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Thread: 100 Years Ago Today

  1. #2651

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    Can anyone help out please?
    Sorry Chris - no can do this time. I'm off for a few days myself.

  2. #2652

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    Chris at a push I'll cover it.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  3. #2653

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    9th August 1917

    Right bit of a short one today, plenty of losses on both sides but not much about in the way of stories, but as ever with this publication we will do our best...

    10 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON THURSDAY AUGUST 9TH 1917

    2nd Lt. Billings, H.B. (Hugh Braddish) 29 Squadron Royal Flying Corps (Special Reserve)
    Flt. Sub Lt. Bridge, B.H. (Bryant Henry) Cattewater Naval Air Station RNAS
    Capt. Cutler, S.L.G. (Stuart Le Geyt) 21 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Dean, A.L.R. (Arthur Le Roy) 64 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Hanlan, E.G. (Edward Gordon) 64 Squadron RFC
    AM 2 Jones, J. (Joseph) Royal Naval Air Station, Plymouth RNAS
    Flt. Sub Lt. Munro, K.R. (Keith Ross) 9 (N) Squadron RFC
    Lt. Turner, H.D.B. (Herbert Duncan Bruce) RFC
    2nd Lt. Waller, C.R. (Charles Raymond) RFC
    Flt. Sub Lt. Woodhouse, M.G. (Mosley Gordon) 9 (N) Squadron RFC


    A note on the RFC Special Reserve: You could enlist directly into the Special Reserve (the old Militia), that is why it was Special. You had to undertake to train to such an extent that you could be used as an individual replacement for the Regular Army. Senior Division OTC cadets who had obtained both Certificate A and B of military training were encouraged to seek appointment as officers in the Special Reserve on leaving College. OR's had to attend basic training (for which they were paid) and then periodic camps. Call out conditions were more broader than Territorials, but not as broad as the Army Reserve although an efficient militia man could enlist in the Army Reserve. There were Special Reservists for Cavalry, Infantry, RA, RE and RAMC. I had not heard of RFC Special Reserve before - presumably a pool of qualified aviators rather than a formed unit. This makes a lot of sense as then as now it is a pretty specialised skill and there cannot have been too many pilots available.

    The following aerial victories were claimed on this day:

    Lieutenant Walter Bertram Wood MC

    Wood was born in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, the younger son of Walter James Wood, a magistrate, and his wife Annie Jane. He was educated St James' School, Grimsby and at Hull Technical School where he studied Engineering. At the age of ten he was the first Boy Scout to be registered in Grimsby and he helped form a local troop, he later became a Scoutmaster. He began serving England in an unusual way; he organised a patrol of scouts as coast watchers until he could enlist. He then went through the Officers Training Corps of the Artists Rifles, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Hampshire Regiment on 4 June 1916. On 3 March 1917 he was seconded to the Royal Flying Corps, and appointed a flying officer the same day. He was promptly assigned to 29 Squadron on 23 April 1917. Wood used his Nieuport 17 fighter to drive down one German Albatros D.III on 11 May 1917, and another on 5 June. On 18 June, he set an Albatros reconnaissance aircraft on fire; he described the combat in an article he wrote for a scouting magazine. His aggressive personality, that of a man capable of shooting at the enemy with a pistol if need be,shows in this excerpt:

    ...I make straight for the leader of their patrol.... I hear a faint pop, pop, pop and at the same time a number of small holes appear in my bottom planes. Jolly good shooting for he is still a 100 yards off.... I start turning, spinning, and diving away until I am behind him.... I get him in my sights.. Pop, pop, pop. About 20 rounds I fire at him.... A small light appears in his machine. Hurrah! he's on fire. I have hit his petrol tank.
    Now the whole machine is a mass of flames. Down it crashes and flaming pieces fall off during the descent. Poor beggar! I hope a bullet hit him first: but it can't be helped....
    I watch him hit the ground, and turn to look for more Boche, but there is not a plane in the sky; so I point my machine home and am greeted by hand shakes and cheers. "Oh yes we saw the beggar go down in flames, so we came home."
    "Anyone missing?" I ask.
    "Oh yes, poor old C--- went down out of control."
    "Ah well, I'm glad now that I got that blighter in flames," I reply....
    Wood won four more times in June, bringing his tally to seven.He was promoted from second lieutenant to temporary lieutenant on 1 July 1917. He scored five more triumphs in that month. His thirteenth, and last, victory came on 9 August 1917, while he was on a final "joy ride". He was rotated home to No. 44 Squadron in England two days later. Wood's final tally was one German aircraft set afire in midair, five more destroyed, and seven driven down out of control. Not counted in this total are five claims in which he drove down enemy aircraft.

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    Cecil Richards Australia #9
    Benno Fiala von Fernbrugg Austro-Hungarian Empire #3
    Karl Nikitsch Austro-Hungarian Empire #3
    Johann Risztics Austro-Hungarian Empire #3
    William Bishop Canada #42
    Cecil Brock Canada #4

    William Leeming Harrison Canada #1

    The son of Dr. William Spencer Harrison, William Leeming Harrison enlisted on 3 April 1916 at the age of 16. He was appointed 2nd Lieutenant (on probation) with Royal Flying Corps on 21 November 1916. After training in England he served with 40 Squadron from 15 July 1917 to 10 April 1918 and scored 11 victories. He was then posted to 1 Squadron, scoring 1 more victory before he was wounded in action on 12 April 1918.

    Anthony Spence Canada #4
    Philip Fletcher Fullard England #16 #17
    Spencer Horn England #4
    Arthur Willan KeenEngland #7 #8
    William Victor Trevor Rooper England #2
    Richard Trevethan England #12
    Walter Bertram Wood England #13 (see above)
    Julius Buckler Germany #12
    Eduard von Dostler Germany #22
    Heinrich Gontermann Germany #27 #28
    Wolfgang Güttler Germany #4
    Ernst Hess Germany u/c #7
    Gotthard Sachsenberg Germany #6

    Viktor Schobinger Germany #1

    Schobinger was badly wounded in the right foot whilst serving with Jasta 12 on 15 November 1917.

    Edgar Scholtz Germany #1
    [B]

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    Edgar Scholtz scored 1 victory with Kest 10 before joining Jasta 11 in January 1918. After scoring 5 more victories he was killed when his Fokker DR.I was shot down by 209 Squadron.

    Listed as Edgar Scholz in some sources.

    William Molesworth Ireland #6
    William Jordan South Africa #3
    Clive Wilson Warman USA #5

    Howard John Thomas Saint Wales #1

    The son of Thomas E. W. and Margaret Jane Saint, Howard John Thomas Saint joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1915, Flight Sub-Lieutenant Saint received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 2139 on a Grahame-White biplane at the Grahame-White school, Hendon on 9 December 1915. First posted to 5 Wing as a bomber pilot, he was re-assigned to 10 Naval Squadron on 26 July 1917. Saint was wounded in the leg on 16 August 1917 and scored 7 victories. Post-war he was a test pilot for the Royal Aircraft Factory and the Gloster Aircraft Company.

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    The destroyer HMS Recruit (Lieutenant Hugh G Troup) is sunk by a mine in the North Sea. Fifty three members of the crew including Engineer Lieutenant Commander Maurice James Rogers Sharp DSO are killed. Commander Sharp is 35 and the son of Engineer Rear Admiral W Sharp. HMS Recruit was a Royal Navy R-class destroyer constructed and then operational in the First World War. The destroyer was constructed by William Doxford & Sons and launched on 9 December 1916. The ship was completed in April 1917. The ship was 276 ft (84.1 m) in length, with a beam of 26 ft 9 in (8.15 m), a displacement of 975 long tons (991 t) standard and an average crew complement of 82.In May 1917 the vessel was assigned to the tenth destroyer force as part of Harwich Force.The destroyer was sunk by a torpedo from German U-boat SM UB-16 in 1917.[4][5] The sinking occurred in the North Sea 3 miles north of the North Hinder light vessel, with 54 persons lost.

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    The first R class were a class of 62 destroyers built between 1916 and 1917 for the Royal Navy. They were an improvement, specifically in the area of fuel economy, of the earlier Admiralty M-class destroyers. The most important difference was that the Admiralty R class had two shafts and geared turbines, compared with the three shafts and direct turbines of the Admiralty M class, but in appearance the R class could be distinguished from its predecessors by having the after 4-inch gun mounted in a bandstand. The Admiralty ordered the first two of this class of ships in May 1915. Another seventeen were ordered in July 1915, a further eight in December 1915, and a final twenty-three in March 1916 (of which eleven were to a slightly modified design).

    As well as these fifty ships to the standard 'Admiralty' design, twelve more R class were designed and built by the two specialist builders Yarrow Shipbuilders and John I. Thornycroft & Company to their own separate designs. Three were ordered from Thornycroft and four from Yarrow in July 1915, and two from Thornycroft and three from Yarrow in December 1915.

    They were the last three-funnelled destroyers ordered by the Royal Navy (although HMS Bristol commissioned in 1973 had three funnels, these were not all on the centreline). All of these ships saw extensive service in World War I. Some saw service as minelayers. Eight R-class ships were sunk during the war and all but two of the surviving ships were scrapped in the 1920s and 1930s. One Admiralty R-class vessel, HMS Skate, survived to see service in World War II as a convoy escort, making her the oldest destroyer to see wartime service with the Royal Navy. A second, HMS Radiant was transferred to the Royal Siamese Navy as Phra Ruang in September 1920 and survives to this day as a hulk.

    Western Front

    Success British raids in Lens district.

    Eastern Front

    Mackensen presses his offensive, threatening communications of Russo-Romanian armies; after three days fighting Russo-Romanians expelled.

    Political, etc.

    Third reading of Compulsory Military Service Bill for Canada passed.

    Count Esterhazy, Hungarian Prime Minister, resigns.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  4. #2654

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    10th August 1917

    The Capture of Westhoek

    The Capture of Westhoek (10 August 1917) took place on the Gheluvelt Plateau near Ypres in Belgium, during the Third Battle of Ypres (31 July – 10 November 1917), in the First World War. The British Fifth Army attacked the Gheluvelt Plateau at the Battle of Pilckem Ridge (31 July – 2 August) but the German 4th Army had fortified its positions in the Ypres Salient since the Second Battle of Ypres (22 April – 25 May 1915). The British reached the first objective in the south and the second objective on the northern flank, then lost some ground to German counter-attacks. Another attack on 2 August was postponed due to torrential rain from the afternoon of 31 July until 5 August.

    The ground had been churned by artillery-fire and became a sea of mud, flooded shell craters, fallen trees and barbed wire. After several postponements the next attack was set for 10 August. British artillery fired a preparatory bombardment from Polygon Wood to Langemarck for the main attack on 14 August but the German guns concentrated on the Gheluvelt Plateau. British counter-battery artillery was hampered by low cloud and rain, which made air observation extremely difficult and shells were wasted on empty gun emplacements. The fresh 25th and 18th divisions took over by 4 August but the front-line troops had to be relieved every 48 hours, which exhausted all of the infantry by 10 August. The German 52nd Reserve Division had not been relieved after 31 July and the 54th Division took over in the north by 4 August and were also exhausted by 10 August.

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    Gheluvelt Plateau: Inverness Copse, Westhoek and Glencorse Wood

    The 18th Division attacked on the right and some troops quickly reached their objectives but German artillery began a SOS barrage at 6.00 a.m., from Stirling Castle to Westhoek, that isolated the foremost infantry in the open north of Inverness Copse and in Glencorse Wood. German troops began immediate counter-attacks and around 7:00 p.m., fresh German infantry advanced behind a smokescreen. By nightfall the copse and all but the north-west corner of Glencorse Wood had been recaptured. The 74th Brigade of the 25th Division on the left flank advanced quickly and reached its objectives by 5:30 a.m. The Germans in Westhoek were rushed but on the right flank, sniping and attacks by German aircraft caused an increasing number of casualties.

    The 25th Division held its gains around Westhoek but lost 158 men killed, 1,033 wounded and more than 100 missing. The defeat of the 18th Division at Inverness Copse, Fitzclarence Farm and Glencorse Wood allowed German snipers and machine-gunners to fire into the 25th Division area, particularly on the right flank. The Germans counter-attacked several times and on into the night but communication by SOS rockets, daylight lamps, carrier pigeons and runners, enabled the British artillery accurately to bombard German troops in their counter-attack assembly positions. The appalling weather and costly defeats began a slump in British infantry morale; excessive casualties and the replacement shortage concerned the German commanders.

    British Preparations

    The power of the German artillery behind the Gheluvelt Plateau after 31 July was undiminished and a continuous bombardment was maintained on the front line and rear areas of II Corps. The counter-battery artillery of the Fifth Army fired on German artillery positions along the width of the army front, ready for the general attack due after the II Corps operation on the Gheluvelt Plateau. The British guns often bombarded the wrong artillery positions because of a lack of air reconnaissance to track the moves of German artillery from one artillery position to another in the bad weather. The British failed to achieve artillery superiority over the German artillery behind the plateau, which made the completion of new battery positions a long and costly effort that took until 8 August. Casualties in men and guns were so high that on 4 August, many British batteries were reduced to half strength. The state of the ground was so bad that gunners had to live in shell holes. New plank roads to carry ammunition forward could easily be seen by German artillery observers and wagon drivers and carrying parties moved only at night, dodging German bombardments which frequently included mustard gas. Amidst the rain and mud, the delivery of supplies and the passage of troops across the beaten zone extremely dangerous and caused a constant drain of casualties. The 7th and 75th brigades of the 25th Division (Major-General Guy Bainbridge) had waited about 2,000 yd (1,800 m) behind the front line, ready to pass through the 8th Division to continue the advance. The brigades were not needed as the advance on the Gheluvelt Plateau was held up at the first and second objectives by the German defenders. On 1 August, the 8th Division was replaced by the 7th and 75th brigades of the 25th Division until 4 August, which were then relieved by the 74th Brigade along the Westhoek and Bellewaarde ridges. Because of the continuous rain, troops in the front line being replaced every 48 hours as preparations were made for the next attack.The 30th Division was relieved by the 55th and 54th brigades of the 18th Eastern Division on 4 August. The 24th Division was not due to attack and remained in the line and took over the front northwards close to Stirling Castle to narrow the attack frontage of the 18th Division.The fresh divisions had to remain close to the front for more than a week before zero hour and were rapidly exhausted by the conditions.

    British Plan of Attack

    The infantry were to advance behind a creeping barrage at 4:35 a.m., straight through to the second objective (black line) of 31 July, to capture the Albrechtstellung, Inverness Copse and Glencorse Wood across the neck of the plateau. The speed of the barrage gave the 18th Division 46 minutes and the 25th Division 25 minutes to complete the attack. On 8 August, Inverness Copse and Glencorse Wood were bombarded with 3,000 medium and heavy shells each and bombarded again on 9 August, the first bright day since July. The 18th Division attack by the 55th Brigade was to be on a battalion front of about 400 yd (370 m) and the 54th Brigade was to attack with two battalions forward on a front 800 yd (730 m) wide. The 74th Brigade of the 25th Division was to attack with its four battalions on the left flank, each on a 400 yd (370 m) front, to recapture the Albrechtstellung, Westhoek and the rest of Westhoek Ridge.By aggressive patrolling, part of the objective on the left centre had already been occupied by 10 August.

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    German Pillbox - Flanders 1917

    The Fifth Army needed to maintain a brisk tempo of attack, to prevent the Germans from recovering and to create the conditions for Operation Hush on the coast. Hush had to begin during the high tide period at the end of August or be postponed for four weeks. The Fifth Army had captured ground on the Gheluvelt Plateau on 31 July but the unusually wet and murky weather, the tenacious German defence and determined counter-attacks, left the 4th Army in control of the most vital objectives around Inverness Copse and Glencorse Wood. In 1920, M. Kincaid-Smith, the divisional historian, called the attack by the 25th Division a great success, the advance being conducted on schedule, supported by "excellent" artillery-fire. Pack-transport was used promptly to deliver ammunition, supplies and engineering stores and carrying-parties from the support battalions kept the front line supplied. The signal arrangements using daylight lamps worked all day except on the left flank and runners maintained contact with the rear despite the German artillery and small-arms fire. Medical services had been changed after the Battle of Messines in June and worked well. In 1922, G. H. F. Nichols, the historian of the 18th (Eastern) Division, wrote that the division had experienced the new German defensive system for the first time in "appalling conditions" and that there had been a "blend of blunders".

    On 15 August, Rupprecht wrote that General Erich Ludendorff had visited the army group and said that with the French preparing an attack at Verdun, an offensive on the eastern front could only go ahead if Army Group Crown Prince Rupprecht defended the Ypres Salient without reinforcement. Rupprecht considered this to be risky because of a lack of replacements, the 4th Army having lost 87,528 casualties since 1 June. In 1931, Gough wrote that II Corps had gained valuable ground, which gave a view of German lines, removing the last German positions overlooking Ypres. The British were counter-attacked five times during the afternoon and the last attack pushed the 18th Division out of Glencorse Wood. In 1942, the writers of Der Weltkrieg, the German official history described the miserable living conditions of the troops in early August, the rise in the number of sickness cases and casualties caused by the British artillery. The British attempted to make piecemeal advances covered by massed artillery-fire and on 10 August managed to advance up to 0.62 mi (1 km) at the junction between Gruppe Wytschaete and Gruppe Ypern. Prior and Wilson wrote in 1996, that several fine days preceded the attack but the deluge on 8 August flooded the ground again. The British artillery had failed to subdue the German guns in the unusually rainy weather and the British had been severely bombarded before the attack. The German infantry could do little to resist the attack, having spent too long in the front line and had become demoralised. The British made good progress but German counter-attacks and machine-gun fire from Inverness Copse forced back the British until the "mere" 450 yd (410 m) advance of the 25th Division, was all that remained. The attack was a costly failure and did not even reach the second objective of 31 July; the only good feature of the attack had been to make it on the Gheluvelt Plateau.

    In 2007, Sheldon wrote that on 10 August, the battlefield was still a bog and the British preliminary bombardment had failed to destroy all of the pillboxes and blockhouses west and south-west of Polygon Wood. The Germans forced the British back close to their start lines, with the support of the German artillery on the rear slopes of the plateau, directed by observers with a good view of the battlefield; Sheldon called the attack a complete failure. Harris wrote in 2008 that although fresh divisions had been used and a strictly limited objective had been selected, the ground was too wet and lack of observation made British counter-battery fire ineffective. The British had suffered about 2,200 casualties for only a small advance. In 2014, Perry wrote that the result of the attack on 10 August forced Gough to choose between pressing on or pausing the offensive to concentrate troops, who were not easily available. Delaying the Fifth Army attacks to gain artillery superiority was possible but the attempt had begun in mid-July and had failed. Since 31 July, it had become clear that the 4th Army could replace rapidly its damaged guns and it was not clear that the Fifth Army had the artillery necessary to defeat the firepower of Gruppe Wytschaete. Waiting to attack might improve the readiness of the infantry but could benefit the Germans more by degenerating into an endless artillery duel. Gough chose to continue, after a 24-hour pause for tired troops to be relieved, with a general attack on 15 August but the weather forced another 24-hour postponement when 18.1 mm (0.71 in) of rain fell on 14 August and 8 mm (0.31 in) fell the next day, returning the battlefield to a swamp. The attack on 16 August began possibly the worst period endured by the BEF of the war.[

    Casualties

    The 25th Division had 1,291 casualties, including 158 men killed, 1,033 wounded and 100 troops missing. The 13th Battalion Cheshire Regiment on the right flank suffered 414 of the losses. The 74th Brigade casualties from 5–11 August were 1,318 men from a front line strength of 2,493 men. From 31 July to 10 August, the 18th Division casualties were 244 men killed, 1,106 troops wounded and 176 missing; 59 prisoners were taken. The cost to the Germans of the defence of the Gheluvelt Plateau was such that on 16 August, Brigadier-General Clifford Coffin of the 25th Division reported that the German dead he saw in the Hanebeek Valley lay more thickly than on any previous battlefield. On 15 August, Rupprecht wrote that the defence of the Ypres Salient by the 4th Army was costly, particularly in the wet and cold weather, which was causing much sickness among the infantry.

    Subsequent operations

    At 11:55 p.m. on 10 August, Jacob ordered the front line to be consolidated and for the 53rd Brigade in the 18th Division area to recapture Glencorse Wood as soon as possible. Because of the weather, the condition of the ground and one of the relieving battalions deviating north of the Menin road instead of east, the attack was postponed for 24 hours. The artillery could not be warned in time and opened fire but the infantry advance was cancelled in time and the attack was later called off. II Corps attacked the plateau again on 16 August, during the general attack during the Battle of Langemarck and in a local operation against Inverness Copse on 22 August. The Germans conducted a methodical counter-attack (Gegenangriff) on 24 August and recaptured the copse amidst much confusion on both sides. At the news, Haig cancelled a general attack intended for 25 August and altered the Fifth Army–Second Army boundary for the third time. A tank-infantry attack on Inverness Copse on 27 August failed when the tanks bogged down on the Menin road and another attack was cancelled on 31 August because of rain. The Second Army took over the II Corps front on the Gheluvelt Plateau in early September and Plumer was allowed three weeks to prepare the next attack. From 25 June – 31 August, the II Corps artillery had fired 2,766,824 shells, amounting to 85,396 long tons (86,766 t)

    1185 British lives were lost on this day

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    Captain Edward Unsworth Green MC (North Lancashire Regiment) is killed at age 37. He is the final of three brothers who are killed in the Great War.
    Lieutenant Richard Evans (Sherwood Foresters) dies of wounds at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Arthur Evans.
    Lieutenant Ronald Bayly Craven Kennedy (Dublin Fusiliers) dies of wounds at age 21. He is the grandson of both ‘Sir’ Charles Edard Bayley Kennedy 2nd Baronet and ‘Sir’ John Craven Carden 4th
    Second Lieutenant Ernest Hartley Savory (West Surrey Regiment) is killed at age 20. His brother was killed last February.
    Rifleman Alfred Edward Bass (London Regiment) is killed at Glencorse Wood east of Ypres at age 29. His brother was killed in July 1916.
    Private Frederick Cole (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed at age 36. His brother will be killed in April 1918.
    Private Maurice Townsend (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed at age 23. His brother will be killed in April 1918.
    Private Thomas Thomason (Cheshire Regiment) is killed at age 21. His brother will be killed in July 1918.
    Private Ernest Want (Cheshire Regiment) is killed at age 20. His cousin was killed in July 1915 from accidental rifle discharge wounds.
    Private John William Hicks (West Surrey Regiment) is killed at age 29. His brother will be killed next August.

    14 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON FRIDAY AUGUST 10TH 1917

    2nd Lt. Biedermann, H.C.E. (Harry Charles Ernest) 57 Squadron RFC
    AM1 Browning, C.F. (Charles Frederick) 6 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Calder, A. (Alexander) 57 Squadron RFC
    Flt. Commander Casey, F.D. (Francis Dominic) 3 (N) Squadron RNAS
    AC1 Currington, S. (Sidney) Dunkerque Naval Air Station RNAS
    Capt. Fleming, W.A. (Wilfred Allan) 56 Squadron RFC
    Capt. Jarvis, A.B. (Alan Bishop) 1 Squadron RFC
    Driver Lawson, A. 43 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Meudell, C.G. (Colin Grant) 43 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Oliver, S.J. (Siddartha John) 66 Squadron RFC
    Capt. Read, H.E. (Harry Esmond) 24 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Ross, C.M. (Claude Murray) 45 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Taylor, W.A. (William Alexander) 8 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Ward, E.S. (Eric Seth) 32 Squadron RFC

    Sous Lieutenant Jacques Louis Ehrlich Spa 154 was shot down and wounded on this day

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    In May 1913, Ehrlich joined the army and served with the infantry until his transfer to the French Air Service in December 1916. He received a Pilot's Brevet in May 1917 and was assigned to N154. Cited for actions against the enemy on 10 August 1917, he was badly wounded while strafing the German lines. Promoted to Sergent, he returned to duty in November 1917. On the evening of 18 September 1918, three days after he was recommended for the Légion d'Honneur, Ehrlich was shot down and captured after scoring his 19th victory. The following day, his promotion to Sous Lieutenant was announced. In all, Ehrlich destroyed 18 balloons and shot down an Albatros scout in less than three months.

    The following claims were made on this day

    Cecil Richards Australia #10 #11

    Godwin Brumowski Austro-Hungarian Empire #10

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    Benno Fiala von Fernbrugg Austro-Hungarian Empire #4
    Carleton Clement Canada #10
    George Brooke England #3
    Philip Fletcher Fullard England #18
    Hans Auer Germany #3

    Joachim von Busse Germany #1

    Busse transferred to the German Air Force in March 1915. After training on single-seaters, he was posted to Jasta 3 in August 1917. Flying his Albatros D.III, marked with the letter "B," he shot down Canadian ace Emerson Smith on 26 October 1917. On 1 December 1917, he assumed command of Jasta 20 and scored seven more victories in 1918. Busse was wounded in action on 1 August 1918.

    Heinrich Geigl Germany #5
    Ernst Hess Germany #8
    Otto Könnecke Germany #5
    Max von Müller Germany #20 #21 u/c
    Emil Thuy Germany #5
    Kurt Wissemann Germany #3
    Edward Gribben Ireland #3 #4
    Tom Hazell Ireland #15

    Michele Allasia
    Italy #1

    Ferruccio Ranza
    Italy u/c

    Giovanni Sabelli Italy #1

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    Giovanni Sabelli received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 178 on a Deperdussin monoplane at Brooklands on 30 January 1912. He is believed to have helped Bulgaria form an air service in 1912 during its war with Turkey. On 9 May 1917, he joined 91a where he scored five victories before he was shot down in flames by a two-seater.

    Robert Birkbeck Scotland #2
    Matthew Brown Frew Scotland #5
    Richard Maybery Wales #7 #8

    Western Front


    British advance on two-mile front east of Ypres, capture remainder of Westhoek, and occupy Glencorse Wood.

    French make progress east and north of Bixschoote.

    Nancy bombed; French bomb Frankfurt.

    Eastern Front


    Mackensen beyond Susitsa river, strikes north at Romanians, always threatening rear of Russo-Romanian armies; enemy also advancing in northern Moldavia.

    Political, etc.

    Labour Party Conference decides, by large majority, to send delegates to Stockholm C

    and finally...

    Capt. Gilbert Tunstill , currently a patient at Hammerton VAD Hospital in Sunderland while serving with 83rd Training Reserve Battalion, based at Brighton Road Schools, Gateshead, appeared before a further Army Medical Board. The Board found that, “He was discharged to light duty from Hamerton VAD Hospital on 14th June 1917 and again admitted there on 7th July 1917. His foot was painful and he was unable to walk without limping. His foot has been put up in Plaster of Paris. He is already much improved and feels stronger. He was instructed to remain in hospital”. He was to be re-examined in a month’s time.

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    Never knowingly under gunned !

  5. #2655

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    August 11th 1917

    Captain Harold Ackroyd VC MC (Royal Army Medical Corps attached Royal Berkshire Regiment) is killed in action in Glencorse Wood, Ypres at age 40. Ten days earlier he performed deeds at Ypres that will win him the Victoria Cross.

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    A follow up to Yesterday's report on the taking of Westhoek Ridge - from the view point of the 3rd Worcestershire Regiment

    3/Worcs moved forward to Halfway House on the night before the battle. Orders came to relieve 8th Division on the ridge. From evening of Aug 1st to that of Aug 5th remained in position. Heavy rain and shell fire almost continuous. At night the front of the ridge was plastered with gas shells - removal of wounded very difficult due to deep slime. The worst trials were those of 'D' Coy on the defensive flank down to the Menin Road. The position was shelled heavily and the Coy lost half its strength killed or wounded. Survivors cheered by gallantry of 2Lt A Brewer (awarded MC) who showed great bravery and coolness. Other companies behaved equally well, but their casualties were almost as severe. When at last, after dark on Aug 5th, 3/Worcs were relieved, one fourth of the battalion had been put out of action. After relief, 3rd Worcs moved back down the Menin Road through Ypres to Halifax Camp. The rest of the 3rd Worcestershire at Halifax Camp was brief. On August 5th came orders for the line, and the Battalion again tramped forward up the Menin Road for a fresh attack. The failure on the first day to capture the Westhoek Ridge and Glencorse Wood had resulted in a terrible casualty roll in the battalions on the Bellewaerde Ridge and in the valley beyond, exposed as they were to the direct observation of the enemy machine gunners in those strongholds.

    To safeguard the position it was essential that those points should be taken. Plans had been made for a local attack with that object by two Divisions, the 18th Division against Glencorse Wood, and the 25th Division against Westhoek. The attack of the 25th Division was to be made by the 74th Brigade, with the 7th Brigade in close support. After dark on August 9th the 3rd Worcestershire moved into the support trenches on the Bellelvaarde Ridge, the trenches which they had held a week before. An hour before the attack was due to start, '' A '' and '' C '' companies were ordered forward to take position close the right battalion of the attacking Brigade, the 13th Cheshire.

    THE CAPTURE OF WESTHOEK.

    At dawn on August 10th the British artillery opened fire simultaneously with one tremendous crash, and the assaulting battalions charged forward as swiftly as was possible in the heavy mud. They just avoided the reply of the enemy’s artillery, which in three or four minutes struck all along the line of the British front trenches. The two companies of the Worcestershire lying in close support suffered more severely than did the attacking troops who, taking the enemy by surprise, fought their way forward up Westerhoek Ridge, topped the crest-line and pushed down the further slope. There the advance was checked. The reverse slope of the Ridge sheltered several concrete block-houses, still undamaged. The 13th Cheshire were held up and sent back messages for help. "A '' and " C '' Companies of the 3rd Worcestershire were ordered forward. 2nd Lieut A. W. Vint led '' A '' Company up and over the Ridge. By the time he reached the forward platoon of the Cheshire the protecting barrage had lifted and the enemy's machine-guns were sweeping bare ground. He organised an attack and led his men forward, working from shell-hole to shell-hole across several hundred yards of bare ground till he could close on the block-house, which was captured by a bold rush ( . Within half-an-hour from the start the objective of the attack had been gained and the victorious troops were endeavouring to establish defensive posts along the swampy valley of the Hannebeek. Orders were sent back for '' B '' and '' D '' Companies of the 3rd Worcestershire to move up to the old front line below the Westhoek Ridge.
    Then, as had been anticipated, began the severest trial. From north, east and south the enemy's shells came tearing to burst along the captured ridge : worse still, on the right flank the 18th Division after a hard struggle in Glencorse Wood had been driven back to that wood's western edge, thus exposing the right flank of the 13th Cheshire. Soon they were taken in enfilade by machine guns from the wood on the slope above them. By I1 o' c1ock all the senior officers of the Cheshire battalion had been hit and, at the request of their wounded C.O., Lt.-Colonel P. R. Whalley, commanding the 3rd Worcestershire, went forward, and took command. By that time enemy counter-attacks were beginning. Bodies of the enemy could be seen struggling forward through the swamps of the Hannebeek. Again and again as they came on, but they were easily shot down by the British fire. All counter-attacks were repulsed, though the fire from the machine-guns still swept the ground from the right flank. Throughout the day, Colonel Whalley commanded both battalions
    inspiring all with his courage and determination . Darkness closed down. The 3rd Worcestershire reassembled west of the Ridge and reckoned their losses-some fifty in all, including three officers : marvellously light considering the intensity of the fire.

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    Next day (August 11th)

    The defence of the captured ridge was continued. Lewis-gun teams of the Regiment went forward over the Ridge to assist the 13th Cheshire. Word came to send help to the right flank against an enemy counter-attack. All movement was perilous under the hill at
    shells, but Sergeant G. H. Tucker bravely led his men forward through the fire to the threatened dank. There he established his Lewis-guns in positions from which their fire checked the enemy movement . Two great losses fell the Battalion during that mowing, which deeply affected all ranks ;the Rev. E. M. Evans, M.C. who had been attached to the Battalion as Chaplain for more than two years was killed, and the not less devoted Medical officer, Captain H. D. Willis, was mortally wounded. At last on the fo11owing night the 3rd Worcestershire were relieved and withdrawn to a position in reserve. In the two days of fighting the Battalion had lost a third of its battle strength .On the next day (August 12th) the 3rd Worcestershire moved back through Ypres to Vlamer-tinghe and thence by bus to Steenvoorde to rest. At Steenvoorde were found the 1st Battalion, who had been resting and reorganising during the previous Week.

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    Brigadier General Ronald Campbell Maclachlan DSO, General Officer Commanding 112th Brigade, 37th Division is killed in action at age 45. He is shot by a sniper about 07:00 while going around the trenches in the Oosttaverne sector. He is the son of the Reverend A Campbell. A brother was accidentally killed in 1908 during the Mohmand Expedition on the Northwest Frontier and another will be killed in March 1918.

    In total 739 British lives were lost on this day

    Lieutenant Colonel Ernest Alfred Brooke Alston (Northamptonshire Regiment commanding 10th Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 40. He is the son of Surgeon Major William Evelyn Alston JP and he served in the South African War.
    Major George Bernard Stratton (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) is killed at Coxyde at age 40. His wife is the widow of Captain Percy Yarborough Harakness who was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme and she will give birth to Major Stratton’s son in January of next year.
    Captain Harold Ackroyd VC MC (Royal Army Medical Corps attached Royal Berkshire Regiment) is killed in action in Glencorse Wood, Ypres at age 40. Ten days earlier he performed deeds at Ypres that will win him the Victoria Cross. (see above)
    Lieutenant Frederick John Munro (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed in action at age 33. He is a journalist, had received an MA at St Andrew’s University and is the son of the Reverend Robert Munro.
    Lieutenant Harold Jackson Snowden (South Lancashire Regiment attached Royal Flying Corps) is accidentally killed in England. His brother was killed last March in Palestine.

    The War in the Air


    A busy day in the skies over the battlefields saw the loss of two aces on this day.

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    CAPT. ARTHUR NORBURY SOLLY 20 Squadron RFC was the elder son of Ernest Solly, M.B.LOND.,F.R.C.S. (O.R., 1878-81), Major in the Royal Army Medical Corps, T.F' and of Mary Alice his wife, of Harrogate. He entered the School with a Scholarship in 1908 and left in 1913. He was in the Running VIII in 1912 and 1913. He won a Modern Languages Exhibition at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, in 1912, and a leaving Exhibition in Modern Languages in his last term. Intending to follow a medical profession, he went up to Cambridge, and had been in
    residence a year when War broke out. Returning to England from abroad in September, 1914, he immediately enlisted in the Public Schools Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, and was promoted Sergeant. In the following month he received a Commission in the 19th Battalion The Manchester Regiment. In October, 1915, he was transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, and went to France as an Observer in March, 1916. In the fighting on the Somme he was wounded on July 1st, returned home; qualified as a Pilot in November, and, after some months spent in training others and in flying machines across the Channel, he went back to the Front in May, 1917.

    During the summer he took part in many air-fights, and was promoted Flight Commander and Captain. While he, "as the most experienced Pilot in his Squadron," was testing a new type of machine at a height of 7,000 feet, the wings collapsed and he was killed, near St.
    Omer, on August 11th, 1917. Age 23. Many brother Officers testified to his skill and courage, to his unfailing good humour, to the respect and admiration in which he was held.

    The Officer Commanding the 20th Squadron, R.F.C., wrote

    "How greatly we miss him, I cannot tell you. He was a wonderful Pilot and absolutely full of courage and determination. As one of my Flight Commanders he was of the greatest help to me."

    Another Officer said that "he was absolutely reliable in his work and never came back without completing a job, whatever the difficulty or danger."

    Flight Commander Francis Dominic Casey
    3(N) Squadron Royal Naval Air Service. Francis Dominic Casey joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1916. A Sopwith Pup pilot, he scored 9 victories in 1917 but he was killed in a crash during a test flight.

    His DSC Citation: For conspicuous bravery and skill in attacking hostile aircraft on numerous occasions. On April 21st, 1917, he attacked a hostile two-seater machine at a range varying from 40 to 100 yards, and brought it down completely out of control. On April 23rd, 1917, on four different occasions during one flight, he attacked hostile machines, one of which was driven down in a spinning nose dive and another turning over on its side went down completely out of control. This Officer has driven down four machines completely out of control, and forced many others down.

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    There were the following victories claimed on this day...

    Godwin Brumowski Austro-Hungarian Empire #11 #12

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    Benno Fiala von Fernbrugg Austro-Hungarian Empire #5
    Karl Nikitsch Austro-Hungarian Empire #4
    Johann Risztics Austro-Hungarian Empire #4
    Rudolf Weber Austro-Hungarian Empire #2 #3

    Charles Booker
    England #21
    [/B]

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    The son of Louis and Ada Booker, Charles Dawson Booker joined the Royal Naval Air Service on 8 September 1915. Most of his victories were achieved with a Sopwith Triplane he called "Maud." On 11 August 1917, Booker scored his 21st victory when he and William Jordan shot down an Albatros D.V piloted by Adolf von Tutschek. Moments later, Booker was shot down by Viktor Schobinger of Jasta 12. He landed safely behind British lines. Flying a Sopwith Camel, Booker shot down three Fokker D.VII aircraft on 13 August 1918 but died from wounds received the same day when he was shot down by Ulrich Neckel of Jasta 12

    On 11 August 1917, von Tutschek was badly wounded in the right shoulder when his black-tailed Albatros D.V was shot down by Charles Booker of 8 Naval Squadron. Out of action for six months, he wrote his memoirs while recovering: Sturme and Luftsiege (Attack and Air Victories). On 1 February 1918, von Tutschek assumed command of Jagdgeschwader II. Mid-morning on 15 March 1918, the triplanes of JG II tangled with the Royal Flying Corps near Brancourt. Tutscheck was killed when his green Fokker DR.I (404/17) was shot down by an S.E.5a flown by South African ace Harold Redler.

