At the end of 2016 we announced the imminent publication of Daring All Things: The autobiography of George Kendall (1881-1961). George Kendall was a hugely experienced war chaplain who briefly served in Salonika with 22nd Division before succumbing to the inevitable malaria and dysentery. In the post-war years he was closely involved in the development of war cemeteries, which culminated in the process to select the body of the ‘Unknown Warrior’. This is a good opportunity to remind you that the book is for sale and to share with you this recent review from Church Times:
The book is published by Helion & Company Ltd and we can expect to hear more about it this year as we approach the centenary of the end of the conflict.
Happy New Year! This is the final postcard from Sid to Elsie, simply dated ‘Salonica 1918’. My thanks, once again, go to Wendy Nicholson for sharing these touching cards with the SCS.
Continue reading “Sid & Elsie : love across the miles and down the years 7”
Fred Warburton, serving with an ammunition column on the Doiran Front, told this story of Christmas 1917 when he and his comrades were looking forward to the geese that they had raised – and guarded jealously – from goslings.
Christmas Eve and we had arranged for a two hour spell to watch the geese and Dick Best had relieved for the 4 to 6 after which we would all be up, our cook Reg usually got up before that time to make gunfire [tea], all of a sudden we heard Reg shouting so we all hurried out to find Dick fast asleep in the corner of the old church, we tried to waken him but it seemed impossible, at his side was a water bottle still quarter full of rum and all we could identify was RAMC in indelible ink and there were NO geese so our Xmas dinner had vanished and all we had left was a tin of Daily Mail pudding. Although we could smell them cooking they, the Medics [who had a camp on the opposite hillside], said they bought them, it took us all our time to stop a free for all but as usual the ‘Rob-All-My-Comrades’ won.
From Alan Wakefield’s book Christmas in the Trenches (The History Press, 2010).
Troops of the 77th Brigade, 26th Division, watching villagers celebrate Orthodox Christmas in January 1916. THE MACEDONIAN CAMPAIGN, 1915-1918. (click on the image to see full size) © IWM (Q 31624)
1917 was clearly a good year for Christmas cards from Salonika as I have three in my collection. This one wasn’t produced specifically for the BSF, like that in my previous post, but is a commercially produced, seasonal postcard. It’s only that the sender wrote ‘Salonica 1917’ on the front that links it to the campaign.
I will echo the sentiments of George to his family or friends in Leeds, and wish you all ‘the compliments of the season’. I hope you will continue to visit the SCS website as we enter the final year of the centenary – The Year of Victory.
Continue reading “Compliments of the season. With love, George xxxx”
Amongst my modest collection of Salonika-campaign-related ephemera, my favourite item is this 1917 Christmas card produced by or for the Corps Cavalry and Cyclists of the BSF. Sadly not a family heirloom – my grandfather, a cyclist, was on his way home with malaria by Christmas 1917 – but a lucky purchase from eBay.
Continue reading “Christmas Greetings from Corps Cavalry and Cyclists”
In Christmas 1917 the indefatigable 85th Field Ambulance took to the stage again with their third and final pantomime of the campaign – Bluebeard. This is what 2nd Lt Frank Kenchington, RFA, had to say about it in his introduction to Music from Macedonia by Charles H B Jacques, published after the war.
Continue reading “Christmas 1917 : It’s panto time again!”
Another card and poem sent by Sid in Salonika in 1917, to his wife Elsie. This mentions their first meeting ‘by the tower’ – could that have been Blackpool Tower?
Continue reading “Sid & Elsie : love across the miles and down the years 5”
‘Tommies’, the BBC Radio Four series which dramatises individual days of the First World War from original sources, is back on with repeats of programmes originally broadcast over the past twelve months. Continue reading “‘Tommies’ back on BBC Radio Four”