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gerryl

SALONIKA HOSPITALS

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mtaylor

Jim - I was interested in this lady too as she is listed on our village hall memorial (wolfhill). I would like to follow it up and wonder if you have found more about her?

Mike Taylor

I am interested in finding out more about the sister of a woman I knew when I was young and she was old. The sister was a Miss Jessie Ritchie, born I think in 1863 or 1866 in Cargill, Blairgowrie, Scotland. She had a Birthday Book in which she kept for many years brief details of her life and people she met and I have the book now. I don't know when she became a nurse but she was one in 1892 in London and either before or after then at Dundee Royal Infirmary. She was nursing in 1902 in South Africa when on the 6th June of that year she met General Smuts at the Orange River Refugee Camp(his autograph is in the book) and she nursed in Salonika, as a Reserve in the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service where she died on 13/08/1916 and is buried in Lembet Road Military Cemetery.

Her book refers to a Private D. Black, 9221 D Coy 21 Stationary Hospital 1st. Batt. Salonika Force Royal Scots and she lists his 7 brothers, also of the Royal Scots, aged 22,36,16.5, 39, 18,24,15 of whom, she says, "All of them lost their lives fighting for their Country at Ypres, 1915".

Her book also mentions:

1) Corp. G Patton, 48th High. of Canada, Neuve Chapelle, Mar. 1915, Flanders(on Jan. 12th);

2) Pte. G H Paterson No. 11019 6th Gordon Highlanders, present at the attack on Neuve Chapelle on 10th, 11th and 12th March 1915(on April 11th).

3) Pte Ian Perry 9th Royal Scots Edinburgh(on 17th April).

4) "At 21 Stat. Hosp. Salonika 1916 L/Cpl. G Garden 2nd. Cameron (sic) won DCM & the Order of the Cross of St. George on the above date at Ypres 1915." Alongside is written "Halforth Cottage India(something) Inverness".

5) James Mc Gookin 8437 D Company 5 Batt. Royal Irish Regt.Salonika Force(on 8th November).

I hope this information may be of use to someone and if I can help further, I will. Any information anyone has I will be grateful for.

Jim Martin

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gcwilson

Just to add to the mix,

An Australian, Olive King, worked as a Volunteer Ambulance Driver in Belgium in 1915 and transferred later that year to the Scottish Women's Hospitals as a driver. She worked in both France and Salonika before transferring to the Serbian Army, then based in Salonika. Her letters from this period have been published as "One Woman at War. Letters of Olive King 1915-1920" (edited by Hazel King, Melbourne University Press, 1986). The letters describe life in Salonika and the conditions under which the medical staff worked.

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Ken Devitt
Hi!

I just posted this article written around 1921 by an officer who served at No. 4 Canadian General Hospital in Salonica.

Much of the article dwells on his impressions of the region, however, he does describe when the hospital treated the Irish 10th Division in December 1915.

The book was a collection of articles written by members of Toronto's Trinity Methodist Church. Although the work may be outdated, and not up to date with modern research, one does get an impression of the spirit of the men. The author of the Salonica piece is initially apologetic - indicating that he understands that most of the public was interested in what was going on at the Western Front, and didn't understand the value of the work done at Salonica.

The book is quite rare, and I am currently transcribing a number of the stories as the church parishioners served in quite a range of units.

Marika

Link to article - Salonica - No. 4 Cdn General Hospital

Picture posted is the author of the article.

Hello Marika,

Fascinating to read. My grandfather was treated for frostbite at one of the Canadian hospitals. He was involved in the retreat from Serbia and was with 6th bn. Royal Dublin Fusiliers. The story goes that the young Canadian nurse treating him managed to save his feet. How much was fact or fiction I don't know.

By any chance would the hospitals have kept records?

Thanks a lot,

Ken

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Guest

My grandfather, Richard William Sollars - Surrey Yeomanry - B Squadron - 28th Division Cavalry and 16th Corps Cavalry, Salonica was in several hospitals in the region.

He had a 'nasty touch of fever' and had 5 teeth pulled out and then had another 6 pulled out. Not nice! His fever was recurrent.

His diary for 1916 read:

"April 19 - two troops relieve cavalry at Embarv??? I have a nasty touch of fever.

May 4 - Just recovered but am sent to hoptres? on way I get upset out of cart, good shake up.

May 5 Zepp raid in night, we get one down. another attack of fires.

May 8 - sent to clearing station feeling fairly fit but unable to get away?