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    Charles Cudemore England #4
    William Thomas Smith England #1 #2
    Julius Buckler Germany #13
    Theodor Quandt Germany #3
    Julius Schmidt Germany #10
    Viktor Schobinger Germany #2
    William Jordan South Africa #4

    15 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON SATURDAY AUGUST 11TH 1917

    2nd. Lt. Browning, O.A. (Oakley Alsop) 6 Training Squadron RFC
    Lt. Davies, D.B. (David Beynon) 52 Squadron RFC
    AM 1 Fairless, R.L. (Robert Lester) 4 Squadron RFC
    2nd. Harris, P.G. (Percy George) 21 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Hay, D.Y. (Donald Yalden) 20 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Holaway, C.E. (Charles Edmund) 21 SQuadron RFC
    Lt. Holmes, K.W. (Kenneth Woodfull) 22 Squadron RFC
    Cadet Morton, G.A. (George A.) RFC
    Cadet Neylan, E. (Engelo) RFC
    Lt. Sawlor, R.H. (Ray Haliburton) 52 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Snowden, H.J. (Harold Jackson) RFC
    Capt. Solly, A.N. (Arthur Norbury) 23 Squadron RFC
    AM 1 Walker, G.S. (George Simpson) 9 Squadron RFC
    Cadet Walker, L.R. (Lionel Reginald) 44th Wing, Canada RFC
    Lt. (Flt. Cdr) Ward, E.A.H. (Edward Arthur Hunter) 22 Squadron RFC

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    Arnold Loosemore VC DCM (7 June 1896, Sheffield, England – 10 April 1924) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
    One of seven sons of a Sheffield gardener, Arnold Loosemore enlisted in the Army on 2 January 1915 aged 19 years and 7 months. Posted to the York and Lancaster Regiment, in July 1915 he left Liverpool for the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign arriving in Suvla Bay in August 1915. Surviving this campaign and returning home, he was then trained to use the Lewis machine gun. After this training, in July 1916 he was sent to the Somme in France to join the 8th Battalion of the Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment. In 1917 then aged 21 and a private, he was awarded the Victoria Cross and a year later the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

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    On 11 August 1917 south of Langemarck, Belgium, during the attack on a strongly held enemy position and his platoon having been held up by heavy machine-gun fire, Private Loosemore crawled through partially cut wire, dragging his Lewis machine-gun with him and single-handed dealt with a strong party of the enemy, killing about 20 of them. Immediately afterwards his Lewis gun was destroyed and three of the enemy rushed at him, but he shot them with his revolver. Later he shot several enemy snipers, and on returning to the original post he brought back a wounded comrade under heavy fire.

    On 19 June 1918 at Zillebeke, Belgium when out with a fighting patrol he displayed conspicuous gallantry and powers of leadership when his officer was wounded and the platoon scattered by hostile bombs. He rallied the men and brought them back in order with all the wounded to our lines. On a subsequent occasion he handled his platoon with great skill and a complete disregard of his own danger under heavy machine gun fire. It was owing to his determination and powers of leadership that the platoon eventually captured the enemy post which they were attacking. This action earned him his DCM.

    In August 1917 he was promoted to corporal by his commanding officer for gallantry in the field and in May 1918 was promoted to the rank of sergeant. On 13 October 1918 he was badly wounded by machine gun fire near Villiers-en-Cauchies in France and eventually had his left leg amputated above the knee. His health undermined by war wounds and unable to work, he died on 10 April 1924 from tuberculosis leaving a wife and small son. His wife Amy was refused a War Widows pension from the Government because he died after the war and she knew he was ill when she married him. Almost destitute; his wife had to have him buried in an existing grave with three others in order to save money. His Victoria Cross and Distinguished Conduct Medals were sold in 1969 and are now privately owned and not on public display. In the early 1980s a street in the S12 area of Sheffield was named Loosemore Drive by the Lord Mayor. Soon afterwards a memorial plaque to mark this event was removed due to repeated vandalism. This missing plaque was replaced in December 2014 by a new bronze plaque.

    That Arnold Loosemore's widow was refused a War Widows pension by the Government was highlighted in November 2014 by Channel 4 TV in a programme called 'WW1's Forgotten Heroes'.

    Western Front

    Heavy German counter-attack east of Ypres repulsed.

    British line pressed back in Glencorse Wood.

    Eastern Front

    Mackensen crosses River Sereth at one point; claims 7,000 prisoners, Romanians stubbornly resisting, retire at Ocna.

    Naval and Overseas Operations


    Liner "City of Athens" mined off Cape Town, 21 lost.

    Political, etc.


    U.S. Government refuses to issue passports for Stockholm Conference.

    Mr. Henderson resigns position as member of War Cabinet.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  6. #2656

    Default

    Nicely done, thanks for your time.

  7. #2657

    Default

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    Right last one from me for a few days at least as I am once again off on some R&R to where there are no phone signals or wifi..... Thankfully Neil has ignored the advice of the M.O. and declared himself fit to type... Top Man !!

    August 12th 1917


    We will pause to commemmorate all those that have fallen on this day throughout the years...

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    I know there is a strong anti-hunting, shooting and fishing lobby so I apologise to anyone who disapproves. To those not in the know or not from our shores, the 'Glorious 12th' is the start of the Grouse Shooting Season. Although having seen grouse in the wild, I have no idea why you need to shoot them, as a bird they are a bit crap. Round and podgy they spend most of the time walking about the moorlands, if you wanted a challenge then Grouse Clubbing would be more apt. Why do we have such a strange and (as some would say) barbaric tradition? Simple... they are delicious (apologies to vegetarians that there is no Grouse Quorn)

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    Anyway frivolity and contentiousness aside lets get back to business..

    Lets start with a reverse of fortunes in the endless war against merchant shipping...

    SM U-44 was one of the 329 submarines serving in the Imperial German Navy in World War I. She was engaged in the naval warfare and took part in the First Battle of the Atlantic. Launched in 1915, she was sunk in August 1917.

    SM U-44, under the command of Paul Wagenführ, was completed at Danzig about June or July 1915. She later joined the Kiel School, where she remained until 20 August 1915 undergoing trials. She then proceeded to the North Sea and was attached to the 3rd Half Flotilla.
    On 12 August 1917, U-44 was rammed and sunk in the North Sea south of Norway (58°50′N 4°20′E) by the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Oracle with the loss of all 44 of her crew.

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    Looks like the Glorious 12th theme was carried on in the air war - with a very busy day for the aces... 33 pilots claiming 41 victories including a 'Foursome' and 10 first timers... The plane of the day (well any day for me but I'm biased) was definitely the Bristol Fighter which accounts for 11 of these claims, it was also a good day for the Spad VIIs of 23 Squadron (another one of my favourites)

    Roderic Dallas Australia #19
    Alexander Augustus Norman Dudley Pentland Australia #3
    Benno Fiala von Fernbrugg Austro-Hungarian Empire u/c
    Rudolf Weber Austro-Hungarian Empire #4

    Captain Carleton Clement Canada #11 #12 #13 #14 22 Squadron RFC Flying Bristol F.2b (A7172)

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    The son of the Hon. Justice W. H. P. Clement, Carleton Main Clement attended public school in Vancouver, British Columbia before attending Victoria College at the University of Toronto in 1912 and 1913. Having served with the 31st B.C. Horse, Clement resigned his commission in the militia and enlisted as a private in the 30th Battalion in June 1915. In March 1916 he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 2563 on 16 March 1916. After training and a promotion to First Lieutenant he was posted to 22 Squadron in June 1916. He was promoted to Captain in January 1917 and scored his first 8 victories flying the F.E.2b. In July and August of 1917, he scored 6 more victories flying the Bristol F.2b. Missing in action on 19 August 1917, Clement's Bristol Fighter was seen going down near Langemarck, out of control. He was shot down by anti-aircraft fire. His Military Cross was awarded posthumously.

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    Bristol F.2b Fighter 'G' of 22 Sqn. Note the CDL fuselage

    Albert Earl Godfrey Canada #11
    Harold Kerby Canada #8

    George Trapp Canada #1

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    The son of Thomas J. and Nellie K. Trapp, George Leonard Trapp was one of three brothers who flew for Canada during World War I. He graduated from McGill University in 1916 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He joined the Royal Naval Air Service in January 1917 and was posted to 10 Naval Squadron on 2 July 1917. Before he was killed in action by Bruno Justinius of Jasta 35, he scored three victories flying the Sopwith Triplane and scored three more flying the Sopwith Camel. Both of his brothers also died during the war. Trapp's sister was married to Raymond Collishaw.

    James Bush England #1 #2

    The son of a Wiltshire clergyman, James Cromwell Bush served with the 5th Wiltshire Regiment and Dorsets before joining the Royal Flying Corps. Posted to 22 Squadron in 1917, he often flew with author "Arch" Whitehouse as his observer. Having initially flown the F.E.2b, Bush scored all of his victories as a Bristol Fighter pilot. The day after he scored his 6th victory, he and his observer, Lt. Chapman, were killed in action when they were shot down by Hans von Häbler of Jasta 36.

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    Well it was this or another picture of F2B

    Robert Coath England #3 #4
    Philip Fletcher Fullard England #19
    G.A. Hyde England #3
    Arthur Willan Keen England #9 #10

    Henry Maddocks England #1

    Serjt. Henry Hollingdrake Maddocks, from Berkhamsted School O.T.C., to be temporary 2nd Lieutenant for duty with the Royal Flying Corps on 5 August 1916. MC Citation 2nd Lt. Henry Hollingrake Maddocks, Gen. List, and R.F.C.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Whilst attacking two hostile aeroplanes he saw an enemy machine attacking one of his patrol. He at once attacked the enemy machine, which was seen to crash. On one occasion during a fight between seven enemy machines and a patrol of our scouts, he engaged one of the enemy machines causing it to drop from 6,000 feet to 1,000 feet, where it caught fire and dived vertically down. On two other occasions he drove down an enemy machine after a short fight. He has done consistent and continual good work.

    Gordon Olley England #5
    James Payne England #1
    William Walker England #1 #2 (Bristol Fighter)

    Marcel Dhome France #1

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    Marcel Dhôme was wounded in action on 10 June 1915. He served again during World War II and attained the rank of Commandant. "Brilliant pursuit pilot possessing courage and moral values. On 15 December 1917, he downed his 5th enemy plane which crashed in flames in our lines. One wound. Three citations." Médaille Militaire citation, 2 January 1918

    "Elite officer of superb bravery and spirit. Constantly distinguishing himself as a pilot without equal by his scorn of danger and by his skill in combat. After having downed successfully seven enemy planes in the course of his daily combats, he reported his 8th and 9th victories over enemy planes over their lines, and several days later downed a balloon. One wound. Médaille Militaire for feats of war. Five citations." Légion d'Honneur citation, 11 August 1918

    Hans von Adam Germany #11

    Xavier Dannhube Germany #1

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    Xavier Dannhuber was shot down on 27 September 1917 near Pervijze (Pervyse) by a Nieuport 23 flown by Belgian pilot Lt. Goethals Jacques of Escadrille 5. Wounded in action on 18 October 1917, Dannhuber's Albatros is believed to have been shot down by Belgian ace Andre de Meulemeester. Dannhuber was credited with ten victories before crashing a Pfalz D.IIIa during a test flight at Thugny airfield on 11 February 1918. Recovering from his injuries, he resumed command of Jasta 79b on 9 October 1918. He scored his final victory of the war five days later, shooting down a Sopwith Dolphin near Bohain.

    Helmut Dilthey Germany #2
    Eduard von Dostler Germany #23
    Willi Kampe Germany #1
    Konrad Mettlich Germany #3 #4
    Julius Schmidt Germany #11
    Conn Standish O'Grady Ireland #4

    Keith Park New Zealand #2 48 Squadron RFC (Bristol F2B)

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    Leonard Slatter South Africa #1

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    A civil engineer and native of South Africa, Leonard Horatio Slatter joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1916. Later that year, after serving as an observer, he was selected for pilot training and received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 3912 on a Sopwith seaplane at the seaplane base, Dover on 14 November 1916. Flying Sopwith Pups and Camels, he scored seven victories and became an instructor in July 1918. After the war, he remained in the Royal Air Force, serving with 47 Squadron in Russia. During World War II, he served in Iraq, commanded the Roya Air Force in the Eritrea-Abyssinia campaign, directed operations against Nazi U-boats in the Battle of the Atlantic and served as Commander in Chief of the Coastal Command from 1945 to 1948. Air Marshal Sir Leonard Horation Slatter, 66, died at Uxbridge. He was survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.

    Ronald Graham Scotland #2
    Clive Wilson Warman USA #6 #7

    Harold Day Wales #1

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    Diving on an Albatros D.V, Harold Day was killed when his Sopwith Camel (N6379) broke up and crashed near Harnes. Günther Schuster of Jasta 29 was credited with shooting him down.

    His DSC citation: Flt. Sub-Lieut. Harold Day, R.N.A.S.
    In recognition of the skill and determination shown by him in aerial combats, in the course of which he has done much to stop enemy artillery machines from working.
    On the 6th January, 1918, he observed a new type enemy aeroplane. He immediately dived to attack, and after a short combat the enemy machine went down very steeply, and was seen to crash.
    On several other occasions he has brought down enemy machines out of control.

    The Allied airmen didnt have it all their own way as 13 airmen were lost on this day

    AM 2 Bestford, R. (Robert) 52 Squadron RFC
    Am 1 Castell, G.C. (George Charles) 12 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Castle, E.E. (Errington Edward) 46 Training Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Elliott, C.W. (Clifford Wilfrid) 23 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Gibson, G.I. (Griffiths Ifor) 6 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Gordon, A.W. (Albert William) 32 Squadron RFC
    Capt. Guy, C.G. (Christopher Godfrey) 29 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Hutchinson, C.D. (Cecil Dunbar) 57 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. MacLaren, F.M. (Frederic Monteath) 1 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Nichols, S.L. (Stanley Lawrence) 19 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Sillem, S.C. (Stuart Charles) 27 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Tate, W.E. (William Edward) RFC
    Capt. Williams, R.M. (Roderic Mathafarn) 32 Squadron RFC

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    Eleven Gothas raid Southend and Margate killing 32 and injuring 46. Among the dead are Mrs. Elizabeth Mary West age 55 and her 13 year old daughter Gladys. They will be buried in the same grave. Ironically her three sons all are in the Army and all survive the war. Lieutenant Harold Spencer Kerby (Royal Naval Air Service) attacks hostile machines returning from the raid on England. One hostile machine is driven down by him to the water where it is observed to turn over.

    Strong winds prevented an attack on London so Kagohl 3 chose instead to attack Chatham, a naval base on the north Kent coast. The raid appears to have been a last minute decision and only 13 Gothas were available but engine problems caused two of these to turn back early.

    Prior to the attack on Chatham, one Gotha broke away from the formation and at 5.40pm approached Margate where it dropped four bombs. The first fell harmlessly in the sea off Queen’s Promenade and the second wrecked an unoccupied house on Surrey Road. Of the other two, one fell in the grounds of Laleham House School on Lower Northdown Road, blowing out all the doors and windows at the back and damaging parts of the interior. The other dropped in the grounds of Surrey House School in Laleham Road, smashing windows there and at 30 other houses in the vicinity. One woman was slightly injured. AA guns opened fire on the Gotha, getting off 132 rounds, and RNAS aircraft set off in pursuit, harrying the lone raider back to Belgium where it crash landed near Ostend.

    The main formation appeared off the mouth of the Blackwater at 5.30pm, having been pushed north by the wind, and climbed to 15,000 feet as they headed towards the Thames Estuary. Ten minutes earlier the first defence aircraft took off from Rochford and Manston, followed in the next ten minutes by aircraft from a number of other airfields. Kagohl 3 reached Rochford at 5.50pm where they dropped two bombs on the RFC airfield but failed to inflict any damage although the bombs injured two men. Another fell close to the nearby railway but again without damage. The defence aircraft that took off from Rochford 30 minutes earlier were still climbing to the raider’s altitude but with the wind slowing the Gothas and the sight of British aircraft in pursuit, the formation abandoned their plan over Canvey Island and turned back, intending to drop their bombs on the area around Southend instead. (Should have bombed Canvey Island - what a dump - editor)

    Five bombs fell at Leigh. One, which failed to detonate, went sideways through a house on Lord Roberts Avenue and buried itself six feet below the foundations. One that exploded on the pavement in Cliffsea Grove caused damage to seven houses but no one was injured. Seven bombs fell in Westcliff but only four detonated, causing minimal damage. Of these, two exploded in fields, one on a tennis court near Imperial Avenue and one in a garden in Crowstone Road North.

    The 17 bombs that fell in Southend were more deadly even though nine of them failed to explode. A woman in High Street, near the Midland railway Station, was injured and a bomb exploding in Milton Avenue killed a man and a woman and smashed a water main. Other bombs demolished a house at 12 Guildford Road, killing three people and injuring three more, and one in Lovelace Gardens destroyed a house, killing a woman and child. The worst incident took place in Victoria Avenue, which led towards the main Great Eastern Railway station. Many day-trippers from London were on their way back to the station for the journey home when a 50kg HE bomb exploded amongst them leaving bodies strewn in all directions. The exact number is hard to work out from contemporary reports but may be as high as 25 killed.

    The Gothas remained overland as far as Shoeburyness, dropping two final bombs at Little Wakering and Bournes Green, neither of which exploded, before going out to sea at about 6.00pm. RFC aircraft of 61 Squadron from Rochester pursued them for 40 to 50 miles as did aircraft from 112 Squadron, and those from the Testing Squadron at Martlesham Heath and the RNAS. One of the RNAS pilots, Flt sub-Lt Harold Kerby, had the only success of the day, shooting down one of the returning Gothas.

    Six AA guns of the Thames and Medway garrison fired off 130 rounds, one regular crew at the Shoeburyness experimental range fired 36 and four hastily assembled crews at the Shoeburyness gunnery school got off 120 rounds, all without success.

    So its over to Neil for a few days... nice to get a cheeky Gotha raid in before I leave. Nothing much from Tunstill's men today but I shall remember them as I have a few beers in many of the pubs they would have drunk in back in their beloved Wharfedale.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  8. #2658

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    Laughed so much I nearly flew a mission Chris.
    Kyte.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  9. #2659

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    Back in the saddle tomorrow. Let's see what I can drag up.

    Neil
    See you on the Dark Side......

  10. #2660

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    Monday 13th August 1917

    Today we lost: 525

    Today’s losses include:

    · The great grandson of a Baronet
    · A man related to the assassinated Airey Neave
    · Multiple sons of members of the clergy
    · Multiple families that will lose two son in the Great War

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:
    · Captain Edward Harold Lomax (South Lancashire Regiment) is killed in action at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend Edward Lomax.
    · Second Lieutenant Maurice Charles Thornton Bate (London Regiment) is killed at age 19. He is the son of the Vicar of Chittlehampton.
    · Corporal William James Hall (Suffolk) is killed at age 21. His half brother was killed last month.
    · Private Charles Baden Drury Powell (Middlesex Regiment) is killed on the Somme at age 26. His brother will be killed next July.

    Air Operations:

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 6

    Capt Chambers, P.W. (Percy Wilmot), 22 Squadron, RFC. Died of Wounds 13 August 1917 as a Prisoner of War (Wounded and Captured earlier that day).

    2Lt Crewe, C.W. (Clifford Whatley), 42 Training Squadron, RFC. Killed whilst flying. NFDK.

    Lt Doran, F.B. (Frank Beecher), 9 Squadron, RFC. Killed in Action aged 21, during an aerial combat.

    A Mech 2 Kelly, C. (Cornelius), 55 Squadron, RFC. NFDK.

    Capt Kirk, P.G. (Percival Gordon), 55 Squadron, RFC. Killed in Action aged 24.

    Lt McNally, P.B. (Percy Byron), 55 Squadron, RFC, aged 30. NFDK.

    Claims: 17 confirmed (Entente 11: Central Powers 6)

    William Bishop #43rd & #44th.
    George Dixon #2nd.
    Edward Gribben #5th.
    Albert Earl Godfrey #12th.
    Tom Hazell #16th & #17th.
    Alwyne Loyd #3rd.
    Harry Gosford Reeves #4th.
    William Thomas Smith #3rd & #4th.

    Heinrich Arntzen #5th.
    Albert Haussmann #5th & #6th.
    Fritz Loerzer #3rd.
    Georg Strasser #5th.

    Lt Karl Mendel claims his 1st confirmed victory with Jasta 15. Shooting down a balloon near Pontavert. The highest scoring ace of Jasta 18, Mendel was shot down by an SE5a of 29 Squadron.

    Western Front

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    Prelude:

    Currie regarded control of either Hill 70 or Sallaumines Hill as tactically more important than control of the city of Lens. Merely to occupy the city while the Germans held the high ground, would place the attackers in an unfavourably lower and more exposed position than the ones they occupied. At a conference of corps commanders, Currie persuaded the First Army commander General Henry Horne to make Hill 70, not Lens, the main objective of the limited offensive. Controlling Hill 70 would provide excellent observation over the German lines, in preparation for more offensives. Currie believed the Germans would attempt to counter-attack if Hill 70 were captured, largely because of its observational importance. Nevertheless, Currie believed that the advantageous observational position of Hill 70 would permit well directed artillery to effectively deal with any counter-attacks. The plan was therefore to occupy the high ground quickly, establish defensive positions and utilize combined small arms and artillery fire to repel expected counter-attacks and inflict as many casualties as possible.

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    Artillery map of the Lens area, marking locations to bombard with harassing fire.

    In an attempt to further deceive the Germans, minor operations were conducted in an effort to suggest a forthcoming attack by the British First Army south of La Bassée Canal. This included an attack by the 9th Canadian Brigade against units of the German 36th Reserve Division at Mericourt Trench and a British First Army poison gas attack north of Loos, both in late July 1917.

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    Bad weather led to the postponement of the attack on Hill 70 from late July until mid-August. In the interim, special companies of the Royal Engineers augmented the regular level of harassment by firing a total of 3,500 gas drums and 900 gas shells into Lens by 15 August. The artillery neutralized 40 out of an estimated 102 German batteries in the area by zero hour, partly with the technique of predicted fire for the first time, using datum points and calibrated guns, which greatly improved the accuracy of the artillery. Troops were rotated through the reserve area to conduct training and rehearsals in preparation for the assault. These obvious preliminary actions to an attack did not go unnoticed by the Germans, which made it impossible to conceal the First Army's general intentions or even, as it turned out, the date of the assault. The best that could be done was to attempt to mislead the Germans with respect to time and place. To this end I Corps staged exercises with dummy tanks on 14 August, directly west of Lens.

    Tunstills Men Monday 13th August 1917:

    Billets near Moulle.


    A fine, sunny day, though there was more heavy rain during the evening.

    Pte. Leonard Hurley (see 6th August) again found himself on a charge; on this occasion his offence was, “Inattention on line of march, ie not keeping step”. He was reported Sgt. Michael Kenefick (see 23rd July); on the orders of Lt. Arthur Poynder Garratt (see 6th August) he was to be confined to barracks for two days.

    Pte. Ellis Sutcliffe (see 22nd July), who had suffered relatively minor shrapnel wounds to his back on 22nd July, was discharged from 6th General Hospital at Rouen and posted to 34th Infantry Base Depot at Etaples, en route to a return to active service.

    Lt. Philip Howard Morris (see 1st August), who had been wounded on 7th June and was now serving with 3DWR at North Shields, appeared before an Army Medical Board assembled at Tynemouth. The Board found that “the wounds remain healed but are rather dragged upon at present in free movements of the arm. The arm has not regained full strength yet”; they found him fit for home service for a month, with a further Board to follow.

    Pte. James Thomas Sagar (see 19th March), who was serving at Northern Command Depot at Ripon, having been posted back to England in November 1916, was reported for ‘overstaying his special leave’. He would return to duty next day and would be sentenced to three days confined to barracks.

    Eastern Front:

    Russo-Romanian offensive continues favourable to Allies (Ocna region).

    August 8 1917, Oituz–The German attack at Mărășești was not the Central Powers’ only planned offensive against the Romanians for early August. At the same time, the Austrians planned to attack around Oituz, to the north of where the Romanians had launched their offensive in late July; the Austrians hoped that they could outflank the small salient created by Averescu’s advance. During the planning phase in late July, the Oituz sector was defended by Russian troops deemed by Austrian intelligence to be highly unreliable, and likely to break if attacked. In early August, those Russians were replaced with Romanians; the Austrians brought in more troops to compensate.

    The Austrians had many advantages on the eve of the attack. The Romanians were overextended by their advance in July, leaving this sector relatively undermanned, and with essentially no reserves. The Romanian trenches themselves were relatively primitive, though the hilly terrain would help them. Finally, the Romanians had no warning that the attack was coming, even believing that the Austrians were reducing their presence in the sector.
    The Austrians attacked on the morning of August 8th. The Romanians put up a spirited defense, often launching counterattacks of their own. However, by the night of the 9th, the Romanians had lost 1200 PoWs and were falling back all along the line. The Romanians, having no more than a single battalion in reserve, were afraid of a complete Austrian breakthrough.

    The success did not come without cost for the Austrian forces, however, nor for the German units attacking with them. One of the casualties on the first day of the battle was a 23-year-old Rudolf Hess, shot through the left lung. This would end his career in the infantry; he would spend the remainder of the war convalescing or in training as a pilot. While he would not serve in combat again in the First World War, his pilot’s training would lead to his ultimate fate in the Second.

    August 10 1917, Oituz–The Austro-German attack around Oituz was reinforced on August 9 by the arrival of the Württemberg Mountain Battalion (WMB). Arriving from the Western Front, they assumed that the Romanians would be pushovers, and that victory over them would be as easy as it had been in 1916. They soon found the Romanians to be far more determined than they had expected, but they still achieved some impressive victories in their first days on the front.

    On August 9, elements of the WMB under Lt. Erwin Rommel infiltrated in along the Oituz river valley and threatened to surround the Romanians there, forcing them to fall back. In the wee hours of August 10, Rommel led infantry and machine gun detachments in silence up the slopes of Mt. Coṣna, launching a surprise attack from point blank range just before dawn, quickly forcing the Romanians back over a mile. Later that day, he was himself surprised by a Romanian patrol and was wounded in the arm; Rommel recalled a French officer with the patrol repeatedly shouting “Kill the German dogs!” Rommel remained on the front lines for the next two weeks despite his injury.

    The next day, Rommel led the assault on the summit of Mt. Coṣna itself; they took it quickly, but the fighting soon devolved into a series of counterattacks over the course of the day before the Romanians abandoned the peak. Rommel’s forces, by now exhausted after three days’ intense fighting, did not have the strength to advance down the far side.

    The Romanians were able to recover their strength; by August 13 they were in possession of the peak once again.

    Naval Operations:


    Shipping Losses: 7 (All to U-Boat action)


    HMS Bergamot was an Anchusa-class sloop which had a short career. Built by Armstrong Whitworth, the ship was laid down on 1 January 1917, launched on 5 May, and commissioned on 14 July.
    Four weeks later, on 13 August 1917, under the command of Lieut-Commander Percy T. Perkins, she was sunk in the Atlantic 70 nautical miles (130 km) north-west of the harbour of Killybegs by the German submarine U-84, commanded by Walter Rohr.

    His war diary describes how he sighted a lone merchant ship, with no defensive armament (an unusual sight by 1917). HMS Bergamot evidently sighted the U-boat's periscope, as she began to zig-zag at high speed. The U-84 fired one torpedo — which hit on the port side — and HMS Bergamot broke in half and sank in 4 minutes. Surfacing, the U-84 sighted an unusually large number of crew (70) and pieces of wood floating. The U-boat's log identifies the possibility of the Bergamot being a "trap ship". One of the indicators being the narrow beam in relation to the length of the ship, a sure sign of a warship.

    The torpedo struck her on the port side, entering the auxiliary engine room and destroying the dynamo and the bulkhead separating the auxiliary engine room from the main engine room. All the lights went out. HMS Bergamot launched a "panic party" in lifeboat no.1, containing 31 men, but the ship lurched to port, both the bow and stern rising out of the water, and she sank too quickly for the ruse to be successful.

    U-84 approached Lifeboat no. 2 and asked where the captain was. They were told, "In the other boat, Sir" although actually he was on a small raft being towed by no.2 at the time. U-84 had both her deck guns trained on the lifeboat, but they believed the story and headed for lifeboat no. 1, now about 2 miles away. There, they went close alongside and hauled the ship's steward aboard, probably because he was the only one with a collar and tie on, and looked like an officer. Luckily, he stuck to the cover story, although questioned severely by Rohr as to "where bound, what cargo?" and was told to go back to his lifeboat, after having been given a glass of port wine and a cigarette, and after also transferring a wounded man that the submarine had picked up to the boat. With a cheery, "See you after the war!" the submarine disappeared into the night mists.

    At the moment of the explosion, the Bergamot's first officer, Lieutenant Frederick W. Siddall, and her probationer surgeon, Robert S.Smith were both in her wardroom. The explosion jammed both of the watertight doors leading into this compartment, and Siddall was rendered unconscious. Smith piled the wrecked wardroom furniture up in order to reach the skylight in the roof, and then dragged the unconscious Siddall up and out of the compartment. Having reached the main deck, Smith worked on both Siddall and a wounded Petty Officer, who was lying on the deck with a broken leg and arm. By this time the ship was clearly sinking so Smith inflated his casualties life vests and lowered them both into the water.

    As HMS Bergamot sank one of her depth charges exploded, badly wounding Siddall and again rendering him unconscious. Smith towed both his casualties to lifeboat no.2, which had left the sinking ship, containing 47 survivors, and then worked on Siddall for 25 minutes, administering artificial respiration, until he again recovered consciousness. Smith then treated the other injured survivors in no.2 over the 48 hours that the lifeboats were adrift until they were picked up. For these life saving actions, Surgeon Robert Sydney Steele Cathcart Smith was awarded the Albert Medal.

    The lifeboats became separated through the first night. Lifeboat no.2 set course for Loch Swilly, about 100 miles away, They sailed and rowed for three days before being picked up by the Admiralty trawler Lord Lister. Lifeboat no.1 reached the rocky shores of County Donegal where they were taken ashore by the coastguard.
    For the unfortunate Smith and Siddall, this was the second time they'd been blown up in 6 weeks. They'd both been members of the crew on HMS Salvia when that ship had been sunk.

    Political:


    Martial law in Spain.

    Mr. Barnes appointed to War Cabinet.

    Mr. Bonar Law announces that no passports for Stockholm Conference will be issued.

    Anniversary Events:

    1521 Hernan Cortes captures the city of Tenochtitlan, Mexico, and sets it on fire.
    1630 Emperor Ferdinand II dismisses Albert Eusebius von Wallenstein, his most capable general.
    1680 War starts when the Spanish are expelled from Santa Fe, New Mexico, by Indians under Chief Pope.
    1704 The Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Austria defeat the French Army at the Battle of Blenheim.
    1787 The Ottoman Empire declares war on Russia.
    1862 Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest defeats a Union army under Thomas Crittenden at Murfreeboro, Tennessee.
    1881 The first African-American nursing school opens at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.
    1889 The first coin-operated telephone is patented by William Gray.
    1892 The first issue of the Afro American newspaper is published in Baltimore, Maryland.
    1898 Manila, the capital of the Philippines, falls to the U.S. Army.
    1910 British nurse Florence Nightingale, famous for her care of British soldiers during the Crimean War, dies.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  11. #2661

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    Tuesday 14th August 1917

    Today we lost: 766
    Today’s losses include:
    · A Victoria Cross winner
    · A man killed with his two sons
    · A man whose son was killed earlier this year
    · Multiple brothers killed together
    · Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
    · A woman who will lose her son and her brother together
    · The son and brother-in-law of a jurist
    · Multiple sons of members of the clergy
    · A footballer and hurler with the Taghmon GAA Club

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    · Captain Stephen Gordon Harbord MC (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 27. He is the son of the Reverend Harry Harbord.
    · Lieutenant William Buckworth (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 40. His brother was killed in May 1915 on Gallipoli.
    · Second Lieutenant Thomas Robert Grosvenor (London Regiment) is killed in action at age 27. He is the son of the Reverend Frederick L Grosvenor.
    · Lance Corporal William Robert Burnell (Rifle Brigade) is killed in action at age 35. He is the middle of three brothers who are killed in the war.
    · Private Michael Cooper MM (Irish Regiment) dies of wounds received in action. He is a keen hurler and football player with the Taghmon GAA Club and his brother was killed in May 1915.
    · Private Lawrence Barnes (Newfoundland Regiment) is killed. His brother will be killed in April next year.
    · Signaller Peter Mowat (British Columbia Regiment) is killed on Hill 70. His brother will die of wounds in October 1918.
    · Private Michael MM (Manitoba Regiment) is killed at age 20. His brother will be killed in August 1918.

    Air Operations:

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 19

    Flt Off (Prob) Bray, R.E. (Raymond Earl) Cranwell Central Depot and Training Establishment, RNAS.
    Lt Cameron, P.G. (Percy Grant), 10 Squadron, RFC.
    Lt Cobb, J.E. (John Elbridge), 21 Squadron, RFC.
    A Mech 2 Crane, R. (Richard), 79 Reserve Squadron (Canada), RFC.
    2Lt Cremetti, M.A.E. (Max Arthur Eugene), No.2 Aircraft Acceptance Park, Hendon, RFC.
    2Lt Curtis, F.W. (Frank Warren), 9 Squadron, RFC.
    AC2 Egleshaw, J.G. (John G.), Calshot Naval Air Station, Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. 'President II'.
    Lt Field, N. (Norman), 25 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Goodman, J.E. (John Everatt), 53 Squadron, RFC.
    Lt Gordon, D. (Douglas), 10 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Kebblewhite, F.E. (Fred Edgar), 53 Squadron, RFC.
    A Mech 2 Larkin, S.B. (Sidney Bernard), 71 Squadron, AFC.
    Flt Sub-Lt Lloyd, S.H. (Seisyllt Hugh), 10 (N) Squadron, RNAS.
    2Lt McGavin, P.L. (Peter Liddel), 25 Squadron, RFC.
    Lt Montgomery, C.C.S. (Clark Cairnforth Stitzel), 66 Squadron, RFC.
    Capt Oliver, T.A. (Thomas Alfred), 29 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Page, D.A. (Dudley Alfred), 56 Squadron, RFC.
    Lt Phipps, C.L. (Christopher Leckonby), 7th Balloon Company, RFC.
    A Mech 2 Rowe, L.F. (Latham Frank), RFC.

    Claims: 23 confirmed (Entente 14: Central Powers 9)
    Leonard Barlow #8th.
    Albert Earl Godfrey #13th.
    Tom Hazell #18th & #19th.
    Frederich Libby (USA) #14th.
    Gerald Maxwell #9th.
    John Fitz Morris #5th & #6th.
    Conn Standish O’Grady #5th & #6th.
    Harry Goosford Reeves #5th.
    Cyril Burfield Ridley #3rd.
    Stanley Roseyear #1st.
    Howard John Thomas Saint #2nd.

    Hans von Adam #12th.
    Walter Blume #4th.
    Godwin Brumowski #13th u/c.
    Eduard von Dostler #24th.
    Benno Fiala von Fernbrugg #6th.
    Erich Lowenhardt #2nd
    Ludwig Luer #1st.
    Georg Meyer #2nd
    Wilhelm Seitz #3rd.
    Ernst Udet #7th.

    Western Front


    Tunstills Men Tuesday 14th August 1917:


    Billets near Moulle.

    Another largely fine day, though once again there was heavy rain in the evening.

    Pte. Alec Radcliffe (see 27th July), who had suffered relatively minor wounds to his right leg on 7th June, re-joined the Battalion from 34th Infantry Base Depot at Etaples.

    Pte. Patrick Sweeney (see 11th August), who had been absent without leave since 9.30pm on 11th August, now returned. On the orders of Lt. Col. Robert Raymer (see 27th July) he would forfeit four days’ pay and be sentenced to 28 days’ Field Punishment No.1

    Pte. William Ward Pickles joined the Battalion. He had enlisted in February 1915, aged 35, and had been living in Sowerby Bridge, where he worked as a bricklayer; he was a married man, but had no children. He had been posted to 8DWR and had served with them at Gallipoli from August 1915 to July 1916, before returning to France with the Battalion. He had been wounded in October 1916, suffering a wound to his left thigh and had been treated at Bellahouston Red Cross Hospital, before being posted to 83rd Training Reserve Battalion on 22nd November. He had returned to France on 3rd May but had stayed for three months at 34th Infantry Base Depot at Etaples until joining 10DWR.

    Trooper Claude Darwin (see 9th August), serving in Egypt with 1st Field Squadron, Engineers, Anzac Mounted Division, was reported absent without leave and in possession of another man’s pass, from 14th Australian General Hospital at Abassia. On his return he would be deprived of four days’ pay. He was the brother of Tunstill recruit, Pte. Tom Darwin (see 9th August), who was back in England having been wounded on 7th June.

    Naval Operations:

    Shipping Losses: 13 (2 to mines and 11 to U-boat action)


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    HMS Prize (Lieutenant Commander William Edward Sanders VC DSO RNR) a topsail schooner commissioned by the Royal Navy as a Q-ship is again on patrol, this time with an escorting British submarine, D8, which remains submerged and only makes contact with Prize at night under cover of darkness. During the previous day Prize twice sights a German periscope, but the submarine does not surface. The commander of the submarine, UB48, having checked the Prize’s course and speed, waits until the moon rises and stalks her for a torpedo attack. At 01:30 this morning, the escorting British submarine sees Prize blow up in the Irish Sea and is unable to find any survivors among her crew of twenty-seven. The schooner had been captured from the Germans in 1914 in the English Channel and subsequently sold only to be hired in 1917. It was originally the Else, and renamed on capture the ‘First Prize’.

