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Escape from prison camp in Salonika


sandyk13
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My Grandad Albert Moore was a Private in the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders in Salonika I think 1915 onwards. He was gassed and when he came to he found he had been captured. He was taken to some kind of holding compound. I call it that because he described it as a field with wire fences around it. They did not recieve any food and were told by the guards that they didn't have food for themseves let alone the prisoners. After two days the guards just opened the gates and told them to go. He said they had no idea where they were and just set of down the road. Evenyually they came to a group of huts and he bartered his kilt for a pair a flea ridden loose trousers and a pot of stew. They ate the stew and later in the day were all violently ill.Eventually they came apon an abandoned truck. No one knew how to drive but they managed to get it going and set off down the hill. It was downhill for a long way and then the truck stopped again. They had to struggle trough some marshes and were all badly bitten by mosquitoes and were eventually found by a "British not sure about that but anyway a friendly patrol" and taken back to the lines. He had contracted Malaria and was sent to Lemnos as a casualty.

What I'm trying to find out is roughly where did this all happen? Who was he captured by? (He called them Turks but they can't have been) What kind of gas was it.? It knocked him out and left him with a weak chest but it didn't affect his eyes. My other Grandfather was also gassed but in France and he was blind in one eye and was very incapacitated as his lungs were really damaged and eventually he died from complications caused by the gas. They can't have been the same type.

I hope some one can give me some help as to where I can look to find out. I have read the other posts about a Scottish soldier who escaped in Salonika but don't think my Grandad was a prisoner in the same area.

Thank you so much

Sandy Kennedy

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some POW accounts are held at the archives in kew -

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Thanks for your reply.

I live in Australia and can only access the Kew records via the net. I haven't managed to find anything remotely like my Grandad's experience of being set free again after being captured.

I really would like to know more about the gas used by I assume the Bulgarians. Perhaps he was just lucky and didn't get the full force of the gas.

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Sandyk13,

I can only find 2 Albert Moore in ASH:

1: Albert Edward Moore S/12853 enlisted 17.8.15 went to France 1.10.15 discharged from wounds 19.9.15

2. Albert Moore RAMC 52773 then ASH S20186 no other details.

The 1st Bn was in France initialy then moved to Salonika in Dec 15.

There may be others but I sugest detailed Ancestry search and a read up of the Bn War diaries if and when they come on line.

If it was no1 then possibly he was an ex regular who reenlisted after his reserve comitment had finished 6 weeks training seems quite a short period of time to train a brand new recruit. The number is that of a "new army recruit" ie one who enlisted into one of the service bns, however none of those went as a unit to Salonika. If it is him I would guess at accelerated refresher training then off to the 1st Bn moved with them to Salonika late 15 early 16 then at some point during 16 or 17 as described by you.

Hope of some use

James

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Hi James

Thanks for the reply

My Grandad is the Albert Moore who was in the RAMC. He was a trained St John's Ambulance Brigade man and a Salvation Army Bandsman so naturally they put him in the band as non combatant and for some quixotic reason (nothing we females could understand anyway) he requested a transfer to a fighting unit which is how he came to be in the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders and in Salonika.

After his escape he had Malaria and was transfered to a hospital on Lemnos. They were badly short staffed and as soon as he was recovered enough they decided he was back in the RAMC and he became a hospital orderly.

Eventually The Argyles, seeking to replace the terrible losses they had suffered in France, found him and demanded his return. He got back to England and was sent to France in I think 1918 but was found to be too ill from the gas damage to his lungs and the recurring bouts of malaria that he was invalided out.

I can't find his war record only his medal eligibily card and I haven't tried to find anymore on Ancestry for a few months so I will have another go maybe something is up there now.

Sandy

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Sandy,

Unable to locate a SWB record for him - but given his convoluted service record he could have been alocated a new number on return to ASH (he could well have served with any of the ASH Bn then in France). Ancestry indexing is a hideous thing and you have to have a lot of patience to find info.

THe ASH numbering system is somewhat confusing but it would apear from this site : http://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/argyll-sutherland-highlanders-service.html that he was transfered from RAMC to ASH sometime between 21Jan 17 and 30 April 17. This is a best guess and gives an indication only - could well be completly wrong.

Good Luck

James

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Thanks James for all your help. I'll go and have a look ASAP.

Sandy

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