Saturday, 5 January 2008

BSA Students and the First World War: Harry Pirie-Gordon

Gill, D. W. J. 2006. "Harry Pirie-Gordon: historical research, journalism and intelligence gathering in the eastern Mediterranean (1908-18)." Intelligence and National Security 21: 1045-59.

British scholars were active in the Levant during the years leading up to the outbreak of the First World War. Harry Pirie-Gordon toured medieval castles in the region during the spring of 1908 under the auspices of the British School at Athens; T.E. Lawrence used his maps in the following year. Pirie-Gordon continued to travel widely in the Near East as a member of the Foreign Department of The Times and was involved with the survey of the Syrian coastline around Alexandretta. He was commissioned in the RNVR in 1914 and took part in the raid by HMS Doris on Alexandretta. Pirie-Gordon served in an intelligence capacity at Gallipoli before returning to Cairo to work with David Hogarth. In 1916 he was involved with the occupation of Makronisi (Long Island) in the Gulf of Smyrna. Later that year he took charge of the EMSIB operation at Salonica until its purge in early 1917. Pirie-Gordon returned to the Arab Bureau in Cairo and took part in the Palestine campaign.


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