Private Papers of H E Brooks

Catalogue number
  • Documents.12685
Subject period
  • File: Weight 3.6 kg
private papers

History note

Catalogue date 2003-04-25

History note

Cataloguer APR

Content description

Excellent ms diary (92pp, including several photographs and sketches) written during his service as a Private with the 7th Battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (78th Brigade, 26th Division) in the United Kingdom, September 1914 - September 1915, referring to his enlistment and the unpreparedness of the Army in the early months of the war; in France, September - November 1915, mentioning visits to Corbie and the Rhone valley; by sea via Alexandria and Port Said, Egypt, to Salonika, November 1915 - February 1917, describing the Macedonian landscape and climate, relations with the Greeks, a visit to the Turkish Baths on the Rue Egnatia, German aircraft and Zeppelin raids on Salonika, attacks around Langaza before advancing north towards the Doiran sector (August 1916), the difficulty in finding one's way in the foothills of Pip Ridge, transfer to the 42nd General Hospital in Salonika suffering from malaria (February 1917) where he describes hospital life and witnessing a procession by Greek Prime Minister Venezelos and the Greek Army; then evacuation on the HMHS HEREFORDSHIRE to St Patricks Hospital, Malta, for further convalescence, March - July 1917, where he relates his sightseeing excursions around the island; back to Salonika, August 1917 - May 1919, referring to the Salonika fire (August 1917), further treatment for malaria, the high quality of the English-built roads in Greece, and a period of leave back in the United Kingdom (September - October 1918) before returning to Salonika for the final advance into Bulgaria. Also held with the collection are a portrait photograph of him in uniform; the front page (2pp) of THE BALKAN NEWS for 21 February 1917; four mounted photographs showing views of the 'birdcage' defences around Salonika, Kukus and Pip Ridge; and two large handdrawn maps (1p each), the first showing the Bulgar defences around Doiran in 1917 - 1918, and the second showing eastern Macedonia, northern Turkey and Bulgaria.

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