Next Stop Salonika! Wessex Royal Engineers, December 1916

An interesting postcard this – purchased on eBay – in that it was taken in the UK but has a very clear Salonika connection. It is labelled: Wessex “Salonica” Draft. Dec 1916.

Photograph of a draft of the Wessex Royal Engineers destined for Salonika in December 1916. Two Field Companies - 1st and 2nd Wessex RE TF - served with the 27th Division in the Struma Valley as the 500th and 501st Field Companies.The card shows 2 officers and 71 NCOs and sappers of Wessex Territorial Force Royal Engineers, ready to join the British Salonika Force. The First (Wessex) and Second (Wessex) Field Companies were allocated to the regular 27th Division and served with them in France in 1915, before going to Macedonia. The companies were renamed 500th and 501st Field Companies, respectively. Wessex RE (TF) also provided the Divisional Signal Company. If you go to the excellent Imperial War Museum Collections page and type in Struma Wessex you will get a series of photographs of the 501st Field Company busy in the Struma Valley in 1917, which could well include some of the individuals in the above photo.

The postcard has a note on the back, in pencil, saying:

To Ma with love, Lou (or Len) and Art

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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.