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.

The group will visit sites not previously on any tour itinerary. Please note that this tour is two days longer than previous visits to the battlefields so as to accommodate the commemorations whilst not losing time  to study key locations ‘on the ground’.

Itinerary

Friday 28 September

  • Group arrive in Thessaloniki (Recommended: Easyjet flight arriving 11:10)*
  • Visit to the CWGC Struma Cemetery
  • Visits to the sites of the XVI Corps actions at Prosenik & Homondos
  • Hotel in Thessaloniki: El Greco

Saturday 29 September

  • Ceremony of Commemoration at Lembet Road Cemetery
  • Visit to Monastir Road Indian Cemetery
  • Hotel in Thessaloniki: El Greco

Sunday 30 September

  • Ceremony of Commemoration at Polykastro
  • Ceremony of Commemoration at the CWGC Doiran Memorial
  • Visit to the CWGC Doiran Cemetery
  • Hotel in Kilkis: TBD

Monday 1 October

  • Follow the attack made by XVI Corps on 18 September 1918 from the Krusha Balkan Hills across the plain north of Lake Doiran. (This was the operation that attempted outflanking the main Doiran position. The attack was led by the Greek Cretan Division).
  • Hotel in Doiran: Romantique

Tuesday 2 October

  • Visit Bulgarian positions around Nikolic. (This will allow the group to see the XVI Corps attack from the Bulgarian perspective).
  • Boat trip on Lake Doiran.
  • Hotel in Doiran: Romantique

Wednesday 3 October

  • Walking the Second Battle of Doiran Day 1:
  • The capture of Petit Couronné and Hill 340 by the Greek Seres Division.
  • Attacks by the 67th and 77th Brigades on the Bulgarian second line.
  • Hotel in Doiran: Romantique
  • Thursday 4 October
  • Walking the Second Battle of Doiran Day 2:
  • Attacks by 66th Brigade and 9th King’s Own on Pip Ridge
  • Visit to 22nd Division Memorial and the Devil’s Eye bunker
  • Hotel in Doiran: Romantique

Friday 5 October

  • Follow the British advance via Kosturino to the Armistice line near Strumica. (The day will include visits to the passes where the RAF caught retreating Bulgarian forces and the site of at least one action against Bulgarian rear guards).
  • Hotel in Strumica: TBD

Saturday 6 October

  • Walking the ground of 82nd Brigade’s attack on the Roche Noire Salient, 1 September 1918
  • Hotel in Thessaloniki: El Greco

Sunday 7 October

  • Return to UK (Easyjet flight departing 11:50)*

Costs

  • Estimated costs of the tour: £1000 – £1150.
  • Costs cover accommodation / food** / in country transport / guides.
  • As usual with SCS tours, individuals are responsible for organising their own flights.

Notes

* The tour is officially deemed to start at 11:15 on Friday 28 September at Thessaloniki airport. The flight listed in the itinerary is that on which the majority of the tour party will probably travel. If it is easier for you to travel by alternative flights please bear in mind the start time of the tour and that the return coach will be timed for the Easyjet flight on Sunday 7 October.

**Apart from lunch on arrival (Friday 28th)

Booking

To secure a place on the tour a deposit of £200 is required (refundable if the tour does not run). Please contact Alan Wakefield via: aj.wakefield@talktalk.net for details of how to pay the deposit.

The ground crossed by XVI Corps and the Greek Cretan Division during the flanking attack north of Lake Doiran on 18 September 1918 (looking towards the Krusha Balkan Hills). (Alan Wakefield, September 2018)
The ground crossed by XVI Corps and the Greek Cretan Division during the flanking attack north of Lake Doiran on 18 September 1918 (looking towards the Krusha Balkan Hills). (Alan Wakefield, September 2018)
An Bulgarian artillery bunker in the plain in front of the village of Nikolic (Alan Wakefield, September 2017).
A Bulgarian artillery bunker in the plain in front of the village of Nikolic (Alan Wakefield, September 2017).

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 1915-1917, mainly in the Struma valley. Opinions expressed in these posts are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society.