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Thread: 100 Years Ago Today

  1. #2251

    Default Addendum & questions for 1 March 1917

    I found this item today from the Twitter 100 Years Ago Today site:

    A remotely controlled bomber is tested unsuccessfully at Upavon.

    ******************************************************
    But I can find nothing else about it. Skafloc or Hedeby, do either of you have more/better information? Was it listed for the wrong date? (It can be difficult, 100 years after the event, to pin down the exact date) Did it happen at all? Were there other tests that were actually successful?

    I mean, we do know that there were some UAV projects in the First World War-witness the Kettering Bugs. But AFAIK, none was actually developed to the point of deployment.

  2. #2252

    Default

    The Sperry company had a "working" model in '16 or '17, but it wasn't developed. I hadn't read of any work in England this early.
    Karl
    It is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he thinks he knows. -- Epictetus

  3. #2253

    Default

    I have it from the same source. I am trying to verify it but if not will add it as an unconfirmed story.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  4. #2254

    Default

    Sopwith AT "Aerial Torpedo" (1917) - Maker of Snoopy's famous Sopwith Camel biplane decided that it was possible to do the same thing, only radio controlled and full of explosives, call it the "Aerial Torpedo" and steer it into German Zeppelins. Trouble was, on its test flight, it tried to dive bomb a gathering of generals instead. Whoopsie. More info on the Sopwith AT, and another remote controlled plane of the era, the Queen Bee Tiger Moth.

    19 Sopwith, De Havilland, and Farnborough each built “Pilotless Aircraft” prototypes

    - Farnborough prototypes test flown at Northolt, all crash

    Prior to World War One there was one man in England who was working on a brand new concept, radar. It also seems that somebody at the War Office felt that too many of England's best and brightest pilots were being killed by the Fokker Mono Plane (Eindecker) Scourge. The man who was to head up this new research project was a Professor A.M. Low.


    Sopwith AT




    At the start of W.W.I Professor Low was actually working on the very first electronic range finder, based on the principles of radar, for the Artillery Corps but the RFC (Royal Flying Corps) had other things in mind for the good Professor. The RFC wanted Prof. Low to put his knowledge of radar to use in designing and developing remotely controlled pilot-less aircraft.

    The concept was to develop a small, very simple aircraft. Pack it with explosives and then guide it into a designated target. Thus the RFC Experimental Works were born and the newly commissioned Second Lieutenant Low began his secret work in a Chiswick garage. As it turns out the aircraft design was the least of the challenges; it was the radio gear that needed to be developed first.


    As Low made progress with the radio gear there was a need to relocate the operation to a more aeronautical site and Brooklands was chosen. It was here that it was discovered that the uncowled 50 hp Gnome rotary engine caused so much radio noise as to make the operation of the gear unreliable (sound familiar). In spite of the engine noise and unreliability of the aircraft it was shipped off to the Central Flying School at Upavon. It was subsequently never flown.


    The key here is that the radio gear did operate as planned when the power plant was not running. As a matter of fact this remotely piloted vehicle (RPV) concept caught the interest of the great Sopwith Co. as well as Ruston Proctor & Co. Ltd who began immediate, parallel development to Low's own at the RFC. Granville Bradshaw of A.B.C. Motors Ltd. who gained fame by designing the well proven 45 hp Gnat engine subsequently designed a throwaway engine specifically for use in the RPV.


    The 35 hp was a horizontally-opposed twin cylinder engine with a run life of 2 hours. It was this lightweight inexpensive engine that propelled RPV research and development into the next phase. In the mean time Sopwith had developed the 14ft wingspan "Sopwith AT" (AT = air target) which was fitted with the 35 hp ABC engine driving an ordinary wooden propeller. The radio box was further back towards the tail behind the fuel, batteries and of course the explosives.


    The sensitive radio equipment was fitted into a wooden box with a glass lid, suspended on rubber supports. The box itself measured about 2ft 3in by 9in. This box contained all of the relays, receiver and the Key system which was an interference filter. An interesting note here, a shaft which was driven by the engine triggered a mechanical relay so that each contact made in the control box caused the engine power to operate the control services. The date was 1916 and the Sopwith AT was completed with full servo control. It never flew because it was subsequently damaged while in hangar and abandoned (sound familiar?).


    The ironic end result was the creation of the Sopwith Sparrow which was a small, single seat aircraft which did in fact have a pilot after all. Naturally this is not the end of our story, enter Geoffrey de Havilland. De Havilland built a little mono plane around the lightweight ABC expendable engine. It is believed that it was the de Havilland monoplane which flew on a March 21st, 1917 test flight at Upavon. The rumor is that high ranking officials were invited to attend and were quickly dispersed in a rather comical fashion when the initial test flight went awry as they so often do. No more is known.


    Later that year H.P. Folland the designer of the S.E.5 fighter embarked on task to build an aircraft using Low's radio equipment. By July of 1917 he had 5 aircraft ready for flight and on July 6, 1917 the first flight was conducted. The aircraft rolled smoothly along on a 150 ft launch track and became airborne mid way. The craft rose steeply, stalled and plummeted to the ground (sound familiar?). Two more tests were conducted on July 25 and 28 but the aircraft were under controlled and the entire "R/C" program slowed to a trickle until the end of the war.


    Last edited by Skafloc; 03-01-2017 at 14:44.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  5. #2255

    Default

    Ah, thanks very much for the follow-up info. Pretty much the same as I was able to find; nothing that linked it, time-wise to the original claim. In view of this, the caveat
    Quote Originally Posted by Skafloc
    I am trying to verify it but if not will add it as an unconfirmed story.
    is certainly a careful approach.

    But thanks for what you do with the thread: I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the amount of work you do put in. There is an awful lot of it.

  6. #2256

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    Friday 2nd March 1917

    Today we lost: 444

    Sergeant Michael Healy DCM MM (Royal Munster Fusiliers) dies of wounds received the previous day at age 25. With total disregard for his own personal safety and only prompted by the desire to save his comrades, he rushes to pick up a live bomb which has been thrown by a Private and which strikes the parapet and rolls back into the trench near Lieutenant Roe and the Private. Sergeant Healy, fearing the party cannot escape in time, makes a gallant attempt to seize and hurl the bomb from the trench. It explodes however and mortally wounds him. For this action he will be awarded the Albert Medal posthumously.

    Today’s losses include:

    · An Albert Medal winner
    · Multiple sons of members of the clergy
    · The son of a General
    · A man whose brother died of wounds last July

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    · Major George Paterson Nunneley MC (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed at age 33. He is the son of the Reverend F B Nunneley.
    · Major Frederick Lee Hughes (Brownlow’s Punjabis attached South Waziristan Militia) dies on service in India at age 34. He is the son of the late Major General Thomas Elliott Hughes.
    · Lieutenant Hugh Thomas (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 32. He is the son of the Reverend Robert Thomas.
    · Private Albert Edward Smith (Sussex Regiment) is killed. His brother died of wounds last July.

    Air Operations:


    A remotely controlled bomber is tested unsuccessfully at Upavon. (Date uncomfirmed but sometime in March)

    Prior to World War One there was one man in England who was working on a brand new concept, radar. It also seems that somebody at the War Office felt that too many of England's best and brightest pilots were being killed by the Fokker Mono Plane (Eindecker) Scourge. The man who was to head up this new research project was a Professor A.M. Low.
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    Sopwith AT


    At the start of W.W.I Professor Low was actually working on the very first electronic range finder, based on the principles of radar, for the Artillery Corps but the RFC (Royal Flying Corps) had other things in mind for the good Professor. The RFC wanted Prof. Low to put his knowledge of radar to use in designing and developing remotely controlled pilot-less aircraft.

    The concept was to develop a small, very simple aircraft. Pack it with explosives and then guide it into a designated target. Thus the RFC Experimental Works were born and the newly commissioned Second Lieutenant Low began his secret work in a Chiswick garage. As it turns out the aircraft design was the least of the challenges; it was the radio gear that needed to be developed first.

    As Low made progress with the radio gear there was a need to relocate the operation to a more aeronautical site and Brooklands was chosen. It was here that it was discovered that the uncowled 50 hp Gnome rotary engine caused so much radio noise as to make the operation of the gear unreliable (sound familiar). In spite of the engine noise and unreliability of the aircraft it was shipped off to the Central Flying School at Upavon. It was subsequently never flown.

    The key here is that the radio gear did operate as planned when the power plant was not running. As a matter of fact this remotely piloted vehicle (RPV) concept caught the interest of the great Sopwith Co. as well as Ruston Proctor & Co. Ltd who began immediate, parallel development to Low's own at the RFC. Granville Bradshaw of A.B.C. Motors Ltd. who gained fame by designing the well proven 45 hp Gnat engine subsequently designed a throwaway engine specifically for use in the RPV.

    The 35 hp was a horizontally-opposed twin cylinder engine with a run life of 2 hours. It was this lightweight inexpensive engine that propelled RPV research and development into the next phase. In the mean time Sopwith had developed the 14ft wingspan "Sopwith AT" (AT = air target) which was fitted with the 35 hp ABC engine driving an ordinary wooden propeller. The radio box was further back towards the tail behind the fuel, batteries and of course the explosives.

    The sensitive radio equipment was fitted into a wooden box with a glass lid, suspended on rubber supports. The box itself measured about 2ft 3in by 9in. This box contained all of the relays, receiver and the Key system which was an interference filter. An interesting note here, a shaft which was driven by the engine triggered a mechanical relay so that each contact made in the control box caused the engine power to operate the control services. The date was 1916 and the Sopwith AT was completed with full servo control. It never flew because it was subsequently damaged while in hangar and abandoned (sound familiar?).

    The ironic end result was the creation of the Sopwith Sparrow which was a small, single seat aircraft which did in fact have a pilot after all. Naturally this is not the end of our story, enter Geoffrey de Havilland. De Havilland built a little mono plane around the lightweight ABC expendable engine. It is believed that it was the de Havilland monoplane which flew on a March 21st, 1917 test flight at Upavon. The rumor is that high ranking officials were invited to attend and were quickly dispersed in a rather comical fashion when the initial test flight went awry as they so often do. No more is known.

    Later that year H.P. Folland the designer of the S.E.5 fighter embarked on task to build an aircraft using Low's radio equipment. By July of 1917 he had 5 aircraft ready for flight and on July 6, 1917 the first flight was conducted. The aircraft rolled smoothly along on a 150 ft launch track and became airborne mid way. The craft rose steeply, stalled and plummeted to the ground (sound familiar?). Two more tests were conducted on July 25 and 28 but the aircraft were under controlled and the entire "R/C" program slowed to a trickle until the end of the war.

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 9

    2Lt Cravos, C.S. (Cyril Stephen), 5 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 20.

    FS Shepherd, A.G. (Alfred George), 5 Squadron, RFC, aged 21.

    Lt Waner, G.R.F. (Gerald Richard Francis), 25 Squadron, RFC. Died of wounds aged 23.

    A Mech 2 Taylor, A.T. (Alfred Thomas), No 1 Aircraft Acceptance Park, RFC. Died of wounds aged 26.

    2Lt Manley, T.W. (Terence Wood), RFC.

    Pte Metherel, W.D. (William D.), RFC. Died of pneumonia aged 45.

    Flt Sub-Lt Northorp, J.E. (John Eric), RNAS. Killed when the aircraft in which he was a passenger broke up in the air while doing a loop 2 March 1917 aged 22.

    A Mech 1 Pullen, O.J. (Oliver James), HMS President II, RNAS. Died of meningitis aged 25.

    Flt Lt Pulling, E.L. (Edward Laston) DSO, RNAS.

    Claims: 1

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    VizFeldwebel Friedrich Manschott claims his 8th confirmed victory with Jasta 7 shooting down a Farman near Hill 304.

    Western Front

    British lines advanced north-west of Puisieux and north of Warlencourt (Ancre).

    Unsuccessful enemy counter-attacks from near Bapaume.

    Tunstills Men Friday 2nd March 1917:


    Eperlecques


    The weather was very mild, but rather foggy. The day was spent with the men employed on a general clean up.


    Pte. Reginald Hancock (see 28th October 1916), who had been severely wounded in the chest during the advance on Contalmaison in July 1916, and had been under medical treatment ever since, was now re-classified as medical category C2. This meant that he was deemed fit only for labour services at home; he was posted to 3DWR based at North Shields.

    Pte. Patrick Sweeney (see 13th February), currently under treatment for gonorrhoea at no.51 General Hospital at Etaples, once again found himself in breach of military discipline. On this occasion he was found to have “hesitated to obey an order” and “shown insolence to an NCO”. He was sentenced to seven days’ field punishment no.2.

    Eastern Front:

    Fighting continues in southern Bukovina.

    Activity round Riga and on Narajowka river (Galicia), where Germans claim success.
    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    Turks fall back towards Baghdad, one column from Hamadan and one to Dauletabad.

    Persia:
    Russian general Baratov reoccupies Hamadan, Kangavar and Sehna (March 5).

    Naval Operations:


    Shipping Losses: 4 (all to U-Boat action)


    Political:


    State Council, Warsaw, reported organising national army against Russia, using Polish legions as cadres.

    France:
    1918 recruits called up.

    Austria:
    Charles’ Army reforms.


    Germany:
    Zimmermann tells press his telegram is true.

    Neutrals:


    U.S. Congress passes resolution for arming merchant ships.

    Anniversary Events:

    1776 Americans begin shelling British troops in Boston.
    1781 Maryland ratifies the Articles of Confederation. She is the last state to sign.
    1797 The Directory of Great Britain authorizes vessels of war to board and seize neutral vessels, particularly if the ships are American.
    1815 To put an end to robberies by the Barbary pirates, the United States declares war on Algiers.
    1836 Texas declares independence from Mexico on Sam Houston’s 43rd birthday.
    1853 The Territory of Washington is organized.
    1865 President Abraham Lincoln rejects Confederate General Robert E Lee‘s plea for peace talks, demanding unconditional surrender.
    1867 The first Reconstruction Act is passed by Congress.
    1877 Rutherford B. Hayes is declared president by one vote the day before the inauguration.
    1889 Congress passes the Indian Appropriations Bill, proclaiming unassigned lands in the public domain; the first step toward the famous Oklahoma Land Rush.
    1896 Bone Mizell, the famed cowboy of Florida, is sentenced to two years of hard labor in the state pen for cattle rustling. He would only serve a small portion of the sentence.
    1901 Congress passes the Platt amendment, which limits Cuban autonomy as a condition for withdrawal of U.S. troops.
    1908 An international conference on arms reduction opens in London.
    1908 Gabriel Lippman introduces the new three-dimensional color photography at the Academy of Sciences.
    1917 Congress passes the Jones Act making Puerto Rico a territory of the United States and makes the inhabitants U.S. citizens.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 03-02-2017 at 10:59.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  7. #2257

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    Saturday 3rd March 1917

    Today we lost: 416

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    Second Lieutenant Francis John Graham Leadbitter (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 35. He is the husband of English violinist, pianist, singer and composer Teresa Del Riego. She will compose The Unknown Warrior after the Armistice.

    Today’s losses include:

    · The husband of English violinist, pianist, singer and composer Teresa Del Riego

    ·
    A man whose brother will be killed in October 1918

    ·
    A member of the Surrey Constabulary

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    · Private Aubrey Gurl (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) is killed at age 21. His brother will be killed in October 1918.

    ·
    Drummer Frank James Joyce (Irish Guards) dies at home at age 30. He is a member of the Surrey Constabulary.

    Air Operations:


    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 7


    AC1 Boyland, C.D. (Columbia Desmond), HMS President II, RNAS. Accidently drowned, aged 19, after falling from a jetty with AM2 A. E. Goode.

    A Mech 2 Goode, A.E. (Albert E.), Killingholme Naval Air Station, RNAS. Accidently drowned, aged 19, after falling from a jetty with AC1 C. D. Boyland.

    A Mech 2 Hiscock, H.R. (Harry Ronald), Recruits Depot, RFC, aged 22.

    A Mech 2 Naish, W.M., RFC, aged 20.

    A Mech 2 Silverwood, R. (Richard), Engineer Repair Park, RFC, aged 35.

    2Lt Slattery, D.V. (Duncan Vincent), RFC.

    Midshipman Snow, E.R. (Edward Rupert), HMS Ark Royal, RNAS.

    Claims: 1

    Offizierstellvertreter Friedrich Altemeier claims his 1st confirmed victory with Jasta 24, shooting down a Nieuport 17 near Bois Morel. Altemeier served with the infantry until wounded in action on 15 January 1915. On 11 August 1915, he transferred to the Fliegertruppe and after serving with FA 67 and Jasta 14, he joined Jasta 24 in December 1916. After scoring 9 victories, he was wounded again in September 1917. Returning to duty the following year, he scored the 88th and final victory credited to Jasta 24 during the war.

    Western Front

    Somme:
    British advance east of Gommecourt and north of Puisieux (until March 5).

    Aisne:
    German 51st Reserve Division raid south of Ripont and captures Nivelle’s memo on general offensive from December 16, 1916.


    Tunstills Men Saturday 3rd March 1917:


    Eperlecques


    The weather was very mild. Training programmes began, with the Battalion given over to Company commanders for instruction.


    CSM William Jones MM (see 26th January) who had been back in England for the previous six weeks, now formally completed an application for a commission.

    Pte. Harold Rushworth (see 18th December 1916) who had been sent home to England almost three months earlier, having been taken ill whilst attached to 176th Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers, appeared before a Medical Board assembled at Lewisham Hospital. The Board found that he should transferred to the Army Reserve Class P. This classification of the reserve had been introduced in October 1916 and applied to men “whose services were deemed to be temporarily of more value to the country in civil life rather than in the Army”. Rushworth’s last known occupation prior to enlisting was as a house painter, but he was to take up munitions work under his new classification.

    John Widdup, younger brother of 2Lt. Harry Widdup (see 14th February), serving with 322nd Quarrying Company, Royal Engineers, was promoted Acting Lance Corporal.

    Eastern Front:

    Western Russia:
    Russian gas attacks north of Lake Naroch near Krevo (March 4).

    Pripet:
    German 1st Landwehr Division (with 400 field guns and mortars support) attack west of Lutsk (Voruchin), and nets 9,000 PoWs; 15guns; 200 MGs and mortars. Also attack south west of Brzezany (Galicia)


    Southern Front:

    Fierce fighting near Monastir; Italian troops in action.

    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    Arabia:Captain Newcombe and Arabs wreck Hejaz Railway at Dar-el-Hamra Station. During these days Cairo intercepts Djemal Pasha cable to Medina indicating evacuation plan, Lawrence urges Felsal to act.

    Naval Operations:


    Shipping Losses: 13 (2 to mines & 11 to U-Boat action)


    H M Trawler Northumbria is sunk by a mine near May Island Firth of Forth suffering five casualties.


    Political:


    German War Minister's announcement re: prisoners under fire.


    Governments of Japan and Mexico deny having received proposals from Germany.


    15,000 British women volunteer for National Service in three days.


    Belgium:
    Council of Flanders group in Germany (sees Kaiser) to petition independence.

    Neutrals:


    USA:
    Special Preparedness Fund and first Excess Profits Acts passed.

    Mr. Wilson takes the oath as President of the United States.


    U.S. Senate obstructionist minority prevents Vote on President's armed neutrality policy.


    Anniversary Events:

    1791 Congress passes a resolution authorizing the U.S. Mint; legislation creating the mint will be passed on Apr. 2, 1792.
    1803 The first impeachment trial of a U.S. Judge, John Pickering, begins.
    1817 The first commercial steamboat route from Louisville to New Orleans is opened.
    1845 Florida becomes the 27th U.S. state.
    1857 Under pretexts, Britain and France declare war on China.
    1861 The serfs of Russia are emancipated by Alexander II as part of a program of westernization.
    1863 President Abraham Lincoln signs the conscription act compelling U.S. citizens to report for duty in the Civil War or pay $300.00.
    1877 Rutherford B. Hayes, the republican governor of Ohio is elected president, his election confirmed by an electoral commission after disputed election the previous November.
    1878 Russia and the Ottomans sign the Treaty of San Stefano, granting independence to Serbia.
    1905 The Russian Czar agrees to create an elected assembly.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 03-03-2017 at 10:32.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  8. #2258

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    Sunday 4th March 1917

    Today we lost: 685
    Today’s losses include:
    · Two victims of the Red Baron
    · The great grandson of the Poet Felicia Hemans
    · The son of a member of the clergy
    · The son-in-law of a member of the clergy
    · Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
    · A man who will have two brothers killed in the Great War
    · A volunteer whose husband wall killed in the Royal Navy in 1915
    · The drama critic for the Birmingham Daily Mail

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    · Major George Willoughby Hemans (Indian Cavalry) is killed in action at age 37. He is the great-grandson of Felicia Hemans, the poetess and son in law of the late Reverend. A. J. Myers. He went to France early in the War and was mentioned in Lord French’s Dispatches of October 1915. He is killed having just returned to the Front after riding in the King’s Imperial escort at the opening of Parliament. At the time of his death he is commanding a detachment of his Regiment.
    · Captain Francis Ernest Knight (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed at age 35. His brother will be killed in May. · Second Lieutenant Frederick Mallinson Marrs (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Francis Marris.
    · Second Lieutenant Richard Aubrey Fuge Grantham (Lincolnshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 21. His younger brother will be killed in twenty-seven days.
    · Lance Corporal Charles William Benwell (Royal Berkshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 30. His brother will be killed in October 1918.
    · Lance Corporal George Thompson (East Lancashire Regiment) is killed. His two brothers will also be killed in the Great War. · Rifleman George Savage (Royal Irish Rifles) is killed in action. His brother will be killed in August 1918.
    · Private George Gardner (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed. His brother was killed in September 1915.
    · Mary Jane Flynn Gartside-Tipping (Women’s Emergency Corps) is shot to death by a deranged French soldier while on active service. She is the widow of Lieutenant Commander Henry Thomas Gartside-Tipping who was lost when the Yacht he was commanding was sunk by shore batteries off Zeebrugge in September 1915. She will be posthumously awarded the Croix de Guerre.
    · Private John William Husbands (Leicestershire Regiment) dies of wounds received 21st February at age 39. He is the dramatic critic for the Birmingham Daily Mail and a versatile journalist.

    Air Operations:

    Naval aeroplanes bomb Brebach (Saarbrucken).

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 15


    2Lt Bowling, V.MacD. (Victor MacDonald), 29 Squadron, RFC. Died of accidental injuries received while flying (crashed), aged 18

    2Lt Horn, E.E. (Edmund Eric), 8 Squadron, RFC. Killed whilst flying aged 19.

    Sgt Moody, R.J. (Reginald James), 8 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 22.

    2Lt Fenton, A.H. (Alan Hughes), 43 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 23.

    2Lt Green, H.J. (Herbert John), 43 Squadron, RFC. Killed in Action, Flying Sopwith 11/2 Strutter A1108, accompanied by 2nd Lieut A W Reid, shot down by Manfred von Richthofen at 16.20hrs over Acheville. Aircraft lost a wing during a turn and crashed to earth.

    2Lt Reid, A.W. (Alexander William), 43 Squadron ,RFC. Killed in above action aged 20.

    2Lt Wood, P.L. (Philip Lovel), 43 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action.

    2Lt Morgan, B.A. (Brinley Arthur), 53 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 24 when his aircraft crashed.

    2Lt Harms, W. (William), 59 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action.

    Lt Hill, B.W. (Beresford Winnington), 59 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 24.

    Flt Lt Wambolt, H.R. (Harry Redmond), 3rd Naval Squadron, RNAS. Killed in action aged 24.

    Lt White, J.P. (James Percy), 3rd Naval Squadron, RNAS. Killed in action aged 24.

    PO Twaddle, D. (David), RNAS. Died at Tiraspol near Odessa.

    A Mech 2 Bate, J.T.D. (John T.D.), Recruits Training Centre, RFC. Died of meningitis aged 21.

    A Mech 2 Ramsdale, W., Stores Depot Greenwich, RFC.

    Albatros D.III scouts of Jasta 11, led by Manfred von Richthofen dive on the Royal Flying Corps flight. Four FE8s are shot down and the remaining aircraft of the patrol are damaged. Pic green · Second Lieutenants Herbert John Green and Alexander William Reid (King’s Own Scottish Borderers attached) are shot down and killed by the Red Baron. Reid has been at the front for nine days.

    Claims: 24 (Entente 13: Central Powers 11)
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    Flt Lt Raymond "Collie" Collishaw claims his 4th confirmed victory for 3 Naval in a Sopwith Pup, shooting down a Halberstadt DII near Bapaume.

    Lt Reginald George Malcolm claims his 1st confirmed victory with 25 Squadron, RFC in a FE2d shooting down a LVG C near Courrieres. A clerk and department manager from Grimsby, Ontario, Reginald George Malcolm joined the Royal Flying Corps as a 2nd Lieutenant on 24 February 1917. Posted to 25 Squadron in March 1917, he scored 8 victories flying theFE2d.


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    Flt S-Lt John Joseph "Jack" Malone claims his 1st confirmed victory with 3 Naval, flying a Sopwith Pup he shot down a Halberstadt DII near Manancourt. The son of Edmund J., a farmer, and Mary (Wallace) Malone of Inglewood, Ontario, John Joseph Malone obtained Royal Aero Club certificate No. 3376 from the Curtiss flying school at Toronto on 15 July 1916. On that day he was promoted to Flight Sub-Lieutenant (on probation). Posted to 3 Naval Squadron on 1 February 1917, he scored 10 victories flying the Sopwith Pup before he was killed in action, shot down by Paul Billik of Jasta 12. Mentioned in despatches.

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    Lt Edwin Stuart Travis Cole claims his 2nd confirmed victory with 1 Squadron, RFC, flying a Nieuport he shot down a LVG C north of Ypres. A mechanical engineer from Bristol, Edwin Stuart Travis Cole, the son of Reuben and Jessie Cole, received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 2160 on a Caudron biplane at Ruffy-Baumann School, Hendon on 14 December 1915. He joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1916 and was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant (on probation) on 29 April 1916. Posted to 60 Squadron, he scored his first victory flying a Nieuport scout. Posted to 1 Squadron in October 1916, he scored seven more victories with Nieuport scouts in the spring of 1917. Cole served with the Royal Air Force during World War II.

    Sgt Leonard Herbert Emsden claims his 1st confirmed victory with 25 Squadron, RFC. An observer in a FE2b, piloted by 2Lt R.Malcolm, he shot down a LVG C near Courrieres. An FE2b observer with 25 Squadron, 2nd Class Air Mechanic Leonard Herbert Emsden scored eight victories with his pilots in 1917.

    2Lt Norman George McNaughton claims his 1st & 2nd confirmed victories with 57 Squadron, RFC. Flying a DH4 with observer 2Lt H G Downing, he shot down 2 enemy aircraft between Gommecourt and Sailly. Norman George McNaughton joined the Royal Flying Corps on 21 July 1915. Posted to 20 Squadron in France, he was wounded in action on 21 April 1916. When he recovered he was posted to 57 Squadron, scoring five victories before he was killed in action. His DH4 was shot down by Manfred von Richthofen.

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    Flt Lt Leonard Henry "Titch" Rochford claims his 1st confirmed victory with 3rd Naval, flyin a Sopwith Pup he shot down an Albatros DI near Manancourt. University student Leonard Henry Rochford received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 1840 on the L. & P. biplane at London & Provincial School, Hendon on 7 October 1915.

    Capt Robert Henry Magnus Spencer Saundby claims his 4th confirmed victory with 24 Squadron, RFC, flying an FE8 he shot down a Siemens-Shuckert DI east of Polygon Wood. Robert Henry Magnus Spencer Saundby was wounded in action on 31 July 1916. He was posted to 41 Squadron on 26 January 1917. He was awarded the Military Cross for downing a zeppelin and was granted a permanent commission to Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force on 1 August 1919. He was knighted and retired with the rank of Air Vice-Marshal in 1946.

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    Capt Joseph Marie Xavier de Sevin claims his 2nd confirmed victory with N12, shooting down an enemy aircraft near Autrecourt-Verdun.

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    S-Lt Marcel Joseph Maurice Nogues claims his 1st confirmed victory with N12, shooting down an enemy aircraft near Autrecourt. Joining the army on 4 September 1914, Nogues served with an artillery regiment before his transfer to aviation on 24 January 1916. After obtaining a Pilot's Brevet on 20 May 1916, he received additional training before being posted to Escadrille N12 on 26 September 1916. He scored his first two victories in the spring of 1917 but was captured on 13 April 1917 when he was shot down by Albert Dossenbach of Jasta 36. He soon escaped and returned to duty but was badly wounded in action on 13 August 1917. After recovering from his wounds, he joined Escadrille Spa57 on 11 April 1918 and downed six more enemy planes and five observation balloons. Shortly before the Armistice was signed, he was reassigned to Spa172 but scored no further victories. The following year, Nogues was killed playing rugby.

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    Lt Tom Falcon Hazell claims his 1st confirmed victory with 1 Squadron, RFC. Shooting down a HA near Westhoek. Tom Falcon Hazell was the highest scoring ace to serve with 24 Squadron. Sometimes listed as Thomas Falcon Hazell.

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    2Lt Christopher Joseph Quintin "Flossie" Brand claims his 1st confirmed victory with 1 Squadron, RFC. Shooting down a Roland C type near Boesinghe-Wytschaete. 2nd Lieutenant Christopher Joseph Quintin Brand received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 2685 on a Caudron biplane at Beatty School, Hendon on 30 March 1916. He attained the rank of Air Vice Marshal in the Royal Air Force. He and Pierre van Ryneveld were knighted for completing the first flight from England to South Africa. Enroute to Cape Town, they crashed their Vickers Vimy along the Nile, returned to Cairo for another Vimy and crashed again near Bulawayo. They finished the flight in a DH9, arriving in Cape Town on 20 March 1920. Brand was married on 9 June 1920 at Ilford Roman Catholic Church to Miss Maria Vaughan, of Goodmayes, Essex

    O-Lt Hans Kummetz claims his 1st confirmed victory with Jasta 1, shooting down a Sopwith Pup near Vis-en-Artois.

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    V-Flbwbl Friedrich Manschott claims his 9th & 10th confirmed victories with Jasta 7, shooting down A Caudron & a balloon, north west of Fort Michel and south of Belleville respectively.

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    Rittmeister Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen claims his 22nd & 23rd confirmed victories with Jasta 11, shooting down a BE2d 1km north of Loos & a Sopwith 11/2 Strutter near Acheville.

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    Lt Karl Emil Schäfer claims his 2nd confirmed victory (along with 2 unconfirmed victories) with Jasta 11, shooting down a Sopwith 11/2 Strutter south west of Haisnes.

    Lt Georg Schlenker claims his 4th confirmed victory with Jasta 3, shooting down a Sopwith Pup near St Quentinam. Schlenker joined the army before the war began. He was assigned to Jasta 3 on 1 September 1916, scoring 7 victories before being reassigned to Jast 41 on 6 September 1917. With this unit he scored 7 more victories before he was wounded in action on 30 September 1918.

    Lt Herbert Schröder claims his 1st confirmed victory with Jasta 1, shooting down a Sopwith Pup near Inchy-Marquion.

    Lt Renatus Theiller claims his 10th & 11th confirmed victories with Jasta 5, shooting down an RE8 & FE2b north of Monchy and near Combles respectively. At age 18, Theiller received flying license #511 on 12 September 1913. In 1916, as a two-seater pilot with FFA 25, Otto Schmidt flew as his observer. The following year, Theiller was killed in action when his Albatros DIII was shot down by a Sopwith 11/2 Strutter of 70 Squadron.

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    Lt Werner Voss claims his 12th confirmed victory with Jasta 2, shooting down a BE2d south of Berneville.

    Home Fronts:


    Russia:
    Food riots in Petrograd (and on March 6 and 7),

    France:
    Tubercular Ex-Soldiers Flag Day.

    Britain:
    War Office decides to form 9 tank battalions (total of 1,000 tanks).

    Western Front


    France:
    General d’Esperey (Northern Army Group) vainly asks Nivelle to let him attack retreating Germans (and on March 6 again), asks for tanks on March 9.

    Aisne:
    French advance between rivers Oisne and Aisne, south of Mouvron.

    Somme:
    British 8th Division (1,137 casualties) captures Bouchavesnes with 217 POW’s and repels six counter-attacks.

    Verdun:
    German 28th Division penetrates Caurieres Wood.

    French coup-de-main between Oise and Aisne, south of Mouvron.

    East of Gommecourt British continue advance.

    Tunstills Men Sunday 4th March 1917:

    Eperlecques

    Training continued close to billets.

