Salonika Campaign Society
The Salonika Campaign Society was formed to promote interest in the Salonika campaign, fought in northern Greece, Serbia and Albania during 1915-1918. It aims to perpetuate the memory of those of all nations who served, whether they were members of the armed forces, medical services or civilian staff. The Society does not seek to glorify war and is neither politically nor commercially motivated. Application for membership is welcomed from anyone of like mind.
The Salonika Campaign, 1915-18
Anglo-French forces began landing at the Greek port of Salonika (now Thessaloniki) on 5 October 1915. The troops were sent to provide military assistance to the Serbs who had recently been attacked by combined German, Austro-Hungarian and Bulgarian armies. The intervention came too late to save Serbia and after a brief winter campaign in severe weather conditions on the Serbian frontier, the Anglo-French forces found themselves back at Salonika. At this point the British advised that the troops be withdrawn. However, the French, with Russian, Italian and Serbian backing still believed something of strategic importance could be gained in the Balkans.
Just as five national armies (those of Britain, France, Greece, Italy and Serbia) served under a unified command during the Salonika campaign, nowadays, on a fixed date, descendants of the five nations' veterans gather for an annual joint reunion and remembrance ceremony in northern Greece. Every year since 1977 there has been an international reunion at the Five Nation Memorial at Polykastron. The five veterans' associations manage the protocols and ceremonies, but naturally the Greek government and army play a significant role.
The benefits of Society membership include:
- The New Mosquito - a 26-page journal published in April and September;
- an annual gathering in London in October - comprising a wreath-laying ceremony, social event, talk and AGM;
- remembrance activities - including a plot in the 'Field of Remembrance' outside Westminster Abbey (November);
- battlefield tours - the Society can provide information on sites of interest and useful contacts, as well as notice of forthcoming organised tours.