May 10 - sent to rest camp at Lambert

.......

June 15 - sent back to Salonica with fever again.

June 24 - moved from 21 Hospital to the 20th.

July 10 - sent convalescent from 20th to convalescent deopt.

July 15 - sent from convalescent depot, to the Karrasie rest camp.

July 18 - return to Squad, and find nearly half in hospital with fever, heat of 110' in shade.

.....

Aug 19 fever gets me down again. in the 4 Canadian Hospital.

Sep 19 leave hospital and go aboard the hospital ship Denluce Castle for Malta.

Sep 21 arrive at Valleta. disembark for hospital at 3pm. Arrive at St. Potrica M.H. [military hospital] about 5pm. having decent time.

Oct 5 - I go to Tigne Hospital and have five teeth out, have to go again.

Oct 13 - have six more out.

....

Nov 25 very rough storm. half the hospital blown away.

Dec 1 - moved to St. M? Camp, Milleal. not very inspiring "

If anyone can help with identifying the hospital locations or correcting me on spellings, as I can't read all of his writing, I would appreciate it. I'd also love to see photos of any of these military hospitals, convalescent camps etc!

Thanks for your help!

Claire

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wulsten

There is a Salonika campaign society, who may help their newsletter is the mosquito, www.salonika.freeserve.co.uk

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Guest

Thanks for letting me know about the newsletter. That will be great to have a look at that.

Claire

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jimmie

Dear All,

Has anyone got any more up to date information on Salonika hospitals please? I'm particularly interested in the 21st Stationary hospital. What is a stationary hospital as opposed to any other?

Thanks.

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Guest mungoman

Regarding Jessie Ritchie d 13/08/1916 at Salonika.

Jessie was the daughter of my great great grandfather Alexander Ritchie who lived at the farm of West Mieckle Whitefield Perthshire. He was the overseer of the estates of Dunsinnan and Craigmakerran and died in 1913. Jessie had 3 brothers and 3 sisters. Her brother James Douglas Ritchie emmigrated to NZ and is my great grandfather. I have a copy of a newspaper clipping of Alexander Ritchie's obituary which mentions "one of his daughters is a nurse, and during the Boer war she had charge of the hospital in one of the Concentration Camps". I am presuming this was Jessie but am waiting for her service record from the National Archives to see if this sheds any light.

I have a very bad photocopy of a photo of Jessie and three other nurses in uniform titled "some of Queen Alexandria's Imp Mil Nursing sisters ... St Johns V.A.D at isolation hospital Le Havre 1915" and a photo of her grave with the original wooden cross. In the 1891 Scottish census Jessie is recorded as living at the Royal Infirmary Barrack Road Dundee and her occupation as Nurse in Infirmary.

It would be grateful if anyone has any other information to share.

Thanks

John

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Sue Light

John

You may already have seen it, but there is an appealing obituary in the British Journal of Nursing [2nd September 1916], with a photograph:

Jessie Ritchie

The photographs in the online edition always appear in that blacked out form, but you should be able to get a reproduction from the originals, and it's worth contacting the Royal College of Nursing Archives:

RCN Services

Sue

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apwright

Nurse Ritchie's grave at Lembet Road:

post-16303-1189759190.jpg

If anyone would like a hi-res version, just drop me a PM.

Adrian

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jimmie

Adrian, I'd be very grateful for a high-res. version of the photo of Jessie Ritchie's gravestone. I am interested in any ifo. regarding her as I have a particular interest in discovering details of her family and I have previously mentioned this to mungoman and suggested we swap any information we have.

Do you have a particular interest in her yourself or were you just kindly making the photo available as the subject of her had been raised and as a resident of Salonika you went to the cemetery and took the photo for the Forum?

Jim Strawbridge is preparing a book on nurses who died in the Great War and he has kindly made available to me info. on Jessie he has gathered to date. He would probably be interested in any relevant info. you may have.

To answer mungoman's query, she was in charge of the Orange River Refugee Camp during the Boer War and there she met General Smuts when he disbanded his commando there at the end of that war, and then she entertained him to tea!

Jim

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akduerden

I am researching my grandfather who served with RFA in Salonika from 1915-17. He contracted Malaria and was admitted to the 4th Canadian General hospital (thanks to this post for solving this part of my riddle as all his service record had was 4 Can Gen).

I would like to find out where the 4th Canadian General hospital was located and anything else about it.

