Insurrectionists or Plagiarists ?

On arrival in Crete in March 1897, the ‘enemy’ the British troops faced were the invading Greek forces and Cretan Christian insurrectionists.

The photograph below, ‘A contingent of Cretan insurrectionists’ appeared in the Illustrated London News on 6 March 1897. The attribution is to ‘A Naval Officer On Board one of the Ships off Crete.’

ILN Heads of insurrection March 1897 Black and white RG Kruger

Cretan Christian Insurrgents March 1897

“The Heads of the Insurrection.”

The photograph above, ‘The Heads of the Insurrection’, appeared in the Supplement to ‘Black and White’ Magazine, 20 March 1897, and is attributed to R. G. Kruger. The text on the magazine page suggests the photograph was taken near Canea.

Other than an apparent case of plagiarism, there are several things in particular to note about the photograph.

Third from the left in the back row is a figure dressed in what appears to be a regular military uniform. This is possibly one of the Greek officers or artilleryman who are known to have traveled with a number of the insurgent bands.

The two figures on the extreme left of the front row are both dressed in western European clothes, complete with kepis, as is the figure fifth from the left, but without a hat. These are possibly western journalists, several of whom accompanied insurgent groups. These included The Times Journalist R.A.H. Bickford-Smith who was present at the relief of Kandanos ,

Post script. Within 12 hours of posting I received the following via facebook:

The second from right in the middle row with the white beard and black clothes, is the Cydonia chieftain Dimitris Gelasakis (1853-1912), uncle of my grandfather, and a close friend and associate of Eleftherios Venizelos!


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