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Thread: 100 Years Ago Today

  1. #2951


    Thank you to Chris, Rob, and Neil (and anyone else I missed) for all the work they've done keeping us educated and informed!

  2. #2952


    Its a pleasure Chris. Thank you

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  3. #2953


    Quote Originally Posted by fast.git View Post
    Thank you to Chris, Rob, and Neil (and anyone else I missed) for all the work they've done keeping us educated and informed!
    Here! Here! :Thumbs up:
    Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. Winston S. Churchill

  4. #2954


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    All of us here at The Sniper's Times would like to welcome you to 1918

    We are well into the home straight now with only 315 days to go until The Armistice so that means we have had 1246 days since the balloon went up on August 3rd 1914.

    January 1st 1918

    Lets start with the air war and it is a very busy start to the new year...

    General Headquarters, January 2nd:

    “On the 1st inst., our aeroplanes were very active. Much registration work was carried out with the artillery, and many photographs were taken of the enemy's front lines and back areas. Over 200 bombs were dropped by us on various targets, including a large ammunition depot neat Courtrai and Ingelmunster aerodrome. In air fighting two hostile machines were brought down and two others driven down out of control. Another hostile machine was shot down in our lines by our anti-aircraft guns. One of our aeroplanes is missing."

    RFC Communiqué number 121:

    The weather was fairly good for flying and four reconnaissances were carried by the 3rd Brigade, one by the 5th Brigade, and four long-distance reconnaissances by Nos 27 and 25 Squadrons.

    With aeroplane observation 14 hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction; four gun-pits were destroyed, six damaged, one explosion and two fires caused, and 23 active hostile batteries were reported by zone call.

    Anti-aircraft of the Fifth Army shot down a German machine which fell in our lines.

    Only one of our aeroplanes failed return during the day.

    A total of 1,585 photographs were taken during the day, 4,750 rounds fired at ground targets and approximately four tons of bombs dropped follows:-

    Night 31st December/1st January. 9th Wing: No 101 Squadron dropped 96 25-lb bombs on billets at Stadenberg, Vyfwegen, Westroobebeke, Roulers, Menin, Staden and Hooglede.

    No 102 Squadron dropped eight 25-lb bombs on hutments near La Bassée and 8 25-lb on a train, the rear portion of which was hit.

    January 1st.
    1st Brigade: No 5 Squadron dropped 20 25-lb bombs and fired 150 rounds. Army Squadrons fired 1,200 rounds.
    2nd Brigade: No 57 Squadron dropped 20 25-lb bombs on the ammunition dump at Bisseghem, and No 69 Squadron fired 100 rounds.
    3rd Brigade: 65 25-lb bombs were dropped and 900 rounds fired,
    5th Brigade: No 35 Squadron dropped 22 25-lb bombs and fired 500 rounds, and No 8 Squadron dropped 32 25-lb bombs and fired 450 rounds at various targets.
    9th Wing: No 25 Squadron dropped six 112-lb and 30 25-lb bombs on Ingelmunster Aerodrome.

    RNAS Communiqué number 13:

    Owing to unfavourable weather conditions, little war work could be carried out, only a few fighter patrols being maintained. Nothing to report.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Enemy two-seaters were active.

    Capt A M Swyny & 2nd Lieut A Lyons, 8 Sqn, out of control - Capt A M Swyny and 2nd-Lieut A Lyons, No 8 Squadron, were flying towards the lines when they saw anti-aircraft shells bursting and then an enemy machine, which they attacked and shot down out of control

    2nd Lieut F C Gorringe and Lieut K A Seth-Smith, 70 Sqn, two-seater crashed east of Zandvoorde at 09:40/10:40 - 2nd-Lieut F Gorringe, No 70 Squadron, saw two enemy machines approaching the, lines, so got into the sun and attacked one. Lieut C Smith, of the same squadron, also fired at this machine and it eventually went down on fire; ? (Ok) & Uffz August Anton E Brunthaler (Kia), Schsta 30b

    Capt F O Soden and Lieut J B Crompton, 60 Sqn, DFW C out of control south of Roulers at 10:50/11:50 - another machine was driven down and appeared to be out of control by pilots of Nos 23 and 60 Squadrons

    Flt Cdr R J O Compston and Flt Sub-Lieut G K Cooper, 8N Sqn and Capt E Mannock, 40 Sqn, Hannover CL captured Fampoux at 11:35/12:35 - Flight Commander Compston fought one EA which he drove down. It was then attacked by Capt E Mannock, No 40 Squadron, and crashed in our lines at Fampoux; Vfw Fritz Korbacher (Kia) & Ltn Wilhelm Klein (Kia), FA 288b, G.121

    2nd Lieut J S Chick & Lieut H R Kinkaid, 11 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Crèvecoeur at 13:30/14:30 - 2nd-Lieut Chick and Lieut Kincaird, No 11 Squadron, were taking photographs when they saw an enemy scout, which they attacked and down out of control

    Flt Sub-Lieut E G Johnstone, Flt Sub-Lieut W L Jordan and Flt Sub-Lieut H M Reid, 8N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Bailleul at 15:00/16:00 - Three other pilots of Naval Squadron No 8 fought a formation of scouts and drove one down apparently out of control

    Flt Cdr R J O Compston and Flt Sub-Lieut A J Dixon, 8N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Neuvireuil at 15:30/16:30 - Flight Commander Compston and Flight Sub-Lieut Dixon, Naval Squadron No 8, drove down an enemy scout, apparenty out of control

    DH4s of No 25 Squadron, when bombing, were attacked by seven EA Scouts. In the fighting three of the latter went down steeply, possibly out of control; one of these had been engaged by Capt Pearce and 2nd-Lieut Walsh, one by 2nd-Lieuts Pfeiffer and Thornhill, and the third by Lieut Green and 2nd-Lieut Gibson


    ? (Ok) & 2nd Lt G A Williams (Wia; dow), 7 Sqn, RE8 A3424 - shot up on artillery observation
    2nd Lt A C Jones & P1077 Cpl W Metson, 53 Sqn, RE8 A4376 – reported missing during photography but both okay
    2nd Lt A L Kidd (Pow), 46 Sqn, Camel B2513 – took off 14:20/15:20 and last seen with formation east of Havrincourt going north on COP

    The following aerial victory claims were made: Including 'Mick' Mannock, and William Barker

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    Gerald Kempster Cooper joined the Royal Naval Air Service on 9 September 1916. Posted to 8 Naval Squadron in December 1917, he scored 6 victories flying the Sopwith Camel.

