Category Archives: Highland Light Infantry

British Army Rewards for September 6th 1898.

Reports, albeit somewhat inaccurate, of the events in Candia (Iraklion) on 6th September 1898 were published in British newspapers the following day.[1] However, it took the bureaucracy of the British Army some time to catch up, particularly when it came to rewarding the troops concerned. It wasn’t until January the following year that the following despatch appeared in the London Gazette, the official journal of the British government.


War Office, January 24, 1899.[2]


THE following Despatch has been received, through the Governor and Commander-in-Chief, Malta, from. Major-General Sir H. C. Chermside, G.C.M.G., C.B., Commanding the British Troops in Crete:

Kandia,, December 16, 1898.

Sir, I have the honour to submit the following report as to the services of the Officers and others present when the British Troops in Kandia were attacked on 6th September, 1898. I was not present in Crete on that date, but in subsequently forwarding copies of the reports despatched by Colonel F. M. Reid, Highland Light Infantry, Officer Commanding Troops and Acting British Commissioner, I had no hesitation in endorsing his opinion as to the coolness, steadiness, and gallantry of all concerned, during a most difficult and dangerous crisis.

The Infantry called on to defend themselves, with the assistance of other detachments, against this sudden, general, and treacherous attack, all belonged to the 1st Battalion Highland Light Infantry, and behaved in a manner worthy of the traditions of this distinguished corps.

I recommend for favourable consideration the services of the following:

Highland Light Infantry.

Colonel F. M. Reid.

Major I. C. Conway-Gordon.

Captain A. G. Balfour.

Captain A. F. Lambton.

Captain E. R, Hill.

Captain and Adjutant J. W. A. Cowan.

Captain G. E. Begbie.

Second Lieutenant W. H. E. Segrave (wounded).

Quartermaster-Sergeant S. McNeill.

Colour Sergeant A.-Colville.

Colour-Sergeant J. B. Cameron.

Sergeant A. Gray (wounded).

Sergeant R. Murray.

Sergeant D. Christie.

Sergeant E. B. Underwood.

Corporal J. MacLean.

Corporal J. C. Harland.

Private D. Fraser (wounded).

Private W. Mason.

Private R. Jordan.

Private W. Guthrie (severely wounded).

Private Jos. Perkins (wounded).

Private W. Johnstone.

Royal Engineers,

Lieutenant M. R. Kennedy.

Sergeant G. Smith.

Royal Army Medical Corps.

Lieutenant L. Addams-Williams.

Lieutenant T. H. M. Clarke (wounded).

Private D. Philemon.

Private G. H. Lowden.

Private G. Leggatt.

Private G. Biddiscombe (wounded).

Army Service Corps.

Sergeant G. Gordon.

I have, &c.,



Wounded from Crete in the Highland Light infantry at the Valletta Military Hospital, Malta. (Navy and Army Illustrated Vol VII No 101 page 399, 7 January 1899.)

War Office, March 7, 1899.[3]

The Queen has been graciously pleased to give orders for the following appointments to the Distinguished Service Order, and promotions in the Army, in recognition of the services of the undermentioned Officers during the outbreak in Kandia on the 6th September 1898. The promotions to bear date 8th March, 1899.

To be Companions of the Distinguished Service Order: —

Captain James William Alston Cowan, the Highland Light Infantry.

Lieutenant Macdougall Ralston Kennedy, Royal Engineers.

Lieutenant Thomas Henry Matthews Clarke, Royal Army Medical Corps.

Second Lieutenant William Henry-Erik Segrave, the Highland Light Infantry.


To be Lieutenant-Colonel: –

Major I. C. Conway-Gordon, the Highland Light Infantry.

To be Majors: –

Captain A.- G. Balfour, the Highland Light Infantry.

Captain G. E. Begbie, the Highland Light Infantry.

The Queen has further been pleased to approve the grant of the medal for Distinguished Conduct in the Field to the undermentioned: –

Royal Engineers.

