Nov 19 2015

Record of British military personnel who died in Crete, 1897 – 1909.

Between February 1897 and July 1909 the total number of deaths among British military personnel serving on Crete appears to have been between 165 and 170. The number is uncertain because no central record appears to have been kept and this figure is derived from an examination of the memorials on Crete itself; details of …

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Jan 05 2015

Keeping Candia clean

On arrival in Crete in 1897, British troops were faced problems in addition to those of keeping the peace between two rival, and antagonistic, groups of the population, and preventing a ‘foreign’ takeover of the island. Located for the most part in Candia (Iraklion) with small detachments in villages close to the town and a …

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Nov 21 2014

Trying to count the dead: Candia 1898.

There is little dispute that the trigger for the forcible eviction of all Ottoman troops and functionaries from Crete in 1898 was undoubtedly the events of 6th September (25th August Old Style). In the riot which broke out following attempts by a small British force to take over the customs house in Iraklion (Candia), a …

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Aug 31 2013

Enforcing the blockade?

   The Graphic 11 April 1897  Just in case the text is unclear…. The Englishman must have his sport wherever he goes and the naval officers on board our ships lying off Crete are no exception to the rule. Having obtained leave to land, a dozen officers, principally midshipmen, one afternoon took on shore some …

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Jul 29 2013

Sitia 1897

  In February 1897 rumours began to circulate about an outbreak of violence in Sitia, in the east of Crete. As a result of these rumours, on 18 February an allegation of the massacre of 300 Muslims was raised in the House of Commons, along with the rumour that six Christian had been murdered by …

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Jul 22 2013

The one day Cretan Rebellion of 1938

  By the early 1930s, after four years in power the ruling ‘Liberal’ party of Eleftherios Venizelos had failed to solve the ever growing economic crisis in Greece; one of the symptoms of which was the April 1932 default on Greece’s foreign debt. On 25th  September 1932 a general election, held under a newly introduced …

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Jul 09 2013

Mediterranean (Malta) Fever

  Serving with the 2/Rifle Brigade when they landed in Crete on 22 September 1896 was Captain Reginald Stephens. Capt. Stephens and his battalion had served in the recent Nile campaign which had culminated with the Battle of Omdurman in which the forces of the Kahlifa, the successor to the Mahdi, were utterly destroyed and …

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Jun 16 2013

1/Seaforth Highlanders in Crete – an unofficial diary

  From the frontispiece of: Diary of the detachment 1st BN. Seaforth Highlanders at Canea Crete During the early days of the international Occupation 1897. “In March 1897 the 1st Battn. Seaforth Highlanders commanded by Colonel R.H. Murray C.B., were sent at 48 hours notice from Malta to take part in the International Occupation of …

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May 02 2013

A load of Shute

  In August 1914, the British Fleet having been fully manned and brought up to its wartime complement, Winston Churchill, as First Lord of the Admiralty, had a surplus of seamen. The solution soon came to hand with the formation of the Royal Naval Division; a Division of seamen who would fight as soldiers alongside …

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Apr 26 2013

Post Office makes a profit!

  In his report to the Foreign Office dated 16 June 1899[1], Major General. H. Chermside, the British Commissioner in Crete, stated that:  “A successful postal service of three lines runs all over the province three times weekly, and twice weekly takes mail to and from the French secteur.” Similar services existed in the French, …

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