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    Johann Putz Jasta 23

    Captain John Stanley Chick MC

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    2nd Lieutenant John Stanley Chick received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 4735 on the Maurice Farman biplane at Military School, Ruislip on 27 May 1917. He was injured in a crash on 26 June 1918. (He was flying Bristol Fighter C4846 for 11 Squadron RFC)

    T./2nd Lt. John Stanley Chick, Gen. List and R.F.C.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. While leading a patrol of four machines over the enemy's lines he attacked an enemy two-seater machine, which his observer drove down completely out of control. Shortly afterwards the patrol engaged nineteen enemy machines; he dived on to the uppermost machine, and drove it down in a series of spins and side-slips completely out of control. He then attacked two others and brought them down in the same manner, while his observer drove down another out of control. On another occasion his formation, consisting of five machines, attacked twenty-five enemy aeroplanes. He destroyed one of the enemy, and drove down another out of control. He set a magnificent example of courage and skill.

    4 British Airmen were lost on this day

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    In the air British aircraft are very active. Much ranging work is carried out with the artillery, and many photographs are taken of the German front lines and back areas. Over two hundred bombs are dropped on various targets, including a large ammunition depot near Courtrai and Ingelmunster aerodrome. In air fighting, two enemy machines are brought down and two others driven down out of control. Another hostile machine is shot down inside British lines by anti-aircraft guns. Two British aircraft are lost, one pilot being killed the other taken prisoner.

    Flight Commander Robert John Orton Compston DSC (Royal Naval Air Service) will be awarded a second bar to the Distinguished Service Cross for ability and determination when leading offensive patrols, in which he displays entire disregard of personal danger. Today he observes a new type of twin-tailed two seat enemy machine, which he attacks, firing many rounds at point blank range. The enemy machine dives, but is again attacked and goes down vertically with his engine full on. The wings come off, and the machine is observed to crash. Later in the day Flight Commander Compston observes two formations of ten and five Albatross scouts respectively. He attacks one of the enemy machines and sends it down in a flat spin and falling over sideways completely out of control. One of these victories is a shared victory with Captain Edward Captain Edward Corringham Mannock, his last victory with 40th Squadron.

    Ten RE-8s from 42nd Squadron make a bombing raid on the German 14th Army Headquarters at Vittorio escorted by Sopwith Camels of 28th and 66th Squadrons. One Sopwith is lost while claims are made for three enemy aircraft.

    The lost Sopwith is piloted by Captain Ralph Erskine (General List attached Royal Flying Corps) who dies of his wounds at age 25. He is the amateur featherweight boxing champion of the world and his brother was killed in July 1915 on the Western Front.

    Austria: In January door locks and latches being removed for metal.

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    Poster calling on the population to support arms production by delivering metal objects.

    Germany: In January 2.3m exempted workers, half Field Army eligible.
    Turkey: 40,594 non-military 1918 deaths in capital (22,244 in 1914).
    Britain: RFP 106%, up 10% during 1917. Sugar rationing (1/2 lb per person per week) plus compulsory
    meatless day (two from January 25). Local lard rationing of 2 oz per person per week for 1.5 million people.
    France: In January Seine freezes over for first time in 120 years.

    Eastern France: Germans exact 92 million francs from Lille (until October 17).

    Flanders: BEF strength 1,907,906 (1,192,668 on January 3, 1917). British 4th Tank Brigade formed. German raids near Loos and Mericourt fail.
    Verdun: French repulse raid at Beaumont, and Chaume Wood flamethrower attack (January 12 and 13), make successful raid to southeast on January 16. Gallwitz in command of Army Group for duration of war.

    Piave: British cross-river raid succeeds (now 109,103 British troops in Italy).

    On the Italian front British batteries bring about the explosion of two enemy ammunition depots at Fontigo (on the left bank of the Piave, north of Montello) and to the south of Conegliano. British patrols attack the enemy advanced posts inflicting losses and capturing prisoners. The Middlesex Regiment carries out the largest raid by the British. It is a difficult and well planned operation, which has as its objective the surrounding and capture of several buildings held by the enemy to a depth of 2,000 yards inland. Two hundred fifty men cross the Piave by wading and some prisoners are captured, but, unfortunately, a party of fifty of the enemy is encountered in an advanced post and gives the alarm, and the progress inland is curtailed. The re-crossing of the river is successfully carried out with few casualties.

    Salonika: *British receive 8-inch gun battery and 12 6-inch Newton mortars and 2 sound*-ranging sections.

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    The Newton 6 inch mortar was designed by the British but produced by both the British and USA, and used by both in the war.

    Macedonia: In January Russian division withdrawn from front and disarmed due to Soviet disaffection, some join French Foreign Legion, at least 14,979 (on April 15) join Allies as labour force but 10,000 Serbs from Russian*-Rumanian front corps arrive (via Archangel, Cherbourg, Orange and Taranto). Greek Army has 36,242 troops (3 divisions) and 14,717 animals at front (January 15) plus 18,260 troops in interior (on March 15, 1918).


    Britain: Depth charge production up to 4,647 per month, escorts armed with 30-40 each, use 1,745 per month from June.
    Germany: Now 21 German MTBs in service, 14 in Flanders.
    Channel: Vice-Admiral Keyes takes over Dover Patrol from Admiral Bacon.
    Biscay: Acting on Room 40 intercepts, armed boarding steamer HMS Duke of Clarence captures Spanish ship Erro Berro (sinks in tow) before she transfers wolfram (ore*-producing tungsten) to 2 U*-boats which are ambushed unsuccessfully.

    TSS Duke of Clarence was a passenger vessel operated jointly by the London and North Western Railway and the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (LYR) from 1892 between Fleetwood and northern Irish ports. In 1906 the LYR bought her outright and transferred her to their summer service from Hull to Zeebrugge, returning to the Irish Sea in winter. During the First World War Duke of Clarence served as an armed boarding steamer. She resumed passenger service in 1920, passing through changes of ownership in the reorganisations of Britain's railway companies in the 1920s, until she was scrapped in 1930.

