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Thread: 100 Years Ago Today

  1. #2751

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    27th September 1917


    British naval aircraft carry out a bombing raid on St Denis Westrem Aerodrome and direct hits are observed on fifteen Gotha bombers lined up there.

    Major Basil D Hobbs (Royal Flying Corps) catches the German submarine UC-6 on the surface near the Sunk Light Vessel and his bombs sink the submarine.

    SM UC-6 was a German Type UC I minelayer submarine or U-boat in the German Imperial Navy (German: Kaiserliche Marine) during World War I. The U-boat had been ordered by November 1914 and was launched on 20 June 1915. She was commissioned into the German Imperial Navy on 24 June 1915 as SM UC-6. Mines laid by UC-6 in her 89 patrols were credited with sinking 54 ships. A German Type UC I submarine, UC-6 had a displacement of 168 tonnes (165 long tons) when at the surface and 183 tonnes (180 long tons) while submerged. She had a length overall of 33.99 m (111 ft 6 in), a beam of 3.15 m (10 ft 4 in), and a draught of 3.04 m (10 ft). The submarine was powered by one Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft six-cylinder, four-stroke diesel engine producing 90 metric horsepower (66 kW; 89 shp), an electric motor producing 175 metric horsepower (129 kW; 173 shp), and one propeller shaft. She was capable of operating at a depth of 50 metres (160 ft).

    The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 6.20 knots (11.48 km/h; 7.13 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 5.22 knots (9.67 km/h; 6.01 mph). When submerged, she could operate for 50 nautical miles (93 km; 58 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 780 nautical miles (1,440 km; 900 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph). UC-6 was fitted with six 100 centimetres (39 in) mine tubes, twelve UC 120 mines, and one 8 millimetres (0.31 in) machine gun. She was built by AG Vulcan Stettin and her complement was fourteen crew members.

    UC-6 sailed from Zeebrugge on 27 September 1917 to lay mines off the Kentish Knock and did not return. She was later reported by British patrols that strong explosions had occurred in explosive nets laid in the area that same day. Other sources, however, state that UC-6 was destroyed by a British seaplane on 28 September 1917.

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    UC-1 Class SUbmarine (this one actually UC-5)

    1180 British lives were lost on this day

    Captain Conrad Hugh Dinwiddy (Royal Garrison Artillery) dies of wounds at age 36. He is the inventor of the ‘Dinwiddy’ range finder for enemy aircraft which was adopted by the War Office. He was councilor for the Borough of Kensington and a well known mountaineer.

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    7 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 27TH 1917

    Sgt. Clarke, H. (Henry) 48 Squadron RFC
    Flt. Sub Lt. De Wilde, J.S. (John Sylvan) 10 (N) Squadron Royal Naval Air Service
    Air Mech 1 Lowsley, S.E. (Sidney E.) Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. 'President'
    2nd Lt. Malcolm, G.C. (Geoffrey Cooper) RFC
    AC. Bdr Nash, E.A. 48 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Talbot, A.S. (Arthur Sydney) 198 Defence Squadron RFC
    Spr. White, A.G. (Albert George) 9 Squadron RFC

    On a quieter day in the aire , the following claims were made...

    Wilfred Curtis Canada #2
    John Tudhope Canada #2
    Frank Ford Babbage England #4
    Leonard Barlow England #18
    William Benger England #2
    Charles Booker England #23
    James Thomas Byford McCudden England #14

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    Albert Deullin France #18
    Xavier Dannhuber Germany #5
    Rudolf Windisch Germany #3

    There were three Victoria Crosses awarded over the past few days...

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    John Brown Hamilton VC (26 August 1896 – 18 July 1973) was a Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross.

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    He was 21 years old, and a lance-corporal in the 1/9th (Glasgow Highlanders) Battalion, The Highland Light Infantry, British Army during the First World War, and was awarded the Victoria Cross foe his actions during the Battle of Passchendaele:

    On 25/26 September 1917 north of the Ypres-Menin Road, Belgium, great difficulty was experienced in keeping the front and support line supplied with small arm ammunition, owing to the intense artillery fire. At a time when this supply had reached a seriously low level, Lance-Corporal Hamilton on several occasions, on his own initiative, carried bondoliers of ammunition through the enemy's belts of fire and then, in full view of their snipers and machine-guns which were lying out in the front of our line at close range, he distributed the ammunition. He later achieved the rank of sergeant. Between the two World Wars he remained an active reserve and Territorial Army member. At the outbreak of World War II he was in hospital and missed mobilisation, and luckily missed his unit being captured at St Valerie in the defence of Dunkirk. He eventually was promoted through the ranks and finished the war a Colonel in charge of an Italian prisoner of war camp in England. He died at the age of 77. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the National War Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle having been delivered there by his daughter and grandson.

    Patrick Joseph Bugden
    , VC (17 March 1897 – 28 September 1917) was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross

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    Patrick Bugden was born in the Australian state of New South Wales, at South Gundurimba on 17 March 1897. His father, a farmer, died when Bugden was still a child and his mother later remarried. After completing his schooling, he worked at a hotel in Alstonville. In 1911, he commenced a year of compulsory military service. Bugden enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force at Brisbane on 25 May 1916,[1] claiming to be 21 years old. After completing a period of basic training, he embarked for England in September 1916 and arrived in Plymouth in December. Shortly afterwards he was admitted to hospital sick, before being sent to France in January 1917 and being taken on strength by the 31st Battalion in March. In May 1917, he was again admitted to hospital with influenza, before being released and returning to his unit.[2]

    It was at Battle of Polygon Wood near Zonnebeke in Belgium, during the Passchendaele Offensive in the period from 26 September to 28 September 1917 that Bugden performed the actions that led to his posthumous award of the Victoria Cross. During an advance by his battalion at Polygon Wood, he led small parties against strongly defended pillboxes, successfully dealing with them. He later carried out a number of rescues of wounded men, often under heavy artillery and machine gun fire. He was killed during one of these rescue missions. He was later recommended for the VC; the citation, published in the London Gazette, read:

    For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when, on two occasions, our advance was temporarily held up by strongly defended "pill boxes". Private Bugden, in the face of devastating fire from machine guns, gallantly led small parties to attack these strong points, and, successfully silencing the machine guns with bombs, captured the garrison at the point of the bayonet. On another occasion, when a Corporal, who had become detached from his company, had been captured and was being taken to the rear by the enemy, Private Bugden, single handed, rushed to the rescue of his comrade, shot one enemy, and bayonetted the remaining two, thus releasing the Corporal. On five occasions, he rescued wounded men under intense shell and machine gun fire, showing an utter contempt and disregard for danger. Always foremost in volunteering for any dangerous mission, it was during the execution of one of these missions that this gallant soldier was killed.

    — The London Gazette, 23 November 1917

    John James Dwyer, VC (9 March 1890 – 17 January 1962) was a politician and an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross

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    Elected to the Tasmanian House of Assembly in 1931 representing the Australian Labor Party, Dwyer served as Deputy Premier of Tasmania from August 1958 to May 1959 and remained in office until his death.

    When Dwyer was 27 years old he was a sergeant in the 4th Company, Australian Machine Gun Corps, Australian Imperial Force during the First World War. At that time, the following deed took place for which he was later awarded the VC. On 26 September 1917 at Zonnebeke, Belgium, Sergeant Dwyer, in charge of a Vickers machine-gun during an advance, rushed his gun forward to within 30 yards of an enemy machine-gun, fired point blank at it and killed the crew. He then seized the gun and carried it back across shell-swept ground to the Australian front line. On the following day, when the position was being heavily shelled, and his Vickers gun was blown up, he took his team through the enemy barrage and fetched a reserve gun which he put into use in the shortest possible time. Dwyer later achieved the rank of lieutenant. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Australian War Memorial.

    Western Front

    Seven enemy counter-attacks east of Ypres repulsed.

    Southern Front

    Pola and Olivi Rock (Austrian submarine base) heavily bombed.

    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres

    Russians fight Kurds near Oromaru (Van).

    Naval and Overseas Operations

    Seaplanes raid St. Denis Westrem aerodrome: 15 Gothas hit.

    Political, etc.

    Russian Democratic Congress at Moscow opens.

    National War Bonds (5% and 4%), latter free of Income Tax started.

    Arrest of Lenin ordered.
    Last edited by Flying Officer Kyte; 09-28-2017 at 04:16. Reason: Drunken typesetter!

  2. #2752

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    Thanks Chris. It must be very good. From yesterday's Headliner it looks as if your typesetter has been helping himself again.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  3. #2753

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    Not understanding your banter Rob.???

  4. #2754

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    I just changed February again for the 27th.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  5. #2755

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    OK I don't get it... I know I put September

  6. #2756

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    September 28th 1917 (and it better say September this time or I am sacking the entire typing pool)

    Twenty-seven German bombers – 25 Gothas and two newly commissioned Zeppelin-Staaken bombers – attempted a raid on England, but most turned back due to bad weather. The few that did reach their targets dropped bombs that injured three people and inflicted £129 in damage. Three Gothas were lost, and six others were damaged while landing

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    The Zeppelin-Staaken R.VI was a four-engined German biplane strategic bomber of World War I, and the only Riesenflugzeug ("giant aircraft") design built in any quantity.

    The R.VI was the most numerous of the R-bombers built by Germany, and also among the earliest closed-cockpit military aircraft (the first being the Russian Sikorsky Ilya Muromets). The bomber was reputedly the largest wooden aircraft to be produced in any quantity during World War I, with only the Siemens-Schuckert R.VIII prototype bomber of 1918–1919 being larger, with the Staaken R.VI's wingspan of 42.2 m (138 ft) nearly equaling that of the World War II Boeing B-29 Superfortress, and somewhat less than the 48 m (157 ft) span of the Siemens-Schuckert R.VIII.

    n September 1914, at the start of World War I, Ferdinand von Zeppelin visualised the concept of a Riesenflugzeug (R) bomber, to be larger than the then-nascent Friedel-Ursinus twin-engined military aircraft. Using engineers from the Robert Bosch GmbH, he created the Versuchsbau Gotha-Ost (VGO) consortium in a rented hangar at the Gotha factory. Alexander Baumann became his chief engineer, although later the team included other noted engineers including Zeppelin's associate Claudius Dornier, the 1915 pioneer of all-metal aircraft construction in Hugo Junkers and Baumann's protogé Adolph Rohrbach. Almost all of these Zeppelin-Staaken Riesenflugzeug designs used some variation of either pusher configuration and/or push-pull configuration in their engine layout, orientation and placement of their powerplants.


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    The first Zeppelin-Staaken "giant" bomber, the VGO.I of 1915.

    The first Riesenflugzeug built was the VGO.I flying in April 1915, using three engines; two pusher and one tractor, with a 42.2 metres (138 feet 5 inches) span, four-bay interplane strut layout for its slightly swept-back leading edge biplane configuration, maintained throughout the entire Zeppelin-Staaken R-series of aircraft during World War I. The VGO.I was built for the Marine-Fliegerabteilung (Imperial German naval Air service) and served on the Eastern Front Later modified with two extra engines, it crashed during tests at Staaken. A similar machine, the VGO.II was also used on the Eastern Front.

    Baumann was an early expert in light-weight construction techniques and placed the four engines in nacelles mounted between the upper and lower wing decks to distribute the loads to save weight in the wing spars. The next aircraft, the VGO.III was a six-engined design[3] The 160 hp Maybach engines were paired to drive the three propellers. It served with Riesenflugzeug Abteilung (Rfa) 500.

    In 1916 VGO moved to the Berlin suburb of Staaken, to take advantage of the vast Zeppelin sheds there. The successor to the VGO III became the Staaken R.IV (IdFlieg number R.12/15), the only "one-off" Zeppelin-Staaken R-type to survive World War I, powered by a total of six engines, driving three propellers: a tractor configuration system in the nose and two pusher-mount nacelle mounts between the wings. By the autumn of 1916, Staaken was completing its R.V, the R.VI prototype, and R.VII versions of the same design, and Idflieg selected the R.VI for series production over the 6-engined R.IV and other Riesenflugzeug designs, primarily those of Siemens-Schuckertwerke AG. With four direct-drive engines in a tandem push-pull arrangement, and a fully enclosed cockpit, the R.VI design required none of the complex gearboxes of other R-types. Each R.VI bomber cost 557,000 marks and required the support of a 50-man ground crew. The R.VI required a complex 18-wheel undercarriage consisting of twin nosewheels and a quartet of four-wheeled groupings for its main gear to support its weight, and carried two mechanics in flight, seated between the engines in open niches cut in the center of each nacelle. The bombs were carried in an internal bomb bay located under the central fuel tanks, with three racks each capable of holding seven bombs. The R.VI was capable of carrying the 1000 kg PuW bomb. Although designed by Versuchsbau, because of the scope of the project, the production R.VI's were manufactured by other firms: seven by Schütte-Lanz using sheds at Flugzeugwerft GmbH Staaken, Berlin; six by Automobil und Aviatik A.G. (Aviatik) (the original order was for three); and three by Albatros Flugzeugwerke. 13 of the production models were commissioned into service before the armistice and saw action.

    One R.VI was as a float-equipped seaplane for the Marine-Fliegerabteilung (Imperial German Naval Air Service), with the designation Type L and s/n 1432, using Maybach engines. After the first flight on 5 September 1917 the Type "L" crashed during testing on June 3, 1918. The Type 8301, of which four were ordered and three delivered, was developed from the R.VI by elevating the fuselage above the lower wing for greater water clearance, eliminating the bomb bays, and enclosing the open gun position on the nose. R.VI serial number R.30/16 was the earliest known supercharged aircraft to fly, with a fifth engine - a Mercedes D.II - installed in the central fuselage, driving a Brown-Boveri four-stage supercharger at some 6,000 rpm. This enabled the R.30/16 to climb to an altitude of 19,100 feet (5,800 m).[4] The idea of supercharging an aircraft's propeller-driving piston engines with an extra powerplant used solely to power a supercharger was not attempted again by Germany until later in World War II, when the Henschel Hs 130E revived the idea as the Höhen-Zentrale-Anlage system. The R.30/16 aircraft was later fitted with four examples of one of the first forms of variable-pitch propellers, believed to have been ground-adjustable only.

    The R.VI equipped two Luftstreitkräfte (Imperial German Army Air Service) units, Riesenflugzeug-Abteilung (Rfa) 500 and Rfa 501, with the first delivered June 28, 1917.

    The units first served on the Eastern Front, based at Alt-Auz and Vilua in Kurland until August 1917. Almost all missions were flown at night with 770 kg (1,698 lb) bomb loads, operating between 6,500 and 7,800 feet (2,000 and 2,400 m) altitude. Missions were of three to five hours' duration.

    Rfa 501 was transferred to Ghent, Belgium, for operations against both France and Great Britain, arriving September 22, 1917, at Sint-Denijs-Westrem airdrome. Rfa 501 later moved its base to Scheldewindeke airdrome south of group headquarters at Gontrode, while Rfa 500 was based at Castinne, France, with its primary targets French airfields and ports.

    Rfa 501, with an average of five R.VI's available for missions, conducted 11 raids on Great Britain between September 28, 1917, and May 20, 1918, dropping 27,190 kg (27 long tons; 30 short tons) of bombs in 30 sorties. Aircraft flew individually to their targets on moonlit nights, requesting directional bearings by radio after takeoff, then using the River Thames as a navigational landmark. Missions on the 340-mile (550 km) round trip lasted seven hours. None were lost in combat over Great Britain (compared to 28 Gotha G bombers shot down over England), but two crashed returning to base in the dark. Four R.VI's were shot down in combat (one-third of the operational inventory), with six others destroyed in crashes, of the 13 commissioned during the war. Six of the 18 eventually built survived the war or were completed after the armistice. Very little remains of these giant bombers, although nearly a century after the end of World War I amateur historians of the "Poelcapelle 1917 Association vzw" working in Poelkapelle, northeast of Ypres, identified a wreck that was found in 1981 by Daniel Parrein, a local farmer who was plowing his land. For a while it was thought that the wreck was that of French ace Georges Guynemer's SPAD S.XIII; however that was discounted when repair tools were found at the site, and further research pointed that the engine was a Mercedes D.IVa, possibly of a Gotha G bomber. A comparison of recovered parts was inconclusive, since the parts were common to a number of aircraft other than the Gotha G.

    In 2007 the researchers, Piet Steen with some help of Johan Vanbeselaere, finally made a conclusive ID after visiting one of the very few partial specimens (the distinctive engine nacelles) in a Kraków air museum. With the help of the Polish aviation historians, parts were identified as those of Zeppelin-Staaken R.VI R.34/16, which crashed on 21 April 1918 after a mission against the Royal Air Force airfield at Saint-Omer, France. The R.VI was shot down, apparently by anti-aircraft fire of the British 2nd Army, while trying to cross the front line, killing all seven crew members.

    Second Battle of Ramadi – The British 15th Indian Division and 6th Indian Cavalry Brigade were mobilized to capture Ramadi in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) from the Ottoman Empire when British intelligience learned railway construction was delaying Germany from sending reinforcements to bolster existing Ottoman units in the region.

    The 15th Indian Division is sent to the town of Ramadi, Mesopotamia about 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of Baghdad on the south bank of the Euphrates River, where an important Ottoman garrison is quartered. A defeat of that garrison will allow the British further advance along the river. General Brooking orders the building of a dummy bridge and road on the north bank, to fool the Turks that the assault they expect will come from that side. He then sends the 6th Cavalry Brigade on a wide flanking march to take up positions to the west of the town (on the Turkish line of retreat). The attack begins today on the south bank of the Euphrates, with two brigades of the 15th Division forcing their way into the town. Although the Turks expect an assault, the British make ample use of armored cars, which the defenders of the town are not ready to fight against, and the garrison is quickly outflanked and surrounded. An evening escape attempt is thwarted by the British cavalry.

    Lieutenant Reginald T C Hoidge (Royal Flying Corps) shoots down and kills the German pilot credited with a victory over the French ace Guynemer. Lieutenant Merril Samuel Taylor (Royal Naval Air Service) scores his first victory when he downs an Albatros DIII.

    Private John Patrick Bugden (Australian Infantry) is killed in action at age 20 at Polygon Wood, Zonnebeke Ypres on the third day of performing duties for which he will be posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. During the period previous two days and today an advance is held up by strongly defended pillboxes. Private Bugden, despite devastating machine-gun fire, twice leads small parties against these strong points and, successfully silencing the guns, captures the enemy at the point of the bayonet. On another occasion, he rescues a corporal from capture when, single-handed, he rushes up, shoots one of the enemy and bayonets the other two. On five occasions he rescues wounded men under intense shell and machine-gun fire, showing an utter contempt and disregard for danger. He is killed during one of these missions. (See yesterday - disputed dates)

    Lieutenant Thomas Ernest Hulme
    (Naval Siege Battery, Royal Marine Artillery) is killed in action at age 34. He is an aesthetician, literary critic and one of the Great War poets whose poems include Trenches; St Eloi and In the City Square. A founder of the Imagist movement he is considered a major 20th-century literary influence. He was educated at Newcastle-under-Lyme grammar school and went to St John’s College, Cambridge, but was expelled for being rowdy in 1904. Thereafter he lived mainly in London, translating the works of Henri Bergson and Albert Sorel and, with Ezra Pound, F S Flind and Hilda Doolittle, instigating the Imagist movement. Five of his poems were published in New Age in January 1912 and reprinted at the end of Pound’s Before his death he defended militarism against the pacifism of Bertram Russell. Though Hulme published little in his lifetime, but his work and ideas springs to fame in 1924 when his friend Rupert Read assembles some of his notes and fragmentary essays under the title of Speculations.

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    The Embankment

    Once, in finesse of fiddles found I ecstasy
    In the flash of gold heels on the hard pavement
    Now see I
    That warmth’s the very stuff of poesy
    Oh, God, make small
    The old star-eaten blank of the sky
    That I may fold it round me and in comfort lie.

    Autumn

    A touch of cold in the Autumn night –
    I walked abroad,
    And saw the ruddy moon lean over a hedge
    Like a red-faced farmer
    I did not stop to speak, but nodded,
    And round about were the wistful stars
    With white faces like town children.

    Second Lieutenant Richard Grain Humphreys (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed in action at age 20. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Gravers Humphreys the noted barrister and judge who was involved in the cases of Oscar Wilde, the murderer Harvey Crippen and the Acid Bath Murderer.

    The first 46 American air cadets arrived at Foggia, Italy for training, followed by another 250. In all, almost 500 American aviators received training in Italy before the war ended in November 1918.

    The Royal Navy established the Plans Division as the strategic arm of the Admiralty for both world wars. The Plans Division was the former war preparation and wartime strategic planning arm of the Admiralty Department from 1917-1964, The division became the main policy advising body to the Chief of the Naval Staff.

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    The Plans Division was established on 28 September 1917 it evolved out of the Plans Section (Section 16) of the Operations Division of the Naval Staff. Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff who's view was that plans and operations as functions should be separate and distinct.The division existed until 1964 when the Admiralty department was abolished and its functions merged within a new Ministry of Defence and re-emerged as the Plans and Resources Division. The Plans Division would cover a far wider remit than devising the making of operational plans. Long-term policy in regards to the composition of all commands, fleets and squadrons were within its responsibility, continual projecting of naval construction programs were also another duty, however the procedures for planning was always in a constant state of modification due to the significance of changes from one aspect of the war at sea to another.

    The business of the plans division was also closely coordinated with that of the Intelligence Division as vital information about the enemy's perceived intentions or actions adversely affected both the preparation of and execution of all plans. This usually consisted of the day-to-day, even hour- to-hour communiques, reports and assessments regarding the actions and movements of every one of the enemy's assets. The scale and complexity was enormous in that it had to cover all the oceans and seas of the world, and that it might affect every British and Allied warships and merchantmen at sea this information in turn passed to the division who had to anticipate and plan contingencies for these types of changes. Although the division prepared all naval plans the director was also a member of the (Joint Planning Committee) that included the directors of plans from the Army and Air force, they collectively advised the Chiefs of Staff on all inter-Service planning problems. Only a low percentage of plans created received, for one reason or another, the Board of Admiralty's and First Sea Lord's approval; however strategic planning to anticipate every conceivable outcome had to be conducted, because a sudden requirement for an emergency plan might arise, this was particularly the case during both world wars.

    Directors duties (As of 1917):

    Preparation of naval plans at home and abroad.
    Consideration of and proposals for the use of new weapons and material.
    Building programmes to cut out approved policy
    Liaise with Director Operations Division before submission of proposals to (C.N.S.) and (D.C.N.S.).

    12 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 28TH 1917

    2nd Lt. Broadhurst, T.C. (Thomas Clifford) 46 Training Squadron RFC
    Flt Sub-Lt Buckley, E.J.K. (Eric James Kershaw) 4 (N) Squadron RNAS
    Capt. Campbell, J.S. (John Santiago) 20 Squadron RFC
    Pte. Irwin, F.S.A. (Frederick Stanley Anderson) 11th Reinforcements Australian Flying Corps
    Capt. Loyd, A.T. (Alwyne Travers) 32 Squadron RFC
    Flt. Cmdr Newberry, J.D. (John Daniel) Chingford Naval Air Station RNAS
    2nd Lt. Noble, H.T. (Harold Taylor) 20 Squadron RFC
    Dvr. Tester, G. 20 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Todd, J.W. (James William) RFC
    2nd Lt. Tomlin, H.F. (Harry Francis) 20 Squadron RFC
    Flt Sub Lt. Turney, K.V. (Kenneth V.) 4 (N) Squadron RNAS
    Capt. White, L.S. (Lewis Scott) 28 Squadron (Flight Commander and Fighting Instructor)

    Captain Alwyne Travers "Button" Loyd

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    The son of Welsh parents, Alwyne Travers Loyd was born in England and attended Eton. He was killed when his D.H.5 was shot down by Rudolf Berthold.

    Leutnant Kurt Wissemann


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    Credited with shooting down Georges Guynemer on 11 September 1917, Wissemann was killed in action a little over two weeks later. René Fonck claimed he shot him down to avenge the death of Guynemer but evidence would suggest Wissemann was a victim of the Royal Flying Corps' 56 Squadron.

    There were claims from the following pilots:

    Eugen Bönsch Austro-Hungarian Empire #2
    Karl Teichmann Austro-Hungarian Empire #6
    Fred Everest Banbury Canada #6
    Stearne Edwards Canada #6
    John Hales Canada #2
    Reginald Hoidge Canada #24
    Andrew McKeever Canada #16 #17 #18

    Merrill Taylor Canada #1

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    The son of Samuel Taylor, Merrill Samuel Taylor was a student of Applied Science (1912-1916) when he enlisted in the University of Toronto Overseas Training Company in April 1916. He joined the Royal Naval Air Service in Ottawa on 19 January 1917. By the end of the year, he was posted to 9 Naval Squadron (later 209 Squadron) as a Sopwith Camel pilot. Scoring his first and only victory of the year, Taylor downed an Albatros D.III near Dixmude on 28 September 1917. On 2 May 1918, he shot down a white Fokker Triplane flown by Hans Weiss of Jasta 11. Having increased his score to eight, Taylor was killed in action over Hamel when his Camel was shot down by Franz Büchner.

    George Trapp Canada #5
    Leonard Barlow England #19
    Geoffrey Bowman England #17
    Richard Hill England #5 #6

    Charles Lupton England #1

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    The only son of Charles and Katherine Lupton, of Carn Head, Roundhay, Leeds, Charles Roger Lupton was educated at Hillbrow and at Mr. G. F. Bradby's house at Rugby. He was 17 years old when he left school in July 1916 to join the Royal Naval Air Service. Flight Sub-Lieutenant Lupton received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 3734 on a Maurice Farman biplane at the Royal Naval Air Station, Eastbourne on 14 September 1916. He served at home stations until a serious accident in April 1917 and was incapacitated for two months. When he recovered, he joined Naval 5 in Flanders in August 1917. With this unit he received the Distinguished Service Cross and was made an acting Flight Commander in January 1918. In March 1918, his squadron was moved and shortly afterwards, Lupton received a Bar to the D.S.C. Upon his transfer to the Royal Air Force, he was promoted to Captain. He was 20 years old when he was killed in action on 9 May 1918.

    James Thomas Byford McCudden England #15
    John Milne England #9
    Oliver William Redgate England #4
    Arthur Percival Foley Rhys Davids England #22
    Russell Winnicott England #4
    Harald Auffarth Germany #4
    Rudolf Berthold Germany #26
    Fritz Jacobsen Germany u/c
    Ulrich Neckel Germany #2
    Otto Schmidt Germany #10
    Ernst Udet Germany #12 #13
    Joseph Veltjens Germany #7


    Western Front

    Aeroplane raid on south-east coast; raiders headed off from London; no damage.

    Southern Front

    Italians gain ground on Monte S. Gabriele.

    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres

    British defeat Turks near Ramadiya (Euphrates), and take Turkish commander, 3,455 prisoners, and 13 guns.

    Red Cross river work.

    Naval and Overseas Operations

    Zeebrugge and aerodromes bombed. Big German supply centre 82 miles south-west of Kilwa captured.

    Rhodesian column arrives 66 miles south-west of Liwale.

    Political, etc.


    Bolo Pasha arrested.

    Von Kuhlmann on Papal Note in Reichstag.

    Dr. Michaelis refuses to state German war aims.

  7. #2757

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    September 28th 1917 (and it better say September this time or I am sacking the entire typing pool)

    Twenty-seven German bombers – 25 Gothas and two newly commissioned Zeppelin-Staaken bombers – attempted a raid on England, but most turned back due to bad weather. The few that did reach their targets dropped bombs that injured three people and inflicted £129 in damage. Three Gothas were lost, and six others were damaged while landing

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    The Zeppelin-Staaken R.VI was a four-engined German biplane strategic bomber of World War I, and the only Riesenflugzeug ("giant aircraft") design built in any quantity.

    The R.VI was the most numerous of the R-bombers built by Germany, and also among the earliest closed-cockpit military aircraft (the first being the Russian Sikorsky Ilya Muromets). The bomber was reputedly the largest wooden aircraft to be produced in any quantity during World War I, with only the Siemens-Schuckert R.VIII prototype bomber of 1918–1919 being larger, with the Staaken R.VI's wingspan of 42.2 m (138 ft) nearly equaling that of the World War II Boeing B-29 Superfortress, and somewhat less than the 48 m (157 ft) span of the Siemens-Schuckert R.VIII.

    n September 1914, at the start of World War I, Ferdinand von Zeppelin visualised the concept of a Riesenflugzeug (R) bomber, to be larger than the then-nascent Friedel-Ursinus twin-engined military aircraft. Using engineers from the Robert Bosch GmbH, he created the Versuchsbau Gotha-Ost (VGO) consortium in a rented hangar at the Gotha factory. Alexander Baumann became his chief engineer, although later the team included other noted engineers including Zeppelin's associate Claudius Dornier, the 1915 pioneer of all-metal aircraft construction in Hugo Junkers and Baumann's protogé Adolph Rohrbach. Almost all of these Zeppelin-Staaken Riesenflugzeug designs used some variation of either pusher configuration and/or push-pull configuration in their engine layout, orientation and placement of their powerplants.


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    The first Zeppelin-Staaken "giant" bomber, the VGO.I of 1915.

    The first Riesenflugzeug built was the VGO.I flying in April 1915, using three engines; two pusher and one tractor, with a 42.2 metres (138 feet 5 inches) span, four-bay interplane strut layout for its slightly swept-back leading edge biplane configuration, maintained throughout the entire Zeppelin-Staaken R-series of aircraft during World War I. The VGO.I was built for the Marine-Fliegerabteilung (Imperial German naval Air service) and served on the Eastern Front Later modified with two extra engines, it crashed during tests at Staaken. A similar machine, the VGO.II was also used on the Eastern Front.

    Baumann was an early expert in light-weight construction techniques and placed the four engines in nacelles mounted between the upper and lower wing decks to distribute the loads to save weight in the wing spars. The next aircraft, the VGO.III was a six-engined design[3] The 160 hp Maybach engines were paired to drive the three propellers. It served with Riesenflugzeug Abteilung (Rfa) 500.

    In 1916 VGO moved to the Berlin suburb of Staaken, to take advantage of the vast Zeppelin sheds there. The successor to the VGO III became the Staaken R.IV (IdFlieg number R.12/15), the only "one-off" Zeppelin-Staaken R-type to survive World War I, powered by a total of six engines, driving three propellers: a tractor configuration system in the nose and two pusher-mount nacelle mounts between the wings. By the autumn of 1916, Staaken was completing its R.V, the R.VI prototype, and R.VII versions of the same design, and Idflieg selected the R.VI for series production over the 6-engined R.IV and other Riesenflugzeug designs, primarily those of Siemens-Schuckertwerke AG. With four direct-drive engines in a tandem push-pull arrangement, and a fully enclosed cockpit, the R.VI design required none of the complex gearboxes of other R-types. Each R.VI bomber cost 557,000 marks and required the support of a 50-man ground crew. The R.VI required a complex 18-wheel undercarriage consisting of twin nosewheels and a quartet of four-wheeled groupings for its main gear to support its weight, and carried two mechanics in flight, seated between the engines in open niches cut in the center of each nacelle. The bombs were carried in an internal bomb bay located under the central fuel tanks, with three racks each capable of holding seven bombs. The R.VI was capable of carrying the 1000 kg PuW bomb. Although designed by Versuchsbau, because of the scope of the project, the production R.VI's were manufactured by other firms: seven by Schütte-Lanz using sheds at Flugzeugwerft GmbH Staaken, Berlin; six by Automobil und Aviatik A.G. (Aviatik) (the original order was for three); and three by Albatros Flugzeugwerke. 13 of the production models were commissioned into service before the armistice and saw action.

    One R.VI was as a float-equipped seaplane for the Marine-Fliegerabteilung (Imperial German Naval Air Service), with the designation Type L and s/n 1432, using Maybach engines. After the first flight on 5 September 1917 the Type "L" crashed during testing on June 3, 1918. The Type 8301, of which four were ordered and three delivered, was developed from the R.VI by elevating the fuselage above the lower wing for greater water clearance, eliminating the bomb bays, and enclosing the open gun position on the nose. R.VI serial number R.30/16 was the earliest known supercharged aircraft to fly, with a fifth engine - a Mercedes D.II - installed in the central fuselage, driving a Brown-Boveri four-stage supercharger at some 6,000 rpm. This enabled the R.30/16 to climb to an altitude of 19,100 feet (5,800 m).[4] The idea of supercharging an aircraft's propeller-driving piston engines with an extra powerplant used solely to power a supercharger was not attempted again by Germany until later in World War II, when the Henschel Hs 130E revived the idea as the Höhen-Zentrale-Anlage system. The R.30/16 aircraft was later fitted with four examples of one of the first forms of variable-pitch propellers, believed to have been ground-adjustable only.

    The R.VI equipped two Luftstreitkräfte (Imperial German Army Air Service) units, Riesenflugzeug-Abteilung (Rfa) 500 and Rfa 501, with the first delivered June 28, 1917.

    The units first served on the Eastern Front, based at Alt-Auz and Vilua in Kurland until August 1917. Almost all missions were flown at night with 770 kg (1,698 lb) bomb loads, operating between 6,500 and 7,800 feet (2,000 and 2,400 m) altitude. Missions were of three to five hours' duration.

    Rfa 501 was transferred to Ghent, Belgium, for operations against both France and Great Britain, arriving September 22, 1917, at Sint-Denijs-Westrem airdrome. Rfa 501 later moved its base to Scheldewindeke airdrome south of group headquarters at Gontrode, while Rfa 500 was based at Castinne, France, with its primary targets French airfields and ports.

    Rfa 501, with an average of five R.VI's available for missions, conducted 11 raids on Great Britain between September 28, 1917, and May 20, 1918, dropping 27,190 kg (27 long tons; 30 short tons) of bombs in 30 sorties. Aircraft flew individually to their targets on moonlit nights, requesting directional bearings by radio after takeoff, then using the River Thames as a navigational landmark. Missions on the 340-mile (550 km) round trip lasted seven hours. None were lost in combat over Great Britain (compared to 28 Gotha G bombers shot down over England), but two crashed returning to base in the dark. Four R.VI's were shot down in combat (one-third of the operational inventory), with six others destroyed in crashes, of the 13 commissioned during the war. Six of the 18 eventually built survived the war or were completed after the armistice. Very little remains of these giant bombers, although nearly a century after the end of World War I amateur historians of the "Poelcapelle 1917 Association vzw" working in Poelkapelle, northeast of Ypres, identified a wreck that was found in 1981 by Daniel Parrein, a local farmer who was plowing his land. For a while it was thought that the wreck was that of French ace Georges Guynemer's SPAD S.XIII; however that was discounted when repair tools were found at the site, and further research pointed that the engine was a Mercedes D.IVa, possibly of a Gotha G bomber. A comparison of recovered parts was inconclusive, since the parts were common to a number of aircraft other than the Gotha G.

    In 2007 the researchers, Piet Steen with some help of Johan Vanbeselaere, finally made a conclusive ID after visiting one of the very few partial specimens (the distinctive engine nacelles) in a Kraków air museum. With the help of the Polish aviation historians, parts were identified as those of Zeppelin-Staaken R.VI R.34/16, which crashed on 21 April 1918 after a mission against the Royal Air Force airfield at Saint-Omer, France. The R.VI was shot down, apparently by anti-aircraft fire of the British 2nd Army, while trying to cross the front line, killing all seven crew members.

    Second Battle of Ramadi – The British 15th Indian Division and 6th Indian Cavalry Brigade were mobilized to capture Ramadi in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) from the Ottoman Empire when British intelligience learned railway construction was delaying Germany from sending reinforcements to bolster existing Ottoman units in the region.

    The 15th Indian Division is sent to the town of Ramadi, Mesopotamia about 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of Baghdad on the south bank of the Euphrates River, where an important Ottoman garrison is quartered. A defeat of that garrison will allow the British further advance along the river. General Brooking orders the building of a dummy bridge and road on the north bank, to fool the Turks that the assault they expect will come from that side. He then sends the 6th Cavalry Brigade on a wide flanking march to take up positions to the west of the town (on the Turkish line of retreat). The attack begins today on the south bank of the Euphrates, with two brigades of the 15th Division forcing their way into the town. Although the Turks expect an assault, the British make ample use of armored cars, which the defenders of the town are not ready to fight against, and the garrison is quickly outflanked and surrounded. An evening escape attempt is thwarted by the British cavalry.

    Lieutenant Reginald T C Hoidge (Royal Flying Corps) shoots down and kills the German pilot credited with a victory over the French ace Guynemer. Lieutenant Merril Samuel Taylor (Royal Naval Air Service) scores his first victory when he downs an Albatros DIII.

    Private John Patrick Bugden (Australian Infantry) is killed in action at age 20 at Polygon Wood, Zonnebeke Ypres on the third day of performing duties for which he will be posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. During the period previous two days and today an advance is held up by strongly defended pillboxes. Private Bugden, despite devastating machine-gun fire, twice leads small parties against these strong points and, successfully silencing the guns, captures the enemy at the point of the bayonet. On another occasion, he rescues a corporal from capture when, single-handed, he rushes up, shoots one of the enemy and bayonets the other two. On five occasions he rescues wounded men under intense shell and machine-gun fire, showing an utter contempt and disregard for danger. He is killed during one of these missions. (See yesterday - disputed dates)

    Lieutenant Thomas Ernest Hulme
    (Naval Siege Battery, Royal Marine Artillery) is killed in action at age 34. He is an aesthetician, literary critic and one of the Great War poets whose poems include Trenches; St Eloi and In the City Square. A founder of the Imagist movement he is considered a major 20th-century literary influence. He was educated at Newcastle-under-Lyme grammar school and went to St John’s College, Cambridge, but was expelled for being rowdy in 1904. Thereafter he lived mainly in London, translating the works of Henri Bergson and Albert Sorel and, with Ezra Pound, F S Flind and Hilda Doolittle, instigating the Imagist movement. Five of his poems were published in New Age in January 1912 and reprinted at the end of Pound’s Before his death he defended militarism against the pacifism of Bertram Russell. Though Hulme published little in his lifetime, but his work and ideas springs to fame in 1924 when his friend Rupert Read assembles some of his notes and fragmentary essays under the title of Speculations.

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    The Embankment

    Once, in finesse of fiddles found I ecstasy
    In the flash of gold heels on the hard pavement
    Now see I
    That warmth’s the very stuff of poesy
    Oh, God, make small
    The old star-eaten blank of the sky
    That I may fold it round me and in comfort lie.

    Autumn

    A touch of cold in the Autumn night –
    I walked abroad,
    And saw the ruddy moon lean over a hedge
    Like a red-faced farmer
    I did not stop to speak, but nodded,
    And round about were the wistful stars
    With white faces like town children.

    Second Lieutenant Richard Grain Humphreys (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed in action at age 20. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Gravers Humphreys the noted barrister and judge who was involved in the cases of Oscar Wilde, the murderer Harvey Crippen and the Acid Bath Murderer.

    The first 46 American air cadets arrived at Foggia, Italy for training, followed by another 250. In all, almost 500 American aviators received training in Italy before the war ended in November 1918.

    The Royal Navy established the Plans Division as the strategic arm of the Admiralty for both world wars. The Plans Division was the former war preparation and wartime strategic planning arm of the Admiralty Department from 1917-1964, The division became the main policy advising body to the Chief of the Naval Staff.

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    The Plans Division was established on 28 September 1917 it evolved out of the Plans Section (Section 16) of the Operations Division of the Naval Staff. Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff who's view was that plans and operations as functions should be separate and distinct.The division existed until 1964 when the Admiralty department was abolished and its functions merged within a new Ministry of Defence and re-emerged as the Plans and Resources Division. The Plans Division would cover a far wider remit than devising the making of operational plans. Long-term policy in regards to the composition of all commands, fleets and squadrons were within its responsibility, continual projecting of naval construction programs were also another duty, however the procedures for planning was always in a constant state of modification due to the significance of changes from one aspect of the war at sea to another.

    The business of the plans division was also closely coordinated with that of the Intelligence Division as vital information about the enemy's perceived intentions or actions adversely affected both the preparation of and execution of all plans. This usually consisted of the day-to-day, even hour- to-hour communiques, reports and assessments regarding the actions and movements of every one of the enemy's assets. The scale and complexity was enormous in that it had to cover all the oceans and seas of the world, and that it might affect every British and Allied warships and merchantmen at sea this information in turn passed to the division who had to anticipate and plan contingencies for these types of changes. Although the division prepared all naval plans the director was also a member of the (Joint Planning Committee) that included the directors of plans from the Army and Air force, they collectively advised the Chiefs of Staff on all inter-Service planning problems. Only a low percentage of plans created received, for one reason or another, the Board of Admiralty's and First Sea Lord's approval; however strategic planning to anticipate every conceivable outcome had to be conducted, because a sudden requirement for an emergency plan might arise, this was particularly the case during both world wars.

    Directors duties (As of 1917):

    Preparation of naval plans at home and abroad.
    Consideration of and proposals for the use of new weapons and material.
    Building programmes to cut out approved policy
    Liaise with Director Operations Division before submission of proposals to (C.N.S.) and (D.C.N.S.).

    12 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 28TH 1917

    2nd Lt. Broadhurst, T.C. (Thomas Clifford) 46 Training Squadron RFC
    Flt Sub-Lt Buckley, E.J.K. (Eric James Kershaw) 4 (N) Squadron RNAS
    Capt. Campbell, J.S. (John Santiago) 20 Squadron RFC
    Pte. Irwin, F.S.A. (Frederick Stanley Anderson) 11th Reinforcements Australian Flying Corps
    Capt. Loyd, A.T. (Alwyne Travers) 32 Squadron RFC
    Flt. Cmdr Newberry, J.D. (John Daniel) Chingford Naval Air Station RNAS
    2nd Lt. Noble, H.T. (Harold Taylor) 20 Squadron RFC
    Dvr. Tester, G. 20 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Todd, J.W. (James William) RFC
    2nd Lt. Tomlin, H.F. (Harry Francis) 20 Squadron RFC
    Flt Sub Lt. Turney, K.V. (Kenneth V.) 4 (N) Squadron RNAS
    Capt. White, L.S. (Lewis Scott) 28 Squadron (Flight Commander and Fighting Instructor)

    Captain Alwyne Travers "Button" Loyd

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    The son of Welsh parents, Alwyne Travers Loyd was born in England and attended Eton. He was killed when his D.H.5 was shot down by Rudolf Berthold.

    Leutnant Kurt Wissemann


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    Credited with shooting down Georges Guynemer on 11 September 1917, Wissemann was killed in action a little over two weeks later. René Fonck claimed he shot him down to avenge the death of Guynemer but evidence would suggest Wissemann was a victim of the Royal Flying Corps' 56 Squadron.

    There were claims from the following pilots:

    Eugen Bönsch Austro-Hungarian Empire #2
    Karl Teichmann Austro-Hungarian Empire #6
    Fred Everest Banbury Canada #6
    Stearne Edwards Canada #6
    John Hales Canada #2
    Reginald Hoidge Canada #24
    Andrew McKeever Canada #16 #17 #18

    Merrill Taylor Canada #1

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    The son of Samuel Taylor, Merrill Samuel Taylor was a student of Applied Science (1912-1916) when he enlisted in the University of Toronto Overseas Training Company in April 1916. He joined the Royal Naval Air Service in Ottawa on 19 January 1917. By the end of the year, he was posted to 9 Naval Squadron (later 209 Squadron) as a Sopwith Camel pilot. Scoring his first and only victory of the year, Taylor downed an Albatros D.III near Dixmude on 28 September 1917. On 2 May 1918, he shot down a white Fokker Triplane flown by Hans Weiss of Jasta 11. Having increased his score to eight, Taylor was killed in action over Hamel when his Camel was shot down by Franz Büchner.

    George Trapp Canada #5
    Leonard Barlow England #19
    Geoffrey Bowman England #17
    Richard Hill England #5 #6

    Charles Lupton England #1

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    The only son of Charles and Katherine Lupton, of Carn Head, Roundhay, Leeds, Charles Roger Lupton was educated at Hillbrow and at Mr. G. F. Bradby's house at Rugby. He was 17 years old when he left school in July 1916 to join the Royal Naval Air Service. Flight Sub-Lieutenant Lupton received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 3734 on a Maurice Farman biplane at the Royal Naval Air Station, Eastbourne on 14 September 1916. He served at home stations until a serious accident in April 1917 and was incapacitated for two months. When he recovered, he joined Naval 5 in Flanders in August 1917. With this unit he received the Distinguished Service Cross and was made an acting Flight Commander in January 1918. In March 1918, his squadron was moved and shortly afterwards, Lupton received a Bar to the D.S.C. Upon his transfer to the Royal Air Force, he was promoted to Captain. He was 20 years old when he was killed in action on 9 May 1918.

    James Thomas Byford McCudden England #15
    John Milne England #9
    Oliver William Redgate England #4
    Arthur Percival Foley Rhys Davids England #22
    Russell Winnicott England #4
    Harald Auffarth Germany #4
    Rudolf Berthold Germany #26
    Fritz Jacobsen Germany u/c
    Ulrich Neckel Germany #2
    Otto Schmidt Germany #10
    Ernst Udet Germany #12 #13
    Joseph Veltjens Germany #7


    Western Front

    Aeroplane raid on south-east coast; raiders headed off from London; no damage.

    Southern Front

    Italians gain ground on Monte S. Gabriele.

    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres

    British defeat Turks near Ramadiya (Euphrates), and take Turkish commander, 3,455 prisoners, and 13 guns.

    Red Cross river work.

    Naval and Overseas Operations

    Zeebrugge and aerodromes bombed. Big German supply centre 82 miles south-west of Kilwa captured.

    Rhodesian column arrives 66 miles south-west of Liwale.

    Political, etc.


    Bolo Pasha arrested.

    Von Kuhlmann on Papal Note in Reichstag.

    Dr. Michaelis refuses to state German war aims.