    (Acting) Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Galbraith Buckle MC(see 22nd August 1916), who had spent two months with 10DWR in the Summer of 1916, and was now commanding 2nd Northants, showed great courage whilst commanding his Battalion during an attack at Bouchavesnes. He was subsequently awarded the DSO for his conduct and the citation records his actions: “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when in command of his battalion. He visited the captured trenches during the action and gave orders regarding dispositions and consolidation. The dash of his battalion in the attack and their tenacity in holding the position won, were to a considerable extent due to his influence."

    Eastern Front:

    Germany: Hoffmann diary ‘The Russian Army is deteriorating.’

    Rumania:
    Rumanians troops bombard near Calieni, but lose Magyaros Ridge on March 8 and fail to regain it on March 10 and 28.

    Russian gas attack near Krevo (south-east of Vilna).
    Southern Front:

    Isonzo: Italians form Gorizia Defence Command (3 corps) for Mt Kuk to Mt Santo sector under General Capello, Second Army reduced to IV Corps because of this.

    Austrian attack east of Gorizia repulsed. Italians occupy heights in Costabella Mountains. Fighting in the Dolomites.

    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    Gunner Frederick Powner (Royal Field Artillery) attempts to save a man who is thrown in the Tigris when his mule trips in a hole while watering. Unfortunately he is unable to find the man. For his actions he will be awarded the Humane Society Medal. He will be killed in Baghdad in October of this year.

    Naval Operations:

    Shipping Losses: 3 (2 to surface action & 1 to U-Boat action)


    Political:


    Chinese cabinet crisis due to disagreement as to policy with regard to Germany.

    "Flemish" deputation received by German Chancellor.

    Anniversary Events:

    1152 Frederick Barbarossa is chosen as emperor and unites the two factions, which emerged in Germany after the death of Henry V.
    1461 Henry VI is deposed and the Duke of York is proclaimed King Edward IV.
    1634 Samuel Cole opens the first tavern in Boston, Massachusetts.
    1766 The British Parliament repeals the Stamp Act, the cause of bitter and violent opposition in the colonies
    1789 The first Congress of the United States meets in New York and declares that the Constitution is in effect.
    1791 Vermont is admitted as the 14th state. It is the first addition to the original 13 colonies.
    1793 George Washington is inaugurated as President for the second time.
    1797 Vice-President John Adams, elected President on December 7, to replace George Washington, is sworn in.
    1801 Thomas Jefferson becomes the first President to be inaugurated in Washington, D.C.
    1813 The Russians fighting against Napoleon reach Berlin. The French garrison evacuates the city without a fight.
    1861 The Confederate States of America adopt the “Stars and Bars” flag.
    1877 The Russian Imperial Ballet stages the first performance of “Swan Lake” in Moscow.
    1901 William McKinley is inaugurated president for the second time. Theodore Roosevelt is inaugurated as vice president.
    1904 Russian troops begin to retreat toward the Manchurian border as 100,000 Japanese advance in Korea.
    1908 The New York board of education bans the act of whipping students in school.
    1912 The French council of war unanimously votes a mandatory three-year military service.
    1914 Doctor Fillatre of Paris, France successfully separates Siamese twins.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 03-04-2017 at 06:15.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  9. #2259

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    Monday 5th March 1917

    Today we lost: 441
    Today’s losses include:
    · The Assistant Scoutmaster of the 1st Holywood Troop
    · The Literary Critic for The Daily Telegraph
    · Multiple sons of member of the clergy
    · A grandson of the 1st Editor of The Taranaki Herald and member of the 1st New Zealand General Assembly · Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
    · A member of the North West Mounted Police
    · A battalion commander
    · The son of a Jurist
    · The grandson of a General

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    · Lieutenant Colonel Donald Whitley Figg DSO (London Regiment commanding 24th Royal Fusiliers) is killed at age 31.
    · Captain Martin Ricono (Royal Army Medical Corps attached South African Native Labor Corps) dies of cerebro-spinal meningitis at age 46. He served in the South African War and was for sixteen years a well known district surgeon at Mount Fletcher, South Africa.
    · Lieutenant John Henry Storer (Manitoba Regiment) is killed at age 49. He is a member of the North West Mounties and served on the Northwest Frontier of India in 1885.
    · Corporal Thomas Solly Crompton (Wellington Infantry) is killed at age 26. His brother will be killed in October of this year and they are grandsons of the 1st Editor of the Taranaki Herald and one of the 1st members of the General Assembly.
    · Lance Corporal Herbert Coleridge Watson (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) dies of wounds at age 37. He is the son of the Reverend H G Watson, a barrister of the Inner Temple and Literary Critic on the staff of The Daily Telegraph.
    · Rifleman William Nicholson (New Zealand Rifle Brigade) is killed. His brother was killed last December.
    · Sapper Samuel John Russell (Royal Engineers) is killed at age 21. He is the Assistant Scoutmaster of the 1st Holywood Troop.

    Air Operations:

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 1


    2Lt Steuart, W.W. (Walter Willcox), 46 Squadron, RFC. Died of wounds received in combat on 5th March 1917, aged 23.

    Claims: There are no confirmed claims today.

    Western Front


    German attack west of Pont-a-Mousson fails; attempts to recapture Bouchvesnes repulsed.

    British progress on Ancre front towards Bapaume Ridge.

    Tunstills Men Monday 5th March 1917:


    Eperlecques

    The weather turned colder overnight 4th/5th with some snow. Training was again conducted in the area of billets.

    Pte. Edwin Lightfoot was promoted (unpaid) Lance Corporal. He had been one of the Keighley volunteers who had been added to Tunstill’s original body of recruits in September 1914. He had enlisted on 20th September 1914 in Keighley, claiming to be 19 years old, although he was in fact only 17 and therefore under age. He was one of ten children of Edwin snr. and Florence Lightfoot. Edwin snr. worked as an iron moulder and his son had been working as a butcher for the Keighley Co-Operative Society when he enlisted. Less than a month after his son had joined, Edwin snr. also volunteered and joined the RAMC; he too had lied about his age, having taken ten years off his true age (42) in order to be accepted.

    Pte. Lionel Vickers (see 25th May 1916) was also promoted (unpaid) Lance Corporal.

    Cpl. John Stewart (see 20th February), was temporarily transferred to serve with 40th Light Railway Operating Company.

    Pte. John Roebuck (see 29th December 1916), serving with 83rd Training Reserve Battalion in Gateshead, found himself in trouble as a result of “inattention on lecture parade”; he would be sentenced to be confined to barracks for two days.

    Capt. William Norman Town (see 23rd February), recently transferred to the 3DWR from 3rd Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, appeared before a further Medical Board convened at James Street, Liverpool. The Board found that, “He is improving in general health and is now fit for Home Service”.

    Trooper Claude Darwin (see 2nd September 1916), serving with 11th Australian Light Horse in Egypt, was transferred to 1st Field Squadron, Engineers, Anzac Mounted Division. He was the brother of Tunstill recruit, Pte. Tom Darwin (see 9th September 1916), who was currently serving with 83rd Training Reserve Battalion, based at Gateshead

    Eastern Front:

    Russia: Romanian people of Austrian POW in Darnitsa Camp near Kiev sign oath to fight Dual Monarchy.

    Southern Front:

    Sharp fighting in the Dolomites.

    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    Palestine: Kress evacuates Wadi Sheikh Nuran for Gaza-Beersheba line.

    Engagement with Turkish rearguard at Laj (nine miles south-east of Ctesiphon).

    Russians occupy Kangavar, south of Hamadan.

    Turks abandon strong position west of Shalal (Sinai Peninsula).

    Mesopotamia:
    Maude resumes advance; 13th Hussars’ charge foiled by second trench line.

    Fresh from the triumph of re-capturing Kut-al-Amara in February, British regional Commander-in-Chief ‘Sir’Frederick Stanley Maude halts operations at Aziziyeh, awaiting confirmation from London to proceed onwards to Baghdad, less than 70km away. The pause is brief, less than one week, and today Maude restarts his advance along the east bank of the Tigris.

    · Major Jasper Bevereley Lynch DSO (Cavalry, Indian Army) is killed at age 33. He is the only son of Colonel James Beverley Lynch, late Commandant 12th Cavalry, Indian Army, and of Mrs. Lynch, daughter of General George Williams Bishop, Indian Army. Major Lynch was gazetted to the Royal Irish Fusiliers joining his Regiment in South Africa during that War. He received the King’s Medal and three clasps. Returning to England on the conclusion of peace he was transferred to the 2nd Battalion, then in India. In 1906 he won the Rackets Championship open to all India. In 1908 he was appointed to the 12th Cavalry Indian Army. At the beginning of the Great War he was appointed Assistant Embarkation Officer at Bombay and in April, 1915, proceeding to Mesopotamia as Staff Captain, being appointed to the 6th Cavalry Brigade. In January 1917 he became Brigade-Major. He was mentioned in the Gazette of 12th June 1917 for distinguished service rendered in connection with the operations at Shaiba in April 1915. He was with the 6th Cavalry Brigade in the advance on Baghdad in the autumn of 1915 and fought through the battle of Ctesiphon and the subsequent retirement. He is again with the 6th Cavalry Brigade as Brigade-Major when he is killed on this morning when he has goes forward with his Brigadier to observe the position of the retreating Turks.
    · Captain William Henry Eve (Hussars) is killed at age 37 in the same engagement. He is the son of ‘the Honorable’ Justice Eve.
    · Captain Alexander Gifford Ludford-Astley (Hussars) is killed in Mesopotamia at age 35. He is the son of the Reverend Benjamin Buckless Giffofrd Ludford-Astley.

    Naval Operations:


    Shipping Losses: 4 (All to U-Boat action)


    Political:


    Austria:
    Government reply to USA backs U-Boat war.

    Russia: Lord Milner
    returns from Petrograd saying ‘it is quite wrong to suppose that in Russia there is any controversy about the waging of the war’.

    Neutrals:


    USA:
    Wilson’s second term inaugural address ‘We stand fast on an armed neutrality.’

    London Ambassador Page cables to US ‘France and England must have … enough credit in the US to prevent collapse of world trade’.

    Anniversary Events:

    1624 Class-based legislation is passed in the colony of Virginia, exempting the upper class from punishment by whipping.
    1770 The Boston Massacre. Five Americans, including Crispus Atticus, are fatally shot by British soldiers. This event contributes to the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War.
    1766 Antonio de Ulloa, the first Spanish governor of Louisiana, arrives in New Orleans.
    1793 Austrian troops crush the French and recapture Liege.
    1821 James Monroe becomes the first president to be inaugurated on March 5, only because the 4th was a Sunday.
    1905 Russians begin to retreat from Mukden in Manchuria, China.
    1912 The Italians become the first to use dirigibles for military purposes, using them for reconnaissance flights behind Turkish lines west of Tripoli.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 03-05-2017 at 06:46.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  10. #2260

    Default

    Don't you wish they would spread the combat out a bit, 24 claims on one day, none the next - god help us once we get to April...

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  11. #2261

    Default

    You aint seen tomorrow yet!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hedeby View Post
    Don't you wish they would spread the combat out a bit, 24 claims on one day, none the next - god help us once we get to April...
    See you on the Dark Side......

  12. #2262

    Default

    You been scrying through the bottom of your glass again Squadron Leader?
    Kyte.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  13. #2263

    Default

    I need a glass or 2 after this one......

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Officer Kyte View Post
    You been scrying through the bottom of your glass again Squadron Leader?
    Kyte.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  14. #2264

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    Tuesday 6th March 1917

    Today we lost: 447
    Today’s losses include:
    · Two victims of the Red Baron
    · Multiple sons of members of the clergy
    · A man whose son will be killed in the Second World War
    · A Justice of the Peace
    · A great grandson of the 2nd Lord Graves and Baron of Gravesend
    · Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
    · A man whose two brothers will be killed in the Great War

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:


    · Colonel F W Tannett-Walker (Royal Engineers) the Justice of the Peace for Leeds dies on service at age 56.
    · Major Evelyn Paget Graves (Royal Field Artillery attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed in action at age 26. He is the son of Major ‘the Honorable’ Adolphus Edward Paget Graves and the great grandson of the 2nd Lord Graves Baron of Gravesend.
    · Lieutenant William Frederick Waller Hills (Royal Field Artillery attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 21. His brother was killed last September.
    · Second Lieutenant Denys Edward Greenhow (Royal Flying Corps) dies of wounds at age 19 received in air combat over Houthulst Forest. He is the son of the Reverend Edward Henry Greenhow Vicar of Chidcock.
    · Second Lieutenant Marc Anthony Bucknall (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) is killed at age 26. He is the son of the Reverend Marc Anthony Bucknall Vicar of St Winnow.
    · Second Lieutenant Arthur Starr Jukes (London Regiment) dies in Egypt at age 44. He is the son the Reverend Richard Starr Jukes rector of Milton Church.
    · Lance Corporal Walter Grey-Smith (Liverpool Regiment) is killed in action at age 26. His brother will be killed in November 1917 in Palestine.
    · Gentleman Cadet St Vincent Charles Farrant Hammick a student at the Royal Military College Sandhurst is accidentally killed at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend C H W Hammick.
    · Rifleman George Warren Whidborne (London Regiment) dies of wounds at age 31. He has two brothers who were killed in 1915 and they are sons of the Reverend George Ferris Whidborne Vicar of St George’s Battersea.

    Air Operations:

    Western Front:
    First DH4 fast, high-flying S/E bombers with first Constantinesco cc MG synchronizing gear (6,000 issued to December) join No 55 Squadron RFC.

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    The Airco D.H.4 biplane with Rolls-Royce Eagle engine with 375 hp.

    The Airco DH4was a two-seat biplane day bomber of WW1. It was designed by Geoffrey de Havilland (hence "DH") for Airco, and was the first British two-seat light day-bomber to have an effective defensive armament. It first flew in August 1916 and entered service with the RFC in March 1917. The majority of DH.4s were actually built as general purpose two-seaters in the United States, for service with the American forces in France.

    The DH.4 was tried with several engines, of which the best was the 375 hp (280 kW) Rolls Royce Eagle engine. Armament and ordnance for the aircraft consisted of one 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine gun for the pilot and one 0.303 in (7.7 mm)Lewis gun on a Scarff ring mounting for the observer. Two 230 lb (100 kg) bombs or four 112 lb (51 kg) bombs could be carried. The DH.4 entered service on 6 March 1917 with No. 55 Squadron in France.
    The DH.4 was designed by Geoffrey de Havilland as a light two-seat day bomber powered by the new Beardmore Halford Pullinger (BHP) engine. The prototype first flew in August 1916, powered by a prototype BHP engine rated at 230 hp (170 kW). While the DH.4 trials were promising, the BHP engine required major redesign before entering production, and the Rolls-Royce Eagle engine was selected as the DH.4's powerplant. The first order for 50 DH.4s, powered by 250 hp (186 kW) Eagle III engines was placed at the end of 1916.

    The aircraft was a conventional tractor two bay biplane of all-wooden construction. The crew of two were accommodated in widely spaced cockpits, separated by the fuel tank. It was armed with a single forward-firing synchronised Vickers machine gun and one or two .303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis guns fitted on a Scarff ring fired by the observer. A bomb load of 460 lb (210 kg) could be fitted to external racks. While the crew arrangement gave good fields of view for the pilot and observer, it caused communication problems between the two crew members, particularly in combat, where the speaking tube linking the cockpits was of limited use.

    As production continued, DH.4s were fitted with Eagle engines of increasing power, settling on the 375 hp (280 kW) Eagle VIII, which powered the majority of frontline DH.4s by the end of 1917. Because of the chronic shortage of Rolls-Royce aero engines in general, and Eagles in particular, alternative engines were also investigated, with the BHP (230 hp/170 kW), the Royal Aircraft Factory RAF3A (200 hp/150 kW), the Siddeley Puma (230 hp/170 kW) and the 260 hp (190 kW) Fiat, all being used in production aircraft. None of these engines could match the Rolls-Royce Eagle; however, there were simply not enough Eagles available.
    In American production, the new Liberty engine proved suitable as a DH.4 powerplant. The Liberty was also to eventually power the British DH.9A.

    Production was by Airco, F.W. Berwick and Co, Glendower Aircraft Company, Palladium Autocars, Vulcan Motor and Engineering, and the Westland Aircraft Works in the UK. A total of 1,449 aircraft (from orders for 1,700 aircraft) were made in the UK for the RFC and RNAS. SABCA of Belgium made a further 15 in 1926.

    In the United States, the Boeing Airplane Corporation, Dayton-Wright Airplane Company, the Fisher Body Corporation, and the Standard Aircraft Coporation produced the DH-4 with the Liberty L-12 engine for the American air services. A total of 9,500 DH-4s were ordered from American manufacturers, of which 1,885 actually reached France during the war.

    After the war, a number of firms, most significantly Boeing, were contracted by the U.S. Army to remanufacture surplus DH-4s to DH-4B standard. Known by Boeing as the Model 16, deliveries of 111 aircraft from this manufacturer took place between March and July 1920, with 50 of them returned for further refurbishments three years later.

    In 1923, the Army ordered a new DH-4 variant from Boeing, distinguished by a fuselage of fabric-covered steel tube in place of the original plywood structure. These three prototypes were designated DH-4M-1 (M for modernized) and were ordered into production alongside the generally similar DH-4M-2 developed by Atlantic Aircraft. A total of 22 of the 163 DH-4M-1s were converted by the Army into dual-control trainers (DH-4M-1T) and a few more into target tugs (DH-4M-1K). Thirty of the aircraft ordered by the Army were diverted to the Navy for Marine Corps use, these designated O2B-1 for the base model, and O2B-2 for aircraft equipped for night and cross-country flying.

    The DH.4 entered service with the RFC in January 1917, first being used by No. 55 Squadron. More squadrons were equipped with the type to increase the bombing capacity of the RFC, with two squadrons re-equipping in May, and a total of six squadrons by the end of the year. As well as the RFC, the RNAS also used the DH.4, both over France and over Italy and the Aegean front. The DH.4 was also used for coastal patrols by the RNAS. One, crewed by the pilot major Egbert Cadbury and Capt Robert Leckie (later Air Vice-Marshal) as gunner, shot down Zeppelin L70 on 5 August 1918. Four RNAS DH.4s were credited with sinking the German U-Boat UB 12 on 19 August 1918.

    The DH.4 proved a huge success and was often considered the best single-engined bomber of World War I. Even when fully loaded with bombs, with its reliability and impressive performance, the type proved highly popular with its crews. The Airco DH.4 was easy to fly, and especially when fitted with the Rolls-Royce Eagle engine, its speed and altitude performance gave it a good deal of invulnerability to German fighter interception, so that the DH.4 often did not require a fighter escort on missions, a concept furthered by de Havilland in the later Mosquito in World War II.

    A drawback of the design was the distance between pilot and observer, as they were separated by the large main fuel tank. This made communication between the crew members difficult, especially in combat with enemy fighters. There was also some controversy (especially in American service) that this placement of the fuel tank was inherently unsafe. In fact, most contemporary aircraft were prone to catching fire in the air. The fire hazard was reduced, however, when the pressurised fuel system was replaced by one using wind-driven fuel pumps late in 1917, although this was not initially adopted by American-built aircraft. The otherwise inferior DH.9 brought the pilot and observer closer together by placing the fuel tank in the usual place, between the pilot and the engine.
    Despite its success, numbers in service with the RFC actually started to decline from spring 1918, mainly due to a shortage of engines, and production switched to the DH.9, which turned out to be disappointing, being inferior to the DH.4 in most respects. It was left to the further developed DH.9A, with the American Liberty engine, to satisfactorily replace the DH.4.

    When the Independent Air Force was set up in June 1918 to carry out strategic bombing of targets in Germany, the DH.4s of 55 Squadron formed part of it, being used for daylight attacks. 55 Squadron developed tactics of flying in wedge formations, bombing on the leader's command and with the massed defensive fire of the formation deterring attacks by enemy fighters. Despite heavy losses, 55 Squadron continued in operation, the only one of the day bombing squadrons in the Independent Force which did not have to temporarily stand down owing to aircrew losses.

    After the Armistice, the RAF formed No. 2 Communication Squadron equipped with DH.4s to carry important passengers to and from the Paris Peace Conference. Several of the DH.4s used for this purpose were modified with an enclosed cabin for two passengers at the request of Andrew Bonar Law. These aircraft were designated DH.4A, with at least seven being converted for the RAF, and a further nine for civil use.

    At the time of its entry into the war, the United States Army Air Service lacked any aircraft suitable for front line combat. It therefore procured various aircraft from the British and French, one being the DH.4. As the DH-4, it was manufactured mostly by Dayton-Wright and Fisher Body for service with the United States from 1918, the first American built DH-4 being delivered to France in May 1918, with combat operations commencing in August 1918. The powerplant was a Liberty L-12 of 400 hp (300 kW) and it was fitted with two .30 in (7.62 mm) Marlin (a development of the Colt Browning) machine guns in the nose and two .30 in (7.62 mm) Lewis guns in the rear and could carry 322 lb (146 kg) of bombs. it could also be equipped with various radios like the SCR-68 for artillery spotting missions. The heavier engine reduced performance compared with the Rolls-Royce powered version, but as the "Liberty Plane" it became the US Army Air Service standard general purpose two-seater, and on the whole was fairly popular with its crews.

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    A formation of DH-4s in flight

    Aircrew operating the DH-4 were awarded four of the six Medals of Honor awarded to American aviators. 1st Lt Harold Ernest Goettler and 2Lt Erwin R. Beckley received posthumous awards after being killed on 12 October 1918 attempting to drop supplies to the Lost Battalion of the 77th Division, cut off by German troops during the Meuse-Argonne; while 2Lt Ralph Talbot and G/Sgt Robert G Robinson of the USMC were awarded the Medal of Honor for beating off attacks from 12 German fighters during a bombing raid over Belgium on 8 October 1918. The type flew with 13 U.S. squadrons by the end of 1918.

    Following the end of World War I, America had a large surplus of DH-4s, with the improved DH-4B becoming available, although none had been shipped to France. It was therefore decided that there was no point in returning aircraft across the Atlantic, so those remaining in France, together with other obsolete observation and trainer aircraft, were burned in what became known as the "Billion Dollar Bonfire". With limited funds available to develop and purchase replacements, the remaining DH-4s formed a major part of American air strength for several years, used for many roles, with as many as 60 variants produced. DH-4s were also widely used for experimental flying, being used as engine test beds and fitted with new wings. They were used for the first trials of air-to-air refueling on 25 June 1923, and one carried out an endurance flight of 37 hours, 15 minutes on 27–28 August, being refueled 16 times and setting 16 new world records for distance, speed and duration. The DH-4 remained in service with the United States Army Air Corps, successor to the United States Army Air Service, until 1932.
    DH-4s were also used by the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps, both during World War I and postwar. The Navy and Marine Corps received 51 DH-4s during World War I, followed by 172 DH-4B and DH-4B-1 aircraft postwar and 30 DH-4M-1s with welded steel-tube fuselages (redesignated O2B) in 1925. They remained in service with the Marine Corps until 1929, being used against rebel factions in Nicaragua in 1927, carrying out the first dive-bombing attacks made by U.S. military forces. The U.S. Navy converted some DH-4M-1s into primitive air ambulances that could carry one stretcher casualty in an enclosed area behind the pilot.

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 16


    Midshipman Barber, J. (John), HMS Edbro, RNAS. Killed in Action, when Armed Guard on Norwegian Steamship.

    Lt Short, C.W. (Cuthbert William), 3 Squadron, RFC.

    A Mech 1 Lamplugh, S.C. (Sydney Clifford), 3 Squadron, RFC. Killed whilst flying aged 19.

    2Lt Bibby, G.M. (Gerald Maurice Gosset), 16 Squadron, RFC. Killed in Action near Vimy Ridge aged 19, flying B.E. 2e A2785, accompanied by Lt G J O Brichta, he was shot down by Manfred von Richthofen, crashing near Souchez, both crew were Killed.

    Lt Brichta, G.J.O. (Geoffrey Joseph Ogilvie), 16 Squadron, RFC. Killed in Action aged 32, near Souchez when on artillery observation flight. BE2e A2785, flown by 2nd Lt G M Gosset-Bibby, was shot down by Manfred von Richthofen, crashing near Souchez, both crew were Killed.

    2Lt Underwood, G.M. (George Milne), 16 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 19.

    2Lt Watts, A.E. (Albert Edward), 16 Squadron, RFC.

    2Lt Berridge, V.A. (Victor Arnold), 34 Squadron, RFC. Killed whilst flying aged 24.

    Lt Pepler, S.J. (Stanley James), 43 Squadron, RFC, aged 27.

    2Lt Greenhow, D.E. (Denys Edward), 45 Squadron, RFC. Killed in Action aged 19, when attacked by five enemy aircraft. The Pilot made a forced landing in a badly damaged machine at Abeele.

    Lt Hills, W.F.W. (William Frederick Waller), 57 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 23.

    2Lt Gardner, W.S. (William Sutton), 57 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 19.

    Major Graves, E.P. (Evelyn Paget), 60 Squadron (Commanding Officer), RFC. Killed in action aged 26.

    Lt Joyce, P.S. (Philip Solomon), 60 Squadron, RFC, aged 20.

    A Mech 2 Robertson, A., RFC, aged 18.

    A Mech 2 Lucas, A.E., Balloon Section, RFC.


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    Second Lieutenant Gerald Maurice Gosset Bibby (Royal Flying Corps) is killed in action at age 19 when he and his observer Lieutenant Geoffrey Joseph Ogilvie Brichta (who is also killed age 32) are shot down becoming the 24th victims of Manfred von Richthofen while on an artillery observation patrol near Vimy. Bibby is the son of the Reverend Arthur Gurney Gosset Bibby who was the headmaster of Kimbolton Grammar School until his retirement at the outbreak of the war. The son of his observer Warrant Officer Philip Sibbald Ogilvie Brichta DFM will be killed in action on 16th September 1942.

    Claims: 22 (Entente 9: Central Powers 13)
    2LtHarold Harington Balfour claims his 1st confirmed victory with 43 Squadron, flying a Sopwith 11/2 Strutter, with 2Lt A Roberts observer, he shot down a Halberstadt D type near Givenchy-Lens. The son of Colonel Nigel Harington and Grace Annette Marie (Madocks) Balfour, Harold Harington Balfour was educated at Chilverton Elms School in Dover, Kent. Joining the King's Royal Rifle Company in 1914, Balfour served in France for 3 months before transferring to the Royal Flying Corps. After training, he served with 60 Squadron in 1916, then returned to Martlesham as a test pilot. Posted to 43 Squadron in 1917, he downed 2 enemy aircraft with the Sopwith 11/2 Strutter before he was injured in a crash. Later that year, he was posted to the School of Special Flying at Gosport, then served briefly with 40 Squadron before rejoining 43 Squadron as a Sopwith Camel pilot in 1918. After claiming 7 more victories and receiving a promotion to Major, he assumed command of the training school at Norfolk, remaining there until 1919. Balfour was granted a short service commission as Flying Officer with effect from 26 April 1920 and left the Royal Air Force in 1926. He entered politics and became a conservative Member of Parliament for the Isle of Thanet in 1929. In 1938, Balfour was appointed Under Secretary of State for Air, a position he held throughout World War II. He gained the title of 1st Baron Balfour of Inchrye in 1945 and before his death in 1988, he served as president of the British Society of World War I Aero Historians.

    Capt Edwin Benbow claims his 8th confirmed victory.
    Capt (Temp) Seldon Long claims his 9th confirmed victory.
    Lt Maximillian Mare-Montembault claims his 6th confirmed victory
    Lt Eric Pashley claims his 6th confirmed victory.
    2Lt Charles Edward Murray Pickthorn claims his 3rd confirmed victory.

    Lt Jacques Ortoli claims his 4th confirmed victory.
    Adj Edmond Pillon claims his 2nd confirmed victory.
    Capt Armand Pinsard claims his 5th confirmed victory.

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    Lt Edmund Nathanael claims his 1st confirmed victory with Jasta 5 shooting down a Morane north of Guedecourt.. After serving with FFA 42, Nathanael was assigned to Jasta 22 in late 1916. In March 1917, he was reassigned to Jasta 5. Scoring his 14th victory on 30 April 1917, he was the first pilot to shoot down an SE5. Five days after scoring his 15th victory, Nathanael was killed in action during a fight with the SPADs of 23 Squadron. Shot down by Irish ace William Kennedy-Cochran-Patrick, Nathanael's Albatros burst into flames and lost its wings before it crashed.

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    Lt Adolf von Tutschek claims his 1st confirmed victory with Jasta 2, shooting down a DH2 near Beugny.. After graduating from the Royal Bavarian Cadet School, von Tutschek's joined the 3rd Bayerischen Infantry Regiment in 1910. During the war, he distinguished himself in combat while serving in France and on the Eastern Front. Severely wounded during a gas attack at Verdun (his second wound of the war), von Tutschek was ill for months. When he recovered, he transferred to the German Air Force and after pilot training, served as a two-seater pilot with FA 6. On 25 January 1917, he was assigned to Jasta Boelcke as a scout pilot. Having scored three victories with this unit, he was given command of Jasta 12 on 28 April 1917. On 11 August 1917, von Tutschek was badly wounded in the right shoulder when his black-tailed Albatros DV 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 DRI (404/17) was shot down by anSE5a flown by South African ace Harold Redler.


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    Lt Kurt Wolff claims his 1st confirmed victory with Jasta 11, shooting down an BE2b. A former railway transportation officer, Wolff entered the military in 1912 and transferred to the German Air Force in July 1915. On his very first flight, Wolff survived a crash that dislocated his shoulder and killed the plane's pilot. On 5 November 1916, Wolff was posted to Jasta 11 but failed to score any victories until Manfred von Richthofen assumed command of the unit in January 1917. Scoring his 9th victory on 11 April 1917, Wolff downed a Bristol Fighter flown by Irish ace David Tidmarsh. On 6 May, having achieved 28 victories, Wolff was given command of Jasta 29. With this unit, he scored two more victories before returning to command Jasta 11 on 2 July 1917. Wounded nine days later, his left hand was injured in a dogfight with 10 Naval Squadron. When he returned to duty on 11 September 1917, he began flying one of the new Fokker Triplanes. Four days later, in another encounter with 10 Naval Squadron, Wolff was shot down by a Sopwith Camel flown by Norman McGregor. His Dreidecker, the first of its kind to be lost in aerial combat, went into a spin and crashed.

    Lt Wilhewlm Cymera claims his 2nd confirmed victory.
    Lt Heinrich Gontermann claims his 2nd confirmed victory.
    Lt Hans Kummetz claims his 2nd & 3rd confirmed victories.
    Lt Bruno Loerzer claims his 3rd confirmed victory.
    Rittmeister Manfred von Richthofen claims his 24th confirmed victory.
    Lt Karl Schafer claims his 3rd & 4th confirmed victories.
    Lt Adolf Schulte claims his 3rd confirmed victory.
    Lt Werner Voss claims his 13th confirmed victory.

    Home Fronts:


    Germany:
    250 British POW entrain at Minden to work in Ruhr coal mines (2,000 AlliedPOWthere already).

    Britain:
    Controller of Potatoes appointed. Army Demobilization Trades Register begun.

    Western Front


    British line extends south of Somme to neighbourhood of Reims, twice the length of a year before.


    Tunstills Men Tuesday 6th March 1917:


    Eperlecques

    The day dawned bright and clear, but very cold, conditions deteriorated later, with some sleet and snow showers. The focus of training moved to the Brigade training area.

    Capt. James Christopher Bull (see 17th February), who had left the Battalion in September 1916, suffering from paratyphoid, but had recently been declared fit for general service, returned to France en route to re-joining the Battalion.

    Three new subalterns arrived in France en route to joining 10DWR, having been commissioned six weeks earlier. They were 2Lts. Andrew Aaron Jackson (see 25th January), Arthur Lilley (see 25th January) and Thomas Arnold Woodcock (see 25th January).

    Pte. Irvine Clark (see 6th February), one of Tunstill’s original recruits, but who had been in England since being wounded in July 1916, returned to France; however, he did not re-join 10DWR, but was instead posted to 8DWR.

    A payment of £4 2s 4d was authorised, being the amount outstanding in pay and allowances to the late Pte. Harold Schofield Hanson (see 24th December 1916) who had died of “shrapnel wound to the right arm and pleurisy”; the payment would go to his father, Joe.

    Eastern Front:

    Night attack on German positions south of Brzezany fails.

    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    Mesopotamia: British occupy Lajj and Ctesiphon.

    British cavalry 14 miles from Baghdad.

    Naval Operations:


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


    Neutrals:


    U.S. Supreme Court decides "Appam" case in favour of British owners.