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    Ordered by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (LYR), Duke of Clarence was built at Laird Brothers, Birkenhead, as the first of seven ships that they delivered between 1892 and 1909. It was originally intended to name her Birkenhead, but it was thought that passengers might be put off by thoughts of the sinking of HMS Birkenhead. She was allocated the United Kingdom Official Number 89707 and the code letters MNSP. She was completed for the joint ownership of LYR and the London and North Western Railway (LNWR). She was acquired outright by the LYR in 1906 for service on the North Sea. She passed to the LNWR in 1922 and, following the grouping of Britain's railways under the Railways Act 1921, to the London, Midland and Scottish Railway in the following year.

    Duke of Clarence was used on routes from Fleetwood to Belfast and Derry until 1906. Following this she served on the Hull to Zeebrugge route during the summer and west coast routes during the winter, including the Liverpool to Drogheda route. The Zeebrugge service was suspended during World War I and the Admiralty requisitioned her for use as an armed boarding steamer, stationed in the Channel approaches and later on the Northern Patrol. She returned to the Zeebrugge service in February 1920. Withdrawn and laid up at Fleetwood in September 1929, she was sold in May 1930 for scrapping to Thos W Ward and broken up at Barrow in Furness. Duke of Connaught then replaced Duke of Clarence

    Mediterranean: 2 U*-boat Flotillas formed, 1st at Pola, 2nd at Cattaro, 7-8 boats on operations in January, including coastal subamrines UB-49 and UB-48 together.
    Baltic: Estimated 40,000 sailors have left Russian Fleet for home or interior land fighting.

    Germany: During January Fokker wins first competition to find obsolescent Albatros fighter replacement.
    Western Front: In January RFC No 19 Squadron first to receive Sopwith Dolphin high-altitude fighter, No 141 Squadron at Rochford, Essex gets and crashes one but used only as day fighter.
    Italy: Austrians bomb Bassano (and on January 4), Treviso (and on January 26) and Mestre (and on January 4 and 26), and Castelfranco on January 4.
    Britain: *Total air defences have 376 aircraft, 469 anti-aircraft guns, 622 searchlights, 258 height-finders and 10 sound locators.

    Captain Tunstill's Men: The day was described by Brig. General. Lambert (see 27th December 1917- still not a relative - editor) as being a “beautiful day of sunshine, sharp frost and deep snow”.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 01-02-2018 at 16:48.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  5. #2955


    Thanks a bundle Chris - magnificent work. Hope you had a wonderful festive season Happy New Year to you and yours. All over by Christmas huh! What will you do with all that spare time I wonder!

  6. #2956


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    January 2nd 1918

    Another day where the biggest influence was the poor weather...

    The War in The Air

    General Headquarters, January 3rd.

    “On the 2nd instant thick mist greatly hindered the work of our aeroplanes, but during the night a few bombs were dropped by us on Carnin in spite of very bad weather. One hostile machine was brought down in air fighting."

    RFC Communiqué number 121:

    Thick mist and low clouds prevented much flying, being done.

    Three reconnaissances were carried out, one by the 1st, one by the 2nd, and one by the 3rd Brigade. Several long distance photographic reconnaissances were attempted by the 9th Wing, but the weather was too bad to enable them successfully accomplish anything.

    125 photographs were taken during the day, 2,500 rounds fired and 44 25-lb bombs dropped as follows:

    1st Brigade: No 5 Squadron dropped 12 25-lb bombs and fired 130 rounds, and No 43 Squadron fired 1,100 rounds.

    2nd Brigade: No 21 Squadron fired 400 rounds.

    3rd Brigade: Dropped 22 25-lb bombs and fired 100 rounds.

    5th Brigade: No 8 Squadron dropped 10 25-lb bombs and fired 220 rounds, and No 35 Squadron fired 450 rounds.

    RNAS Communiqué number 13:

    Owing to unfavourable weather conditions, little war work could be carried out, only a few fighter patrols being maintained. Nothing to report.

    Enemy Aircraft: Enemy aircraft were not active

    Flt Cdr G W Price and Flt Sub-Lieut H Day, 8N Sqn, Albatros Scout in flames Cite St Auguste at 11:15/12:15 - Flight Commander Price, Naval Squadron No 8, picked out one of seven Albatross Scouts which his patrol encountered, and after manoeuvring for position got in a good burst from about 50 yards range from behind the tail of the enemy machine and it immediately burst into flames and crashed; Ltn Günther Auffarth, Jasta 29, Kia,


    There were no combat-related casualties

    There were only a couple of claims...

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    Flight Commander Guy William Price (Royal Naval Air Service) will be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in recognition of the gallantry and determination displayed by him in leading offensive patrols, which have constantly engaged and driven away enemy aircraft patrols. Today he observes seven Albatross scouts, and, crossing the lines in the clouds, he attacks one, which falls vertically, bursting into flames, and crashes to the ground. Commander Price will be killed in action at age 22 while strafing enemy positions on 18th February as a 12-victory ace. 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.

    The Air Ministry is formed. Members appointed being Lord Rothermere, Major General Hugh Trenchard, Rear Admiral Mark Kerr, Commodore Godfrey Paine, Major General William Sefton Brancker, ‘Sir’ William Weir, ‘Sir’ John Hunter, Major John L Baird and Lieutenant General David Henderson.

    Two members of the Royal Flying Corps, Lieutenant John Reginald Nickson age 25, pilot and a Canadian, and Lieutenant W S Ely, are accidentally killed while flying at Wytham near Oxford.

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    A total of 5 British Airmen were lost on this day

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    USA: War Mission in Europe urges speedy troop dispatch and merchant ship building; first 100 of 1,500 US farm tractors en route to France.

    Home Fronts
    USA: Outlook magazine article denounces anti-German hysteria especially forced flag kissing.
    Britain: King gives Haig his Field Marshal’s baton at Buckingham Palace, latter urges clear war aims be announced to BEF.
    Germany: Ludendorff and Hoffmann (effective Eastern Front commander as CoS) part company over latter’s plan to retain only small part of Poland.

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    Stars and Stripes: In the US war loans are provided.

    Eastern Front
    Brest-Litovsk: Bolsheviks denounce terms as ‘annexationists’. All-Russian Board formed for organizing Red Army. Kaiser in Berlin discusses new Russian frontier with Hindenburg and Ludendorff.

    Air War
    Britain: Air Ministry established. In January Royal Flying Corps stops enlisting American citizens.