  8. #2758

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hedeby View Post
    OK I don't get it... I know I put September
    Must have been that damned predictive text again Chris!
    It certainly says September 28th for yesterday.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  9. #2759

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Officer Kyte View Post
    Must have been that damned predictive text again Chris!
    It certainly says September 28th for yesterday.
    Rob.
    Thank god for that, and thank you Rob

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    29th September 1917


    Late one tonight as we have been out celebrating my daughter landing her legal training contract with Irwin Mitchells, all the expense of law school finally starting to pay off...

    There was another Gotha raid on the UK mainland today - alas the sites used for this infrmation have yet to be updated, so we will bring you those stories just as soon as they become available. Seven Gothas and two Zeppelin-Staaken bombers raided England, killing 40 people and injuring 87. By this time, the population of London was so alarmed by the German night raids that up to 300,000 people sought shelter in London Underground stations at night, while others left the city to seek overnight accommodation elsewhere or else slept in open fields in the countryside

    In the meantime...

    The capture of Ramadie is completed and by 09:00 the enemy is surrendering completely. Several thousand prisoners are captured including Ahmed Bey, the Turkish commander who is captured with his staff.

    Flight Lieutenant Norman Ashley Magor (Royal Naval Air Service) drops two 230-pound bombs that fall wide of an enemy submarine.

    Private Richard Wing (Cambridgeshire Regiment) on several occasions crawls out to within 50 yards of the German lines to bring in wounded men on this day and three days prior. For his actions he will be awarded the Military Medal. He will die of wounds one day short of the one year anniversary of this event, having been wounded two days prior.

    In total 840 British lives were lost on this day

    3 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 29TH 1917

    2nd Lt. Barnard, E.A. (Edward Armstrong) 10 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech 1 Mullins, T.B. (Thomas Burton) 9 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech 2 Potter, L.J. (Lewis John) 62nd Training Squadron RFC

    A quiet day all round with only the following claims being made...


    Julius Arigi Austro-Hungarian Empire #14
    Eugen Bönsch Austro-Hungarian Empire #3
    Kurt Gruber Austro-Hungarian Empire #4
    Georg Kenzian Austro-Hungarian Empire #3
    Karl Teichmann Austro-Hungarian Empire #7
    Richard Munday England #3
    Julius Buckler Germany #14
    Max von Müller Germany u/c
    Eduard von Schleich Germany #25
    Giorgio Pessi Italy u/c
    Pier PiccioI taly #13
    Cosimo Rizzotto Italy #4
    Giovanni Sabelli Italy #5
    Gerald Maxwell Scotland #18 #19

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    German battleship Grosser Kurfürst photographed during Operation Albion in October 1917. Above is the Schütte-Lanz company naval airship S.L.20 (Type 'f').

    Operation Albion was the German land and naval operation in October 1917 to occupy the West Estonian Archipelago, then part of the Autonomous Governorate of Estonia, Russian Republic. The land campaign opened with landings at the Tagalaht, Saaremaa on 12 October 1917, after extensive naval activity to clear mines and subdue coastal artillery batteries. The Germans secured the island by 16 October. The Russian Army evacuated Muhu on 20 October.

    After two failed attempts, the Germans managed to land on Hiiumaa on 12 October and captured the island on the following day. The Russian Baltic Fleet had to withdraw from the Suur Strait after its losses at the Battle of Moon Sound. The Germans claimed 20,000 prisoners and 100 guns captured during the Operation Albion from 12 October. At the beginning of World War I the islands were of little importance to either Imperial Russia or Germany. After the revolutionary turmoil in Russia during 1917, the German high command believed capturing the islands would outflank Russian defences and lay St. Petersburg vulnerable to attack


    German submarine SM UC-55 was shelled, depth charged and sunk off the Shetland Islands by Royal Navy destroyers HMS Sylvia and HMS Tirade with the loss of 10 of her 27 crew.

    H.M.S. Sylvia was one of forty "C" class destroyers built for the Royal Navy — a "30 knotter".

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    n January, 1901, she was based in Portsmouth.
    In November, 1905, she was in reserve at Devonport.
    In July, 1909, she was attached to the Home Fleet, operating out of Devonport.She would remain there until at least April, 1910.
    In April, 1911, she was with the Fifth Destroyer Flotilla of the Home Fleet.
    In mid-1913, she was operating with Seventh Destroyer Flotilla — a patrol flotilla, having been there since at least August, 1912.
    Sylvia left 7 D.F. sometime between 10 October and December, 1914 and was made one of thirty destroyers attached to the four Battle Squadrons operating in Home and Atlantic Waters.This assignment evolved into an attachment in support of the Grand Fleet, with the number of destroyers paring back to ten by mid August, 1917.
    On 29 September, 1917, under the command of Lieutenant R.N.R. Peter Shaw, she and Arab raced out of Lerwick in a belated effort to assist in Tirade's destruction of UC 55. Sylvia nonetheless fired three rounds from her 12-pdr., claiming hits that other sources discounted.

    Capt. Tunstill's men: In Reserve at Canal Bank Dugouts, on the Ypres-Comines canal, opposite Bedford House.

    Overnight, 29th/30th, a number of men from the Battalion, along with men from 9Yorks, were employed in supporting 23rd Divisional Royal Engineers in digging a new communication trench from Clapham Junction out to the front line trenches.
    In January, 1918, Sylvia was one of eleven destroyers operating out of the Firth of Forth. This force acquired the name of Methil Convoy Flotilla some time in February. In April, 1918, Sylvia left the Methil Convoy Flotilla for the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla, which was operating out of the Humber as part of East Coast Forces. She would serve with that formation through the end of the war until it was re-formed around a core of modern destroyers in February, 1919. Sylvia was sent to the Humber await disposal.

    Western Front

    Aeroplane raid on London; 3 machines penetrate defences, 14 killed, 87 injured.

    Southern Front

    Italians improve position on Bainsizza Plateau, taking 1,400 prisoners.

    Political, etc.

    King of Italy returns after visiting French and Belgian fronts.

  11. #2761

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    Congrats to your daughter Chris Thanks to you and Neil for all of the continued hard work. It's all great reading!

  12. #2762

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    I echo Mike's sentiment precisely. Please pass on my best wishes for a very successful career Chris.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  13. #2763

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    Well done for the last week. Thanks for your time and effort.

  14. #2764

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    30th September 1917

    During an enemy air raid on St Omer on this night at a hospital base three bombs are dropped in the camp at 22:40, (2 on marquees for patients and 1 in the nurse’s compound). Of the two bombs which drop on the marquees, one strikes a marquee which is unoccupied while the other strikes a marquee occupied by patients and two nurses on duty. The bomb which falls in the nurse’s compound strikes a bell tent which is unoccupied as the nurses who sleep in the tent are on night duty. The casualties which have resulted are – nurses killed three, wounded three (one dangerously). Other ranks – killed 16, wounded 60. Of the other ranks wounded 14 are transferred to other hospitals and one of these will die. There is much damage to canvas and equipment. 54 marquees are damaged (two absolutely demolished, while the damage to the others varies from almost complete destruction to mere riddling). 21 bell tents are damaged (one completely destroyed by a bomb and 20 have been riddled). Many pieces of iron pierce the new corrugated iron sleeping hut for sisters. One piece pierces iron and three pieces of asbestos boarding. Numerous panes of glass are broken in the permanent buildings. One of the ablution houses has been damaged.

    While flying over the enemy lines taking photographs Lieutenant Edward Horace Pember (Royal Field Artillery attached Royal Flying Corps) is attacked by four enemy scout machines, which come down on him from a cloud. He and his observer are killed when they are shot down over Gavrelle. The 19-year old is the son of ‘The Honorable’ Margaret Pember and a Mathematical Exhibitioner of Balliol College. Lieutenant Pember obtained a Commission in the Royal Field Artillery in July 191 5. He trained at Ipswich and left England 5th November 1915 for Suvla Bay, where he served until the evacuation. He then served in Egypt until the autumn of 1916, when he volunteered for the Royal Flying Corps. He returned to England in November 1916 and trained at Oxford, Netheravon, and Dover. Having obtained his wings in May 1917 he was sent to France as a pilot.

    During a bombing raid on Constantinople, bombing commander John Alcock was forced to ditch the Handley Page Type O after an oil-pipe in the engine was damaged. The plane was lost and the entire bombing crew was captured.

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    As part of the Dardanelles campaign, O/100 3124 was flown 2,000 mi (3,200 km) from England to Mudros on the Greek island of Lemnos in the eastern Mediterranean. Flown by Lieutenant Ross Smith, it was used for night attacks against the Ottomans and supplying the small number of aircraft flying in support of Lawrence of Arabia. On the night of 3/4 July 1917, the Handley Page, flown by Squadron Commander Kenneth Savory and four other crew, tried to attack Galata air base but a hot southerly wind caused the engines to overheat; some of the bombs were jettisoned and the crew turned back, dropping the rest of the bombs on an army camp near Bulair. On 8/9 July 1917, Savory tried to fly to Constantinople but a headwind slowed the aircraft and after  3 1⁄2 hours the attempt was abandoned and targets of opportunity were bombed on the way back. The next night, Savory reached Constantinople before midnight and from 800 ft (240 m) attacked the battlecruiser SMS Goeben at anchor in Constantinople, with eight 112 lb (51 kg) and hit and sank an Ottoman S165-class destroyer Yâdigâr-ı-Millet (aka Jadhigar-i-Millet). The crew flew on, bombed s.s. General, thought to be the German HQ and dropped two bombs on the Ottoman War Office building, returning to Mudros at 3:40 a.m.

    On 6 August the aircraft was used to bomb warehouses and ships in the harbour of Pandera on the south shore of the Marmara and was then used on anti-submarine patrols until 2 September, when it was sent to bomb Adrianopolis. En route the crew dropped two bombs on a submarine as it dived, before dropping two more on Kuleli Burgas and then the rest on the Adrianopolis railway station and buildings. On 30 September, (flown by John Alcock), the bomber was used to raid railway stations near Constantinople and Haidar Pasha but it was forced to ditch in the Gulf of Xeros, after one engine failed. The crew floated with the aircraft for two hours and fired Very lights but were not seen by British destroyers. They then swam for an hour to land on the Gallipoli peninsula, where they were taken prisoner. Another Handley Page was flown from England to reinforce the Palestine Brigade and served with 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps. In September 1918, the bomber was used to supply Colonel T. E. Lawrence and the Arabs.

    The Western Front

    The enemy bomb British positions between Tower Hamlets and Polygon Wood and launch three attacks all of which are repulsed. The first attack is south of the Routelbeek, the second and third along the Ypres-Menin Road.

    the Actions 30 September – 4 October 1917 were German methodical counter-attacks (Gegenangriffe) made during the Third Battle of Ypres in Flanders, during the First World War. Hasty counter-attacks (Gegenstosse) by the German 4th Army during the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge on 20 September and the Battle of Polygon Wood on 26 September had been costly failures. A review of the situation on 29 September was held at Roulers by Erich Ludendorff the Generalquartiermeister (Quartermaster-General of the German Army, equivalent to the British Chief of Staff) with the commanders of Heeresgruppe Kronprinz Rupprecht von Bayern (Army Group Rupprecht of Bavaria) and the 4th Army staffs.

    Methodical (or organised) counter-attacks (Gegenangriffe) 24–48 hours after a British attack were to replace the hasty counter-attacks (Gegenstosse) made during attacks, to benefit from greater knowledge of the situation in the front line, air reconnaissance and artillery support. It was hoped that by delaying counter-attacks until they could properly be supported, the shorter British advances and rapid consolidation could be overcome. From 30 September to 4 October, the 4th Army made several methodical counter-attacks (Gegenangriffe) but these re-captured little ground. A Gegenangriff intended for 3 October was put back to 4 October, after the costly failure of the Gegenangriff on 1 October, coincided with the big Second Army attack on Broodseinde Ridge and was destroyed. Local attempts to counter-attack during the afternoon met a similar fate.

    On 7 October, the 4th Army changed its defensive policy again and more emphasis was placed on reducing British barrage fire with counter-battery bombardments. Front line garrisons in an outpost zone were dispersed in sentry posts and machine-gun nests. As soon as the British attacked, the outpost troops were to rush back to the main defensive line, which would be protected by a standing barrage. The artillery-fire was to delay the attackers rather than the infantry, while Eingreif divisions advanced through the British barrages and conducted Gegenstoss counter-attacks as soon as possible. If the British had already dug in, the Gegenstoss was to be cancelled and a Gegenangriff conducted later.

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    12 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 30TH 1917

    Flt Sub-Lt Beattie, W.J.
    (William James) 11 (N) Squadron Royal Naval Air Service
    Air Mech 2 Browne, C.F.S. (Claude Frank Stanley) 29 Squadron RFC
    [B]Lt. Dalkeith-Scott, C. (Charles) 70 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Flynn, J.H. (John Hoskins) 60 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech 1 Gadd, J.T. (John Thomas) 3 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech 1 Iredale, F. (Fred) 29 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech 2 Morley, A. (Arthur) 5 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Neser, F.C. (Francois Charles) RFC
    Lt. Pember, E.H. (Edward Horace) 5 Squadron RFC
    Sgt. Stanley, A.O. (Albert Oscar) 13 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Warter, J.G. (Joseph Gordon) 66 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Woodcock, V.J. (Victor Joseph) 3 Squadron RFC

    The following aerial victories were claimed on this day

    Joseph Fall Canada #24
    John Candy England #2
    Albert Enstone England #8
    Arthur Lee England #5
    Harold Mellings England #2
    Walbanke Pritt England #5
    Harry Scandrett England #6 #7
    Maurice Douglas Guest Scott England #11 #12
    Frederick Sowrey England #10
    Harold Stackard England #13 #14
    Russell Winnicot tEngland #5 #6
    Arthur William Wood England #8
    Eugene Camplan France #3
    Joseph de Sevin France #5 #6
    Armand de Turenne France #6
    René Fonck France #15
    René Montrion France #6 #7

    Harald Auffarth Germany #5
    Rudolf Berthold Germany #27
    Julius Buckler Germany #15
    Heinrich Gontermann Germany #37 #38
    Bruno Loerzer Germany #12
    Richard Runge Germany #7
    Joseph Veltjens Germany #8
    Gerald Maxwell Scotland #20
    Richard Maybery Wales #14

    Captain Tunstills Men (back at the front) Overnight, 30th September/1st October, D Company, together with one platoon of B Company, were attached to 9Yorks and took over a section of the front line from A Company 8Yorks; the sector ran from J.16.a.10.15. to J.16.a.5.5, just south of Polygon Wood.

    Western Front

    Aeroplane raid on London: 4 machines penetrate defences; 14 killed, 38 injured.

    Three German flame attacks between Tower Hamlets and Polygon Wood repulsed.

    Germans gain temporary footing at Berry-au-Bac (Aisne river).

    5,296 prisoners and 11 guns, etc., taken by British during September.

    Southern Front

    Successful Italian attack on Bainsizza Plateau; 600 prisoners taken.

    Naval and Overseas Operations

    St. Denis Westrem again bombed.

    Political, etc.

    Sun-yat-Sen arrested for organising revolution at Canton.

    Non-Slav Congress at Kiev demands autonomy for all Russian nationalities.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 09-30-2017 at 14:55.

  15. #2765

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    Well another month has passed, so far we have looked what happened 100 years ago for 38 long months, we have a few days over 13 months left, so it feels as though we are on the home straight now. A lot has happened over the past 39 months and here at the Snipers Times we have tried to bring you a flavour of just what was happening a century ago on each particular day. Some days the news is quite sparse even though there was a world war on, yet other days its a case of what we are forced to leave out. The material we use isn't always 100% accurate and sometimes sources are contradictory, but I hope that we get it right more than we get it wrong. I also appreciate that most of what we cover is from the British viewpoint, I apologise to our followers in Europe and elsewhere, this is not because of some biased patriotic viewpoint, its just that so much of the material we would like to bring is alas not available in English and my command of other European languages is shamefully poor. Looking ahead to 13 months from now, I already know how I will bring this to a close, I think I have had the final edition planned in my head for a couple of years now, but that is still some way off and there is an awful lot to happen between now and then, so on with the war...

    1st October 1917

    East of Polygon Wood, Zonnebeke, Belgium when the situation is critical owing to the confusion caused by a heavy enemy attack and intense artillery fire, Temporary Lieutenant Colonel Philip Eric Bent DSO (Leicestershire Regiment) collects a platoon that is in reserve and together with men from other companies and various regiments he organizes and leads them forward in a counter-attack which is successful and the enemy is checked. The coolness and example of the colonel results in the securing of a portion of the line essential to the subsequent operation but is killed while leading a charge at age 26. For his actions he will be awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously.

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    Lieutenant Colonel Philip Eric Bent VC, DSO (3 January 1891 – 1 October 1917) was a Canadian British Army officer recipient of the Victoria Cross.
    Bent was born on 3 January 1891 in Halifax, Nova Scotia and was educated at the Royal High School, Edinburgh and Ashby Grammar School, Ashby de la Zouch. He joined the training ship HMS Conway in 1907. He served two years as a Cadet and then went to sea. He was taking his Merchant Navy officer's tickets when the war broke out in 1914.

    He and a friend joined a Scottish regiment "for a bit of fun" as the war was anticipated to be over by Christmas. He was some months later commissioned in the Leicestershire Regiment.

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    He was 26 years old, and a Temporary Lieutenant Colonel in the 9th Battalion, The Leicestershire Regiment, British Army during the First World War when he performed the deed for which he was awarded the VC on 1 October 1917 east of Polygon Wood, Zonnebeke, Belgium. He was killed whilst leading a charge. His citation reads:

    For most conspicuous bravery, when during a heavy hostile attack, the right of his own command and the battalion on his right were forced back. The situation was critical owing to the confusion caused by the attack and the intense artillery fire. Lt. Col. Bent personally collected a platoon that was in reserve, and together with men from other companies and various regimental details, he organised and led them forward to the counter-attack, after issuing orders to other officers as to the further defence of the line. The counter-attack was successful and the enemy were checked. The coolness and magnificent example shown to all ranks by Lt.-Col. Bent resulted in the securing of a portion of the line which was of essential importance for subsequent operations. This very gallant officer was killed whilst leading a charge which he inspired with the call of "Come on the Tigers."

    — The London Gazette, No. 30471, 11 January 1918[2]
    He has no known grave and is commemorated on the memorial wall at Tyne Cot Cemetery, Belgium. In 2015 a new road in Ashby de la Zouch has been named "Philip Bent Road" - this is located approximately 0.6 miles due west of the town centre off Moira Road (B5006)

    Lieutenant Colonel Dudley Ralph Turnbull DSO (Gordon Highlanders commanding 20th Manchester Regiment) is killed at age 25. He was awarded the DSO for conspicuous gallantry on 13th October 1914 in serving his maxin gun when the detachment were all wounded until he was also wounded in two places and his gun damaged by a shell. He subsequently recovered the gun and carried it away on his shoulder.

    Two British Aces were lost on this day

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    Major Charles Meredith Bouverie Chapman 29 Squadron RFC

    Commissioned in 1913, Charles Meredith Bouverie Chapman served with the 3rd Battalion of the East Kent Regiment before he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps on 1 July 1915. He received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 1491 on a L. & P. biplane at London and Provincial School, Edgware on 31 July 1915. In 1916 he was posted to 24 Squadron in France where he scored 3 victories as a D.H.2 pilot. In 1917, he was reassigned to 29 Squadron and assumed command of the unit in July. Claiming 4 more victories that year, Chapman was fatally wounded when his aerodrome at Poperinghe was bombed. The day after his funeral, Chapman's brother, an observer with 22 Squadron, was killed in action.

    Major Charles Meredith Bouverie Chapman MC (East Kent Regiment attached Royal Flying Corps) a 7-victory ace dies of wounds at age 25. Major Chapman, who on the outbreak of the War was in the East Kent Regiment at once applied to join the Expeditionary Force and went to France in September 1914. He served all through the early fighting and was for nine months in the trenches, when he was invalided home with trench fever. He had always been keenly interested in flying, and while on sick leave, in order to make sure of getting into the Royal Flying Corps he obtained the Aero Club’s qualification and was subsequently attached to the Royal Flying Corps. After obtaining his ‘Wings’ he flew to France on 1st April 1916, and served there until the following August, when he came home for a rest. He was awarded the Military Cross “For conspicuous gallantry and skill in action against hostile aeroplanes. On one occasion he attacked three LVG’s and one Fokker, shooting the latter down. Later, during an air battle with eleven enemy machines, he brought another Fokker down”. Subsequently he was made a Chevalier de I’Ordre de Leopold and received the Croix de Guerre (Beige). While in England he was promoted Captain and Flight Commander, but was always trying to get back to France, even offering to forgo his rank if such a step would ensure his being posted to a Squadron at the Front. He was ultimately posted to a Squadron of Fighting Scouts in France. He was then given a Staff Appointment in France, but this did not appeal to him, and he begged to be allowed to rejoin his Squadron. The opportunity came unexpectedly, as his old Squadron Commander was suddenly taken ill, and he was sent to take temporary charge and very shortly afterwards was appointed to the permanent charge with the rank of Major. He is mortally wounded while directing Anti-Aircraft fire during an enemy attack on his aerodrome at Poperinghe last night and dies a few hours afterwards. His younger and only brother, William Wetherall Chapman an observer in the Royal Flying Corps, will be killed in less than one week.

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    Lieutenant Robert Hugh Sloley 56 Squadron RFC

    The only surviving son of Sir Herbert Cecil and Charlotte Jane Hoole (****) Sloley, Robert Hugh Sloley was educated at St. Andrew's College, Grahamstown. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps from the Royal Garrison Artillery and was promoted to temporary Lieutenant on 1 July 1917. An S.E.5a pilot, he was posted to 56 Squadron in 1917 and scored 9 victories during August and September. Two days after his final victory, Sloley was overwhelmed by four black and white Albatros D.Vs. James McCudden witnessed the onslaught, watching Sloley's plane go down after its tail was shot off by Xavier Dannhuber of Jasta 26.


    13 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON MONDAY OCTOBER 1ST 1917

    Cadet Chalk, J.R. No.2 School of Military Aeronautics RFC
    Lt (Tp Maj) Chapman, C.M.B. (Charles Meredith Bouverie) 29 Squadron RFC (See above)
    FS Fowler, E.T. (Edward Thomas) 18th Kite Balloon Section RFC
    Air Mech 1 Hall, A.W. (Arthur Wilfred) 29 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Hickie, C.S. (Charles Sinclair) 6 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Hughes, J.L. (John Lawrence) 25 Squadron RFC
    Sub Lt. Laughton, B.D. (Bertram Douglas) RFC
    2nd Lt. Rayner, C.O. (Charles Oliver) 25 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Sloley, R.H. (Robert Hugh) 56 Squadron RFC (See above)
    Air Mech 1 Tracy, W.H. (Walter Hanbury) 29 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Warburton, G.A.L. (George Augustus Lowe) RFC
    Air Mech 1 Wingfield, C.W. (Charles W.) 29 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech 3 Woodgate, L.J. (Leonard James) RFC

    The followiig aerial victories were claimed on this day

    Raymond Brownell Australia #3

    George Hatfield Dingley Gossip Australia #1

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    The son of Harold and Matilda Gossip, Flight Sub-Lieutenant George Hatfield Gossip received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 4526 on the Grahame-White biplane at Royal Naval Air Station, Chinford on 21 April 1917.

    Lumsden Cummings Canada #2 #3
    Wilfred Curtis Canada #3
    Andrew McKeever Canada #19
    Emerson Smith Canada #7
    Leonard Barlow England #20
    James Bush England #5

    George Gardiner
    England #1
    Richard Hill England #7
    James Thomas Byford McCudden England u/c #16

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    Arthur Percival Foley Rhys Davids
    England #23 #24
    William Victor Trevor Rooper England #7
    William Wright England #8
    Maurice Boyau France #11
    Xavier Dannhuber Germany #6
    Karl Ritscherle Germany #1

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    Killed in action during World War II, Ritscherle's Heinkel 111 was shot down and crashed into Abberton Reservoir.

    Robert Birkbeck Scotland #4

    Western Front

    Five powerful German attacks repulsed between Ypres-Menin road and Polygon Wood and at Zonnebeke.

    Between Chaume Wood and Bezonvaux (Verdun) temporary German success.

    French and British airmen bomb Rhine towns and Roulers; Dunkirk bombed by Germans, serious material damage.

    Aeroplane raid on London: 11 killed, 41 injured.

    Eastern Front

    German airmen bomb Oesel Island (Riga).

    Southern Front

    Austrian attack on Bainsizza Plateau repulsed.

    Naval and Overseas Operations

    East Africa: Fighting proceeding in Mbemkuru Valley; 75 miles south of Kondoa Irangi (north of Cent. Rly.) a German guerilla detachment surrenders.

    British troops meet strong resistance 30 miles south-west of Lindi.

    Allenby reorganizes his army of 92,000 into 3 groups: the Desert Column, the 20th Corps, and the 21st Corps. He increases his artillery to 400, receives Bristol airplanes that give him control of the air. He plans to surprise the Turks with a feint attack at Gaza, where the Turks expect the attack, and make his main thrust on his right toward Beersheba.

    Political, etc.

    Great typhoon in Japan does vast damage.

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    USRC Mohawk, was a steel steam powered revenue cutter built for the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service by William R. Trigg Company at Richmond, Virginia. Her primary duties in the Revenue Cutter Service and Coast Guard were assisting vessels in distress and enforcing navigational laws as well as a derelict destroyer. Mohawk was sunk after a collision with another vessel in October 1917. Mohawk was steel-hulled cutter constructed by William R. Trigg Company of Richmond, Virginia. She was powered by a triple-expansion steam engine propelling a single screw. She was commissioned into the United States Revenue Cutter Service on 10 May 1904 at Arundel Cove, Curtis Bay, Maryland, with Captain Worth G. Ross commanding.

    Shortly after commissioning, Mohawk was based at Tompkinsville, New York, where she cruised the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent waters between Nantucket Shoals, Massachusetts, and the Delaware breakwater. Her primary duties were "assisting vessels in distress and enforcing the various navigational laws" including patrolling regattas. She also served as a derelict destroyer. On 1 April 1905, Captain Ross was relieved by Captain Byron L. Reed because Ross had been appointed as Chief of Division, Revenue Cutter Service. In June 1905, she patrolled several regattas in addition to her regular patrol duties. On 30 July, Chief of Division Ross visited Mohawk at Whitestone, New York. On 25 August she responded to orders to assist SS Barnes which was grounded 1.75 mi (2.82 km) from Jones Beach Life-Saving Station.

    In June 1906 Mohawk again patrolled several regattas in her patrol area in addition to her regular duties as well as the patrol area of USRC Gresham while she was laid up for repairs. In December she was called to the scenes of several derelicts in her patrol area to destroy them. On 12 February 1907 Mohawk assisted in helping the survivors of a collision that occurred in her patrol area between SS Larchmont and schooner Knowlton. On 6 March 1910, Mohawk assisted by USRC Onondaga towed the abandoned waterlogged four-masted schooner Asbury Fountain to Norfolk, Virginia after she suffered a collision with SS Jamestown. In April 1912. Mohawk and USRC Acushnet helped rescue the crew from SS Ontario, which was ablaze off Montauk Point, Long Island.On 26 April 1912, Mohawk was called upon to transport President William H. Taft from New York City's Recreation Pier to Governors Island and back on the occasion of the funeral of Major General Frederick Dent Grant, son of President Ulysses S. Grant. In September, she was tasked with helping Dr. George Styles of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in his study of the bottom of the Potomac River.

    On 5 July 1913, Mohawk received Secretary of the Treasury William Gibbs McAdoo aboard for a cruise from her moorings at Tompkinsville. On 6 September she arrived at the RCS Depot at Curtis Bay, Maryland for an overhaul. On 7 October she was placed out of commission and her crew was sent to USRC Itasca. With the overhaul completed, the crew returned from Itasca and Mohawk was re-commissioned 17 April 1914. On 12 June received RCS Captain-Commandant Ellsworth P. Bertholf and party aboard during the annual Harvard-Yale Regatta at New London, Connecticut On 5 August, at the beginning of World War I, Mohawk was assigned to enforce the United States' neutrality laws and was directed to board all foreign vessels leaving port to inspect cargoes and documents. She continued that duty until 19 March 1915 when she returned to her regular patrol areas. When the Revenue Cutter Service merged with the United States Life-Saving Service to form the United States Coast Guard on 28 January 1915, she became known as USCGC Mohawk, a United States Coast Guard cutter.

    Mohawk was temporarily transferred to the United States Navy on 6 April 1917 for service in World War I retaining her Coast Guard crew. She was the fourth ship known by that name commissioned into the Navy. While serving on coastal duty in connection with convoy operations, she was struck in Ambrose Channel by the British tanker SS Vennacher and sank on 1 October 1917 off Sandy Hook, New Jersey. All 77 crew members were rescued by the U.S. Navy patrol vessels USS Mohican (SP-117) and USS Sabalo (SP-225) The water was deemed too deep to warrant salvage operations so Mohawk was left where she sank. On 7 February 1921, salvage rights were sold to H.L. Gotham Corporation of New York City for US$111.00

    Finally Captain Tunstill's Men were back in action ...

    At 4.30am the Germans opened an intense artillery bombardment of the British front line. An hour later a major German counter-attack was launched against 9Yorks and the attached Company of 10DWR. Further German attacks and fierce fighting continued for much of the day but Capt. John Edward Lennard Payne (see 20th September) was able to establish and maintain a defensive line despite repeated attacks. Both Payne and 2Lt. Edward Kent Waite (see 25th September), who had only joined the Battalion a week previously, were said to have “behaved with the utmost coolness and intrepidity, though cut off from each other by the heavy barrage, constantly going forward to obtain information, though it was impossible to get this through to Battalion HQ”. (Both would subsequently be awarded the Military Cross for their actions; for Payne this would be a second award of the decoration in less than two weeks). By midnight the situation had been stabilised somewhat and, although the left flank of the line (held by 9Yorks) had been pushed back around 150 yards, it was possible for 9Yorks and 10DWR men to be relieved overnight.

    In his subsequent report on the actions by Brig. Genl. Lambert (see 25th September) made clear just how ferocious the fighting had been and how heroic the resistance offered by 10DWR and 9Yorks,

    “Previously to entering the line on this occasion I had warned all ranks that no matter what they suffered there must be no retirement as this would make it almost impossible for me satisfactorily to deal with the situation. Never, I believe, have troops better understood or better carried out their orders. … The amount of ammunition used was 220 rounds per man, 30 magazines per Lewis Gun and 4 extra boxes of SAA. When finally relieved, practically not a round was left. … Throughout the day the German attacks were delivered with the greatest determination and were accompanied by artillery fire such as has never before been experienced by this Brigade. The attacks were defeated with the loss of some 150 square yards of ground of no great value and at the loss of perhaps a Company. I attribute this mainly to the spirit of heroic endurance displayed by the 9th Yorkshire Regiment and the Company of 10th Duke of Wellington’s who were chiefly engaged”.

    Two men had been killed in action. They were Ptes. Willie Dracup (see 23rd February) and William Beswick. He was 24 years old and from Oldham. He had previously served with 1st/7th DWR; it is not known when he had joined 10DWR. Both men were most likely originally buried by ther comrades but their graves were lost in subsequent fighting and they are now commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing. A third man, Pte. Fred Hargreaves (20214) (see 17th July 1916) was officially reported missing in action. In 1921 his remains would be recovered from the battlefield (identified by his identity disc) and would be re-interred at Tyne Cot Cemetery.

    The circumstances under which Pte. William John Williamson was wounded were explained in a letter to his family written by Pte. John William Atkinson MM (see 28th July); “He got a wound about the size of half-a-crown just over the heart, but we hope he is in good old England now making a speedy recovery. He was a stretcher-bearer along with me, and I am very sorry to lose such a good pal. He was a good willing worker whose one thought on the battlefield was to get his wounded comrades away to a place of safety. He had got over the push safe and sound, but his Company was called into the line again, so he had to go with them.” Atkinson’s hopes of a recovery for his pal proved to be unfounded and Williamson died whilst under treatment close to the front line. He was buried north-west of Veldhoek and, although the cross marking his grave would be lost in subsequent fighting, his remains were identified in April 1921 and were re-interred at New Irish Farm Cemetery, north of Ypres. Williamson was 29 years old and originally from London, though he had been living in Earby. He had previously served with 1st/6th DWR; when he had transferred to 10DWR is unknown.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 10-01-2017 at 17:29.

  16. #2766

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    38 months already eh Chris! Wow, that's a big commitment from you guys. Awesome. What are we going to read after the next 13 months are up? Like the bit about the Handley Pages! Interesting stuff.
    Thanks yet again. Mike - sorry rep gun jammed

  17. #2767

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    2nd October 1917

    First lets catch up on some of the recent Gotha Action.... From (1st October)

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    This raid proved to be the final attack of the Harvest Moon Offensive, the sixth raid over south-east England in eight days. It appears that only 12 of the 18 Gothas that set out came inland to drop bombs on London, Kent and Essex.

    Gothas arrived over the Kent coast at about 7.00pm and 19 minutes later dropped an incendiary over Sandwich which landed about 200 yards north-east of the railway station, but without effect. A minute later two HE bombs fell at Richborough. One fell in a field at King’s End Farm, about 300 yards from an AA gun, the other falling in marshes about three quarters of a mile north of the gun. About ten minutes later 12 incendiary bombs fell at Kingsgate, between Margate and Broadstairs, with all bombs falling harmlessly between Percy Avenue and Fitzroy Avenue. Three HE and four incendiary bombs fell on the St. Peter’s area of Broadstairs. There were no casualties but damage caused to the unoccupied Convalescent Home of the Victoria Hospital for Children at Chelsea in Stone Road amounted to £1,000. Two HE bombs landing in Convent Road damaged the road and water main, while a HE and incendiary that dropped on Kingsgate golf course did no damage and two HE bombs that landed in fields damaged crops valued at £1. At 7.56pm 15 HE bombs dropped at Herne Bay (4 x 50kg and 11 x 12kg). Six fell on the foreshore causing no damage and six more landed on a south-east line in a field 300 yards west of Hampton pier, followed by one on building land 100 yards north of the pumping station, one in a field 150 yards west of the new gasworks and one in a meadow on Greenhill Farm. The bombs damaged a shed and smashed some window glass, total value estimated at £30.

    In Essex, the sound of aircraft was detected by the Harwich garrison and at 9.40pm eight bombs dropped harmlessly in the sea off Landguard Fort. Guns of the garrison opened fire with over 200 rounds forcing the Gothas away to the south. Two of them came inland at Walton-on-the-Naze at 9.54pm dropping seven bombs, one of which fell in the sea and one on the shore. The other five fell in fields close to the rifle range breaking a few cottage windows. (Including those of my Great Grandmother )

    In London 26 HE and 3 incendiary bombs fell. The first Gotha reached the capital just after 8.00pm and released five HE bombs on south-west London. One fell in the Serpentine in Hyde Park, where the concussion killed all the fish in the lake, and another dropped in Belgravia, in the roadway in South Eaton Place where it damaged 56 houses and injured two people. Then, in Pimlico, bombs fell in Little Ebury Street damaging seven buildings, on a school in Sutherland Street where the school and 50 houses suffered damage, and at 2 Glamorgan Street which damaged 85 houses. This last bomb killed four young men sheltering in a doorway. Of the 198 houses damaged, the authorities classed 15 as demolished or seriously damaged. Five bombs fell in North London at around the same time. Three of these fell in Highbury, one in the street in Canning Road killed a woman and caused slight damaged to 36 houses. The other two fell in Highbury Hill and Digby Road, the first caused slight damage to five houses and the second to 31 properties. Another dropped on a garage at 208 Green Lanes causing only minimal damage. And a bomb that fell further away, on 31 Melton Street, by Euston Square, failed to explode but still caused damage. The main weight of bombs, however, fell on a north-south line parallel with the Kingsland Road, Shoreditch. These fell in Laburnum Street (2), How’s Street, Shap Street (2), Pearson Street, Ormsby Street, Cremer Street, Maria Street, Caesar Street (3), Kingsland Walk, Hoxton Street, Kingsland Road and Nichol Square. In How’s Street four people died, while the bombs also injured 19, in Maria Street (8), Caesar Street (6), Laburnum Street (2), Pearson Street (2) and Nichol Square (1). Police records show that about 770 houses, as well as schools and business premises, suffered damage from these 16 bombs, to a greater or lesser extent.

    The barrage fire of the AA guns proved effective and appears to have succeeded in diverting a number of raiders from their chosen course, although the guns were in urgent need of repairs after the regular firing during the Harvest Moon Offensive. There was, however, a downside to the AA fire; falling shells killed a woman and injured eight men, four women and a child. The RFC sent up 18 aircraft to intercept the raiders but the misty conditions made observation difficult. Only one pilot caught a glimpse of the Gothas.

    HMS DRAKE

    The cruiser HMS Drake is several miles off the north-west tip of Rathlin Island after carrying out routine escort duties with convoy HH24 inbound from Norfolk, Virginia. The U-79 locates HH24 in the early morning and finds the Drake in her sight and fires one of her torpedoes, the resulting explosion kills 19 seamen though the cruiser remains afloat. After the attack and as normal procedure, the convoy disperses – the remaining naval and auxiliary escorts including the HMS Brisk, a type H (Acorn) destroyer, are deployed to follow up on the dispersed ships, some through Rathlin Sound and others in the North Channel. The 2,372 ton SS Lugano, loaded with cotton and steel from Virginia comes into the Sound and is hit on her starboard side by a torpedo fired from U-79, the explosion ripping a large hole in the hull resulting in her sinking rapidly, though with no loss of life. Shortly afterwards HMS Brisk following up on her charges makes a sweep up the Sound and is hit by a torpedo amidships causing a catastrophic explosion which breaks her in two, the bow section sinking in the Sound while the stern section is eventually towed into Londonderry – the explosion killing thirty-one seamen.

    The crippled Drake under the command of Captain S. H. Radcliffe is escorted into Church Bay by HMS Martin and other auxiliary ships where she will be anchored. An attempt was made to beach her in Church Bay, but the degree of list becomes critical and she is abandoned to capsize in eighteen meters of water a few hundred meters from the shore. There are no casualties as a result of the capsizing.

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    HMS Drake was the lead ship of her class of armoured cruisers built for the Royal Navy around 1900. She was assigned to several different cruiser squadrons in home waters upon completion, sometimes as flagship, until 1911 when she became the flagship of the Australia Station. Upon her return home, she was assigned to the 6th Cruiser Squadron of the 2nd Fleet and became the squadron's flagship when the fleet was incorporated into the Grand Fleet upon the outbreak of the First World War. She remained with the Grand Fleet until refitted in late 1915, when she was transferred to the North America and West Indies Station for convoy escort duties. In 1916 she participated in the unsuccessful search for the German commerce raider SMS Möwe. In late 1917 Drake was torpedoed by a German submarine off Northern Ireland and sank in shallow water with the loss of eighteen lives. The wreck was partly salvaged, beginning in 1920; a fishing trawler collided with the remainder of the wreck in 1962 and sank the next day. The wrecks of the two ships were demolished during the 1970s, but their remnants remain a popular dive site. Since June 2017 the wreck of HMS Drake has been a scheduled historic monument. Diving is still permitted but avoid contact with the wreck and do not remove anything from it.

    713 British lives were lost on this day...

    Captain John Bredel Matthews MC (North Staffordshire Regiment attached Leicestershire Regiment) is killed at age 26. His brother will be killed in August 1918.
    Lieutenant Douglas Fraser Mackintosh (Royal Field Artillery attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 27 while observing for artillery near Ypres. He is the son of Chaplain the Reverend William Teesdale Mackintosh and served as G Mathews. He was educated at The Wick, Furze Hill, and Brighton College. On the outbreak of war he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Forces, and he took part in the landing at Gallipoli, where he was shot through the throat and temporarily blinded. Returning to England for medical treatment, he received a commission in the Royal Field Artillery.

    Lieutenant Justin Morell McKenna (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 21. He is the nephew of the Right Hon. R McKenna MP former Chancellor of the Exchequer.
    Second Lieutenant Basil Ralph Gardiner Holmes (Royal Field Artillery) is killed by a bomb dropped by an enemy aircraft. He was formerly with the Anti-Aircraft Defences at Grove Park and was then in charge of the Wandsworth Common Station. He is former member of Miss Horoiman’s company of actors at the Gaiety.

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    Second Lieutenant Ernest Herbert Simpson (Royal Garrison Artillery) dies of wounds at age 41 near Vlamertinghe from an aeroplane bomb being dropped. He played cricket for Kent in 1896.
    Second Lieutenant Roger Thomas William Miles (Leicestershire Regiment) is killed while leading a counter-attack on Ploegsteert Wood at age 34. He is a veteran of the South Africa War and his brother will be killed in March 1918. Lieutenant Miles served in the Kimberley Regiment through the German South West African campaign. When that was over he came to England and entered a Cavalry Cadet School, but was laid up with measles through a great part of his training and failed to pass. He then served as a Trooper in the Hussars in France and was subsequently given a Commission in the Leicestershire Regiment. He went to the Front in July 1917.

    Lance Corporal Walter Augustine Sangar (Royal Fusiliers) is killed at age 39. He is the son of the Reverend James Mortimer Sangar Rector of Elworthy.

    11 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON TUESDAY OCTOBER 2ND 1917

    Air Mech 1 Barlow, T.J. (Thomas Joseph) 57 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Bishop, W.R. (William Reason) 55 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. De teissier, A. (Aubrey) 78 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Halley, C.R.B. (Clifford Richard Brice) 57 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Inglis, W.L. (William Logan) RFC
    Capt. MacAndrew, C.G.O. (Colin Green Orr) 57 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Mathews (Mackintosh), G. (D.F.) (George (Douglas Fraser)) 55 Squadron RFC
    Lt. McKenna, J.M. (Justin Morrell) 11 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech 2 Payne, B.W. (Benjamin Walter) 29 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Sidney, L.P. (Leicester Philip) 57 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Sutcliffe, S. (Sydney) 11 Squadron RFC

    One British Ace was lost on this day

    Captain Colin Glen Orr MacAndrew
    57 Squadron RFC (See above)

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    The son of Francis G. and Jessie M. MacAndrew, 2nd Lieutenant Colin Glen Orr MacAndrew, 2/1st Ayrshire Yeomanry, received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 4205 on a Maurice Farman biplane at Military School, Thetford on 21 December 1916. He was appointed Flying Officer and seconded to the Royal Flying Corps on 16 April 1917. On 1 July 1917, he was promoted to Lieutenant. A Bristol Figher pilot with 11 Squadron, he scored five victories in the summer of 1917. He was appointed Flight Commander and promoted to temporary Captain on 12 September 1917.

    The following aerial victory claims were made on htis day - including 2 'quadruples'

    Fred Everest Banbury
    Canada #7
    Stearne Edwards Canada #7
    Joseph Fall Canada #25
    Andrew McKeever Canada #20

    Guy Moore Canada #1

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    A student at the University of British Columbia, Guy Borthwick Moore was on the school's rugby team and a member of the Vancouver Rowing Club. In 1916, he joined the Irish Fusiliers of Canada but transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and went to England for training in January 1917. After receiving his pilot's certificate in August of that year, he was assigned to 1 Squadron in France where he flew Nieuport scouts and the S.E.5a. Moore was killed in action when his aircraft took a direct hit from an anti-aircraft shell and exploded 2000 feet above Hollebeke.

    T./Capt. Guy Borthwick Moore, Gen. List and R.F.C.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He led a patrol to attack hostile balloons. The patrol drove down three balloons in a collapsed condition, one of which he accounted for himself. He has also destroyed three enemy aeroplanes and driven down three others out of control. He has always shown splendid courage and resource.

    Geoffrey Bowman England #18
    Leslie Burbidg England #2 #3
    James Bush England #6
    Frederick Gibbs England #10

    Herbert Hamilton
    England #1

    From the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, Herbert James Hamilton transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in 1916. He scored his first victory as an observer serving with 20 Squadron. Posted to 1 Squadron in August 1917, he scored 1 victory before joining 29 Squadron as a flight commander. After scoring 2 more victories, he rejoined 1 Squadron in March 1918 and scored 3 more victories flying the S.E.5a. Hamilton was forced to land by a Fokker Triplane on 26 March 1918 and killed in a crash at Tadcastle when the Sopwith Camel (C158) he was flying lost a wing

    Gordon Olley England #8
    Leslie Powel lEngland #10
    Oliver William Redgate England #5
    Heinrich Gontermann Germany #39
    Wilhelm Hippert Germany #2
    Karl Jentsch Germany #5
    Hans Klein Germany #17
    Alfred Lindenberger Germany #2
    Hans Oberlander Germany #3
    Richard Runge Germany #8

    Edward Hartigan Ireland #1 #2 #3 #4

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    An American by birth, Edward Patrick Hartigan's family returned to Ireland when he was about five years old. He and his brother Luke joined the 8th Batallion, Royal Munster Fusiliers on 20 August 1915. He was promoted to temporary 2nd Lieutenant on 1 October 1916 and seconded to the Royal Flying Corps as a Flying Officer (observer) on 28 September 1917. Posted to 57 Squadron, Hartigan and his pilot, Captain David Sydney Hall, scored five victories in October 1917. On the morning of 20 November 1917, they were missing in action on the first day of the Battle of Cambrai. The wreckage of their D.H.4 was later found near Les Alleux. Hartigan and Hall are buried in Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery.

    Guglielmo Fornagiar iItaly #2
    Pier Piccio Italy #14

    David Hall Scotland #2 #3 #4 #5

    The son of William (a grocer) and Annie (Fleming) Hall, David Sidney Hall served with the 9th (The Dumbartonshire) Battalion, Princess Louise's (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders); he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on 17 April 1915. A D.H.4 pilot with 57 Squadron, Hall scored six victories in France in 1917.

    Lt. (T./Capt.) David Sidney Hall, Arg. & Suth'd Highrs. and R.F.C.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. While leading back his formation of five machines from a bombing raid he was attacked on eight different occasions by numerous enemy scouts. He himself shot down one in flames and another out of control, while his observer shot down two in flames. He has at all times, completed the task allotted to him, and set a splendid example.

