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    20th November 1917


    The Battle of Cambrai
    (Battle of Cambrai, 1917, First Battle of Cambrai and Schlacht von Cambrai) was a British attack followed by the biggest German counter-attack against the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) since 1914, in the First World War. Cambrai, in the département of Nord, was an important supply point for the German Siegfriedstellung (known to the British as the Hindenburg Line) and capture of the town and the nearby Bourlon Ridge would threaten the rear of the German line to the north. Major General Henry Tudor, Commander, Royal Artillery (CRA) of the 9th (Scottish) Division, advocated the use of new artillery-infantry techniques on his sector of the front. During preparations, J. F. C. Fuller, a staff officer with the Tank Corps, looked for places to use tanks for raids. General Julian Byng, commander of the British Third Army, decided to combine both plans.

    After a big British success on the first day, mechanical unreliability, German artillery and infantry defences exposed the frailties of the Mark IV tank. On the second day, only about half of the tanks were still operational. Subsequent British progress was limited. In the History of the Great War the British official historian, Wilfrid Miles and modern scholars do not place exclusive credit for the first day on tanks but discuss the concurrent evolution of artillery, infantry and tank methods. Numerous developments since 1915 matured at Cambrai, such as predicted artillery fire, sound ranging, infantry infiltration tactics, infantry-tank co-ordination and close air support. The techniques of industrial warfare continued to develop and played a vital part during the Hundred Days Offensive in 1918, along with replacement of the Mark IV tank with improved types. The rapid reinforcement and defence of Bourlon Ridge by the Germans, as well as the subsequent counter-stroke were also notable achievements, which gave the Germans hope that an offensive strategy could end the war before American mobilisation became overwhelming..

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    Air Support

    Two weeks before the start of the battle the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) began to train its pilots in ground-attack tactics. Before the ground offensive, the RFC was assigned sets of targets to attack, including trenches, supply points and enemy airfields. Eighteen scouts of the Royal Flying Corps leave the ground under most unfavorable weather conditions in order to reconnoiter certain areas, and Captain Edward Mannock returns first with valuable information, while many other pilots bring back information that is of considerable use.

    General Headquarters, November 21st.

    “On the 20th inst. our aeroplanes attempted to work throughout the day in conjunction with our operations between St. Quentin and the River Scarpe. Low clouds and mist and a strong westerly wind, with drizzle and occasional rain throughout the day, made it necessary for our pilots to fly at 50 ft. from the ground. Even at that height they were at times quickly lost in the mist. Continual attempts were made to maintain contact with our advancing troops, but this was rendered almost impossible by the weather conditions. Many bombs were dropped on the enemy's batteries, lorries, aerodromes, transport and railways. Batteries and small groups of infantry were attacked with machine-gun fire. Valuable information was gained, despite the very difficult conditions. Only five hostile machines were seen all day on the battle front. Eleven of our machines are missing, their loss being due to the mist and the exceptionally low height at which they were compelled to fly.”
    General Headquarters, November 22nd.

    “Further details received show that the attacks made on the 20th inst. on the enemy's infantry and transport by our low-flying pilots, including pilots from the Australian Squadrons, were most successful.“

    On 20th low clouds and mist again made aerial work very difficult, but quite a considerable amount of work was carried out, on account of the attack by the First and Third Armies south and south-west of Cambrai. Twenty reconnaissances were carried out by the 1st Brigade, one by the 2nd Brigade and eight by the 3rd Brigade. With aeroplane observation six hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction. The chief work throughout the day was the attack by our scouts of enemy troops from low altitudes with machine gun-fire and dropping bombs on all suitable targets. Machines of the 3rd Brigade dropped 78 25-lb bombs and fired 5,500 rounds. In all 10,600 rounds were fired during the day.
    Eighteen scouts of the 1st Brigade left the ground under the most unfavourable weather conditions in order to reconnoitre certain areas and Capt E Mannock, No 40 Squadron, returned first, with information, while many other machines brought back information that was of considerable use.

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    Four 25-lb bombs were dropped on Oppy by No 5 Squadron and two on Auchy by No 2 Squadron. One machine of No 57 Squadron dropped two 112-lb bombs on Courtrai sidings from 300 feet. Two other machines of this squadron attacked Menin, on which one 290-lb and two 112-lb bombs were dropped, and one was seen to burst on the railway. Eighteen 25-lb bombs were dropped by Nos 7, 9 and 69 Squadrons on various targets. Fifteen 25-lb bombs were dropped by Corps machines of the 3rd Brigade, six by the 14th Wing and two 112-lb bombs by machines of No 27 Squadron.
    Admiralty, November 24th.

    “On November 20th, also, one enemy machine was destroyed. All our machines have returned safely.”

    No war work of any importance could be carried out owing to the unfavourable weather conditions. In the afternoon E.A. were observed S. of Nieuport, one of our patrols from No. 9 Squadron left in pursuit, but on arrival E.A. had already been driven back by other Allied machines.

    Flight Sub-Lieut. Knott saw a company of enemy infantry crossing a bridge N.E. of Dixmude, and descending to 500 feet, fired some 300 rounds into them, killing some and scattering the remainder.

    The Battle

    The battle began at dawn, approximately 06:30 on 20 November, with a predicted bombardment by 1,003 guns on German defences, followed by smoke and a creeping barrage at 300 yd (270 m) ahead to cover the first advances. Despite efforts to preserve secrecy, the Germans had received sufficient intelligence to be on moderate alert: an attack on Havrincourt was anticipated, as was the use of tanks. The attacking force was six infantry divisions of the III Corps (Lieutenant-General Pulteney) on the right and IV Corps (Lieutenant-General Charles Woollcombe) on the left, supported by nine battalions of the Tank Corps with about 437 tanks. In reserve was one infantry division in IV Corps and the three divisions of the Cavalry Corps (Lieutenant-General Charles Kavanagh). Initially, there was considerable success in most areas and it seemed as if a great victory was within reach; the Hindenburg Line had been penetrated with advances of up to 5.0 mi (8 km). On the right, the 12th (Eastern) Division advanced as far as Lateau Wood before being ordered to dig in. The 20th (Light) Division forced a way through La Vacquerie and then advanced to capture a bridge across the Canal de Saint-Quentin at Masnières. The bridge collapsed under the weight of a tank halting the hopes for an advance across the canal.[9] In the centre the 6th Division captured Ribécourt and Marcoing but when the cavalry passed through late, they were repulsed from Noyelles.

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    On the IV Corps front, the 51st (Highland) Division was held at Flesquières, its first objective. This left the attacking divisions on each flank exposed to enfilade fire. The commander of the 51st Division, George Montague Harper had substituted his own tank drill for the standard one laid down by the Tank Corps. Flesquières was one of the strongest points in the German line and was flanked by other strong points. Its defenders under Major Krebs acquitted themselves well against the tanks, almost 40 being knocked out by the Flesquières artillery. There is little evidence for Krüger's actions, although it is possible that he may have been responsible for as many as nine tanks. Twenty-eight tanks were lost in the action, through German artillery-fire and breakdowns. Haig concluded that skirmishing infantry was needed, to bring the artillery crews under small-arms fire to allow the tanks to operate. The common explanation of the "mythical" German officer ignored the fact that the British tanks were faced with the German 54th Division, which had specialised training in anti-tank tactics and experience against French tanks in the Nivelle Offensive. The Germans abandoned Flesquières during the night.

    To the west of Flesquières, the 62nd (2nd West Riding) Division swept all the way through Havrincourt and Graincourt to within reach of the woods on Bourlon Ridge and on the British left, the 36th Division reached the Bapaume–Cambrai road. Of the tanks, 180 were out of action after the first day, although only 65 had been destroyed. Of the other casualties, 71 had suffered mechanical failure and 43 had ditched.[15] The British lost c. 4,000 casualties and took 4,200 prisoners, a casualty rate half that of the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) and a greater advance in six hours than in three months at Flanders but the British had failed to reach Bourlon Ridge. The German command was quick to send reinforcements and was relieved that the British did not manage fully to exploit their early gains. When the battle was renewed on 21 November, the pace of British advance was greatly slowed. Flesquières, that had been abandoned and Cantaing were captured in the very early morning but in general the British took to consolidating their gains rather than expanding. The efforts of III Corps were officially halted and attention was turned to IV Corps.

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    Men of the 16th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles of the 36th (Ulster) Division moving to the front line 20 November 1917

    The effort was aimed at Bourlon Ridge. Fighting was fierce around Bourlon and at Anneux (just before the woods) was costly. German counter-attacks squeezed the British out of Moeuvres on 21 November and Fontaine on 22 November; when Anneux was taken, the 62nd Division found themselves unable to enter Bourlon Wood. The British were left exposed in a salient. Haig still wanted Bourlon Ridge and the exhausted 62nd Division was replaced by the 40th Division (John Ponsonby) on 23 November. Supported by almost 100 tanks and 430 guns, the 40th Division attacked into the woods of Bourlon Ridge on the morning of 23 November and made little progress. The Germans had put two divisions of Gruppe Arras on the ridge with another two in reserve and Gruppe Caudry was reinforced. The 40th Division attack reached the crest of the ridge but were held there and suffered more than 4,000 casualties in three days. More British troops were pushed in to move beyond the woods but the British reserves were rapidly depleted and more German reinforcements were arriving. The final British effort was on 27 November by the 62nd Division aided by 30 tanks. Early success was soon reversed by a German counter-attack. The British now held a salient roughly 6.8 mi × 5.9 mi (11 km × 9.5 km) with its front along the crest of the ridge. On 28 November, the offensive was stopped and the British troops were ordered to lay wire and dig in. The Germans were quick to concentrate their artillery on the new British positions. On 28 November, more than 16,000 shells were fired into the wood.

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    German 2nd Army

    As the British took the ridge, the Germans began reinforcing the area. As early as 23 November, the German command felt that a British breakthrough would not occur and began to consider a counter-offensive. Twenty divisions were arrayed in the Cambrai area.[26] The Germans intended to retake the Bourlon salient and also to attack around Havrincourt while diversionary attacks would hold IV Corps; it was hoped to at least reach the old positions on the Hindenburg Line. The Germans intended to employ the new tactics of a short, intense period of shelling followed by a rapid assault using Hutier infiltration tactics, leading elements attacking in groups rather than waves and bypassing strong opposition. For the initial assault at Bourlon three divisions of Gruppe Arras under Otto von Moser were assigned. On the eastern flank of the British salient, Gruppe Caudry attacked from Bantouzelle to Rumilly and aimed for Marcoing. Gruppe Busigny advanced from Banteux. The two corps groups had seven infantry divisions.

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    British VII Corps (Lieutenant-General Thomas D'Oyly Snow), to the south of the threatened area, warned III Corps of German preparations. The German attack began at 7:00 a.m. on 30 November; almost immediately, the majority of III Corps divisions were heavily engaged. The German infantry advance in the south was unexpectedly swift. The commanders of the 29th Division and 12th Division were almost captured, with Brigadier-General Berkeley Vincent having to fight his way out of his headquarters and grab men from retreating units to try to halt the Germans. In the south, the German advance spread across 13,000 m (13 km) and came within a few miles of the vital village of Metz and its link to Bourlon.

    At Bourlon the Germans suffered heavy casualties. Despite this, the Germans closed and there was fierce fighting. British units displayed reckless determination; one group of eight British machine guns fired over 70,000 rounds in their efforts to stem the German advance. The concentration of British effort to hold the ridge was impressive but allowed the German advance elsewhere greater opportunity. Only counter-attacks by the Guards Division, the arrival of British tanks and the fall of night allowed the line to be held. By the following day, the impetus of the German advance was lost but pressure on 3 December led to the German capture of La Vacquerie and a British withdrawal on the east bank of the St Quentin canal. The Germans had reached a line looping from Quentin Ridge to near Marcoing. The German capture of Bonavis ridge made the British hold on Bourlon precarious. On 3 December, Haig ordered a partial retreat from the north salient and by 7 December, the British gains were abandoned except for a portion of the Hindenburg line around Havrincourt, Ribécourt and Flesquières. The Germans had exchanged this territorial loss for a slightly smaller sector to the south of Welsh Ridge.

    The Aftermath

    The first day success was greeted in Britain by the ringing of church bells. The massed use of tanks, despite being a further increase on previous deployments, was not entirely new but the success of the attack and the resulting Allied press enthusiasm,[citation needed] including in the United States, were unprecedented. The particular effectiveness of the tanks at Cambrai was the initial passage through barbed wire defences, which had been previously "supposed by the Germans to be impregnable."

    The initial British success showed that even the strongest trench defences could be overcome by a surprise attack using a combination of new methods and equipment, reflecting a general increase in the British capacity to combine infantry, artillery, tanks and aircraft in attacks.[36] The German revival after the shock of the British attack improved German morale but the potential for similar attacks meant that the Germans had to divert resources to anti-tank defences and weapons, an extra demand that the Germans could ill afford to meet.

    Wherever the ground offers suitable going for tanks, surprise attacks like this may be expected. That being the case, there can be no more mention, therefore, of quiet fronts.— Crown Prince Rupprecht
    The German counter-attack confirmed the effectiveness of artillery, trench mortars and evolving stormtrooper tactics, adopted from a pattern introduced by General Hutier against the Russians.From the German perspective, questions arose regarding battlefield logistics much forward of the railhead infrastructure, as well as the offensive suitability of the MG 08 machine gun. By the end of the battle, gains and losses by the opposing forces were largely proportionate, the British having advanced modestly in the north and the Germans in the south. British disquiet concerning the German counter-offensive gains led to several investigations, including convening a Court of Enquiry.
    Casualties

    It was written that both sides had c. 40,000 casualties and questioned the British Official History figure of c. 53,000 German casualties, calling them "inflated for no good reason". Miles recorded British casualties from 20 November – 8 December as 47,596, of whom 9,000 were taken prisoner and an official German total of c. 41,000 casualties, which Miles increased to 53,300 on the assumption that German figures omitted lightly wounded, which were counted in British casualty records. Harris wrote that 11,105 German and 9,000 British prisoners were taken.

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    A total of seven Victoria Crosses are awarded on this day

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    During an attack the tank which Captain Richard William Leslie Wain (Manchester Regiment attached Tank Corps) is commanding is disabled by a direct hit near an enemy strong point which is holding up the attack. Captain Wain and one man, both seriously wounded are the only survivors. Though bleeding profusely from his wounds, he refuses the attention of stretcher-bearers, rushes from behind the tank with a Lewis gun, and captures the strong point, taking about half the garrison prisoners. Although his wounds are very serious he picks up a rifle and continues to fire at the retiring enemy until he receives a fatal wound in the head. It is due to the valour displayed by Captain Wain that the infantry are able to advance and due to his efforts he will be awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously.

    Wain was born in Penarth near Cardiff, Wales to Florence E. Wain and Harris Wain. He was educated at The Cathedral School, Llandaff and then at Penarth Grammar School and St. Bees Grammar School. where he was a member of the Officer Training Corps. On the outbreak of the Great War, despite having won a scholarship to attend Oxford University, he joined the Territorial Army. He was commissioned into the Manchester Regiment on 16 July 1915 and served in France.

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    He was wounded on 1 July 1916 on the opening day of the battle of the Somme. He was serving as an officer of 17th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment; his unit suffering severe casualties as they successfully captured the village of Montauban. Wain served in A Company and was badly wounded as he led his men forward. He joined the Heavy Section of the Machine Gun Corps and was allocated to A Battalion. His unit, which was equipped with tanks, took part in the Battle of Messines in June 1917; Wain's tank reaching its final objective and destroying a number of German machine guns which were in a concrete emplacement.

    He was 20 years old, and a section commander and acting captain in A Battalion, Tank Corps,when he was posthumously awarded a Victoria Cross for his actions on 20 November 1917 at Marcoing, near Cambrai, France during the battle of Cambrai (1917). His tank took a direct hit killing all but him and one member of his crew. Though severely wounded he rushed an enemy strong point with a Lewis gun capturing it and taking about half the garrison prisoners. His actions allowed the infantry, which had been pinned back by the machine gun post, to advance. He was killed shortly afterwards while continuing to fire on the retiring enemy.

    Wain has no known grave. He is commemorated at the Cambrai Memorial to the Missing and on the war memorials at Llandaff Cathedral and in the chapel at St Bees School.

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    Robert Gordon McBeath, VC

    McBeath was a 19 years old lance-corporal in the 1/5th Battalion, The Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs, Duke of Albany's) of the British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

    On 20 November 1917 during the Battle of Cambrai in France, Lance-Corporal McBeath volunteered to deal with a nest of machine-gunners that checked the advance of his unit and which had caused heavy casualties. He moved off alone, armed with a Lewis gun and a revolver. Finding that several other machine-guns were in action, McBeath attacked them with the assistance of a tank and drove the gunners to ground in a deep dug-out. McBeath rushed in after them, shot the first man who opposed him and then drove the remainder of the garrison out of the dug-out. He captured three officers and 30 men.
    McBeath's award was published in the London Gazette on 11 January 1918, which reads:

    For most conspicuous bravery when with his company in attack and approaching the final objective, a nest of enemy machine-guns in the western outskirts of a village opened fire both on his own unit and on the unit to the right. The advance was checked and heavy casualties resulted.

    When a Lewis gun was called for to deal with these machine-guns, L/Corpl. McBeath volunteered for the duty, and immediately moved off alone with a Lewis gun and his revolver. He located one of the machine-guns in action, and worked his way towards it, shooting the gunner with his revolver at 20 yards range. Finding several of the hostile machine-guns in action, he, with the assistance of a tank, attacked them and drove the gunners to ground in a deep dugout. L/Corpl. McBeath, regardless of all danger, rushed in after them, shot an enemy who opposed him on the steps, and drove the remainder of the garrison out of the dug-out, capturing three officers and 30 men. There were in all five machine-guns mounted round the dug-out, and by putting them out of action he cleared the way for the advance of both units. The conduct of L/Corpl. McBeath throughout three days of severe fighting was beyond praise.
    After the war, McBeath and his wife moved to Canada, where he joined the British Columbia Provincial Police. On August 12, 1921, he joined the Vancouver Police Department. On October 9, 1922, while walking the beat on Granville and Davie Streets with his partner, Detective R. Quirk, McBeath stopped and arrested a man named Fred Deal for impaired driving. While escorting the prisoner to the nearest call-box, the man pulled a handgun from his pocket and shot both officers; MacBeath's partner survived, but McBeath died almost instantly. He was 23 years old.

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    Albert Edward Shepherd VC (11 January 1897 – 23 October 1966)

    He was 20 years old, and a Private in the 12th (S) Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps, British Army during the First World War when he performed deeds at Villers Plouich, France on 20 November 1917 for which he was awarded the VC.
    No. R/15089 Rflmn. Albert Edward Shepherd, K.R.R.C. (Barnsley).

    For most conspicuous bravery as a company runner.

    When his company was held up by a machine gun at point blank range he volunteered to rush the gun, and, though ordered not to, rushed forward and threw a Mills bomb, killing two gunners and capturing the gun. The company, on continuing its advance, came under heavy enfilade machine gun fire. When the last officer and the last non-commissioned officer had become casualties, he took command of the company, ordered the men to lie down, and himself went back some seventy yards under severe fire to obtain the help of a tank. He then returned to his company, and finally led them to their last objective. He showed throughout conspicuous determination and resource.

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    John ("Jack") Sherwood Kelly VC CMG DSO (13 January 1880 – 18 August 1931) was a South African recipient of the Victoria Cross. The four-times-wounded Kelly was not a Regular officer but a formidable and experienced commander with a combat record going back to the 1896 Matabele Revolt.

    During his military career he achieved fame and notoriety for his mixture of heroic exploits and explosive temperament. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his exploits in Gallipoli in February 1916 and on 1 January 1917 was awarded the Companion of St Michael and St George (CMG). During the summer and autumn of 1917 he commanded 1st Battalion, the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and was instrumental in the early success achieved during the Battle of Cambrai on 20 November for which he received the Victoria Cross from King George V at Buckingham Palace on 23 January 1918. Kelly was gassed and wounded at various times.
    He was 37 years old, and an Acting Lieutenant-Colonel in the Norfolk Regiment, British Army, Commanding Officer 1st Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

    On 20 November 1917 during the Battle of Cambrai at Marcoing, France, when a party of men were held upon the near side of a canal by heavy rifle fire, Lieutenant Colonel Sherwood Kelly at once ordered covering fire, personally led his leading company across the canal and then reconnoitered, under heavy fire, the high ground held by the enemy. He took a Lewis gun team, forced his way through obstacles and covered the advance of his battalion, enabling them to capture the position. Later he led a charge against some pits from which heavy fire was coming, capturing five machine-guns and 46 prisoners.

    Charles Edward Spackman VC, MM (11 January 1891 – 7 May 1969)

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    He was 26 years old, and a sergeant in the 1st Battalion, Border Regiment, British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
    On 20 November 1917 at Marcoing, France, the leading company was checked by heavy fire from a gun mounted on a position which covered the approaches. Sergeant Spackman, realising that it would be impossible for the troops to advance, went through heavy fire to the gun, where he succeeded in killing all but one of the gun crew and then captured the gun.

    He was demobilised at the end of the war and rejoined the Border Regiment, as a part of the Territorial Force. He was issued serial number 3589576 in 1920. Spackman was still a part of the Territorial Force when the Second World War broke out. He volunteered for duty at the outbreak of war in the Kings Royal Rifle Corps as a sergeant major.

    Henry Mareus "Harcus" Strachan VC, MC ( 7 November 1884 – 1 May 1982) was a Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross.

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    Strachan joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in July 1915. Strachan was 33 years of age, and serving in the First World War with the Canadian Cavalry Brigade as a lieutenant in The Fort Garry Horse, when he performed the action for which he was awarded the VC. It has become traditional for the Garrys to hold a Regimental dinner every year on the anniversary of Strachan's unlikely cavalry exploit.
    During the Battle of Cambrai on 20 November 1917 at Masnières, France, Lieutenant Strachan took command of the mounted squadron of Garrys when the 'B' Squadron leader, Captain Campbell, approaching the German front line at a gallop, was killed by machine gun fire

    Believing that 29th Division with tanks already held the village of Masnieres, Brig. Gen. Nelson of 88th Brigade, ordered the Fort Garry Horse to advance across the St Quentin Canal. On approaching the river bridge in front of Masnieres, the Garrys could see that the town was still held by the enemy and that the bridge across the St Quentin Canal was broken. The Garrys then found the Hampshire Regiment were crossing, in single file, over the lock gates. Tearing up a wooden pier, they built a bridge suitable for horses to cross. By 4pm 'B' Squadron set out through a gap in the enemy wire. After Capt. Campbell was killed, Strachen led 'B' Squadron at the gallop to Rumilly. However, due to the state of the crossing at Masnieres and the limited available daylight Major-Gen W. H. Greenly commanding 2nd Cavalry Division, ordered any large-scale cavalry action to halt and recalled units that had crossed the Canal.
    Neither Lt. Col. RW Patterson, commanding the Fort Garry Horse nor mounted orderlies, could find 'B' Squadron who were south-east of Rumilly. Cutting their way through a heavily camouflaged road they found a four-gunned German field battery in front of them. Charging, they rode down or sabred the gunners. Beyond the guns, German infantry challenged them and again Strachan led the charge, breaking the infantry but remaining under fire as they rode towards Rumilly. Until after dark the squadron, now less than fifty men and with five unwounded horses, sheltered in a sunken road 1,200 yards east of the town. When Strachan realised there was to be no support, the horse were cut loose and he withdrew towards the Canal. In a fighting withdrawal, four bodies of German troops were scattered.

    Lieutenant Strachan led the squadron through the enemy line of machine-gun posts and then, with the surviving men, led the charge on the German battery, killing seven of the gunners with his sword. When all the gunners were killed and the battery silenced, he rallied his men and fought his way back at night on foot through the enemy's lines, bringing all unwounded men safely in, together with 15 prisoners.
    Strachan, having been promoted to captain, received his VC from King George V on January 6, 1918.

    Strachan died on 1 May 1982, at the age of 97 years and 175 days, the record longest-lived recipient of the Victoria Cross.

    Samuel Thomas ****son Wallace VC (7 March 1892 – 2 February 1968) was a Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross. He was 25 years old, and a temporary lieutenant in the 'C' Battery 63rd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

    On 20 November 1917 at Gonnelieu, France, when the personnel of Lieutenant Wallace's battery were reduced to five, having lost their commander and five sergeants, and were surrounded by enemy infantry, he maintained the firing of the guns by swinging the trails close together, the men running and loading from gun to gun. He was in action for eight hours firing the whole time and inflicting severe casualties on the enemy. Then, owing to the exhausted state of his men, he withdrew when the infantry supports arrived, taking with him all essential gun parts and all wounded.
    20 Airmen were lost on this day

    Lieutenant Alexander Charles Nicholas March de Lisle (Leicestershire Regiment attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed in action at age 20 when his RE8 is hit by a shell and crashes while on artillery observation near Ypres. He is the son of the late Edwin Joseph Lisle March Phillipps de Lisle Member of Parliament for Mid-Leicestershire from 1886-92.

    Second Lieutenant Owen Watkin Wynn Hardinge Meredith 64 Squadron RFC (General List attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed when he is shot down by machine gun fire, while attacking a balloon near Cambrai at age 24. He is the only son of the late Vernerable Archdeacon Thomas Meredith late Vicar of Wolston and Archdeacon of Singapore. He was educated at Harrow and Cambridge University. He left Cambridge when the War broke out and took up war work at Coventry, subsequently entering Aeroplane Works at Hendon. At an aerodrome in England he made a record for high flying. He obtained his wings in July 1917 and went out to the front in October 1917. The Charity of Owen Watkin Wynn Hardinge Meredith will be set up by Thomas Meredith in memory of his son. A capital sum of money is in war stock and the interest from this is to be used to help the poor of the Parish of Tibberton.

    20 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON TUESDAY NOVEMBER 20TH 1917

    Capt. Angus, R.E. (Robert Edward) 64 Squadron RFC
    Capt. Cook, A.B. (Alfred Burton) 57 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Coppard, S.B.H. (Stuart Benjamin Hayes) 57 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Darrington, H.E. (Harold Edgar) 27 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Goodeve, S.M. (Stewart Marcon) 21 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Gubbin, J.R.F. (John Richard Francis) 47 Squadron RFC

    2nd Lt. Hall, G.W. (George Wilfred) 2 Squadron RFC
    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.

    2nd Lt. Hartigan, E.P. (Edward Patrick) 57 Squadron RFC

    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.

    2nd Lt. Higginson, W.C.V. (William Clifton Vernon) 3 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Horsfall, G.R. (George Rowland) 45 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Ledger, H.P. (Harold Partington) 3 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Phear, N.C. (Norman Carlyon) 27 Squadron RFC
    Cpl. Stebbings, F.J. (Frederick James) No.2 Aircraft Depot RFC
    Sgt. Stephenson, T.F. (Thomas Frederick) 11 Squadron RFC

    The son of George Frederick and Annie Georgina Stephenson, Thomas Frederick Stephenson scored 5 victories flying the Bristol Fighter with his observer, 1st Air Mechanic Sidney Platel. On 31 October 1917, Stephenson and Platel were shot down by Hans Bethge of Jasta 30. Less than a month later, Stephenson was killed in action when he and Lieutenant T.W. Morse were shot down by Jasta 12. Morse survived but was captured

    Air Mech 2 Swift, W.H
    . (William Henry) No3 Brigade RFC
    Sgt. Taylor, R.C. (Robert Charles) 13 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Wylie, A.L. (Alan Lindsay) 15 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Young, G.J.T. (George James Taylor) 15 Squadron RFC

    Cambrai: Royal Flying Corps concentrates 289 aircraft in 15 squadrons to support Third Army and first mass tank thrust against only 78 German planes. 4 Squadrons (13 aircraft lost or wrecked, 13 damaged by ground fire) fly ground attack 45 minutes after assault and 20 Sopwith Camels (4 lost) and Pups attack 4 of 6 targeted airfields. Air observers fail to report German batteries at Flesquieres, one pilot in error reports village captured before 1100 hours.

    The following aces made claims on this day

    Arthur Claydon England #1

    Arthur Claydon was a general contractor living in Winnipeg, Manitoba when he enlisted on 18 February 1916. After serving with an artillery regiment, Claydon transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in 1917. Posted to 32 Squadron later that year, he was shot down by Max von Müller on 11 November 1917 but survived and scored his first victory flying the D.H.5. In May and June of 1918, he scored six more victories flying the S.E.5a but was killed in action when he was shot down by Paul Billik of Jasta 52.

    Lt. (temp. Capt.) Arthur Claydon (formerly Canadian Fd. Arty.).

    Recently this officer, single-handed, went to the assistance of another pilot, who was attacked by eleven Fokker biplanes and six scouts. By his gallant conduct and skilful manoeuvring he not only extricated the pilot, but drove down several of the enemy aeroplanes. He has shown great initiative and gallantry in locating, bombing and attacking troops on the ground from low altitudes.

    William Fry England #6
    Oliver William Redgate England #8
    Erwin Böhme Germany #23
    Josef Mai Germany #3
    Erich Schütze Germany #4
    Otto Splitgerber Germany #5
    Walter Tyrrell Ireland #4
    Antonio Chiri Italy u/c
    Guido Masiero Italy u/c

    EASTERN FRONT
    Russia: Bolsheviks declare Ukrainian People’s Republic.

    SOUTHERN FRONTS
    Piave: Austrians take Mt Fontanasecca at start of week*long fighting.
    Italy: The last two French divisions (23rd and 24th) arrive (until November 22). Foch leaves for Paris on November 23.

    MIDDLE EAST
    Palestine: 75th Division storms 3 ridges aided by mist, gets 5 miles north of Jerusalem on November 21, but Yeomanry Division expelled from Zeitun Ridge.

    AFRICA
    East Africa: Giffard’s 1/2nd KAR takes 127 PoWs at another camp. 900 Portuguese arrive at Ngomano. Lettow dismantles Newala radio station and begins march south to river Rovuma.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 11-21-2017 at 15:14.

  2. #2852

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    21st November 1917

    Right so this is going up on time, once completed I will start back filling the missing editions. It will take us a day or so but we are getting there so please bare with us.

    When the battle of Cambrai is renewed today the pace of British advance is greatly slowed. The abandoned Flesquières and then Cantaing are captured in the very early morning, but in general the British take time to reinforcing their gains rather than expanding. The efforts of III Corps are officially halted and attention is turned to IV Corps. The continuing effort is aimed at the ridge. Fighting is fierce around Bourlon and at Anneux, just before the woods, is very costly. German counter attacks squeeze the British out of Moeuvres today and Fontaine tomorrow. Even when Anneux is taken the 62nd Division finds it unable to even enter Bourlon Woods. The British are left exposed in a salient. Haig still wants Bourlon Ridge and the exhausted 62nd Division will be replaced by the 40th Division under John Ponsonby in two days.

    Lieutenant Edward William Horner (Hussars) is killed in action by a shot to the chest while defending the village of Noyelles at age 24. He is the son of ‘Sir’ John Horner KCVO and had been severely wounded in May 1915 and lost a kidney. He rejoined his regiment in 1916. He is the brother-in-law of Raymond Asquith son of Prime Minister Asquith who will also be killed in the Great War. He is reported to be a descendant of ‘Little Jack Horner” of the nursery rhyme fame.

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    Lieutenant Ewart Alan Mackintosh MC (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed in action at age 24 at Cambrai. He is a noted Great War poet. His works included “A Highland Regiment” published in 1917; “War, the Liberator” published in 1918 and “Miserere” published after the war in 1919.

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    Cha Till Maccruimein
    (Departure of the 4th Camerons)

    The pipes in the streets were playing bravely,
    The marching lads went by,
    With merry hearts and voices singing
    My friends marched out to die;
    But I was hearing a lonely pibroch
    Out of an older war,
    “Farewell, farewell, farewell, MacCrimmon,
    MacCrimmon comes no more.”

    And every lad in his heart was dreaming
    Of honour and wealth to come,
    And honour and noble pride were calling
    To the tune of the pipes and drum;
    But I was hearing a woman singing
    On dark Dunvegan shore,
    “In battle or peace, with wealth or honour,
    MacCrimmon comes no more.”

    And there in front of the men were marching,
    With feet that made no mark,
    The grey old ghosts of the ancient fighters
    Come back again from the dark;
    And in front of them all MacCrimmon piping
    A weary tune and sore,
    “On the gathering day, forever and ever,
    MacCrimmon comes no more.”

    The War in the Air


    17th Balloon Section Royal Flying Corps leaves a booby-trapped kite balloon over Salonika containing 500 pounds of high explosives. When the balloon is approached by a German machine they detonate the explosives bringing down and killing the leading German ace on the Salonika front.

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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.

    By the beginning of October, Eschwege had run his score to sixteen wins. He then began to choose British observation balloons for his targets. He managed to down two of them during October and November, plus a Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter that tried to defend one of them. On 21 November, he attacked a balloon that had risen to the unusually high altitude of 2,500 feet. As he laced it with machine gun fire, it exploded and knocked him out of the air. The balloon had been fitted with a dummy observer and 500 pounds of high explosives; the booby trap was command detonated to kill Eschwege. His death quashed his pending award of the Pour le Merite.

    Rudolf von Eschwege's coffin was carried to his grave by six British aviators, and he was buried with full military honors. Some days after the funeral, a British plane dropped a message on the German's home airfield. It read: "To the Bulgarian-German Flying Corps in Drama. The officers of the Royal Flying Corps regret to announce that Lt. von Eschwege was killed while attacking the captive balloon. His personal belongings will be dropped over the lines some time during the next few days." When the parcel was dropped, it contained a photo of his funeral packed along with his personal items. In turn, the Germans dropped a flag and a wreath for Eschwege's grave. The Bulgarians later built a monument to him.

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    General Headquarters, November 22nd.

    “On the 21st inst. the weather was even more unsuitable for flying than on the previous day, but a number of successful reconnaissances of the enemy's lines of communication were carried out, and every endeavour was made to keep in touch with our infantry. No enemy aeroplanes were encountered, and none of ours are missing.”

    Practically no work was done owing to rain and low clouds.

    Lt G Lloyd, No 40 Squadron, carried out a very low reconnaissance of the area south of Douai and north of the Sensee River and reported on the position of the enemy.

    Nine successful reconnnissances were carried out by the 3rd Brigade, one being by a Bristol Fighter of No 11 Squadron and the others by Nos 15 and 59 Squadrons, while four successful contact patrols were also carried out.

    Corps machines dropped two 230-lb bombs on Buissy and then fired at troops in the village from 200 feet.

    2nd Lt C Brown, No 27 Squadron, dropped two 112-lb bombs from 200 feet on Brebières Station, and two bursts were seen among the trucks in the station.

    RNAS - Drizzle and clouds prevented any war work being carried out.

    Enemy Aircraft

    Capt A A Knight & Capt A P Wornum, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Wervicq - Gheluwe at 14:45/15:45

    Casualties

    Capt R N Wolton (Wia) & Capt G W Surne (Ok), 35 Sqn, AW FK8 A2718 - shot down near Marcoing by rifle fire on contact patrol

    There were just the 4 aerial victory claims by aces on this day

    Raoul Stojsavljevic Austro-Hungarian Empire #10
    Rudolph von Eschwege Germany #20
    Ferruccio Ranza Italy #9
    Cosimo Rennella Italy #2

    5 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 21ST 1917

    Lt. Davey, W.C.
    (Wilfred Charles) 15 Squadron RFC
    Capt. Harris, R.A. (Robert Arthur) RFC
    Air Mech 2 Hutchins, W.S. (William Seymour) No.4 Aircraft Park RFC
    Pte Kendrew, J. (John) 13th Balloon Company RFC
    Air Mech 3 Lawton, T.J. RFC

    German Zeppelin airship L 59 set a new flight endurance record while attempting a supply run to German ground forces in German East Africa. It made a 6,757-kilometer (4,196-statute mile) journey from Yambol, Bulgaria into Africa to a point west of Khartoum before being recalled to Yambol. The total flight time was 95 hours 5 minutes at an average speed of 71 km/h (44 mph), with enough fuel aboard to have remained in the air for another 64 hours.

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    Zeppelin LZ 104 (construction number, designated L 59 by the German Imperial Navy) and nicknamed Das Afrika-Schiff ("The Africa Ship"), was a World War I German dirigible, famous for attempting a long-distance resupply mission to the beleaguered garrison of Germany's East Africa colony.

    he L 59 was a naval airship ordered to prepare for the resupply of Generalmajor Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck’s troops.[2][3]

    On 4 November 1917, after a 29-hour flight from Friedrichshafen under the command of Hugo Eckener, the airship arrived at Yambol (Jamboli) in Bulgaria, the last available airbase before flying over two thousand miles across the Mediterranean and Entente-held Africa. At Jamboli Kapitänleutnant [Lieutenant Commander] Ludwig Bockholt, a regular German naval officer, met the zeppelin. He would be commander for the mission, code named China-Sache, loosely translated as "China Show" or "China Matter."Because it would be impossible to resupply the airship with hydrogen gas upon its arrival in Africa, it was decided that no return trip would be made. Instead, it was planned that every part of the ship be cannibalized for use by Lettow-Vorbeck's bush army. The outer envelope would be used for tents, muslin linings would become bandages, the duralumin framework would be used for wireless towers, and so on. In addition to its own structure, L 59 carried 15 tons of supplies.The cargo included machine guns plus spares and ammunition, food, medical supplies, a medical team and Iron Cross medals.