Sergeant G. Smith.

The Highland Light Infantry.

Colour-Sergeant A. Colville.

Sergeant A. Gray.

Private W. Guthrie.

Army Service Corps.

Sergeant G. Gordon.

Royal Army Medical Corps.

Private G. Biddiscombe.

The Queen has also been graciously pleased to approve of the following promotions in the Army, in recognition of the services of the undermentioned Officers during the occupation of Crete, dated 8th March, 1899: –


To be Colonel: –

Lieutenant-Colonel R. B. Mainwaring, the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

To be Major: –

Captain Sir H. W. McMahon, Bart., D.S.O., the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.


Lieutenant C. M. Dobell, the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, is noted for consideration for the

Brevet rank of Major, on promotion to the rank of Captain.


An analysis of the distribution of ‘mentions in despatches’, medals and promotions awarded after the events of 6th September illustrates the social hierarchy of the late Victorian Army. In 1898 1/Highland Light Infantry while based in Malta prior to and after, its deployment in Crete consisted of a strength of approximately 700 Officers and men,[5] the overwhelming number of whom would be enlisted men and N.C.O.s. In spite of this, one third of those mentioned in the despatch, 11 out of 32, were offices, and of those given some recognition for their bravery that day, seven were officers and six were other ranks. (The brevet promotions for the Royal Welsh Fusiliers were unconnected with the events of 6 September, the RWF returning to Crete, having served there from April 18907 to August 1898, as part of the reinforcements sent following the riots.) The inclusion of so many members of the Royal Army Medical Corps in the official  Despatch reflects the fact that one of the significant locations for fighting on the 6th Sepember was around the British military hospital.

The Distinguished Conduct Medal, post-nominal letters DCM, was established in 1854 by Queen Victoria as a decoration for gallantry in the field by other ranks of the British Army. It is the oldest British award for gallantry and was a second level military decoration, ranking below the Victoria Cross, until its discontinuation in 1993. Coming with a gratuity paid on the recipients discharge from the army, all medals awarded bore the recipient’s number, rank, name and unit on the rim.

Distinguished Conduct Medal, Victorian version.

Distinguished Conduct Medal, Victorian version. (Later versions had the Monarch’s head on the reverse)

The Distinguished Conduct Medal awarded to Private William Guthrie, 1/ Highland Light Infantry, came up for sale in 2016.

Distingushed Conduct Medal awarded to Private William Guthrie, 1/Highland Light Infantry.

The following biographical details of Guthrie were recorded at the time of sale:

William Guthrie was born in Ayr, and attested for the Highland Light Infantry at Hamilton, in January 1897. He was discharged, 17 October 1899, as a consequence of the gunshot wound that he received at Kandia. The latter was ‘received in action at Crete 6.9.98… defending the military hospital when wounded… Bullet appears to have entered one sternal end of 1st rib passed outwards under the clavicle (right-side) making its exit on the outer side of arm 2 inches below point of shoulder.’ (Medical Report refers)

Guthrie had only served for 2 years and 239 days with the Colours, with the D.C.M. being his only medallic entitlement.[6]

The Royal Navy also rewarded their personnel for their bravery that day. The highest British award for bravery in the armed services, the Victoria Cross, was given to Royal Naval Surgeon William Maillard.


[1] Cf The Morning Post, London, 7 September 1898, p.4.

[2] London Gazette 24 January 1899. p458

[3] London Gazette 7 March 1899. p.1586.

[4] A Brevet promotion was an honorary, and temporary, promotion for bravery or distinguished conduct. It did not confer any seniority within the recipient’s regiment.




