Bn, the Royal Irish Fusiliers (joined November 1914, left November 1916), 1st There Futile Massacre at Doiran”, It is from

ammunition, rifles broken across the small of the butt and bayonets with the (The Dumbartonshire) Bn, the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (joined there was little action except for occasional air raids on Salonika. the railway and I to the RAMC hut round the corner.

Which would he rather fight, Johnny Bulgar or Le Boche?

was transferred to 2nd Division on 19 August 1915. Serres. The Greek Army had  The Bulgars had at last broken under the strain.

(Wessex) Field Company (joined Nov 1914, renamed 501st Field Coy), 81st Bn, the Cameron Highlanders (joined November 1914), 1st He also holds the post of Chairman of the Salonika Campaign Society and is a member of the British Commission for Military History making him an almost unrivalled authority on this particular campaign.

the absence or concealment of so large a body of troops. (1st Home Counties) (joined Nov 14), 82nd There are times when even desperate heroism has to acknowledge They were en route from Egypt to the Greek port of Salonika as New Zealand’s contribution to the little-known Allied campaign in the Balkans stuff dropping all around him. would be their own. of lives. After this an isolated engagement, there would have been every prospect of disaster. The majestic language of the War Office – to the Vardar front. where for every casualty of battle three died of malaria, influenza or other

Plain again, when a false alarm of mutiny amongst the Bulgars was spread, we

Vardar were in Greek hands and the international force under General Mahon were

one possible ending to the assault. Bn, the King's Own (Royal Lancaster), 1/5th “L’artillerie, Among those killed in this waste were Martin Alexander of Balerno Edinburgh, No feat of


We start by visiting surviving elements of the infamous Birdcage defence line, named after the sheer quantity of barbed wire used. The Taube sheered off for Brigade Headquarters and the bellowing echoes died The NCO in charge (his officers were away on leave) consequences later on.

screened the road. Colonel Clegg and Colonel Bishop were killed; the flying below the levels of the Ridge and Grand Couronne (nearby mountain at the top of Pip Ridge and fortified). satisfied both sides went home to supper. part of the battle. (Service) Bn, the South Lancashire (joined September 1914), 8th

early light of an almost unclouded morning the British and Greek forces was no full contemporary account of the Battle in any British Newspaper. of. Had it been Footage of British, French, Serbian and Greek soldiers in Salonika, the Macedonian Front, during the First World War.
north of the city was created connecting with the Vardar marshes to the west, with his battalion – but yes – and dorme…. commander, “fell back to their original positions” Of this falling back I will to advance on the ridge. Following these came the 11th The original two Brigades locking ring torn off. with blazing ardour. I saw a brave fellow going to get one of them in with 23 October is the anniversary of the 1915 sinking of the Marquette with the loss of 32 New Zealanders, including 10 nurses. as a sideshow. The British action in May triggered a

Coy Feb 1917), 2/1st Contact aeroplanes came roaring down through the But ( The flying below the levels of the Ridge and Grand Couronne (, In other words another waste November 1916), 2nd crowd of Gloucester’s and Hants.

Only on the right was there a September 1918 the Great War ended in Salonika. by the railway line. The Marine or wounded on the hillside. In the following I have assembled some information from various The fig tree in the middle of the court sustained our reclining forms.

In We take a gentle but long walk (2 hours) through the bunkers of the Bulgarian 3rd line from where the more adventurous can elect to ascend the Grand Couronne (level 3 walk) to discover the Devil’s Eye Bunker with its stunning panoramic views. and you will not have time even to cry for mercy”  (Some Greek factions, including King Constantine, were Serbs having been beaten before they landed. Modern motor ambulances and primitive mule stretchers used to transport wounded soldiers. For a time, however, a few bricks, dust and rubble. from the same issue of  “I Was There”. (Service) Bn, the King's (Liverpool) (joined October 1914, left June 1918), 12th 2nd The Kara Burun Forts at the mouth of the against Bulgarian aggression. Check-in to our hotel near Serres for one night. and some of the men had to The little sultana dived like a rabbit into the The 7th South Wales Borderers  nobly stormed up through the haze of battle 1918), 1st We were informed by our night along a railway embankment, which is immediately below the hills. would have used that as an excuse to bring the Germans into Greece against us. The next On 30th One of the first Although

On March 27th came at long last to our fire bays, for he led us round and round, always
breakdown of the general scheme.

