Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Edited title - Salonika DCM Picture


nthornton1979

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

I have in my possesion a DCM group which was awarded to a Private serving in Salonika with the 12th Cheshires.

I am getting a painting commisioned of him in the action for which the DCM was awarded. (The action was in October 1916)

I want to ensure I get all the details right so would appreciate any help if possible.

1.Firstly I will need to find out what helmet and uniform the British were wearing at this time. ie Pith or round etc

The citation describes him attacking and bombing a machine gun post single handed and when shot through the right elbow, continued bombing with his left arm by pulling the pins out with his teeth.

2. This was during a raid (a large scale one in daylight from what I can gather). Would he have had a rifle with him ? Maybe slung over his shoulder ? I'm not sure what they would have had in a raid.

3. They were attacking Bulgarians. Would they have been wearing German helmets ?

4. What machine guns were the Bulgarians using ?

5. What grenades/bombs were the British using ie Mills etc

Any help however small is very welcome indeed !

Many thanks

Neil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Neil

In Salonika, Oct 1916, he would have been dressed and equipped the same way as soldiers on the Western Front, ie. woolen service dress, probably with long trousers and puttees, and a steel helmet. He may or may not have had his gasmask with him on the raid (likely at this date to have been the PH helmet in its small bag) but probably did not take rifle and equipment if he was a bomber. He would almost certainly have been using Mills bombs, and may have worn a bomber's "grenade vest", holding 12 Mills bombs, strapped to his chest.

It is impossible to say with certainty what he would have worn unless you can find the battalion orders for the raid. That would probably mean getting a researcher to check the war diary, as they sometimes have this sort of thing tipped in. You could also post on the "units and formations" subforum asking if anyone has details of this raid.

Regards,

W.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wainfleet,

Thankyou very much for the info. It will come in very helpful.

I am awaiting copies of the war diaries. I have sent a written request along with donation to the regimental museum which holds the records. With a bit of luck this may mention something useful.

Thanks again

Neil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the Western front a bombing party consisted of a bomber and two bayonet men with a couple of back up bombers who carried bombs, kept him supplied and replaced him if necessary. This was a well rehearsed drill. The bomber did not carry his rifle. This routine or something similar would have been used in Salonika as well, as likely as not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Correction to my earlier post: The grenade vest", or whatever its official title was, had 10 pockets not 12. See previous topics "Mills bombers special jacket" and "Bomber vest". The latter has a photo; sadly the pics in the former have expired.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This illustration is from one of the WW1 Osprey books. As noted above, he probably shouldn't have the rifle, rather a pistol instead.

post-6536-1238692272.jpg

The insignia on the helmet and the blue/yellow sleeve patches are specific to the 7th Northamptons of 24th Division, so would need changing!

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2. This was during a raid (a large scale one in daylight from what I can gather).

If this was the raid on The Nose on 28 October then, according to the Official History, it was at night. Makes sense, as the front lines were a mile apart - would have been dangerous to cross in daylight! The war diary will certainly mention kick-off time.

Also, the German 59th Regiment were in the line somewhere near there - though maybe not as far east as the Nose, I'm not sure.

Adrian

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He may or may not have had a Steel Helmet in Oct 1916--Issue to Salonika was not a priority.

They were in theatre at that time but Orders delinating issue were not issued until Nov 1916 and issue would be made when available--meaning that supplies were still arriving.

He could have been wearing Cork Helmet, Smasher Hat, or SD cap. For a raid at night I would probably bet on the least visible and easy to wear--Cap Comforter--but you wonbt know unless the raid orders are found.

Joe Sweeney

Link to comment
Share on other sites

British troops in Salonika wore a variety of uniforms. This is a soldier of the DCLI in Salonika in 1918.

3408578465_4eb2b016a8_b.jpg

This is a contempory postcard of men on the march in Salonika, also around 1916, showing them wearing the standard SD uniform.

3408579927_1f9f735914_b.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Bulgarians used the Schwarzlose machine gun in 8mm calibre. Plenty of pictures if you google it.

Regards

TonyE

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WOW, Thankyou all for the replies I've had - Loads of info to go off.

I think a bit of 'Artistic liscence ' may be in order. I am coming to the conclusion that there are a few possibilities for various items ie the headwear etc.

Fingers crossed on the diaries been full of detail !

Thanks again

Neil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Again thankyou all for the advice given.

When I said I was getting a picture commisioned I didn't mention it is actually my Father who is the artist.

Here is the finished result for your viewing pleasure.

The citation for the action reads :-

"For most conspicuous gallantry. Although subjected to heavy fire, he put an enemy machine gun out of action by bombing,and , though wounded, continued bombing, withdrawing the pins with his teeth and throwing with his left hand"

His service records and local article of the day reveal he was shot through the elbow and narrowly missed his arm been amputated.

.

.

.

post-42493-1239565303.jpg

post-42493-1239565382.jpg

post-42493-1239565433.jpg

post-42493-1239565489.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Superb! ...but...wouldn't Bulgarian troops have been wearing German M16's or (more likely) soft caps rather than Adrians? (I'm assuming that the soldiers in the background Bulgarian here).

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the comments.

Dave, to answer your question - I haven't a clue mate !

That was the original idea of this post, to get advice on the detail. I have edited the title now but I was asking for help originally.

Where were you when I needed help LOL :lol:

Looking through various books and browsing Google images for this theatre, I/my Father found the uniforms/helmets etc (including British) varied considerably.

I guessed they would be using whatever they could get their hands on at the time.

Cheers

Neil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know if this will help or not, but this is a photo of Bulgar prisoners taken by my grandfather in December 1918, 2 months after the armistice with Bulgaria. No helmets.

Another thing you might want to check on ("Under the Devil's Eye" is a great resource) is when the "winter" and "summer" lines were effected. Raids carried a different character when in winter or summer lines. Was this a raid to adjust lines and/or prepare for an offensive or was it one of the "stunts" accomplished during the malaria season?

Mike Morrison

post-2067-1239649815.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Mike,

A great photo.

I am still awaiting the war diaries to arrive which will hopefully give some detail.

The Regimental history states that they weren't involved in any attacks during the period in question as such but were involved in the occasional raid. However, no detail of the raids are present.

Hopefully th diaries will be of use.

Neil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Neil - I have replied in the thread over at the culture pages too. I beleive the reference you have used is for Greek troops - hence the Adrian Helmet. Attached is a scan of some Bulgarian uniforms - they would have also worn a German Helmet and during winter greatcoats etc. If memory serves me well (which is doesn't often these days!) I have seen photos of them with fur hats too. Its a great picture your Dad has done and I thought I'd post just in case you need more reference.

Bulgar.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tim, Thakyou for the pictures of the Bulgarian uniforms.

That clears that up !

Thankyou to everyone else who has contributed. Without the forum I'd be none the wiser that the uniform in the picture is actually incorrect.

I've just dropped the picture back off and my father is correcting the uniforms and helmets.

I'll repost when complete :D

Neil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As promised here is the picture, complete with enemy uniform adjustments.

Neil

post-42493-1240002536.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another entrant for the monthly art competition on forum? It would be good to see a new artist added to the role, expecially as I rather like the picture!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...