    Richard Maybery Wales #15


    Western Front

    Germans attack in Beaumont (Reims), and between Samogneux and Hill 344 (Verdun) gain footing. French counter-attacks all day fail to drive out Germans.

    French and British airmen bomb towns in Metz region, Cambrai and Courtrai and St. Denis Westrem aerodrome.

    Southern Front


    Austrian attack on slopes of San Gabriele (Isonzo) fail. Italians gain ground in counter-attack.

    Naval and Overseas Operations


    H.M.S. "Drake" torpedoed off the Irish Coast: 19 killed.

    Reichstag informed of mutiny at Wilhelmshaven.

    Political, etc.


    British War Loan issued.

    Russian Democratic Conference decides against Coalition Government.

    Swedish Government resigns.


    2nd Papal Note to Allies announced in Italy.

  18. #2768

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    Here's hoping the duplicate fairy is on holiday for this one. SLightly shorter one today but really big one tomorrow with several VCs, major assualts and many a tale of courage and sacrifice...

    3rd October 1917

    The Battle of Broodseinde was fought on 4 October 1917 near Ypres in Flanders, at the east end of the Gheluvelt plateau, by the British Second and Fifth armies and the German 4th Army. The battle was the most successful Allied attack of the Battle of Passchendaele. Using "bite-and-hold" tactics, with objectives limited to what could be held against German counter-attacks, the British devastated the German defence, which prompted a crisis among the German commanders and caused a severe loss of morale in the German 4th Army. Preparations were made by the Germans for local withdrawals and planning began for a greater withdrawal, which would entail the loss for the Germans of the Belgian coast, one of the strategic aims of the British offensive.

    After the period of unsettled but drier weather in September, heavy rain began again on 4 October and affected the remainder of the campaign, working more to the advantage of the German defenders, being pushed back on to far less damaged ground. The British had to move their artillery forward into the area devastated by shellfire and soaked by the return of heavy rain, restricting the routes on which guns and ammunition could be moved, which presented German artillery with easier targets. In the next British attack on 9 October, after several days of rain, the German defence achieved a costly success, holding the approaches to Passchendaele village, which was the most tactically vital ground.

    Background to the battle...

    The Battle of Broodseinde was the third of the British elaborated form of "bite and hold" attacks in the Passchendaele campaign, (Third Battle of Ypres) conducted by the Second Army (General Herbert Plumer) after the reorganisation caused by the costly but successful defence of the Gheluvelt Plateau by the German 4th Army. The unseasonal heavy rains in August had hampered British attempts to advance more than German attempts to maintain their positions. The plateau ran along the southern edge of the Ypres Salient and formed an obstacle to further eastward attacks, obstructing the Allied advance out of the salient. The battle followed the Battle of Menin Road on 20 September and the Battle of Polygon Wood on 26 September, which had captured much the plateau and inflicted many casualties on the German defenders.There had been at least 24 German counter-attacks since the Battle of Menin Road and more after the Battle of Polygon Wood, particularly on 30 September and 1 October, when larger German organised counter-attacks (Gegenangriffe) were made and had been costly failures.

    On 28 September, Sir Douglas Haig had met Plumer and the Fifth Army commander General Hubert Gough to explain his intentions, in view of the victories of 20 and 26 September, the fine weather, disarray among the German defenders and the limited prospect of German reinforcements arriving from the Russian front. Haig judged that the next attack, due on 6 October, would conclude the period of strictly limited advances. The following step would be a deeper advance, with provision made for exploitation. Haig wanted XV Corps on the Belgian coast and the amphibious force of Operation Hush readied, in case of a general withdrawal by the Germans. Reserve formations of infantry, artillery, cavalry and tanks were to be made ready behind the Fifth and Second armies, to exploit a successful attack. Gough and Plumer replied over the next couple of days, that they felt that the proposals were premature and that exploitation would not be feasible until Passchendaele ridge had been captured as far as Westroosebeke. Capturing the ridge would probably take two more steps at three-day intervals, followed by another four days to repair roads over the captured ground. Haig explained that although exploitation of the attack due on 10 October was not certain, he desired the arrangements to be made since they could be used at a later date.

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    The British tactical refinements had sought to undermine the German defence-in-depth, by limiting objectives to a shallower penetration and then fighting the principal battle against Eingreif divisions as they counter-attacked, rather than against the local defenders. By further reorganising the infantry reserves, Plumer had ensured that the depth of the attacking divisions corresponded closer to the depth of the local German counter-attack reserves and their Eingreif divisions, providing more support for the advance and consolidation against German counter-attacks. Divisions attacked on narrower fronts and troops advanced no more than 1,500 yd (1,400 m) into the German defence zone, before consolidating their position.[7] When the Germans counter-attacked, they encountered a reciprocal defence-in-depth, protected by a mass of artillery like the British green and black lines on 31 July and suffered many casualties to little effect. The tempo of the British operations added to the difficulty the Germans had in replacing tired divisions through the transport bottlenecks behind the German front.

    The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge on 20 September, was the first attack with the more limited territorial objectives developed since 31 July, to benefit from the artillery reinforcements brought into the Second Army area and a pause of three weeks for preparation, during which the clouds dispersed and the sun began to dry the ground. The shorter intervals between attacks since then had several effects, allowing less time for either side to prepare and the Germans had to take more risks on the rest of the Western Front, to replace tired and depleted divisions in Flanders. German troops and ammunition trains overloaded the rail network in west Flanders, while more German artillery escaped British counter-battery fire and less time was available for wire cutting and pillbox destruction, although the Germans generally left these to give battle in the open. The British artillery preparation before Polygon Wood on 26 September, began 24 hours before the infantry attack. No formal artillery preparation was conducted before 4 October, except for the normal heavy artillery counter-battery fire and destructive fire on German strong-points. To mislead the Germans as to the date and time of the infantry attack, when a hurricane bombardment was to be fired at zero hour, "practice" barrages were begun on 27 September and increased to two barrages a day from 1 October. Despite the ruse of using practice barrages, "a very reliable agent" informed the Germans that an attack was coming from as early as 1 October. The battle was almost called off when heavy rain began again on 2 October, turning parts of the ground into a morass. British military intelligence predicted the German defensive changes after the defeats of 20 and 26 September, in an intelligence summary of 1 October which led to the British being ready for Unternehmen Hohensturm (Operation High Storm), a big German counter-attack to recapture the area around Zonnebeke on 4 October.

    The attack aimed to complete the capture of the Gheluvelt Plateau by the occupation of Broodseinde Ridge and Gravenstafel Spur. This would protect the southern flank of the British line and permit attacks on Passchendaele Ridge to the north-east. The attack was planned for 6 October, to give the II Anzac Corps time to prepare.[16] Haig was anxious about the possibility of deteriorating weather and on 26 September, was able to order the date to be advanced by two days, because of the quick relief of V Corps by the II Anzac Corps north of the Ypres–Roulers railway.Twelve divisions were involved in the attack on a 14,000 yd (13,000 m) front. The original plan was to have the I Anzac Corps relieved after the Battle of Polygon Wood but the corps had fewer casualties and was fresher than expected and it remained in the front line.

    The IX Corps was to attack with the 37th Division in the area beyond Tower Hamlets, south of the Ypres–Menin road, the X Corps was to attack with the Fifth Division in the Reutelbeek valley, the 21st Division and Seventh Division on a 1,400 yd (1,300 m) front further north up to Polygon Wood, to take Reutel and the ground overlooking the village. The two right flanking corps had 972 field guns and howitzers supported by 417 heavy and medium pieces. In the I Anzac Corps area, the 1st Australian Division objectives required an advance of 1,200–1,800 yd (1,100–1,600 m), the 2nd Australian Division 1,800–1,900 yd (1,600–1,700 m) on 1,000 yd (910 m) fronts. In the II Anzac Corps area, the 3rd Australian Division objectives were 1,900–2,100 yd (1,700–1,900 m) deep, also on a 1,000 yd (910 m) frontage and the New Zealand Division objectives were 1,000 yd (910 m) deep on a 2,000 yd (1,800 m) front. The first objective (red line) for the Anzac divisions was set just short of the crest of Broodseinde Ridge and the final objective (blue line) another 200–400 yd (180–370 m) beyond. The flanking corps conformed to this depth of advance and also attacked with one battalion for the first objective per brigade and two for the final objective, except in the II Anzac Corps, where two intermediate objectives were set for the 3rd Australian Division because of the state of the ground, with a battalion of each brigade for each objective.

    The artillery plan had the first belt of creeping barrage beginning 150 yd (140 m) beyond the jumping-off tapes. After three minutes the barrage was to creep forward by 100 yd (91 m) lifts in four minutes for 200 yd (180 m), when the machine-gun barrage would begin, then every six minutes to the protective line, 200 yd (180 m) beyond first objective. During the pause the barrage was to move 1,000 yd (910 m) further to hit German counter-attacks and then suddenly return. At zero + 130 minutes, it was to advance in 100 yd (91 m) lifts every eight minutes to the final objective. After another pause the barrage was to creep forward at hourly intervals for 1,500 yd (1,400 m) into the German defences. The defensive barrage by the first two belts from the field artillery was to stop at 11:20 a.m. except for SOS fire and the two back belts of heavy and medium artillery at 1:44 p.m.

    German Defensive Preparations


    From mid-1917, the area east of Ypres was defended by six German defensive positions: the front line, Albrechtstellung (second position), Wilhelmstellung (third position), Flandern I Stellung (fourth position), Flandern II Stellung (fifth position) and Flandern III Stellung (under construction). In between the German defence positions lay the Belgian villages of Zonnebeke and Passchendaele. The German fortifications had been breached in several places since the start of the British assault on 31 July 1917. Ludendorff met the local commanders at Roulers on 29 September where the "complete breakdown" of the German defensive system was described to him; Ludendorff ordered a strengthening of forward garrisons by the ground-holding divisions. All available machine-guns including those of the support and reserve battalions of the front line regiments, were sent into the forward zone to form a cordon of four to eight guns every 250 yd (230 m).

    Ground holding divisions were reinforced by the Stoss regiment of each of the Eingreif divisions, which were moved up behind each front division into the artillery protective line, which backed on to the forward battle zone, to launch earlier counter-attacks while the British were consolidating. The bulk of the Eingreif divisions were to be held back and used for a methodical counter-stroke on the next day or the one after and for spoiling attacks between British offensives These changes were incorporated in a 4th Army operation order of 30 September. Operations to inflict greater losses on British infantry under the instructions of 22 September were to continue, with more bombardment by field artillery and by using at least half of the heavy artillery's ammunition for observed fire on infantry positions in captured pillboxes, command posts, machine-gun nests, tracks and field railways. Gas bombardment was to be increased on forward infantry positions and artillery emplacements whenever the winds allowed. Every effort was to be made to induce the British to reinforce their forward positions, where the German artillery could engage them. Between 26 September and 3 October, the Germans attacked and counter-attacked at least 24 times.On 1 October, two regiments from the 4th Reserve and the 8th divisions and the 4th Army Sturmbattalion under the command of General von Gabain (17th Division), attacked Polygon Wood. The attack began at 5:30 a.m. in the area taken over from the Australians by X Corps. The 21st and 7th divisions and the neighbouring Australian battalion to the north, forced most of the German infantry under cover in shell-holes and in no-man's-land, with massed small-arms fire. The German attack advanced a maximum of 140 yd (130 m) at Cameron Covert, for which the 210 Reserve Infantry Regiment lost 356 casualties. An attempt to renew the advance after more artillery-fire failed. Unternehmen Hohensturm, a bigger German organised counter-attack, intended to recapture the area around Zonnebeke which had been planned for 3 October, was postponed for a day.

    As operations increased over the trenches, the following aerial victory claims were made on this day...

    Ernst Strohschneider Austro-Hungarian Empire #6
    William Benger England #3
    Christopher Draper England #8
    Richard Munday England #4
    Percy O'Lieff England #2
    Arthur Taylor England #7
    Georges Lachmann France #6
    Rudolph von Eschwege Germany #16

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    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.

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    Herbert Schröder Germany #3
    Pier Piccio Italy #15
    Ivan Loiko Russia #6

    11 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 3RD 1917

    Lt. Bingham, A.D. (Arthur Doyle) RFC
    2nd Lt. Black, D. (David) 39 Training Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Featherstone, W. (Walter) 35 Training Squadron RFC
    Flt. Sub Lt. Grant, J.D. (James Douglas) Calshot Naval Air Station Royal Naval Air Service
    Air Mech 2 Jordan, T.C.S. (Thomas Charles Sherwood)Redcar Naval Air Station Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. 'President II'
    Air Mech 2 Mansell, W.H. (Walter Henry) 22nd Balloon Company
    2nd Lt. RFC Sneddon, A.B. (Andrew Beattie) RFC
    Lt. Stockhausen, I.L. (Ivan Lancelot) 17 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech 2 Waddell, J. (John)'E' Section, Reserve Depot, Farnborough
    Air Mech 2 Warsop, E. (Ernest) Central Flying School, Upavon, Wiltshire
    Lt. Watson, C.V.M.G. (Charles Victor MacGregor) 17 Squadron RFC

    Captain Tunstill's Men: A windy day with heavy rain in the early morning.

    Following the recent losses in action there was a partial re-organisation of the Companies of the Battalion.

    L.Cpl. Frank Wood (see 20th September) was admitted to 71st Field Ambulance (cause unknown).

    Pte. Harry Robinson (see 24th July) reported sick, suffering from a sprained left ankle. He was admitted to 3rd Australian Field Ambulance and would be transferred via 3rd Canadian Casualty Clearing Station to 32nd Stationery Hospital at Wimereux.

    Cpl. Jonathan Richardson Sunderland (see 15th May) was promoted Lance Sergeant.

    Pte. Lewis Larkins (see 20th September), who had suffered shrapnel wounds to his right hand, left arm and face on 20th September, was transferred from 3rd General Hospital at Le Treport back to England, travelling onboard the Hospital Ship St. Denis. It is not known to which hospital he was admitted.

    Capt. Alfred Percy Harrison MC (see 25th August), who was in England having been wounded on 7th June, appeared before a further Medical Board. The Board concluded that he was to remain in hospital for further treatment to his injured foot, and would be re-examined in one months’ time.

    Pte. Amos Ibbotson (see 23rd August 1916), who had been in England for more than a year after suffering shellshock on the Somme in July 1916, was formally discharged from the Army as no longer fit, due to his ‘neurasthenia’; he received no pension but he was awarded a gratuity of £26.

    It was around this time, although the precise date has not been established that the ‘Soldier’s Rest Camp’ at Usworth which had been organised and run by Mrs. Geraldine Tunstill (see 22nd August) closed. In a letter dated 3rd October a Captain in the RAMC passed on his gratitude for the work done at the Camp:

    “Now that I have a few minutes at my disposal I am writing to thank you for your valuable help at Usworth Camp, in acting as Commandant of the Rest Camp there and for the many hours you devoted each day in providing comforts for those who needed help and rest. I wish you success in any work you may take up, whatever it may be. With kind regards to yourself and Captain Tunstill and best wishes”.

    The following day Lt. Col. Buckle, commanding 83rd Training Reserve Battalion, would write in similar terms:

    “I write to express the gratitude of all ranks of the 83rd Training Reserve Battalion for the great benefits we have received at your hands since you established the Rest Camp at Usworth Camp, County Duham, on 17th May 1917. The fact that large numbers of men who came into your Rest Camp have benefitted by your care is clearly proved by the large number of men who have been raised to a higher medical category whilst in Usworth Camp.”

    Western Front

    German attack repulsed north of Menin road between Tower Hamlets and Polygon Wood (Ypres).

    Preparations for German attack east of Reims broken up.

    Violent artillery duel on Verdun front.

    Eastern Front

    Intense artillery duel in Jakobstadt region (Dvinsk).

    Artillery stop fierce enemy attack 7 miles north of Romanian frontier (Bukovina).

    Bulgars attack Romanians north of mouth of Buzeu river.

    Southern Front

    Italians repel continued Austrian attacks on San Gabriele.

    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres

    Russians take Nereman village, 50 miles north of Mosul.

    Naval and Overseas Operations

    Italian airmen bomb vessels in harbour of Cattaro.

    Political, etc.

    Meeting of Democratic Conference in Russia.

    Count Czernin issues Peace programme.

    Sir W. Laurier (Canada) resigns.

  19. #2769

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    The duplicate faerie strikes again - but this time captured her on CCTV

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    Last edited by Hedeby; 10-03-2017 at 16:01.

  20. #2770

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    4th October 1917

    The Battle of Broodseinde Ridge is a British attack on an eight mile front from the railway north of Langemarck to Tower Hamlets Ridge on the Ypres-Menin Road. The main attack is conducted by the I Anzac, II Anzac Corps and XVIII Corps, with flanking attacks supporting the main attack conducted by the X Corps, IX Corps and XIV Corps. Additionally, fourteen tanks are also used. The attack is timed to start at 06:00 hours. The northernmost corps (XIV Corps) encounters a bog during its advance – resulting in it losing the protection of the creeping barrage. The XIV Corps encounters machine gun fire from defences along the edge of Houlthulst Forest and suffers 1,700 casualties while gaining very little ground. The northern corps of the main attack (XVIII Corps) manages to capture all of its objectives at a cost of 2,000 casualties. German artillery fire and counter attacks later resulted in the Germans recapturing the northern half of the village of Poelcappelle.

    The I ANZAC Corps now has one of the most unique experiences of the war. When it was preparing to attack, a German artillery bombardment falls on it causing 1 in 7 of the attacking forces to become casualties. When the Australian forces starts to attack, the cause of the German artillery fire became apparent, when they are met by a German regiment in no-man’s land. Due to the superior numbers involved, the Australians quickly rout the Germans and continue the attack. Despite hard fighting to defeat the fortifications of the Flandern I line, the Australians reach the first objective (the “Red Line” a line 100 to 200 yards short of the crest of the ridgeline) by 07:20. During the hour long halt at the first objective, parts of the 1st Australian Division has to fight German pillboxes positioned along the crest of the ridgeline. The Australians consolidate just short of the second objective due to defensive fire from German positions along the edge of “Daisy Wood”. This effort costs the Australian divisions approximately 4,500 casualties. Initially, the II ANZAC Corps has an easier time than its neighbouring ANZAC units. During the advance to the second onjective (the “Blue Line” a line 200 to 400 yards beyond the crest of the ridgeline), it has to advance through parts of the Flandern I line. Despite this, the second objective is reached by 09:00, at a cost of 3,500 casualties (including 1,853 New Zealanders). the attack by the X Corps achieves most of its objectives (advancing 800 yards), although unsubdued German artillery fire from behind the Ghevulelt Plateau causes large numbers of casualties (8,000 casualties in the three attacking divisions). The southernmost corps (the IX Corps) experiences the same problems as the X Corps and makes little headway against the German defences.

    After the attacking units reach their final positions, Allied artillery fires an interdiction barrage for an additional two and a half hours, allowing the attacking troops to establish defences (trenches, outposts, defensive wire entanglements, etc.). As a result, when the Germans counter-attack, most of the counter-attacks are dispersed purely through the use of Allied artillery. The attack is a stunning attritional success, with an average advance of over 1,000 yards and the Australian 3rd Division advancing up to 1,900 yards. Capture and retention of ground is varied, with limited (or no) advance maintained by the southernmost Corps, to moderate gains between Menin Road and Polygon Wood and all objectives at Broodseinde Ridge. By mid-afternoon it is decided that no further attacks will take place.

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    Captain Clement Robertson (West Surrey Regiment attached Tank Corps) is killed at age 28. At Zonnebeke, Belgium, Captain Robertson leads his tanks in attack under heavy shell, machine-gun and rifle fire over ground which has been ploughed by shell-fire. He and his batman have spent the previous three days and nights going back and forth over the ground, reconnoitering and taping routes, and, knowing the risk of the tanks missing the way, he now leads them on foot, guiding them carefully towards their objective, although he must have known that this action would almost certainly cost him his life. He is killed after the objective has been reached, but his skillful leading had already ensured success. For his actions he will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross. Captain Robertson is a founding member of the Delgany Golf Club where his name is the first on the President’s Cup. He is one of NINE Victoria Crosses awarded on this day.

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    Clement Robertson

    Charles Harry Coverdale VC MM (21 April 1888 – 20 November 1955) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross.

    Coverdale was 29 years old, and a sergeant in the 11th Battalion, The Manchester Regiment, British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

    On 4 October 1917 south-west of Poelcapelle, Belgium, when close to the objective, Sergeant Coverdale disposed of three snipers. He then rushed two machine-guns, killing or wounding the teams. He subsequently reorganised his platoon in order to capture another position, but after getting within 100 yards of it was held up by our own barrage and had to return. Later he went out again with five men to capture the position, but when he saw a considerable number of the enemy advancing, withdrew his detachment man by man, he himself being the last to retire.

    He later achieved the rank of second lieutenant with the Manchester Regiment.

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    Charles Coverdale

    Brigadier Lewis Pugh Evans VC, CB, CMG, DSO & Bar, DL (3 January 1881 – 30 November 1962) was a Welsh recipient of the Victoria Cross.

    Lewis Pugh Evans was born at Abermadd to Sir Gruffydd Humphrey Pugh Evans (1840–1902), KCIE, Advocate-General of Bengal and a member of the Viceroy's Council, and Lady Emilia Savi Pugh Evans (née Hills; 1849–1938). Lewis Pugh Evans was educated at Eton and entered the army after training at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. Following a year at Sandhurst Evans entered the British Army with a commission in the Black Watch, with whom he served in the Second Boer War in South Africa. After service with his regiment in India Evans returned to England and obtained a pilot's certificate and when the First World War broke out in 1914 he was posted as an air observer with the Royal Flying Corps but after a few months he returned to the Black Watch and in 1917 was appointed to command the First Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment.

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    On 4 October 1917 near Zonnebeke, Belgium and by now an Acting Lieutenant Colonel in The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders), British Army, Pugh was Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment and aged 36 years when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

    For most conspicuous bravery and leadership. Lt.-Col. Evans took his battalion in perfect order through a terrific enemy barrage, personally formed up all units, and led them to the assault. While a strong machine gun emplacement was causing casualties, and the troops were working round the flank, Lt.-Col. Evans rushed at it himself and by firing his revolver through the loophole forced the garrison to capitulate. After capturing the first objective he was severely wounded in the shoulder, but refused to be bandaged, and re-formed the troops, pointed out all future objectives, and again led his battalion forward. Again badly wounded, he nevertheless continued to command until the second objective was won, and, after consolidation, collapsed from loss of blood. As there were numerous casualties, he refused assistance, and by his own efforts ultimately reached the Dressing Station. His example of cool bravery stimulated in all ranks the highest valour and determination to win.

    Fred Greaves VC (16 May 1890 – 11 June 1973) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross.

    Greaves was born on 16 May 1890 in Killamarsh, a town in north-east Derbyshire.[1] He was 27 years old, and an acting corporal in the 9th Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters (The Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment),[2] British Army during the Battle of Broodseinde in the First World War when he performed a deed for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

    On 4 October 1917 at Poelcapelle, east of Ypres, Belgium, when the platoon was held up by machine-gun fire from a concrete stronghold and the platoon commander and sergeant were casualties, Corporal Greaves, followed by another NCO, rushed forward, reached the rear of the building and bombed the occupants, killing or capturing the garrison and the machine-gun. Later, at a most critical period of the battle, during a heavy counter-attack, all the officers of the company became casualties and Corporal Geaves collected his men, threw out extra posts on the threatened flank and opened up rifle and machine-gun fire to enfilade the advance.

    He later achieved the rank of Sergeant. Fred died in Brimington, near Chesterfield, on 11 June 1973, aged 83, and was cremated there.His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Sherwood Foresters Museum, Nottingham Castle, England.

    On 2 August 2014 a commemorative plaque to Greaves was unveiled in the Chesterfield FC Memorial Garden at the Proact Stadium.

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    Fred Greaves

    Arthur Hutt VC (12 February 1889 – 14 April 1954) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross. He was the first person born in Coventry to be awarded the Victoria Cross.

    He was 28 years old, and a private in the 1/7th Battalion of The Royal Warwickshire Regiment, British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place at the battle of Passchendaele for which he was awarded the VC. On 4 October 1917, at Terrier Farm, south-east of Poelcapelle, during the advance on the villages of Poelcapelle and Passchendaele, Belgium, when all the officers and NCOs of No. 2 Platoon had become casualties, Private Hutt took command of and led the platoon. He was held up by a strong post but immediately ran forward alone and shot the officer and three men in the post; between 40 and 50 others surrendered. Later, having pushed too far, he withdrew his party, covering them by sniping the enemy, and then carried back a wounded man to shelter. After he had consolidated his position, he then went out and carried in four more wounded under heavy fire.



    The Battle of Broodseinde begins at dawn. The waiting Australian troops are bombed by mortars in their trenches by the enemy and as they go over the top they are surprised to see German troops advancing under cover of the mortar bombardment; by chance the opposing troops have each launched an assault on each other at the same time! The Germans are eventually driven back by an Australian bayonet charge however a German machine gun causes heavy casualties and holds up part of the attack. Sergeant Lewis McGee, armed only with a revolver, runs 50 yards across bullet swept ground, shoots some of the crew and captures the gun. He reorganizes the advance and will be awarded the Victoria Cross for his outstanding leadership during the week’s fighting; he will be killed on 12th October without knowing of his award.

    Lewis McGee, VC (13 May 1888 – 12 October 1917) was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest decoration for gallantry "in the face of the enemy" that can be awarded to members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces. As a sergeant in the Australian Imperial Force, McGee was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions in the Battle of Broodseinde—part of the Passchendaele offensive—on 4 October 1917. As his platoon came under heavy machine gun fire from a German pillbox, McGee rushed alone across open ground towards the emplacement. Armed solely with a revolver, he shot the gunners and captured the garrison. He then organised a bombing party, and led the group in the seizure of a second machine gun post.

    Born in Tasmania, McGee gained employment as an engine driver with the Tasmanian Department of Railways. In March 1916, he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force for service in the First World War. He was posted to the 40th Battalion, and completed training in Tasmania and the United Kingdom, where he was promoted to lance corporal. Transferring to the Western Front in November 1916, McGee was rapidly promoted to corporal then sergeant, and took part in the Battle of Messines. He was killed in action on 12 October 1917, eight days after his Victoria Cross exploit.

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    As part of the third phase of the Passchendaele offensive, the 10th Australian Brigade—of which McGee's 40th Battalion was part—was detailed to execute an attack on Broodseinde Ridge. The brigade was allocated four primary objectives to seize during the assault, one for each battalion, with the 40th Battalion to take the final target located on the ridge itself. The advance commenced at the predetermined time of 06:00 on 4 October 1917, under the cover of an artillery barrage. The first three battalions were able to seize their objectives, though the fighting intensified with each stage. As the 40th Battalion set to advance towards the final objective, its progress became hampered by increasingly heavy machine-gun and rifle fire, as well as by barbed wire entanglements and sectors of impassable swamp. With McGee's B Company heading the 40th Battalion's advance, the unit was able to progress to a point approximately 270 metres (300 yd) in front of the crest, where it was confronted by a thick line of barbed wire and another bog, while simultaneously subject to the fire of ten machine guns in trenches and heavily defended pillboxes. The men of B Company struggled to within 90 metres (98 yd) of the battalion's objective, when the severe fire of the German machine guns pinned them down in shellholes.

    McGee's platoon was suffering heavy casualties from a particular machine gun 50 metres (55 yd) in front of his position, which was set in a recess atop a concrete pillbox and firing directly at his men. Armed solely with a revolver, McGee dashed alone towards the post across the fire-swept ground. Shooting the gunners, he captured the remaining soldiers in the garrison as prisoners and seized control of the pillbox. On returning to his unit, he reorganised his men and led a bombing party in the capture of a second machine-gun post.[ McGee's actions reignited the 40th Battalion's advance, with McGee himself "foremost in the remainder" of the action. By 09:12 on 5 October, the 40th Battalion had seized its objective and held complete control of the Broodseinde Ridge, having captured 300 Germans as prisoners in the process.

    As a result of his actions at Broodseinde, McGee was awarded the Victoria Cross, one of two Australians to be so decorated that day. However, he never saw the announcement of the award. On 12 October 1917—eight days after McGee's Victoria Cross action—the 40th Battalion returned to the frontline, in an attempt to exploit the success of the previous week. The battlefield was drenched in rain, turning the ground into a quagmire that was additionally dominated by several German pillboxes. McGee—who had been appointed acting company sergeant major of B Company that morning—led his unit into the attack. As the men of the company advanced forward, a machine gun began firing upon them from the front, before a second opened up on their flank. Men ran to take cover in shellholes as the German fire inflicted several casualties. McGee, however, made a rush towards the guns in an apparent effort to silence them. As he ran towards the pillbox, a bullet struck him in the head, killing him instantly.[13] McGee was later buried in Tyne Cot Cemetery;he was one of 248 members of the 40th Battalion killed or wounded during the Battle of Passchendaele. McGee's fellow Australian Victoria Cross recipient from Broodseinde, Lance Corporal Walter Peeler, was also severely wounded on this day, receiving a bullet wound to his arm.

    James Ockendon VC, MM (10 December 1890 – 29 August 1966) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross

    He was one of nine children born to Alfred and Mary Ockendon at 56, Alfred Street, Landport. He attended St Agatha’s School, following which he worked for Chalcraft’s, a drapers in Russell Street, Portsmouth. After working here for five years he joined the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in 1909 as a private. After completing his basic training at the Victoria Barracks in Southsea he served in India. During World War I Ockendon saw action in Turkey during the Gallipoli Campaign where, on 24 April 1915, he landed with his battalion on ‘V’ beach and received a bullet wound to his forehead. Following his recuperation he served in Egypt. While on leave he married Caroline ("Carrie") Anne at St Luke’s Church in Portsmouth on August 20, 1917. They had four children. Soon after his marriage he joined the First Battalion at the Western Front in France where he was awarded the Military Medal for bravery on 28 September 1917 during the opening stages of the Third Battle of Ypres.

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    Ockendon was 26 years old and a sergeant in the 1st Battalion, The Royal Dublin Fusiliers, British Army when the following deed led to the award of the Victoria Cross. On 4 October 1917 east of Langemarck, Belgium, Sergeant Ockendon was acting as company sergeant-major. Seeing the platoon on the right held up by an enemy machine-gun, he immediately rushed the gun and captured it, killing the crew. He then led a section to the attack on a farm, where under very heavy fire he rushed forward and called on the garrison to surrender. As the enemy continued to fire on him he opened fire, killing four, whereupon the remaining 16 surrendered.

    Walter "Wally" Peeler, VC, BEM (9 August 1887 – 23 May 1968) was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry "in the face of the enemy" that can be awarded to members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces. He was decorated following his actions during the Battle of Broodseinde in October 1917. Then a lance corporal in the Australian Imperial Force, he repeatedly took the lead in the 37th Battalion's advance on well-defended German positions, destroying four machine gun posts and killing more than 30 German soldiers during the battle.

    Born in Castlemaine, Victoria, Peeler worked at various jobs in his home town and in the Melbourne area before enlisting in the Australian Imperial Force in February 1916. Posted to the 3rd Pioneer Battalion, he arrived on the Western Front during November. In June 1917, his battalion participated in the assault on Messines ridge, where he was lightly wounded. Eight days after his Victoria Cross action, Peeler was severely wounded in his right arm and spent the next seven months recuperating in the United Kingdom. Following the armistice with Germany, he was discharged from service with the rank of sergeant in December 1918.

    Peeler re-settled with his family in Victoria, and was appointed the inaugural custodian of Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance in 1934. In May 1940, Peeler enlisted for service in the Second World War, understating his age by fourteen years to avoid the upper age limit imposed on volunteers. He was posted to the 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion and initially saw action in the Syria-Lebanon Campaign. However, with the entry of Japan into the war, his unit was one of the first sent to the Netherlands East Indies in early 1942. Originally destined for Sumatra it was diverted to Java and after disembarking assisted in the Dutch defence of the island. When Dutch resistance collapsed in March, allied forces in Java signed a formal surrender with British, Australian and American troops becoming prisoners of war. After three-and-a-half years as prisoner of war, Peeler was freed in August 1945 and returned to Australia in October, resuming his duties at the Shrine of Remembrance. He retired in 1964 and, aged 80, died at his home in South Caulfield on 23 May 1968.

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    As part of the third stage of General Sir Herbert Plumer's Passchendaele offensive, an attack against Broodseinde was scheduled for 4 October 1917. The 3rd Australian Division's 10th Australian Infantry Brigade was one of the assault formations charged with delivering the main blow, and ultimately with seizing the heavily defended Broodseinde Ridge. To provide defence against low-flying German aircraft during the attack, a group of 24 men, including Peeler, from the 3rd Pioneer Battalion's machine gun section were attached to the 10th Brigade's 37th Battalion.

    The attack on Broodseinde began at 06:00 under the cover of an artillery barrage. Armed with a Lewis Gun, Peeler advanced with the initial wave. The Australians rapidly crossed the first 100 metres (110 yd) before becoming pinned down by a party of nine German soldiers, who were situated in a shellhole and sniping at the advancing troops. Firing his machine gun from the hip, Peeler dashed forward across the exposed ground and shot the group of Germans, "clearing the way for the advance". He performed similar feats on two subsequent occasions, killing several German soldiers and emerging unscathed.The Australian force continued to press their assault, encountering pillboxes and machine gun positions as they pushed forward. One such machine gun position, situated in the open, held up the advance. Firing a single burst from his Lewis Gun, Peeler killed the gunner and caused the remainder of the gun's defenders to seek cover in a nearby dugout. One of the Australians then lobbed a "well aimed" grenade into the dugout, driving out ten soldiers whom Peeler then shot. Described as being "particularly prominent in the advance" by historian Charles Bean,Peeler "almost single-handedly" destroyed four German posts in an hour, accounting for more than 30 soldiers

    Thomas Henry Sage VC
    (8 December 1882 – 20 July 1945) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. He was 34 years old, and a private in the 8th Battalion, The Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert's), British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

    On 4 October 1917 at Tower Hamlets Spur, east of Ypres, Belgium, Private Sage was in a shell-hole with eight other men, one of whom was shot while throwing a bomb which fell back into the shell-hole. Private Sage, with great presence of mind, immediately threw himself on it, and so saved the lives of several of his comrades, although he himself was severely wounded.

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    Allied Objectives 4th October 1917

    The Battle

    In IX Corps the 37th Division attacked with two brigades, the 19th Division on the right co-operating with an artillery and machine-gun barrage and a smoke screen.[30] The right brigade pivoted on the southern flank amid much German small-arms fire but captured the first objective on the Tower Hamlets (Bassevillebeek) spur. German counter-attacks and fire from Joist Trench and Berry Cottage then pushed the right flank units back to their start line. The left brigade was fired on from a pillbox and Lewis Farm, which had been missed by the bombardment and which hindered an attack on dugouts along the north end of Gheluvelt wood. The brigade dug-in in short of the final objective, Tower Trench was captured but then abandoned, also due to the fire from Lewis Farm. In X Corps, the 5th Division attacked with two brigades. By coincidence the German 19th Reserve Division was about to attack and was caught in the British bombardment. The right brigade was delayed by fire from the 37th Division area, believed to be from Lewis Farm and a defensive front was established facing the pillbox. The centre of the brigade were able to keep pace with the barrage and consolidated the objective by 12:30 p.m. The battalion on the left attacked between the Scherriabeek and Reutelbeek towards Polderhoek Chateau, advancing 700 yd (640 m), with the assistance of a tank before being halted and having to dig in. To the north, the left flank brigade was fired on from Cameron Covert and scattered pillboxes as it advanced. After a long delay Cameron Copse was captured with the help of three tanks moving down the Reutel road. The final objective at Juniper Hill was reached but was then abandoned, due to being exposed to machine-gun and artillery fire. The attackers sidestepped to the north of the Reutel road and linked with troops from the 21st Division. German troops counter-attacked eight times and regained Polderhoek Spur, leaving the new front line along the west of Cameron Covert and just short of Château Wood.

    Two brigades of the 21st Division attacked at 6:00 a.m. onto ground held by the German 19th Reserve Division, backed by part of the 17th Division, the Eingreif division between the Menin Road and Polygon Wood. The going varied from marsh to hard ground, which could support the four attached tanks and caused shells to ricochet. The right brigade advanced under heavy machine-gun fire and took Joist Farm before being obstructed by marshy ground and pillboxes to the right. British bombing sections attacked the pillboxes and cut off Juniper Trench to reach the objective. Fire from a blockhouse at the east end of Reutel caused a delay until it was knocked out by a tank. A counter-attack from the south-east was dispersed around noon by artillery and small-arms fire. The left brigade crossed the Polygonebeek and captured a portion of Juniper Trench and a pillbox. At Judge Trench the brigade consolidated; a further advance came under fire from Judge Copse but was able to dig in and hold the ground.[33] By 9:00 a.m. most of the division's objectives had been captured, giving observation to the south-east down the Reutel valley. Massed small-arms fire from the Polderhoek spur caused many casualties in the 64th Brigade on the right, which withdrew slightly to sheltered ground, without sacrificing the commanding position which protected the right flank of the Anzac corps further north. The right brigade of the 7th Division advanced against light resistance to the first objective (red line) but came under fire from machine-guns in the 21st Division area. As the neighbouring division came up the 91st Brigade was able to resume its advance towards In Der Ster Cabaret until fire from Joiner's Rest held them up. Reinforcements allowed the final objective (blue line) to be taken. A defensive flank was formed along Jolting Houses road and Jetty Trench, meeting the 21st Division to the west of Reutel. The left brigade had an easy advance to the first objective. As the attack continued some troops crossed into the area of the 1st Australian Division, causing a gap but the German defenders were not able to exploit this and the final objective was reached. Occupation of the In Der Ster plateau gave the two divisions observation over the lower part of the valley, enfilading ground on which any counter-attack from the south against the 1st Australian Division must move.

    The main attack was conducted by the two Anzac corps. When the I Anzac Corps was ready to attack, a German artillery bombardment fell on it at 5:30 a.m. causing many casualties.As the Australian divisions advanced at 6:00 a.m., they met the German 212th Infantry Regiment from the 45th Reserve Division and the 4th Guard Division in no-man's-land.[38] The 1st Australian Division, advancing with two brigades, routed the Germans and continued the advance beyond Flandern I Stellung. The right brigade advanced beyond the first objective and had to fall back behind the British protective barrage to consolidate. The left brigade picked its way through marshy ground and tree stumps in Romulus and Remus Woods, north of Molenaarelsthoek and then outflanked a group of blockhouses, some troops crossing into the 2nd Australian Division area. The first objective was taken at 7:15 a.m., German field guns opened fire from the Becelaere–Broodseinde–Passchendaele road and were attacked and captured. Fresh battalions continued the advance, were fired on from Retaliation Farm and a German headquarters in a shell-hole. The troops advanced about a third of the way up the road from Molenaarelsthoek to Beclaere, until they were cleared. At 8:10 a.m. the advance resumed to the final objective (blue line) which was consolidated and outposts established in front of it, despite long-range fire from the Keiberg spur and a small rise north east of Broodseinde village. Attempts were made by parties of German infantry to counter-attack at noon around Dame House, from Celtic Wood at 1:00 p.m. and at Flint Farm at 2:30 p.m. and two attempts to mass around Flandern II Stellung at the Keiberg spur, to the south of Passchendaele village, which were stopped by artillery fire.

    The 2nd Australian Division moved up to the front line during the night, amidst rain which began around midnight. Along with the 1st Australian Division it was caught in the German preparatory bombardment for Unternehmen Höhensturm (Operation Height Storm) but this stopped when the British hurricane bombardment began at 6:00 a.m. as the Australian advance began. The 6th and 7th Brigades had to pass either side of Zonnebeke Lake and saw German troops opposite them rise from shell-holes and begin to advance. The Australian troops began to fire on the move and destroyed the first German wave, at which those to the rear retreated back into the British creeping barrage, while others retired in stages through Zonnebeke. Germans hidden in the ruins were rushed by the following Australian battalion, before they could shoot many of the Australians who had passed beyond. The Australians had overrun German troops from the 45th Reserve and the 4th Guard divisions, having forestalled the German infantry attack and then took several field guns along the way. The battalions pressed on beyond the first objective and reached the final objective east of Broodseinde village. The left brigade met snipers in Zonnebeke and then more fire from a large number of machine-guns in Daisy Wood. The brigade chose an old British trench to consolidate, about 200 yd (180 m) short of the final objective. In the II Anzac Corps area, the 3rd Australian Division had to assemble west of Hill 40 on the north side of the Ypres–Roulers railway, which had not been captured by the 3rd Division (V Corps) on 26 September. Delays in assembling were caused by German flares which illuminated the approaches to the hill. The division was to assemble its attacking battalions in widely spaced lines due to the state of the ground, intending that the troops behind the initial waves were to escape a German barrage by being far enough behind the British front line. These areas were found to be under fire when the troops arrived, so they were squeezed up like those in the other divisions. The attack began at 6:00 a.m. with two brigades. The right brigade advanced quickly over the near crest, then paused on the first objective before advancing in section columns to the red line on the right, the left coming up after a delay caused by the Alma blockhouse and some pillboxes nearby.

    The leading battalion of the 10th Brigade on the left had edged so far forward that when the advance began, it was 30 yd (27 m) from the pillboxes at Levi Cottages at the top of the rise, beyond which was a dip then the slope of Gravenstafel ridge. The pillboxes were quickly taken, followed by Alma and Judah House in the dip after a short delay. After a twelve-minute pause at this (first intermediate) objective, to give the New Zealanders on the left time to cross the boggy ground in their area, the two following battalions leapfrogged through, that of the right brigade taking many German prisoners from dug-outs along the railway embankment and reaching the red line quickly. After a delay caused by the British bombardment dwelling for nearly half an hour, the left brigade advanced up Gravenstafel spur and then pressed on to silence several machine-guns in pillboxes on Abraham Heights. By 7:20 a.m. all of the 3rd Australian Division was on the red line while "swarms" of German prisoners were taken by the brigade mopping-up behind the advanced troops. At 8:10 a.m. the advance resumed and after a pause to capture Seine pillbox, the right brigade crossed Flandern I Stellung, which lay diagonally across its path and reached the final objective. The 10th Brigade on the left was held up by fire from machine-gun nests in the New Zealand Division area, until they were taken by a party from the supporting battalion. The advance resumed under heavy fire from positions in Flandern I Stellung where the barrage had passed over. Troops on the right established several machine-gun posts and enfiladed the Germans further north while troops crossed into the New Zealand area and outflanked the German positions from the north. The final objective (blue line) was reached by 9:12 a.m. and the ground consolidated.

    The New Zealand Division continued the attack with two brigades on a 2,000 yd (1,800 m) front. The German bombardment which began at 5:30 a.m. fell between the foremost New Zealand troops and their supporting battalions. The division had 180 18-pounders and 60 4.5-inch howitzers for its creeping barrage in front of the four deeper barrages fired by 60 machine-guns and the II Anzac Corps medium and heavy artillery.[44] When the infantry advance began, the German infantry who had assembled for their attack and been devastated by the British artillery barrage, were met after 200 yd (180 m). The German survivors were dispersed, many being killed in bayonet-fighting or taken prisoner, before the New Zealand infantry found that they could cross the morass around the Hanebeek more easily than expected.The 4th Brigade on the right took Duchy Farm and Riverside easily, paused to capture Otto Farm and then reached the first objective (red line) and dug in. Fresh battalions resumed the advance, captured two pillboxes in Berlin Wood, two unexpected pillboxes and then captured Berlin Farm. The 1st Brigade attack on the left, veered north beyond the Hanebeek and was fired on from Aviatik Farm and Dear House, which were taken by a trench mortar and grenade attack. Fire from the Winzig, Albatross Farm and Winchester blockhouses, in the 48th (South Midland) Division area further north (and from the Bellevue spur up the Stroombeek valley), delayed the advance until they were captured. More pillboxes at Boetleer were taken by the left flanking battalion of the 4th Brigade and the red line (first objective) was reached. A position near Korek was attacked, despite being beyond the first objective and under British artillery fire. The advance to the final objective, between Flandern I Stellung where it met the Ypres–Roulers railway, north to Kronprinz Farm on the Stroombeek began and a German battalion headquarters was captured in the Waterloo pillboxes. Calgary Grange and Kronprinz farm held out for a while longer but the final objective, after an advance of 1,000 yd (910 m) was reached and consolidated

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    In the XVIII Corps area, the 48th (South Midland) Division attacked with one brigade at 6:00 a.m. Vale house and Winzig on the right fell quickly, then machine-gun fire slowed the advance and some New Zealand troops strayed across the divisional boundary, causing confusion around Albatross Farm and Wellington Farm. Once Wellington and Winchester Farms had been captured, the advance resumed to the Stroombeek. As night fell, the division relieved the New Zealanders in the divisional area and took more ground. In the centre the 48th (South Midland) Division captured German posts west of the Stroombeek and was then was held up, by fire from the area of York Farm. Eventually the advance was halted 300 yd (270 m) short of Vacher Farm. A renewal of the attack with reinforcements was not able to overcome German machine-gun fire. On the left the attack was hampered by heavy machine-gun fire immediately. Tweed House was captured and contact made with troops further north from the 11th (Northern) Division. Beck House was reached but further south the attackers were forced back. A resumption of the attack at 5:00 p.m. was cancelled due to rain and poor light. The 11th (Northern) Division attacked at 6:00 a.m. with two brigades and ten tanks of 'D' battalion, 1st tank Brigade. On the right the advance took Malta House and reached an intermediate line where a small counter-attack was stopped. Fire from the church and the Brewery pillbox in Poelcappelle caused a delay but Gloster Farm was captured with the aid of two tanks and the red line (first objective) consolidated. Troops from the inner flanks of both brigades and several tanks entered Poelcappelle and then captured pillboxes beyond the east end. The left brigade had advanced easily to the intermediate line and then overcame small parties of German infantry concealed in shell-holes. A shelter was captured near the church in Poelcappelle amid sniper fire. Ferdan House was captured and the final objective consolidated. A defensive flank was thrown back to maintain touch with the 4th Division to the north, whose advance had been pushed back 400 yd (370 m) by German counter-attacks. A counter-attack in the 11th (Northern) Division area at 1:00 p.m. was defeated and reinforcements allowed the new line to be established between the Steenbeek and the Langemarck–Winnipeg road.

