Monthly Archives: March 2014

2nd Battalion Cameron Highlanders. 1902

2nd battalion Cameron Highlanders celebrating the coronation of King Edward Vll.

2nd battalion Cameron Highlanders celebrating the coronation of King Edward Vll.

Edward Vll was crowned on 9 August 1902.

The flag on the right hand side is the flag of the Cretan Autonomous State.

Bombardment of rebels above Canea

Bombardment of Canea

Bombardment of Canea

On 21 February 1897, Cretan Christian rebels, amongst whom was Eleftherios Venizelos, a future Prime Minister of Greece, occupied the heights outside Canea and threatened to open fire on the city with artillery recently landed from Greece. On been instructed by the European Powers to take down the Greek flag that they were flying, the rebels refused and as a consequence the fleet opened fire on them.

According to the Royal Navy’s report on the incident:

‘Three common shell were fired from a 6 inch gun from Her Majesty’s ship “Revenge” at 4.700 yards, all three shells bursting in a walled farmstead which formed the base of their outposts on the ridge of the hill above the town. The gun-vessels fired sharpnel and common shell; the French and Italian ships did not fire as their guns were masked by other ships.’

The rebels withdrew without firing on Canea having suffered three dead and a number wounded.

(The illustration, which appeared in The Graphic on 13th March 1897, appears to have been reversed in printing since the rebel’s position was, in reality, to the east of Canea i.e. to the left of the city viewing it from the sea. The International bombardments to the west of the town were for the most part carried out by much smaller gunboats.)

British warships off Canea. March 1897.

Scenes off the coast of Crete

Scenes off the coast of Crete

Early March 1897.

British ships from left to right: HMS Barfleur, H.M.S. Dragon, H.M.S. Revenge (Flagship Rear Admiral Harris), H.M.S Bruiser and H.M.S. Rodney.

Canea Bastion, March 1897

International troops on Canea bastion

International troops on Canea bastion

The British troops shown are presumably from 1st Bn. Seaforths and 1st Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Ottoman troops are also in evidence.

Seaforth Highlanders arriving in Canea, March 1897

Illustration 10 April 1897 Seaforths arriving

On 24 March 1897, D Company (c.100 men) 1st Batt. Seaforth Highlanders landed at Canea, the bulk of the battalion  (c.500 men) under Col. R.H. Murray going on to land at Candia (Iraklion).

According to an annotation on a similar illustration in the National Army Museum, London, it would appear that the officer on the right hand side is Capt. G.G.A. Egerton, Commander, D Co.