September 6th 1898, the Candia Riots

By September 1898, British and European troops were firmly ensconced on Crete having arrived there in response to an increase in intercommunal violence brought about, in part, by the landing of Greek forces attempting to support a Cretan Christian attempt to unite the island with Greece. Initially welcomed, or at least accepted, by the bulk of the Cretan Muslim population, by September the British contingent consisted a number of ships of the Royal Navy and a battalion of the Highland light Infantry; the latter consisting of about 370 men based in Candia (Iraklion), some 200 in outpost positions outside the town and a further 180 in Canea.[1]  Effective political control of the island was vested in the Council of Admirals, the commanders of the European naval forces.

The Admirals were faced with numerous problems, one of which was the lack of funds available to them to take any effective steps to introduce any type of civilian administration be it Christian or Muslim controlled. In an attempt to overcome this shortage of cash, at the end of August, apparently at the suggestion of the Russian Admiral,[2] the decision was taken to commandeer the islands customs revenues, to occupy the Dimes, the Cretan customs houses; dismissing the Muslim staff and replacing them with Christians. Such a decision was never going to be popular with Cretan Muslims; not only would they be losing control of lucrative jobs and assets at a time when the coastal towns were packed with unemployed Muslim refugees from the interior of the island, but also their replacements would be the Christians who had previously been subordinate to them.

The takeover went without too much incident in Canea and Rethymno, but on 6th September when it was attempted in Candia, things went horribly wrong.

Candia September 1898

On the morning of 6th September 1898 (25th August old style), Lt. Colonel Francis Maude Reid, commander of the 1st Battalion Highland Light Infantry, along with an officer and some 20 men proceeded to the Dime office in Candia harbour and attempted to secure the customs building. On arrival at the Dime, Reid engaged in an argument with Major W.S. Churchill, head of the Gendarmarie, who initially refused to allow Reid to enter. Churchill eventually left and Reid and his party took over the building. While Reid was in the office, a crowd of protesters tried to force their way through the harbour gates which were being secured by a small group of HLI soldiers. In the scuffle, three soldiers were fatally stabbed and confused firing broke out from Bashi Bazooks, armed Cretan Muslim irregulars, who had gathered in the vicinity to protest the takeover.  (While Ottoman regular troops stationed in the area appeared to take no part in the ensuing violence, Edhem Pasha, the kaimakam, chief Ottoman civil officer in Candia, was allegedly seen in the area haranguing the crowd.)

Edhem Pasha

Reid’s party, joined by several men who had been guarding the nearby Eastern Telegraph office and horse lines, were now besieged in the Dime and under fire. The British soldiers, who had been joined by a small number of Cretan Christians, barricaded themselves into the building. There they remained, constantly under fire, while attempts were made to evacuate them by ships’ boats from HMS Hazard and HMS Hazel, British gunboats stationed in the bay.

Candia Harbour. September 1898

Taking part in this evacuation was Royal Naval Surgeon William Maillard whose actions were reported later in the London Gazette:

On the 6th September 1898, during the landing of seamen from Her Majesty’s Ship “Hazard” Surgeon Maillard, who had disembarked and reached a place of safety, returned through a perfect deluge of bullets into the boat and endeavoured to bring into safety Arthur Stroud, Ordinary Seaman, who had fallen back wounded into the boat as the other men jumped ashore. Surgeon Maillard failed to bring Stroud in only through the boat being adrift, and it being beyond his strength to lift the man (who was almost dead) out of so unstable a platform. Surgeon Maillard returned to his post with his clothes riddled with bullets, though he himself was unhurt.[3]

Surgeon William Maillard winning the VC.

For his bravery, William Maillard was invested with a Victoria Cross by Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle on 15th December 1898; the only member of the Royal Naval Medical Service to receive a VC.

While the fighting was taking place around the harbour, the HLI encampment at the western end of the town came under attack from Bashi Bazooks who opened fire from previously loophole houses overlooking the camp. In spite of taking casualties the British troops in the camp, under the command of Major Conway-Gordon, maintained their fire-discipline and the order not to return fire unless deliberately fired upon was obeyed.