    XIV Corps guarded the northern flank of the attack. The 4th Division attacked with two brigades at 6:00 a.m. The brigade on the right, easily took Kangaroo Trench but was held up on the first objective by the German infantry and by small arms fire from Lemnos House. Troops on the extreme right combined with infantry of the 11th (Northern) Division to capture a pillbox on the Poelcappelle road. As they reached the next objective, Ferdan House was outflanked, then the green line was consolidated amidst fire from 19 Metre Hill. The left brigade troops lost direction as they crossed the marshy ground about the Lauterbeek and were fired on from the flank, as they reached a road beyond 19 Metre Hill. After an hour's pause the advance resumed but machine-gun fire stopped the attack and the ground captured was consolidated. A German counter-attack at 3:00 p.m. made good progress until reinforcements drove it back. A gap on the boundary with the 29th Division to the north was filled as dark fell and another German counter-attack was spotted as the German infantry assembled and dispersed by artillery fire. A line Ferdan House–Kangaroo Huts–west of Tragique Farm–19 Metre Hill was consolidated. The 29th Division was to attack astride the Ypres–Staden railway and form a defensive flank overlooking the Broembeek, with troops from two brigades. The right brigade took Chinese House and the 't Goed ter Vesten Farm, as it formed a flank along the junction with the 4th Division further south. As a German counter-attack forced back elements of the 4th Division the 29th Division troops stopped them with flanking machine-gun fire and drove them back, allowing the 4th Division to regain the lost ground. North of the railway several pillboxes were captured by the left brigade and observation posts established.

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    Sergeant David Gallaher (Auckland Infantry) is killed at age 41. He is a New Zealand rugby union footballer, best known as the captain of “The Originals” the first New Zealand national rugby union team to be known as the All Blacks. Born in Ramelton, County Donegal, Ireland, Gallaher’s family emigrated to New Zealand in 1878. Originally settling in Katikati in the Bay of Plenty, they moved to Auckland in the 1890s and it was there that Gallaher played his provincial rugby. Gallaher played 26 representative matches for Auckland, including the first ever Ranfurly Shield defense, and 36 for the All Blacks, including 6 tests. Gallaher’s All Black career spanned from 1903 to 1906, the highlight being the captaincy of the “Originals” tour in which he played 26 matches including 4 tests. Gallaher proved to be an outstanding leader and one of the deepest thinkers of the game in his era. Gallaher fought in the South African War serving as a corporal in the New Zealand Contingents of Mounted Rifles. Although exempt from conscription due to his age, Gallaher volunteered to fight in the Great War, and apparently altered his date of birth to 31st October 1876. He saw action at Ypres, and is killed during the Passchendaele He is buried at Nine Elms Cemetery, Poperinge, where his gravestone bears the silver fern. Two of Gallaher’s brothers were also killed in France. He is a member of the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame.

    The War in the Air

    Wind, rain and low cloud stopped long-range air operations and severely restricted the British air effort over the battlefield. British air observers sent 49 zone calls and observed artillery fire on 26 targets. Five battlefield reconnaissance flights, ten contact patrols and two counter-attack patrols of those attempted succeeded, particularly those of 4 Squadron and 21 Squadron, which observed the flares of the attacking troops at the first and final objectives, on much of the front attacked and provided the infantry with a measure of air support despite the weather.

    8 AIRMEN FELL ON THURSDAY OCTOBER 4TH 1917

    Lt. Ainger, H.C. (Herbert Cecil) 19 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Armitage, E. (Eric) 46 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Dawson, H.W. (Harold William) 19 Squadron RFC
    Gnr. Herford, W.H. (Walter Harrel) 29 Training Squadron, Royal Flying Corps
    2nd Lt. Higginson, E.G. (Ernest George) 73 Training Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Prince-Smith, D.S.P. (Donald St.Patrick) 16 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech 2 Rose, E.T. (Edward T.) 9 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Wormull, C.F. (Charles Frederick) RFC

    Only 4 pilots made a claim on this day

    Roman Schmidt Austro-Hungarian Empire #3
    Rudolf Szepessy-Sokoll Austro-Hungarian Empire #3
    Georges Lachmann France #7
    Charles Davidson Scotland #2

    Western Front

    Successful British raids in the Ypres sector.

    French regain positions north-west of Verdun lost during last 18 days.

    Eastern Front

    Russians hold their positions in Galicia against German counter-thrust.

    Political, etc.

    Continued disorder in Petrograd.

    Royal Proclamation changing name of Royal House and family to Windsor.

    Changes in the Government announced.

    Resolution in favour of extension of Canadian Parliament passed.

  21. #2771

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    Now that really is a faerie Where do you keep her? Next time anybody mentions Blue on Blue I know what I shall think of

    Thanks for the continued hard work - wonderful

  22. #2772

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    5th October 1917

    Quiet day today - mostly the result of awful weather...

    Rain resumes on the Western front and it is not a shower but a steady soaking downpour. Haig however, encouraged by recent success, ignores the rain and decides to make a further attempt to break the Germans on the Ridge. He orders the Anzacs to take Passchendaele on 9th October even though the wind and rain had now developed into a gale force storm. He appears to be quite unaware of the appalling conditions on the front or that the wire has not been cut and the Germans have replaced their soldiers with fresh support troops in their relatively dry pillboxes. His reason for persisting is to allow his troops to winter on the ridge, without the Germans overlooking them, and with drier conditions once the front line is out of the swamp.

    The Australians attack and at Augustus Wood, near the Tyne Cot, Captain Clarence Jeffries organizes a party and attacks a pillbox, capturing four machine guns and 35 prisoners. He leads another charge on the next blockhouse where he is killed by machinegun fire. He will be awarded the posthumous Victoria Cross. Incredibly, and mainly because of the valour of Captain Jeffries, 20 men reach the rubble that used to be Passchendaele church. Unfortunately the British troops on their right are unable to support them and the Australians are forced to retreat all the way back to the mud holes that had been their front line. By now, their artillery is running out of ammunition and their shells are burying themselves in the liquid mud and expending themselves relatively harmlessly in a cloud of steam and a fountain of water.

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    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    Major John Edward Blakemore MC (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 36. He is the son of the late Councillor Edwin Blakemore.
    Captain Lawrence Henry Jones (East Surrey Regiment) is killed at age 25. He is the son of Canon Gustavus John Jones Rector of Crayford.
    Second Lieutenant Reginald Fitzgerald Sargent (Irish Regiment attached Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 35. He is the son of the Reverend John Fitzgerald Sargent Vicar of Saltcombe.
    Private Michael Logan (Australian Infantry) is killed in action at age 34. His nephew will be killed in May 1918.
    Private Ernest Edward Parker (Devonshire Regiment) is killed in the Ypres area at age 21. His brother will be killed in October 1918.
    Private John Edmunds (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) dies of wounds at age 30. His two brothers lost their lives last year.
    Private David Phillpott MM (East Kent Regiment) is killed at age 31 becoming the middle of three brothers to lose their lives in the Great War.
    Private Christopher James Alexander (West Surrey Regiment) dies of wounds received the previous day at age 30. He is a well known ornithologist.

    3 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON FRIDAY OCTOBER 5TH 1917

    2nd Lt. Lewis, G.V.L. (Granville Vernon Loch) RFC
    Capt. Mackay, J.I. (James Ivan) 70 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Thornton, C. (Cyril) RFC

    Guy Moore Canada #2

    Philip Fletcher Fullard England #28

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    A natural athlete, Philip Fletcher Fullard was a reserve on the Norwich City football club before joining the army in 1915. In 1916, he transferred from the Royal Fusiliers to the Royal Flying Corps and was an instructor before being posted to France in April 1917. Scoring 40 victories that year, Fullard was the highest scoring ace in 1 Squadron and the highest scoring ace to fly Nieuport Scouts. Three days before the final British offensive at Cambrai on 17 November 1917, he suffered a broken leg during an off-duty football match and was unfit for duty until September of the following year. When the war ended, Fullard remained in the Royal Air Force, attained the rank of Air Commodore and retired from service at the end of World War II. He died, age 86, in a hospital at Broadstairs in Kent, southern England, where he lived.

    Bag of Four in One Day

    Captain Philip Fletcher Fullard, D.S.O., M.C., aged 20, is a fair, curly-haired, good-looking boy, clear-eyed and fresh-complexioned, with regular features. He went fresh from school into an officers' training corps. He has flown in France for about six months and during that time has brought down 42 enemy machines and three balloons.
    In a single day (says the "Daily Mail") he brought down four German aeroplanes - his record day's "bag." On another occasion he and another airman brought down seven enemy machines before breakfast, Fullard accounting for three of them. Up to the middle of October [1917] the squadron to which he belongs had brought down 200 enemy machines, and their number now stands at about 250.
    The outstanding feature of Captain Fullard's record is the few casualties his "flight" has suffered. For three months he worked with the same flight of six pilots without a casualty among them, and in that time they brought down more enemy machines than any other flight in France. His achievements are widely known among the flying men at the front, and the French call him "the English ace."

    Goggles Shot Away
    He had a narrow escape when fighting a German two-seater, his goggles being shot away from his eyes. The Verey lights in his machine caught fire and set the woodwork of the aeroplane alight, but he managed to get his burning machine back to the British lines.
    Captain Fullard respects the fighting capacity of the Boche airmen, and he considers they are good in a tight corner.
    After emerging scathless from many a tight corner in air fights he broke his leg six weeks ago while playing football at an aerodrome.
    Captain Fullard is the son of the late Mr. Thomas Fletcher Fullard, of Hatfield, and Mrs. Fullard, who now lives at Rugby. He was educated at Norwich Grammar School, and in 1915 joined the Inns of Court Officers' Training Corps. Passing high in his examination, he was offered a commission in the Royal Irish Fusiliers, but was selected as suitable for flying work, and joined the Royal Flying Corps. He went to Upavon and was given a post as instructor there. In April 1917, he was sent to the front. He has gained the D.S.O. and the Military Cross with a bar.

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    Gordon Olley England #9
    William Victor Trevor Rooper England #8
    Erwin Böhme Germany #16
    Bruno Loerzer Germany #13


    Captain Tunstill's Men:
    A draft of 53 men reported for duty with the Battalion to help replace the considerable losses in action over the previous weeks. These men came from 5th Infantry Base Depot at Rouen and were transferred from 191st Labour Company, Labour Corps, having previously served in France with ‘bantam’ battalions of the Cheshire Regiment. They had all been formally transferred to 10DWR on 26th September; many of them having been medically re-classified as fit for active service, following periods of illness.

    The men from the Cheshire Regiment, via the Labour Corps were as follows. L.Cpl. John Wright Pollard was a 30 year-old painter from South Shields; he was married with two children. Pte. Harold Clifford Ashbrook was a 23 year-old textile worker from Hyde. He had reported sick in November 1916, with swellings to the fingers of his left hand, which were subsequently ascribed to scabies. He had spent six months in hospital in France before being transferred to 191st Field Company, Labour Corps in May 1917. Pte. Robert Baldwin was 22 years old and from Deptford, where he had been working as a labourer in a saw mill; he was married but had no children. Pte. William Belcher was a 36 year-old tinsmith from Bristol; he was married but had no children. Pte. George Bentley was a 29 year-old miner from Rotherham; he was married with three children. Pte. Samuel Lawton Birtles was a 22 year-old labourer from Dukinfield. He had served with 15th Cheshires. Pte. Ernest Bradley was a 28 year-old textile worker from Stockport; he was married with one daughter. He had served in France from January to April 1916 before being posted back to England having fractured his left wrist in an accident. He had returned to France in August 1916. Pte. James Butterworth was a 26 year-old piecer from Royton; he was married with two children, although a third child, Samuel, had died aged two years in July 1916. Pte. John William Camps was a 25 year-old plumber’s mate from Liverpool; he had gone to France in May 1916. Pte. Arthur Cawley was a 21 year-old labourer from Sale. He had been posted to France in March 1916 and had spent six months in hospital after suffering from influenza in July 1916. Pte. Josiah Charles was a 35 year-old mill hand from Liverpool; he was married with five children. Pte. John Eastwood was a 22 year-old cotton mill worker from Stockport. Pte. Thomas Eccleston was a 21 year-old cotton mill worker from Blackburn. Pte. Jesse Ferns was a 22 year-old labourer from Hadfield, near Manchester; he had been posted to France in June 1916. Pte. John Henry Fidler was a 20 year-old labourer from Liverpool. Pte. Joseph Fox was a 27 year-old textile worker from Oldham. Pte. Joseph Foulkes was a 21 year-old labourer from Liverpool. Pte. John Griffiths was a 25 year-old miner from Normanton. Pte. Henry Grimshaw was 27 years old and had been working as a albaourer in a flour mill in Stockport; he was married with three children. Pte. James Harding was a 33 year old labourer from Victoria Park, London; he was married with three children. Pte. James Hillhouse was a 27 year-old potter from Glasgow. Pte. Herbert Holt was a 23 year-old cotton mill worker from Bacup. Pte. Owen Frank Hyde was a 28 year-old harness maker from Baldock. Pte. Moses Henry Jaeger was a 24 year-old fishmonger from Southport. Pte. James Kilburn was a 25 year-old labourer from Leeds. Pte. Michael Langley was a 23 year-old ‘hoistman’ from Stockport. Pte. Henry Leech was a 28 year-old ‘stamper’ from Hollingworth, Cheshire; he was married but had no children. Pte. James Longworth was a 31 year-old labourer from Kearsley; he was married with three children. Pte. William Masters was a 30 year-old labourer from Birmingham. Pte. George Mather was a 32 year-old core maker from Stockport; he was married with three sons. Pte. Robert McCall was a 34 year-old labourer from Glasgow; he was married but had no children. Pte. Albert Mellor was a 23 year-old collier from Blackburn. Pte. Frank Miller was a 21 year-old printer from Nottingham. Pte. James Mullock was a 25 year-old warehouseman from Liverpool. Pte. John Newton was a 33 year-old iron dresser from Oldham; he was married with one daughter. Pte. Michael Newton was a 28 year-old ‘glass hand’ from Stockport. Pte. John Parkinson was 26 years old and from Liverpool. Pte. William Parr (I am unable to make a positive identification of this man). Pte. Simpson Phillips was a 23 year-old miner from Kimblesworth, Durham. Pte. John James Pickering was a 20 year-old apprentice ‘holder up’ from Birkenhead. Pte. Harry Pullin was a 20 year-old mechanic from Stockport. Pte. William Richmond was a 27 year-old woolcomber from Bradford. Pte. Ernest John Robbins was a 24 year-old florist from Birmingham. Pte. William Sergison (I am unable to make a positive identification of this man). Pte. John Smallwood was a 27 year-old silk cutter from Liverpool; he was married and had had two children, but his younger son, John, had died at just seven weeks in September 1915. Pte. William Edmond Smith (I am unable to make a positive identification of this man). Pte. Herbert Unwin was a 23 year-old sheet metal worker from Gateshead. Pte. George Wheatley was a 22 year-old whitesmith and engineer from Harrogate. Pte. Arthur Walter Williams was a 20 year-old labourer from West Ham, London. Pte. Joseph Wright was 22 years old and from Lincoln. Pte. Jonas Yoxall was a 23 year-old labourer from Middlewich. Also due to join the Battalion with this draft had been Pte. William Ryan, who was a 31 year-old mill hand from Liverpool; he was married but had no children. However, on the eve of his posting he was taken ill with inflammation to his left thigh and would be admitted to 71st Field Ambulance, where he would remain until joining 10DWR on 29th October.

    Western Front

    Number of German prisoners taken last five days on Ypres front totals 4,446. Congratulations from the King.

    Naval and Overseas Operations


    In Mbemkuru Valley (south-west Kilwa), enemy retiring before British, reach Nangano (35 miles south-east Liwali).

    Column from Ruhuji river advance west.

    Political, etc.

    Serious position in Argentina.

    Swedish Government protests against seizure of their ships lying in British ports.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 10-05-2017 at 14:17.

  23. #2773

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    Now that really is a faerie Where do you keep her? Next time anybody mentions Blue on Blue I know what I shall think of

    Thanks for the continued hard work - wonderful
    I'm going to need another glass of Bombay Saphire Mike. Now I'm seeing them as well.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  24. #2774

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    October 6th 1917

    The Battle of Broodseinde -
    Aftermath and subsequent operations

    As news arrived of the great success of the attack, Brigadier-General John Charteris, head of GHQ Intelligence, went from Haig's advanced headquarters to the Second Army Headquarters to discuss a possible exploitation. Plumer declined the suggestion, as eight fresh German divisions were behind the battlefield with another six beyond them. Plumer preferred to wait until the expected German counter-attacks had been defeated, as Haig had directed. German artillery fire was heavy and the defences of the Flandern II and Flandern III stellungen could be garrisoned by German divisions behind the attack front. An attack on these fortifications would need artillery support, which would be limited, given that the British field artillery was behind a severely battered strip of muddy ground 2 mi (3.2 km) deep, firing close to the limit of their range.

    Later in the day, Plumer had second thoughts and ordered I Anzac Corps to push on to the Keiberg spur, with support from II Anzac Corps. Lieutenant-General Alexander Godley the II Anzac Corps commander, wanted to advance north-eastwards, towards Passchendaele village but Lieutenant-General William Birdwood of I Anzac Corps, wanted to wait until artillery had been brought up and supply routes improved. The X Corps commander, Lieutenant-General Thomas Morland proposed an attack northwards, from In de Ster into the southern flank of the Germans opposite I Anzac Corps, which was opposed by Major-General Herbert Shoubridge the 7th Division commander, due to uncertainty and the many casualties in the 21st Division on his right flank. At 2:00 p.m. Plumer decided that exploitation was not possible. At 10:30 a.m., Gough told the Fifth Army corps commanders to push on and to attack again at 5:00 p.m. but when reports arrived of a repulse of the 4th Division at 19 Metre Hill, at the junction of XVIII and XIV Corps, the attack was cancelled.

    The capture of the ridges was a great success, Plumer called the attack "... the greatest victory since the Marne" and the German Official History referred to "... the black day of October 4". There had been an average advance of 1,000 yd (910 m) and the 3rd Australian Division moved forward up to 1,900 yd (1,700 m). The X Corps divisions had managed to take most of their objectives about 700 yd (640 m) forward, gaining observation over the Reutelbeek valley but had relinquished ground in some exposed areas.The British artillery fired a standing barrage for two and a half hours, while the infantry dug in undisturbed and German counter-attacks were dispersed with artillery fire.Wet ground had caused some units to lag behind the creeping barrage, as well as reducing the effect of shells, many landing in mud and being smothered, although this affected German artillery equally. The British had great difficulty moving artillery and ammunition from the west end of the Gheluvelt Plateau to the eastern edge, facing Passchendaele. Field guns closest to Passchendaele were 5,000 yd (4,600 m) from Broodseinde; for the battle of Messines, 6,200 yd (5,700 m) for the 18-pdrs and 7,000 yd (6,400 m) for the 4.5-inch howitzers was the safe maximum.

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    Casualties

    A German officer wrote that the ordeal in the swampy area in the dark and the fog, was indescribable.[64] In volume XIII (1942) of the German official history, Der Weltkrieg 1914 bis 1918: Militärischen Operationen zu Lande, the official historians recorded 35,000 casualties for the period 1–10 October. The 45th Reserve Division had 2,883 casualties, whilst the 4th Guard Division suffered 2,786 casualties. The British took 4,759 German prisoners, increasing the bag to c. 10,000 since 20 September. Second Army casualties for the week ending 4 October were 12,256, the II Anzac Corps lost 3,500 casualties, including 1,663 New Zealanders (1,853 according to a newspaper article of 2008.)The 21st Division had 2,616 casualties, the highest loss of a Second Army division. Fifth Army losses for the week to 5 October were 3,305 men. Calculations of German losses by the British official historian have been severely criticised ever since.

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    No man's land after the attack, looking towards the German front line

    Subsequent operations


    On 5 October, the 21st Division captured a blockhouse and next day a reconnaissance by the 2nd Australian Division revealed Daisy Wood to be strongly held. On 7 October, parties from the 49th Division (II Anzac Corps) raided Celtic Wood and the 48th (South Midland) Division (XVIII Corps) was repulsed at Burns House and Vacher Farm. Celtic Wood was raided by a battalion of the 1st Australian Division on 9 October. There was anxiety among the higher British commanders about wet weather affecting operations again, just as the Germans appeared to be close to collapse. The increased tempo of attack allowed by the systematic planning and decentralisation of responsibility from army to corps and divisions and the reduction of much of the planning to a routine, led to the time between attacks being further reduced. Faster attack preparations reduced the time available for artillery to prepare assaults, which combined with the return of heavy rain after 4 October, substantially to reduce British artillery support during the battles of Poelcapelle on 9 October and the First Battle of Passchendaele on 12 October. As optimism at the possibility of advancing over the Passchendaele watershed increased the weather broke.

    The War in the Air


    For the first time in many months, there were no aerial victory claims reported on this day.

    However - 11 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON SATURDAY OCTOBER 6TH 1917

    2nd Lt. Hadlow, A.L. (Albert Llewellyn) 70 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Holt, H.G. (Hubert Granville) 9 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Knight, G.H. (George Harold) 11th Balloon Company RFC
    2nd Lt. Lewis, E.P. (Edward Pugh) 9 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Richardson, W.Q.N. (William Quintus Newsom) RFC
    2nd Lt. Smith, V.S. (Victor Sidney) 113 Squadron
    Lt. Steward, A.A. (Arthur Amyot) 11th Balloon Company RFC
    Cadet Swayze, D.A. (David A.) RFC
    2nd Lt. Tolhurst, A.W. (Alfred Wilfred) RFC
    Cpl Waite, A.R. RFC
    Air Mech 2 Walton, C.A. 44th Training Squadron RFC

    The Trading with the Enemy Act (TWEA)
    of 1917 (40 Stat. 411, enacted 6 October 1917, codified at 12 U.S.C. §§ 95a–95b and 50 U.S.C. App. §§ 1–44) is a United States federal law to restrict trade with countries hostile to the United States. The law gives the President the power to oversee or restrict any and all trade between the United States and its enemies in times of war.

    During World War I, President Woodrow Wilson used the Trading with the Enemy Act to establish the Office of Alien Property Custodian with power to confiscate property from anyone whose actions might be considered a possible threat to the war effort. Under A. Mitchell Palmer, the office confiscated the property of interned German immigrants and of businesses such as the Bayer chemical company. In 1933, the U.S. Congress amended the Act by the passing the Emergency Banking Relief Act which extended the scope of the Trading with the Enemy Act regarding the hoarding of gold to include any declared national emergency and not just those declared solely during times of war. President Franklin D. Roosevelt then used these new authorities to essentially outlaw gold ownership through the issuance of Executive Order 6102. These restrictions continued until January 1, 1975. The Act has been amended several other times. The Trading with the Enemy Act is sometimes confused with the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), which grants somewhat broader powers to the President, and which is invoked during states of emergency when the United States is not at war. As of 2017, Cuba is the only country restricted under the Act. North Korea is the most recent country to be removed from the provisions of the Act, although the restrictions remain in effect under IEEPA authority.

    Southern Fronts
    Italian Front: Italians have identified 43 Austro-German divisions. Intelligence warns of offensive for October 16-20.

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    Bavarian soldiers behind the Italian Front are waiting for the upcoming Austro-Hungarian-German offensive.

    Western Front
    USA: Pershing and Bliss promoted first full US generals.
    Ypres: British repulse dusk attack on Polygon Wood, take 380 PoWs.
    Verdun*: Transient penetration of French trenches at Hill 344.

    Eastern Front
    Bukovina: Heavy fighting 25 miles south of Czernowitz, Russians take 750 PoWs.
    Russia: Georgia starts a separate army.

    Middle East
    Arabia: Lawrence with 150 Arabs blow up Turk supply train north of Maan. Lawrence sees Allenby on October 15 who asks for Arab support of his imminent offensive.

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  25. #2775

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    Many thanks Chris. I must find out a bit more about Philip Fullard. Not a gentleman I have heard anything about before. Or at least I haven't taken note if its been there!
    Cheers. Mike

  26. #2776

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    Many thanks Chris. I must find out a bit more about Philip Fullard. Not a gentleman I have heard anything about before. Or at least I haven't taken note if its been there!
    Cheers. Mike
    Bit of a new one on me as well - interesting tale

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    7th October 1917


    There was one Flying Corps ace lost on this day...

    Lieutenant James Cromwell Bush MC 22 Squadron RFC

    Bush was born in Salisbury, the eldest son of the Reverend Herbert Cromwell Bush, vicar of Seend, Wiltshire, and a grandson of General Reynell Taylor. He was a descendant of the regicide Oliver Cromwell. After attending Fritham and St. Edward's Schools, he spent some time in Ceylon and India. He was commissioned into the 5th (Service) Battalion, The Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment) as a temporary second lieutenant on 22 September 1914. Sent to Gallipoli in 1915, Bush was of the few survivors of his battalion from Suvla Bay, afterwards receiving a mention in despatches from General Sir Ian Hamilton, and also the award of the Military Cross. Bush was invalided home in late 1915. On 25 February 1916 he was appointed an aide-de-camp, transferred to the General List,and sent to Egypt. On 22 August 1916 he was replaced as ADC,[ and 18 December 1916 was commissioned into the Dorset Regiment with the rank of lieutenant. On 24 April 1917 Bush was seconded to the Royal Flying Corps.

    He was posted to 22 Squadron as a pilot of a two-seater Bristol F.2 Fighter. For his first two victories on 12 August 1917, he teamed with Carleton Clement to set one Albatros D.V aflame and send another down out of control. He went to score four more triumphs, the final one coming on 2 October 1917. Five days later, he and his observer fell under the guns of German ace Hans von Häbler. Initially reported missing, he was confirmed as dead by a message dropped from a German aircraft. He is commemorated on the War Memorial at Neuville-en-Ferrain Communal Cemetery.

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



    22 squadron was formed at Fort Grange, Gosport on 1 September 1915 from a nucleus of men and equipment split off from 13 Squadron. The squadron trained on a variety of aircraft types, including the Royal Aircraft Factory BE.2c, the Maurice Farman Shorthorn, the Bleriot XI and the Curtiss JN-3. It received its intended operational type, the Royal Aircraft Factory FE.2b in February 1916, passing 14 BE.2s to 33 Squadron. The squadron moved to France on 1 April 1916, and soon settled down to carrying out reconnaissance missions over the front lines. It flew fighter patrols during the Battle of the Somme in July 1916, in addition to its normal reconnaissance and photography duties in support of the army. One notable casualty during the Somme was Auberon Herbert, 9th Baron Lucas, the former Liberal politician and cabinet minister, who was wounded when attacked by German fighter aircraft on 3 November 1916, and died of his wounds the same day.

    From July 1917, the squadron started to replace its FE.2s with faster and more capable Bristol F.2 Fighters also known as the 'Brisfit', receiving its full complement of 18 aircraft by 24 August.This was in time to allow the squadron to take part in the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge in September 1917. The squadron was heavily deployed during the German Spring Offensive of 1918, and was forced to change bases due to the German advance,and later, as the Allies drove the Germans out of France in the Hundred Days Offensive, changed bases to keep up with the Allied advances.

    The squadron moved to Spich, near Cologne in Germany as part of the British Army of Occupation in March 1919, leaving for home at the end of August that year. After a period as a cadre unit (without aircraft) at RAF Ford, the squadron formally disbanded on 31 December 1919. By the time it was demobilised, it had had 27 flying aces within its ranks, both pilots and observers, including William Meggitt, Samuel Frederick Henry Thompson, Alfred Atkey, John Everard Gurdon, William Frederick James Harvey, Ernest Elton, Frank Weare, Carleton Main Clement, Frank George Gibbons, Edwin C. Bromley, Chester Thompson, Hiram Frank Davison, Sydney A. Oades, George William Bulmer, George S. L. Hayward, Stanley Wallage, Frederick Stanton, James Bush, Rothesay Stuart Wortley, William Lewis Wells, Chester Stairs Duffus, John Howard Umney, Josiah Lewis Morgan, and Dennis Waight

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    Dennis Waight is known to Wings of Glory fans as part of the crew of this Bristol F2B

    Including Lieutenant Bush 4 airmen were lost on this day

    Lt. Bush, J.C. (James Cromwell) 22 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Chapman, W.W. (William Wetherall) 22 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech 1 Creber, S.W.V. (Stafford William Vernon) Salonika Aircraft Park RFC
    Lt. Wilkinson, E.R. (Eric Russell) 47 Squadron RFC

    The following aerial victory claims were made...

    Guy Moore Canada #3
    William Rogers Canada #2
    Philip Fletcher Fullard England #29

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    Frederick Sowrey
    England #11
    Georges Blanc France #3
    Hans von Häbler Germany #1

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    Enlisting in 1913, Häbler served in the infantry before transferring to the German Air Force in 1916. Assigned to Jasta 36 in September 1917, he was shot down by anti-aircraft fire 22 March 1918. Landing his Fokker DR.I (509/17) within the British lines, Häbler was captured and died from his wounds the following day.

    The merchant ship S S Aylevarroo (Chief Officer John Olivet) is sunk off the south coast of Ireland when she is torpedoed. Twenty are killed including her master.

    Home Fronts

    France: Scantiest harvest for 50 years announced.

    Western Front
    Ypres: German attack near Reutel. Steady rain falling. Haig refuses Plumer and Gough’s request to close down Ypres offensive.
    Champagne: *French repulse big raiding party.
    Aisne: French (Maistre) attack Chemin des Dames and clear Germans from road after month-long series of bloody localized actions. Attack and counterattack fail round Craoone on October 8.

    Southern Fronts
    Trentino: Austrian attack on Mt Costabella repulsed (and on October 12). Cadorna visits Mt Grappa defences (begun 1916) between Piave and& Brenta.
    Salonika: Brigade-General Corkran arrives to be CIGS representative with Serbian Army.

    Capt. Tunstill's Men:

    Most of the Battalion in camp (name unknown) north-west of Ypres; D Company and one platoon of B Company remained at Berthen, attached to 8Yorks.

    The weather was fine early but turned wet by late morning, becoming colder and wetter as the day progressed.

    The Battalion remained on attachment to 2nd Battalion Canadian Railway Troops for work in the construction of a light railway.

    Medical Officer Capt. Cecil Berry (see 3rd September) left the Battalion to join 69th Field Ambulance and was replaced by Capt. Leslie Fraser Eiloart Jeffcoat, who had previously served with the same unit. Jeffcoat was a New Zealander; he was 28 years old and the son of Dr. Frederick Howard Jeffcoat of Dunedin. He had originally served in Mesopotamia, where he had been taken ill and had spent time in hospital in India before joining 69th Field Ambulance.

  28. #2778

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    8th October 1917

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    The steamer Richard De Larrinaga (Master George James Bonner) is torpedoed and sunk by U-57 fifteen miles southeast of Ballycottin Island while travelling in ballast. Her master is among the thirty-five casualties. The steamer Greldon (Master D H Jones) is torpedoed and sunk seven miles east northeast of the North Arklow Light Vessel St George Channel by U-96. Her master is among the twenty-eight killed.

    864 British lives are lost on this day

    Lieutenant Colonel Sidney George Smith (commanding 7th Hampshire Regiment) is killed at age 51 in Mesopotamia.
    Captain Francis Mourilyan Butler (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at Passchendaele at age 41. His only son Francis will be killed in 1940 serving in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve at age 25.

    Lieutenant Allan Ivo Steel (Coldstream Guards) is killed at age. He played one first class cricket match for MCC and one for Middlesex in 1912. His brother will drown when washed overboard en-route to take command of HMS Munster in April 1918. They are sons of Allan Gibson Steel KC Recorder of Oldham and former English National Cricket Captain in 1886.

    Second Lieutenant Eustace Blackborne Ritson (Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 34. He is the son of the Reverend William Ritson.
    Private Frank Crawley (Essex Regiment) is killed at age 20. His brother was killed in May.
    Stoker 1st Class Ernest George Watson (HMS Marshall Ney) dies on service at home at age 25. His brother was killed in the explosion of HMS Vanguard in July.
    Private James Pennycuick (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 22. His brother was killed last April. Driver Horace Ward (Royal Field Artillery) is killed. His brother will be killed ten days before the Armistice next year.
    Private Edwin Edward Bunyan (Australian Infantry) is killed in action at age 26. His brother died of wounds earlier in the year and a cousin was killed five days earlier.
    Private Robert James Gamble (Australian Infantry) is killed in action at age 34 four days after his brother met the same fate

    4 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON MONDAY OCTOBER 8TH 1917

    Lt. Diamond, J. (Julius) 7 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Foubister, J.L. (John Leask) 40 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Laird, H.W. (Homer Warring) 53 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Wattson, C.B. (Cyril Beaven) 7 Squadron RFC

    The following aerial victory claims were made

    Guy Moore Canada #4
    William Rogers Canada #3
    Philip Fletcher Fullard England #30

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    Louis Coudouret France #3
    Georges Lachmann France #8
    Guglielmo Fornagiari Italy u/c
    Vasili Yanchenko Russia #15

    John Lloyd Williams Wales #1

    Capt. John Jordan Lloyd Williams, Yeo., attd. R.F.C.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in aerial fighting. He shot down three hostile aeroplanes in a very short period, showing great initiative and fearlessness on all occasions.

    Lloyd Williams was born in Oswestry, Shropshire, one of 11 children born to John Jordan Lloyd Williams, then headmaster of Oswestry School, and his wife Ellen Augusta Crawley (née Vincent). His grandfather was the Reverend Evan Williams, vicar of Nantcwnlle, Wales. He was educated at Oswestry and Ruthin Schools (where his father was headmaster from 1909), and from the age of seventeen he worked in the office of his uncle, Hugh Vincent, a solicitor, in Bangor. In 1919, his widowed mother, with the assistance of several of her daughters, founded Moreton Hall School in Oswestry. Lloyd Williams was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Denbighshire Hussars, a Yeomanry cavalry unit of the Territorial Force, on 17 July 1913. On the outbreak of war the 1st Battalion, Denbighshire Hussars, were mobilized as part of the Welsh Border Mounted Brigade. In November 1915 they were converted to infantry, and in March 1916 were sent to Egypt to form part of the 4th Dismounted Brigade. In August 1917 Lloyd Williams was attached to No. 111 Squadron Royal Flying Corps in Palestine to serve as an observer/gunner in Bristol F.2b two-seater fighters. Between 8 October and 8 November 1917 he was credited with three enemy aircraft destroyed and two captured, two with pilot Second Lieutenant R. C. Steele, and three with Captain Arthur Peck. He was awarded the Military Cross on 17 December 1917, which was gazetted on 19 April 1918.

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    Weli Sheikh Nuran, Palestine. 8 October 1917. A German Air Force D III Albatros Scout aircraft, D636/17, flown by Oberleutnant Gustav Adolf Dittmar of Fliegerabteilung 300 unit.

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    Weli Sheikh Nuran, Palestine. 8 October 1917. A German Air Force D III Albatros Scout aircraft, D636/17, flown by Oberleutnant Gustav Adolf Dittmar of Fliegerabteilung 300 unit. The aircraft had been shot down, practically intact, into AIF Light Horse lines near Bersheeba by a Bristol fighter aircraft flown by Lieutenant R. Steele a Canadian pilot with No 111 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. No 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, members recovered the machine and moved it to their airfield where repairs, including a bullet holed radiator, were carried out returning it to flying condition. This photograph shows the aircraft markings being changed from Iron Crosses to Royal Flying Corps roundels.

    The Battle of Poelcappelle (9th October) British Offensive Preparations

    In the early morning of 4 October, news arrived at British Headquarters (HQ) of the great success of the attack. Brigadier-General Charteris, Chief Intelligence Officer at General Headquarters, was sent from Haig's Advanced HQ to the Second Army HQ to discuss a possible exploitation. Plumer did not agree that exploitation was possible, because eight more uncommitted German divisions were behind the battlefield and there were another six beyond them; Plumer preferred to wait until the expected German counter-attacks that day had been defeated. German artillery fire was still heavy and the Flandern II and Flandern III Stellungen (defence lines) behind the attack front could be occupied by the fresh German divisions. An attack on these defensive lines would need close artillery support, which would be impossible because the British artillery was behind a severely battered strip of muddy ground 2 mi (3.2 km) wide. As the magnitude of the victory became apparent, Plumer had second thoughts but by 2:00 p.m., accepted that the moment had passed. On the Fifth Army front, an attempt to get further forward was ordered by Gough and then cancelled, after a local German counter-attack was reported to have pushed the 4th Division off 19 Metre Hill.

    Rain fell again on 4 October, continued on 5 and 6 October then became a downpour on 7 October. On 5 October, General Birdwood commander of I Anzac Corps told Plumer that the exploitation would not be possible, as the Corps light railway and the Westhoek to Zonnebeke road could not carry forward all the artillery necessary. On 7 October Haig cancelled the exploitation attack to the second objectives (red line), intended for the afternoon of 9 October.The rain stopped that night and the ground began to dry on 8 October, until late afternoon when another downpour began. From 4–9 October, over 30 millimetres (1.2 in) of rain fell, in a month when average rainfall was 75 millimetres (3.0 in). According to the Official Historian, the Corps Chief Engineers and divisional Commanders Royal Engineers (CRE), considered that the ground conditions did not create serious transport difficulties to the front line until 4 October and in some places up to 12 October, except in some areas where the ground became impassable, particularly in the area behind II Anzac Corps, near the Steenbeek and its tributaries, which was described as "a porridge of mud". Duck-board tracks extended to 1 mi (1.6 km) short of the front line, beyond which was a taped row of stakes, illuminated with lamps at night but pack animals trampled many of the tracks and stakes into the mud.

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    The British front line and the German defences in the area east of Ypres, mid-1917

    Extension of the plank roads behind the I and II Anzac Corps, proved impossible during the rain which began on 4 October, the planks sinking or floating away. The field artillery of II Anzac Corps, was not able to move forward as planned from west of the Steenbeek to the Zonnebeke–Winnipeg road. Platforms were improvised to keep them out of the mud but the failure to move forward left them 6,000 yd (5,500 m) from the morning objective, 1,000 yd (910 m) out of range of the German field artillery beyond Passchendaele. The field batteries for the 66th Division were placed beyond Frezenburg, along the Zonnebeke road 1 mi (1.6 km) short of the intended positions. Conditions for the gunners deteriorated rapidly, with dugouts flooding in the rain. A sharp increase in illness led to breakdowns in the system of reliefs, just when the workload was at its height. Instead of the usual 90 field pieces in the 66th Division, one field brigade only got 25 guns into action and the other was unable to fire until after the attack began. The 49th Division field guns were still along the Wieltje–Gravenstafel road, west of the Steenbeek, with only a few forward on the other side behind Hill 35. Transport of ammunition by pack animal, was only possible to guns kept within 100–150 yd (91–137 m) of roads. Journeys previously an hour long took from 6–16 hours and the ammunition arrived coated with slime. The effect of the rain was not uniform and further north, in the area of XIV Corps and the French First Army, the ground had not been damaged as much by shell-fire. Despite considerable difficulty, the field artillery was moved to within 4,000 yd (3,700 m) of the final objective and ample ammunition and field stores were brought forward. XIV Corps had 49 batteries of 312 × 18-pounder guns in groups, one for each division, the Guards group having 23 batteries; the medium and heavy artillery being grouped similarly

    Home Fronts
    Russia: Kerensky forms third Coalition Government to rule until Constituent Assembly meets. Trotsky now Petrograd Soviet chairman denounces it as a government of civil war. 1.2 million rail workers on strike since October 6.

    Western Front
    Britain: Haig letter to CIGS Robertson , reports ‘good progress’ at Ypres and assures Robertson that BEF can fight German Army with minimal Allied (ie French or Russian) assistance until arrival of US armies in 1918. Haig deplores ‘interference’ by Allies or Prime Minister Lloyd George.
    Champagne: French attack southwest of Beaumont.

    Air War
    Germany: Navy airship L57 destroyed during a storm. (LZ 102)

  29. #2779

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    9th October 2017


    We'll start today with the death of the British Air Ace Captain William Victor Trevor Rooper No.1 Squadron RFC

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    William Victor Trevor Rooper served with the Denbigh Yeomanry before he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. Posted to 1 Squadron he scored 8 victories flying the Nieuport scout in 1917. He was killed in action near Polygon Wood, shot down by Xavier Dannhuber or Jasta 26. He was flying a Nieuport 27 scout (B6767)

    Rooper was the third and youngest son of Percy Lens Rooper and Alice Nancy (née Royden), the daughter of Sir Thomas Royden, 1st Baronet, MP. He was born in Chester, Cheshire, though the family later moved over the border into Wales, living at Gresford in Denbighshire. He was educated at Bilton Grange and Charterhouse schools, and on the outbreak of war in August 1914 enlisted into the Yeomanry, although still only 17.He served as a motorcycle despatch rider for five months, until on 23 December 1914 he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Denbighshire Hussars (Territorial Force).

    He was seconded to the Royal Flying Corps in September 1916, and after completing his pilot training was posted to No. 1 Squadron RFC[6] in April 1917,[3] to fly the Nieuport 17 single-seat fighter. He was promoted to lieutenant on 1 July, and gained his first victory on 28 July, driving down 'out of control' an Albatros D.V over Becelaere. Two further victories followed in early August, and he was appointed a flight commander with the acting rank of captain on the 24th. After upgrading to the Nieuport 27, he gained three more victories in September, and his final two in early October. His final tally was three enemy aircraft destroyed, four driven down out of control (two shared), and one captured (shared).

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    On 9 October 1917 Rooper was shot down by Xavier Dannhuber of Jasta 26 over Polygon Wood and crashed near the British front lines, receiving fatal injuries. He is buried at the Communal Cemetery Extension in Bailleul, Nord, France.

    Both Rooper and his older brother Ralph Bonfoy Rooper — killed in France on 29 May 1918 while serving in the French Red Cross — are commemorated on the war memorial in All Saints Church, Gresford. The oldest of the three brothers, Captain John Royden Rooper, served in the Denbighshire Hussars until ill-health forced him to relinquish his commission on 9 June 1916. The actress Jemima Rooper is his great-granddaughter.

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    If anyone remembers the series 'Hex'

    Captain Rooper was one of 11 British Airmen to fall on this day, 4 of the losses were from No.9 Squadron

    2nd Lt. Brasington, F.T. (Frederick Thomas) 9 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Gibson, E.D. (Edgar Daniell) 2 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech 2 Harrison, J. (John) 66th Wing RFC
    Air Mech 2 Leyland, W.E. (William Ernest) Wireless Telegraphy Section, Cranwell. Royal Naval Air Service
    2nd Lt. McMurchy, I.U. (Ian Ure) 9 Squadron RFC
    Capt. Rooper, W.V.T. (William Victor Trevor) 1 Squadron RFC (See above)
    2nd Lt. Sogno, G.F. (George Frank) 9 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Torry, A.J.D. (Arthur James Dashwood) 9 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Tyrer, J.R. (John Rawsthorne) RFC
    2nd Lt. Wates, L.C. (Leslie Charles) 29 Squadron RFC
    Flt. Lt. Wood, M.C. (Melville Cornelius) Royal Naval Air Service

    The Coldstream Guards
    attack the German defenses south of the Houthulst Forest and in spite of appallingly thick mud, take and hold their objective.

    Captain Claude Stewart Jackson (Coldstream Guards) is killed in the attack from the Broembeke to Houthulst Forest at 05:200 at age 25. He is the fourth son of ‘Sir’ Thomas Jackson 1st Baronet and the son-in-law of the Honorable William Pearson. Captain Jackson received a Commission in the Coldstream Guards in February 1912. He went to France with the original Expeditionary Force on 12 August 1914. He was through the Retreat from Mons, and in the Battles of the Marne and the Aisne, and was severely wounded in the head in September 1914. For distinguished services at Landrecies he was mentioned in Dispatches. After recovering from his wound he held several Staff appointments in France and rejoined his Battalion in September 1917.

    Jewish spy Sarah Aaronsohn working for the British and sister of notable botanist Aaron Aaronsohn shoots and kills herself using a pistol concealed in the prison where she is held by the Turks. She was arrested four days previously after her carrier pigeon with a message to the British was intercept by the Turks and the message it was carrying decrypted. She endured torture for the four days she was held prior to her suicide and she died at age 27.

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    Sarah Aaronsohn was born and died in Zichron Yaakov, which at the time was part of Ottoman Syria. Her parents were Zionists from Romania who had come to Ottoman Palestine as some of the first settlers of the First Aliyah and were founders of the moshav where Aaronsohn was born. Encouraged by her brother Aaron, she studied languages and was fluent in Hebrew, Yiddish, Turkish and French, had reasonable command of Arabic and taught herself English. She married Haim Abraham, an older and affluent merchant from Bulgaria, and lived briefly with him in Istanbul; but the marriage was an unhappy one and she returned home to Zichron Yaakov in December, 1915. On her way from Istanbul to Haifa, Aaronsohn witnessed part of the Armenian genocide. She testified to seeing hundreds of bodies of Armenian men, women, children, and babies; sick Armenians being loaded onto trains; and up to 5,000 Armenians massacred by being bound to a pyramid of thorns, then set alight. After her trip to Haifa, any allusions to Armenians upset her greatly.According to Chaim Herzog, Aaronsohn decided to assist British forces as a result of what she had witnessed.