    Anniversary Events:

    1521 Ferdinand Magellan discovers Guam.
    1820 The Missouri Compromise is enacted by Congress and signed by President James Monroe, providing for the admission of Missouri into the Union as a slave state, but prohibitsslavery in the rest of the northern Louisiana Purchase territory.
    1836 After fighting for 13 days, the Alamo falls.
    1853 Giuseppe Verdi’s opera La Traviata premieres in Venice.
    1857 The Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision holds that blacks cannot be citizens.
    1860 While campaigning for the presidency, Abraham Lincoln makes a speech defending the right to strike.
    1862 The USS Monitor left New York with a crew of 63, seven officers and 56 seamen.
    1884 Over 100 suffragists, led by Susan B. Anthony, present President Chester A. Arthur with a demand that he voice support for female suffrage.
    1888 Louisa May Alcott dies just hours after the burial of her father.
    1899 Aspirin is patented following Felix Hoffman’s discoveries about the properties of acetylsalicylic acid.
    1901 A would-be assassin tries to kill Wilhelm II of Germany in Bremen.
    1914 German Prince Wilhelm de Wied is crowned as King of Albania.
    1916 The Allies recapture Fort Douaumont in France during the Battle of Verdun.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 03-06-2017 at 12:30.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  15. #2265

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    Jack White VC (23 December 1896 – 27 November 1949) was born Jacob Weiss in Leeds, Yorkshire on 23 December 1896 into a Jewish family. After finishing his education, he joined the family business, a waterproofing company. When the First World War broke out, he returned home from a business trip and volunteered for active service with the King’s Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster). Originally assigned to battalion destined for France, he missed the battalion's deployment while home on compassionate leave to attend the death of his father. Instead, he was transferred to the 6th King's Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster).

    The 6th King's Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster) was attached to the 13th (Western) Division. Originally ordered to Gallipoli, he remained with the battalion through the Gallipoli campaign. Eventually, he and his unit were ordered to join the Tigris Corps, attempting to relieve the Seige of Kut. After the failure of the relief effort, White's unit participated in the counter-offensive in 1917. It was during the 13th Division's crossing of the Diyala River that he earned the Victoria Cross.

    White was 20 years old, and a private in the 6th Battalion, The King’s Own Regiment (Royal Lancaster) Regiment when, on 7/8 March 1917 on the Dialah River, Mesopotamia, the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC. This citation was gazetted on 27 June 1917:

    War Office, 27th June, 1917.
    His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Victoria Cross to the under mentioned Officer, Warrant Officer, Non-commissioned Officers and men:—

    No. 18105 Pte. Jack White, R. Lanc. R.
    For most conspicuous bravery and resource.
    This signaller during an attempt to cross a river saw the two Pontoons ahead of him come under heavy machine-gun fire, with disastrous results. When his own Pontoon had reached midstream, with every man except himself either dead or wounded, finding that he was unable to control the Pontoon, Pte. White promptly tied a telephone wire to the Pontoon, jumped overboard, and towed it to the shore, thereby saving an officer's life and bringing to land the rifles and equipment of the other men in the boat, who were either dead or dying.

    He was also awarded the Italian Bronze Medal of Military Valour.

    Jack White later achieved the rank of LCpl. Ironically, although he was a Victoria Cross holder, he was not permitted to join the Home Guard during the Second World War. He was denied this because it was claimed his parents had failed to be properly naturalized as British Citizens, despite the fact that he was born in Yorkshire.
    After his service, he returned to Manchester and undertook an apprenticeship as a trainee pattern cutter in a local factory. He went on to become General Manager and then Owner before fading health forced him to relinquish his interest and he died in 1949 aged 52.

    Having had several owners since, the same factory is now owned and managed by Private Jack White’s Great Grandson. One of few remaining UK garment manufacturers, the factory produces clothing for well-known British brands as well as a line of carefully crafted clothing, named after and inspired by the heroics and military style of Private Jack White V.C.

    He was the subject of a comic strip in Victor comic, published in 1987.

    Today we lost: 388
    Today’s losses include:
    · The son of a General.
    · The son of a member of the clergy.
    · A Vancouver British Columbia Police Constable.
    · Multiple families that will lose two son in the Great War.
    · Multiple men who will lose two brothers in the Great War.

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    · Major James Duff Stuart (Canadian Pioneers attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed when he and his pilot are shot down in flames over Lens. He is the son of Brigadier General James Duff Stuart.
    · Second Lieutenant Charles James Dyer (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed at age 34. He is the first of three brothers who are killed in the War.
    · Second Lieutenant Noel William Scott Fletchder (Durham Light Infantry) is killed at age 19. He is the son of Canon W E Fletcher Rector of St Matthew’s Ipswich.
    · Corporal Hazen Winslow Hall (Western Ontario Regiment) is killed in action at age 31. He is a constable for the Vancouver Police Department.
    · Private Ernest John Fehrenbach (Welsh Guards) is killed at age 28. His brother was killed in July 1916. · Private Arthur Albert Mears MM (Australian Infantry) dies at age 27. His brother died of wounds less than one month previously.
    · Private George Dunster (East Kent Regiment) dies of wounds at age 38. He is the first of three brothers who lose their lives this year while on service.

    Air Operations:


    Britain:
    11 home air defence squadrons have 147 aircraft instead of 222 establishment and 113 pilots of 198. Field Marshal French orders no anti-aircraft gun firing at hostile planes (until June 7) except in specific coastal defences; crews reduced to send men to France.

    Occupied Belgium:
    New German Gotha bomber base of Scheldewindeke operational south of Ghent.


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    A Gotha Bomber Squadron on its base

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 3

    Flt S-Lt Powell, L.A. (Leslie Arthur), 3 Naval Squadron, RNAS. Killed in action flying a patrol aged 21.

    Lt Simpson, G.K. (George Kenneth), 14th Kite Balloon Section, 4th Balloon Wing, RFC. Died of Wounds (burns) received when he jumped from an observation balloon and was hit by fragments of the flaming balloon, aged 26.

    Maj Stuart, J.D. (James Duff), 43 Squadron, RFC, aged 22.



    Claims: 3 (Russia 3: Central Powers 0)

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    Poruchik Donat Aduiovich Makeenok claims his 1st confirmed victory with the 7th fighter detachment, flying a Nieuport 21 he shot down an enemy aircraft near Svistelniki.

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    Praporshik Vladimir Ivanovich Strizhesky claims his 1st confirmed victory with the 9th fighter detachment, flying a Nieuport 21 he shot down an enemy aircraft near Herzh. Injured in a crash on 9 March 1916. Wounded in action on 18 July 1917.

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    Praporshik Vasili Ivanovich Yanchenko claims his 4th confirmed victory with the 7th fighter detachment, flying a Nieuport 11 he shot down an enemy 2 seater west of Lipitsa.

    Western Front


    Tunstills Men Wednesday 7th March 1917:


    Eperlecques

    The weather remained very cold, with a biting wind. Training was again carried out in the Brigade training area.

    Pte. Jacob Carradice Green (see 29th January) who had spent the last five weeks in hospital, re-joined the Battalion.

    2Lt. Harold Sykes Holroyd (see 26th October 1916), who had been with the Battalion for four months, returned to England to join the Royal Naval Air Service as a probationary Flying Officer; he would have a period of leave before formally taking up his appointment on 25th March.

    Pte. Albert Saville (see 19th November 1916) who had been injured in September and was now serving with 83rd Training Reserve Battalion at Gateshead, made a formal statement as to the injuries he had suffered, in anticipation of a Medical Board which would consider his possible discharge from the Army. He declared that, on 24th September 1916, near Contalmaison, he “was sitting in a trench when shell struck parapet and he was buried in fall of earth. Removed to 1st General Hospital, Etaples, thence to Colchester General Hospital. Complains of pain and tenderness in back, inability to stand erect or march, and of general weakness”.

    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    Three Turkish columns in western Persia continue retreat, converging on Baghdad road at Kangavar; main column thrown from Assadabad Pass by pursuing Russians.

    Proclamation by Ulema of Mecca to the Faithful published.


    Mesopotamia:
    British fail to cross river Diyala but cross Tigris to southern bank by steamer (bridged on March 8).
    By early March, the British were at the outskirts of Baghdad, and the Baghdad garrison, under the direct command of the Governor of Baghdad province Halil Kut (Khalil Pasha), tried to stop them on the Diyala river. General Maude out-manoeuvered the Ottoman forces, destroyed an Ottoman regiment and captured the Ottoman defensive positions. During the attack on Turkish positions at Es Sinn the Turks blew defensive mines or fougasse which killed men from a number of attacking units.

    From the Diary of the 6th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment:


    7th March 1917

    6 a.m. The Battalion left BUSTAN as rear Battalion in the Brigade which acted as advance guard to the Division, reaching 709 central at about 10 a.m. Corps Cavalry and two batteries R.F.A. went forward to make a reconnaissance towards DIALAH. This Battalion was sent through the vanguard (South Lancs) to support the cavalry and artillery at about 11 a.m.

    The situation at 2.30 p.m. was as follows;-
    The two batteries – C66 on right and H66 on left were in position about 703 d.8/3. ‘A’ Coy was in position on a mound about 500 yards in front of the guns. ‘D’ Coy was 400 yards to the left of ‘A’ Coy and the two remaining Coys were in reserve about 1000 yards behind. All were dug in as the Turks were sending over a few shells. Later ‘D’ Coy was moved forward to a large mound about 704 e.4/6; ‘C’ Coy taking up the position vacated by ‘D’ Coy. At dusk the Battalion, less ‘A’ Coy, formed up on ‘C’ Coy and moved at 8 p.m. to observation post on the mounds where ‘A’ Coy was situated. The Battalion moved off at 10 p.m. to take up a position on the river bank, with the object of preventing an enfilade fire being directed on the Kings Own (R. L.) Rgt at the DIALAH bridge, where it was intended to throw a pontoon bridge across. The attempt failed owing to machine-gun fire, and pontoons were sunk by bombs. A second attempt met with no success and the project was abandoned. Kings Own (R.L.) and East Lancs. who had failed to launch their pontoons owing to ramping difficulties and machine-gun fire, dug in on the bank. The Battalion was withdrawn to the Brigade Area reaching camp about 5 a.m. No casualties.

    Naval Operations:


    Austria:
    C-in-C Njegovan urges hastened U-Boat and MTB construction.

    North Sea:
    Royal Navy CMBs torpedo German destroyer leaving Zeebrugge during air raid.

    Black Sea:
    Russian submarine Kashalot sinks 8 Turk sailing coasters and 3 tugs east of Bosphorus.

    Shipping Losses: 8 (2 to mines & 6 to U-Boat action)


    H M Trawler Vivanti (Skipper Thomas Henry Kay) founders off the coast of Fairlight Hastings. Thirteen including her skipper are lost. The fishing vessel Vulcana (Skipper Robert Walte Windeatt) is sunk by gunfire from UC-76 forty miles east southeast from Auskerry Lighthouse. Two are killed including her skipper.


    Political:


    Recruiting for W.A.A.C. temporarily completed. 114,803 enrolled for National Service to date.


    National manifestation at Sorbonne, Paris, for triumph of right.


    1920 class called up in Austria.


    Anniversary Events:
    322 BC The Greek philosopher Aristotle dies.
    161 On the death of Antoninus at Lorium, Marcus Aurelius becomes emperor.
    1774 The British close the port of Boston to all commerce.
    1799 In Palestine, Napoleon captures Jaffa and his men massacre more than 2,000 Albanian prisoners.
    1809 Aeronaut Jean Pierre Blanchard — the first person to make an aerial voyage in the New World — dies at the age of 56.
    1838 Soprano Jenny Lind (“the Swedish Nightingale”) makes her debut in Weber’s opera Der Freischultz.
    1847 U.S. General Winfield Scott occupies Vera Cruz, Mexico.
    1849 The Austrian Reichstag is dissolved.
    1862 Confederate forces surprise the Union army at the Battle of Pea Ridge, in Arkansas, but the Union is victorious.
    1876 Alexander Graham Bell is granted a patent for the telephone.
    1904 The Japanese bomb the Russian town of Vladivostok.
    1906 Finland becomes the third country to give women the right to vote, decreeing universal suffrage for all citizens over 24, however, barring those persons who are supported by the state.
    1912 French aviator, Heri Seimet flies non-stop from London to Paris in three hours.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 03-07-2017 at 02:57.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  16. #2266

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    George Edward Cates VC (9 May 1892 – 8 March 1917) was born on 9 May 1892 to George and Alice Ann Cates, of Wimbledon, London. He was 24 years old, and a second lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion, The Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort’s Own) and was awarded the VC for his actions at Bouchavesnes, France, during which he was killed.
    For most conspicuous bravery and self-sacrifice. When engaged with some other men in deepening a captured trench this officer struck with his spade a buried bomb, which immediately started to burn. 2nd Lt. Gates, in order to save the lives of his comrades, placed his foot on the bomb, which immediately exploded. He showed the most conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in performing the act which cost him his life, but saved the lives of others
    — London Gazette, dated 11 May 1917

    His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Royal Green Jackets Museum, Winchester, England

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    Oswald Austin Reid VC (2 November 1893––27 October 1920) was born in Johannesburg, the son of Harry Austin Reid and his wife Alice Gertrude, pioneering founders of the city. He attended the Diocesan College in Cape Town and St John's College in Johannesburg before moving on to Radley College England in April 1910. The Headmaster sent a glowing reference praising his fine athleticism and role as senior prefect. Aged 16, he entered the Cricket XI as wicket-keeper in his first term. The next year he was in the Football XI and played as forward in the Rugby XV. Reid was a Heavyweight boxing champion in the College and a member of the Debating Society. Then he became a full back in the football XI and was elected to the Literary Society in November 1911.

    Joining the College OTC he gained an A Certificate in March 1912. In freezing conditions he played in the Rugby 1st XV in January 1912, injured himself in a skating accident. He recovered, switched to the wing in Rugby and proved fast. He proved a great hurdler, and then returned as 1st XI wicket-keeper. But working on bowling and batting, his averages improved in all aspects of the game.

    Reid became Senior Prefect in Michaelmas 1912, began writing poetry and, dominated the school's sports. He was there for three years became Senior Prefect and Captain of the Football and Cricket teams. He was also captain of Swimmining and elected President of the Debating Society, and Colour Sergeant of the OTC. He picked up another Football injury in 1913, and had to be excluded for the second year running. Without Reid, with two weak knees, Rugby XV was without pace in the backs. In summer 1913 he was an excellent Cricket XI captain scoring 101 with the bat against Bradfield in one match. He represented the Public Schools XI at Lord's. He continued playing cricket after school and in the army.

    That summer he left for Holland to learn Dutch with a view to working in the Transvaal, when the war broke out. He continued a lifelong correspondence with his old headmaster in Johannesburg: in one of his letter hinting he would enter Holy Orders. On 14 August 1914 he was commissioned into 4th battalion King's Liverpool Regiment.
    In 1915 he took part in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle. He fought alongside soldiers from India. The casualty rate of officers was very high, attrition rates of over 100. Two of his friends were killed. The shelling was terrific, and the Germans had very accurate snipers. Reid was wounded in the head at the 2nd Battle of Ypres in April 1915. In his copious correspondence to his Headmaster in St John's College, Johannesburg he explained his motives and experiences. Of the regiment's complement of 30 officers and 1000 men, ony 7 officers and 300 men remained after only two months in the theatre of operations. At Ypres they were gassed; and he praised the men who "carry an enormous weight on their packs...their marvellous imperturbability and cheerfulness...They face death as if it was a common occurrence." He took strength from their courage. Having been sent home wounded, he returned to France in September 1915. He was a lieutenant with the 1st battalion, until promoted to captain in December in "one of the finest and oldest of the British Regiments." The British now had trench mortars. But he was wrong to think the war would be won by summer 1916. He had already been wounded a second time at 1st Battle of Arras in April 1915, spending all the months to July 1916 in England. He did not serve in the Somme, but was sent to India on the North-West Frontier with 2nd battalion. In December he arrived in Mesopotamia, promoted to Captain and transferred into the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, attached to the 6th Battalion. He was perhaps naive in his assessment of the Turk as "much more of a sportsman than the Germans..."

    On 7 March 1917 at the Battle of Diyalah River, Meopotamia, the men of the King's Own Lancaster Regiment tried to cross the river, but even before the first platoon had crossed were under Turkish cross-fire. The Royal Engineers building the pontoon were killed from 50 yards away across the river by machine-guns and artillery. A second pontoon was attacked by mustard gas killing or wounding all the engineers. In all five attempts were made to cross the river but the positions were dominated by enfilade fire. Dead and wounded bodies were seen floating down the river.
    The next night a surprise assault was made, but other pontoons behind were held up as Turkish sentries awoke to the noise. As a result, 100 Lancashire soldiers were left stranded on the north bank of the river, cut off without reinforcements. A much stronger Turkish force attacked all day and all night. With great skill they managed to throw back the grenades thrown into their positions by the Turks. Sometimes at the point of a bayonet they fought back the Turks, time and time again constantly for 30 hours. The one piece of good fortune was the redoubt thrown up by the bend in the river, that offered some shelter. Finally on the morning of 10 March, a rescue was effected. They found 30 exhausted survivors; bodies piled up around the defensive parapets.

    Captain Reid consolidated a small post with the advanced troops on the opposite side of the river to the main body, after his lines of communication had been cut by the sinking of the pontoons. He maintained this position for 30 hours against constant attacks by bombs, machine-guns and rifle fire, with the full knowledge that repeated attempts at relief had failed and that his ammunition was all but exhausted. It was greatly due to his tenacity that the crossing of the river was effected the next night. During the operations he was wounded.

    Reid's bravery in defending the position, and isolated bridgehead was vital, and crucial, allowing enough time for reinforcements to cross the river. The manouevre allowed General Sir Stanley Maude to outflank the Turks and to effect entry into Baghdad on 11 March 1917. Captain Reid was granted leave that summer 1917 returned to Johannesburg. The town's first winner of the Victoria Cross was given a rapturous welcome, reported a local newspaper. "Thank you all very much. It's all a matter of luck", said Reid in all due modesty - soldierly and professional to the last. Reid left South Africa to return to the regiment on Monday 13 August 1917. He had already been made Acting Major on 10 May. On 31 August 1917 it was announced that the Italian government had awarded him the Silver Medal for Military Valour. In October 1917 he suffered a recurrence of the Rugby injury to a cartilage in the knee, and was invalided out. In December the General's Report mentioned him in despatches. He returned home to recover from his injuries.

    Citation:
    Captain Oswald Austin Reid King's Liverpool Regiment attached Loyal North Lancashire Regiment
    For most conspicuous bravery in the face of desperate cirumstances.
    By his dauntless courage and gallant leadership he was able to consolidate a small post with the advanced troops, on the opposite side of a river to the main body, after the lines of communication had been cut by the sinking of pontoons.He maintained his position for 30 hours against constant attacks by bombs machine guns and shell fire, with the full knowledge that repeated attempts at relief had failed, and that his ammunition was all but exhausted.
    It was greatly due to his tenacity that the passage of the river was effected on the following night.
    During the operations he was wounded.

    His Victoria Cross is displayed at the National Museum of Military History in Johannesburg.

    On the fourth anniversary of the start of the war, 4 August 1918, at a commemoration in Johannesburg, Reid received a ceremonial sword on his son's behalf, who was still serving in Mesopotamia. On All Saints Day 1919, Oswald Reid attended a reunion at Radley where he was very welcome indeed. The boys were granted a half-holiday at Reid's request. The editor of the Radleian of the day recorded the event. A great reception was held with a dinner and speeches. He met Reid personally, and little had changed despite his military hardships. He had fallen in love with a sister of an old school chum, but she had married another man. He was feeling quite depressed about it. But Reid was a tall good looking robust, strong young man, well-liked and popular. He had a ready smile and good humour, never complained about his wounds and bore his infirmities manfully. He hid his VC in a tree trunk ashamed by his embarrassment. When he left Radley Reid returned to his base. On 6 February 1920 he was demobilized and travelled home to South Africa. On 1 April, he resigned his army commission, taking up a new commission in the Transvaal Scottish Regiment with the rank of Captain. He was the first secretary of the Comrades of the Great War League (later the British Empire Service League and now called the South African League) he entered the political sphere winning a seat at Troyeville in March 1920.

    On Monday 25 October he fell ill going to the office, but insisted on working. Two days later he died from gastro enteritis due to complication from wounds received. His funeral took place on Sunday 31 October 1920, at St Mary's Cathedral, Johannesburg. Crowds thronged the streets to see off their hero. The procession cortege passed along the street to the cemetery. Acting-Major Reid is buried in Braamfontein Cemetery in Johannesburg.

    Today we lost: 405
    Today’s losses include:
    · Two men whose will have brothers killed next year

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    · Private Frank Myers (East Lancashire Regiment) is killed in action at age 32. His brother will be killed in March 1918.
    · Private Horace James Moore (Sherwood Foresters) is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed in August 1918.

    Air Operations:

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: No losses are recorded for today.


    Claims: There are no confirmed claims for today.


    Home Fronts:


    Germany:
    Death of Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, aged 79, pioneer of giant metal-framed rigid airships (civil and military) since 1891 and of giant LR biplane aircraft.

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    Picture taken in 1917 of Ferdinand Adolf Heinrich August Graf von Zeppelin (July 8, 1838 – March 8, 1917.

    Western Front


    France:
    Canadian Prime Minister visits BEF, Haig and Nivelle (until March 12).

    In Champagne, French regain most of salient lost on 15 February between Butte de Mesnil and Maisons de Champagne.


    Slight British advance in Ancre valley.


    Five enemy raids against British positions north of Wulverghem (Messines).


    Tunstills Men Thursday 8th March 1917:


    Eperlecques

    There was further snow and a very cold wind; the Divisional Trench Mortar Battery reported that “weather so cold that parades were impossible”. A planned Brigade exercise was cancelled “owing to bad weather; the ground being covered with snow again and a strong wind blowing”.

    LCpl. Christopher Longstaff (see 27th December 1916) completed his application for a temporary commission.

    (Acting) Lt. Cecil Crowther Hart (see 13th December 1916), who had held his rank for three months, reverted to Second Lieutenant “on ceasing to be employed with a Battalion” (the details of the temporary appointment are unknown)

    Two more subalterns arrived in France, en route to join 10DWR; they were 2Lts. Leopold Henry Burrow and Vincent Edwards (see 25th January).

    A payment of £5 14s 10d was authorised, being the amount outstanding in pay and allowances to the late Pte. Herbert Rooke (see 14th October 1916), who had been killed at Le Sars; the payment would go to his widow, Annie.

    Eastern Front:

    Romanians lose three heights (late Russian positions) north-west of Ocna (Moldavia).


    Enemy repulsed near Mitau (Riga).

    Southern Front:

    Several days' shelling of Monastir reported.

    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    Russians on road from Hamadan rout Turks, who withdraw to Hajiabad.

    The British reach the Diyala in their advance to Baghdad. An immediate British attempt to cross the heavy, rapid-flowing river fails, although night-crossings will succeed in establishing a small bridgehead the following evening.

    Extract from 6th Battalion Diary:


    8th March 1917

    The Battalion remained in camp during the morning, but in the afternoon received orders to the effect that they would be required to undertake the operation of forcing the passage of the Dialah River that night. Consequently four columns were formed, composed of one Company each with the addition of rowers and carriers from the Royal Engineers and Welch Pioneers. They proceeded in this formation towards the river, where each column was led to a position of readiness, opposite the place where each crossing was to be made.

    Naval Operations:

    Italy:
    Rear-Admiral Mortola First Inspector of Shipping Defence.

    Shipping Losses: 6 (All to U-Boat action)


    Norwegian relief ship "Storstad" torpedoed.


    Political:


    Civil mobilisation report tabled in French Senate: civilians of both sexes, 17 to 60, included.


    Speech by Sir E. Carson.


    Interim report of Dardanelles Commission issued.


    British Government accepts Nizam of Hyderabad's offer of �100,000 towards anti-submarine campaign.


    Neutrals:

    Wireless communication between U.S.A. and Germany suspended.


    President Wilson decides to arm American ships against submarines.


    Anniversary Events:

    1618 Johannes Kepler discovers the third Law of Planetary Motion.
    1702 Queen Anne becomes the monarch of England upon the death of William III.
    1790 George Washington delivers the first State of the Union address.
    1853 The first bronze statue of Andrew Jackson is unveiled in Washington, D.C.
    1855 The first train crosses Niagara Falls on a suspension bridge.
    1862 On the second day of the Battle of Pea Ridge, Confederate forces, including some Indian troops, under General Earl Van Dorn surprise Union troops, but the Union troops win the battle.
    1862 The Confederate ironclad C.S.S. Virginia (formerly U.S.S. Merrimack) is launched.
    1880 President Rutherford B. Hayes declares that the United States will have jurisdiction over any canal built across the Isthmus of Panama.
    1904 The Bundestag in Germany lifts the ban on the Jesuit order of priests.
    1908 The House of Commons, London, turns down the women’s suffrage bill.
    1909 Pope Pius X lifts the church ban on interfaith marriages in Hungary.
    1910 Baroness de Laroche becomes the first woman to obtain a pilot’s license in France.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 03-08-2017 at 04:01.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  17. #2267

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    Friday 9th March 1917

    Today we lost: 499
    Today’s losses include:
    · Families that will lose three and four sons in the Great War
    · The son of a member of the clergy
    · A victim of the Red Baron
    Today’s highlighted casualties include:
    · Brevet Lieutenant Colonel John Brecknock Noble (Royal Marines) dies at home at age 49. He is the son of the Reverend and Mrs. Noble.
    · Lieutenant Arthur John Pearson MC (Northamptonshire Regiment attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 29 when he is shot down by the Red Baron.
    · Private Henry Brazier (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed at age 18. He is the third of four brothers who are killed in the Great War.

    Air Operations:

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 5

    Sub Lt (Flt Sub-Lt) Fox, J.J.T. (John James de la Tour), Portland Seaplane Station, RNAS. Killed in Action aged 25. Drowned in Channel while patrolling in Short Admiralty 184 Type Seaplane No.8376 with AM2 R E Gordon.

    A Mech 2 Gorman, R.E. (Robert Edward), Portland Seaplane Station, RNAS. Killed in Action aged 25. Drowned in Channel while patrolling in Short Admiralty 184 Type Seaplane No.8376 with Sub Lt Fox.

    2Lt Pearson, A.J. (Arthur John), 29 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action.

    A Mech 3 Hindmarch, J. (Joshua), Recruits Depot, RFC. Died of Bronchitis, aged 42.

    A Mech 3 Ironside, W. (William), No. 2 Aircraft Depot, RFC, aged 34.

    Claims: 6 (Entente 0: Central Powers 6)
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    Lt Julius Karl "Karlchen" Allmenröder claims his 2nd confirmed victorywith Jasta 11, shooting down an FE8 near Hulloch. The son of a pastor, Julius Karl Allmenröder studied medicine before the war. He served with a field artillery regiment before joining the Air Service with his older brother Wilhelm in 1916. Allmenröder honed his skills as a combat pilot under Manfred von Richthofen in Jasta 11. He scored 30 victories before he was killed in action.

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    VizeFldwbl Friedrich Manschott claims his 11th confirmed victory with Jasta 7, shooting down a balloon south of Fort Vaux.

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    Rittmeister Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen claims his 25th confirmed victory with Jsata 11, flying a Halberstadt DII he shot down a BE2d south of La Folle Wood.

    Lt Karl Emil Schäfer claims his 5th & 6th confirmed victories shooting down 2 FE8’s near Faschoda & near Pont-a-Venden respectively.

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    OLt Kurt Robert Wilhelm Wolff claims his 2nd confirmed victory with Jasta 11, shooting down an FE8.

    Home Fronts:


    Germany:
    Ludendorff warns War Minister and Chancellor home front having an ‘un*healthy influence upon the moral of the Army’.

    France: GQG
    , persuaded by Estienne, orders 1,000 Renault FT-17light tanks. Prototype tested on March 14, order approved April 10.


    Western Front


    French repulse attacks in Champagne and north of Bois des Caurieres.


    Tunstills Men Friday 9th March 1917:


    Eperlecques


    The weather was again cold and windy with some snow falling. All units of the Brigade were given training in precautions against phosgene gas and gas shells.


    Official notification from the War Office reached the family of Cpl. James Shackleton MM (see 26th February) that he had been severely wounded and was now being treated at 8th Stationary Hospital, Wimereux.

    Cpl. George Richard Goodchild (see 3rd January) was promoted (Acting) Sergeant.

    Despite his recent correspondence with the War Office regarding the instruction he had received to resign his commission on grounds of ill health, official notice was posted in the London Gazette that 2Lt. Howard Thurston Hodgkinson (see 23rd February), had relinquished his commission.

    The weekly edition of the Craven Herald carried news of the father of Pte. Harry Killeen (see 11th February 1916), who had been wounded in January 1916:

    BOLTON BY BOWLAND
    POLICE CHANGES
    This week Inspector Killeen, who has been stationed at Bolton by Bowland Police Station for the past three years, has been transferred to Barnoldswick. During his stay here he has always, as far as duty would allow, identified himself with the social life of the village. In the administration of his duty, kindness and firmness went together and the people of the Bowland division wish him the best of luck in his new place.

    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    Persia:
    Turk XIII Corps reaches Karind. Russians invite Persian Government to repossess reoccupied towns, Baratov reoccupies Kermanshah (March 11) and Karind (March 17).

    Russians attack retreating Turks near Sivas (Asia Minor).


    Russian scouts advance south-west from Sakis; Sinnah (Persian Kurdistan) captured.


    General retreat of Turks in Persia.


    Russian troops invite Persian Government to resume possession of towns occupied by Russians in Persia.


    Mesopotamia:
    Gertrude Bell letter to father ‘That’s the end of the German dream of domination in the Near [Middle] East … their place is not going to be in the sun’.

    Captain Reid’s 100 men cross river Diyala and repel sic Turk attacks (Reid gains VC see yesterdays Time). South of Tigris Turks forced back to inner line.


    Passage of Diala forced: British advance on Baghdad.


    Extract from 6th Battalion Diary:

    9th March 1917
    Only one pontoon was available for each column. On arrival at the bend of the river each column prepared positions from which they could cover the launching of the pontoons. At midnight, under cover of an intense artillery barrage, pontoons were launched. ‘A’ Columns pontoon reached the opposite shore with 2nd Lt. J. H. W. Collins and nine men, but as it was being ferried back again it was sunk by machine gun fire, and the rowers and Second Lieutenant E. T. Covington (East Surrey Regt.) and Lieutenant Mason (R.E.) killed and the operations for the being of this column were delayed.

    ‘B’ Column’s first pontoon reached the opposite shore with Lieutenant H. Beaumont and 12 men. After the second journey the rowers were all hit and the pontoon lost. Subsequently by the aid of two pontoons from upstream ‘B’ Column were able to get across four more boat loads. During the operation Second Lieutenant John James Wilder Lassetter was killed.

    ‘C’ Column’s pontoon owing to the steepness of the bank was not launched. Heavy shell, rifle and machine gun fire by the Turks at this juncture sunk the remaining two pontoons and the situation was that about 4 officers and 100 men had reached the opposite bank and were endeavoring to consolidate the further edge. An urgent request had already been made for more pontoons and the reply received to the effect that six more were on their way.
    An hour and a half elapsed however before these were seen approaching. Star shells were sent up by the Turks and the pontoons came under a very heavy shrapnel fire. So intense was this bombardment that it was only possible to unload the pontoons and get them near the bank, two being riddled with bullets and unfit for use. Dawn was now approaching and further attempts to cross were abandoned
    .

    During the day successive attempts were made, by means of rifle grenades, rockets and lines and rockets procured from the Navy, to throw a line over to the opposite bank in order to replenish the supply of bombs and ammunition to the parties on the opposite bank where they had established themselves in a small ‘cup’ opposite ‘A’ Column. All these attempts however met with no success.

    From reports received it would appear that the party that reached the opposite shore from ‘A’ Column had hung on where they had landed, that a party from ‘B’ Column had done the same, and that a party from ‘C’ Column under Captain Oswald Austin Reid (2nd Liverpool attached 6th LNL), reduced by casualties from sixty to fifteen effective, had moved down the bank and met up with ‘B’ party, and calling ‘A’ party to them had gathered together in the cup which they were consolidating.

    During the remainder of the night and especially at dawn the Turks continuously attacked them and endeavored to bomb them, from the wood composed of young date trees immediately on their left and from the wood on their right. All these attacks were repulsed with heavy loss to the Turks and during the day our artillery materially assisted by shell fire.

    Naval Operations:


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


    Political:


    British loan of R40,000,000 to Romania.


    World shortage of wheat foreshadowed by French Chamber.


    Lord Devenport sanctions maximum food prices.


    Food problem at Petrograd becomes urgent.


    Dutch authorities officially notified by Germany that safety is guaranteed for shipping along a strip of North Sea from Holland to Norway.


