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Struma Military Cemetery, Greece Struma Military Cemetery, Greece
First Name: Thomas Last Name: LAWRENCE
Date of Death: 03/10/1916 Lived/Born In: Earlsfield
Rank: Private Unit: Royal Dublin Fusiliers7
Memorial Site:

Current Information:

Age-25

28a, Duntshill Road, Earlsfield

Struma Military Cemetery, Greece

In the autumn of 1915, Allied forces landed at Salonika in Greece. They had been despatched there to deter Bulgaria from joining in the German and Austro-Hungarian attack on Serbia and they were not expected to remain long. But this was not to be. Bulgaria became allied to the Central Powers, Serbia was overrun and it was decided to keep an allied force of mainly French and British troops on the Salonika front, where they stayed for the rest of the war. At its peak, the British Salonika Force (BSF) numbered 220,000 men. During 1916 and 1917 fighting along the 250 mile front was sporadic, with long periods of inertia punctuated by incidents of sometimes intense fighting. The biggest threat to the men of the Salonika Force was not the Bulgarians but disease, especially malaria, which in the summer months was rampant in the Struma Valley, so much so that at times both sides withdrew to the hills to escape it and fighting came to a standstill.. The weather was cruel as well with boiling hot summers and freezing winters. The campaign lasted through to September 1918 when a sustained attack by French, British and Serbian troops forced Bulgaria out of the war.

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