    The motor fishing yawl Jane S pulls in its nets which contain a mine which then explodes killing Skipper Andrew Henderson age 53 and his two sons Engine Driver Alexander Henderson age 27 and Boat Hand Andrew Henderson age 27. Two other crew men are killed including Second Hand Thomas Boyter age 55 as the Jane sinks. His son Private Alexander Boyter was killed by a shell burst in May of last year.

    Two brothers are killed when SS Thames (Master John Gatenby Carling, age 51) goes missing. She departed Middlesbrough for Fecamp with a cargo of pig iron today and nothing more is heard of her and she is posted as missing/untraced on 21st November 1917. It is later discovered that she was sunk with all hands by gunnery from the German submarine UC-63. Of her crew of twelve brothers Cook Arthur Brew Rosser is lost at age 24 as his brother Mate Benjamin is 26.

    Lady Atkin the wife of Justice James Richard Atkin loses both her son and her brother on the same day at the crossing of the Steenbeck. Lieutenant Richard Walter Atkin (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 20 while Lieutenant Maurice Hemmant (Rifle Brigade) is killed at
    age 28.

    Home Fronts:

    Germany:

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    Eduard Buchner (1860-1917).

    August 13 1917, Munich–The German war effort had the backing of the vast majority of the German scientific community (Einstein notwithstanding), and many of them served in what ways they could. One of these was Eduard Buchner had won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1907 for proving that the fermentation reactions associated with yeast did not require living yeast cells to proceed, by grinding up dry yeast and extracting their intracellular fluid. This helped to disprove “vitalism,” the belief that there is something intrinsically different about living beings when it comes to the physical laws that describe them.

    Buchner had volunteered for military service at the start of the war, and although he had been recalled for scientific duties at the end of 1915, volunteered again, at the age of 56, after American entry. He was commanding a ammunition transport unit near Maraseti when he was wounded by a Romanian shell on August 11; he died of his wounds two days later.

    Political:


    China declares War on Austria and Germany.

    Papal Note with proposals for peace sent to belligerent Governments published.

    Anniversary Events:

    1457 The first book ever printed is published by a German astrologer named Faust. He is thrown in jail while trying to sell books in Paris. Authorities concluded that all the identical books meant Faust had dealt with the devil.
    1559 Spanish explorer Tristan de Luna enters Pensacola Bay, Florida.
    1605 The Popham expedition reaches the Sagadahoc River in present-day Maine and settles there.
    1756 French commander Louis Montcalm takes Fort Oswego, New England, from the British.
    1793 Republican troops in France lay siege to the city of Lyons.
    1900 The European allies enter Beijing, relieving their besieged legations from the Chinese Boxers.
    1917 The Chinese Parliament declares war on the Central Powers..
    See you on the Dark Side......

  12. #2662

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    Good stuff Neil (I have a 5 minute Wi-Fi window lol)

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  13. #2663

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    A double VC issue today.

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    Skipper Thomas Crisp VC, DSC, RNR (28 April 1876 – 15 August 1917). Crisp, in civilian life a commercial fisherman operating from Lowestoft in Suffolk, earned his award after being killed during the defence of his vessel, the armed naval smack His Majesty's Smack Nelson, in the North Sea against an attack from a German submarine in 1917.
    Thomas Crisp's self–sacrifice in the face of this "unequal struggle" was used by the government to bolster morale during some of the toughest days of the WW1 for Britain, the summer and autumn of 1917, during which Britain was suffering heavy losses at the Battle of Passchendaele. His exploit was read aloud by David Lloyd George in the Houses of Parliament and made headline news for nearly a week.

    In the spring of 1915, Tom Crisp Jr. left the vessel to join the Royal Navy. A few weeks later the U–boat threat expected so many months before arrived, as submarines surfaced among the undefended fishing fleets and used dynamite to destroy dozens of them after releasing the crews in small boats. This offensive was part of a wider German strategy to denude Britain of food supplies and took a heavy toll on the fishing fleets of the North Sea. George Borrow was among the victims, sunk in August, although it is not known if Crisp was aboard at the time. While temporarily working in a net factory following the loss of his vessel, he was scouted by a Navy officer recruiting experienced local fishing captains to command a flotilla of tiny fishing vessels, which were to be secretly armed. The boats were intended to be working fishing vessels fitted with a small artillery piece with which to sink enemy submarines as they surfaced alongside. In this manner it was hoped they would protect the fishing fleets without the diversion of major resources from the regular fleet, in the same manner as Q-Ships deployed in the commercial sea lanes.

    Agreeing to this proposal, Crisp became first a Seaman and by the summer of 1916 a Skipper in the Royal Naval Reserve, arranging for his son to join the crew of his boat, the HM Armed Smack I'll Try, armed with a 3–pounder gun. On 1 February 1917 in the North Sea, I'll Try had its first confrontation with the enemy when two submarines surfaced close to the smack and her companion the larger Boy Alfred. Despite near misses from enemy torpedoes, both smacks scored hits on their larger opponents and reported them as probable sinkings, although post–war German records show that no submarines were lost on that date. Both skippers were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and a present of £200 for this action, and Crisp was offered a promotion and transfer to an ocean–going Q–ship. He was forced to turn down this offer due to his wife's sudden and terminal illness. She died in June 1917.

    In July, I'll Try was renamed Nelson and Boy Alfred became Ethel & Millie, in an effort to maintain their cover. The boats continued to operate together and Crisp's crew was augmented with two regular seamen and a Royal Marine rifleman, providing the Nelson with a crew of ten, including Crisp and his son. The smacks set out as usual on 15 August and pulled in a catch during the morning before making a sweep near the Jim Howe Bank in search of cruising enemies. At 2.30 pm, Crisp spotted a German U-boat on the surface 6,000 yards (5,500 m) away. The U-boat also sighted the smack and both vessels began firing at once, the U-boat's weapon scoring several hits before Nelson's could be brought to bear. By this stage in the war, German submarine captains were aware of the decoy ship tactics and no longer stopped British merchant shipping, preferring to sink them from a distance with gunfire.

    With such a heavy disparity in armament between the smack's 3 pounder and the submarine's 88 mm deck gun the engagement was short lived, the submarine firing eight shots before the Nelson could get within range of her opponent. The fourth shot fired by the U-boat holed the smack, and the seventh tore off both of Crisp's legs from underneath him. Calling for the confidential papers to be thrown overboard, Crisp dictated a message to be sent by the boat's four carrier pigeons: like many small ships of the era, the Nelson did not possess a radio set.

    "Nelson being attacked by submarine. Skipper killed. Jim Howe Bank. Send assistance at once."

    The sinking smack was abandoned by the nine unwounded crew, who attempted to remove their captain, who ordered that he should be thrown overboard rather than slow them down. The crew refused to do so, but found they were unable to move him and left him where he lay. He died in his son's arms a few minutes later. It is said that he was smiling as he died and remained so as the ship sank underneath him. The Ethel & Millie had just arrived on the scene as the Nelson sank, and her captain Skipper Charles Manning called for Nelson's lifeboat to come alongside. Realising that this would greatly overcrowd the second boat, the survivors refused and Manning sailed onwards towards the submarine, coming under lethal fire as he did so. His vessel was soon badly damaged and began to sink.

    The crew of the Ethel & Millie then abandoned their battered boat and were hauled aboard the German submarine, where the Nelson survivors last saw them standing in line being addressed by a German officer. The seven British sailors of the Ethel & Millie were never seen again, and much controversy exists surrounding their disappearance. Prevailing opinion at the time was that they were murdered and dumped overboard by the German crew or abandoned at sea without supplies, but these scenarios cannot be substantiated. Another theory is that they were taken prisoner aboard the boat and killed when the submarine was itself sunk. The son of Arthur Soanes, a sailor who disappeared in this incident, later claimed to have contacted his father through his powers as a spiritual medium, reporting that he had died on board the German vessel. UC 63 has been named as the submarine that sank both vessels.

    The survivors of the Nelson drifted for nearly two days until they arrived at the Jim Howe Buoy, where they were rescued by the fishery protection vessel Dryad. A pigeon named "Red Cock" had reached the authorities in Lowestoft with news of the fate of the boats and caused the Dryad to be despatched to search for survivors.

    A court of enquiry praised the surviving crew and their dead captain and authorised the award of the Victoria Cross posthumously to Thomas Crisp and DSM to his son and another member of the crew. On 29 October 1917, David Lloyd George made an emotional speech in the House of Commons citing Crisp's sacrifice as representative of the Royal Navy's commitment "from the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean to the stormy floods of Magellan", which promoted Crisp into an overnight celebrity whose story ran in all the major London papers for nearly a week, containing as it did a story of personal sacrifice, filial devotion and perceived German barbarity. The medal presentation was made to Tom Crisp Jr. at Buckingham Palace on 19 December 1917, shortly before he was promoted to Skipper in his own right.

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    Michael James O’Rourke VC, MM
    (March 19, 1878 – December 6, 1957), was born in Limerick, Ireland, O'Rourke immigrated to Canada. Prior to World War I, he served in the Royal Munster Fusiliers and the Canadian Militia.
    During the period 15/17 August 1917 at Hill 70 near Lens, France, Private O'Rourke, who was a stretcher-bearer, worked unceasingly for three days and nights bringing in the wounded, dressing their wounds and getting them food and water. During the whole of this period the area in which he worked was swept by heavy machine-gun and rifle fire and on several occasions he was knocked down and partially buried by enemy shells. His courage and devotion in carrying out his rescue work in spite of exhaustion and incessant heavy fire inspired all ranks and undoubtedly saved many lives.

    After the war, O'Rourke eked out a meagre existence on skid road in Vancouver, British Columbia, surviving on a disability pension of 10 dollars per month and casual work on the docks. During a longshoremen’s strike in 1935, he headed a protest march of about 1,000 strikers, wearing his medals and carrying the Union Flag. The marchers attempted to pass a police line guarding the waterfront and were attacked with clubs and tear gas in what came to be known as the Battle of Ballantyne Pier.

    Today we lost: 1642
    Today’s losses include:
    · One of three brothers killed in the service of three countries, Australia, Canada and The United Kingdom
    · A Victoria Cross winner
    · Multiple sons of members of the clergy
    · Two members of the Vancouver Police Department
    · Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
    · The 1886 Scottish one mile bicycle champion and former President of the Scottish Amateur Athletic Association
    · A battalion commander
    · A keen oarsman and winner of the ‘silver sculls’
    ·
    A wind/half back for Aston Villa
    · The son of a Justice of the Peace
    Today’s highlighted casualties include:
    · Lieutenant Colonel Victor Augustine Flower DSO (commanding 13th London Regiment) is killed at age 40. He is the son of the late ‘Sir’ William Flower.
    · Lieutenant Clive Goulding Moore (Royal Fusiliers attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed in action flying over the German lines at age 21. He was a keen oarsman, and while at Radley won several rowing trophies, including the “silver sculls”. · Lieutenant Holroyd Birkett-Barker (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed on Salonika at age 30. He is the son of Tom Birkett-Barker JP.
    · Flight Sub Lieutenant Maurice Nelson Baron (Royal Naval Air Service), the son of the Reverend Canon Charles William Baron-Suckling is also killed on this day, dying at age 18.
    · Sergeant Harry Meins (Gordon Highlanders) is killed at age 27. He is the adopted son of the Reverend H P Napier-Clarering.
    · Corporal Charles Sheffield (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 20. His brother was killed in September 1915.
    · Lance Corporal Thomas Frederick Woodcock (Leicestershire Regiment) dies of wounds. His brother was killed in May 1915.
    · Private George Cooper (Lincolnshire Regiment) is killed at age 27. His brother was wounded on the first day of the Battle of the Somme and will die of those wounds in May 1920.
    · Gunner James Anderson (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed at age 35. His brother was killed in April 1915.
    · Private Thomas Barber (Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry) is killed at age 30. He was a winger/half back for Aston Villa. · Private Luke Joseph Hartigan (Munster Fusiliers) is killed. His brother will be killed in November.
    · Rifleman Francis Killips (Irish Rifles) is killed at age 22. His brother was killed on the first day of the battle of the Somme.
    · Gunner Walter Scowcroft (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 22. His brother will be killed in October.

    Air Operations:

    Raynal Bolling reports to the US War Department the findings of his tour of France in, “Report of the Aeronautical Commission.”

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 11


    A Mech2 Addison, W. (William), 43 Squadron, RFC.
    Flt Sub-Lt Baron, M.N. (Maurice Nelson), 9th (N) Squadron, RNAS.
    2Lt Hargreaves, C.A. (Cyril Augustus), 43 Squadron, RFC.
    A Mech 1 Jones, E. (Edmund), 21 Squadron, RFC.
    Lt Moore C.G. (Clive Goulding), RFC.
    Gnr Owen, A., 20 Squadron, 11th Wing, RFC.
    Capt Pender, W.G. (William Gordon), 40 Squadron, RFC.
    Pte Pilbrow, S.E. (Stanley Edward), 20 Squdron, RFC.
    Lt Rowlands, A.W. (Arthur William), RFC.
    2Lt Smith, J.B. (James Bonner), 43 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Snelgrove, H.D.B. (Herbert Davys Bernard), 43 Squadron, RFC.

    Claims: confirmed 14 (Entente 12: Central Powers 2)

    William Bishop #45th.
    Phillip Fletcher Fullard #20th & #21st.
    Arthur Willan Keen #11th & #12th.
    Richard Minifie #8th.
    James Fitz Morris #7th.
    Bruno De Roeper #3rd.
    William Thomas Smith #5th.
    Oliver Manners Sutton #7th.
    Clive Wilson Warman (USA) #8th & #9th.

    Hans Bethoe #11th.
    Ernst Udet #8th.

    Western Front

    British attack on wide front north-west of Lens to Bois Hugo, north-east of Loos, carry German first lines and penetrate enemy positions to depth of one mile. Hill 70 taken by assault, also villages of Cite Ste. Elizabeth, Ste. Emile and St. Laurent, Bois Rase and Bois Hugo. Five German counter-attacks repulsed.

    British troops deliver a new attack against the enemy positions around Lens in which Canadians take Hill 70. On the northwest side of Lens the enemy’s positions are penetrated to a depth of 500 to 1,500 yards. The villages of Cite St Elizabeth, Cite St Emile, Cite St Laurent, the Bois Rase and the western half of BoisHugo are captured.

    Assault on Hill 70


    The plan to capture Hill 70 called for the 1st and 2nd Canadian Divisions to attack on a front of 4,000 yards (3,700 m). Their objective was to capture the main enemy defensive positions on the eastern or reverse slope of Hill 70. The objectives were marked off in depth by three stages. In the first stage, the assaulting troops would capture the German front-line trenches. The German second position on the crest of the hill during the second stage and the final stage, marked by the German third line, on the reverse side of the slope, some 1,500 yards (1,400 m) from the starting position. The 1st Canadian Division's 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade would attack north of Hill 70 while the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade would attack the summit. The 2nd Canadian Division's 4th and 5th Canadian Infantry Brigades would attack the rubble remains of the suburbs of Cité St. Édouard, St. Laurent and St. Émile directly south of Hill 70.

    The assault began at 4:25 a.m. on the morning of 15 August, just as dawn was breaking. Special companies of the Royal Engineers fired drums of burning oil into the suburb of Cité St. Élisabeth and at other selected targets to supplement the artillery creeping barrage and build up a smoke-screen. Divisional field artillery positions executed a creeping barrage directly in advance of the assaulting troops while field howitzers shelled German positions 400 m (440 yd) in advance of the creeping barrage and heavy howitzers shelled all other known German strong-points. Artillery Forward Observation Officers moved forward with the infantry and artillery observation aircraft flew overhead and sent 240 calls for artillery fire by wireless. The Germans had moved up their reserve units on the previous night in anticipation of an attack and the main assembly of Canadian troops was detected by 3:00 a.m. and within three minutes of the attack commencing, the German artillery brought down defensive fire at widely scattered points. The affected forward positions of the German 7th Division and 11th Reserve Division were quickly overwhelmed. Within twenty minutes of the attack beginning, both Canadian divisions had reached their first objective. By 6:00 a.m. the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade had reached the second objective line, while units of the three other brigades had in some cases already reached their final objective. Only the flanking companies of the two battalions attacking Hill 70 managed to reach their objectives. The remainder of the both units were forced to retreat up the slope and consolidate their position at the intermediate objective line.

    On the right flank of the 2nd Canadian Division, the 12th Canadian Infantry Brigade of the 4th Canadian Division executed a diversionary operation which proved successful in drawing German retaliatory fire away from the main operation. Four hours later, the 11th Canadian Infantry Brigade of the 4th Canadian Division attempted to exploit the weakened German force by pushing strong patrols towards the centre of Lens. This ultimately failed as the Germans used local counter-attacks across the 4th Canadian Division's front to drive the patrols back to the city's outskirts.

    Initial counter-attacks


    In preparation for German counter-attacks, the 1st and 2nd Canadian Divisions began to reinforce and construct strong points immediately after capturing the first objective line. Within two hours of the start of the battle, the Germans began using their immediate reserves to mount local counter-attacks. Between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. on the morning of 15 August, the Germans executed four local attacks against Canadian positions. Each attack was repulsed due in large part to the work of forward artillery observers, who could now overlook some of the German positions. On one occasion, the counter-attack was only repulsed after engaging in hand-to-hand fighting. The Germans rapidly brought up seven additional battalions from the 4th Guards Division and 185th Division to reinforce the eight line battalions already in place. Over the following three days, the Germans executed no less than 21 counter-attacks against Canadian positions. A frontal attack against the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade on the afternoon of 15 August ultimately failed. A German attack against the 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade was initially successful with the Germans re-capturing Chicory Trench but were repulsed later the same afternoon.

    Tunstills Men Wednesday 15th August 1917:


    Billets near Moulle.

    After all the recent rain, a fine, dry day

    Company commanders were taken by bus six miles north-east to Volckerinckhove for a three-day course in preparation for the planned forthcoming offensive actions.

    Cpl. Willie Nichols (see 1st June) was promoted Sergeant.

    Pte. Henry Jarratt (see 24th July) was again in trouble; on this occasion for ‘talking on 3pm parade’. He was reported by Sgt. Arthur Kilburn Robinson (see 24th July) and was to be confined to barracks for two days on the orders of Lt. Herbert Sparling (see 1st July).

    A week after returning to France, Lt. George Stuart Hulburd (see 8th August), who had been in England since being taken ill in April, re-joined the Battalion.
    Cpl. George Wallace Fricker (see 8th June) was posted back to England, having been accepted as a candidate for a commission. He would have a period of leave before beginning his officer training.

    Pte. Alfred Spencer (see 5th June), who was on attachment at the permanent base of IV Corps at Albert, having suffered from shellshock two months previously, was appointed Acting Lance Corporal.

    Pte. John Gaunt (see 2nd July 1915), who had served with 1st/6th DWR, was discharged from the Army, with the award of the Silver War Badge, on account of wounds; the details of his service are unknown but, according to newspaper reports, he had “spent many months in hospital”. He was the brother of Sgt. William Edmondson Gaunt (see 5th July), who was in England on an officer training course.

    Eastern Front:

    Romanian thrust in Ocna region carried no further.

    Romanian 2nd Army and Russian 4th Army retreating south toward the Sereth; enemy take Soveia, renew offensive in Focsani region.

    Naval Operations:


    Shipping Losses: 9 (1 to a mine & 8 to U-Boat action)

    (See VC’s awarded to day.)

    Political:

    Text of Papal Note published.

    American troops pass through London on their way to the front; Stars and Stripes and Union Jack flown side by side from House of Lords.

    China:

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    Duan Qirui (1865-1936), Chinese Premier in August 1917.

    August 14 1917, Beijing–After seeing off the attempt to restore Puyi and the Manchu (Qing) Dynasty to the throne, , Duan Qirui renewed his efforts to bring China into the war. On August 14, these succeeded, and China declared war on Germany. Along with Siam’s declaration of war, this removed the last neutral country in East Asia where Germany could attempt to conduct business or espionage; only the Dutch East Indies remained.

    China would not send soldiers to Europe, but further expanded its program to send laborers there. Many would serve quite close to the front; of the approximately 200,000 sent to Europe, around 3000 were killed.

    Many in the Chinese government hoped that their entry would lead to them reestablishing control over the German concessions in Tsingtao, and that a place at the peace conference might give them increased respect and negotiating position with the west. More immediately, however, the incentives were financial. Entry into the war meant they could stop paying indemnities for the Boxer Rebellion to Germany and Austria. They also entered negotiations with Japan to secure a large loan, which they hoped to use to defeat warlords in the south of the country–though Japan wanted Tsingtao for herself.

    Many of those warlords instead soon backed Sun Yat-Sen, who set up a rival military government of his own in Canton [Guangzhou], steadfastly opposed to the war. This stance may also have been due to financial motivations, hoping that Germany would bankroll his efforts to take control of the country. It is possible he did receive some funding from the Germans, but it seems they ultimately did not find him (or further adventures in China) fruitful, and his government did not last more than nine months.

    Anniversary Events:

    1261 Constantinople falls to Michael VIII of Nicea and his army.
    1385 John of Portugal defeats John of Castile at the Battle of Aljubarrota.
    1598 Hugh O'Neill, the Earl of Tyrone, leads an Irish force to victory over the British at Battle of Yellow Ford.
    1760 Frederick II defeats the Austrians at the Battle of Liegnitz.
    1864 The Confederate raider Tallahassee captures six Federal ships off New England.
    1872 The first ballot voting in England is conducted.
    1914 The Panama Canal opens to traffic.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 08-15-2017 at 04:20.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  14. #2664

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    A multiple VC day today.

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    Harry W. Brown VC (10 May 1898 – 17 August 1917) he enlisted with the Canadian Mounted Rifles on 18 August 1916 at London, Ontario, where, according to his attestation paper, he was residing at the time. After being sent overseas, he was transferred to the 10th Battalion, CEF.

    Brown was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 16 August 1917, during the Battle of Hill 70 against the Germans, when Brown and another soldier ran the gauntlet with an "important message". Brown sustained mortal injury, and died the following day, 17 August. His death is commemorated on the Gananoque Cenotaph and on 16 August 2007 a black marble memorial cairn was dedicated to commemorate the action for which he received the Victoria Cross.

    For most conspicuous bravery, courage and devotion to duty. After the capture of a position, the enemy massed in force and counter-attacked. The situation became very critical, all wires being cut. It was of the utmost importance to get word back to Headquarters. This soldier and one other were given the message with orders to deliver the same at all costs. The other messenger was killed. Private Brown had his arm shattered but continued on through an intense barrage until he arrived at the close support lines and found an officer. He was so spent that he fell down the dug-out steps, but retained consciousness long enough to hand over his message, saying ' Important message.' He then became unconscious and died in the dressing station a few hours later. His devotion to duty was of the highest possible degree imaginable, and his successful delivery of the message undoubtedly saved the loss of the position for the time and prevented many casualties.

    — The London Gazette, No. 30338, 16 October 1917

    Harry Brown's Victoria Cross is displayed at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, Canada. The 10th Battalion, CEF is perpetuated by the Royal Winnipeg Rifles and the Calgary Highlanders of the Canadian Army Reserve.

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    Major Edward Cooper VC (4 May 1896 – 19 August 1985) was 21 years old, and a sergeant in the 12th Battalion, The King’s Royal Rifle when the following deed took place on 16 August 1917 at Langemarck, during the Battle of Passchendaele for which he was awarded the VC.

    The citation was published in the London Gazette on 14 September 1917, and reads:

    "No. R.2794 Sjt. Edward Cooper, K.R.R.C. (Stockton).
    For most conspicuous bravery and initiative in attack. Enemy machine guns from a concrete blockhouse, 250 yards away, were holding up the advance of the battalion on his left, and were also causing heavy casualties to his own battalion. Sgt. Cooper, with four men, immediately rushed towards the blockhouse, though heavily fired on. About 100 yards distant he ordered his men to lie down and fire at the blockhouse. Finding this did not silence the machine guns, he immediately rushed forward straight at them and fired his revolver into an opening in the blockhouse. The machine guns ceased firing and the garrison surrendered. Seven machine guns and forty-five prisoners were captured in this blockhouse. By this magnificent act of courage he undoubtedly saved what might have been a serious check to the whole advance, at the same time saving a great number of lives."

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    Major Wilfred Edwards VC (16 February 1893 – 4 January 1972) was born on 16 February 1893. He was 24 years old, and a private in the 7th Battalion, The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, and was awarded the VC for his actions on 16 August 1917 at Langemarck, Belgium:

    When all the company officers were lost, Private Edwards, without hesitation and under heavy machine-gun and rifle fire from a strong concrete fort, dashed forward at great personal risk, bombed through the loopholes, surmounted the fort and waved to his company to advance. Three officers and 30 other ranks were taken prisoner by him in the fort. Later he did most valuable work as a runner and eventually guided most of the battalion out through very difficult ground. Throughout he set a splendid example and was utterly regardless of danger.

    Edwards was commissioned a 2Lt in December 1917 and was demobilised in June 1919. He re-enlisted in the army when WW2 broke out and rose to the rank of major.

    He died in January 1972 and his medals are currently displayed in the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Museum, Doncaster, England.

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    William Henry Grimbaldeston VC (19 September 1889 – 13 August 1959) was 27 years old, and an Acting Company Quartermaster Sergeant in the 1st Battalion, The King’s Own Scottish Borderers at the Battle of Passchendaele when he performed a deed for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

    On 16 August 1917 at Wijdendrift, Belgium, Company Quartermaster-Sergeant Grimbaldeston noticed that the unit on his left was held up by enemy machine-gun fire from a blockhouse. Arming himself with a rifle and hand grenade he started to crawl towards his objective, and when he had advanced about 100 yards another soldier came forward to give covering support. Although wounded, he pushed on to the blockhouse, threatened the machine-gun teams inside with a hand grenade and forced them to surrender. This action resulted in the capture of 36 prisoners, six machine-guns and one trench mortar.

    He was also awarded the French Croix de Guerre.

    His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Regimental Museum of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, Berwick upon Tweed, Northumberland, England

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    Frederick George Room VC (31 May 1895 – 19 January 1932) was 22 years old, and an acting lance-corporal in the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment, when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
    On 16 August 1917 at Frezenberg, Belguim, when the company which was holding a line of shell-holes and short trenches had many casualties, Lance-Corporal Room was in charge of the stretcher-bearers. He worked continuously under intense fire, dressing the wounded and helping to evacuate them. Throughout this period, with complete disregard for his own life, he showed unremitting devotion to his duties.

    His Victoria Cross is displayed at the National Army Museum, Chelsea, England.

    Today we lost: 4,119

    Air Operations:

    Flight Lieutenant William Melville Alexander (Royal Naval Air Service) attacks two hostile scouts at about 3,000 feet, one of which, after a short combat, falls completely out of control.

    SMS A13, Kaiserliche Marine, The A1 class torpedo boat was bombed and sunk at Ostend, West Flanders, Belgium by a British Handley Page 0/100 aircraft.

    Mist and cloud made air observation difficult on the morning of 16 August, until a wind began later in the day, although this blew the smoke of battle over the German lines, obscuring German troop movements. Corps squadrons were expected to provide artillery co-operation, contact and counter-attack patrols but low cloud, mist and smoke that morning resulted in most German counter-attack formations moving unnoticed. Flash-spotting of German artillery was much more successful and many more flares were lit by the infantry, when called for by the crews of contact aeroplanes. Army squadrons, (RNAS) and French aircraft flew over the lines and attacked German aerodromes, troops and transport as far as the weather allowed. V Brigade tried to co-ordinate air operations over the battlefield with the infantry attack.

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    Two De Havilland DH5 aircraft per division were provided, to engage any German strong points interfering with the infantry attack on the final objective. Two small formations of fighters were to fly low patrols, on the far side of the final objective of the Fifth Army, from the beginning of the attack for six hours, to break up German attempts to counter-attack and to stop equivalent German contact-patrols.

    After six hours, the aircraft were to range further east to attack troop concentrations. Aircraft from the Corps and Army wings were to attack all targets found west of Staden–Dadizeele, with the Ninth Wing taking over east of the line. German aerodromes were attacked periodically and special "ground patrols" were mounted below 3,000 ft (910 m) over the front line, to defend the Corps artillery-observation machines. Attempts to co-ordinate air and ground attacks had mixed results; on the II Corps front, few air attacks were co-ordinated with the infantry and only a vague report was received from an aircraft about a German counter-attack, which was further obscured by a smoke-screen. On the XIX Corps front, despite "ideal" visibility, no warning by aircraft was given of a German counter-attack over the Zonnebeke–St Julien spur at 9:00 a.m., which was also screened by smoke shell. To the north on the XVIII and XIV Corps fronts, the air effort had more effect, with German strong-points and infantry being attacked on and behind the front. Air operations continued during the night, with more attacks on German airfields and rail junctions

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 13

    Flt Lt Arnold, C.V. (Charles Vernon), Chingford Naval Flying School, RNAS.
    2Lt Baker, A.R. (Arnold Rennie), 27 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Best, D.K. (Douglas Kenneth), 22 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Churchward, H.A. (Hubert Alan), 9 Squadron, RFC.
    Flt Off (Prob) Forman, L.E. (Leonard Eales), Chingford Naval Flying School, Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. 'President'.
    Cadet Gallie, W.S. (William Sidney), 87 Reserve Squadron, 42nd Wing, Canada, RFC.
    Flt Sub-Lt Gray, A.T. (Alan Theodore), 1 (N) Squadron, RNAS.
    Lt Gray, L.V. (Linton Valentine), 7 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt McCullough, A.F. (Alexander Fenton), 62 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Phillips, R.A. (Ralph Aberdeen), 11 Training Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Townshend, D.W.O. (Douglas William Ormond), 7 Squadron, RFC.
    Lt Waud, E.H. (Ernest Henry), 9 Squadron, RFC.
    Capt Webb, N.W.W. (Noel William Ward), 70 Squadron, RFC.

    Claims: 34 confirmed (Entente 26: Central Powers 8)
    William Alexander #9th.
    Robert Birkbeck #3rd
    William Bishop #46th & #47th.
    Ralph Curtis #6th & #7th.
    Roderick Dallas #20th.
    Philip Fletcher Fullard #22nd & #23rd.
    Tom Hazell #20th.
    Ford Leathley #4th.
    William MacLanachan #2nd.
    Reginald Makepeace #7th.
    Douglas McGregor #8th & #9th.
    Richard Minifie #9th.
    Keith Park #3rd.
    Walbanke Pritt #2nd & 3rd.
    Cecil Richards #12th.
    Stanley Roseyear #2nd.
    Ivan Smirnov (Russia) #3rd.
    Arthur Taylor #1st.
    Melville Waddington #7th.
    Clive Wilson Warman (USA) #10th & #11th.

    Robert von Greim #5th.
    Gisbert-Wilhelm Groos #4th.
    Bruno Loerzer #6th.
    Eberhard Mohnicke #5th.
    Manfred von Richthofen #58th.
    Kurt Schonfelder #2nd.
    Edmond Thieffry #7th.
    Rudolf Wendelmuth #3rd.

    Western Front


    Allies attack on nine-mile front north of Ypres-Menin road, crossing Steenbeek River, and capturing all objectives. British carry Langemarck, and establish positions 0.5 mile beyond taking over 1,800 prisoners; on high ground north of Menin Road Germans press back British from ground won earlier in the day.

    French advance on Craonne ridge.

    Capture of Hill 70 and additional counter-attacks

    After the capture of a position, the enemy mass in force and counter-attacked. The situation becomes very critical, all wires being cut. It is of the utmost importance to get word back to Headquarters. Private Harry W Brown (Albert Regiment) and one other are given a message with orders to deliver it at all costs. The other messenger is killed. Private Brown has his arm shattered but continues on through an intense barrage until he arrives at the close support lines and finds an officer. He is so spent that he falls down the dug-out steps, but retains consciousness long enough to hand over his message, saying “Important message.” He then falls unconscious and will die in the dressing station tomorrow. For his efforts Private Brown will be awarded the posthumous Victoria Cross.

    The morning of 16 August was relatively quiet, with only a few attempts made by small German parties to approach the Canadian lines. After having failed to capture all their objectives the previous day and having postponed additional attacks a number of times, the 2nd Canadian Brigade attacked and captured the remainder of its final objective line on the afternoon of 16 August. The assault lasted a little over an hour but the troops were then forced to defend against a dozen German counter-attacks during the day.

    Battle of Langemarck
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    At 4:45 a.m., a creeping barrage began and the British troops advanced. German flares were seen rising but the German artillery response was slow and missed the attackers. In the 18th Division area, German machine-gun fire from pillboxes caused many losses to the 53rd Brigade, which was stopped in front of the north-west corner of Inverness Copse. Part of the brigade managed to work forward further north and formed a defensive flank along the southern edge of Glencorse Wood. To the north, the 169th Brigade of the 56th Division advanced quickly at the start but veered to the right around boggy ground, then entered Glencorse Wood. The German main line of resistance was in a sunken road inside the wood, where after a hard-fought and mutually costly engagement, the German defenders were overrun and the rest of the wood occupied. The leading waves then advanced to Polygon Wood.

    The 167th Brigade also had a fast start but when it reached the north end of Nonne Bosschen, found mud 4 ft (1.2 m) deep, the brigade veering round it to the left but the gap which this caused between the 167th and 169th brigades was not closed. Another problem emerged, because the quick start had been partly due to the rear waves pushing up to avoid German shelling on the left of the brigade. The follow-up infantry mingled with the foremost troops and failed to mop up the captured ground or German troops who had been overrun, who began sniping from behind at both brigades. Part of a company reached the area north of Polygon Wood, at about the same time as small numbers of troops from the 8th Division.The ground conditions in the 56th Division area, were so bad that none of the tanks in support got into action.

    On the 8th Division front, the two attacking brigades started well, advancing behind an "admirable" barrage and reached the Hanebeek, where hand bridges were used to cross and continue the advance up Anzac Spur, to the green line objectives on the ridge beyond. Difficulties began on the left flank, where troops from 16th (Irish) Division had not kept up with the 8th Division. After reaching the vicinity of Potsdam Redoubt a little later, the 16th Division was held up for the rest of the day. The check to the 16th Division left German machine-gunners north of the railway free to enfilade the area of 8th Division to the south. On the right flank, the same thing happened to the 56th Division, which was stopped by fire from German strong points and pillboxes in their area and from German artillery concentrated to the south-east. After a long fight, the 8th Division captured Iron Cross, Anzac and Zonnebeke redoubts on the rise beyond the Hanebeek, then sent parties over the ridge.

    XIX Corps had the same difficulties as II Corps in preparing its attack by the 16th and 36th divisions, from north of the Ypres–Roulers railway to just south of St Julien. The divisions were to advance 1 mi (1.6 km) up Anzac and Zonnebeke spurs, near the Wilhelm (third) line. Providing carrying parties since the last week in July and holding ground from 4 August, in the Hanebeek and Steenbeek valleys, which were overlooked by the Germans, had exhausted many men. From 1–15 August, the divisions had lost about a third of their front-line strength in casualties. Frequent relief during the unexpected delays caused by the rain, spread the casualties to all of the battalions in both divisions. The advance began on time and after a few hundred yards encountered German strong points, which were found not to have been destroyed by a series of special heavy artillery bombardments, fired before the attack.
    The 16th Division had many casualties from the Germans in Potsdam, Vampire and Borry farms, which had not been properly mopped up, because the infantry shortage was so serious. The garrisons were able to shoot at the advancing British troops of the 48th Brigade from behind and only isolated parties of British troops managed to reach their objectives. The 49th Brigade on the left was also held up by Borry Farm, which defeated several costly attacks but the left of the brigade got within 400 yd (370 m) of the top of Hill 37. The 36th Division also struggled to advance, Gallipoli and Somme farms were behind a new wire entanglement, with German machine-guns trained on gaps made by the British bombardment, fire from which stopped the advance of the 108th Brigade. To the north, the 109th Brigade had to get across the swamp astride the Steenbeek. The infantry lost the barrage and machine-gun fire from Pond Farm and Border House forced them to take cover. On the left troops got to Fortuin, about 400 yd (370 m) from the start line.

    The attack further north was much more successful. In XVIII Corps, the 48th Division attacked at 4:45 a.m. with one brigade, capturing Border House and gun pits either side of the north-east bearing St Julien–Winnipeg road, where they were held up by machine-gun fire and a small counter-attack. The capture of St Julien was completed and the infantry consolidated along a line from Border House, to Jew Hill, the gun pits and St Julien. The troops were fired on from Maison du Hibou and Hillock Farm, which was captured soon after, then British troops seen advancing on Springfield Farm disappeared. At 9:00 a.m., German troops gathered around Triangle Farm and at 10:00 a.m., made a counter-attack which was repulsed. Another German attack after dark was defeated at the gun pits and at 9:30 p.m., another German counter-attack from Triangle Farm was repulsed.

    The 11th Division attacked with one brigade at 4:45 a.m. The right flank was delayed by machine-gun fire from the 48th Division area and by pillboxes to their front, where the infantry lost the barrage. On the left, the brigade dug in 100 yd (91 m) west of the Langemarck road and the right flank dug in facing east, against fire from Maison du Hibou and the Triangle. Supporting troops from the 33rd Brigade, were caught by fire from the German pillboxes but reached the Cockcroft, passed beyond and dug in despite fire from Bulow Farm. On the left flank, these battalions reached the Langemarck road, passed Rat House and Pheasant Trench and ended their advance just short of the White House, joining with the right side of the brigade on the Lekkerboterbeek.

