16 DLI Christmas in Greece, Feb 1945

BELATED 16 DLI CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS, GREECE, FEBRUARY 1945

Rushed to Greece in December 1944, it wasn’t until February 17th 1945, when the civil unrest there was contained, that 16 DLI was able to devote a day to some belated Christmas celebrations. Taken at their Old Phaleron base, this photograph shows a party of what are most likely mainly B Company men enjoying what seems to be some bottled beer. Note the two officers in the picture, with their distinctive collars and ties (which at this stage of the war were still not allowed to Other Ranks) and the men’s over-sized berets, which by now had completely supplanted the old ‘fore and aft’ service cap. Cpl Tom Turnbull of Sunderland is the fair-haired man standing in the middle of the picture with his hands resting on the shoulders of the soldier kneeling in front of him, identified as Tom Taylor. Two to the left of Turnbull is ‘Taffy’ Crewe. Three to the right of him is Joe Mundell. Jimmy James (not the Jimmy James of the Signal Platoon) is two to the right from Tom. Turnbull was one of the very few men still with the Battalion from the Christmas Day troopship convoy from Liverpool just over two years previously. A lot had happened over those two years.

7/6/10 update to the above: recently spotted by his son Martin, Pte Aubrey Martin Davies is the soldier peeping between the shoulders of the two men at back left. For more photos of Pte Davies see the Photographs Index Page.

Further identifications of the officers and men featured on this picture (the original of which is also somewhat blurred) most welcome. Photograph courtesy of Tom Turnbull.

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