“Who Won The War, And Why!”

Over a year ago, Kelvin Dakin very kindly sent me a scan of a souvenir copy of a humorous monologue written on 1st October 1918 which explains, “Who Won the War, and Why!!”. This seems an appropriate time to publish this vital document so, move over Wakefield, Moody and Palmer, the real reason for the allied victory can now be revealed! Continue reading ““Who Won The War, And Why!””

Remembering CQMS Michael Margiotta of 12 Corps Cyclist Battalion

One hundred years ago today, Serjeant Michael Margiotta died of dysentery and pneumonia in Salonika. He is buried in the CWGC Lembet Road Military Cemetery.

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Salonika Campaign in the News

It’s very rare that I listen to the late evening BBC radio news, so it was entirely fortunate that I was sitting in my car on Friday waiting for a delayed coach from Birmingham. This gave me the opportunity to hear an item by BBC correspondent, Allan Little, about the Second Battle of Doiran on the Radio Four ten o’clock bulletin. Continue reading “Salonika Campaign in the News”

HRH The Duke of Kent at the Doiran Memorial Today

HRH The Duke of Kent has today visited the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Sarigol Military Cemetery, Karasouli Military Cemetery and the Doiran Memorial to mark the centenary of the Second Battle of Doiran.

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Gustav Holst, The Planets and Salonika

Today is the exact centenary of the premiere of Gustav Holst’s suite, The Planets. This is being marked by a concert at the Barbican in London, by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, which is being broadcast on BBC Radio Three. The original performance, prepared in a hurry for an invited audience at the Queen’s Hall, was something of a leaving present, as he was soon off to Salonika – where he stayed until June 1919 – to work as musical organiser and educator with the YMCA.

This is a good opportunity to remind you of the exhibition on Holst and his time in Salonika at the Holst Birthplace Museum in Cheltenham, which is on until 15 December 2018: http://holstmuseum.org.uk/

There is little enough acknowledgement of the Salonika campaign, so do support this exhibition if you can.

‘… hoping Johnny Bulgar would very shortly cry quits!’

B Squadron, 1/1st Derbyshire Yeomanry was pursuing the retreating Bulgarians beyond Strumitza when it took possession of three cars containing Bulgarian officials, accompanied by the USA Consul General (the USA was not at war with Bulgaria), sent to negotiate an armistice. The cars were stopped, the officials blindfolded and their driver sent back with two of the cars. Trooper Maurice Hawley continues the story (quoted in Under the Devil’s Eye):

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‘The Brigade was on its own…’

Before continuing the story of the Brigade-Jouinot-Gambetta, I should mention that Serbian and British cavalry were also doing their bit, although the latter was in short supply (but that could be said about much of the BSF). Serbian cavalry entered Gradsko – a vital communications hub – on the 25th and the Derbyshire Yeomanry were following the retreating Bulgarians along the road to Strumica.

Continue reading “‘The Brigade was on its own…’”