    Anniversary Events:

    1617 The Treaty of Stolbovo ends the occupation of Northern Russia by Swedish troops.
    1734 The Russians take Danzig (Gdansk) in Poland.
    1788 Connecticut becomes the 5th state.
    1796 Napoleon Bonaparte marries Josephine de Beauharnais in Paris, France.
    1812 Swedish Pomerania is seized by Napoleon.
    1820 Congress passes the Land Act, paving the way for westward expansion.
    1839 The French Academy of Science announces the Daguerreotype photo process.
    1841 The rebel slaves who seized a Spanish slave ship, the Amistad, in 1839 are freed by the Supreme Court despite Spanish demands for extradition.
    1862 The first and last battle between the ironclads U.S.S. Monitor and C.S.S. Virginia ends in a draw.
    1864 General Ulysses Simpson Grant is appointed commander-in-chief of the Union forces.
    1911 The funding for five new battleships is added to the British military defense budget.
    1915 The Germans take Grodno on the Eastern Front.
    1916 Mexican bandit Pancho Villa leads 1,500 horsemen on a raid of Columbus, N.M. killing 17 U.S. soldiers and citizens.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 03-09-2017 at 02:00.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  18. #2268

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    Thanks for this Neil - remind me when it is my turn give up my evenings for a while, lol

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  19. #2269

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    Will do Chris, you're ok for a few weeks yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hedeby View Post
    Thanks for this Neil - remind me when it is my turn give up my evenings for a while, lol
    See you on the Dark Side......

  20. #2270

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    Archibald Bisset Smith VC (19 December 1878 – 10 March 1917). Smith received this award for his action as Master of the SS Otaki, a ship of the Mercantile Marine. On10 March in the Atlantic, the SS Otaki, whose armament consisted of one 4.7in gun, sighted the German raider SS Moewe, which was armed with four 5.9-inch, one 4.1-inch and two 22-pounder guns. The raider called on Otaki to stop, but Captain Smith refused to do so. A duel ensued, during which Otaki secured a number of hits and caused considerable damage, but she herself sustained much damage and was on fire. Captain Smith therefore ordered his crew to abandon ship, but he himself stayed on board and went down with his ship.

    His citation reads:

    For most conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when in command of the S.S. "Otaki", on the 10th March, 1917. "At about 2.30 p.m. on 10th March, 1917, the S.S."Otaki", whose armament consisted of one 4.7 in. gun for defensive purposes, sighted the disguised German raider "Moewe", which was armed with four 5.9 in., one 4.1 in. and two 22 pdr. guns, and two torpedo tubes. The "Moewe" kept the "Otaki" under observation for some time and finally called upon her to stop. This Lieutenant Smith refused to do, and a duel ensued at ranges of 1,900 - 2,000 yards, and lasted for about 20 minutes. During this action the "Otaki" scored several hits on the "Moewe", causing considerable damage, and starting a fire which lasted for three days. She sustained several casualties and received much damage herself, and was heavily on fire. Lieutenant Smith, therefore, gave orders for the boats to be lowered to allow the crew to be rescued. He remained on the ship himself and went down with her when she sank with the British colours still flying, after what was described in an enemy account as "a duel as gallant as naval history can relate.
    As a Merchant seaman he could not receive the VC at that time. In 1919 he was posthumously promoted a temporary lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve and was then entitled to receive the VC posthumously.

    As a British Merchant seaman who has no known grave, he is commemorated at the Tower Hill Memorial.

    His VC is preserved at the P&O Heritage Collection in London.

    Today we lost: 463

    Today’s losses include:
    · A Victoria Cross winner
    · The grandson of an Alderman and Justice of the Peace
    · The grandson of a Baronet
    · Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
    · A former Scoutmaster

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:


    ·
    Captain John Douglas Barford Warwick (Hunts Cyclists attached Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) is killed at age 23. He is the grandson of the late Alderman William Warwick JP.
    · Second Lieutenant Leslie Yorath Sanders (Royal Garrison Artillery attached Royal Engineers) is killed at age 23. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Charles J O Sanders KBE.
    · Second Lieutenant Vernon Savile Beevor (Essex Regiment) is killed at age 19. He is the grandson of ‘Sir’ Thomas Beevor 4th
    · Corporal Robert John Ridgway (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) is killed at age 21. His brother was killed in May 1915.
    · Lance Corporal Henry Mansell Chambers (Royal Fusiliers) dies of wounds received in action while laying out wires. He is a former scoutmaster and his brother was killed in action in July 1916.
    · Private Thomas William Dent (North Lancashire Regiment) is killed at age 40. His brother was killed in January 1915.
    · Private Stanley Allcock (Sherwood Foresters) dies of wounds. His brother was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

    Air Operations:

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 2


    A Mech 2 Beddow, C.J.C. (Christopher John Conway), Recruits Training Centre, Hounslow, RFC. Died of Meningitis aged 18.

    A Mech 1 Wilman, C. (Charles), 16 Squadron, RFC. Died of pneumonia aged 27.

    Claims: 1

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    Hauptmann Bruno Loerzer claims his 4th confirmed victory shooting down a Spad near Altkirch-Carspach.

    Home Fronts:


    Russia:
    Martial law declared in Petrograd as general strike begins (until March 19). Petrograd Soviet elected.

    Turkey:
    Talaat Pasha obtains Chamber 3.5 million Turkish Pounds food board credit, promises radical solutions (March 24).

    Western Front

    The Royal Berkshire Regiment is in the forward firing line at Irles near Albert in the Somme sector. At 05:15 they attack Grevillers Trench in conjunction with the 1st King’s Royal Rifle Corps. The trench is captured as is Bailleul Village and a line of posts is established in front to facilitate the digging of a new assembly trench for a future attack. One hundred prisoners are taken along with three machine guns and two light trench mortars.

    Tunstills Men Saturday 10th March 1917:


    Eperlecques

    The weather turned much milder and the previous days programme of gas training continued.

    Capt. James Christopher Bull (see 6th March), who had left the Battalion in September 1916, suffering from paratyphoid, but had recently been declared fit for general service, re-joined the Battalion, four days after arriving back in France.

    Battalion M.O., Capt. Cecil Berry (see 28th January) left to go on leave to England; his post as Medical Officer was taken up in his absence by Capt. T.L. Llewellyn, posted from 69th Field Ambulance.

    Following a period of leave in England, Sgt. Frederick Griggs MM (see 24th January), who had been one of Tunstill’s original Company but had subsequently served with 2DWR, was posted to no.7 Officer Cadet Battalion, based at Moore Park, Fermoy, County Cork, Ireland to begin his course of officer training. He would train alongside his former colleague, CSM William Jones MM (see 3rd March) who, a week after submitting his application for a commission, was posted to the same training unit.

    Eastern Front:

    Romanians and Russians counter-attack to regain Magyaros Ridge (Moldavia) lost on 8 March.

    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    Mesopotamia: Recognizing his difficulties along the Diyala Maude orders the bulk of his forces to cross to the west bank by pontoon bridge several kilometers downstream, aiming to outflank the Turks and move directly on Baghdad. The Turkish commander is made aware of British intentions by the newly-arrived German Army Air Service and he consequently dispatches the majority of his force across the Tigris to meet the British, leaving a sole regiment to defend the Diyala position. Khalil Pasha grudgingly lets subordinates evacuate city and leaves by train. (9,500 Turks with 48 guns retreat before 45,343 British with 174 guns, German radio station blown up). This is promptly taken by the British this morning. The Turkish commander decides to retire from his position at Tel Aswad to instead protect the Baghdad-Berlin railway. Sandstorms end operations for the day and by the time the weather has settled the Turks have decided upon a general retreat from Baghdad itself, discounting German recommendations for a counter-attack. As a result by 20:00 the evacuation of Baghdad is underway.

    Extract from 6th Battalion Diary:


    10th March 1917

    During the morning the Commanding Officer went to reconnoiter the bank higher up with a view to selecting suitable places where further attempts were to be made that night to cross and also to relieve the beleaguered garrison of the cup.

    At a conference at Brigade H.Q. during the afternoon the following arrangements were made;
    General Lewin Commanding 40th Brigade, with two Battalions was to proceed in two motor lighters up the TIGRIS past the mouth of the DIALAH RIVER and to land in rear of that portion of the DIALAH VILLAGE which lies on the north bank, thence to work up the bank and attack the Turks who were opposite that portion of the river held by the Loyal North Lancs. Regt. The 1/5th Wilts. of that Brigade were to cross in three columns at the point selected during the reconnaissance. These points were at a slight bend in the river, above the South Lancs. who were lining the bank in continuation of the North Lancs. The East Lancs., covered by the fire of the North Lancs., were to cross at B, C and D crossings.

    The operation was timed for 4 a.m. but at midnight the Artillery were to create a barrage in order to deceive the Turks as to the time selected for the crossing, and the actual crossings were to be undertaken without any Artillery barrage.

    At 9 p.m. the Turks started an exceedingly heavy bombardment and at this moment a volunteer, Pte. Miller C. of ‘D’ Company had entered the water with a line tied around his shoulders with a view to swimming the river to the place where Captain Reid’s party were. When halfway, however, he was unable, on account of the current, to reach the other side, and returned in an exhausted condition. Lieutenant Leon Asher Soman, who was paying out the line to the swimmer, ran forward to unhitch the line which had caught in a bush and whilst doing so, was shot through the heart by a sniper. Severe casualties occurred during the bombardment but subsequently our Artillery were able to continuously bombard the wood on the left of the ‘cup’ thus preventing the Turks from massing for further bombing attacks.

    At 4 a.m. the 5th Wilts. and the East Lancs. crossed at the places selected without opposition, the Turks having retired. They were followed by the South Lancs. and Loyal North Lancs. respectively and subsequently the Kings Own (R.L.) Rgt. A bridge head about a 1000 yards inland was formed, a bridge thrown over the river, and the 13th Division crossed.

    The motor lighters took no part in these operations as they had unfortunately stuck on the mud in the Tigris. By 8 p.m. the Division was encamped about DADAWIYAH covered by the 39th Brigade in an outpost line.

    Naval Operations:


    The submarine G-13 (Lieutenant Commander George Fagan Bradshaw) sinks the German submarine UC43 off Muckel Flugga.
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    HMS ‘G 13’ is part of the 10th Submarine Fleet and is mainly used for sub hunting in the North Sea

    Shipping Losses: 11 ( 1 to mistaken identity, 2 to surface action & 8 to U-Boat action)


    On her maiden voyage, the Italian Pacinotti’-class submarine was sunk in the Ligurian Sea northwest of Capraia by gunfire and ramming by the sloop, HMS Cyclamen after Cyclamen mistook her for a German submarine.

    Anniversary Events:

    515 BC The building of the great Jewish temple in Jerusalem is completed.
    241 BC The Roman fleet sinks 50 Carthaginian ships in the Battle of Aegusa.
    49 BC Julius Caesar crosses the Rubicon and invades Italy.
    1656 In the colony of Virginia, suffrage is extended to all free men regardless of their religion.
    1776 “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine is published.
    1785 Thomas Jefferson is appointed minister to France.
    1806 The Dutch in Cape Town, South Africa surrender to the British.
    1814 Napoleon Bonaparte is defeated by an allied army at the Battle of Laon, France.
    1848 The treaty of Guadeloupe-Hidalgo is signed which ends the United States’ war with Mexico.
    1876 Alexander Graham Bell makes the first telephone call to Thomas Watson saying “Watson, come here. I need you.”
    1893 New Mexico State University cancels its first graduation ceremony, because the only graduate was robbed and killed the night before.
    1902 The Boers of South Africa score their last victory over the British, capturing British General Methuen and 200 men.
    1910 Slavery is abolished in China.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  21. #2271

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    Yet another sumptuous repast Neil.

    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  22. #2272

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    Sunday 11th March 1917


    Today we lost: 405

    Today’s losses include:
    · Two victims of the Red Baron
    · A son of the 1st and Last Baron Avebury
    · Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
    · A military Chaplain
    · The son of a member of the clergy

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    · Captain ‘the Honorable’ Eric Fox Pitt Lubbock MC (Army Service Corp attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed in action at age 23. He is the son of the 1st and Last Baron and Lady Avebury. His older brother will be killed in April 1918.
    · Second Lieutenant Hywel Herbert Saunders Jones (West Surrey Regiment) is killed at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend John Jones Rector of Wolves Newton.
    · Second Lieutenants James Smyth and Edward Byrne (Gordon Highlanders attached) age 36 are killed when their aircraft is shot down by the Red Baron.
    · Chaplain Edward Francis Duncan MC (attached Indian Civil Service) dies on active service at age 32.
    · Private Joseph Mathieson (Seaforth Highlanders) dies on service at home. His brother died of wounds last December.

    Air Operations:


    Continuous air fighting; loss of 26 Allied and enemy machines reported.



    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 13


    Lt Smith, J. (James), 2 Squadron, RFC. Killed in acion, shot down by the Red Baron.

    Lt Byrne, E. (Edward)
    , 2 Squadron, RFC. Killed in acion, shot down by the Red Baron.

    Lt Hampton, G.W.B. (George William Betts)
    , 2 Squadron, RFC. Killed in Action aged 31, when shot down in flames over Loos.

    2Lt Hoskins, G.C. (George Chandos), 2 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 24.

    Sgt Burgess, H.P. (Henry Philip), 18 Squadron, RFC. Missing – killed in action aged 30.

    2Lt Headley, H.M. (Herbert Marshall), 18 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 19.

    Capt Lubbock, E.F.P. (Eric Fox Pitt, The Hon.), 45 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 23.

    2Lt Bowden, H.G.C. (Horace George Cecil), 45 Squadron, 9th Wing, RFC. Killed in Action aged 20, during an aerial combat over Ypres.

    2Lt Stevenson, D.B. (Douglas Baptist), 45 Squadron, RFC. Killed in Action while flying over enemy lines aged 21.

    Lt Thompson, J. (John), 45 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 22.

    Lt Smith, C. (Colin), 48 Squadron, RFC. Killed aged 18.

    A Mech 1 Hazell, J.S. (Jack Seymour), 5th Balloon Company, RFC. Died of wounds aged 20.

    Lt Lascelles, H.L. (Harold Leslie), RFC. Accidently killed aged 25.

    Claims: 18 (Entente 4: Central Powers 14)

    James Smith claims his 2nd & 3rd confirmed victories.
    Herbert Travers claims his 1st confirmed victory.
    Arthur Randall claims his 2nd confirmed victory.

    Hartmut Baldamus claims his 13th confirmed victory.
    Walter von Bulow-Bothkamp claims his 9th confirmed victory.
    Wilhelm Cymera claims his 3rd confirmed victory.
    Heinrich Gontermann claims his 3rd confirmed victory.
    Friedrich Hengst claims his 1st confirmed victory.
    Edmund Nathanael claims his 2nd confirmed victory.
    Alfred Niederhoff claims his 1st confirmed victory.
    Hermann Pfeiffer claims his 9th confirmed victory.
    Manfred von Richthofen claims his 26th confirmed victory.
    Karl Schafer claims his 7th confirmed victory.
    Adolf Schulte claims his 4th confirmed victory.
    Paul Strahle claims his 2nd confirmed victory.
    Werner Voss claims his 15th & 16th confirmed victories.

    Western Front


    Somme:
    French First Army reports 40 villages in flames, explosions in and south of Noyon.

    Aisne:
    General Boehn takes over Seventh Army (until August 6, 1918) from Schubert (in command since August 28, 1916).

    Meuse:
    Fuchs replaces Boehn (since February 2) in command of Army Detachment C at St Mihiel.


    Tunstills Men Sunday 11th March 1917:


    Eperlecques


    A fine Spring Sunday was spent with the Battalion back in billets and the usual Church services conducted.
    Temp. Capt. John Edward Lennard Payne (see 19th January) who had been promoted (Temporary) Captain whilst commanding ‘D’ Company two months earlier, reverted to the rank of Lieutenant as he was no longer commanding the Company. It would appear that his reversion was in anticipation of the arrival of a new Captain (see 21st March).

    Two days after the official notice was posted in the London Gazette that 2Lt. Howard Thurston Hodgkinson (see 9th March), had relinquished his commission, Hodgkinson again wrote to the War Office regarding his case:

    “At your earliest convenience I should be glad of a reply to my letter of 22nd inst. As I am wholly dependent on my pay. If the operation had been performed at the time first named I should no doubt have been fit for service at the end of three months, it was however delayed a month through no fault of my own. I am quite willing with your permission to go before another Medical Board in a month’s time. I should however be glad of a reply one way of the other as soon as possible so that I can make arrangements accordingly. At present I can do nothing until I hear from you. Enclosed please find formal application for retaining my rank of 2Lt.”

    Lt. Paul James Sainsbury (see 19th February) serving with 3DWR at North Shields, who had been in hospital since having an emergency operation to remove his appendix, appeared before a further Medical Board in Newcastle. The Board found that, “This officer is making satisfactory progress … he is up and about without discomfort but is not yet fit for duty”. He was to remain in an officer’s convalescent hospital and to be re-examined in a further six weeks


    Eastern Front:

    Russian gas attack east of Mitau.

    Southern Front:

    Albania – Spring campaign in Macedonia begins (until May 21: French 76th Division advances from Koritza on Resna but blizzard and Austrian-paid Irregulars force suspension on March 19. Snow continues into April.

    Salonika:
    Sarrall and Venizelos at a review.


    Allies attack north and north-west of Monastir.

    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    British enter Baghdad after three days' fighting.
    Mesopotamia: Fall of Baghdad (population over 150,000). British troops enter before 0900 hours, find 600 sick and wounded Turkish soldiers. Maude lands from steamer at 1530 hours. His troops have marched 110 miles in 15 days.

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    British troops march into Baghdad
    Cavalry occupy Kazimain, four miles north.

    Extract from the diary of the 6th Battalion:


    11th March 1917

    On the morning of the 11th the advance on BAGHDAD was continued….

    A British artillery battery crossing a pontoon bridge over the River Diyala near Baghdad in March 1917. This bridge was completed by the 71st Field Company, Royal Engineers, at 11am on 10 March.

    Upon reaching the beleagured men in the ‘cup’ a machine gunner later recounted “…when we reached them, there were only about 30 survivors. The many dead lying round the parapets of the river-bound defences told their own grim tale”.

    Anglo-Indian troops enter Baghdad unopposed amid loud celebrations from Baghdad’s 140,000 occupants while approximately 9,000 Turkish prisoners are taken. Aside from striking a decisive propaganda blow for the Allies – the fall of Baghdad is of far less strategic than political value – its fall effectively brings to an end Turkish activity in Persia. Maude himself barely pauses to savor success at Baghdad before continuing onwards to seek the capture of the railway at Samarrah.

    Medals awarded:

    Captain Oswald Austin Reid, attached to the 6th Loyal North Lancs was awarded the Victoria Cross, his citation reads;
    On 8/10 March 1917 at Dialah River, Mesopotamia, Captain Reid consolidated a small post with the advanced troops on the opposite side of the river to the main body, after his lines of communication had been cut by the sinking of the pontoons. He maintained this position for 30 hours against constant attacks by bombs, machine-guns and rifle fire, with the full knowledge that repeated attempts at relief had failed and that his ammunition was all but exhausted. It was greatly due to his tenacity that the crossing of the river was effected the next night. During the operations he was wounded.

    Private Jack White, 6th Kings Own, was also awarded the Victoria Cross for this action, his citation reads;
    On 7/8 March 1917 on the Dialah River, Mesopotamia, Private White, a signaller, during an attempt to cross the river, saw the two pontoons ahead of him come under very heavy fire with disastrous results. When his own pontoon had reached mid-stream, with every man except himself either dead or wounded, and not being able, by himself, to control the boat the private tied a telephone wire to the pontoon, jumped overboard and towed it to the shore, thereby saving an officer’s life and bringing to land the wounded and also the rifles and equipment of all the men in the boat.
    Lieutenant Harry Beaumont was awarded the Military Cross for his part in the action.
    According to a diary kept by Lt. Beaumont it is clear he was part of the group that got across the river. He was recommended for the Victoria Cross.

    On the 29th August 1917 the London Gazette published the citation for William Ford’s D.C.M.

    “For conspicuous gallantry throughout the operations, especially at the forcing of the passage of the river when he tried to launch a pontoon under a withering machine gun and rifle fire”

    Two other Loyal North Lancashire men were also recognised and awarded the D.C.M in the same gazette;

    31704 C.S.M. F.G. Spencer;
    For gallantry and devotion to duty. He has displayed great coolness and has set a fine example in action. On one occasion he greatly assisted the marooned garrison on the other side of the river by his skillful fire from the left bank.

    13155 C.S.M. H. T. Bagley;

    For conspicuous gallantry in action. During the forcing of the passage of the river he did excellent work in collecting and sending across ammunition and bombs under fire. He has displayed conspicuous gallantry on several occasions.

    At least two (probably more) Military Medals were awarded to the Loyal North Lancs; these were announced in the London Gazette dated 18.10.1917

    4098 LCpl James Haslam, 6th Bn. The Bolton Journal & Guardian wrote;

    The Military Medal was awarded when the British force drove the Turks over the River Diala. About 60 men of the 6th Battalion held a position over the river for 30 hours. The ammunition was getting very low, being down to about 5 rounds per man, when Lance Corporal Haslam when going for water, found a quantity of ammunition and brought it up. This supplied the little garrison of about 20 men with 120 rounds each, and enabled them to hold on until relieved.

    20770 Cpl John. W. Taylor, 6th Bn.

    He received his Military Medal for bravery on the Diala River (Baghdad Mesopotamia) in going out on bombing raids (twice alone) to put out of action an enemy machine gun that was firing on our troops during the crossing of the river.

    Corporal William Ford D.C.M. was compulsory transferred ‘in the interests of the service’ to the Royal Engineers on 25th September 1917, joining the Railway Operating Division in Baghdad with the number 315552 and then WR298192. His trade skills as a fitter were assessed as being ‘superior’.

    William embarked for the UK in December 1918 and was discharged to class z reserve in April 1919. He was 48 years old and was given a weekly pension for one year on account of rheumatism which had been aggravated by his war service.

    Naval Operations:


    Shipping Losses: 8 (2 to surface action, 1 to a mine & 5 to U-Boat action)


    The Cunard steamship Folia is torpedoed by the German submarine U53 four miles east south east from Ram Head, Youghal Island, Ireland. As the ship does not sink immediately the U-boat surfaces and sinks the ship with a further torpedo and gunfire. Eleven lives are lost.


    Political:


    Strikers' food demonstrations and rioting increase in Petrograd; Government agrees to hand over good question to local bodies.


    Chinese Parliament votes for breach with Germany.
    Sugar-cards in Paris.

    Anniversary Events:

    537 The Goths lay siege to Rome.
    1649 The peace of Rueil is signed between the Frondeurs (rebels) and the French government.
    1665 A new legal code is approved for the Dutch and English towns, guaranteeing religious observances unhindered.
    1702 The Daily Courant, the first regular English newspaper is published.
    1810 The Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte is married by proxy to Archduchess Marie Louise.
    1811 Ned Ludd leads a group of workers in a wild protest against mechanization.
    1824 The U.S. War Department creates the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Seneca Indian Ely Parker becomes the first Indian to lead the Bureau.
    1845 Seven hundred Maoris led by their chief, Hone-Heke, burn the small town of Kororareka in protest at the settlement of Maoriland by Europeans, in breach with the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi.
    1861 A Confederate Convention is held in Montgomery, Ala., where the new constitution is adopted.
    1863 Union troops under General Ulysses S. Grant give up their preparations to take Vicksburg after failing to pass Fort Pemberton, north of Vicksburg.
    1865 Union General William Sherman and his forces occupy Fayetteville, N.C.
    1888 A disastrous blizzard hits the northeastern United States. Some 400 people die, mainly from exposure.
    1900 British Prime Minister Lord Salisbury rejects the peace overtures offered from Boer leader Paul Kruger.
    1905 The Parisian subway is officially inaugurated.
    1907 President Teddy Roosevelt induces California to revoke its anti-Japanese legislation
    Last edited by Skafloc; 03-12-2017 at 01:10.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  23. #2273

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    Bloody hell - what a shift the typing pool have put in on this for the last few days, well done Neil

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  24. #2274

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    Well, the hard work comes in April.....I think I have a spot of leave coming up then
    See you on the Dark Side......

  25. #2275

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    Thanks for your time and efforet.

  26. #2276

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    Thanks for your time and effort.

  27. #2277

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    Monday 12TH March 1917

    Today we lost: 451
    Today’s losses include:
    · The Captain of the Bedford Rugby Football Club and Somerset Stragglers Cricket Club
    · A Military Chaplain
    · A man whose brother will die on service in April 1941
    · A man whose brother will die of tuberculosis contracted on service in 1919
    · A family that will lose three sons in the Great War
    · The son of a member of the clergy

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    · Flight Sub Lieutenant Ronald Victor Knight (Royal Naval Air Service) is accidentally killed while instructing in England at age 23. He is the Captain of the Bedford Rugby Football Club and the Somerset Stragglers Cricket Club and was a rugby international reserve for England at age 19. He was studying medicine when the war broke out.
    · Chaplain the Reverend Charles Benjamin Plummer (attached 61st Infantry Brigade) is killed at age 27. He is the second of three sons of the Reverend Canon Francis Bowes Plummer to be killed in the Great War.
    · Private Horace Arthur Bellairs (York and Lancashire Regiment) is killed. His brother will die of tuberculosis contracted on service in 1919.

    Air Operations:

    A British fighter pilot James McCudden wins the Military Cross.

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 8


    A Mech 2 Cunliffe, W. (William), Central Flying School, Upavon, RFC, aged 45.

    2Lt Ferguson, J. (James), 6 Reserve Squadron, RFC. Killed in flying accident in Yorkshire aged 18.

    A Mech 2 Giles, A.W. (Arthur William), 37 Reserve Squadron, RFC. Killed while flying aged 35. In R.E. 8 flown by 2nd Lieut D Stross.

    2Lt Glasson, D.H. (Donald Havelock), 47 Squadron, RFC. Died of Wounds 12 March 1917. Shot down flying Armstrong Whitworth FK3 on retaliatory bombing raid to Hudova airfield 12 March 1917. He had been wounded in the stomach during an aerial combat with Ltn Hinsen of KG1 over the German aerodrome.

    Flt Sub-Lt (Asst 1st Class Instructor), Knight, R.V. (Ronald V.), RNAS. Accidently killed aged 23.

    A Mech 1 Longley, G.C. (George Charles), HQ RFC, aged 21.

    Capt Simpson, F.I. (Fred Irwin), RFC. Killed in action aged 23.

    2Lt Stross, D. (David), RFC. Killed whilst flying at Coventry aged 25.

    Claims: There are no confirmed claims for today.

    Home Fronts:


    Russia: FIRST RUSSIAN REVOLUTION
    (until March 15). Whole 17,000 Petrograd garrison joins crowds. Temperature 0°F. Duma prorogued but forms Provisional Government at Tauride Palace. No bread or transport. Only 2 regiments and the police loyal to Tsar in sporadic street fighting.

    Canada:
    Third War Loan opens.

    Britain:
    Bread order makes sale by weight compulsory.

    Western Front


    French gain ground in eastern Champagne.

    British raid near Arras.

    Soissons bombarded with incendiary shells.

    The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry is heavily engaged on the Western front.

    Tunstills Men Monday 12th March 1917:


    Eperlecques

    A warm and muggy day, which later turned very wet. Training continued in the Brigade training area.

    Cpl. Fred Swale (see 24th December 1916) completed his application for a temporary commission.

    Capt. Hugh William Lester MC (see 11th February), who had spent the previous month on temporary duty with 69th Brigade Headquarters, was transferred to duty at 23rd Division HQ.

    (Acting) Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Galbraith Buckle MC(see 4th March), who had spent two months with 10DWR in the Summer of 1916, and was now commanding 2nd Northants, was wounded in head by a sniper whilst walking the line at Bouchavesnes, but remained at duty.

    2Lt. George Reginald Percy MC (see 1st January), who had been among Tunstill’s original company but had been granted a commission with the Royal Engineers in June 1915, married Edith Ella Webb at Twickenham Parish Church.

    Eastern Front:

    Russia: Tsar leaves STAVKA for Petrograd. By now CoS Alexejev convinced no offensive to support Nivelle possible, only end of July.

    The Russian Revolution begins.

    Galicia:
    Successful German raids near Zloczow-Tarnopol railway, near Brzezany and on Narakowka (Galicia).

    Southern Front:

    British advance on Doiran front.

    A British field hospital located on the Salonika-Monastir railway is bombed.

    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    Italians occupy Bukamez (west of Tripoli).

    Naval Operations:


    Shipping Losses: 33! (4 to mines & 29 to U-Boat action!)


    Attachment 218905

    The submarine E49 (Lieutenant Basil Arthur Beal commanding) is sunk when it strikes a mine off Huney Island, Shetlands that was laid by UC76 two days prior. There are no survivors among the crew of 31.

    ·
    among the casualties is Leading Signalman George Hawkes who dies at age 21. His brother will die on active service while in England serving in the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in April 1941

    The Q-Ship HMS Privet (Lieutenant Commander G G Matheson) sinks the German submarine U-85 near Start Point.

    Political:

    Tsar orders suspension of Duma and Council of the Empire. Three Guard and several line regiments join Parliamentary party.

    Russian Revolution begins: Provisional Government formed.

    Canada's third War Loan launched.

    Speech by General Smuts on landing in England.

    Anglo-French Conference assembles in London to discuss relations of British and French commanders in the Western Theatre and employment of prisoners of war in the fighting zone (see February 26th, 1917 and March 26th, 1918).

    Neutrals:


    U.S. State Department rules that merchant vessels armed fore and aft may clear from U.S. ports.

    SS Algonquin
    torpedoed without warning (US Healdton on March 22).

    Anniversary Events:

    1496 The Jews are expelled from Syria.
    1507 Cesare Borgia dies while fighting alongside his brother, the king of Navarre, in Spain.
    1609 The Bermuda Islands become an English colony.
    1664 New Jersey becomes a British colony.
    1789 The United States Post Office is established.
    1809 Great Britain signs a treaty with Persia forcing the French out of the country.
    1863 President Jefferson Davis delivers his State of the Confederacy address.
    1879 The British Zulu War begins.
    1884 Mississippi establishes the first U.S. state college for women.
    1894 Coca-Cola is sold in bottles for the first time.
    1903 The Czar of Russia issues a decree providing for nominal freedom of religion throughout the land.
    1909 British Parliament increases naval appropriations for Great Britain.
    1911 Dr. Fletcher of the Rockefeller Institute discovers the cause of infantile paralysis.
    1912 Juliet Low founds the Girl Scouts in Savannah, Georgia.
    1917 Russian troops mutiny as the “February Revolution” begins.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 03-12-2017 at 01:18.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  28. #2278

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    Christopher Augustus Cox VC (25 December 1889 – 28 April 1959), was born and later worked as a farm labourer in the Hertfordshire village of Kings Langley. He married Maud Swan in 1912 and had one son when war was declared, but still volunteered in September 1914. He was a private in the 7th Battalion, The Bedfordshire Regiment. He went to France in July 1915 and spent nearly two years in the trenches, first on the Somme near Albert. He was wounded on the first day of the Somme offensive. He was at Thiepval in September 1916 and participated in the Bihucourt assault in March 1917, an engagement in which his actions would earn him the Victoria Cross.

    On 13 March 1917 at Achiet-le-Grand, France, during an attack by the battalion, the front wave was checked by very heavy artillery and machine gun fire and the whole line had to take cover in shell holes. Cox, a stretcher-bearer, went out over fire-swept ground and single-handedly rescued four men. Having collected the wounded of his own battalion he then helped to bring in the wounded of the adjoining battalion. On two subsequent days he carried out similar work with complete disregard for his own safety.

    He sustained serious wounds to his foot in an attack on the village of Cherisy on 3 May 1917 which resulted in him being sent back to England, after which he helped to train recruits. Cox was presented with the Victoria Cross by King George V on 21 July 1917 at Buckingham Palace. After the war, he refused the offer of a commision and a house and began work as a builder in Kings Langley, later being employed at the nearby Ovaltine factory. During the Second World War, he joined the local Home Guard.

    His family expanded to eight children and 14 grandchildren. He died on 28 April 1959 at the age of 69. His Victoria Cross is currently on display at the Imperial War Museum, London, England.

    On 9 September 2007 Kings Langley village celebrated Christopher Augustus Cox's life and daring deeds in a village ceremony. The High Street was closed to traffic to allow a pipe band, standard bearers, ex-service men and women, local dignitaries and members of the Cox family to parade from the Kings Langley Methodist Church along the High Street to the Parish Church for a memorial service. The Last Post, played by bugle, was sounded within the Church and by the grave. The congregation then moved to the community centre, where artifacts relating to Christopher Cox's life were on display.

