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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
The Somme Marshes
Somme Marshes at Curlu. Near here Lt Arthur Eaton won an extraordinary DSO. He was a Lt. with 184 TC. 4/5 Jan 1916 Suzanne. Swam up the Somme for a mile and found ammunition dump of 23/RI and took their flag. Noted position of a battery: lobbed grenade into deep dug-out. Found no evidence of mining and to return to British lines attached himself to rear of German patrol and then struck off until he reached Somme and swam back. Made his report and called before GHQ where he was bollocked for leaving his post and given immediate DSO. French gave him Legion da
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.