    Aaronsohn, her sister Rivka Aaronsohn, and her brothers Aaron Aaronsohn and Alexander Aaronsohn, with their friend (and fiance of Rivka) Avshalom Feinberg formed and led the Nili spy organization. Aaronsohn oversaw operations in Palestine of the spy-ring and passed information to British agents offshore. Sometimes she travelled widely through Ottoman territory collecting information useful to the British, and brought it directly to them in Egypt. In 1917, her brother Alex urged her to remain in British-controlled Egypt, expecting hostilities from Ottoman authorities; but Aaronsohn returned to Zichron Yaakov to continue Nili activities. Nili developed into the largest pro-British espionage network in the Middle East, with a network of about 40 spies. In September 1917, the Ottomans intercepted her carrier pigeon carrying a message to the British and decrypted the Nili code. In October, the Ottomans surrounded Zichron Yaakov and arrested numerous people, including Aaronsohn. Her captors tortured her father in front of her. She endured four days of torture herself, but she released no information beyond what she thought of her torturers. Before she was to be transferred to Damascus for further torture, she asked permission to return to her home in Zichron Yaakov to change her blood-stained clothes. While there, she managed to shoot and kill herself with a pistol concealed under a tile in the bathroom. According to Scott Anderson, in his book Lawrence in Arabia, Aaronsohn shot herself in the mouth on Friday, October 5, 1917. "Even this did not end the torment of Sarah Aaronsohn. While the bullet destroyed her mouth and severed her spinal cord, it missed her brain. For four days she lingered in agony." In Spies in Palestine, James Srodes quotes the diary of Dr.Hillel Yaffe as saying that Sarah pleaded with him, “For heaven’s sake, put an end to my life. I beg you, kill me…I can’t suffer any longer….” Instead, Dr. Yaffee administered morphine. She died October 9, 1917. In her last letter, she expressed her hope that her activities in Nili would bring nearer the realization of a national home for the Jews in Eretz Israel.

    Because of the Jewish views on suicide, Aaronsohn was denied a traditional burial in a Jewish cemetery. However, refusing a Jewish burial for a Jewish war hero was naturally unpopular. As a compromise, a small fence was placed around her grave in the cemetery (symbolically removing her grave from the surrounding hallowed ground). Following her death, Aaronsohn became widely commemorated. She was the first example of a "secular, active death of a Jewish-Zionist woman for the nation, unprecedented in both religious martyrdom and in the Zionist tradition established in Palestine." Annual pilgrimages to her tomb in Zikhron’s cemetery started in 1935. After the Six Day War of 1967 the memory of Aaronsohn and of Nili became a part of Israel's cult of heroism, officially recognized by the Labor Party and celebrated in children’s literature. Goes to prove you don't have to be a soldier to be a hero.

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    At Poelcapelle, Belgium when an advance is checked by intense machine gun fire from concrete blockhouses and by snipers Corporal William Clamp (Yorkshire Regiment) attempts to rush the largest blockhouse. His first attempt fails and the two men with him become casualties but he collects some bombs and two more men and dashes forward being the first to reach the blockhouse where he hurls his bombs killing many of the occupants. He then enters the blockhouse capturing a machine gun and about 20 prisoners whom he brings back under heavy fire. He goes forward again encouraging his men until he is killed by a sniper at age 25. For his actions he will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.

    VC Citation: For most conspicuous bravery when an advance was being checked by intense machine-gun fire from concrete blockhouses and by snipers in ruined buildings. Corporal Clamp dashed forward with two men and attempted to rush the largest blockhouse. His first attempt failed owing to the two men with him being knocked out, but he at once collected some bombs, and calling upon two men to follow him, again dashed forward. He was first to reach the blockhouse and hurled in bombs, killing many of the occupants. He then entered and brought out a machine-gun and about twenty prisoners, whom he brought back under heavy fire from neighbouring snipers. This non-commissioned officer then again went forward encouraging and cheering the men, and succeeded in rushing several snipers' posts. He continued to display the greatest heroism until he was killed by a sniper. His magnificent courage and self-sacrifice was of the greatest value and relieved what was undoubtedly a very critical situation.

    He was one of five Victoria Crosses Awarded on this day

    Frederick George Dancox VC (1878 – 1917) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross

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    Dancox was about 38 years old, and a private in the 4th Battalion, The Worcestershire Regiment, and was awarded the Victoria Cross for his deeds on 9 October 1917 at the Boesinghe sector, Belgium.

    For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in attack. After the first objective had been captured and consolidation had been started, work was considerably hampered, and numerous casualties were caused, by an enemy machine gun firing from a concrete emplacement situated on the edge of our protective barrage. Pte. Dancox was one of a party of about ten men detailed as moppers-up. Owing to the position of the machine gun emplacement, it was extremely difficult to work round a flank. However, this man with great gallantry worked his way round through the barrage and entered the "Pillbox" from the rear, threatening the garrison with a Mills bomb. Shortly afterwards he reappeared with a machine gun under his arm, followed by about 40 enemy. The machine gun was brought back to our position by Pte. Dancox, and he kept it in action all day. By his resolution, absolute disregard of danger and cheerful disposition, the morale of his comrades was maintained at a very high standard under extremely trying circumstances.

    Dancox was killed in action near Masnieres, France, on 30 November 1917 and is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial to the Missing. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Worcestershire Regiment Museum in the Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum, Worcester.

    Joseph Lister VC (19 October 1886 – 19 January 1963) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross.

    Lister was 30 years old, and a sergeant in the 1st Battalion, The Lancashire Fusiliers, British Army during World War I when he received the Victoria Cross for his actions at the battle of Passchendaele, Belgium on 9 October 1917. Lister was a native of Stockport, and served in the 1st Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers. He earned his medal for storming two machine gun posts and capturing 100 enemy troops. On 9 October 1917 east of Ypres, Belgium, seeing that the advance of his company was held up by machine-gun fire from the direction of a pillbox, Sergeant Lister dashed ahead of his men and found the gun - he shot two of the gunners and the remainder surrendered. He then went to the pillbox and shouted to the occupants to surrender. They did so with the exception of one man whom the sergeant shot, whereupon about 100 of the enemy emerged from the shell-holes further to the rear and surrendered. Sergeant Lister survived the war and died in 1963. He is buried in Willow Grove Cemetery, Reddish. His VC is on display in the Lord Ashcroft Gallery at the Imperial War Museum, London.

    John Molyneux VC (22 November 1890 – 25 March 1972) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross

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    John Molyneux was born on 22 November 1890 to mother Minnie Jane and coal miner father, Joseph, who worked as a hewer at Sherdley Colliery. Young John, who was always known as Jack, was educated at Holy Trinity school in Parr. He left school at twelve to work in the mines. He was 26 years old, and a sergeant in the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Fusiliers, British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

    On 9 October 1917 east of Langemarck, Belgium, during an attack which was held up by machine-gun fire and causing many casualties, Sergeant Molyneux organised a bombing party to clear the trench in front of a house. Many of the enemy were killed and a machine-gun captured. The sergeant then called for someone to follow him and rushed for the house. By the time the extra men arrived he was in the thick of a hand-to-hand fight which only lasted a short time and the enemy surrendered. In addition to the dead and wounded between 20 or 30 prisoners were taken. He also won the Croix de Guerre (Belgium).

    John Harold Rhodes VC DCM & Bar (17 May 1891 – 27 November 1917) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross

    Rhodes was born in Packmoor, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, son of ex-soldier and miner Ernie Rhodes. He was educated in Newchapel and later became a miner at the Chatterley Whitfield Colliery. Around 1910, however, he joined the Grenadier Guards and served for three years, after which he returned to the colliery. On the outbreak of World War I John was recalled to the forces as a reservist. Now 26 years old, and a Lance-Sergeant in the 3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards, British Army during the First World War John won the Distinguished Conduct Medal on 17 May 1915 and three months later was awarded a bar to this medal. While back in England recovering from his wounds, John married Lizzie but was not destined to live to see their son, John Rhodes (who, as an artilleryman, was himself awarded the Oak Leaves for gallantry in Northwestern Europe in 1944),

    Back on the front-line, the following deed took place at the Battle of Poelcapelle for which John was awarded the VC and also the Croix De Guerre:

    No. 15122 L./Sjt. John Harold Rhodes, G.Gds. (Tunstall, Staffs.).

    For most conspicuous bravery when in charge of a Lewis gun section covering the consolidation of the right front company. He accounted for several enemy with his rifle as well as by Lewis gun fire, and, upon seeing three enemy leave a "pill-box", he went out single-handed through our own barrage and hostile machine-gun fire, and effected an entry into the "pill-box". He there captured nine enemy, including a forward observation officer connected by telephone with his battery. These prisoners he brought back with him, together with valuable information. He was killed in action at Fontaine-Notre-Dame, France on 27 November 1917 and buried at Rocquigny-Equancourt Road British Cemetery, Manancourt. His Victoria Cross is displayed at The Guards Regimental Headquarters (Grenadier Guards RHQ) in Wellington Barracks, London, England. A memorial plaque was unveiled at Chatterley Whitfield Mining Museum on 20 April 1984.There is also a road named in honour of John at nearby Tunstall. There is a memorial in Packmoor village on the Millennium Green outside Packmoor School which was unveiled in 2000.

    The Battle of Poelcappelle

    The Battle of Poelcappelle was fought in Flanders, Belgium, on 9 October 1917 by the British and German armies, during the First World War and marked the end of the string of highly successful British attacks in late September and early October, during the Third Battle of Ypres. Only the supporting attack in the north achieved a substantial advance. On the main front the German defences withstood the limited amount of artillery fire managed by the British after the attack of 4 October. The ground along the main ridges had been severely damaged by shelling and rapidly deteriorated in the rains, which began again on 3 October, turning some areas into a swamp.Dreadful ground conditions had more effect on the British, who needed to move large amounts of artillery and ammunition to support the next attack. The battle was a defensive success for the German army, although costly to both sides. The weather and ground conditions put severe strain on all the infantry involved and led to many wounded being stranded on the battlefield. Early misleading information and delays in communication led Plumer and Haig to plan the next attack on 12 October (First Battle of Passchendaele) under the impression that a substantial advance had taken place at Passchendaele ridge, when most of the captured ground had been lost to German counter-attacks.

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    Street corner in Poelcappelle

    In the X Corps area to the south, the 15th Brigade of the 5th Division attacked Polderhoek Château. The brigade reached the château ruins behind a creeping barrage and engaged the pillboxes in the vicinity but mud clogged many weapons. German machine-gun fire from Gheluvelt forced the brigade back to the start line and a new attack prepared for the night was later cancelled. Further north the 95th Brigade attacked astride the Reutelbeek, advanced past Cameron Covert and was then stopped by German machine-gun fire. (The 21st Division, between the 5th and 7th Division, was not part of the attack.) Two battalions of the 22nd Brigade of the 7th Division managed to assemble on time, despite the sodden ground and advanced at 5:20 a.m. to the blue line, which had been the final objective of the 21st Division in the attack of 4 October. Within 30 minutes, green flares on the objective (blue line) showed that it had been captured. A report arrived that the commanding ground around Reutel had been captured and that many Germans had been shot while fleeing. The advance had been held up at Juniper Cottage and German guns in a gap near Judge Copse also held up the infantry; a reserve platoon was sent up but was also unable to clear the Copse. Eventually two companies captured the area by attacking from the south-east. The Germans shelled the area all night and all next day but no counter-attack was attempted. In the I Anzac Corps area north of X Corps, the 1st Australian Division raided Celtic Wood and only fourteen of 85 men returned unwounded. The 2nd Australian Division was to cover the right flank of the 66th Division south of the Ypres–Roulers railway, by pivoting to its right. The 6th Australian Brigade on the right flank, attacked towards Daisy and Dairy woods on a 1,200 yd (1,100 m) front but were quickly stopped by German machine-gun fire, until later in the day when the woods were outflanked from the north and the objective was reached. Two battalions of the 5th Australian Brigade advanced 1,200 yd (1,100 m) to the north-west end of the Keiberg Spur; the battalions were under strength and were unable properly to mop up German troops who had been by-passed. German reinforcements infiltrated behind the Australians, endangering them with encirclement. Before troops from the 66th Division could come up, the Australian brigade withdrew 800 yd (730 m) with many casualties; during the withdrawal, British troops were seen advancing north of the railway. By the time reinforcements were ready to attempt another advance to support them, the British troops had also retired and the 5th Australian Brigade consolidated on the first objective.

    The main attack was conducted by the II Anzac Corps. Two brigades each from 66th Division and the 49th Division, assembled behind Frezenberg and Potijze, about 2.5 mi (4.0 km) from the jumping off line. The brigades were expected to cover the distance in five hours but the dark, rain, state of the ground and fitful German artillery fire caused serious delays. Both divisions reported at 2:30 a.m. that some battalions would not be ready for zero hour at 5:20 a.m. and that all of the 197th Brigade on the right flank would be late. Staff officers were sent out to hurry on every man capable of going faster, rather than keeping units together. When the creeping barrage began, the troops who had arrived spread out and followed the barrage. The creeping barrage was difficult to follow, because much of the field artillery was out of action, some of the rest fired inaccurately from unstable platforms and many high-explosive shells were smothered by the mud. The battalions of the 197th Brigade, 66th Division on the right, advanced quickly on sandy going despite lagging far behind the creeping barrage. German infantry from the 195th Division were found in shell holes and many were taken prisoner as the British reached the final objective (blue line) at 10:00 a.m., a patrol finding Passchendaele village empty. Soon after arriving at the final objective, the rain stopped and in the better visibility, German machine-guns and field artillery began to fire from the right flank. At midday both flanks of the brigade were swung back to find neighbouring units, which the troops in the centre followed, under the impression that it was a general withdrawal and all the brigade ended up at the red line. After stopping a German counter-attack in the late afternoon, the division withdrew slightly, to gain touch with the 49th Division on the left and find cover from machine-guns on the Bellevue Spur. The 198th Brigade on the left had to struggle through mud and flooded trenches north of the Ravebeek. German machine-gun fire from the pillboxes at Bellevue 500–800 yd (460–730 m) away, stopped the infantry half way to the red line, despite a further attempt to advance by the supporting battalions.

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    Map showing wet areas near Passchendaele village, blue shading marks waterlogging near Passchendaele, which began with the rains of early October.

    The German pillboxes at Bellevue were able to fire on the 198th Brigade, because the attack by the 148th Brigade on the right of the 49th Division stalled in the swamp astride the Ravebeek and only a few parties managed to get across. The creeping barrage was thin and moved at 100 yd (91 m) in six minutes, which proved too fast for the infantry. The barrage was lost on the right flank, at the marshy edges of the Stroombeek and German riflemen and machine-gunners fired through the British barrage, particularly from Bellevue and the Yetta Slopes. "Peter Pan" on the left was captured by the 146th Brigade and by 6:40 a.m., the first objective (red line) had been reached.[37] An attempt by following waves to leap-frog through the troops on the red line failed, due to the volume of fire from the Bellevue pillboxes. One attack got to within 40 yd (37 m) of Bellevue and a later attempt at a flanking attack was stopped by machine-gun fire. The attack on the Yetta Houses, was also raked by machine-gun fire and on the left stopped 100 yd (91 m) short of the objective. The 147th Brigade was alerted and put on one hour's notice by 7:30 a.m. and during the morning and troops from the supporting battalions of the attacking brigades filled gaps in the line.[37] The final position reached was 100–200 yd (91–183 m) beyond the first objective, from which a line of posts ran from south of Wolf Farm to the eastern edge of Wolf Copse and from there to the south-east of Wolf Copse, with an advanced post 150 yd (140 m) south-east of the Copse. A support line was dug along the first objective and several small counter-attacks were driven off.[38] Troops from a reserve battalion were sent up to the vicinity of Peter Pan and more troops occupied the old British front line. Around 9:00 a.m., a company managed to work round Peter Pan and capture the pillboxes, which allowed the advance to continue up to a field of barbed wire, 150 yd (140 m) from Bellevue. More wire had been spread around the pillboxes, which at this point were part of Flandern I Stellung and more German machine-guns had been hidden in shell-holes. After several attempts to advance, the troops dug in half-way up the slope.

    The 146th Brigade found a bridge on the Gravenstafel road and got forward several hundred yards up the Wallemolen spur beyond the Ravebeek, before being stopped at 9:30 a.m., by the machine-guns in the Bellevue pillboxes and a field of uncut wire 25–40 yd (23–37 m) wide in front of the pillboxes, which obstructed all of the divisional front. At about 1:00 p.m. a reconnaissance report from a contact patrol aircraft crew had the 66th and 49th divisions at the final objective. Despite the scepticism of the brigade staff officers, both divisions were ordered to push forward reserves to consolidate the line. In ignorance of the cause of the check, the 49th Division headquarters sent forward the 147th Brigade and the rest of the supporting battalions of the attacking brigades, which were either pinned down or held back on Gravenstafel spur, as the cause of the check was realised. In the afternoon the 148th and 146th brigades were near the red line, having had 2,500 casualties. The right of the 66th Division rested on the railway beyond Keerselaarhoek below the main ridge, then north past Augustus Wood to the Ravebeek. The 49th Division line began in the valley at Marsh Bottom, then along the bottom of the Bellevue slopes above the Ravebeek, to Peter Pan and Yetta Houses, then on to the XVIII Corps boundary of the 144th Brigade of the 48th Division at Adler Farm. Small groups were isolated further up the Bellevue slopes, on the western edge of Wolf Copse, Wolf Farm and a cemetery on the northern boundary.

    In the XVIII Corps area, a brigade each of the 48th Division and 11th Division, took  14 1⁄2 hours on the night of 7/8 October to reach the front line through mud and rain. When the brigades attacked, they were swept by machine-gun fire from the fresh German 16th Division, which had crept forward in the dark and occupied shell-hole positions so close to the British jumping-off line, that the British barrage overshot them. The British infantry lost the barrage, which was as ineffective as elsewhere due to shells being smothered and moving too fast at 100 yd (91 m) in four minutes. The German counter-barrage arrived after a delay of seven minutes and was equally ineffective. The British destructive bombardment on German positions, was much more damaging than the creeping bombardment and caused considerable German casualties.

    The German pillboxes were mostly untouched and a great amount of small-arms fire from them, caused many British casualties from cross-fire and traversing fire, while positions dug into the ruins of Poelcappelle, were used to fire in enfilade against the British attackers. The British advance was stopped 100–200 yd (91–183 m) beyond the front line on the left, at the Brewery near Polcappelle, from which the troops withdrew to the jumping-off trenches to reorganise. As this retirement was seen, the survivors of other units on the left flank and in the centre conformed. On the right flank, the German defence had been far less determined and more ground could have been taken but for the failure on the left. The ground was consolidated and reinforcements were brought up between Pheasant Farm and Retour Crossroads. Prisoners reported many casualties in the German division opposite, due to it being fresh and willing to fight to hold its ground. After the fighting ended, both sides recovered wounded during a local truce. In the XIV Corps area, the 4th Division attacked with one brigade on an 800 yd (730 m) front. The limited progress of the XVIII Corps attack to the south, restricted the advance to just beyond Poelcappelle and a new line was consolidated beyond the Poelcappelle–Houthoulst road.[45] To the north the 29th Division, had a final objective 1,650 yd (1,510 m) forward on the right and 2,500 yd (2,300 m) on the left. The attacking troops moved up the night before in torrential rain, the Newfoundland Battalion on the left flank, taking  4 1⁄2 hours, to move 6 mi (9.7 km) to the front line. The advance was made in three stages, with an hour to consolidate behind standing and smoke barrages, at the first and intermediate objectives. The rain stopped at midnight and the attack began at 5:20 a.m. On the right, German machine-guns at Olga Farm caused many casualties and a delay but the first objective was reached on time. The surviving troops advanced on Condé House by rushes from shell-holes and took 200 prisoners when they reached it.

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    Fire from two German pillboxes stopped the advance and a German counter-attack began from the pillboxes. German infantry attacked in eight waves and the British engaged them with rifle and machine-gun fire. At 8:55 a.m., the barrage for the advance to the third (final) objective began and smothered the remaining German infantry; German resistance collapsed and the final objective was reached at 10:00 a.m. The left brigade advanced to the right of Bear Copse, which was specially bombarded by Stokes mortars, which induced the German garrison to surrender. The Broembeek was crossed by the Newfoundland battalion, which advanced up the Ypres–Staden railway, captured German dugouts in the embankment and reached the first objective on time. The advance to the second objective found much reduced German resistance and the final objective 700 yd (640 m) further on was reached. A counter-attack was defeated at noon and then a retirement of 200 yd (180 m) was made, in the face of another counter-attack later in the afternoon but German infantry left the area vacant. The Guards Division was to cross the Broembeek and close up to Houthoulst Forest, on a front from the Ypres–Staden railway, to the junction with the French army near Craonne Farm. Before the attack 355 mats, 180 footbridges and enough wire to cover 3,000 yd (2,700 m) of front was carried forward by the pioneer battalion; much digging was done but the rain destroyed trenches as they were built. The two attacking brigades moved up late on 7 October in torrential rain, which stopped at midnight on 8/9 October and the morning dawned fine with a drying wind. The barrage came down prompt at 5:30 a.m. and after four minutes began to creep forward at a rate of 100 yd (91 m) in eight minutes. Crossing the Broembeek was easier than expected, as the German infantry nearby surrendered readily.

    Little German resistance was encountered on the right, except from a German pillbox at Egypt House, whence the Guards pulled their right flank back under sniper fire, as they waited for Newfoundland troops of 29th Division to come up. The left brigade bypassed a German strongpoint and reached the final objective, taking the strongpoint later in the afternoon. Consolidation was hampered by German snipers in Houthoulst Forest and German aircraft appeared over the new front line, which was 2,500 yd (2,300 m) forward on the Veldhoek–Vijwegen spur. No counter-attack was made until the evening, beyond the right flank on the 29th Division front, which withdrew a short distance. On the left of the Guards Division, German troops massing at the junction with the French 2nd Division to the north, were dispersed by machine-gun fire from gunners, who had advanced to the final objective with the infantry and by British artillery fire.

    The French First Army, between the British Fifth Army to the south and the Belgian Army further north, had attacked on 31 July, south of the inundations and advanced to the west of Wydendreft and Bixschoote. On 1 August, the French division on the left flank had captured ground from the Martjevaart and St Jansbeek to Drie Grachten. The axis of the French advance was along the banks of the Corverbeek, towards the south and south-eastern fringes of Houthulst Forest, the villages of Koekuit and Mangelaere and blockhouses and pillboxes, which connected the forest with the German line southwards towards Poelcappelle. On the left flank, the French were covered by the Belgian Army, which held the ground about Knocke and the Yser inundations. On 9 October, the French 2e Division d'Infanterie of I Corps, was to attack towards Houthulst Forest, in conjunction with the British XIV Corps attack on Poelcappelle. The French artillery subjected the German defences east and south-east of Houthulst Forest, to a three-day bombardment. At 5.30 a.m., a creeping-barrage began to move very slowly forwards over a "sea" of mud. The artillery-fire was so effective, that despite an extremely slow infantry advance, the French objectives were reached by 10:00 a.m. with few casualties.

    After crossing the flooded Broembeek at the confluence with the Steenbeek near St Jean, just before the point where the Steenbeek becomes the St Jansbeek, through a wide and shallow depression filled with mud, the 2e Division d'Infanterie captured the villages of St Jean, Veldhoek and Mangelaere on the outskirts of the forest and drove back the Germans from several fortified farms and pillboxes.The average depth of the advance was 1.25 mi (2.01 km) and was accomplished in four hours, despite the ground conditions, with fewer than 500 casualties; I Corps took 300 prisoners. Despite rain, low cloud and high winds, French airmen had flown low, strafed German infantry and carried out tactical reconnaissance. On the right of the French, the British Guards Division co-operated in the capture of Koekuit, having also had to cross the mud of the Broembeek. German counter-attacks recovered a strong point on at the north end of the French attack front, until a local counter-attack by the French recovered the position. On the left flank of the Franco-British offensive, complete success had been gained and the troops were able to consolidate their positions.

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    Air Operations

    The bright dry weather at Ypres during September ended and high winds, rain and low cloud obscured the battlefield on 4 October. Heavy rain fell on 7 and 8 October and severely hampered air operations and no artillery observation was achieved by the British from 5–9 October. German artillery behind the Passchendaele Ridge and Gheluvelt Plateau was not detected and very little British counter-battery fire was achieved. Wire cutting by the artillery which did get into action was inadequate, in the areas where there was no ground observation. Little flying was attempted during 9 October but II and V brigade aircrews, managed fifteen contact and seventeen counter-attack patrols at very low level. The progress of the attack was reported with some accuracy and 354 zone calls were made against German artillery and parties of infantry, 21 German artillery batteries were engaged for destruction and 33 for neutralisation. Over the XIV Corps area, aircraft from 9 Squadron flew through the barrage to observe the infantry advance and had five aircrew casualties. Aircraft of the army wing, made reconnaissance flights over the German lines and shot down four German fighters, for one loss and one pilot wounded.

    Claims Today

    Godwin Brumowski Austro-Hungarian Empire #22

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    Kurt Gruber Austro-Hungarian Empire #5
    Frank Linke-Crawford Austro-Hungarian Empire #6
    Guy Moore Canada #5
    William Rogers Canada #4
    John Candy England #3
    Frank Harold Hobson England #2
    Harry Gosford Reeves England #10
    Frederick Sowrey England #12
    Xavier Dannhuber Germany #7
    Helmut Dilthey Germany #4
    Karl Gallwitz Germany #3
    Bruno Loerzer Germany #14
    Robert Birkbeck Scotland #5 #6
    Richard Hewat USA #2


    Phew - think that will do for today....

  30. #2780

  31. #2781

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    10th October 1917


    Hopefully a somewhat more concise edition than last night.

    During an enemy raid on London, one bomb falls on two adjoining houses, killing ten people and imprisoning eighteen under the wreckage. When help arrives it is found that some of the people who are imprisoned in basement of one of the houses are alive, but the work of rescue is exceedingly dangerous, as escaping gas in the basement becomes ignited and sets fire the debris above. Inspector Frederick Wright (Metropolitan Police), with an axe, makes a small opening in the floor over the basement, which is in a slanted and tottering condition, the joints which support it being broken, and through this opening, though much difficulty, thirteen people are rescued. It is then ascertained that two children are left in the basement and Inspector Wright, with Police Constables Robert Melton and Jesse Christmas, drops into the basement through the opening and searches for the children under very dangerous conditions. In addition to the fumes from the escaping gas, which are suffocating and the fire raging above there is a possibility of a further movement of the wreckage, which might prove fatal to all below. The space is so confined that they are barely able to reach the back of the premises. The children are found dead. Inspector Wright, on reaching the open air, collapses, overcome by the fumes and by his exertions, but, after medical care, he recovers sufficiently to be sent home. He returns to the scene of the disaster shortly after, and continues his work of rescue throughout the night.

    1212 British lives were lost on this day

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    Lieutenant Colonel George Everard Hope MC (Grenadier Guards commanding 1st/8th Lancashire Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 30. He is a former Oxford rower vs. Cambridge and a Henley championship rower.
    Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Ward Fortescue Sayres (commanding 2nd/1st Wessex Field Ambulance Royal Army Medical Corps) dies of wounds at age 50 received 17th He is the son of the Reverend Edward Sayres.
    Captain (Temporary Major) the Honorable Henry Cecil Vane (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds at age 35. He is the son and heir of the 9th Baron Barnard and son-in-law of the 13th Earl of Westmorland.
    Lieutenant Colin Gernon Palmer Campbell MC (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 22. His brother was killed in January of this year.
    Lieutenant Stanley C Goodyear MC (Newfoundland Regiment) is killed in action at age 31. His two younger brothers will also be killed in action during the Great War, one in 1916 and one in 1918.
    Lieutenant Alexander William Hewson Lillie (HMS Pretoria Royal Naval Reserve) dies on service at Mauritius at age 44. He is the son of the Reverend Gordon Lillie.
    Lieutenant Richard Gilbert Trevor Meade (Hussars) dies of wounds at age 22. He is the grandson of the Reverend George Digby Newbolt.
    Second Lieutenant Samuel Raymond Thickness (Lancashire Fusiliers) is killed in action at the Battle of Poelcapelle at age 27. He is the grandson of the Right Reverend Francis Henry Coldwell, Bishop of Leicester and Canon of Peterborough. He has an uncle who is killed in July 1916 and a cousin who will die of wounds in nine days.
    Second Lieutenant Christopher Frank Kirshaw Pierson (General List attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed in action at age 18. He is the son of the Reverend Kirshaw Thomson Pierson Vicar of Chertsey.
    Private William John Dale (Sherwood Foresters) is killed at age 21 becoming the first of three brothers who will be killed in a six month period.

    and here are a few from yesterday that I omitted to try and keep the edition to a manageable size

    Lieutenant Colonel Harry Moorhouse DSO and his son Captain Ronald Wilkinson Moorhouse MC (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) are both killed. Captain Moorhouse is mortally wounded and taken to headquarters where his father insists on going to find a doctor, even after those with him and his son beg him not to go due to the nature of the machine gun/rifle fire at the time. Colonel Moorhouse then leaves and shortly after leaving the dugout is hit and killed.

    Lieutenant Colonel Robert Arthur Hudson DSO (commanding 8th West Yorkshire Regiment) is killed at age 37.
    Captain ‘The Honorable’ Patrick Julian Harry Stanley Ogilvy MC (Irish Guards) is killed in action at age 21. He is the son of the late David William Ogilvy, 6th Earl of Airlie (Lieutenant Colonel XII Royal Lancers, who was killed in action at Diamond Hill, Pretoria, 1900 during the South Africa War).
    Captain Gerald Castleton Blandy (Warwickshire Regiment) is killed at age 30. His brother died of wounds last April.
    Captain Cecil Llewelyn Norton Roberts (Warwickshire Regiment) is killed. He is the son of the Reverend Albert Pryor Roberts Vicar of St Margaret’s Birmingham who lost another son on Gallipoli in July 1915

    Captain Eric Fitzwater Wilkinson MC (West Yorkshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 26. He is a Great War Poet.

    To a Choir of Birds

    Green are the trees, and green the summer grass,
    Beneath the sun, the tinest leaf hangs still:
    The flowers in languor droop, and tired men pass

    All somnolent, while death whines loud and shrill.
    fine, full throated choir invisible,
    Whose sudden burst of rapture fills the ear!

    Are ye insensible to mortal fear,
    That such a stream of melody ye spill,
    While murk of battle drifts on Auber’s hill,

    And mankind dreams of slaughter? What wild glee
    Has filled your throbbing throats with sound, until
    Its strains are poured from every bush and tree,

    And sad hearts swell with hope, and fierce eyes fill?
    The world is stark with blood and hate – but ye –
    Sing on! Sing on! In careless ecstasy.

    9 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 10TH 1917

    2nd Lt. Bascombe, C.R. (Cecil Reginald) 44 Training Squadron RFC
    Air Mech 1 Clarke, J.S. (John Stanley) 57 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech 3 Clayton, W.B.M. (William Benjamin Martin) 32 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Edwards, A.W. (Arthur Webb) 41 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Long, J.T. (John Thomas) 53 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Marsh, Z.S. (Zacheus Stanley) 52 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Pierson, C.F.K. (Christopher Frank Kershaw) 52 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Rider, C.E. (Clifford Ernest) RFC
    2nd Lt. Wilkinson, G.M. (Geoffrey Miles) 56 Squadron RFC


    The following claims were made on this day

    Capt. Frank Quigley DSO, MC & Bar Canada #1 #2

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    The youngest son of R. J. Quigley, Frank Granger Quigley attended St Andrew's in Aurora, Ontario from 1907 to 1909. When the war began, he was in his second year as a student at Queen's University in Toronto where he excelled in football and hockey. He enlisted in December 1914, serving with the Canadian Army Engineers on the Western Front. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in early 1917 and was posted to 70 Squadron in France on 12 September 1917. Flying the Sopwith Camel, he scored 33 confirmed victories before he was wounded in action on 27 March 1918. Recovering from a shattered ankle at Le Touquet hospital, he returned to Canada where he served as an instructor at Armour Heights. En route back to England in October 1918, Quigley came down with influenza and died in hospital two days after his ship reached Liverpool.

    DSO Citation

    T./Capt. Frank Granger Quigley, M.C., R.F.C.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. While leading an offensive patrol he attacked a very large number of enemy aeroplanes, destroyed one of them and drove another down out of control. On the following day, while on a low-flying patrol, he was attacked by several enemy scouts, one of which dived at him. He out-manoeuvred this machine and fired on it at very close range. He followed it down to 500 feet, firing on it, and it spiralled very steeply to the ground in a cloud of black smoke. During the three following days, while employed on low-flying work, he showed the greatest skill and determination. He fired over 3,000 rounds and dropped thirty bombs during this period, inflicting heavy casualties on enemy infantry, artillery and transport.

    William Meggitt England #5
    Erwin Böhme Germany #17
    Heinrich Bongartz Germany #13
    Walter Ewers Germany #2
    Alexander de Seversky Russia #5 #6
    Matthew Brown Frew Scotland #11 #12


    Africa
    East Africa: Kilwa Force No 1 Column takes Ruponda road and supply centre. Linforce (3,200 troops) resumes advance on Mtama. Portuguese take Mauta 26 miles north of river Rovuma.

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    Portuguese machine gun position overlooking the Rovuma River.

    Western Front
    Flanders: French advancing up Corverbeck valley. Petain again appeals to Haig for continued BEF attacks to divert German attention away from still recovering French Army. BEF Intelligence Chief Charteris concedes in diary ‘… now no chance of complete success here this year’.

    Sea War
    Baltic: Kurland U-boat Flotilla disbanded.
    Britain: Beatty meets new Deputy First Sea Lord Weymss to discuss possible intervention in Holland, also argues for dawn 120 torpedo-plane strike from 8 seaplane carriers against High Seas Fleet, but Admiralty discourag*ing on October 20.


    The Involvment of Portugal in the War


    Founded after the revolution of 1910, the young Portuguese Republic assured Great Britain of its support in August 1914 and promised to send men and equipment. Although officially neutral, the Portuguese Government was able to justify its belligerent stance by way of an old alliance which had been renewed just two years previously in 1912. By entering the war at the side of the British, Portugal hoped to protect its African colonies––Angola and Mozambique––which previously had been the subject of secret agreements between the British and the Germans in 1898.

    In addition to this practical consideration, Portugal also entered the Great War in order to mark its entry into the alliance of European nations. Its arrival on the international scene was seen as a way of bolstering national unity and reinforcing the republican regime whose hold on power was faltering under pressure from monarchist movements and the grave economic difficulties then affecting the country.

    Initially the British were content to accept material aid from Portugal but were less enthusiastic about the young Portuguese Republic actually taking part in the fighting. The growing logistical problems affecting the Allies did however lead the British to ask the Portuguese Government in December 1915 for permission to requisition all the German ships moored in their ports, and this was done on 24 February 1916. In reaction, Germany declared war on Portugal on 9 March.

    France succeeded in convincing its British ally to accept Portuguese reinforcements and a Corpo Expedicionário Português (CEP) was soon assembled and shipped to France to await orders. The CEP, under the command of General Tamagnini, landed in the Breton port of Brest in February 1917 and was subsequently stationed in Aire-sur-la-Lys, a small town in the region of Pas-de-Calais. The Portuguese troops were, from then on, attached to the 11th Corps of the 1st British Army under General Henry Horne. In October 1917 the CEP comprised nearly 56,500 men.

    In November 1917 General Horne entrusted the CEP with the defence of an eleven kilometre front in French Flanders which stretched from Laventie to Festubert. The Portuguese set up their headquarters at Saint-Venant. The area they had to defend, a plain between the river Lys and the La Bassée Canal, was very damp and muddy and this soon had a negative effect on morale. The Portuguese soldiers found it enormously difficult to adapt the particularly inclement conditions of the winter of 1917–1918. In December 1917 the Portuguese Government fell in a coup d'état which brought Sidonio Pais to power. Less enthusiastic than its predecessor in its support for the Allies, the new government instituted a new and far less strict system of leave which allowed soldiers to return home for extended periods. This resulted in a CEP with fewer officers to lead its men. To make matters worse, by April 1917 Great Britain was devoting all its shipping to the transport of soldiers from the United States, which had just entered the war, and therefore had no available capacity to bring in Portuguese soldiers to reinforce their comrades stationed in Flanders. As a consequence, insubordination grew steadily among the ranks of the CEP.

    When the Battle of the Lys broke out on 9 April 1918 two divisions of the CEP, wanting in men and officers, had to take on nearly ten German divisions spread over three successive lines. Except for a few pockets of resistance, the Portuguese soldiers were completely swept aside by the German offensive "Operation Georgette". On 13 April Portuguese units were sent to Lillers and Steenbecque to reinforce the British 14th and 16th Divisions posted there. Thereafter they were grouped together in a single division and took part in the Allied offensive of 1918. By the time the ceasefire was announced on 11 November 1918 the Portuguese had reached the river Escaut and entered Belgium.

    Of the 56,500 Portuguese soldiers sent to the Western Front, approximately 2,100 were killed, 5,200 wounded and 7,000 taken prisoner.

    Richebourg Portuguese National Cemetery contains the graves of 1,831 Portuguese soldiers, most of whom fell in the Battle of the Lys, and is undoubtedly the most poignant memorial to Portugal's participation in the First World War.

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    and finally in Russia : October 10th-23rd: Petrograd Soviet and Bolsheviks pass motions for the seizure of power and debate the means by which this should be achieved. The Russian Revolution is about to begin

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    Another thank you Chris Would you perchance have a liking for Bristols? The great work continues!

  33. #2783

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    Another thank you Chris Would you perchance have a liking for Bristols? The great work continues!
    No idea where you got that from - lol

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    11th October 1917

    Short one from me tonight before I hand over to Neil (welcome back) tomorrow , when he has the small matter of Passchendaele to deal with (good luck mate)

    Today saw the loss of a Royal Flying Corpd Ace...

    Captain John Herbert Towne Letts MC 48 Squadron RFC

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    The only child of Walter John and Charlotte Helen (Robertson) Letts, John Herbert Towne Letts was educated at Aldeburgh Lodge, Suffolk, Roydon Hall, Norfolk and at Lancing College where he reached the Sixth Form and was a house captain and a member of school's football, track and swimming teams. After training at Sandhurst, Letts was gazetted to the Lincolnshire Regiment and commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant on 26 January 1916. The same day, he was sent to pilot training with No. 1 Reserve Squadron at Gosport. 2nd Lieutenant Letts received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 2618 on a Maurice Farman biplane at Military School, Farnborough on 24 March 1916. Promoted to Flying Officer and seconded to the Royal Flying Corps on 4 May 1916, he joined 27 Squadron in France on the 15 June 1916 where he gained experience flying the Martinsyde Elephant. Invalided home with knee trouble on 11 August, he was posted to 47 Reserve Squadron as an instructor at Waddington on 19 October 1916. He was found fit for active service on 17 January 1917 and joined 48 Squadron before it deployed to France in March 1917. With this unit he was promoted to Captain and Flight Commander after his second victory. In total, Captain Letts downed thirteen enemy machines flying the Bristol Fighter. Four days after scoring his final victory, he returned to England and was appointed Testing Instructor at the Aeroplane Experimental Station at Martlesham Heath. On 20 October 1917, he was posted to the School of Air Fighting as Group Commanding Instructor. Returning to France on 10 October 1918, Captain Letts was killed the following day when his plane crashed moments after take-off from the Belle Vue aerodrome.

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    Captain Letts was one of 10 British Airmen lost on this day

    2nd Lt. Allen, A.A. (Albert Alexander) 46 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Clarke, F.C.E. (Francis Charles Erlin) 5 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Cobb, R.J.P. (Reginald John Preston) 56 Squadron RFC
    Griffin, C.S.J. (Cecil Scott James) No.7 Aircraft Acceptance Park RFCCapt.
    Flt Sub Lt. Horswell, B.W. (Bazil Whittle) RNAS
    Air Mech 2 Killion, T. (Thomas) No.1 Training Depot, Stamford RFC
    Air Mech 1 Moon, W.E. (William Ernest) Egyptian Expeditionary Force RFC
    Lt. Olivier, R.H. (Rosaire Henri) 6th Balloon Company RFC
    LM Richards, B.L. (Bertrand Lewis) Aircraft Depot, Dunkerque. Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. 'President II'
    Cpl. Willans, G.H. (George Humphries) Recruits Depot

    Royal Flying Corps’ 41st Wing (DH4s, FE2bs and 8 RNAS Handley Page bombers) formed, LAUNCHES 13*-MONTH DAY/NIGHT STRATEGIC BOMBING CAMPAIGN AGAINST INDUSTRIAL TARGETS IN WESTERN GERMANY and Alsace-Lorraine up to 125 miles from Western Front front line.

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    Because of the fuel tank between pilot an observer, the Airco DH4 was nicknamed ‘Flaming Coffin’ by its crews. Nonetheless, it was built in extremely large numbers, its considerable virtues outweighing that major fault.

    The following air victory claims were made on this day

    William Benger England #4 #5
    Frank Johnson England #5
    William Meggitt England #6
    Arthur Percival Foley Rhys Davids England #25
    Julius Buckler Germany #16 #17
    Hans Hoyer Germany #3
    Hans Viebig Germany #1

    Viebig scored Jasta 57's first victory. He claimed 4 more victories before engaging 41 and 70 Squadrons near Villers Bretonneux on 30 June 1918. Badly wounded, he was forced to land near Harbonnières.

    Western Front
    Flanders: French First Army repulse counter-attack east of Dreibank. Rupprecht reports to OHL: ‘In order to save material and men it may become necessary to withdraw the (Flanders) front so far from the enemy that he will be compelled to make a fresh deployment of his artillery.’
    Verdun: Germans briefly penetrate advanced trenches north of Hill 344; those of the hill itself on October 17.

    Eastern Front

    Baltic Provinces: Germans gain ground east-north-east of Segewold and try to fraternize in Riga area.

    Middle East
    Armenia: Turk attack repulsed 16 miles southwest of Erzincan.

    Africa
    In the Mbemkuru Valley area of German East Africa the right column of the British troops advancing from Kilwa, having moved southwest up the valley to Mlemba, forty-three miles southeast of Liwale, and then southeast, occuppy Ruponda.

    On this day 837 british lives were lost

    Captain ‘the Honorable’ Henry Simon Feilding (Coldstream Guards) dies of wounds received two days prior at age 23. He is the son of the 9th Earl and Countess of Denbigh and his brother was killed at the Battle of Jutland.
    Lieutenant Reginald Lewis Hope Lumley (Berkshire Regiment attached Training Reserve) is by a shell splinter to the head. He is the husband of the actress Iris Hawkins and in the previous month his play in three acts “The Enemy Within” dealing with a German spy was produced in London at the Golders Green Hippodrome.
    At home in Middlesex Second Lieutenant Denis John Heriot Mayne (Irish Rifles attached Royal Flying Corps) is accidentally killed at age 18. He is the son of the Reverend J St C Mayne.
    Lieutenant Edward Hibbert Binney (Sherwood Foresters) dies of wounds at home at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend John Edward Hibbert Binney Vicar of Holy Trinity Folkstone.
    Second Lieutenant Thomas Sorrell Arnold (Lancashire Fusiliers) dies of wounds at age 20. He is a nephew of the author Mrs Humphry Ward.
    Corporal Matthew Charles McKey (Warwickshire Regiment) is killed in action at Polderhoek Chateau at age 30. His brother was among the first casualties of the war being killed when HMS Amphion was sunk by a mine on the third day of the war.
    Private William Ernest Basketfield (Coldstream Guards) is killed at age 24. His brother was killed last October.
    Rifleman Benjamin Horace Betts (Liverpool Regiment) dies of wounds received in action at age 35. His brother was killed in April of this year.


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    Exhausted stretcher bearers from the 3rd Australian Division rest in the mud and drizzle of Broodseinde Ridge, during the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele), 11 October 1917. Imperial War Museum image E(AUS)941 from the Australian War Memorial

    Capt. Tunstill's Men
    : Capt. Gilbert Tunstill (see 11th September) appeared before a further Army Medical Board assembled at Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The Board found that, “The flat-footed condition is marked and the foot is swollen He states there is some pain in the foot after he has marched some distance. He has improved since his last board”. He was again declared fit for light duty at home and instructed to re-join his Battalion; he would re-examined in a further month.

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    A double VC Issue

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    Albert Halton VC (1 May 1893 – 24 July 1971) was 24 years old, and a private in the 1st Battalion, the Kings Own Lancashire Regiment (Lancaster), when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

    On 12 October 1917 near Poelcapelle, Belgium, after the objective had been reached, Private Halton rushed forward about 300 yards under very heavy fire and captured a machine-gun and its crew which was causing heavy losses to our men. He then went out again and brought in 12 prisoners, showing the greatest disregard for his own safety and setting a fine example to those round him.

    After the war Halton was an ironworker until his retirement in 1961, and during World War II he served in the Home Guard.

    His Victoria Cross is displayed at the King's Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster) Museum, in Lancaster, England.

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    Clarence Smith Jeffries, VC (26 October 1894 – 12 October 1917) was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, He was posthumously decorated with the Victoria Cross following his actions in the First Abttle of Passchendaele, in which he led several parties of men in an attack that eventuated in the capture of six machine guns and sixty-five prisoners, before being killed himself by machine gun fire.

    Born in a suburb of Newcastle, NSW, Jeffries was employed as a surveyor at a mining company where his father served as general manager following his completion of school. Joining a militia battalion in 1912, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant upon the outbreak of war and tasked with the instruction of volunteers for the newly raised Australias Imperial Force. Transferring into the Australian Imperial Force himself in 1916, Jeffries embarked with his battalion for service on the Western Front. Wounded at Messines, he was promoted to captain before being killed fourteen days short of his twenty-third birthday.

    On 12 October 1917, the 34th Battalion—as a member of the 9th Brigade—was to take part in the 3rd Australian Division’s attack on Passchendaele, Belgium. Subject to several days of heavy rain, the battlefield had been transformed into a boggy marsh on which the attack was to commence. Jeffries commanded B Company during the attack, which he halted at the entrance to Broodseinde railway cutting, as many of the direction tapes leading to the starting position had been destroyed or swallowed up by the mud. To avoid any mishaps, Jeffries and another of the battalion's company commanders, Captain T.G. Gilder, pushed on alone as far as Keerselaarhoek cemetery to find the tapes marking the battalions starting line for the attack. Thus, by 03:00 the 34th Battalion was formed up on the line of attack.