    L 59's two initial attempts at starting the journey were foiled by weather in the Mediterranean, but on 21 November 1917 her third departure was successful. The ship made good time over Adrianople, the Sea of Marmara and the coast of Asia Minor. However, due to electrical storms over Crete, her wireless aerial was wound in and so the ship failed to receive messages from the German admiralty. She crossed over the African coast at 05:15 on 22 November near Mersa Matruh and, flying via the Dakhla Oasis set a dog-leg course up the Nile. That afternoon, an engine malfunctioned when a reduction gear housing cracked; the loss of this powerplant eliminated the prospect of radio transmission, although wireless messages could be received. The next morning she nearly crashed when heat turbulence from the dunes below and subsequent cooling reduced the buoyancy of her gas. The crew also suffered from headaches, hallucinations and general fatigue in the mid-day heat and freezing cold at night. Despite these difficulties, L 59 continued on over Sudan, only to be turned back on 23 November, with the ship 125 miles (201 km) due west of Khartoum when she received an "abort" message. L 59's volunteer crew implored the commander to continue, but he ordered the ship turned back and returned to Bulgaria after averting another potential disaster due to loss of buoyancy over Asia Minor. She returned to base the morning of 25 November 1917, having traveled over 4,200 miles (6,800 km) in 95 hours, or nearly four days in the air. When she nosed into her shed at Jamboli, the Zeppelin had enough fuel remaining for another 64 hours flight.

    It was later claimed by Richard Meinertzhagen, the chief of British intelligence in the area based at Cairo, that the recall message reporting that Lettow-Vorbeck had surrendered was faked. The British, having broken the German naval wireless code, were aware of the flight and mission. East Africa’s Royal Flying Corps (RFC) squadrons were alerted to watch for the approach of the ship. However, what turned the airship back was a signal relayed from Lettow-Vorbeck.The weak signal was amplified and forwarded by stations in friendly or neutral territories, and after some hours it reached the German naval command. The signal informed headquarters not that Lettow had surrendered, but that the Schutztruppe had been unable to hold the flatlands around Mahenge, the planned destination of the airship, and had been forced by British artillery to retreat into jagged mountains where the airship would have no chance of touching down without risking explosion. With no hope of a place to safely land and with every likelihood of her being destroyed or falling into enemy hands, the German command had no choice but to order a return. The recall signal was sent from the Admiralty station at Nauen.Despite its failure, "the adventure of L 59 was heroic both in scale and spirit." Later a transcript of the radio message was reported to have been found in Germany's World War archives,[12] as well as a Turko-German wireless intercept (marked 'Secret') preserved in the files of the British Public Records office.

    4,200 miles (6,800 km) in 95 hours, is still the longest non-stop military flight in history, a century or so after.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 11-21-2017 at 13:19.

  3. #2853

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    Thursday 22nd November 1917


    Today we lost: 934

    Today’s losses include:

    · An Albert Medal winner
    · Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
    · The son of a member of the clergy
    · A General
    · The grandson of a General
    · The grandson of a Baronet

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    · Brigadier General Edward Rowland Bennett Stokes-Roberts CB (Royal Engineers) dies of pneumonia at Baghdad at age 48.
    · Captain Charles William Bruce (Gordon Highlanders) is accidentally killed. He is the grandson of ‘Sir’ Walter Smythe Baronet.
    · Second Lieutenant Charles Edward Hoare Hales (Wiltshire Regiment) dies of wounds at home at age 31. He is the son of the late Major General Arthur Hales.
    · Sergeant Russell Dean Gerrie (Eastern Ontario Regiment) is killed at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend J P Gerrie.
    · Private Thomas Hall (South Wales Borderers) is killed in action at Bourlon Wood at age 28. His brother was killed in June 1915 on Gallipoli.
    · Private Francis John Bailey (Sussex Regiment) is killed by shell fire in his trench at age 30. His brother was killed in October 1916.
    · Private James Royal (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed at age 21. He is the third brother to be killed in the Great War.
    · Gunner George Owen Smitheringale (Royal Garrison Artillery) dies of wounds at age 29. His brother was killed in September 1914.

    Air Operations:

    General Headquarters, November 23rd.

    “On the 22nd inst. the bad weather continued, preventing all flying except at very low height. Our aeroplanes were very active in attacking hostile troops and transport on roads in the neighbourhood of Cambrai with bombs and machine-gun fire. A number of fights took place with the enemy's low-flying machines, three of which were brought down, while two others were driven down out of control. One hostile balloon also was brought down in flames. Five of our aeroplanes are missing.”

    Low clouds and thick ground mist again considerably hiinered aerial work. In spite of the weather conditions, however, machines went out in very bad weather in order to interfere with the enemy's movements as much as possible and gain infortnntion.

    Ten reconnaissances were carried out by the 1st Brigade and scouts fired 950 rounds at troops and transports, one pilot, scattering parties of troops. Three were carried out by the 2nd Brigade, when Capt Youdale and Lt Wilson, No 21 Squadron, obtained very valuable information and 16 were carried out, by the 3rd Brigade and given areas were successfully reconnoitred by Major Walker and Lt Trotman, Lts Jeffrey and Desborough, No 15 Squadron, and Lts Owen and Hegan, No 59 Squadron.

    Six hostile butteries were successfully engaged for destruction with aeroplane observation and nine neutralised.

    Six 112-lb and 84 25-lb bombs were dropped and 5,200 rounds were fired ground targets. No 18 Squadron dropped four 112-lb bombs on Dechy Railway Station, and No 2 Squadron dropped six 25-lb bombs on Benifontaine and trenches.

    RNAS - It was only possible to carry out a few patrols owing to the continuation of bad weather. Nothing of importance to report.

    Enemy Aircraft

    Zeppelin Resupply Mission to Africa Departs

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    The L59 just before its departure from Bulgaria.

    November 21 1917, Yambol–By the fall of 1917, Lettow-Vorbeck’s forces in German East Africa were running critically low on supplies, having been completely isolated since March 1916. The German Navy decided to attempt to resupply Lettow-Vorbeck by zeppelin. After the first zeppelin chosen was destroyed by in a storm in October, the new L59 replaced it, and was lengthened to 743 feet to carry sufficient hydrogen for the journey. It was to carry 15 tons of supplies, including first aid, ammunition, and machine guns. L59′s journey was intended to be one-way, so everything on board was designed to be of some use to Lettow-Vorbeck’s forces. The envelope could be remade into tents and sleeping bags (sowing machines were included to help with this effort), and the zeppelin’s frame could be used to build structures and a wireless transmitter.

    L59 left the southernmost zeppelin station, in Yambol, Bulgaria, on November 21, with a crew of 22 volunteers (after two earlier failed attempts in the previous weeks). It flew south over Turkey, then crossed the Mediterranean, arriving over Sollum before dawn on the 22nd. The journey over the Sahara was quite difficult due the extreme daily swings in air temperature. This made the airship quite difficult to control, nearly crashing at one point. The extreme heat also caused structural damage as the airship expanded, and knocked out the zeppelin’s wireless transmitter.
    Just after midnight on November 23, around 50 miles west of Khartoum, they received a faint wireless signal from Germany, ordering them to turn back. While the exact reasons for this message (and even its authenticity) have been disputed, it seems likely that they had learned that Lettow-Vorbeck had been forced south beyond the intended landing zone into terrain unsuitable for landing (or even further, into Mozambique). The zeppelin arrived back in Yambol on November 25, after a ninety-five hour flight, still the longest continuous wartime military flight in history.

    A number of low flying enemy machines were encountered, chiefly by the 3rd Brigade.

    2nd Lt P J Moloney, 84 Sqn, EA out of control Cambrai - 2nd Lt Moloney, No 84 Squadron, became separated from his patrol and was attacked by six EA. He was hit almost at once in the thigh, but continuted to fight for ten minutes during which his machine was very badly shot about. One of the the hostile machines was driven down in a spin completely out of control and the others, into which pilot had poured several bursts, all disappeared. As his compass had been hit he steered to our lines by the sun and made a good landing, in spite of feeling very weak from loss of blood and the damaged condition of his machine, close to an anti-nircraft, battery

    2nd Lt F C Gorringe, 70 Sqn, two-seater out of control east of Passchendaele at 07:55/08:55

    Capt E R Pennell, 84 Sqn, Balloon in flames north of Bourlon Wood at 08:50/09:50

    2nd Lt L A Herbert, 40 Sqn, two-seater out of control south-east of Douai at 09:50/10:50 - 2nd Lt L Herbert, No 40 Squadron, drove down a German machine apparently out of conntrol

    Lt F G Huxley, 68 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed east of Merville at 10:45/11:45 - Lt F Huxley, No 68 Squadron, engaged single seater enemy scout which he destroyed

    Flt Cdr R J O Compston, 8N Sqn, LVG C out of control Vitry-en-Artois at 10:55/11:55 - Flight Commander Compston, Naval Squadron No 8, drove down a German machine apparently out of control

    Capt J M Child, 84 Sqn and Lt R W Howard, 68 Sqn, DFW C captured Graincourt at 11:40/12:40 - Flgr Elser & Ltn Steiner, FAA 269
    Capt J M Child, 84 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed north-east of Bourlon Wood at 11:45/12:45

    Capt J Child, No 84 Squadron, met a German machine east of Bourlon Wood and engaged it at close range and shot it down completely out of control. This machine was seen by other pilots to crash. He then saw two enemy two-seaters approaching the lines from the east so climbed into the clouds and waited until they had crossed the lines and then attacked one of them and hit the engine which stopped. The enemy pilot tried to fly east but was prevented from doing so by Capt. Child, so he went down and landed within our lines. Both pilot and observer were unhurt and were captured.

    Capt R C Phillipps, 68 Sqn, DFW C captured Cambrai at 15:15/16:15

    Casualties

    2nd Lt J Cushey (Wia), 41 Sqn, SE5a B629 - shot about and later crashed advanced landing ground on DOP

    Capt A C St Clair-Morford (Ok), 64 Sqn, DH5 A9237 - shot down by enemy gunfire and wrecked in Hindenburg line during attack on enemy troops

    Lt A J Pratt (Wia), 68 Sqn, DH5 A9265 - brought down by hostile gunfire close to the line at 57c.J.6.d [east of Louverval] on special duty from ALG

    2nd Lt P J Moloney (Wia), 84 Sqn, SE5a B4886 - badly damaged by gunfire and landed at Bus on DOP Cambrai

    Capt G B Crole MC (Pow), 43 Sqn, Camel B6267 – took off 07:55/08:55 then missing from special low reconnaissance Douai; Vzfw Fritz Rumey, Js5, 3rd victory [Marcoing at 08:10/09:10] ?

    Lt R S S Brown (Ok), 3 Sqn, Camel B5180 - damaged by gunfire at 08:25/09:25 on reconnaissance and attack on ground targets

    Lt T L Atkinson (Wia), 46 Sqn, Pup B1747 – took off 08:40/09:40 then missing from bombing Bourlon Wood

    Lt R W Howard (Ok), 68 Sqn, DH5 A9294 – took off 10:00/11:00 then shot about by EA on patrol at 11:40/12:40 and landed near 56 Sqn aerodrome due fog

    2nd Lt D G Clark (Kia), 68 Sqn, DH5 A9477 - last seen going east over Bourlon Wood at 10:30/11:30 on special mission from ALG; Ltn d R Rudolf Matthaei, Js5, 9th victory [south-east of Fontaine at 10:30/11:30] ?

    2nd Lt E F Marchand (Pow), 43 Sqn, Camel B2366 – took off 10:35/11:35 then missing from special low reconnaissance Douai

    Lt R Buchanan (Ok) & Lt D Taylor (Ok), 35 Sqn, AW FK8 A2703 - force landed Marcoing at 12:00/13:00 after being hit by machine-gun fire from EA on reconnaissance

    Lt C K M Douglas (Ok) & 2nd Lt W H Steele (Ok), 15 Sqn, RE8 A3730 - forced down by hostile aircraft at Sh57c.l.1.c.2.2 [south-east of Graincourt-les-Havrincourt] at 12:30/13:30 on contact patrol and blown about in gale

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 14

    Capt Bruce, C.W. (Charles William), 61 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Clark, D.G. (David Goodlet), 2 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps.
    Capt Deuchar, A.G. (Alexander Guthrie), 103 Squadron, RFC.
    Lt Elliott, E.C.J. (Eric Cuthbert John), 27 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Jones, H.E. (Harold Edward), 41 Squadron, RFC.
    A Mech 2 King, A.M. (Alfred Maurice), 9 Squadron attached 'C' Battery, 47th Brigade Royal Field Artillery, RFC.
    Flt Sub-Lt MacAloney, R. (Ralph), RNAS.
    Lt McCash, J.W. (John Watson), RFC.
    Lt McConnell, H.L.C. (Horace Lincoln Cyril), 14 Squadron, RFC.
    A Mech 1 Pearce, E. (Emrys), 4 Squadron attached Royal Garrison Artillery, RFC.
    AC2 Sprules, F.T. (Frederick Thomas), Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. 'President II', RNAS.
    2Lt Weiss, E.S. (Edward Stanley), 41 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Whitehead, R.M. (Reginald Maurice), 41 Squadron, RFC.
    A Mech 3 Wiseman, E.G. (Edward George), 14th Kite Balloon Section, 4th Balloon Wing, RFC.

    Claims: 15 confirmed (Entente 8: Central Powers 7)

    Albert Chabrier (France) #1.
    James Martin Child #6 & #7.
    Robert Compston #12.
    Horace Davey #6.
    Richard Howard #1.
    Edwarrd Robert Pennell #2.

    Harald Auffarth #7.
    Otto Konnecke #9.
    Josef Mai #4.
    Rudolf Matthaei #9.
    Franz Peichulek #1.
    Fritz Rumey #3.
    Werner Wagener #5.

    Western Front:

    All gains on British front consolidated, except at Fontaine Notre Dame, which Germans retake.

    Unsuccessful German counter-attack south of Juvincourt.

    Eastern Front:


    Lenin authorises troops at front to negotiate peace with the enemy.

    Southern Front:


    Fighting in mountains continues.

    Lower Piave enemy make no progress.

    Austrian attacks in Albania on Italian line between rivers Osum and Voyusa.

    Tunstills Men Thursday 22nd November 1917:


    Billets at Minerbe.

    On a brighter and warmer day the Battalion set out at 7.02am and marched east via Bevilacqua to Montagnana, where they turned north and on via Poiana Maggiore to Sossano, covering nineteen miles in total. Pte. Harold Charnock (see 19th November) remembered that at Sossano, “Headquarters had a quite delightful billet with a charming hostess and small daughter. Very good wine and spaghetti”.

    The rigours of the recent long marches began to take effect on some of the men. Cpl. William Edward Varley (see 20th September) and Ptes. Francis James Barnes (see 29th October), William Hassall (see 16th August 1916) and Owen Frank Hyde (see 5th October) were all admitted to 69th Field Ambulance, suffering from inflammation to their feet; they would all be discharged to duty four days later.

    Cpl. William Foulds (see 23rd October), who had suffered an accidental wound which had seen him admitted to 10th Stationary Hospital at St. Omer, was transferred to 7th Convalescent Depot at Boulogne.

    A payment of £1 10s. 9d. was authorised, being the amount due in pay and allowances to the late Pte. Frederick Arthur Stead (see 7th June), who had been killed in action on 7th June; the payment would go to his mother, Sarah.

    Asiatic, African, Egyptian Front:

    British troops capture Turkish post of Jabir, 15 miles from Aden.

    Strongly reinforced Turkish forces attack Nebi Samwil, (the tomb of the prophet Samuel), a Mosque five miles northwest of Jerusalem which was captured by British forces yesterday. · Captain Charles Russell (Indian Army Reserve of Officers attached Gurkha Rifles) is killed at age 45. The Charles Russell Memorial is established in memory of Captain Russell, Senior Professor and Principal of Patna College from 1906 to 1914. The Memorial provides that, from time to time, as funds permit, some eminent person should be invited to deliver in Patna a lecture on some great achievement of the human mind in Literature, Art, Philosophy, or Science, and m that these lectures should be published under the general title of the Russell Lectures. · Captain Gerald Banes-Walker (Somerset Light Infantry) is killed in action in Palestine at age 28. His brother was killed in May 1915. · Lieutenant Locke Francis William Angerstein Kendall (Norfolk Regiment) dies of wounds received in the same battle at age 27. He is the son of the Reverend John Francis Kendall Vicar of Richmond. · Private William George Benney (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) is killed in Palestine. His brother died on service in India in September 1916. In Mesopotamia Lieutenant Arthur Richard Waddams (Indian Army Reserve of Officers attached Merwara Infantry) is instructing a class in firing rifle grenades. While a private of the Burma Infantry is under instruction the rifle missfires and the detonator of the grenade starts working without the grenade leaving the rifle. Lieutenant Waddams rushes forward and pushes back the soldier, seizes the rifle with one hand and the grenade with the other and tries to throw it over the wall before it explodes. Unfortunately the grenade explodes in his hand and he receives fatal wounds at age 26. The soldier is only slightly wounded. For his actions Lieutenant Waddams will be awarded a posthumous Albert Medal.

    Naval Operations:

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

    Political:

    U.S.A. Mission under Colonel House leaves London for Paris.

    Germany announces extension of the "barred zone" for shipping; Dutch indignation.

    Anniversary Events:

    1220 After promising to go to the aid of the Fifth Crusade within nine months, Frederick II is crowned emperor by Pope Honorius III.
    1542 New laws are passed in Spain giving Indians in America protection against enslavement.
    1757 The Austrian army defeats the Prussians at Breslau in the Seven Years War.
    1847 In New York, the Astor Place Opera House, the city’s first operatic theater, is opened.
    1902 A fire causes considerable damage to the unfinished Williamsburg bridge in New York.
    1915 The Anglo-Indian army, led by British General Sir Charles Townshend, attacks a larger Turkish force under General Nur-ud-Din at Ctesiphon, Iraq, but is repulsed.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 11-26-2017 at 13:37.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  4. #2854

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    Friday 23rd November 1917


    Today we lost: 1,037

    Today’s losses include:

    · The son of the British Minister to Belgium
    · A grandson of the 4th Earl Clarendon
    · Multiple sons of members of the clergy
    · Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
    · A 10-victory ace
    · A man whose son will be killed in the Second World War
    · A Celtic footballer
    ·
    A man shot at dawn

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    · Captain Timothy Idwal Hope-Evans (Royal Welsh Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 28. He is the son of the Reverend J Hope-Evans.
    · Lieutenant Walter Sibbald Laidlaw (Royal Engineers) is killed in action at age 28. His brother died of wounds in April 1915.
    · Lieutenant William Edwin Jenkins (Royal Flying Corps) a ten-victory ace is killed in a flying accident.
    · Lieutenant Herbert Ward Meredith Weeks (South Wales Borderers) dies of wounds received the previous day at age 25. His brother will die of wounds in next September.
    · Second Lieutenant Lawrence Henry Martin (Irish Fusiliers) is killed at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Richard D’Olier Martin.
    · Second Lieutenant Eric Westgate Beauchamp (Dorsetshire Regiment attached Hampshire Regiment) is killed in Jerusalem at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend J G Beauchamp.
    · Lance Corporal George Howell (Gordon Highlanders) is killed at age 24. His son will be killed in May 1941.
    · Private Don Waters (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed in action at age 26 at Bourlon Wood. His brother was accidentally killed in November 1915.
    · Private Archie McMillan (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) is killed. He was a footballer for Celtic. · Private Arthur H Westwood (East Surrey Regiment) is shot at dawn at age 20. His brother will die of wounds next April.
    · Private George Lunney (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed at age 23. His brother will be killed tomorrow in Palestine.
    · Lieutenant Algernon Hyde Villiers (Lothians and Border Horse Yeomanry attached Machine Gun Corps) is killed in Bourlon Wood at age 31. He is the son of the Right Honorable ‘Sir’ Francis Villiers PC GCMG GCVO British Minister to Belgium and grandson of the 4th Earl Clarendon the famous Foreign Secretary.

    Air Operations:

    German airship "L.-.59" reaches East Africa, but turns back without alighting (Evidence for this event rests on German statements only.) (see 21st and 25th).

    Increased air activity!

    General Headquarters

    “On the 23rd inst. our aeroplanes co-operated with our infantry in their attacks, flying up and down the lines of our advancing troops at a low level, and helping with machine-gun fire to disperse the enemy's infantry. Hostile reinforcements and transports on the road were also attacked, and many bombs were dropped behind the battle front on important railway junctions at which rolling stock was collected and detraining in progress. Australian squadrons again took part in this work, which was carried out continuously throughout the day, although the weather at times ui.uk uying almost impossible. The enemy's aeroplanes showed more activity in attacking our bombing and low-flying machines. In air fighting six hostile machines were brought down. Nine of our aeroplanes are missing, two of which were seen to collide over the enemy's lines.”

    There was a slight improvement in the weather and machines were out during the day co-operating with the successful attack on Bourlon Wood and Village.

    With aeroplane observation 26 hostile butteries were successfully engaged for destruction; three gun-pits were destroyed, 13 damaged, 12 explosions, and three fires caused.

    Fourteen reconnaissances were carried out by machines of the 1st Brigade, 11 by the 2nd, 11 by the 3rd, three by the 14th Wing and two by the 9th Wing.

    Bristol Fighters of No 11 Squadron obtained valuable information during five different reconnaissances. No 8, 15 and 35 Squadrons also obtained valuable information.

    Scouts were employed in dropping bombs and firing machine guns at enemy troops, transport, batteries and other targets, and a total of 24,175 rounds were fired during this work. 1,400 were by scouts of the 1st Brigade, 3,920 by the 2nd Brigade, and 14,600 by scouts of the 3rd Brigade, who also dropped 120 25-lb bombs. Pilots of the 14th Wing fired over 1,000 rounds.

    In all, 325 25-lb, 46 112-lb and one 230-lb. bombs were dropped during the course of the day.

    Thirty-six 112-lb bombs were dropped on Dechy Railway Station by No 18 Squadron, direct, bits being obtained on the station and railway lines.

    No 2 Squadron dropped 18 25-lb bombs on Benifontaine.

    No 8 Squadron dropped 16 25-lb bombs on an enemy camp which was hit and No 13 Squadron dropped 32 25-lb bombs on Divisional Headquarters at Escadœuvres, while No 15 Squadron dropped 15 25-lb bombs on transport, along roads.

    No. 27 Squadron dropped six 112-lb bombs on Douai Station and No 25 Squadron dropped 22 112-lb bombs on Dechy, Somain, Douai, Denain and Bugnicourt. A direct hit was obtained on a crossing at Douai and another on a dump near the station.

    The remaining bombs were dropped on various targets by the Brigades.

    Admiralty

    “On November 23rd, in the course of fighter patrols by the Royal Naval Air Service, two enemy aircraft were probably destroyed and one driven down completely out of control. On November 20th, also, one enemy machine was destroyed. All our machines have returned safely.”

    A reconnaissance was carried out by No. 2 Squadron to Ostende, Bruges, and Zeebrugge. The visibility over Ostende was poor, making observations very difficult-Better results were obtained over Bruges and Zeebrugge. One of the escorting machines had a short indecisive encounter with an E.A. over Nieuport.

    Enemy Aircraft


    Enemy aircraft were more active than on previous days and attacked our bombing and low flying machines.

    2nd Lt J McF Stewart & Lt W J Borthistle, 25 Sqn, Scout in flames - 2nd Lt J Stewart and Lieut W Borthistle, No 25 Squadron, were attacked by four enemy scouts just after having dropped bombs and the observer, Lt Borthistle, fired 80 rounds into one of the machines which burst into flames and fell out of control

    Capt R L Chidlaw-Roberts, 60 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed west of Dadizeele at 10:10/11:10 - Capt R Chidlaw Roberts, No 60 Squadron, fought an enemy scout east of Passchendaele and destroyed it

    Maj A D Carter, 19 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Westroosebeke - Moorslede at 10:25/11:25 - Major Carter, No 19 Squadron, drove down an enemy machine out of control

    Capt A E McKay, 23 Sqn, DFW C out of control north of Wervicq - Becelaere at 11:20/12:20 - Capt McKay, No 23 Squadron, drove down an enemy machine out of control; ? & Ltn Feine (Wia), FA 45 [?]

    2nd Lt C Evans & 1/AM K P Gellan, 18 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed south of Douai at 11:30/12:30 - when returning from a bomb raid to Dechy, 2nd Lt C Evans & 1/AM K Gellan, of No 18 Squadron, were attacked by four Albatross Scouts, but they succeeded in shooting down one of the scouts which crashed on a house south of Douai

    Lt B W Harmon, 56 Sqn, two-seater (?) forced to land (?) south of the Arras - Cambrai road at 11:45/12:45 - in fighting between enemy scouts and Bristol figthers, a German machines was destroyed by Lt B Harmon, No 56 Squadron; Ltn Hans Joachim Wolff
    , Jasta 11, Wia [?]

    Capt J T B McCudden, 56 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed east of Noyelles at 12:00/13:00 - Capt J McCudden, No 56 Squadron, saw two Albatross Scouts attacking Bristol Fighter, so joined in the fight and destroyed one of the German machines; Vfw Karl Bey, Jasta 5, Kia [?]

    Flt Cdr F E Banbury and Flt Sub-Lt J P Hales, 9N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control south of Dixmude at 12:20/13:20 - patrol of three Camels, No. 9 Squadron, encountered nine Albatross scouts at 14,000 feet near Houthulst Forest. Flight Commander Banbury and Flight Sub-Lieut. Hales engaged and shot down one of the E.A., it being last seen spinning on its back completely out of control

    2nd Lt F H Hobson, 70 Sqn, two-seater out of control Westroosebeke at 13:50/14:50 - 2nd Lt Hobson, No 70 Squadron, drove down an enemy machine out of control

    Flt Sub-Lt A J B Tonks, 4N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control east of Keyem at 14:00/15:00
    Flt Sub-Lt C R R Hickey, 4N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control east of Dixmude at 14:00/15:00

    Five Camels of No 4 Squadron observed two E.A. flying above a formation of six Albatross scouts. During the ensuing combat Flight Sub-Lieut. Tonks attacked one of the E.A. at close range, firing 200 rounds and shooting him down completely out of control. Flight Sub-Lieut. Tonks was, however, immediately attacked by six more scouts and was forced to spin, and fall to within 500 feet. Although the E.A. were still attacking him, he had to stop his engine to prevent the compass vibrating, in order to pick up the W., being too low to take any bearings. This allowed the E.A. to close up again and the pilot did not shake them off until within 50 feet of the floods. In the same fight Flight Sub-Lieut. Hickey engaged a scout painted bright yellow, shooting it down out of control.

    2nd Lt L A Rivers & Lt L V J Pogson, 11 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Cambrai at 14:30/15:30 - 2nd Lt Rivers and Lt Podgson, No 11 Squadron, shot, down an enemy machine completely of control [the Communique comments ‘this makes the 100th machine accounted for by the squadron since changing F.E.2b's for Bristol Fighters in June, 1917.’ (my personal count makes it the 89th)]

    Capt G H Bowman, 56 Sqn, Albatros Scout destroyed east of Cambrai at 15:20/16:20 – A German machine was destroyed by Capt G Bowman, No 56 Squadron; Ltn Karl August von Schönebeck, Jasta 11, Ftl [?]

    Capt L S Weedon, Lt E C Eaton and Lt B Balfour, 65 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control east of Passchendaele at 15:25/16:25


    Casualties


    Lt R D Coath (Wia) & ? (Ok), 11 Sqn, Bristol F.2B -

    Capt E R Cottier (Wia) & Capt J A Mansfield (Wia), 18 Sqn, DH4 - anti-aircraft fire

    2nd Lt D A Stewart (Ok) & Lt H W Mackay (Ok), 18 Sqn, DH4 A7501 - shot down by AA and force landed ALG Bapaume during bombing

    2nd Lt J D de Pencier (Wia), 19 Sqn – shot up on offensive patrol

    ? (Ok) & 2nd Lt A C T Perkins MC (Wia), 35 Sqn, AW FK8

    2nd Lt H N C Robinson (Ok), 46 Sqn, Camel B2316 - shot through during bombing and raiding Fontaine

    Lt R L M Ferrie (Ok), 46 Sqn, Camel B2497 - shot through on patrol landed ALG

    2nd Lt C W Odell (Ok), 46 Sqn, Camel B2513 - longeron shot through during bombing and raiding Bourlon Wood

    Capt C Courtneidge (Wia), 46 Sqn, Camel B5208 - shot through on patrol landed ALG

    Lt R E Dusgate (Ok), 46 Sqn, Camel B5410 - force landed near Cambrai after shot through on bombing and raiding Cambrai district

    Capt H T Fox-Russell (Ok), 64 Sqn, DH5 A9490 - crashed outside Bourlon Wood attacking enemy troops

    Lt A A Duffus (Ok), 64 Sqn, DH5 A9295 - crashed outside Bourlon Wood attacking enemy troops

    Lt R C Hardie (Ok), 64 Sqn, DH5 A9313 - crashed outside Bourlon Wood attacking enemy troops

    2nd Lt V W Thompson (Ok), 64 Sqn, DH5 A9508 - crashed outside Bourlon Wood attacking enemy troops

    Lt S W Ayres (Wia; dow 24-Nov-17), 68 Sqn, DH5 A9263 – hit by ground fire then force landed 57c.F.19.b [north-east of Anneux] and overturned after taxying into sunken road on special mission to Bourlon Wood

    Lt L H Holden (Ok), 68 Sqn, DH5 A9326 - shot about by EA on special mission low bombing Bourlon district

    2nd Lt D J Rollo (Wia), 84 Sqn, SE5a

    2nd Lt R Main (Pow) & P147509 1/AM G P Leach (Pow), 25 Sqn, DH4 A2170 – took off 10:15/11:15 and last seen over Arras on bomb raid to Somain; Vzfw Fritz Rumey, Js5, 5th victory [south-west of Marcoing at 12:00/13:00] ?

    Lt J W McCash (Kia), 3 Sqn, Camel B2369 – took off 11:00/12:00 then missing from line patrol Bourlon Wood from ALG Bapaume

    Lt F H Stephens (Kia), 3 Sqn, Camel B5153 – took off 11:00/12:00 then missing from line patrol Bourlon Wood from ALG Bapaume

    2nd Lt A Rosenthal (Kia), 65 Sqn, Camel B2409 – took off 10:45/11:45 then believed to have collided with another Camel at 11:05/12:05 and gone down out of control on NOP Dadizeele-Staden; collided with Camel B5222 also credited to Ltn d R Heinrich Bongartz, Js36, 24th victory [Becelaere at 10:50/11:50]

    2nd Lt C F Keller (Pow), 65 Sqn, Camel B5222 – took off 10:45/11:45 then believed to have collided with another Camel at 11:05/12:05 and gone down out of control on NOP Dadizeele-Staden; collided with Camel B2409

    2nd Lt L Marshall (Kia), 65 Sqn, Camel B2415 - last seen between Becelare and Dadizeele at 11:25/12:25 on NOP Dadizeele - Staden

    2nd Lt S R Hanafy (Wia; Dow 24-Nov-17), 46 Sqn, Camel B2326 – took off 11:30/12:30 then wounded on bomb raid to Bourlon Wood; Vzfw Otto Konnecke, Js5, 10th victory [Fontaine at 12:20/13:20] ?

    Capt A C StClair-Morford (Wia), 64 Sqn, DH5 A9237 - shot down by enemy gunfire and wrecked in Hindenburg line at 12:10/13:10 during attack on enemy troops Bourlon Wood

    2nd Lt E D Perney (Kia) & 2nd Lt E J Blackledge (Pow), 11 Sqn, Bristol F.2B B1116 – took off 12:35/13:35 and last seen over Cambrai on reconnaissance to scene of operations; Oblt Lothar von Richthofen, Js11, 26th victory [west of Seranvillers at 13:00/14:00] ?

    Lt J A V Boddy (Wia), 64 Sqn, DH5 A9299 – took off 12:40/13:40 then crashed outside Bourlon Wood attacking enemy troops; Ritt Manfred von Richthofen, JGI, 62nd victory [Bourlon at 13:00/14:00]

    2nd Lt W A Booth (Kia) & 2nd Lt J G Howells (Kia), 8 Sqn, AW FK8 B316 – took off 13:15/14:15 then missing from bombing

    2nd Lt C P Tiptaft MC (Kia), 65 Sqn, Camel B2493 – took off 14:45.15:45 then shot down on NOP over Becelaere landed in shell hole and was shelled and completely buried; Ltn Walter von Bulow-Bothkamp, Js36, 26th victory

    Lt L G Paling (Ok) & 2nd Lt D O Duthie (Wia), 35 Sqn, AW FK8 B5767 – took off 15:45/16:45 then landed Longavesnes aerodrome owing to observer wounded and machine damaged by machine-gun fire on reconnaissance

    Lt A Griggs (Wia; dow), 68 Sqn, DH5 A9428 - last seen over Bourlon Wood at 15:45/16:45 on special mission; ground fire


    Royal Flying Corps losses today: 19


    Airey, H.F. (Harold Ferguson)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank Flt Sub-Lt
    Organisation Royal Naval Air Service
    Unit Aeroplane Park, Dover Naval Air Station
    >>

    Blackledge, E.J. (Ewan John)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 11 Squadron
    >>

    Booth, W.A. (William Albert)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank 2Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 8 Squadron
    >>

    Cooke, G.J. (George Josiah)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank 2Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 52 Squadron
    >>

    Griggs, A. (Albert)


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

    Harston, W.H. (William Harvey)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank 2Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 52 Squadron
    >>

    Heathcote, W.G. (William Godfrey)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank 2Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 29 Squadron
    >>

    Howells, G.J. (George James)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank 2Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 85 Squadron
    >>

    Jenkins, W.E. (William Edwin)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank 2Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 60 Squadron
    >>

    Marshall, L. (Louis)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank 2Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 65 Squadron
    >>

    McLeod, E.G. (Elmer George)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank 2Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 46 Squadron
    >>

    Pears, C.M. (Charles Martin)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank 2Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 52 Squadron
    >>

    Perney, E.D. (Erland Dauria)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank 2Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 11 Squadron
    >>

    Pinhay, S.C. (Stanley Craigmore)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank A Mech 2
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 18th Kite Balloon Section
    >>

    Platt, C.H.M. (Charles Henry Morris)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 52 Squadron
    >>

    Rosenthal, A. (Arthur)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank 2Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 65 Squadron
    >>

    Smith, G.S. (Geoffrey Selby)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank Flt Sub-Lt
    Organisation Royal Naval Air Service
    Unit 8 (N) Squadron
    >>

    Stephens, F.H. (Frederick Henry)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 3 Squadron
    >>

    West-Thompson, M. (Maurice)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank 2Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 60 Squadro


    Claims: 34 confirmed today (Entente 17: Central Powers 17)

    Fred Everest Banbury #10.
    Francesco Baracca (Italy) #29.
    Geoffrey Bowman #21.
    Albert Carter #8.
    Bartolomeo Constantini (Italy) #3.
    Louis Coudouret (France) #4.
    Edward Eaton #1.
    John Hales #4.
    Charles Robert Reeves Hickey #2.
    Harold Hobson #4.
    Cesare Magistrini (Italy) #2.
    James Thomas Byford McCudden #20.
    Alfred McKay #7.
    Gastone Novelli (Italy) #4.
    Robert Leslie Chidlaw-Roberts #7.
    Ivan Smirnov (Russia) #10.
    Adrian Tonks #4.

    Heinrich Bongartz #24 & u/c.
    Walter von Bulow-Bothcamp #26.
    Godwin Brumowski #26 & #27.
    Franz Graser #8.
    Alexander Kasza #3.
    Otto Konnecke #10.
    Kurt Kuppers #5.
    Frank Linke-Crawford #10 & #11.
    Karl Patzelt #3.
    Lothar von Richthofen #26.
    Manfred von Richthofen #62.
    Fritz Rumey #4 & #5.
    Karl Teichmann #3.
    Bernard Ultsch #8.

    Western Front:

    Byng promoted to General.

    British attack in the night and advance on line south-east of Ypres.

    Further advance on enemy positions west of Cambrai; British attack Bourlon Wood.

    The 40th Division attacks into the woods of Bourlon Ridge supported by almost a hundred tanks and 430 guns. They make little progress. The 40th Division reaches the crest of the ridge but will be held there and suffer over 4,000 casualties for their efforts for three days. As the British use up their strength to take the ridge the Germans are reinforcing the area. As early as today the German command feels that a British breakthrough will not occur and began to consider a counter-offensive. 20 divisions were arrayed in the Cambrai area. The Germans plan to retake the Bourlon salient and also to attack around Havrincourt while diversionary attacks will hold IV Corps. Overall it is hoped to at least reach the old positions on the Hindenburg Line.

    Fighting was fierce around Bourlon and at Anneux (just before the woods) was costly. German counter-attacks squeezed the British out of Moeuvres on 21 November and Fontaine on 22 November; when Anneux was taken, the 62nd Division found themselves unable to enter Bourlon Wood. The British were left exposed in a salient. Haig still wanted Bourlon Ridge and the exhausted 62nd Division was replaced by the 40th Division (John Ponsonby) on 23 November. Supported by almost 100 tanks and 430 guns, the 40th Division attacked into the woods of Bourlon Ridge on the morning of 23 November and made little progress.

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    The Germans had put two divisions of Gruppe Arras on the ridge with another two in reserve and Gruppe Caudry was reinforced. The 40th Division attack reached the crest of the ridge but were held there and suffered more than 4,000 casualties in three days. More British troops were pushed in to move beyond the woods but the British reserves were rapidly depleted and more German reinforcements were arriving. The final British effort was on 27 November by the 62nd Division aided by 30 tanks. Early success was soon reversed by a German counter-attack. The British now held a salient roughly 6.8 mi × 5.9 mi (11 km × 9.5 km) with its front along the crest of the ridge. On 28 November, the offensive was stopped and the British troops were ordered to lay wire and dig in. The Germans were quick to concentrate their artillery on the new British positions. On 28 November, more than 16,000 shells were fired into the wood.

