The British attack started on the evening of 27th of April 1917. The British casualties were massive: 5000 soldiers. The estimated casualties at Bulgarian side in this first Battle of Dojran were around 1500. The corpses of the dead soldiers were rapidly decomposed in the hot sunlight, so they were buried quickly in the night during sporadic ceasefires.
One of those casualties was the painter and Captain Gerard Chowne. He died from Bulgarian machine gun fire in the evening of 1st of May. His body is buried somewhere in the hills above Dojran lake.
After his death, a memorial exhibition was opened at the New English Art Club winter exhibition the same year. Only few watercolors of Macedonian Front survived and were shown on this exhibition. In the summer of 1918, another exhibition of art from Salonika Front was opened, where the “star” of the show was supposed to be the famous British war painter William T. Wood. Only 7 watercolors of Gerard Chowne were selected for this exhibition. However, the lyricism of Chowne watercolors and the sadness of his loss stole the show, the art critics were praising Chowne work over the works of famous W.T. Wood.
One of these remaining 7 remaining watercolors from 1918 is in my possession – Lake Dawn. It is not difficult to understand why the critics were so impressed – Chowne captured the very rare moments of peace and birth of the day, before the roar of the machine guns wake up the Death. His works are filled with tranquility and lust for beauty.
Chowne contribution to Macedonian art legacy is significant. The least that he deserves is that someone finds his grave and honor him with perhaps small monument.
There are several WW1 memorials at Greek side, for example the Doirani memorial near Kilkis, Greece. I wonder if Chowne is mentioned there.