Know your allies? Another minor puzzle.

International Troops but NOT in 1896.

The undated postcard above shows International troops based in Canea. However, it also appears (top left) to show a Greek Evzone. The Greek army were never part of the International force on Crete; their presence on the island was the reason for the international intervention in the first instance and they  were evacuated in May 1897 after a stay of four months. The card also apparently also shows (bottom left and bottom right) Ottoman soldiers. While the Ottoman troops were on the island until November 1897, they were not usually considered to be part of the International intervention.

International troops wrong yearA similar post card to the one at the top of the page although the elements are in a different order. The problem with this card is that it cannot be an accurate depiction of the date it purports to represent: 1896.

Foreign troops, other than Ottoman ones, didn’t arrive on Crete until February 1897.

Leaving aside the question of who plagairised whom, dating the cards is a problematic. Clearly the images were produced between 1897, when the international troops arrived, and 1904, the date on the franked stamp. However, assuming the images are of troops who served in Crete, the presence of a highland piper can assist since only two kilted regiments served on the island in this period. The Seaforth Highlanders were the first to arrive in April 1897, leaving in November that year; the Cameron Highlanders arrived in May 1902, leaving in March 1903.  If the highland soldier is, as he appears to be from comparison with other photographs, a piper in the Cameron Highlanders, then the cards probably date from sometime after early 1902. But then again, it wouldn’t be the first time I got it all wrong!


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