    40th Division at Bourlon
    The task of clearing Bourlon Wood fell to the 119th Brigade who attacked with two Battalions up front: the 19th Royal Welch Fusiliers and the 12th South Wales Borderers. They were accompanied by four tanks from D Battalion as those from G Battalion had been amongst those unable to refuel due to the congestion on the Bapaume Road.

    The tank commanders had never seen Bourlon Wood before and the infantry had never worked with tanks.

    At 1010 hours the artillery had begun bombarding the edge of the wood before lifting at regular intervals at 1030 hours as the tanks and infantry advanced.

    In just over an hour the 19th RWF had managed to advance half way through the wood and were joined by the refuelled tanks from G Battalion. By early afternoon they were patrolling the north-eastern edge of the wood.

    The 12th SWB had a harder time attacking along the western half of the wood and had sustained heavy casualties. They managed to gain the eastern edge of the village but a German counter-attack forced them back out again.

    A further counter-attack at 1500 hours threatened to sweep away all before it but just as things were desperate the 18th Welch Regiment arrived and the Germans were beaten off - though at the cost of Lt Colonel William Kennedy who was killed leading the 18th Welch in their charge (He is commemorated on the Louverval Memorial).

    By nightfall only the northern edge of the wood was still in German hands.

    The 20th Middlesex of 121st Brigade were attacking the southern edge of Bourlon village to the left of the Welshmen and were partnered by the 13th Green Howards who were advancing in time with the 36th (Ulster) Division covering the extreme left of the battlefield.

    From the very first moment of the attack they were shelled and exposed to flanking fire from the western sections of the Hindenburg line still in German hands.

    Seven of the thirteen tanks from D Battalion got into the village but found themselves attacked with the same ferocity as at Fontaine and it soon became apparent that the Germans were not going to be easily pushed out of Bourlon.

    The Germans had recovered from the initial shock of the 20th, their reserves were filtering through and in the air Richthofen's Group had been rushed to the front and were about to severely hamper RFC operations. On the ground, the crews of the few dozens of those remaining tanks out of the hundreds that had so gloriously advanced just days before were weary.

    And then it began to snow.

    The Guards Division now replaced the 51st (Highland) Division and units from the 1st and 2nd Cavalry Divisions were dismounted in readiness for a further attack planned against Bourlon village on the 24th.

    The attack was timed for 1200 hours and would involve just twelve tanks supporting the men of 121st Brigade (40th Division). The attack was then put back until 1500 hours and then called off as twelve tanks was not considered adequate.

    Unfortunately the orders cancelling the attack never reached those carrying it out and at 1500 hours the 121st and their twelve tanks advanced on Bourlon.

    The tanks got into the village and began taking on the machine gun positions but the 14th Highland Light Infantry were so far behind them that the tanks pulled out again. The HLI did eventually get into the village but they had a grim task trying to hang on to the few houses that they had taken.

    On the right in Bourlon Wood the Germans had attacked throughout the day trying to dislodge the Welshmen but without great success.

    The following day IV Corps tried to join up with the Highlanders in Bourlon village but nothing was successful and in the end the Highlanders, cut off and surrounded, capitulated - all 80 of them, out of a battalion of over 500 men!

    That evening 40th Division were relieved by the 62nd (West Riding) Division. In two days they had lost over 4 000 men.

    German 2nd Army

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    The German counter-attack

    As the British took the ridge, the Germans began reinforcing the area. As early as 23 November, the German command felt that a British breakthrough would not occur and began to consider a counter-offensive. Twenty divisions were arrayed in the Cambrai area. The Germans intended to retake the Bourlon salient and also to attack around Havrincourt while diversionary attacks would hold IV Corps; it was hoped to at least reach the old positions on the Hindenburg Line. The Germans intended to employ the new tactics of a short, intense period of shelling followed by a rapid assault using Hutier infiltration tactics, leading elements attacking in groups rather than waves and bypassing strong opposition. For the initial assault at Bourlon three divisions of Gruppe Arras under Otto von Moser were assigned. On the eastern flank of the British salient, Gruppe Caudry attacked from Bantouzelle to Rumilly and aimed for Marcoing. Gruppe Busigny advanced from Banteux. The two corps groups had seven infantry divisions.

    Eastern Front:

    Lenin Government issues decree for further disbandment of Russian army.

    Southern Front:

    Tunstills Men Friday 9th November 1917:

    Billets at Sossano.

    The Battalion marched a further eleven miles north via Ponte di Barbarano and Ponte di Castegnero to Longare. Pte. Harold Charnock (see 22nd November) remembered that, “Headquarters occupied a palatial but very cold villa”.

    It was around this time, though the precise date has not been established, that Lt. Charles Frederick Wolfe (see 7th September), former Transport Officer to 10DWR, who had subsequently served with the Army Service Corps, was posted back to England.

    Capt. Bob Perks DSO (see 21st November), serving with 3DWR at North Shields, again wrote to his father; on this occasion his thoughts were on some apparent confusion as to his rank and pay. “Thanks very much for to-day’s letter but it is wrongly addressed after all! The adjutant says I am to keep up my pips according to the new rule and that the gazette notice is only to enable Cox to take off my pay while in hospital. He will also help me to get paid. At present Cox are rather kicking - want me gazetted again. I don’t think I shall be though. It seems a funny sort of unexpected procedure grafted onto the old one. I don’t think anyone knows exactly where they are. Otherwise it makes no difference to me here. Another Captain has turned up but has not got a Company”.

    Pte. Albert William Knight (see 26th September), serving with 2/6th DWR, re-joined his Battalion after spending two months in hospital.

    The War Office again wrote to Mary Ann Green, the partner, though not the wife, of Pte. Thomas Bates (see 21st November). On this occasion they requested a death certificate for Bates’ first wife.

    An appeal was made in the Craven Herald for news of Pte. John William Whitfield (see 9th October), who had been reported wounded and missing in October while serving with 8DWR and would subsequently be confirmed as having been killed in action;

    NEWS WANTED OF LINTON SOLDIER

    Mr. and Mrs. T. A. Whitfield. of Linton, are anxious to obtain news of their son, Pte John William Whitfield, 15182, Duke of Wellington's Regiment, 'W' Co., No. 3 platoon. He was reported wounded in Prance on the 9th, and since then his family have heard nothing of him. Perhaps some of his comrades in France may have news of him, or one of the wounded in hospital who see the local papers. If so the family will be grateful if news could be sent to them at Linton, near Skipton.

    Naval Operations:

    SMS A60, Kaiserliche Marine, an A26 class torpedo boat, struck a mine in the North Sea off the coast of Belgium with the loss of 17 of her crew.

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


    Political:

    Lord R. Cecil on Bolsheviks.

    M. Lebrun succeeds M. Jonnart as French Minister for Blockade (see 16th).

    Lenin Fires Stavka Chief

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    The new head of Stavka, Ensign Krylenko, pictured in 1918.

    November 23 1917, Mogilev–The Bolsheviks were committed to an immediate peace and had ordered the Russian Chief of Staff, General Dukhonin, to contact German generals to ask for an immediate ceasefire. Dukhonin, who wanted to continue the war and was no friend of the Bolsheviks, temporized for as long as possible, asking for official verification of the order.
    Early on November 23, Lenin finally got through to Dukhonin by direct telegram (the same means by which Kornilov and Kerensky had talked past each other before the former’s supposed coup attempt). Dukhonin asked for clarifications: was the proposed armistice just with the Germans, or with the Austrians as well? Was he authorized to negotiate on behalf of the Romanian forces operating on the southern reaches of the Eastern Front? Lenin, knowing that Dukhonin was just stalling for time, again repeated his instructions to immediately contact the Germans. Dukhonin said that such an order could only come from a government that had the support of the army and the people, implying that Lenin and the Sovnarkom did not have such support.

    Lenin then promptly sacked Dukhonin, as he was prepared to to do, and replaced him with Nikolai Krylenko, a 32-year-old Ensign (but a committed Bolshevik). Krylenko then duly dispatched the armistice offer to the Germans. Dukhonin remained at Stavka, however, and maintained the backing of many other generals, as well as the other Allied governments–whether such backing meant anything at this point was unclear.

    Anniversary Events:

    1248 The city of Seville, Spain, surrenders to Ferdinand III of Castile after a two-year siege.
    1785 John Hancock is elected president of the Continental Congress for the second time.
    1808 French and Poles defeat the Spanish at Battle of Tudela
    1863 Union forces win the Battle of Orchard Knob, Tennessee.
    1863 The Battle of Chattanooga, one of the most decisive battles of the American Civil War, begins (also in Tennessee).
    1903 Italian tenor Enrico Caruso makes his American debut in a Metropolitan Opera production of Verdi’s Rigoletto.
    1904 Russo-German talks break down because of Russia’s insistence on consulting France.
    1909 The Wright brothers form a million-dollar corporation for the commercial manufacture of their airplanes.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 11-27-2017 at 04:44.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  5. #2855

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    Saturday 24th November 1917


    Today we lost: 330


    Today’s losses include:
    · A General
    · The Headmaster of Cross Hill Boys School
    · A Rosslyn Park Rugby player
    · A son of the 2nd Baron Ashcombe
    · Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
    · A columnist for The State
    · The son of a member of the clergy

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    · Brigadier General Arthur Cecil Lowe CMG DSO, Commanding Royal Artillery, 66th Division is killed in action at age 49 near Ypres.
    · Captain John Middleton Downend (Northumberland Fusiliers) is killed at age 29. He is the Headmaster of Cross Hill Boy’s School.
    · Captain Denis Laurence Monaghan (Irish Rifles attached Tank Corps) is killed at age 29. He is a Rosslyn Park Rugby footballer.
    · Lieutenant ‘the Honorable’ Alick George Cubitt (Hussars) is killed in action at age 23. He is the son of Henry Cubitt, the 2nd Baron Ashcombe.
    · Lieutenant Sydney Winton Ayers (Australian Flying Corps) dies of wounds received the previous day at age 24. His brother was killed in September of this year.
    · Second Lieutenant Tristram William Jordan Wilson (Warwickshire Regiment) is killed at age 28. He is a drama critic and contributor to the columns of The State.
    · Second Lieutenant Francis Henry Martin (Royal Engineers) is killed at age 28. He is the son of the Reverend John Martin Vicar of Granborough.
    · Private Ephraim Dodds (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) is killed in action at age 27. His brother was killed in May of this year.
    · Private Robert Hewitt (Suffolk Regiment) is killed at age 32. His brother was killed in December 1915.
    · Private Alexander Hepburn (Highland Light Infantry) is killed at age 23. His brother was killed last March.
    · Private Arthur Lunney (Royal Scots) is killed at age 24 in Palestine one day after his brother was killed.

    Air Operations:

    General Headquarters.

    “On the 24th inst. the weather was bad, but several reconnaissances were carried out by our aeroplanes. In the battle area bombs were dropped on the enemy, and machine-gun fire was opened against his troops. In the afternoon the violence of the gale made it almost impossible for machines to leave the ground. One of our aeroplanes has not returned.”

    A little flying was done up to 11 a.m., after which it impossible, owing to a gale.

    Six reconnaissanees were earried out, one by the 2nd Brigade and five by the 3rd Brigade, and six counter-attack patrols were also done. 1,488 rounds were fired at ground targets, 1,050 being by machines of the 2nd Brigade.

    Eighty-two 25-lb and 14 112-lb bombs were dropped. No 2 Squadron dropped 30 20-lb bombs on billets east of Henin-Liétard, 16 on Douai Station and 16 on Pont-à-Vendin. The 2nd Brigade dropped 22 25-lb bombs on various targets and the 3rd Brigade two 25-lb bombs on Cherisy. On the night of the 23rd/24th, No 102 Squadron dropped five 112-lb bombs on Douai Station and sidings (four bombs were seen to hit the railway track and one hit a shed alongside the sidings) and three 112-lb bombs on Dechy Sidings and all were seen to explode on the objective. No 101 Squadron dropped two 112-lb bombs on a train north of Menin, where a large fire was caused.

    RNAS - Owing to unfavourable weather no war work was carried out.

    Enemy Aircraft

    The RFC Communique recorded - Practically no EA were encountered and no decisive combats took place. However, it appears that one claim was made.

    Lt L Cummings, 1 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Moorslede at 08:45/09:45

    Casualties

    2nd Lt A Muir (Pow) & 54612 Gnr R Dunsmuir (Pow), 10 Sqn, AW FK8 B263 – took off 08:50/09:50 then missing on flash reconnaissance

    2nd Lt T F Pilcher (Wia), 65 Sqn, Camel B5420

    ? (Ok) & Sgt T H Barrell (Wia), 69 Sqn, RE8

    Royal Flying Corps losses today: None recorded.

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

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    Marziale Cerutti (Italy) #1 & #2.
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    Lumsden Cummings #5.

    Otto Splitgerber #6.

    Western Front:

    Fierce fighting at Bourlon Wood and village; both change hands frequently.

    British gains neat Moeuvres, Queant, Bullecourt, and Banteux.

    Successful French attack on Verdun front.

    Southern Front:

    Austrian assaults fail on Asiago Plateau; also attempts to cross Lower Piave.

    General Sir Herbert Plumer appointed to command British forces in Italy.

    Tunstills Men Saturday 10th November 1917:

    Billets at Longare.

    The day was cold and misty; remembered by Capt. William Norman Town (see 21st November), as “a day of fog worthy of our native county”. The Battalion marched a further thirteen miles, going first north to Grumolo, before turning east, via Camisano and Carturo, to Grantorto. Here Capt. Town recalled, “the billeting Sergeant whose directions seemed somewhat vague until the billet was discovered to be at a farm where large vats betrayed the production of wine. A sentry was put on the vats forthwith”. Pte. Harold Charnock (see 23rd November) also recalled that, “A good deal of care had to be exercised as to the wine of the country, stores of which were plentiful. Much of it was new, strong and very harsh and the men did not realise its strength. We had very few cases of drunkenness”.

    Pte. Thomas Henry Fearn (see 4th July) was admitted via 69th Field Ambulance and 38th Casualty Clearing Station to 29th Stationary Hospital in Cremona; he was suffering from scabies.

    L.Cpl. Arthur Lund (see 27th July), who had been in England since having been wounded in July, was discharged from hospital and posted to 3DWR at North Shields.

    A grant of probate was issued respecting the affairs of the late 2Lt. Arthur Calvert Tetley (see 7th June); administration of his estate, valued at £1,583 7s 4d. was granted to his father, Calvert Greenwood Tetley.

    Asiatic, African, Egyptian Front:

    Lt.-Gen. Sir W. R. Marshall succeeds Sir S. Maude in Mesopotamia.

    British Advance on Jerusalem halted!

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    The ruins of the mosque at Nebi Samwil after the Turkish shelling.

    Nebi Samwil–Since breaking through west of Beersheba, the British had been steadily advancing north in Palestine, taking Jaffa in mid-November. Their main objective was Jerusalem, whose capture would, at the very least, be a great propaganda and morale victory for the Allies, and British forces began moving inwards from Jaffa. However, the British were exhausted after over three weeks of continuous attacks, and the Turks had had some time to recuperate and establish new defensive lines. They made it as far as the mosque at Nebi Samwil, around 10km north of Jerusalem, but then were subjected to withering Turkish fire from the hills around Ramallah. Unable to proceed further, Allenby ordered a halt to consolidate his new position and bring up new reserves. Falkenhayn, meanwhile, improved his defenses and began to redeploy his troops, hoping to pull off a counterstroke.

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    On 24 November Allenby ordered the relief of the three divisions of the EEF's XXI Corps and Desert Mounted Corps. In order to move such large formations a pause was unavoidable and so the attack was discontinued, but von Falkenhayn and his Ottoman Army took notice of the temporary cessation of hostilities.

    First attack across the Nahr el Auja:

    The advance by two infantry and one mounted division into the Judean Hills towards Jerusalem was suspended in the area of Nebi Samwil on 24 November. On the same day infantry from the 54th (East Anglian) Division and the Anzac Mounted Division began their attack across the Nahr el Auja on the Mediterranean coast to the north of Jaffa. The only mounted brigade available was the New Zealand Mounted Rifles which had been on garrison duty in the occupied city of Jaffa since 16 November. On the northern bank the river was defended by the 3rd and 7th Divisions of the Ottoman Eighth Army.

    The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade advanced across the river and established two bridgeheads. The first was across the bridge on the main road near Khirbet Hadrah (also referred to as Khurbet Hadra) and the second was at Sheik Muanis, near the mouth of the river. These operations had two aims – to gain territory and discourage the Ottoman Eighth Army from transferring troops into the Judean Hills to reinforce the Seventh Army. After successful actions by the New Zealand Mounted Brigade, two infantry battalions of the 54th (East Anglian) Division held these two bridgeheads on the northern bank until they were attacked by overwhelming forces on 25 November. The 3rd and 7th Divisions of the Ottoman Eighth Army had driven in the bridgeheads and restored the tactical situation.

    Deep and fast-flowing, the el Auja river could not be crossed except at known and well-established places, so at 01:00 on 24 November the Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment crossed at the ford on the beach. They moved at a gallop and quickly seized the hills which overlooked the ford, capturing the village of Sheikh Muannis (which gave its name to the ford), but the Ottoman cavalry garrison escaped. The Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment came up to the Canterbury Regiment and then advanced eastwards to Khurbet Hadrah, which commanded the bridge on the main road. They captured 29 prisoners, one machine gun, and one British Lewis gun. Two infantry companies of the Essex Regiment 161st (Essex) Brigade, 54th (East Anglian) Division crossed the Hadrah bridge and occupied the village. The 4th and 11th Squadrons of the Auckland Mounted Rifle Regiment with the 2nd Squadron of the Wellington Mounted Rifle Regiment, were placed at the bridge and in the village of Sheikh Muannis in front of the infantry posts. The Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment's 1st Squadron took up a post on the sea beach; each of these squadrons had two machine guns to strengthen them.

    Considering the heavy casualties which had been sustained by his command, General Bulfin requested that XX Corps take over the line and by the 28th November the reliefs of the various of XXI Corps was completed. In obtaining a footing on some of the most difficult hills on the Judean heights the efforts of the 52nd and 75th divisions enabled General Allenby to initiate a new plan to capture Jerusalem so they share the honour with the 53rd, 60th (who were already attached to the XX Corps at Latrun) and 75th Divisions, as well the Yeoman Mounted division, which were present at the finish.

    Naval Operations:

    The armed drifters HM Present, Help, Paramount and Majesty drive the German submarine U-48, a type U43 submarine, ground southwest of the Goodland Sands and she is then blown up by her crew.

    Shipping Losses: 7 (1 to a mine and 6 to U-Boat action)

    The steamship SS Dunrobin (Master Henry Ison) is torpedoed and sunk by U-53 forty-nine miles southwest of the Lizard. Thirty one including her master are killed.

    Political:
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    Trotsky begins publication of Russian secret treaties with other Powers.

    Ain ed Douleh succeeds Ala es Sultaneh as Persian Prime Minister (see June 6th, 1917 and January 19th, 1918).

    Anniversary Events:

    1542 The English defeat the Scots at the Battle of Solway Moss in England.
    1859 Charles Darwin publishes On Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. The first printing of 1,250 copies sells out in a single day.
    1863 In the Battle Above the Clouds, Union Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker’s forces take Lookout Mountain, near Chattanooga, Tennessee.
    1864 Kit Karson and his 1st Cavalry, New Mexico Volunteers, attack a camp of Kiowa Indians in the First Battle of Adobe Walls.
    1874 Joseph Glidden receives a patent for barbed wire.
    1902 The first Congress of Professional Photographers convenes in Paris.
    1912 Austria denounces Serbian gains in the Balkans; Russia and France back Serbia while Italy and Germany back Austria.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 11-27-2017 at 13:07.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  6. #2856

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    A mountain of work to catch up on so readers you will have to bare with us as we slowly and meticulously weave our thread and get the posts up in the correct order. You can see by the amount of placeholders just how big a task this will be for Chris and I. But we will get there and before Christmas too.

    11 done and only 20 to go!

    But remember there are only 33 shopping days to Christmas and this Friday is black Friday.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  7. #2857

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    Nearly at the 11th Neil. Then we just have one year to go.
    Great work chaps.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  8. #2858

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    Aaah that's better
    The Bristols are back I see Thanks both of you.

  9. #2859

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    Chris 8th, 9th & 10th now up ( a few pics to add though) The 7th is still just a placholder. 15th, 16th * 17th now up too.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 11-24-2017 at 09:06.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  10. #2860

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    Updated.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  11. #2861

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    5th 6th and 7th added, also 18th,19th,20th - just have 11,12,13 and 14 which I will do in the morning

  12. #2862

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    Hedeby and yourself are to be congratulated in taking on this backlog as a 'Labour of Love'.
    if anyone deserves Rep it is you two.
    Sorry Neil, Rep gun jammed after sending Rep to Hedeby.
    I'll have to save yours for a different occasion!
    Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. Winston S. Churchill

  13. #2863

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    I'm going to try and get a couple up before I hea off for the 2 Panto shows today. Hopefully by next weekend I will have caught up and we will both be back on track.

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

  14. #2864

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    Oh no I wont.....damn....time flies when you lie in! 30 minutes to make up. Sorry it will have to be Monday.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  15. #2865

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    Right - all my back editions now uploaded and available for reading - I just need to start on today's at some point - but first the football and a cold beer...

  16. #2866

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

  17. #2867

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    November 25th 1917


    RFC Communiqué number 115:


    A strong west wind and low clouds made work almost impossible.

    With aeroplane observation four hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction.

    Three reconnaissances and a contact patrol were carried out by machines of the 3rd Brigade, two of the reconnaisances being by No 11 Squadron.

    RNAS Communiqué number 10:

    Owing to unfavourable weather no war work was carried out.

    There were just two aces making claims on this day...

    Harold Mellings England #4
    Oskar von Boenigk Germany #6

    There were just the two Allied aircrew losses on this day

    Cpl. Griffiths, R.W. (Rowland William) 51st Kite Balloon Section RFC
    Air Mech 2 White, C.M. 38 Squadron RFC


    Jasta 77
    was formed on this day

    Royal Bavarian Jagdstaffel 77, commonly abbreviated to Jasta 77, 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 28 aerial victories during the war, including three observation balloons downed. The unit's victories came at the expense of four killed in action, one killed in a flying accident, one wounded in action, three injured in aviation accidents, and one taken prisoner of war. Jasta 77 was founded on 25 November 1917 at Fliegerersatz-Abteilung ("Replacement Detachment") 1, Schleissheim. On 2 December 1917, the new squadron was assigned to Armee-Abteilung B. Jasta 77 scored its first victories on 5 January 1918. On 27 March 1918, it was transferred to 2 Armee. On 9 July 1918, it shifted postings again, to 3 Armee. Jasta 77 moved once more, to 19 Armee, on 9 August 1918. It remained there until war's end.

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    780 British lives were lost on this day

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    Major Harry Archer DSO (Devonshire Regiment) is killed at age 28. He is the sometime Captain of the Devon County hockey team.
    Gunner Frederick G Potten (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed in action. His brother Arthur Edward will serve in the Royal Garrison Artillery during the Great War and will survive. He will then be killed in a German air raid on Folkestone on the 5th October 1940.
    Private Edward J Sutherland (Seaforth Highlanders) dies of wounds received in action at Cambrai. His brother was killed in action in October 1916.
    Private William Hill (Black Watch) is killed in action at age 25. His brother was killed six weeks earlier.
    Private John K Smith (Scots Guards) is killed at age 29. His brother will be killed in October 1918.
    Trooper John Dennis Jenkinson (Lancers) dies of wounds at age 19 at the 61st Field Ambulance. He is a direct descendant of a soldier who served in the Peninsular War and the son of the Superintendent of the Lancashire Constabulary.

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    Private Arnold L Lilley
    (Highland Light Infantry) is killed at age 27. His son will be killed in May 1944.

    EASTERN FRONT
    Western Russia: Fraternization near Baranovichi. At Orsha railway junction anti-Bolshevik troops going for Moscow are stopped.

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    After the ceasefire offer of the Russian revolutionary government, lively exchange trade begins between the trenches

    HOME FRONTS
    Russia – Constituent Assembly elections (until November 27): Bolsheviks win only 25% of vote, ie 9.8 million of 36 million with 225 delegates to 420 Socialists (20.75 million votes). Last free elections till 1989.
    Hungary: 100,000 workers march in Budapest for peace and Russian Revolution.

    Elections to the Constituent Assembly were held in Soviet Russia on 25 November 1917 (although some districts had polling on alternate days), around 2 months after they were originally meant to occur, having been organized as a result of events in the Russian Revolution of 1917. They are generally recognised to be the first free elections in Russian history.

    The Bolsheviks together with the "left-SR" party, had seized power in the October Revolution. The candidate lists had been drawn up before the SR split took place; therefore, right SRs were overwhelmingly overrepresented, leaving out left SRs who were part of the VTsIK coalition government with the Bolsheviks. The Constituent Assembly convened on 18 January 1918. However, the other parties refused to give their support to Bolshevik leader and premier Vladimir Lenin's idea of a soviet republic. The VTsIK dissolved the Assembly the next day, leaving the All-Russian Congress of Soviets as the governing body of Russia. SRs and Mensheviks were allowed to take part in the 1918 elections to local Soviets, but they sided against the Bolsheviks in the Russian civil war, and by the end of 1918, all opposition parties had been banned, marking the onset of the Bolshevik dictatorship. Various academic studies have given alternative results. However, all clearly indicate that the Bolsheviks were clear winners in the urban centres, and also took around two-thirds of the votes of soldiers on the "Western Front." Nevertheless, the SRs topped the polls on the strength of support from the country's rural peasantry. A study by Oliver Henry Radkey found the following breakdown (note that the figures for Socialist Revolutionaries includes the Ukrainian Socialist Revolutionaries, while the Kadet figure includes other "rightists" as well. The total number of deputies returned for "Others" includes 39 Left Socialist-Revolutionaries and four Popular Socialists, as well as 77 others from various local groups).

    WESTERN FRONT
    Cambrai: German counter*-attacks at Bourlon, British 40th Division loss now 4,000 men since November 23, only 12 tanks in action.
    Verdun: French take 800 PoWs in Samogneux sector, success near Hill 344 on November 27.

    AFRICA
    Mocambique: Lettow crosses river Rovuma at Ngomano into Portuguese East Africa 1 mile from Portuguese fort with 2,000 troops; 3,000 porters and 1 gun until November 26. His attack takes the fort, 700 Portuguese, 6 MGs, 30 horses with 6 days’ rations.

    The Battle of Ngomano or Negomano was fought between the German Empire and Portugal during the East African Campaign of World War I. A force of Germans and Askaris under Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck had just won a costly victory against the British at the Battle of Mahiwa, in present-day Tanzania and ran very short of food and other supplies. As a consequence, the Germans invaded Portuguese East Africa to the south, both to supply themselves with captured Portuguese materiel and escape superior British forces to the north. Portugal was part of the Entente and a belligerent, employing troops in France and Africa; so a force under Major João Teixeira Pinto was sent to stop von Lettow-Vorbeck from crossing the border. The Portuguese were flanked by the Germans, while encamped at Ngomano on 25 November 1917. The battle saw the Portuguese force nearly destroyed, with many troops killed and captured. The capitulation of the Portuguese enabled the Germans to seize a large quantity of supplies and continue operations in East Africa until the end of the war.

    By late November 1917, the Germans in East Africa were left with few options if they wanted to continue the war. They were outnumbered drastically and were split up into several different columns. The two largest of these, under Theodor Tafel and Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck, were completely cut off from each other. Although von Lettow-Vorbeck's column had defeated a large British force at the Battle of Mahiwa he had lost a large number of troops and expended virtually his entire supply of modern ammunition. With only antiquated weapons and no means of resupply, von Lettow-Vorbeck decided to invade Portuguese East Africa in hopes of acquiring sufficient supplies to continue the war. There was no legal impediment to this attack; acting at Britain’s request, Portugal had seized 36 German and Austro-Hungarian merchant ships anchored in front of Lisbon on 24 February 1916 and Germany had declared war on Portugal on 9 March 1916. Although Tafel's force was intercepted by the Allies and capitulated before reaching the border, von Lettow-Vorbeck and his column was able to reach the Rovuma River. Facing supply shortages, the German general then reduced his force by dismissing a large number of Askaris, who could not be adequately equipped, as well as a number of camp followers. With his reduced force, von Lettow-Vorbeck made plans to attack the Portuguese garrison across the river at Ngomano. The Portuguese force was a native contingent led by European officers under João Teixeira Pinto, a veteran with experience fighting in Africa. Rather than prepare defensive positions, the Portuguese had begun building a large encampment upon their arrival at Ngomano on 20 November. Pinto had at his disposal 900 troops with six machine guns and a large supply cache but his inexperienced force was no match for von Lettow-Vorbeck's force, which crossed the river with between 1,500 and 2,000 veterans as well as a large number of porters.

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    At 07:00 on the morning of 25 November, the Portuguese garrison at Ngomano received word from a British intelligence officer that an attack was about to commence. Nevertheless, when the attack came they were unprepared. In order to distract Pinto and his men, the Germans shelled the camp from across the river with high explosive rounds. While the artillery attacked the camp, the Germans moved their forces upstream and crossed the Rovuma safely out of sight of Pinto and his men. The Portuguese did not resist von Lettow-Vorbeck's forces when they crossed the river and remained encamped at Ngomano. The Germans were easily able to flank the Portuguese positions and completely envelop them with six companies of German infantry attacking the camp from the south, south-east and west. Having been forewarned about the attack, the Portuguese commander had been able to begin preparations for the assault; however, he had planned on receiving a frontal assault and when the force came under attack from the rear he was completely surprised. The Portuguese attempted to entrench themselves in rifle pits, but they became disoriented after Pinto and several other officers were slain early in the engagement. The Germans had very little in the way of heavy weapons, as they had discarded most of their artillery and machine guns due to lack of ammunition. Despite the chronic ammunition shortage von Lettow-Vorbeck was able to move four machine guns up close to the rifle pits, using them only at close range to ensure his ammunition would not be wasted. The inexperience of the Portuguese proved to be their downfall; despite their firing over 30,000 rounds, German casualties were extremely light, including only one casualty among their officers. Taking heavy casualties, having lost their commanding officer, and finding themselves hopelessly outnumbered, the Portuguese finally surrendered despite the fact that they had enough military supplies to continue the action.

    Aftermath

    The German casualties were light, with only a few Askaris and one European killed. The Portuguese, on the other hand, had suffered a massive defeat and by failing to prevent von Lettow-Vorbeck's force from crossing the Rovuma allowed him to continue his campaign until the end of the war. Estimates of Portuguese casualties vary, with some sources providing figures of over 200 Portuguese killed and wounded and nearly 700 taken prisoner; other writers state around 25 Portuguese killed along with 162 Askari, with almost 500 captured.[c] The prisoners of war were used by the Germans as porters for the 250,000 rounds of ammunition, six machine guns and several hundred rifles that were also captured. With this equipment, the Germans managed to completely resupply their force. Von Lettow-Vorbeck abandoned and destroyed the majority of his force's German weaponry for which he had no ammunition and armed his troops with Portuguese and British weapons. Portuguese uniforms seized from the captured prisoners were used to replace the ragged old German ones that the force had previously worn.

    Von Lettow-Vorbeck did not stay at Ngomano for long and soon marched his force south to attack more Portuguese positions, leaving only one company at Ngomano as a rearguard in case the British decided to follow him into Portuguese East Africa. His force won several more victories while seizing even more supplies and ammunition before moving back into German East Africa in 1918.


    MIDDLE EAST

    The Battle of Jerusalem occurred during the British Empire's "Jerusalem Operations" against the Ottoman Empire, when fighting for the city developed from 17 November, continuing after the surrender until 30 December 1917, to secure the final objective of the Southern Palestine Offensive during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I. Before Jerusalem could be secured, two battles were recognised by the British as being fought in the Judean Hills to the north and east of the Hebron–Junction Station line. These were the Battle of Nebi Samwill from 17 to 24 November and the Defence of Jerusalem from 26 to 30 December 1917. They also recognised within these Jerusalem Operations, the successful second attempt on 21 and 22 December 1917 to advance across the Nahr el Auja, as the Battle of Jaffa, although Jaffa had been occupied as a consequence of the Battle of Mughar Ridge on 16 November.[1]

    This series of battles was successfully fought by the British Empire's XX Corps, XXI Corps, and the Desert Mounted Corps against strong opposition from the Yildirim Army Group's Seventh Army in the Judean Hills and the Eighth Army north of Jaffa on the Mediterranean coast. The loss of Jaffa and Jerusalem, together with the loss of 50 miles (80 km) of territory during the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) advance from Gaza, after the capture of Beersheba, Gaza, Hareira and Sheria, Tel el Khuweilfe and the Battle of Mughar Ridge, constituted a grave setback for the Ottoman Army and the Ottoman Empire.[2]

    As a result of these victories, British Empire forces captured Jerusalem and established a new strategically strong fortified line. This line ran from well to the north of Jaffa on the maritime plain, across the Judean Hills to Bireh north of Jerusalem, and continued eastwards of the Mount of Olives. With the capture of the road from Beersheba to Jerusalem via Hebron and Bethlehem, together with substantial Ottoman territory south of Jerusalem, the city was secured. On 11 December, General Edmund Allenby entered the Old City on foot through the Jaffa Gate instead of horse or vehicles to show respect for the holy city. He was the first Christian in many centuries to control Jerusalem, a city held holy by three great religions. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Lloyd George described the capture as "a Christmas present for the British people". The battle was a great morale boost for the British Empire

    The advance by two infantry and one mounted division into the Judean Hills towards Jerusalem was suspended in the area of Nebi Samwil on 24 November. On the same day infantry from the 54th (East Anglian) Division and the Anzac Mounted Division began their attack across the Nahr el Auja on the Mediterranean coast to the north of Jaffa.[54][56] The only mounted brigade available was the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade which had been on garrison duty in the occupied city of Jaffa since 16 November.[59] On the northern bank the river was defended by the 3rd and 7th Divisions of the Ottoman Eighth Army.[26]

    The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade advanced across the river and established two bridgeheads. The first was across the bridge on the main road near Khirbet Hadrah (also referred to as Khurbet Hadra) and the second was at Sheik Muanis, near the mouth of the river. These operations had two aims – to gain territory and discourage the Ottoman Eighth Army from transferring troops into the Judean Hills to reinforce the Seventh Army. After successful actions by the New Zealand Mounted Brigade, two infantry battalions of the 54th (East Anglian) Division held these two bridgeheads on the northern bank until they were attacked by overwhelming forces on 25 November.[10][60] The 3rd and 7th Divisions of the Ottoman Eighth Army had driven in the bridgeheads and restored the tactical situation.[26]

    Deep and fast-flowing, the el Auja river could not be crossed except at known and well-established places, so at 01:00 on 24 November the Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment crossed at the ford on the beach. They moved at a gallop and quickly seized the hills which overlooked the ford, capturing the village of Sheikh Muannis (which gave its name to the ford), but the Ottoman cavalry garrison escaped.The Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment came up to the Canterbury Regiment and then advanced eastwards to Khurbet Hadrah, which commanded the bridge on the main road. They captured 29 prisoners, one machine gun, and one British Lewis gun. Two infantry companies of the Essex Regiment, 161st (Essex) Brigade, 54th (East Anglian) Division crossed the Hadrah bridge and occupied the village. The 4th and 11th Squadrons of the Auckland Mounted Rifle Regiment with the 2nd Squadron of the Wellington Mounted Rifle Regiment, were placed at the bridge and in the village of Sheikh Muannis in front of the infantry posts. The Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment's 1st Squadron took up a post on the sea beach; each of these squadrons had two machine guns to strengthen them.

    At 02:45 on 25 November an Ottoman cavalry patrol near Khurbet Hadrah was chased off by a troop of 3rd Squadron Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment. Within an hour, the Ottoman 3rd and 7th Divisions launched a heavy attack on the squadron, which withdrew to a prearranged line. Just 30 minutes later another withdrawal was forced. At about 08:00 infantry units of the 54th (East Anglian) Division at Khurbet Hadrah were ordered back across the river. It was an extremely difficult operation as the bridge was now being swept by enemy fire and continuously shelled by artillery. Some individuals succeeded in crossing the bridge; some swam the river and some drowned. Once the infantry were clear, the 3rd Squadron, Auckland Mounted Rifle Regiment followed them across the bridge. The 11th (North Auckland) Squadron (Auckland Mounted Rifle Regiment) covered them with two Vickers guns at great cost, continuing to hold the bridge until 11:00, when they withdrew.

    While the fighting for the Hadrah bridge was occurring, the 2nd Squadron, Wellington Mounted Rifle Regiment at Sheikh Muannis held off without any artillery support a determined attack by about 2,000 Ottoman soldiers who were covered by accurate artillery fire. As their horses had been sent back down the river to the ford on the beach, the squadrons of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade moved to reinforce the Khurbet Hadrah position, but arrived just as the withdrawal was taking place. They took up a position on the southern bank near the bridge. It was only after the Khurbet Hadrah village and bridge posts had been evacuated that the Somerset battery was able to come into action, assisted by guns of the 161st (Essex) Brigade. This support came too late, and the infantry at Sheikh Muannis near the ford were also ordered to retire. They were supported by the Somerset battery, which continued firing from a position 1,400 yards (1.3 km) south, on the southern side of the river, until after the Ottoman Army had reoccupied the village. Two troops of 10th Squadron retired slowly towards the ford on the beach near Sheikh Muannis, with the 2nd Squadron and the infantry crossing the river by means of a boat and over the weir head at the mill. The Ottoman attack was now concentrated on the Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment. The 1st Squadron held off the enemy until the regiment and the troops from Sheikh Muannis had crossed the ford then the squadron fell back, under covering fire from machine guns. Casualties from the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade during this operation were 11 killed, 45 wounded, and three missing.

