The First World War brought Thessaloniki a new, colourful population: English, French, Italian, Scottish, Indian and African troops wearing their characteristic uniforms poured into the city.
"In the streets" wrote Vafopoulos, "the French were singing 'Madelon', a very popular tune in those days... Some artists, it appears, set up their portable easels in the middle of the street to paint watercolours of an old picturesque house...The Greeks liked the French, but the Jews liked them even more... The fact that they spoke a common language helped forge strong ties between them... The English were the other much loved branch of the army... The only song they had learned to sing was 'Tipperary'. And this, together with 'Madelon', had become a symbol of the war... On Sundays, in the square in front of the White Tower, an excellent Italian band used to play whole concerts of symphonic music."
The stroll to the White Tower centred around a curious spectacle: an enormous Zeppelin that had been shot down on the outskirts of the town. The numerous pictures of it constitute the most characteristic image of Thessaloniki during the war.