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British Liaison with Serbia Troops in Balkans


JamesBuck
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This photo shows my Grandfather (wearing the Australian slouch hat) with General Bartlet (I think) observing Serbian manoeuvres in Salonika during the rebuilding of the Serbian forces following their defeat in November 1915 (by the Austro-Hungarian, German and Bulgarian forces) and retreat through the mountains of Montenegro and Albania. I think this picture was taken during the summer of 1916. 

I wonder if there are any Serbian experts out there who might be able to recognise any of the individuals or the unit?

My grandfather was also awarded the Order of the Serbian White Eagle IV Class. 

MST Serbia WW1.jpg

MST Medals.jpg

Edited by JamesBuck
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Great story, cracking photo and medals, thank you for sharing. Excuse my ignorance but what is the first medal on the left as we look at it?

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Just now, Gardenerbill said:

Great story, cracking photo and medals, thank you for sharing. Excuse my ignorance but what is the first medal on the left as we look at it?

Thanks. The medal is the Order of the British Empire (Military) initially intended to recognise meritorious service, the Order began to be also awarded for gallantry during WW1 and increasingly in WW2. 

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On slouch hats on British troops in Salonika. In the summer of 1916 not having enough pith helmets many British troops were issued them.

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1 hour ago, James A Pratt III said:

On slouch hats on British troops in Salonika. In the summer of 1916 not having enough pith helmets many British troops were issued them.

That's very interesting. His wife was Australian so we always assumed it was because of that. 

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1 hour ago, apwright said:

Your photo is also included in the IWM collection (Q 32219). Unfortunately, the caption doesn't identify anyone by name, but provides the details: Battle of Doiran. Serbian staff officers explaining the fighting to British Official Correspondents. 26th August, 1916.

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205297783

 

Adrian

Hi Adrian, That is extraordinary. I've been familiar with this photo for many years as it is in one of my grandfather's albums. I guess a press photo with many copies made. Thank you so much for bringing it to the party. So my Grandfather Capt MS Thompson DLI and General Bartlett (I think that is the name). I can't find reference to a General Bartlett so I may have got the name wrong. My grandfather described his role as British Liaison rather than "British Official Correspondents" which is interesting. 

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On slouch hats worn by British troops in Salonika 1916 see the western front association youtube  video "Soldiering with the British Salonika force 1915-1918

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Captain Cyril Falls, compiler of the Official History of the campaign, describes it thus…


“Egypt held the purse-strings … the demand for sun-helmets for the coming hot weather, made as early as February 1916, was opposed by the Director of Medical Services in Egypt. It was first considered that even in the hottest weather neck-covers fitted to the service caps would give sufficient protection. Next it was decided that slouch hats, similar to those worn by Australian troops, were necessary; and these were issued. Finally, on the 18th June, the then Army commander at Salonika had to insist that the estimate of the Macedonian summer climate made by Egypt was incorrect, and that sun-helmets were urgently required”.

MB

https://salonikacampaignsociety.org.uk/2020/05/17/harold-may-1916/#more-3046

 

Edited by KizmeRD
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36 minutes ago, JWK said:

"De West", a Dutch language newspaper in Surinam, mentions "the well-known Ahsmead Bartlet [sic], correspondent for the Times in the Dardanelles" in 1916.

ddd_011091003_mpeg21_p005_image.jpg.91bfae518e7dceb3f8c2a0652273ace3.jpg

Maybe that's "General Bartlett"?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellis_Ashmead-Bartlett

 

 

Hello JWK, yes I have looked at Ashmead Bartlet. I don't think he is the same man as I have not been able to find any record of him in Salonika. I will dig out my grandfather's journals and have a look at them again. It is very possible that I got the name wrong. But also I am pretty certain that my grandfather was not a correspondent but part of the British Army liaison/training team. 

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