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    From 25 November until 1 December the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade remained in support of the 54th (East Anglian) Division, which continued to hold the outpost line. At the beginning of December, the brigade was withdrawn to a rest camp near Sarona a few miles north of Jaffa until 5 January, when it relieved the Imperial Camel Corps Brigade in the foothills of the Judean Hills.

    About this time the Ottoman Eighth Army's fighting commander Friedrich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein, was relieved of his duties. He had been in the Sinai and Palestine since 27 September 1914, leading two armies and a raiding party across the Sinai Peninsula to unsuccessfully attack the British Empire on the Suez Canal in January 1915, at Romani in August 1916, and the very successful raid on Katia in April 1916. Subsequently, he commanded the defences at Magdhaba in December 1916, at Rafa in January 1917, at Gaza and Beersheba in March, April and October 1917 and during rearguard battles up the maritime plain to Jaffa in November 1917. He was replaced by Brigadier General Djevad Pasha. On hearing the news, Allenby wrote to his wife on 28 November 1917: "I fancy that there is little love lost now between Turk and Boche.

  18. #2868

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    22nd posted.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  19. #2869

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    26th November 1917

    The War in the Air

    “On the 26th inst. the weather was slightly better for flying, but low clouds and a strong wind again hindered work in the air. Some successful artillery work was done by our aeroplanes, and many photographs were taken. Enemy troops, batteries, and transport were constantly attacked by our low-flying machines. During the day bombs were dropped on the crossings over the River Sensee and on railheads near Cambrai and north of Douai. At night Douai station was attacked, and bombs were also dropped at Somain station and sidings. Over 3 tons of bombs were dropped in all. A few fights took place, in which one hostile machine was brought down and four were driven down out of control. Another hostile machine was shot down by fire from the ground. None of our aeroplanes are missing.”

    RFC Communiqué number 115:


    A little more work was possible, although low clouds and strong wind made-flying difficult.

    Three reconnaissances were carried out by the 2nd Brigade, four by the 3rd and one by the 9th Wing. Three contact patrols were also done by machines of the 3rd Brigade.

    With aeroplane observation, six hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction by artillery of the First Army and three by artillery of the Third Army.

    A of 5,660 rounds were fired from low altitudes at ground targets. Nos 68, 56, 46 and 84 Squadrons, in addition to dropping 45 25-lb bombs, fired 3,190 of these rounds.

    Seventy-seven 25-lb and 43 112-lb bombs were dropped. Of these, eight 112-Ib bombs were dropped on Moisnil Station by No 18 Squadron; five 112-lb bombs on Sailly, where store sheds were hit, eight 112-lb. bombs on Rieux and one 112-lb bomb on an anti-aircraft battery by No 49 Squadron.

    Scouts of the 3rd Brigade dropped 45 25-lb bombs from low altitudes on various targets. No 25 Squadron dropped 18 112-lb bombs on Aubigny and Neuville and No 27 Squadron dropped eight 112-lb bombs on bridges between Tortéquenne and Lecluse. The remaining bombs were dropped on various targets.

    RNAS Communiqué number 10:

    A few fighter patrols were carried out, but no decisive engagements took place.

    Enemy Aircraft

    Enemy aircraft were not very active.

    2nd-Lieut J F Larsen, 84 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Fonsomme at 08:00/09:00

    2nd-Lieut W H Brown, 84 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Fonsomme at 08:00/09:00

    2nd-Lieut J A McCudden & 2nd-Lieut C Chritchley, 25 Sqn, Albatros C out of control Denain - Neuville at 12:30/13:30 [John Anthony McCudden was the younger brother of James McCudden; this was his second and final victory with No 25 Squadron before his transfer to No 84 Squadron]

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    Lieut H Taylor, 68 Sqn, DH5 A9336, two-seater crashed south-east of Bourlon Wood at 12:35/13:35

    Capt J D Payne, 29 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Gulleghem at 14:20/15:20
    Capt J D Payne, 29 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Gulleghem at 14:20/15:20
    Lieut J G Coombe, 29 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Gulleghem at 14:30/15:30
    Capt W E Molesworth, 29 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control south-east of Houthulst at 14:50/15:50

    Four enemy aircraft were shot down out of control by pilots of the 2nd Brigade; two of these were by Capt J Payne, another by Lieut J Coombe, the fourth by Capt Molesworth, all of No 29 Squadron, who fought and dispersed 12 EA scouts

    Casualties

    2nd-Lieut C A Mulligan (Wia), 29 Sqn, Nieuport – shot up on NOP

    Capt A S Lee (Ok), 46 Sqn, Camel B6405 - force landed in trenches near Flesquiers after petrol tanks shot through on patrol

    Lieut P H Cummings (Ok) & Lieut H A Parry (Ok), 102 Sqn, FE2b A5676 – took off 19:00/20:00 then force landed after engine shot through on night bombing raid

    The following claims were made on this day...

    William Henry Brown MC Canada #1

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    After serving with the 1st Canadian Signal Corps, William Henry Brown transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in 1917. In August of that year, he was posted to 84 Squadron as an S.E.5a pilot. He scored nine victories before he was returned to the Home Establishment on 8 April 1918.

    T./2nd Lt. William Henry Brown, Gen. List, and R.F.C.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Whilst bombing an enemy aerodrome his squadron was attacked by a formation of 40 enemy scouts. He engaged one of these with the result that it dived straight to the ground. He was then attacked by another machine, and by skilful piloting he succeeded in firing at close range behind its tail, with the result that it fell on its back and went down out of control. Later, whilst leading a low-flying attack on enemy troops he dropped four bombs from a very low altitude, scattering the enemy in all directions, and then at a height of 300 feet engaging them with machine-gun fire. Shortly afterwards he attacked two enemy two-seater planes, crashing them both to earth. In addition to these he has shot down out of control four other hostile machines, and has displayed throughout the recent operations marked gallantry and skill.


    James Coombe
    England #2
    John McCudden England #2
    James Payne England #10 #11
    William Molesworth Ireland #9
    Ivan Smirnov Russia #11

    Jens Larson USA #1

    An architect and the son of a Swedish immigrant, Jens Fredrick Larson was 6 feet tall when he enlisted as a gunner with the Canadian Field Artillery on 10 August 1914. He sailed for France in February 1915, was promoted to Lieutenant on 19 August 1916, and transferred to the Reserve Brigade, Shorncliffe in September 1916. In December 1916, he was attached to the Royal Flying Corps and received training at the School of Military Aeronautics, Oxford University. He was posted to 8 Squadron on 5 May 1917, 34 Squadron on 26 May, and 84 Squadron on 8 August. One of the founding members of 84 Squadron, the unit deployed to France on 25 September 1917. Larson was promoted to Captain on 1 January 1918 and scored nine victories flying the S.E.5 before returning to England in May 1917. Injured in September 1918, Captain Larson returned to Canada in January 1919 before making his home in New Hampshire where he was architect in residence at Dartmouth College from 1919 to 1947.

    Listed as Jens Frederick Larsen in several sources.

    Captain (and later Air Vice Marshall) Arthur Stanley Gould Lee MC
    of 46 Squadron was shot down and wounded in action on this day

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    Thanks to a broken leg during flight school, Arthur Stanley Gould Lee, the son of Clara Emily Lee, gained additional time flying trainers before he was posted to France. In November 1917, during low level bombing and strafing attacks, he was shot down three times by ground fire. During his eight months at the front, Lee accumulated 222 hours of flight time during 118 patrols. In that time, he was engaged in combat 56 times. An Air Vice-Marshal and author of three books, he retired from the Royal Air Force in 1946.

    "There were few flyers with any experience of air fighting who were not obsessed to some degree, though usually secretly, with the thought of being shot down in flames." Arthur Gould Lee

    T./2nd Lt. (T./Capt.) Arthur Stanley Lee, Notts. & Derby. R. and R.F.C.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He bombed an enemy battery and fired on the gunners with his machine gun, and then attacked and drove off three enemy machines. While flying in very low clouds he lost his way, and could not steady his compass, and after flying for some distance, in what he believed to be the direction of our lines, he landed in open country, and was at once attacked and fired on by enemy cavalry. He had kept his engine running and succeeded in getting off, and, having fired on the enemy, found his position and returned to our lines. On another occasion he made a flight in a very thick mist, drove down an enemy machine, bombed an enemy position, and assisted the infantry to repel an enemy attack. He showed splendid courage and initiative.

    8 Airmen were lost on this day

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    Flight Lieutenant Edmund Bourchier Devereux (Royal Naval Air Service) is accidentally killed at age 22 when the airship SSP-2 is lost at sea after developing engine trouble northeast of Westry. His brother was killed in action in June 1916. They are sons of Rear Admiral the Honorable Walter Bourchier Devereux and grandsons of the 14th Viscount Hereford.

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    Southern Front

    First Battle of Monte Grappa – Austrian and German forces failed to capture Monte Grappa from the Italians, thus stabilizing the new Italian front. Casualties for the Central Powers totaled 21,000 while the Italians suffered 12,000 casualties.

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    View from the summit towards the Austrian positions

    The First Battle of Monte Grappa, also known as First Battle of the Piave in Italy, was a battle fought during World War I between the armies of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy for control of the Monte Grappa massif, which covered the left flank of the new Italian Piave front.

    The Italian Army was in all-out retreat after the Austrian autumn offensive of 1917. The Italian Chief of the general staff general, Luigi Cadorna, had ordered the construction of fortified defenses around the Monte Grappa summit in order to make the mountain range an impregnable fortress. When the Austrian offensive routed the Italians, the new Italian chief of staff, Armando Diaz, ordered the Fourth Army to stop their retreat and defend these positions between the Roncone and the Tomatico mountains.The Austrians, despite help from the German Army's Alpenkorps, failed to take the mountain's summit during the first battle of Monte Grappa, which lasted from November 11, 1917 to December 23, 1917. Their failure was due to the German and Austro-Hungarian supply lines having become overstretched, and to Armando Diaz sending remnants of the defeated Second Army to support the Fourth Army. Diaz also allowed his local commanders much more freedom of manoeuvre than his predecessor, which resulted in a more elastic and effective Italian defense. Thus the Italian front along the Piave river was stabilized and the Austrians failed to enter the plains beyond and to take the city of Venice.

    Trentino: Austrian Edelweiss Division (only 2,000 strong by November 27) fails to capture Col della Berretta against 2 Italian brigades, Alpini Val Brenta battalion and 60th Bersaglieri. Mt Pertica changes hands seven times and is left fire-swept with both sides below summit.
    Piave*: Austrians secretly withdraw Zenson bridgehead until December 2.

    SEA WAR
    Germany: Navy extends U-boat barred zone to 720 miles from Irish coast and area around Azores and Cape Verde Islands (effective from January 11, 1918). In Mediterranean 20-mile wide neutral corridor to Greece closed.

    AIR WAR
    Cambrai: 12 DH4 bombers of No 49 Squadron fly first Western Front raid on railhead east of Cambrai, but other units switched to routine strategic targets until November 29.

    The US army establishes the 6th Division

    The 6th Infantry Division was an infantry division of the United States Army active in World War I, World War II, and the last years of the Cold War. Known as "Red Star", and formerly called the "Sight Seein' Sixth"

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    The division went overseas in June 1918, and saw 43 days of combat. Casualties totalled 386 (KIA: 38; WIA: 348). The 6th Division saw combat in the Geradmer sector, Vosges, France, 3 September – 18 October 1918, and during the Meuse-Argonne offensive 1–11 November 1918.[2] Separately the 11th Field Artillery Battalion became engaged earlier in the Meuse-Argonne offensive and fought from 19 October to the Armistice. The division returned to U.S. in June 1919. Deactivated: 30 September 1921 at Camp Grant, Illinois.

    Away from the war...

    The National Hockey League was formed in Montreal as a replacement for the recently disbanded National Hockey Association, with Frank Calder as its first president. The league was intended to a temporary organization since the NHA did not have the legal power to remove Toronto hockey club owner Eddie Livingstone. The NHL contained the four original teams from the NHA plus the Toronto Arenas to round the league out to five teams.

    The National Hockey League is a professional ice hockey league in North America, currently comprising 31 teams: 24 in the United States and 7 in Canada. Headquartered in New York City, the NHL is considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in the world, and one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. The Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in North America,[3] is awarded annually to the league playoff champion at the end of each season. The National Hockey League was organized on November 26, 1917, in Montreal, Quebec after the suspension of operations of its predecessor organization, the National Hockey Association (NHA), which had been founded in 1909 in Renfrew, Ontario.The NHL immediately took the NHA's place as one of the leagues that contested for the Stanley Cup in an annual interleague competition before a series of league mergers and folds left the NHL as the only league left competing for the Stanley Cup in 1926.

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    At its inception, the NHL had four teams—all in Canada, thus the adjective "National" in the league's name. The league expanded to the United States in 1924, when the Boston Bruins joined, and has since consisted of American and Canadian teams. From 1942 to 1967, the league had only six teams, collectively (if not contemporaneously) nicknamed the "Original Six". The NHL added six new teams to double its size at the 1967 NHL expansion. The league then increased to 18 teams in 1974 and 21 teams in 1979. In the 1990s, the NHL further expanded to 30 teams, and added its 31st team in 2017. After a labour-management dispute that led to the cancellation of the entire 2004–05 season, the league resumed play in 2005–06 under a new collective agreement that included a salary cap. In 2009, the NHL enjoyed record highs in terms of sponsorships, attendance, and television audiences. The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) considers the Stanley Cup to be one of the "most important championships available to the sport". The NHL draws many highly skilled players from all over the world and currently has players from approximately 20 countries.Canadians have historically constituted the majority of the players in the league, with an increasing percentage of American and European players in recent seasons.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 11-26-2017 at 15:38.

  20. #2870

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    Awesome only 2 days of catch up left to upload, then we are back right on track again... fingers crossed we can see out the last 11 1/2 months without further issues...

  21. #2871

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    27th November 1917


    The Battle of Cambrai began to wind down... (at least from the British viewpoint - the Germans had other ideas which will be revealed in the coming few days) There never has been such an opportunity for a smashing counterstrike’, says Ludendorff who insists all must be ready before November 30 as Cambrai is a vital rail centre.

    The final British effort at Cambrai is launched today by the 62nd Division aided by thirty tanks. Early success is soon reversed by a German counter rattack. The British now hold a salient roughly 11 km by 9.5 km with its front along the crest of the ridge.

    Insisting that Bourlon be taken and forever worrying that the enemy were on the point of collapse Haig told Byng to take over personal control of the battle. On the 26th the artillery began pounding the German lines in preparation for an assault by the Guards Division against Fontaine and the 62nd Division against Bourlon.

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    A british tank destroyed after being hit by an artillery shell

    At 0620 hours the following morning 2nd Guards Brigade advanced. 3rd Grenadiers up the main road, 1st Coldstreams in the centre and 2nd Irish between the village and Bourlon Wood. Initially going forward without the tanks they were soon overtaken by the machines. The Guards suffered enormous losses as they advanced against enfilading fire from La Folie wood and became embroiled in house to house fighting. The situation was intolerable and by 1300 hours it was over. Despite great courage and tenacity the Guardsmen had been overwhelmed by an entrenched enemy in superior numbers. It was much the same story for the 62nd Division. Major General Bradford VC was ordered to take his 186th Brigade into the wood and clear the remaining Germans out of the northern sector. His men from the Duke of Wellington's Regiment pushed on through the wood and reached the village on the far side but it was impossible to advance further in the face of German artillery fire. Against Bourlon village 2/5th York and Lancaster and 2/5th Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry were supported by eleven tanks from F Battalion. They managed to get into the village only to find that it had escaped great damage from the bombardment and the German defenders had taken the time to barricade every street and alleyway. To deal with the tanks the Germans had hidden field artillery pieces within the village. Only five of the tanks returned when after two hours of fighting the attack was called off. The British had worn themselves out. The line was not going to be broken and swept away and Haig had not had the victory that would have redeemed himself in the eyes of the politicians back home. Italy was still clamouring for aid, Divisions would have to be sacrificed on the Western Front to rescue them. Haig gave the instructions that the line should be consolidated: they would dig in.


    Sergeant John Harold Rhodes VC DCM MM
    (Grenadier Guards) is killed in action at age 26. His Victoria Cross award was listed in the London Gazette four days earlier for actions in the Battle of Poelcapelle when 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. He brought back these prisoners together with valuable information.

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    John McAulay, VC, DCM
    (27 December 1888 – 14 January 1956) was a Scottish policeman, soldier and recipient of the Victoria Cross. He was 28 years old, and a sergeant in the 1st Battalion, Scots Guards, British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place at the Battle of Cambrai for which he was awarded the VC. On 27 November 1917 at Fontaine Notre Dame, France, when all his officers had become casualties, Sergeant McAulay assumed command of the company and under shell and machine-gun fire successfully held and consolidated the objectives gained. He reorganised the company and noticing a counter-attack developing, repulsed it by the skilful and bold use of machine-guns, causing heavy enemy casualties. The sergeant also carried his company commander, who was mortally wounded, to a place of safety. After the war he resumed his career in the Glasgow Police, rising to the rank of inspector before retiring in 1948.

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    The War in the Air


    General Headquarters, November 28th.

    “On the 27th inst., although there was a very high wind, with rain, most of the day a few important reconnaissances were carried out successfully by our aeroplanes. A little artillery work was done also, and the enemy's troops in their trenches were engaged with machine-gun fire from the air. During the night, in boisterous weather, over a ton of bombs were dropped on Menin railway station. One of our machines is missing.”

    RFC Communiqué number 116:

    Very high wind and rain during the greater part of the day made flying difficult.

    On the Second Army front there were one or two fair intervals, after 11.30 a.m. when a certain amount of flying was done.
    Two reconnaissances were carried out by of the 2nd Brigade and one reconnnissance and two contact patrols by the 3rd Brigade.
    Two hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction and six neutralised with aeroplane observation.
    During the day 25 25-lb bombs were dropped on various targets by machines of the 1st and 2nd Brigades and 14th Wing.
    During the night of the 26th/27th, in spite of the very stormy weather, 11 machines of No 102 Squadron dropped bombs as follows:
    Ten 112-lb on Douai railway station. Six bombs hit the track and three sheds at the side of the railway. Three 112-lb bombs on Vitry railway station and six 112-lb bombs on Somain railway station.

    Lieut Hammond was wounded while dropping his bombs on Douai station from a height of 500 feet. On re-crossing the lines he fainted and fell forward on his control lever. His observer, Lieut Howard, managed to pull the lever back landed the machine near Béthune. [NB. I have no other details of this casualty]

    1,400 rounds were fired into the enemy's trenches by machines of the 1st and 2nd Brigades and 14th Wing and 34 plates were exposed by the 2nd Brigade.

    RNAS Communiqué number 10:


    Bad weather prevented any war work being carried out.

    Enemy Aircraft

    2nd-Lieut T Colvill-Jones & Capt L R Speakman, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Westroosebeke at 15:25/16:25 - machines of the 2nd Brigade had seven combats in one of which 2nd-Lieut Colvill-Jones and Capt Speakman, No 20 Squadron, drove a hostile machine down out of control near Westroosebeke.

    Casualties

    Lieut L Kert (Pow), 29 Sqn, Nieuport 23 B3578 – took off 11:30/12:39 then missing on northern area patrol

    Lieut W W Fielding (Wia) & 2nd-Lieut C W Dunsford (Wia), 21 Sqn, RE8 A3826 - shot by EA fire during trench bombing Ypres at 15:45/16:45

    There was only one airman reported lost on this day

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    There were a handful of aces making claims - the vast majority being on the Southern Front

    Franz Gräser Austro-Hungarian Empire #9
    Georg Kenzian Austro-Hungarian Empire #5
    Josef Kiss Austro-Hungarian Empire #13 #14
    Franz Lahner Austro-Hungarian Empire #2
    Karl Nikitsch Austro-Hungarian Empire #6
    Thomas Colvill-Jones England #2
    Flaminio Avet Italy u/c
    Marziale Cerutti Italy #3
    Alvaro Leonardi Italy u/c


    EASTERN FRONT

    Russia: Armistice delegates return with German consent in principle. Next meeting December 1, 1917.

    MIDDLE EAST
    Palestine: 15,800 Turks with c.120 guns gain ground from Yeomanry and 54th Divisions until reserves stabilize line on November 30.

    The Battle of Jerusalem - Ottoman Counter attacks

    Ottoman counterattacks began on 27 November, when the Yeomanry Mounted Division's most advanced post at Zeitun on the western end of the Beitunia Ridge was attacked by a much larger force. They held off the Ottoman attackers until 28 November, when the division was forced to withdraw from their advanced posts, including Sheik Abu ex Zeitun and Beit Ur el Foqa. The Australian Mounted Division (less the 5th Mounted Yeomanry Brigade) had been resting at Mejdel from 19 to 27 November when they were ordered to return to the Judean Hills. The 4th Light Horse Brigade's march to Berfilya was diverted straight on to Beit Ur el Tahta. South of Beit Ur el Tahta, the 4th Light Horse Brigade covered a dangerous position, as there was no contact between the 8th and 6th Mounted Brigades. The 5th Mounted Yeomanry Brigade was ordered to rejoin its division, leaving the 10th Light Horse Regiment under orders of the 60th (2/2nd London) Division. The 3rd Light Horse Brigade marched on to Berfilya 2 miles (3.2 km) west of el Burj.

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    Ottoman counterattacks 1800 28 November 1917

    The pressure had been too great for the advance posts of the much-reduced Yeomanry Mounted Division, which fell back down the Wadi Zeit but the pursuing Ottoman force was suddenly blocked by the 11th Light Horse Regiment of 4th Light Horse Brigade.[85] The 4th Light Horse Brigade had moved by the same route as the 7th Mounted Brigade, but near El Burj they found the road blocked by fire. Brigadier General Grant, reporting to Barrow, ordered the brigade south of Beit Ur el Tahta to support the 6th Mounted Brigade. The 11th Light Horse Regiment was pushed forward with two machine guns to hold Wadi Zeit south west of Beit Ur el Foqa.

    On 30 November Major J.G. Rees of the 25th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers had only 60 men to hold Beit Ur el Foqa when the post was almost surrounded. They managed to break out of the position and joined the support company of the 10th Battalion, King's Shropshire Light Infantry covering Et Tire and facing Signal Hill, which became the focus of the next Ottoman attack. This came at 14:30 when they attacked with 400 soldiers, driving the detachment from Signal Hill. This move made Et Tire untenable and forced the 10th King's Shropshire Light Infantry to fall back to its original line. These operations were supported on 28 November by a combined force of the British and Australian Nos. 1 and 111 Squadrons, which attacked the Tul Keram aerodrome with aerial bombing. This attack was repeated the following morning and evening after German planes bombed the Julis aerodrome and hit No. 113 Squadron's orderly room. The Yeomanry Mounted Division was relieved by the 74th (Yeomanry) Division; two brigades of infantry were substituted for four brigades of cavalry resulting in a sixfold increase in the number of rifles. With additional reinforcements from the dismounted Australian Mounted Division, there were sufficient troops to hold all Ottoman counterattacks.

    AFRICA
    East Africa: 215 Germans and 1,100 followers of Tafel’s foodless force from Mahenge surrender at Luatala to 120 Baluchis who beat off their attack on November 26 thanks to 25th Cavalry charge. Captain Otto with 25 men break through to Lettow.

    SEA WAR
    Baltic: Russian destroyer Bditelni mined and sunk off Aaland Islands by UC-78 minefield.

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    POLITICS
    France: Supreme Allied War Council appointed (Generals Wilson, Foch, Cadorna and Bliss at Versailles).
    Russia: Trotsky warns Russia may be driven to separate armistice if Allies do not negotiate. Buchanan to Foreign Office ‘Every day that we keep Russia in the war against her will does but embitter her people against us.’
    Brazil: Franco-Brazilian Agree*ment to use 30 interned German ships for Allied food.

  22. #2872

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    23rd done. Hopefully 24th tomorrow.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  23. #2873

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    Chris now up to date. Just posted 24th November issue.

    Apologies to our readers if some of the issues seem a trifle difficult but certain pictures had been 'over exposed' and suitable replacements were hard to come by.

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

  24. #2874

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    As I said to Chris thanks for the extra effort Neil, especially with you extra commitment to the thespian lifestyle.
    Kyte.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  25. #2875

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    Blooming marvellous, both of you. Congratulations on a magnificent job. Thank you sooo much.

  26. #2876

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    28th November 1917


    Brilliant to finally be back on track with these, apologies for the delays folks but we got there in the end. Good job Neil.

    The Cambrai offensive officially ends and the British troops are ordered to lay wire and dig in and the Germans are quick to concentrate their artillery on the new British positions. Today over 16,000 rounds are fired into Bourlon Wood. The Guards Division clear Fontaine Notre Dame, but are counter-attacked by two German divisions and forced back.

    George William Burdett Clare VC (18 May 1889 – 29 November 1917) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross.

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    Clare was born on 18 May 1889 in St Ives, Huntingdonshire to George and Rhoda Clare. He was 28 years old, and a private in the 5th Lancers (Royal Irish),[1] he was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 28/29 November 1917 at Bourlon Wood, France during the Battle of Cambrai at which he was killed.

    For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when, acting as a stretcher-bearer during a most intense and continuous enemy bombardment, Pte. Clare dressed and conducted wounded over the open to the dressing-station about 500 yards away. At one period when all the garrison of a detached post, which was lying out in the open about 150 yards to the left of the line occupied, had become casualties, he crossed the intervening space, which was continually swept by heavy rifle and machine-gun fire, and having dressed all the cases, manned the post single-handed till a relief could be sent. Pte. Clare then carried a seriously wounded man through intense fire to cover, and later succeeded in getting him to the dressing station. At the dressing-station he was told that the enemy was using gas shells to a large extent in the valley below, and as the wind was blowing the gas towards the line of trenches and shell-holes occupied, he started on the right of the line and personally warned every company post of the danger, the whole time under shell and rifle fire. This very gallant soldier was subsequently killed by a shell.

    Captain (Brevet Major) Greville John Massey Bagot Chester (Scots Guards) is killed at age 52. He is fine athlete who won many running and jumping competitions. He once won a bet for 100 pounds that he could ride, run and walk a mile in under 20 minutes. He is the grandson of Lieutenant General John Chester JP.
    Captain Robert Chichester Drummond DSO (Coldstream Guards) is killed at age 21. This is the day his grandfather the Bishop of Chichester is buried.
    Captain William Norman Lowe (Highland Light Infantry attached South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed at age 28. He is the son of Lieutenant Colonel T E Lowe OBE TD JP.
    Private George Fisher (Highland Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 19. His brother died of wounds on Gallipoli in 1915.
    Private Charles, 26, and Sergeant William Ernest Machin, 28, are killed while serving with the Lincolnshire Yeomanry in Palestine.
    Private Jesse Hughes (Welsh Guards) is killed at age 29. He is a Birmingham Policeman and his brother also a policeman was killed in June 1916.
    Private James McClelland (Highland Light Infantry) is killed at age 22 becoming the last of four brothers who are killed in the war.

    The War in The Air

    The Russian Ace Grigory Eduardovich Suk is shot down and killed on this day

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    Born in Lithuania on 12 December 1896, Grigoriy Suk was of Czech and Russian heritage. He was born on the Rassudovo Estate. His Russian mother, Ljubov Osipovna Sorokina, was the daughter of a well-known physician, as well as an alumnus of the Women's College of Mariinskoe. His Czech father, scientist Eduard Ivanovich Suk, was notable enough to be a hereditary honorary citizen of Moscow. His siblings were brothers Boris and Alexei. His uncle, Vyacheslav Suk, conducted the orchestra at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. Grigoriy Suk was raised in the Russian Orthodox faith. Young Suk was educated at the Moscow Classical School, and passed on to the Moscow Imperial Practical Academy to study architecture.

    The outbreak of World War I changed Suk's direction, as he enlisted in the Cuirassiers on 5 August 1914. He subsequently requested a transfer to aviation service, and was forwarded to the Gatchina Flying School on 5 June 1915. In July 1915 he began his aviation training with a class on internal combustion engines. Grigoriy Suk made his first training flights in August 1915. After training, he qualified as a military pilot on 25 January 1916. On 27 January, Eduard Ivanovich Suk died abruptly; his son was granted a short leave to attend the funeral.

    Suk was posted to the 26th Corps Aviation Detachment of the Imperial Russian Air Force on 11 March 1916 to fly Voisin Ls or Voisin LAs, although he did not arrive at the front until 28 March 1916. Despite being assigned to reconnaissance duties, he clashed with the enemy in the air. As his award commendation for the Cross of Saint George Third Class stated, he drove down an enemy aircraft with machine gun fire from 50 meters distance on 1 June 1916 for his first victory. His Fourth Class award of the Cross also mentioned combat with an Albatros. In fact, Suk won all four classes of the Cross while with the 26th Corps Aviation Detachment. He was also promoted to Mladshy-Unter-Officer (Senior Sergeant). His diligence caused him to be sent for fighter training in Moscow on 4 July 1916. Upon graduation,[4] he was posted to the Kingdom of Romania to join the 9th Fighter Aviation Detachment. He flew 19 combat sorties there during September and October 1916. He began reconnaissance patrols with Nieuport 10 serial number N714, and moved up to flying Nieuport 11 s/n N1109. On 27 October 1916, Imperial Order 1676 appointed Suk to the rank of Praporschik. On 3 February 1917, Suk and Vladimir Strzhizhevsky staked a combat claim that went unconfirmed. On the 9th, a jamming gun aborted his attack on an enemy plane. On 12 February 1917, the engine of Suk's Nieuport failed at the end of a prolonged reconnaissance flight. His subsequent inept deadstick landing at Bakey Airfield overturned and damaged the machine. Suk was then assigned Morane-Saulnier I s/n MS742. As the weather cleared in the Spring of 1917, the tempo of combat accelerated. Suk scored his second victory on 26 March 1917; his third on 17 April 1917. He then entered a dry spell marked by unfruitful attacks that did blunt enemy reconnaissance efforts. He resumed his victories in early September, and he would string them out until 10 November. On 28 November 1917, he was killed in a landing accident as he returned from a flight. As he turned to land, his machine spun in, and he died upon impact. Three days later, Suk's award of the Order of Saint George Fourth Class arrived.

    General Headquarters, November 29th.

    “On the 28th inst. there was a slight improvement in the weather, the visibility at times being good, but a very strong west wind and clouds interfered with the co-operation of our aeroplanes with the artillery as well as with reconnaissance work. A number of photographs were taken, and over 130 bombs were dropped during the day on Courtrai, Roulers, Menin, and Thourout railway stations, and on other targets in the Ypres battle area. At night, in spite of the strong wind and clouds, 77 heavy bombs were dropped on Roulers railway station, and many rounds were fired from machine guns into the enemy's huts in the neighbourhood. One hostile machine was driven down out of control. Three of our aeroplanes are missing.”

    RFC Communiqué number 116:

    Low clouds and strong west wind during the greater part of the day hindered aerial work.

    Two successful reconnaissances were carried out by Army mavchines of the 2nd Brigndet and five reconnaissances and two contact patrols by those of the 3rd Brigade.

    A total of 420 photographs were taken, 257 of which were by the 2nd Brignde and 110 by the 1st Brigade and 2,572 rounds were fired into enemy trenches from low heights.

    Twenty-two hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction and seven neutralized with aeroplane observation. Four gun pits were destroyed, 11 damaged, 15 explosions and eight fires caused. One hundred and seventy-three active hostile batteries were reported by zone call. Eleven of the hostile batteries engaged for destruction were by the 1st Army artillery.

    Eleven hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction with observation by machines of the 14th Wing. The 227th Siege Battery, with observation by 2nd-Lieut Theak, No 52 Squadron, obtained seven direct hits on a gun pit of a hostile battery. Two gun pits in a hostile battery position were very badly damaged by the 94th Siege Battery with observation by Sergeant Smith, No 52 Squadron. The 61st, Siege Battery, with observation by Lieut Dean, No. 52 Squndron, damaged a hostile battery position and caused a large fire. A fire was caused in a hostile battery position by the 19th Siege Battery with observation by Lieut Bussey and Lieut Entwistle, Detached Flight of No 5 Squadron. Capt Douglas and Lieut Whittaker, Detached Flight of No 5 Squadron, observing for the 79th Siege Battery destroyed one hostile gun pit and damaged three others, causing a fire. Other successful shoots on hostile batteries were done by the 207th Siege Battery, the 169th Siege Battery, the 183rd Siege Battery, 125th Siege Battiery, the 78th Siege Battery and the 342nd Siege Battery with observation by Lts Worthing, Munden and Lieut Simpson, No. 52 Squadron, Lieut Hamel and Cooke, Detached Flight of No 5 Squadron, Lieut Phillips, Detached Flight of No 5, Squadron and Lieut Ellis and Capt Yarde, Detached Flight of No 5 Squadron.

    Bombing – Over four tons of bombs were dropped as follows:

    9th Wing - one 230-lb, two 112-lb and two 25-lb bombs on Menin railway station on night of the 27th/28th. One of the 112-lb bombs dropped on a train entering the station. 1,300 rounds were fired on searchlights, active machine and anti-aircraft guns and billets during this raid, by No 101 Squadron.
    On the 28th, No 25 Squadron dropped 12 112-lb bombs on Courtrai railway station and No 27 Squadron dropped 10 112-lb bombs on Roulers railway stabion.

    1st Brigade - No 18 Squadron dropped eight 112-lb bombs on Grand Moisnil, two 112-lb bombs on Annoeulin and eight 25-lb bombs on various targets.
    2nd Brigade - No 57 Squadron dropped one 230-lb and two 112-lb bombs on Menin, one 230-lb bomb on Thourout and 70 25-lb bombs on other targets.
    3rd Brigade - dropped 12 25-lb and the 14th Wing four 25-lb bombs on various targets.

    RNAS Communiqué number 10:

    Little war flying could be performed owing to the unfavourable weather.
    Whenever the weather permitted, fighter patrols were carried out. Several short engagements with E.A. took place, in all cases they were driven back over the lines,

    Enemy Aircraft

    Enemy aircraft activity was light except on the battle front, where it was above normal most of the day.

    Capt H Smith & 2nd-Lieut Hill, 27 Sqn, EA out of control - Captain Smith and 2nd-Lieut Hill, No 27 Squadron, drove down one of four EA which attacked their bombing formation just after their bombs had been dropped
    Capt A H Dalton, 70 Sqn, two-seater out of control Gheluvelt at 08:30/09:30 - while on offensive patrol Over Gheluvelt, Captain Dalton, No 70 Squadron, fired 50 rounds into a hostile two-seater from 100 feet, driving it down completely out, of control

    Casualties

    2nd-Lieut J A Pattern (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut P W Leycester (Ok), 10 Sqn, AW FK8 B227 - hit by machine-gun fire from ground on offensive patrol Polderhoek Chateau
    2nd-Lieut J F MacKinnon (Pow), 65 Sqn, Camel B2427 - last seen between Zonnebeke and Passchendaele at 07:40/08:40 on line patrol
    2nd-Lieut C H Brown (Int), 70 Sqn, Camel B2452 – took off 08:00/09:00 then seen to land, get out of machine and walk to farm south-east of Becelaere on line patrol; ground fire
    Lieut J A Pullan (Kia) & Lieut C H Dixon (Kia), 9 Sqn, RE8 B6492 – took off 11:35/12:35 then force landed Sh28.I.11.b.3.8 [north of Hooge] cause unknown during photography near Ypres; Vzfw Paul Bäumer, Js2, 15th victory [north of Gheluvelt at 13:00/14:00] ?
    2nd-Lieut W G Mann (Kia) & 2nd-Lieut R A Forsyth (Kia), 7 Sqn, RE8 A4458 – took off 11:45/12:45 then missing during photography.

    The following aces made claims on this day...

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    Godwin Brumowski Austro-Hungarian Empire #28
    Karl Kaszala Austro-Hungarian Empire #6
    Paul Bäumer Germany #15
    Karl Menckhoff Germany #16
    Franz Ray Germany #9
    Ernst Udet Germany #15

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    10 British airmen were lost on this day

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    EASTERN FRONT
    Russia: Lenin and Trotsky radio and telegram proclamation ‘The Russian Army and the Russian people cannot and will not, wait any longer.’
    ESTONIA DECLARES INDEPENDENCE.

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    Russia suffers heavily from the war. As a result of famine, there were even cases of cannibalism.

    WESTERN FRONT
    Cambrai: 16,000 German gas and high-explosive shells rain down on Bourlon Wood.
    France: AEF US First Army Staff College opens at Langres with three-month course.

    AFRICA

    East Africa: Tafel’s main body of 1,312 troops and c.2,200 porters surrender. GERMAN EAST AFRICA ALL IN BRITISH HANDS. K George V’s telegram congratu*lates Deventer on November 30.

    SEA WAR
    British Home Waters: U-boat sinks British Elder-Dempster liner Apapa (77 lives lost).
    Adriatic: *Austrian destroyers and torpedo boats shell coast railway near Senigallia.
    Britain: WRNS founded (Women’s Royal Naval Service).