    In the XIV Corps area, the 20th Division attacked with two brigades at 4:45 a.m. The battalions of the right brigade leap-frogged forward on a one-battalion front, crossed the Steenbeek and then advancing in single file, worming round shell craters full of water and mud. Alouette Farm, Langemarck and the first two objective lines were reached easily. At 7:20 a.m., the advance to the final objective began and immediately encountered machine-gun fire from the Rat House and White House, which continued until they were captured, the final objective being taken at 7:45 a.m., as German troops withdrew to a small wood behind White House. The left brigade advanced on a two-battalion front and encountered machine-gun fire from Au Bon Gite before it was captured and was then fired on from German blockhouses in front of Langemarck and from the railway station. Once these had been captured, the advance resumed at 7:20 a.m., despite fire from hidden parties of defenders and reached the final objective at 7:47 a.m., under fire from the Rat House. German counter-attacks began around 4:00 p.m. and advanced 200 yd (180 m) around Schreiboom, being driven back some distance later on.

    The 29th Division to the north, attacked at the same time with two brigades. On the right the first objective was reached quickly and assistance given to the 20th Division further south. The Newfoundland Regiment passed through, being held up slightly by marshy conditions and fire from Cannes Farm. The Newfoundlanders continued, reached the third objective and then took Japan House beyond. The left brigade took the first objective easily, then met machine-gun fire from Champeaubert Farm in the French First Army sector and from Montmirail Farm. The advance continued to the final objective, which was reached and consolidated by 10:00 a.m. Patrols moved forward towards the Broombeek and a German counter-attack at 4:00 p.m., was stopped by artillery and small-arms fire. Langemarck and the Wilhelm (third) line, north of the Ypres–Staden railway and west of the Kortebeek had been captured.

    1re Armée
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    The Drie Grachten (Thee Canals) bridgehead, 1917

    The French on the northern flank operated from south of the hamlet of St Janshoek on the east of the Steenbeek, north of Bixschoote and the edge of the floods to the Noordschoote–Luyghem road, which crossed the Yperlee at Drie Grachten (Three Canals). The Germans had counter-flooded the area between Dixmude and Bixschoote and had built fortifications to stop an attacker crossing or circumventing the floods. The bridgehead of Drie Grachten was the main German defensive fortification in the area, which blocked the Noordschoote–Luyghem road where it crossed the Yperlee Canal, north of the Steenbeek, beyond the confluence with the Kortebeek, where the combined rivers became the St Jansbeek. From Luyghem, a road ran south-east to Verbrandemis and the road from Zudyschoote and Lizenie crossed the Yperlee at Steenstraat and ran on to Dixmude. The capture of Luyghem, Merckem and the road was necessary for the French to threaten Houthoulst Forest, to the south of Dixmude and north of Langemarck. The bridgehead at Drie Grachten also gave the Germans a jumping-off point over the canal for a counter-attack across it. By 15 August, the French had closed up to the bridgehead from Bixschoote to the south-east and Noordschoote to the south-west.

    West of the Yperlee Canal, the bridgehead consisted of a semi-circular work, which was built above ground, due to the waterlogged soil. Reinforced concrete shelters had been built and connected by a raised trench of concrete, earth and fascines, with a communication trench leading back to a command post. Several hundred yards forward on the causeway was a small blockhouse, joined to the work by a communication trench on the north side of the road. Barbed wire entanglements had been laid above and below the water in front of the post and blockhouse, astride the Noordschoote–Luyghem road. To the north was l'Eclusette Redoubt and another to the south, west of the Yperlee. The redoubts corresponded with the ends of the defences on the eastern bank of the canal and enclosed the flanks of the position, 6.6 ft (2 m) above the inundations. Platforms gave machine-guns command of a wide arc of ground in front. Across the Yperlee on the east bank, was a rampart of reinforced concrete, behind and parallel with the canal, from opposite l'Eclusette to the southern redoubt. Communications between the concrete rampart and the defences of the Luyghem peninsula were via the raised road from Drie Grachten to Luyghem and two footbridges through the floods, one north and one south of the road. Every 38–55 yd (35–50 m), traverses with reinforced concrete shelters had been built.

    The German redoubts in the area were much better defined targets than those across the Ypres–Staden and Ypres–Roulers railways and were more easily destroyed, as they were almost entirely above ground. The German floods inhibited attack but also made it difficult to move reserves to threatened points and the open country made it easier for French aircraft to observe the position. The First Army objectives were the Drie Grachten bridgehead and the triangular spit of land between the Lower Steenbeek and the Yperlee Canal. The right flank was to cross the Steenbeek and assist the British XIV Corps to take the positions north-west of Langemarck and south of the Broombeek stream, which joined the Steenbeek just south of St Janshoek. The Steenbeek was 6.6 ft (2 m) broad and 4.9 ft (1.5 m) deep at this point and widened between St Janshoek and the Steenstraat–Dixmude road; from the Martjewaart reach to the Yperlee Canal it was 20 ft (6 m) broad and 13 ft (4 m) deep. During the night of the 15/16 and the morning of 16 August, French aircraft bombed the German defences, the bivouacs around Houthulst Forest and Lichtervelde railway station, 11 mi (18 km) east of Dixmude. French and Belgian air crews flew at a very low altitude to bomb and machine-gun German troops, trains and aerodromes and shot down three German aircraft.
    The attacking divisions of the French I Corps, crossed the Yperlee from the north-west of Bixschoote to north of the Drie Grachten bridge-head and drove the Germans out of part of the swampy Poelsele peninsula but numerous pillboxes built in the ruins of farmhouses further back were not captured. The French crossed the upper Steenbeek from west of Wydendreft to a bend in the stream south-west of St Janshoek. Keeping pace with the British, they advanced to the south bank of the Broombeek. Mondovi blockhouse held out all day and pivoting on it, the Germans counter-attacked during the night of 16/17 August to penetrate between the French and British. The attack failed and the next morning the French and British troops on the army boundary, had observation across the narrow Broombeek valley. Apart from resistance at Les Lilas and Mondovi blockhouses, the French had achieved their objectives of 16 August relatively easily. The German garrisons at Champaubert Farm and Brienne House, held out until French artillery deluged them with shells, which brought the German defenders to surrender after thirty minutes. The French took more than 300 prisoners, numerous guns, trench mortars and machine-guns.

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    The German l'Eclusette blockhouse at Drie Grachten, 1917

    To the north and north-east of Bixschoote, the ground sloped towards the Steenbeek and was dotted with pillboxes. Just west of the junction of the Broombeek and Steenbeek, were the Les Lilas and Mondovi blockhouses, in the angle between the streams. The French artillery had bombarded the Drie Grachten bridgehead for several days and reduced it to ruins, the concrete works being easily hit by heavy artillery and on 16 August, the French infantry waded through the floods and occupied the area. On the Poelsele peninsula the German defenders resisted until nightfall before being driven back, as the French closed up to the west bank of the Martjewaart reach of the Steenbeek. North and north-east of Bixschoote, the French reached the west bank of the St Janshoek reach and surrounded Les Lilas. On the night of 16/17 August, French airmen set fire to the railway station at Kortemarck, 9.3 mi (15 km) east of Dixmude.

    Tunstills Men Thursday 16th August 1917:

    Billets near Moulle.

    Another fine day.

    Brig. Genl. Lambert (see 8th August) noted in his diary, “Raymer to be relieved by Lethbridge?”; this referred to the impending replacement, as Commanding Officer of 10DWR, of Lt. Col. Robert Raymer (see 14th August) by Maj. Francis Washington Lethbridge. Lethbridge, who was 50 years old (born 3rd February 1867), had been a regular soldier for 14 years. He had attended Sandhurst and had been commissioned in 1887, serving until 1901, rising to the rank of Captain and serving in India before retiring from the Army. He had joined 8DWR on the outbreak of war and, as Captain, had been severely wounded at Suvla Bay. He had then been promoted Major and served as 2IC with 8DWR. He would be promoted Acting Lieutenant Colonel on taking command of 10DWR.

    A number of former 10DWR men who had recently returned to France were posted back to duty from 34th Infantry Base Depot at Etaples. However, they were posted to other Dukes’ Battalions, rather than re-joining 10DWR. Among them was Ptes. Ambrose Birdsall (see 29th July) and Francis John Bottomley (see 29th July) who had both been in England since being taken ill in March; they went to 2/4th DWR. Pte. John William Dean (see 29th July) who had been in England for the previous eleven months after suffering gas poisoning in August 1916 was posted to 2/5th DWR. Ptes. Albert William Knight (see 29th July) and Ernest Taylor (see 29th July), who had returned to France having been under medical treatment in England since reporting sick with severe cases of ‘trench foot’ in February, went to 2/6th and 2/7th DWR respectively. Pte. Harold Wider (see 30th July), had been in England since being wounded in January, was posted to 2/7th DWR.

    Pte. Greenwood Speak (see 10th June), who had suffered a number of wounds, including a fractured right arm on 10th June, was evacuated to England.

    The Supplement to the London Gazette published the award of the Military Medal to thirteen other ranks serving with the Battalion, many of whom had also been promoted in the interim, for their actions on and around 7th June. They were Cpl. Josias Bailey (see 21st July); Cpl. William Walker Rossall (see 12th June); L.Cpl. John Smith Hodgson (see 3rd July); L.Cpl. William (Billy) Hoyle (see 11th June); L.Cpl. Arthur Lee (see 15th June); L.Cpl. Frank Mallinson (see 12th August); L.Cpl. Victor Race (see 29th June); Pte. Joseph Binns (see 7th June); Pte. Arthur Charles Elkington (see 7th June); Pte. Tom Feather (see 7th June); Pte. Harold Frost (I am, as yet, unable to make a positive identification of this man); Pte. James Arthur Markinson (see 10th July); and Pte. Enoch Wilson Rhodes (see 3rd August 1916). There was also a Military Medal for Pte. Herbert Smith (11837) (see 23rd May 1916), who had been transferred from 10DWR to 69th Brigade Pigeon Station.

    Lt. Harold Lockhart Waite, (see 6th June 1916), who had served with the Battalion from its creation until being transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in May 1916, was wounded while on an offensive patrol with 19 Squadron; he suffered wounds to his left side and arm.

    An official at the War Office wrote to the Imperial Life Assurance Company regarding the affairs of the late Capt. George Reginald Charles Heale MC (see 18th July) who had been reported wounded and missing while serving with 2DWR in May:

    “I am commanded by the Army Council to inform you that, as the latest official report regarding this officer is to the effect that he was wounded and missing on 3rd May 1917, this Department is not in a position to issue a formal certificate of death. Looking, however, to the evidence contained in a letter which has been received from Second Lieutenant S.A. Belshaw, West Riding Regiment (a prisoner of war in Germany), to the effect that Captain Heale died from wounds, the Army Council are regretfully constrained to conclude, for official purposes, that Captain Heale is dead, and that his death occurred on 3rd May 1917, from wounds received in action.

    I am to add that the Army Council have, unfortunately, no doubt as to the death of this officer, and to explain that their action, as set forth above, is notified to those concerned, upon application for a certificate of death, with a view to assisting them in dealing with the estates of offciers whose deaths have not been reported to this Department in a formal, individual written statement. It is understood that these letters, which may be used in place of a formal certificate of death, are, as a rule, accepted for probate and for other purposes.

    With regard to your request for further information, I am to state that, in his form of application for a commission, this officer gave his date of birth as 26th January 1882; that there is no record in this Department of his place of birth; and that his next of kin, as registered in this office, is Rev. J.N. Heale (father), ‘Rosclare’, 15 Arlington Road, St. Margaret’s on Thames, England.”

    A payment of £2 10s. 7d. was authorised, being the amount due in pay and allowances to the late Pte. Hubert Henry (‘Bertie’) Greensmith (see 24th January), who had been killed on 24th January; the payment would go to his father, William.

    Eastern Front:

    Russo-Romanian army still retreating before Mackensen's offensive up Sereth valley. Baltareta bridgehead lost.

    In Ocna region enemy take offensive, also in Susitsa valley.

    Romanians hold their ground.

    Naval Operations:


    British and German destroyers in action in Bight of Heligoland.

    Shipping Losses: 8 (All to U-Boat action)


    Political:


    Mr. Lloyd George on shipping losses.

    Anniversary Events:

    1513 Henry VIII of England and Emperor Maximilian defeat the French at Guinegatte, France, in the Battle of the Spurs.
    1777 France declares a state of bankruptcy.
    1780 American troops are badly defeated by the British at the Battle of Camden, South Carolina.
    1812 American General William Hull surrenders Detroit without resistance to a smaller British force under General Issac Brock.
    1858 U.S.President James Buchanan and Britain's Queen Victoria exchange messages inaugurating the first transatlantic telegraph line.
    1861 Union and Confederate forces clash near Fredericktown and Kirkville, Missouri.
    1863 Union General William S. Rosencrans moves his army south from Tullahoma, Tennessee to attack Confederate forces in Chattanooga.
    1896 Gold is discovered in the Klondike of Canada's Yukon Territory, setting off the Klondike Gold Rush.
    1914 Liege, Belgium, falls to the German army.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 08-16-2017 at 03:33.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  15. #2665

    Default

    My apologies that there is not much to report today but hopefully I've found something for everyone.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  16. #2666

    Default

    If that's a short one Neil I'd hate to see one where you are overloaded.
    Brilliant work Neil. Rep gun fired in Salute.
    Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. Winston S. Churchill

  17. #2667

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    Friday 17th August 1917

    Today we lost: 988

    Air Operations:

    New Zealand ace Keith Park, flying a Bristol F-2B, 48 Squadron, downs four German Albatros aircraft. Park later is promoted to Air Marshal in the 1940 Battle of Britain.
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    Britol F2b fighter with Keith Park
    (Had to put at least 1 in for Chris.)

    The Cabinet Committee Report on Air Organisation (the Smuts Report) is presented to the War Cabinet. It recommends the creation of an Air Ministry "to control and administer all matters in connection with air warfare of every kind and that the new ministry should proceed to work out the arrangements for the amalgamation of the two [Air] services and for the legal constitution and discipline of the new Service".

    The Report states "the day may not be far off when aerial operations with their devastation of enemy lands and destruction of industrial and populous centres on a vast scale may become the principal operations of war, to which the older forms of military and naval operations may become secondary and subordinate". The Smuts Report lays foundations for the creation of the Royal Air Force.

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 21
    2Lt Barlow, C.A. (Charles Alfred), 4 Squadron, RFC.
    Flt Sub-Lt Bennetts, E.A. (Eric Augustine), 8 (N) Squadron, RNAS. Killed at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend Thomas Bennetts Rector of Lifton.
    2Lt Brooks, F.C. (Francis Cyril), 45 Training Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Brown, E.J. (Edward John), 45 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Bruce, R.S.M. (Robert Stuart Malcolm), 111 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Chivers, W. (Wreford), 32 Squadron, RFC.
    Lt Cornford, R. (Ross), 22 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Dow, A.G. (Allan Gladstone), 63 Training Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Edson, C.R. (Charles Robert), 22 Squadron, RFC.
    Lt Glover, A.M.T. (Alexander Milligan Thomson), 70 Squadron, RFC.
    AcFlt Cdr Johnston, P.A. (Philip Andrew), 8 (N) Squadron, RNAS.
    Lt Joslyn, H.W. (Harold Waddell), 20 Squadron, RFC. (Killed in action at age 23. He is a 7-victory ace and the son of the Reverend J H L Joslyn.)
    Lt MacFarlane (White), J.L. (E.E.) (James Lennox (Eric Edward)), 22 Squadron, RFC.
    Lt Raper, S.E. (Sydney Ernest), 22 Squadron, RFC.
    Capt Reincke, L.F. (Leo Frederick), 48 Squadron, RFC.
    Lt Roadley, T.S. (Thomas Stanley), 8 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Robertson, A. (Alexander), 34 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Sayer, H.L. (Hubert Lionel), 7 Squadron, RFC.
    Flt Sub-Lt Strathy, F.S. (Ford Stuart), 6 (N) Squadron, RNAS.
    2Lt Thomas, C.R. (Cecil Rees), 57 Squadron, RFC.
    Lt (Temporary Captain) Francis Herbert Thorndike (Lincolnshire Yeomanry attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed in action. He is the son of Canon Thorndike. He appeared in a number of London plays as a boy and is the brother of Dame Agnes Sybil Thornddike who created the lead role of Saint Joan for George Bernard Shaw’s play and the brother of Arthur Russell Thorndike author of the Doctor Syn of Romney Marsh.

    Claims: 40 confirmed (Entente 24: Central Powers 16)

    Leonard Barlow #9th & #10th.
    Geoffrey Bowman #14th.
    James Bush #3rd.
    Joseph Fall #13th.
    Francis Kitto #3rd.
    Forde Leathley #5th, #6th & #7th.
    Ernst Leman (Russia) #4th.
    John Herbert Towne Letts #10th.
    Norman MacGregor #2nd.
    Reginald Makepeace #8th.
    Keith Park #4th, #5th, #6th & #7th.
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    (and then again 2 as He likes a pair of ‘Bristols’)

    Bruno De Roeper #4th.
    Frederick Sowrey #6th.
    Arthur Taylor #2nd.
    George Trapp #2nd.
    William Walker #3rd.
    Mortimer West #4th.
    Henry Woollett #5th.

    Friederich Altemeier #4th & #5th.
    Hans Bethge #12th & #13th.
    Franz Buchner #1st.
    Xavier Dannhuber #2nd & #3rd.
    Eduard van Dostler #25th.
    Heinrich Gontermann #29th & #30th.
    Gisbert-Wilhelm Groos #5th.
    Fritz Kosmahl #6th.
    Georg Meyer #3rd.
    Max von Muller #22nd.
    Hans-Georg von der Osten #1st.
    Emil Thuy #6th.

    Western Front

    Germans counter-attack near Lens repulsed.

    French hold all gains and secure possession of ground east of Bixschoote.

    Big French air operations on the Meuse.

    Attempts by the 4th and 11th Canadian Infantry Brigades to eliminate an enemy salient between Cité St. Élisabeth and Lens on 17 August failed and as had been foreseen the Germans continued to mount determined counter-attacks. The German command began to realize that the Canadian and British artillery would need to be neutralized before a counter-attack could succeed. The Germans began a series of counter-attacks against a chalk quarry under Canadian control outside of Cité St. Auguste but also sought to wear down the Canadian artillery resources by sending up false flare signals or provoking the infantry to call for unnecessary artillery fire. The Germans also began to use poison gas in earnest. From 15,000–20,000 of the new Yellow Cross shells containing the blistering agent sulphur mustard were fired in addition to an undetermined number of shells containing diphosgene. The Canadian 1st and 2nd Artillery Field Brigades and the Canadian front line were heavily gassed. Many artillery men became casualties after gas fogged the goggles of their respirators and they were forced to remove their masks to set the fuses, lay their sights and maintain accurate fire. The Germans used the cover of gas to make a number of attempts against the Canadian controlled chalk quarry and Chicory Trench on the night of 17 August and early morning of 18 August. All attempts against the chalk quarry failed and only one company of the 55th Reserve Infantry Regiment (on loan to the 11th Reserve Division) managed to breach the Canadian defences at Chicory Trench before being repulsed. German troops employing flamethrowers managed to penetrate the Canadian line north of the quarry on the morning of 18 August before being driven out.

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    Chaplain Father William Joseph G Doyle MC (Dublin Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 44. He refused to wear a helmet, became a Jesuit 1907 and joined the forces in February of this year. Since joining the service he has served with the 8th Royal Irish Fusiliers, the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, the 9th Royal Dublin Fusiliers and the 6th and 7th Royal Irish Rifles. He was recommended for the Victoria Cross the day he was killed.

    Tunstills Men Friday 17th August 1917:

    Billets near Moulle.

    A fine bright morning, which developed into a hot and sunny day.

    Cpls. George Heeley (see 10th August), Harry Raistrick (see 8th June) and Thomas Anthony Swale (see 3rd July) and Ptes. Albert Edon (see 28th March) and Clifford Gough (see 25th August 1916), departed on ten days’ leave to England.

    A.Sgt. Thomas Walsh (see 8th June) was posted back to England; he would have a period of leave before beginning a course of officer training. Whilst on leave his address was to be 7 Brook Street, Clitheroe.

    Pte. Thomas Henry Wood (see 5th July) was admitted to 70th Field Ambulance, suffering from influenza.

    Pte. Ronald Bray (see 11th July), who had been wounded in July while serving with the Divisional Machine Gun Company, was discharged from 4th London General Hospital; he would have ten days’ leave before reporting to Northern Command Depot on 27th August.

    Capt. Leo Frederick Reincke (see 4th August), who had served with 10DWR for eight months between October 1916 and June 1917 before being transferred to the Royal Flying Corps as an observer, was mortally wounded whilst on patrol with 48th Squadron in France. The Bristol F.2. fighter in which he was an observer, was attacked while on patrol and although the pilot, 2Lt. H.F. Gough, was able to bring the aircraft home, Reincke died of his wounds. He would be buried at Zuydcoote Military Cemetery near Dunkirk. (NB for future refs note that the fire in B Company mess was on 10th April 1917)

    The weekly edition of the Craven Herald reported news of the official acceptance of the death of Pte. Percy Wharton (see 3rd November 1916); he was the brother of Sergt. Allan Wharton (see 1st June), who had been one of Tunstill’s orginal volunteers but was now serving with the Northumberland Fusiliers:

    EARBY - MISSING MAN'S DEATH PRESUMED

    The Army Council have sent to Mr. and Mrs. M. Wharton, 8, George Street, Earby, an official intimation presuming the death in France of their youngest son, Private Percy Wharton, Duke of Wellington's Regiment, who had been missing since September 3rd of last year. He was 22 years of age and unmarried. Before enlisting he was employed at Messrs. A. J. Birley's Ltd. as a weaver. Mr. and Mrs. Wharton have two sons still in France who have been there two years, and two in training in England. A son-in-law (Rifleman Robert Duxbury) has been missing since May 12th, and another son-in-law is serving in India.

    Southern Front:

    Eleventh Battle of the Isonzo begins (see September 12th).
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    Naval Operations:

    Shipping Losses: 6 (1 to a mine & 5 to U-Boat action)

    The Cunard cargo carrier Delphic is torpedoed while traveling from Cardiff to Montevideo with coal by UC-72, one hundred thirty-five miles off Bishop’s Rock. Five lives are lost.

    Political:

    Mr. Balfour on the Balkans.

    Brigadier-General A. Geddes succeeds Mr. N. Chamberlain as Director-General National Service.

    M. Cochin succeeded by M. Métin as French Under-Secretary for Blockade (see March 20th, 1916 and November 16th, 1917).

    Anniversary Events:

    1743 By the Treaty of Abo, Sweden cedes southeast Finland to Russia, ending Sweden's failed war with Russia.
    1812 Napoleon Bonaparte's army defeats the Russians at the Battle of Smolensk during the Russian retreat to Moscow.
    1833 The first steam ship to cross the Atlantic entirely on its own power, the Canadian ship Royal William, begins her journey from Nova Scotia to The Isle of Wight.
    1863 Union gunboats attack Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, for the first time.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  18. #2668

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    Double VC day today.
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    Frederick Hobson VC (23 September 1873 – 18 August 1917) was from England, having emigrated in 1904. He had served previously in the British Army during the 2nd Boer War with the Wiltshire Regiment, and enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) in November 1914. He was 43 years old, and a Sgt in the 20th Battalion (Central Ontario), CEF . On 18 August 1917 during the Battle of Hill 70, he performed a deed for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

    No. 57113 Sgt. Frederick Hobson, late Can. Inf. Bn.
    During a strong enemy counter-attack a Lewis gun in a forward post in a communication trench leading to the enemy lines, was buried by a shell, and the crew, with the exception of one man, killed.

    Sgt. Hobson, though not a gunner, grasping the great importance of the post, rushed from his trench, dug out the gun, and got it into action against the enemy who were now advancing down the trench and across the open.
    A jam caused the gun to stop firing. Though wounded, he left the gunner to correct the stoppage, rushed forward at the advancing enemy and, with bayonet and clubbed rifle, single handed, held them back until he himself was killed by a rifle shot. By this time however, the Lewis gun was again in action and reinforcements shortly afterwards arriving, the enemy were beaten off.

    The valour and devotion to duty displayed by this non-commissioned Officer gave the gunner the time required to again get the gun into action, and saved a most serious situation.

    His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Canadian War Museum in Ottowa, Ontarion, Canada. A replica of his medal and copy of his citation are also on display at the Sgt. F. Hobson VC Armoury in Simcoe, Canada.

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    Okill Massey Learmonth, VC, MC (20 February 1894 – 19 August 1917), was 23 years old, and an acting Major in the 2nd (Eastern Ontario) Battalion, CEF, when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
    On 18 August 1917 east of Loos, France, during a determined counter-attack on our new positions, Major Learmonth, when his company was momentarily surprised, instantly charged and personally disposed of the attackers. Later, although under intense barrage fire and mortally wounded, he stood on the parapet of the trench, bombing the enemy and on several occasions he actually caught bombs thrown at him and threw them back. When unable to carry on the fight, he still refused to be evacuated and continued giving instructions and invaluable advice, finally handing over all his duties before he was moved to hospital where he died.

    Major Learmonth's VC is apparently held by the Governor General’s Foot Guards’ ' museum on Queen Elizabeth Drive in Ottawa, Ontario.

    Today we lost: 742

    Air Operations:

    The Luftstreitkrafte attempts the largest heavier-than-air raid against the United Kingdom of World War I, sending 28 Gotha bombers from their bases in Belgium to attack England despite predictions of unfavourable winds. After two hours in the air, they have only reached Zeebrugge on the Belgian coast, and it takes them another hour to reach the coast of England, where they find themselves 40 miles off course. With too little fuel to go on, the strike commander orders the bombers to abort the raid and return to base; two of them come down in the North Sea, two others crash-land in the neutral Netherlands, and others are lost in crash-landings in Belgium.

    While on patrol, Captain George Lawrence Lloyd (Royal Flying Corps) observes a two-seater Albatros upon which he dives. The hostile observer replies with two guns but Captain Lloyd gets on the same level as the German machine and fifty yards behind it. The hostile observer continues to fire and his tail is observed to break off, the machine going down in a vertical nose dive to crash. It appears that in a desperate attempt to escape Lloyd, the German shot off his own tail.

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 16
    2Lt Abbott, T.W. (Thomas Walker), 11 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Bell, N. (Norman), 57 squadron, RFC.
    Sgt Comerford, C.J. (Charles James), 57 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action at age 26. His brother was killed in September 1914.
    Flt Cdt Daniel, H.T. (Harry Thomas), School of Navigation and Bomb Dropping, RFC.
    2Lt Dunstan, H. (Hedley), 55 Squadron, RFC.
    A Mech 1 Eady, F.W. (Frederick William), 54 Training Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Forsaith, H.J. (Hugh John, 55 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Harel, L.O. (Louis Octave), 11 Squadron, RFC.
    Flt Sub-Lt Hodges, C.R.W. (Charles Raymond Walker), 4 (N) Squadron, RNAS.
    Lt Hood, J. (John), 57 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Kirkness, T.R. (Thomas Robert), 32 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Leech, W.F. (William Frederick), 9 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt MacDaniel, J.R. (James Robertson), 57 Squadron, RFC. 2Lt Munro, G.H. (Guy Horace), RFC. Cpl Newman, A.B. (Arthur Betteridge), 4 Squadron, RFC. Capt Walker, W.H. (William Hope), 11 Squadron, RFC.

    Claims: 19 confirmed (Entente 13: Central Powers 6)
    Charles Booker #22nd.
    Arthur Drinkwater #1st.
    Georges Flachaire (France) #8th.
    Andre Herbelin (France) #4th.
    Gilbert de Guingand (France) #2nd.
    Goffrey Hooper #2nd.
    Ronald Keirstead #3rd.
    Gerald Maxwell #10th & #11th.
    James Thomas Byford McCudden #8th.
    Alexander Shook #7th.
    Armand Turenne (France) #5th.
    Clive Wilson Warman (USA) #12th.

    Godwin Brumowski u/c.
    Eduard von Dostler #26th.
    Josef Friedrich #6th.
    Otto Konnecke #6th.
    Fritz Putter #2nd.
    Viktor Schobinger #3rd.
    Wilhelm Schulz #1st.

    Western Front


    First American Casualty of the War:


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    A 1915 picture of MacDonald, from an identification badge she later preserved in a scrapbook.

    August 17 1917, Lozinghem–Many of the first American military personnel in France were medical staff, attached to serve with British units. Among them was New York nurse Beatrice MacDonald, who had previously volunteered in an ambulance service in France in 1915. At the outcome of the war, she departed again for France along with a team from New York Presbyterian. On the night of April 17, the British clearing and triage station she was working at was attacked in a German air raid. While still working, her tent was hit by a German bomb, and she received a serious head wound, eventually losing an eye.

    MacDonald would be the first serious American military casualty of the war; all previous American casualties were either volunteers unaffiliated with the military, or too minor to necessitate any departure from duty. MacDonald demanded to return duty after her recovery, saying “I’ve only started doing my bit.”

    Battle of Langemarck, 1917 (Ypres), ends (see 16th).

    Saturday the 18th of August all remained quiet except for continuous artillery fire, but plans were being made and orders were issued for an attack that night. By nightfall all was arranged. Fortunately during the day had been fine, and a keen wind had helped to dry the mud sufficiently to enable additional reinforcement to operate with hope of success. The renewed attack was to be made with the aid of tanks.

    At that time tanks were passing through a stage of disfavour. Their first exploits in the Somme battles had given rise to great hopes. But at Arras they had not been very successful, and in the first phases of the Ieper offensive they had met with absolute disaster. They had
    been bogged down in the mud and smashed by gun fire. Many Generals openly expressed disbelief in their powers. But in this operation against the Steenbeek defences the tanks were at last to find conditions which suited their capabilities.

    The front line facing the Maison du Hibou was held by C Company of the 1/8th Battalion Worc’s, with D Company in support. B Company under Lieut.S.H Wilkes was brought up after midnight Saturday the 18th of August to deliver the attack. The advance was difficult owing to darkness and also to a very heavy barrage fire which the enemy, sensing danger, put down along the line of the stream. Many casualties had already occurred and it was nearly daylight when B Company reached their allotted position of deployment. As dawn broke at 4.45am the British guns broke out in intense fire, putting down a smoke barrage along the line of the Langemarck Road. Under cover of that barrage seven tanks rolled forward across the stream at St. Julien and then pushed northwards, past Hillock Farm and the nearby gun pits against Triangle Farm. Then they circled round on the line of the Langemarck road and opened fire on the Maison du Hibou from the rear. C Company of the 1/8th Battalion Worc’s

    were already firing fiercely from the front and with the double support a platoon of B Company dashed forward and into the buildings, killed a number of the enemy and compelled the rest to surrender. The n by a swift advance B Company carried Triangle Farm. Together with the tanks, the Worcestershire lads pushed on to the line of the Langemarck Road and finished up by consolidating a position at the cross roads north of the Triangle.
    It was a brilliant little success, which made the tactical situation of the 48th Brigade comparatively secure.

    Some 30 of the enemy had been killed. 12 prisoners and a light machine gun were captured as trophies of victory. Lieut.S.H.Wilkes received a bar to his M.C.

    From the broader point of view the affair is noteworthy as being the first definite success gained by the use of tanks in the offensive of 1917. That success silenced the disbelievers, tanks were restored to general favour, and plans were formed which led eventually to the great tank attack at Cambrai.

    French counter-attack on right bank of Meuse and recapture trenches lost on 16 August.

    Tunstills Men Saturday 18th August 1917:

    Billets near Moulle.

    A fine and sunny day.

    L.Cpl. Arthur William Stobart (see 20th June) began to be paid according to his rank, having previously held the post unpaid.

    Pte. Ernest Townsend (see 22nd March) was admitted to 70th Field Ambulance, with a mild case of ‘trench foot’.

    Pte. Erwin Wilkinson (see 9th August), who had been in hospital for ten days suffering from entiritis, was discharged and re-joined the Battalion.

    Lt. Col. Robert Raymer (see 16th August), current CO 10DWR and his replacement, Maj. Francis Washington Lethbridge (see 16th August), along with other officers, dined with Brig. Genl. Lambert (see 16th August). Lethbridge would assume command of the Battalion next day and would be promoted Acting Lieutenant Colonel.

    Pte. Fred Morrell (see 28th May), who had been in England since 28th May, having been wounded in action, was posted to 3DWR at North Shields, en route to a return to active service.

    Sgt. John Stephenson (see 11th August) departed on ten days’ leave to the UK.

    Eastern Front:

    Romanian front fighting less intense, situation unchanged.

    Romanians retire towards Marasesti (20 miles north of Focsani).

    Southern Front:

    A great fire destroys much of Salonika. The great fire of Salonika, which began on Saturday 18 August, must certainly have been one of the most appalling fires of contemporary history.

    About five o’clock in the afternoon we noticed a thin lick of yellow flame just beyond the bazaar. Half an hour later it seemed to have grown bigger, and we all drew one another’s attention to it, but none of us considered it was anything serious, and thought no more about it. The inhabitants must surely have realised the danger, but as they had no fire engines or methods of coping with it, nothing was done. The evening breeze arose and the flames licked along eastwards towards the principal parts of the town.

    About 7pm Dr McIlroy and I went into the town and walked up to the city walls; there below us was a belt of leaping, roaring fire that stretched almost from one end of the town to the other, and right across the middle part of it above the Rue Egnatia. This great ferocious monster ate up house after house with lightning speed, for the little evening breeze had developed into a mild Vardar wind, and now all the authorities saw that the situation was as bad as it could be, and that nothing could stop the progress of that roaring furnace.

    It was unforgettable; all the pictures of hell that were ever painted fall short of it in fearfulness, and its hungry roar, mingled with snarls and hisses and the crash of the falling ruins, was most awe-inspiring. The inhabitants ran about trying to save their possessions and not knowing where to take refuge.

    Naval Operations:

    Shipping Losses: 5 ( All to U-Boat action)

    Political:


    British, French, and Italian Governments conclude provisional arrangement with regard to future policy in Asia Minor (see May 16th, 1916 and July 27th, 1917).

    Government proclamation forbids threatened strike of Associated Society of Engineers and Firemen.

    Anniversary Events:

    1587 In the Roanoke Island colony, Ellinor and Ananias Dare become parents of a baby girl whom they name Virginia, the first English child born in what would become the United States.
    1590 John White, the leader of 117 colonists sent in 1587 to Roanoke Island (North Carolina) to establish a colony, returns from a trip to England to find the settlement deserted. No trace of the settlers is ever found.
    1698 After invading Denmark and capturing Sweden, Charles XII of Sweden forces Frederick IV of Denmark to sign the Peace of Travendal.
    1759 The French fleet is destroyed by the British under “Old Dreadnought” Boscawen at the Battle of Lagos Bay.
    1782 Poet and artist William Blake marries Catherine Sophia Boucher.
    1862 Confederate General J.E.B Stuart’s headquarters is raided by Union troops of the 5th New York and 1st Michigan cavalries.
    1864 Union General William T. Sherman sends General Judson Kilpatrick to raid Confederate lines of communication outside Atlanta. The raid is unsuccessful.
    1870 Prussian forces defeat the French at the Battle of Gravelotte during the Franco-Prussian War.
    1898 Adolph Ochs takes over the New York Times, saying his aim is to give “the news, all the news, in concise and attractive form, in language that is permissible in good society, and give it early, if not earlier, than it can be learned through any other medium.”
    1914 Germany declares war on Russia while President Woodrow Wilson issues his Proclamation of Neutrality.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 08-18-2017 at 06:06.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  19. #2669

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    Sunday 19th August 1917

    Today we lost: 794

    Air Operations:

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 9
    Lt Carter, R.B. (Ralph Barr), RFC.
    Capt Clement, C.M. MC (Carleton Main), 22 Squadron, RFC. Killed by anti-aircraft fire at age 21. He is a 7-victory ace and the son of the Honorable Justice W H P Clement
    Lt Craig, G.R. (George Robert), 44 Squadron, RFC.
    Capt Dixon, H.E. (Henry Eric), 62 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Dutton, R. (Richard), 48 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Fowler, J.O. (John Orr), 45, Squadron, RFC.
    Flt Sub-Lt Glasgow, T.L. (Theodore Linscott), 10 (N) Squadron, RNAS.
    2Lt Gordon, G.S. (George Strachan), 59 Squadron, RFC. (Cameronians) Killed at age 20. He is the son of Robert Gordon JP.
    Lt Tipping, F.B. (Frank Blamphin), 59 Squadron, RFC.

    Claims: 24 confirmed (Entente 10: Central Powers 14)
    Brian Edmund Baker #6th.
    Frnacesco Baracca (Italy) #17th.
    Marcel Dhome (France) #2nd.
    Philip Fletcher Fullard #25th.
    Brian Hill #1st.
    James Thomas Byford McCudden #9th.
    Roderick McDonald #6th.
    Thomas Le Mesurier #4th.
    Richard Munday #1st.
    Valentine Reed #6th.

    Godwin Brumowski u/c, u/c, #15th.
    Benno Fiala von Fernbrugg #7th.
    Heinrich Gontermann #31st, #32nd, #33rd, #34th & #35th.
    Ernst Hess #9th.
    Fritz Jacobsen #2nd.
    Otto Jager #7th.
    Max von Muller #23rd & #24th.
    Fritz Putter #3rd.
    Emil Thuy #7th.