Additionally there seem to be a few in this post that have a good knowledge of the Salonika campaign so I am wondering whether anybody has any information on the 26th Division and/or 115th Brigade RFA.

Andrew

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Kate Wills

Sadly none of the divisions which spent the bulk of their war service in Salonika produced a divisional history; however, some of their constituent units did, such as the 7th Ox & Bucks LI. This will give you an idea of locations, as your grandfather would not have been too far away (relatively speaking).

BTW, my grandfather contracted malaria too. I cannot locate his service record, so your post gives me one possibility as to where he may have been treated.

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apwright

Andrew,

4th Canadian General Hospital started out in tents at Monastir Road Camp (NW of the city) from November 1915 to May 1916, when they moved into huts in Kalamaria on the "Little Mikra" Cape south of the city. It was just south of the French airfield.

The hospital was very big (up to 2000 beds) and covered quite a large area, but if you go to Google Earth and paste in the coordinates 40.5860 22.9515, then you'll be pretty near the middle of it. Nothing left now, of course!

4th Canadian GH transferred back to the UK in August 1917, and its site was taken over by British 52nd General Hospital.

Here's a photo of 52nd GH taken in late 1918 or early 1919:

post-16303-1232225715.jpg

The photographer is standing in the middle of the south perimeter road of the French Aviation Park (which is off to the left), looking roughly eastwards. (Standing on a spot which, if my calculations are correct, I can see from my office window as I type this!)

Adrian

EDIT: Parts of the War Diary of 4th Canadian General can be downloaded from HERE

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Kate Wills

Andrew,

I have consulted Charles Packer's 'Return to Salonika' and he does not mention 115th Brigade RFA. However, I can recommended this as an excellent account of service in Salonika, with the added bonus of the author being a member of 26th Division.

Needles to say, Wakefield & Moody's 'Under the Devil's Eye' is also a must read.

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akduerden
Sadly none of the divisions which spent the bulk of their war service in Salonika produced a divisional history; however, some of their constituent units did, such as the 7th Ox & Bucks LI. This will give you an idea of locations, as your grandfather would not have been too far away (relatively speaking).

BTW, my grandfather contracted malaria too. I cannot locate his service record, so your post gives me one possibility as to where he may have been treated.

Kate,

What unit was your grandfather in? By the way the Canadian Matrix site has war diaries for all the Canadian hospitals (plus a lot of other British units) and in these a number of units and visiting commanders of units are mentioned. Presumably commanders would visit the hispitals where their men were.

http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca

Andrew

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akduerden

Thanks all for the help and I love the photo...

I have read through the war diaries for the 4th Canadian and they cover the period my grandfather was in hospital, adding some 'local colour' to my knowledge.

Andrew

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akduerden

Adrian,

Do you have the Google Earth coordinates for Lembet Camp?

Andrew

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apwright

Andrew,

Lembet Camp was a few miles north of the city. 40.6862 22.9456 should put you fairly close to the centre of it, though it extended for a least a mile in every direction from there with supply depots, ammo dumps, remount depots, hospitals etc. The main railhead was just west of these coordinates, across the main road.

Adrian

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MartinWills
Kate,

What unit was your grandfather in? By the way the Canadian Matrix site has war diaries for all the Canadian hospitals (plus a lot of other British units) and in these a number of units and visiting commanders of units are mentioned. Presumably commanders would visit the hispitals where their men were.

http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca

Andrew

There is a bit of a clue in Kate's signature - Pte Lines served in the 7th OBLI and then the ASC (660 MT Coy).

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Guest rsayle

I am amazed at what the Internet brings forth. It's as if the oceans of the world slowly retreat, displaying what has been hidden/ignored for generations.

Jessie Ritchie's brother, James Ritchie, was married to my mother's first cousin, Isabella Stewart. Although my mother and Isabella's lives overlapped, they never ever met... or knew of each other.

I uncover this associated familial link to Jessie when I Googled Bruce Stewart, Isabella's brother and found her name mentioned indirectly in a Scottish War Memorials Project page.

Ironic that Bruce Stewart died a POW in Germany, probably in a German Military Hospital.

So much we have to relearn from our past... People, places and events!

Regarding Jessie Ritchie d 13/08/1916 at Salonika.

