The following letter was received by the Hamilton Advertiser from two Blantyre lads with the Expeditionary Force in Salonica in May 1916. It’s a touching letter written by soldiers sending thanks. It was dated 10th April 1916.
“We received your letter, dated 15th April, and return our thanks for you sending our parcel, and wishing you and the Advertiser the best of luck. Your paper is much appreciated by the Lanarkshire boys out here, and it is the paper that gives us the local news. We are much obliged to Mr Hunter for sending us out a football and wish him and Motherwell F.C. the best of luck. We will only be too glad to give you the details of our first match. I am afraid that we can’t form a league, but we have a good eleven—all Blantyre boys and I think we can keep up the old reputation of Lanarkshire at football. We will write and let you know when we receive your welcome parcel. All well at present. Wishing you and the readers of your paper the best of luck. I must thank you and your readers once again, on behalf the Lanarkshire boys, Salonica. A McGurk and J Fraser”
Between 1915 and 1918, British troops were part of a multi-national Allied force fighting against the Bulgarians and their allies in the Balkans. Although disease and the harsh conditions took a heavy toll, they eventually brought the campaign to a successful conclusion.
For illustration only: Pictured are WW1 troops in Salonica in 1916, (who just happen to be reading the Balkan newspaper)
Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:
Elizabeth Grieve The forgotten war. My great uncle died in Salonica. This was on my mum’s side of the family
Catherine Mckeane So did mine Elizabeth 😢 my grandmother’s brother, buried a long way from home. May they RIP x
Elizabeth Grieve Catherine Mckeane they never found my great uncle’s body sadly but is remembered on the Doiran memorial
Margaret Mary OSullivan So sad