Aug 31 2013

Enforcing the blockade?


British Naval Officers hard at work.

 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 stumps and a ball. The only place available for a game was a level space bounded on one side by by a row of disused sheds, and on the other by the waters of the harbour. Rounders was the game chosen, and on account of the ground a rule was made that either side hitting the ball into the sea or onto the roof should be out. Some remarkable fielding was witnessed. Once the ball went into the sea and the fielders after it. More than once it went on to the roof, and a ladder had to be got to reach it. The game was watched with interest and amazement by some Turkish soldiers and foreign sailors.

The Turkish troops are shown on the far right; the characters in the left foreground look as if they might be French seamen or possibly members of the French Marine Infantry who made up part of the French contingent of  the International Force.

French Troops in Canea 1897. Source:'Le Petit Journal'

The two Frenchmen on the extreme right are taking part in that well known, but now almost totally forgotten, ancient french sport of ‘Baguette Throttling’. Sadly these days, a rarely seen sight.

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