  27. #2877

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    (Further to Chris's post yesterday)

    George William Burdett Clare VC (18 May 1889 – 29 November 1917) was born on 18 May 1889 in St Ives, Huntingdonshire to George and Rhoda Clare. He was 28 years old, and a private in the 5th Lancers (Royal Irish), he was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 28/29 November 1917 at Bourlon Wood, France during the Battle of Cambrai at which he was killed.

    Citation:
    For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when, acting as a stretcher-bearer during a most intense and continuous enemy bombardment, Pte. Clare dressed and conducted wounded over the open to the dressing-station about 500 yards away. At one period when all the garrison of a detached post, which was lying out in the open about 150 yards to the left of the line occupied, had become casualties, he crossed the intervening space, which was continually swept by heavy rifle and machine-gun fire, and having dressed all the cases, manned the post single-handed till a relief could be sent. Pte. Clare then carried a seriously wounded man through intense fire to cover, and later succeeded in getting him to the dressing station. At the dressing-station he was told that the enemy was using gas shells to a large extent in the valley below, and as the wind was blowing the gas towards the line of trenches and shell-holes occupied, he started on the right of the line and personally warned every company post of the danger, the whole time under shell and rifle fire. This very gallant soldier was subsequently killed by a shell.

    — London Gazette, 8 January 1918

    His Victoria Cross will be displayed at The Queen’s Royal Lancers and Nottinghamshire Yeomanry Museum at Thoresby Park, Nottinghamshire

    He is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial to the Missing, France; in St Peter and St Paul's Church, Chatteris, Cambridgeshire and on Chatteris War Memorial.

    (Apologies for the double entry on this VC but it was showing 28/29th in the records)

    Today we lost: 625
    Today’s losses include:

    · Brothers killed together
    · A Victoria Cross winner
    · Multiple families that will lose two sons and three sons in the Great War
    · A clever comedian

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    · Second Lieutenant John Edward Mary Claude Pius Augustine Waterton (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed at Zeify Hill, Palestine. His brother was killed in a motorcycle accident in England while on service in February 1915.
    · Lance Corporal Frank Bradley (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed. His brother died of accidental gunshot wounds last April.
    · Private Joseph Charles Mason MM (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed in action at age 28. His two brothers have already been killed in the Great War.
    · Private Thomas Galt (Cameronians) is killed in Palestine at age 28 becoming the third brother lost in the war.
    · Gunner Edward Henry Francis Masters (Royal Garrison Artillery) dies of wounds at age 30. He was drafted in May 1916 and was considered a clever comedian.

    Air Operations:

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    A German Albatros hunter on reconnaissance flight on the Italian front.

    Italian Front: First British flight over the Italian lines in the Montello section, with 1 Austrian-Hungarian single-seater going down, but hunter attacks prevent the RE8 photo clearance.

    500 US student pilots began their pilot training on 28th November in Foggia, Italy.

    General Headquarters
    “There was a distinct improvement in the weather, and a full day's flying was possible. Work with the artillery was successfully carried out by our aeroplanes, many photographs were taken, and several thousand rounds were fired into the enemy's infantry from low heights. During the day 180 bombs were dropped on a large ammunition dump north of Cambrai, on Roulers railway station, and on hostile billets in the battle area. Enemy aircraft were very active, attempting to interfere with our artillery and photographic machines. In air fighting, five hostile machines were brought down and two were driven down out of control. Another hostile machine was shot down by machine gun fire from the ground. Three of our aeroplanes are missing.”

    RFC Communiqué number 116:

    On the 29th there was a distinct improvement in the weather and a large amount of flying was done.

    Five reconnaissances were carried out, two by the 2nd Brigade and two by the 3rd Brigade and a photographic reconnaissance was done by the 9th Wing.

    With aeroplane observation 39 hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction, 13 being by machines of the 1st Brigade. Six gun pits were destroyed, nine damaged, 26 explosions and 12 fires caused. 155 active hostile batteries were reported by zone call, of which 80 were by machines of the 3rd Brigade.

    Low flying machines fired 4,748 rounds at ground targets and 746 photographs were taken during the day.

    The following pilots of No 68 Squadron dropped 16 25-lb bombs on enemy's infantry, at which they also fired with their machine guns: Capt Phillips, Lieut Holden, Lieut R W Howard, Capt G C Wilson, Lieut H Taylor, Lieut F G Huxley, Lieut G C Sands.

    Bombing – On the night of the 28th/29th and on the 29th over 4½ tons of bombs were dropped.

    1st Brigade - No 18 Squadron dropped eight 112-lb bombs on Grand Moisnil, two 112-lb bombs on Wavrin, two 112-lb bombs on Annoeulin and six 112-lb bombs on gun positions at Maugre.

    No. 2 Squadron dropped 15 25-lb bombs on Auchy, Benifontaine, Vendin-le-Vieil and Pont-à-Vendin.

    2nd Brigade - Ninety-one 25-lb bombs were dropped on various targets.

    3rd Brigade - Eight 112-lb bombs were dropped on lwuy dump. Corps machines drovped 22 25-lb bombs, while Scouts of No 68 Squadron dropped 16 25-lb bombs on various targets.

    14th Wing - Eight 25-lb bombs were dropped on various targets.

    9th Wing - No 25 Squadron attacked Roluers railway Station on which 12 112-lb bombs were dropped.

    On the night of the 28th/29th, although the clouds were at, 2,500 feet, 12 machines of No 101 Squadron went out to bomb Roulers railway station and eight machines reached their objective and dropped one 230-lb, 14 112-lb and two 25-lb bombs and fired 1,400 rounds into the station and at huts beside the station.

    RNAS Communiqué number 10:

    Adverse weather conditions prevented much war work being carried out, several patrols having to return owing to the low clouds and mist.

    Several indecisive engagements took place during the day.

    Enemy Aircraft

    Enemy aircraft were especially active on the Third Army Front. Three EA two-seaters were destroyed and two scouts shot down out of control by pilots of the 3rd Brigade.

    2nd-Lieut J Pattern & 2nd-Lieut P Leycester, 10 Sqn, Albatros Scout in flames - 2nd-Lieuts J Pattern and P Leycester, No 10 Squadron, were taking photographs when they were attacked by three enemy scouts. The pilot opened fire with his forward gun and then manoeuvred in order to give his observer a free field of fire and after short, burst the enemy scout burst into flames and crashed; Ltn Erwin Bohme, Js2, Kia

    2nd-Lieut I R Mees & 2nd-Lieut L N Jones, 48 Sqn, Albatros out of control south of Dixmude

    Capt J T B McCudden, 56 Sqn, DFW C broke up south of Bellicourt at 07:40/08:40 - Capt McCudden, when leading a patrol of No 56 Squadron, got on the tail of an enemy two-seater which he shot to pieces in the air; Ltn Georg Deitrich (Kia) & Ltn Dietrich Schenk (Kia), FA 268[?],

    Lieut E L L Turnbull, 56 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control east of Crevecour at 08:45/09:45 - Lieut Turnbull, No 56 Squadron, drove down an enemy machine completely out of control

    Capt L J Maclean, Lieut D A D I MacGregor, Lieut R Winnicott and Lieut E M Essell, 41 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Douai at 10:50/11:50 - 2nd-Lieut MacGregor, No 41 Squadron, drove down an enemy machine completely out of control [not shared?]

    Lieut W W Rogers, 1 Sqn, DFW C out of control Quesnoy at 10:55/11:55 - Capt W W Rogers, No 1 Squadron, dived at an enemy two-seater which he shot down out of control

    Flt Sub-Lieut J H Forman, 1N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Middlekerke at 11:15/12:15 - Flight Sub-Lieut Forman, No 1 Squadron, attacked two Albatross Scouts, driving one down out of control; the second one, however, escaped. A third machine was forced into a voluntary spin

    2nd-Lieut W Pudney & 2nd-Lieut G S L Hayward, 22 Sqn, two-seater crashed BY Hayward NW Lille at 11:25/12:25 - 2nd-Lieuts W Pudney and G Hayward, No 22 Squadron, left their patrol owing to engine trouble and were attacked by five EA. The observer, 2nd-Lieut Hayward, shot one down and it was seen to crash

    2nd-Lieut D French & Lieut A D Keith, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Westroosebeke at 12:00/13:00 – an enemy two-seater was driven down out of control by 2nd-Lieut French and Lieut Keith, No 20 Squadron

    Capt O C Bryson, Capt G W Taylor and Lieut N W Hustings, 19 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control east of Becelaere at 12:45/13:45

    Capt J T B McCudden, 56 Sqn, DFW C broke up Rouvroy at 13:15/14:15
    2nd-Lieut H J Walkerdine, 56 Sqn, DFW C crashed Neuvireuil at 13:20/14:20

    A patrol of No 56 Squadron observed three enemy two-seaters through a gap in the clouds, so dived at them and Capt McCudden followed one down 500 feet when all its wings folded up. Capt McCudden was almost forced to land owing to loss of air pressure and he was only a few feet from the ground when he was able to get his engine to work satisfactorily again. 2nd-Lieut H Walkerdine drove down one of the other two-seaters out of control and it was seen by AA to crash

    Flt Cdr R P Minifie, 1N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Middlekerke at 14:15/15:15 - four Camels from No 1 Squadron dived on four Albatross Scouts from 14,000 feet near Middlekerke. Flight Commander Minifie, D.S.C., fired 100 rounds into one of the E.A., shooting it down completely out of control

    Capt B E Baker & 2/AM B Jackman, 48 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Dixmude - Houthulst at 14:45/15:45 - Ltn Walter Blume, Jasta 26, Wia [?]
    Capt B E Baker & 2/AM B Jackman, 48 Sqn, Albatros Scout captured (?) Armesvelde - Zarren at 15:30/16:30

    A patrol of No 48 Squadron engaged nine scouts and one was forced to land having been engaged by Capt B Baker and 2/AM Jackman who drove down another out of control

    Casualties

    2nd-Lieut A Dodds (Pow), 56 Sqn, SE5a B4890 - last seen over Awoingt at 08:45/09:45 turning east and attacking strong hostile formation on DOP; Fwlt Fritz Schubert, Js6, 3rd victory [Wambaix at 08:45/09:45]

    Lieut R W Howard (Ok), 68 Sqn, DH5 A9517 – took off 07:40/08:40 and shot about by EA on patrol Bourlon, returned to aerodrome 09:25/10:25; Ltn d R Hans Klein, Js10, 21st victory [Crèvecœur-sur-l'Escaut - south of Cambrai at 09:00/10:00] or Ltn d R Alois Heldmann, Js10, 3rd victory [Crèvecœur-sur-l'Escaut - south of Cambrai at 09:00/10:00] ?

    2nd-Lieut C B Campbell (Kia) & 14262 1/AM W A E Samways (Kia), 49 Sqn, DH4 A7704 – took off 09:00/10:00 and last seen in flames over Thun St Martin at 10:10/11:10 after attack by Albatros Scouts and AA fire on bomb raid east of Cambrai

    2nd-Lieut G S Stewart (Ok) & Lieut D D Richardson (Ok), 49 Sqn, DH4 A7740 – took off 09:00/10:00 and damaged by machine-gun and AA guns during bombing east of Cambrai, returned to aerodrome at 10:40/11:40

    2nd-Lieut E V Clark (Kia) & 2nd-Lieut G Noon (Kia), 20 Sqn, Bristol F.2B A7253 – took off 10:54/11:54 and last seen north of Westroosebeke at 13:00/14:00 on offensive patrol; Ltn d R Harry von Bulow-Bothkamp, Js18, 5th victory [north of Moorslede at 12:00/13:00] but time ?

    2nd-Lieut A H Rice (Kia), 19 Sqn, Spad VII B6758 – took off 14:30/15:30 then missing on offensive patrol Ypres; Ltn Walter von Bulow-Bothkamp, Js36, 27th victory [Paschendaele at 15:35/16:35] ?


    Erwin Bohme Obituary:
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    Flying an infantry support mission on 28 October 1916, Böhme's Albatros briefly collided with that of Oswald Boelcke. Böhme survived but Boelcke was killed. On 4 February 1917, Böhme scored his 10th victory by shooting down William Curphey’s outdated DH2. In combat with a Sopwith two-seater on 11 February 1917, Böhme was shot in the left arm. He was wounded again on 10 August 1917, when a bullet from an enemy scout struck his right hand. Scoring his final victory over a Sopwith Camel on the afternoon of 29 November 1917, Böhme was killed in action later the same day by members of 10 Squadron. He was shot down in flames as he attacked an Armstrong-Whitworth FK 8 on a photo-reconnaissance mission.

    1
    02 Aug 1916
    a.m.
    Kasta 10
    Albatros C.III Nieuport 12 Radzyse
    2
    17 Sep 1916
    0745
    Jasta 2
    Sopwith 1½ Strutter (A1913) NW of Hervilly
    u/c
    23 Sep 1916
    0955
    Jasta 2
    Martinsyde G.100 Hervilly
    3
    10 Oct 1916
    0950
    Jasta 2
    F.E.2b (4856)
    4
    20 Oct 1916
    1030
    Jasta 2
    F.E.2b (4867)
    5
    22 Oct 1916
    1150
    Jasta 2
    Sopwith 1½ Strutter (7786)
    6
    09 Nov 1916
    1510
    Jasta 2
    F.E.8 (6409)
    7
    22 Nov 1916
    1410
    Jasta 2
    Morane Parasol (A248)
    8
    26 Dec 1916
    1515
    Jasta 2
    B.E.2c
    9
    07 Jan 1917
    1230
    Jasta 2
    D.H.2 (7851)
    10
    04 Feb 1917
    1505
    Jasta 2
    D.H.2 (A2536)
    11
    04 Feb 1917
    1530
    Jasta 2
    B.E.2e (7105)
    12
    10 Feb 1917
    1220
    Jasta 2
    D.H.2
    13
    14 Jul 1917
    0720
    Jasta 29
    Nieuport 17 (A6783)
    14
    19 Sep 1917
    1047
    Jasta 2
    R.E.8 (B5012)
    15
    21 Sep 1917
    0852
    Jasta 2
    R.E.8 (A3617)
    16
    05 Oct 1917
    0815
    Jasta 2
    Bristol F.2b (B1133)
    17
    10 Oct 1917
    0725
    Jasta 2
    Nieuport 27 (B6791)
    18
    13 Oct 1917
    0850
    Jasta 2
    Sopwith Pup (B1800)
    19
    14 Oct 1917
    0742
    Jasta 2
    Nieuport 27 (B6778) SW of KokelareWieltje
    20
    16 Oct 1917
    0925
    Jasta 2
    Albatros D.II Nieuport 17 (B3578) Magermeirie
    21
    31 Oct 1917
    1715
    Jasta 2
    S.E.5a (B544) Zillebeke Lake
    22
    06 Nov 1917
    1150
    Jasta 2
    Sopwith Camel (B2408) Molen
    23
    20 Nov 1917
    1030
    Jasta 2
    Nieuport 17 (5me) Osterke
    24
    29 Nov 1917
    1255
    Jasta 2
    Sopwith Camel Zonnebeke

    Royal Flying Corps Casualties today: 7

    2Lt Campbell, C.B. (Charles Bruce), 49 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Clark, E.V. (Ernest Vaughan), 20 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Martin, G.E. (George Ernest), RFC.
    Lt Miller, B.C.S.C. (Bertram Charles St Clair), RFC.
    2Lt Noon, G. (Gilbert), RFC.
    2Lt Osborne, E.S. (Edward Stanley), RFC.
    2Lt Rice, A.H. (Arnold Hamilton), 19 Squadron, RFC.

    Claims: 28 confirmed today (Entente 17 : Central Powers 11)

    Brian Edmund Baker #11 & #12.
    William Barker #4
    Oliver Campbell Bryson #6.
    Garfield Finlay #1.
    James Forman #4.
    George Hayward #1.
    Norman William Hustings #1.
    Bruce JAckman #5 & #6.
    Loudon Maclean #1.
    James Thomas Byford McCudden #21 & 22.
    Harold Mellings #5.
    Richard Minifie #18.
    Harold John Walkerdine #1.
    Russell Winnicott #8.

    Erwin Bohme #24. (See obituary).
    Heinrich Bongartz #25.
    Julius Buckler #30.
    Harry von Bulow-Bothkamp #3
    Walter von Bulow-Bothkamp #27.
    Franz Graser #10.
    Alois Heldmann #3.
    Hans Klein #21.
    Max von Muller #32.
    Karl Patzelt #4.
    Ernst Strohschneider #11.

    Western Front:

    Slight British gain west of Bourlon Wood.

    Enemy attack Belgian positions near Aschhoop.

    Artillery activity in Ypres sector.

    Eastern Front:

    Cessation of hostilities on Russian front.

    Russian artillery in Trotus (Moldavia) valley breaks up enemy operations.

    Southern Front:

    Enemy efforts on the River Piave fail.

    Tunstills Men Thursday 29th November 1917:

    Valla

    Another fine and sunny day saw the Battalion complete its march, covering the last five miles to Barcon, four miles south of the Montello, where the Battalion was to be deployed in due course. Pte. Harold Charnock (see 24th November) remembered that, “The whole Battalion was billeted in a very large granary. The nights at this time were very cold indeed, as usual in Italy, on the plain, firewood was difficult to obtain. Canteen stores were very hard to get; for the first month we had practically no mails and parcels were most uncertain. The men suffered a good deal from a shortage of tobacco and cigarettes. Billets were generally roomy and comfortable”.

    Sgt. Lionel Vickers (see 31st October) was briefly admitted to 69th Field Ambulance (cause unknown); he would be discharged to duty the following day.

    Ptes. Harold Clifford Ashbrook (see 5th October) and William Ryan (see 5th October) were both admitted via 69th Field Ambulance to 23rd Divisional Rest Station, suffering from swollen feet.

    L.Cpl. John Wright Pollard (see 3rd November) and Pte. John Henry Fidler (see 3rd November) who had gone on leave to England shortly before the Battalion departed for Italy, now re-joined the Battalion.

    Asiatic, African, Egyptian Front:

    News just in: Last Germans in East Africa Surrender!

    November 28 1917, Rovuma River–Lettow-Vorbeck’s forces had crossed the Rovuma into Mozambique on the 25th, but they were not the only Germans left in German East Africa. Another column, about half its size, under Capt. Tafel, also proceeded south from around Mahenge. At one point, he was within a mile of Lettow-Vorbeck, but they did not find each other in the rough terrain. Out of food, subject to a scorched-earth campaign from the British, with no reason to expect aid from Germany, and believing Lettow-Vorbeck had abandoned him, Tafel surrendered his hungry forces to a unit less than a tenth their size.

    Tafel’s surrender meant that there were now no German forces in German East Africa; the last of Germany’s colonies had been conquered. King George V sent a telegram to his forces there congratulating them on their victory. Of course, Lettow-Vorbeck was still on the loose in Mozambique; the war in Africa was far from over.

    Palestine: For the second day in a row two brothers are killed together in Palestine serving the Lincolnshire Yeomanry. Major Robert Wright is killed at age 33 and his brother Lieutenant Charles Wright dies at age 28. Both sets of brothers are buried in Ramleh War Cemetery.

    Naval Operations:

    British monitor destroys bridge of boats at Passarella, five miles up the Piave.

    SM UB-61, Kaiserliche Marine, a type UB III submarine, struck a mine, laid by the British submarine E51, and sank in the North Sea with the loss of all 34 crew.

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

    Political:

    Inter-Allied Conference opens in Paris.

    The Daily Telegraph published the Lansdowne Letter, written by House of Lords member Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, which called on Great Britain to negotiate a peace agreement with Germany as the war's "prolongation will spell ruin for the civilised world."

    Germany accepts Lenin's offer of an armistice. Russian delegates cross German lines. Count Hertling willing to treat with Bolsheviks.

    Queensland Police Service refused to arrest a man who threw an egg at Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes while visiting Warwick, Queensland, in what became known as the "Egg Throwing Incident". Fallout from the event led to the formation of the Commonwealth Police Force.

    The National Library of Vietnam was established.

    The Women’s Royal Naval Service was established.

    Anniversary Events:
    1760 Major Roger Rogers takes possession of Detroit on behalf of Britain.
    1787 Louis XVI promulgates an edict of tolerance, granting civil status to Protestants.
    1812 The last elements of Napoleon Bonaparte’s Grand Armee retreat across the Berezina River in Russia.
    1863 The Battle of Fort Sanders, Knoxville, Tenn., ends with a Confederate withdrawal.
    1864 Colonel John M. Chivington’s 3rd Colorado Volunteers massacre Black Kettles’ camp of Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians at Sand Creek, Colo.
    1903 An Inquiry into the U.S. Postal Service demonstrates the government has lost millions in fraud.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 11-29-2017 at 16:36.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  28. #2878

    Default

    29th Air Operations Updated.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  29. #2879

    Default

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    7 VC’s won today

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    Lieutentant Colonel Neville Bowes Elliott-Cooper,VC, DSO, MC (22 January 1889 – 11 February 1918) was born on 22 January 1889 in London, the youngest son of Sir Robert Elliott-Cooper. He was educated at Eton and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst.

    When he was 28 years old, and a temporary lieutenant colonel commanding the 8th Battalion the Royal Fusiliers. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 30 November 1917 east of La Vacquerie, near Cambrai.

    Citation:
    For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. Hearing that the enemy had broken through our outpost line, he rushed out of his dug-out, and on seeing them advancing across the open he mounted the parapet and dashed forward calling upon the Reserve Company and details of the Battalion Headquarters to follow. Absolutely unarmed, he made straight for the advancing enemy, and under his direction our men forced them back 600 yards. While still some forty yards in front he was severely wounded. Realising that his men were greatly outnumbered and suffering heavy casualties, he signalled to them to withdraw, regardless of the fact that he himself must be taken prisoner. By his prompt and gallant leading he gained time for the reserves to move up and occupy the line of defence.

    The London Gazette, 12 February 1918

    He died of his wounds while a prisoner of war on 11 February 1918 in Hannover, Germany.

    His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Royal Fusiliers Museum, Tower of London, England.

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    Captain Robert Gee VC MC (7 May 1876 – 2 August 1960) was 41 years old, and a temporary captain in the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Fusiliers when he was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 30 November 1917 at Masnieres and Les Rues Vertes, France:

    Citation:
    An attack by the enemy captured brigade headquarters and ammunition dump. Captain Gee, finding himself a prisoner, managed to escape and organised a party of the brigade staff with which he attacked the enemy, closely followed by two companies of infantry. He cleared the locality and established a defensive flank, then finding an enemy machine-gun still in action, with a revolver in each hand he went forward and captured the gun, killing eight of the crew. He was wounded, but would not have his wound dressed until the defence was organised.
    He later transferred to the Royal West Kent Regiment.

    His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Royal Fusiliers Museum in the Tower of London, England.

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    Gobind Singh Rathore VC (7 December 1887 – 9 December 1942) hailed from a small village named Damoi in the Nagur District) of Rajasthan, India. He was 29 years old when he became a Lance-Daffadar in the 28th Cavalry. He was later attached to 2nd Lancers (Gardners Horse).

    The Battle of Cambrai was an all-important battle not only because it was an effort by the allied forces to break the Hindenburg Line of the Germans, but also because it was there that tanks were used successfully for the first time in the history of warfare.

    On the night of 30 November and 1 December 1917 east of Pezieres, Lance-Dafadar Gobind Singh was in the midst of the Battle of Cambrai, when his regiment was cut off and surrounded by enemy. An urgent message had to be sent to the brigade headquarters giving the position of the regiment. The route was a 6-mile stretch over open ground, under constant observation and enemy fire. Singh volunteered and not only delivered the message but also undertook a return message and a subsequent one. He survived enemy machine gun fire directed at him on all three occasions although his horse was killed every time.

    Citation:
    For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in thrice volunteering to carry messages between the regiment and Brigade Headquarters, a distance of 1½ miles over open ground which was under the observation and heavy fire of the enemy. He succeeded each time in delivering his message, although on each occasion his horse was shot and he was compelled to finish his journey on foot.

     London Gazette, 11 January 1918.

    On 1 December 1917 when the 2nd Lancers was surrounded by the enemy brigade, the situation became very tense because the headquarters was about six miles from this place (Epehy-France).
    At this time volunteers were called for to carry a message giving the position of the regiment to the headquarters on the outskirts of Piezeire. Lance Dafadar Govind Singh and Sowar Jot Ram were selected and given two different routes. Both of them started immediately on a gallop. Jot Ram was killed as he tried to make his way to the destination. L/Dfr. Govind Singh was given the open more difficult route which was under constant enemy fire. He had travelled about half a mile of the lower ground when his horse was killed by machine gun fire. For some time Singh lay still close to his horse, then judging he was no longer watched, he got up and began to run on foot. Immediately there was a burst of machine gun fire upon him. He trembled over as if shot and waited before getting up again and running. By repeating this process varied by wriggling along the ground, he reached the brigade headquarters.

    A return message had now to be sent and he volunteered to take this too. He was given another horse and started back taking the high ground south of the valley until he reached the German post. Then dipping down and across the sunken road he had covered two-thirds the distance when his horse was shot and he had to make the rest of his way running and falling.

    An hour later another message had to be sent from the regiment. Although exhausted and wounded, Govind Singh came forward again. He was told that he has already done his share but he insisted that he knew the ground better than anybody else. On the strength of this the Adjutant allowed him to go. This time he started from the lower end of the road, turned right and passed 'Catelet Copse' and went straight through the barrage in 'Épehy'. Halfway through Épehy, his horse was cut in half by a direct hit from a shell just behind the saddle. Govind Singh then ran on and eventually got into dead ground in renterent which debouches into the valley. Thence he made his way out of the sight of the enemy to Pezières. Thoroughly exhausted and badly wounded he arrived there at 11.55 AM. He volunteered to make the journey a fourth time, but was not allowed to do so. For his conspicuous bravery and unwavering devotion to duty in saving his regiment and fellow men, Lance Dafadar Govind Singh was awarded the Victoria Cross.

    The medal is currently displayed by his regiment 2nd Lancers (Gardner’s Horse), Indian Army.

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    Cyril Edward Gourley VC MM (19 January 1893 – 31 January 1982) was was born in Wavertree, Liverpool and educated at Calday Grange Grammar School and Liverpool University, graduating in 1913.

    In September 1917, he was awarded the Military Medal in September 1917 for conspicuous gallantry in putting out a fire near an ammunition dump.

    Gourley was in 'D' Battery of the 276th (West Lancashire) Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

    On 30 November 1917 at Little Priel Farm, east of Epehy, during the Battle of Cambrai, Sergeant Gourley was in command of a section of howitzers. During an enemy advance, when their forces were within a few hundred yards of him, both to the front and on one flank, and though plagued by snipers, Sergeant Gourley managed to keep one gun firing. At one point he pulled the gun out of the pit and engaged a machine-gun at 500 yards, knocking it out with a direct hit. All day he held the Germans in check, firing over open sights on enemy parties, thereby saving his guns, which were withdrawn at nightfall.

    The citation reads:
    No. 681886 Sjt. Cyril Edward Gourley, M.M., R.F.A. (West Kirby).
    For most conspicuous bravery when in command of a section of howitzers. Though the enemy advanced in force getting within 400 yards in front, between 300 and 400 yards to one flank and with snipers in the rear, Sgt. Gourley managed to keep one gun in action practically throughout the day. Though frequently driven off he always returned, carrying ammunition, laying and firing the gun himself, taking first one and then another of the detachment to assist him. When the enemy advanced he pulled his gun out of the pit, and engaged a machine gun at 500 yards, knocking it out with a direct hit. All day he held the enemy in check, firing with open sights at enemy parties in full view at 300 to 800 yards, and thereby saved his guns, which were withdrawn at nightfall. He had previously been awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous gallantry.

    — London Gazette, 13 February 1918

    Gourley was originally denied a commission due to "defective eyesight", but later rose to the rank of captain.

    His Victoria Cross, along with his other medals which include the Croix de Guerre, is displayed at the Royal Artillery Museum, Woolwich, London.

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    Allastair Malcolm Cluny McReady-Diarmid VC (21 March 1888 – 1 December 1917) was 29 years old, and an Acting Captain in the 17th (S) Battalion, The Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge’s Own), when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

    On 30 November/1 December 1917 at the Moevres Sector, when the enemy penetrated into our position, and the situation was extremely critical, Captain McReady-Diarmid led his company through a heavy barrage and immediately engaged the enemy and drove them back at least 300 yards, causing numerous casualties and taking 27 prisoners. The following day the enemy again attacked and drove back another company which had lost all its officers. The captain called for volunteers, and leading the attack, again drove them back. It was entirely due to his throwing of bombs that the ground was regained, but he was eventually killed by a bomb.

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

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    Walter Napleton Stone VC (7 December 1891 – 30 November 1917) was born on 7 December 1891 to Edward and Emily Frances Stone, of Blackheath, London. Stone was educated at Harrow School and Pembroke College, Cambridge.

    As a 25-year-old, he was an Acting Captain in the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Fusiliers, attached 17th (Service) Battalion. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 30 November 1917 in the Cambrai Sector, which led to his death.

    Citation:
    For most conspicuous bravery when in command of a company in an isolated position 1,000 yards in front of the main line, and overlooking the enemy's position. He observed the enemy massing for an attack, and afforded invaluable information to battalion headquarters. He was ordered to withdraw his company, leaving a rearguard to cover the withdrawal. The attack developing with unexpected speed, Capt. Stone sent three platoons back and remained with the rearguard himself. He stood on the parapet with the telephone under a tremendous bombardment, observing the enemy and continued to send back valuable information until the wire was cut by his orders. The rearguard was eventually surrounded and cut to pieces, and Capt. Stone was seen fighting to the last till he was shot through the head. The extraordinary coolness of this heroic officer and the accuracy of his information enabled dispositions to be made just in time to save the line and avert disaster.

    — The London Gazette, 12 February 1918

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    John Thomas VC (10 May 1886 – 28 February 1954) was was 31 years old, and a Lance Corporal in the 2/5th Battalion, Prince of Wales (North Staffordshire Regiment) when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

    On 30 November 1917 at Fontaine, Lance-Corporal Thomas saw the enemy making preparations for a counter-attack so with a comrade and on his own initiative decided to make a close reconnaissance. They went off in full view of the enemy and under heavy fire. His comrade was hit almost immediately, but Lance-Corporal Thomas went on alone and finally reached a building used by the enemy as a night post. He was able to see where their troops were congregating and after staying for an hour, sniping the enemy, returned with information of the utmost value, which enabled plans to be made to meet the counter-attack.

    Today we lost: 3204
    Today’s losses include:

    · Multiple Victoria Cross winners
    · A son of the 4th Earl of Harrowby
    · A General · The son of a General
    · The grandson of a General
    · Multiple families that will lose two, three and four sons in the Great War
    · The son of a Baronet
    · A battalion commander
    · A cousin of the actor ‘Sir’ John Gielgud
    · Multiple sons of members of the clergy
    · A Derbyshire cricketer
    · Multiple sons of Justices of the Peace
    · A member of the 1908 Scottish Olympic Bronze medal winning Field Hockey team
    · A student at Princeton University in the United States
    · A son of the popular author J E Preston Muddock
    · A man whose son will be killed in the Second World War
    · A man whose stepsons were killed together in July 1916
    · A West Ham footballer
    · The brother of twins who will be killed within days of each other next March

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    · Brigadier General Roland Boys Bradford VC General Officer Commanding 186th Brigade 62nd Division is killed in action at age 25. He had been awarded the Victoria Cross as Lieutenant Colonel commanding the 9th Durham Light Infantry on the Somme on 1st October 1916. His brother Lieutenant George Bradford (Royal Navy) will be killed in action at Zeebrugge on 23rd April 1918 performing acts that will win him the Victoria Cross also. A third brother, Lieutenant James Bradford died of wounds on 14th May of this year.
    · Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Primrose Liston-Foulis (attached Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed in action at age 43. He is the son of the late ‘Sir’ John Liston-Foulis, the 9th
    · Lieutenant Colonel Henry Lex Francis Adam Gielgud MC (commanding 7th Norfolk Regiment) is killed in action at age 36. He is a cousin of the actor ‘Sir’ John Gielgud.
    · Major Isham Percy Smith DSO (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed at age 27. He is the son of the late Major General Percy Smith.
    · Captain Ralph Nevill Lendon Buckmaster (North Lancashire Regiment) is killed at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend Charles John Buckmaster Vicar of Hindley who will lose another son in September 1918.
    · Captain John Walter Ewbank MC (Border Regiment) is killed at age 21. His brother was killed in February 1916 and they are sons of the Reverend John Ewbank Rector of Bolton.
    · Captain Norman Algeo (Leinster Regiment) is killed at Tincourt at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend Lewis Algeo.
    · Lieutenant Guy Denis Wilson (Royal Field Artillery) is killed on his 35th He played cricket for Derbyshire from 1902 to 1905 and is the son of Arthur Wilson JP.
    · Lieutenant Charles Herbert Gribble (East Kent Regiment) is killed at age 28. His brother will die on service in November 1919.
    · Lieutenant Noel Henry Fairfax Durant (Irish Guards) is killed at age 29. He is the son of the Honorable Mrs. Charles Richard Durant.
    · Lieutenant Douglas Knox Brown MC (Highland Light Infantry attached Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 22. He is the son of the late Reverend John Knox Brown.
    · Lieutenant Ivan Laing MC (Coldstream Guards) is killed at age 32. In 1908 he was a member of the Scottish bronze medal men’s field hockey team.
    · Second Lieutenant Frank Nisbett (South Lancashire Regiment) is killed at age 18. He is the son of G H Nisbett JP.
    · Second Lieutenant Donald Neil Campbell Ross (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend G A Johnston Ross DD of the Union Theological Seminary New York City and volunteered for service while a student at Princeton University in 1916.
    · Second Lieutenant Gilbert Lewis Lloyd (London Regiment) is killed. He is the son of the Reverend William Robert Lloyd Vicar of Lanstephen.
    ·
    Second Lieutenant Jasper Milton Preston Muddock (Shropshire Yeomanry) is killed at age 29. His brother was killed in September 1916 and they are sons of the author J E Preston Muddock author of nearly 300 detective and mystery stories who was almost as popular as Arthur Conan Doyle in his time.
    · Second Lieutenant James Hoste Welldon (East Kent Regiment) is killed at age 19. He is the grandson of Major General Dixon Edward Hoste.
    · Sergeant James Lynch (Duke of Wellington’s Regiment) is killed in action. His son will be killed serving in the Royal Air Force in September 1940.
    · Private John Dale (Coldstream Guards) is killed at age 18. He is the middle of three brothers who will be killed in a six month period.
    · Private Ernest Henry Dowling (Berkshire Regiment) is killed in action at Cambrai at age 40. His stepsons were killed in the same regiment serving together on the same day in July 1916.
    · Private Howard Prentice (Middlesex Regiment) is killed at age 22. His older brother was killed 5 weeks earlier while his younger brother will die as a result of his military service in 1920.
    · Private Eugene Harris (Newfoundland Regiment) is killed at age 21. His brother will be killed in September 1918.
    · Private Alex Farquhar MM (Norfolk Regiment) becomes the 3rd of four brothers to lose his life in the Great War when he is killed at age 29 in Bourlon Wood.
    · Rifleman Frank Nunn (London Regiment) is killed. His brother was killed in October 1916.
    · Private William Baigrie (Highland Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 27. His brother will be killed in May 1918.
    · Private Frederick James Chiverton (Hampshire Regiment) is killed at age 34. His brother was killed last April.
    · Private Sidney George Ellis (Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 26. His brother was killed last February.
    · Private William Glenfred Hayward MM (South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed at age 27. His brother was killed last June.
    · Private John Henry Long (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed at age 23. His brother was killed in July 1915.
    · Private Edward Arthur James Stallard (London Regiment) is killed in action. He is a footballer for West Ham United who scored in his debut against Millwall in April 1914.
    · Private Thomas John Gallienne (Royal Guernsey Light Infantry) is killed at age 35. His twin brothers will be killed within two days of each other in March next year.
    · Private Frank James Tugwell (East Surrey Regiment) is killed at age 22. His brother was killed last month
    . · Private George Knock MM (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed at age 29. His is the last of three brothers who are killed in the Great War.

    Air Operations:

    Captain Andrew E McKeever (Royal Flying Corps) with his observer, Second Lieutenant L A Powell in a Bristol F2b record four victories over Albatros D.V’s between 11:50 and 11:55 south of Cambrai.

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    (Another one just for you Chris)

    In Doiran region and north of Monastir, French and British batteries destroy enemy dumps and break up positions.

    General Headquarters

    “On November 30th, clouds were at a height of 2,000 ft. all day, but our aeroplanes were out continuously co-operating with the other arms in the counter-attacks against the enemy south-west of Cambrai. Our artillery machines, in addition to registering our guns, located and reported over 200 hostile batteries. The bombing machines concentrated their efforts on troops and transport collected in the villages in rear of the battle, dropping over 200 bombs. The enemy's troops and transport moving on roads behind the fighting also offered good targets to our scout pilots, who fired over 15,000 rounds at them from their machine guns. The fighting in the air was very severe, and resulted greatly in our favour. Fifteen hostile machines were brought down and three others were driven down out of control. Seven of our machines are missing.”

    RFC Communiqué number 116:

    Very hard fighting took on the ground all day. Machines of the 3rd Brigade co-operated with our troops by carrying out reconnnissances, contact patrols, bombing and firing at ground targets all day, although clouds were very low.

    Machines of the 3rd Brigade carried out 19 contact patrols and the 2nd Brigade one counter-attack patrol.

