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WW1 Photos Centenary Website: 2014-2018 By Paul Reed

Great War Portraits: Salonika 1918

This week the site will feature a series of Great War portraits relating to different aspects of the war and different theatres.

This image of Private George Whiting of the 2nd Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry was taken in Salonika in 1918. Salonika, Macedonia as it was known – often ‘Muckydonia’ by the troops – is very much a forgotten front of the Great War. British troops served there from 1915 and fought Austro-Hungarian and Bulgarian troops in support of their Serbian allies. The campaign was charactised by periods of intense fighting, static warfare just as on the Western Front, and huge casualties from disease; malaria from mosquitoes being the biggest problem. By 1918 the British Army had suffered 162,517 from disease along and over half a million men in Salonika were treated for non-battle injuries or sickness.

George Whiting wears a typical uniform of the warmer periods spent in Salonika; light-weight Khaki Drill (KD) uniform rather than the thicker woollen Service Dress, although that was worn here during the winter months, and shorts. In his hand is a Solar Topee or Pith Helmet, again part of the warm weather uniform worn by British troops here. On the band, or pugree, round the helmet is the badge of his regiment. Sewn on his lower right sleeve are two Overseas Chevrons indicating George had served in Salonika since 1916.

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One response

  1. Phil Hindle

    Excellent picture. My great Aunt served there as a nurse, but I’ve got no pictures. Her history was fascinating and her record from the PRO is brilliant,she travelled back and forth many times over the years, she had a full set of medals! Never met her, but feel I know her from the records.

    17/02/2012 at 10:59

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