    Kings Langley village was twinned with Achiet-le-Grand in France in November 2009, in honour of Christopher Cox .

    Today we lost: 406

    Today’s losses include:
    · The great grand nephew of the 1st Rajah of Sarawak
    · A military Chaplain
    · A police officer
    · An Australian Rules footballers
    · Families that will two, three and four sons in the Great War

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:


    · Chaplain the Reverend Vincent Coke Boddington (attached Royal Army Medical Corps) dies at age 30 at home.
    · Second Lieutenant Henry William Hutchinson (Leicestershire Regiment) is killed in action at age 19. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Sydney Hutchinson Kt and he is an Exhibitioner of New College, Oxford.
    · Second Lieutenant Frederick Robert Richmond (Durham Light Infantry) is killed in action. His brother was killed in August 1916.
    · Sergeant John Henry Brown (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 27. His brother will die of wounds in less than two months.
    · Sergeant Edward Harrison (Australian Infantry) dies of wounds at age 32. He is a policeman and Australian Rules Footballer who played 7 games for South Melbourne.
    · Corporal D McCheyne (Cameron Highlanders) is killed at age 22. He is the second of four brothers who are killed in the war.
    · Private John William Edwards (Norfolk Regiment) dies of wounds received in action at age 29. His brother will be killed in December of this year.
    · Private Percy Edward Trussler (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 24. He is the middle of three brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War.
    · Private William Brooke (Eastern Ontario Regiment) is killed at age 23. He is the great grand nephew of His Excellency ‘Sir’ James Brooke KCB 1st Rajah of Sarawak.

    Air Operations:


    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 6


    Flt Sub-Lt Berks, R. (Rowland), Westgate Naval Air Station, RNAS. Accidentally Killed (Drowned) while flying with Leading Mechanic E A A Rawson, when Short Admiralty 184 Type Seaplane No.9058 dived into the sea 1 mile off Cliftonville.

    A Mech 2 Collihole, T.J. (Thomas John), 28 Reserve Squadron, RFC.

    A Mech 2 Cook, P.C. (Percy Charles), Recruits Depot, RFC. Died of meningitis aged 18.

    2Lt Ideson, J.H. (Joseph Henry), 10 Reserve Squadron, RFC.

    Lt Murray, L. (Leonard), RFC. Killed whilst flying aged 20.

    LM Rawson, E.A.A. (Ernest A.A.), Royal Naval Air Station Westgate, RNAS. (See Flt Sub-Lt Berks)

    Claims: No confirmed claims for today.

    Home Fronts:


    Britain:
    Government takes over all quarries and mines (non-coal). First WAAC (Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps) enrolled, mainly ex-Women’s Legion.

    Russia:
    Izvesteya (Petrograd Soviet formed on March 12) paper first published. Crowd storms military Hotel Astoria but British present save many Russian officers.

    Western Front


    Britain:
    In London Haig and Nivelle sign clarifications of command spheres.

    Somme:
    British advance guard now 11 miles from Bapaume. Further gains east and northeast of Gommecourt.

    British occupy Loupart Wood and Grevillers, 1.5 miles from Bapaume.

    Enemy abandons ground east and north-east of Gommecourt.

    Lively fighting north-east of Soissons.

    Aisne:
    Germans repulsed at Hill 185.

    Meuse: Fighting in St. Mihiel region (south-east of Verdun).

    Tunstills Men Tuesday 13th March 1917:


    Eperlecques

    Training continued in the Brigade training area, with 10DWR and 11th West Yorks. working on ‘outpost schemes’.

    Harry Beaumont was called up for service with the Royal Garrison Artillery; he was the elder brother of Pte. Mark Beaumont (see 21st January), who was in hospital in England having suffered severe shrapnel wounds to his left thigh when the Battalion billets in Ypres had been shelled in January. Harry had enlisted under the Derby Scheme in December 1915, aged 29, when working as a butcher, but was only now mobilized.

    Battalion M.O., Capt. Cecil Berry (see 10th March), home on leave in England, was married, at St Bartholomew’s Church, Rainhill, to Ida Charnock, elder daughter of James Charnock of Rainhill.

    Also married on the same day was Capt. Frank Redington MC (see 19th February), who had recently been transferred to 25th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps. He married Ethel Watson at the Wesleyan Church, Ripley, near Chesterfield. A report subsequently appeared in the local paper, The Courier:
    MILITARY WEDDING AT RIPLEY
    Stonebroom Officer as Bridegroom
    A military wedding of considerable interest to Derbyshire people took place at the Wesleyan Church, Ripley on Tuesday. The bridegroom, Captain Frank H.C. Redington, MC, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. T.R. Redington, Stonebroom, led to the altar Miss Ethel M. Watson, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. Watson of Ryecroft, Ripley.
    The bride, who was given away by her father, was in a bottle green taffeta silk coat-dress with hat to match and she carried a bouquet of white carnations and tulips. Her only bridesmaid, Miss Mabel A. Redington (a military nurse, Falmouth), sister of the bridegroom, was in a putty coat-frock, with hat to match, and she also carried a bouquet of pink carnations. The duties of the best man were carried out by Lieutenant C.S. Tomlinson, South Normanton (Sherwood Foresters), a friend of the bridegroom. The Rev. E. Bright, of St. Ives, Hunts., a friend of the bride and bridegroom, was the officiating minister. Later, Captain and Mrs. Redington left for Stratford-on-Avon, where their short honeymoon is being spent before the bridegroom joins his regiment. Captain Redington won the Military Cross a few months ago.


    2Lt. Bob Perks, DSO (see 4th January) wrote to his father regarding the possibility of his father paying a visit to North Shields where Bob was currently stationed with 3DWR.

    My Dear Dad
    Thanks very much for your letter today. I would be pleased to meet you any day with warning though I can’t guarantee to meet that train. As Acting Brigade Officer, I start work at 6.00 pm so let me know your hotel and I will come as soon as possible if I miss the train. The Station Hotel is as good as any or the County.
    If you brought my telegram from the Lord Chamberlain I think I could get my expenses to go and see the King. If you have not the telegram it is in the little cardboard drawer in our room.
    I looked for you in the Times, but saw nothing.
    Thanks awfully
    Some haste as I am really on parade.
    Bob

    A payment of £3 17s 4d was authorised, being the amount outstanding in pay and allowances to the late Cpl. Leslie Seymour Perks (see 27th October 1916), who had been killed in action near Le Sars; the payment would go to his mother, Ada.

    Eastern Front:

    Bulgarians bombard Galatz from the Danube.

    Southern Front:

    Field hospitals at Vertekop (Serbia) bombed: two British nurses and others killed.


    British line south-west of Doiran advanced 1,000 yards.


    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    Russians take Kermanshah (Persia) after two days' fighting.


    Another column approaches Bana (140 miles north-west of Kermanshah).


    British 30 miles north of Baghdad.

    Fresh from his success in securing the fall of Baghdad, regional British Commander-in-Chief ‘Sir’ Frederick Stanley Maude barely pauses before launching an offensive further north to consolidate the new Anglo-Indian position at Baghdad, at present threatened by some 10,000 troops to the north of the city. Thus the Samarrah Offensive – incorporating the Battle of Istabulat – will be launched with 45,000 frontline troops and run for approximately six weeks before operations are effectively called off until the autumn. Maude determines that no further significant offensive can be considered until his Anglo-Indian force has seized control of the Samarrah railway, some 130km north of Baghdad. In planning to capture Samarrah Maude devises a four-pronged plan: to initiate a series of small-scale attacks up the River Tigris; to prevent deliberate Turkish flooding of the plains around the Euphrates River.
    Operations begin today with a successful raid on Turkish lines a little north of the city, forcing a Turkish 35km retreat to the junction of the rivers Tigris and Adhaim.

    Naval Operations:


    France:
    Parliament Commission de la marine de guerre urges anti-U-boat directorate and priority to patrol craft.

    Baltic
    – Petrograd: Revolutionaries murder captain of refitting cruiser Aurora, crew elect first ship committee. Mutiny at Kronstadt naval base (until March 14) kills c.40 officers and NCO’s, 162 officers arrested. Fleet C-in-C first main one to accept Provisional Government (on March 14).


    Atlantic: SM UC-68, Kaiserliche Marine, a type UCII submarine was sunk by the detonation of one of her own mines off Start Point, Cornwall, with the loss of all 26 crew.

    Shipping Losses: 20 (2 to mines, 1 to surface action & 17 to U-Boat action)


    Norwegian relief ship "Lars Fostenes", carrying grain, torpedoed outside blockade zone.


    Political:


    General Smuts sworn of the Privy Council.


    Statement on mastery of air in House of Commons.


    Government intends to stand by new Indian cotton duties.


    Impending cabinet crisis in Austria.


    Revolutionary movement at Petrograd continues.


    • Prince Golitsin, Russian Premier, removed from office by Revolutionary party (see 12th, 15th, and January 8th).
    • General Byelyaev, Russian Minister for War, removed from office by Revolutionary party (see 12th, 15th, and January 17th).


    China breaks off relations with Germany.


    Neutrals:


    USA:
    Navy Department authorizes armed merchant ships to take action against U-boats.

    Anniversary Events:

    483 St. Felix begins his reign as Catholic Pope.
    607 The 12th recorded passage of Halley's Comet occurs.
    1519 Hernando Cortez lands in what will become Mexico.
    1660 A statute is passed limiting the sale of slaves in the colony of Virginia.
    1777 Congress orders its European envoys to appeal to high-ranking foreign officers to send troops to reinforce the American army.
    1781 Astronomer William Herschel discovers the planet Uranus, which he names 'Georgium Sidus,' in honor of King George III.
    1793 Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin.
    1861 Jefferson Davis signs a bill authorizing slaves to be used as soldiers for the Confederacy.
    1868 The U.S. Senate begins the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson.
    1881 Czar Alexander II is assassinated when a bomb is thrown at him near his palace.
    1915 The Germans repel a British Expeditionary Force attack at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in France.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 03-13-2017 at 01:32.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  29. #2279

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    Air Vice Marshall Francis Hubert (Frank) McNamara, VC, CB, CBE (4 April 1894 – 2 November 1961) was serving with the Australian Flying Corps, he was honoured for his actions on 20 March 1917, when he rescued a fellow pilot who had been forced down behind enemy lines. McNamara was the first Australian aviator—and the only one in World War I—to receive the Victoria Cross. He later became a senior commander in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

    Born and educated in Victoria, McNamara was a teacher when he joined the militia prior to World War I. In 1915, he was selected for pilot training atCentral Flying School, Point Cook, and transferred to the Australian Flying Corps the following year. He was based in the Middle Eastern Theatre with No 1 Squadron when he earned the Victoria Cross. In 1921, McNamara enlisted as a flying oficer in the newly formed RAAF, rising to the rank of air vice marshal by 1942. He held senior posts in England and Aden during World War II. Retiring from the Air Force in 1946, McNamara continued to live in Britain until his death from heart failure in 1961.

    Born in Rushworth, Victoria, McNamara was the first of eight children to William Francis McNamara, a State Lands Department officer, and his wife Rosanna. He began his schooling in Rushworth, and completed his secondary education at Shepparton Agricultural High School, which he had entered via a scholarship. The family moved to Melbourne in 1910. McNamara joined the school cadets in 1911, and was commissioned a second lietenant in the 49th Battalion (Brighton Rifles), a militia unit, in July 1913. He became a teacher after graduating from Melbourne Teachers' Training College in 1914, and taught at various schools in Victoria. He also enrolled in the University of Melbourne, but his studies were interrupted by the outbreak of World War I.

    As a militia officer, McNamara was mobilised for service in Australia when war was declared in August 1914. After serving briefly at bases in Queenscliff and Point Nepean, Victoria, McNamara passed through Officers Training School at Broadmeadows in December.

    On 6 January 1916, he was assigned as adjutant to No 1 Squadron (also known until 1918 as No. 67 Squadron, RFC). In March, McNamara departed Melbourne for Egypt aboard HMAT Orsova, arriving in Suez the following month. He was seconded to No 42 Squadron, RFC in May to attend the Central Flying School at Upavon, England; his secondment to the RFC was gazetted on 5 July 1916.

    Completing his course at Upavon, McNamara was posted back to Egypt in August. On 6 October, he served briefly as a flying instructor with No 22 Squadron RFC, before returning to No. 1 Squadron. McNamara flew with C Flight, commanded by Captain (later Air Marshal Sir) Richard Williams. On his first sortie, a reconnaissance mission over Sinai, McNamara was unaware that his plane had been hit by anti-aircraft fire; he returned to base with his engine's oil supply almost exhausted. Flying BE2’s and Martinsydes, he undertook further scouting and bombing missions in the ensuing months.

    On 20 March 1917, McNamara, flying a Martinsyde, was one of four No. 1 Squadron pilots taking part in a raid against a Turkish railway junction near Gaza. Owing to a shortage of bombs, the aircraft were each armed with six specially modified 4.5-inch howitzer shellsMcNamara had successfully dropped three of his shells when the fourth exploded prematurely, badly wounded him in the leg with shrapnel, an effect he likened to being "hit with a sledgehammer". Having turned to head back to base, he spotted a fellow squadron member from the same mission, Captain David Rutherford, on the ground beside his crashlanded B.E.2. Allied airmen had been hacked to death by enemy troops in similar situations, and McNamara saw that a company of Turkish cavalry was fast approaching Rutherford's position. Despite the rough terrain and the gash in his leg, McNamara landed near Rutherford in an attempt to rescue him.
    As there was no spare cockpit in the single-seat Martinsyde, the downed pilot jumped onto McNamara's wing and held the struts. McNamara crashed while attempting to take off because of the effects of his leg wound and Rutherford's weight overbalancing the aircraft. The two men, who had escaped further injury in the accident, set fire to the Martinsyde and dashed back to Rutherford's B.E.2. Rutherford repaired the engine while McNamara used his revolver against the attacking cavalry, who had opened fire on them. Two other No. 1 Squadron pilots overhead, Lieutenant (later Air Marshal Sir) Roy “Peter” Drummond and Lieutenant Alfred Ellis, also began strafing the enemy troops. McNamara managed to start the B.E.2's engine and take off, with Rutherford in the observer's cockpit. In severe pain and close to blacking out from loss of blood, McNamara flew the damaged aircraft 70 miles (110 km) back to base at El Arish.

    Having effected what was described in the Australian official history of the war as "a brilliant escape in the very nick of time and under hot fire", McNamara "could only emit exhausted expletives" before he lost consciousness shortly after landing. Evacuated to hospital, he almost died following an allergic reaction to a routine tetanus injection. McNamara had to be given artificial respiration and stimulants to keep him alive, but recovered quickly. A contemporary news report declared that he was "soon sitting up, eating chicken and drinking champagne". On 26 March, McNamara was recommended for the VC by Brigadier General Geoffrey Salmond, GOC Middle East Brigade, RFC. Drummond, Ellis, and Rutherford all wrote statements on 3–4 April attesting to their comrade's actions, Rutherford declaring that "the risk of Lieut. MacNamara being killed or captured was so great that even had he not been wounded he would have been justified in not attempting my rescue – the fact of his already being wounded makes his action one of outstanding gallantry – his determination and resource and utter disregard of danger throughout the operation was worthy of the highest praise". The first and only VC awarded to an Australian airman in World War I, McNamara's decoration was promulgated in the London Gazette on 8 June 1917

    Lt. Frank Hubert McNamara, Aus. Forces, R.F.C.

    For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty during an aerial bomb attack upon a hostile construction train, when one of our pilots was forced to land behind the enemy's lines.

    Lt. McNamara, observing this pilot's predicament and the fact that hostile cavalry were approaching, descended to his rescue. He did this under heavy rifle fire and in spite of the fact that he himself had been severely wounded in the thigh.

    He landed about 200 yards from the damaged machine, the pilot of which climbed onto Lt. McNamara's machine, and an attempt was made to rise. Owing, however, to his disabled leg, Lt. McNamara was unable to keep his machine straight, and it turned over. The two officers, having extricated themselves, immediately set fire to the machine and made their way across to the damaged machine, which they succeeded in starting.

    Finally Lt. McNamara, although weak from loss of blood, flew this machine back to the aerodrome, a distance of seventy miles, and thus completed his comrade's rescue.

    Today we lost: 619

    Today’s losses include:
    · A member of the Melbourne Cricket Club
    · Son of a Councilor
    · A man whose brother will be killed later this year
    · The son of a member of the clergy

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:


    · Lieutenant Edward George Bradshaw Miller-Stirling (Black Watch) is killed at age 26 in Mesopotamia. His brother will be killed in seven months in East Africa.
    · Lieutenant Arthur William Limbrick (West Surrey Regiment) is killed at age 29. He is the son of the Reverend A D Limbrick.
    · Private James Francis Foy (Australian Infantry) is killed in action. He is a member of the Melbourne Cricket Club.

    Air Operations:

    German air operations over the winter 1916/1917 concentrated on reconnaissance to look for signs of Anglo-French offensive preparations, which were found at Messines, Arras, Roye, the Aisne and the Champagne region. By March the outline of the Anglo-French spring offensive had been observed from the air.

    German air units were concentrated around Arras and the Aisne, which left few to operate over the Noyon Salient during the retirement.When the retirement began British squadrons in the area were instructed to keep German rearguards under constant observation, harass German troops by ground attacks and to make long-range reconnaissances to search the area east of the Hindenburg Line, for signs of more defensive positions and indications that a further retreat was contemplated.

    A policy on rapid movement had been devised in September 1916, in which the Army Wing and Corps Wings not attached to the corps moving forward, would move with army headquarters and the Corps Wings attached to the corps that were advancing, would keep as close to their associated corps headquarters as possible. Squadrons would not need to move every day and could arrange temporary landing-grounds.

    On 21 March 1917 the use of temporary facilities was ordered with portable hangars to be built near corps headquarters and aircraft flown back to their normal aerodromes at night. IV and V Brigades were involved in the advance, with their squadrons attached to divisions for contact-patrols. Two cavalry divisions were attached to the Fourth and Fifth armies for the advance, with aircraft for reconnaissances of the ground that the cavalry was to traverse and to help the cavalry maintain touch with the rear.

    Suitable targets found by air observation were engaged by artillery using the "zone call" system. The cavalry divisions were issued with wireless stations to keep in touch with their attached aircraft but in the event good ground communications made them redundant. The German retirement was so swift and the amount of artillery fire was so small, that telephone wires were cut far less frequently than expected. German troop movements were well-concealed and rarely seen from the air and it was usually ground fire that alerted aircrew to their presence.
    Pilots flew low over villages and strong-points, to invite German ground fire for their observers to plot, although this practice gave no indication of the strength of rearguards. A few attacks were made on German cavalry and infantry caught in the open but this had little influence on ground operations. The artillery wireless organisation broke down at times, due to delays in setting up ground stations, which led to missed opportunities for the direction of artillery fire from the air. The main influence of air operations was exerted through message-carrying and reconnaissance, particularly in observing ground conditions in front of the advance and intermittent co-operation with artillery. Distant reconnaissance, some by single-seat fighters, found no evidence of German defences beyond the Hindenburg Line but many new aerodromes and supply dumps, indicating the permanence of the new position

    Everything was building up to April and a new Allied offensive.

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: No losses are recorded for today.


    Claims: No confirmed claims for today.

    Home Fronts:


    Russia: Provisional Government proclaimed
    , meets Petrograd Soviet. Petrograd Soviet Order No 1 Demoralize Army, orders elected committees to control weaponry and one representative per coy to Soviet; saluting off duty abolished. Tsar’s train stopped at Pskov.

    Strikes and 30,000-strong march at Reval (until March 15).

    France:
    War Minister Lyautey resigns because of Socialist hostility.

    China:
    China severs diplomatic relations with Germany (see August 14th).

    Western Front


    Somme– MAIN GERMAN RETREAT TO THE
    Hindenburg Line begins (until April 5): German Second and First Armies involved. BEF Fifth Army follows cautiously including 4th (1st Indian) Cavalry Division. British advance west and south west of Bapaume and south f Aciet-le-Pwtit (Ancre).

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    Progress towards Les Essarts on extreme left.

    The 4th (North Midland) Division 137th Infantry Brigade and the 7th Division, 91st Infantry Brigade attack Bucquoy Trench and Hill 155. The attack fails due to its encountering heavy machine gun fire and thick uncut wire. Ninety are killed including 12 officers while almost 500 men are wounded or missing. Among the dead: · Second Lieutenant Eric Goward Abbott (South Staffordshire Regiment) killed in action at age 24. He is the son of the late Councilor E T Abbott. · Lance Sergeant Leonard William Smith (South Staffordshire Regiment) at age 21. His father will write and published the following poem in honor of his son.

    Boy of mine,boy of mine
    Sinew, bone and flesh of mine;
    Memory sees a babe snow-clad,
    Then a spade and knickered lad,
    Boy of mine.
    Sees a ‘prentice,youth in line,
    March to war,brave boy of mine,
    Nobly answering country’s call,
    Going freely, giving all,
    Boy of mine.
    Then, Ah then,life’s crimson wine
    Flowed for us dear boy of mine;
    Lay thee down mud khaki clad,
    Rise robed white an Angel lad,
    Boy of mine.


    Tunstills Men Wednesday 14th March 1917:


    Eperlecques

    A mild day, but with a cold wind blowing at times. Training continued in the Brigade training area, with 10DWR and 8th Yorks. practising advances.

    The three new subalterns who had arrived in France a week earlier now reported for duty with the Battalion. They were 2Lts. Andrew Aaron Jackson (see 6th March), Arthur Lilley (see 6th March) and Thomas Arnold Woodcock (see 6th March).

    Pte. George Moore (see 4th October), who had been wounded at Le Sars, was formally discharged from the Army, with the award of the Silver War Badge. I am, as yet, unable to make a positive identification of this man.

    2Lt. Harry Widdup (see 3rd March), who had been evacuated to England in December 1916 appeared before a further Medical Board. The board found that he was suffering from myalgia following trench fever; “Complains of pain in knees and also inside of tibia – right leg being worse than left – knee jerks normal. Suffers from insomnia. Unable to march in full kit more than a mile. Suffers from headaches. Improving”. They recommended a further one months treatment in an officers’ convalescent hospital.

    Southern Front:

    Monastir front lively: Austrians attack west and Italians advance east of town.

    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    British 35 miles north-east of Baghdad.

    Fighting on west bank of Tigris.

    Turks hurrying north to position at Mushaidiya (20 miles north of Baghdad).

    Mesopotamia – Battle of Mushahida Station
    (20 miles north of Baghdad, west of Tigris): Cobbe’s 7th Division (518 casualties) with 46 guns smashes Turk rearguard (800-1,000 casualties) after night march from Baghdad (returns on March 17). British 40th Brigade occupies Kasirin (28 miles north of Baghdad, east of Tigris).

    Naval Operations:


    Shipping Losses: 11 (1 to mine, 1 to surface action & 9 to U-Boat action)


    Political:


    New Provisional Government proclaimed in Russia (see 12th, 22nd and November 8th).

    • Prince Golitsin, Russian Premier, removed from office by Revolutionary party (see 12th, 15th, and January 8th).
    • General Byelyaev, Russian Minister for War, removed from office by Revolutionary party (see 12th, 15th, and January 17th).

    Moscow, Kharkov and Odessa declare for Provisional Government; Grand Duke Cyril with his sailors place them under M. Rozianko's orders.

    China severs diplomatic relations with Germany (see August 14th).

    German minister at Pekin handed his passports.

    General Lyautey, French Minister of War, resigns.

    Both Houses accept India's war contribution of £100,000,000 and authorise increase in cotton duties.

    Anniversary Events:

    1629 A Royal charter is granted to the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
    1743 First American town meeting is held at Boston’s Faneuil Hall.
    1757 British Admiral John Byng is executed by a firing squad on board HMS Monarch for neglect of duty.
    1794 Inventor Eli Whitney receives a patent for his cotton gin.
    1900 United States currency goes on the gold standard.
    1903 The Senate ratifies the Hay-Herran Treaty, guaranteeing the United States the right to build a canal in Panama.
    1912 An anarchist named Antonio Dalba unsuccessfully attempts to kill Italy’s King Victor Emmanuel III in Rome.
    1915 The British Navy sinks the German battleship Dresden off the Chilean coast.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 03-14-2017 at 05:12.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  30. #2280

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    Well, Francis McNamara's actions certainly deserved the VC, as well as any number of Boy's Adventure books
    Karl
    It is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he thinks he knows. -- Epictetus

  31. #2281

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    Lots of ideas for scenarios in the flying medals bits.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  32. #2282

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    Thursday 15th March 1917
    Today we lost: 498
    Today’s losses include:

    ·
    Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:


    ·
    Second Lieutenant J H Cotterill (Black Watch) is killed in action in Mesopotamia at age 27. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Montagu Cotterill CMG.
    · Lance Corporal Herbert Frank Heritage (Middlesex Regiment) is killed at age 31. His brother was killed in March two years ago.
    · Private John Babbage (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 36. His brother will be killed in August 1918.
    · Private Reginald Barber Godfree (Honorable Artillery Company) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in June 1915.

    Air Operations:

    Aircraft join troops in Brigade exercise in France.

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 5


    A Mech 2 George, S.J. (Sidney J.), Kingsnorth Naval Air Station, RNAS, aged 21.

    A Mech 2 Gray, T. (Thomas "Tom"), Aircradr Repair Depot Kennington, RFC, aged 33.

    PO Mech Hooks, G.A.V. (George A.V.), No 3 (N) Aeroplane Wing, RNAS.

    Lt Mackey, E.R. (Edward Reeves), RFC. Accidently killed while flying in Hertfordshire, aged 31.

    2Lt Raine, G.S. (George Stevenson), 56 Reserve Squadron, RFC. Accidently killed while flying in Hertfordshire, aged 24.

    Claims: 4 (Entente 4: Central Powers 0)

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    Sous Lt Edmond Thieffry claims his 1st confirmed victory with 5eme, in a Nieuport shooting down a 2 seater. An attorney when the war began, Thieffry joined the army but was soon captured by the Germans. He escaped on a stolen motorcycle and was interned when he entered the Netherlands. Employing all his legal skills, he successfully argued for his release and was promptly back on the stolen motorcycle, heading for home. In July 1915, Thieffry transferred to the Belgian Air Service where he crashed more aircraft during training than any other Belgian pilot. As a result, his superiors were reluctant to assign him to a two-seater squadron for fear he would kill the observer in a crash. Instead, he was assigned to fly single-seat fighters. Thieffry soon crashed his first Nieuport scout and as he attempted to extract himself from the wreckage, he inadvertently fired his machine gun, scattering the onlookers who were rushing to his aid. His skills as a pilot eventually improved and Thieffry went on to become an ace. In February 1918, he was shot down in flames but survived and was captured.

    Lt Cecil Christian Clark claims his 1st confirmed victory with No 1 Squadron, RFC. Flying a Nieuport Scout he shot down an Albatros DII near Zandvoorde. In 1916, after serving with the Royal Field Artillery, Cecil Christian Clark transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. Posted to 1 Squadron on 1 February 1917, he scored 3 victories in March flying Nieuport Scouts.

    Lt Cyril Nelson Lowe claims his 1st confirmed victory with 11 Squadron, RFC. Flying an FE2b, with observer 2Lt G Masters, he shot down a C type near Bailleul. Posted to 11 Squadron, Cyril Nelson Lowe, the son of Charles William Nelson and Alice (Ridlington) Lowe, scored his second victory on 24 March 1917 but was wounded in action when his FE2b went down under the guns of Reinhold Jorke. Posted to 24 Squadron in 1918, Lowe scored eight more victories flying the SE5a.

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    2Lt Christopher Joseph Quintin "Flossie" Brand, claims his 2nd & 3rd confirmed victories with No 1 Squadron, RFC. Flying a Nieuport he shot down a Roland C type & an LVG C type near Boesinghe-Wytschaete and north east of Zandvoorde respectively. 2nd Lieutenant Christopher Joseph Quintin Brand received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 2685 on a Caudron biplane at Beatty School, Hendon on 30 March 1916. He attained the rank of Air Vice Marshal in the Royal Air Force.

    Home Fronts:


    Russia: TSAR ABDICATES
    at Pskov.

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    Prince Lvov new Prime Minister; Kerensky Justice Minister; Guchkov War and Marine Minister. Political and religious amnesty declared plus widespread freedoms. Immediate preparations for Constituent Assembly (universal suffrage) announced. Ukrainian National Rada formed at Kiev.

    Germany:
    Sixth War Loan opens.

    France:
    Army has received 160 tanks (208 by April 1).

    Western Front


    British progress on 2.5 mile front between St. Pierre Vaast Wood and Saillisel (north of Somme).

    German attack east of Achiet-le-Petit.

    French progress between Avre and Oise

    Tunstills Men Thursday 15th May 1917:


    Eperlecques

    There was a large-scale Brigade exercise “accompanied by contact patrol aeroplanes”; the exercise, which comprised of “two attacks from long distance in open formation”, continued all day and was completed about 4.30pm.

    A payment of £19 0s 5d was authorised, being the amount outstanding in pay and allowances to the late Sgt. Harry Lyddington Mason (see 3rd November); the payment would go to his father, John.

    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    Turkish concentration in Asia Minor contemplated.

    Naval Operations:

    Red Sea:
    British Sloop Odin intercepts Wolf prize minelayer Iltis (26 German PoWs) in Gulf of Aden where she laid 25 mines (swept by Somali-manned tugs within 2 months for 1 ship lost).

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


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    Channel: The destroyer HMS Foyle is mined and sunk in the Dover Straits killing thirty. Master William Herbert Whitefield (S S Frimaire) is killed at age 30 along with 11 of his crew when his ship is sunk by torpedo 21 miles south southeast from Belle Ile.

    Political:


    Russia:
    Tsar Nicholas abdicates and resigns rights of his son; preparations for calling a Constituent Assembly based on universal suffrage.

    • Nicholas II, Tsar of Russia, abdicates (see 12th, and July 16th, 1918).
    • Prince Lvov appointed Russian Premier (see 13th, 14th and July 19th).
    • M. Milyukov appointed Russian Foreign Minister (see 14th, January 27th, and May 16th).
    • General Guchkov appointed Russian Minister for War (see 13th, 14th, and May 16th).


    Germany:
    Sixth German War Loan floated.

    Britain:
    Vote of Credit in Commons.

    France:
    French Chamber pass summertime bill.

    Neutrals:


    Switzerland:
    Lenin gets news of Revolution, envisages train journey through Germany (March 19), publicly opposes new Provisional Government (March 27).

    USA:
    U.S. railway men threaten strike.

    United States Navy Lt Kenneth Whiting proposes to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels that the Navy acquire a ship with an aircraft catapult and a flight deck. Although rejected on June 20, it is the first serious U.S. Navy consideration given to acquisition of an aviation ship since the American Civil War (1861–1865).

    The United States Army '​s 6th Aero Squadron is organized in the Territory of Hawaii, operating three Curtiss N-9 seaplanes.

    Anniversary Events:

    44 BC Julius Caesar is assassinated by high-ranking Roman Senators.
    933 Henry the Fowler routs the raiding Magyars at Merseburg, Germany.
    1493 Christopher Columbus returns to Spain after his first voyage to the New World.
    1778 In command of two frigates, the Frenchman la Perouse sails east from Botany Bay for the last lap of his voyage around the world.
    1820 Maine is admitted as the 23rd state.
    1862 General John Hunt Morgan begins four days of raids near the city of Gallatin, Tenn.
    1864 The Red River Campaign begins as the Union forces reach Alexandria, La.
    1892 New York State unveils the new automatic ballot voting machine.
    1895 Bone Mizell, the famed cowboy of Florida, appears before a judge for altering cattle brands.
    1903 The British complete the conquest of Nigeria.
    1904 Three hundred Russians are killed as the Japanese shell Port Arthur in Korea.
    1909 Italy proposes a European conference on the Balkans.
    1916 General John Pershing and his 15,000 troops chase Pancho Villa into Mexico.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 03-16-2017 at 15:18.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  33. #2283

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    Friday 16th March 1917

    Today we lost: 382
    Today’s losses include:

    ·
    Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
    · A member of Shackleton’s Expedition to Antarctica
    · The son of the 6th Earl of Breadbane
    · The Deputy Lieutenant of Argyleshire
    · A church bell-ringer

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:


    ·
    Capt ‘the Honorable’ Ivan Campbell (Cameron Highlanders) dies at home at age 57 while on service. He is the Deputy Lieutenant of Argyleshire and the second son of the 6th Earl of Breadbane.
    · Private Arthur Henry Davey (Bedfordshire Regiment) dies of wounds in London. He is a Tring Parish Church bell-ringer.
    · Private Francis John Duckett (Western Ontario Regiment) dies of leg wounds at age 28. His brother will be killed in March 1918 while a cousin was killed last September.

