Remembering William James Pearce : 1919

In this final instalment of extracts from William Pearce’s diary of the campaign in Macedonia, we have a timely reminder that men were still serving overseas, even though the guns had fallen silent. My thanks to Mark Pearce, William’s great-grandson, for making this diary available.

Feb 1919

Snow and cold first part of month, heavy rain some days, some very fine days. Papers from shop arr Feb 7, went to Stamboul, Gen Allenby came here, went to 3 very good concerts in Turk theatre in Petits Champs taken over by YMCA, went to Sainte Sophite [Hagia Sophia], first batch of men went away, busier in shops, big crowds of people in fancy dress about streets. Capt Clark ASC left for new Co.

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, 1988 (photo from the Braysher collection).
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, 1988 (photo from the Braysher collection).

March 1919

Trams started running, went to Buyekdere and Maison Krupp on Bosphorus, fine trick flying with flames over city, went to Turk museum, Capt Gordon RAMC went, Capt Perry RAMC came, weather very mild.

View of Istanbul from a ferry on the Bosphorus, 1988 (photo from the Braysher collection).
View of Istanbul from a ferry on the Bosphorus, 1988 (photo from the Braysher collection).

April 1919

Shifted camp to about 3 miles from city placed called …………. on Bosphorus Rd, very nice camping ground. Thousands wild geese flew over camp, new staff arr, 10 new men arrived, weather very good, bathing in stream about kilo below camp.

May 1919

Week very cold wind, 12 new men arrived.

General Franchet d’'Esperey, Commander of Allied forces in the Balkans (June 1918-1920), landing at Constantinople on 8 February 1919. Accompanying him is General Sir Henry F.M. Wilson, former commander of XII Corps, British Salonika Force. ALLIED COMMANDERS OF THE SALONIKA CAMPAIGN 1915-1918 General Franchet d’Esperey, Commander of Allied forces in the Balkans (June 1918-1920), landing at Constantinople on 8 February 1919. Accompanying him is General Sir Henry F.M. Wilson, former commander of XII Corps, British Salonika Force. ALLIED COMMANDERS OF THE SALONIKA CAMPAIGN 1915-1918. (click on image to see full size) © IWM (Q 13947)


Don’t forget that you can read more about the Army Service Corps units of the BSF on our website and more in general about the unsung heroes of the ASC on The Long, Long Trail.

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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