Jessie was the daughter of my great great grandfather Alexander Ritchie who lived at the farm of West Mieckle Whitefield Perthshire. He was the overseer of the estates of Dunsinnan and Craigmakerran and died in 1913. Jessie had 3 brothers and 3 sisters. Her brother James Douglas Ritchie emmigrated to NZ and is my great grandfather. I have a copy of a newspaper clipping of Alexander Ritchie's obituary which mentions "one of his daughters is a nurse, and during the Boer war she had charge of the hospital in one of the Concentration Camps". I am presuming this was Jessie but am waiting for her service record from the National Archives to see if this sheds any light.

I have a very bad photocopy of a photo of Jessie and three other nurses in uniform titled "some of Queen Alexandria's Imp Mil Nursing sisters ... St Johns V.A.D at isolation hospital Le Havre 1915" and a photo of her grave with the original wooden cross. In the 1891 Scottish census Jessie is recorded as living at the Royal Infirmary Barrack Road Dundee and her occupation as Nurse in Infirmary.

It would be grateful if anyone has any other information to share.

Thanks

John

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JAMESww1

Hi all , I am researching my great Uncle WILLIAM ALAN FRASER who fought in WW1 . He was in the Royal Engineers 26th Div. and was killed in Salonika on the 7th July, 1917. His probate publication in London stated that he died in Salonika at "48 General hospital EURENDJIK. I am reading the Wakefield Moody book Under the Devil's Eye but there is no reference to the 48th GH nor Eurendjik.

Does anyone know where in Salonika EURENDJIK is ? I cannot find any helpful reference via Google.

Thanks

JAMES

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Kate Wills

Welcome to the Forum, James.

Eurendjik is a few miles north east of Salonika towards Kirechkoi (now Exochi).

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apwright

"Eurendjik" is the French transliteration of the Turkish Örencik (meaning "little ruins" or "little paradise" depending on which source you consult!). Other spellings Örendžik, Uredžik, Urendgik, Redžik, Retziki (Greek form).

It was also referred to as Ceki (on the Austrian map) or Dzeki (on the 1917 trenchmap WO298/279). This name goes back to the Abbott dynasty of British Levantine merchants/money-lenders, who lived in the city from about 1770 to 1876. One of these, John Nelson "Jackie" Abbott (born 1806), whose nickname became Djekis/Dzeki to the locals, built a great country estate at Örencik for himself and his money-lender pals (he was also known as "King of the Leeches"...). In 1876 his son Henry, who was also Consul for Germany, was assassinated, and the estate at Örencik soon fell into disrepair.

By the time of WW1 it was little more than ruins inhabited by a few local goatherds.

After the war, the area was settled by refugees from Asia Minor, and was officially called Retziki in Greek until 1956, when the government abolished the last Turkish placenames. Since then it has officially been Pefka (Πεύκα, meaning "pines"), although everyone still refers to it locally as Retziki.

The site of the estate is now (since the 1970s) the area around the De la Salle College (Google Earth 40.6558 22.9956).

From what I can gather, 48 General Hospital was a bit further NE, on the hillside around 40.659 23.00.

You say "killed", but AFAIK No.48 GH was mainly for disease cases (malaria and dysentery). Have you got your great uncle's death certificate? That should tell you what he died of.

It can be ordered in the usual way:

GRO War Deaths Army Officers Indices (1914 to 1921)

Name: Fraser, William A

Unit: Royal Engineers

Rank: T.Capt.

Year: 1917

Volume: O.8

Page: 48

Hope this helps,

Adrian

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JAMESww1

WOW , that's fantastic information, thanks very much. I have, all but finished reading "Under the devils Eye" and have realised that considering the shocking almost unspeakable tragedies (i.e. death and injury) happening by the thousands on a daily basis to the soldiers trying to gain ground or even just defend what they have, that the men of the Royal Engineers may have had a smaller chance of being killed. However I also read that disease killed more soldiers than the Bulgars did. So, Kate , you are probably very right in pointing out that 48GH was mainly for disease cases and that William Alan Fraser probably died from disease. I will order his death certificate. Thanks for the suggestion and the references.

Since I made the above post I have i read in the book that the hospitals were near Salonika and that there was a fairly efficient (as it could be in a battle) system of getting wounded soldiers back to a hospitals.

Thanks Kate for the map ref. I note that the 48 GH was inside "The birdcage" It is wonderful to consider the origin of names. When they built the hospital no thought would have been given to origin of the name meaning either "little ruins" or "little paradise'. Many soldiers dying there, did they go to "paradise" or what ??

Thanks again

JAMES HORN

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