Labour units of the BSF

A recent enquiry sent me into the uncharted waters of labour units that served with the British Salonika Force. Our orders of battle for the BSF – including on this website – tend to focus on the fighting units, so the Labour Corps and other supporting corps rarely get a look in.

The question was about 14/Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) and the ever reliable Long, Long Trail website very quickly helped:

13th, 14th and 15th (Labour) Battalions
Formed at Balmer (13th) and Crawley (14th and 15th) in the period July to September 1916. 14th Bn went to Salonika and 13th and 15th to France in September 1916.
June 1917 : all transferred to Labour Corps as 93rd to 98th Labour Companies, each battalion forming two companies; E Company of 14th Queens also formed 201st Labour Company.

With the company details I then went to the National Archives website to search their unit war diaries and – bingo! – came up with this splendid list of labour unit war diaries which all reside under WO95/4944:

Lines of Communication Troops

  • 12 Labour Company Royal Engineers (1917 Jan – July).
  • 14 Labour Battalion Queens (Royal West Surrey Regiment) (1916 Oct – 1917 May).
  • 28 Labour Company Army Service Corps (1915 Nov – 1916 Dec).
  • 95 Labour Company (formerly 14 Labour Battalion) (1917 Nov – 1918 Aug).
  • 96 Labour Company (formerly 14 Labour Battalion) (1917 June – 1918 June).
  • 97 Labour Company Army Service Corps (1917 Nov – 1918 May).
  • 98 Labour Company (formerly 15 Labour Battalion) (1917 May – 1918 Aug).
  • 201 Labour Company Army Service Corps (1917 Dec – 1918 June).
  • 1 Maltese Labour Battalion (1916 Sept – 1918 Aug).
  • 2 Maltese Labour Battalion (1917 Oct – 1918 May).
  • 1 Maltese Employment Company (1918 Feb – Aug).
  • Macedonian Labour Bureau (1918 June – 1919 Mar).
  • 2 Macedonian Labour Battalion (1918 May – July).
  • 3 Macedonian Labour Battalion (1918 May – Aug).
  • 4 Macedonian Labour Battalion (1917 May – 1918 Aug).
  • 5 Macedonian Labour Battalion (1916 Aug – 1918 July).
  • 6 Macedonian Labour Battalion (1917 Mar – 1918 July).
  • 7 Macedonian Labour Battalion (1918 June – Aug).
  • 9 Macedonian Labour Battalion (1917 Apr – 1918 June).
  • 10 Macedonian Labour Battalion (1918 June).
  • 11 Macedonian Labour Battalion (1917 Dec – 1918 Aug).
  • 12 Macedonian Labour Battalion (1918 Feb – June).
  • 13 Macedonian Labour Battalion (1918 Mar – June).
  • 14 Macedonian Labour Battalion (1918 Apr – Aug).
  • 15 Macedonian Labour Battalion (1917 June – 1918 July).
  • 16 Macedonian Labour Battalion (1918 May – June).
  • 17 Macedonian Labour Battalion (1917 Jan – 1918 Aug).
  • 18 Macedonian Labour Battalion (1918 Jan – June).
  • 19 Macedonian Labour Battalion (1918 Jan – Aug).
  • 20 Macedonian Labour Battalion (1918 Jan – Aug).
  • 21 Macedonian Labour Battalion (1918 May – June).
  • 22 Macedonian Labour Battalion (1918 June – July).
  • 23 Macedonian Labour Battalion (1918 July – Aug).
  • 24 Macedonian Labour Battalion (1918 June – July).
  • Serbian Labour Battalion (1915 Dec – 1918 June).
  • Russian Labour Corps (1918 Mar – Aug).
  • Graves Registration Unit (1916 Aug – 1919 July).
  • Graves Registration Unit (Aegean Islands) (1919 Feb – Oct)

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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.

One thought on “Labour units of the BSF”

  1. My thanks go to Julian Rainbow for adding another unit to this list:
    270 Railway Labour Company, active November 1915 to April 1919.

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