    Home Fronts:

    Britain: A tramcar full of passengers is descending a hill at Dover and loses control. The driver finding that the brakes will not engage jumps off the front platform and Private Walter George Gunner (Dragoon Guards attached Army Pay Corps) promptly takes the driver’s place on the platform and makes every effort to stop the car by the application of the brakes. Unfortunately in spite of Private Gunner’s courage and presence of mind he is unable to stop the tram which runs to the bottom of the hill at great speed and overturns. Private Gunner will lose both his feet as a result of this accident for which he will be awarded the Albert Medal.

    Earls and sons of Earls killed in the Great War:
    Earls
    · Henry Molyneux Paget Howard the 19th Earl of Suffolk & 12th Earl of Berkshire
    · James Ogilie-Grant the 11th Earl of Seafield (see below)
    · Richard Bernard Boyle the 7th Earl of Shannon
    · William John Lydston Poulett the 7th Earl Poulett
    · Francis Annesley the 6th Earl Annesley
    · William Edward Parsons the 5th Earl of Rosse
    · Charles William Reginald Duncombe the 2nd Earl of Feversham of Ryedale

    Sons of Earls

    · Hugo Francis and Yvo Alan Charteris two sons of the 11th Earl of Wemyss
    · Hugh Cecil Robert and Henry Simon Feilding two sons of the 9th Earl of Denbigh
    · Robert Sheffield and Andrew John Stuart two sons of the 6th Earl of Castle Stewart
    · Edward and Philip Wodehouse two sons of the 2nd Earl of Kimberley who will have a third son killed in an air raid on London in April 1941
    · Ernest William Maitland son of the 12th Earl of Meath
    · Keith Anthony Stewart son of the 11th Earl of Galloway
    · George Baillie Hamilton Binning son of the 11th Earl of Haddington
    · Cyril Myles Brabazon Ponsonby MVO son of the 8th Earl of Bessborough
    · Eustace George Walter Bourke son of the 8th Earl of Mayo
    · Albert Edward George Arnold Keppel son of the 8th Earl of Albemarle
    · Heneage Greville Finch son of the 8th Earl of Aylesford
    · Fergus George Arthur Forbes son of the 7th Earl of Granard
    · Gerald Legge son of the 6th Earl of Dartmouth
    · Cecil Richard Molyneux son of the 6th Earl of Sefton
    · Patrick Julian Harry Stanley Ogilvy son of the 6th Earl of Airlie
    · Richard Philip Stanhope son of the 6th Earl Stanhope
    · Ivan Campbell son of the 6th Earl of Breadbane
    · Herbert Lyttelton Pelham son of the 5th Earl of Chichester
    · Maurice Henry Dermot Brown son of the 5th Earl of Kenmare
    · George Seymour Dawson-Damer son of the 5th Earl of Portarlington
    · Neil James Archibald Primrose son of the 5th Earl of Rosebery
    · Thomas Uchter Caulfeild Knox son of the 5th Earl of Ranfurly
    · Richard Orlando Beaconsfield Bridgeman son of the 4th Earl of Bradford
    · Henry William Crichton son of the 4th Earl Erne of Crom Castle
    · Josceline Charles William Savile Foljambe son of the 4th Earl of Liverpool
    · Gavin William Esmond Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound son of the 4th Earl of Minto
    · Geoffrey Lambton son of the 4th Earl of Durham
    · Robert Nathaniel Dudley Ryder son of the 4th Earl of Harrowby
    · Edmond William Claude Gerald de Vere Pery son of the 4th Earl of Limerick
    · Charles Sackville Pelham son of the 4th Earl of Yarborough
    · Arthur George Coke son of the 3rd Earl of Leicester of Holkham
    · Schomberg Kerr McDonnell son of the 3rd Earl of Antrim
    · Francis Lambton son of the 2nd Earl of Durham
    · Robert Stafford Arthur Palmer son of the 2nd Earl of Selborne
    · Michael Hugh Hicks-Beach son of the 1st Earl St Aldwyn
    · Archer Windsor-Clive son of the 1st Earl of Plymouth
    · Raymond Asquith son of the 1st Earl of Oxford
    · Gerald Ernest Francis Ward son of the 1st Earl of Dudley
    · Denis Bertram Buxton son and heir of the 1st and last Earl Buxton

    Western Front


    British forces capture German trenches near Gillemont Farm southeast of Epehy and advance the line to a depth of five hundred yards on a mile front in the neighborhood of the Ypres-Poelcapelle Road.


    Attack on Lens


    The front quieted significantly after the final attack against the chalk quarry. For the Canadian Corps, the following two days consisted largely of consolidation activities. The front line was drawn back 300 yards (270 m), midway between the original intermediate and final objective lines. The 4th Division slightly advanced its forward posts on the outskirts of Lens and extended its front northward to include the Lens–Bethune road. Currie wished to further improve the position around Hill 70 and ordered an attack against enemy positions along a 3,000-yard (2,700 m) front, opposite the 2nd and 4th Canadian Divisions.

    The operation was scheduled for the morning of 21 August, the tasks being divided between the 6th Canadian Infantry Brigade on the left and the 10th Canadian Infantry Brigade on the right.

    Tunstills Men Sunday 19th August 1917:

    Billets near Moulle.

    On another fine, sunny day, field firing practices were carried out on the ranges at Guemy near Tournehem (three miles to the east); the results were described as “very favourable – practices were carried out by Companies supported by Lewis Guns on the flanks and with machine guns firing overhead and in a few cases in co-operation with Stokes Mortars”. All of this training was directed towards the part to be played by the Brigade in forthcoming actions.

    Just ten days after re-joining the Battalion from seven months treatment for wounds, Pte. Willie Holmes (see 9th August) was admitted to 70th Field Ambulance, suffering from influenza; he would be discharged to duty four days later.

    Pte. John Edward Bartle (see 19th July), who had been wounded a month previously, was evacuated to England.

    Eastern Front:


    Romanian front fighting in Slanie region south of Ocna; enemy gains trenches in Focsani region. Germans claims 22,000 Russian prisoners in recent fighting in Galicia and Bukovina.

    Southern Front:

    Launched on 19 August 1917 the Eleventh Battle of the Isonzo was the final initiative along the Isonzo River to be launched by the Italians and their Chief of Staff Luigi Cadorna.

    Cadorna's eleventh attempt at breaking the deadlock along the Isonzo and so finally putting an end to the ongoing war of attrition saw him gather together 51 divisions and 5,200 guns. The target was, once again, to be the Carso and around the Italian bridgehead at Gorizia.

    Having opened on the coastal zone Italian gains (under Duke Aosta’s Third Army) were achieved as the Austro-Hungarian line was inexorably pushed back. In the north gains were particularly marked with some 10km of ground snatched from the Austro-Hungarians by Luigi Capello’s Second Army.

    Indeed the Italian advance was so successful (capturing the Bainsizza Plateau south-east of Tolmino) that the army outran its artillery and supply lines, thus preventing the further advance that may have finally succeeded in breaking the Austro-Hungarian army. However the Austro-Hungarian line ultimately held and the attack was abandoned on 12 September 1917.

    No further attempts were made by the Italians along the Isonzo. All eleven Isonzo battles to date had been initiated by Cadorna; however a twelfth and final battle took place a month-and-a-half later. Cadorna, aware that the Germans were planning a joint offensive with the Austro-Hungarians ordered Capello's forces to withdraw his forward units to more readily defensible positions. Capello's decision to ignore Cadorna's orders (buoyed by his own recent success) contributed to the Italian disaster the following month.

    In late October Austria-Hungary's ally, Germany, finally committed forces to a joint operation at Caporetto. While the Austro-Hungarians had often pleaded for German assistance on the Italian Front it was only now granted with the recognition that the Austro-Hungarian army had finally been stretched to breaking point, with the consequent - and very real - possibility that the Italians would soon achieve their long-sought breakthrough. Fortunately with hostilities on the Eastern Front ceasing along with Russia's withdrawal from the war, German resources could be (and were) transferred to the Isonzo.

    Often referred to as the Battle of Caporetto, the Twelfth Battle of the Isonzo was a spectacular success for the Central Powers and very nearly succeeded in knocking Italy out of the war.

    Naval Operations:


    Shipping Losses: 11 (1 to a mine & 10 to U-Boat action)


    Anniversary Events:

    1493 Maximilian succeeds his father Frederick III as Holy Roman Emperor.
    1587 Sigismund III is chosen to be the king of Poland.
    1692 Five women are hanged in Salem, Massachusetts after being convicted of the crime of witchcraft. Fourteen more people are executed that year and 150 others are imprisoned.
    1772 Gustavus III of Sweden eliminates the rule of parties and establishes an absolute monarchy.
    1779 Americans under Major Henry Lee take the British garrison at Paulus Hook, New Jersey.
    1812 The USS Constitution earns the nickname “Old Ironsides” during the battle off Nova Scotia that saw her defeat the HMS Guerriere.
    1914 The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) lands in France.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  20. #2670

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    I now hand the editors cap back to Chris after his spot of R&R.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  21. #2671

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    Chris, I just saw your post from the 12th, that plate of Grouse looks delicious.
    Thanks for the tease.

  22. #2672

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    Quote Originally Posted by Setarius View Post
    Chris, I just saw your post from the 12th, that plate of Grouse looks delicious.
    Thanks for the tease.
    My pleasure - and being as I was up in the Yorkshire Dales this past week I was able to indulge in some fresh grouse myself... mmmm tasty

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  23. #2673

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    Right, so its a big thank you to Neil for the past week (at short notice) and I am back with my hand on the tiller (ooops sails reference, sorry Tim) as we set sail into another edition (damn - slipped up again). So Tally Ho and away we go.....

    August 20th 1917


    French Assault at Verdun

    An attack on 9 km (5.6 mi) fronts on both sides of the Meuse was planned, the XIII and XVI corps to attack on the left bank with two divisions each and two in reserve. Côte 304, Mort-Homme and Côte de l'Oie were to be captured in a 3 km (1.9 mi) advance and on the right bank, the XV and XXXII corps were to advance a similar distance to capture Côte de Talou, hills 344, 326 and the Bois de Caurières. About 34 km (21 mi) of road was rebuilt 6 m (6.6 yd) wide and paved for the supply of ammunition to each corps, along with a branch of the 60 cm (2.0 ft) light railway. The French artillery prepared the attack with 1,280 field guns, 1.520 heavy guns and howitzers and 80 super-heavy guns and howitzers. The Aéronautique Militaire crowded 16 fighter escadrilles into the area to escort reconnaissance aircraft and protect observation balloons. The 5th Army had spent the previous year improving their defences at Verdun, including the excavation of tunnels linking Mort-Homme with the rear, for supplies to be carried and infantry to move with impunity. On the right bank, the Germans had developed four defensive positions, the last on the French front line of early 1916.

    The French had no possibility of strategic surprise; the Germans had 380 artillery batteries in the area and frequently bombarded French positions with the new Mustard gas and made several spoiling attacks to disrupt French preparations. Counter-attacks were made to regain lost ground but Fayolle eventually limited ripostes to important ground only, the rest to be retaken during the main attack. The French preliminary bombardment began on 11 August and after two days, the destructive bombardment began but weather delays led to the infantry attack being postponed until 20 August. The assembly of the 25th, 16th, Division Marocaine and 31st divisions was obstructed by German gas bombardments but their attack captured all but Hill 304, which was encircled and captured on 24 August. On the right bank, XV Corps had to cross the Côte de Talou in the middle of no man's land which was 3 km (1.9 mi) wide at this point. The attacking divisions reached their objectives except for a trench between hills 344 and 326 and Samogneux, which was taken on 23 August. XXXII Corps reached its objectives in a costly advance but the troops found themselves too close to German trenches and under the guns on high ground between Bezonvaux and Ornes. The French took 11,000 prisoners for the loss of 14,000 men, 4,470 being killed or posted missing.

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    Submarine E-47

    HMS E47 was an E-class submarine launched by Fairfield, Govan for the Royal Navy and completed by William Beardmore, Dalmuir. She was laid down on 29 May 1916 and was commissioned in October 1916. Like all post-E8 British E-class submarines, E47 had a displacement of 662 tonnes (730 short tons) at the surface and 807 tonnes (890 short tons) while submerged. She had a total length of 180 feet (55 m)[1] and a beam length of 22 feet 8.5 inches (6.922 m). She was powered by two 800 horsepower (600 kW) Vickers eight-cylinder two-stroke diesel engines and two 420 horsepower (310 kW) electric motors. The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph) and a submerged speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). British E-class submarines had fuel capacities of 50 tonnes (55 short tons) of diesel and ranges of 3,255 miles (5,238 km; 2,829 nmi) when travelling at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph).[1] E47 was capable of operating submerged for five hours when travelling at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph).

    E47 was armed with a 12-pounder 76 mm (3.0 in) QF gun mounted forward of the conning tower. She had five 18 inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes, two in the bow, one either side amidships, and one in the stern; a total of 10 torpedoes were carried. E-Class submarines had wireless systems with 1 kilowatt (1.3 hp) power ratings; in some submarines, these were later upgraded to 3 kilowatts (4.0 hp) systems by removing a midship torpedo tube. Their maximum design depth was 100 feet (30 m) although in service some reached depths of below 200 feet (61 m). Some submarines contained Fessenden oscillator systems.

    E47 was based at Harwich with the 9th Flotilla - depot ships Maidstone and Forth. She was engaged in North Sea patrols off the German and Dutch coasts. Following the resumption of German coastal shipping between Heligoland Bight and Rotterdam, four E-class submarines were sent to intercept. E47 was lost in the North Sea on 20 August 1917. There were no survivors. The wreck of E47, found in 2002 by Divingteam Noordkaap from Vlieland, lies about 6 nmi (6.9 mi; 11 km) northwest of Texel. The deck gun, which was torn off its mounting, probably by a trawler, and was lying beside the wreck, has been salvaged and identifies the wreck. The wreck bears the Dutch Hydrographic Department wreck number 927, and lies in position 53°6′8.10″N 4°33′28.0″ECoordinates: 53°6′8.10″N 4°33′28.0″E. Among the men lost in the sinking of E47 was Lieut. Colin Fraser Creswell, the son of Vice Admiral Sir William Rooke Creswell KCMG, KBE, RAN.

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    E-47 in a floating dock

    600 British Llives were lost on this day

    Captain William Johnstone Knox MC (Australian Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 30. He is the son of the Honorable William Knox.
    Captain John Cecil Foster MC (Lincolnshire Regiment) is killed at age 23. His brother was killed at Suvla Bay in August 1915.
    Lieutenant Harry Kemp Sewell (Royal Field Artillery) the Deputy Coroner for West Kent is killed at age 32. His brothers were killed in November 1916 and August 1918 who is a Victoria Cross winner.
    Sergeant James Hamilton Speirs MM (Cameron Highlanders) is killed at age 31. He was the captain of the Bradford City Football Club which won the FA title in 1911 scoring the only goal in the replay after a scoreless initial game. He played a total of 226 matches for Maryhill, Rangers, Clyde and Leeds City in addition to Bradford City and earned one cap playing for Scotland. He also played for the Rangers Football Club.

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    Lance Corporal John McAulay Munn (Cameron Highlanders) is killed at age 32 becoming the fourth brother of five to lose their lives in the Great War.
    Lance Corporal Edward Charles Church (Welsh Regiment) is killed in action at age 20. His brother was killed in January 1915.
    Private Martin Finnerty (Cheshire Regiment) dies of wounds received in action at St Julien at age 24. His brothers William and Thomas will also lose their lives in the Great War.
    Private Mark Dockwray-Smith (Northumberland Fusiliers) is killed at age 30. His son will be killed in the Second World War.
    Gunner Reginald Cary Lloyd (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed at age 25. His son will be killed in the Second World War.
    Private John E Crellin (Lancaster Regiment) is killed when German aircraft drop bombs on 61st Casualty Clearing Station where he is a patient. On 19th July while he was cleaning his rifle he shot off the middle finger of his left hand. In the mean time court martial papers were being prepared.

    There was one VC awarded for actions on this day

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    Hardy Falconer Parsons VC (13 June 1897 – 21 August 1917) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. He was born in Rishton, Lancashire, the son of the Reverend James Ash Parsons and Henrietta Parsons, of Leysian Mission, City Road, London. He was educated at King Edward VII School, Lytham St Annes, Kingswood School, Bath, and as a medical student at the University of Bristol, preparing for Medical Missionary Work. His grandmother is listed as Mary Parsons (born 1833 in Sidmouth, Devon) and had a brother, Ewart Parsons (born 1899 in Highbury, Middlesex).

    He was 20 years old, and a temporary second lieutenant in the 14th (Service) Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment, British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

    On 20/21 August 1917 near Epehy, France, during a night attack by the enemy on his bombing post, the bombers holding the post were forced back, but Second Lieutenant Parsons remained at his post. Single-handed and although severely burnt by liquid fire, he continued to hold up the enemy with bombs until severely wounded. Second Lieutenant Parsons died of his wounds. He was buried at Villers-Faucon Communal Cemetery, France.

    An extract from The London Gazette, dated 17 October 1917, records the following:

    For most conspicuous bravery during a night attack by a strong party of the enemy on a bombing post held by his command. The bombers holding the block were forced back, but Second Lieutenant Parsons remained at his post, and, single-handed, and although severely scorched and burnt by liquid fire, he continued to hold up the enemy with bombs until severely wounded. This very gallant act of self-sacrifice and devotion to duty undoubtedly delayed the enemy long enough to allow of the organisation of a bombing party, which succeeded in driving back the enemy before they could enter any portion of the trenches. The gallant officer succumbed to his wounds.

    16 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON MONDAY AUGUST 20TH 1917

    Lt. Bamford, J.L. (Joseph Lamont) 17 Squadron RFC
    Flt Off. (Prob) Code, L. (Lawrence) Cranwell Central Depot and Training Establishment RNAS
    Sgt. Colwill, R.W. (Reginald Wilfred) 31 Squadron RFC
    Flt. Sub Lt. Cook, C.B. (Cecil Barnaby) Dover Naval Air Station RNAS
    AM 2 Edmonds, A. (Albert) RFC
    Sgt. Findlay, C. (Charles) 59 Training Squadron RFC
    Sgt. Handley, E. (Ernest) Wireless and Observers School RFC
    Flt. Lt. Hunt, A.S. (Alfred Stanley) RFC
    2nd Lt. Jordan, H.S.L. (Hugh Stewart Latimer) RFC
    2nd Lt. Payne, C.B. (Cecil Brannon) 21 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Purgold, L.J. (Louis Joseph) RFC
    Sgt. Rodgman, A.G.B. (Arthur George Banfield) 43 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Turner, H.D. (Herbert Deacon) 70 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Winser, F.E. (Frank Edward) 43 Squadron RC
    AM 2 Winstone, A.E. (Alfred Edwin) 6 Squadron attached 18th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery
    2nd Lt. Young, H.F. (Harold Farquhar) 43 Squadron RFC

    The following aerial victory claims were made on this day

    Arthur DrinkwaterAustralia #2
    Alexander Augustus Norman Dudley PentlandAustralia #4
    Patrick Gordon TaylorAustralia #4

    Godwin BrumowskiAustro-Hungarian Empire #16 #17 #18

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    William Alexander Canada #10
    Leonard Barlow England #11 #12
    Ralph Curtis England #8
    Bruno De Roeper England #5
    Norman MacGregor England #3
    James Thomas Byford McCudden England #10 #11

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    John Milne England #4 #5
    Frederick Sowrey England #7
    Pierre de Cazenove de Pradines France #2
    Andre Herbelin France #5
    Albert Dietlen Germany #2
    Heinrich Geigl Germany #6
    Ludwig Hanstein Germany #7

    Robert Heibert Germany #1

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    Heibert joined the army in August 1914. Before transferring to the German Air Force in May 1915, he was wounded four times. He committed suicide in 1933.

    Josef Jacobs Germany #6
    Willi Kampe Germany #2

    Josef Mai Germany #1

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    Mai joined the German Air Force in 1915 and became a pilot the following year. He achieved his first eleven victories flying an Albatros D.V easily identified by his personal insignia: a star and a crescent. Mai was commissioned in September 1918 and wounded in the upper left leg on 3 September 1918. He was recommended for the Blue Max but the war ended before it could be awarded. He briefly flew the Fokker Triplane, achieving three victories, but finished the war flying the Fokker D.VII

    Forde Leathley Ireland #8
    Conn Standish O'Grady Ireland #7
    Maxwell Findlay Scotland #2
    William MacLanachan Scotland #3

    Capt. Tunstill's Men: On another fine, hot day, training continued with the Battalion carrying out “a demonstration, on the X Corps School grenade ground at Inglinghem, of a platoon in the attack, bringing into use the co-operation of all weapons available and including the co-operation from Stokes Mortars”.

    Pte. Peter Herity (see 6th July) was reported by Sgt. William Allan Sayer as being “deficient of iron rations (tea and sugar); on the orders of Capt. **** Bolton (see 15th June) he was to be confined to barracks for three days.

    Enquiries were made regarding the injury sustained by Pte. John Foster (see 27th July), who had injured his knee whilst on a carrying party a month previously and had subsequently been evacuated to England. Statements were taken from Sgt. George Manning of 69th Machine Gun Company and Pte. Arthur Greenbank (I am currently unable to make a positive identification of this man) of 10DWR who, like Foster himself, was on attachment to the carrying party. Manning reported that “On Saturday 14th July I was in charge of a carrying party with ammunition for the front line. No.29648 Pte. Foster, J., was with my party. On Sunday morning, 15th July, he reported to me that he had sprained his knee. I told him to report sick”. Greenbank confirmed what Manning had said and added that, “Pte. Foster told me he had fallen on a railway track”.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 08-21-2017 at 13:45.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  24. #2674

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    21st August 1917

    Right its that time again as I am looking for some support as I am having yet another holiday (I know, never seem to be doing anything else at the moment). I need a volunteer to cover editions from Saturday to Monday, I can do the Friday before I leave and do Tuesday when I get back. If you can help out over the bank holiday weekend please let me know. Thank you

    Lets start today with a Zeppelin Raid

    This Zeppelin raid, the first since the loss of L.48 on the night of 16/17 June, is somewhat shrouded in mystery. Eight Zeppelins set out from Germany but British records only report one, L.41 commanded by Hauptman Kuno Manger, coming inland. At the time the British defences were still coming to terms with the great heights of up to 20,000ft attainable by this latest class of Zeppelin.

    L.41 crossed the East Yorkshire coast at Tunstall at 12.03am and nine minutes later passed a couple of miles north of an army camp at Halsham, before dropping an incendiary near Elstronwick at 12.20am. Ten minutes later she appeared to hover between Ryehill and Paull, south-east of Hull, at which point the searchlight at Paull opened but was unable to locate L.41 for 18 minutes due to her great height. At 12.50am the AA guns at Paull opened fire, soon joined by the lights and guns at Marfleet and Chase Hill Farm. Manger steered L.41 towards Paull as soon as the light there found him, dropping seven HE bombs as he approached, but as the fire increased he veered away to the north-east towards Hedon, which he bombed at 1.00am. Of five bombs, one fell in a field about 400 yards south of St. Augustine’s Church and the rest around Baxtergate where one man was injured. They wrecked a Primitive Methodist chapel, blew in the doors and windows of a Roman Catholic chapel and 11 dwellings, and seriously damaged a YMCA hut on the Burstwick Road. Manger continued on a northward course, still keeping to the east of Hull, dropping two HE and 12 incendiary bombs about a mile east of Preston, followed by another HE bomb that fell in a wheat field about half a mile on. He then turned southwards and at 1.10am the Marfleet searchlight illuminated L.41 again before she dropped an HE bomb at Thorngumbald, without causing damage, as the guns at Marfleet and Paull opened fire. It appears Manger then took L.41 across the Humber but, engaged by more lights and guns, he turned back over the river and made his way to the coast, going out to sea at 1.40am north of Withernsea.

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    The RFC sent up 19 aircraft from Nos. 33 and 76 squadrons but nine of them were too late to be of any use. Those that were in the air in time, the best with a maximum ceiling of around 13,000ft, were unable to reach the heights the new class of Zeppelin could achieve if threatened. One pilot pursued L.41 out to sea for twenty miles without being able to gain the height needed to make a successful attack. Confusion exists over the other Zeppelins that approached Britain that night. It appears two, L.35 and L.51, turned back early and two others, L.42 and L.45, claimed to have bombed shipping off Spurn Head, although this does not show in British records. Three others claim to have made attacks: L.44 on Lincoln, L.46 on Louth and L.47 on Grimsby. British records show no bombs falling in these places, however there were reports, dismissed at the time, of Zeppelins near Pontefract and the sound of exploding bombs were reported from Doncaster. It is possible that the relevant authorities failed to discover bombs dropped in remote areas and from the great height Zeppelins were flying at the crews could have little hope of pinpointing where they were.

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    More on 2nd. Lt. Parson's VC detailed yesterday

    Second Lieutenant Hardy Falconer Parsons (Gloucestershire Regiment) near Epehy, France, during a night attack by the enemy on a bombing post held by his command, the bombers holding the post are forced back, but Second Lieutenant Parsons remains at his post. Single-handed and although severely scorched and burnt by liquid fire, he continues to hold up the enemy with bombs until severely wounded. His gallant action holds the enemy long enough for the defense of the position to be consolidated. Second Lieutenant Parsons dies of his wounds at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend and was educated at Kingswood School, and a Medical Student at Bristol University preparing for Medical Missionary Work. For his actions of on this day he will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.

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    Staff Nurse Nellie Spindler
    (Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service) dies of wounds received at age 26. Casualty Clearing Station #44 is shelled and she is critically wounded. She dies twenty-minutes later and she will be buried the next day at Lijssenthoek near Poperinge where she is the only woman buried among 10,800 men and one of only two buried in Belgium who were casualties during the Great War.

    Second Lieutenant Frederick Ewen Baldwin Falkiner MC (Irish Rifles attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed in action at age 22. His younger brother has been killed in action five days earlier. He is buried in Tyne Cot Cemetery, which has located in it the Tyne Cot Memorial, where is brother, whose body is never identified, is memorialize. He was born in 1895, and was educated at St. Stephen’s Green School, Dublin, and St. Columba’s College, Rathfarnham, where he played in the Rugby fifteen. He entered Trinity College, Dublin, in 1913. At the outbreak of the war he enlisted in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, and was corporal of their machine gun section at the Suvla Bay landing at Gallipoli. He continued to serve as N.C.O. in the Serbian campaign of the winter of 1915, for which he received the bronze medal for military valor conferred by the King of Italy. After some months spent at Salonika as sergeant instructor in a machine gun school, he was recommended for a commission, and was in January 1917 gazetted to the Royal Irish Rifles. He was at the taking of Messines Ridge, and was awarded the Military Cross for his gallantry in capturing a machine gun position.

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    Lieutenant Neville Montgomery
    (British Columbia Regiment) is killed at age 32 a cousin of Field Marshall Bernard Law Montgomery. He is the brother of Lieutenant Colonel Hugh Ferguson Montgomery CMG DSO (Royal Marines Light Infantry) who was a first-class cricketer and Royal Marine Light Infantry officer who died as a result of injuries sustained in the Bloody Sunday assassination of high-ranking British intelligence officers by the Irish Republican Army. They are sons of the Reverend Ferguson John Montgomery Rector of Halse.

    Lieutenant George Marbrook Doughty MC (Middlesex Regiment attached Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 21. His brother will be killed next February.
    Second Lieutenant Richard Courtenay Bellew (Irish Guards) is killed in action at age 19. He is the son of the Honorable Richard Eustace Bellew and grandson of 2nd Baron Bellew.
    Second Lieutenant Derek Percy Cox (Royal Flying Corps) is killed while on a bombing mission over Germany at age 21. He is the only child of Major General the Honorable ‘Sir’ Percy Cox, GCIE KCSI late Civil Service Commissioner with the Expeditionary Force in Mesopotamia. His son will be born on 25th February 1918 and will be killed on 15th November 1942 while serving as a Lieutenant in Fleet Air Arm.
    Second Lieutenant Charles Angelo Moody (Royal Flying Corps) is killed near Houthulst Forest at age 18. He is the son of the Reverend Henry Moody, Vicar of Welshampton.

    In total 937 British lives were lost

    One air ace was lost on this day

    Oberleutnant Eduard Ritter von Dostler
    of Jasta 6

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    Dostler was injured in an accident on 21 June 1917. As commanding officer of Jasta 6, he scored his final victory on 18 August 1917. Three days later, he was shot down near the front lines as he attacked an R.E.8 belonging to 7 Squadron.

    Eduard Dostler was born on 3 February 1892 in Pottenstein, Kingdom of Bavaria. He was commissioned in the 4th Pioneer Battalion of the Bavarian Army on 28 October 1912. He was awarded the Bavarian Lifesaving Medal for saving two of his men from drowning in the Danube River in August 1914. Later that month, Dostler went into action with his battalion in France on the Western Front. He won the Iron Cross First Class in March 1915. He was also awarded his native Bavaria Military Service Order. Dostler's brother was a pilot who was killed in action. Eduard Dostler decided to switch to the Die Fliegertruppen des deutschen Kaiserreiches (Imperial German Flying Corps) because of his brother's death.

    Dostler first reported to Schutzstaffel 27 (Protection Squadron) 27, then being reassigned to Kampfstaffel 36 (Tactical Bomber Squadron 36) on 15 June 1916. Dostler scored his first confirmed aerial victory while flying a Roland C.II two-seater fighter for Kasta 36. He downed a Sopwith Scout on 17 December 1916. He then transferred to Royal Prussian Jagdstaffel 13, a newly formed squadron, taking command on 27 December 1916. On 22 January 1917, he scored Jasta 13's initial triumph. At that time, he was already an oberleutnant.

    On 20 February 1917, Dostler assumed command of Royal Bavarian Jagdstaffel 34 upon its official formation. He had it in action in three days, and scored its first victories on 24 March, shooting down a pair of Caudron G.IV bombers. By the time he left the Jasta, he had become an ace, with eight confirmed victories, and one claim unconfirmed. Dostler transferred to Royal Prussian Jagdstaffel 6, assuming command in the wake of Fritz Otto Bernert's 9 June 1917 departure. Dostler scored a double victory on 16 June, with further wins on the 17th and 20th. Two days later, Jasta 6 was incorporated into Germany's first fighter wing, Jagdgeschwader I. By 26 July, when Manfred von Richthofen took command of JG I, Dostler's score was up to 18. The following day, Dostler was awarded the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern. He finished the month of July 1917 with 21 victories.

    On 6 August, he received Germany's highest award for valor, the Pour le Mérite, which is also nicknamed the Blue Max. Dostler's famous commanding officer, the Red Baron himself, Manfred von Richthofen took his personal Pour le Mérite from around his own neck and placed it around Dostler's throat. Dostler shot down five enemy aircraft in August, extending his list of victims to 26. His final victory was scored on 18 August. Three days later, Dostler attacked and was shot down by an obsolete British R.E.8 of No. 7 Squadron RFC, flown by Lts. M. A. O'Callaghan and N. Sharples.[2] Dostler fell near Frezenburg, Belgium. Eduard Dostler was posthumously awarded the Military Order of Max Joseph backdated to 18 August 1917; its award both entitled him to a lifetime pension and knighted him. As a visible sign of his honor, his name became Eduard Ritter von Dostler.

    It was also a bad day for the British airmen with 25 lives lost on this day

    Lt. Barry, C. (Cecil) 57 Squadron RFC
    AM 1 Brown, G. (George) 22 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Cox, D.P. (Derek Percy) 27 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Edwards, V.L. (Victor Lawrence) Armoured Car Division, Russia. Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. 'President II'
    2nd Lt. Falkiner, F.E.B. (Frederick Ewen Baldwin) 57 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Godwin, T.E. (Thomas Ernest) 57 Squadron RFC
    AM 2 Hallam, C. (Christopher) RFC
    AM 1 Harmston, W. (William) 57 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Harries, W.T. (Wyndham Trevor) 3 Training Squadron RFC
    Flt Off (Prob) Holroyd, H.S. (Harold Sykes) RNAS
    Sub Lt. Hutty, A.I. (Alfred Irving) 2(N) Squadron RNAS
    2nd Lt. Keast, W.R. (William Reginald) 66 Squadron RFC
    Pte. Lankshear, F. (Frank) 6 Squadron RFC
    Flt. Sub Lt. Lewis, F.C. (Frank Concanen) 1 (N) Squadron, RNAS
    Flt. Sub Lt. Lowther, C. (Cecil) 10 (N) Squadron RNAS
    2nd Lt. Moody, C.A. (Charles Angelo) 1 Squadron RFC
    Capt. Pemberton, F.D. (Frederick Despard) 59 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Raney, P.H. (Paul Hartley) 60 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Richardson, J.L. (John Lowick) 55 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Shapira, F.C. (Francis Cunningham) 69 Squadron RFC

    In a busy day in the air, the following aerial victories were claimed... including victories for Keith PArk (48 Squadron - Bristol Fighter) Ernst Udet and Rudolf Berthold

    Frank Linke-Crawford Austro-Hungarian Empire #1

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    Linke Crawford's Aviatik - however his first kill was completed in a Hansa Brandenburg D.1

    After serving with a calvary regiment on the Russian front, Frank Linke-Crawford transferred to the Army Air Service in December 1915 and attended pilot's school in September 1916. Posted to Flik 12 in January 1917, he flew numerous reconnaissance and bombing missions on the Isonzo front. Flying an Aviatik C.I (37.08) without an observer, he was shot down on 2 August 1917, probably by Pier Piccio. On 4 August 1917, Linke was posted to Flik 41J and scored 13 victories by the end of the year. He assumed command of Flik 60J at the end of December 1917 and he scored 14 more victories before he was killed in action on the morning of 30 July 1918. Flying an Aviatik D.I, der Falke von Feltre (the Falcon of Feltre) was shot down by two Italian Hanriot HD.1 fighters from 81a Squadriglia. After the war, Linke's body was recovered and reinterred in Austria.

    "Linke was both a fine flier and a fine man. He gave his men full support and generally ignored the rules about officers and non-officers having little to do with each other. He often gave away victories to other, less experienced pilots. As you can imagine, the feelings of his men for him were quite strong." Julius Arigi to Dr. Martin O'Connor, 6 October 1977

    Andre de Meulemeester Belgium #5
    William Alexander Canada #11

    John Manuel Canada #1 #2

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    A civil engineer from Edmonton, Alberta, John Gerald Manuel was the son of George M. and Edith Manual. Having served in the militia—19th Alberta Dragoons—he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (No. 687203) on 27 November 1914. As Gunner with the Canadian Field Artillery in France, he was wounded on 5 October 1916. On 4 March 1917 he joined the Royal Naval Air Service as a Flight Sub-Lieutenant (on probation). Posted to 10 Naval Squadron on 12 August 1917, he was wounded again on 8 May 1918 when he fired a Very pistol and it exploded in his hand. Upon recovering he was discharged to duty on 29 May 1918. He downed 3 more enemy aircraft and increased his total to 13 on 9 June 1918 but was killed the following day in a collision with another Sopwith Camel.

    Emerson Smith
    Canada #1

    Emerson Smith was promoted to temporary 2nd Lieutenant (on probation) on 16 June 1917. That summer, flying the Sopwith 1½ Strutter, he scored his first victory on 21 August, downing an Albatros D.III southeast of Ypres. Shortly thereafter, 45 Squadron was re-equipped with Sopwith Camels and Smith scored six more victories before he was shot down by Joachim von Busse of Jasta 3 on 26 October 1917. Wounded in the chest and left arm, he crashed behind enemy lines and was captured.

    George Trapp Canada #3
    Robert Coath England #5
    Philip Fletcher Fullard England #26
    Howard Redmayne Harker England #5
    John Milne England #6
    William Reginald Guy Pearson England #4
    Walbanke Pritt England #4
    Harry Gosford Reeves England #6
    Joseph de Bonnefoy France #6
    Robert Delannoy France #4

    Rudolf Berthold Germany #13

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    Hans Bethge
    Germany #14
    Karl Bolle Germany #2
    Franz Brandt Germany #2
    Xavier Dannhuber Germany #4
    Rudolf Francke Germany #5
    Ernst Hess Germany #10 #11 u/c
    Otto Könnecke Germany #7
    Fritz Loerzer Germany #4
    Max von Müller Germany #25 #26
    Julius Schmidt Germany u/c
    Emil Thuy Germany #8

    Ernst Udet Germany #9

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    Rudolf Wendelmuth
    Germany #4

    Keith Park New Zealand #8 #9

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    Konstantin Vakulovsky Russia #4
    Gerald Maxwell Scotland #12
    Howard John Thomas Saint Wales #3

    Western Front

    The Battle for Lens

    Following the taking of Hill 70 the Canadian Corps had beaten off all German efforts to recapture it. Now that the front had calmed slightly and realising that the link between the 1st and 2nd Canadian Divisions was still precarious it was decided to withdraw slightly, from Norman Trench (The Green Line during the seizure of the hill) to a position 250 metres further back in Noggin Trench. On the right of the line the 4th Canadian Division took over the front as far north as the Lens – Béthune Road. The original orders to Lt General Sir Arthur Currie back in June 1917 had been to capture the town of Lens. At the time he had successfully argued to both General Sir Henry Horne (First Army) and Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig that a frontal assault would be costly and that it would be more efficient to capture the high ground. This had been achieved but the Germans obstinately refused to withdraw from the town. Currie now decided to test the water with a two Brigade assault on the pile of rubble that represented the once bustling mining town of Lens. He would attempt (but only on a small scale) the sort of urban combat that he had counselled against. A Brigade from each of the 2nd and 4th Divisions would be used attacking from the north-west and west respectively. 2nd Division would take Nun’s Alley, Cinnebar Trench and Combat Trench. On the southern side of the Béthune Road, 4th Division was to advance as far as the Arras Road: Aloof Trench, Aconite Trench and Alpaca Trench.