Throughout the whole of the day, the Ottoman troops stood by and made no effort either to attack the British or to intervene to prevent their co-religionists from attacking them and the situation in the town was only brought under control when British warships began to bombard the town. At around 5pm, with much of the area around the harbour in flames, either as a result of the actions of the Muslims or the British bombardment, Edhem Pasha reappeared in the town, the Muslim firing immediately stopped and Ottoman troops belatedly commenced restoring order. By about 6.30 pm, with the passive aid of Ottoman troops who had themselves taken casualties from the Bashi-bazooks fire, the British had fallen back from their encampment onto the Ottoman fort from where joint British /Ottoman patrols were sent to clear the ramparts. By 7 pm, after the arrival of reinforcements in the form of a further 100 Ottoman troops, the firing died down.[4] The besieged in the Dime, still including Col. Reid, were escorted by Edem Pasha to the other side of the harbour and to the water purification vessel Turquoise, from where, at about 8 pm, they were eventually transferred to H.M.S. Hazard.[5]

Fourteen British troops were killed that day and 39 severely wounded. However, the true of Cretan casualties remains unknown. Holland estimates that 29 Cretan Muslims died, as did an estimated 800 Christian Cretans out of a population of approximately 1000,[6] Senisik, however, gives figures ranging from 153 Cretan Christian dead according to Ottoman sources, to 600, according to British sources.[7] To complicate the matter further, the overall commander of British troops on Crete, Major General Herbert Chermside, had reported several months earlier that there were less than 500 Cretan Christians in Candia.[8] All that can be said for certain is that the Cretan Christian dead numbered in their hundreds.

British retribution was remorseless. Further troops were sent to Crete and initially a cordon was thrown around Candia to prevent Christian Cretans seeking revenge on the Muslim population of the town. Under the threat of further bombardment, the Ottoman authorities were forced to pull down any houses that had been loop-holed and on 16 September the Admirals decreed that civilian disarmament was to be completed within four days. Ottoman troops were evicted from their fortress and, except for a few allowed to remain as an honour guard for the Ottoman flag, confined to their barracks, while Edhem Pasha was forced to leave the island. Some 140 Cretan Muslims suspected of being involved in the murders of the British troops were rounded up and held on British warships awaiting trial.

Cretan Muslim prisoners on board H. M. S. Isis

Seven men accused of the murder of British troops were tried by British Court-Martial on 13th, 14th and 15th of October.

Trial of Candia Rioters. ILN 5 Nov. 1898.

All were found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. The executions took place on 18th October; the men being hanged on a public scaffold built onto the walls of Candia, members of the HLI acting as executioners.[9] A further Court-martial of 10 men followed and on 29th October, a further five Muslims were hanged. Those accused of the murder of British civilians, most notably the British Vice Consul Lyssimachos Kalokairinos, and of armed riot, were tried by a British ‘Military Commission.’ This held two trials of 21 men. Five were found guilty and hanged from the ramparts on 7th November.[10]

Memorial to Lysimaxos Kalokairnos. Agios Constantine and Eleni Cemetery, Iraklion

 For the murder of Vice Consul Calocherino, three men were hanged. One of them, Klklrida(?) was a negro. The other two were Mahomodan natives, named Abdalaki and Vitorail. They were blind folded before being led onto a bridge connecting the platform of the scaffold with some high ground. The executions were carried out without disturbances. These were the last executions that took place in Candia.[11]

Crossing the Bridge of al Sirat. The Graphic 3 December 1898.

Crossing the ” Bridge of al Sirat.” (The Graphic wrongly states that 3 men were hanged. In fact 5 were executed on this occasion.)