    The Air Ministry

    The Air Ministry was a department of the Government of the United Kingdom with the responsibility of managing the affairs of the Royal Air Force, that existed from 1918 to 1964. It was under the political authority of the Secretary of State for Air.

    On 13 April 1912, less than two weeks after the creation of the Royal Flying Corps (which initially consisted of both a naval and a military wing), an Air Committee was established to act as an intermediary between the Admiralty and the War Office in matters relating to aviation. The new Air Committee was composed of representatives of the two war ministries, and although it could make recommendations, it lacked executive authority. The recommendations of the Air Committee had to be ratified by the Admiralty Board and the Imperial General Staff and, in consequence, the Committee was not particularly effective. The increasing separation of army and naval aviation from 1912 to 1914 only exacerbated the Air Committee's ineffectiveness and the Committee did not meet after the outbreak of the First World War.

    By 1916 the lack of co-ordination of the Army's Royal Flying Corps and the Navy's Royal Naval Air Service had led to serious problems, not only in the procurement of aircraft engines, but also in the air defence of Great Britain. It was the supply problems to which an attempt at rectification was first made. The War Committee meeting on 15 February 1916 decided immediately to establish a standing joint naval and military committee to co-ordinate both the design and the supply of materiel for the two air services. This committee was titled the Joint War Air Committee, and its chairman was Lord Derby.[1] It was also at the meeting on 15 February that Curzon proposed the creation of an Air Ministry. As with the pre-war Air Committee, the Joint War Air Committee lacked any executive powers and therefore was not effective. After only eight sittings, Lord Derby resigned from the Committee, stating that "It appears to me quite impossible to bring the two wings closer together ... unless and until the whole system of the Air Service is changed and they are amalgamated into one service.

    The next attempt to establish effective co-ordination between the two air services was the creation of an Air Board. The first Air Board came into being on 15 May 1916 with Lord Curzon as its chairman. The inclusion of Curzon, a Cabinet Minister, and other political figures was intended to give the Air Board greater status than the Joint War Air Committee. In October 1916 the Air Board published its first report which was highly critical of the arrangements within the British air services. The report noted that although the Army authorities were ready and willing to provide information and take part in meetings, the Navy were often absent from Board meetings and frequently refused to provide information on naval aviation. In January 1917 the Prime Minister David Lloyd George replaced the chairman Lord Curzon with Lord Cowdray. Godfrey Paine, who served in the newly created post of Fifth Sea Lord and Director of Naval Aviation, sat on the board and this high level representation from the Navy helped to improve matters. Additionally, as responsibility for the design of aircraft had been moved out of single service hands and given to the Ministry of Munitions, some of the problems of inter-service competition were avoided.

    Despite attempts at reorganization of the Air Board, the earlier problems failed to be completely resolved. In addition, the growing number of German air raids against Great Britain led to public disquiet and increasing demands for something to be done. As a result, Lloyd George, the British Prime Minister, established a committee composed of himself and General Jan Smuts, which was tasked with investigating the problems with the British air defences and organizational difficulties which had beset the Air Board.

    Towards the end of the First World War, on 17 August 1917, General Smuts presented a report to the War Council on the future of air power. Because of its potential for the 'devastation of enemy lands and the destruction of industrial and populous centres on a vast scale', he recommended a new air service be formed that would be on a level with the Army and Royal Navy. The new air service was to receive direction from a new ministry and on 29 November 1917 the Air Force Bill received Royal Assent and the Air Ministry was formed just over a month later on 2 January 1918. Lord Rothermere was appointed the first Air Minister. On 3 January, the Air Council was constituted as follows...

    Lord Rothermere, Air Minister and President
    Lieutenant-General Sir David Henderson, Additional Member and Vice-President
    Major-General Sir Hugh Trenchard, Chief of the Air Staff
    Major-General (formerly Rear-Admiral) Mark Kerr, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff
    Major-General (formerly Commodore) Godfrey Paine, Master General of Personnel
    Major-General Sefton Brancker, Controller-General of Equipment
    Sir William Weir, Director-General of Aircraft Production in the Ministry of Munitions
    Sir John Hunter, Administrator of Works and Buildings
    Major J L Baird Permanent Under-Secretary

    Captain Tunstill's Men: In the early hours L.Cpl. Gilbert Swift Greenwood (see 1st January), who had been wounded the previous day, died of his wounds at one of the local Casualty Clearing Stations. Lt.Col. Francis Washington Lethbridge DSO (see 18th December 1917) would later write to the family, “Allow me to express to you my deep sympathy in the death of your son, L.Cpl. G.S. Greenwood, the first man in this battalion to give his life for his country on the Italian Front. Your son was commanding a guard over his company headquarters in the front line, and was hit by a shell. He died without pain a few hours after. Your boy was a very gallant soldier and had always acquitted himself with credit in action. I, in common with all the other officers who knew him, greatly regret his loss”. Greenwood would be buried at Biadene Communal Cemetery Extension, ¾ mile NE of Montebelluna; his remains would subsequently be exhumed and re-buried at Giavera British Cemetery.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 01-03-2018 at 14:17.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  7. #2957


    Attachments not showing Chris Thanks for the post - Happy New Year
    Last edited by mikeemagnus; 01-02-2018 at 17:22.

  8. #2958


    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    Attachments not showing Chris Thanks for the post - Happy New Year
    I suppose we could almost call them detachments.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  9. #2959


    Right replaced the images once again...

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  10. #2960


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    3rd January 1918

    Really big day for the various air services...

    General Headquarters, January 4th.

    “The fine weather on the 3rd instant led to great aerial activity on both sides. Our aeroplanes observed for the artillery throughout the day, and took a great many successful photographs both in the enemy's forward and back areas. A total of 200 bombs were dropped on two hostile aerodromes, on Ledeghem railway junction, on hutments in the neighbourhood of Houthulst Forest, and on billets south of Lille. Six hostile aeroplanes were brought down in air fighting, and two others were driven down out of control. Three of our aeroplanes are missing.

    “During the night of the 3rd-4th instant, further 300 bombs were dropped on six of the enemy's aerodromes, including Gontrode aerodrome. Successful raids were also carried out, in spite of very bad weather, against the factories at Maizieres-les-Metz, the railway communications at Woippy, and the railway Junction at St. Privat, all of which are in the neighbourhood of Metz. All our machines returned."

    RFC Communiqué number 121:

    A considerable amount of work was done.