    At the designated time of 05:25, the British opened up with an artillery barrage on the German positions just as the Australian forces entered no man’s land for the attack. Heavy machine gun fire assaulted the troops from all directions as they bunched together on the firmer ground to avoid sinking in the boggy mud. Serious resistance was encountered at Hilside Farm, a strong point to the east of Augustus Wood in the centre of the highest part of the Passchendaele ridge. The position consisted of two pillboxes, supported by fifty metres of trench that was occupied by approximately thirty men with four machine guns. The fire from these machine guns forced the men of the 34th Battalion to seek cover on the exposed crest and threatened to halt the entire advance.

    Jeffries, realising his force was suffering heavy casualties, quickly organised a bombing party of fourteen men and set about outflanking the pillboxes. Accompanying Jeffries was Sergeant James Bruce, a 39-year-old Scottish-born miner who had worked for Jeffries' father at the Abermain Collieries. According to popular legend, Bruce had promised to look out for his boss's son, and remained at Jeffries' side throughout the attack. Working around the position, the party attacked the emplacement from the rear, capturing four machine guns and thirty-five prisoners; thus reviving the advance. Jeffries then led his company forward under heavy artillery and machine gun fire to reach their first objective.

    Despite the heavy losses which left gaping holes in the Allied line, it was decided that the next stage of the advance was to go ahead. At 08:25, parties from the 34th and 35th Battalions headed out along the south-eastern edge of the ridge towards the outskirts of Passchendaele. Almost immediately, they came under heavy fire from a pillbox close by a railway embankment, at which time Major J.B. Buchanan, the senior brigade officer with the advance party, fell dead, leaving Jeffries to assume control. Gathering a party of eleven men, he set about silencing the machine gun position. Edging across the open ground, the party attacked the position from the west just as the machine gun was firing to the north. Realising that an attack was imminent, the machine gunner switched around, mortally wounding Jeffries in the stomach and sending the rest of the party to ground. When its fire eased, the remaining members of the group worked around the position, rushed it and seized two machine guns in conjunction with thirty prisoners.
    With the second objective only partially captured, the remnants of the 9th Brigade, battered by artillery and machine gun fire, were forced to relinquish their position and retreat back to their own lines. All that remained on the Passchendaele ridge of the 9th Brigade was the dead and wounded, among whom was Clarence Jeffries, who was later counted among those with no known grave.

    For his actions during the battle at Passchendaele, Jeffries was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross, the notification of which was published in the London Gazette on 18 December 1917. His citation read:

    War Office, 18th December, 1917

    His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned Officers, Noncommissioned Officers and Man:—

    Capt. Clarence Smith Jeffries, late Australian Imperial Force.
    For most conspicuous bravery in attack, when his company was held up by enemy machine-gun fire from concrete emplacements. Organising a party, he rushed one emplacement, capturing four machine guns and thirty-five prisoners. He then led his company forward under extremely heavy enemy artillery barrage and enfilade machine-gun fire to the objective.

    Later, he again organised a successful attack on a machine-gun emplacement, capturing two machine guns and thirty more prisoners.

    This gallant officer was killed during the attack, but it was entirely due to his bravery and initiative that the centre of the attack was not held up for a lengthy period. His example had a most inspiring influence.
    Clarence Jeffries' grave in Tyne Cot Cemetery

    Severely affected by the unknown fate of his son's body, Joshua Jeffries set out for Belgium in 1920 in an attempt to discover his son's "lost grave". He returned to Australia disappointed, only to learn in January 1921 that Clarence's body had been exhumed from a battlefield grave on 14 September 1920, and re-buried in Tyne Cot Cemetery, Plot XL, Row E, Grave 1. The body had been identified by a set of captain's pips, Australian numerals and the penciled initials "C.S.J." found on the ground sheet in which the body was wrapped. Three years later, Joshua Jeffries returned to Belgium once again; this time to pay his last respects to his son. As a debt of gratitude to the late Lieutenant James Bruce, MC, DCM, who as a sergeant had assisted Clarence at Passchendaele before being killed himself on 17 July 1918, Joshua employed Bruce's two eldest sons as trainee mining surveyors at the Abermain Collieries.

    Today we lost: 3,663


    Air Operations:


    First Battle of Passchendaele. (See Western Front)

    11 October:
    The 41st Wing of the Royal Flying Corps is formed at Ainville-sur-Madon under the command of Lieutenant Colonel C.L.N. Newall, with the task of bombing industrial targets in Germany. The Wing is equipped with Royal Aircraft Factory FE2bs, de Havilland DH4s and Handley Page 0/400s.

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 13
    Allen, S.H. (Samuel Hall)

    Rank Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 57 Squadron

    Black, N. (Norman)
    Rank Flt Lt
    Organisation Royal Naval Air Service
    Unit 9 (N) Squadron

    Coomber, H.B. (Horace Bertram)
    Rank Capt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 45 Squadron


    Hicks, H.R. (Harry Ronald)
    Rank 2Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 19 Squadron

    Hoban, W.J. (William John)
    Rank A Mech 2
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit Recruits Depot

    Jones, H.E. (Harry Edward)
    Rank 2Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 22 Squadron

    Mackenzie, I.E.M. (Ivan Emilio Mario)
    Rank Capt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps

    Mayne, D.J.H. (Dennis John Heriot)
    Rank 2Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 57 Squadron

    Mighell, P.
    Rank Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 5 Squadron

    Nasmyth, A.W. (Alfred Wylie)
    Rank Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 66 Squadron

    Smithett, G.C.E. (Graeme Cecil East)
    Rank Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 57 Squadron

    Thimann, R.P. (Ralph Phoebus)
    Rank A Mech 1
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 9 Squadron

    Willard, K.H. (Kenneth Hugh)
    Rank 2Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 45 Squadron

    Claims: Confirmed 4 (Entente 3 : Central Powers 1)

    Western Front:

    German attacks repulsed all along French front, notably in Champagne.

    British attack north-east of Ypres on six-mile front from French right to Ypres-Roulers railway. Some progress all alone line, but rain stops big advance.

    The First Battle of Passchendaele took place on 12 October 1917, in the Ypres Salient west of Passchendaele village. The attack was part of the Third Battle of Ypres.

    Even now Haig goes on with the battle, even though the rain and bitter cold have set in and today he orders another attack, which is fated to fail miserably, with men struggling up to their knees and waists in the dreadful mud with their rifles and machine guns clogged with it. The only solid objects in this endless waste of cratered mud are the German concrete pillboxes with their machine guns which are protected from the mud and which operated all too well. This attack cost 7,000 casualties. The Australian 3rd Division will lose 3,199 lives in the next 24 hours. The exhausted Australians are at last withdrawn but Haig is still driven with the idea capturing Passchendaele Village and orders the Canadians to take over the battle. However their General Currie refuses to move until the weather has eased and adequate supplies are available.

    The Royal West Kent Regiment is ordered to attack German positions in the battle of Poelcapelle at 05:25. As the artillery barrage begins one of the leading companies reports being struck by shells from the British artillery that are falling short. Poor weather and ground conditions made the going difficult for the attacking troops and casualties are great. Eventually the attack fails and the battalion suffers 285 officers and men killed, wounded and missing.

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    The British had planned to capture the ridges south and east of the city of Ypres as part of a strategy decided by the Allies at conferences in November 1916 and May 1917. Passchendaele lay on the last ridge east of Ypres, 5 mi (8.0 km) from a railway junction at Roulers, which was an important part of the German 4th Army supply system. After a dry spell in September, rains began on 3 October and by the Battle of Poelcapelle on 9 October much of the British field artillery opposite Passchendaele was out of action due to the effects of rain, mud and German artillery-fire. The remaining guns were either left in old positions and fired at the limit of their range or were operated from any flat ground near wooden roadways or from platforms, many of which were unstable, when it was found impossible to move them forward to new positions before the attack began.

    During the battle, misleading information and delays in communication left Herbert Plumer and Field Marshal Douglas Haig under the impression that a substantial advance had taken place towards Passchendaele ridge. The attackers had managed to advance towards the village but most of the captured ground had been lost to German counter-attacks during the afternoon. The attacks by the Fifth Army further north from Poelcappelle to the French First Army boundary to close in on Houthoulst Forest succeeded but at the end of 9 October the front line near Passchendaele hardly changed. Instead of an advance of 1,500 yd (1,400 m) to complete the capture of Passchendaele, the British attack on 12 October began 2,000–2,500 yd (1,800–2,300 m) from the village. The real position of the front line was discovered by air reconnaissance but the information arrived too late to make more than minor changes to the plan.
    The main attack on 12 October was conducted by the two ANZAC corps in the Second army against the 4th Army, with a supporting operation by the Fifth Army, between the northern boundary of the Second Army and the French First Army. The Germans retained control of the high ground on Passchendaele Ridge opposite the I and II Anzac corps, where the attack was repulsed or troops were forced by counter-attacks to retire from most captured ground, as had happened on 9 October. Attacks in the XVIII Corps sector from the right flank of the Fifth Army, north to Poelcappelle, were costly and gained little ground but the attack of XIV Corps from Poelcappelle to the French First Army boundary beyond the Ypres–Staden railway, reached the fringe of Houthoulst Forest. The British offensive was postponed until the weather improved and communications behind the front were restored. Two German divisions intended for Italy were diverted to Flanders, to replace "extraordinarily high" losses. The battle had been a German defensive success but was costly for both sides.

    In July 1917, Field Marshal Douglas Haig began the Third Battle of Ypres campaign, in an attempt to break out of the Ypres Salient. At the Battle of Messines the far side of the Messines Ridge had been captured down to the Oosttaverne Line and a substantial success gained in the subsequent Battle of Pilckem Ridge. At the Battle of Langemsrck there was an advance of 1,500 yd (1,400 m) around Langemarck village by XIV Corps. In view of the failure of the British Fifth Army to advance on the Gheluvelt Plateau in August, Haig ordered that artillery reinforcements be added to the south-east along the higher ground of the Gheluvelt plateau, Broodseinde Ridge and the southern half of Passchendaele Ridge. The main offensive was switched to the British Second Army under command of General Hernert Plumer, who continued the evolution of bite-and-hold tactics that had been used in July and August.

    The Second Army planned to attack with a succession of separate bodies of infantry, on narrower fronts, for about 800 yd (730 m) to the first objective, 500 yd (460 m) to the second objective and 300 yd (270 m) to the final objective. Pauses on successive objective lines would become longer and attacks would be protected by a bigger, deeper multi-layered creeping barrage. Standing barrages beyond the objective lines were to be fired during pauses for consolidation, to obstruct German counter-attacks into the captured area, which would be confronted by a series of defensive areas based on the British objective lines. The British infantry would be in communication with its artillery and have much more local support from the Royal Flying Corps (RFC). Beyond the "creeper", four heavy artillery counter-battery double groups, with 222 guns and howitzers, covered a 7,000 yd (6,400 m)} front, ready to engage German guns with gas and high-explosive shell. Strictly limited advances using these methods, at the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge (20 September), Battle of Polygon Wood (26 September) and Battle of Broodseinde (4 October), had produced a 4,000 yd (3,700 m)} advance in two weeks, inflicted many German casualties. The German high command had made several changes against the refined British attacking methods, all of which had failed.
    In the lower ground west of the Passchendaele Ridge, three months of constant shelling had blocked the watercourses that normally provided drainage. On the night of 4 October, it began to rain and continued intermittently for the next three days. Much of the battlefield again became a quagmire, making movement extremely difficult. Had the German defence collapsed during the Battle of Poelcappelle on 9 October, the reserve brigades of II ANZAC Corps were to have passed through later in the day, to continue the attack to the far side of Passchendaele village and the Goudberg spur to the north. On 7 October, this afternoon attack had been cancelled by Haig, because of the rain and the final details of the plan for the renewed attack of 12 October, were decided on the evening of 9 October. Plumer had received misleading information about the progress of the attack that day and believed that "a sufficiently good jumping-off line" had been achieved, passing the erroneous information back to Haig. The decision was made to continue the offensive, to gain more favourable winter positions on higher ground, to assist the French with their attack due on 23 October (the Battle of La Mamaison) and to hold German troops in Flanders during the preparations for the Battle of Cambrai.

    Prelude


    British offensive preparations

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    Field gun being moved two days before the battle

    Encouraged by the unusually high German losses during the Battle of Broodseinde and reports of lowered German morale, Haig sought quickly to renew the Allied offensive and secure Passchendaele Ridge. The Battle of Poelcappelle began on 9 October and was costly to both sides; most of the ground captured opposite Passchendaele was lost later in the day to German counter-attacks. News of this German defensive success was slow in reaching the higher British commanders, because the usual collapse of communications during an attack was exacerbated by the rain and mud. Late on 9 October, Plumer erroneously informed Haig that II Anzac Corps had reached the first objective, which made a good jumping-off position for the attack due on 12 October. Many British guns had sunk in the mud, bogged down while being moved forward or run short of ammunition. German artillery fire had become much heavier, as British counter-battery artillery fire by heavy artillery almost ceased from 9–12 October, as attempts were made to move the guns forward, although the defenders were still caused considerable difficulty by British bombardments.

    The 3rd Australian Division and the New Zealand Division relieved the 66th Division and the 49th Division on the night of 10/11 October. Patrols discovered that the 49th Division had reached the Wallemolen spur east of the Ravebeek creek and found that the advance beyond had been stopped, by new barbed wire entanglements around the Flandern I Stellung; the 66th Division on the right, was found to be back near its start line of 9 October. The New Zealand Division had to make hurried preparations behind the front line to restore communications and reconnoitre the ground, because the information available from the 49th Division headquarters was insufficient. Attempts were made to evacuate wounded but some were still stranded in no-man's-land, when the attack began on 12 October. Many field guns needed for the attack remained bogged in the mud and other field guns were placed on improvised platforms, when their new sites had proved impossible to reach, from which they fired slowly and inaccurately or sank into the mud.

    A German bombardment took place on the morning of 11 October and later in the day the British shelled the German defences on Wallemolen spur, to little effect. Some progress was made in the building of plank roads since the attack on 9 October and a few more guns had reached their new positions by 12 October. The Commander Royal Artillery of the New Zealand Division, reported that adequate artillery support for his division could not be guaranteed.
    Plumer discovered that the line near Passchendaele had hardly changed and that the main reason for the failure on 9 October was uncut barbed wire 30 yd (27 m) deep, in front of the pillboxes at the hamlet of Bellevue on the Wallemolen spur. The New Zealand Division commander, Major-General Andrew Russell, later wrote that accurate information had arrived 24 hours too late to ask for a postponement or radically to alter the barrage plan and unit orders.The true position of the front line meant that the planned advance of 1,500 yd (1,400 m) to the final objective, would actually have to cover 2,000–2,500 yd (1,800–2,300 m). The opening barrage line planned for the 3rd Australian Division was moved back 350 yd (320 m) but this still required the infantry to advance for 500 yd (460 m) to reach it. Duckboard tracks had been extended to the line held on 9 October, which allowed infantry to move up on the night of 11 October in time for the attack, despite rain and a German gas bombardment on Gravenstafel spur. High winds and heavy rain began about zero hour (5:25 a.m.) and lasted all day.

    Plan of attack


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    Allied artillery barrage map

    The II Anzac Corps and the Second Army headquarters were misinformed as to the extent of the advance achieved on 9 October. The objectives set for 12 October required an advance of 2,000–2,500 yd (1,800–2,300 m) to the final objective, rather than the intended 1,000–1,500 yd (910–1,370 m). The I Anzac Corps with the 4th and 5th Australian divisions, in place of the exhausted 1st and 2nd Australian divisions, was to provide a flank guard to the south. The I Anzac Corps was to advance across the Keiberg Spur and dig in on the flank of the main assault, at the first and second objective lines only, 1,200 yd (1,100 m) and 880 yd (800 m) forward.

    The main attack was to be undertaken by the Second Army, with the 3rd Australian Division and the New Zealand Division of the II Anzac Corps, on a front of 3,000 yd (2,700 m). The 3rd Australian Division would attack Passchendaele ridge and the village and the New Zealand Division was to capture the Bellevue Spur. The first objective (Red Line) was practically the same as the second objective of the attack on 9 October, 1,200 yd (1,100 m) forward, beyond the Bellevue pillboxes. The second objective (Blue Line) was 880 yd (800 m) beyond, at the junction of the Wallemolen Spur and was the jumping-off line for the attack on the village of Passchendaele. The final objective (Green Line) lay 400 yd (370 m) beyond the village.

    Although short of fresh troops, the Fifth Army was to establish the northern flank of the main attack. In the XVIII Corps area, the 26th Brigade of the 9th Division was to advance 2,000 yd (1,800 m) to the ridge north of the Goudberg re-entrant and the 55th Brigade of the 18th Division was to attack for a similar distance north of the Lekkerboterbeek creek. In the XIV Corps area, the 12th Brigade of the 4th Division, the 51st Brigade of the 17th Division and the 3rd Guards Brigade of the Guards Division, were to advance beyond Poelcappelle and close up to Houthoulst Forest, on the boundary with the French First Army.

    In the New Zealand Division sector, the two attacking brigades each had a machine-gun company and three other machine-gun companies were to fire a machine-gun barrage. The division had the nominal support of one-hundred and forty-four 18 pounder field guns and forty-eight 4.5inch howitzers The artillery was expected to move forward after the final objective was gained, to bombard German-held ground from positions 1,000–2,000 yd (910–1,830 m) beyond Passchendaele village. On the southern flank, the I ANZAC Corps was to capture ground south of the Ypres–Roulers railway along with attacks by X Corps and IX Corps.

    German defensive preparations


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    The British front line and the German defences in the area east of Ypres, mid-1917

    From mid-1917, the area east of Ypres was defended by six German defensive positions the front position, Albrecht Stellung (second position), Wilhelm Stellung (third position), Flandern I Stellung (fourth position), Flandern II Stellung (fifth position) and Flandern III Stellung (under construction). In between the German positions lay the Belgian villages of Zonnebeke and Passchendaele. After their defensive success on 9 October, the Germans brought fresh divisions into the line but the tempo of British operations caused considerable anxiety among German commanders. The 18th Division took over in the Poelcappelle area; on a 1,000 m (1,100 yd)} front, the division had 17 heavy machine-guns and large numbers of MG 08/15 machine-guns distributed among its infantry companies. Ludendorff's defensive changes had been implemented in some parts of the front, despite a certain reluctance among some of the local commanders. Outposts beyond the German advanced defensive zone (Vorfeld) were to hold the front line in enough strength to stop the British from sapping forward. The garrisons were to withdraw to the main line at the rear of the Vorfeld when attacked, signalling to the artillery with rockets and Very lights for barrage fire. The German artillery would place the barrage in front of the main line of resistance, before the British infantry reached it and if possible, the troops in the front position were to attempt to defeat the attack without calling on the supporting Eingreif Division, to limit casualties.

    In his diary, Rupprecht wrote that he was doubtful about the changes of tactics required by Ludendorff, especially his instructions for more counter-battery fire, since in previous battles the German artillery had engaged British infantry. An anticipated French attack on the Chemin des Dames, meant that fewer reinforcements could be expected by the 4th Army, making a fighting withdrawal the only possible response to the British attacks. Rupprecht wrote that the fighting power of German troops in Flanders was declining and that all attempts to counter the British artillery had failed, requiring a greater retreat, far enough back to force the British into a laborious artillery redeployment. After being postponed from 2 October, due to delays in the transport of ammunition, Unternehmen Mondnacht (Operation Moonlight) took place at midnight on 11/12 October. A strip of ground from Messines to Dixmude was bombarded with gas, which high winds dispersed with little effect on Allied troops.


    Second Army

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    Bellevue Ridge by George Edmund Butler

    The main attack near Passchendaele, was conducted by the two Anzac corps of the Second Army. Rain fell all night on 11/12 October, with only one dry interval during the day. The Germans opposite the New Zealanders had been alert all night, sending up many flares and conducting an artillery bombardment on the New Zealand front line at 5:00 a.m., which hit the New Zealand trench mortar personnel and destroyed their ammunition. The 12th Brigade of the 4th Australian Division, advanced on time at 5:25 a.m. but saw no infantry from the 3rd Australian Division beyond the railway. The brigade captured the Keiberg cutting and consolidated, along with the rest of the first objective, although with many casualties. The 9th Brigade of the 3rd Australian Division, managed to reach the first objective and the battalion due to advance to the second objective went straight on. As soon as those troops began to descend from a slight rise, they were engaged by German field and heavy artillery. The brigade kept going to the second objective, although part of the advance remained bogged down short of the first objective. The 10th Brigade of the 3rd Australian Division, suffered many losses from machine-guns in pillboxes. The brigade reached a fold in the ground near the first objective which gave some cover, despite increasing machine-gun fire from the Bellevue pillboxes in the New Zealand Division area.

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    New Zealand artillery in action and firing from shell-holes during the battle

    The New Zealand advance was obstructed by uncut barbed wire on the Wallemolen spur; the creeping barrage was very thin, as some guns were bogged and others had been knocked out by German artillery. The creeping barrage diminished as it moved forward and howitzer shells, plunging into wet ground around the Bellevue pillboxes exploded harmlessly. The German artillery fired all the way to the rear of the New Zealand divisional area and machine-gun barrages from the German pillboxes raked the advance. The division captured the cemetery at Wallemolen and reached Wolf Copse, the right of the advance stopping on the rise astride the Ravebeek creek. North of the Gravenstafel–Metcheele road, the division gained some ground but was stopped by belts of barbed wire 25–50 yd (23–46 m) deep and were swept by machine-gun fire. The infantry tried to cut their way through the wire of the German Flandern I Stellung on the Wallemolen spur and small numbers of troops got through both belts but were killed after being stopped by more wire around the German pillboxes. Further south, the New Zealand Division captured two pillboxes, with help from 3rd Australian Division troops in the area. An advance began up the northern slope of the Ravebeek creek but broke down quickly around Laamkeek. At 8:00 a.m. the surviving New Zealand infantry were ordered to dig-in.

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    New Zealand signaller on a German blockhouse during the battle

    The advance of the Australians towards the second objective began at 8:25 a.m. but the 10th Brigade had suffered too many casualties to advance and dug-in to wait for reinforcements. One party from the 10th Brigade kept going and arrived at the pillbox near Crest Farm, whose occupants promptly surrendered. The party then advanced into Passchendaele village, before German troops rallied and re-occupied the pillbox. Small groups from the 12th Brigade got across the Keiberg spur with many losses. The 12th Brigade repulsed two German counter-attacks between 3:00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. An attempt was made to use the reserve battalion of the 9th Brigade to outflank the Bellevue pillboxes, combined with a new attack by the New Zealand Division around 3:00 p.m. The attack was eventually cancelled, as the 9th Division to the north and the 3rd Australian Division to the south were forced back by the fire of the Bellevue machine-guns. The artillery bombardment went ahead, dropping on some New Zealand positions but also dispersing two German parties massing for a counter-attack. By 3:30 p.m. the 10th Brigade had filtered back to its start-line, due to fire from the Bellevue Spur. The 9th Brigade was exposed by this retirement and fell back from the second objective in the face of artillery, machine-gun and sniper fire, with many losses. When the Anzac advance broke into the front between Passchendaele and the Keiberg Spur, I Battalion, Reserve Infantry Regiment 55 of the 220th Division was attached to the 195th Division and II Battalion, Reserve Infantry Regiment 55 to the 233rd Division, which with the divisions in the line, reoccupied the areas vacated by the Australians and New Zealanders, capturing 56 unwounded and many wounded Australians. In the evening most of the New Zealand Division withdrew to a line on the lower slopes of the Wallemolen spur.

    Fifth Army


    Protection of the northern flank of the main attack by the Second Army was provided by the Fifth Army, with single brigades of the 9th and 18th divisions of XVIII Corps, attacking from north of Goudberg to north of the Lekkerboterbeek stream adjacent to the northern boundary of the Second Army. The 26th Brigade of the 9th Division was to advance 2,000 yd (1,800 m) on a 1,500 yd (1,400 m)} front, with its left flank on the Lekkerboterbeek, into an area dotted with fortified farm buildings. The 55th Brigade of the 18th Division attacked north of the Lekkerboterbeek, over ground soaked after rain all day on 11 October. A low-flying German aircraft had reconnoitred the area near the 55th Brigade so the position of the jumping-off line was altered, to avoid a possible German counter-barrage as the brigade formed up for the advance.

    XVIII Corps


    The 9th Division was hampered by the effect of rain and mud on supply routes, which stranded guns and caused shortages of ammunition, particularly in smoke shells. At midnight on 11 October, torrential rain fell and a German gas and high explosive bombardment fell on the divisional forming-up areas. The wide front left numerous gaps in the line, as the 26th Brigade advanced behind a barrage moving at 100 yd (91 m) in eight minutes, assisted by a machine-gun barrage from 16 Vickers machine-guns. The creeping barrage began at 5:35 a.m. and was described as "thin and ragged". The advancing troops lost direction and communication broke down, as carrier pigeons were hindered by the high wind and messenger dog handlers became casualties. The infantry continued their advance and on the right of the captured Adler Farm and reached the green line at Source Trench.

    In the centre, the attackers had to dig in after a 100 yd (91 m) advance. Small parties reached Source Trench and some may have advanced as far as Vat Cottages. On the left of the brigade the ground was even worse, the infantry were unable to keep up with the barrage and lost direction but managed to capture a pillbox and move forward. Some of the troops on the left flank inadvertently crossed the Lekkerboterbeek, advanced 80 yd (73 m) and then formed a flank with troops from the 18th Division. Except on the right flank, the attack was stopped by the Germans only 100 yd (91 m) from the start line, despite the 27th Brigade being sent to reinforce the attack, in which some of the British infantry drowned in shell-holes. The new front line ran from the junction with the New Zealand Division at the cemetery near Wallemolen, to Oxford Houses then back to the old front line.

    The barrage began at 5:20 a.m. and the 18th Division infantry advanced in "snake formation". The divisional field artillery suffered the same fate as those of the divisions to the south, many guns sinking into the soft ground. A German counter-barrage began within a minute of the advance and as British troops took cover, German machine-gunners fired at the crater lips of shell-holes, through which bullets penetrated and hit the soldiers sheltering inside. The effect of the German barrage was worst on the right flank and added to German machine-gun fire from the Brewery and Helles House strong points; the situation at Requette Farm was not known as all runners sent from the area were killed. Mud clogged weapons of all types and at 11:00 a.m., a British trench-mortar battery and some supporting machine-guns had to cease fire, because of wet and dirty ammunition. At noon, German counter-attacks towards the west end of Poelcappelle began and lasted all afternoon, the Germans trying to exploit a gap between the British 4th and 18th divisions. Defensive positions in shell-holes were held by the survivors of the British attack.

    XIV Corps


    The northern flank of the Fifth Army, on the boundary with the French First Army, was held by XIV Corps, which also attacked with a brigade of each division to close up to Houthoulst Forest. After dark on 11 October, tape was laid beyond the front line in the corps area, for the troops to form up on, beyond a possible German counter-barrage. To avoid detection, scouts patrolled further forward, to ambush German patrols. The 3rd Guards Brigade of the Guards Division moved up on the night of 11 October, through heavy rain and a German gas barrage (Operation Mondnacht), which caused many casualties in this part of the front. The artillery barrage began on schedule at 5:25 a.m. and the German counter-barrage was slow to begin, falling mostly behind the attacking waves. The XIV Corps divisions had much better artillery and machine-gun barrages than the divisions further south and the creeping barrage moved at a very slow rate of 100 yd (91 m) in ten minutes, in two 300 yd (270 m)} bounds.

    The 12th Brigade headquarters of the 4th Divisiion next to the XVIII Corps area, was to attack with a composite force of two battalions of the 10th Brigade and two from the 12th Brigade. Two battalions were to lead, with a battalion each in support and reserve, following on to a first objective about 200 yd (180 m) forward and then pivot on the right to the final objective, another 300 yd (270 m) forward on the left at Water House. The ground had been soaked again by overnight rain and the advance by the right-hand battalion was stopped at Requette Farm, by determined German resistance and massed machine-gun fire, during which contact with the neighbouring 18th Division battalion was lost. The left-hand battalion advance faced less opposition and by 6:20 a.m. had crossed the Poelcappelle–le Cinq Chemins road, captured Memling Farm and Senegal Farm and then made contact with the 17th Division. After the capture of Requette Farm by the right-hand battalion, more German machine-gun fire was received from the Brewery and Helles House, which stopped the attack on the right flank. Requette Farm was lost to a German counter-attack around noon and attempts by reinforcements to re-take the farm were abandoned as dark fell. The brigade extended a defensive flank on the right, to maintain contact with the 18th Division. The new front line curved back through Besace Farm to west of Helles House, south-west of Requette Farm, north of Poelcappelle.

    The 51st Brigade of the 17th Division was to advance for 1,600 yd (1,500 m) astride the Ypres–Staden railway, to meet the left flank of the 4th Division north of Poelcappelle and the right flank of the Guards Division, 400 yd (370 m) north of the railway. Beyond the railway, the advance of the 51st Brigade veered slightly south, away from a German strongpoint which caused many casualties and lost touch with the Guards Division. South of the embankment, astride the Broombeek and Watervlietbeek streams, several German farm strongpoints, pillboxes and shell-hole positions were overrun by the infantry, who were able to keep well up to the very-slow-moving barrage. The brigade reached its first objective by 8:00 a.m., despite a number of German reinforcements arriving through the British artillery barrages. The final objective was reached at 11:00 a.m. and on the right a defensive flank was thrown back from Memling Farm at the final objective, to meet troops of the 4th Division. By noon the advance was complete, 218 German prisoners had been taken and no German counter-attack followed, resistance being limited to a small amount of rifle fire.

    In cold, wet weather, the 3rd Guards Brigade made a short advance behind a ragged barrage, took the higher ground on the edge of Houthoulst Forest and cut off the rest of the spur running north-east from Veldhoek. Contact with the 17th Division on the right flank was lost, after the left flank formation of the 17th Division veered south and the crew of a contact patrol aircraft observing the advance, failed to see the loss of direction. Two platoons detailed to meet the attacking brigade of the 17th Division, had to dig in near the Angle Point pillbox under machine-gun fire. After dark, the Guards and the 17th Division closed the gap, by capturing the blockhouses at Angle Point and Aden House. Next day, conditions were so bad that the attacking brigade was relieved by the 1st Guards Brigade. The fresh troops patrolled vigorously to the southern edge of Houthoulst Forest, against little organised German resistance, except for extensive sniping around the Colbert cross-roads and Colombo House.

    Air operations


    During the battle, forty-one British pilots made low-altitude strafing and bomb attacks. The British flew an additional 27 contact and counter-attack patrols and 124 zone-calls were made to the artillery, to engage German machine-gun nests, troops, artillery and transport. British aircraft observers made 26 calls to destroy German artillery batteries and an additional 37 calls for artillery battery neutralisation. The British flew four bombing raids on German encampments and railway stations, eight reconnaissance flights beyond the battlefront and engaged in twelve dogfights with German aircraft. The British squadrons lost fourteen aircraft; five crew members returned wounded.

    Aftermath


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    Map showing wet areas near Passchendaele village, blue shading marks wet and waterlogged areas near Passchendaele

    The defence of the 4th Army on 12 October was more effective than expected by the British. The German 18th Division held the line opposite Poelcappelle and retained most of its area after committing all of its reserves. The German command considered that the Allied advance in the north to be less dangerous than that towards the Flandern II Stellung defensive line, between Passchendaele and Drogenbroodhoek. One division was moved to Morslede and another to the area between Westrozebeke and Stadenberg, either side of Passchendaele. The 195th Division at Passchendaele had so many casualties (3,325) from 9–12 October, that it had to be relieved by the 238th Division. Ludendorff changed his mind about the prospect of retaining Passchendaele Ridge, believing that the British had only fourteen days before the weather made attacks impossible and ordered Rupprecht to stand fast. At a conference on 18 October, Hermann von Kuhl advocated a retreat as far to the east as possible; Sixt von Armin the 4th Army commander and his chief of staff, Colonel Fritz von Lossberg preferred to fight to hold their remaining defences in the Flandern I and Flandern II Stellungen, because the ground beyond the Passchendaele watershed was untenable, even in winter.

    The British attack was costly for both sides but captured more ground opposite Passchendaele than on 9 October; the British took more than 1,000 prisoners. British artillery support was inadequate, due the amount of field artillery out of action and the vast increase in mud, which smothered high-explosive shell-detonations. The weather from 4–12 October also prevented counter-battery fire and little was achieved by the heavier guns. On 13 October, the British decided to stop the offensive until better weather returned and roads and tracks had been repaired, to ensure that deliberate attacks with a greater quantity of artillery support could be resumed. Operations were to continue to reach a suitable line for the winter and to keep German attention on Flanders, to help the French attack due on 23 October and the Third Army operation south of Arras due in mid-November (the Battle of Cambrai). The Canadian Corps relieved the II Anzac Corps on 18 October, in the depression between Gravenstafel Ridge and the heights at Passchendaele. The captured ground made a slightly better starting line for the Second Battle of Passchendaele, which began on 26 October.

    Casualties and commemoration

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    The funeral of Lieutenant-Colonel George Augustus King, who was killed in action on 12 October 1917

    Ludendorff divided the Third Battle of Ypres into five periods. In the Fourth Battle of Flanders, from 2–21 October, he described German casualties as "extraordinarily high". Hindenburg wrote later that he waited with great anxiety for the wet season. In Der Weltkrieg (1942), the German official historians recorded 12,000 casualties, including 2,000 missing for the accounting period 11–20 October but did not give a separate figure for 12 October. The 4th Australian Division suffered c. 1,000 casualties and the 3rd Australian Division c. 3,199 casualties. From 9–12 October, the German 195th Division lost 3,395 casualties. Calculations of German losses by J.E.Edmonds, the British official historian, have been severely criticised, for adding 30 percent to German casualty figures, to account for different methods of calculation.

    There were 2,735 New Zealand casualties, of whom 845 men were killed or mortally wounded and stranded in no man's land. In 2007, Harper wrote that 846 New Zealanders were killed, 2,000 were wounded and 138 men died of their wounds in the following week. The 4th Division lost 3,569 casualties from 4–12 October. In 2014, Perry recorded more than 6,250 casualties in the II Anzac Corps, 1,000 losses in the I Anzac Corps and 9,950 casualties in the Fifth Army. The New Zealand memorial at Tyne Cot, commemorates New Zealanders killed during the Battle of Broodseinde and the First Battle of Passchendaele, who have no known grave and the Buttes New Zealand Memorial contains the mortal remains of New Zealand troops killed from September 1917 until February 1918. In 1997, Christopher Pugsley wrote that the casualties made 12 October 1917 New Zealand's blackest day and in 2007, Glyn Harper wrote that ".... more New Zealanders were killed or maimed in these few short hours than on any other day in the nation's history".

    Tunstills Men Friday 12th October 1917:

    Camp near Wiltshire Farm, east of ****ebusch.

    A wet day.

    The Battalion made a short march north-west to Brewery Camp, on the road between ****ebusch and Vijverhoek. Here they were joined by the detached party of D Company and one platoon of B Company, which had spent the previous eight days resting, while attached to 8Yorks.

    Four days after re-joining the Battalion, Capt. **** Bolton (see 8th October) departed for England on ten days’ leave. L.Cpl. Alfred Hanson (see 3rd August), and Pte. Harry Squire (see 26th July) also departed on ten days’ leave to England.

    Pte. Walter Pedley (see 10th August), who had been in England since being wounded on 19th May, was posted from Northern Command Depot at Ripon to the Dukes’ Regimental Depot at Halifax.

    Pte. Frederick McKell (see 28th September), who had been in England having suffered shrapnel wounds to his legs, hands and face on 20th September, was sufficiently recovered to be posted to 3DWR at North Shields.

    Pte. Charles William Hird (see 31st July), who was serving at Northern Command Depot at Ripon, having been wounded 8th June, was reported absent without leave. He would apprehended by the Civil Police in Otley at 3.30 the following morning. He would subsequently be confined to barracks for seven days and forfeit three days pay.

    A series of articles concerning former members of 10DWR appeared in the weekly edition of the Craven Herald.

    SILSDEN - PRIVATE ERNEST HARDCASTLE

    Mr. and Mrs. H. Hardcastle of Swartha, Silsden, have received official information that their son, Private Ernest Hardcastle (see 21st September), of the Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment, was killed in action on the 2lst of September. Company Quarter-Master Sergeant M.H. Denham, (Maurice Harcourt Denham, see 23rd August) in a letter to the bereaved parents, states- "It is with deepest regret and sympathy that I write to inform you of your son's death on the 21st of September. He was in an attack on the previous day, and was killed whilst engaged holding the line he had helped to wrest from the enemy. He died a victorious soldier's death, and his country need be proud of him. It may be some comfort to you to know that he was respectably buried not far from the scene of his death, and where his grave will receive every attention. He was a lad of great promise and a favourite with all. His many friends also desire me to express sympathy with you on their behalf. May God comfort you in your great loss."

    Private Hardcastle was 19 years of age. He joined the Colours in December last and went out to France in June. He was formerly employed as a warp twister by Messrs. Driver Bros., North Street, Silsden. Mr. and Mrs. Hardcastle have two more sons serving - Signaller Cyril Hardcastle, and Private Willie Hardcastle, of the R.A.M.C. who has been in Mesopotamia almost since the campaign in that quarter was commenced.

    BARNOLDSWICK - PRIVATE MICHAEL TAYLOR KILLED

    Mr. and Mrs. Taylor, 239, Gisburn Road, have received news of the death of their son, Pte. Michael Taylor (see 20th September), Duke of Wellington's Regiment, who was killed in action on the 20th ult. He was 22 years of age and had been in France a year and seven months. He was home on leave six weeks ago. Before joining up he was a weaver at Bankfield Shed (Bradley Bros.). Two of his brothers are serving, one of whom is in France. The news of Pte. Taylor's death came in a letter from a Barnoldswick comrade (L.Cpl Howarth Reid, see 12th August) in the same battalion, who wrote stating that two of his pals were killed on the same date while attacking a strong enemy position.

    AUSTWICK

    Lance Corporal Wilson Pritchard M.M. (see 17th September), who was at home a few weeks ago on leave, prior to training for a commission, has, since he went back, been in hospital at Chatham, suffering from a slight touch of typhoid fever. He is now making satisfactory progress.

    There was also an In Memoriam notice,

    In ever loving memory of Pte. Percy Hodgson (see 24th August), the beloved son of Thomas and Mary Jane Hodgson, who died of wounds October 13th, 1916.

    Not dead to those who loved him,

    Not lost but gone before;

    He lives with us in memory still,

    And will do ever more.

    When all the toilsome journey o'er,

    And all the weary voyage done;

    Upon the happy heavenly shore

    Once more the parted shall be one.

    From Father, Mother, Sisters and Brothers

    Eastern Front:


    Germans land at Tagga Bay north of Oesel Island (Riga) and on Dago Island. Part of Oesel Island occupied and traversed to east end; attempt to capture pier on Moon Island repulsed.

    Southern Front:


    Austrian attack repulsed in region of Mnt. Costabella.

    Asiatic, African, Egyptian front:


    British Arrange for Fake Battle Plans to be Captured by Turks
    :
    October 10 1917, Gaza–Throughout the summer, Allenby and his staff had been preparing for a new offensive in Palestine. The previous attempts to take Gaza had failed to break through the substantial Turkish lines there, and simultaneous efforts to outflank them failed due to a lack of available water. Allenby’s plan rested on taking the wells at Beersheba, around 30 miles southeast. The ground there was difficult, but taking the city seemed to be the only viable way of outflanking Gaza. To make sure the Turks did not counter this by heavily reinforcing Beersheba, the British conducted an extensive misinformation campaign to suggest that the British would simply be attacking Gaza a third time.

    A naval buildup off the coast also hinted at a possible amphibious operation just behind the Turkish lines at Gaza. The most successful part of this intelligence campaign occurred on October 10, when a Capt. ACB Neate rode within range of a Turkish patrol, seemingly by accident. The Turks fired at him, and Neate, feigning a wound, dropped a haversack covered in (horse’s) blood before escaping. The Turks found the haversack, which contained various documents, including a fake agenda for a meeting of Allenby’s staff. The documents suggested that the upcoming attack on Beersheba would be a feint, and that the main attack would still be at Gaza, supported by an amphibious landing. Many of the Turkish staff officers were rightfully suspicious of this find, but apparently Kressenstein, in overall command in the area, was taken in, and Turkish preparations for the remainder of the month focused on Gaza and the coastline rather than the area around Beersheba.

    Naval Operations:

    Combined German naval and military landing at Oesel Island (Riga). Russian coast batteries destroyed (German 8 dreadnoughts, 12 light craft, 40 T.B.D., etc.). Russians ships hinder German fleet entering between Dago and Oesel Islands.

    Operation Albion


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    The German dreadnought Grosser Kurfürst underway for Ösel on October 11, with Zeppelin SL20 above. Grosser Kurfürst would strike a Russian mine the next day, but would still participate in the landings that morning before returning to Wilhelmshaven for repairs.

    October 11 1917, Tagga Bay–On October 11, the much-rumored German operation to seize the islands in the Gulf of Riga got underway. Troop transports, accompanied by ten dreadnoughts and various other ships of the High Seas Fleet, sailed from Libau [Liepāja] that morning. They approached Ösel [Saaremaa] Island that night; maneuvering a whole fleet at night was difficult, and there were some delays, but the Russian fleet, preoccupied with its own morale problems, did not find detect them. Despite being preceded by a large number of minesweepers, two of the dreadnoughts (along with one of the transports) struck mines just off the coast. Neither of the dreadnoughts were critically damaged, however, and both were still able to assist the landings and were eventually returned to service.

    The landings began at dawn on the 12th. The German dreadnoughts engaged the shore batteries at Tagga Bay, one of the few suitable landing sites on the island, and quickly knocked them out, and the landing German troops secured the beaches quickly. They then quickly moved south from the beaches in two main columns. The first was bound for the Sworbe Peninsula, which dominated the entrance to the Gulf of Riga, and which other German ships were busy bombarding. The other headed towards Arensburg [Kuressaare], the island’s capital.

    The Russian commander quickly concluded it would be impossible to hold the bulk of Ösel against the Germans, and, early in the evening of October 12, before leaving the island by boat, ordered all troops not on the Sworbe peninsula to head for the only route off the island, the causeway to Moon [Muhu] Island. However, the Germans had realized the importance of this causeway, and had tasked a brigade of bicycle soldiers to secure it. On October 12, they biked over 30 miles from their landing beach and seized the causeway, and prepared to defend it from the retreating Russians coming their way.

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


    Political:


    Count Luxburg is interned in Argentina.

    Sir Robert Borden forms Coalition Government in Canada.

    Canadian War Cabinet formed.

    Compulsory Service Act comes into operation in Canada (see July 6th).

    Anniversary Events:

    1492 Christopher Columbus and his crew land in the Bahamas.
    1576 Rudolf II, the king of Hungary and Bohemia, succeeds his father, Maximilian II, as Holy Roman Emperor.
    1702 Admiral Sir George Rooke defeats the French fleet off Vigo.
    1722 Shah Sultan Husayn surrenders the Persian capital of Isfahan to Afghan rebels after a seven month siege.
    1809 Meriwether Lewis, of the Lewis and Clark expedition, dies under mysterious circumstances in Tennessee.
    1899 The Anglo-Boer Warbegins.
    1872 Apache leader Cochisesigns a peace treaty with General Howard in Arizona Territory.
    1915 Despite international protests, Edith Cavell, an English nurse in Belgium, is executed by Germans for aiding the escape of Allied prisoners.


