and with the characteristic resource of a keen journalist only missed two days’ publication through the ravage of his office and printing works.

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