    The operation required an advance on a front of about two and a half kilometres between Eleu dit Leauwette and Cité St Émile. Opposite the 6th and 10th Canadian Brigades were two battalions from the 4th Guards Division and two from the 220th Division. The date was set for the 21st August; Zero Hour was 0435 hours — whilst it was still dark. The artillery preparation for the Canadian assault was impressive with the artillery of the two participating Divisions being augmented by that of the 1st Division, the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery and four British batteries. Prior to the assault the heavy artillery of both Canadian and British batteries would batter the trenches, then, during the attack, it would switch its attention to the town of Lens.

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    As the Canadians were preparing themselves for the coming battle they suddenly came under German artillery fire at 0400 hours. Immediately prior to the Canadians’ own Zero the Germans launched an attack against the 29th (Vancouver) Battalion on the left of 6th Brigade. The two parties collided in no man’s land and after much bitter fighting the Canadians pushed the Germans back. The battalion reached Cinnabar Trench but suffered heavy casualties in the act including all of their officers; killed or wounded. Company Sergeant Major Robert Hanna assumed command of the remaining force and led them against a German strongpoint that was holding out against all attempts to seize it. Hanna managed to kill all four defenders, silence the machine gun and capture the position. Having occupied the top end of Cinnabar Trench he held it against repeated counter attacks. His act of leadership and courage was recognised with the award of the Victoria Cross.

    The surprising intervention of the German Guards battalion had prevented the 29th Battalion from achieving all of its objectives. With assistance from the 28th Battalion they had Nun’s Alley and the top end of Cinnebar Trench under their control but the Germans still held the lower end of Cinnebar. On the right of 6th Brigade the 27th (City of Winnipeg) Battalion was also in difficulties. It is hard to appreciate in the urban sprawl that is modern day Lens-Liévin just how open much of this ground was in 1917. The 27th Battalion had to cover 500 metres of open ground towards the Guards Division who had made good use of every cellar to escape the shells from the heavies and then made even better use of the shattered buildings as cover. As the attackers, the Canadians found that when they were held up by machine gun fire it was impossible to dig into the rubble and thus consolidate the ground in the only way they knew how. This would probably be the only time in the war that urban warfare on this scale would be attempted; Lens was far from being a small village such as Loos.

    In 4th Division’s sector the 10th Brigade attacked with three battalions. On the right the 47th Battalion escaped the Germans’ shelling but still had a desperate struggle amongst the ruined buildings. One of its Companies fought its way as far as the Arras Road and by evening Alpaca Trench had been secured. In the centre of the Brigade the 46th Battalion had been shelled throughout the night but managed to carry Adonite Trench on the left of the 47th Battalion. Of the three battalions the 50th Battalion on the left and fighting down the Béthune Road had the hardest time. They had suffered a hundred casualties, whilst forming up, from the German bombardment, and the losses had been severe enough that they had to alter their assault formation. A feint attack against Aloof Trench the previous day had put the Germans on alert and as the Canadians approached the German front line they were torn asunder by machine gun and artillery fire. Just three small parties, totalling less than fifty men, managed to reach their objective at the junction of the Béthune and La Bassée Roads. The remainder of the survivors had been forced back to their starting lines within ninety minutes of Zero. With the holding parties unable to link with themselves or their neighbouring battalions they were forced to retire. An attempt to gain the remaining section of Cinnebar Trench by the 29th Battalion was planned with a proposed Zero of 1430 hours, but once again the control of events was dictated by the German Guards. Having been reinforced by a battalion from the 220th Division they pressed home their own counter attacks forcing the 29th and the 27th Battalions to fall back — leaving their outposts to hang on as best as they could.

    Although two hundred Germans had been captured and the line advanced in some places, little had been gained for the loss of 346 Canadians killed and 802 wounded.

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    Canadian soldiers in a captured German trench
    Last edited by Hedeby; 08-21-2017 at 15:10.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  25. #2675

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    Attachments not showing up Chris.

    Again if stuck I will try and do the R&R cover.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  26. #2676

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    Aaaargh - bloody attachments were there when I saved it

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  27. #2677

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    Right pictures should now be there - well I can see them, so fingers crossed

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  28. #2678

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    I can see your pictures Chris.

    'Fraid I can't help out this time as we are off from Friday until Tuesday up to Yorks to trounce those pesky Royalists again.
    Only leaves Jim and the cat at home and they will never manage to cope.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  29. #2679

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    Pictures are up and visible. Nice work too.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  30. #2680

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    22nd August 1917


    Lets start with yet another German air raid, this time by a GOTHA force... the last of the daytime raids

    With only 15 Gothas available Kagohl 3 planned an ambitious strike against targets on both sides of the Thames estuary and at Dover. However, five of the Gothas, including that of squadron commander Kleine, turned back early with engine problems leaving just 10 to make the attack. Warning of the incoming bombers was received shortly after 10.00am giving the defence aircraft time to get airborne and allowing the AA guns to make ready before the raiders crossed the coast 35 minutes later.

    Five bombs landed in Margate. One wrecked an unoccupied house in Windsor Avenue and seriously damaged the neighbouring property, and two that landed in Approach Road smashed windows in about 60 properties in the vicinity. One unexploded bomb smashed through the roof of 42 Cliftonville Avenue and another landed on a potato plot near St. Mildred’s Road. There were no injuries in Margate. Almost immediately after coming inland, however, two Gothas were brought down, one by a defence aircraft and the other by AA fire. With dwindling numbers Kagohl 3 abandoned the attack on the Thames Estuary and turned for Dover, while more defence aircraft closed in and the guns continued to fire. One bomb fell on a field at Bromstone Farm, about half a mile outside Broadstairs while a falling AA shell injured a man in the town as the aircraft approached Ramsgate.

    One bomb killed six men and a child sheltering in a store cut out of the chalk on Military Road by the harbour. Two schools serving as hospitals for the Canadian Army came under attack, with bombs causing damage in the grounds of Townley Castle and making a direct hit on Chatham House. There the bomb passed through the building before exploding in the basement where it killed a butcher. Other bombs narrowly missed St. Lawrence College (also serving as a Canadian Red Cross hospital), the Ramsgate County School, the Public Library and St. George’s Church where people were sheltering in the crypt. The bomb smashed stain glass windows and caused damage in neighbouring properties. Just a short distance away, in Church Hill, another bomb killed a Canadian soldier sheltering in the doorway of a newspaper office.

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    At the Town railway station a bomb damaged one of the platforms and a temporary canteen serving wounded soldiers on their way back from the Front, but no one was injured there. In Picton Road a bomb severely damaged six houses and injured three children, while in Prince’s Street near the harbour a bomb demolished three small cottages. Other bombs caused some damage in Boundary Road, Alexandra Road, Percy Road, Hollicondane Road, Duncan Road and St. Mildred’s Road. Of the 34 bombs dropped on Ramsgate seven failed to detonate. Casualties in Ramsgate amounted to nine killed and 22 injured.

    The remaining eight Gothas went out to sea at Ramsgate and headed south down the coast towards Dover, engaged by AA guns and pursued by pilots of the RNAS. They came inland again at Deal and, approaching Dover from the north, dropped a bomb at Whitfield, which fell harmlessly in a field on Rosemount Farm. At 11.10am the Dover AA guns opened fire and two of the Gothas headed straight out to sea, leaving the other six to unload nine bombs on the town.

    The first of these bombs exploded in the yard of the Admiral Harvey public house on Bridge Street where it killed 17-year-old Lucy Wall and caused serious damage. Another fell in Priory Hill but failed to explode, followed by one which did explode in the grounds of Dover College, where men of the 32nd Training Reserve battalion were under orders, killing two soldiers and injuring two. The bomb also injured an officer of the 30th Training Reserve battalion and an officer of the 3rd Battalion East Surrey Regiment (attached to the 32nd TR battalion). The bomb also caused significant damage to the College while another that fell by the College gateway failed to explode. Another bomb that failed to explode passed through 53 Folkestone Road, narrowly missing two of the occupants. At Dover Castle two bombs landed near the Keep where they killed a horse and seriously injured a soldier of the Royal Defence Corps, and two more fell in the harbour near to the RNAS seaplane station. But as the Gothas set course for home a third one was brought down in flames, its demise credited to RNAS pilot Flt sub-Lt E.B. Blake. Of the nine crew of the three Gothas brought down only one man survived. With increasing casualties and improving British defences Hauptman Rudolf Kleine, commander of Kagohl 3, abandoned daytime raids and switched to night-bombing.

    Casualties: 12 killed, 27 injured

    The Western Front - Ypres

    The Action of 22 August 1917, took place in the First World War, on the Western Front during the Third Battle of Ypres in the Ypres Salient, between the Fifth Army of the British Expeditionary Force and the German 4th Army. During the Battle of Langemarck (1917) (16–18 August), the British had advanced north of the village but had been defeated further south and failed to capture the Wilhelmstellung, the third German defensive position. At a conference with the Fifth Army corps commanders on 17 August, Gough arranged for local attacks to gain jumping-off positions for a general attack on 25 August. At the Action of the Cockcroft on 19 August, XVIII Corps assisted by the 1st Tank Brigade, had captured five German fortified farms and strongpoints for only 27–28 casualties.

    The attack on 22 August was much bigger and costly attack which advanced the British front line up to 600 yd (550 m) in places on a front of 2 mi (3.2 km) but failed to reach the more distant objectives. On 24 August, a German Gegenangriff (methodical counter-attack) recaptured Inverness Copse and the bigger British attack due on 25 August was cancelled. It began to rain again on 23 August and on 26 August torrential rain flooded the battlefield again. Haig transferred responsibility for the offensive to General Herbert Plumer and the Second Army. The Fifth Army continued with minor operations and on 27 August, the Springfield and Vancouver blockhouses were captured by tanks and 48th (South Midland) Division troops but most were costly failures.

    The Battle

    XIX Corps

    In the 15th (Scottish) Division area, supported by patrols from the 47th Division south of the Ypres–Roulers railway, the 45th Brigade on the right was to attack behind four tanks, a creeping barrage and overhead fire from 32 machine-guns but the tanks ditched on the Frezenberg–Zonnebeke road short of the front line.[26] As soon as the infantry advance began, German artillery-fire fell on a line from Frezenberg to Square Farm, followed by machine-gun fire on the attacking troops and on the support and reserve troops even before they left their trenches. The 13th Battalion, Royal Scots (13th RS) and the 11th Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (11th ASH) were supported by the 6th Battalion, Cameron Highlanders (6th Cameron). As soon as the advance began, German small-arms fire became so dense that runners could not go back or reinforcements move forward. Recognition flares were seen later at Potsdam, Borry Farm and Vampir Farm but nothing else was known of their progress. Survivors retreated to join the 6th Cameron along the track running north-west from the Railway Dump to Beck House.[27]

    On the left flank, the 8th Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders (8th Seaforth) and the 7th Cameron of the 44th Brigade, were to be preceded by six tanks but four of them bogged on the start line west of Pommern Redoubt. The infantry were caught by machine-gun fire on the start line and on the right some parties confused the Steenbeek with the Zonnebeke stream and lost direction. It was thought that the company advanced east of Beck House and were then caught by machine-gun fire from behind and annihilated. The advance of the left company of the 8th Seaforth was costly but got to within 40 yd (37 m) of Iberian Farm and the support company went forward to reinforce by rushes from shell-hole to shell-hole and reached the forward company despite many casualties, linking with the 7th Cameron on the left. The 7th Cameron had reached the crest of Hill 35 where the advance was stopped by machine-gun fire from Gallipoli and the troops dug in.[28][b] Iberian Farm had not been captured by the 8th Seaforth and the machine-gunners in the blockhouse fired on the 7th Cameron troops on Hill 35. The 8th Seaforth made several attempts to outflank Gallipoli but all failed. To the left of the 7th Cameron, the six pioneer platoons detailed to consolidate Hill 35 had advanced via Pommern Redoubt and then began to dig a defensive flank north-east from Pommern to Hill 35 and then north-west to Somme Farm. As the trenches were dug, fewer casualties were suffered.

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    Relief map of the XIX Corps area on Frezenberg Ridge showing villages, roads, German strongpoints and the eventual British advance on 20 September

    XVIII Corps

    The 143rd and 144th brigades of the 48th Division were to attack with an advance guard of tanks followed by a thin wave of infantry, to mop up German positions and capture the St Julien–Polcappelle road. On the right flank, a protective barrage began at 4:45 a.m. and ten tanks drove out of St Julien. Six tanks advanced eastwards up the road to Winnipeg followed by the 1/5th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment (1/5th Warwick) but the tanks were knocked out or bogged at Janet Farm. Four tanks drove along the St Julien–Polcappelle road and enabled the 1/5th Warwick to capture the Springfield strongpoint (recaptured in a German counter-attack). The infantry attacked the gun pits and captured Winnipeg further on, lost Winnipeg to a counter-attack then recaptured it but the German artillery and machine-guns prevented the British infantry in support from getting forward to reinforce the attacking troops. On the left flank the 1/6th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment (1/6th Gloucester) of the 144th Brigade managed to advance close to the Zonnebeke–Langemarck road in touch with the 1/5th Warwick and the tanks on the St Julien–Polcappelle road attacked Vancouver, which was captured at 8:15 a.m., then recaptured. The division had managed to get about half-way to the objective and during the night, outposts were pushed forward closer to the St Julien–Polcappelle road.

    On the northern flank, the 11th Division attacked with the 6th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment (6th Lincoln) and the 6th Battalion, Border Regiment (6th Border) of the 33rd Brigade, to reach the White House and join the 38th Division on the right flank of XIV Corps in the Wilhemstellung. On the right flank, two tanks were to lead an advance of 2,500 yd (2,300 m) to attack Bülow Farm, the most distant of the XVIII Corps objectives. The tanks followed the creeping barrage out of St Julien on the Poelcappelle road followed by the Lincoln and drove to the Vancouver blockhouse. The tank crews found that the Germans had cut down the tree trunks lining the road and managed to drive over the obstacles, machine-gunning as they went and found that the Lincoln had already arrived and begun their attack and been pinned down by machine-gun fire from Bülow Farm. The first tank was hit by a shell and blocked most of the road but the second tank managed to drive round and attack the farm, which was captured. The Lincoln formed a defensive flank through Keerselare along the St Julien–Poelcappelle road, to link with the 48th Division and on the left flank, the 6th Border managed to keep up with the barrage and reach the final objective, gaining touch with the 38th Division in the XIX Corps area close to the White House

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    II Corps

    At 7:00 a.m. the 43rd Brigade of the 14th (Light) Division (II Corps) on the Gheluvelt Plateau, attacked Inverness Copse and the open ground to the north. One battalion got into Inverness Copse south of the Menin road with few losses and defeated the 5th Company of II Battalion, Infantry Regiment 67 (IR 67). At about 8:00 a.m. the château south of the road was captured and 60 prisoners taken. The companies of IR 67 were almost obliterated in the fighting but reduced the British party to about 90 men. The advance of the second battalion was caught in machine-gun fire from Inverness Copse, lost the barrage and was forced under cover. Three of the supporting tanks bogged down but the fourth forced the Germans from Inverness Copse and the second battalion managed to move up another 200 yd (180 m) but was still far short of the objective. IR 67 sent the I Battalion to counter-attack which found the survivors of II Battalion in the Albrechtstellung and took them forward. The British were far too depleted to repulse the attack and fell back to the western edge of the Copse. Reinforced by a fresh battalion, the British managed to hold a line about 250 yd (230 m) south of the Menin road and gained touch with the battalion to the north. At around 5:00 p.m., two companies of III Battalion, IR 67 in the Albrechtstellung advanced into the copse but a counter-attack had to be postponed.

    In the History of the Great War the official historian, J. E. Edmonds, wrote that the 15th (Scottish) Division had 2,071 casualties, 1,052 casualties in the 44th Brigade and 1,019 in the 45th Brigade, the 61st Division lost 914 men in the attack and during German counter-attacks on 23 August. From 22 to 24 August, the 43rd Brigade, 14th (Light) Division had 1,523 casualties. Prior and Wilson wrote in 1996 that in the XVIII and XIX corps attacks, the British suffered 3,000 casualties. In 2014, R. A. Perry used the figures from the Official History.

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    The Handley Page O/100 heavy bomber captured by the Germans on 1st January of this year crashes at Johannisthal aerodrome.

    A total of 1669 British lives were lost on this day

    Second Lieutenant Thomas Wardlaw Horne (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed at age 20. He is the only surviving son of Thomas Home, Writer to the Signet and a cousin of General ‘Lord’ Home. In April 1915 he was sent to Gallipoli, landing at Anzac Cove serving in the Peninsula until he is severely wounded the following August. In 1916 he is given a commission in the Seaforth Highlanders and serves with them in Flanders, until fever causes his return to England. He then acts for some time as Musketry Instructor in Ireland, but returned to France this month, and has only been a few days with his Regiment, when he falls, leading his platoon in the first wave of an attack near Ypres. There are no survivors of his Company, which gets to the enemy second line and is then surrounded. Among those lost is...
    Private Gilbert L Matheson (Seaforth Highlanders). His brother was killed less than one month previously.
    Private James MacGregor (Seaforth Highlanders) who has two brothers who will lose their lives next year.
    Able Seaman James Harold Easter (HM Trawler Sophron, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve) dies of wounds received when his ship strikes a mine, blows up and sinks. He is the eldest son of the Pastor of Over Baptist Chapel and is a Baptist pastor himself. He is a conscience objector who later joins the Navy.
    Captain Charles Lancelot Chapman MC (Royal Artillery) is killed at age 25. His sister will die serving in the Voluntary Aid Detachment next August.

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    Charles Chapman MC

    10 Airmen are amongst those lost on this day

    Lt. Buckeridge, G.D. (Guy Dennis) 51 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Kennedy, H.A.T. (Henry Alexander Taylor) 40 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Keyser, R.N. (Richard Norman) RFC
    Capt. Neale, J.E.D. (John Everard Digby) RFC
    2nd Lt. Nicholson, G.A.S. (Geoffrey Alec Shield) 6 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Power, H.R. (Henry Richard) 48 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Smith, A.L. (Arthur Leslie) RFC
    AM 2 Wadsworth, R.H. (Ronald H.) 63 Squadron RFC
    2nd. Lt. Williams, W.H.T. (William Harold Trant) No.2 Aircraft Depot, Scout School attached 29 Squadron RFC
    Flt. Sub Lt. Woodall, A.S. (Aubrey Samuel) RNAS


    The following aerial victory claims were made... and again its a busy day for 48 Squadron and their Bristol Fighters (more of this can be found at the forthcoming Doncaster annual gathering where we shall see more of 48 Squadron and their running battles with the Albatrosses of the German Jasta's)

    Godwin Brumowski Austro-Hungarian Empire #19
    Frank Linke-Crawford Austro-Hungarian Empire #2
    Edmond Thieffry Belgium #8
    George Anderson Canada #2
    Robert Dodds Canada #2 48 Squadron (Bristol F2B)
    Albert Earl Godfrey Canada #14

    Charles Robert Reeves Hickey
    Canada #1

    The son of Major Robert H. F. and Charlotte E. Hickey, Charles Robert Reeves Hicky, like his father, served with the 11th Canadian Mounted Rifles before he transferred to the Royal Naval Air Service. He was posted to 4 Naval Squadron in August 1917. A Sopwith Camel pilot, he scored 4 victories before the Royal Air Force was formed on 1 April 1918. On 21 April 1918, he forced down a Rumpler C near Wulpen and after landing beside it, was attempting to protect his prize from Belgian citizens when the German aircraft exploded killing several bystanders and injuring Hickey. A month later, he was back in action, scoring twelve more victories before he was killed in a mid-air collision with another Sopwith Camel.

    Reginald Hoidge Canada #18
    Harold Kerby Canada #9
    Andrew McKeever Canada #12
    Geoffrey Bowman England #15 11 Squadron (Bristol F2B)
    Robert Coath England #6 #7 48 Squadron (Bristol F2B)
    Ralph Curtis England #9 #10 48 Squadron (Bristol F2B)

    Edward Barfort Drake England #1

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    Flight Sub-Lieutenant Edward Barfort Drake received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 3907 on 26 October 1916. Scoring his 4th victory on the evening of 27 June 1918, he shot up a Pfalz D.III over Warfusée. His opponent, Helmut Steinbrecher, jumped from the burning plane, becoming the first pilot to successfully deploy a parachute in combat. Two months later, Drake was reported missing in action. It was supposed that his Sopwith Camel (E4376) was shot down by ground fire.

    Philip Fletcher Fullard
    England #27
    Geoffrey Hemming England #4 #5 #6
    Alwyne Loyd England #4
    Norman MacGregor England #4
    William Reginald Guy Pearson England #5
    Valentine Reed England #7 48 Squadron (Bristol F2B)
    Alexander Roulstone England #6

    Adrian Tonks England #1 #2

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    Flight Sub-Lieutenant Adrian James Boswell Tonks received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 4206 on a Maurice Farman biplane at Royal Naval Air Station, Cranwell on 28 December 1916.

    Lieut. (T./Capt.) Adrian James Boswell Tonks (Sea Patrol).
    A brave and determined airman who has destroyed four enemy aeroplanes and driven down six out of control. In a recent engagement with twelve enemy scouts he destroyed one and drove off others who were attacking some pilots in his flight. In these combats he expended all his ammunition, but seeing three enemy machines attacking one of ours, he, with great gallantry, dived amongst them with a view to distracting their attention. In this he succeeded. A courageous and meritorious action.

    Lieut. (A./Capt.) Adrian James Boswell Tonks, D.F.C. (Sea Patrol, FLANDERS)
    Since 28th September this officer has led eleven low bombing raids, displaying conspicuous courage and skill, and inflicting serious damage on enemy from low altitudes. During bombing raids Capt. Tonks has destroyed two enemy machines, proving himself a bold and daring fighter.
    (D.F.C. gazetted 2nd November, 1918.)

    Thomas Tuffield England #2 48 Squadron (Bristol F2B)

    Henri Hay de Slade France #3
    Hans Hoyer Germany u/c
    Julius Schmidt Germany #12
    Kurt Student Germany #5

    Karl Thom Germany #1

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    Thom was wounded in action on 23 December 1917, 11 August 1918 and badly injured in a crash landing on 9 November 1918.

    Leutnant Karl Thom (19 May 1893 – 3 March 1945), was a German World War I fighter ace credited with 27 victories. He was decorated with both his nation's highest decorations for valor, the Military Merit Cross as an enlisted soldier, and the Pour le Mérite after he was commissioned as an officer. He was one of only four German aces of World War I to achieve this double award. Karl Thom was born the son of a field hand. He began his military service by enlisting in 1911 with Hussar Regiment Number 5. He was serving with Mounted Rifle Regiment Number 10 when World War I began. He was wounded for the first time in November 1914. Upon his recovery, Thom transferred to the Air Service. His first assignment after training was piloting a two-seater reconnaissance plane for FFA 216. He patrolled in the vicinity of Vosges until he was injured in a crash in May 1916. Upon recovery, he was reassigned to FFA 48. He was captured there when forced down. He was awarded the Iron Cross First Class for his subsequent escape. He returned to duty for a brief tour with FFA 234 before transferring again.

    Despite being a Prussian, he was assigned to a Saxon fighter unit, Jagdstaffel 21, in May 1917. He joined his new squadron at approximately the same time as its new leader, Staffelführer Eduard Ritter von Schleich, who took charge on 26 May.

    He marked his Albatros airplane's fuselage with a large black capital block 'T' with pronounced serifs to identify himself in the air. The 'T' was in addition to the customary squadron marking of a vertical black stripe and a vertical white stripe just aft of the cockpit; the 'T' itself was on the outside wall of the cockpit.[9] Thom reeled off a string of 11 victories, including a triple win on 18 September, and doubles on 19 and 22 September. October brought changes, as Jasta 21 received Oskar Freiherr von Boenigk as the new commanding officer[6] and Fokker D.VIIs as new airplanes to replace the Albatros D.Vs that had been the squadron's craft. On 11 October, Thom was awarded the Military Merit Cross, Prussia's and Germany's highest decoration for valorous enlisted men. He had previously been awarded the Member's Royal House Order of Hohenzollern. Thom scored only once that month, on 29 October. November was a blank. He next scored on 1 December, with one confirmed and one unconfirmed victory. On 23 December, Thom was wounded in action. He took a bullet in the leg while undertaking the usually hazardous duty of attacking an observation balloon. He was not successful in his assault, or would he ever shoot down one of the gasbags. Thom's return to the victory rolls roughly coincided with Jasta 21's adoption of Fokker D.VIIs, replacing its Albatros D.Vs. Thom shot down five enemy aircraft in June, beginning with his 15th win overall on 11 June. July saw him victorious six more times, Including the youngest son of President Theodore Roosevelt, Quentin Roosevelt on Bastille Day, July 14, 1918. He capped his career with a triumph each on 1 and 4 August. With 27 victories confirmed, he became the leading ace for Jasta 21. All but four of his victories were against the French. On 11 August, he was severely wounded in the hip and remanded to hospital. He was also commissioned on 11 August 1918. On 1 November, while he was still in the hospital, he was awarded the Pour le Mérite, Germany's highest award for commissioned officers. On 6 November, he rejoined Jasta 21. Three days later, he crashed, suffering multiple fractures. Two days after that, the Armistice ended World War I.

    Rudolf Wendelmuth Germany #5

    Guglielmo Fornagiari Italy #1

    Edwin Hayne South Africa #1

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    A Sopwith Camel pilot, Edwin Tufnell Hayne joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1916. Posted to 3 Naval Squadron (later 203 Squadron) in 1917, he scored his first victory in August, shooting down an Albatros D.V south of Middelkerke. In 1919, Hayne was killed in a crash while flying a Bristol Fighter. Living in Johannesburg, South Africa, before the war; attended King Edward VII School, at Johannesburg.

    Flt. Sub-Lieut, (now Flt. Lieut.) Edwin Tufnell Hayne, R.N.A.S.
    In recognition of his services with a Wing of the R.N.A.S. at Dunkirk between March and September, 1917. He has had numerous engagements with enemy aircraft and on the 16th August, 1917, attacked an enemy aerodrome and placed a whole flight of machines out of action by machine-gun fire. During a flight of over two hours, during which time he attacked transport and railways, he never exceeded a height of 1,000 feet.

    Lieut. (Hon. Capt.) Edwin T'ufnell Hayne, D.S.C. (late R.N.A.S.).
    During the recent enemy offensive this officer carried out forty-eight special missions. Flying at extremely low altitudes he has inflicted heavy casualties on massed troops and transport. In addition he has accounted for ten enemy machines, destroying three and driving down seven out of control; in these encounters he has never hesitated to engage the enemy, however superior in numbers. On one occasion he observed ten hostile aeroplanes harassing three Dolphines; he attacked three of the enemy, driving one down in flames.

    William MacLanachan Scotland #4
    Gerald Maxwell Scotland #13 #14
    Richard Maybery Wales #9

    Western Front

    heavy fighting on Ypres front; British line advanced 500 yards on 1-mile front. Also advance 0.25 mile on 2.5 mile front (objective Lens).

    Aeroplane raid on Dover, Ramsgate and Margate; 12 killed, 25 injured.

    Zeppelin destroyed by naval forces off Jutland.

    Eastern Front

    At Raggazen (Gulf of Riga) Russians retire from 3 to 8 miles, to shorten line.

    Situation unchanged on Romanian front, where fighting continues.

    Southern Front

    Fierce fighting in Carso region.

    Italian progress on both right and left wings.

    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres

    War Office reports Turkish defeat in Hejaz.

    Political, etc.

    Earl Grenville appointed Minister at Athens.

    Capt. Tunstill's Men: L.Cpl. Thomas Ward (see 28th July) was drowned whilst the Battalion was bathing in the river near Moulle. The circumstances were described in detail in submissions to the Court of Enquiry which would be held the following day. The Enquiry would be chaired by second-in-command, Maj. Edward Borrow (see 5th August), sitting with Capt. Bob Perks DSO (see 11th August) and 2Lt. Charles George Edward White (see 12th August). The three witnesses called before the Enquiry were Capt. Adrian O’Donnell Pereira (see 9th August), Sgt. William Alfred Walmsley Gaunt (see 25th April) and Capt. Stanhope Bayne Jones (see 21st August), who had been attached to the Battalion as Medical Officer the previous day in the absence on leave of Capt. Cecil Berry (see 21st August).

    Capt. Pereira reported that, “At 2pm 22/8/17 I marched my “B” Company to the river at Moulle, guided by a L/Cpl. who knew the recognised bathing place. I divided the Company into two parties – swimmers and non-swimmers. I was uncertain of the depth of the pool for non-swimmers and gave orders to Sgt. Gaunt that no one unable to swim should get into the water until the depth had been tested. I was going across to fetch three good swimmers to test the depth of the non-swimmers pool when I heard a shout and, on returning, saw L/Cpl. T. Ward in the water swimming towards the bank and shouting for help. A man who was already in the water swam to L/Cpl. Ward to help him but L/Cpl. Ward sank and did not reappear. Within half a minute four men were in the water searching for L/Cpl. Ward; his body was found about three quarters of an hour later”.

    Sgt. Gaunt told the Enquiry that, “At about 2.45pm on 22/8/17 I was with “B” Company at the bathing place at Moulle. On arrival there Capt. Pereira issued the order for all men who could not swim to fall out; and pointed out a pool where they might bathe and issued an order that no one was to enter the water until the depth had been tested. No.17389 L/Cpl. T. Ward came to me; I asked him if he could swim, warning him that he must not enter the water unless he could swim. He then told me he could swim and entered the water, walking out till the water was up to his chest; then he swam about six strokes, turned round and started to swim back to the bank. He had only taken about six strokes when he shouted for help; another man was swimming near him and and swam within a foot of L/Cpl. Ward but L/Cpl. Ward sank without struggling and did not reappear. Within half a minute Capt. Bolton (see 20th August), OC “A” Company, and about four other men had plunged into the water to search for L/Cpl. Ward”.

    Capt. Bayne-Jones stated, “At about 3pm 22/8/17 I was in attendance at the bathing place at Moulle to examine Companies of 10th Duke of Wellington’s Regiment for scabies. On my arrival I heard a man had been drowned; his body was found about 3.30pm. I saw him as soon as he was brought ashore and under my direction artificial respiration was continued for two hours, when oxygen was obtained from St. Omer and applied without avail. At about 6pm I had the body removed to the mortuary at No.10 Stationary Hospital at St. Omer. I formed the opinion during the time that artificial respiration was being applied that death was due to primary heart failure, possibly consequent on the man entering the water in a heated condition after a big meal”.

    The Enquiry found that “the death of L/Cpl. T. Ward was due to drowning from heart failure; that it was purely accidental; that all due precautions had been taken; that no one is to blame; and that it occurred whilst in the performance of his duty”. The findings were endorsed by both Lt.Col. Francis Washington Lethbridge (see 18th August) and Brig. Genl. Lambert.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  31. #2681

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    That is one massive edition Chris.
    Thanks for a sterling effort.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  32. #2682

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    lol thanks, got carried away - kept finding more.. easy when you are not at work and the fridge has a plentiful supply of cold craft beer

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  33. #2683

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    As I sit here amidst a typical summer's evening (i.e. the rain is hammering off the window) - lets see what we can unearth today...

    Lets start with a Victoria Cross being awarded....

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    Filip Konowal VC (Ukrainian: Пили́п Миронович Конова́л; Pylyp Myronovych Konoval; 15 September 1888 – 3 June 1959) was a highly decorated Ukrainian Canadian soldier. He is the only Eastern European recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy given to British and Commonwealth forces. He was also entitled to the Cross of St George, 4th Class.

    He is the patron of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 360 (Konowal Branch) in Toronto.

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    Konowal was born to a peasant family on 15 September 1888 in Kutkivtsi, in the Podolia Governorate of the Russian Empire (now Ukraine) near the border with Austria-Hungary. At an early age, he worked as a mason alongside his father. He married Hanna (?-1932/33) in 1908. They had a daughter, Marichka. Soon after his marriage, he decided to join the Imperial Russian Army, where he served as an instructor in hand-to-hand combat. After demobilization, Konowal returned home and took up work as a feller in Siberia, before accepting a job with a Canadian company in 1913. Departing from Vladivostok, Konowal crossed the Pacific Ocean to Vancouver, British Columbia, and continued working as a feller, gradually making his way east. By the beginning of 1914, Konowal had lost his job as a feller and ended up working a series of odd jobs until the outbreak of World War I. On 12 July 1915, Konowal enlisted in the 77th Canadian Infantry Battalion, and on 19 June 1916, left Halifax for Liverpool. After arriving in England, Konowal was promoted to acting corporal and was transferred to the 47th (British Columbia) Battalion of the 4th Canadian Division. In August 1916, the 4th Division arrived in France, and took part in the assault on Vimy Ridge in April 1917. From 22–24 August 1917, during the Battle of Hill 70 in Lens, France, he was recognized for conspicuous gallantry in the face of the enemy and awarded the Victoria Cross.[2] Konowal's medal was personally presented by King George V, and he was promoted to sergeant.

    The citation was published in a supplement to the London Gazette of 23 November 1917 (dated 26 November 1917):[3]

    No. 144039 A./Cpl. Filip Konowal, Can. Inf.

    For most conspicuous bravery and leadership when in charge of a section in attack. His section had the difficult task of mopping up cellars, craters and machine-gun emplacements. Under his able direction all resistance was overcome successfully, and heavy casualties inflicted on the enemy. In one cellar he himself bayonetted three enemy and attacked single-handed seven others in a crater, killing them all. On reaching the objective, a machine-gun was holding up the right flank, causing many casualties. Cpl. Konowal rushed forward and entered the emplacement, killed the crew, and brought the gun back to our lines. The next day he again attacked single-handed another machine-gun emplacement, killed three of the crew, and destroyed the gun and emplacement with explosives. This non-commissioned officer alone killed at least sixteen of the enemy, and during the two days' actual fighting carried on continuously his good work until severely wounded.

    In addition to the Victoria Cross, he was also awarded the British War Medal (1914–1920), Victory Medal (1914–1919), George VI Coronation Medal (1937), Elizabeth II Coronation Medal (1953), and was entitled to the Cross of St George, 4th Class, from Russia. The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 360 (Konowal Branch) in Toronto made him its patron in 1953. The Legion helped established the Konowal Prize, an annual scholarship grant at the Royal Military College of Canada.

    On 19 July 1919, Konowal accompanied Leontiy Diedek, a friend and fellow veteran, to a particularly rough area in Hull, Quebec. The two men went for dinner at a restaurant; Diedek left early in order to look at some bicycles at the home of William Artich, an 'Austrian' bootlegger and bicycle salesman. Konowal became aware of a commotion and went to investigate. A fight had started between Artich and Diedek. By the time Konowal arrived, Diedek had been viciously beaten and Artich was armed with a knife. Konowal managed to gain control over the weapon and killed Artich with a single stab to the chest.Konowal did not attempt to flee the scene; when police came, the First World War veteran stated, "I've killed fifty-two of them, that makes the fifty-third." Veterans rallied to his cause and raised enough money to bail Konowal in October 1919; the trial ended up being postponed three times, finally beginning in 1921. After extensive tests, it was discovered that Konowal was suffering from serious medical problems stemming from his war wounds: pressure on his brain was increasing and his condition was continually deteriorating. Medical experts unanimously agreed that a wartime gunshot wound to the head was likely making Konowal mentally unstable, causing flashbacks to the war's battles. The jury agreed and he was found not guilty by reason of insanity, then institutionalized for seven years. By the end of this period, his condition had improved dramatically, and he was released from a Montreal mental hospital in 1928. He eventually found employment as a caretaker at the House of Commons in Ottawa, with the help of a military associate. When Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King saw the colours of a Victoria Cross ribbon on Konowal while he was at work, King arranged for him to be reassigned to a lifetime job in King's personal office. Unfortunately, tragedy struck once again when Konowal attempted to contact his family: his wife had died during the Soviet famine of 1932–1933 (the Holodomor) and his daughter was nowhere to be found, though it was later reported she survived and left descendants. Konowal married a French-Canadian woman, Juliette Leduc-Auger (1901-1987), in 1934 and adopted her two sons, Roland and Albert. In 1956, he joined 300 other Victoria Cross recipients in London for events celebrating the honour's centennial, hosted by then British Prime Minister Anthony Eden and Queen Elizabeth II. Konowal died in 1959 at Hull, Quebec, aged 70. He was buried at Notre Dame de Lourdes Cemetery, Ottawa, under a headstone in section A, lot 502.

    Death at Herenthage Park

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    English Tank, destroyed on the 23rd of August 1917 by the assault company of 34th Infantry-Division. Herenthage Park.

    On 23 August at 4:00 a.m. a German attack by the 34. Infanterie-Division, in the 14th Division (II corps) area, from Inverness Copse to Glencorse Wood with bombers (handgrenades) and flame-thrower units, pushed the British back to the line of 22 August between Inverness Copse and Glencorse Wood. Despite a German bombardment falling short on German troops in Inverness Copse, the infantry advanced, reached the western edge, then fell back still under fire from German artillery. Another attempt in the afternoon, under a hail of fire from both artilleries, pushed the British out of the Copse to the western fringe, from the Menin road to the junction of Jargon Drive and a sunken road. It must have been during this fighting, shortly after the Battle of Langemarck, that this tank was taken out of action. Details are horrible and fascinating, its intriguing that the dead soldiers lying in the mud in front of the tank seem to be german. Lots of the equipment scattered around are german aswell, a Gewehr 98, lots of Stick grenades, a steel helmet. On the right there seems to be an Enfield rifle and someone placed a German bayonet and its scabbard at the rear of the tank. One can only guess what horrible scenes took place some hours before this image was taken.