    Passchendaele:
    In a foreign field he lay
    Lonely soldier, unknown grave
    On his dying words he prays
    Tell the world of Paschendale

    Relive all that he's been through
    Last communion of his soul
    Rust your bullets with his tears
    Let me tell you 'bout his years

    Laying low in a blood filled trench
    Kill Tim 'til my very own death
    On my face I can feel the falling rain
    Never see my friends again

    In the smoke, in the mud and lead
    Smell the fear and the feeling of dread
    Soon be time to go over the wall
    Rapid fire and the end of us all

    Whistles, shouts and more gun fire
    Lifeless bodies hang on barbed wire
    Battlefield nothing but a bloody tomb
    Be reunited with my dead friends soon

    Many soldiers eighteen years
    Drown in mud, no more tears
    Surely a war no-one can win
    Killing time about to begin

    Home, far away
    From the war, a chance to live again
    Home, far away
    But the war, no chance to live again

    The bodies of ours and our foes
    The sea of death it overflows
    In no man's land, God only knows
    Into jaws of death we go

    Crucified as if on a cross
    Allied troops they mourn their loss
    German war propaganda machine
    Such before has never been seen

    Swear I heard the angels cry
    Pray to god no more may die
    So that people know the truth
    Tell the tale of Paschendale

    Cruelty has a human heart
    Every man does play his part
    Terror of the men we kill
    The human heart is hungry still

    I stand my ground for the very last time
    Gun is ready as I stand in line
    Nervous wait for the whistle to blow
    Rush of blood and over we go

    Blood is falling like the rain
    Its crimson cloak unveils again
    The sound of guns can't hide their shame
    And so we die on Paschendale

    Dodging shrapnel and barbed wire
    Running straight at the cannon fire
    Running blind as I hold my breath
    Say a prayer symphony of death

    As we charge the enemy lines
    A burst of fire and we go down
    I choke a cry but no-one hears
    Fell the blood go down my throat

    Home, far away
    From the war, a chance to live again
    Home, far away
    But the war, no chance to live again

    See my spirit on the wind
    Across the lines, beyond the hill
    Friend and foe will meet again
    Those who died at Paschendale

    Iron Maiden
    Last edited by Skafloc; 10-12-2017 at 02:30.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  36. #2786

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    Saturday 13th October 1917

    Today we lost: 933
    Today’s losses include:
    · A former amateur boxing champion of Ireland · Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
    · Multiple sons of Justices of the Peace
    · Multiple sons of members of the clergy
    · A man whose son will be killed in a 1945 bombing mission over Germany

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    · Captain John Joseph Fleming (Northumberland Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 36. He took a great interest in boxing and encouraged it among the troops. He was at one time the amateur boxing champion of Ireland
    · Captain William Godfrey Earlam Johnson (Manchester Regiment) dies of wounds received two days earlier at age 24. He is the last of three brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War.
    · Captain Richard Guy Titley MC (Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed at age 24. He is the son of William Alfred Titley JP. · Lieutenant Samuel Preston King (Lincolnshire Yeomanry) is accidentally killed at age 42 at Banbury. He is the son of Reverend S King.
    · Lieutenant Alistere Douglas Stewart (General List attached Royal Flying Corps) is accidentally killed in England. His brother was killed in September 1915 and they are sons of Captain M P Stewart JP.
    · Lieutenant Robert Hay Squair (Seaforth Highlanders) dies of wounds at age 21. He is the son of Francis H Squair JP.
    · Lieutenant Andrew Gardyne Young (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) is killed at age 30. He is the son of the Reverend James Young.
    · Second Lieutenant John Arden Acworth (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed in action at age 19. His brother will die while on service in February 1919.
    · Second Lieutenant John Bertram Greenup (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend Dr. Albert William Greenup.
    · Second Lieutenant George Francis Shute (Gloucestershire Regiment) dies of wounds as a prisoner of war at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend Charles Shute.
    · Bugler Septimus Hunt (Cameronians) is killed at age 23 during the attack on Poelcappele. His brother was killed in July 1916.
    · Corporal William Herbert Huckstop MM (East Kent Regiment) is killed at age 22. His brother was killed in August 1915.
    · Private Frank Wickham (Warwickshire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 40. He is the middle of three brothers who will all lose their lives in 1917.
    · Private Ernest Murray (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 23. His brother was killed last April.
    · Private Alfred Robert Cahill (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 31. His son will be killed in March 1945 on a night bombing mission over Germany.
    · Private Arthur Segbert Rometch (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 36. His brother was killed earlier this year.
    · Private Charles Colman (Liverpool Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed last June.

    Air Operations:

    Control of British Air Service reorganised; Maj.-Gen. Salmond succeeds Lt.-Gen. Sir D. Henderson as Director-General.

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 9

    2Lt Cryer, H.J. (Harold James), 10 Squadron, RFC.
    Capt Ellis, B.G.L. (Bryan Grogan Langley), 50th Kite Balloon Section, RFC.
    2Lt Gibbes, F.W. (Frederick William), 54 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Hahn, B.O.L. (Benno Oscar Linsinghen), Central Flying School, Upavon, RFC.
    2Lt Heald, T.P. (Thomas Penrose), 6 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Salter, J.H.R. (John Henry Raymond), 54 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Sawyer, G.S. (Gordon Stanley), 113 Squadron, RFC.
    Lt Stewart, A.D. (Alistere Douglas), Central Flying School, Upavon, RFC.
    A Mech 2 Stiby, F.J. (Frank John), 6 Squadron, RFC.


    Claims: 6 confirmed (Entente 1: Central Powers 5)


    Western Front:

    Passchendaele Update:

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    October 12 1917, Passchendaele–Only three days after the disastrous attack on Poelcappelle, Haig and Plumer were determined to go forward with their next planned attack, towards the ridge around Passchendaele. The atrocious conditions had not changed in the last three days, and had in fact grown worse, with hurricane-strength winds being recorded on the night of the 11th. Major FJ Rice, an artillery officer in II ANZAC Corps, recalled:

    Infantry officers told us more than once that they doubted if they could have dragged their way to their objectives even if there had been no enemy, the mud was so deep, and one heard stories of men, wounded and unwounded, being stuck in waterlogged shell holes for more than a day.

    The British artillery was still crippled by mud, and was operating at half strength and with much-diminished effectiveness. B.O. Stokes, a gunner from New Zealand, recalled:

    Every time we fired a shot the trail would dig deep into the mud, so with every shot we had to try to lift it back and re-lay the gun before we could fire again. It was a nightmare.
    The extremely muddy ground also meant the fired artillery shells were often just absorbed by the mud, not inflicting the damage it was supposed to, leaving belts of uncut wire. This problem was most serious for the New Zealand Division, which had the critical task of capturing the Bellevue Ridge. The night before, Private W. Smith recalled,
    We dug in as best we could at the bottom of the Bellevue Ridge – but the idea of ‘digging in’ was ridiculous. You can’t dig water! My section managed to throw up a kind of ridge of slush, but the water from the shell-holes around just poured into it. You couldn’t squat down, we just stood there in the rain and wind waiting for our guns to open up with the barrage.
    The New Zealanders, tasked with making an advance of 2500 yards in places (the plans having assumed that the attack on the 9th succeeded), were cut down. Wire remained uncut, and German machine-gun fire was hardly affected by the mud and the artillery barrage. The official report of the opposing Germans read in part:
    The day was a particularly great day for the machine guns. As sufficient ammunition was available, and delivered efficiently all day–during the course of this day alone, more than 130,000 rounds of machine gun ammunition were delivered – all targets that presented themselves could be taken under continuous machine gun fire….As the field of fire was often very wide, and as the English presented the most worthwhile mass targets all day long, the effect of the machine guns was truly devastating for the enemy.

    The Australians on their right had slightly more success, in some cases reaching their second objective at a distance of over 1700 yards. However, they faced enfilade fire from the positions the New Zealanders were supposed to have taken, communications and reinforcements were impossible, and the British artillery did little to deter German counterattacks, most of the gains were lost by the end of the day.

    Tunstills Men Saturday 13th October 1917:

    Brewery Camp, on the road between ****ebusch and Vijverhoek.

    A very wet day.

    The Brigade War Diary, in very formal fashion, does give some idea of the increasingly dreadful coditions in the line, “During this period the weather conditions were very bad. The mud and wet combined with increased hostile artillery activity entailed great hardship on the troops”. Rather more graphically Brig. Genl. Lambert (see 1st October), in his personal diary, noted “Condition of roads and ground simply appalling”. The true extent of the conditions was described in the official Divisional History, “The ground was in a terrible condition. Rain and incessant shelling had produced a quagmire through which it was already difficult to drag one’s way; Polygon Wood and Nonneboschen were rapidly becoming impassable. The approach to the line was made along almost obliterated tracks which led through a wilderness of shell-holes, surrounded by all the hideous wreckage of war, and filled with slimy water, which failed to hide the dead bodies of men and mules, which it had not been possible to clear from the field of battle. Men would occasionally sink so deep and fast in the mud that it would take close on an hour for two of their comrades to drag them out; laden mules would sometimes be drowned.”

    The Battalion was placed under the command of 68th Brigade. This was part of a larger move which saw all the Battalions of 69th Brigade absorbed temporarily into 68th and 70th Brigades who were occupying the front line. 10DWR and 8Yorks joined 68th Brigade, while 9Yorks and 11West Yorks were attached to 70th Brigade.

    Cpl. Harold Best (see 12th August), was admitted to hospital (details unknown).

    Cpl. James Henry Howarth (see 12th August) reported sick (details unknown) and would be admitted via 71st Field Ambulance and 31st Casualty Clearing Station to 2nd Convalescent Depot at Rouen.

    Pte. Leonard Briggs (see 1st June) was admitted to 71st Field Ambulance, suffering from conjunctivitis.

    Pte. Henry Jarratt (see 25th September), who had suffered relatively minor shrapnel wounds to his face on 20th September, re-joined the Battalion from 34th Infantry Base Depot at Etaples.

    2Lt. Albert Joseph Acarnley (see 9th October), who had arrived in France eight days previously, now reported for duty with the Battalion.

    Pte. Willie Cowgill (see 18th September), who had suffered shrapnel wounds to his left hand, was discharged from hospital and posted to 34th Infantry Base Depot at Etaples, en route to a return to active service.

    CSM Harry Dewhirst (see 1st May 1916), formerly of 10DWR, was posted to the Regimental Depot at Halifax to 3DWR at North Shields.

    A payment of £9 2s. 9d. was authorised, being the amount due in pay and allowances to the late Cpl. Dennis Bradbury (see 10th June), who had been killed in action on 10th June; the payment would be divided evenly between his two married sisters, Edith Armitage and Emily Muschamp.

    The War Office wrote to the father of the late 2Lt. Samuel Lawrence Glover (see 10th October) with further information received from the German authorities, via the Netherland Legation in Berlin. The family previously had confirmation of their son’s death (having been reported missing in action) and had received his identity disc; there was now official confirmation that he had been buried at Lomme Communal Cemetery.

    Eastern Front:


    Germans continue landing on Oesel Island. Detachments landed on Dago Island promptly ejected, Arensburg occupied

    Southern Front:


    Considerable artillery activity on Upper Isonzo.

    Asiatic, African, Egyptian Front:


    Belgians repel German attack south-east of Mahenge.

    Naval Operations:


    German mine-sweepers between Courland and Oesel Island.

    Shipping Losses: 10 (All to U-Boat action)


    Anniversary Events:

    54 Nero succeeds his great uncle Claudius, who was murdered by his wife, as the new emperor of Rome.
    1307 Members of the Knights Templar are arrested throughout France, imprisoned and tortured by the order of King Philip the Fair of France.
    1399 Henry IV of England is crowned.
    1670 Virginia passes a law that blacks arriving in the colonies as Christians cannot be used as slaves.
    1775 The Continental Congress orders the establishment of the Continental Navy (later renamed the United States Navy). The main goal of the navy is to intercept shipments of British matériel and generally disrupt British maritime commercial operations.
    1776 Benedict Arnold is defeated at Lake Champlain.
    1792 President George Washington lays the cornerstone for the White House.
    1812 At the Battle of Queenston Heights, a Canadian and British army defeats the Americans who have tried to invade Canada.
    1849 The California state constitution, which prohibits slavery, is signed in Monterey.

    I hand back over to Chris for a few days before taking the mantle again.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 10-13-2017 at 03:29.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  37. #2787

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    Good to have you back Neil, with two cracking efforts.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  38. #2788

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    14th October 1917


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    The Battle of Moon Sound Prelude

    The Battle of Moon Sound was a naval battle fought between the forces of the German Empire, and the then Russian Republic (and three British submarines) in the Baltic Sea from 16 October 1917 until 3 November 1917 during World War I. The German intention was to destroy the Russian forces and occupy the West Estonian Archipelago. The Imperial German Navy had 1 battlecruiser, 10 battleships, 9 light cruisers, 1 mine cruiser, 50 destroyers and 6 submarines while the Russians had only 2 pre-dreadnoughts, 3 cruisers, 3 gunboats, 21 destroyers, plus 3 British submarines. It was the Germans' intention to destroy the Russian Army and occupy the West Estonian Archipelago (Moonsund Archipelago). The Germans captured the archipelago, with its main islands of Saaremaa (Ösel), Hiiumaa (Dagö), and Muhu (Moon) during Operation Albion in September 1917. This left a Russian squadron consisting of the old Russo-Japanese War-era pre-dreadnought battleships Grazhdanin (Tsesarevich), and Slava, together with cruisers and destroyers, stranded in the Gulf of Riga. The Russian fleet escaped on 17 October 1917 by way of the Suur Strait separating the island of Muhu from the Estonian mainland.

    4 German battleships silence Zorel battery on south point of Oesel (Russians blow up the four 12-inch guns). 13 German destroyers enter Soelo Sound and, covered by battleship, sink Russian destroyer Grom (of 4 and gunboat engaged).

    German warships land detachments on Islands of Runo and Abro (Riga).

    British mine-sweeper "Bregonia" and merchant cruiser "Champagne" sunk, 56 lost.

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    The Submarine E45 (Lieutenant Commander G R S Watkins) torpedoes and sinks the German submarine UC-62 off Portland.

    HMS E45 was a British E class submarine built by Cammell Laird, Birkenhead. She was laid down on 29 January 1916 and was commissioned in August 1916. E45 torpedoed U-Boat UC-62 in the North Sea on 14/15 October 1917. E45 was sold in South Wales on 6 September 1922. Like all post-E8 British E-class submarines, E45 had a displacement of 662 tonnes (730 short tons) at the surface and 807 tonnes (890 short tons) while submerged. She had a total length of 180 feet (55 m) and a beam length of 22 feet 8.5 inches (6.922 m). She was powered by two 800 horsepower (600 kW) Vickers eight-cylinder two-stroke diesel engines and two 420 horsepower (310 kW) electric motors. The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph) and a submerged speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). British E-class submarines had fuel capacities of 50 tonnes (55 short tons) of diesel and ranges of 3,255 miles (5,238 km; 2,829 nmi) when travelling at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). E45 was capable of operating submerged for five hours when travelling at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph).

    E45 was armed with a 12-pounder 76 mm (3.0 in) QF gun mounted forward of the conning tower. She had five 18 inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes, two in the bow, one either side amidships, and one in the stern; a total of 10 torpedoes were carried.[2]

    E-Class submarines had wireless systems with 1 kilowatt (1.3 hp) power ratings; in some submarines, these were later upgraded to 3 kilowatts (4.0 hp) systems by removing a midship torpedo tube. Their maximum design depth was 100 feet (30 m) although in service some reached depths of below 200 feet (61 m). Some submarines contained Fessenden oscillator systems

    Another version of the story...

    SM UC-62 was a German Type UC II minelaying submarine or U-boat in the German Imperial Navy (German: Kaiserliche Marine) during World War I. The U-boat was ordered on 12 January 1916, laid down on 3 April 1916, and was launched on 9 December 1916. She was commissioned into the German Imperial Navy on 8 January 1917 as SM UC-62. In nine patrols UC-62 was credited with sinking 12 ships, either by torpedo or by mines laid. On 19 March 1917, the submerged Royal Navy submarine HMS E50 suffered damage in a collision UC-62 in the North Sea off the North Hinder Light Vessel. UC-62 struck a mine and sank in the North Sea off Zeebrugge, Belgium, on 14 October 1917

    Eastern Front
    Oesel: Russians cut off in southwest Svorbe peninsula. Germans advance along it and bar escape to Moon island on October 15, secure island on October 16 with 10,000 PoWs and 50 guns.

    Southern Fronts
    Salonika: British 27th Division (47 casualties) recaptures Homondos (night October 13-14) village with 153 Bulgars (79 killed) and 3 MGs and occupies two villages to cover taking up of ‘winter line’ in Struma valley.
    Isonzo: Badoglio moved to XXVII Corps in path of imminent Austro-German offensive.

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    Bulgarian PoWs, captured by British soldiers with tropical uniforms.

    796 British Lives were lost on this day

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    Major (Acting Lieutenant Colonel) Frederick Vivian Thompson DSO (Royal Engineers commanding 9th Essex Regiment) dies of wounds at age 37. He is the son of Major General Charles Thompson.
    Captain Sacheverel Darwin Wilmot (Royal Garrison Artillery) dies while serving in India at age 33. He is the son of the Reverend Darwin Wilmot.
    Lieutenant John Vernon Campbell-Orde (Cameron Highlanders) dies at home. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Arthur J Campbell-Orde, the 4th
    Lance Corporal Frederick John Staines (Royal Fusiliers) dies of wounds. His brother will die in the last week of the war.
    Private Leo George Skidmore (Grenadier Guards) is killed at age 23. His brother was killed in September 1916.
    Private George Herbert Easton MSM (Yorkshire Regiment) is killed at age 21. His brother will die at home in November 1918.
    Gunner Edwin Gladstone Latheron (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 30. He is a footballer for the Blackburn Rovers who helped them win the Football League title in both 1912 and 1914 while scoring 94 goals in more than 250 matches, who also earned two caps for England in 1913 and 1914.
    Private Frank Adamson (Cheshire Regiment) is killed in Baghdad at age 22. His brother will be killed next June.
    Private Hugo Campbell Bazell (Grenadier Guards) is killed at age 38. His brother was killed last June.

    5 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 14TH 1917

    Lt. Adams, J.P.F. (John Percy Fitzherbert) 20 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech 2 Hayes, W. (William) 22nd Balloon Company RFC
    Lt. MacLeod, N. (Norwood) 23 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. MacPherson, H.D. (Henry Douglas) 29 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech 1 Whiston, J.H. RFC

    The following aerial victory claims were made

    Claude Robert James Thompson Australia #2
    Philip Fletcher Fullard England #31
    Gordon Olley England #10
    Erwin Böhme Germany #19

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    Xavier Dannhuber
    Germany #14
    Franz Ray Germany #7
    Rudolf Wendelmuth Germany #11

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    Vasili Yanchenko Russia #16

    Political, etc.

    More drastic measures taken in Great Britain to compete with growing shortages of foodstuffs, petrol and coal.

    Ukraine declares itself an autonomous nation and claims participation in future Peace Conference.

  39. #2789

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    15th October 1917

    Flight Commander Joseph S T Fall (Royal Naval Air Service) attacks an enemy machine from in front at very close range, at times within twenty-five yards. He then turns sharply and attacks from behind, sending the enemy machine down spinning on its back and emitting great volumes of black smoke.

    The hired drifter Active III (Skipper Alexander Smith RNR) is sunk by a mine off Milford Haven. Her skipper is killed at age 35.

    USS Cassin
    (DD-43) is struck by a torpedo fired by U-61. Only one man was killed - Gunner's mate 1st Class Osmond Kelly Ingram, who attempted to drop the Cassin's depth charges over the side before the torpedo hit and was killed in the resulting explosion. Ingram became the first enlisted man to be have a US warship named after him, the Clemson class destroyer USS Ingram (DD-255). The Cassin survived the attack and was towed to safety, repaired and returned to duty.

    On this day 756 British lives were lost

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    Major Cecil Herbert Shepherd-Cross (Duke of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry) is killed at age 39. He is the son of Herbert Shepherd-Cross MP.
    Lieutenant Douglas Adamson Sutherland (New Brunswick Regiment) is killed in action at age 27. He is the son of the Reverend David Sutherland.
    Second Lieutenant Robert Francis Sanderson Christie (Royal Flying Corps) is accidentally killed at home. He is the son of the Reverend Barry Edwin Christie.
    Sergeant William Nicholson Fischer (Australian Field Artillery) is killed at age 34. He is an Australian Rules footballer who played for Melbourne in the Victorian Football League in 1908.
    Sergeant Edwin Boyle (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed in action. He is a member of the Penarth Rugby Club.
    Sergeant William McKenzie Landon (Australian Infantry) is killed two weeks after his brother was killed.
    Corporal John William Cooper (Royal Army Medical Corps) dies at home at age 27. His brother died serving in the same regiment last October.
    Corporal Albert Edward Townrow (Northumberland Fusiliers) is killed at age 25. His brother was killed in September 1915.
    Lance Corporal Walter Alfred Low (Lancashire Fusiliers) is killed at age 22. His brother died of wounds in September 1916.
    Private Selwyn Lumb (Royal Army Medical Corps) is killed in action at age 20. His brother will be killed in May 1918.
    Private Francis Gerald Van Smith de Heriz (Coldstream Guards) dies of wounds at age 35. He is the son of the Reverend Lionel Forbes Van Smith de Heriz who has already lost two sons in the Great War.
    Private Herbert Henry Kentsbeer (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) is killed at age 36. One brother was killed in April of this year and a second will die of wounds in May 1920.
    Private Charles Bailey (Royal West Kent Regiment) dies of wounds. His brother will be killed next April.
    Private Arthur Ernest Regent (Royal Scots) dies of severe wounds to leg and gas poisoning at age 36. He is Arthur Ernest McKeand a member of a theatrical family who spent his life from the age of six on stage. For sixteen months he held the position of assistant stage manager at Her Majesty’s Theatre and was an authority on the subject of stamps, butterflies and fossils, all of which he collected.

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    Arthur Ernest McKeand

    8 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON MONDAY OCTOBER 15TH 1917

    2nd Lt. Christie, R.F.S. (Robert Francis Sanderson) 5 Training Squadron RFC
    Lt. Dalley, J.P. (John Pomeroy) 20 Squadron RFC
    Cpl Ferreria, R.A. (Raymond Augustus) 71 Squadron Australian Flying Corps
    Air Mech 2 Gardner, C.T. (Charles Thomas) 47th Kite Balloon Section RFC
    Lt. Gould, L.H. (Leslie Henry) 20 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Meyer, H.F. (Herbert Frederick) RFC
    Air Mech 1 Robb, A.J. (Arthur James) No.1 Aircraft Depot RFC
    2nd Lt. Whitehead, G.N. (Geoffrey Nield) 11th Balloon Company RFC

    Despite RFC losses it was a quiet day in the skies... with the following claims being made

    Wilfred Curtis Canada #4

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    Flying the Sopwith Camel, Wilfred Austin Curtis scored 13 victories with 10 Naval Squadron in France. Post-war, he went into the insurance business in Toronto but joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1939. The last World War I veteran to sit as one of the Canadian chiefs of staff, Air Marshal Curtis, Chief of the Air Staff and popular father of Canada's revitalized air force, retired on 31 January 1953. A former chancellor of York University from 1959 to 1968, he died at 83 and was inducted into Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1984.

    Thomas Le Mesurier England #6
    Harry Gosford Reeves England #11
    Hans Hoyer Germany #5
    Bruno Loerzer Germany #16
    John Lloyd Williams Wales #2

    On the German side of the trenches JASTA 76 was formed on this day.

    Royal Bavarian Jagdstaffel 76, commonly abbreviated to Jasta 76, was a "hunting group" (i.e., fighter squadron) of the Luftstreitkräfte, the air arm of the Imperial German Army during World War I. The squadron would score over 20 aerial victories during the war. The unit's victories came at the expense of six killed in action, four wounded in action, and three taken prisoner of war. Jasta 76 was founded at the Bavarian Fliegerersatz-Abteilung ("Replacement Detachment") 1 at Schleißheim on 7 September 1917. It was not actually staffed and mobilized until 15 October 1917. On 4 November 1917, it was posted to Armee-Abteilung B, equipped with Albatros D.V fighters. The new squadron scored its first victory on 1 December 1917. On 18 March 1918, Jasta 76 moved to 2 Armee. It is unknown whether its final move to Habsheim returned it to Armee-Abteilung B.

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    Albatross D.Va of Jasta 76

    Africa
    East Africa – Battle of Nyangao and Mahiwa (*until October 18): ‘An equatorial Gettysburg’ (largest battle of the war), c.4,950 British, 12 guns, 4 mortars, 147 MGs vs 3,000 Germans and c.3 guns. Wahle evacuates Mtana due to Nigerian Brigade and fights it north of Mahiwa.

    The Battle of Mahiwa fought between German and British Imperial forces was a battle of the East African Campaign of World War I. The battle began when South African and Nigerian troops under Lieutenant General Jacob van Deventer engaged a column of German forces under the command of General Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck at Mahiwa in German East Africa. The Germans were able to inflict substantial casualties upon Van Deventer's army, forcing it to withdraw. The Germans also lost a large percentage of their forces and were ultimately forced to withdraw from their positions and continue their guerrilla war. With Kurt Wahle's force at Nyangao separated from Lettow-Vorbeck's main body, the British hatched a plan to cut off and surround Wahle's column by flanking it with a force of Nigerians. They would then commit a large body of soldiers on a frontal attack and encircle the force.

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    The Kashmiri Mountain Battery at the Battle of Nyangao and Mahlwa.

    A force of three battalions of Nigerians was sent against Wahle's troops at Nyangao and engaged him there on the 15th. Von Lettow-Vorbeck brought up reinforcements to Wahle and pitted his additional four companies against them. The Nigerians were soon threatened with encirclement and suffered severe casualties. A larger force had been sent by the British to attack the Germans from the opposite side, but this was also met with stubborn resistance when the Germans withdrew from Nyangao on the 16th and dug in on the ridge at Mahiwa 2 miles (3.2 km) from their previous position. Despite the attacks from the newly arrived British force, the Germans were able to hold their ground and counter-attacked on the 17th and 18th forcing the British to withdraw with heavy casualties. The British forces were defeated with heavy losses taking over 2,700 casualties and were forced to withdraw. Although Von Lettow-Vorbeck had inflicted the greatest number of casualties on the Allies in the African Theater since the Battle of Tanga, the battle did not go as well as he had hoped. Although the German army suffered only between 500 and 600 casualties, it was over thirty percent of the force engaged. The German supplies were extremely limited and four days of fighting had expended over 850,000 rounds, nearly his entire supply of smokeless cartridges.[citation needed] Without sufficient ammunition for their modern weapons, the German force was reduced to using old Mauser Model 1871s which used black powder cartridges.[citation needed] Low on supplies and fearing another assault, General von Lettow-Vorbeck decided to withdraw from German East Africa and invade Portuguese East Africa where he hoped to regain strength by capturing supplies from the ill-prepared Portuguese Army there.

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    Sketch map of the battle

    Western Front
    Aisne: German guns fire 90,000 rounds phosgene gas shell (until October 22) at French in Ailette Basin near Laffaux; 1,200 gassed (110 deaths). Artillery duels northeast of Soissons on October 17.

    Home Fronts
    France: Mata Hari shot as spy at Vincennes, aged 41.

    In December 1916, the French Second Bureau of the French War Ministry let Mata Hari obtain the names of six Belgian agents. Five were suspected of submitting fake material and working for the Germans, while the sixth was suspected of being a double agent for Germany and France. Two weeks after Mata Hari had left Paris for a trip to Madrid, the double agent was executed by the Germans, while the five others continued their operations. This development served as proof to the Second Bureau that the names of the six spies had been communicated by Mata Hari to the Germans. On 13 February 1917, Mata Hari was arrested in her room at the Hotel Elysée Palace on the Champs Elysées in Paris. She was put on trial on 24 July, accused of spying for Germany, and consequently causing the deaths of at least 50,000 soldiers. Although the French and British intelligence suspected her of spying for Germany, neither could produce definite evidence against her. Supposedly secret ink was found in her room, which was incriminating evidence in that period. She contended that it was part of her makeup.

    Zelle's principal interrogator was Captain Pierre Bouchardon, the man who was to prosecute her at her trial, who grilled her relentlessly. Bouchardon was able to establish that much of the Mata Hari persona was invented, and far from being a Javanese princess, Zelle was actually Dutch, which he was to use as evidence of her dubious and dishonest character at her trial. Zelle admitted to Bouchardon that she had accepted 20,000 francs from a German diplomat in the Netherlands to spy on France, but insisted she only passed on to the Germans trivial information as her loyalty was entirely to her adopted nation, France. In the meantime, Ladoux had been preparing a case against his former agent by casting all of her activities in the worst possible light, going so far as to engage in evidence tampering.

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    Mata Hari in 1906

    In 1917, France had been badly shaken by the Great Mutinies of the French Army in the spring of 1917 following the failure of the Nivelle Offensive together with a huge strike wave, and at the time, many believed that France might simply collapse as a result of war exhaustion. In July 1917, a new government under Georges Clemenceau, aka "le tigre", had come into power, utterly committed to winning the war. In this context, having one German spy for whom everything that went wrong with the war so far could be blamed was most convenient for the French government, making Mata Hari the perfect scapegoat, which explains why the case against her received maximum publicity in the French press, and led to her importance in the war being greatly exaggerated.The Canadian historian Wesley Wark stated in a 2014 interview that Mata Hari was never an important spy and just made a scapegoat for French military failures which she had nothing to do with, stating: "They needed a scapegoat and she was a notable target for scapegoating". Likewise, the British historian Julie Wheelwright stated: "She really did not pass on anything that you couldn’t find in the local newspapers in Spain". Wheelwright went on to describe Zelle as "...an independent woman, a divorcee, a citizen of a neutral country, a courtesan and a dancer, which made her a perfect scapegoat for the French, who were then losing the war. She was kind of held up as an example of what might happen if your morals were too loose”.

    Zelle wrote several letters to the Dutch Ambassador in Paris, claiming her innocence. "My international connections are due of my work as a dancer, nothing else .... Because I really did not spy, it is terrible that I cannot defend myself". The most terrible and heart-breaking moment for Mata Hari during the trial occurred when her lover Maslov – by now a deeply embittered man as a result of losing his eyes in combat – declined to testify for her, telling her he couldn't care less if she were convicted or not. It was reported that Zelle fainted when she learned that Maslov had abandoned her. Her defence attorney, veteran international lawyer Édouard Clunet, faced impossible odds; he was denied permission either to cross-examine the prosecution's witnesses or to examine his own witnesses directly.[citation needed] Bouchardon used the very fact that Zelle was a woman as evidence of her guilt, saying: "Without scruples, accustomed to make use of men, she is the type of woman who is born to be a spy."

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    At her arrest

    Mata Hari herself admitted under interrogation to taking money to work as a German spy. It is contended by some historians that Mata Hari may have merely accepted money from the Germans without actually carrying out any spy duties. At her trial, Zelle vehemently insisted that her sympathies were with the Allies and declared her passionate love of France, her adopted homeland. In October 2001, documents released from the archives of MI5 (British counter-intelligence) were used by a Dutch group, the Mata Hari Foundation to ask the French government to exonerate Zelle as they argued that the MI5 files proved she was not guilty of the charges she was convicted of.[28] A spokesman from the Mata Hari Foundation argued that at most Zelle was a low-level spy who provided no secrets to either side, stating: "We believe that there are sufficient doubts concerning the dossier of information that was used to convict her to warrant re-opening the case. Maybe she wasn't entirely innocent, but it seems clear she wasn't the master-spy whose information sent thousands of soldiers to their deaths, as has been claimed.".

    Zelle was executed by firing squad on 15 October 1917, at the age of 41. According to an eyewitness account by British reporter Henry Wales, she was not bound and refused a blindfold. She defiantly blew a kiss to the firing squad. Zelle has often been portrayed as a femme fatale, the dangerous, seductive woman who uses her sexuality to effortlessly manipulate men, but others view her differently: in the words of the American historians Norman Polmer and Thomas Allen she was "naïve and easily duped", a victim of men rather than a victimizer. A 1934 New Yorker article reported that at her execution she wore "a neat Amazonian tailored suit, especially made for the occasion, and a pair of new white gloves" though another account indicates she wore the same suit, low-cut blouse and tricorn hat ensemble which had been picked out by her accusers for her to wear at trial, and which was still the only full, clean outfit which she had in prison.Neither description matches photographic evidence. Wales recorded her death, saying that after the volley of shots rang out, "Slowly, inertly, she settled to her knees, her head up always, and without the slightest change of expression on her face. For the fraction of a second it seemed she tottered there, on her knees, gazing directly at those who had taken her life. Then she fell backward, bending at the waist, with her legs doubled up beneath her." A non-commissioned officer then walked up to her body, pulled out his revolver, and shot her in the head to make sure she was dead.

    USA: Shipping Board takes over private ocean-going ships.
    Germany: Ludendorff reports to War Office on OHL meetings with unions.

  40. #2790

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    16th October 1917

    The Battle of Moon Sound


    It was the Germans' intention to destroy the Russian Army and occupy the West Estonian Archipelago (Moonsund Archipelago). The Germans captured the archipelago, with its main islands of Saaremaa (Ösel), Hiiumaa (Dagö), and Muhu (Moon) during Operation Albion in September 1917. This left a Russian squadron consisting of the old Russo-Japanese War-era pre-dreadnought battleships Grazhdanin (Tsesarevich), and Slava, together with cruisers and destroyers, stranded in the Gulf of Riga. The Russian fleet escaped on 17 October 1917 by way of the Suur Strait separating the island of Muhu from the Estonian mainland.

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    At the start of the Battle of Moon Sound, there were two British submarines in the Gulf of Riga. They were C 27 (Lt. Sealy) and C 32 (Lt. Satow). When the Germans got there, Captain Francis Cromie sent out another submarine called C 26 (Lt. Downie). On the night of the 16th of October, Lt. Sealy fired two torpedoes at two German ships but missed. Two further torpedoes struck their targets. C 27 returned to Hanko when it was no longer needed. C 32 attempted to attack a German ship but was spotted and bombed. In the afternoon of 16 October, Gruppe Behncke travelled to the south exit of the Suur Strait and dropped anchor around 8:30 pm. All German ships were anchored in a close line with a torpedo boat at each end. The Germans made significant progress on shore on 16 October, taking 120 officers and 400 men prisoner and capturing 49 guns. By the end of the day, German forces were prepared to capture the West Estonian Archipelago and the navy was ready to attack in the Matsalu Bay and the Suur Strait. The Russian battle strategy was changed at 4:30 am on October 17 due to a mistake made in the transfer of an order. That morning, ships were on the move by 7:00. The 3rd M.S.H.F was heading east while the 8th H.f.F.l. was heading north under command of Erich Koellner.

    At 7:20, Russian battleships opened fire on the 8th H.f.F.l, the 3rd M.S. Dive and the Sperrbrecher. The 8th advanced but were under constant Russian fire. It was the 3rd M.S.H.F's duty to clear mines.

    At 8:00 am Admiral Behncke ordered that the cruisers stay put and not advance any farther. At this point, König and Kronprinz proceeded east by the 3rd M.S.H.F, both under the command of Georg von der Marwitz. Slava was advancing so that she came between Paternoster and Werder and started firing upon any east-bound German ship. While this was going on, the 3rd M.S.H.F. had reached Laura Bank and turned north, König and Kronprinz continued east and Slava was now heading north. Admiral Hopman was at the same time heading west towards the Väike Strait.

    At 9:10, two Russian ships that had returned south opened fire on the 3rd M.S.H.F. The Russians now understood that if they could stop the minesweepers, they could stop the entire German attack. At 9:40, 3rd Ms. Dive was brought over to the east side of Russian minefields to assist the 3rd H.f.F.l.

    By 10:00, the minesweepers were on the northern edge of the rectangular minefield. König and Kronprinz now went forward. Around 10:13, König opened fire on Slava. By 10:17, Kronprinz followed König`s lead and opened fire on the battleship Grazhdanin. Bayan was also attacked by König. Slava took many underwater hits, causing extensive damage. Grazhdanin only got hit twice in all of the chaos. at 10:40 the Germans ceased fire. The Russians continued to fire on the 3rd M.S.H.F. Around 10:30, Admiral Bachirev ordered all sea forces to withdraw to the northern Suur Strait. Slava, now fatally wounded, was scuttled by Turkmerec Strauropolski. The Russians were determined to make the channel impossible to pass through so they laid out more mines and used damaged ships to their advantage. At 10:46, the Werder Battery opened fire on the German battleships.

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    At approximately 11:09, two German battleships anchored while under fire at Võilaid. At 11.28 there was a false submarine alarm followed by a legitimate one at 12:08.

    Around 1:35, Kolberg attacked Võilaid for approximately ten minutes but met no reply. At 3:45, Admiral Hopman`s flagleutnant Obltz Keln led a landing party to take over Woi. At 5:30, white star shell could be seen which meant that the battery had successfully been taken but the guns were unserviceable. By 3:00, Kommodore Heinrich took V100 toward the channel that would lead them to the Suur Strait but were immediately under fire by gunboats under the control of Admiral Makarov.

    At 10:00pm, Kptlt Zander began to go forward to the Suur Strait. The V25-class torpedo boat S 50 took up position to mark the passage. At the end of the day, Germans were in control over the southern Suur Strait, the Väike Strait and the Matsalu Bay. On the night of October 17, Russians gave up trying to capture the Suur Strait. Just after midnight on October 18, V25-class torpedo boat S 64 hit a mine and was rendered unmanoeuvrable. She sank before 1 a.m. At dawn, German torpedo boats assumed patrol stations in the Matsalu Bay. The landing operations on Hiiumaa gained momentum between 7:15 and 8:00 am, and the area around Emmaste was secured. By 8:30, German minesweepers had worked forward to a mile south of the Viirelaid lighthouse. At 8:00, Behncke's group started east and went behind the 3rd M.S.H.F. Just after 10:00, Behncke ordered Admiral Hopman to dispatch Strassburg and the 8th M.S.H.F. to the 3rd squadron while Kolberg, the torpedo-boats and Sperrbrecher would remain to the west. At 12:40 the 3rd M.S.H.F. and two boats of the half flotilla confirmed that Slava was sunk along with two freight steamers. The Germans could see Russian destroyers laying mines, the Russians had not yet detected the Germans, so the Germans opened fire, which was met with a reply. Two German torpedo boats opened fire as the Germans continued northward, two Russian gunboats and several destroyers took them under fire. They then turned south at high speed under the cover of a smoke screen. By the evening of the 18th, Kuressaare had been made a supply base, the southern part of Hiiumaa under control of the second Cyclist Battalion and the S-Flotilla landing section, Saaremaa and Muhu were now firmly in German hands.

    On October 19 the forces of the Gulf of Riga and numerous transport steamers and auxiliaries left the northern Suur Strait under the protection of minesweepers and destroyers. By mid-afternoon, the German forces had penetrated the strait. The German losses were seven minesweepers, nine trawlers and small boats as well as one torpedo-boat. The Imperial Navy had a total of 156 dead and 60 wounded. The army had 54 dead and 141 wounded. The German Army captured 20,130 prisoners, 141 Russian guns including 47 heavy pieces and 130 machine guns.

    Casualties of the Battle were far more extensive for the Germans than the Russians. 300 German soldiers were killed, and 200 were wounded while the Russians suffered fewer than 100 deaths and around the same number of wounded.

    The German destroyer S 46, and the Russian destroyer Grom were both sunk. Of the Russian heavy ships Citizen was damaged, with Slava so badly damaged that it was scuttled. The German battleships Bayern and Grosser Kurfürst were both damaged by mines (restored fully to service by December), and SMS Kronprinz was also slightly damaged by a mine but not requiring docking. The German B 97-class destroyer B 98 was damaged, A 32 ran aground (refloated), the auxiliary ship Corsika slightly damaged, 7 minesweepers were sunk in anti-mine operations, and the V25 class torpedo-boats S 64, S 65 and S 66 were also sunk.

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    Elsewhere at sea...

    The German mine laying cruisers Bremse and Brummer intercept a westbound convoy sixty-five miles east of Lerwick, consisting of twelve merchantmen (two British, one Belgian, nine neutral Scandinavian) escorted by the destroyers HMS Mary Rose and HMS Strongbow and two armed trawlers. Strongbow is just astern of the convoy, while Mary Rose is six to eight miles ahead of it. Strongbow sights the German cruisers in poor visibility at no more than 4,000 yards and takes them for British light cruisers, which they have been rigged to resemble. She challenged several times before going to action stations. By this time Brummer has closed to within 3,000 yards and opens a devastating fire, immediately knocking out Strongbow’s main steam pipe and wireless; just before this the destroyer had been attempting to transmit a warning, but the German cruisers jammed the signal, as they did all similar efforts by the Allied ships.

    The cruisers then turn to the merchantmen and quickly sink nine of them. Mary Rose hears the firing astern and closes and fights the Germans. She is rapidly sunk with the loss of 83 dead and only 5 survivors while Strongbow is finished off losing 47 dead with 37 survivors. Lieutenant Commander Edward Brooke of the Strongbow survives only to die of pneumonia in February 1919.

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    HMS Mary Rose (Don't worry Tim - NO SAILS on this one)

    Lieutenant Commander Charles Leonard Fox (HMS Mary Rose) is among those killed.
    Another Lieutenant lost on the Mary Rose is Anthony James Bavin who is killed at age 23. His brother was killed in May 1915.
    Engineer Lieutenant Commander William Howie Cleghorn (HMS Mary Rose) becomes the third son of John and Margaret Cleghorn to be killed in the Great War when he loses his life in the sinking. His brothers were killed last year and in September of this year.

    The War in the Air

    Captain Guy Patrick Spence Reid MC 20 Squadron RFC is killed in a crash today

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    The son of Thomas Miller and Lisette (Livings) Reid, 2nd Lieutenant Guy Patrick Spence Reid received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 1693 on a Maurice Farman biplane at military school, Farnborough on 4 September 1915. He transferred from the Seaforth Highlanders to the Royal Flying Corps and was posted to 20 Squadron in 1916. An F.E.2b pilot, he scored 5 victories with his observers and was awarded the Military Cross in September 1916.

    The following aerial victory claims were made on this day

    Edmond Thieffry Belgium #10

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    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.

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    Joseph Fall Canada #26
    Andrew McKeever Canada #21 #22
    Leslie Powell England #11 #12
    Pierre de Cazenove de Pradines France #4
    Georges Lachmann France #9
    Erwin Böhme Germany #20
    Ernst Hess Germany #16 u/c
    Reinhard Treptow Germany #4

    8 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON TUESDAY OCTOBER 16TH 1917

    Lt. Butler, A.S. (Amar Somerset) 47 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Cameron, G.G. (George Grant) 39 Training Squadron RFC
    Lt. Gadsen, C.C. (Crawford Cunningham) 101 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Hunter, P.C. (Patrick Colin) RFC
    Air Mech 2 Jackson, W. (William) RFC
    Capt. Reid, G.P.S. (Guy Patrick Spence) 39 Training Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Terry, J.E. (John Elliott) RFC
    Lt. Thompson, W.C. (William Crang) 52 Training Squadron RFC

    Western Front
    Aisne: French attack west of Craonne fails. 1,800 French guns and 460 mortars prepare way for limited offensive (until October 22) on 7 1/2-mile front, ie maximum of 1 gun to 6 yards with 120,000t of shells.

    Eastern Front
    Baltic Provinces: Russian civilians evacuate Reval (Estonia).
    Northern Russia: Main body of Royal Navy Air Service Armoured Car Squadron sails from Archangel (most land at Newcastle on October 29).

    Africa
    East Africa: Whale evacuates Nyangao, but Lettow’s 1,000 men with 2 guns reinforce him to surround Nigerian Brigade in two groups, which loses 300 casualties and 1 gun.

    Air War
    Mesopotamia: 3 Royal Flying Corps No 30 Squadron Martinsydes (1 forced down) bomb Kifri airfield (and on October 31, 4 aircraft lost).


    Unrest in Russia


    Unrest by workers, peasants and soldiers: In September and October 1917, there were mass strike actions by the Moscow and Petrograd workers, miners in Donbas, metalworkers in the Urals, oil workers in Baku, textile workers in the Central Industrial Region, and railroad workers on 44 railway lines. In these months alone, more than a million workers took part in strikes. Workers established control over production and distribution in many factories and plants in a social revolution. By October 1917, there had been over 4,000 peasant uprisings against landowners. When the Provisional Government sent punitive detachments, it only enraged the peasants. The garrisons in Petrograd, Moscow, and other cities, the Northern and Western fronts, and the sailors of the Baltic Fleet in September declared through their elected representative body Tsentrobalt that they did not recognize the authority of the Provisional Government and would not carry out any of its commands. In a week's time history would be changed forever....

  41. #2791

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    Thanks to both Neil and Chris - great posts as always. Good to see you back in the saddle again Neil

  42. #2792

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    17th October 1917


    Baltic – Gulf of Riga 27-minutes battleship action: Russian battleship Slava damaged (3 hits) by Koenig and Kronprinz, goes aground and later scuttled west of Papilad island. Battleship Grashdanin (ex-Tsesarevich) retires north damaged (2 hits).
    North Sea: Fast German cruiser-minelayers Bremse and Brummer surprise and destroy British-escorted Bergen*-Lerwick-Britain convoy 65 miles east of Shetlands. Destroyers Mary Rose (Fox) and Strongbow fight suicidal delaying action (135 lost, survivors fired on) while 3 British merchant ships escape; 9 Scandinavian ships sunk in 2 hrs 20 mins. No radio warning got off, 30 Royal Navy cruisers and 54 destroyers at sea, but powerless.

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    The Russian battleship ‘Grashdanin’ was launched 1901 with only 13.210 tons and four 12-inch guns as main armament, while the sunken ‘Slava’ was from 1903 with 15,000 tons with the same armament

    Air War (and some payback)

    Germany had used Zeppelin airships to attack mainland Britain since 1915, the first such raid on Great Yarmouth on January 19 that year causing two deaths, but leading to great unease in the civilian population. London was first raided by Zeppelins on May 31 1915 , with five killed but far greater panic caused, and such raids continued until a deadlier threat was developed by the Germans: the Gotha bomber. On May 23 1917 in a trial raid 21 of the huge machines (triple-engined, their wingspan nearly 80 feet) bombed Folkestone , killing 95 but having a far more significant effect on British morale. On June 13 1917 14 of the same aircraft bombed London, the start of a month long campaign. Britain had to retaliate to placate the outraged public.
    Two solo planes – Sopwith Tabloids - were used on October 8 1917 to attack targets in Cologne and Dusseldorf. But the first mass air-raid on Germany by the Royal Naval Air Service (the RAF only being formed on April 1 1918 ) came on October 17 1917: a wing of the force had been dedicated to the task of bombing at the start of that month; this included 55 Squadron, whose Airco DH.4 two-seater biplanes were able to carry a bomb-load of up to 460lb, in the form of two 230lb devices or four of 112lb each. Eleven of the DH.4s were used in a daylight raid to hit a factory in Saarbrucken, the British command still seemingly unwilling to follow the German lead and deliberately attack wholly civilian targets.

    Airco DH.4


    The Airco DH.4 was a British two-seat biplane day bomber of World War I. 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 Royal Flying Corps (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.

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    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 Captain 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.

    Two British Aces were lost on this day

    Sergeant William Joseph Benger MM 20 Squadron RFC

    An observer with 20 Squadron in the fall of 1917, William Joseph Benger, the son of J. W. and Eleanor Benger, scored 5 victories flying Bristol Fighters. He and pilot A.G.V Taylor were shot down over Poelcapelle by Theodor Quandt of Jasta 36. Benger and Taylor were captured shortly before they died from their wounds. Birth registered 1st quarter 1895 at Devizes. Home at enlistment: Ewell, Surrey.

    This NCO has served as an aerial gunner since 13.05.1917 and has done consistently good work in aerial gunnery, photography and reconnaissance. He has had numerous combats and has shown good marksmanship and coolness in action. On 25.09.1917 he shot down an out of control Albatross Scout near Becelaere. On 29.07.1917 near Moorslede he shot down in flames an Albatross Scout. On 03.10.1917 one Albatross Scout was driven down out of control near Wervicq. On 11.10.1917 near Moorslede he drove an Albatross Scout out of control.