    Air Operations:

    An unidentified seaplane of SFA 1 set out to attack shipping in The Downs off the east Kent coast but a thick layer of cloud hindered the crew’s navigation. At around 5.30am the aircraft broke through clouds at a height of about 1,300 feet, whereupon the crew discovered they were over land and approaching Westgate on the north Kent coast.

    Carrying 21 small HE bombs, each weighing 5kgs, the crew dropped the first two on fields at Dent-du-Lion Farm, between Garlinge and Westgate, followed by a third that fell at Mutrix Farm. The RNAS had established a station at Westgate on land owned by Mutrix Farm and the next bomb landed about 150 yards to the east of the airfield. Having been heading north, the raider now swung round to the west and the next bomb landed west of Mutrix Farm, on land between the road and railway line, with another striking the railway embankment.

    Those first seven bombs broke a few windows in nearby cottages and smashed glass in a greenhouse. The seaplane then turned south and rapidly dropped 10 bombs which all fell within 100 yards of each other in a field about 700 yards south-east of Westgate Station. Swinging around to the north-west now, the seaplane’s next bomb landed on a lawn at Streete Court, a boys boarding school, followed by one on a greenhouse at a large house about 250 yards north of St. Saviour’s Church. The last bomb on land struck the ground about 20 yards from a bandstand and shelter on the sea front, shattering more glass, with the final two bombs falling in the sea within 300 yards of the shoreline.

    The official British account incorrectly states that the raider was a captured Handley Page 0/100 flown by a German crew, following reports from local observers. The local police, however, did point out that these reports were not corroborated.

    (Note: On the 1st of January 1917 an RNAS crew flew over HP 0/100 1463 to the main land from the UK. They landed about 18 km behind German lines at Laon and were promptly taken prisoner. It seems that one of the German pilots who tested the plane was MvR. The a/c was flown and tested by the Germans until it crashed at Johannisthal aerodrome on August 22nd, 1917.)
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    Captured HP 0/100

    In response the RNAS sent up three aircraft between 5.35 and 5.45am but the low cloud prevented them seeing anything. The RFC also sent up three aircraft just before 6.00am, one for Rochford (37 Squadron), one for Dover (50 Squadron) and one from Bekesbourne (50 Squadron), but all experienced the same problems with the low cloud.


    Casualties: 0 killed, 0 injured.


    Damage £45

    The first Zeppelin raid since the loss of L.21 and L.34 in November 1916 saw five Navy Zeppelins setting course for London. Four of those taking part were altered ‘r-class’ models, with an engine removed, enabling them to attain greater heights, and one, L.42, was the first of the ‘s-class’, known to the British as ‘height-climbers’. This first raid by L.42 proved an anti-climax; with Strasser on board she had to return early with engine problems.

    Although planning to attack London, strong winds at high altitude forced the raiders south with the first to come inland, L.39, appearing over Margate in Kent at 10.20pm. Flying at a great height and with a thick cloud layer starting at 3,000 feet and extending up to 9,000 feet it meant identification of targets was impossible for her commander, Kapitänleutnant Robert Koch. She followed a south-west course across Kent to the Sussex coast, dropping her first bomb on Hode Farm near Bekesbourne at 10.50pm where it caused minor damage to two cottages. Ten minutes later L.39 dropped five HE and a single incendiary bomb between Waltham and Sole Street without causing any damage. No more bombs were attributed to L.39 over land as she passed Ashford and Tenterden before reaching the coast at St. Leonard’s at 11.40pm. She flew westward along the coast as far as Pevensey Bay where she went out to sea. Strong winds forced her south across the English Channel to Dieppe. Battling the wind across France, L.39 passed to the north of Paris, but over Compiègne she appeared to stop around 5.30am. Now stationary at a height of about 10,000 feet, three batteries of French AA guns kept up a steady fire in the half-light of dawn and eventually they hit their target. L.39 crashed down to earth at about 5.55am with the loss of the entire crew.

    Kapitänleutnant Herbert Ehrlich brought L.35 inland over Broadstairs, Kent, about 20 minutes after L.39. She initially took a south-west course and at 22.55pm dropped an HE bomb on Britton Farm at Ickham, a few miles east of Canterbury. South of the city, Ehrlich dropped another HE and an incendiary at Nackington. The incendiary landed on Sextries Farm and the HE on Winter’s Farm. None of these first three bombs caused any damage. At Ashford Ehrlich appears to have had a change of heart, circled around the town then headed back towards the east. At 11.35pm he released five HE bombs and an incendiary over the village of Crundale, close to Waltham and Sole Street where L.39 had dropped bombs 35 minutes earlier. They brought down the ceiling of a cottage a quarter of a mile away.

    About nine miles on towards Dover, at
    Swingfield, L.35 dropped five more HE bombs, damaging ceilings and smashing windows at Stockham Farm and St. John’s Farm. Another three miles on and Ehrlich released four incendiary bombs over Hougham where the military had a post. The bombs all fell harmlessly in fields. The last two bombs, an HE and an incendiary, dropped harmlessly on Whinless Down just outside Dover where L.35 went out to sea at 12.15am. The thick cloud meant no AA guns opened fire. L.35 crossed into France near Calais but the strong winds prevented her reaching her home base at Ahlhorn near Bremen. Instead she managed to find a berth at Dresden, many miles to the south-east. Damaged as she entered the shed, L.35 remained out of action for three months.

    Zeppelin L.40, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Erich Sommerfeldt, led a second wave, arriving over Herne Bay on the north Kent coast at about 1.00am. Heading south-west, Sommerfeldt dropped his first bomb 40 minutes later over
    Nackholt, a couple of miles east of Ashford. The blast of the HE bomb dislodged a few roof tiles. Flying southwards now, L.40 appeared over Romney Marsh at about 2.00am. Sommerfeldt released five HE and three incendiaries near the village of Newchurch where the total damage was two panes of broken glass in a farmhouse 500 yards away. A little further on L.40 dropped about 14 incendiaries near to Little Appledore Farm, but the wet ground prevented most from completely burning out. An HE bomb at Melon Farm, Ivychurch, resulted in the death of four sheep and more bombs fell between Old and New Romney breaking windows in four homes. L.40 went out to sea at New Romney at about 2.15am, crossed the French coast near Cap Gris Nez and battled her way back to her base at Ahlhorn.

    The final raider, L.41 commanded by Hauptmann Kuno Manger, crossed the Sussex coast at Cliff End near Pett, south of Winchelsea at 1.20am. She immediately dropped eight HE (two fell in the sea) and two incendiary bombs. The concussion of the HE bombs damaged two unoccupied bungalows and also smashed doors and shattered windows at two farms. Manger turned north-east now, heading towards Rye. Just to the east the town an emergency airfield had its flares burning which possibly drew L.41 in that direction. At Rye, Manger turned south-east, following the River Rother back to the sea. As he did so, at 1.40am, he dropped seven HE and six incendiaries over the area known as the Camber Marshes. One HE bomb landed about 400 yards from the airfield while two others and one incendiary landed on the right bank of the river between the town and the Rye Chemical Works. The others fell on the left bank near Rye Harbour. Two bungalows suffered slight damage and broken windows. L.41 went out to sea at Dungeness at 2.05am and crossed the French coast at Boulogne. She eventually reached Ahlhorn after a mission lasting almost 27 hours. The efforts of the four Zeppelins resulted in damage estimated at just £163.

    Casualties: 0 killed, 0 injured


    Damage £163


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    French troops stand watch over the burnt-out remains, mostly twisted metal, of the German airship ‘L39’

    France:
    German airship L39 shot down by French anti-aircraft fire near Compiegne (night March 16-17).

    Western Front:
    Guynemer achieves first French ace’s triple victory and receives Russian Order of St George (4th class) from President Poincare.

    Britain:
    Abortive Navy airship operation against London; adverse weather. First sortie by 4 R-class ‘height climber’ Zeppelins at 17,000 – 19,000ft.


    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 6


    Sgt Buchanan, C.W.B. (Clifford William Boiteux), 25 Squadron, RFC. Killed in Action aged 25, during an aerial combat.

    2Lt Muirhead, J. (John), 59 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 25.

    AC2 Spiers, C.H.S. (Charles H.S.), HMS President II, RNAS.

    2Lt Walker, J.H. (James Hope), RFC. Killed whilst flying aged 20.

    A Mech 2 Warren, T.W. (Timothy Wilfred), Recruits Depot, RFC. Died of sickness aged 18.

    Capt Wenden, G. (George), 35 Squadron, RFC, aged 23.

    Claims: 14 (Entente 10: Central Powers 4)

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    Lt Maurice Jean Paul Boyau claims his 1st confirmed victory with N77, flying a Nieuport he shot down an Aviatik south of Thiaucourt. Well known for his skill at rugby, Boyau served in the infantry before the war. In 1915, while serving as a driver in the Army Service Corps, he requested a transfer to the French Air Service. Obtaining a Pilot's Brevet on 28 November 1915, he served as an instructor at Buc before being posted to N77 in September 1916. Before he was killed in action, Boyau downed 21 balloons and 14 enemy aircraft.

    Capt Albert Louis Deullin claims his 12th confirmed victory with Spa73 shooting down an enemy aircraft near Einville-en-Haye.

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    Adj Gustave Douchy claims his 5th confirmed victory with N38 shooting down a 2 seater near Bouconville-Rouvroy.

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    Capt Georges Marie Ludovic Jules Guynemer claims his 32nd, 33rd & 34th confirmed victories with N3, shooting down an Albatros C type, a Rumpler C type & a 2nd Albatros C type, near Serres, Hoeville and Regneville-en-Haye respectively.

    Sous Lt Andre René Celestin Herbelin claims his 2nd confirmed victory shooting down an enemy aircraft near Noyon.

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    Lt Adrien Louis Jacques Leps claims his 1st & 2nd confirmed victories with N81, shooting down a 2 seater and a Albatros C type near Burnhaupt-la-Hetrie & Bernweiler-Ammerzweiler respectively. Leps joined the army on 9 October 1913. In 1915, he transferred to the French Air Service and served as an observer with Escadrille N67 until he was badly wounded on 9 July. Having recovered from his wounds by the summer of 1916, Leps completed flight training at Amberieu and received his Pilot's Brevet on 23 August 1916. In December, he joined Escadrille N81 (later Spa81) at the front and scored his first victory by downing a German two-seater. During 1918, Leps downed two more enemy aircraft and five balloons.

    Capt Jean Georges Fernand Matton claims his 4th confirmed victory with N48 shooting down an enemy aircraft north of Chavonne.

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    Lt Kurt Küppers claims his 1st confirmed victory with Jasta 6, shooting down an FE2b south of Bouchavesnes.

    Lt Fritz Loerzer claims his 2nd confirmed victory with Jasta 26 shotting down a Nieuport Scout near Niedersuizbach.

    Lt Friedrich Manschott claims his 12th and last victory with Jasta 7, shooting down a balloon south of Fort Vaux. After shooting down this balloon, Manschott was killed in a dogfight with four Caudrons.

    Lt Kurt Arthur Benno Student claims his 4th confirmed victory with Jasta 9 shooting down a Nieuport.

    Home Fronts:

    Russia:
    Mutiny breaks out in Russian Baltic Fleet (see 12th, and June 21st).

    Western Front


    Important daylight raid by British west of Lens.

    Somme:
    British occupy St Pierre Vaast Wood, dominating Peronne.

    First marching day of Operation Alberich: 35 German divisions begin synchronized retreat to Hindenburg Line.

    Tunstills Men Friday 16th March 1917:


    Eperlecques


    Another very mild day. The Battalion worked in the vicinity of their billets. Orders were received at Brigade to prepare for a move back towards the front line.


    CSM Albert Edgar Palmer (see 13th December 1916) completed a new form of will in his army paybook, leaving all his property and effects to his mother, Emma.

    Pte. Thomas Bownass (see 27th October 1916), who had joined 10DWR in July 1916, was posted back to England; he was suffering from paresis (weakness or partial paralysis) of the right hand.

    Capt. Edgar Stanton arrived in France en route to join 10DWR. It has not yet been possible to make a full identification of this officer, but something is known of his recent military history. He had been commissioned Lieutenant to serve with 10th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment on 16th October 1914 and had then been transferred, as temporary Captain, to 9DWR on 10th July 1915 and had gone out to France with the Battalion five days later. He had relinquished his commission on grounds of ill health with effect from 19th April 1916, but had been re-appointed Captain on 29th July 1916, to serve with the Training Reserve. On 19th February 1917 he had been transferred out of the Training Reserve and posted to 10DWR.

    2Lt. John Redington (see 30h November 1916), who had previously been instructed to relinquish his commission on grounds of continuing ill health, was now declared fit to keep his commission, though only to take up office work on behalf of the Army. He was the younger brother of Capt. Frank Redington MC (see 13th March); both men had previously served as officers with 10DWR.

    Acting L.Cpl. John Widdup, younger brother of 2Lt. Harry Widdup (see 14th March), serving with 322nd Quarrying Company, Royal Engineers, was confirmed in his rank on a permanent basis. He embarked for France the following day.
    Walter Ralph was called up for military service under the terms of the Military Service Acts, 1916 and posted to the York and Lancaster Regiment Depot for training; he was the elder brother of Pte. Kit Ralph (see 3rd November 1916) who had been killed at Le Sars. Walter was 29 years old and married with two children; he had worked as a farm labourer before being called up.

    Eastern Front:

    Romanians recapture height between Casin and and Oitoz valleys.

    Enemy driven from Vadeni.

    Naval Operations:

    Black Sea:
    Russian Fleet shells Derkos.

    Baltic: Russian 2nd Battleship Brigade (4 ships) leads revolution at Helsinki (night Mach 16-17, c.50 officers and NCO’s killed) but no bloodshed at Reval (March 15) or elsewhere. Fleet has over 89,000 members of all ranks.

    Atlantic: The German auxiliary cruiser Leopard is engaged and sunk by the boarding vessel SS Dundee and the cruiser HMS Achilles.

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    SMS Leopard

    After leaving port earlier in the month disguised as the Norwegian freighter Rena Norge the Leopard set sail on its mission to disrupt Allied commerce. Today it is stopped in the North Sea by the cruiser HMS Achilles and ordered to proceed to the boarding vessel SS Dundee for inspection. Heavily outgunned the raider’s commander, has no option other to proceed to meet the boarding vessel.

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    SS Dundee

    Captain Day of the Dundee dispatches a launch containing a boarding party with an officer and five men to investigate the mysterious ship. The German commander realizing he is about to be discovered detains the party and after about an hour opens fire on the Dundee with a salvo of two torpedoes. The steamer maneuvers out of the way barely in time and the torpedoes miss. Day orders his gun crews to open fire and a hail of shells strike the Leopard damaging a gun and setting fires.

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    HMS Achilles

    The Achilles hearing the sound of gunfire returns to the scene and opens fire on the raider as the Dundee withdraws. Shortly after the Achilles’ arrival the Leopard sinks with all 319 hands going down with the ship. Damage to the British vessels is light but all six members of the boarding party members are trapped and lost in the Leopard when it sinks. Ironically of the boarding party four of them are Seamen in the Royal Navy Reserve and are named Anderson.

    Shipping Losses: 14 (All to U-Boat action)

    The tanker Narragansett (Master Charles Edward Harwood) is torpedoed and sunk killing forty-six including her master southwest of Ireland. The tanker has a long history including answering the distress calls from the Colturno when she caught fire in the Atlantic in October 1913 and played an important role in the rescuing of the 523 survivors by pumping some of her oil onto the rough sea which stopped the breaking waves by breaking waves smashing lifeboats. She was also involved in the Lusitania sinking in her distress calls and went to assist only to be fired on by U-20 her torpedo missing by less than ten feet.

    · Narragansett’s Third Engineer Angus MacPherson Kinnear is killed at age 23. His brother was killed hom HMS Queen Mary at Jutland.
    · Leading Seaman Timothy McCarthy (S S Narragansett, Royal Naval Reserve) is killed at age 29. He served with ‘Sir’ Edward Shackleton’s Expedition to Antarctica.

    The Drifter Protect (Skipper George Findlay) is sunk by a mine in the Dover Straits losing her entire crew of ten.

    Political:


    Despatch from Mr. Balfour in amplification of Allies' Note to U.S.A. communicated to American Government.

    Complete acceptance of Allies' ultimatum by Greek Government.

    Anniversary Events:
    37 On a trip to the Italian mainland from his home on Capreae, the emperor Tiberius dies on the Bay of Naples.
    1190 The Crusades begin the massacre of Jews in York, England.
    1527 The Emperor Babur defeats the Rajputs at the Battle of Khanwa, removing the main Hindu rivals in Northern India.
    1621 The first Indian appears to colonists in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
    1833 Susan Hayhurst becomes the first woman to graduate from a pharmacy college.
    1850 Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is published.
    1865 Union troops push past Confederate blockers at the Battle of Averasborough, N.C.
    1907 The British cruiser Invincible, the world’s largest, is completed at Glasgow shipyards.
    1913 The 15,000-ton battleship Pennsylvania is launched at Newport News, Va.
    1917 Russian Czar Nicholas II abdicates his throne.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 03-16-2017 at 15:34.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  34. #2284

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    I now hand over to Chris for 3 days, whilst I and my good lady enjoy some R&R before the undercarriage is repaired.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  35. #2285

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    Thanks for your input Neil.
    That certainly was a massive one to finish on.
    Have a good rest.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  36. #2286

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    Big thanks to Neil for a long hard fought stint in the editor's chair, I am back for a few days and blimey what a welcome back, 21 RFC losses in a single day and a small matter of 37 aerial victory claims - and we haven't even got started with Bloody April yet. Given the high volumes (which are likely to get worse) we shall have to economise on commentary where possible whilst maintaining as clear an overall picture as possible. To that end we will list all kills etc but focus on first timers, multiples and the most famous of aces (inc. all of Von Richthofen's combat reports of course)

    and before we start on behalf of everyone from the emerald isle on the one day of the year when everyone is Irish...

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    Right then...

    21 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON SATURDAY MARCH 17TH 1917 including one British Ace

    2nd Lieutenant Eric Clowes Pashley 24 Squadron RFC

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    Eric Clowes Pashley received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 139 on a Sommer biplane at Brooklands on 26 September 1911. He joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1916. Posted to 24 Squadron, he scored 8 victories flying the D.H.2. Pashley was flying DH2 7930 when he was killed. The notes I have show that he spun in from 2,000 feet during target practice, was killed in the crash and is interred at Cerisy-Gailly Military Cemetery. The irony of seeing all these losses on this day and arguably the most experienced pilot, certainly the most successful pilot, is killed in a flying accident, not in combat.

    2nd. Lieutenant Aaron Appleton 6 Squadron RFC Killed in Action 17 March 1917, Shot down by anti-aircraft fire, aged 20

    Sgt. Walter Edward Bastable 6 Squadron RFC Killed in Action 17 March 1917 aged 24

    Lt. Fred Oscar Baxter 21 Squadron RFC Killed while flying 17 March 1917 aged 27

    Lt. Arthur Elsdale Boultbee
    25 Squadron RFC Killed in Action 17 March 1917 aged 19. He was flying FE2b No. A5439 when he was shot down and killed by Manfred Von Richthofen (his 27th victory)

    2nd. Lt. Arthur Leslie Constable 43 Squadron RFC Killed in Action 17 March 1917 aged 25, during an aerial combat.

    Corporal Joseph Cooper 6 Squadron RFC Killed in Action 17 March 1917

    Corporal Arthur William Evans 21 Squadron RFC Killed while flying 17 March 1917 aged 20

    2nd Lieutenant David Dennys Fowler
    78 Squadron RFC Killed in Action 17 March 1917 aged 20, flying B.E. 2e 7181 on Zeppelin Patrol, during an enemy air raid

    2nd Lieutenant Alex Ivan Gilson 1 Squadron RFC Killed in Action 17 March 1917 aged 22

    Air Mechanic 2nd Class Ernest Alfred Harris Central Flying School, Upavon, Wiltshire died on this day in 1917

    Sergeant Ernest Adam Howlett 16 Squadron RFC Killed in Action 17 March 1917 aged 26 He was flying BE2g 2814 when he was short down and killed by Manfred Von Richthofen - his 28th kill

    2nd Lieutenant Ebeneezer King
    25 Squadron RFC Killed while flying 17 March 1917 aged 24

    Air Mechanic 2nd Class Frederick King 25 Squadron RFC 17 March 1917 aged 22. He was flying (Observer) FE2b No. A5439 when he was shot down and killed by Manfred Von Richthofen (his 27th victory)

    2nd Lt. Charles Duncan Knox 43 Squadron RFC Killed in Action 17 March 1917 aged 21

    2nd. Lt. Reginald Herbert Lownds 43 Squadron RFC Missing - Killed in Action 17 March 1917 aged 20

    2nd Lt. Robert Goldie Miller 5 Squadron RFC Killed in Action 17 March 1917 aged 27, Crashed

    Lt. Basil Menzies Morris 6 Squadron RFC Killed in Action 17 March 1917 aged 21. Crashed

    2nd. Lt. James Cook Rimer 43 Squadron RFC Killed in Action 17 March 1917 aged 20

    Flight Sub Lieutenant Frederic Cloete Walke
    r RNAS 6(N) Squadron 17 March 1917 aged 18

    Captain Guy Stafford Thorne (Royal Flying Corps) dies of wounds received in action at age 35 when his BE2d is shot down by Werner Voss. Thorne is the pilot of the aircraft and is hit in the back by what his observer later describes is an explosive bullet. Despite being shot and pain from his wound, he manages to land his aircraft at Henin sur Cojeul before he passes out. He dies later this day. He represented Wolverhampton Grammar school (1893-1899) at cricket, football and tennis. On this day he is in temporary command of his squadron and because of the importance of the reconnaissance has decided not to delegate the job to others but to go himself. His brother Lieutenant Colonel Harold Underhill Hatton Thorne will be killed next month.

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    African Fronts
    East Africa: Hoskins asks for 15,000 carriers per month to replace wastage plus 500 American light lorries (200 promised for mid*-May), orders 300 new KAR (mainly ex-German Askari) to leave Morogoro by rail for Tabora. They leave there for south on March 23.

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    Some 1,500 British ‘tribal transport’ porters. All the armies involved in East Africa relied to a very considerable extend on head-carrying to get their supplies forward; the porters were often coerced into serving, poorly paid, and not always well treated.

    Western Front
    Somme: French occupy Roye, 2nd Australian Division occupies Bapaume. Germans blow up all public and commercial buildings and leave secret huge mine under the mairie (explodes on March 27, killing 2 French deputies and British staff). BEF occupies 13 villages. British Lucknow Cavalry Brigade ordered forward.
    Aisne: German Seventh Army evacuates Crouy for position 5 miles to north; French can enter Lassigny.

    Sea War
    Atlantic: HM sloops Migonette and Alyssm (March 18) mined and sunk off southwest Ireland.
    Channel: 16 German destroyers raid Ramsgate and Broadstairs (night March 17-18) also sink destroyer HMS Paragon (10 survivors) and torpedo destroyer Llewellyn.
    Baltic: C-in-C Russian fleet Nepenin resigns, is shot and murdered by lone sailor. Vice-Admiral Maksimov elected in his place; restores order with 2 Provisional Government envoys.

    Early this morning German destroyers attack the Dover Barrage. HMS Paragon is struck by a torpedo and gunfire and breaks in half and sinks within eight minutes. Some of her depth charges explode killing some of the seventy-five crew members that are lost including

    Lieutenant Richard Grenville Bowyer age 26. He is the grandson of both the Reverend William Henry Wentworth Atkins-Bowyer and Major General Charles Stuart Lane.
    The minesweeper HMS Duchess of Montrose (Lieutenant Gerald L Lesmond) strikes a mine and sinks in less than one minute near the Graveslines Buoy off the coast of Belgium. Twelve members of her crew are killed.

    Air War
    Western Front: Fonck fights off 5 Albatrosses, destroying 1 (his second kill).(See below)
    Britain: German aircraft drops 4 bombs near Dover submarine pens.
    Arabia: *Royal Flying Corps Flight moves from Rabegh up coast to Wejh

    There were 35 aerial victory claims on this day - 21 for the Entente, 14 for the Central Powers

    Lancelot Richardson Australia #7
    Reginald Malcolm Canada #2

    Flt. Sub-Lieut. John Joseph Malone DSO , R.N.A.S Canada #2 #3 #4

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    The son of Edmund J., a farmer, and Mary (Wallace) Malone of Inglewood, Ontario, John Joseph Malone obtained Royal Aero Club certificate No. 3376 from the Curtiss flying school at Toronto on 15 July 1916. On that day he was promoted to Flight Sub-Lieutenant (on probation). Posted to 3 Naval Squadron on 1 February 1917, he scored 10 victories flying the Sopwith Pup before he was killed in action, shot down by Paul Billik of Jasta 12. Mentioned in despatches.

    Roy Chappell England #2
    Cecil Clark England #2

    Leonard Emsden England #2 #3 An F.E.2b observer with 25 Squadron, 2nd Class Air Mechanic Leonard Herbert Emsden scored eight victories with his pilots in 1917.

    George Arthur Milford Hyde MC England #1

    George Arthur Hyde was awarded the Military Cross while serving with the 10th Battalion of the King's Rifle Corps. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and was posted to 54 Squadron where he scored 5 victories in 1917 flying the Sopwith Pup. Birth registered in the 3rd quarter of 1893; living in Easingwold, Yorkshire when he enlisted.

    James LeitEngland #6
    James SlateEngland #2

    Capt. Sydney Philip Smith MC England #1

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    Smith was killed when his Sopwith Camel was shot down by Manfred von Richthofen in a Fokker DR.I. He was the Red Baron's 76th victim. In his novel, "Winged Victory," Victor Yeates based the character of "Beal" on Sydney Smith.

    Herbert Travers England #2
    Charles Henry Chapman WoollveEngland #4

    Alexandre Albert Roger Bretillon France #1

    Bretillon joined the army on 19 December 1914. After serving with infantry and artillery regiments, he transferred to aviation on 31 March 1916. He received his pilot's brevet (1122) on 25 June 1916 and was posted to Escadrille N79 on 1 December 1916. With this unit he scored nine victories and was wounded in action on 15 February 1918.

    René Doumer France #6
    René Fonck France #2
    Georges Guynemer France #35
    Karl Allmenröder Germany #3

    Hartmut Baldamus Germany #14 #15

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    When the war began, Baldamus joined the German Air Service. After scoring five victories with FFA 20, he was reassigned to Jasta 5 but failed to score as a single-seat fighting pilot until he was posted to Jasta 9 in November 1916. He scored four victories by the end of the year and nine more victories in 1917. Following a mid-air collision with a Nieuport 17, Baldamus was credited with his 18th victory but was killed in the resulting crash. At the time of his death, he needed two more victories to be eligible for the Blue Max.

    Heinrich Gontermann Germany #4
    Ludwig Hanstein Germany #2

    Wilhelm Hippert Germany #1

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    Friedrich Mallinckrodt Germany #3

    Manfred von Richthofen Germany #27 #28

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    Von Richthofen's Combat Reports:

    27 11:30hrs, Oppy. Vickers two-seater No.A3439 Motor No. 854. Machine Guns 19633 and 19901. About 1:30 I attacked with nine of my machines and enemy squadron of 15 aircraft. During the fight I managed to force a Vickers two seater aside, which I then after 800 shots, brought down. In my machine gun fire the plane lost its openwork fuselage. The occupants were killed and were taken for burial by the local commander at Oppy.

    28 17:00hrs above trenches west of Vimy. BE two-seater No details as plane landed between the lines. I spotted an enemy infantry flyer. Several attacks directed from above produced no results, especially as my adversary did not accept a fight and was protected from above by other machines. Therefore I went down to 700 metres and attacked my adversary, who was flying at 900 metres, from below. AFter a short fight my opponent's plane lost both wings and fell. The machine crashed into no-man's land and was fired at by our infantry.

    Kurt Schneider Germany #1

    Schneider transferred to the German Air Force in 1915 and was a founding member of Jasta 5. He was wounded in action with 22 Squadron on 5 June 1917. Flying an Albatros D.V, he downed 15 enemy aircraft and was forced to land twice.

    Paul Strähle Germany #3
    Renatus Theiller Germany u/c

    Werner Voss Germany #16 #17

    Kurt Wolff Germany #3

    Francis Casey Ireland #1

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    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.

    Francis Kitto Wales #1

    The son of Joseph B. and Annie Mary Kitto, Francis Mansel Kitto joined the Welsh Regiment and was attached to the Royal Flying Corps. He was promoted to Temporary 2nd Lieutenant and transferred to the General List on 9 November 1916. With 43 Squadron in 1917, he scored three victories flying the Sopwith 1½ Strutter. On 1 December 1917, Lieutenant Kitto was appointed Flight Commander. With 54 Squadron in 1918, he scored six more victories flying the Sopwith Camel.

    Captain Tunstill's Men: A beautiful Spring day, with some eleven hours of sunshine, although with a strong wind at times. The officers of the Battalion played the officers of 11th West Yorks at rugby, winning by 19-0.

    YOUNG CORPORAL’S DEATH IN ACTION

    Mr. Robert Feather, of Fern Bank, Utley, the well-known Keighley auctioneer, has received news that one of his four soldier sons, Corporal H. Feather (21), West Yorkshire Regiment, has been killed in action. A smart and gentlemanly young fellow he enlisted shortly after the outbreak of the war and before being drafted to the front on which he met his death was serving in Egypt. Before the war he was learning the spinning business at the mill of Mr. Robert Calverley, Halifax Road, Keighley. The first intimation Mr. Feather received of his son’s death was contained in a sympathetic letter dated March 3 from Corporal Clifford Smith (Keighley). Corporal Smith wrote: “Your son was first reported missing and I waited until a thorough search had been made, and I have been making exhaustive enquiries. Today I have seen the man who found the body this morning, and he informs me that Harry was killed by an explosive bullet and death must have been instantaneous. Our chaplain buried him today along with his chums of our old section, Sergeant Little and Corporal Groves”.
    Writing to Mr. Feather on March 9th the chaplain (the Rev. John G. Thornton) said: “We are deeply grieved to lose one who has been with the Battalion so long, and who won the respect and confidence of all who worked with him. Your grief, however, is deeper still, I feel so sorry for you. Your son’s life seems cut off so short. The cost of this war falls heavily upon you yet in all your sorrow you will feel proud that your son did his duty nobly and bravely. He had answered voluntarily the call of his country in her hour of need. Even though she called him to die, he did not hesitate. If a new nation, with purer ideas and fresher life, arises out of this war, then your son’s precious blood will not have been spilt in vain. We must pray for this and may God help you bravely to bear this tremendous demand upon your home”. Mr. and Mrs. Feather have received numerous letters of sympathy, among then being from Mr. T.P. Watson, principal of the Trade and Grammar school, at which school the deceased soldier was formerly a pupil; and one from Mr. Robert Calverley, on behalf of himself and the workpeople at Hope Mills, Keighley. Corporal Feather had only just passed his twenty-first birthday.

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    Political, etc.

    Germans send many prisoners into war zone as "reprisal".

    M. Briand and cabinet resign owing to Lyautey crisis.

    Albert Hall meeting in favour of national service for women.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 03-17-2017 at 16:54.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  37. #2287

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    I'm sure that even after 'Bloody April' the tempo of air combat until the end of the war will cause an enormous amount of reports.
    Karl
    It is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he thinks he knows. -- Epictetus

  38. #2288

    Default

    You are not wrong Karl, some of the data from mid 1918 is just ridiculous

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  39. #2289

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    Right before we get started, just a heads up... this report edition may come out in tow segments as I on designated driver/parental taxi duty so will have to head for the train station at some point, so if the post looks half finished worry not I will be back to complete later this evening, but in the meantime, lets see just how much I can get done.

    March 18th 1917

    Middle East

    Armenia Kemal C-in-C Turk Second Army (Deputy since March 5) in new Army Group Caucasus (Ahmed Izzet Pasha), only 40,000 strong, and still typhus-ridden. Russians reoccupy Van.
    Mesopotamia: British occupy Baquba (35 miles northeast of Baghdad) after 240 lorried infantry with 4 armoured cars fail to seize bridge there on March 14.

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    A Turkish staff officer with a ten-year-old boy soldier who has his slain father’s rifle and medal at the Caucasus front.

    Western Front
    Somme: BEF GHQ Intelligence summary reports wells at Barleux southwest of Peronne poisoned with arsenic. French reoccupy Noyon (population 12,000; streets mined and booby*-trapped, explosions till mid*-April). British 48th Division occupies Peronne and BEF Chaulnes. Allies enter Nesle together.
    Verdun: German attacks in Avocourt-Mort Homme sector repulsed (until March 19).