    In all, 20,000 rounds were fired from the air, 4,000 being by Corps machines of the 3rd Brigade and over 11,000 by Scout Squadrons, which dropped 88 25-lb bombs, while Corps machines dropped 23 25-lb bombs.

    With aeroplane observation, seven hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction and four were neutralised, three gun pits were destroyed, two damaged, six explosions and a fire caused. 276 active hostile batteries were reported by zone call, 203 of these being by the 3rd Brigade.

    Twenty targets were registered by balloons, 18 being by the 2nd Brigade, while balloons of the 14th Wing located three active hostile batteries and reported ten trains opposite their front.

    In addition to the bombs dropped by the 3rd Brigade, No 2 Squadron dropped four 25-lb bombs on billets; the 2nd Brigade dropped 39 25-lb bombs on various targets; No 48 Squadron dropped four 25-lb bombs on various targets and No 25 Squadron attacked Oisy-le-Verger on which 10 112-lb bombs were dropped frorn 2,000 feel, while one pilot went down to 500 feet before releasing his bombs. No 27 Squadron dropped seven 112-lb bombs on Marquion from about 6,000 feet. The raids by Nos 25 and 27 Squadrons were carried out by machines flying singly or in pairs through clouds.

    RNAS Communiqué number 10:

    The usual patrols were attempted, but in most cases were forced to return owing to the low clouds and mist. Nothing of importance to report.

    Enemy Aircraft

    Enemy aircraft were active on the battle front and a great deal of fighting took place. The result, was 16 hostile machines were brought down, two falling within our lines, and six were driven down out of control, all by machines of the 3rd Brigade. Pilots of No 56 Squadron accounted for five of the enemy machines that were destroyed.

    2nd-Lieut J W Jackson, 24 Sqn, DH5, EA out of control

    2nd-Lieut L G Nixon, 3 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Rumilly - Bourlon Wood at 08:10/09:10 - 2nd-Lieut L Nixon; No 3 Squadron, drove down enemy machine out of control

    Capt A S G Lee, 46 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Havrincourt at 09:00/10:00
    Capt A S G Lee, 46 Sqn, DFW C crashed south of Bourlon Wood at 09:00/10:00 - ? (Ok) & Vfw Max Zitzelsberger (Kia), Schsta 27b [?]

    Lieut Lee was in the neighbourhood of Gouzeaueourt when he saw that the enemy were attacking in force. He was then at about, 2,000 feet, so dived and fired 600 rounds from about 500 feet and afterwards attacked an enemy two-seater with two other machines at which he fired about 150 rounds from close range. He came back to the advanced landing ground, filled up with ammunition, returned and expended all of it (about 700 rounds)

    Capt E R Pennell, 84 Sqn, DFW C out of control Honnecourt at 10:00/11:00
    2nd-Lieut C T Travers, 84 Sqn, DFW C out of control north of Honnecourt at 10:00/11:00
    Capt J A Slater, 64 Sqn, DFW C out of control Bourlon Wood at 10:45/11:45

    Capt E R Pennell, No 84 Squadron and Capt J Slater, of No 84 Squadron [Slater was actually in No 64 Squadron] drove down enemy machine each out of control, while another was driven down, possibly out of control, by 2nd-Lieut C T Travers, No 84 Squadron

    Capt J T B McCudden, 56 Sqn, LVG CV captured south-east of Havrincourt at 11:05/12:05 - Capt J B McCudden with other pilots drove away enemy machines from over Bourlon and then attacked two two-seater machines. He secured a good position behind one which he hit in the engine with the first burst and forced it to glide west and land in our lines; Vfw Flohrig (Dow) & Gfr Eckerle (Pow), FA 19, G.94

    Lieut G E Thomson, 46 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed Bourlon Wood at 11:30/12:30

    Capt A E McKeever & 2nd-Lieut L A Powell, 11 Sqn, Albatros Scout in flames south of Cambrai at 11:50/12:50 - Jasta 12 [?]
    Capt A E McKeever & 2nd-Lieut L A Powell, 11 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed south of Cambrai at 11:50/12:50 - Jasta 12 [?]
    Capt A E McKeever & 2nd-Lieut L A Powell, 11 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed south of Cambrai at 11:55/12:55 - Jasta 12 [?]
    Capt A E McKeever & 2nd-Lieut L A Powell, 11 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed south of Cambrai at 11:55/12:55 - Jasta 12 [?]

    Capt A E McKeever and 2nd-Lieut L A Powell, No. 11 Squadron, were on line patrol in the morning when they encountered nine EA which they attacked. The pilot and observer each destroyed two of the enemy machines. The first one, engaged by the pilot at 15 yards’ range, crashed and burst into flames; the next two were shot down by the Observer and crashed and the fourth, which over-shot the Bristol Fighter, was destroyed by the pilot. During the fighting the observer's gun had a stoppage and the pilot fought the enemy machines to within 20 feet of the ground, and then as the EA were still attacking, he pretended to land. This deception enabled him to suddenly put on his engine, zoom up and get away before the remaining EA which had climbed to a considerable height realised his intention

    Capt J M Child, 84 Sqn, Albatros Scout destroyed Malincourt at 12:30/13:30 - Capt J M Child, No 84 Squadron, pursued two EA across the lines but saw a large formation so climbed within the clouds and on coming out again saw six EA underneath him. He dived at the rear machine and destroyed it. He noticed that the EA always watched their anti-aircraft bursts which appeared to be also used for purposes of signalling

    2nd-Lieut I D R McDonald, 24 Sqn, two-seater out of control Fontaine at 12:35/13:35

    Capt B P G Beanlands, 24 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control east of Bourlon Wood at 12:55/13:55 - von der Osten, Jasta 11, Ok [?]

    Capt G C Wilson, 68 Sqn, two-seater crashed Bantouzelle at 13:15/14:15 - Capt G C Wilson No 68 Squadron (AFC), was engaging one enemy machine when he was at attacked by another, so he did a sharp turn, got underneath his opponent and shot him down out of control and saw the machine crash on landing, so then dropped a bomb which he was carrying and it exploded right on the enemy machine. He had expended all his ammunition in firing at ground targets and this EA and when flying towards the lines was cut off by two German machines, so he manoeuvred and pretended to attack the EA who flew away and allowed him to return safely
    Capt L J Maclean and Lieut D A D I MacGregor, 41 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed Inchy en Artois at 13:30/14:30 - Jasta 11 [?]
    Lieut R Winnicott, 41 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed Fontaine at 13:40/14:40 - Jasta 11 [?]
    Capt M Thomas, 41 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed Rumilly at 13:45/14:45 - Schaefer, Jasta 18 [?]
    Capt M Thomas, Capt L J MacLean, Lieut R Winnicott and Lieut F H Taylor, 41 Sqn, two-seater out of control Rumilly at 14:00/15:00 - Jasta 11 [?]

    Capt M Thomas and Lieut R Winnicott, No 41 Squadron, each destroyed an enemy machine, while a third was destroyed by Capt L J MacLean and Lieut D McGregor. Another was driven down out of control by Capts Thomas and MacLean and Lts Winnicott and F H Taylor

    Capt R A Maybery, 56 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed west of Bourlon Wood at 14:20/15:20 - Ltn Johann von Senger, Jasta 12, Kia [?]
    Capt R A Maybery, 56 Sqn, Albatros Scout broke up north-east of Bourlon Wood at 14:20/15:20

    Capt R A Maybery attacked a large formation of EA with his patrol and singled out one which turned to fight, but on turning offered a good target and was shot down and destroyed. After this he saw another scout dive out of the clouds, so flew to within very close range without being seen and then opened fire with both guns and the enemy machine completely crumpled up and the pieces fell to earth

    Capt K M St C G Leask, 84 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control/forced to land south-east of Gouzeaucourt at 14:30/15:30 - a German machine was driven down and fell in a field after being engaged by Capt Leask, of No 84 Squadron

    Capt G H Bowman, 56 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control west of Cantaing at 14:30/15:30 - Capt G H Bowman saw an EA Scout flying west so got on its tail and as the EA was diving past he opened fire from long range with both guns and the EA continued straight down and crashed; Ltn Julius Buckler, Jasta 17, Ok [?]

    Lieut M E Mealing, 56 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed Lesdain at 14:45/15:45 - Lieut M Mealing shot one EA down out of control near Lesdain and then turned and drove another away, after which he watched the first one crash to earth

    Lieut G E Thomson, 46 Sqn, Pfalz Scout captured north-east of Flesquières at 15:10/16:10 - Lieut G Thomson, No 46 Squadron, observed three EA flying west so attacked and shot one down which fell within our lines. He drove down another out of control after it had recrossed the lines; Ltn d R Hans Hofacker, Js33, Pow; Dow 1 Dec 17 [?], G.93 ?

    Capt E R Tempest, 64 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control north-west of Bourlon Wood at 15:20/16:20 - Capt E Tempest, No 64 Squadron drove down enemy machine out of control; Ltn Johann von Senger, Jasta 12, Kia [?]

    Casualties

    Lieut C L Philcox (Ok) & Lieut R C G Rowden (Kia), 8 Sqn, AW FK8 B5780 - observer shot through heart by machine-gun fire from ground on contact patrol east of Gouzeaucourt; force landed Longavesnes and undercarriage collapsed

    ? (Ok) & Lieut L B Nicholls (Wia), 12 Sqn, RE8

    ? (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut A E R Aldridge (Wia), 59 Sqn, RE8 - shot up by machine-gun fire on reconnaissance

    ? (Pow) & Sergt Bastick (Pow), 59 Sqn, RE8

    Lieut I M Harris (Ok), 64 Sqn, DH5 A9307 - force landed 51b.S.21.a [south-east of Boiry-Saint-Martin] while attacking ground targets near Bourlon Wood

    Lieut C K N Douglas (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut W K Whittle (Ok), 15 Sqn, RE8 A4453 - force landed Flesquieres at 08:05/09:05 and overturned after carburettor shot through by HA on patrol

    2nd-Lieut H C Cornell (Ok), 68 Sqn, DH5 A9532 – took off 08:40/09:40 then shot down by EA ‘Cantain’ 57c.F.27.d [north of Cantaing-sur-Escaut] and unsalvable during special mission Bourlon Wood

    2nd-Lieut G A Cawson (Kia), 56 Sqn, SE5a B4871 - last seen diving on EA over Cambrai at 11:15/12:15 with wing falling off on offensive patrol

    2nd-Lieut A M Kinnear (Ok) & Lieut A A Browne (Wia), 8 Sqn, AW FK8 B308 – took off 11:30/12:30 then attacked by EA over Masnières and shot through on contact patrol

    Capt D B King (Pow), 3 Sqn, Camel B6336 – took off 12:25/13:25 then missing on low bombing between Inchy and Bourlon

    2nd-Lieut L W Timmis (Pow), 3 Sqn, Camel B2496 – took off 12:25/13:25 then missing on low bombing between Inchy and Bourlon

    2nd-Lieut I D Campbell (Kia), 24 Sqn, DH5 A9509 – took off 12:15/13:15 and last seen engaged with EA over Bourlon Wood at 13:00/14:00 on COP; Ltn Hans-Georg von der Osten, Js11, 4th victory [south of Bourlon Wood at 12:45/13:45] ?

    2nd-Lieut R Coop (Wia), 3 Sqn, Camel B5220 - overturned landing Sh57c.D.27 [north-east of Morchies] at 13:30/14:30 after wounded on low bombing Inchy – Bourlon; anti-aircraft fire

    Lieut D A D I MacGregor (Kia), 41 Sqn, SE5a B644 - last seen going down in flames near Moeuvres at 13:30/14:30 on special mission; Ritt Manfred von Richthofen, JGI, 63rd victory [Moeuvres at 13:30/14:30]

    Capt T S Malcolmson (Ok) & Lieut L V Desborough (Kia), 15 Sqn, RE8 B6504 - force landed Sh57c.K.14.c.3.9 [north-east of Hermies] at 13:45/14:45 after petrol tank shot by HA on artillery patrol; Ltn Friedrich Graepel, Js28, 1st victory [south of Pervyse at 14:10/15:10] time?

    2nd-Lieut R E Dusgate (Pow; Dow 19-Dec-17), 46 Sqn, Camel B2512 – took off 14:15/15:15 and last seen over Cambrai on offensive patrol; Ltn d R Johann Janzen, Js6, 2nd victory ?

    Capt R T Townsend (Kia), 56 Sqn, SE5a B40 – took off 14:15/15:15 and last seen going down in flames near Cambrai after combat with EA on offensive patrol; Vfw Josef Mai, Js5, 5th victory [north-east of Le Pavé at 14:48/15:48] ?

    Capt T Grant (Wia) & 2nd-Lieut F B B Shand (Ok), 101 Sqn, FE2b A5586 – took off 23:40/00:40 then crashed on landing Arras after pilot wounded in leg over the line during bomb raid Douai; anti-aircraft fire


    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 13

    Campbell, I.D. (Ian Dermid)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank 2Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 24 Squadron
    >>

    Cawson, G.A. (George Adrian)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank 2Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 56 Squadron
    >>

    Chamberlain, J. (John)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank A Mech 3
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 17th Balloon Company, 2nd Brigade
    >>

    Desborough, L.V. (Laurence Vernon)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 15 Squadron
    >>

    ****ie, E.G. (Edward Gordon)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank 2Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 84 Squadron
    >>

    MacGregor, D.A.D.I. (Donald Argyle Douglas Ian)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 41 Squadron
    >>

    Pinnock, C. (Carey)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank 2Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 33 Squadron
    >>

    Pryke, E.K. (Edgar King)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank 2Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 3 Squadron
    >>

    Rhude, F.W. (Foster Weston)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank 2Lt
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 43 Squadron
    >>

    Rowden, R.C.G. (Reginald Colin George)


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

    Streat, R.G. (Ralph Graham)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank A Mech 1
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit 10 Squadron
    >>

    Townsend, R.T. (Ronald Travis)


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

    Wrapson, A.E. (Arthur Ernest)


    Collection Library
    Classification Roll of Honour
    Series Roll of Honour 1914-1918
    Rank A Mech 2
    Organisation Royal Flying Corps
    Unit No.1 Aircraft Depot

    Claims: 45 confirmed (Entente 36: Central Powers 9)


    Western Front:

    Cambrai front: enemy attacks salient at Vendhuille, Bourlon Wood and Moeuvres; penetrating British position as far as La Vacquerie and Gouzeaucourt.

    British counter-attack regains La Vacquerie.

    The Germans attack at 07:00 and almost immediately the majority of III Corps divisions are heavily engaged. The initial speed of the German infantry’s advance is completely unexpected by the British. The commands of 29th and 12th Divisions are almost captured, with Brigadier-General Vincent having to fight free from his own encircled headquarters and then grab men from any retreating units to try to halt the Germans. In the south the German advance spread across eight miles and come within a few miles of the vital village of Metz and its link to Bourlon. At Bourlon itself the Germans meet stiffer resistance. The British have assigned eight divisions worth of fire support to the ridge and the Germans suffer heavy casualties. Despite this the Germans close and there is fierce fighting. British units display reckless determination – one group of eight British machine guns fires over 70,000 rounds in their efforts to stem the German advance around Bourlon.

    The concentration of British effort to hold the ridge is impressive but it allows the German advance elsewhere greater opportunities. Only the fortunate arrival of British tanks and the fall of night allow the line to be held.

    The Grenadier Guards meet the enemy and counter attack in the direction of Gauche Wood. They capture 3 field guns and a great number of machine guns at the cost of 25 NCO’s and men killed, 11 missing and 115 wounded.

    Lieutenant (Acting Captain) Walter Napleton Stone VC (Royal Fusiliers) is killed performing acts that will be rewarded with a posthumous Victoria Cross at age 25. Captain Stone returned to England from Canada on the outbreak of the War and joined the Inns of Court OTC in November 1914. The following month he went to Sandhurst, and was gazetted to Royal Fusiliers in May 1915. He became Lieutenant in March 1916 and Acting Captain the following November. He left for France in September 1915 and four months afterwards was appointed Acting Staff Captain to the 5th Brigade Headquarters. He is killed in action between Bourlon Wood and Mceuvres, when in command of a Company in an isolated position, 1,000 yards in front of the main line, and overlooking the enemy’s position.

    He observes the enemy massing for an attack and affords invaluable information to Battalion Headquarters. He is ordered to withdraw his Company, leaving a rearguard to cover the withdrawal. The attack develops with unexpected speed. Captain Stone sends three Platoons back and remains with the rearguard himself. He stands on the parapet with a telephone under a tremendous bombardment, observes the enemy, and continues to send back valuable information until the wire is cut by his orders. The rearguard is eventually surrounded and cut to pieces, and Captain Stone is seen fighting to the last, until he is shot through the head.

    Major ‘the Honorable’ Robert Nathaniel Dudley Ryder (Hussars) is killed instantaneously by a sniper while holding up a big enemy attack just after the Germans have broken through at Gouzeaucourt at age 34. He is the youngest son of the 4th Earl of Harrowby and brother of the fifth Earl. Major Ryder went direct from Harrow to join the 4th North Staffordshire Militia in the South African War and received his Commission in Hussars in 1900. He received the Queen’s and King’s Medals with five clasps. In 1905 he went to South Australia as ADC to ‘Sir’ G R le Hunte, returning to England in 1908. He was Adjutant to the Norfolk Yeomanry from 1909 to 1913. He went to the Front with his Regiment in October 1914 and remained there for three years.

    Bourlon Wood:

    British VII Corps (Lieutenant-General Thomas D’Oyly Snow), to the south of the threatened area, warned III Corps of German preparations. The German attack began at 7:00 a.m. on 30 November; almost immediately, the majority of III Corps divisions were heavily engaged. The German infantry advance in the south was unexpectedly swift. The commanders of the 29th Division and 12th Division were almost captured, with Brigadier-General Berkeley Vincent having to fight his way out of his headquarters and grab men from retreating units to try to halt the Germans. In the south, the German advance spread across 13,000 m (13 km) and came within a few miles of the vital village of Metz and its link to Bourlon.

    Southern Front:

    In Doiran region and north of Monastir, French and British batteries destroy enemy dumps and break up positions.

    Tunstills Men Friday 30th November 1917:


    Billets at Barcon

    A fine and sunny day.

    2Lt. Conrad Anderson, (see 20th September), was posted back to England. The reason for his departure is unclear, but he would subsequently (in April 1919) state that, “whilst on active service I contracted influenza and pneumonia and have since suffered chronic lung weakness, rheumatism and general weakness”. Having returned to England he would, at some point (details unknown) be posted to 3DWR at North Shields.

    Pte. George Green (22749) (see 4th September) was reported by Sgt. Middleton Busfield (see 11th August)as having a “dirty rifle on 9am parade”; on the orders of Capt. Henry Kelly VC (see 25th November) he was to be confined to barracks for seven days.

    Pte. John Malcolm Starbuck (see 29th October) was reported by A/Cpl. George Goodman (see 29th October) as having a dirty rifle; on the orders of Capt. **** Bolton (see 31st October) he would be confined to barracks for three days.

    Pte. Frederick Thorn (see 15th November) was reported by Sgt. James Henry Howarth (see 15th November) as having ‘dirty equipment on parade’; on the orders of Capt. John Edward Lennard Payne MC (see 26th November) he was to be confined to barracks for seven days.

    CSM Bob Harrison (see 24th September) L.Cpl. Frank Mallinson MM (see 26th September), who had been in England since having been wounded on 20th September, were both discharged from hospital and posted to Northern Command Depot at Ripon; they would have ten days home leave before reporting at Ripon.

    Pte. John Oldfield (see 8th September) was transferred to the Royal Flying Corps.

    Pte. Augustus Edgar Stone (see 5th November), who had been declared unfit for military service, was formally discharged from the Army.

    The Ministry of Pensions confirmed an award of 22s. 11d. per week to the widow of the late Pte. Albert Edward Carter (see 18th September), who had been killed in action on 23rd May; the payment would commence on 10th December.

    No casualties had been suffered during the month.

    The official cumulative casualty figures for the Battalion since arriving in France remained as:

    Killed 275

    Accidentally killed 5

    Died of wounds 20

    Wounded 1,280

    Accidentally wounded 53

    Missing 178

    The weekly edition of the Craven Herald reported on the wedding of Pte. Leonard Fox (see 27th November) and also carried news of Gnr. George Thistlethwaite (see 1st August):

    KIRKBY MALHAM

    Soldier’s Wedding: A wedding took place at Kirkby Malham Church on Tuesday between Sapper Leonard Fox of the Royal Engineers, and son of Mr. William Fox, of Wing, Rutlandshire, and Lucy Alice Buckman, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Alfred Buckman, of Bell Busk. The wedding was a quiet one on account of the death of the bridegroom’s mother and the bride having a brother a prisoner of war in Germany since 1914. The Vicar (Rev. D.R. Hall) officiated and Mrs. Hall played appropriate music on the organ. The bride was attired in a navy-blue tailor-made costume with beaver hat to match. The bridegroom was supported by Mr. Charles J.W. Buckman, the bride’s brother, as best man. The bride was given away by her father. After the ceremony, the wedding party and guests proceeded to the home of the bride’s parents at Bell Busk for breakfast. The young couple were the recipients of many handsome and useful presents.

    AUSTWICK

    Private J.W. Kirkbright and Gunner George Thistlethwaite have been home on leave during the week-end.

    Asiatic, African, Egyptian Front:

    At Auja, Palestine, Australian Light Horse surround Turks, taking 148 prisoners.

    British raid Turks at Beth Horun Upper (10 miles west of Jerusalem), taking 300 prisoners.

    Naval Operations:

    Shipping Losses:7 (2 to mines & 5 to U-Boat action)

    Political:

    Prisoners in all theatres taken by British during November, 26,869 and 221 guns.

    Coventry aircraft works on strike, 50,000 men and women idle.

    German press approves Lord Lansdowne's letter. (See 29th November Political).

    November 29 1917, Berlin–After Dukhonin’s dismissal, his replacement, Krylenko, (who had yet to arrive at Stavka, and was still at the Bolshevik-friendly Northern Front) dispatched representatives across the front lines to seek a ceasefire on November 26. The Germans agreed in principle and sent them back the next day. On November 29, the Germans publicly acknowledged this, with Chancellor Hertling telling the Reichstag that the Bolsheviks’ recent call for peace was a solid basis for the start of negotiations, and that he would enter into peace negotiations with the Russians as soon as representatives sent for this purpose arrived. He also expressed a hope that Poland, Lithuania, and Courland (all currently under the occupation of the Central Powers) would express their right of self-determination under a “constitutional form of government corresponding to their conditions,” a phrase presumably vague enough to allow them to be German puppets.
    The Kaiser was even more optimistic for the negotiations with the Bolsheviks, and told Foreign Minister Kühlmann to even attempt to negotiate an alliance with the new Russian government. Such a proposal was entirely unrealistic due to the conditions in Russia and the Bolsheviks’ ideological commitments, and was likely ignored. The Kaiser may have thought that Lenin was far more pro-German than he actually was, or was simply hoping for a miraculous repeat of Prussia’s diplomatic success with the Russians at the close of the Seven Years’ War, as Hitler would hope for near the close of the next war.

    Anniversary Events:
    1782 The British sign a preliminary agreement in Paris, recognizing American independence.
    1838 Mexico declares war on France.
    1861 The British Parliament sends to Queen Victoria an ultimatum for the United States, demanding the release of two Confederate diplomats who were seized on the British ship Trent.
    1864 The Union wins the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee.
    1900 The French government denounces British actions in South Africa, declaring sympathy for the Boers.
    1900 Oscar Wilde dies in a Paris hotel room after saying of the room’s wallpaper: “One of us has got to go.”
    1906 President Theodore Roosevelt publicly denounces segregation of Japanese schoolchildren in San Francisco.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 11-30-2017 at 13:58.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  30. #2880

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    Woo Hoo - a good Bristol day - thanks Neil...

  31. #2881

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    Air Operations 30th November updated
    See you on the Dark Side......

  32. #2882

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    Another big issue Neil.
    Thanks.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  33. #2883

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    George Henry Tatham Paton VC MC (3 October 1895 – 1 December 1917) was the first Grenadier Guards officer to win the VC since the Crimean War.

    He was born to George William Paton who was Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Messrs Bryant and May Ltd and was educated at Rottingdean School and Clifton College, Bristol.
    Paton was 22 years old, and an acting captain in the 4th Battalion, Grenadier Guards, when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

    On 1 December 1917 at Gonnelieu, France, when a unit on Captain Paton's left was driven back, thus leaving his flank in the air and his company practically surrounded, he walked up and down adjusting the line, within 50 yards of the enemy, under a withering fire. He personally removed several wounded men and was the last to leave the village. Later he again adjusted the line and when the enemy counter-attacked four times, each time sprang on to the parapet, deliberately risking his life, in order to stimulate his men. He was eventually mortally wounded.

    His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Guards Regimental Headquarters (Grenadier Guards RHQ) at Wellington Barracks, London.

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    Stanley Henry Parry Boughey VC (9 April 1896 – 4 December 1917) was s born in Liverpool on 9 April 1896 and was brought up in Blackpool. He was 21 years old, and a second lieutenant in the 1/4th Battalion, The Royal Scots Fusiliers, he was awarded the VC for his actions on 1 December 1917 at El Burf, Palestine, against the Ottoman Army. He was wounded committing the act, and died three days later, on 4 December.

    Citation:
    For most conspicuous bravery. When the enemy in large numbers had managed to crawl up to within 30 yards of our firing line, and with bombs and automatic rifles were keeping down the fire of our machine guns, he rushed forward alone with bombs right up to the enemy, doing great execution and causing the surrender of a party of 30. As he turned to go back for more bombs he was mortally wounded at the moment when the enemy were surrendering.

    — London Gazette, 12 February 1918

    Boughey was interred at the Gaza War Cemetery.

    Today we lost: 1,440
    Today’s losses include:
    · A Victoria Cross winner
    · A great grandson of John Burke founder, author and editor of Burke’s Peerage
    · Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
    · A man whose nephew will be killed
    · The son of a Member of Parliament and Director of the Bank of England
    · The grandson of the 1st Baron Addington
    · A man whose twin will die on service
    · A grandson of the 1st Baron Dovedale
    · The son of a Baronet
    · The uncle of a man who will be killed in the Second World War
    · A man whose son will be killed in the Second World War
    · Multiple Military Chaplains
    · A battalion commander
    · A man whose daughter will be born next year
    · Multiple sons of members of the clergy
    · The grandson of former Prime Minister Lord Salisbury
    · A Australian Rules footballer
    · The son of a Justice of the Peace
    · One of the Herder brothers memorialized on the trophy to the Newfoundland and Labrador Senior Ice Hockey Champions every year

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    · Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Docherty DSO (commanding Lord Strathcona’s Horse) is killed in action at age 40 while leading a charge. He served in the South Africa War as a Sergeant.
    · Lieutenant Randle William Gascoyne-Cecil (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 28. His daughter will be born in July 1918. His two brothers will also be killed during the Great War the first in July 1915 the second in August 1918 and they are sons of the Right Reverend Lord William Cecil Bishop of Exeter and grandsons of the former Prime Minister Lord Salisbury.
    · Lieutenant John Charles William Pinney (Royal Fusiliers attached Central India Horse) is killed at age 21. He is the son of the Honorable Mrs. Pinney.
    · Lieutenant Donald Fairfax Mackenson (HMS Tower) drowns on service with Gunner John Henry Burton DSC. Mackeson is the son of Payton Temple Mackenson, JP.
    · Second Lieutenant Arthur J Herder (Newfoundland Regiment) is killed at age 32. His brother was killed in July 1916 and they are memorialized on the Herder Memorila Trophy which is awarded annually to the Newfoundland and Labrador senior ice hockey Champions.
    · Chaplain the Reverend Thomas Howell (attached Shropshire Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 33.
    · Chaplain the Reverend Oswald Addenbrooke Holden (attached 60th Infantry Brigade) is killed at age 43. He is the Vicar of Penn and the son of the Reverend Oswald Mangin Holden Rector of Steeple Langford who will lose another son in Italy next October.
    · Sergeant Thomas Newby (Welsh Regiment) is killed in Palestine at age 38. His son will lose his life in the Second World War in April 1941.
    · Sergeant Otto Lowenstern (Lord Strathcona’s Horse) is killed at age 28. He is an Australian rules footballer who played with St Kilda in the Victorian Football League. Lowenstern spent both the 1910 and 1911 seasons playing in the VFL. He appeared once in 1910 while playing 11 games in 1911.
    · Corporal Bertram William Bloy (London Regiment) dies of wounds at age 22. His brother was killed in June 1916. Lance Corporal Walter Edwards (Lincolnshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 21. His brother was killed in March of this year.
    · Private Hugh Williams (Newfoundland Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in October 1916.
    · Private Percy Freshwater (Essex Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in August 1915 on Gallipoli.
    · Private Arthur John Byard (Royal Army Medical Corps) dies of wounds at age 37. His brother will die of wounds next March.
    · Private Thomas Henry Brocklehurst (Army Service Corps) dies on service at home at age 23. His brother was killed in action in October 1915.
    · Private Thomas William Carr (South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed. His brother will be killed in September 1918.

    Air Operations:

    End of Lafayette Escadrille: With America’s squadrons imminent, the Lafayette Escadrille pilots are released from French military service in order to transfer to the US Air Service. Only one, 2 Lt. EC Pearson, remains with the French Spa 3. American bureaucratic inertia causes a two-month delay, whereby many former Escadrille pilots fly as civilians. The Lafayette Escadrille formally ends on February 18, when its pilots formed the nucleus of the 103rd US Aero Squadron. However, the squadron continues to be attached to the French Air Force and does not transfer to the AEF until August 1918.

    The German Air Force begins to operate a radio-equipped Rumpler C.IV off the coast of England to report weather conditions and reduce the chance of adverse weather interfering with Luftstreitkräfte bomber raids against the United Kingdom.

    Imperial German Navy Zeppelins make daily reconnaissance patrols over the Heligoland Bight throughout the month.

    General Headquarters

    “On the 1st inst., in spite of the clouds and mist, which rendered flying almost impossible, several reconnaissances of the areas in rear of the battlefronts were carried out successfully by our aeroplanes. Over 60 bombs were dropped, and many rounds were fired with machine guns from the air at columns of the enemy's infantry on the road. During the night bombs were dropped on Roulers station. Only a few combats took place, in which two hostile machines were brought down. Another hostile machine was compelled to make a forced landing and struck the ground in a shell crater. One of our machines is missing.”

    RFC Communiqué number 116:

    Little flying was done by the Brigades, except the 3rd Brigade, whose pilots carried out 13 reconnaissances and many patrols in spite of low clouds and mist.

    Over 4,000 rounds were fired at infantry in the trenches and in the open and 63 25-lb bombs were dropped at the same targets. Forty-eight of the bombs dropped and over 2,500 of the rounds fired were by the 3rd Brigade.

    Other bombs were dropped as follows:- Four 112-lb bombs on Libercourt by No 18 Squadron; two 25-lb bombs on Benifontaine by No 2 Squadron; eight 25-lb bombs by the 2nd Brigade and 12 25-lb bombs by Corps machines of the 3rd Brigade. The latter also fired approximately 1,400 rounds.

    During the night 30th November/1st December, Nos 101 and 102 Squadrons went out through the night, although the clouds were at a height of 2,000 feet and dropped approximately five tons of bombs.

    No 101 Squadron dropped four 230-1b, 38 112-lb and eight, 25-lb bombs. Fifteen direct hits were obtained on Douai station, four trains were hit and eight explosions and one fire caused. Twelve 112-lb bombs were dropped on Dechy and two direct hits were obtained on the station, two on the junction, three on the sidings and two near a train. Two 112-lb bombs were also dropped on a train at Lambres. During this raid, 2,670 rounds were fired at Douai, 650 at Dechy, 150 at Lambres and 600 at troops on roads and at searchlights.

    No 102 Squadron dropped 192 25-lb bombs on Marquion, five on Barelle, eight on Sauchy-Lestrée, four on half a battalion of troops, 14 on other targets and fired 900 rounds at German infantry.

    RNAS Communiqué number 11:

    Owing to the very unfavourable weather conditions, low attached clouds, and high wind, no war work could be carried out.

    Enemy Aircraft

    Enemy activity was very slight and only five combats took place between EA and pilots of the 3rd Brigade.

    Lieut F G Huxley, 68 Sqn, two-seater crashed 57c/X.D at 07:45/08:45 - Lieut F G Huxley, No 68 Squadron (AFC) dived at an enemy machine and by careful manoeuvring avoided the hostile fire while he succeeded in shooting down the German machine which crashed

    Lieut E Y Hughes, 46 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed Cambrai at 09:10/10:10 - Lieut E Hughes, No 46 Squadron, had completely lost his bearings in a thick mist, when he met an Albatross Scout, so at once opened fire and the enemy machine crashed

    Lieut R W McKenzie, 68 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed north-east of Villers-Guislain at 12:15/13:15 - Lieut R W McKenzie No 68 Squadron (AFC), drove down a German machine which attempted to land but ran into a shell hole

    Casualties

    ? (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut E L Shaw (Wia), 35 Sqn, AW FK8 – shot up on contact patrol

    Lieut W A Robertson (Ok), 68 Sqn, DH5 A9466 - shot down by EA on special mission Bourlon at 12:00/13:00

    Lieut L Benjamin (Ok), 68 Sqn, DH5 A9341 - shot about by EA and landed ALG Wagonlieu at 12:05/13:05 on special mission Bapaume

    2nd-Lieut J MacKenzie (Kia) & 2nd-Lieut C Hyde (Kia), 35 Sqn, AW FK8 B5778 – took off 12:30/13:30 then missing on contact patrol Villers-Guislan; Vfw Gustav Schneidewind, Js17, 4th victory [Noble – Ville at 12:50/13:50] ?

    Lieut A M Kinnear (Wia) & Lieut M A O'Callaghan (Ok), 8 Sqn, AW FK8 B314 – took off 14:30/15:30 then force landed Mericourt after petrol pipe shot through in attack by machine-gun fire on contact patrol

    Royal Flying Corps Casualties today: 3

    2Lt Hyde, C. (Cyril), 35 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Mackenzie, J. (John), 35 Squadron, RFC.
    Sgt Sampson, A.J. (Alfred James), 14 Squadron, RFC.

    Claims: 7 confirmed (Entente 3: Central Powers 4)

    Louis Coudouret (France) #5.
    Eric Hughes #4.
    Robert McKenzie #1.

    Hans Bohning #5.
    Fritz Hohn #1.
    Gustav Schneidewind #4
    Karl Thorn #14.

    Western Front:

    Verdun: Violent German attack north of Fosses Wood.

    South-west Cambrai: Gonnelieu recovered, but British withdraw from Masnieres salient.

    Enemy attack heavily at Bourlon Wood and claims 4,000 prisoners and 60 guns.

    By today the impetus of the German advance is lost, but continued pressure will lead to the German capture of La Vacquerie in two days and the withdrawal of the British from the east of the St Quentin canal. The Germans have reached a line looping from the ridge at Quentin to near Marcoing. Their capture of Bonvais ridge makes the British hold on Bourlon precarious. Gonnelieu southwest of Cambrai is recovered though British forces withdraw from Masnieres as German counter attacks continue at Cambrai. The enemy attacks heavily at Bourlon Wood and claim 4,000 prisoners and 60 guns captured. While attacking Gauche Wood from the south-west the 18th King George’s Own Lancers fight on foot. The tanks that are supposed to accompany them are late in arriving (07:15 hours) and then become lost in the grey morning light. The Lancers though advance into the wood where they find men from the Grenadier Guards already fighting their way in from Gouzeaucourt. Machine gun nests are dealt with by the returning tanks which patrol the perimeter of the wood. To get into the wood the Grenadiers have chosen the tactic of running as fast as they can. The German gunners cannot get the range right and the casualties are light. Still with all of their senior officers gone the Grenadiers put themselves under the direction of the Lancers who organise the consolidation of Gauche Wood.

    Captain George Henry Tatham Paton (Grenadier Guards) dies of wounds at age 22 while performing acts that will win him the Victoria Cross for his part in numerous counter attacks in the face of heavy machine gun fire until he was mortally wounded.

    Captain John Bernard Mary Burke (Grenadier Guards) dies of wounds at age 25. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Henry Farnham Burke and the great grandson of John Burke founder, author and editor of Burke’s Peerage.

    Lieutenant Philip Anthony Assheton Harbord MC (Grenadier Guards) is killed in action at age 20. His brother will die of wounds in July 1918 and a nephew will died of wounds in September 1919.

    Lieutenant Bertram John Hubbard MC (Grenadier Guards) is killed in action at age 22. He is the son of the Honorable Evelyn Hubbard Member of Parliament for Lambeth and Director of the Bank of England and grandson of the 1st Baron Addington.

    Second Lieutenant Stephen Hetley Pearson (Grenadier Guards) is killed at age 35. His twin will die on service in Egypt next November.

    Second Lieutenant Richard Charles Denman (Grenadier Guards) is killed at age 21. He is the grandson of the 1st Baron Denman of Dovedale

    Attacking the Quentin Mill (from which General de Lisle had made his hasty exit the day before) the Coldstream Guards and four tanks have little difficulty in gaining their objective though at the cost of three of the tanks. The 3rd Guards Brigade has been given the objective of taking Gonnelieu itself and attack with the Welsh Guards on the right and the Grenadier Guards on the left. The Welsh are brought to a halt at the top of the ridge in front of Gonnelieu with two thirds of their men being downed by the constant stream of fire from German Machine Gun positions in the old British trenches. At this moment the only surviving tank of four with the battalion rolls into action cruising along the trench spraying the Germans with all her Lewis guns. The Germans begin to surrender and the Welshmen seize the opportunity to grab the crest of the ridge. The Grenadiers manage to fight their way into Gonnelieu village but they arrive just as the Germans themselves had been preparing their next assault and are thus feeding the area with reinforcements. Faced by superior numbers the Grenadiers withdraw to a covering position alongside the Welsh Guards.

