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NorthStaffsPOW

Corfu Battalion?

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NorthStaffsPOW

Hi all.

I am researching 15278 Pte. George Walton who served on the Macedonia front with 2nd KSLI. On his medal roll it says that at one point he was attached to the Corfu Battalion? I have never heard of this and initially thought that it may have something to do with attachment to the Serbian Army on Corfu. My other idea was that it could refer to a unit of the Greek Army? If anyone knows or could provide any further guesses or information I would be very interested to hear them. Many thanks.

 

 

Walton medal roll.jpg

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Acknown

It appears that there were British troops on Corfu, but I've know idea how many. This link should take you to a book entitled 'Armies in the Balkans 1914–18' by Nigel Thomas and Dusan Babac. On Page 20 is a photo of Cpl G. Mitchell RASC Corfu in May 1918.

Acknown

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Gardenerbill

The 2nd KSLI war diary might throw some light on it, he may have been part of a detachment which could be mentioned in the diary. 

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Acknown

CWGC shows 13 WW1 graves in the Corfu Military Cemetery: click here. Of these, five are soldiers. Pte Ellison RAMC served in the 'Corfu Convalescent Hospital'. Cpl Busson was '9/Glosters'. Cpl Phillips was in 'Base Details RFA'. Pte Williamson was 'C Company 2/East Yorkshire'. Some research into these individuals may give more clues. My suggestion is that there was a British Military (Base?) Hospital there, supported by an ad hoc administrative battalion made up of seconded individuals from across the British Salonika force.

Acknown 

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Terry_Reeves
Posted (edited)

The hospital was in the Old Fortress in Corfu town. Also in the fortress is a British army cookhouse dating from WW1, which used to be open to the public.

 

TR

Edited by Terry_Reeves

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NorthStaffsPOW

Thank you for the suggestions chaps. The only War Diary I can find for 2nd KSLI seems to end in October 1915 unfortunately. I had not thought about an admin support battalion. Thinking about it that does seem like a likely option. I think I will have to do some more digging into British troops stationed on Corfu. 

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Terry_Reeves
Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, NorthStaffsPOW said:

Thank you for the suggestions chaps. The only War Diary I can find for 2nd KSLI seems to end in October 1915 unfortunately. I had not thought about an admin support battalion. Thinking about it that does seem like a likely option. I think I will have to do some more digging into British troops stationed on Corfu. 

War diaries here for the British Military Hospital Corfu and Convalescent Depot Corfu:

 

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4558091

 

Hospital photos here:

 

https://www.28dayslater.co.uk/threads/english-military-hospital-corfu-april-2013.82150/

 

 

 

TR

Edited by Terry_Reeves

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Acknown
Posted (edited)

Pte Williamson's Service Record is on Ancestry. Sadly, much of it is illegible (to me), but there are various references to No. 3 Base Depot and 'died of pneumonia 3rd Echelon Salonika'. It may be he was a patient in the Corfu Military Hospital rather than working there. From the Register of Soldiers Effects on Ancestry: Pte Ellison died of illness; Cpl Phillips was also probably a patient; Cpl Busson also died of illness; Cpl Routledge drowned accidentally.

I'm not sure where that gets us, other than into greater doubt. But I had an interesting half hour.

Acknown 

... and finally, from the CWGC website 'The island of Corfu was used during the First World War as a British and United States naval base. A convalescent camp and military hospital were also stationed there'. 

Edited by Acknown

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Gardenerbill
7 hours ago, NorthStaffsPOW said:

. The only War Diary I can find for 2nd KSLI seems to end in October 1915 unfortunately.

This is probably up to the time when they moved to Salonika. There may be more diaries held at Kew for their time in the Balkans but as far as I am aware the Salonika ones have not been digitised.

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Sgt Stripes
Posted (edited)

Hello my old chum Gardenerbill. Vol 2 Military Operations in Macedonia, only mentions Corfu once Page 7, it states " June 1917 A convalescent depot at Corfu where the climate was superior to that of Macedonia proved of service for patients who had been the severest sufferers" . I suspect that he was a patient suffering from probably Malaria. The Library at Shrewsbury has the 2nd Battalion War Diary, they brought it to me by mistake when i was looking at the 8th KSLI. To view the War diary you have to make an appointment and have your photo taken when you go in. I did obtain a short history of the 2nd KSLI 1914-18  from the KSLI museum, which is just across the road, but there in nothing in it about Corfu. Sadly there was nothing  in the museum about the 2nd or the 8th in Salonika. Hope this helps

Edited by Sgt Stripes

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Keith_history_buff

From a pay and accounting perspective, I have seen men wounded on the Western Front who were no longer associated with the battalion, after having been shipped to a hospital in the UK, but were associated with the regimental depot.

If a soldier was hospitalised whilst serving in Salonika, did they remain on the books of their battalion, or were they similarly reassociated with the regimental depot?

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NorthStaffsPOW

Thanks to all for the many considered opinions. It seems most likely then to relate to the hospital on Corfu. Seeing the photos of the abandoned hospital has inspired me. Maybe a trip to corfu is on the cards when this madness is over? Many thanks. 

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