    The Battle of Arras:

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    Following heavy losses in the fighting on the Somme, the Germans had taken the decision to shorten their lines. For the preceding nine months, Russian prisoners and support troops of the German army had been engaged in building a fearsome new defensiveposition, called by the British ‘The Hindenburg Line’. Beginning with local retirements, by the 18th March 1917 the German army had completed their withdrawal behind this line. This created serious complications for the British, dislocating their battle plans on the eve of the offensive. For the French the problem was even more acute, as their forthcoming attack was intended as a breakout from a salient that no longer existed. However, Nivelle decided to proceed with the attack. The British were to begin their operations a few days before those of the French, the intention being that the German reserves would be transferred north to counter their attack around Arras. With these now committed to battle, the much larger French force would punch through the German lines to the south and roll up the German army unopposed from the rear. This was to be the knockout blow on the Western Front, and Nivelle had boasted that his offensive would end the war. This was proved not to be the case.

    Geographically, much of the battlefield of Arras is relatively flat. However, to the north of the city rises Vimy ridge, held by the Germans and dominating the local countryside. Capture of this ridge formed one of the major British objectives of the battle: so long as it was held by the Germans, the British lines of communication were under constant observation. We will hear a lot more of Vimy Ridge over the next few weeks...

    Air War
    Salonika: Two attempted KG1 raids broken up by Royal Flying Corps fighters; Captain Murlis Green in BE12 shoots down 1 bomber, damages another.

    General Headquarters, March 19th. reporting on today's actions...

    “Our aeroplanes did much valuable work yesterday in co-operation with our infantry. The enemy's troops were engaged successfully with machine guns, and bombs were dropped on a number of places behind his lines. In air fights one German was destroyed, and one driven down, damaged. Two of our aeroplanes are missing."

    Artillery Co-operation — Thirty targets were dealt with by aeroplane observation and six with balloon observation.

    The War at Sea

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    SM UB-6 was a German Type UB I submarine or U-boat in the German Imperial Navy (German: Kaiserliche Marine) during World War I. The submarine was interned after running aground in neutral Dutch waters, and was scuttled by her crew at Hellevoetsluis. UB-6 was ordered in October 1914 and was laid down at the Germaniawerft shipyard in Kiel in November. UB-6 was a little more than 28 metres (92 ft) in length and displaced between 127 and 142 tonnes (125 and 140 long tons), depending on whether surfaced or submerged. She carried two torpedoes for her two bow torpedo tubes and was also armed with a deck-mounted machine gun. UB-6 was broken into sections and shipped by rail to Antwerp for reassembly. She was launched in March 1915 and commissioned as SM UB-6 in April.

    UB-6 spent her entire career in the Flanders Flotilla and sank HMS Recruit, the first warship credited to the flotilla in May 1915. Through September 1916, the U-boat accounted for fourteen additional ships sunk, two ships damaged, and one ship seized as a prize. On 12 March 1917, UB-6 ran aground near the Maas River in the Netherlands due to a navigational error by her commander; the submarine and crew were interned by the neutral country and taken to Hellevoetsluis. Six days later, UB-6 was scuttled by her crew, which remained interned for the rest of the war. The wreck of UB-6 was ceded to France in 1919 and broken up at Brest in July 1921.

    The submarine was commissioned into the German Imperial Navy as SM UB-6 on 8 April under the command of Kapitänleutnant (Kptlt.) Erich Haecker, a 29-year-old first-time U-boat commander. On 19 April, UB-6 joined the other UB I boats then comprising the Flanders Flotilla (German: U-boote des Marinekorps U-Flotille Flandern), which had been organized on 29 March. When UB-6 joined the flotilla, Germany was in the midst of its first submarine offensive, begun in February. During this campaign, enemy vessels in the German-defined war zone (German: Kriegsgebiet), which encompassed all waters around the United Kingdom were to be sunk. Vessels of neutral countries were not to be attacked unless they definitively could be identified as enemy vessels operating under a false flag.

    The UB I boats of the Flanders Flotilla were initially limited to patrols in the Hoofden, the southern portion of the North Sea between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Although UB-4 had made both the first sortie and sunk the first ship of the flotilla in April, UB-6 sank the first warship credited to the flotilla. On 1 May, Haecker spotted two old Royal Navy destroyers, Brazen and Recruit, about 30 nautical miles (56 km; 35 mi) southwest of the Galloper light vessel. Just before noon, Haecker launched a torpedo that hit Recruit and split the 335-tonne (330-long-ton) displacement ship in half, killing 34 men; 26 men were rescued. One month later, on 1 June, UB-6 sank what would be her largest ship, the British cargo ship Saidieh, of 3,303 gross register tons (GRT). Saidieh was en route to Hull from Alexandria with a load of onions and cottonseed when UB-6 sank her at the mouth of the Thames; eight crewmen lost their lives in the attack. In late June, Korvettenkapitän Karl Bartenbach, head of the Flanders Flotilla, used UB-6 to test a theory that British defenses in the Straits of Dover—anti-submarine nets and mines—were not insurmountable. On the evening of 21 June, UB-6 departed Zeebrugge for a round-trip to Boulogne. UB-6 sailed past Dunkirk on the surface and made Boulogne in the early morning of the 22nd, having to crash dive once during the voyage when discovered by a British destroyer. UB-6 immediately made the return trip and arrived safely at Zeebrugge later the same day. Three other UB I boats, UB-2, UB-5, and UB-10, soon followed with patrols in the Channel, but bad weather and fog hampered the boats and none had any success. Even though no ships were sunk during these forays into the English Channel, by successfully completing their voyages, the submarines helped further prove the feasibility of defeating the British countermeasures in the Straits of Dover.

    On 12 July, while patrolling between 18 and 23 nautical miles (33 and 43 km; 21 and 26 mi) off Lowestoft, UB-6 attacked five British fishing vessels, sinking four of them. All four of the sunken ships were smacks—sailing vessels traditionally rigged with red ochre sails—which were stopped, boarded by crewmen from UB-6, and sunk with explosives. Two weeks later, UB-6 torpedoed and sank the 406-ton Firth 4 nautical miles (7.4 km; 4.6 mi) from the Aldborough Napes Buoy. UB-6 sank the 57-ton Leander, another smack, on 11 August. Germany's submarine offensive was suspended on 18 September by the chief of the Admiralstab, Admiral Henning von Holtzendorff, in response to American demands after the sinking of the Cunard Line steamer Lusitania in May 1915 and other high-profile sinkings in August and September. Holtzendorff's directive ordered all U-boats out of the English Channel and the South-Western Approaches and required that all submarine activity in the North Sea be conducted strictly along prize regulations. It would be five months before UB-6 would sink another ship. In mid-November, Oberleutnant zur See (Oblt.z.S.) Ernst Voigt succeeded Haecker as commander of UB-6; it was the first U-boat for the 25-year-old Voigt. Under his command, UB-6 sank her next vessel in January 1916. The 57-ton smack Crystal was boarded and sunk by explosives 25 nautical miles (46 km; 29 mi) southeast of Southwold on the 27th.

    Captain Tunstill's Men:

    The Spring weather continued and the Battalion remained in billets, preparing for the forthcoming move.

    In a letter home to his wife Brig Genl. Lambert (see 1st March) asked her to make arrangements to send a photograph to Lt. William Andrew Leo Kerridge (see 4th January), who had been back in England since being gassed in July 1916. “Did I ever ask you to send one of the photographs of our group taken after Contalmaison (with the trophies) to a Lt. Kerridge Esq., The Marine Boarding House, Ventnor, Isle of Wight? He wrote to ask for one and I told him I would have one sent. There are still some in a Kodak envelope in the top small drawer of my chest of drawers I think. He was my Brigade Bomb Officer but was gassed and will not be fit again for a long time. As a matter of fact he had some gastric complaint which has troubled him most”.

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    The photograph to be sent to Lt. Kerridge shows him standing second from right, with Brig. Genl. Lambert seated centre

    Right taxi duty time - I will be back later to review RFC losses and aerial combat claims etc.... and we are back

    8 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON SUNDAY MARCH 18TH 1917

    2nd Lieutenant Grant Hugh Temple Bourne 4 Squadron RFC Killed in Action 18 March 1917 aged 23

    2nd Lieutenant John James Enslie Gray 28 Squadron RFC Accidentally Killed while flying 18 March 1917, with 2nd Lieut W S Morrison flying in FE2b 4912 off the South Coast

    Sergeant Harry La Place 10 Squadron RFC died on this day in 1917

    Air Mechanic 3rd Class (Cadet) H.F. Morris RFC recruits depot died on this day

    2nd Lieutenant Walter Scott Morrison 28 Squadron RFC Killed while flying off the South Coast (crashed) 18 March 1917 aged 22 (see above Lt. Gray)

    Capt. Guy Stafford Thorne
    13 Squadron RFC. Died of Wounds while a Prisoner of War 18 March 1917 aged 35 (reported in full yesterday)

    2nd Lieutenant John Thwaytes 4 Squadron RFC Killed in Action 18 March 1917 aged 21

    Aerial Victory Claims today Central Powers 5, Entente 7

    Julius Kowalczik Austro-Hungarian Empire #2 #3

    James Belgrave England #2

    Gilbert Ware Murlis Green England #5 #6

    Capitaine Raoul Cesar Robert Pierre Echard France #1

    He was a World War I flying ace credited with seven aerial victories. He was born at Rouen, France on 28 September 1883. He received the Legion d'Honneur and the Croix de Guerre for his valor. The award citation of his Légion d'honneur mentions :

    "An energetic officer, audacious and skillful pilot. In less than a month, by his courage and combat techniques, and by the example he gives each day to everyone, he made a newly formed young escadrille into a highly efficient unit. On 3 May 1917, he downed his third enemy plane in our lines. Cited twice in orders.

    He died 1922 in an Air meeting starting from Zurich. After two steps of the "circuit des Alpes", his Spad crashed in a wood near Bodio where he was found dead.

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    Georges Madon France #8

    Friedrich Mallinckrodt Germany #4

    Werner Voss Germany #18 #19

    Luigi Olivari Italy #4

    Franklin Saunders Wales #2
    Last edited by Hedeby; 03-18-2017 at 16:10.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  40. #2290

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    Cheers for taking the helm whilst I was away on R&R. Back now for a week or so before Operation New Undercarriage gets under way and I'm Hors de Combat for a few weeks.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  41. #2291

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    I hand back to Neil after only a few days at the helm but will be back shortly, so lets see if there are any good stories to sign off with..

    19th March 1917

    Sea War
    Mediterranean: U-64 sinks modern French battleship Danton (296 lost) southwest of Sardinia.
    Kaiser Wilhelm II approves announcement that Allied hospital ships in Mediterranean no longer to be spared except in neutral corridor under strict conditions.

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    Danton was a semi-dreadnought battleship of the French Navy and the lead ship of her class. She was a technological leap in battleship development for the French Navy, as she was the first ship in the fleet with turbine engines. However, like all battleships of her type, she was completed after the Royal Navy battleship HMS Dreadnought, and as such she was outclassed before she was even commissioned.

    During her career Danton was sent to Great Britain to honor the coronation of George V, and later served in World War I as an escort for supply ships and troop transports, guarding them from elements of the German Navy. While en route to aid a blockade, she was torpedoed and sunk on 19 March 1917 by a German U-boat, leaving 296 men dead. The location of the wreck remained a mystery until an underwater survey team inadvertently discovered the battleship in December 2007. In February 2009, the wreck was confirmed to be Danton. The ship is in remarkably good shape for her age. Danton rests upright on the ocean floor, and most of the original equipment is reported to be intact.

    Although the Danton-class battleships were a significant improvement from the preceding Liberté class, especially with the 3,000-ton displacement increase, they were outclassed by the advent of the dreadnought well before they were completed. This, combined with other poor traits, including the great weight in coal they had to carry, made them rather unsuccessful ships, though their numerous rapid-firing guns were of some use in the Mediterranean. Danton was laid down at the Arsenal de Brest in February 1906, launched on 4 July 1909, and commissioned into the French Navy on 1 June 1911. The ship was 146.6 meters (481 ft 0 in) long overall and had a beam of 25.8 m (84 ft 8 in) and a full-load draft of 9.2 m (30 ft 2 in). She displaced 19,736 metric tons (19,424 long tons; 21,755 short tons) at full load and had a crew of 681 officers and enlisted men

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    In May 1909, at the launching ceremony for Danton, socialist activists prevented the ship from leaving the stocks. The ship was eventually launched on 4 July 1909. A week after she was completed, she was sent to the United Kingdom in honour of the Coronation of George V in 1911. Upon her return to France, Danton was assigned to the 1st Battle Squadron, along with her sister ships and the two powerful dreadnoughts Courbet and Jean Bart. In 1913, while off Hyères in the Mediterranean, Danton suffered an explosion in one of her gun turrets, which killed three men and injured several others.

    Danton served in World War I in the French Mediterranean Fleet. At the outbreak of the war in early August 1914, she was assigned to guard convoys bringing French soldiers from North Africa, to protect from attack by the German battlecruiser SMS Goeben and light cruiser SMS Breslau, which were operating in the area. At the time, she remained in the 1st Battle Squadron alongside her sister ships, under the command of Vice Admiral Chocheprat. By 16 August, the French naval commander, Admiral de Lapeyrère, took the bulk of the French fleet from Malta to the entrance of the Adriatic to keep the Austro-Hungarian Navy bottled up. Danton, commanded by Captain Delage, was torpedoed by U-64, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Robert Moraht, at 13:17 on 19 March 1917, 22 miles (19 nmi; 35 km) south-west of Sardinia. The battleship was returning to duty from a refit in Toulon and was bound for the Greek island of Corfu to join the Allied blockade of the Strait of Otranto. Danton was carrying more men than normal, as many were crew members of other ships at Corfu, and had been zig-zagging to foil enemy submarines. The ship sank in 45 minutes; 806 men were rescued by the destroyer Massue and nearby patrol boats, but 296, including Captain Delage, went down with the ship.[8] Massue attacked U-64 with depth charges, but the U-boat successfully evaded her attacker

    Eastern Front
    Russia: Petrograd Soviet Executive Committee appoints commissars to all units.

    Middle East
    Mesopotamia: Maude’s proclamation to Baghdad promises Arab freedom. British take Falluja (west of Baghdad) ending Turk control of Euphrates sluice gates. (where have we heard that name recently?)

    Forming a crucial component of the Samarrah Offensive, the seizure of Falluja today ensures that ‘Sir’ Frederick Stanley Maude’s Anglo-Indian force will not have to cope with flooding of the Euphrates plains during their advance further north from Baghdad. Falluja, to the west of Baghdad, forms a flood-control area around the Euphrates River. Garrisoned only by a small force it is easily seized by a British brigade today.

    On this day 290 British troops were lost:

    During bombing practice a live bomb thrown by one of the party fails to clear the parapet and falls back into the bombing pit. Second Lieutenant Ian Forbes Clark Badenoch (Royal Fusiliers) at once rushes to pick up the bomb and throw it out of the pit. He collides with the man who has thrown the bomb but persists in the attempt and is in the act of throwing the bomb when it explodes mortally wounding him. For his actions he will be awarded the Albert Medal posthumously.

    Captain Eldred Wolferstan Bowyer-Bower age 22 (East Surrey Regiment attached Royal Flying Corps) and Second Lieutenant Eric Elgey age 25 (Royal Field Artillery attached Royal Flying Corps) are both killed in action when their RE8 is shot down over St Leger by Werner Voss. The RE8 falls some six miles behind German lines near Croisilles. Some weeks later, as the Germans fall back into the Hindenburg Line, a party of Royal Engineers will be in the vanguard of the British advance over the relinquished ground. By an amazing coincidence, the detachment is under the command of Captain Thomas Bowyer-Bower, Elred’s father. Bowyer-Bower has, of course, already learned of his son’s death and is even roughly aware of the vicinity of the crash. One day his men come across a grave marked with a cross made from pieces of a wrecked aircraft. Someone had carefully marked the cross in pencil, “Two unknown captains of the Flying Corps”. When the grave is opened the father is able to identify the son. Captain Bowyer-Bower is the grandson of Major General Henry Bower.

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    Western Front

    On 19 March, I Anzac Corps was ordered to advance on Lagnicourt and Noreuil, under the impression that the fires that could be seen foreshadowed a retirement beyond the Hindenburg Line. The 2nd Australian Division and the 5th Australian Division were past Bapaume, towards Beaumetz and Morchies and followed up the withdrawal of the 26th Reserve Division from Vaux-Vraucourt.[53] Beaumetz was captured by 22 March and then lost during the night to a German counter-attack, which led the Australians to plan the capture Doignies and Louveral with the 15th Brigade in daylight, without artillery or flank support. The plan was countermanded by the divisional commander, Major-General Talbot Hobbs as soon as he heard of it and Brigadier-General Elliott was nearly sacked. The 7th Division commander, after the costly repulse at Bucquoy, delayed his 1,200-yard (1,100 m) advance on Ecoust and Croisilles, to liaise with the 58th Division to the north-west Gough ordered the attack on Croisilles to begin without delay but the advance was stopped by the Germans at a belt of uncut wire on the outskirts of the village. Gough sacked Barrow and left his replacement, Major-General T. Shoubridge, under no doubt about the need for haste. The Hindenburg Line was unfinished on the Fifth Army front and a rapid advance through the German rearguards in the outpost villages, might make a British attack possible before the Germans were able to make the line "impregnable". The village eventually fell on 2 April, during a larger co-ordinated attack on a 10-mile (16 km) front, by the I Anzac Corps on the right flank and the 7th and 21st divisions of V Corps on the left, after four days of bombardment and wire-cutting.

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    5th Australian Division advance to the Hindenburg Line, 17 March – 6 April 1917

    The British official historian, Cyril Falls, described the great difficulty in moving over devastated ground beyond the British front line. Carrying supplies and equipment over roads behind the original British front line was even worse, due to over-use, repeated freezing and thaws, the destruction of the roads beyond no man's land and demolitions behind the German front line. The British command was reluctant to risk unsupported forces against a German counter-attack and the evidence from the Fifth Army front, that hasty attacks became impractical once the Germans had begun the main retirement (16–20 March), led to a steady pursuit instead.[56] The Australian official historian, Charles Bean, wrote that the advanced troops of I Anzac Corps had gone out on a limb, which had led to the reverse at Noreuil on 20 March, after instructions from the Fifth Army headquarters to press forward to the Hindenburg Line, were misinterpreted. Advances were delayed as roads were rebuilt and more pack transport was organised, to carry supplies forward for larger attacks on the German outpost villages. In 1998, Walker contrasted the local withdrawals on the Ancre valley, where hasty but well organised British attacks had sometimes succeeded in ousting German garrisons. The determined German defence of outpost villages, after the rapid and scheduled part of the German retirement over 2–3 days, gained time to complete the remodelling of the Hindenburg Line, from south of Arras to St Quentin. The Fifth Army was far enough advanced by 8 April, to assist the Third Army attack at Arras on 9 April, having captured the outpost villages of Doignies, Louveral, Noreuil, Longatte, Ecoust St Mein, Croisilles and Hénin sur Cojeul on 2 April.[58] On the right flank, Hermies, Demicourt and Boursies were captured by the 1st Australian Division on 8 April, after the Fourth Army took Havrincourt Wood on the right flank.

    Tunstill's Men: On a morning marked by a very cold wind, the Battalion marched off at 8.24am and covered the ten miles back to Bollezeele, via Ganspette, Watten Bridge and Wulverdinghe.

    Pte. Tom Darwin (see 5th March), who had been in England since being wounded on the Somme in July and was currently serving with 83rd Training Reserve Battalion, based at Gateshead, was again reported absent without leave. Maj. Stephen Minchin Mercer, ASC (see 21st May 1915), who had taken a prominent role in raising recruits in the Craven area in the Autumn of 1914, appeared before an Army Medical Board assembled at York and was declared unfit for service (reason unknown) for a period of four weeks. Official notice was issued by the War Office to the families of Ptes. William Mitchell and Arthur Moore (see 5th July), both of whom had been reported missing in action near Contalmaison on 5th July 1916, that their sons would now be considered as having died on or since that date.

    6 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON MONDAY MARCH 19TH 1917

    Captain Eldred Wolferstan Bowyer-Bowyer 59 Squadron RFC Killed in Action 19 March 1917 aged 22, during an aerial combat over German lines (see above)

    Captain Claude Peregrine Bertie 59 Squadron RFC Killed in Action 19 March 1917 aged 26.

    2nd Lieutenant Eric Elgey 59 Squadron RFC Killed in Action 19 March 1917 aged 25. R.E. 8 A4165 flown by Capt E W Bowyer-Bowyer, Shot down by Ltn Werner Voss, Jasta 2

    2nd Lieutenant James Gerald Fai
    r 27 Squadron RFC Killed in Action 19 March 1917 aged 19

    Lieutenant Anthony Archibald Murray
    34 Squadron RFC Killed in Action 19 March 1917

    Air Mechanic 2nd Class B. Smith (died on this day, alas no further details could be found)

    There were the following aerial victory claims on this day: 5 Entente and 7 Central Powers

    Gilbert Ware Murlis Green England #7

    Edward Robert Pennell England #1

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    One of the first recipients of the Distinguished Flying Cross, Corporal Edward Robert Pennell, from the Honourable Artillery Company, T.F., was promoted to temporary Second Lieutenant for duty with Royal Flying Corps on 5 August 1916. Appointed Flying Officer on 28 November 1916, he scored his first victory whilst serving with 27 Squadron in March 1917. Posted to 84 Squadron, Pennell was appointed Flight Commander on 1 September 1917 with the temporary rank of Captain. After scoring four more victories with the S.E.5a, he was hospitalized on 6 February 1918 and was transferred to the unemployed list on 17 January 1919. In later life, Pennell was a very keen fisherman, property developer, restaurant owner, cinema owner (where he met his wife, Rene). He and his wife travelled the world together. Pennell rejoined the Royal Air Force in 1939/40.

    William Strugnell England #2
    Andre Herbelin France #3
    Fritz Bernert Germany #8
    Alfred Mohr Germany #5 #6

    Hauptmann Paul von Osterroht Germany #1

    As a two-seater pilot with BAO in 1914-15, one of Osterroht's observers was Manfred von Richthofen. Osterroht assumed command of Jasta 12 on 12 October 1916. Scoring his final victory at noon on 23 April 1917, Osterroht was killed in action six hours later when he was shot down by the Sopwith Pups of 3 Naval Squadron. Osterroht was serving in FFA 18 when World War I began. He was one of the first German airmen to be awarded the Iron Cross First Class, received on 7 October 1914. After FFA 18, he served with Brieftauben-Abteilung Ostende in 1914 and 1915; one of his aerial observers was Manfred von Richthofen. Together they downed a French airplane so far behind French lines the victory could not be verified.[3]

    On 30 January 1915, Osterroht was promoted to Oberleutnant. In May 1916, he transferred to Kampfstaffel (Tactical Bomber Squadron) 1 of Kampfgeschwader (Tactical Bomber Wing) 1. He was soon given command of the squadron.[3] His service with them ended when he was appointed to command one of Germany's original fighter squadrons, Jagdstaffel 12, as it was being founded. The unit was founded with over-age Fokker D.Is; however, by March 1917, they had been re-equipped with newer Albatros D.III fighters. Osterroht claimed serial number 1958/16 for his own, and had it marked with a four square checkerboard in black and white. On 24 March, the jasta received a telegram from their higher command congratulating the unit on its performance in downing 14 enemy aircraft. Osterroht scored his first aerial victory on 19 March 1917; at noon of 23 April he scored his seventh. Later on the 23rd, he flew an evening patrol to Cambrai. There he engaged Sopwith Pups of 3 Naval Squadron, and fell to his death at about 1800 hours

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    Georg Schlenker Germany #5
    Kurt Schneider Germany #2

    Werner Voss Germany #20

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    Voss scored his first aerial victory on the morning of 26 November 1916, and added a second in his afternoon flight. The two victories brought him the First Class Iron Cross, awarded 19 December 1916.[10][20] His first victory of 1917, over Captain Daly, inadvertently taught Voss the knack of deflection shooting. Voss later visited Daly in hospital twice.[20]

    Voss scored rapidly during February and March 1917; of the 15 victories credited to his jasta (squadron) during March, 11 fell under his guns.[18] For his feats, he was awarded the Knight's Cross with Swords of the House Order of Hohenzollern on 17 March.[13] The following day, Voss downed two British aircraft in ten minutes. The first one burned; the second aircrew downed protested they had been strafed by Voss after crashlanding within German lines.[9]

    Following his 23rd victory on 1 April, Voss fired upon pilot and plane on the ground after the crash. On 6 April 1917, he staked two victory claims 15 minutes apart, having brought down a two-seater and a Sopwith Pup near one another on either side of the front lines. The two-seater pilot braved both Voss's strafing and incoming German artillery to retrieve aerial photography plates for their military intelligence value. The Sopwith Pup, though later seen with Jasta 2 in German markings after its capture, was an unconfirmed victory despite landing behind German lines. Voss was awarded the Pour le Mérite on 8 April 1917. It was customary to award a month's leave to a Pour le Mérite winner, so Voss immediately left for his vacation, and did not return to combat until 5 May. By the time of this leave, Voss had gained impressive marksmanship and situational awareness.

    The timing of the leave gave him both Easter and his birthday at home. There was a large family reunion; to the family photos, he added a sitting for a formal photo wearing his Pour le Mérite. He also tinkered with, and roared about upon, his motorcycle. He thus was out of action during Bloody April, the most intense air fighting of the war, when the Luftstreitkräfte and its aces inflicted heavy losses on the Royal Flying Corps. Richthofen, who had scored 11 victories before Voss began his own tally, achieved 13 victories during his absence.Referring to his "dear friend", Richthofen stated: "He was ... my most redoubtable competitor."

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    Antonio Chiri Italy #1

    Sergente Maggiore Antonio Chiri: Antonio Chiri was injured in a flying accident on 21 December 1918. On 17 May 1918, he claimed his fourth victory when he shot down Franz Gräser. Antonio Chiri was born in Locana, the Kingdom of Italy on 26 August 1894.

    On 9 September 1914, Chiri was conscripted into the 17th Field Artillery Regiment of the Italian Army. On 18 April 1915, he was accepted for pilot's training at Pisa. He was suspended from training early in the course, but kept on hand as a sheet metal mechanic. In November 1915, he resumed pilot's training. On 1 April 1916, he was promoted to corporal. On 8 June 1916, he finally went on flying service with the 77a Squadriglia. After some months service there, he was transferred to 78a Squadriglia on 11 October 1916. He was promoted again, to Sergente, on 31 October.

    On 19 March 1917, Chiri shot down an Austro-Hungarian Hansa-Brandenburg C.1 over Gallio Bassano for his first aerial victory; the feat earned him a Silver Medal for Military Valor. On 26 August 1917, he shot down his second enemy aircraft, over Loque, and was given his second in the field award of the Silver Medal for Military Valor. Chiri submitted victory claims through 27 October 1918. These claims were shared with several other Italian aces, such as Marziale Cerutti, Gastone Novelli, Mario Fucini, Cosimo Rennella, and Cesare Magistrini. War's end brought a third award in the field of the Silver Medal for Military Valor. Chiri had also won the Croce di Guerra at some point. He had received his final promotion to Sergente Maggiore on 15 September 1918. He had flown over 250 combat sorties. Shortly after war's end, on 21 December 1918, Chiri suffered a flying accident that resulted in his being invalided from military service. On 1 February 1919, an evaluation committee from Italy's military intelligence branch released its evaluation of Italy's World War I aerial victories. The report listed six aerial victories by Chiri, but somehow he has subsequently been listed with five. Chiri managed to rejoin the military to serve in the Regia Aeronautica reserves. At some point he was raised to the officers' ranks, as he reached the rank of Capitano on 8 June 1942. Antonio Chiri died in Torino, Italy on 6 January 1971

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  42. #2292

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    Tuesday 20th March 1917

    Today we lost: 309
    Today’s losses include:


    · Multiple Australian Rules footballers
    · Multiple sons of members of the clergy
    · Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:


    ·
    Captain Edmond Robinson (Royal Army Medical Corps attached Seaforth Highlanders) is killed at age 26. He is the son of the Reverend Edmond Robinson Vicar of Glenageary.
    · Captain Eustace Richard Alan Calthrop Cox MC (Devonshire Regiment) dies of illness at home at age 30. He is the son of the Reverend W E Cox.
    · Second Lieutenant Reginald Arthur Sussex (Yorkshire Regiment attached York and Lancaster Regiment) is killed at age 24. His brother will be killed in August.
    · Second Lieutenant Hugh Palliser Frend (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Canon John Frend of Collingtree Rectory, Collingtree Northampton.
    · Second Lieutenant Percy John Rodriguez (Australian Infantry) another Australian Rules Footballer is also killed. The 24-year old scored two goals in the 22 games he played in 1914 and 1915.
    · Private James Robert Mackie (Australian Infantry) an Australian Rules Footballer is killed at age 27. He played 5 games for Melbourne in 1913.
    · Private George Booth (Northamptonshire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 33. His brother was killed in August 1916.

    Air Operations:

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 2


    A Mech 2 Clark, T.W. (Thomas William), 82 Squadron, RFC. Killed in a motoring accident aged 34.

    A Mech 3 Norton, A.W., Recruits Depot, RFC.


    Claims: 1
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    Lt Franklin Geoffrey Saunders claims his 3rd confirmed victory with 47 Squadron, RFC. Shooting down an Albatros C type west of Davista.

    Home Fronts:

    Germany:
    German casualties reported at 4,148,163 (to end of February).

    Russia:
    Ex-Tsar reviews troops, urging loyalty to Government and prosecution of war.
    Appointment of Grand Duke Nicholas to supreme command of army annulled.

    Casualties at Petrograd 2,500.

    Proclamation by Provisional Government.

    Western Front


    Considerable bodies of infantry and cavalry cross to the east of the Somme, and a line of cavalry outposts with infantry in support is established from south of Germaine, where the British are in touch with the French, through Hancourt and Nurlu to Bus. Further north the village of Morchies is occupied.

    Despite bad weather, British advance towards Cambrai and St. Quentin; 14 villages occupied.

    Department of Oise entirely liberated.

    French take Tergnier and cross St. Quentin Canal.

    French carry railway junction of Jussy (east of Ham).

    Aisne:
    Germans demolish irreplaceable medieval castle of Coucy-le-Chateau, 10 miles north of Soissons, to remove potential observation post.

    Artois: BEF
    preparatory bombardment for Arras Offensive opens.

    Arras Offensive Prelude:

    In January 1917, three Canadian Corps officers accompanied other British and Dominion officers attending a series of lectures hosted by the French Army regarding their experiences during the Battle of Verdun. The French counter offensive devised by General Robert Nivelle had been one of a number of Allied successes of 1916. Following extensive rehearsal, eight French divisions had assaulted German positions in two waves along a 9.7-kilometre (6 mi) front. Supported by exceedingly strong artillery, the French had recovered lost ground and inflicted heavy casualties on five German divisions.
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    The Canadian Corps plan of attack outlining the four coloured objective lines – Black, Red, Blue and Brown
    On their return from the lectures, the Canadian Corps staff officers produced a tactical analysis of the Verdun battles and delivered a series of corps and divisional-level lectures to promote the primacy of artillery and stress the importance of harassing fire and company and platoon flexibility. The report of 1st Canadian Division commander Arthur Currie highlighted the lessons he believed the Canadian Corps could learn from the experiences of the French. The final plan for the assault on Vimy Ridge drew heavily on the experience and tactical analysis of the officers who attended the Verdun lectures. British First Army commander General Henry Horne approved the plan on 5 March 1917.

    The plan divided the Canadian Corps advance into four coloured objective lines. The attack would be made on a front of 6,400 m (7,000 yd), with its centre opposite the village of Vimy, to the east of the ridge. The first objective, represented by the Black Line, was to seize the German forward defensive line. The final objective of the northern flank was the Red Line: taking the highest point on the ridge, the fortified knoll known as the Pimple, the Folie Farm, the Zwischen-Stellung trench and the hamlet of Les Tilleuls. The southern two divisions were to achieve two additional objectives: the Blue Line encompassing the town of Thélus and the woods outside the town of Vimy, and the Brown Line, which aimed at capturing the Zwölfer-Graben trench and the German second line. The infantry would proceed close behind a creeping barrage placed down by light field guns, advancing in timed 91-metre (100 yd) increments. The medium and heavy howitzers would establish a series of standing barrages further ahead of the infantry against known defensive systems.