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    Captain Arthur Gilbert Vivian Taylor 20 Squadron RFC

    With 20 Squadron in 1917, Arthur Gilbert Vivian Taylor scored seven victories flying the F.E.2d and Bristol Fighter. He was killed in action over Poelkapelle, shot down by Theodor Quandt of Jasta 36.

    A further 6 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 17TH 1917

    Lt. Cook, H. (Herbert) 70 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech 1 Manning, G.W. (George William) 13 Squadron RFC
    Lt. McCracken, H.J. (Henry Joy) 111 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech 1 Rankin, T.G. Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. 'President II'
    Lt. Veacock, S.J. (Stanley John) 20 Squadron RFC
    LM Wells, T. (Thomas) H.M.S. 'Strongbow' RNAS

    The following aerial victories were made on this day

    Richard Minifie Australia #13
    William Durrand Canada #6
    Joseph Fall Canada #27

    Philip Fletcher Fullard England #32 #33 #34

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    John Pinder England #4
    Harry Gosford Reeves England #12
    Albert Edward Woodbridge England #5
    Georges Blanc France #4

    René Fonck France #16 #17

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    Fonck was the highest scoring ace for France and the Allies. As a boy growing up in the foothills of the Vosges, he was fascinated by stories of men and their flying machines. Yet when he was conscripted in August 1914, he refused to serve in the French Air Service, choosing instead to go to the trenches. By early 1915, he had changed his mind and began his flight training in a Penguin at Saint-Cyr. Displaying an inherent talent for flying, he was soon serving with Escadrille C47, flying an unarmed Caudron on reconnaissance missions over the lines. In April 1917, after more than 500 hours of flight time, Fonck was assigned to Spa103. Flying the SPAD VII, he developed a reputation for studying the tactics of his opponents and conserving ammunition during a dogfight. On two separate occasions, he shot down six enemy aircraft in one day. As his fame grew, so did his ego and Fonck never achieved the admiration and popularity of Georges Guynemer. Even French ace Claude Haegelen, one of Fonck's few friends, felt he boasted too much and too often; but no one could deny that Fonck was an excellent pilot and superb marksman. In 1944 he was arrested and charged with being a collaborator. Fonck died at home from a stroke. He was 59.

    Julius Buckler Germany #18
    Xavier Dannhuber Germany #15
    Bruno Loerzer Germany #17

    Herbert Drewitt New Zealand #1

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    The son of F. M. Drewitt, Herbert Frank Stacey Drewitt was educated at the Waitaki Boys' High School where he received first prize in agricultural chemistry. After learning to farm on Sir George Clifford's station at Stonyhurst, he trained with the Walsh Brothers for eight months and received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 3917 on a Curtiss flying boat at New Zealand Aviation School, Kohimarama on 1 December 1916. In January 1917, it was announced that the 22 year old had been appointed a temporary Sub-Flight Lieutenant with orders to Wellington for service abroad. Flying SPADs with 23 Squadron in France, Drewitt scored seven victories. Post-war, he was appointed to the New Zealand Air Force, with the rank of Captain, in 1923.

    Samuel Kinkead South Africa #5

    Eastern Front
    Baltic Provinces: German landing on Dagoe island repulsed but Marines succeed on October 19 and secure on October 20 together with Schildau island.

    Afrika
    East Africa: O’Grady’s Linforce a mile from Nigerian Brigade as both sides retreat after ferocious, confused, close-quarter fighting. British lose 2,348 casualties (528 Nigerians), 1 gun and 9 MGs plus over 352 carriers. Lettow loses 519 men and abandons Königsberg gun. British claim 918 PoWs alone from October 15-18.

    Eastern Mediterranean: Turk air reconnaissance finds no Cyprus preparations for British landing in Gulf of Alexandretta.

    Captain Tunstill's men: A fine day

    Four men were reported killed in action; Ptes. Herbert Briggs (see below), Frederick James Farthing (see 8th September), Harry Jackson (10796) (see below) and James Mullock (see 5th October). A fifth man, L.Cpl. Arthur Dyson (see 20th September) was reported missing in action; he had been recommended for the Military Medal for his conduct on 20th September. Four of the men are now commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing. The remains of Pte. Farthing were recovered from a battlefield grave in 1921 and re-interred at Aeroplane Cemetery, north of Ypres.

    Pte. Harry Jackson (10796) was 21 years old. He had originally served with 2DWR under the name ‘Harry Jackson’, but was in fact Morris Kayles, the son of Israel and Annie Kayles, who were Russian immigrants who had been working in the tailoring trade in Leeds.

    Pte. Leonard Watling (see 12th September) was wounded and died at 10th Casualty Clearing Station at Remy Sidings and was buried at the adjacent Lijssenthoek Miitary Cemetery. Pte. Arthur Samuel Potter (see 20th September) also died of wounds at one of the Casualty Clearing Stations at Remy Sidings and was buried at Lijssenthoek Miitary Cemetery. He had been recommended for the Military Medal for his conduct on 20th September.

    The night of the 16th/17th October

    Overnight 16th/17th, the Battalion moved to the front line, west of Polygon Wood, relieving 12DLI. A and B Coys occupied the front line from J.11.d.7.5. to J.12.a.5.5, with C and D Coys in the Support Line from J.11.c.5.6 to J.11.b.1.5. HQ was at The Butte (J.10.a.7.9).

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    One man was confirmed killed in action and a further five were reported missing. The likelihood is that the devastating effects of the the ferocious and sustained German shelling was such that the men’s remains were simply unidentifiable. Pte. Joseph Fox (see 5th October) was confirmed killed and Ptes. George Bentley (see 5th October), James Harding (see 5th October), Clifford Mackrell (see 10th May) and Frank Miller (see 5th October) were all officially reported as missing. All five men are now commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing. Of the five all but Mackrell had only been with the Battalion for 11 days, having arrived with the draft from the Cheshire Regiment, via the Labour Corps on 5th October. The fifth man reported missing was Pte. Harry Earnshaw (see 2nd May); he would later be confirmed as being a prisoner in German hands, having been transferred to a prison camp at Limburg; the circumstances under which he came to be taken prisoner by the Germans are unclear and difficult to speculate about.

    At about 9pm Cpl. William Foulds (see 11th September), who was on duty as NCO of the watch in a section of the front line, “fell over an old rifle with a fixed bayonet protruding from the ground, causing a minor wound to his left thigh”. The wound appeared trivial and Foulds remained at duty.

    Following two weeks treatment for a sprained ankle, Pte. Harry Robinson (see 3rd October) was discharged from hospital and posted to 34th Infantry Base Depot at Etaples, en route to a return to active service.

    Lt. David Lewis Evans (see 13th September), who had been in England having wounded in July, appeared before a further Medical Board assembled at The Manor War Hospital in Epsom. The Board found that, “Wounded at Ypres on 16/7/17 receiving numerous wounds of chest, one penetrating right lung. Wounds are healed and his condition is improved. No discharge from ears and the deafness of right ear has improved. He is recommended for 21 days leave and has been ordered to re-join 3rd Battalion West Riding Regiment at North Shields on November 7th. Railway warrants have been issued to Bridgend and from Bridgend to North Shields. It is not necessary for him to appear before the Board again”. On the expiry of his leave he would be deemed fit for home service.

    Mrs. Angelina Pereira, mother of the late Capt. Adrian O’Donnell Pereira (see 23rd September), who had been killed in action on 20th September, wrote to the OC, Divisional Burying Party, 23rd Division, regarding the burial of her late son:

    “I shall be very much obliged if you can give me the exact position of the grave of my son, Capt. Adrian O’Donnell Pereira, 10th Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment, who was killed in action on September 20th near Veldhoek on the Menin Road and buried by troops under your command. I have obtained my information from his Battalion but have been unable to obtain the exact situation of his grave. Further, I am informed that although my son was killed by a shell fragment, his body was not severley mutilated which makes it so incomprehensible to me that so few of those personal belongings which he would be carrying on him have been returned to me. These are articles which would be particularly precious to me (his Mother) and all his family, being so closely personal to him and yet all I have received are a few letters and a wrist watch. Such articles as his signet ring, revolver, compass, field glasses and some medals which he always wore have not been sent back either in his kit or with the letters etc which I have mentioned above. I should be very grateful indeed if you could let me have any information on the points mentioned in this letter”.

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  43. #2793

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    Thursday 18th October 1917

    Today we lost: 795
    Today’s losses include:
    · A Merchant Mariner whose son will also be killed in the Merchant Marines next year
    · Multiple sons of members of the clergy
    · Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
    · A man shot at dawn
    · The brother of a professional cricketer

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    · Lieutenant Robert de Be**** Saunderson (attached Gold Coast Regiment, West Africa Frontier Force) is killed at Lukeledi Mission Dar Es Salaam at age 26. He is the only son of the late Reverend Reverend de Be**** Saunderson vicar of Milton Kent.
    · Second Lieutenant Leonard Webb Hearn (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) is killed at age 27. His brother was killed in July 1916.
    · Second Lieutenant Herbert Heron Fraser (Seaforth Highlanders) dies of wounds at age 34. He is the son of the Reverend James Fraser.
    · CQMS William Alexander (Alberta Regiment) is executed for desertion by a firing squad at age 37. He deserted 15th August but was located four days later after his battalion had suffered some 400 casualties in the meantime on Hill 70.
    · Fitter Staff Sergeant Bernard Kilner MSM (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action. He is the brother of professional cricketer Roy Kitner who played nine test matches in the 1920’s.
    · Sergeant Charles Ewart Sargeant (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) is killed at age 28. His brother was killed seven months ago.

    Air Operations:

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    The DH-4 bomber is ordered into mass production in the US; 4,500 are eventually built with 1,213 reaching France.

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    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 12
    Sgt Bishop, H.E. (Harry Edward), 26 (South Africa)n Squadron, RFC.
    Cpl Burrell, H. (Harold), 2 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Cremonini, J.H. (James Henry), 66 Squadorn, RFC.
    2Lt Ferguson, C.E. (Charles Edgar), 22 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Forbes, G.W. (Gordon William), 24 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt George, T.W. (Thomas William), 40 Training Squadron, RFC.
    Lt Gilbert, J.D. (John Driffield). 56 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Lennox, A.D. (Alexandra ****), RFC.
    Pte McNeill, D. (David), 10th Balloon Company, RFC.
    Lt Nixon, C.T., RFC.
    Pte Spensley, R. (Richard), RFC.
    2Lt Swann, G.H. (Gerald Huddart), 41 Squadron, RFC.

    Claims: 10 confirmed (Entente 5: Central Powers 5)

    Richard Minifie #14.

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    Reginald Hoidge #25 & #26. The son of John Robert and Loveday Ann (Cotton) Hoidge, Reginald Theodore Carlos Hoidge first served with the Canadian Royal Garrison Artillery before he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. Posted to 56 Squadron in 1917, he scored 27 victories flying the SE5 and S.E.5a. After serving as an instructor for nearly a year, he was posted to 1 Squadron as a flight commander and scored one more victory before the war ended. He was one of the seven aces involved in Werner Voss’s last stand on 23 September, when Voss in his Fokker Dr1 fought all the British fliers to a standstill, damaging all the attacking SE 5s.

    Michael Edward Gonne #2.

    Samuel Kincead #6.

    Xavier Dannhuber #16.
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    Helmut Diffhey #5.
    Hans Hoyer u/c.
    Hans Klein #20.
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    Ulrich Neckel #3.
    Kurt Schonfelder #3.

    Western Front:


    Tunstills Men Thursday 18th October 1917:

    Front line trenches west of Polygon Wood. A and B Coys in the front line from J.11.d.7.5. to J.12.a.5.5, with C and D Coys in the Support Line from J.11.c.5.6 to J.11.b.1.5. HQ at The Butte (J.10.a.7.9).
    A wet day.

    Overnight 17th/18th the Germans launched a major raid against the British line which was beaten off with considerable casualties; 18 men were killed in action and many more wounded. The majority of these men, though most likely buried by their comrades in the aftermath of the fighting, now have no known grave and are commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing. In just five cases their remains were subsequently identified, exhumed and re-interred. The men killed were:

    CSM Joseph Bona (see 5th September).

    Sgt. James Scott (14445) (see 20th September); he had been recommended for the Military Medal for his conduct on 20th September.

    Sgt. Norman Wilson, aged 21 and from Halifax had been an original member of the Battalion. In October 1920 his remains, identified by his paybook, would be recovered from an unmarked grave east of Polygon Wood and re-interred at Tyne Cot Cemetery.

    Cpl. Joseph Smith (12748) (see 20th September); he had been recommended for the Military Medal for his conduct on 20th September.

    L.Cpl. Christopher Smith Birch (see 3rd August). In 1923 his remains, identified by his identity disc, would be recovered from an unmarked grave east of Polygon Wood and re-interred at Tyne Cot Cemetery.

    L.Cpl. Alfred Exley (see 12th August).

    Pte. James Herbert Armstrong (see 5th July).

    Pte. Arthur Frederick Boulton was 27 years old and from Huddersfield. He had originally served with 8DWR and at some point (date and circumstances unknown) had been transferred to 10DWR.

    Pte. Ernest Bradley (see 5th October). In 1923 his remains, identified by his identity disc, would be recovered from an unmarked grave east of Polygon Wood and re-interred at Tyne Cot Cemetery. As he had only been with 10DWR for less than two weeks, his identity disc still stated him to be serving with 16th Cheshires.

    Pte. Arthur Cawley (see 5th October).

    Pte. John Driver (see 30th May 1916). In October 1920 his remains, identified by his identity disc and paybook, would be recovered from an unmarked grave east of Polygon Wood and re-interred at Tyne Cot Cemetery.

    Pte. Joseph William Henley had been an original member of the Battalion. He was a 28 year-old married man from Brighouse.

    Pte. Norman Holmes (see 16th January)

    Pte. William James Horne was a 35 year-old married man from Glasgow.

    Pte. George King (16475) had been an original member of the Battalion.

    Pte. Henry Leech (see 5th October). In October 1920 his remains, identified by his identity disc, would be recovered from an unmarked grave east of Polygon Wood and re-interred at Tyne Cot Cemetery. As he had only been with 10DWR for less than two weeks, his identity disc still stated him to be serving with 17th Cheshires.

    Pte. Frank Ernest Walton (see 15th September).

    Pte. Henry Percival Widdop (see 16th January).

    The number of men wounded is unknown, but a number have been identified. Capt. Herbert Sparling (see 5th October) suffered severe wounds to his left leg. He was evacuated to one of the local Casualty Clearing Stations where his leg would be amputated at the knee joint. Also among those wounded was L.Sgt. Albert Bradley (see 27th August); he was buried by a shell explosion and suffered severe head injuries. He was evacuated to 17th Casualty Clearing Station at Remy Sidings. Pte. John William Camps (see 5th October) suffered severe wounds to his left leg and Pte. Robert McCall (see 5th October) was also severely wounded, suffering major chest wounds; the details of their treatment are unknown. Pte. Robert Frank Smith (25829) (see 5th October) suffered a shrapnel wound to his left thigh; he would be admitted via 69th Field Ambulance and 37th Casualty Clearing Station to 22nd General Hospital at Camiers.

    Ptes. Willie Cowgill (see 13th October) and David Doughty Glossop (see 4th August) both re-joined the Battalion from 34th Infantry Base Depot at Etaples, where they had been for the previous week, following their discharge from hospital.

    A payment of £12 5s. 2d. was authorised, being the amount due in pay and allowances to the late Pte. James William Brennan (see 7th June), who had been killed in action on 7th June; the payment would go to his widow, Harriet.

    Eastern Front:

    Moon Island and Dagö Island (Baltic) captured by German forces (see 11th and 12th). Moon Island (Riga) evacuated by Russians.

    Southern Front:


    Renewed local fighting on Trentino and Carnia fronts.

    Asiatic, African, Egyptian Front:


    Report re: German activity near Jibuti (French Somali-land).

    Fighting continues round Nyangoa (East Africa); considerable casualties on both sides.

    Naval Operations:


    SMS S64
    , Kaiserliche marine, a V25 class destroyer struck a mine and sank in the Baltic Sea.
    SMS T66, Kaiserliche Marine, a S66 class torpedo boat, struck a mine and sank in the Gulf of Riga.

    October 17 1917, Lerwick
    –With the bulk of the German High Seas Fleet in the Baltic assisting Operation Albion, the British must have deemed the possibility of a German naval action in the North Sea to be highly unlikely–especially since there had been no activity there for nearly a year. Scheer decided to take advantage of possible British complacency by sending two fast light cruisers, the Brummer and Bremse, to attack the convoy route between Britain and Norway. The U-boats had had little luck attacking this convoy, and poor weather, low light, and the cruisers’ 34-knot speed meant they would have a good chance of making a surprise hit-and-run attack on the convoy.

    At dawn on October 17, the destroyer Strongbow, escorting a convoy of coal to Norway (part of a British promise to keep Norway friendly and stop her from trading with the Germans), sighted the two German cruisers. Not expecting to see German surface ships, they repeatedly attempted to signal them, only to be greeted with gunfire from a range of only 3000 yards. The Germans quickly sank the Strongbow and the other British destroyer in the convoy, the Mary Rose, before either were able to transmit any sort of wireless message. 135 sailors were killed. The Germans then turned on the convoy, sinking nine of the twelve merchant ships in it. Unlike the U-boats, the fast cruisers were easily able to overpower the destroyers and keep pace with the escorted ships while they tried to escape. The cruisers then slipped back south to Germany, undetected, despite a considerable British cruiser presence at sea.

    Meanwhile, in the Baltic, the Germans engaged the Russian squadron in the Gulf of Riga, while German troops crossed the causeway to Moon [Muhu] Island. The Russian ships were outclassed by the German ones; in a 27-minute engagement, the pre-dreadnought Slava took severe damage from German dreadnoughts while unable to return fire. She took on water, making her unable to escape the Gulf of Riga due to her increased draft; the Russians scuttled her in an attempt to block the sound between Moon Island and the mainland to German ships. Two days later, the remaining Russian ships left for the relative safety of the Gulf of Finland, and Russian resistance in the Gulf of Riga ended. It would also be the last major action of any sort on the Eastern Front during the war.

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    The Slava pictured shortly before her scuttling.

    Shipping Losses: 10 (1 to a mine & 9 to U-Boat action)

    Political:

    Dutch shipping in American ports to be utilised.

    Wilson Approves Text of Balfour Declaration
    :
    October 16 1917, Washington–British preparations for a renewed attack in Palestine, with Jerusalem and points beyond perhaps within grasp, once again raised the question of what was to be done with Palestine after the war. Secret agreements with the French had allotted Acre and Haifa to Britain, but the rest was to be under “international administration,” a term presumably left deliberately vague. Zionists had been hoping for some public declaration of support on behalf of a Jewish future in Palestine, and events in October were working in their favor.

    Some argued that pro-Zionist declaration would help in Russia, with a large and recently-enfranchised Jewish population. Any additional public support for the war there, it was hoped, would shore up the collapsing Russian army. There were also rumors that the Germans were preparing to issue their own pro-Zionist statement, and it was thought necessary to beat them to the punch.

    Perhaps most importantly, on October 16, Colonel House informed the British government, through intermediaries, that Wilson was in favor of the declaration proposed by Balfour, after having had a chance to read its text. Wilson had earlier demurred on the issue, despite being sympathetic to the Zionist cause (and having appointed a leading Zionist to the Supreme Court in Justice Brandeis). The United States was not at war with the Ottomans, and taking a public stand about the disposition of their territory would have been improper. However, he was willing to let the British know privately that he approved of it, and would lend it support at a future peace conference. Wilson’s approval did help to sway some doubters in the British War Cabinet, which was at that point not fully convinced of the declaration’s merits.

    Anniversary Events:

    1648 The "shoemakers of Boston"--the first labor organization in what would become the United States--was authorized by the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
    1685 Edict of Nantes lifted by Louis XIV. The edict, signed at Nantes, France, by King Henry IV in 1598, gave the Huguenots religious liberty, civil rights and security. By revoking the Edict of Nantes, Louis XIV abrogated their religious liberties.
    1813 The Allies defeat Napoleon Bonaparte at Leipzig.
    1867 The Alaska territory is formally transferred to the U.S. from Russian control.
    1867 The rules for American football are formulated at meeting in New York among delegates from Columbia, Rutgers, Princeton and Yale universities.
    1883 The weather station at the top of Ben Nevis, Scotland, the highest mountain in Britain, is declared open. Weather stations were set up on the tops of mountains all over Europe and the Eastern United States in order to gather information for the new weather forecasts.
    1910 M. Baudry is the first to fly a dirigible across the English Channel--from La Motte-Breil to Wormwood Scrubbs.
    1912 The First Balkan War breaks out between the members of the Balkan League--Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Montenegro--and the Ottoman Empire.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 10-18-2017 at 07:38.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  44. #2794

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    Friday 19th October 1917

    Today we lost: 801
    Today’s losses include:
    · A Welsh International footballer
    · The son of a member of the clergy
    · A man whose cousin was killed nine days ago
    · A man whose two brothers were killed in the South Africa War
    · Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
    · The nephew of a Justice of the Peace

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    · Major Francis William Thicknesse DSO (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed in action at age 33. He is the son of the Reverend Francis Norman Thicknesse Rector of St George’s Hanover Square. His cousin was killed in action nine days previously.
    · Lieutenant Hugh Nelson Jickell (Auckland Regiment) is killed at age 27. His two brothers were killed in the South African War.
    · Lieutenant G E C Thomson (Black Watch) is killed at age 20. His brother was killed at Mons in October 1914. They are nephews of Captain G C Karran JP.
    · Private Ernest Dyke (Shropshire Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 36. His brother will be killed in July 1918.

    Air Operations:

    The last Zeppelin raid on London takes place this night. 13 Zeppelins raid east and north-east England and London; 5 brought down. Larger type of Zeppelin used; 36 killed, 55 injured.

    This raid, that became known as ‘the Silent Raid’, proved to be the last great Zeppelin raid of the war. Eleven of the latest type of Zeppelin set out to attack industrial targets in the north of England, unaware they were flying into a fierce storm from the north-west blowing at up to 50mph.

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    Kapitänleutnant von Buttlar, commanding L.54, came inland over Aldeburgh on the Suffolk coast at 8.45pm after moving hesitatingly along the Norfolk coast for about 35minute. Von Buttlar kept below the fierce winds and, heading south-east, dropped nine HE bombs at 9.05pm, which fell between
    Hadleigh and Raydon in Suffolk, all without causing damage. Crossing into Essex, L.54 dropped a 300kg and two 50kg HE bombs at Wix, where damage at Crossman’s Farm was assessed at £1. A 50kg bomb followed at Little Clacton, which landed in a field and smashed glass in a nursery greenhouse, before she went back out to sea. Keeping low she was the first Zeppelin to make it back to Germany. A RNAS pilot, Flt. Lt. C.S. Nunn, attempted to attack L.54 over the North Sea but could not catch her.

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    L.47, commanded by Kapitänleutnant von Freudenreich, came inland at Sutton-on-Sea, Lincolnshire, at 7.45pm and, heading south towards Skegness, dropped a 50kg bomb at Ingoldmells which failed to detonate. Heading south-west, L.47 appears to have struggled against the wind for some time but south of Stamford at 9.05pm she approached Wittering airfield, releasing two 50kg HE bombs. Both overshot, landing in fields south of the airfield. Heading south-east with the wind, von Freudenreich dropped two incendiary bombs fifteen minutes later at Ramsey, failing to inflict any damage, before dropping a 50kg HE bomb at 10.28pm at Raydon, close to RFC’s Hadleigh airfield but it also failed to cause damage. Two minutes later von Freudenreich released ten HE bombs at Great Wenham damaging some farm buildings and a cottage, causing damage estimated at £250. A final 100kg HE bomb fell near Chattisham without damage. L.47 went out to sea at Walton-on-the Naze at 10.40pm. Von Freudenreich kept low over the North Sea, below the raging storm and was blown across neutral Holland at only 2,600 feet, coming under Dutch rifle fire with only two engines working. Rapid repairs saw full power restored and she made her way back to Germany.

    Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Hollender, commanding L.46, came over the Norfolk coast near Bacton at 10.30pm but, seemingly aware he was off course, he abandoned the mission and never ventured more than two or three miles inland. He immediately dropped 10 HE bombs near the coastal village of Walcott. Seven of them dropped between the Lighthouse Inn, past All Saints’ Church, to the smithy, breaking windows at the inn and church with the damage estimated at £13. Moments later three bombs fell at Walcott Hall and farm, smashing windows, damaging roofs, ceilings, farm buildings and killing two horse. Estimates put the damage at £1,000. L.46 dropped another 10 HE bombs between Walcott Hall and St. Mary’s Church at East Ruston, smashing windows at a cottage. Hollender then steered back to the coast, going out to sea between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft at 10.50pm. L.46, flying at great height, was taken by the wind over neutral Holland but was unseen by the Dutch defences and reached home safely, the last of the raiders to do so on a direct route.

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    Hauptmann Kuno Manger brought L.41 inland at 7.15pm over Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire. Although attempting to push westwards, her progress was south-west, and at 7.40pm she dropped two 50kg HE bombs at North Carlton, north of Lincoln, killing two sheep. Fighting against the wind, Manger believed he battled his way to Manchester where he claimed his bombs fell at 10.50pm. In fact at that time he was over Netherton, near Dudley, west of Birmingham, and dropped 15 bombs around Rowley Regis. Three 50kg HE and two incendiaries landed at Rough Hill, two incendiaries at Dudhill Farm, an HE and five incendiaries at Eagle Colliery, east of Old Hill, and two incendiaries on The Tump, a nearby hill. One of the HE bombs and two of the incendiaries failed to detonate and the only damage caused was broken glass. The next two bombs, both HE, dropped at Mucklow Hill, north-east of Halesowen: one at Fir Tree Farm failed to detonate and the other exploded in a field known as The Nosegay. Two incendiaries then fell in Cherry Tree Field at The Leasowes, Lapal, followed by another two that fell in a field known as The Hiplongs, next to Marsh Lane, Lapal and one in a field on Westminster Farm at Frankley. Four incendiary bombs that fell at Bartley Green all failed to ignite. Manger now had an illuminated target ahead of him, the Austin Motor Works at Longbridge, which was engaged in war work. Manger aimed five HE bombs at the works, but three failed to explode. The other two caused some damage to the Heating and Boiler House, smashed a glass roof over the Aeroplane Shop and damaged a temporary engine house, injuring a stoker inside. Estimates put the damage at £500 but it did not impede work. Another two HE bombs fell on Impey’s Farm at Longbridge without damage. At 11.00pm L.41 dropped her last bomb in that locality, an HE landing in a field at Cofton Common, east of the Longbridge works, on Cofton Common Farm. Heading for home now, L.41 was carried over Northamptonshire by the wind and at 11.50pm dropped two 100kg HE bombs at Field Burcote, north-west of Towcester, but neither detonated. The wind carried L.41 across Essex, the Thames estuary, Kent and over to France where, after struggling in the wind for nearly three hours she finally crossed the Western Front near La Bassée.

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    Kapitänleutnant Eduard Prölss, commanding L.53 came inland over The Wash near Boston at 7.30pm. Although attempting to push to the west, the winds meant that overall progress was south-west. At 9.08pm Prölss saw a ‘big city’ which thought was Birmingham but was actually Bedford. South of the town lights were burning at the Elstow works of Saunderson & Mills as L.53 approached and dropped ten HE bombs. They fell in fields between Elstow and Kempston, straddling the tracks where the Midland Railway and a branch line crossed, missing an ammunition dump by 150 yards. Two of the bombs failed to detonate but concussion from the others smashed the glass roof at the Elstow works, injuring two men. Prölss continued trying to make ground to the west but at Wolverton he gave up and the wind then carried him to the south-east. At 9.40pm L.53 dropped nine HE and an incendiary near the village of Heath and Reach, just north of Leighton Buzzard. Other than a few broken windows the bombs caused no notable damage. With the wind carrying her to the south-east, L.53 passed north of London and crossed the Thames at Gravesend at 10.30pm. Near Maidstone Prölss observed flares burning below, at Detling airfield, and attempted to bomb it. All three HE bombs, however, missed the target by a considerable distance. Two fell in the grounds of Milgate House at Bearsted, breaking windows and doors there and at two cottages nearby; they also killed a sheep. The thirds bombs landed at the village of Leeds in a field at Folly Farm damaging some crops in a field and smashing a few windows. L.53 passed out to sea between Folkestone and Dover at 11.30pm. Carried behind Allied lines in France, L.54 finally managed to push across the Western Front near Lunéville at around 3.00am.

    Oberleutnant-zur-See Kurt Friemel brought L.52 inland over the Lincolnshire coast near Mablethorpe at 7.30pm. Encountering the high winds, despite the best efforts of her crew, L.52 headed south-west. At Gosberton, between Boston and Spalding, she released a 100kg HE bomb which caused no damage. She continued on the same course until reaching Northampton when her progress was to the south. At 9.30pm she was north of Aylesbury and must have descended below the wind because she then made progress to the east and dropped a 300kg HE bomb at Kensworth, which merely broke cottage windows. At 10.05pm L.52 passed south of Hertford, dropping eight HE bombs in fields just south of Bullock’s Lane, which caused serious damage to five cottages, slight damage to five more and injured a man. Another five fell in fields about three miles south of the town but they were ineffective as was an HE bomb that fell to the west of Hoddesdon in Highfield Wood. At 10.20 Friemel released 13 incendiary bombs as he approached Waltham Abbey but none caused any damage: three fell on Cheshunt marshes, three on Waltham marshes, five at the Royal Gunpowder Factory and two in Avey Lane. The wind continued to carry L.52 to the south-east and after crossing Kent she went out to sea near Dungeness at 11.15pm. Carried across France, L.52 managed to cross the Western Front near St. Dié at about 5.30am.

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    Kapitänleutnant Hans Kurt Flemming, commanding L.55, came inland at 7.30pm over the Lincolnshire coast at Anderby. Battling the winds, L.55’s progress was to the south-west and, arriving near Holme, nine miles north of Huntingdon, Flemming released five 50kg HE and an incendiary, which all landed in open country close to the where the railway branch line from Ramsey joined the main Great Northern Railway. The HE bombs caused no damage and the incendiary failed to ignite. Following the railway, at 9.05pm Flemming dropped 16 bombs between Hitchin and Hatfield. The first was an HE that fell at Holwell Bury, three miles north-west of Hitchin, which failed to cause any damage. A mile closer to the town an HE bomb dropped in a field in the parish of Snailswell, slightly damaging a pub, a cottage and breaking some telegraph wires. The next HE landed close to the railway and 80 yards north of Hitchin sewage works, breaking some telegraph wires, and another landed about 100 yards south-east of the junction between the main railway line and the Cambridge branch line, smashing some cottage windows, followed by two that fell in a field at Walsworth which also broke cottage windows. The next three HE bombs fell in fields just north-east of Stevenage without causing damage: two in a field at Rook’s Nest Farm and one in a field near Trott’s Hill Farm. At Bedwell Farm, south of Stevenage, three bombs demolished a farm building, injured a man, and damaged cottages. At Burleigh Farm, Langley, two HE bombs damaged buildings and, just north of Codicote, an HE and incendiary bomb landed harmlessly in fields east of a house known as The Node. The last of L.55’s bombs fell at Brocket Hall, about three miles north-west of Hatfield, but it caused no damage. She was then carried south-east by the wind, eventually going out to sea near Hastings at about 10.25pm. Once over France, Flemming experienced severe engine problems, struggled with navigation and lost the use of the radio. He eventually got L.55 back over Germany but, running out of fuel, he could not get back to his base and made an emergency landing at Tiefenort, where a storm wrecked her on the ground.

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    Kapitänleutnant Franz Stabbert brought L.44 inland over the Norfolk coast at 6.45pm near Blakeney and headed south. Thirty minutes later he dropped a 100kg HE bomb in a field at West Bradenham. Crossing into Essex, L.44 dropped four incendiaries at 8.08pm over Rivenhall: two at Park Gates Farm, one at Rivenhall Hall Farm and one in a field about half a mile north-east of St. Mary and All Saints’ Church. There was no damage. L.44 left Essex at 8.25pm, crossed the Thames estuary and 15 minutes later appeared over Reculver in Kent, where she dropped two HE bombs in the sea, followed by three on land, damaging the kitchen ceiling at the King Ethelbert Inn. Another dropped about a mile to the south in the marshes at Chislet, landing about 270 yards from the railway, followed by two more at Sarre, one in a field at Sarre Court Farm and the other in a neighbouring field damaging crops. L.44 went out to sea over Deal at 8.52pm. Swept across France behind Allied lines, L.44 almost made it, but French AA guns caught her just 10 miles from the Front Line and she crashed in flames at Chenevières. There were no survivors.

    Kapitänleutnant Hans-Karl Gayer, commanding L.49, came inland at 8.00pm over Holkham on the north Norfolk coast. Fifteen minutes later he dropped three HE bombs near East Dereham on Old Hall Farm where they broke windows in the farm house and cottages. Nine HE bombs followed in the Yaxham area, six landing south-east of Clint Green smashing windows in two houses and three near Brakefield Green damaging three houses. At Thuxton two HE bombs landed east of Rookery Farm, damaging farm buildings and smashing windows, and a single bomb east of Hall Farm at Coston failed to cause any damage. An incendiary that fell at Runhall, half a mile north-west of the church, failed to ignite and in fields half a mile north-east of the railway station at Hardingham, L.49 dropped eight incendiary bombs that burnt out harmlessly. Three HE and three incendiary bombs fell near Kimberley, between Bayfield Hall and Danemoor Green, demolishing cattle sheds, killing three horses, injuring another and smashing windows. Another batch of eight incendiaries fell near Wicklewood, one fell in a river a quarter of a mile south of Kimberley railway station and seven close to the Workhouse but no damage was caused, and three incendiaries dropped at Suton, south-west of Wymondham, burnt out without damage. L.49’s last bomb, an incendiary, landed in a field at Forncett St Peter. Struggling with engine problems and navigation, L.49 crossed south-east England with the wind carrying her across France. Having seen L.44 shot down and with only two engines working, when a squadron of French aircraft attacked, Gayer decided to crash land to avoid being shot down. Once on the ground the crew were prevented from burning L.4, leaving the Allies the intact prize of one the latest Zeppelin designs.

    Kapitänleutnant Roderich Schwonder brought L.50 inland over Cley-next-the-Sea at 7.45pm and made progress to the south-west. At 8.20pm he began dropping bombs on villages between Downham Market and Swaffham. Five HE bombs fell in fields around Barton Bendish, one in a plantation at Beechamwell and 11 HE bombs landed around Oxborough. One failed to explode but the others fell around Oxborough Hall, smashing windows at the Hall, the Catholic Chapel and St John’s Church. An incendiary landed south of Mundford without effect, as did one on the heath at West Tofts and another at West Wretham failed to ignite. Six HE and two incendiary bombs then fell around Croxton where they failed to cause any damage. L.50’s last two bombs, both HE, landed just north of Thetford, not far from the waterworks but also failed to inflict any damage. The wind then carried L.50 towards the south-east and she went out to sea over Hollesley Bay at 8.50pm. Schwonder seems to have had serious navigation issues and wandered alarmingly over France, at one point being 150 miles west of the Western Front. He saw both L.44 shot down and L.49 on the ground, and with two engines out of action he decided to crash land and at least deny his ship to the enemy. He actually hit a wood, which ripped off two of the gondolas but most of the men leapt overboard. Thus lightened L.50 soared back up with four men still on board. The uncontrollable airship eventually disappeared over the Mediterranean. No trace of her or the four men on board was ever found.

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    Coming inland over Withernsea on Yorkshire coast at 8.20pm, Kapitänleutnant Waldemar Kölle attempted to steer L.45 towards Sheffield but the gales forced him south-west until at 10.50pm he reached Northampton where the crew noticed some faint lights. Three HE bombs landed to the north of the town, between Dallington and Kingsthorpe, by the main railway line. The concussion from these bombs smashed windows in 24 houses and damaged two ceilings. Kölle then switched to incendiary bombs, dropping three that fell either side of Spencer Bridge Road but failed to inflict any damage. The next batch of three incendiaries fell in the St. James district as L.45 approached the main railway station. One fell harmlessly in Victoria Park, one in the garden at 17 Park Road, which the occupier quickly extinguished, but the third smashed through the roof of 46 Parkwood Street and set the house burning. The bomb killed Eliza Gammons, aged 51, and despite the best efforts of her son-in-law to save her 13-year-old twins, Lily and Gladys, they both died from their terrible burns. Kölle released another batch of three incendiaries, one landed in the town corporation’s West Bridge Works without causing damage and two fell in meadows close to the main railway line to London. Reverting to HE bombs, six fell near the Hunsbury Hill railway tunnel but only smashed a few farm windows. Carried on a south-east course by the wind, L.45 dropped another HE bomb in a field at Preston Deanery, followed by one more that fell near Piddington on a fence skirting the Salcey Forest.

    Continuing to be taken by the wind the crew of L.45 were not aware of their location and were shocked when they realised they were approaching London. Taking advantage of the opportunity they dropped two HE bombs at Hendon, north-west of the city, where one caused slight damage to buildings at Hendon aerodrome and the other caused slight damage to a cottage in Colindeep Lane. The next two HE bombs fell on the railway near Cricklewood Station. One detonated in the railway marshalling yard where it damaged a section of track, five trucks and smashed many windows. The other, just to the south of the station, exploded by the tracks facing Westbere Road, smashing the windows in a school and those of about 100 other buildings in neighbouring roads. As L.45 hurtled along Kölle released a 100kg HE bomb. By chance it landed at Piccadilly Circus where the blast killed 7 people and injured another 18. The next bomb, weighing 300kgs, dropped on two houses in Albany Road, Camberwell. Rescuers recovered 10 bodies and 24 others were injured. The final bomb, also 300kg, fell about four miles further on and obliterated three houses in Glenview Road (now Nightingale Grove). The bomb killed 15 including seven children from one family.

    Kingston Annie A 18 One of 7 siblings killed
    Kingston Bridget Mary 16 One of 7 siblings killed
    Kingston Mary Elizabeth 11 One of 7 siblings killed
    Kingston Kathleen Violet 10 One of 7 siblings killed
    Kingston Richard 8 One of 7 siblings killed
    Kingston Thomas John 6 One of 7 siblings killed
    Kingston Edith Elizabeth 3 One of 7 siblings killed

    The wind then carried L.45 over the coast near Hastings at 1.00am. Blasted across France by the wind, Kölle was unable to make headway to the east and eventually, when about 70 miles from the Mediterranean coast, he decided to make an emergency landing which he did near Sisteron and surrendered.

    Of the eleven Zeppelins that had taken part in the raid, only six returned to Germany able to fight another day. One complete crew was dead, as were four men from another crew, and three crews were now prisoners of war. The raid proved to be a disaster for the Naval Airship Division.


    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 11

    2Lt Anderson, P.A. (Patrick Alexander), 73 training Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Chaplin, H. (Herbert), RFC.
    Lt Cunningham, J.N. (James Nelson), 56 Squadron, RFC.
    Sgt Davidson, C.H. (Charles H.), 5th Cadet Wing, RFC.
    LM Evans, H.J. (Harold John), East Mudros Air Station, Eastern Meditteranean Squadron, RNAS.
    LM Housden, A.A. (Arthur Albert), Royal Naval Air Station, Dunkerque, RNAS.
    A Mech 1 Mason, W.L. (William Laurence), 75 Squadron, RFC.
    Capt Patch, H. (Henry), RFC.
    AC1 Robins, H.R. (Harold Richard), Royal Naval Air Station, Dunkerque, RNAS.
    Lt Shone, G.B. (Geoffrey Beville), 56 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Stanley, S.E. (Sidney Edgar), 11 Squadron, RFC.

    Claims: None confirmed today.

    Western Front:

    Tunstills Men Friday 19th October 1917:
    Front line trenches west of Polygon Wood. A and B Coys in the front line from J.11.d.7.5. to J.12.a.5.5, with C and D Coys in the Support Line from J.11.c.5.6 to J.11.b.1.5. HQ at The Butte (J.10.a.7.9).
    A fine day.

    Overnight, 19th/20th, the Battalion was relieved by 12DLI and returned to Railway Dugouts and Zillebeke Bund.

    Pte. Harry Clay (see 5th June) suffered multiple shrapnel wounds; he would be admitted via 69th Field Ambulance to 20th General Hospital at Camiers.

    L.Sgt. Albert Bradley (see 18th October), who had been severely wounded the previous day, died of his wounds at 17th Casualty Clearing Station at Remy Sidings; he would be buried at the adjacent Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery.

    Pte. William George Ruddock (see 21st September), who had suffered shrapnel wounds to his head on 21st September, was discharged from hospital and posted to 34th Infantry Base Depot at Etaples, en route to a return to active service.

    Cpl. Thomas Angus McAndrew (see 14th May), formerly of 10DWR but now serving with 37th Company, Labour Corps, reverted to the rank of Private.

    Lt. Ernest Cyril Coke (see 1st July), who had been wounded on the Somme in July 1916 and was now serving with 2DWR in France, appeared before an Army Medical Board assembled at the Base Depot at Boulogne. The Board found that Coke was still suffering from the effects of the wounds he had suffered in July 1916 and recommended him for three weeks sick leave in England.

    Pte. Fred Stokes (see 13th April) was formally discharged from the Army as being unfit for military service due to chronic nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys). He was awarded a pension of 27s. 6d., reducing to 22s. after four weeks; this was to be reviewed in 44 weeks.

    Eastern Front:


    Germans land on Dago Island.

    Germans fail in effort to fraternise on Romanian front.

    Asiatic, African, Egyptian Front:


    Battle of Mahiwa

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    Wounded Nigerian soldiers pictured after the Battle of Mahiwa.

    October 18 1917, Mahiwa–The British had made little progress against the remaining German forces in East Africa in 1917; a few minor engagements had resulted in the Germans just retreating faster than the British could follow. Max Wintgens’ column had raided through much of German East Africa before finally surrendering in early October, distracting the British for most of the year. In mid-September, however, the British felt they could begin their advance against Lettow-Vorbeck, moving out in two columns from Kilwa and Lindi. The group from Lindi found a German detachment under Wahle in mid-October, but soon faced essentially the entire German force.

    The British ordered a frontal assault on October 17, which was repulsed with extremely heavy casualties. On October 18, the Germans counterattacked and nearly broke the British lines, but the British were just able to hold on. After two days of fierce fighting, both sides were exhausted. The British had suffered nearly 3000 casualties, over half of their strength in the battle. The Germans had suffered only around 500 casualties, but, unlike the British, these losses could not be replaced. The German supply situation was also growing dire; he had been forced to abandon one of the guns from the Königsberg during the battle, and he was now nearly out of smokeless cartridges for his rifles.

    Action of Nyangao (German East Africa) ends (see 16th).

    Naval Operations:

    Shipping Losses: 25 (3 to mines & 22 to U-Boat action)

    British armed mercantile cruiser "Orana" torpedoed and sunk; no lives lost.

    The steamship Britannia (Master William Hendry age 57) goes missing in the English Channel. It is later discovered that she is sunk by the submarine UC-75 killing twenty two including her master. Among the other casualties is:

    · Assistant Steward Robert Atherton age 40 a Welsh International Association football player who played midfield and forward for Heart of Midlothian, Hibernian, Middleborough and Chelsea. His was the Captain of the 1st Hibernian side to win the League Championship in 1903.

    Political:

    Liberal Swedish Cabinet formed by Professor Eden.

    U.S.A. embargo on trade with Northern Neutrals.

    Munition Works removed from Petrograd.

    Anniversary Events:

    439 The Vandals, led by King Gaiseric, take Carthage in North Africa.
    1216 King John of England dies at Newark and is succeeded by his nine-year-old son Henry.
    1448 The Ottoman Sultan Murat II defeats Hungarian General Janos Hunyadi at Kosovo, Serbia.
    1466 The peace of Torun ends the war between the Teutonic knights and their own disaffected subjects in Prussia.
    1739 England declares war on Spain over borderlines in Florida. The War is known as the War of Jenkins' Ear because the Spanish coast guards cut off the ear of British seaman Robert Jenkins.
    1781 Major General Lord Charles Cornwallis surrenders to George Washington and Count de Rochambeau at Yorktown, Va. Cornwallis surrenders 7,157 troops, including sick and wounded, and 840 sailors, along with 244 artillery pieces. Losses in this battle had been light on both sides. The Revolutionary War is effectively ended.
    1812 Napoleon Bonaparte begins his retreat from Moscow.
    1848 John "The Pathfinder" Fremont moves out from near Westport, Missouri, on his fourth Western expedition--a failed attempt to open a trail across the Rocky Mountains along the 38th parallel.
    1864 At the Battle of Cedar Creek, Va., a narrow victory helps the Union secure the Shenandoah Valley.
    1873 Yale, Princeton, Columbia and Rutgers universities draft the first code of football rules.
    1914 The German cruiser Emden captures her thirteenth Allied merchant ship in 24 days.
    1917 The first doughnut is fried by Salvation Army volunteer women for American troops in France during World War I.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 10-19-2017 at 09:28.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  45. #2795

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    Saturday 20th October 1917

    Today we lost: 609
    Today’s losses include:
    · A member of the clergy
    · The son of a member of the clergy
    · A family that will lose five sons in the Great War
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    · Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great Wwar

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    · Lieutenant Charles Cedric Gordon Allom (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds received in action at age 21. He is the only son of ‘Sir’ Charles Allom.
    · Lieutenant the Reverend David Stewart Dawson (Gordon Highlanders) dies of wounds at age 27.
    · Second Lieutenant Harold Greatwood (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds at age 30. His older brother was killed in March of last year.
    · Driver Jonah Booth (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 21. His brother will be killed in March 1918.
    · Acting Bombardier Thomas Finnerty (