Extracts of the story of the Battle of Kosturino on the 7th December from 'Orange, Green and Khaki':
"Six Bulgarian regiments or eighteen battalions were now directed against the three battalions of 30 Brigade, the main weight falling on the Rangers and Hampshires.
All morning the battle raged on the right and centre. Every assault was repulsed with rapid fire. Every man who could hold a rifle was in the line.
At 14:00, the enemy attacked from a strong position 100 yards from the front of the Rangers and remaining Hampshires. Bulgarian masses streamed down the ‘Hill of Howth’ under cover of machine-gun and artillery fire.
The end came for the Connaught Rangers at 14:30 when Bulgarian masses poured forward, disregarding their losses. As they closed, the Rangers rose from their trenches, emptied their magazines into the enemy and closed with the bayonet in a desperate encounter. Against overwhelming numbers, there could be only one result. The enemy in overpowering numbers and admirable fierce courage surged into the two centre companies.
The remnants of B, C and D Companies retired. Part of A Company … was outflanked, but gallantly held on to its position for a further hour until it and the Hampshire company withdrew to Crete Simonet and fought with 30 Brigade …
Of the 1209 casualties [British losses in Serbia], just over half were suffered by the 5/Connaught Rangers and 10/Hampshires."
From Jermey Stanley's 'Ireland's Forgotten 10th':
General Sarrail [the French commander in chief in the Salonica theatre] said “The rearguard fighting of the Irish in the Serbian mountains was one of the most striking feats of arms in the whole war. Against ten times their number, they were instrumental in saving the British and French armies”.
King Ferdinand of Bulgaria said “Those gallant Irishmen maintained their position to the last and held up the advance of my army”.
Some previous threads that may be of interest