    Thirteen successful reconnaissances were carried out, three by the 2nd Brigade, three by the 3rd Brigade, two by the 5th and five by the 9th Wing.

    Artillery Co-operation: with aeroplane observation 45 hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction and five were neutralised. Five gun-pits were destroyed, 19 damaged, 17 explosions and 11 fires caused, and 76 active hostile batteries were reported by zone call.

    1,860 photographs were taken during the day, 5,087 rounds fired at ground targets, and approximately three tons bombs dropped as follows:
    1st Brigade: No 18 Squadron droppped 24 25-lb bombs on various billets, and 29 25-lb bombs were dropped by Corps squadrons.
    1,050 rounds were fired and 315 photographs taken.

    2nd Brigade: No 57 Squadron dropped 13 25-lb bombs on Ledeghem Railway Junction,

    554 photographs were taken.

    3rd Brigade: Seventy-nine 25-lb bombs were dropped by low-flying scout and Corps machines on various targets.

    2,210 rounds were fired and 619 photographs taken.

    5th Brigade: No 8 Squadron dropped 42 25-lb bombs and fired 1,027 rounds.
    No 35 Squadron dropped 16 25-lb bombs, fired 700 rounds and took 174 photographs.
    9th Wing: On the night 2nd/3rd machines of No 102 Squadron dropped two 230-lb and two 25-lb bombs on Carvin.

    During the day No 25 Squadron dropped six 112-lb and 10 25-lb bombs on Scheldewendeke Aerodrome while No 27 Squadron attacked Maria Aalter Aerodrome on which they dropped three 112-lb and eight 25-lb bombs.

    RNAS Communiqué number 13:

    Intermittent snow storms throughout the day made flying difficult. Fighter patrols were maintained whenever possible.
    A bomb raid was attempted on Ghistelles Aerodrome by No 5 Squadron, but had to be abandoned.
    Several indecisive engagements took place during the day. A pilot of No 10 Squadron being forced down to 200 feet over Ostende, eventually escaping in the clouds. Two of our pilots failed to return from a general engagement near Lille.

    Enemy Aircraft: Enemy aircraft activity was not very pronounced, though more single-seaters were encountered than during the last few days.

    Lieut E Green & Cpl R Allan, 25 Sqn, Scout out of control – an enemy machine was shot down out of control by Lieut E Green & Cpl R Allan, No 25 Squadron, who were returning home alone when four EA scouts attacked them
    Lieut L A Payne & ?, 48 Sqn, LVG C out of control
    Capt H H Maddocks, 54 Sqn, Camel B9143, DFW C in flames east of St Quentin at 08:25/09:25 - Capt H Maddocks, No 54 Squadron, engaged an enemy two-seater, which he shot down in flames

    Flt Cdr R J O Compston, Flt Sub-Lieut W L Jordan and Flt Sub-Lieut P M Dennett, 8N Sqn, DFW C crashed west of Arras at 10:05/11:05 - a patrol of Naval Squadron No 8, consisting of Flight Commander Compston, Flight Lieut Jordan, and Flight Sub-Lieut Dennett, attacked a two-seater which they drovn down and which was seen to crash; Ltn Josef Lampart (Kia) & Ltn Alexander Zipperer (Kia), FA 46b [?]

    2nd Lieut H M Beck, 3 Sqn, DFW C out of control Havrincourt Wood at 11:15/12:15 - Lieut H M Beck, No 3 Squadron, attacked a two-seater and shot it down out of control

    Flt Cdr R J O Compston, 8N Sqn, DFW C out of control Épinoy Wood at 11:20/12:20 - Flight Commander Compston attacked another two-seater which he shot down out of control

    Lieut N C Millman & 2nd Lieut A C Cooper, 48 Sqn, Albatros C out of control Le Catelet at 11:30/12:30

    Capt K R Park & Lieut J H Robertson, 48 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control St Quentin at 12:10/13:10 - Capt K Park & Lieut J Robertson, No 48 Squadron, were taking photographs when six EA attacked them. After hard fighting they shot down one scout out of control and evaded the rest, although the Bristol's engine was hit

    Capt R L Chidlaw-Roberts and 2nd Lieut C F Cunningham, 60 Sqn, two-seater in flames Armentières - Comines at 12:40/13:40 - Capt R Chidlaw-Roberts and Lieut Cunningham, No 60 Squadron, attacked a two-seater which was seen by anti-aircraft to fall in flames
    2nd Lieut E A Coghlan & 2/AM H R Eden, 27 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Maria Aeltre at 13:05/14:05
    2nd Lieut W J Henney & 2nd Lieut P S Driver, 27 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Maria Aeltre at 13:05/14:05

    Bombing machines of No 27 Squadron had hard fighting and drove down two enemy machines, one was hit by 2nd Lieut W Henney & Lieut P Driver; the other by 2nd Lieut C Gannaway & Lieut J Proger

    Flt Lieut M J G Day, SDS, Albatros C out of control Nr Bruges at 13:30/14:30 - Flight Sub-Lieut Day, Seaplane Defence Squadron, went in pursuit of a hostile photographic machine over Dunkirk. Overtaking it near Bruges he fired 300 rounds at point blank range. EA dived very steeply and disappeared in the clouds. It is considered highly probable that this machine was destroyed

    2nd Lieut F C Gorringe, 70 Sqn, two-seater in flames noerth of Wervicq at 13:40/14:40
    2nd Lieut F G Quigley, 70 Sqn, two-seater out of control east of Moorslede at 13:45/14:45
    2nd Lieut F Gorringe, No 70 Squadron, engaged a hostile machine which he drove down until it fell out of control and crashed, and 2nd Lieut F Quigley of the same squadron shot down a two-seater out of control

    2nd Lieut A F W Beauchamp-Proctor, 84 Sqn, two-seater out of control north-east of St Quentin at 15:00/16:00
    Lieut J F Larsen, 84 Sqn, two-seater in flames north-east of St Quentin at 15:00/16:00

    2nd Lieut A Beauchamp Proctor, No 84 Squadron, shot down a two-seater out of control, while another was shot down in flames by Lieut J Larson of the same squadron, who picked it off the tail of another pilot

    Capt W E Molesworth, 29 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control south of Moorslede at 15:30/16:30
    2nd Lieut L Timms and Lieut F J Williams, 29 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control south of Moorslede at 15:35/16:35

    A formation of Nieuport Scouts of No 29 Squadron attacked a scout which Capt W Molesworth shot down out of control, and a second was engaged and driven down out of control by 2nd Lieuts L Tims and F Williams

    2nd Lieut W Beaver & 2nd Lieut H E Easton, 20 Sqn, Albatros C crashed north-east of Moorslede at 15:45/16:45 - while on photographic work, 2nd Lieuts W Beaver & H Easton, No 20 Squadron, attacked a scout which they shot down out of control and which crashed and burst into flames

    Capt H Rusby, No 29 Squadron, attacked an enemy balloon which was pulled down smoking


    Lt R S S Brown (Wia), 3 Sqn, Camel - shot up bombing
    2nd Lt W J Henney (Ok) & Lt P S Driver (Ok), 27 Sqn, DH4 B2087 - badly damaged in fight with EA after dropping bombs at Maria Aaltre
    2nd Lt C D Skinner (Wia), 29 Sqn, SE5a – shot up in combat
    ? (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut L Lambe (Wia), 48 Sqn, F2b – shot up in combat
    2nd Lt E S Davenport (Pow; Dow), 3 Sqn, Camel B9131 – took off 07:10/08:10 and last seen north-west of Marcoing on low bombing Marcoing; ground fire [also said to be Vzfw Otto Fruhner, Js26, 3rd victory [south of Armentières at 11:35/12:35] but time
    2nd Lt R G J Stewart (Pow), 56 Sqn, SE5a C1753 – took off 10:00/11:00 and seen to have force landed behind enemy lines Vendhuille and being assisted into enemy trenches on DOP; Ltn d R Ludwig Hanstein, Js35, 14th victory [Guillemont at 11:10/12:10]
    Capt A F E Pitman (Kia) & Lt C W Pearson (Kia), 57 Sqn, DH4 A7687 – took off 10:50/11:50 and missing from photography; Oblt Bruno Loerzer, Js26, 21st victory [south-west of Gheluvelt at 12:10/13:10] ?
    2nd Lt R L M Ferrie MC (Kia), 46 Sqn, Camel B2516 - last seen in a spin near Metz at 11:30/12:30 after diving on EA on COP
    Flt Sub-Lt F Booth (Kia), 10N Sqn, Camel B5658 - last seen in engagement with a number of enemy machines west of Lille at 13:50/14:50 on high offensive patrol; Uffz Emil Liebert, Js30, 2nd victory [Mourchin (Meurchin?) at 13:50/14:50] ?
    Flt Sub-Lt A G Beattie (Pow), 10N Sqn, Camel N6351 - last seen in engagement with a number of enemy machines west of Lille on high offensive patrol; Vzfw Hans Oberländer, Js30, 5th victory [Billy – Provin at 13:50/14:50] ?
    2nd Lt A B Cochrane (Ok) & 2nd Lt V C Baker (Wia), 10 Sqn, AW FK8 C3521 - attacked and badly damaged by 5 EA on artillery observation Becelaere at 15:15/16:15

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    Another victory today for Keith Park and his Bristol, but he was in turn shot down by Kurt Ungewitter

    The following victories were claimed (34 different pilots)

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    Amongst the 'first timers' on this day is one Captain Andrew Frederick Weatherby "Proccy" Beauchamp-Proctor VC. DSO. MC and bar, DFC

    The son of a school teacher, Andrew Frederick Weatherby Beauchamp-Proctor was South Africa's highest scoring ace during World War I. When the war began, he was a student of engineering at the University of Cape Town but abandoned his studies to join the army. He served as a signaller in the Duke of Edinburgh's Own Rifles and saw action in German South-West Africa before his discharge from the army in August 1915. After completing his education, Beauchamp-Proctor joined the Royal Flying Corps in March 1917 and was commissioned upon his arrival in England. Having successfully completed pilot training, he was posted to 84 Squadron in late July and accompanied this unit to France in September 1917.

    An S.E.5a pilot, Beauchamp-Proctor was just five feet two inches tall. His height made it necessary to raise the seat and modify the controls of the aircraft he flew. Despite these difficulties and a crash on 11 March 1918, Beauchamp-Proctor claimed 54 victories that year and became the British Empire's highest scoring balloon-buster. Beauchamp-Proctor was killed in a flying accident at Central Flying School, Upavon on 21 June 1921.

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    VC Citation

    Lieut. (A./Capt.) Andrew Weatherby Beauchamp-Proctor, D.S.O., M.C., D.F.C., No. 84 Sqn., R.A. Force.
    Between August 8th, 1918, and October 8th, 1918, this officer proved himself victor in twenty-six decisive combats, destroying twelve enemy kite balloons, ten enemy aircraft, and driving down four other enemy aircraft completely out of control.
    Between October 1st, 1918, and October 5th, 1918, he destroyed two enemy scouts, burnt three enemy kite balloons, and drove down one enemy scout completely out of control.
    On October 1st, 1918, in a general engagement with about twenty-eight machines, he crashed one Fokker biplane near Fontaine and a second near Ramicourt; on October 2nd he burnt a hostile balloon near Selvjgny; on October 3rd he drove down, completely out of control, an enemy scout near Mont d'Origny, and burnt a hostile balloon; on October 5th, the third hostile balloon near Bohain.
    On October 8th, 1918, while flying home at a low altitude, after destroying an enemy two-seater near Maretz, he was painfully wounded in the arm by machine-gun fire, but, continuing, he landed safely at his-aerodrome, and after making his report was admitted to hospital.
    In all he has proved himself conqueror over fifty-four foes, destroying twenty-two enemy machines, sixteen enemy kite balloons, and driving down sixteen enemy aircraft completely out of control.
    Captain Beauchamp-Proctor's work in attacking enemy troops on the ground and in reconnaissance during the withdrawal following on the Battle of St. Quentin from March 21st, 1918, and during the victorious advance of our Armies commencing on August 8th, has been almost unsurpassed in its Brilliancy, and. as such has made an impression on those serving in his squadron and those around him that will not be easily forgotten.
    Capt. Beauchamp-Proctor was awarded Military Cross on 22nd June, 1918; D.F. Cross on 2nd July, 1918; Bar to M.C. on 16th September, 1918; and Distinguished Service Order on 2nd November, 1918.

    12 British Airmen were lost on this day

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    Anti-aircraft guns at home score a “success”. The victim is an FE2b of 38th Squadron on a cross country training flight from Stamford. The pilot, Second Lieutenant E F Wilson, strays into the outer London defenses, forgets the night recognition colors and is promptly fired on by the Roding guns. The aircraft is hit and then wrecked in a forced landing. Fortunately Wilson is unhurt.

    Captain Henry Hollingdrake Maddock
    s scores his fifth victory, the first victory in a Sopwith Camel for 54th Squadron east of St Quentin. He will achieve two more victories before the end of the Great War. Shortly thereafter Second Lieutenant Andrew Frederick Weatherby Beauchamp-Proctor (Royal Flying Corps) scores the first of his fifty-four victories also east of St Quentin.

    British air losses are six aircraft down. Four pilots are killed, two taken prisoner. Those killed include

    Lieutenant Cecil William Pearson (Northumberland Fusiliers attached Royal Flying Corps) killed at age 21 on a mission southwest of Gheluvelt. He is the son of the late Reverend C W Pearson (Vicar of Walton, Aylesbury).
    Second Lieutenant Edmund Sharington Davenport (Royal Flying Corps) is killed in action at age 21. He is the grandson of the Reverend E S Davenport.

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    Second Lieutenant Leonard George Colbeck
    (Royal Field Artillery) dies at sea on board HMS Ormonde returning home at age 34. He is a professional cricket player for Middlesex, Marylebone and Europe versus India after playing for Cambridge University.

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    A Bristol Fighter prepares for a mission on a wintry day.

    Britain: Air Council replaces Air Board, analogous to Army Council and Board of Admiralty. Lord Rothermere first Secretary of State for Air. Trenchard first Chief of Air Staff.
    Palestine: Royal Flying Corps bomb airfields at El Afule and Jenin (until January 4).
    Germany: Allied air raids on Metz area, Royal Flying Corps repeat (on January 4, 16 and 21).
    Western Front*: South African ace Lieutenant Beauchamp*-Proctor scores first of 54 victories.

    Artois: Slight British advance south of Lens.
    Alsace: French heavily repulse attack near Anspach.

    Brest-Litovsk: Ukrainian delegation arrives. Bolsheviks propose moving talks to Stockholm (Central Powers refuse on January 9).
    Russia: British ambassador Buchanan recalled (departs January 7).

    Captain Tunstill's Men: A medical examination of Fred Tate (see 29th January 1917), who had been an original member of ‘A’ Company but had been discharged on grounds of ill health whilst the Company was in training, found that “he has acute phtisis (TB) in both lungs, is losing weight and generally getting worse; uncertain if permanent; re-examine in six months”. There was also confirmation of the earlier medical opinion that Tate’s illness “cannot be regarded as due to or aggravated by military service”.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  11. #2961


    The update for 4th Jan delayed as my internet has failed. Should be up first thing in the morning. Apologies chaps

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  12. #2962


    Its ok folks back up and running sooner than expected...

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    4th January 1917

    General Headquarters, January 5th.

    “On the 4th instant there was again great activity in the air, and photographic and artillery work was continued all day. The strong wind prevented our aeroplanes from carrying out long-distance bombing raids, but over 250 bombs were dropped on Denain (north of Cambrai), Ledeghem, Menin, and Roulers railway stations. Many thousands of rounds were fired from a low height at active hostile machine guns and at the enemy's trenches. Most of the fighting was confined to the northern portion of the front, where eight hostile machines were brought down and two others driven down out of control. Five of our machines are missing. During the night of the 4th-5th instant, our machines attempted to bomb once more the factories and railway communications at Maizieres-les-Metz. Although visibility was bad and the sky covered with low clouds, several pilots succeeded in dropping their bombs on their objectives, while others released their bombs on other targets of military importance in the neighbourhood. All our machines returned."

    Admiralty, January 5th.

    “On the 4th instant a bombing raid was carried out by naval aircraft on Ghistelles aerodrome, and numerous bombs were dropped among the sheds and buildings. All our machines returned safely."

    RFC Communiqué number 121:

    The mist interfered with artillery work

    Two reconnaissances were carried out by the 1st Brigade, two by the 2nd, four by the 3rd and two long distance reconnaissances by the 9th Wing.

    With aeroplane observation, 31 hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction, five gun-pits were destroyed, 16 damaged, 17 explosions and six fires caused, and 61 active hostile batteries were reported by zone call.

    With balloon observation five hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction and 28 other targets dealt with.

    A total of 1,594 photographs were taken, 547 bombs dropped, and 9,500 rounds fired as follows:

    1st Brigade: On the night of the 3rd/4th, No 2 Squadron dropped 44 25-lb bombs on Oignies and 40 25-lb bombs on Courrières.

    On the 4th, No 2 Squadron dropped 24 25-lb bombs on various targets; No 4 Squadron dropped 18 and No 5Squadron dropped 17 on various targets. No 18 Squadron dropped eight 25-lb on Billy Montigny and Douai railway stations. 500 rounds were fired by the 1st Wing and 1,900 rounds by the 10th Wing.

    2nd Brigade: No 57 Squadron dropped 12 25-lb bombs on Ledeghem, 12 on Roulers, 12 on Menin, 12 on Rumbeke Aerodrome, and fired 1,290 rounds.
    3rd Brigade dropped 96 25-lb bombs and fired 2,170 rounds.
    5th Brigade: No 8 Squadron dropped 14 25-lb bombs and fired 240 rounds, and No 35 Squadron dropped 4 25-lb bombs and fired 1,050 rounds.

    9th Wing: On the night of the 3rd/4th, No 101 Squadron dropped 12 25-lb bombs on Gontrode, 72 on Ramegnies Chin, obtaining two direct hits on sheds, 24 on Ingelmunster, 24 on the railway line at Eschem and Blandain, and fired 2,350 rounds into the hangars of the aerodromes. No 102 Squadron dropped 74 25-lb bombs on hostile batteries, railway junctions and aerodromes, including Maria Aalter, Scheldewendeke, and Ennetières.

    On the 4th, No 27 Squadron dropped four 112-lb and 24 25-lb bombs on Douai railway junction.

