Happy New Year!

We wish all members, friends and visitors all the very best for 2020. Here’s an appropriate, topical image from The Illustrated War News, 9th February 1916 [Part 79, 19] …

Decorated with old boots, slices of bacon, gloves, and cans of bully beef! A Scot’s New Year’s tree in the Balkans.

Scottish troops celebrating New Year in Salonika, 1916

As everyone knows, the Scots keep New Year’s Day as an occasion for festivities more than Christmas. In London, for instance, the assemblage outside St Paul’s on New Year’s Eve, of persons hailing from north of the Tweed, was until the war a time-honoured event. Campaigning in the Balkans in winter does not offer great scope for such celebrations, but, as our photograph shows, the Scots made the best of it with the limited materials available. The group illustrated is a party of regimental cooks, belonging to a Scottish regiment. They have decorated their tree, in the absence of the customary accessories, with a heterogenous assortment of articles – boxes, bottles, stockings, boots, gloves, horns, biscuits, slices of bacon, and cans of bully beef. [Photo. by Topical].


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.