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Featured Print

Lake Doiran - Thessaloniki

French & British forces landed in Thesaloniki in Oct 1915 to support the Serbs who had been invaded by the Central Powers but in fact they arrived too late and after a short incursion into Serbia near Lake Doiran concentrated on the fortification of Salonika.
Because of the huge amount of wire used it became known as the “Birdcage” and by the summer of 1916 the force was well entrenched as it was joined by Serbian, Russian & Italian units with the front extending from the Aegean to the Adriatic roughly along the Greek border and then through Macedonia. In 1917 the fighting was mainly centred around Lake Doiran but it was not until July of 1918 that a major offensive was undertaken to end the Balkan war. In September the British launched a disastrous attack on heavily defended positions to the west of Lake Doiran and sustained enormous losses. However the prerssure told on the Bulgarians who agreed to an armistice on 30th Sept 1918.

© Mike St. Maur Sheil / westernfrontphotography.com

Featured Print

Rifle ammunition clips in the Pocket - Argonne

"The Pocket" was the name given to the position occupied by "The Lost Battalion", eight American units of the 77th Division, roughly 550 men, isolated by Germans after an American attack in the Argonne Forest on 3rd October 1918. Roughly 197 were killed in action and approximately 150 missing or taken prisoner before 194 remaining men were rescued on 7th October. They were led by Major Charles White Whittlesey who received the Medal of Honor and was also a pallbearer at the ceremony interring the remains of the Unknown Soldier.
However he never overcame his guilt at the loss of so many of his men and he committed suicide in 1921.

© Mike St. Maur Sheil / westernfrontphotography.com

Featured Print

Hill 60

Pillbox built by Australian engineers atop an older German bunker
Name is based upon its height above sea-level. Largely artificial, being formed from spoil removed from the adjacent railway cutting. It had strategic importance as it overlooked Ypres and so became the scene of fierce fighting after the Germans captured it in Dec 1914.
Despite the terrible nature of the mixed soil, it became the scene of immense mining operations by both sides and was notorious for the terribly wet conditions underground. Five VCs were awarded here including that given to Cpl. Edward Dwyer in April 1915 when he was only 19 and hence the youngest man to have been awarded a VC at that time.
The hill is regarded as a war grave site as many bodies were never recovered from the tunnels.

© A