    According to the “Landships Forum” the tank above should be either B3 “Bystander” or B5 “Bluebird”.

    B3 started at 4.30 am (158/839) and possibly proceeded towards Fitzeclarence Farm. It must have run into the German counter attack which started at 4.30 am (s35.p60). It engaged the enemy near Inverness Copse, inflicting severe casualties on them as they retired. It then suffered a direct hit (W22)(158/839).

    B5 and B33 also set off at 4.30 (158/839) as the German counter attack started s35.p60). Both tanks helped drive the enemy back, with heavy loss, into Jap Trench. B5 suffered 3 Direct hits and was abandoned (W22). 2nd Lt Colley was probably wounded as he died of his wounds in August (W2). B33 rallied (W22).

    The Green Crassier

    The failure of the 50th Battalion to take Aloof Trench in the engagement on the 21st August 1917 meant that the Germans retained a small salient in the area (A salient is where your line bulges into that of the enemy). On the evening of the 22nd August Currie met with Major General David Watson (4th Division) and Brigadier General Edward Hilliam (10th Brigade). Hilliam put forward the proposal that his Brigade would capture a position known as the Green Crassier (because of the vegetation growing on the slag). Taking this objective would complete the encirclement of Lens. Hilliam’s idea was to use a single Battalion (The 44th; from Manitoba) to drive a corridor through the German lines and capture the hill. This act it was hoped would cause the Germans to evacuate Lens. The three Canadian Generals seem to have been so mesmerized by the prospect of taking Lens that none of them appears to have considered what would happen to the 44th Battalion if the Germans remained as obstinate as they had after being assaulted by two Divisions.

    The attacking route required the Canadians to pass immediately to the right of the Fosse St Louis; one of the local pit heads. It was believed that the pit buildings had been cleared of Germans: the path towards the crassier could be quickly secured. This was essential if the small party sent forward was to be supplied with sufficient material to fortify the crassier.In fact the mine was extremely well held by a battalion of the 64th Reserve Infantry Regiment. In addition to the garrison strength the Germans had use of tunnels through which they could bring up reserves. In a report to 10th Brigade (dated the 26th August 1917), the 47th Battalion stated that they had mopped up Fosse 4 on the 22nd August but only because of the proximity of its location to their new position. The report goes on to explain that evidently there was some confusion between Fosse 4 and Fosse St Louis. The latter being an extremely well held building with tunnels that would accommodate up to two battalions. On the trench maps the complex is marked Puits 4, Fosse St Louis. Regardless of what Major Mills of the 47th Battalion might have thought, looking at the ruined buildings in front of him, the two names refer to the same mine. Fosse 4 (that is the entire colliery complex) was named St Louis. Unusually it only had the one pit (Puits) No 4. Unfortunately the Canadians were mixing their terminology. When 10th Brigade ordered the 47th Battalion to put a post in Fosse 4 they did; but apparently only in one of the buildings.

    As the men of the 44th Battalion gathered in their jumping off positions at 0100 hours a patrol brought in the news that they had found that the Fosse was held in depth. Lt Colonel Reginald Davies, commanding the Battalion, was forced, at short notice, to split his force. One company (In some reports it is named as D in others No 4) would be sent against the Green Crassier whilst two platoons would neutralise the mine buildings. As one of his four Companies was on loan to the 46th Battalion this left six platoons to mop-up and ensure the free flow of equipment forward. Zero hour was at 0300 hours on 23rd August 1917.

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    Advancing from the Arras Road behind their barrage No 4 Company made steady progress towards the crassier and within thirty minutes they had climbed its sides and secured themselves on its summit. There was no trench; no defences; just abandoned coal trucks and debris. Below and behind them the two platoons designated to take the mine were held at bay for over five hours by continual machine gun fire. At 0830 hours the Canadians finally managed to get into the Fosse buildings. The fighting though, was from finished as the Germans mounted counter attacks throughout the day. The buildings changed hands numerous times, echoing the fighting at Verdun or in a later war; Stalingrad. Having control of the tunnels meant that if necessary the Germans could simply withdraw to safety; then have their own artillery shell the Canadians and attack again. They eventually succeeded in throwing the Canadians out definitively. The supporting troops from No 1 Company (A Coy) seized Alpaca Trench but this did not extend quite as far as the crassier and with the intervening ground coming under constant fire it was impossible for those on top of the crassier to either retreat or receive desperately needed munitions and support. During the day the Germans repeatedly attacked the crassier from all sides. A forlorn and heroic stand was made by the survivors as they scraped holes into the coal slack but with limited ammunition and grenades with which to defend themselves the end was inevitable. By the afternoon of the 24th August the crassier was back in German hands. In this misguided assault the 44th Battalion lost 23 killed (the CWGC have 41 casualties for the day), 115 wounded and 118 men missing (including 70 taken prisoner on the crassier and a further 17 at Fosse St Louis). As Colonel Davies points out himself the assault had been conceived with the impression that Fosse St Louis was empty. It was only his own uncertainty that had led him to send out a reconnaissance patrol. Without that premonition the attacking platoons would have been swept by the flanking fire of the Fosse’s five machine guns.

    Both positions remained in German hands until they gave them up in the great retreat at the end of the war.

    The crassier still exists and it is still green. It forms part of the Parc de la Glissoir in Avion.

    The War in the Air

    It is a quieter day in the skies above the battle field, only five British airmen were lost on this day...

    Lt. Davidson, D.G.
    (David Grant) 11 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Foster, F.J. (Franklin James "Frank") 11 Squadron RFC
    AM 2 Murphy, C.W. (Charles William) 25th Kite Balloon Section, 5th Balloon Company
    Sgt. Randell, C.L. (Cosma Lake) 22 Squadron RFC
    AM 2 Smith, F.J. (Frederick J.) 55 Squadron RFC

    The following claims were made on this day...

    Godwin Brumowski Austro-Hungarian Empire #20 (certainly on a hot streak at the moment)
    Friedrich Hefty Austro-Hungarian Empire #1
    Frank Linke-Crawford Austro-Hungarian Empire #3
    George Brooke England #4

    Edward Denman Clarke England #1

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    The son of Alexander Felix and Alice Wilhelmina (Norwood) Clarke, Edward Denman Clarke was educated at Eton and, as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps, received a Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate on 22 August 1916. He was posted to 45 Squadron in 1917. He scored his first victory whilst flying two-seaters. He scored 5 more victories flying the Sopwith Camel before being wounded on 26 October 1917. In latter life Clarke was managing director of Saunders-Roe Ltd. and was made a CBE.

    Hans Auer Germany #4
    Oscar von Boenigk Germany #3

    Hans Böhning Germany #1

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    After serving in combat with an artillery regiment, Böhning transferred to the Fliegertruppe in 1916. He was injured in an accident on 17 July 1917. Two days after scoring his final victory, he was wounded in the hip when his Fokker D.VII was shotup in an engagement with a D.H.9 over Soriel. When he recovered, he assumed command of Jasta 32b eleven days before the Armistice was signed. Böhning was killed in a glider crash in 1934.

    Gisbert-Wilhelm Groos Germany #6

    Hans Hoyer Germany #1

    Leutnant Hans Hoyer was a German World War I soldier who was decorated as an artilleryman before turning to aviation. As a flyer, he became an ace credited with eight confirmed and three unconfirmed aerial victories before being killed in action while fighting for his nation. Hans Hoyer was born in Rostock on 20 September 1890; however he was Saxon. He performed his required military service in 1911, joining the First Field Artillery Regiment of the German Army. He rejoined for World War I, this time in the Kingdom of Saxony's Twelfth Field Artillery Regiment. Hoyer's valor while serving in field artillery won him the prestigious Knight's Cross of the Military Order of Saint Henry, awarded him on 30 November 1915.

    He transferred to the Luftstreitkräfte in April 1916. By May 1916, he was operational with a two-seater unit, Flieger Abteilung 10, and stayed with them through their transition into Feldflieger Abteilung 270. In May 1917, he left the unit to attend Jastaschule. After being trained there as a fighter pilot, he joined Jasta 36 in late July under command of Walter von Bülow-Bothkamp. Hoyer would serve as acting Staffelführer from 4 August to 21 August 1917.Flying against the Royal Flying Corps, Hoyer staked his first combat claim on 22 August 1917. By the time Bülow-Bothkamp took leave on 29 October, Hoyer's victory total stood at six confirmed and two unconfirmed. Bulow returned to command on 7 November, and Hoyer scored his eighth accredited victory the following day.On 15 November 1917, Hoyer was on patrol flying an Albatros D.V.[5] He was reported to have downed a Spad before being shot down and killed 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers) northeast of Tenbrielen, Belgium at 1215 hours. It is uncertain whether he fell to a Spad, or under the guns of Philip Fullard

    Antonio Amantea Italy u/c
    Ivan Smirnov Russia #4

    Meanwhile away from the war - there was trouble back in the United States. (alas it is a story that one could see on the evening news today given the racial tensions in some parts of the USA)

    Houston Riot of 1917

    The Houston riot of 1917, or Camp Logan riot, was a mutiny by 156 African American soldiers of the Third Battalion of the all-black Twenty-fourth United States Infantry Regiment. It occupied most of one night, and resulted in the deaths of four soldiers and sixteen civilians. The rioting soldiers were tried at three courts-martial. A total of nineteen would be executed, and forty-one were given life sentences.

    Almost from the arrival of the Twenty-fourth Infantry in Houston, the presence of black soldiers in the segregated Texas city caused conflict. The Jim Crow laws had not been enforced when the Twenty-fourth was deployed in Columbus, New Mexico, but in Houston the soldiers encountered segregated street cars and white workers at Camp Logan who demanded separate tanks of drinking water. Soldiers from the Twenty-fourth were involved in a number of "clashes" with city police, several of which resulted in the soldiers receiving minor injuries. Around noon August 23, 1917, Lee Sparks and Rufus Daniels, two Houston police officers, broke up a craps game on a street corner in Houston's predominantly-black San Felipe district by firing warning shots. Sparks, searching for the fleeing suspects, entered the house of local resident Sara Travers. He did not find the suspect but, after exchanging words with Travers, struck her and dragged her outside in her nightgown. As Sparks and Daniels called in the arrest from an area patrol box, they were approached by Private Alonzo Edwards. Edwards offered to take custody of Travers, but was pistol-whipped repeatedly by Sparks and then arrested. Later that afternoon, Corporal Charles Baltimore approached Sparks and Daniels in the same neighborhood to inquire about the status of Edwards. Sparks struck Baltimore with his pistol and fired three shots at him as he fled into a nearby home. Sparks and Daniels pursued Baltimore, eventually finding him under a bed. They pulled him out, beat him, and placed him under arrest. A rumour reached the camp of the Twenty-fourth that Baltimore had been shot and killed. The soldiers immediately began meeting in small groups to discuss plans to march on Houston and attack the police. An officer from the Twenty-fourth retrieved an injured, but wounded, Baltimore from the police station, which seemed to calm the soldiers for the moment.

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    The officers of the Twenty-fourth continued to receive reports of impending trouble from the angry soldiers. Major K.S. Snow revoked all passes for the evening and ordered the guard to be increased, but later that evening he stumbled upon a group of men stealing ammunition from one of the supply tents. He ordered the men to assemble without arms and warned them that it was "utterly foolish, foolhardy, for them to think of taking the law into their own hands." One of the men, who had smuggled his rifle into the formation, fired it and cried out that a mob was approaching the camp. At this point, order broke down completely and the soldiers mobbed the supply tents, grabbing rifles and ammunition.

    The soldiers began firing indiscriminately into the surrounding buildings. After several minutes of shooting, Sergeant Vida Henry ordered the men in the area – about 150 – to fill their canteens, grab extra ammunition, and fall in to march on Houston. The group marched through neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city, firing at houses with outdoor lights. They fired on a car with two white occupants, but let a second car with black occupants leave unharmed. They marched nearly two and a half miles, all the way to the San Felipe district, before they encountered any police officers. Due to the disorganization of the police department, officers had only been sent out in small numbers so the first police casualties occurred when a group of six officers stumbled upon the entire column of soldiers. Two policemen (including Rufus Daniels) were killed immediately, and one later died of wounds he had sustained. The soldiers stopped a car carrying two policemen, who were disarmed and shot. A few blocks later, an open-topped car carrying a man in an olive-drab uniform approached the column. Believing this to be the uniform of a Houston mounted policeman, the soldiers opened fire only to discover later that they had killed Captain Joseph W. Mattes of the Illinois National Guard. The killing of a military officer drove home the seriousness of their actions and the pending consequences. Many soldiers began to desert the group, and Sergeant Henry led the remainder on a march to return to camp. Just outside the San Felipe district, Henry shook hands with the remaining soldiers and informed them that he planned to kill himself after they left. Henry's body was found in the area the next day. By the time the shooting had stopped, 17 people were dead (four police officers, nine civilians, and two soldiers). One soldier and a police officer later died from wounds sustained during the riot, and one soldier died from wounds sustained during his capture the next day. All of the wounds received by soldiers the night of the riot were the result of accidental shootings by fellow soldiers.

    The next morning, Houston was placed under martial law. The remaining soldiers in the Twenty-fourth's camp were disarmed, and a house-to-house search discovered a number of soldiers hiding in the San Felipe district. Soldiers in local jails were turned over to the Army, and the Third Battalion was sent by rail back to New Mexico. In the ensuing Court Martial, almost two hundred witnesses testified over twenty-two days and the transcripts of the testimony covered more than two thousand pages. Author Robert V. Haynes suggests that General John Wilson Ruckman was “especially anxious for the courts-martial to begin”.Ruckman had preferred the proceedings take place in El Paso, but eventually agreed to allow them to remain in San Antonio. Haynes posits the decision was made to accommodate the witnesses who lived in Houston, plus “the countless spectators” who wanted to follow the proceedings Ruckman “urged” the War Department to select a “prestigious court”.Three brigadier generals were chosen, along with seven full colonels and three lieutenant colonels. Eight members of the court were West Point graduates. The court contained a geographic balance between northerners, southerners and westerners. The Departmental Judge Advocate General, Colonel George Dunn, reviewed the record of the first court martial (known as “the Nesbit Case.”) and approved the sentences. He forwarded the documents materials to Gen. Ruckman on December 3. Six days later, thirteen of the prisoners (including Corporal Baltimore) were told that they would be hanged for murder, but they were not informed of the time or place. The court recommended clemency for a Private Hudson, but General Ruckman declined to grant it. Many soldiers were wrongly accused as witnesses were unable to identify or even distinguish which men had mutinied.

    The condemned soldiers (one sergeant, four corporals, and eight privates) were transferred to a barracks on December 10. That evening, motor trucks carried new lumber for scaffolds to some bathhouses built for the soldiers at Camp Travis near a swimming pool in the Salado Creek. The designated place of execution was several hundred yards away. Army engineers completed their work by the light of bonfires. The thirteen condemned men were awakened at five in the morning and brought to the gallows. They were hanged simultaneously, at 7:17am, one minute before sunrise. The scaffolds were disassembled and every piece returned to Fort Sam Houston. The New York Times, commenting on the clean-up operations, observed the place of execution and place of burial were “indistinguishable.” Only army officers and County Sheriff John Tobin had been allowed to witness the execution.Gen. Ruckman told reporters he had personally approved the death sentences and said that forty-one soldiers had been given life sentences and four received sentences of two and a half years or less. He said he was the one who chose the time and place for the executions. Military jurist Frederick Bernays Wiener has observed that Ruckman's approval and execution of the death sentences were “entirely legal” and “in complete conformity” with the 1916 Articles of War.

    A second court-martial, the "Washington" case, began six days later. Fifteen men of the Lower A Division were tried and five were sentenced to death. On January 2, 1918, Ruckman approved the sentences in a public statement. But a new rule, General Orders 167 (December 29, 1917), prohibited the execution of any death sentence until the Judge Advocate General (JAG) could review the sentence(s). (The JAG Boards of Review tasked with reviewing death sentences were created by a subsequent rule, General Orders 7 (January 7, 1918). Those boards, though they had advisory power only, were the Army's first appellate courts.

    While waiting for the JAG review to occur, Ruckman approved a third court-martial, the "Tillman" case, of forty more soldiers. On March 26, 1918, twenty-three of those forty soldiers were found guilty. Eleven of the twenty-three were sentenced to death and the remaining twelve to life in prison. On May 2, Ruckman approved the sentences.

    On August 31, 1918, President Wilson granted clemency to ten soldiers by commuting their death sentences to life in prison.Wilson issued a rare public statement in order that the basis of his action might be “a matter of record.” The President’s statement began by recounting the events that led to the deaths of “innocent bystanders” who were “peaceable disposed civilians of the City of Houston.”He noted the investigations that followed were “very searching and thorough.” In each of the three proceedings, the court was “properly constituted” and composed of “officers of experience and sobriety of judgment.” Wilson also noted “extraordinary precautions” were taken to “insure the fairness of the trials” and, in each instance, the rights of the defendants were “surrounded at every point” by the “safeguards” of “a humane administration of the law.” As a result, there were “no legal errors” which had “prejudiced the rights of the accused.”

    Wilson stated that he affirmed the death sentences of six soldiers because there was “plain evidence” that they “deliberately” engaged in “shocking brutality.” On the other hand, he commuted the remaining sentences because he believed the “lesson” of the lawless riot had already been “adequately pointed.” He desired the “splendid loyalty” of African American soldiers be recognized and expressed the hope that clemency would inspire them “to further zeal and service to the country.”

    Most importantly, from General Ruckman's standpoint, Wilson (a former law professor) wrote the actions taken by the former Commander of the Southern Department were “legal and justified by the record.” Indeed, the President agreed that “a stern redress” of the rioters' “wrongs” was the “surest protection of society against their further recurrence”. As historian Calvin C. Smith noted in 1991, there was no proof of a "conspiracy", and many of the sentenced were not conclusively identified in the dark and rainy night as having even participated in the riot. Whites who defended Houston from the illegal actions of the rioting blacks were not charged for their actions.On September 29, 1918, five more soldiers met their deaths at daybreak. One week later, the sixth was marched to the gallows.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  34. #2684

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    The phrase 'after the Lords Mayor's show' springs to mind... after a few days with some decent stories, plenty happening etc, today looks like it could be a bit brief, so I apologise in advance.

    24th August 1917


    Lets start with Capt. Tunstill's Men - at least there is some mileage in their daily update...

    Starting at 9.45am the Battalion marched three miles north-east to Watten, where they were due to board a train at 11am to travel the 23 miles east to Abele, south-west of Poperinghe. In fact the train did not leave until 2pm and the rail journey then took two and a half hours. From Abele they marched the short distance to Patricia Camp, on the road between Abele and Poperinghe. Lt. Col. Robert Raymer left to return to England, on leave in the first instance, though in fact he would never re-join the Battalion. He had been replaced as CO by Maj. Francis Washington Lethbridge (see 18th August), who would be promoted Acting Lieutenant Colonel.

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    Lt. Col. Robert Rayner

    L.Cpls. Arthur Lee MM (see 16th August) and William Edward Varley (see 3rd August) both began to be paid according to their rank, having previously held the post unpaid.

    Pte. Samuel Cordingley (see 12th August) was reported by Sgt. Willie Nichols (see 15th August) and Pte. Ben Pedder (see 12th August) as having overstayed his leave; he would return two days later and would forfeit two days’ pay on the orders of Lt.Col. Lethbridge.

    Pte. John Perrin (see 5th July) was admitted via 70th Field Ambulance and 3rd Canadian Casualty Clearing Station to 11th General Hospital at Camiers; he was suffering from ‘trench foot’.

    Pte. John James Cowling (see 3rd August), who had been wounded in January, was formally discharged from the Army, with the award of the Silver War Badge and a pension of 27s. 6d per week, to be reviewed after six months.

    A grant of probate was issued in respect of the estate of the late Pte. Harold Precious (see 4th July) who had died at the East Leeds War Hospital on 4th July, a month after being wounded; his estate was valued at the substantial sum of £2,144 13s. 5d. and was to be administered by his widow, Ann. The surviving effects of the late L Cpl. Leonard Green (see 20th August) were sent to his father, Arthur; they comprised simply of “letters, photos, card”. Having received so little his father would write to the War Office, asking for “the other things that he had because the few things that we have received were taken from his pocket wallet, in which he had the other things which we should like such as a silver ring which he wore”. The response of the War Office is not known, but, as in other cases, is likely simply to have informed the family of the difficulties associated with recovering any effects. The weekly edition of the Craven Herald carried a report regarding John Henry Hitchin (see 25th May 1916). He had been one of Tunstill’s original volunteers, before being granted a commission. However, he had subsequently been stripped of his commission having been absent without leave. He had subsequently re-enlisted, joining the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. It should be noted that, in contrast to what is reported in the article, there is no evidence among official records of the award to Military Medal to Hitchin.

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    Lance Corporal John Henry Hitchin

    During the fighting near Arras last May, whilst acting as messenger for a superior officer, Lance Corporal Hitchin (youngest son of Mr. John Hitchin, of Long Preston) of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, was severely wounded, but managed to run back with his return message although buried almost to the head with earth, a shell bursting near. He was recommended for the Military Medal and has received the ribbon; the medal is to follow later. The recipient is now on a fair way to recovery and is in a convalescent camp at Ballykinlar, near Newcastle, Co. Down.

    Official news was received last week of the death of Private Tom Hodgson, Grenadier Guards, B.E.F., France, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Hodgson, of Stephen Moor Lodge, Tosside. Private Hodgson was called up in September 1916, went out to France on March 5th 1917, and was killed in action on July 31st in his 20th year. Much sympathy is extended to Mr. and Mrs. Hodgson and family in their sad bereavement. This is Mr. and Mrs. Hodgson's second bereavement.

    Pte. J. Baggott, B.E.F., France, writes to Mr. and Mrs. Hodgson:- "I am sorry to have to write to you on such a sad occasion, but I thought it would be a great consolation for you to know that Tom was buried properly - the chaplain being present at his burial. Tom and I met in the train to join the Army. Since then we have always been the best of friends. I have never met a better fellow, doing all in his power to make everyone happy. His death came as a great shock to all of us who knew him. I was not with him at the time he was killed, being in another company, but I saw him buried. He was hit by a piece of shell just above the right hip. Tom seemed to have passed away very peacefully, the expression on his face being very peaceful. In your sad loss, Mr. and Mrs. Hodgson, I offer you and your family my deepest sympathy, praying and trusting that God will give you strength to bear you up in your great grief."

    654 British lives were lost on this day

    Major Tom Lowis Bourdillon MC (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 29. He is the son of ‘Sir’ James Austin Bourdillon former governor of Bengal.
    Captain Harold Cecil Round DSO MC (Rifle Brigade) becomes the last of three brothers to be killed in the Great War. He dies at age 21.
    Captain Noel Esmond Lee (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed in action at age 20. He is killed two years after his father Brigadier General Noel Lee, dies of wounds received in action at Krithia.
    Lieutenant Harold Sampson Kempthorne (Royal Field Artillery) is killed. He is the son of the Archdeacon of Waimea New Zealand.
    Lieutenant Hugh Delafosse Simpson (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend Robert Henry Bridges Simpson Vicar of Okewood.
    Chaplain Herbert Green MC (attached Indian Civil Service) dies on service at age 28.

    There was just the one RFC loss on this day

    AM 2 Booth, W. (William) 63 Squadron RFC

    back with more later - the dinner gong has sounded... and the washing up is now done

    There were only the two aerial victory claims on this day... both for the Italian Air Service

    Antonio Amantea Italy #2

    Antonio Riva Italy #1

    Antonio Riva was wounded in action on 12 November 1915 and 30 June 1916. In 1951, he was executed in Peking by Chairman Mao's government for "counter-revolutionary activities."

    Antonio Riva was born in Shanghai, China on 8 April 1896. Being of Italian heritage, he returned to Italy as World War I engulfed Europe. He volunteered as a reserve officer on 31 December 1914, before Italy entered the war. On 11 July 1915, he was commissioned a Sottotenente in the Italian Army's 70th Infantry Regiment. On 12 November 1915, he was wounded, not returning to duty until 16 March 1916. He was transferred to the 201st Infantry Regiment on 15 June 1916; on 30 June he was once again wounded in action. He returned to the front with the 44th Infantry Regiment on 22 August 1916. The next month, he went on leave; upon his return, he found himself bucked to the 49th Infantry Regiment. However, on 25 September 1916, he was accepted for pilot's training at San Giusto.

    Riva became a Tenente (Lieutenant) while in aviation training; his promotion was effective 25 February 1917. He completed his training in April 1917, while stationed in Foggia. His first assignment was to a reconnaissance two-seater unit, 29a Squadriglia. After just 12 sorties with them, he undertook fighter conversion training on Nieuports in June 1917. In July, he underwent gunnery school at San Giusto. On 19 July, he was posted to a fighter squadron, 73a Squadriglia. He transferred out to 71a Squadriglia at the end of July.

    Riva began his successes while flying a Nieuport 11 with this fighter squadron when he shared a victory with Antonio Amantea and another Italian pilot. The trio shot down Austro-Hungarian ace Julius Kowalczik in his Albatros D.III on 24 August 1917. Riva was promoted to Capitano on 31 October 1917. He switched over to command 78a Squadriglia on 12 November 1917 and changed mounts to a Hanriot HD.1. His next successes came on 26 December 1917, when he shot down a DFW reconnaissance plane solo, followed by a second win over another DFW, shared with Silvio Scaroni and three British pilots. A month later, on 27 January 1918, Riva teamed with Guglielmo Fornagiari for a fourth victory. On 15 June 1918, Riva became an ace. He and Amedeo Mecozzi teamed to down a Hansa-Brandenburg C.I. After a string of five unconfirmed claims, he would down two more planes in 1918, to bring his total to seven; he had an equal number of unconfirmed claims. Riva was assigned on 10 September 1918 as commanding officer to form a new squadron, 90a Squadriglia, equipped with a new fighter aircraft, the SVA 5. During this assignment, he continued to fly, and post his victory claims with, 78a Squadriglia. Antonio Riva ended World War I having been awarded the Silver Medal for Military Valor and the Knight's Cross of the Military Order of Savoy. On 1 February 1919, the Bongiovanni commission review of the aerial victories of the Italian Army's pilots confirmed seven of Antonio Riva's aerial victory claims. In 1920, Riva was stationed in China, placed in charge of the Chinese stopovers for a Rome to Tokyo flight. He was discharged in January 1921.

    Little is known of the next couple of decades, except that Riva remained in the Reserves of the Regia Aeronautica as late as February 1935. Antonio was executed in Beijing, People's Republic of China, by a firing squad in 1951, along with a Japanese citizen, Ruichi Yamaguchi. They were convicted of being involved in a plot to assassinate Mao Zedong and other high-ranking Communist officials. The plot allegedly involved attacking Mao and other officials atop Tiananmen Gate with a mortar on 1 October 1950, during National Day celebrations. However, there were several issues with the plot. Most obviously, the idea that two foreigners could carry a mortar all the way to Tiananmen Square during a large celebration seems highly improbable. The mortar seized from Riva's house was a nonfunctional part of an antique from the 1930s which could not have been used to attack anyone. Riva had found the antique in a junk pile outside the Holy See legation; the unfortunate priest whose house was next to the other parts of the mortar was imprisoned for life. A map of the square seized from Yamaguchi's house and used as evidence was actually commissioned by the Beijing Fire Department, to whom Yamaguchi was selling firefighting equipment. It was alleged that the ringleader of the plot was an American serviceman named David Barrett, but he was simply a neighbor to the two who had moved out a year before. In any case, the incident was used to banish the Holy See from China. Two decades later, PRC prime minister Zhou Enlai apologized to Barrett and invited him back to China.

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    Riva scored most of his victories in a Hanriot HD.1 similar to these.


    Western Front

    British advanced line forced back from positions gained on 22 August.

    Enemy post capture near Lombartzyde (coast section).

    French advance 1.5 miles on 2,000 yards front at Verdun, carrying Hill 304 and Bois Camard, reach south bank of Forges Brook, between Haucourt and Bethincourt, make progress north of Mort Homme.

    Official figures of enemy prisoners taken.

    Southern Front

    Italians occupy summit of Monte Santo and continue their advance towards eastern border of Bainsizza Plateau.

    Italian advance in this region four miles on 12.5 mile front.

    Battle further south dies down. Italians consolidating positions.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 08-24-2017 at 15:28.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  35. #2685

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    Is your Maj. Francis Washington Lethbridge any relative of Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge Stewart who took over a certain unit from Brigadier William Raymond with whom you may recall I am well acquainted.
    Kyte.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  36. #2686

    Default

    Looks like I'm back in the chair this weekend. I'll save my R&R for Doncaster, ah sunny Doncaster, the beach and warm water lapping round the lake, the dulset tones of the seagulls wheeling overhead. (NAH, in the museum doing what we do best eh lads?)

    Neil
    See you on the Dark Side......

  37. #2687

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Officer Kyte View Post
    Is your Maj. Francis Washington Lethbridge any relative of Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge Stewart who took over a certain unit from Brigadier William Raymond with whom you may recall I am well acquainted.
    Kyte.
    Lol I was thinking the same thing

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  38. #2688

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    Right - just time for a flying visit through the archives before I have to pack the car ahead of yet another holiday.....

    25th August 1917

    The passenger/cargo ship Malda (Captain Charles Davidson) is torpedoed and eventually sinks 130 miles west of Bishop Rock. Sixty-four are killed including 2nd Officer Arthur Benjamin Panes who is killed at age 26. His brother was killed in France in September 1915 and they are sons of the Reverend John Benjamin Panes Rector of Torver.

    The SS Malda was a British Liner Steamer of 7,884 tons built in 1913. On the 25th August 1917 when on route from Boston for London. The British Liner Malda SS, Capt. Charles Davidson, was torpedoed by a German submarine U-70 when 130 miles W. by S. of the Bishop Rock, Scilly Isles, on August 25th, 1917. The attack took place at 1.40 p.m. in a north-westerly gale, the ship being struck on the port sideand the engine-room flooded. She did not sink at once, however, and the submarine surfaced and endeavoured to contact the boats but could not make her demands known owing to the gale. Capt. Davidson set course for the Scillies but was picked up by a ship in an eastbound convoy and landed at Milford Haven. Meanwhile the first officer´s boat found the Malda still afloat and stood by in the hope of boarding her next morning, but the submarine again came on the scene and forced the boat to sail away. By morning the Malda had foundered. The boats reached land at various places and it was first reported that seven men had lost their lives, four of them were killed by the explosion, one died from exposure in the boats, and the remaining two were lost overboard. An official report published later, however, gave the number of lives lost as 64.

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    The Western Front

    On the 25th of August 1917 the 9th Black Watch made an unsuccesful attempt to capture Gallipoli (Farm), whilst the 10th Scottish Rifles attacked the Iberian farm. I don't have anything on the Black Watch but I do have the Scottish Rifles history but it's not very detailed (unusually) Much below strength on the 31st of July and since then further depleted, the 10th Battalion received a draft of 4 young officers and 227 other ranks just in time to post them to companies before moving back into the line to support attacks to be resumed on the 22nd of August. The plan was to capture the immensely strong concrete pill-boxes built into the ruined farm buildings known as Beck House, Iberian Farm and Gallipoli Farm. These structures could withstand a direct hit by a 6 inch shell. In the event the British barrages quite failed to subdue the enemy fire and the 45th and 44th Brigades which made the attack, being further impeded by the mud, sustained crippling casualties. A further attempt by the 44th Brigade to take Gallipoli Farm on the 25th of August was also a complete failure. The 10th Battalion, occupying the British front line, provided supporting fire during the attacks of the 22nd and 25th of August. A patrol from the battalion found Iberian Farm still strongly held on the night of the 25th/26th of August Yet a further attack on Gallipoli Farm by the 10/11th Highland Light Infantry on the 27th of August resulting in further casualties, the Germans being left in possesion of their observation, The 15th Division then returned to Arras. (Translated version).

    More information

    The Battle of Langemarck from 16–18 August 1917, was the second Allied attack of the Third Battle of Ypres in the First World War. The battle took place near Ypres in Belgian Flanders. The Allied attack succeeded in the north, from Langemarck to Drie Grachten but early advances in the south on the Gheluvelt Plateau, were forced back by German counter-attacks. Both sides were hampered by rain, which had a greater effect on the British who occupied lower-lying areas . The effect of the battle, the August weather and the successful but costly German defence of the Gheluvelt plateau during August led the British to revise their methods and main offensive effort, which led to the three big British successes of 20 and 26 September then 4 October. 16th Division had many casualties from the Germans in Potsdam, Vampire and Borry farms which had not been properly mopped up. The garrisons were able to shoot at the advancing British troops of 48th Brigade from behind and only isolated parties of British troops managed to reach their objectives. The 49th Brigade was also held up by Borry Farm which defeated several attacks. The left of the brigade got within 400 yards (370 m) of the top of Hill 37. The 36th Division also struggled to advance; Gallipoli and Somme farms were behind a new wire entanglement, with German machine-guns trained on the gaps made by the British bombardment, which stopped the advance of 108th Brigade. The infantry lost the barrage and were stopped by fire from Pond farm and Border House. On 27 August an attack by a brigade of the 23rd Division with two tanks, on a trench from the Menin road for 600 yards (550 m) through the western edge of Inverness Copse failed. Further north an attack by the 61st Division (XIX Corps) on a line from Schuler Farm – Gallipoli Farm failed and a 15th Division attack by a brigade on Gallipoli Farm also failed. This is Gallipoli Farm today - the original German Blockhouse can be seen to the left of the main building.

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    The War in the Air


    Godwin Brumowski Austro-Hungarian Empire u/c
    Frank Linke-Crawford Austro-Hungarian Empire u/c
    Bernard Beanlands Canada #2 #3

    Oliver Campbell Bryson England #1

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    John Milne England #7
    Hermann Göring Germany #12
    Josef Mai Germany #2
    Hans-Georg von der Osten Germany #2

    Keith Park New Zealand #10

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    Howard John Thomas Saint Wales #4

    3 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON SATURDAY AUGUST 25TH 1917

    Captain Bush, J.S.L. (John Stewart de-Lisle) 41 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Greenhous, E.B. (Ernest Brereton) 9 Squadron RFC
    AM 3 Metcalfe, J.G. (John George) 36th Balloon Section RFC

    On 25th August 1917 the first concrete step towards the Indianisation of the Army was initiated when seven selected Indians, serving the Army, were granted King's Commission in the Infantry and the Cavalry. Before the World War ended, two more Indians, who previously held temporary commissions, were granted King's Commission. The British Indian Army (also known as the Indian Army) was the main army of the British in India before 1947. This army was responsible for the defense of the British India and the Princely states (many of which had their own armies).

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    The term “Indianisation” meant the process of introducing Indians into the Commissioned ranks of the defence forces in India. The First World War saw the brave contribution of Indian troops who eventually looked forward to be treated equally like their British colleagues. Gradually, steps were taken towards that direction in the Army. Though unfortunately the replacement of British officers with Indians remained a matter of dispute for some time.

    Edwin Montagu, a British liberal politician and Secretary of State for India from 1917 to 1922 believed that it was not merely enough to observe principles, but it was important to act upon them as well. Montagu appreciated the services of the Indian members of the army at war and thought it was important that a number of commissions be given. He was against any kind of discrimination, neither in the army, nor in the Civil Service. On the other hand there was Lord Frederick Roberts, a British soldier and one of the most successful commanders of the 19th century, who while acknowledging the courage of the Indian soldiers at war, was convinced that they did not have what it took to create future leaders. Another influential person against the Indianisation of the Army was Claude Auchinleck, a British Army Commander during World War II and who eventually became the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army in 1941.

    It was in 1918, following the Montagu-Chelmsford report which laid down the foundation of self governance in India that the task of transferring the complete nationality of the Indian Army officer corps from British to Indian began; though self-governance was only a principle until World War II.The Montagu-Chelmsford report was a reward to the Indians for their trustworthy service during World War I. In 1921, Lord Rawlinson, a British World War I General observed that it would not be possible to vision a self-governing India without an Indianised army. Reason being that it would not be practical for India to be a self-governing nation with its army largely in the hands of the British. But as opposed to establishing a principle, the execution of it is another thing altogether.

    Three years after the Montagu-Chelmsford Report, nothing much had been done towards Indianisation of the army. Merely ten places each year were given to Indians at the Royal Military College in Sandhurst. It was in 1921 when the India Legislative Assembly demanded a future policy that the Military Recruitment Committee was established, with Lord Rawling as Chairman, who would establish a policy to set up for final Indianisation. It was after World War I that the process of Indianisation began. Lord Rawling believed that Indians soldiers needed to be given a fair opportunity to prove that they were effective as officers in the army in every way. Indian soldiers were promoted to higher ranks and Indian cadets were sent to the Royal Military Academy in England. Later, these newly trained officers were given full commission as a King’s Commissioned Indian Officers. These officers were equal in every way to the British and enjoyed complete authority over British troops.

    Capt. Tunstill's Men:
    A sunny but very windy and dusty day.

    A short notice change of plan saw the Battalion moved at 4.30pm by lorries six miles west to what was known as ‘New ****ebusch Camp’, just south-west of the village. This move was part of the British response to German counter-attacks over the previous twenty-four hours in the area around Inverness Copse.

