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Doiran Monument to the First World War Thessaloniki Campaign

Salonika Campaign Remembered

29 September 2015

On 27 September a service was held at the Commonwealth War Grave Commission (CWGC) Doiran Memorial in northern Greece. It marked the 97th anniversary of the end of the Salonika Campaign.

The event was attended by members of the Greek Army, the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence and British military attach├ęs.

It is hoped that the event will begin to help raise awareness of the campaign, ahead of the 100th anniversary of its end, in 2018.

The British Salonika Force was stationed in this area of the Balkans from 1915 through to 1918. They were there facing German, Austrio-Hungarian, Ottoman and Bulgarian forces.

Over the course of the campaign, more than 4,000 members of British Empire forces were killed in action or died of wounds. Over 3,700 died from disease. Indeed, over 480,000 cases of disease or injury were reported from a force that never numbered more than 185,000 men.

By autumn 1918, a combined attack by British, French, Greek and Serbian armed forces had managed to win a decisive victory. On 29 September, Bulgaria became the first of the Central Powers to seek an armistice.

The Doiran Memorial stands as the Commission's monument to the missing from the campaign. It commemorates by name more than 2,160 Commonwealth service personnel who died in this theatre, and have no known grave.