The New Mosquito #16 : September 2007

On the centenary of Salonika’s Great Fire, it seems appropriate to provide details of an issue which contained a major 90th anniversary article on the fire by Nigel Crompton, SCS member and a member of the Fire Brigade Society.

The New Mosquito issue number N16: September 2007

  • Edited by Robin Braysher
  • 24 printed pages (including covers)

Cover image

IWM Q 31707: Soldiers making a pump. This photo shows men of 2/DCLI operating a manual fire engine in the aftermath of a raid by Zeppelin LZ85 on Salonika, 2 February 1913.



Chairman’s Report

Gone to Blazes

By Nigel Crompton

A comprehensive account of the Great Fire – with a summary of previous and subsequent fires, and fire fighting, in the city –  and a detailed look at the British response in particular and the aftermath, including the huge losses incurred by British insurance companies – estimated at some £92 million at 2007 values! A further £60 million was lost by non-British insurance companies.

The article is illustrated with a painting by W T Wood RWS of burnt-out shops after the fire, which can be found in ‘The Salonika Front’ by A J Mann (1920).

On Campaign with Ally Sloper’s Cavalry – the Diary of Bertie Hutton, Army Service Corps

From a diary in the posession of Beverley Macfarlane, typed by Mary Vidal and edited by Robin Braysher. The original is now held in the Imperial War Museum.

A fascinating, first-hand account of service with the ASC in Salonika from August 1916 to December 1917 by young Bertie Hutton who served with various horse transport units of 28th Division as a Driver and, later, lance-corporal. He mainly seems to have been employed in clerical duties. Given the date it seems appropriate to quote these entries:

  • 19th August 1917: Hear Salonika is on fire.
  • 20th August 1917: Hear half town destroyed, including Base PO, CP’s Office and Base Signals. No coomunication with Base since the morning of the 19th. All out of bounds.

Obervation Post – Resources for the Salonika Enthusiast

  • Review of ‘Ever Yours Sincerely: the Life and Work of Kathrine MacPhail’ (ISBN-10: 1905399278 / ISBN-13: 978-1905399277).
  • Useful articles from The Gallipolian 114: fiction of the First World War, Highland mountain gunners and a review of a history of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (Merrell 2007).

SCS Annual Meeting and Wreath Laying at the Cenotaph, 6 October 2007

Following the wreath laying at the Cenotaph, members met at the†Civil Service Club where they enjoyed a talk by Alan Wakefield entitled: Salonika at the Movies – moving images of the Salonika Campaign from the IWM collection

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.