    The Supplement to the London Gazette published citations for the awards of the Military Cross to officers of 10DWR during the actions of 7th - 9th June. Maj. Charles Bathurst MC (see 5th August) in recognition of his, “coolness and exceptional judgement in action … he was able, in spite of heavy casualties and severe fighting, to take over the frontage of another battalion at a time of difficulty and anxiety. His skilful leadership and power of control were most marked throughout the operation”. Capt. Alfred Percy Harrison MC (see 3rd August): “although wounded in the knee, continued to command and direct his company until all his objectives were obtained. By his devotion to duty he helped his battalion to secure its objectives and set a magnificent example to his men.” Rev. Wilfred Leveson Henderson MC (see 14th June): “Closely following up an attack, he worked without ceasing under very heavy shell fire for many hours, bandaging and succouring the wounded. Whilst carrying a wounded man back to the dressing station he was blown up by a shell and severely wounded in both thighs and back. His courage was exceptional and his example did much to ease the sufferings of the wounded.” Lt. Arthur Halstead MC (see 11th August) who had subsequently been killed in a bombing accident: “personally lead an attack with great gallantry and promptitude against a hostile machine gun, capturing the gun and its team”. The same edition also included the award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal to CSM David Frederick McKrill DCM, MM (see 7th June): “although wounded early in the attack, he remained with his Company, greatly assisting his commander in rallying his men under machine gun fire, until he was wounded for the second time. His fine example and pluck did much to encourage his men”.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  39. #2689

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    WoW guys, take a short break and it takes for ever to catch up with the work you put in! Thanks a bundle. OK so who is Canvey Islandist then huh? Never been there myself. What's wrong with it?
    Grouse is ok ish, but personally I much prefer Jamesons - much smoother! And I too always like to see a Bristol - finally got round to buying Guttman's "Osprey" publication. Looking forward to reading it now!
    Reps all round.

  40. #2690

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    Sunday 26th August 1917
    Today we lost: 734

    Air Operations:


    The106th Aero Squadron was established at Kelly Field, Texas.

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 10


    Ferrier, W.F. (William Francis)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank Flt Off (Prob)
    Organisation Royal Naval Air Service
    Unit Vendome Naval Flying School
    >>
    Probationary Flight Officer William Francis Ferrier (Royal Naval Air Service) is accidentally killed at age 18 at the Royal Naval Air Service Flying School at Vendome. He is the son of the Reverend Alexander Ferrier.


    Fogarty, G.J. (Gerald Joseph)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 9 Squadron
    >>
    Second Lieutenant Herbert William Hare (General List attached Royal Flying Corps) is accidentally killed. His brother in law was killed last May.

    Marshall, H.W.H. (Herbert William Hare)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    >>

    McDonald, A.L. (Alexander Lindsay)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank Capt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 9 Squadron
    >>

    Shellington, P.G. (Percy Gordon)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank 2Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    >>

    White, J.G. (John Gardner)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 24 Squadron
    >>
    Lieutenant John Gardner White (Cameronians attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed in action while on a “special mission” at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend John White DD. He was shot down by ground fire at about 200’ by ground fire.

    Wilkinson, D.S. (David Stanley)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 56 Squadron
    >>

    Williams, C.P. (Collingsby Philip)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank 2Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 19 Squadron
    >>

    Wodehouse, F.J.A. (Francis John Ashburnham)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank 2Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 9 Squadron
    >>
    Second Lieutenant John Francis Ashburnham Wodehouse (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 20. He is the grandson of the late Reverend Algernon Wodehouse Rector of Easton, Hants and the grandson of the Reverend Arthur Wodehouse.

    Yeatman, P.M. (Percy Maurice)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank AC1
    Organisation Royal Naval Air Service
    Unit Royal Naval Air Station, Dunkerque




    Claims: 27 confirmed (Entente 18: Central Powers 9)
    2
    26 Aug 1917 Alexander Augustus Norman Dudley Pentland#5
    3
    26 Aug 1917 Godwin Brumowski#21
    4
    26 Aug 1917 Frank Linke-Crawford#4
    5
    26 Aug 1917 Edmond Thieffry#9
    6
    26 Aug 1917 Douglas McGregor#10 #11
    7
    26 Aug 1917 Stanley Rosevear#3
    8
    26 Aug 1917 John Candy#1
    9
    26 Aug 1917 Spencer Horn#5
    10
    26 Aug 1917 John Leacroft#3
    11
    26 Aug 1917 Valentine Reed#8 #9
    12
    26 Aug 1917 Herbert Rowley#4
    13
    26 Aug 1917 Maurice Boyau#7
    14
    26 Aug 1917 Gilbert de Guingand#3
    15
    26 Aug 1917 Andre Herbelin#6
    16
    26 Aug 1917 René Montrion#3
    17
    26 Aug 1917 Ludwig Hanstein#8
    18
    26 Aug 1917 Karl Menckhoff#7 #8
    19
    26 Aug 1917 Manfred von Richthofen#59
    20
    26 Aug 1917 Otto Schmidt#7
    21
    26 Aug 1917 Kurt Wissemann#4
    22
    26 Aug 1917 Conn Standish O'Grady#8 #9
    23
    26 Aug 1917 Antonio Chiri#2
    24
    26 Aug 1917 Attilio Imolesi#1

    Home Fronts:


    German-Backed Polish Government Disbands In Protest

    August 25 1917, Warsaw–The nominally pro-Central Powers faction in Poland had been having more and more disagreements with their German and Austrian backers lately. The revolutionary government in Russia, with their promise of an independent Poland and a peace without annexations or indemnities, seemed more believable than the half-hearted German and Austrian efforts over the last year. In July, Piłsudski instructed his soldiers in the Polish Legions not to swear an oath to an unnamed future Polish king and to be “loyal brothers-in-arms” to the Germans; the Legions were then disbanded, with their soldiers imprisoned or conscripted into the Austrian army.

    In August, the Polish Provisional Council of State–a purely advisory body, but a symbol of Germany’s guarantee of an independent Poland–increasingly expressed its dissatisfaction, with its chairman resigning early in the month. On August 25, no longer willing to serve as a symbol of Germany’s promise of an independent Poland when actual independence seemed as distant as ever, the remaining members of the council dissolved the body in protest. The Germans, left without even a nominal Polish-run government, scrambled to come up with a replacement; actual governance of the country continued unchanged under military administration.

    Italy:

    August 24 1917, Turin [Torino]–Discontent had been growing in Italy, as in many of the belligerent powers. In the industrial city of Turin in northern Italy, against the backdrop of high food prices, over 40,000 people marched against the war on August 14. These were likely inspired by the similar marches in Petrograd before the revolution there; the Petrograd Soviet even had a visiting delegation in the city at the time. Within a week, the marches had expanded into strikes and attacks on property, including factories and churches. The revolutionary atmosphere was heightened by the quickly-erected barricades in the city’s narrow streets.

    The army was called in to Turin to restore order. Unlike in Petrograd, the soldiers (many of whom were from the poorer, rural, southern parts of Italy) did not sympathize with the strikers, and they suppressed the disorder with little mercy. Tanks crushed the barricades, and machine guns were used liberally. By August 24, order had been restored in the city, 50 of the strikers were killed, and another 800 arrested. The revolt did not spread beyond Turin, and this would be the high point of revolutionary unrest in Italy during the war.

    Western Front


    Heavy Rain!

    British capture enemy positions east of Hargicourt (north-west of St. Quentin) on front of over one mile to depth of 0.5 mile. Enemy recapture post lost on 24 August.

    French make progress on right bank of Meuse, reaching outskirts of Beaumont. Battle of Verdun achieved a costly advance into German territory around Verdun at a cost of 14,000 casualties including 4,470 killed, while capturing some 11,000 German prisoners

    Tunstills Men Sunday 26th August 1917:


    ‘New ****ebusch Camp’, just south-west of the village of ****ebusch.
    Officers and men were to be prepared for their part in forthcoming operations in the vicinity of Inverness Copse, with officers visiting the front line, despite heavy German shelling. The afternoon and evening became very wet.

    L.Cpl. Louis Feather (see 10th August) began to be paid according to his rank, having previously held the post unpaid.

    Pte. John William Baird (see 5th July) was promoted Lance Corporal.

    Pte. Thomas Henry Wood (see 23rd August) returned to duty from 70th Field Ambulance, where he had spent three days being treated for influenza.

    Eastern Front:

    Renewed enemy attacks east of Czernowitz; Germans claim 1,000 prisoners.

    Southern Front:

    Practically whole of Bainsizza Plateau in Italian hands; 23,000 prisoners to date; Italians fail at Jenelik.

    Naval Operations:

    Shipping Losses: 12 (1 to a mine & 11to U-Boat action)


    SS Marmion a
    defensively-armed British Merchant steamer. On the 26th August 1917 when 300 miles W ¾ S from Ushant (Ouessant) she was torpedoed without warning and sunk by German submarineU-93. 17 lives lost. Vessel was on route from New York to Bordeaux.

    Anniversary Events:

    1071 Turks defeat the Byzantine army under Emperor Romanus IV at Manzikert, Eastern Turkey.
    1429 Joan of Arc makes a triumphant entry into Paris.
    1789 The Constituent Assembly in Versailles, France, approves the final version of the Declaration of Human Rights.
    1862 Confederate General Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson seizes Manassas Junction, Virginia, and moves to encircle Union forces under General John Pope.
    1883 The Indonesian island of Krakatoa erupts in the largest explosion recorded in history, heard 2,200 miles away in Madagascar. The resulting destruction sends volcanic ash up 50 miles into the atmosphere and kills almost 36,000 people--both on the island itself and from the resulting 131-foot tidal waves that obliterate 163 villages on the shores of nearby Java and Sumatra.


    Ed Note: Apologies for the rushed edition but we're under fire from some near Mrs.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  41. #2691

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    Monday 27th August 1917
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    (Ed Note: Apologies for delay in publishing his a day late)

    Sidney James Day VC (3 July 1891 – 17 July 1959) while serving as a corporal in the 11th (Service) Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, was seriously wounded during the Battle of the Somme and invalided back to England, spending several months in hospital. Upon discharge, he returned to duty in Northern France.

    On 26 August 1917, east of Hargicourt, France, Day was in command of a bombing section detailed to clear a maze of trenches still held by the enemy; this he did, killing two machine gunners and taking four prisoners. Immediately after he returned to his section, a stick bomb fell into a trench occupied by five men, one badly wounded. The corporal seized the bomb and threw it over the trench where it immediately exploded. He afterwards completed the clearing of the trench and established himself in an advanced position, remaining for 66 hours at his post, which came under intense fire.

    Today we lost: 1,002


    Today’s losses include:

    · A Brigadier General
    · The son of a member of the clergy
    · A member of the clergy
    · A Military Chaplain
    · Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
    · A member of the Penarth Rugby Club

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    · Captain John Leslie Derrick (Yorkshire Regiment) is killed at age 27. He is the son of the Reverend John George Derrick.
    · Lieutenant Gerald C N Cooke (Alberta Regiment) is accidentally killed in England. His brother was killed last year.
    · Lieutenant Richard Cuthbert Lodge (Royal Scots) is killed at age 23. He is the son of Professor ‘Sir’ Richard Lodge.
    · Lieutenant the Reverend James Duncan Robertson MC (Gordon Highlanders) dies of wounds at age 31.
    · Second Lieutenant Cecil Francis Hamilton-Cox (Duke of Wellington’s Regiment) is killed at age 24. His brother will be killed in less than two months.
    · Chaplain the Reverend Michael Patrick Gordon DD (attached XV Corps) dies of wounds received yesterday at age 34. · Lance Corporal John James Page (Warwickshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 25. His brother will die in November 1918.
    · Private Ernest Alfred Frazer (Royal Warwickshire Regiment) is killed by a sniper at age 21. His older brother will be killed in September 1918.
    · Private William Jacob Parkyn (Warwickshire Regiment) is killed at age 22. His brother was wounded and taken prisoner in March 1918 and released in January 1919. He will die as a result of his imprisonment in August 1920.
    · Private James Dockerill (Warwickshire Regiment) is killed at age 20. His brother was killed in September 1916.
    · Private Arthur Ernest Bloxsome (Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed at age 26. His brother died of illness earlier this month on Salonika.
    · Private John Patrick Driscoll (Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed at age 33. His brother was killed in September 1915.
    · Private Frederick Morgan Aubrey (Welsh Regiment) is killed. He is a member of the Penarth Rugby Club.
    · Private Arthur Allsop (Shropshire Light Infantry) is killed. His brother will die on service in March 1919.

    Air Operations:


    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 3



    Butler, C. (Charles)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank Capt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 61 Training Squadron
    >>

    Gordon-Kidd, A.L. (Arthur Lionel)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank Capt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 19 Squadron
    >>

    Whitehouse, H.A. (Herbert A.)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank AC1
    Organisation Royal Naval Air Service
    Unit Naval Balloon Station, Shotley
    >>

    Claims: 1 confirmed (Entente 0: Central Powers 1)

    Western Front


    Ypres region: British line advance 200 yards astride St. Julien-Poelcapelle road.

    Renewed activity on the Aisne.

    Right bank of Meuse heavy enemy counter-attack repulsed.

    British forces attack enemy positions east and southeast of Langemarck and advance their line on a front of over 2,000 yards astride the St Julien-Poelcapelle Road. Brigadier General Malcolm Peake CMG, Commanding Royal Artillery is killed in action at age 52. While on a reconnaissance on Hill 70 Loos he and his staff officer Major Derrick le Poer Trench are killed by an enemy shell.

    Tunstills Men Monday 27th August 1917: (Report just in)

    ‘New ****ebusch Camp’, just south-west of the village of ****ebusch.

    A very wet day.

    The Battalion marched three miles east to Chateau Segard, near the hamlet of Kruistraathoek, where they were accommodated in bivouacs, dugouts and Armstrong huts.

    L.Sgt. Albert Bradley (see 12th August) was late returning from his ten days’ leave to England; he was reprimanded and forfeited three days’ pay.

    Pte. John Thomas Elford (see 19th December 1916) was transferred back to England, where he was to resume his civil occupation as a coal miner. He would be formally transferred to Army Reserve Class W and go to work at the Burradon and Coxlodge Coal Company, at Hazelrigg Colliery, near Dudley, Northumberland.

    Pte. Ellis Sutcliffe (see 13th August), who was at 34th Infantry Base Depot at Etaples, en route to a return to active service, was deprived of three days’ pay as a result of “showing kit with another man’s greatcoat”.

    Pte. Thomas Walter Wigglesworth Mellin (see 18th July 1916), who had served briefly with 10DWR in June/July 1916 before being transferred to 9DWR, returned to England on ten days’ leave.

    As recommended by an Army Medical Board three weeks previously, Pte. Fred Addy (see 6th August), who had been posted back to England, suffering from TB, in May, was formally discharged as unfit for further service. He was awarded the Silver War Badge and granted a pension of 13s. 9d. per week, to be reviewed in one year.

    The surviving effects of the late Pte. Harry Cowper (see 29th June), who had been killed on 7th June were returned to his family; they consisted of, “pocket wallet, photos, postcards”.

    A payment of £2 18s. 0d. was authorised, being the amount due in pay and allowances to the late Pte. Charles Arthur Stott (see 29th June), who had been killed in action on 10th June; the payment would go to his widow, Marcella. A similar payment, of £4 10s. 8d., was authorised, being the amount due in pay and allowances to the late Pte. Samuel Woodhead (see 15th June) who had died of wounds on 9th June; the payment would go to his widow, Selina. A series of similar payments were also authorised in repect of the Pte. Michael Gallagher (see 22nd May), who had been killed in action on 22nd May. In his case, the payment was divided between his mother, Mary (£2 14s. 5d.) and siblings James, Thomas, Maria and Margaret (10s. 10d. each); a further share was allocated to another brother, Anthony, but this would not actually be paid out until much later.



    Southern Front:

    August 26 1917, Mt. Santo–The Austrians abandoned the Bainsizza plateau on the night of August 23, falling back in good order. The Italians were exhausted after several days of fighting and did not follow through on their successes of the previous days, and Cadorna, for once, was too timid to order them to do so. The Austrians also abandoned Mt. Santo, which had guarded the southern approach to the plateau for over two years. The Italians occupied the mountain the next day, hailing it as their largest victory since the capture of Gorizia. Instead of striking east from the Bainsizza towards their hastily-manned last lines of defense, Cadorna instead ordered an attack on Mt. San Gabriele, another of the “Tre Santi” that dominated Gorizia from the northeast, hoping after its capture to break through to the east with cavalry and bicyclists.

    Among those jubilant after the capture of Mt. Santo was the famed conductor Arturo Toscanini. He was at the front at the time, visiting his son Walter, who served in the artillery in the Second Army. Toscanini had persuaded its commander, General Capello, to let him form a band to play for the soldiers and boost their morale. After the capture of Mt. Santo, he was determined to lead his band to the summit to play there; he got his way, and on August 26 the band managed to carry their instruments over 2000 feet up a mountain that had been in Austrian hands less than three days prior.

    The band played from the late afternoon well into the night, and was enthusiastically received by the nearby troops, as Toscanini shouted “Viva l’Italia!” after each piece. The front on Mt. San Gabriele was less than a mile away, and the Austrians tried to silence the band with their artillery. They were unsuccessful, however, managing only to rip the bass drum with shrapnel; no musicians were harmed. Despite Toscanini’s best efforts, however, San Gabriele remained firmly in Austrian hands.


    African Front:

    Publication of official communication regarding operations in East Africa; enemy slowly being pressed back, eight miles in Masasi district.

    Belgian columns from Kilossa drive enemy to south bank Ruaha river.

    Midway between Lake Nyassa and sea, considerable German force closely invested.

    Naval Operations:


    Shipping Losses: 3 (All to U-Boat action)


    Political:


    At Russian National Conference, General Kornilov appeals for measures to restore discipline in the army.

    Anniversary Events:
    1626 The Danes are crushed by the Catholic League in Germany, marking the end of Danish intervention in European wars.
    1776 The Americans are defeated by the British at the Battle of Long Island, New York.
    1793 Maximilien Robespierre is elected to the Committee of Public Safety in Paris, France.
    1813 The Allies defeat Napoleon at the Battle of Dresden.
    1861 Union troops make an amphibious landing at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
    1862 As the Second Battle of Bull Run rages, Confederate soldiers attack Loudoun County, Virginia.
    1881 New York state's Pure Food Law goes into effect to prevent "the adulteration of food or drugs."
    1894 The United States congress passes an income tax law as part of a general tariff act, but it is found unconstitutional.
    1910 Thomas Edison demonstrates the first "talking" pictures--using a phonograph--in his New Jersey laboratory.
    1912 Edgar Rice Burrough's Tarzan of the Apes first appears in a magazine.
    1916 Italy declares war on Germany.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 08-27-2017 at 03:05.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  42. #2692

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    Apologies for the poorly written report today but time is something I find I don't have today to do but else.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  43. #2693

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    Tuesday 28th August 1917

    Today we lost: 403

    Today’s losses include:

    · The son of a Brigadier General
    · A man whose son was killed last April
    · Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
    · A man whose brother was killed at Jutland
    · The grandson of a Baronet
    · A Welsh Rugby Union International

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:
    · Major Harry Denison DSO (Royal Horse Artillery) dies of wounds received the previous day. He is the son of Brigadier General Henry Denison CB CBE and had served at Gallipoli, the Somme, Messines, Vimy Ridge, Ypres and Langemarck.
    · Major Lambert Dumont La Violette MC (Quebec Regiment) dies of wounds at home. His son was killed in April of this year.
    · Lieutenant William Prince (York and Lancs Regiment) dies of wounds. His brother was killed on HMS Black Prince at the Battle of Jutland.
    · Lieutenant James Shirley Heathcote (Coldstream Guards) dies on service at home at age 30. His brother was killed in July 1916 and they are grandsons of the Right Honorable ‘Sir’ William Heathcote 5th
    · Sergeant James George Dedman (Royal West Surrey Regiment) dies of wounds as a prisoner of war at age 23. His brother was killed last December.
    · Private Frank Ernest Austin (Worcestershire Regiment) dies of wounds received during a heavy bombardment while acting as a stretcher-bearer at Ypres. His brother was killed in September 1916.
    · Private David Westacott (Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed at age 35. He is a Welsh Rugby Union International who earned one cap in 1906 who played for Cardiff and Glamorgan from 1903-10.
    · Private William Bennett (Cheshire Regiment) dies of wounds as a prisoner of war in Germany one month after being captured. He is the middle of three brothers who are killed in the Great War.

    Air Operations:


    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 1



    Walker, S.C. (Stanley Croft)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank A Mech 1
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 57th Reserve Squadron


    Claims: 1 confirmed (Entente 0 : Central Powers 1)

    28 Aug 1917 Godwin Brumowski u/c
    28 Aug 1917 Ludwig Hautzmayer #4

    Western Front


    The 2nd/6th Gloucestershire Regiment suffers fourteen men killed in action though carrying out no offensive actions. The South Staffordshire Regiment carries out a trench raid in the Hulloch Sector after heavy artillery is turned on the wire. Approximately five officers and one hundred other ranks rush the German trenches at 20:00 and by 21:00 they have withdrawn returning with five prisoners. For his actions in the raid Sergeant John Kelly will be awarded the DCM. He will be killed in just over four months on the next to the last day of the year

    Continued Failed Attacks Around Ypres
    :


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    Artillerymen attempting to move a 6-inch gun near Ypres on August 27.

    August 27 1917, Ypres–Since Langemarck, the British had been continuing local attacks, with mixed results. A few gains had been made when tanks were able to work properly; in other cases, ground had been captured but soon lost to determined German counterattacks. On August 27, XVIII Corps attacked, but again was undone by the terrible weather and ground conditions. The speed of the creeping barrage had been slowed by half to let the infantry keep up, but even that was not enough. Attempts to lay down a smoke screen to conceal the advance also failed due to strong winds. The official report noted:

    It is clear that the state of the ground, cut up with shell-holes full of water, and all slippery with mud, made it impossible for our leading lines to keep in touch….The Boche…saw that our troops could not move…and took full advantage of the unequal contest, at the same time training every machine gun on our men as they struggled in the mud.

    On the right flank, over a third of the attacking British infantry became casualties. They could inflict little in return on the Germans, as weapons were often fouled with mud or water. Many of the deaths were those who fell into shell-holes and drowned.

    Even before this, Haig had realized that his troops were exhausted, and had decided two days earlier to hand over the responsibility for the offensive from Gough’s Fifth Army to Plumer’s Second Army. He hoped that a new commander would boost morale and (relatively) fresh troops would reinvigorate the offensive.

    In London, Lloyd George, a skeptic of the push around Ypres from the start, was trying to argue for a diversion of resources (at the very least, in heavy artillery) to the Italian front, where Cadorna at least seemed to be making progress. His generals, however, warned that artillery could not reach them in time to make a difference, and that the only effect would be to make the Ypres operations impossible. This was not an outcome that Lloyd George would have minded, but unsurprisingly he was unable to convince any generals to acquiesce.

    Tunstills Men Tuesday 28th August 1917:


    Bivouacs and dugouts at Chateau Segard, near the hamlet of Kruistraathoek.

    The weather was dreadful, with gales and heavy rain all day and overnight.

    Cpl. Lionel Vickers (see 24th May) and Ptes. George Ingle (see 17th July 1916), Samuel Stansfield (see 7th August) and Michael Taylor (see 6th June 1916) departed for England on ten days leave.

    Pte. James Leonard Bloomer (see 12th January), serving with 83rd Training Reserve Battalion at Gateshead, was transferred to 297th Reserve Labour Company, Labour Corps; his transfer documents were signed off by Lt. Thomas Beattie (see 14th June).

    Asiatic/African Front:

    Considerable progress by British on right bank of Tigris south-west of Kut.

    Naval Operations:


    Shipping Losses: 6 (1 to a mine & 5 to U-Boat action)


    Anniversary Events:

    1676 Indian chief King Philip, also known as Metacom, is killed by English soldiers, ending the war between Indians and colonists.
    1862 Mistakenly believing the Confederate Army to be in retreat, Union General John Pope attacks, beginning the Battle of Groveton. Both sides sustain heavy casualties.
    1914 Three German cruisers are sunk by ships of the Royal Navy in the Battle of Heligoland Bight, the first major naval battle of World War I.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  44. #2694

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    Many thanks for covering the Bank Holiday weekend whilst everyone else was off enjoying themselves, and go easy on Simon's Paratroops over the next few days...

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  45. #2695

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    29th August 1917

    Well I am back from yet another short holiday (I really ought to go back to work, they will have forgotten what I look like) and am able to pick up the reins once more whilst Neil and Simon indulge in some Bolt Action frenzy in the far North. Its good to be back and also great that I can coincide today's edition with my 3000th post - just a massive shame that virtually nothing happened on this day and most of my sources are coming back blank. So join me for a few beers in the officer's club and hopefully we will see more to report in the next few days.

    Despite the lack of action the RFC ans RNAS still managed to lose seven airmen on this day

    7 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON WEDNESDAY AUGUST 29TH 1917

    Air Mech 1 Burrell, S.W. (Sidney Walter) 50 Squadron RFC
    Flt. Sub Lt. Helbert, A.B. (Alfred Basil) Royal Naval Air Station, Felixstowe. Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. 'President II'
    Air Mech 1 Howarth, H. (Herbert) 32 SQuadron RFC
    PO Mech Naylor, E.H.A. (Edward Henry Anthony) RNAS Armoured Car Division
    2nd Lt. Spear, N.V. (Norman Victor) 50 Training Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt Vaile, L.E.S. (Laurence Edward Stuart) RFC
    Air Mech 2 Wright, F.C. (Frederick Charles) 67 Squadron Australian Flying Corps

    A total of 343 British lives were lost on this day


    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

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    Reverend Pennefather

    Second Lieutenant Kenneth David Rees (Cheshire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend John Francis Rees Rector of Hakyn.
    Chaplain ‘the Reverend’ Somerset Edward Pennefather dies at home at age 69. He is the son of John Pennefather KC.
    Sergeant Robert Cottle Green (Royal Garrison Artillery) dies of wounds received 18 July at age 24. His brother was killed last February.

    There was just the one aerial victory claim on this day

    Aleksandr Alexandrovich Kozakov


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    Russia's highest scoring ace was educated in military schools and entered the army in 1908. After serving in the cavalry, he transferred to aviation in 1913 and by the following year was posted to the 4th Corps Air Detachment in Poland where he flew reconnaissance and bombing missions in a Morane-Saulnier. Having made several unsuccessful attempts to bring down enemy aircraft by dangling explosives and grappling hooks beneath his plane, Kozakov scored his first victory in the spring of 1915 by ramming his opponent. In September 1915, he assumed command of the 19th Corps Air Detachment but scored no additional victories that year and only 2 more by August 1916 when he assumed command of the 1st Combat Air Group. In February 1917, his CAG was ordered to Romania where Kozakov scored eight more victories before being wounded in action on 27 June 1917. With 20 victories, he resigned his commission in January 1918 and joined the British Joint Military forces at Murmansk in June. Promoted to the rank of Major, he commanded the Slavo-British air detachment at Benezniky and continued flying combat missions until he was again wounded in January 1919. In March, he returned to duty but became deeply depressed by the withdrawal of British forces from Russia in the summer of 1919. On the evening of 1 August 1919, ignoring an invitation to a farewell dinner for British pilots, he took off in a Sopwith only to crash to his death a few moments later. Having watched Kozakov pull a loop at low altitude and stall the plane, Ira Jones concluded the Russian Ace of Aces "brought about his own death and staged it in the most dramatic manner."

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    Well the answer to the lack of action can be found in the solitary line of entry into the diaries of Capt. Tunstill's men : The stormy weather of the previous twenty-four hours continued during the day.

    Eastern Front

    Fighting continues in Focsani region.

    Political, etc.

    Polish State Council resigns.

    U.S. reply to the Papal Peace Note.

    Canadian Conscription Crisis

    After the Battle of the Somme, Canada was in desperate need to replenish its supply of soldiers; however, there were very few volunteers to replace them. The recruiting effort in Quebec had failed, and Canada turned to its only unused option: conscription. Almost all French Canadians opposed conscription; they felt that they had no particular loyalty to either Britain or France. Led by Henri Bourassa, they felt their only loyalty was to Canada. English Canadians generally supported the war effort as they felt stronger ties to the British Empire.The Conscription Crisis of 1917 caused a considerable rift along ethnic lines between Anglophones and Francophones. After visiting Britain for a meeting of First Ministers in May 1917, Borden announced that he would introduce the Military Service Act on August 29, 1917. The Act was passed: allowing the government to conscript men across the country if the Prime Minister felt that it was necessary.

    To solidify support for conscription in the 1917 election, Borden extended the vote through the Military Voters Act to overseas soldiers, who were in favour of conscription to replace their depleted forces (women serving as nurses were also given the right to vote). For Borden, these votes had another advantage, as they could be distributed in any riding, regardless of the soldier's regular place of residence. With the Wartime Elections Act, women who were the wives, sisters, daughters and mothers of men serving overseas were also granted the right to vote in this election, as they appeared to be more patriotic and more worthy of a public voice. On the other hand, conscientious objectors and recent immigrants from "enemy countries" were denied the right to vote. In the election, Borden was opposed not only by Bourassa, but also by Liberal Party leader Wilfrid Laurier, though he had been abandoned by much of his party. Laurier had opposed conscription from the beginning of the war, arguing that an intense campaign for volunteers would produce enough troops. He privately felt that if he joined the coalition government, Quebec would fall under what he perceived as a dangerous nationalism of Bourassa, which might ultimately lead to Quebec leaving the Canadian confederation. Borden's Unionist Party won the election with 153 seats; Laurier's Liberals secured 82 seats, 62 from Quebec.

    After the Military Service Act was passed in 1917 tensions ran high throughout Canada. Not all Canadians were as enthusiastic about joining the war effort as the first Canadian volunteers had been. In fact many people objected to the idea of war completely. The conscientious objectors or unwilling soldiers sought exemption from combat. Instead, many joined the Non-Combatant Corps, where they took on other roles. Their duties consisted of cleaning and other labour. They did not carry weapons but were expected to dress in uniform, and they practised regular army discipline. Often the conscientious objector was abused, deemed a coward, and stripped of basic rights. In the British House of Commons a resolution for the disenfranchisement of conscientious objectors was defeated by 141 to 71. Lord Hugh Cecil, who was a well-known churchman and statesman, said that he was “entirely out of sympathy for conscientious objectors, but he could not force them to do what they thought was wrong or punish them for refusing to do something they thought was wrong.” However, the government was making an effort to be sympathetic toward those who refused to take part in military service. Many communities set up local tribunals. If a man refused to serve he was put in front of a panel of two judges: one appointed by a board of selection named by Parliament, and the other by the senior county judge. The man was to plead his case, and if the panel was not convinced, the man asking for exemption was allowed to appeal. If the judges found that it was best if the person stayed at home, then he was not sent overseas. Many Canadians were unhappy with the conscientious objectors' choice to refuse combat. Many people believed that if people were not willing to give service against the enemy, then the only choice for them was between civil or military prisons. Conscription posed a difficult question for the government. Conscription was unprecedented, and the problem proved to be that the government did not know who was best suited to become a soldier, a toolmaker or a farmer. The issue of manpower and ensuring that the proper men were being relocated to the most appropriate roles overseas was an issue that lasted the duration of the war.

    and finally (and away from the war...)

    The Lincoln Motor Company was founded in Detroit, US by Henry Leland, a former manager of the Cadillac division of General Motors, and his son, Wilfred Leland. The Lincoln Motor Company Plant was at 6200 West Warren Avenue (at Livernois) in Detroit, Michigan. Leland named the new company after Abraham Lincoln, his hero and for whom he cast a vote in 1864. Lincoln's first source of revenue came from assembling Liberty aircraft engines, using cylinders supplied by Ford Motor Company, to fulfill World War I government contracts. After the war, the Lincoln factories were retooled to manufacture luxury automobiles. Ford Motor Company purchased the Lincoln Motor Company in 1922, but Lincoln continued to operate as a somewhat separate company from Ford through early 1940. In April 1940, the operation of Lincoln changed as the Lincoln Motor Company became the Lincoln Division of Ford Motor Company. Once an autonomous entity, Lincoln was now brought closer under Ford control, in part to modernize the division to better compete with the equivalent competition from Chrysler (Imperial) and General Motors (Cadillac).

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    Lincoln Motor Company Plant Detroit 1923

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  46. #2696

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    August 30th 1917


    Another windy and stormy day.

    On the Ypres front the British advance on a line southeast of St Janshoek. Lieutenant Colonel Richard Chester Chester-Masters DSO (commanding 13th King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 47. Lieutenant Colonel Chester-Master joined the King’s Royal Rifle Corps in 1893 and he retired as Major in 1900. He served through the South African War, being present at the actions of Belmont, Graspan, Modder River, Magersfontein, Paardeberg, Driefontein, and Sanna’s Post. He was twice mentioned in Despatches and received the Queen’s Medal with six clasps and the King’s Medal with two clasps, as well as the brevet of Major. He acted as ADC to Lord Milner when he was High Commissioner of South Africa and held the positions of Commandant-General of the British South African Police, Rhodesia, from 1901 to 1905, and Resident Commissioner and Commandant-General in Southern Rhodesia from 1905 to 1908. In May 1910, he was placed on retired pay and took the appointment of Chief Constable of Gloucestershire. In March 1915, he rejoined his old Regiment and after a few months was given command of a battalion. In June 1916, he was mentioned in despatches, again in June 1917 and a third time in December 1917. In the Birthday Honours List of June 1917 he was awarded the DSO, while a few months later a bar was added to it, the Gazette containing the following description — “During operations for six days he displayed great courage and ability. His Battalion was very short of officers, and he had no rest during that period. His splendid example and total disregard for safety inspired his men with great confidence”.

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    Private Walter Neave (West Yorkshire Regiment) is shot at dawn for desertion. After landing on Gallipoli a few weeks before the evacuation of the peninsula, he was sent to the Western Front during the Battle of the Somme, only to be wounded at Hebuterne during September. He then went missing and due to a previously suspended death sentence, also for desertion, he is executed.

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    Shot at Dawn - World War One

    306 British Army and Commonwealth soldiers executed after courts-martial for desertion and other capital offences during World War I. They received no medal, are never mentioned in memorial services and their grieving families received no pension. Of the ±200,000 men who had a court-martial during the First World War, 20,000 were found guilty of offences carrying the death penalty; of those, 3000 actually received it, and of those 346 were carried out. Four were only 17 years old.

    Those condemned to death usually had their sentences confirmed by Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig on the evening following their court-martial. A chaplain spent the night in the cell with the condemned man and execution took place the following dawn.The condemned man was tied to a stake, a medical officer placed a piece of white cloth over his heart and a priest prayed for him. The firing line - usually made up of six soldiers - was then given orders to shoot. One round was routinely blank and no soldier could be sure he had fired a fatal shot. Immediately afterwards the medical officer would examine the man. If he was still alive, the officer in charge would finish him off with a revolver.

    These executions occurred throughout the war, beginning with Pte Thomas Highgate on 8 September 1914 and ending with Ptes Louis Harris and Ernest Jackson on 7 November 1918, less than a week before the Armistice. There were 8 executions for murder in 1919, and the execution of 2 Chinese labourers for murder took place on 21/02/ 1920. Private James Joseph Daly was shot on 02/11/1920 for Mutiny. The mass pardon of 306 (or alt. list) British Empire soldiers executed for certain offences, excluding murder, mutiny and rape, during the Great War was enacted in section 359 of the Armed Forces Act 2006, which came into effect on royal assent on 8 November 2006.

    Due to the weather there was only one recorded aerial victory claim on ths day...

    Hauptmann Karl Nikitsch was a World War I flying ace credited with six aerial victories. He was killed in an air crash during a test flight of a French single-seat aircraft.

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    Despite the poor weather and lack of flying there were still eight airmen lost on this day

    Capt. Burlton, A.V. (Arthur Vivian) 46 Training Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Evans, H.W. (Hugh William) Central Flying School, Upavon, Wiltshire RFC
    Air Mech 1 Harris, R.E. (Reginald Edward) No.2 Aircraft Depot RFC
    Sgt. Malone, R.J. (Reginald John) 46 Training Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. McLaren, F.W.S. (Francis Walter Stafford, The Hon.) 18 Training Squadron

    Second Lieutenant ‘the Honorable’ Francis Walter Stafford McLaren MP (General List attached Royal Flying Corps) is accidentally killed in a flying accident while training at Montrose at age 31. He is the Member of Parliament for Spalding Division (from 1910) the son of the 1st Baron Aberconway and the son-in-law of ‘Sir’ Herbert Jekyll.

    Lt. Nelson, G. (Graham) 22 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Pritchard, T.T. (Thomas Thompson) RFC
    Air Mech 1 Wardlaw, A.H. (Arthur Hood) 13 Squadron RFC

    Western Front


    Attempted German night raid on British lines south-east of Lens repulsed.

    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres

    British advance on front of 600 yards south-west of Gaza.


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    Graveyard near Nieuport [Nieuwpoort] after the dikes were opened and the land flooded last winter.” Credit Belgian Official Photo, from Pictorial Press/The New York Times Mid-Week Pictorial, Aug. 30, 1917

    It is a photograph that can send shivers through you on an August day, as it must have a century ago when it was published in The New York Times Mid-Week Pictorial. Taken the previous winter, it showed a graveyard near the town of Nieuwpoort after the dikes had been opened by the Belgians in an effort to stall the Germans’ advance across their country. “The territory around the Yser Canal has been the scene of some of the most sanguinary fighting which has taken place during the three years of hostilities,” The Times said, “and it is no exaggeration to say that whole army corps have been annihilated at different times in the struggle to gain control of this little waterway and the marshy meadows on either side.” It was images such as this that were the inspiration behind one of the most famous poems of the Great War...

    In Flanders Fields

    John McCrae, 1872 - 1918

    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place, and in the sky,
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the dead; short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe!
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high!
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

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