1st Garrison Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment in Salonika

If you look though our order of battle of the British Salonika Force you will not find any mention of the Northamptonshire Regiment. This being the case, I was puzzled to receive an enquiry from Simon Gale who has documentary evidence that his great-grandfather, of 1st Garrison Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment, had been in Salonika.

The document, signed by an anonymous staff captain, showed that 48510 Private W Cross was sent to England from Salonika on 18 December 1918 on the grounds that as a malaria case he was “… not available for a theatre of war where malaria is prevalent”. Much to my surprise the excellent ‘Long, Long Trail’ website confirmed the presence of the battalion in Salonika:

1st Garrison Battalion
Formed in Warlingham in September 1915. Went to Egypt in October 1915, moving eventually into Palestine and Salonika.

Further digging by Simon and SCS colleagues solved the mystery: the battalion arrived on 31st October 1918, so a month after hostilities had ceased and later than the latest order of battle consulted (September 1918 in the Official History).

So I’ve learned something and am pleased to be able to put the record straight. Unfortunately there is no official war diary covering the battalion’s time in Salonika (an area to be researched!) but you will find those covering their time in Middle East at Kew:

If the Northamptons are of interest to you you may find these links useful:

A handful of other garrison battalions served with the BSF in 228th Infantry Brigade, attached to 28th Division.

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.