Triumph in the Balkans. Anglo-French Co-operation in Macedonia during the First World War

I am grateful to society member Harry Fecitt for bringing to members’ attention this MA dissertation, Triumph in the Balkans. Anglo-French Co-operation in Macedonia during the First World War.

The work has four chapters: Chapter I. The origins of the Salonika Expedition; Chapter II. In the shadow of Sarrail; Chapter III. Guillaumat’s groundwork for success; and Chapter IV. The year of victory. It has comprehensive notes and appendices, and many illustrations.

The dissertation is free to download but an email address is required to sign up to It can be found here.

Salonika Battlefield Tours 2022

Some very good news from our Chair, Alan Wakefield:
“With COVID-19 travel restrictions being eased, there are three planned tours to the Salonika battlefields. If you have not visited the ground once trodden by the BSF I’d encourage you to go as there is nothing like walking the ground to help get a better understanding of the campaign and the experiences of the men and women who served in the Balkans during the First World War.”

Image source here

April 10–14: Battle Honours – ‘Walking Salonika’

Led by Alan Wakefield, this tour covers Thessaloniki, the Kosturino battlefield, the Birdcage Line, the Struma Valley and the Doiran battlefield.
For details, please contact by phone, +44 (0)1438 989129 or by email,

May 25–30: The Cultural Experience, ‘Salonika – War in the Birdcage’

Led by Alan Wakefield, this tour covers Thessaloniki, the Birdcage Line, the Struma Valley, Doiran and the Kosturino battlefields.
For details, please see here.

September 18–26: The SCS Battlefield Tour

Led by Alan Wakefield, it is planned that this tour will cover Thessaloniki, the Birdcage Line, the Struma Valley, the Doiran and Kosturino battlefields and the Kajmakcalan battlefield. The group will also attend the official ceremonies of Remembrance connected to the Salonika Campaign.

If you have any questions or would like further details, please contact SCS Chair, Alan Wakefield via email at

Adding colour to old photographs

Applying modern production techniques to material from the Imperial War Museums’ First World War film archive, director Peter Jackson transformed grainy black and white footage into vibrant, moving and startling colour images. The film, ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’, has received many positive reviews. The Guardian’s film critic, Peter Bradshaw said of it,
“The effect is electrifying. The soldiers are returned to an eerie, hyperreal kind of life in front of our eyes, like ghosts or figures summoned up in a seance. The faces are unforgettable.”
It is a remarkable film.

‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ – Trailer

While it is unlikely that any of us will have family film archives from that time, many have photographs. What if we could ‘colourise’ these in the way Peter Jackson has with film? Well, there are a few websites that provide this service. Image Colorizer is easy to use, has free and paid accounts, and says that, “All uploaded items will be cleared every 24 hours. No photos will be stored and used for other purposes without your permission.”

I tried the service with a couple of photographs from the family collection. The first is of my grandfather, Arthur Hutt, shortly before leaving for France in 1915 at the age of 17. The second shows him presenting the Histon homeguard for inspection during World War Two. To my eyes, there is some added vibrancy to the first photo but much more so with the second image. See what you think.

Arthur Hutt, 1915
Arthur Hutt presenting the Histon homeguard for inspection in WW2

My grandchildren, aged seven and nine, were impressed with these and other colourised photos of their great-great-grandfather. For younger generations, colourising, like the Peter Jackson film, may be a way to bring the past more readily into the present. If you would like to try it, here’s that link again: Image Colorizer.

Forthcoming Gallipoli Association Conference

Many members and visitors to this website will no doubt be interested in The Gallipoli Association and its invaluable work in keeping the memory alive of that tragic campaign. The Association is holding its Third Regional Conference at Chelmsford on Saturday 5th March 2022 at Chelmsford City Museum (home of the Essex Regiment Collection), Mousham Street, Oaklands Park, CM2 9AQ.

Conference Programme
  • 9.15 Registration (tea and coffee on arrival)
  • 10.00 Peter Hart: Rupert Brooke and the Glitterati of Gallipoli
  • 11.15 Stephen Chambers: The Killing Fields: The Battle of Krithia
  • 12.30 Lunch (not provided)
  • 1.30 Dr. Martin Purdy: Contested Legacies and the Gallipoli Oak
  • 2.45 Clive Harris: The Essex Regiment at Gallipoli
  • 4.00 An opportunity to tour the Museum and view the collection of the Essex Regiment
  • 5.00 Close

The cost is £25 payable in advance.

Further information, including details of how to register, are on the events section of the Association’s website:

A virtual battlefield tour – but not in Salonika!

My thanks go to James Stewart-Smith of Classic Battlefield Tours for sharing details of this forthcoming virtual battlefield tour by well known military historian, Patrick Mercer OBE. It is nothing whatsoever to do with Salonika, but during these days of seemingly endless lockdown, the chance to get out on any sort of virtual tour is very welcome.

Continue reading “A virtual battlefield tour – but not in Salonika!”

“The Sky-Sent Death” by Walter J. R. Turner

My thanks go to SCS member Lucy London for sharing this poem by Walter J. R. Turner (1889–1946), an Australian-born writer, critic and musician who lived in England. The poem is from “The Dark Wind” by W. J. R. Turner (E.P. Button & Co., New York,1920), which is available to view as a free download on Archive.

Continue reading ““The Sky-Sent Death” by Walter J. R. Turner”