    Captain Reginald Percy Loyd MC (Coldstream Guards) is killed in action at age 22. He is the son of the Honorable Mrs. E Loyd.

    Second Lieutenant Thomas Harry Basil Webb (Welsh Guards) is killed at age 19. He is the son of Lieutenant Colonel ‘Sir’ Henry Webb the 1st Baronet and his nephew Roger Christopher Arthur Watson will be killed in World War II.

    Eastern Front:

    M. Lenin demands surrender of General Dukhonin, Commander-in-Chief.

    Russian General Staff surrenders at Mohilev.

    Partial cessation of hostilities.

    Southern Front:

    Tunstills Men Saturday 1st December 1917:

    Billets at Barcon

    Fine and sunny

    Ptes. Fred Hargreaves (29267) (see 6th November), Thomas Charles Jaques (see 14th November) and William Henry Luke (see 13th November) were all posted from 34th Infantry Base Depot at Etaples to re-join 10DWR.

    Lt. John Redington (see 23rd October), who had been taken ill in July 1916 and was now employed at the Army Recruiting Office in Wolverhampton, was seconded for duty with the Ministry of National Service.
    The War Office wrote to the Infantry Records Office confirming that, having been trade tested at Woolwich, Pte. James Thomas Sagar (see 22nd August), who had been in England since suffering fractured ribs in an accident in October 1916, was to be discharged to Class T to take up munitions work with H. Pontifex and Sons Ltd, Farringdon Works, Birmingham.

    A payment of £5 16s. 4d. was authorised, being the amount due in pay and allowances to the late L.Cpl. John Cork (see 9th August), who had been killed in action while serving with 2DWR; the payment would go to his father, Fred.

    Asiatic, African, Egyptian Front:


    At El Burf, Palestine, when the enemy in large number have managed to crawl up to within 30 yards of our firing line and with bombs and automatic rifles are keeping down the fire of our machine guns, Second Lieutenant Stanley Henry Parry Boughey (Royal Scots Fusiliers) rushes forward alone with bombs right up to the enemy, killing many and causing the surrender of a party of 30. As he turns to go back for more bombs he is mortally wounded at the moment when the enemy is surrendering.

    He will die of his wounds in three days. For his actions on this day he will be awarded the Victoria Cross.

    German East Africa is cleared of enemy forces as Lettow-Borbeck retires across the Rovuma River into Portuguese territory.

    Naval Operations:

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

    Political:

    Inter-Allied Council at Versailles inaugurated.

    Canadian Victory Loan; Over $70 million subscribed.

    Anniversary Events:
    1135 Henry I of England dies and the crown is passed to his nephew Stephen of Bloise.
    1581 Edmund Champion and other Jesuit martyrs are hanged at Tyburn, England, for sedition, after being tortured.
    1861 The U.S. gunboat Penguin seizes the Confederate blockade runner Albion carrying supplies worth almost $100,000.
    1862 President Abraham Lincoln gives the State of the Union address to the 37th Congress.
    1863 Belle Boyd, a Confederate spy, is released from prison in Washington.
    1881 Virgil, Wyatt and Morgan Earp are exonerated in court for their action in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Ariz.
    1900 Kaiser Wilhelm II refuses to meet with Boer leader Paul Kruger in Berlin.
    1905 Twenty officers and 230 guards are arrested in St. Petersburg, Russia, for the revolt at the Winter Palace.
    1908 The Italian Parliament debates the future of the Triple Alliance and asks for compensation for Austria's action in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
    1909 President William Howard Taft severs official relations with Nicaragua's Zelaya government and declares support for the revolutionaries.
    1916 King Constantine of Greece refuses to surrender to the Allies.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 12-01-2017 at 14:47.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  34. #2884

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    December 2nd 1917

    Western Front - Passchendaele

    The Night action of 1/2 December 1917 during the First World War, was a local operation on the Western Front, in Belgium at the Ypres Salient. The British Fourth Army (re-named from the Second Army on 8 November) attacked the German 4th Army. The Third Battle of Ypres (31 July – 10 November) proper had ended officially on 20 November but the attack was intended to capture the heads of valleys leading eastwards from the ridge, to gain observation over German positions. On 18 November the VIII Corps on the right and II Corps on the left (northern) side of the Passchendaele Salient took over from the Canadian Corps. The area was subjected to constant German artillery bombardments and its vulnerability to attack led to a suggestion by Brigadier C. F. Aspinall that, either the British should retire to the west side of the Gheluvelt Plateau or advance to broaden the salient towards Westroosebeke. Expanding the salient would make the troops in it less vulnerable to German artillery-fire and provide a better jumping off line for a resumption of the offensive in the spring of 1918. The British attacked towards Westroozebeke on the night of 1/2 December but the plan to mislead the Germans by not bombarding the German defences until eight minutes after the infantry began their advance came undone. The noise of the British assembly and the difficulty of moving across muddy and waterlogged ground had also alerted the Germans. In the moonlight, the Germans had seen the British troops when they were still 200 yd (180 m) away. Some ground was captured and about 150 prisoners were taken but the attack on the redoubts failed and observation over the heads of the valleys on the east and north sides of the ridge had not been gained.

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    8th Division

    As the attacking battalions of the 25th Brigade moved forward to their jumping-off points in the bright moonlight, German machine-gunners fired on the troops on the left flank and after three minutes began to fire on the centre and left, which had momentarily been hidden by cloud. After H-hour + five minutes, the British troops were engaged by small-arms fire all along the front and the German infantry sent up flares and rockets. The British guns began to fire at H-hour + eight minutes as planned and the German artillery did not fire for another minute. The delay caused by the German infantry fire prevented some of the support troops from getting clear of the German barrage; these platoons lost many casualties and B Company HQ of the 2nd Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment (2nd Berks) was hit. The battalion reached its objectives and D Company dug in, up to the south-eastern end of Southern Redoubt. C Company on the right, which was to form a defensive flank, had far less trouble and the platoon adjacent to D Company took 30 prisoners; 5 platoon of B Company managed to get into Southern Redoubt and began a mutually-costly hand-to-hand struggle with the garrison.

    The troops on the left of B Company veered left to gain touch with the 2nd Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment (2nd Lincoln) which had not been able to maintain its advance, then went too far and opened a gap to the north of Southern Redoubt, which deprived 5 Platoon in the redoubt of support. The survivors of the platoon were forced out and dug in facing south-west but this uncovered the left flank of D Company, which then had to repulse several small counter-attacks. The left flank platoons of B Company had got into the trench between the redoubts, killed many Germans and captured three machine-guns; both flanks were open but the troops were able to hold on. The British position was in front of the 2nd Lincoln, who had been caught by small-arms fire at the start of the attack and only managed to get within 30 yd (27 m) of the German front line, where the remaining troops dug in. On the left flank, the 2nd Battalion, The Rifle Brigade (2nd RB) was also caught by machine-gun fire from the front and by enfilade fire from Teal Cottage, in the 32nd Division area. The cottage should have been captured earlier by the 32nd Division and the left end of the 2nd RB forming up tape ran from the position. Just before the advance, it was discovered that the Germans were still in Teall Cottage and the 2nd RB hastily masked it with a defensive flank. The battalion failed to reach Venison Trench, suffering so many casualties that they were forced to dig in only about 100 yd (91 m) in front of the original front line. The 8th Division battalions held their ground against small counter-attacks until about 4:10 p.m., when German artillery-fire increased in volume and the 32nd division sent up SOS flares, which were repeated by the 8th Division. The British artillery replied instantly and German troops in the open east of Southern Redoubt were caught by the bombardment; the counter-attack on the 8th Division front was repulsed. By 5:00 a.m. the German artillery had fallen silent and a lull fell over the 8th Division front. The troops in front of the 2nd Lincoln were brought back and filled the gap between the 2nd Lincoln and the 2nd Berks, which created a continuous line and the 25th Brigade was relieved by the 41st Brigade of the 14th (Light) Division overnight.

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    Passchendaele ridge, 1917

    32nd Division

    The 97th Brigade and the 15th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers (15th LF) of the 96th Brigade formed up below the faint outline of Hill 52 and the low southern slope of Vat Cottage Ridge. The 2nd Battalion, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (2nd KOYLI) was on the right flank with three companies for the attack and one in support, 16th Battalion, Highland Light Infantry to its left, then the 11th Battalion, Border Regiment (11th Border) and 17th Battalion, Highland Light Infantry (17th HLI), each with two companies leading and two in support and 15th LF on the left flank (which had been holding the line with 16th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers (16th NF) since the night of 30 November/1 December) with three assault companies and one in support, on a 1,850 yd (1,690 m) front from Teall Cottage to the north-east of Tournant Farm. The 16th NF retired to the right of Virile Farm in reserve after being relieved; patrols and Lewis gun crews entered no man's land after dark to cover the assembly. The battalions formed four waves, the first two in skirmish lines forming an advanced guard and the other two in section columns (snake formation), to advance through the crater field and be ready to outflank the objectives.

    Analysis

    In 2011, Michael LoCiciero wrote that the Action on the Polderhoek Spur (3 December) by two New Zealand Division battalions, had received more attention than the nine-battalion attack on Passchendaele Ridge and it had had received only a cursory mention in the Reichsarchiv publication Flandern 1917 (1928) by Werner Beumelburg. In 1926, the 8th Division historians, John Boraston and Cyril Bax wrote that the attack was a limited success at best. Some ground had been captured and about 150 prisoners taken but the attack on the redoubts had failed and observation over the heads of the valleys on the east and north sides of the ridge had not been gained. The noise of the British assembly, difficulty of movement in the muddy and waterlogged ground, had alerted the Germans. In the moonlight, the Germans had seen the British troops when they were still 200 yd (180 m) away and without artillery covering fire for the first eight minutes, the attack was doomed. Beumelburg wrote that on 2 December, two British brigades (sic) attacked on a narrow front against the 38th Division of Gruppe Staden and the 25th Division and 12th Reserve Division of Gruppe Ypern; after an initial advance the British were repulsed. On 3 December, the British attacked on a 440 yd (400 m) against the left flank of the 17th Reserve Division and also been defeated.

    In his 1979 memoir The Anger of the Guns, John Nettleton, who had been the Intelligence Officer for the 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own), wrote that in conditions where the moon was near full, there was no cover, the troops would stumble forward, rather than overrun the German defences. Objections to the plan were passed on by the 8th Division battalion, brigade and division commanders

    ...hostile machine-gun fire from prepared positions on a bright moonlight night was more to be feared than any barrage.

    — Major-General W. C. G. Heneker, GOC 8th Division
    but Heneker was over-ruled. Everything went wrong from the beginning; no-one had thought that the attack could succeed and morale was depressed. It appeared that the Germans realised that an attack was imminent the night before, when the Royal Engineers went forward to mark the jumping-off lines for the attack. There was only one decent road for the 32nd Division and a duckboard track for the 25th Brigade, 8th Division, to reach their assembly positions. German artillery was registered on these approach routes and inflicted many casualties as the troops moved up. The track was on the right side of the 8th Division and the troops using it had to move from right to left to assemble along the tapes. The moon was bright and the Germans could not but notice three battalions lining up behind the British outpost line.

    As liaison officer to the 32nd Division, Nettleton moved up along the road and wrote that if the Germans were still ignorant of British intentions, a soldier carrying a sack of very lights was hit by a bullet which set them off. The troops nearby rolled him in the mud but could not extinguish the flares. The 32nd Division was supposed to have captured Teall Cottage, a pillbox, two days previous but the troops found that it was occupied by Germans. The cottage was at a right angle in the front line and the attacking lines of both divisions could be enfiladed by machine-guns in the pillbox. The 32nd Division companies assembled in echelon to the left of Teall Cottage; runners from the Royal Irish Rifles drank the run ration and the battalion commander had to cadge replacements from the 25th Brigade. From the battalion HQ, Nettleton heard the German machine-guns begin to fire at 1:55 a.m. as soon the advance began. The artillery barrage that began eight minutes later was "magnificent" but the attack had been defeated before the artillery started, the German machine-gunners having already "wiped out" the British infantry in the moonlight. The 2nd KOYLI managed to advance only 100 yd (91 m) and when it was relieved on the night of 2/3 December, it had the appearance of an understrength company. LoCicero wrote that the night attack 1/2 December was an obscure postscript to the Third Battle of Ypres, which had been only alluded to in Haig's dispatch for 1917.[f] Reginald Bond had written in a volume of the History of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (1929) that the only big night attack of the campaign had been overlooked because of the Battle of Cambrai. The operation was only briefly mentioned in the Report of the Battles Nomenclature Committee (1922) and not at all in the 1948 official history volume by James Edmonds. In See How They Ran: The British Retreat of 1918 (1970), William Moore wrote that the casualties of the attack were not counted in the official history and Michael Stedman referred to a "futile sideshow" in Salford Pals: A History of the Salford Brigade (1993).[35] There had been correspondence between Edmonds and Shute in 1930 about attack but it did not appear in the official history. In 1938, I. S. O. Playfair had also failed to persuade the official historians to include the capture of Infantry Hill on 14 June 1917, which he called a notable success.

    Casualties

    The Eighth Division historians, Boraston and Bax, recorded 624 casualties; Moore wrote that the 8th Division lost 2,630 men, the 32nd Division losses were about the same and that the casualty statistics in Military Operations, France and Belgium 1917, part II omitted those of 1/2 December. In 2011, LoCicero calculated that the 8th Division losses from 2 to 3 December were about 552 men; the 32nd Division had 1,137 casualties and infantry regiments 117, 94, 116 and 95 had about 800 losses. In The Passchendaele Campaign 1917 (2017) Andrew Rawson wrote that the attack had cost the British over 1,600 casualties.

    The War in the Air

    The British Ace Lieutenant Harry George Ernest Luchford MC & Bar is shot down and killed by Walter von Bülow-Bothkamp. He had 24 aerial victories to his name.

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    The son of George and Helena Luchford, Harry George Ernest Luchford was born in India and raised in England. A bank clerk, he enlisted with the Norfolk Regiment at Bromley, Kent and was commissioned in September 1914. After serving with the Indian Divisional Cavalry in France, he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in January 1917. Posted to 20 Squadron later that year, he scored 24 victories flying two-seaters. He was killed in action when his Bristol F.2b was shot down by Walter von Bülow-Bothkamp.

    T./Lt. Harry George Ernest Luchford, Gen. List and R.F.C.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He has carried out a great deal of extremely useful work, and has proved himself a capable and determined leader. On one occasion when on a photographic reconnaissance he and his observer shot down and destroyed two enemy scouts. He has destroyed five other hostile machines.
    Supplement to the London Gazette, 18 March 1918 (30583/3427)

    For conspcuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When engaged on a patrol, he and his observer encountered about fifteen hostile aeroplanes, and shot one of them down in flames. Later, when engaged on a reconnaissance with three other machines, he encountered eight hostile aeroplanes and shot one of then down. On another occasion be destroyed on of three hostile scouts which were attacking one of our machines, and also shot down a hostile two-seater.
    Supplement to the London Gazette, 6 April 1918 (30614/4203)

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    Leutnant Walter von Bülow-Bothkamp

    General Headquarters, December 3rd.

    “On the 2nd instant, in spite of a very strong north-west wind, our aeroplanes were active reconnoitring the enemy's new positions and observing for our artillery. Many bombs were dropped and machine-guns fired from a low height on villages occupied by the enemy’s reserve troops north of Bourlon. The enemy's batteries on the Ypres battle front were also engaged with machine-gun fire and bombs.

    “Hostile aircraft activity was slight, and few fights took place. One German machine was brought down. Five of our aeroplanes are missing.”

    RFC Communiqué number 116:


    Squalls and very strong wind prevented much flying being done.

    Machines of the 3rd Brigade carried out 14 reconnaissances in order to ascertain the position and movements of enemy troops and obtain other informtition. This Brigade also carried out 12 contact patrols.
    Macines of the 2nd Brigade worked in conjunction with our infantry who were attacking north-west of Passchendaele and carried out two reconnaissances.
    A machine of No 25 Squadron reconnoitred the line Cambrai – Busigny – Bohain.

    With aeroplane observation, 16 hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction; one gun pit was destroyed, six damaged, two explosions and five fires caused.

    Three hundred and sixty-three photographs were taken and approximately 2,200 rounds were fired at ground targets from low altitudes and over two tons of bombs were dropped.
    1st Brigade – Machines dropped six 25-lb bombs on billets.
    2nd Brigade – Pilots of No 70 Squadron, flying Sopwith Camels, dropped 28 25-lb bombs on active hostile batteries. Seventy-two 25-lb bombs were also dropped on active hostile batteries by No 57 Squadron and 10 25-lb bombs on various targets by Corps machines.

    3rd Brigade – DH5s of No 68 Squadron (AFC) dropped 14 25-lb bombs on trenches. No 64 Squadron, also DH5s, dropped six bombs on the same targets, while Corps machines dropped 12 25-lb bombs on various targets.
    9th Wing – No 27 Squadron attacked Torteqnenne and Lecluse and dropped four 112-lb bombs on the former and six 112-lb bombs on the latter target.
    No 25 Squadron dropped 12 112-lb bombs on Ecourt St Quentin.

    RNAS Communiqué number 11:


    Owing to the very unfavourable weather conditions, low attached clouds, and high wind, no war work could be carried out.

    Enemy Aircraft

    Enemy aircraft activity was very slight, except on the 2nd Brigade front where it was about normal.

    2nd-Lieut W Beaver & 1/AM M B Mather, 20 Sqn, Albatros C crashed south-east of Passchendaele at 10:30/11:30 - three Bristol Fighters of 20 Squadron dived at an EA two-seater near Passchendaele, and 2nd-Lieut W Beaver & 1/AM M Mather shot it down out of control, and it was seen to crash

    Casualties

    ? (Ok) & Lieut W E Dexter (Wia), 10 Sqn, AW FK8 - shot up on counter attack patrol

    Lieut S W Rowles (Wia; dow 13-Dec-17) & ? (Ok), 10 Sqn, AW FK8 - shot up on counter attack patrol

    2nd-Lieut L A Rivers (Ok) & 161456 Pte JW Scott (Ok), 11 Sqn, Bristol F.2B A7167 - force landed 3rd Corps dressing station after engine hit by AA fire on reconnaissance

    2nd-Lieut O P D Miller (Pow) & 2nd-Lieut A H C Hoyles (Kia), 57 Sqn, DH4 A7422 – took off 08:00/09:00 and missing from bombing and photography; Ltn Max Ritter v Müller, Js2, 33rd victory [north-west of Menin at 08:45/09:45] ?

    2nd-Lieut G G W Petersen (Pow), 29 Sqn, Nieuport 23 B3583 – took off 08:45/09:45 and last seen near Passchendaele at 09:45/10:45 going south on northern area patrol

    2nd-Lieut J T Orrell (Kia) & 2nd-Lieut J G Glendinning (Pow; Dow 16-Dec-17), 57 Sqn, DH4 A7679 – took off 10:10/11:10 and missing from bombing and photography; Ltn d R Heinrich Bongartz, Js36, 26th victory [north-east of Moorslede at 11:05/12:05] ?

    Lieut T R Hepple (Wia) & 8399 1/AM F Rothwell (Kia), 8 Sqn, AW FK8 B3303 – took off 10:30/11:30 then brought down in flames at Villeret after attack by 5-6 EA on artillery patrol to Honnecourt; Ltn d R Wolfgang Güttler, Js13, 6th victory [Villeret at 12:10/13:10]

    Capt H G E Luchford MC (Kia) & Capt J E Johnston (Pow), 20 Sqn, Bristol F.2B A7270 – took off 09:45/10:45 and last seen south-east of Passchendaele at 10:30/11:30 on offensive patrol; Ltn Walter von Bulow-Bothkamp, Js36, 28th victory [Becelaere at 10:35/11:35]

    2nd-Lieut S G Spiro (Pow), 19 Sqn, Spad VII A6662 – took off 10:48/11:48 and last seen over Ypres at 12:00/13:00 on offensive patrol


    There were the following aerial victory claims on this day

    Gabriel Guérin France #9
    Achille Justin Ernest Rousseaux France #6
    Heinrich Bongartz Germany #26
    Walter von Bülow-Bothkamp
    Germany #28
    Wolfgang Güttler Germany #6
    Max von Müller Germany #33

    Malcolm Brown Mather Scotland #1

    A carpenter from Stirlingshire and the son of Robert and Annie (Brown) Mather, Malcolm Brown Mather enlisted on 4 December 1916. With 20 Squadron, he scored eight victories as a Brisfit observer

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    Wilfred Beaver USA #2
    Raoul Lufbery USA #15 #16

    There were 14 British airmen lost on this day

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    EASTERN FRONT
    CEASEFIRE begins on dates fixed by local army commanders. Russian Armistice Commis*sion crosses German lines at Dvinsk and continues to Brest*-Litovsk welcomed by German C-in-C Prince Leopold.
    Russia: Kornilov and 5 fellow generals (including Denikin) escape from prison in Bykhov, head for Don by train.

    SOUTHERN FRONTS
    Piave: Italian strength 552 battalions plus 86 Anglo-French as 3 British divisions take over Montello sector (until December 4) and 3 French Mt Tomba area, but not attacked as expected. 3 German divisions ordered back to Germany, 4 remain. Emperor Charles suspends main offensive though Trentino attack to go on.

    MIDDLE EAST
    Turkey: General Seeckt appointed CoS and adviser to Enver at Constanti*nople.

    AFRICA
    Mocambique: Lettow captures Portuguese Fort Nanguari with food and ammo in Ukula Hills on river Lugenda, has already split force into columns under Wahle and Goering.

    SEA WAR
    Channel: Coastal submarine UB-81 (1 survivor) mined and sunk off the Owers near Portsmouth.

    AIR WAR

    Cambrai: Only limited air operations until December 6, with 3 German aircraft shot down (2 by McCudden), 3 British with 2 missing.

    Captain Tunstill's Men:

    The whole of 69th Brigade moved to take up the defence of the right sector of the lines on the Montello. Brig. Genl. Lambert (see 28th November) noted in his diary, “Brigade start point 9.45am at junction of roads from Biadene and Edifizio (just north of Barcon). Saw Brigade march past in Montebelluna. Italian soldiers were very interested. Halted about 12 noon on bank of canal, south side of Montello hill. Each unit opposite its roads. Passed over the hill during afternoon in fog and relieved 135th Italian Regiment. Relief complete about 9pm”. 10DWR would be in support positions along the military road on the crown of the hill between roads 12 and 13; 11West Yorks. and 8Yorks. went into the front line and 9Yorks. remained in reserve at Venegazzu.

    The Montello is a prominent hill on the southern bank of the Piave River. The river generally ran south-easterly from the Alps, but turned east to flow along the northern flank of the Montello. The hill itself was seven miles from east to west and a maximum of four miles from north to south, with a highest point of 800 feet. Much of the hill was covered in vineyards, with some maize, wheat and tobacco and copses of trees. It was also dotted with natural circular depressions – some of them 100 yards across and 50 to 60 feet deep; many of these would be used to site artillery positions. The hill was crossed by 21 roads running from north to south and there were also lateral roads on the river bank (known as the Cliff Road); the military road on the reverse slope of the crown of the hill and the Volpago-Montebelluna road on the southern edge.

    The Piave River ran in as many as ten channels, mostly fast-flowing. On the far bank, at a distance of 1-2,000 yards was the Austrian line, to a depth of around four miles; situated on a plain covered with trees and vines and backed by low hills, though the hills were closer on the east at False di Piave and on west at Vidor.

    The sector taken over by 23rd Division from 70th Italian Division comprised of the western half of the Montello and a narrow strip of the plain further west; giving a front line 7-8,000 yards. The line was to be held with two brigades; each brigade would have two battalions in the line, one in support and one in reserve. The third brigade would remain in Divisional reserve near Montebelluna, which was the base for Divisional HQ.

    This was generally considered a quiet sector with commanding views from the Montello to the north. Strong defences had been constructed by the Italians with three lines of trenches parallel to the river, reinforced with machine gun posts and dugouts. Company and Battalion HQs were mainly in intact houses, and the trench stores taken over from the Italians included barrels of wine. The Italians had tended to hold their front line in strength, in contrast to the pattern of defence in depth which the British had adopted in France. Consequently, a reorganisation was soon underway. The new scheme had lines of lewis gun positions on the lower slopes of the hill, with machine guns on middle and upper slopes, supported also by trench mortars. The front line would be only lightly held by infantry patrols, which would be strengthened at night. Much work would also be done on new dugouts, machine gun and trench mortar posts. The work was relatively easy on the Montello, as the ground was easy to excavate and there was ready supply of timber available. However, on the flat gravel on the left flank tunnelling was to prove impossible and so reinforced concrete defences were put in place.

    Night patrols would be sent out from the outset – crossing the stream and examining Austrian positions. It was found easy enough to cross the river and they seldom met any of the enemy although they sometimes went as far as 800 yards into enemy lines.

    Pte. Harold Charnock (see 29th November) remembered that, “The whole “Our area was between roads 12 and 13. The men were in Italian bivouac shelter tents and shelter trenches were at once begun. The Montello was covered with trenches, dug by the Italians, generally well wired but often poorly sited. There were two or three miserable cottages that were selected for Headquarters, being particularly full of rats, whose numbers easily rivalled those of Flanders though they were less corpulent. Owing to their numbers and the lavish way in which fond mothers fed their young our first night on the Montello was much disturbed. The following day, however, some Italian gunners vacated a far better house in our area in which we contrived to be more comfortable. A rifle range and bayonet fighting course were made. Officers and NCOs reconnoitred the front line and a certain amount of training in hill warfare was accomplished. The transport lines were near Venegazzu, just south of the Montello. Our time here was most quiet.”

    Capt. William Norman Town (see 27th November) remembered that, “A couple of short marches took us to the top of Montello, a curious hill – from a distance a long whale back; close to, a steep hillside pitted all over like giant shell holes, hollows with no outlet and yet no water lying in them. Here, at 1,000 feet above sea level we shivered at night in Italian shelter-tents and, in the day practiced hill warfare or worked on the rifle range, being in Brigade support. Far away in the early sun the towers and lagoons of Venice glistened and, down the lower Piave at night, we saw the Austrian heavy shells burst”.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 12-03-2017 at 03:50.

  35. #2885

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    December 3rd 1917

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    Arthur Moore Lascelles VC MC
    (12 October 1880 – 7 November 1918) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross.

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    He was 37 years old, and an acting captain in the 3rd Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry, British Army, attached to 14th Battalion during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

    On 3 December 1917 at Masnieres, France, during a very heavy bombardment Captain Lascelles, although wounded, continued to encourage his men and organize the defence until the attack was driven off. Shortly afterwards the enemy attacked again and captured the trench, taking several prisoners. Captain Lascelles at once jumped onto the parapet and followed by his 12 remaining men rushed across under very heavy machine-gun fire and drove over 60 of the enemy back. Later the enemy attacked again and captured the trench and Captain Lascelles, who later managed to escape in spite of having received two further wounds. He was killed in action, Fontaine-au-Bois, France, on 7 November 1918.

    Henry James Nicholas VC MM (11 June 1891 – 23 October 1918) was a New Zealand recipient of the Victoria Cross

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    Nicholas was born in Lincoln, near Christchurch in New Zealand on 11 June 1891. He was educated at schools in Christchurch, first at Christchurch Normal School and later at Christchurch East School. After completing his schooling, he was apprenticed to become a builder.

    In February 1916, Nicholas enlisted in the New Zealand Military Forces, giving his occupation as a carpenter. He embarked for Europe three months later with the 13th Reinforcements to join the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in France. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion of the Canterbury Regiment with the rank of private. Nicholas was involved in an attack on Polderhoek Chateau on 3 December 1917. The chateau was atop the Polderhoek Spur, which overlooked the trenches occupied by the 2nd Infantry Brigade, to which Nicholas's battalion was subordinate. The Canterbury and Otago battalions attacked midday but was slowed by heavy machine-gun fire. It was then that Nicholas performed the actions that led to the award of the Victoria Cross (VC). His VC citation read as follows:

    For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in attack. Private Nicholas, who was one of a Lewis gun section, had orders to form a defensive flank to the right of the advance, which was checked by heavy machine-gun and rifle fire from an enemy strong-point. Whereupon, followed by the remainder of his section at an interval of about 25 yards, Private Nicholas rushed forward alone, shot the officer in command of the strong-point, and overcame the remainder of the garrison of sixteen with bombs and bayonets, capturing four wounded prisoners and a machine-gun. He captured this strong-point practically single-handed, and thereby saved many casualties. Subsequently, when the advance reached its limit, Private Nicholas collected ammunition under heavy machine-gun and rifle fire. His exceptional valour and coolness throughout the operations afforded an inspiring example to all.

    — The London Gazette, No. 30472, 11 January 1918

    The advance resumed but ground to a halt 150 yards (140 m) short of the chateau where the New Zealanders established a new front line. During this phase, Nicholas moved along the lines, collecting and distributing ammunition. What was left of the Canterbury and Otago battalions was relieved on 5 December 1917. The award of the VC to Nicholas was gazetted in January 1918. He was presented with his VC by King George V at an investiture at Buckingham Palace in July 1918, having been promoted to sergeant the previous month. During the Hundred Days Offensive Nicholas won the Military Medal (MM) for actions performed in late September to early October during operations on Welsh and Bon Avis Ridges. On 23 October 1918, he was performing guard duty at a bridge near Le Quesnoy when a German patrol encountered his position. He was killed during the ensuing exchange of gunfire. He was buried in the Vertigneul Churchyard on 29 October 1918.The award of his MM was gazetted in March 1919, and the citation made note of his "fearless leadership and contempt for danger".

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    A bronze statue with biographical details of Nicholas was erected on the banks of the Avon River on 7 March 2007, near the Bridge of Remembrance. Mark Whyte from Lyttelton was the sculptor of the statue. In September 2008, a plaque in memory of Sergeant Nicholas was unveiled by the community of Zonnebeke and the New Zealand Embassy in Brussels, near Geluveld, just south west of the area where Nicholas won the VC.

    Western Front
    Cambrai: British withdraw from La Vacquerie and bridge*head over canal east of Marcoing.

    The Action on the Polderhoek Spur (3 December 1917), was a local operation in the Ypres Salient, by the British Fourth Army (re-named from the Second Army on 8 November) against the German 4th Army during the Third Battle of Ypres in Belgium during the First World War. Two battalions of the 2nd New Zealand Brigade of the New Zealand Division attacked the low ridge, from which German observers could view the area from Cameron Covert to the north and the Menin road to the south-west. A New Zealand advance of 600 yd (550 m) on a 400 yd (370 m) front, would shield the area north of the Reutelbeek stream from German observers on the Gheluvelt spur further south.

    Heavy artillery bombarded the ruins of Polderhoek Château and the pillboxes in the grounds on 28 and 30 November as howitzers fired a wire cutting bombardment. The attack on 3 December was made in daylight as a ruse, in the hope that the unusual time would surprise the German defenders, who would be under cover sheltering from the bombardments being fired at the same time each day. The British planned smoke and gas bombardments on the Gheluvelt and Becelaere spurs on the flanks and the infantry attack began at the same time as the "routine" bombardment. The ruse failed, some of the British artillery-fire dropped short on the New Zealanders and the Germans engaged the attackers with small-arms fire from Polderhoek Spur and Gheluvelt ridge. A strong west wind ruined the smoke screens and the British artillery failed to suppress the German machine-guns, which forced the attackers under cover. New Zealand machine-gunners then repulsed a counter-attack by German parties advancing along the Becelaere road. The New Zealanders were 150 yd (140 m) short of the first objective but another attempt after dark was cancelled because of the full moon and sight of German reinforcements reaching Polderhoek Château. On 4 December, German troops assembling for another counter-attack were dispersed by British artillery-fire and German artillery bombarded the captured area all day. The New Zealanders consolidated the new trench line during the night and a German counter-attack at dawn on 5 December was repulsed. The New Zealanders handed over to the IX Corps and went into reserve as the Germans used an observation balloon accurately to direct the German guns. A German attack later in the day was stopped by artillery-fire but on 14 December, the ground was re-captured by a German counter-attack.

    Ypres: British gains southwest of Polygon Wood. Haig warns his army commanders: ‘… situation on the Russian and Italian fronts … the paucity of reinforcements which we are likely to receive will in all probability necessitate adopting a defensive attitude for the next few months. We must be prepared to meet a strong and sustained hostile offensive’. The British gain ground south-west of Polygon Wood (Ypres) while withdrawing at La Vacquerie and east of Marcoing. The Germans exchange this territorial loss for a sweep of land to the south of Welsh ridge

    Middle East
    Palestine: British 74th Division battalion (286 casualties) takes but loses Beit-Ur-el Foka.
    Mesopotamia – Third Action of Jebel Hamrin: Egerton’s 20,000 men with 116 guns and Colonel Bicharakov’s 1,000 Cossacks advance against 4,400 Turks with 34 guns, occupy Sakaltutan Pass on December 4, take Kara Tepe on December 5, inflict 542 Turk casualties for 219.

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    Men of the 1/5th Battalion of the Buffs (East Kent Regiment) passing over the Jebel Hamrin ( Palestine), December 1917.

    Armenia: War Cabinet decide to meet ‘any reasonable demands for money from Russian Caucasus Army.’

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    Turkish field artillery, equipped with German 75mm howitzers, fires at British positions in Palestine.

    Eastern Front
    Russia: Bolshevik mob murders General Dukhonin at Mogilev Station. Mannerheim passes through to Finland hours later. Brest*-Litovsk talks begin between Russia and all Central Powers.
    CIGS cables General Ballard (Liaison Officer with Rumanian Army) to finance Kaledin ‘up to any figure necessary’.
    Rumania*: Russian C-in-C General Shcherbachev informs King Ferdinand of Mackensen’s ceasefire approaches.

    Southern Fronts

    Trentino: 213 Austrian guns and mortars heavily bombard (mainly gas shell) Mt.Sisemol* to Mt.Badenecche until December 4.

    Home Fronts
    USA: War Savings and Thrift stamps go on sale.
    Italy*: Compulsory food rationing begins in Rome.
    Britain: *Voluntary food ration scale issued for all under 18. 4 German PoWs briefly escape from Farnbor*ough.
    France: 7,000 strikers close Saint*-Etienne munitions factory until December 5.

    The War in the Air

    RFC Communiqué number 116:

    The weather was fine and visibility good and a large amount of reconnoitring, photographic and artillery work was done.

    Thirteen reconnaissances were carried out, two by the 2nd Brigade and nine by the 3rd, while five contact patrols were done by the 2nd Brigade and 12 by the 3rd Brigade. Machines of the 9th Wing carried out two successful reconnaissances of aerodromes in the neighbourhood of Courtrai and Phalempin.

    With aeroplane observation, 29 hostile batteries were snccessfully engaged for destruction and 15 neutrulized; one gun pit was destroyed, 12 damaged, 14 explosions and 12 fires caused.
    One hundred and thirty-nine zone calls were sent down of which 115 were by the 2nd Brigade.
    Over 3,000 rounds were fired from low altitudes ground targets and 887 plates were exposed.

    Bombing – 1st Brigade: No 2 Squadron dropped 13 25-lb bombs on various targets.

    2nd Brigade: No 57 Squadron dropped 51 25-lb bombs on various targets, including Gheluwe and hostile batteries, and Camels of No 70 Squadron dropped 34 25-lb bombs on Gheluwe, hostile batteries and moving targets on the Ypres - Menin road, in order to assist the infantry in their attack on Polderhoek Chateau.

    Twenty-two 25-lb bombs were dropped on various targets by Corps Squadrons.
    3rd Brigade: Six 25-lb bombs were dropped on various targets.
    9th Wing: No 27 Squadron attacked Honnecourt on which seven 112-lb bombs were dropped. Thirty 25-lb bombs were also dropped on Crevecoeur by machines of the Same squadron.
    No 25 Squadron dropped eight 112-lb bombs on Menin railway station and four 112-lb bombs on Crevecoeur.
    Observation of results was difficult owing to ground haze.

    RNAS Communiqué number 11:

    Owing to the very unfavourable weather conditions, low attached clouds, and high wind, no war work could be carried out.

    Enemy Aircraft

    Enemy aircraft activity was below normal except on the Third Army front where it was great.

    Capt P Huskinson, 19 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Menin at 12:15/13:15 - Capt P Huskinson, No 19 Squadron, fought an Albatross Scout and shot it down out of control

    Sergt F Johnson & 2nd-Lieut S H P Masding, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Wervicq at 12:15/13:15 - Sergt P Johnson and 2nd-Lieut S Masding, No 20 Squadron, encountered eight enemy machines over Wervicq when with the rest of their patrol. This pilot and Observer shot down one of their opponents completely out of control

    Lieut S A Oades & 2/AM J H Jones, 22 Sqn, two-seater in flames north of Roulers at 15:20/16:20 - shot down one EA which appeared to fall in flames.

    Casualties

    Lieut L R Titchener (Killed) & Sub-Lieut HK Johnstone (Killed), 22 Sqn, Bristol F.2B A7230 - collided with A7268 on offensive patrol

    2nd-Lieut F A Biner (Killed) & 98079 1/AM D W Clement (Killed), 22 Sqn, Bristol F.2B A7268 - collided with A7230 on offensive patrol

    2nd-Lieut A F Goodchap (Pow) & 2nd-Lieut A H Middleton (Pow), 22 Sqn, Bristol F.2B B1153 – took off 10:10/11:10 and last seen at 5,000 feet this side of Ypres going down apparently with engine trouble on offensive patrol; Uffz Rudolf Bessel, SS30 ?

    2nd-Lieut W Bevan (Kia) & Lieut F B Gloster (Kia), 20 Sqn, Bristol F.2B A7141 – took off 11:25/12:25 and last seen north of Hollebeke at 12:10/13:10 on offensive patrol

    A total of 10 British Airmen were lost on this day

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    The following aces made claims on this day

    Eugen Bönsch Austro-Hungarian Empire #4
    Stefan Fejes Austro-Hungarian Empire #6

    William Barker Canada #5 #6

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    The son of Mrs. George Barker, of Rathwell, Manitoba, William George Barker left high school in Dauphin to enlist in the Canadian Mounted Rifles in December 1914. He spent eight months in the trenches before he received a commission in the Royal Flying Corps in April 1916. After starting out as a mechanic, he qualified as an observer in August 1916 and shot down his first enemy aircraft from the rear seat of a B.E.2d. Posted to England in November 1916, he soloed after 55 minutes of dual instruction and received a pilot's certificate in January 1917. A month later, he was back in France flying an R.E.8 until wounded by anti-aircraft fire on 7 August 1917. When he recovered, he served as a flight instructor before returning to combat duty in France.

    In November 1917, his squadron was reassigned to Italy where Barker's Sopwith Camel became the single most successful fighter aircraft of the war. Logging more than 379 hours of flight time, Barker shot down 46 enemy aircraft before Camel #B6313 was retired from service and dismantled on 2 October 1918. That month, he assumed command of the air combat school at Hounslow. Deciding he needed to brush up on air combat techniques for his new assignment, Barker joined 201 Squadron for ten days in France. During that time, he saw no action and was about to return to England when he decided to make one more excursion over the front. On 27 October 1918, alone and flying a Sopwith Snipe, he encountered sixty Fokker D.VIIs flying in stepped formation. In an epic battle with Jagdgeschwader 3, Barker shot down four enemy aircraft despite appalling wounds to both legs and his elbow. Fainting from pain and loss of blood, he managed to crash land his Snipe within the safety of the British lines. For his actions that day, Barker received the Victoria Cross (VC). He remains the most decorated serviceman in Canadian history.

    His personal Sopwith Camel (serial no. B6313) is the single most successful fighter aircraft in the history of the RAF, Barker having used it to shoot down 46 aircraft and balloons from September 1917 to September 1918, for a total of 404 operational flying hours.

    Patrick Huskinson England #4
    Frank Johnson England #6

    Stanley Henry Percy Masding
    England #1

    A Brisfit pilot - Seconded on 22 December 1917, with seniority from 4 November 1917, Lt. Stanley Henry Percy Masding, Mon. R., T.F.

    Edmond Eugene Henri Caillaux
    France #1

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    Caillaux joined the army on 17 November 1917 and served as a driver in the service corps before joining an artillery regiment. On 29 February 1916 he transferred to the air service and received his pilot's brevet (4646) on 22 May 1916. Assigned to Escadrille N48 on 28 April 1917, he scored at least five victories by the end of the year.

    Jacques Victor Sabattier de Vignolle France #1

    Hermann Leptien Germany #1

    Giovanni AncillottoItaly #6
    William Thaw USA u/c

    Captain Tunstill's Men:

    2Lt. Bernard Garside left his home in Skipton to travel by train to London on the start of a journey which would see him join 10DWR. He was 19 years old, the son of a policeman, and had been a member of the OTC at Leeds University before being called up for officer training in June 1917. He had been commissioned in September 1917. Garside would, many year later, write an extended account of his service with 10DWR which throws fascinating light the Battalion’s time in Italy. The account was written expressly for his young nephews and nieces and the language and phrasing he uses often reflects his audience. He described his posting to the Regiment and his journey to Italy:
    “In October (1917) I was sent to North Shields, near Newcastle, where the Depot of the Duke of Wellington’s was and where they prepared drafts to reinforce the different Battalions of the Regiment abroad. I was only there a short time and the chief thing I remember was going through an underground trench full of deadly poison gas – in our gas masks of course. I was a little scared at first, but we soon learnt to trust our masks and that was why they had us do it.

    Some orders came for us to report at Folkestone to go to the French front and I came home for a very short leave. I spent part of it with your (now) Auntie May (May Preston, Garside’s sweetheart and future wife) and part with Grandpa and Grandma, your Mummy and Uncle Stanley (Garside’s parents and siblings). How sad it was, but we all tried our best to be cheerful and we all went on a long, beautiful walk by the Wharfe from Barden to Grassington, one I’m sure your Mummy and Daddy have taken you.
    Soon, the time came to go. I caught a train coming from Scotland in the middle of the night – going to London. Grandpa and Grandma came with me and the station was deadly quiet – I don’t think more than one person was on it. We were all brave, especially Grandma, and soon I had left them standing on the cold platform staring into the night as I took my place in a crowded carriage. I only remember getting to London and going to Waterloo Station for the Folkestone train, but I rather think there was an air raid as I went across and I sheltered in a tube tunnel. However, I was feeling so lonely and homesick and you see I am not quite certain. I do remember that in the train going out of Waterloo a kind old Colonel sitting next to me said, “Cheer up my boy; I have a son like you and he felt very bad, but you’ll soon cheer up”. He was quite right. I did soon after we crossed to France from Folkestone to Boulogne. But, oh dear! I felt most miserable of all at Folkestone, waiting for the boat to take me away from dear old England and everyone, for I had never left England before. I walked on the cliffs and could have cried and cried, only I remembered I was an officer whom the King called his ‘well-beloved Bernard Garside’ and thought how silly it would be (You see your Commission from the King, a big sheet of writing, begins, ‘To my trusty and well-beloved Bernard Garside’).

    Well, we landed at Boulogne and were taken in a lorry to Etaples and fixed up in a tent in the middle of a huge camp there. I don’t need to tell you much about the few days we spent there waiting to go ‘up the line’ to the awful Ypres Salient. For at the end of that time we were lined up one day and all those whose names began with the letters down to a certain letter of the alphabet were told they were to go to Italy, where the British and French had sent help to the Italians who had just suffered a big defeat. ‘G’ was one of the letters and I and others were sent off to Havre which was the base camp for Italy. We travelled very slowly by train and I walked part of the way alongside it – you could often do that.
    Oh how cold it was at Havre. We were under canvas and each morning there was thick ice on our washing water. But soon we were off again and were about a week on the train I think. We just touched Paris and went through Lyons and then straight over the Alps and through the famous Mont Cenis tunnel. Or am I getting mixed up and we went by the loved Mediterranean Coast? You see I travelled to Italy again later, when I had been on leave and I get the two journeys a bit mixed up in my mind. But it doesn’t matter. One journey was over the Alps and the other by the coast where we could see the great blue Mediterranean and fruit tree groves – oranges I think.
    Anyway presently we stopped at an awful place called Arquata Scrivia, the advanced base camp. It was a great puddle of mud and snow mixed, until a great pile of snow fell and covered the mud for a while. We were in tents and it was so cold we stayed in bed – in our valises on the floor – all the time except when we had a duty to do or had to go and eat. Our mess tent had a great tarpaulin as a carpet and I remember us laughing because when we stamped in one place, it squelched all the mud away from there and the ‘carpet’ rose up somewhere not far from the place you had stamped on. We spent Christmas there and taught an Italian woman in a village near how to make a Christmas pudding.
    We soon went away, on and on towards the fighting and my chief woe on the way up was that I managed to get a jar of jam and put it under the seat and someone ‘pinched’ it. Travelling for days in a troop train was queer. Sometimes it was funny. I remember we slept two on each seat and two on the floor. And the first night I forgot this and I woke up on my seat and felt so very cold, so I thought I would stand up and put my foot down. I was in my stocking feet – straight into a man’s mouth. He let out such a whoop and woke everyone”.

    The War at Sea


    S.S. Dowlais , a defensively armed ship of 3016 tons, was built in Middlesborough in 1904 and based at Cardiff. She was torpedoed without warning by the German Submarine UB 48 off Cap de Fer, Algeria in the Mediterranean. The ship was on route from Greece for Bona and onto the Clyde carrying a cargo of copper ore. The Master and 25 crew lost. She had been the subject of a salvage claim by the HM Tug Sprite in May 1917 in Scottish waters.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 12-04-2017 at 00:41.

  36. #2886

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    4th December 1917

    Cambrai – Battle of Bourlon Wood ends: British obliged to evacuate salient (night December 4-5 til 7) by threat of renewed German attacks, and loathsome conditions created by unburied corpses, clouds of poison gases and pools of stagnant water.

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    The Battle of Cambrai was full of obstacles for the Tank Corps, not least Bourlon Wood and the shooting box.

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    No matter where you stand on the Cambrai battlefield you are aware of Bourlon Wood. Like some dark cloud massing on the skyline it seems to brood over the entire scene, gloomy and menacing. It is said that when Field Marshal Haig was pouring over the map of the proposed battlefield he put his finger on Bourlon Wood and said “that is where you will get your trouble” and he was right. In fact Bourlon Wood was a hunting reserve, comprising dense undergrowth amongst the trees separated by rides, or tracks, passing through the wood in all directions; here the elite would gather to massacre the game birds and somewhere near the centre was an ornate hunting lodge, known as the shooting box to the British Army. The wood was quite heavily defended by the Germans and it’s an easy place to lose one’s bearings in. The British captured it towards the end of the battle although it was always a difficult place to fight in, with men and guns easily able to hide in the undergrowth to catch the unwary. Bourlon Wood was attacked on 23 November 1917 by infantry and tanks trying to get right through the wood to Bourlon village on the other side. By this time many of the tanks were almost worn out and their crews weary, so composite companies were formed from tanks that were still going.

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    One tank, a female Mark IV named GHURKA, belonging to No. 21 Company in G Battalion, was knocked out some distance from the shooting box but the two that really interest us are F6 FEU D’ARTIFICE (French for firework) and G21 GRASSHOPPER, female and male tanks respectively that appear to have been blown apart right in front of the shooting box. We don’t know the names of any of their crews, or even the tank commanders, so we can’t say if any survived or whether they escaped to fight again, or indeed whether any of them qualified for gallantry awards, but the two tanks, shattered right in front of the shooting box are an iconic sight.

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    Today the shooting box is gone, only the foundations remain. The tanks themselves were broken up later in the war and taken away for scrap and only a few small pieces remain. Local historians Jean-Luc Gibot and Philippe Gorczynski found one of the side doors from F6 a few years ago. Anyone visiting the site today would need to know what they are looking for; the tanks are gone and even the foundations of the ‘shooting box’ are so overgrown that they are not easy to find.

    SOUTHERN FRONTS
    Trentino: Scheuchenstuel’s Eleventh Army (35 battalions) eliminates Mts Meletta*-Badenecche salient northeast of Asiago in 4 hours, taking 16,000 PoWs, 90 guns and 200 MGs until December 5, helped by inadequate Italian gas masks and incompetent General Armani (later sacked); Italian 29th Division destroyed.

    The 11th and 14th British Corps take over from the Italians the Montello sector of the Piave River front, with the French on their left. The Montello sector acts as a hinge to the entire Italian line, joining that portion facing north from Mt. Tomba to Lake Garda with the defensive line of the Piave River covering Venice, which is held by the Third Italian Army. The British troops in this sector will not be involved in any large operations, but they will carry out continuous patrol work across the Piave River, as well as much successful counter battery work. The Piave will prove to be a very serious obstacle, especially in the wintertime, the breadth opposite the British front being considerably over 1,000 yards and the current fourteen knots. Every form of raft and boat will be used, but wading will prove to be the most successful method of crossing, in spite of the icy coldness of the water.

    The Eastern Front

    There are minor actions north of Jaffa and on the Jerusalem road. At El Burf when Turkish soldiers in a large number manage to crawl up within 30 yards of the British firing line and with bombs and automatic rifles are keeping down the fire of the British machine-guns, Second Lieutenant Stanley Henry Parry Boughey (Royal Scots Fusiliers) dies of wounds received three days earlier performing actions for which he will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.

    The War in the Air


    RFC Communiqué number 117:


    The weather was fine but, thick ground mist, and in the 2nd Brigade area snow prevented our machines from working freely.
    Machines of the 2nd and 3rd Brigades each carried out three reconnaissances, when vauable information was obtained.
    With aeroplane observation, nine hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction, four pits were damaged, one explosion and one fire caused.
    Low-flying aeroplanes fired approximately 6,000 rounds at ground targets, 2,200 being by pilots of Naval Squadron No 8.

    Nearly six tons of bombs were dropped by day and night as follows:

    1st Brigade – No 2 Squadron dropped 88 25-lb bombs on Estevelles, Provin, Pont-à-Vendin, Annay and other targets and on the night of the 3rd/4th this squadron dropped eight 25-lb bombs on various objectives. No 18 Squadron dropped four 112-lb bombs on Moncheaux Aerodrome.
    2nd Brigade - Nos 7, 9, 10, 21 and 69 Squadrons dropped 54 25-lb bombs on Comines and other targets.
    3rd Brigade – No 49 Squadron a dropped 10 112-lb bombs on Marquion. Scouts dropped dropped 32 25-lb and Corps rnachines six 25-lb bombs on various targets.
    9th Wing – On the night of the 3rd/4th, No 101 Squadron dropped 126 25-lb bombs on Sains-lès-Marquion and No 102 25-lb bombs on Honnecourt, four on Malincourt and four on a train north of Malincourt which was hit and fired 300 rounds at ground targets.
    The majority of the pilots of these two squadrons made two trips and some three, during the night.

    RNAS Communiqué number 11:


    Visibility throughout the day was poor. No reconnaissance or bomb raids could be carried out.
    Several indecisive encounters took place during the day, and on several occasions EA were driven back over their lines.
    Two two-seaters and a scout were attacked single-handed over Ostende, the result was indecisive.

    Enemy Aircraft

    Enemy aircraft activity was slight all day and only nine combats took place.

    Flt Sub-Lieut J E Greene, SDS, Balloon in flames – after destroying a balloon, he got lost in fog and running short of fuel, force landed at Pitgam [south of Grande-Synthe]

    Capt W R G Pearson and 2nd-Lieut C J Howson, 32 Sqn, two-seater out of control Becelaere at 09:20/10:20 - one hostile machine was driven down out of control by Capt Pearson and 2nd-Lieut Howsam, No 22 Squadron.

    Flt Lieut M H Findlay, 1N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Houthulst Forest at 11:15/12:15 - four Camels from No 1 Squadron attacked an Albatross Scout, grey in colour, over Foret d’ Houthulst. Flight Sub-Lieut Findlay fired 350 rounds into him at 25 yards range and EA fell over and side-slipped several thousand feet and then dropped into the clouds completely out of control

    Flt Sub-Lieut G C Mackay and Flt Sub-Lieut J W Pinder, SDS, Aviatik C out of control Houthulst - Zarren at 15:35/16:35 - three Camels from the Seaplane Defence Squadron attacked an Aviatik two-seater near Zarren. Flight Sub-Lieut Pinder dived and opened fire at 50 yards. After the first burst, the observer in the EA stopped firing and EA did a turning dive. Flight Sub-Lieut Mackay then attacked and was fired on by the EA which then went down completely out of control. Our pilots were then driven off by seven Albatross Scouts and forced to climb into the clouds

    Flt Lieut S M Kinkead, 1N Sqn, DFW C out of control south-east of Dixmude at 16:00/17:00 - Flight Lieut Kinkead sighted a two-seater DFW, S.E. of Dixmude, firing 200 rounds into him at point blank range. The EA went down in a vertical nose-dive, completely out of control

    The following serial victory claims were made by aces on this day

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    There were ten British airmen lost on this day

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    POLITICS
    France: Foreign Minister Pichon signs decree forming independent Czech Army.
    USA: Wilson message to Congress says peace will come when German people agree to a settlement of justice and reparation. US War Trade Board blacklists 1600 German firms in Latin America.

    Captain Tunstill's Men: Support positions between roads 12 and 13 on the Montello.

    Bright and sunny, but freezing all day in the shade.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 12-05-2017 at 08:13.

  37. #2887

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    It's gone all attachment on us again Chris.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  38. #2888

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    Crap ! will sort

    Seems OK now.. still a couple of bits to add, just waiting for sites to update
    Last edited by Hedeby; 12-04-2017 at 03:45.

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    December 5th 1917

    Well looks like I missed the large Gotha raid and the biggest man made explosion in history (until 1945) by one day, so Neil will have the delight of sharing those stories with you tomorrow.

    Lets start with a little snippet from history, one of interest to those fans of the TV series 'Ripper Street' and those with a general interest in the story of 'Jack The Ripper'

    Today sees the death of Edmund Reid. Detective Inspector Edmund John James Reid (21 March 1846 in Canterbury, Kent – 5 December 1917 at Herne Bay, Kent) was the head of the CID in the Metropolitan Police's H Division at the time of the Whitechapel murders of Jack the Ripper in 1888. He was also an early aeronaut. Born in Canterbury in Kent to Martha Elizabeth Olivia (née Driver) (born 1827) and John Reid (born 1818), Edmund Reid was a grocer's delivery boy in London, a pastry-cook, and a ship's steward before joining the Metropolitan Police in 1872, with the Warrant no. 56100. PC P478. Reid was then the shortest man in the force at 5 feet 6 inches tall. In 1874 he transferred to the CID as a detective in P Division, and was promoted to Third-Class Sergeant in 1878 and Detective Sergeant in 1880. Around 1877 he made the first descent from a parachute from 1,000 ft at Luton. He was awarded a gold medal in 1883 from the Balloon Association of Great Britain to commemorate his record-breaking ascent in the balloon "Queen of the Meadow" from The Crystal Palace; he had already received the Association's bronze medal. In all, he made about 23 balloon ascents. In addition, Reid held "50 Rewards and Commendations from Magistrates and High Commissioners of Justice."

    In 1885 Reid was promoted to Detective Inspector and was based at Scotland Yard. In 1886, he organized the newly formed J Division's CID Department in Bethnal Green, and by the time of the Jack the Ripper murders of 1888 he was the Local Inspector and Head of the CID at H Division in Whitechapel, having been appointed in 1887, and succeeding Frederick Abberline. In 1895 he transferred to L (Lambeth) Division. Reid was "a Druid of Distinction" and was awarded the Druids Gold Medal." In addition, he reached professional standards in acting, singing and sleight of hand. The Weekly Despatch described him as "one of the most remarkable men of the century"

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    Detective Inspector Edmund John James Reid

    Reid was the officer in charge of the enquiries into the murders of Emma Elizabeth Smith in April 1888, and Martha Tabram in August 1888, before Inspector Frederick Abberline was sent from Scotland Yard to 'H' Division in Whitechapel to co-ordinate the hunt for the killer. Reid's own theory was that the Ripper murders were committed by a drunk who lived locally, and who had no recollection of his crime. Interviewed in 1912 for Lloyd's Weekly News, he said:

    "The whole of the murders were done after the public-houses were closed; the victims were all of the same class, the lowest of the low, and living within a quarter of a mile of each other; all were murdered within half a mile area; all were killed in the same manner. That is all we know for certain. My opinion is that the perpetrator of the crimes was a man who was in the habit of using a certain public-house, and of remaining there until closing time. Leaving with the rest of the customers, with what soldiers call 'a touch of delirium triangle,' he would leave with one of the women. My belief is that he would in some dark corner attack her with the knife and cut her up. Having satisfied his maniacal blood-lust he would go away home, and the next day know nothing about it." In 1903 he wrote two letters to The Morning Advertiser in which he stated that the Ripper was responsible for nine murders, that of Frances Coles being the last. He further stated that he did not believe that the Ripper was possessed of any surgical skill, holding the view that the wounds to the victims' bodies were merely slashes, inflicted even after the killer knew that the women were dead. He wrongly believed that 'at no time was any part of the body missing', and he also believed there was evidence that the Ripper's knife was blunt.

    Retiring from the Metropolitan Police in 1896 aged 49 due to ill health, he became landlord of 'The Lower Red Lion' public house in Herne in Kent in March 1896, giving that up in October 1896 to set up as a private detective. In 1903 Reid moved into No. 4, Eddington Gardens at Hampton-on-Sea. He named his house Reid's Ranch, painted castellations and cannon on its side and soon became known as the eccentric champion of the Hampton-on-Sea residents, all of whom faced losing their properties due to sea erosion. His house contained a parrot and many photographs of his London cases. His garden contained a cannonball found on his property, a post from the end of the old pier and a flagpole with a union flag. From a wooden kiosk in his garden named the Hampton-on-Sea Hotel he sold soft drinks and postcards featuring himself photographed by Fred C. Palmer. The sea flowed very close to his property, and in 1915 he was the last remaining resident of Eddington Gardens and of Hampton-on-Sea. He abandoned his house in 1916 due to sea erosion, moved to nearby Herne Bay, married again in 1917 to Lydia Rhoda Halling (1867-1938) and died aged 71 on 5 December of the same year of chronic interstitial nephritis and cerebral haemorrhage. He was buried in Herne Bay Cemetery in plot J62 on 8 December 1917.

    anyway back to the war...

    The War in the Air

    General Headquarters, December 5th.

    "On the afternoon of the 5th inst. two raids were carried out by our aeroplanes into Germany. These are the first that have been possible for over a month owing to incessant bad weather. One raid was carried out on the large railway junction and sidings at Zweibrücken (17 miles east of Saarbrücken) and the other on the works of Saarbrücken. Many direct hits were observed in both cases, and two large fires were started. Hostile anti-aircraft gunfire was heavy and accurate, but all our machines returned safely."

    General Headquarters, December 6th.

    "On the 5th inst. there was great activity in the air on both sides. Our aeroplanes carried out a great deal of work with our artillery, as well as several long-distance reconnaissances, and took many photographs of the enemy's back areas. By day, bombs were dropped and many rounds fired from machine-guns on various ground targets. During the night of the 5th-6th inst., Gontrode aerodrome was successfully bombed, and two direct hits were obtained with heavy bombs on the enemy's aeroplane sheds. Other bombs burst among buildings around the aerodrome. In addition, bombs were also dropped on St. Denis Westrem aerodrome and Douai railway station. Fighting took place yesterday throughout the day. Four hostile machines were brought down and five others driven down out of control. One German machine was shot down in our lines by anti-aircraft gunfire. Five of our aeroplanes are missing.”

    RFC Communiqué number 117:

    There was heavy mist in the afternoon, but it was clear during the rest of the day.

    A reconnaissance of enemy wire from height of 200 feet was carried out by Lieut Crawford and Capt Broadbent, No 2 Squadron and two enemy aerodromes were observed and photographed by other nntchines of the 1st Brigade.

    Bristol Fighters of the 3rd Brigade carried out three reconnaissances and took photographs, including some of hostile aerodromes.

    A successful reconnaissance was carried out by a Corps machine of the Corps front, and six counter-attack patrols were done by the 3rd Brigade.
    Capt Jardine and 2nd-Lieut Bliss; No. 25 Squadron, took photographs of stations filled with rolling stock, and reconnoitred the country round Douai, Denain, Valenciennes, Lens, Bavai and Busigny.
    With aeroplane observation, 44 hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction, eight gun-pits were destroyed, 21 damaged, 30 explosions and 17 fires caused.
    Thirteen of the batteries engaged for destruction were by artillery of the First Army which destroyed four pits, damaged nine, caused six explosions and one fire.
    Twenty-one were by artillery of the Second Army which destroyed four pits, damaged five, caused 20 explosions and 13 fires, and machines of this Army reported 50 active hostile batteries by zone call.
    Ten of the hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction by artillery of the Third Army which damaged seven pits, caused four explosions and three fires.
    Balloons of the 2nd Brigade engaged seven targets, of which two were active hostile batteries successfully engaged for destruction.
    During the day, 1,229 photographs were taken and 7,932 rounds were fired – 1,940 by the 1st, 4,612 by the 2nd, and 1,380 by the 3rd Brigade.
    An enemy machine was down by anti-aircraft of the Third Army and fell in our lines and another was shot down in flames by a French pilot and fell in the Second Army area.

    Bombing - 1st Brigade: No 2 Squadron dropped 12 25-lb bombs on Benifontaine, Auchy, Vendin-le-Vieil and on trenches. No 18 Squadron dropped eight 112-lb bombs on Moncheaux Aerodrome.
    2nd Brigade: 123 25-lb bombs were dropped on various targets.
    3rd Brigade: No 49 Squadron attacked Marquion, on which eight 25-lb bombs were dropped. Corps machines dropped six 25-lb, while Scouts dropped eight 25-lb bombs on various targets.

    41st Wing: Two raids carried out into Germany in the afternoon, the first that have been possible for over a month, owing to incessant bad weather. In one raid, 12 112-lb bombs were dropped on railway sidings at Zweibrucken by No 55 Squadron 80 miles from their aerodrome, and in the second raid eight 25-lb bombs were dropped by the same squadron on the Burbach works at Saarbrücken and many direct hits were seen and two fires started. Anit-aircraft fire was heavy and accurate, but the machines were not troubled by EA. Although one or two were seen in vicinity of Saarbrücken they did not attack our machines, all of which returned safely.

    Admiralty, December 6th.

    "On December 5th naval aircraft carried out a bombing raid on Sparappelhoek aerodrome. Many bombs were dropped on objective and also on a train leaving Engel dump. Numerous engagements with enemy aircraft have taken place during patrols, with the result that three hostile machines have been destroyed and one driven down out of control. During December 4th also, in the course of our patrols, three enemy aircraft were shot down out of control. All our machines have returned safely."

    Admiralty, December 7th.

    "During December 5th and 6th bombing raids were carried out by naval aircraft on the following objectives:—Uytkerke aerodrome, St. Denis Westrem aerodrome, Engel aerodrome, Bruges dock, and various railway traffic. Bombs were observed to explode, and fire was caused amongst huts and sheds. All machines returned safely.

    "In the course of the usual fighting patrols two enemy aircraft were destroyed; four more were shot down completely out of control, three of which were probably destroyed."

    RNAS Communiqué number 11:

    The weather was fine throughout the day, though the visibility was somewhat impeded by haze.

    A special North Sea Patrol was carried out by four D.H.4’s from No 2 Squadron. Three of the machines were forced to land in England. Nothing of importance to report. No 2 Squadron also carried out a coastal reconnaissance to Zeebrugge, during this flight several combats took place.

    Bombing raid by day by No 5 Squadron, D.H.4’s: Sparappelhoek Aerodrome was attacked by five machines, three others accompanying them, as escorts. Ten 50-lb and thirty-two 16-lb bombs were dropped over the target and were seen to fall near the sheds, but no direct hits were observed. Four 16-lb bombs were also dropped on a train leaving Engel dump. All machines returned safely.

    During the afternoon, EA activity was above the normal.
    The escort to the Reconnaissance machines was attacked by a number of EA, both scouts and two-seaters, while off Wenduyne, a running fight ensued as far as Nieuport, in the course of which one of the D.H.4’s was badly shot about.
    A number of indecisive combats took place and several EA were driven back over the lines during the day. In addition, two enemy KBs were attacked without apparent result to the balloons, but in one case a parachute was seen to fall and open out.
    A pilot of No 9 Squadron fired into enemy trenches E of Nieuport piers, and along the Yser canal SE of Nieuport, also at a machine gun between Westende Bains and Nieuport piers at which he fired about 150 rounds, finishing at 25 yards range. The machine gun had then ceased firing.

    Enemy Aircraft

    Enemy aircraft activity was marked on the Third Army front all day, but normal on other fronts.

    Lieut A G D Alderson and 2nd-Lieut H M Beck, 3 Sqn, two-seater driven down (?) Awoignt

    Sergt J Bainbridge & Sergt J Johnston, 22 Sqn, two-seater destroyed - Sergts J Bainbridge and J Johnston, No 22 Squadron, went up after a German two-seater rnachine seen from the ground and attacked and destroyed it.
    2nd-Lieut J S Macaulay & 2nd-Lieut M F St Claire-Fowles, 25 Sqn, EA out of control – 2nd-Lieuts J Macaulay and M St Clair-Fowles, No 25 Squadron, were on a practice patrol and were attacked by three EA and in the fighting they shot one down, which fell apparently out of control

    Lieut A Paul, 23 Sqn, EA out of control - drove down an EA out of control.
    Flt Cdr R J O Compston and Flt Sub-Lieut A J Dixon, 8N Sqn, Rumpler C out of control Cambrai
    Flt Sub-Lieut J H Thompson, 8N Sqn, Albatros out of control
    Lieut J C Kirkpatrick & 2nd-Lieut W Harmer, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout in flames Dadizeele at 08:45/09:45 - Lieut Kirkpatrick and 2nd-Lieut Hamer, No 20 Squadron, destroyed an Albatross Scout near Dadizelle [sic]
    Capt W R G Pearson and 2nd-Lieut W A Tyrrell, 32 Sqn, two-seater out of control Becelaere at 08:55/09:55 - Capt Pearson and 2nd-Lieut Tyrrell, No 32 Squadron, attacked a two-seater, shot the observer and then shot the machine down out of control
    2nd-Lieut W Beaver & AM M B Mather, 20 Sqn, Albatros C out of control Dadizeele at 09:25/10:25 - three Albatross Scouts were driven down out of control by machines of this squadron
    Sergt F Johnson & Capt J H Hedley, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Dadizeele at 09:25/10:25 - three Albatross Scouts were driven down out of control by machines of this squadron

    more to come (Editor)

    One British fighter ace was killed in a flying accident on this day

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    Captain Thomas Vicars "Sticky" Hunter

    Thomas Vicars Hunter attended Eton and Sandhurst before joining the Rifle Brigade. He lost a leg in France when he was badly wounded in January 1915. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 4516 on 18 April 1917. Posted to 66 Squadron, he scored five victories before he was killed in a flying accident.

    A total of 43 aces made claims on this very busy day across all fronts...

    Franz Gräser Austro-Hungarian Empire #11
    Wilfred Curtis Canada #11
    George MacKay Canada #2
    John MacRae Canada #2
    Frank Quigley Canada #5
    Stanley Rosevear Canada #9
    Leslie Burbidge England #5
    Robert Compston England #13
    Frederick Hall England #3
    Herbert Hamilton England #2

    John Herbert Hedley
    England #1

    An accountant from North Shields, John Herbert Hedley was the oldest son of Ralph and Ann Dunn (Hair) Hedley. He enlisted on 4 August 1914 and whilst serving with the Northumberland Fusiliers, he was promoted to Captain. As an observer serving with 20 Squadron, Captain Hedley scored eleven victories before he and his pilot, Captain Robert Kirby Kirkman, were captured on 27 March 1918. Their Bristol F.2b was shot down in flames near Foucaucourt by Karl Gallwitz of Jasta Boelcke. Hedley was repatriated on 13 December 1918. On 27 February 1919, Lt. (Hon. Capt.) Hedley was transferred to the unemployed list.

    Hedley departed Southampton, England aboard the Red Star Line's Finland on 21 October 1920, arriving in New York ten days later. In Chicago, Illinois, on 3 May 1926, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. During World War II he was employed by the U. S. Army Air Corps in Dayton, Ohio.

    Frank Johnson England #7

    John Jones England #1

    Robert Kirkman
    England #4
    James Thomas Byford McCudden England #24

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    Sydney Oades England #2
    John Paynter England #2
    William Reginald Guy Pearson England #7
    John Pinder England #6

    Wilfred Sneath
    England #1

    While serving with 1 Naval Squadron, Sneath was injured in a crash on 11 October 1917. Posted to 8 Naval Squadron in 1917, he scored 5 victories flying the Sopwith Camel. Sneath was killed in action, shot down in flames near Lens by Jasta 59.

    Francis Williams England #2
    Henri Hay de Slade France #5
    Andre Herbelin France #7
    Marcel Hugues France #8
    Pierre Marinovitch France #2
    Karl Jentsch Germany #7

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    Willi Kampe Germany #5

    Egon Koepsch Germany #1

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    Wounded in action on 26 February 1918, Koepsch scored all 9 victories whilst serving with Jasta 4. Among his opponents was Kenneth Junor of 56 Squadron and John Doyle of 60 Squadron. In the 1930s, Doyle wrote about his experiences during the war and claimed that Koepsch shot him down and then proceeded to strafe him on the ground.

    Otto Könnecke Germany #11
    Fritz Loerzer Germany #7

    Otto Löffler Germany #1

    Löffler transferred to the German Air Force and was assigned to Jasta Boelcke in the fall of 1917. Flying the Fokker D.VII and the Fokker DR.I, he was shot down twice and scored 15 victories by the end of the war. During World War II, his son Kurt scored 26 victories and became an ace while serving with JG 51.

    Karl Menckhoff Germany #17
    Max von Müller Germany #34
    Marat Schumm Germany #2
    Ernst Udet Germany #16

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    Maurice Lea Cooper Ireland #1

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    Maurice Lea Cooper joined the Royal Naval Air Service on 29 April 1917 and received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 5024 on 16 July 1917. Flying Sopwith Camels, he scored 6 victories before he was killed in action while bombing a train

    Guy Price Ireland #1 #2

    Flight Sub-Lt. Guy William Price received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 987 on a Grahame-White biplane at the Grahame-White School, Hendon on 9 December 1914. Having scored twelve victories flying the Sopwith Camel, he was killed in action while strafing enemy positions. His Sopwith Camel was shot down by Theodor Rumpel of Jasta 23.

    Walter Tyrrell Ireland #5
    Giovanni Ancillotto Italy #7
    Ernesto Cabruna Italy #2
    Silvio Scaroni Italy #4
    Malcolm Brown Mather Scotland #2
    Wilfred Beaver USA #3

    Charles Biddle USA #1

    Having graduated from the Harvard Law School in 1914, Charles John Biddle was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar and was employed by the law firm of Drinker, Biddle and Reath before crossing the Atlantic to enlist in the French Foreign Legion on 13 April 1917. He soon transferred to the French aviation service and after training at Avord, Pau and Le Plessis-Belleville, he was posted to Escadrille N73 on 28 July 1917. In January 1918 he transferred to the United States Signal Corps, Aviation Section, receiving a Captain's commission on 12 January 1918. Assigned to the 103rd Aero Squadron on 14 February, he was wounded in action on 15 May 1918 near Dunkerque. On 22 June 1918 he transferred to the 13th Aero Squadron. On 25 October 1918 he assumed command of the 4th Pursuit Group and was promoted to Major on 1 November 1918. On 19 December he returned to the United States where he was assigned to the Air Service Headquarters in Washington, D.C. on 1 January 1919. Biddle was discharged from the army on 25 January 1919.

    Post-war he wrote "The Way of the Eagle." Biddle died at "Andalusia," the family estate on the Delaware River in lower Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania.

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    Citations:

    Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
    The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Charles John Biddle, Captain (Air Service), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action in the region of Damvillers, France, September 26, 1918. During an engagement between 11 Spads and 12 enemy Fokkers, Captain Biddle, perceiving a comrade in distress from the attack of two planes, dived upon them and by his fire forced them to withdraw. His prompt action saved the life of his comrade, who was in imminent danger of being shot to the ground.

    For extraordinary heroism in action on 12 April 1918 near Corbeny, France, and on 15 May 1918, near Ypres, Belgium. Captain Biddle has daily shown himself an excellent and remarkable example of courage, energy and skill, leading his pilots to the attack at every opportunity and making his flight a most efficient one. On 12 April, he attacked and destroyed an enemy two-seater which crashed between the trenches at Corbeny. On 15 May, while leading his patrol, he attacked, at very low altitude and far within the enemy lines, an enemy two-seater, killing the observer and forcing him down. A few minutes later he engaged a second enemy plane at very close range. Wounded in his leg, his plane and motor riddled, Captain Biddle was forced to land in 'No Man's Land' less than 70 yards from the German trenches in the region of Ypres. With remarkable courage and presence of mind and despite his wound, he detached himself from his smashed machine and made his way from shell hole under intense artillery, machine gun and rifle fire, to an advanced British Observation post.

    Pilot of marvelous spirit. Attacked two enemy two-seaters successfully behind their lines, probably shooting down the first. Wounded and disabled in the course of the second combat, by sheer strength he succeeded in landing in no man's land and after passing the day in a shell hole, by night he got back to the Allied trenches.

    On this busy day 11 British airmen were lost

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    SOUTHERN FRONTS

    Trentino: Conrad drives towards Foza, but delayed by Bersaglieri and Alpini troops rearguard.

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    Field marshal Conrad von Hoetzendorf inspecting troops on the Trentino Front.

    MIDDLE EAST
    Palestine: First British trains reach Ramleh. Mott’s Detachment occupies Hebron, 17 miles south of Jerusalem.

    HOME FRONTS
    Portugal: Major Paes with 1,500 men overthrow Democrat Government until December 8 after 1,350 casualties. Paes Prime Minister, War and Foreign Minister on December 11 and Provisional President of New Republic on December 28.
    Germany*: U-boat office opens in Berlin.

    AFRICA
    Mocambique: Lettow sends Captain Kohl’s 5 coys with the gun east from Nanguari to Mwalia-Medo district, keeping in touch by relay
    Last edited by Hedeby; 12-05-2017 at 12:42.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  40. #2890

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hedeby View Post
    Attachment 237336

    December 5th 1917

    Well looks like I missed the large Gotha raid and the biggest man made explosion in history (until 1945) by one day, so Neil will have the delight of sharing those stories with you tomorrow.
    Spoiler alert!!

    That explosion in Halifax was deadly. Boston Massachusetts sent a lot of help, medical, logistics etc... and now every year Nova Scotia sends a giant Christmas tree to Boston as a show of thanks.

  41. #2891