Sixty other Cretan Muslims were also taken to Canea and tried by an International Tribunal for the murder of Cretan Christians during the riot. Two were found guilty and sentenced to death. In a deliberate attempt to ensure that the message riot and murder would meet with retribution was known throughout the island, the two guilty men were publicly shot:

It is rare nowadays that the British Tommy experiences the thrill of horror at seeing a comrade shot. Mr Kipling’s mere description of the hanging of Danny Deever is thrilling enough. But Tommy was vouchsafed the experience of seeing two Turks shot in Crete the other day. They had been involved in the massacre at Candia last September, and condemned to be shot. So at eight o’clock in the morning of Nov.3 they were taken to Canea and surrounded by the four Powers, England, France Italy and Russia, mustered a hundred strong each, and drawn up on three sides of a square. Three men were selected from each of the Powers, two for the front rank and one in reserve, to shoot the prisoners. So Kaider Ismaneki and Halil Araf Haliaki took their seats with their backs to the firing party. The Commandant’s sabre fell, and in an instant they dropped dead.[12]

Execution of rioters. Canea 23 November 1898.

The ramifications of the outbreak of violence went beyond the immediate vicinity of Candia. It was now determined that not only would all Cretan Muslims be disarmed, but also that all Ottoman troops would be required to leave the island by noon on 5th November; effectively ending Ottoman rule on the island. While the Sultan was still had de jure sovereignty over the island and the Ottoman flag was to remain flying, henceforth the protection of the Cretan Muslim population, and the Ottoman flag, would be in the hands of the European powers.

Post Script: In addition to the VC awarded that day to Surgeon Maillard, the Highland Light Infantry, having lost one officer and nine soldiers killed and had one officer, two sergeants, one corporal, two pipers and nineteen soldiers wounded, had eight officers and fifteen rank and file mentioned in dispatches, two officers appointed to the Distinguished Service Order, four Brevet promo­tions and three other ranks awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.[13]

[1] Oatts L.B. (1961) Proud Heritage. The story of the Highland Light Infantry Vol.3 The House of Grant. Glasgow. Chapt.3

[2] Holland R & Markides D (2006) The British and the Hellenes. Struggles for Mastery in the Eastern Mediterranean. 1850 – 1960. Oxford University Press. Oxford. p.100.

[3] London Gazette, 2 December 1898.

[4] National Archives FO 78/4934. Major Conway-Gordon to Officer Commanding British Troops, 7th September 1898.

[5] National Archives ADM 116/93, Vol. 2. Despatch 14 September 1898, No.1. Lieutenant Colonel Reid to captain Hallett, 7 September 1898 in Telegram No. 60, Biliotti to Salisbury, 7 September 1898.

[6] Holland R & Markides D (2006) The British and the Hellenes. Struggles for Mastery in the Eastern Mediterranean. 1850 – 1960. Oxford University Press. Oxford. p.101.

[7] Senisik, The Transformation of Ottoman Crete, p.309 foot-note 75.

[8] Turkey No.9, 1897. No.8. Chermside to Salibury, 17 April 1897.

[9] Oatts L.B. (1961) Proud Heritage. The story of the Highland Light Infantry Vol.3 The House of Grant. Glasgow. Chapt.3

[10] C9233 Turkey No 1 1899. Inclosure No.19. Rear Admiral Noel to Admiralty, 7 November 1898.

[11] The Graphic. London 3 December 1898

[12] The Sketch, London. 28 December 1898

[13] Oatts L.B. (1961) Proud Heritage. The story of the Highland Light Infantry Vol.3 The House of Grant. Glasgow. Chapt.3


In a recent blog I made note of the fact that in 1903, British troops on Crete were drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco. It appears that the rot had set in much earlier!

The following was taken from page 43 of The Highland Light Infantry Chronicle, published in 1906.

‘When stationed in Canea in 1898, the Sergeants of the Detachment were entertained to a smoker by the 5th Infanterie de Marine (French). The concert was held in a broken-down house, about fifty yards from our Barracks. The whitewashed walls were rather neatly decorated by such mottoes as “Kick politics out of the window,” “Long Live Scotland,” “Queen Victoria very good,”  etc.

