As I sit writing this over Easter, the world is in the grip of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. I hope you and your families are keeping well and that you are getting used to the social and commercial lock-down that is currently in place. Like many of you, I’ve been working from home since mid-March and coming to terms with only seeing work colleagues, friends and family online. Thankfully we live in an age of remarkable communications technology enabling us to maintain instant contact across the globe from our living rooms. One can only imagine what the men and women of the BSF would have given for anything approaching this level of modern comms.
SCS member Keith Roberts has been compiling a list of books in English about the campaign. At present it is limited to books, so items from regimental journals and the like are not included. He has checked, amongst other things, the bibliographies in the better known books on the campaign and searched some online catalogues using key words.
A first version – with nearly 200 books listed – has been produced for review to make good any omissions. Once this review process is over we will make it available in a searchable format on this website – hopefully before the summer – with the expectation of providing occasional updates to capture further discoveries and new publications. This will be a valuable resource for anyone interested in this neglected campaign of the First World War.
If you think you might be able to add to this bibliography please contact Keith for a draft copy on email@example.com.
We have been contacted by Phil, a volunteer on the Imperial War Museum’s War Memorials Register Project. They have a record of a memorial plaque that was placed in St John’s Church, Hanley, Staffordshire by the Salonika Reunion Association in memory of those who served and died in Salonika.
The church is now an antiques centre and Phil has spoken to the owner who has confirmed that the plaque is no longer there. He said that a number of plaques were removed during the period when the church was closed.
A quick search of The Mosquito – the publication of the SRA – has not revealed any mention of the church, the plaque or any dedication ceremony, so it remains a mystery. Does anyone out there know anything about the plaque? Please contact us if you do and we will pass the information onto Phil.
For the first time ever I visited the Westminster Abbey Field of Remembrance. It was a moving experience to wander around all the plots, actually on the 11th, and a particular pleasure to see the one dedicated to the Salonika campaign. If you would like to remember someone in ‘our’ plot, watch out for the announcements in The New Mosquito, The New Balkan News or online here. Or you can contact us nearer the time.
Members will be pleased to learn that the Honourable Ann Straker – granddaughter of Field Marshal George Milne, 1st Baron Milne – has agreed to become Patron of the Society. This re-establishes the link between the SCS and the family of the BSF’s Commander-in-Chief.
SCS Chairman, Alan Wakefield, will be speaking at the Great War Forum Conference in Birmingham on Saturday 27th April. His topic will be “First World War Aerial Photography at the Imperial War Museum”. Find out more online here: