Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Sport in Salonika


Guest jw_94
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,

I am an undergraduate History student focusing my dissertation on Salonika and was just wondering if anyone in this forum could help me in my research. I am particularly interested in the role and nature of sport in for the British troops in Salonika during the Great War, and how this compared to the Western Front (which has been well-covered by existing- literature). I know from photos at the IWM that football matches took place, boxing tournaments were organised and sports days were held during this period. If anyone has any further photographs, mentions of sport in diaries, articles in regimental journals or any reference at all to add to this it would be much appreciated! This could range from soldiers betting on sports, the class differences between sports played by different ranks, and even the military utility of games and fitness. I believe I have contacted some of the more regular contributors to this forum separately, but I would love to hear from anyone else who may have something valuable to add!

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Q . I believe I have contacted some of the more regular contributors to this forum separately, but I would love to hear from anyone else who may have something valuable to add!

I am sure that they will be only too happy to assist you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi everyone,

I am an undergraduate History student focusing my dissertation on Salonika and was just wondering if anyone in this forum could help me in my research. I am particularly interested in the role and nature of sport in for the British troops in Salonika during the Great War, and how this compared to the Western Front (which has been well-covered by existing- literature). I know from photos at the IWM that football matches took place, boxing tournaments were organised and sports days were held during this period. If anyone has any further photographs, mentions of sport in diaries, articles in regimental journals or any reference at all to add to this it would be much appreciated! This could range from soldiers betting on sports, the class differences between sports played by different ranks, and even the military utility of games and fitness. I believe I have contacted some of the more regular contributors to this forum separately, but I would love to hear from anyone else who may have something valuable to add!

Thanks

Welcome to the Forum, I have several photographs of British troops taking part in various ' Sports Days ' in Salonika during WW1, and if you send me your email address via the Forum's ' Personal Mail ', I shall gladly provide you with scans of these photographs.

Regards,

LF

Link to comment
Share on other sites

JW,

there were a number of Yeomanry units in the Salonika theatre, as well as the usual football, boxing and Rugby, they held horse shows, horse races, and point to point. In 'The History of the Surrey Yeomanry' there is a reference to hunting with hounds; it suggests that at least one of the packs of hounds was brought from home. It doesn’t say what they were hunting but there were wolves and I have read Jackals in the area.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

Hello JW,

I've just been reading Harold Lake's 'In Salonica with our Army' which is in the scanned books section on a DVD-Rom called Trench Map CD produced by the Salonica Canmpaign Society & came across the following which I thought might be of interest to you since Lake discusses sport & recreation:

PLAYTIME IN MACEDONIA

PLAYTIME is really a serious problem in

Macedonia. While we remained at

Lahana and could have those Sunday excursions

we were quite happy, but there were

only three such Sundays, and then we returned

to the old, familiar condition of having plenty

of time to spare and absolutely nothing to

do with it. I should think there never was

a country so empty of the means of entertainment.

Since our transport usually consisted

of pack mules, we could carry nothing

with us that was not absolutely essential.

The weight of our kit was constantly being

checked, and if it exceeded the standard of

the moment something had to be left behind,

and our track was .marked by abandoned

articles of clothing and other personal tackle,

Under those conditions the utmost that one

could carry in the way of apparatus for

recreation was a pack of cards, and curiously

few of us had packs of cards to carry. Even

if we had them, they were hardly ever used.

During the whole of the time I was in the

country I only played bridge twice, till I

went into hospital. It did not seem to occur

to us to play games.

There were no collective amusements at

all. It is possible that there were in the land

battalions who possessed concert parties of

their own and had regular entertainments,

but I did not come in contact with them.

It is a little difficult to have concerts without

a piano, and the army is not encouraged

to carry pianos about Macedonia. There

was one in the Y.M.C.A. tent in the old base

camp at Karaissi, but I did not see another

until I was on the boat which took me away,

nor did I see another of the tents of the

Y.M.C.A. Very likely there are units which

excel in camp-fire concerts, but we had no

gifts in that direction. It did not occur to

us to sing, just as it did not occur to us to

play cards, or, indeed, any other games. I

suppose we might have played football if we

had owned a ball, but we had nothing of

the sort, and no one felt the lack of it badly

enough to send for one. The various units

stationed in and about Salonica used to

play matches at times, but we up-country

people had nothing to do with those festivities,

nor any chance to take part in them.

Good luck with your thesis. I completed my thesis some years ago but the research never stops!

Martina

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello JW,

I've just come across this reference that you might already know about but thought I'd let you know anyway:

Beauvoir de Lisle - Reminiscences of Sport and War (Eyre & Spottiswoode 1939) [Commanded Div 1915-17]I found it on the following site: http://battlefields1418.50megs.com/divisions3.htmBritish Infantry Divisions of the Great War.

Best wishes,

Martina

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
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...