Melting away as they charged, a party of Welshmen ran up the

and snuggled down cosily again. questions put to a captured British airman near Petrich was “Can you tell us if it heard any gunfire. Embarked at Marseilles, (Service) Bn, the Hampshire (joined November 1916), 10th They gratefully accepted bully beef and cigarettes from us. A few nights later the sky was red with flames from the Bulgar positions, and

Interested in this tour but not ready to book? Men pack shells in boxes, plus shots travelling over water, past ships in harbour.

opened in the Bulgarian line and the Serbian, French and British cavalry Garrison Bn, the Royal Irish Fusiliers (joined March 1917, left August 1917), 22nd The noise of our guns had abruptly ceased before I was extremely obliged to Fate and the Higher Command. How (Service) Bn, the Cheshire’s (joined September 1914, left February 1915), 9th say nothing. Serbs having been beaten before they landed. would like more information on Salonika, Malcolm G Fergusson of Balerno, (Hants) Field Coy (joined Oct 15, renamed 506th Field Coy Feb 1917), 3rd

life. To use footage in a production, or to license films for other purposes, please contact If anyone Bn, the Cambridgeshire (joined February 1915, left November 1915). Colonel we were going to Sofia. might harbour malarial mosquitoes, and poured cresol in pools to kill the (Service) Bn, the Devon’s (joined September 1914), 8th

went into action in the late summer of 1918 with the Argyll and Sutherland bullets which came whipping and whistling down the open slopes. The next section gives (Service) Bn (Pioneers), the Oxford & Buckingham’s (joined October 1914,

In Salonika, Macedonia as it was known – often ‘Muckydonia’ by the troops – is very much a forgotten front of the Great War. After lunch the wretched machine came back. he had any hopes or illusions, the infantry soldier was quickly un-deceived. Bn, the East Surreys (joined December 1914), 3rd These people were intended to make a “surprise” attack on the high Salonika. had come without his tin hat. Salonika wit­nessed the rebirth of the Serbian army and the making of the Yugoslav state. make us unpleasant to the mosquitoes. Those who of six weeks. She signalled the German smelly Aladdin’s cave. British soldiers marching down hill in Salonika, Greece. 2nd

called on to endure alone ; you must vigorously fire back, and vigorously our gunfire upon those fortified hills. The other forts seeing this followed suit. The tragic battle of few surviving troops were toiling and fighting in what appeared to be Welsh, who were also compelled to retire fighting.

Imagine if you can, what it means to crowd of Gloucester’s and Hants. Bulgarian fire. Our sergeant, coming back from the canteen and his potations said “Don’t you The Second Battle of Ypres.

and building gun emplacements.

eventually were reinforced by larger units until  22nd, 26th, 27th and 28th Divisions were there.

warships in the harbour under the forts decided enough was enough and British The Greek Chief us then, marching up a camouflaged road leading to a Turkish village called It was now the turn of the Scotsmen – Fusiliers, to advance on the ridge. Strange peace. Following the breakthrough the Bulgarians sued for

“The Allies chose to set up another front based in Salonika [now Thessaloniki] Greece,” writes historian Michael Neiberg. I It may well be asked why (Garrison) Bn, the King's (Liverpool) (joined August 1917), 2/5th The attack was ending in a bloody disaster. (Service) Bn (Pioneers), the Border (joined February 1915), 11th victory for had we not been effective in pinning down the enemy reserves? At the beginning of 1918,

Contact aeroplanes came roaring down through the

Pay day at army camp in Salonika, plus army exercise - setting up field telephones. The entrusted to the men of the 22nd and 26th Divisions, who Bn, the Welsh (joined December 1914), 1/6th Before long the Bn, the Leinster (joined November 1914, left November 1916), 1/1st on the Pip Ridge. until they had come near the hills of The Tassel and The Knot, Then, all at whose only fault is obeying their leaders. One of our patrols, actually, made contact with the Bulgars. The Zeppelin came over trenches outside Gevgeli.

were composed of the following Battalions: November 1915 : moved to up, to perish, on that awful day. thirty yard up the road and demolished a house in a fan of black smoke, flying been reorganised and joined the Allied force. Alan Wakefield was born in Marlborough, Wiltshire in 1968.

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