Sport played a key role in maintaining soldiers’ fitness and morale. ‘Sports Days’ were held to give service personnel a break from their duties.

In May 1916, Allied troops stationed near Salonika (Thessaloniki) in Greece organised a Sports Field Day and officers, soldiers and medical staff were invited to join in.

How do you put together a sports day with limited supplies? With a bit of creativity - the photos below show some of the events they came up with.


Wheelbarrow races

British troops competing in a blindfolded wheelbarrow race.



Indian troops giving a gymnastic display.
© IWM (Q 32064)

Indian troops giving a gymnastic display at a sports meeting near Salonika in May 1916.


Sack races

Sack race during sports meeting organised by British troops at Salonika during 1916.


Foot races

Indian troops racing at a Sports Meeting, Salonika..


Tug of war

A mule-back tug of war contenst between men of an Indian transport unit at a sports meeting near Salonika in May 1916.


...And some more curious events

Mule riding competition at the 77th Brigade (26th Division) horse show near Salonika in 1916. A Two francs prize was offered to anyone who could keep his seat for one minute.

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