For the population in Macedonia (Macedonians, Turks, Greeks, Vlachs, Roma, Bulgarians, Albanians, etc.), the First World War was a continuation of previous wars and of the destruction they caused.
For years, they were confronted with the dangers of the conflicts of various armed troops, and then of the first and second Balkan wars. The presence of military units and of violence were not unknown in their lives. However, during the First World War, due to increases in stationed armies, logistical requirements and military action, the effects on the local population increased.
One of the first measures taken, affecting farmers in Macedonia, was the requisition of their food, equipment and livestock. Of course, the military commands on both sides of the front had a central food collection and redistribution system, but it was unable to meet all needs. As a result, soldiers often bought food from the local population (usually quite expensive), but the number of requisition cases or simply food theft was high. In such extraordinary conditions, the peasants did not have sufficient means to feed their families. Hence the emergence of famine in some villages near the Front area. In addition, villagers were often forced to abandon their homes to foreign soldiers and (especially) officers. The family members had to take care of the uninvited guests: prepare food, clean and do the practical work. But relationships weren't always negative. Some journals and officer's memoirs contain descriptions of interesting new acquaintances. The picture is quite different during military actions. The local population was in the whirlwind of war, often caught between the two warring parties. The bombardments of cities in the region have caused extensive destruction and loss of life. After the long bombardment of Bitola, the city became one of the symbols of the destruction caused by the First World War. In Dojran, the bombardment of the city caused a major fire that caused extensive damage, including wind and flammable building materials. There are also cases of collateral damage, such as the village of Mrzenci, partially damaged by bombs hitting the opponent's ball.
Villagers have also suffered from the atrocities perpetrated by various paramilitary groups. In order to obtain more precise information on the opposite side, the two military commands have sometimes sent paramilitary groups of local origin. However, it has been shown that these groups are much more interested in looting and killing civilians than in military actions. Because of these difficult living conditions, there have been cases where villagers have simply fled with their families, leaving their belongings.
However, civilian life is not always so black and white. In many cases, farmers took initiatives and became active, albeit temporarily, in the war. They have been involved in sabotage, intelligence for either army, sometimes stealing military units or earning a living by selling products at much higher prices. Each individual has coped with these complicated events as best she could. Finally, to conclude, the period of the First World War was one of the most difficult for the life of the local population in Macedonia.