Faces of Salonika : Somerset Miners

This rather small and tatty picture – another eBay purchase – shows a group of men sitting on a quayside, which may be Salonika. The mixture of service dress (as worn in the UK and on the Western Front) with a sun helmet would certainly be appropriate for men of the BSF after about mid-1916. The extremes of the Macedonian climate make all sorts of combinations of dress possible which, for me, is one of the fascinations of the campaign. Continue reading “Faces of Salonika : Somerset Miners”

The Great Fire : I Saw Salonika Burn, 18 August 1917

The author … here gives a magnificently graphic description of the inexorable fire which swept over the city in August 1917. Mr Collinson Owen at this time was editor of the soldier’s newspaper “The Balkan News”, and with the characteristic resource of a keen journalist only missed two days’ publication through the ravage of his office and printing works.

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Minden Day and ‘The Old Dozen’

Fred, my grandfather, spent the First World War in the Army Cyclist Corps but, in truth, he was – at heart – a ‘Suffolk’. Before getting on his bike he spent nearly eight years as a regular soldier in the First Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment, preceded by a short spell in the 4th (Militia) Battalion. So you will understand why the Suffolk Regiment – especially 1/Suffolk – is of particular interest to me.

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9th (Service) Battalion East Lancashire Regiment in Macedonia

My thanks go to SCS member Harry Fecitt who provided an article about 1/12th Battalion (Pioneers) The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in Macedonia, which recently appeared here as part of our online commemorations of the First Battle of Doiran:

Part 1Part 2 | Part 3

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1/12th Battalion (Pioneers) The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in Macedonia : Part 2

By Harry Fecitt MBE TD

We were fortunate also in getting during April the 1/12th Battalion The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, which came to us as our Pioneer Battalion, under a most capable officer, Lieutenant Colonel Beckett.  They were a hard-bitten, thirsty lot of Lancashire miners, but what they could do with a spade was a perfect revelation.  The Division owed a great deal to this fine Battalion for the splendid work they did on the Vimy Ridge, and I attribute our comparatively low casualty returns to the rapidity with which these pioneers, assisted by the various battalions, managed to lower the depth of the trenches eighteen inches in record time.

Major General E.S. Bulfin CB, Commander 60th Division, France 1916.

 Salonika

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