“508 bottles of beer will be sent to you”

Early in the morning of September 18th this apparently inconsequential message was telephoned to each British Divisional HQ. It was the signal that the attack at Doiran was to be launched at eight minutes past five that morning, one and three-quarter hours before sunrise. The offensive opened with…

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Introducing Desperate Frankie

As we enter September we come to the centenary of the last month of hostilities for the BSF. September 1918 saw the final allied offensive – which for the British was the Second Battle of Doiran – which brought about the Bulgarian armistice at the end of the month. Continue reading “Introducing Desperate Frankie”

SALONIKA CAMPAIGN SOCIETY BATTLEFIELD TOUR : 28 September – 7 October 2018

The SCS Tour Team announces details of the Society’s September 2018 ‘Victory’ battlefield tour. This Centenary tour includes visits to key sites associated with British Salonika Force operations during 1918 as well as attendance at official ceremonies of commemoration in Greece.

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Faces of Salonika : Frank Whitehead, 13/Manchesters

My thanks go to  Caroline Booth and Joseph Travis for sharing with us their fascinating and detailed blog – A Year of War – about their grandfather/great-grandfather, Frank Whitehead, who served in Salonika in 1918. Frank served with 13/Manchesters, which was in 22nd Division, 66th Brigade on the Doiran Front. Continue reading “Faces of Salonika : Frank Whitehead, 13/Manchesters”

Salonika, Christmas, 1917

Fred Warburton, serving with an ammunition column on the Doiran Front, told this story of Christmas 1917 when he and his comrades were looking forward to the geese that they had raised – and guarded jealously – from goslings.

Christmas Eve and we had arranged for a two hour spell to watch the geese and Dick Best had relieved for the 4 to 6 after which we would all be up, our cook Reg usually got up before that time to make gunfire [tea], all of a sudden we heard Reg shouting so we all hurried out to find Dick fast asleep in the corner of the old church, we tried to waken him but it seemed impossible, at his side was a water bottle still quarter full of rum and all we could identify was RAMC in indelible ink and there were NO geese so our Xmas dinner had vanished and all we had left was a tin of Daily Mail pudding. Although we could smell them cooking they, the Medics [who had a camp on the opposite hillside], said they bought them, it took us all our time to stop a free for all but as usual the ‘Rob-All-My-Comrades’ won.

From Alan Wakefield’s book Christmas in the Trenches (The History Press, 2010).

Merry Christmas!


Troops of the 77th Brigade, 26th Division, watching villagers celebrate Orthodox Christmas in January 1916. THE MACEDONIAN CAMPAIGN, 1915-1918
Troops of the 77th Brigade, 26th Division, watching villagers celebrate Orthodox Christmas in January 1916. THE MACEDONIAN CAMPAIGN, 1915-1918. (click on the image to see full size) © IWM (Q 31624)

The New Mosquito #36 : September 2017

Members should have received this latest edition of The New Mosquito, by now. Please contact the Society if you are expecting a copy, but haven’t received it.

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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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