The songs were delightful – more so as we could not understand each other -and the applause would have delighted a Gibson Girl*. Dumb toasts, where liquor was freely consumed, were greatly in evidence. About 10p.m. the company became rather boisterous, so signs were made that, as we were so close to the Barracks, we had better adjourn to a neighbouring vin shop, kept by the ubiquitous Greek. When there, the fun became fast and furious, and, naturally, uniforms were changed, the writer feeling quite French in a kepi and tunic (blue). A certain fat colour sergeant, with a bald head, was singing “I like the Frenchy girls,”** when the concert was brought to a very abrupt ending by the entry of a very excited French sergeant, who, with many gestures, yelled out, “Patrol, Patrol, Francaise!” All exits were speedily used. The writer saw his white jacket, (worn by a French sergeant) disappearing up the chimney. I sat still, rather confused, and, the doors being forcibly opened, I beheld the officer of the patrol. I wish I could understand what he was talking about. I know that he hardly paused to take a breath, and I am sure I got a good wigging. At last he stopped, and I thought it time to say something. So I stood to attention, and, pointing to my tartan trews,*** said, “I am very sorry, but I am unable to speak French.” The officer again became very talkative. The only word I remember was one that sounded like “fraternise.” He allowed me to go home, for which I thanked him.”                           W.T.

Unfortunately, Sergeant W.T.’s full name is not recorded.

While the majority of British troops were based in Candia (Iraklion), a small detachment was stationed in Canea, the then capital of the island. While the Canea secteur was under the control of the Italian contingent, the town itself was under the joint control of all the Powers. W.T. was presumably one of the senior N.C.O.s in the British contingent at this time.


*The Gibson Girls were an American cartoon personification of what was considered a shockingly  ‘modern’ women in the late 1880s.

* *An internet search failed to find the lyrics of ‘I like the Frenchy Girls.’

***At the time of the European Intervention, the Highland Light Infantry were the only Highland Regiment to wear trews rather than kilts.  In spite of their name, most of their recruiting took place in the Lowlands of Scotland, particularly in, and around, Glasgow.

French Marine Infantry c.1885.

French Marine Infantry c.1895

Sergeant, Highland Light Infantry in hot weather uniform c.1905. Douglas N. Anderson.


Candia Water

On arrival in Candia in 1897 British troops were faced not only with insanitary conditions in the town, but also with an inadequate supply of suitable drinking water. The water in the town was condemned as being too chalky and 45 tons brought from Malta had turned bad. The initial solution was to retain the hired transport SS Clyde which had brought the 1/Seaforths from Malta, to supply water. A longer term solution was found by using the distillation vessel ‘Turquoise’, anchored in the inner harbour, to provide a semi-permanent water source.

Interior of Candia harbour, date unknown

Interior of Candia harbour, date unknown

Water distillation vessel Turquoise

Water distillation vessel Turquoise

The Turquoise was to feature in the events of 6th September 1898 when Cretan Muslim rioters opened fire on British troops in the harbour. During the fighting members of the Highland Light Infantry and sailors from the Turquoise and H. M. S. Hazard made use of the Turquoise  in defending the customs house, the Dime, and the harbour.

S.S. Turquoise during fighting of 6th September 1898.

Contemporary map of Candia harbour showing position of S.S. Turquoise during fighting of 6th September 1898.

Surgeon William Maillard winning VC. The Graphic 17 Dec 1898

Surgeon William Maillard winning VC. The Graphic 17 Dec 1898

Iraklion, 25th August Street…then and now.