    The plan called for units to leapfrog over one another, as the advance progressed, to maintain momentum during the attack. The initial wave would capture and consolidate the Black Line and then push forward to the Red Line. The barrage would pause, to enable reserve units to move up, and then move forward with the units pushing beyond the Red Line to the Blue Line. Once the corps secured the Blue Line, advancing units would once again leapfrog established ones and capture the Brown Line. Conducted properly, the plan would leave the German forces little time to exit the security of their deep dugouts and defend their positions against the infantry advance. If the corps maintained its schedule, the troops would advance as much as 3,700 m (4,000 yd) and have the majority of the ridge under control by 1:00 pm of the first day.

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    German dispositions at Vimy Ridge on the first day of the battle

    The experience of the Battle of the Somme led the German command to conclude that the policy of rigidly defending a trench position line was no longer effective against the firepower that the Entente armies had accumulated. Ludendorff published a new defensive doctrine in December 1916, in which deeper defences were to be built, within which the garrison would have room to manoeuvre, rather than rigidly holding successive lines of trenches. Along Vimy Ridge, the German forces spent two years constructing fortifications designed for rigid defence. Little reconstruction based upon the new defence-in-depth doctrine had been accomplished by April 1917 because the terrain made it impractical.

    The topography of the Vimy battlefield made defence-in-depth difficult to realize. The ridge was 700 metres (2,300 ft) wide at its narrowest point, with a steep drop on the eastern side, all but eliminating the possibility of counterattacks if the ridge was captured. The Germans were apprehensive about the inherent weakness of the Vimy Ridge defences. The German defensive scheme was to maintain a front line defence of sufficient strength to defend against an initial assault and move operational reserves forward, before the enemy could consolidate their gains or overrun remaining German positions. As a result, the German defence at Vimy Ridge relied largely on machine guns, which acted as force multipliers for the defending infantry.

    Three line divisions, with seven infantry regiments between them, were responsible for the immediate defence of the ridge. The paper strength of each division was approximately 15,000 men but their actual strengths was significantly fewer. In 1917, a full-strength German rifle company consisted of 264 men; at Vimy Ridge, each rifle company contained approximately 150 men. Each German regiment held a zone approximately 1,000 metres (1,100 yd) wide as far back as the rear area. When the Canadian Corps attacked, each German company faced two or more battalions of approximately 1,000 men each. Reserve divisions were kept approximately 24 kilometres (15 mi) back instead of assembling close behind the second line according the defence-in-depth theory.

    Artillery
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    Map showing rolling artillery barrage for advance

    The Canadian Corps' divisional artillery formations, totalling eight field brigades and two heavy artillery groups, were insufficient for the task at hand and were consequently reinforced with outside formations. Four heavy artillery groups, nine artillery field brigades, three divisional artillery groups and the artillery complement of the British 5th Division was attached to the Canadian Corps. In addition, ten heavy artillery groups of the flanking I and XVII Corps were assigned tasks in support of the Canadian Corps. The artillery batteries of I Corps were particularly important because they enfiladed German gun positions behind Vimy Ridge. In total, the British made available to the Canadian Corps twenty-four brigade artillery groups consisting of four hundred and eighty 18 pounder field guns, one hundred thirty-eight 4.5 inch howitzers, ninety-six 2 inch trench mortars, twenty-four 9.45 inch mortars, supported by 245 corps-level siege guns and heavy mortars. This firepower gave a density of one heavy gun for every 18 metres (20 yd) and one field gun for every 9.1 metres (10 yd) of Canadian Corps frontage, representing a considerable average increase, including three times the heavy guns, over the distribution of artillery at the Battle of the Somme a year earlier.

    Brigadier-General Edward Morrison developed and subsequently issued a 35-page multi-phased fire support plan called Canadian Corps Artillery Instruction No. 1 for the Capture of Vimy Ridge to support the efforts of the infantry. For its operations, the Canadian Corps received three times the artillery normally assigned to a corps for regular operations. To manage the logistics associated with the increased artillery, Royal Artillery staff officer Major Alan Brooke developed coordinated communication and transport plans to work in conjunction with the complex barrage plans.

    A 1.6 million shell allotment allowed the artillery along the Canadian Corps front to maintain a high sustained rate of fire. Improvements in the quality of the shells compared to those used earlier in the war ensured fewer duds. The introduction of the instantaneous No 106 fuze greatly improved the effectiveness of the artillery since this fuse burst reliably with the slightest of contact, unlike older timed fuses, making it especially effective at cutting barbed wire before the advance. To maintain communications during the battle, particularly with the artillery, field units laid over 1,400 kilometres (870 mi) of telegraph and field telephone cabling, normally at a depth of 2.1 metres (7 ft). In addition, the corps conducted coordinated counter-battery initiatives before the battle. The First Army Field Survey Company printed barrage maps for all batteries, produced artillery boards and provided counter-battery support with their flash spotting groups and sound ranging sections. Utilizing flash spotting, sound ranging and aerial reconnaissance from No 16 Squadron, and No. 1 & 2 Balloon Company of the RFC in the week before the battle, the counter battery artillery under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew McNaughton fired 125,900 shells, harassing an estimated 83% of the German gun positions.

    Training
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    Large model of German trench lines

    In February 1917, the British General Staff released a training pamphlet titled SS 143 Instructions for the Training of Platoons for Offensive Action, espousing the return to the pre-war emphasis on fire and movement tactics and the use of the platoon as a self-contained tactical unit. The short pamphlet noted the importance of dedicated hand grenade, rifle grenade and machine gun sections in suppressing enemy strong points with an appropriate level of fire to permit other military units to advance. Coupled with the observations and suggestions made by Currie in the report he submitted in January 1917 following the Verdun lectures, the Canadian Corps instilled the tactical change with vigour. The corps instilled the tactical doctrine for small units by assigning objectives down to the platoon level. Assaulting infantry battalions used hills behind the lines as full-scale model representations of the battlefield. Taped lines demarcated German trench lines while officers on horseback carried flags to represent the advancing front of the artillery barrage.

    Recognizing that the men in leadership positions were likely to be wounded or killed, soldiers learned the jobs of those beside and above them. At the British First Army headquarters, a large-scale plasticine model of the Vimy sector was constructed and used to show commissioned and senior non-commissioned officers the topographical features of the battlefield and details of the German trench system. In addition, upwards of 40,000 topographical trench maps were printed and distributed to ensure that even platoon sergeants and section commanders possessed a wider awareness of the battlefield. These measures gave each platoon a clearer picture of how it fitted into the greater battle plan, and in so doing, reduced the command and control problems that plagued First World War combat.

    Underground Operations:

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    British-dug fighting tunnel in Vimy sector

    Operations along the Vimy Ridge were accompanied by extensive underground excavations. The Arras–Vimy sector was conducive to tunnelling owing to the soft, porous yet extremely stable nature of the chalk underground. Underground warfare had been conducted on the Vimy sector since 1915. Bavarian engineers had blown twenty mines in the sector by March 1915. By early 1916, German miners had gained an advantage over their French counterparts. British tunnelling companies of the Royal Engineers took over progressively from the French between February and May 1916.

    On their arrival, the British began offensive mining against German miners, first stopping the German underground advance and then developing a defensive strategy that prevented the Germans from gaining a tactical advantage by mining. From spring 1916, the British had deployed five tunnelling companies along the Vimy Ridge and during the first two months of their tenure of the area, 70 mines were fired, mostly by the Germans. Between October 1915 and April 1917 an estimated 150 French, British and German charges were fired in this 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) sector of the Western Front. In May 1916, Operation Schleswig-Holstein, a German infantry attack, forced the British back 640 metres (700 yd), to stop British mining by capturing the shaft entrances. From June 1916, the Germans withdrew many miners to work in coal mines in Germany. In the second half of 1916, the British constructed strong defensive underground positions and from August 1916, the Royal Engineers developed a mining scheme for a big infantry attack on the Vimy Ridge proposed for autumn 1916, although this was postponed. After September 1916, when the Royal Engineers had completed their network of defensive galleries along most of the front line, offensive mining largely ceased although activities continued until 1917. The British gallery network beneath Vimy Ridge eventually grew to a length of 12 kilometres (7.5 mi).

    The Canadian Corps was posted to the northern part of Vimy Ridge in October 1916 and preparations for an attack were revived in February 1917. British tunnelling companies created extensive underground networks and fortifications. Twelve subways, up to 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi) long were excavated at a depth of 10 metres (33 ft) and used to connect reserve lines to front lines, permitting soldiers to advance to the front quickly, securely and unseen. Often incorporated into subways were light rail lines, hospitals, command posts, water reservoirs, ammunition stores, mortar and machine gun posts and communication centres. The Germans dug a number of similar tunnels on the Vimy front, to provide covered routes to the front line and protection for headquarters, resting personnel, equipment and ammunition. The Germans also conducted counter-mining against the British tunnellers and destroyed a number of British attempts to plant mines under or near their lines.

    Prior to the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the British tunnelling companies also secretly laid 13 mines under German positions to destroy surface fortifications before the assault. To protect some advancing troops from German machine-gun fire, as they crossed no man's land during the attack, eight smaller Wombat charges were laid at the end of the subways, to allow troops to move more quickly and safely enter the German trench system, by creating an elongated trench-depth crater that spanned the length of no man's land. At the same time, 19 crater groups existed along this section of the Western Front, each with several large craters. To assess the consequences of infantry having to advance across cratered ground after a mining attack, officers from the Canadian Corps visited La Boiselle and Fricourt where the mines had been blown on the First day of the Somme. Their reports and the experience of the Canadians at The Actions at St Eloi Craters in April 1916, where mines had so altered and damaged the landscape as to render occupation of the mine craters by the infantry all but impossible, led to the decision to remove offensive mining from the central sector allocated to the Canadian Corps at Vimy Ridge. Further British mines in the area were vetoed following the blowing by the Germans on 23 March 1917 of nine craters along no-man’s land as it was probable that the Germans were aiming to restrict an Allied attack to predictable points. The three mines already laid by 172nd Tunneling Company were also dropped from the British plans.

    They were left in place after the assault and were only removed in the 1990s. Another mine, prepared by 176th Tunnleing Company against the German strongpoint known as the Pimple, was not completed in time for the attack. The gallery had been pushed silently through the clay, avoiding the sandy and chalky layers of the Vimy Ridge but by 9 April 1917 was still 21 metres (70 ft) short of its target. In the end, two mines were blown before the attack, while three mines and two Wombat charges were fired to support the attack, including those forming a northern flank.

    Battle in the air

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    An observer of the Royal Flying Corps in a reconnaissance aircraft

    The RFC launched a determined effort to gain air superiority over the battlefield in support of the spring offensive. The Canadians considered activities such as artillery spotting, and photography of opposing trench systems, troop movements and gun emplacements essential to continue their offensive. The Royal Flying Corps deployed 25 squadrons totalling 365 aircraft along the Arras sector, outnumbering the Imperial German Air Service by 2-to-1. Byng was given use of No 2 Squadron, No 8 (Naval) Squadron, No 25 Squadron, No 40 Squadron and No 43 Squadron, with No 16 Squadron and, with No 16 Squadron permanently attached to the Canadian Corps and employed exclusively for observation and artillery support.

    Preliminary attack


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    6-inch gun of the Royal Garrison Artillery firing over Vimy Ridge behind Canadian lines at night

    German foreign intelligence gathering, large-scale Allied trench raids and observed troop concentrations west of Arras made it clear to the Germans that a spring offensive near Arras was being planned. In February 1917, a German-born Canadian soldier deserted to the German side and helped confirm many of the suspicions held by the Germans, providing them with a great deal of useful information. By March 1917, the German forces were aware that a major attack was imminent and would include operations aimed at capturing Vimy Ridge. General of Infantry Ernst August Marx von Bachmeister, commanding the German 79th Reserve Division, reported in late-March that he believed the Canadian Corps was moving into an echelon formation and were preparing for a major attack. The Germans quickly developed plans to launch a pre-emptive operation, following the adage that the best defence is a good offence, intent on capturing the northern section of the Zouave Valley along the northernmost portion of the Canadian front. Heavy Canadian Corps artillery fire ultimately prevented the Germans from executing their pre-emptive attack.

    The preliminary phase of the Canadian Corps artillery bombardment began on 20 March 1917, with a systematic two-week bombardment of German batteries, trenches and strong points. The Canadian Corps paid particular attention to eliminating German barbed wire, a task made easier with the introduction of the No. 106 instantaneous fuse. In addition, only half of the available artillery was committed at any one point in time with the intensity of the barrage expressly varied as to confuse the Germans and preserve some level of secrecy.
    All was set for the battle to come.

    Tunstills Men Tuesday 20th March 1917:

    Bollezeele

    The weather again turned much colder as the Battalion marched on, starting at 8.41am and covering thirteen miles, via Zeggers Cappel, Wormhoudt and Herzeele, to Houtkerque. Brig Genl. Lambert (see 18th March), noted that, Although “the day was very stormy and unpleasant … we got through our march before the rain came to its worst”

    The War Office wrote to the mother of 2Lt. Roland Herbert Wyndham Brinsley-Richards (see 9th October 1916), who had been officially reported ‘missing in action’ following the action at Munster Alley in July 1916, asking if she had received any further news about her son.

    A payment of £1 12s 3d was authorised, being the amount outstanding in pay and allowances to the late L.Cpl. William Hemp (see 14th November 1916); the payment would go to his mother, Miriam.

    Eastern Front:

    Russia: Ex-Tsar reviews troops at STAVKA, urges loyalty to Provisional Government and war’s continuation.

    Rumania: CoS General Iliesca blames Russia for autumn 1916 disasters.

    Naval Operations:

    Germany:
    Raider Moewe returns to Kiel.

    China: Chinese Navy takes over 2 interned German river gunboats before declaration of war (on August 14, 1917); 20 interned steamers (21,000t) already seized on March 14.

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


    British hospital ship "Asturias" torpedoed without warning during night of 20-21 March: 41 lost.

    Political:


    New French Ministry under M. Ribot. M. Painlevé appointed French Minister for War.

    First meeting of Imperial War Cabinet; Ministry of National Service formed.

    Important developments in Board of Trade.

    Dardanelles debate in House of Commons; Mr. Asquith defends Lord Kitchener.

    Neutrals:


    USA:
    American Note to General Carranza (Mexico) published.

    US Cabinet agree war inevitable, Wilson summons Congress for April 2, 1917.

    Anniversary Events:

    1413 Henry IV of England is succeed by his son Henry V.
    1739 In India, Nadir Shah of Persia occupies Delhi and takes possession of the Peacock throne.
    1760 The Great Fire of Boston destroys 349 buildings.
    1792 In Paris, the Legislative Assembly approves the use of the guillotine.
    1815 Napoleon Bonaparte enters Paris and begins his 100-day rule.
    1841 Edgar Allan Poe’s The Murders in the Rue Morgue, considered the first detective story, is published.
    1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe’s ‘s Uncle Tom’s Cabin is published.
    1906 Army officers in Russia mutiny at Sevastopol.
    1915 The French call off the Champagne offensive on the Western Front.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 03-20-2017 at 02:46.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  43. #2293

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    Welcome back with another bumper issue Neil.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  44. #2294

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    Very jealous that you dropped on Vimy Ridge - great introduction to what is to come later, thanks Neil

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  45. #2295

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    Thanks for your time and effort very nice work.

  46. #2296

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    The battle I leave in your very capable hands Chris.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hedeby View Post
    Very jealous that you dropped on Vimy Ridge - great introduction to what is to come later, thanks Neil
    See you on the Dark Side......

  47. #2297

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    Wednesday 21st March 1917

    Today we lost: 396
    Today’s losses include:

    ·
    The son of the 1st Viscount Younger
    · A First Class Scotland cricket player
    · Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
    · The son of a Justice of the Peace
    · A man whose son will be kill killed in the Second World War

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:


    ·
    Lieutenant Charles Frearson Younger (Lothian and Border Horse) is killed in action at age 31. He is the son of the 1st Viscount Younger of Leckie. He is a Scotland first class cricket player.
    · Lieutenant James Fleming MC (Royal Scots) is killed at age 24. His brother was killed last July.
    · Lieutenant Melville Richard Howell Agnew Allen (Royal Flying Corps) is accidentally killed at Martlesham at age 25.
    · Gunner Mark Higginson (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed at age 27. His son will be killed in the Second World War.
    · Private Benjamin Miller (Royal Scots) is killed. His brother will die of wounds in September 1918.

    Air Operations:


    The first British guided missile anti-tank weapon is designed by Professor A.M. Low and begins flight trials at Upavon.

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 5


    Lt Allen, M.R.H.A. (Melville Richard Howell Agnew), Eperimental Aircraft Flight, Martlesham Heath, RFC. He is the only son of Richard William Allen JP. Lieutenant Allen on the outbreak of the War joined the Scottish Horse as a dispatch rider. In November 1914, he was transferred for a course of instruction in aviation as a pilot. In January 1915 he joined the Royal Flying Corps, obtained his wings in April and went to the Front in September 1915, returning home two months later for special duty in the construction of aviation engines. For seven months he had the sole charge of testing a well-known engine, the success of which was largely due to the thought and care which he devoted to it, the experience which he had gained in flying – being of great use to him. He returned to the Royal Flying Corps in September 1916, and was appointed Flying Officer to the Testing Squadron at Upavon. In December 1916, he was promoted Lieutenant, and in January of the following year moved with his Squadron to Martlesham.

    Sgt Brooks, S. (Samuel), 23 Reserve Squadron, RFC. Accidentally drowned off Aboukir, Egypt whilst trying to salvage an aircraft aged 26

    Flt Lt Graham, H.D. (Henry Davenport), No 2 (N) Wing, F Squadron, Salonika, RNAS, aged 20.

    FS Quicke, S.H. (Sidney Herbert), 16 Squadron, RFC.

    A Mech 1Woolger, J.D., HMS Manic, RNAS.


    Claims: 4 (Entente 2: Central Powers 2)

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    Lt Charles Edward Murray Pickthorn claims his 4th confirmed victory with 32 Squadron, RFC. Shooting down an Albatros DI near Lagnicourt. Charles Edward Murray Pickthorn first served with the Army Service Corps in 1915 before being seconded to the Royal Flying Corps. On 29 June 1916, as an observer with 8 Squadron, he landed his aircraft with a badly wounded pilot after being attacked by a Fokker. Following pilot training, Pickthorn was posted to 32 Squadron to fly DH2’s. On 6 March 1917, he was wounded whilst scoring his third victory. On 21 March 1917, Pickthorn forced down an Albatros Scout behind British lines. The German plane, bearing scull and crossbones insignia, was piloted by the Crown Prince Frederich of Prussia. An aircraft dealer in 1928, he received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 8276.

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    Lt Julius Karl "Karlchen" Allmenröder claims his 4th confirmed victory with Jasta 11, shooting down a BE2d near Loosbogen. The son of a pastor, Julius Karl Allmenröder studied medicine before the war. He served with a field artillery regiment before joining the Air Service with his older brother Wilhelm in 1916. Allmenröder honed his skills as a combat pilot under MvR in Jasta 11. He scored 30 victories before he was killed in action.

    Rittmeister Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen claims his 29th confirmed victory with Jasta 11.
    At 1730hrs a BE 2 seater, near hill 123, north of Neuville. The enemy aircraft flew to long in a straight line when he tried to evade me and thus he was just a wink too long in my fire (500 rounds) Suddenly making 2 uncontrolled curves and dashed, smoking, to the ground.

    The aircraft came down in friendly territory. The pilot, 2 Lt William John Lidsey, survived the crash for 81/2 hours before passing away at 3am the next day.

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    Praporshik Alexander Mikhailovich Pishvanov claims his 1st confirmed victory with 10th fighter detachment, shooting down a 2 seater near Galatz.

    Home Fronts:

    Russia:
    Ex-Tsar arrested at Mogilev (joins Tsarina at Tsarskoe Selo on March 22).

    Austria: Government empowered to seize all supplies and fix prices (likewise in Hungary on March 23).

    Western Front


    Belgium:
    German decree partitions country, with centres at Brussels and Namur; Flemish official language in West, French in Walloon districts.

    Oise:
    French Third Army occupies Tergnier on Crozat Canal, fights its way across on March 22.

    French force passage of Somme Canal and progress north of Soissons.

    British advance south-east and east of Peronne; occupy 40 more villages, approaching St. Quentin.

    Progress towards Cambrai continues.

    Tunstills Men Wednesday 21st February 1917:


    Houtkerque

    Starting out at 9.39am on another cold and windy day, the Battalion completed their march back towards the front line, covering eight miles, via Watou and Sint Jan ter Biezen, before arriving near Proven, one and a half miles north-west of Poperinghe, at ‘L Camp’. This was commonly known by the rather more exotic name of ‘Earl’s Court Kaffir Village’. The Battalion took over from 13DLI and found the camp in a very bad state. In the following days much work would be done on improving conditions as well as further training, with an emphasis on bayonet fighting and the use of the Lewis gun.

    Capt. Edgar Stanton (see 16th March) reported for duty with the Battalion. It would appear that he took over command of ‘D’ Company which had previously been commanded by Lt. John Edward Lennard Payne (see 11th March) who had temporarily been promoted Captain whilst commanding the Company two months earlier, but had recently reverted to Lieutenant.

    Pte. Patrick Sweeney (see 2nd March), who had been under treatment for gonorrhoea at no.51 General Hospital at Etaples, was posted to no.34 Infantry Base Depot at Etaples; it was noted in his record that, in accordance with Army regulations, he would not be paid for the period from 14th February to 21st March on account of his having been hospitalised due to venereal disease.

    Capt. Adrian O’Donnell Pereira (see 18th January), currently serving with 3DWR at North Shields, withdrew his application for a permanent commission in the Indian Army.

    A payment of £7 13s 10d was authorised, being the amount outstanding in pay and allowances to the late L.Cpl William Rawnsley, MM (see 30th November 1916); the payment would go to his father, Kendal.

    Eastern Front:

    Germans active near Lida (Beresina), in Galicia and on Romanian front.

    Southern Front:

    Fighting by French, lasting for over a week, frees Monastir from daily bombardment. Enemy makes serious counter-attack but is repulsed.

    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    The 9th Brigade arrives at Abu Jisra on this day.

    Russians continue to pursue Turks from Sakiz (Persia) towards Kermanshah.

    Naval Operations:


    Shipping Losses: 6 (All to U-Boat action)


    Update:
    The hospital ship HMHS Asturias is torpedoed and has her stern blown off five miles south from Start Point. At the time of the attack the ship is in full hospital colors. She is beached at Bolt Head and will not serve again during the war.

    Political:


    Imperial War Conference inaugurated by Premier.

    Ex-Tsar and Tsaritsa deprived of liberty; general political amnesty.

    Munitions and food problem in Petrograd being satisfactorily dealt with. Proposed eight hours day.

    Vote of confidence in French Chamber.

    French Military Mission leaves for New York.

    Neutrals:


    USA:
    French Military Mission sails for New York.

    North Sea:
    US tanker Healdton sunk (20 die) by U-Boat in Holland safety zone.
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    Taken on March 18, the US merchant ship ‘Illlinois’. Showing quite clearly US ship markings.

    Anniversary Events:

    630 Heraclius restores the True Cross, which he has recaptured from the Persians.
    1556 Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is burned at the stake at Oxford after retracting the last of seven recantations that same day.
    1617 Pocahontas (Rebecca Rolfe) dies of either small pox or pneumonia while in England with her husband, John Rolfe.
    1788 Almost the entire city of New Orleans, Louisiana, is destroyed by fire.
    1806 Lewis & Clark begin their trip home after an 8,000 mile trek of the Mississippi basin and the Pacific Coast.
    1865 The Battle of Bentonville, N.C. ends, marking the last Confederate attempt to stop Union General William Sherman.
    1851 Emperor Tu Duc orders that Christian priests are to put to death.
    1858 British forces in India lift the siege of Lucknow, ending the Indian Mutiny.
    1906 Ohio passes a law that prohibits hazing by fraternities.
    1908 Frenchman Henri Farman carries a passenger in a bi-plane for the first time.
    1910 The U.S. Senate grants ex-President Teddy Roosevelt an annual pension of $10,000.
    Last edited by Flying Officer Kyte; 03-21-2017 at 03:05.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  48. #2298

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    Thursday 22nd March 1917

    Today we lost: 301
    Today’s losses include:
    · A victim of the Red Baron
    · The son of a councilor
    · Multiple sons of members of the clergy
    · A family that will lose three sons in the Great War

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:


    ·
    Lieutenant Herbert Charles Lunn (Royal Scots) is killed in action. He is the son of the Reverend Herbert Lunn Vicar of Chillngham.
    · Second Lieutenant Basil Hamilton Abdy Fellowes (Berkshire Regiment) is killed at age 29. He is the middle of three sons of Sir Edward Abdy Fellowes Clerk of the House of Commons who will be killed in the Great War.
    · Private Clement John Gribble (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 24. He is the son of the Reverend Arthur Hazlehurst Gribble Rector of Coonamble Western Australia.

    Air Operations:

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 6


    CPO3 Curson, J.H. (Joseph Henry), Armoured Car Division, Russia, RNAS. Died in Hospital at Constantinople aged 31, whilst a Prisoner of War in Turkish Hands. Taken Prisoner of War 2 December 1916 in the action at Panteleimon Ustin.

    Maj Elphinstone, M. (Montague), 3 Squadron, RFC. Killed whilst flying aged 36.

    2Lt Hillebrant, F.E. (Frederick Edmund), 51 Reserve Squadron, 5th Wing, RFC. Died of injuries in flying accident 15 March 1917 on Avro 504a A417, with 2nd Lieut O C Bryson who was also injured.

    2Lt William John Lidsey
    , 16 Squaron, RFC, (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry attached Royal Flying Corps) dies of wounds received the day before when he and his pilot Flight Sergeant Sidney Herbert Quicke are shot down by Manfred von Richthofen becoming his 29th. Lieutenant Lidsey is the son of Councillor William Lidsey of Banbury and he dies at age 21.

    A Mech 2 Unwin, T.J.S.,
    RFC, aged 19.

    Claims: 3 (Entente 0: Central Powers 3)
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    Lt Rudolph von Eschwege claims his 5th confirmed victory with FA 30, shooting down a Nieuport near Doksat. Having joined the army before the war, Eschwege saw action with the cavalry before his transfer to the German Air Force in 1915. In August of that year, he was posted to FA 36 as a reconnaissance pilot on the Western Front. In 1916, he was credited with his first two victories after joining FA 66 on the Macedonian front. Reassigned to FA 30 in January 1917, Eschwege became known as "The Eagle of the Aegean," achieving 18 additional victories with a variety of fighter aircraft. Having just been recommended for the Blue Max, he was killed in action during an attack on a decoy balloon launched by No. 17 Balloon Section of the Royal Flying Corps. As Eschwege engaged the target, the British ground crew detonated 500 pounds of explosive in the balloon's basket, damaging the German's Halberstadt Scout and causing it to crash.

    Lt Friedrich Mallinckrodt claims his 5th confirmed victory with Jasta 20 shooting down a Caudron east of Ham.

    Lt Renatus Theiller claims his 12th confirmed victory with Jasta 5, shooting down a BE2e near Nurlu. At age 18, Theiller received flying license #511 on 12 September 1913. In 1916, as a two-seater pilot with FFA 25, Otto Schmidt flew as his observer. Theiller was killed in action on 24th March 1917 when his Albatros DIII was shot down by a Sopwith 11/2 Strutter of 70 Squadron.

    Home Fronts:


    Germany:
    Interior Minister Reichstag speech praises Auxiliary Service Law, food restrictions not serious, health surprisingly good, infant mortality lower than peacetime.

    France:
    Decree forbids imports except essential foods.

    Western Front


    Heavy snow storms.

    Increased enemy resistance on British front from west of St. Quentin to south of Arras.

    French progress north of Tergnier (Oise) and north of Soissons, despite stiffening defence.

    Tunstills Men Thursday 22nd March 1917:


    ‘L’ Camp, near Poperinghe

    A very cold day, with some snow during the morning, with sun and further showers later in the day. It was noted that there was “very little ground available for training purposes”. The Brigade inter-Battalion competitions began with 10DWR playing a football match against 11th West Yorks.; the match ended in a snowstorm, with the West Yorks. winning 3-2.

    Brig Genl. Lambert (see 20th March) had made arrangements for a trophy to be presented to the overall champions in the Brigade competitions. In a letter of 5th March, he had enlisted the help of his wife, back in England, to arrange for a suitable trophy to be made;

    “We are having a lot of competitions in athletic and other exercises and I have promised to give a shield of some sort. What I want to get is a silver salver set into a round wooden shield which could easily be made for it. The salver would perhaps be interesting afterwards and could be used but at present it wants to have some means of hanging it up as a shield for the winners and I think it could easily have a round wooden platter made into which the feet could be temporarily screwed so as to be removable at will. I think you should be able to get one for about £10. It need not be very large as we cannot carry big things about. I have drawn a picture of what I mean. It would have to have some inscriptions such as I have put on it. The centre would be a diamond with ‘69’ in the middle. I daresay you could get it done in Cheltenham quite well but I want it as soon as possible as the competitions will be held here and we shall not have long I suppose. … I don’t mind if it costs more than £10 but I think that ought to produce a decent one”.

    Eastern Front:

    Russians retake lost trenches near Lida (Vilna).

    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    A company of the Ayrs and Lanarks carries out a successful raid on the isolated hill Amurieh, Palestine. Lieutenant I W Cruickshank with 12 men from his platoon holds onto White Hill, a small intermediate knoll, and covers the advance, returning when the raid starts. Over 100 prisoners are taken, with the loss of only one or two wounded. At the same time a demonstration is made from Kent Hill, firing rifle grenades and rifles which draw a lot of fire from the raiding party on Amurieh.

    Naval Operations:


    "Moewe" German raider, reported returned to a home port after second cruise in Atlantic, having sunk 111,000 tons of British shipping.

    Shipping Losses: 14 (3 to mines & 11 to U-Boat action)


    Political:


    Ex-Tsar reaches Tsarskoye-Selo.

    Great Britain, France and Italy recognise Provisional Government in Russia. Death penalty in latter abolished.
    Speech in Reichstag by Dr. Helfferich (Interior).

    Archangel route in danger zone.

    British danger zone in North Sea extended towards Holland and Jutland from 2 April.

    Russia:
    USA as first, Allies and Switzerland recognize Russian Provisional Government.

    Anniversary Events:
    1622 Indians attack a group of colonists in the James River area of Virginia, killing 350 residents.
    1630 The first legislation prohibiting gambling is enacted in Boston.
    1664 Charles II gives large tracts of land from west of the Connecticut River to the east of Delaware Bay in North America to his brother James, the Duke of York.
    1719 Frederick William abolishes serfdom on crown property in Prussia.
    1765 The Stamp Act is passed, the first direct British tax on the American colonists.
    1775 British statesman Edmund Burke makes a speech in the House of Commons, urging the government to adopt a policy of reconciliation with America.
    1790 Thomas Jefferson becomes the first U.S. Secretary of State.
    1794 Congress passes laws prohibiting slave trade with foreign countries although slavery remains legal in the United States.
    1834 Horace Greeley publishes New Yorker, a weekly literary and news magazine and forerunner of Harold Ross’ more successful The New Yorker.
    1901 Japan proclaims that it is determined to keep Russia from encroaching on Korea.
    1904 The first color photograph is published in the London Daily Illustrated Mirror.
    1907 Russians troops complete the evacuation of Manchuria in the face of advancing Japanese forces.
    1915 A German Zepplin makes a night raid on Paris railway stations.

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    Ex-Zar Nicholas from his prison listens as Lloyd George, President Wilson of US, and Ribot, prime minister of France, exclaim: ‘We never deal with an autocratic government, never’. Nicholas muses: ‘Once these rascals were like brothers to me’.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 03-22-2017 at 01:44.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  49. #2299

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    Friday 23rd March 1917

    Today we lost: 359
    Today’s losses include:
    · A man whose wife will give birth to a daughter shortly
    · A man whose father will be killed in December
    · The son of a member of the clergy
    · Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    · Lieutenant Leonard Murray (Lancashire Hussars attached Royal Flying Corps) is accidentally killed at home at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Douglas Stuart Murray and he is the only Great War casualty buried in Blithfield (St Leonard) Churchyard where his father is the Rector.
    · Gunner Reginald Norman Neems (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 23. His brother was killed in October 1915.

    Air Operations:


    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 5


    A Mech 1 Clarke, S. (Samuel), 50 (Home Defence) Squadron, RFC.

    Lt Long, A.P. (Alfred Pocock), RFC. Accidently killed whilst flying in Wiltshire aged 29.

    2Lt McLeay, D.M. (Duncan Matheson), 52 Squadron,