Remembering William James Pearce : 1918

The diary of Willaim Pearce – who served with a mechanical transport unit of the BSF – continues into 1918. My thanks to Mark Pearce.

July 1918

The location of Karaburan - the distinctive headland to the south of the city (from a 1915 map in SCS Trench Map DVD collection).
The location of Karaburan – the distinctive headland to the south of the city (from a 1915 map in SCS Trench Map DVD collection).

Went to Karaburun by lorry, train and steamer, had a very good time bathing, concerts, sports, went on wreck of Norseman, been down 2½ years, 11000 tons, fine ship, went in Sologue, appointed L.C. [lance corporal] weather very hot, thunderstorms heavy, planes busy bombing, more troops come off plain, had dingy done first guard, good concert by K.O. at 16CC  [?].

[The transport Norseman was sunk by U-39 on 22 January 1916]

30 Sep 1918

Left camp at Snevci with advanced party for Roman Valley 2 Kilos from Lake Dorian, camped on ground which had been shelled in attack on Grand. Remains of British plane brought down on fire at back of camp, very bad roads, shelled, very busy with springs and tyres. Peace with Bulgaria.

3 Dec 1918

Went on board Agamemnon (5000 tons). Shipped cars and lorries, took in coal from collier Hamstead in Salonika Bay, left Friday evening (6th).

Mount Olympos from Mikra. Nightfall. The dark line of land in the middle distance in "Grand Karabou" [Karaburun?] the promontory which separates Salonika Bay from the Gulf. Mount Olympos is about 60 miles away. Watercolour by W T Woods RWS.
Mount Olympos from Mikra. Nightfall. The dark line of land in the middle distance in “Grand Karabou” [Karaburun?] the promontory which separates Salonika Bay from the Gulf. Mount Olympos is about 60 miles away. Watercolour by W T Woods RWS.

6 Dec 1918

Weather cold, arr entrance Darlingnells [Dardanelles!] evening.

7 Dec 1918

Good weather, anchored off island till daylight, went through Darlingnells.

8 Dec 1918

Weather much warmer, passed several wrecks, arrived off Constantinople morning Dec 9th, waited till daylight, Gabon went out in charge of 2 TBD. Went right through Con [Constantinople] harbour, passed about 12 large warships of 6 nations, British, French, Italy, Japan, Greek, Turk, several TBD of Allies. British flag ship Lord Nelson, fine ship, view of Constantinople from water very fine, got off cars and landed.

The Allied Fleet in the Bosphorus. THE OCCUPATION OF CONSTANTINOPLE, 1918-1923 The Allied Fleet in the Bosphorus. THE OCCUPATION OF CONSTANTINOPLE, 1918-1923 (click image to see full size) © IWM (Q 14448)


1919 follows here …

Author: SCS Web Editor

Robin Braysher joined the SCS in 2003 and soon after became editor of the Society's journal - 'The New Mosquito' - a role he held until 2008. He then became the Society's web editor, a role he seems unable to shake off. His interest in the campaign comes from his grandfather, Fred, who served as a cyclist with the BSF from 1915 to 1917, mainly in the Struma valley. Opinions expressed in these posts are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society.

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