On 25th August 1898 by the Cretan calendar, or 6th September by the British one, a serious riot resulted in the destruction of a large portion of Candia (Iraklion), and the death of several hundreds of Cretan Christians as well as 14 British soldiers and sailors. Brought about by a miscalculation on the part of the European Admirals who effectively ruled Crete at that time, and an even greater miscalculation on the part of the British Army commander on the spot, Lieutenant Colonel F. M. Reid, 1/Highland Light Infantry, the events of that day are commemorated in Iraklion by the name of the main street leading from the town centre to the harbour; the site of the outbreak of rioting.
On one level a riot which saw the deaths of so many people and the destruction of so much property seems nothing to celebrate, but on another level, the events that day culminated a few months later in the departure of all Ottoman troops and authorities from Crete, paving the way to the creation of the Cretan State, Κρητική Πολιτεία.

25 August Street  before riot.

25 August Street before riot. Looking down to the harbour.

25th August Street after the riot.

25th August Street after the riot.

25th August Street today.

25th August Street today.

Many thanks to Zacharias J. Nikolakakis for the photographs.

British Justice.

Following the rioting in Candia on 6th September 1898, which left 14 British military personnel, and a number of British citizens, dead – not to mention some 400 Cretan civilians, mostly Cretan Christians – the British reaction was swift. Courts martial were set up to try those accused of killing the service personnel and a Military Tribunal to try those accused of killing British civilians. Neither judicial body allowed appeals against their verdicts. Capital sentences were passed on 12 men for the murder of British soldiers, none appear to have been tried for the murder of British sailors, and five men condemned to death for the murder of British civilians. The prisoners were kept on board H.M.S. Isis while awaiting both trial and subsequently their execution.

Cretan Muslim prisoners on board H. M. S. Isis

Cretan Muslim prisoners on board H. M. S. Isis.

(Photograph used by courtesy of

The first batch of 7 men were hanged on 18th October 1898, The Graphic covering the executions in some detail in its issue of 5 November 1898.

‘’When we arrived at Candia we found that the court martial had sentenced seven of the Bashi-Bazouks to death. Accordingly they were taken ashore in one of the ship’s boats and hanged before all the troops on a scaffold which had been erected during the night on the ramparts.Three of the criminals were convicted of murdering two Highland Light Infantry men. The other four men were convicted of firing into our hospital and killing three patients inside. Each prisoner had his crime labelled on a large board in English in front of him and in Turkish on his back. The bodies were left hanging until sunset. All seven prisoners were placed on the false floor of the scaffold and allowed a six-foot drop. The floor was kept up by a rope which passed up over the side of the scaffold and was secured in the little hut shown in the sketch at the top. Here was a Highland Light Infantry man with an axe, and at seven as the bugle sounded he cut the rope and the floor fell.’’

Execution of rioters. The Graphic. 5 November 1898.

The magazine returned to the subject on 3rd December 1898, this time featuring the execution on 7th November of three of the men convicted of murdering British civilians.

The Graphic 3 December 1898.

The Graphic 3 December 1898.

Two further men were condemned to death by an International Tribunal for the murder of Cretan civilians. This Tribunal took place in Canea and was under the control of the Italian military and, as a result, the method of execution was by firing squad rather than by hanging. Even though it managed to get the nationality of the executed men wrong, the ‘Terrible Turk’ was Cretan, The Sketch was happy to provide its readers with the detail:

“It is rare nowadays that the British Tommy experiences the thrill of horror at seeing a comrade shot. Mr Kipling’s mere description of the hanging of Danny Deever is thrilling enough. But Tommy was vouchsafed the experience of seeing two Turks shot in Crete the other day. They had been involved in the massacre at Candia last September, and condemned to be shot. So at eight o’clock in the morning of Nov.3 they were taken to Canea, and surrounded by the four Powers, England, France, Italy and Russia, mustered a hundred strong each, and drawn up on three sides of a square. Three men were selected from each Power, two for the front rank and one in reserve, to shoot the prisoners. So Kaider Ismaneki and Halil Araf Halilaki took their seats with their backs to the firing party. There Commandant’s sabre fell, and in an instant they dropped dead.”The execution of rioters. Canea 23 November 1898.The aftermath of November executions. The Sketch 28 December 1898.