On 26th July 1909, the 2nd battalion, the Devonshire Regiment departed Candia en-route to Malta on board S.S. Rameses; the last of the British garrison on Crete until 1941. (British sailors and marines did revisit the island on 18th August 1909 in connection with the removal of the Greek flag, and the flagpole, from the Firka in Canea.)
‘The regiment marching out of Kandia. (Photograph by an old soldier from Exeter.) Devon and Exeter Gazette, Friday 20th August 1909.
‘British troops leaving Crete. A batch of 200 British troops left Crete for Malta at the end of last month and received a very cordial send-off. The quay was lined with Cretan militia and there was erected an arch with portraits of the King and Queen.’ The Graphic, 15th August 1909.
‘Each man was presented with a sprig of olive and (myrtle), tied with a ribbon on which was an inscription in Greek and Englishas shown above.’ The Graphic, 15th August 1909.
‘The officers’ quarters and mess of the British garrison in Crete, showing the Union Jack flying for the last time. The protecting Powers are to withdraw all of the International troops before the end of July.’ The Graphic, 17th July 1909.
The Devonshire’s had arrived on Crete on 18th January 1909 and, while on the island, had suffered two deaths from amongst their number, one from liver failure, the other from a ‘digestive disease’. Little appears to have been recorded of their stay, but they were, clearly, involved in to some extent in the training of the Cretan Militia; the training of the Cretan Gendarmerie being, by this time, the responsibility of Greek offices and instructors.
The Graphic 14th August 1909.
Meanwhile, in Canea, other International troops were pulling out of the island. The majority of the troops shown below would have been Italians since the Canea Secteur of the island was their responsibility.
The Graphic, 17th July 1909.