GWL 15th December 1915

Your letter & the little mirror arrived this morning.  Thank you so much.  Those things are awfully useful & being unbreakable one avoids the chances of several years bad luck!  The rains have just begun.  From the military point of view I should say it is about the best thing that could possibly happen.   Our address now is the same as the last, but with “Salonica Force” added.  What is going to happen here Heaven only knows.  The Greeks say one thing one day and something else the next.  The country, now that the fog has cleared is very like the Nankow Pass.

Two misguided youths from my company set out this afternoon to climb a neighbouring peak.  By a rough calculation it seems probable they arrived at the summit just as the rain began. We saw Mount Olympus yesterday – Not impressed at all – In the town you see German soldiers, Bulgars, Austrians & Turks!”

At this stage of the War Greece was technically still neutral; however, the country was divided with King Constantine based in Athens and largely loyal to his cousin Kaiser Wilhelm.  Meanwhile in the north, based in Salonica, Prime Minister Venizelos was pro-Allied.  Salonika itself was a cosmopolitan city with significant  numbers of Turks, Slavs and Bulgars as well as a Spanish Jewish population.  The British retreat from Macedonia had begun on the 7th December.  The Allied forces held a narrow ring around the Salonika.  The 27th Division were based in and around Lembet Camp.  In many ways conditions were worse than on the Western Front as there was no respite from the harsh conditions.

{next post 19th December}

 

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