    41st Wing: On the night of the 3rd/4th, 10 machines of No 100 Squadron left the ground at 5.30pm to attack the factories and railways in the neighbourhood of Mazieres. The temperature on the ground was minus 27 degrees Centigrade, and consdequently a considerable amount of trouble was experienced with engines. Eventually five of the machines crossed the lines, but only two reached the chief objective - a factory - which was brilliantly lit up. Two 230-lb and eight 25-lb bombs were dropped, and good bursts were observed, a very large explosion taking place close to the blast furnaces. One 230-lb and six 25-lb bombs were dropped on a railway station just north of Metz, probably Woippy, and one 230-lb and six 25-lb bombs on a railway junction south of Metz, probably Saint Privat. All machines returned.

    RNAS Communiqué number 13:

    A successful photographic reconnaissance was carried out by No 2 Squadron over Bruges Docks and La Brugeoise Works. A number of plates were exposed and interesting results obtained.

    Bombing raid by day, No 5 Squadron, D.H.4s: At noon a bomb raid was carried out on Ghistelles Aerodrome. Fourteen 50-lb and fifty-three 16-lb bombs were dropped on the objective. Bombs were observed to explode close to and among the sheds on the S.W., S. and E. sides of the aerodrome, and a direct hit with a 50-lb bomb on a shed on the south side is reported, and confirmed by photographs taken during the raid.

    E.A. were inactive during the day. Pilots of No 9 Squadron drove three Aviatik two-seaters E over Middlekerke. After several attacks one of these was driven down.

    Enemy Aircraft: Enemy aircraft were not as active as on the previous day, with the exception of in the neighbourhood of Lens where activity was very pronounced.

    2nd Lieut R Pohlmann & 2nd Lieut O S Hinson, 25 Sqn, EA out of control – an EA was driven down out of control by 2nd-Lieuts R Pohlmann & O Hinson, No 25 Squadron

    Flt Cdr R J O Compston, Flt Sub-Lieut H H S Fowler, Flt Cdr R B Munday and Flt Sub-Lieut G K Cooper, 8N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Épinoy Wood - four machines of Naval Squadron No 8 had several combats and in one of these Flight Sub-Lts Jordan, Johnstone and Dennett shot down a two-seater out of control

    2nd Lieut F C Gorringe and Lieut H W Soulby, 70 Sqn, two-seater crashed Becelaere at 09:20/10:20 - in another patrol 2nd-Lieut Gorringe and Lieut H Soulby attacked two two-seater EA one of which they drove down and saw crashed on the ground. After this 2nd-Lieut Gorringe attacked two more EA and drove them east

    Capt J Gilmour, 65 Sqn, two-seater in flames south of Roulers at 10:40/11:40
    2nd Lieut G M Knocker, 65 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control east of Becelaere at 10:55/11:55
    Lieut E C Eaton, 65 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control ? Passchendaele at 10:55/11:55
    Capt J Gilmour, 65 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control south of Roulers at 11:00/12:00

    A patrol of No 65 Squadron engaged four enemy two-seaters and several scouts and the fight lasted for half-an-hour. Capt J Gilmour shot down a two-seater in flames and a scout out of control. He was then attacked from behind but succeeded in out-manoeuvring the scout and destroyed it. 2nd-Liut G Knocker, of the same Squadron, shot down a scout out of control, and Lieut E Eaton drove one down of control and another down damaged

    2nd Lieut C Fowler, 23 Sqn, Scout broke up east of Becelaere at 11:05/12:05 - a formation of Spads of No 23 Squadron dived to the assistance of RE8s which were being attacked, and 2nd-Lieut C Fowler shot one down which fell in flames and broke to pieces before reaching the ground

    Lieut G B Moore, 1 Sqn, Albatros Scout Destroyed south of Terhand at 11:05/12:05 - 2nd-Lieut G Moore, No 1 Squadron fought a Scout which he eventually destroyed
    2nd Lieut G Jooste & 2nd Lieut S H P Masding, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed Menin at 11:06/12:06 – No 20 Squadron also had a number of combats. In one, 2nd Lieuts G Jooste & S Masding shot down an EA scout which crashed
    Capt J Gilmour, 65 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed north of Gheluvelt at 11:10/12:10 [see above entry for No 65 Sqn]
    Capt W M Fry, 23 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed east of Becelaere at 11:10/12:10 - a formation of Spads of No 23 Squadron dived to the assistance of RE8s which were being attacked, and Capt W Fry shot down a scout which crashed; Ltn Friedrich Graepel, Jasta 28w, Kia
    Flt Sub-Lieut H Day, 8N Sqn, two-seater out of control north of Bourlon Wood at 11:20/12:20 - a second patrol of Naval Squadron No 8 shot down another two-seater out of control
    Flt Sub-Lieut A J Dixon, Flt Sub-Lieut E G Johnstone, Flt Sub-Lieut W L Jordan and Flt Sub-Lieut P M Dennett, 8N Sqn, DFW C crashed (Scout out of control?) Gavrelle at 11:30/12:30 - a third patrol of Naval Squadron No 8 shot down an EA scout out of control
    2nd Lieut G G Walker & 2nd Lieut W W Jones, 35 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control G.12 (62B) at 11:45/12:45 – an EA was driven down out of control by 2nd-Lieuts G Walker & W Jones, No 35 Squadron, who were attacked when on photographic reconnaissance
    Lieut R M Makepeace & Capt J H Hedley, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Menin at 12:00/13:00 – while, on a photographic reconnaissance, 2nd-Lieut R Makepeace & Capt J Hedley were attacked by five Scouts and shot one down completely out of control
    2nd Lieut F C Gorringe, 70 Sqn, two-seater in flames Passchendaele at 13:30/14:30 – 2nd-Lieut F Gorringe, No 70 Squadron, fought a German pilot who manoeuvred his machine skilfully but was beaten and his machine fell in flames


    2nd-Lieut K P Ewart (Kia) & Lieut A N Westlake (Kia), 27 Sqn, DH4 B2074 – took off 09:50/10:50 then seen gliding down from 13,000 feet south-west of Denain in combat with EA on return from bomb raid to Denain
    Flt Sub-Lieut A J Dixon (Kia), 8N Sqn, Camel B6278 - shot down while engaging hostile 2-seater between Neuvireuil and Oppy at 10:30/11:30 on special mission
    2nd-Lieut R E Robb (Pow; Dow 05-Jan-18), 65 Sqn, Camel B2413 – took off 09:45/10:45 and last seen in general combat over Dadizeele at 10:45/11:45 on reserve patrol; Vfw Willi Kampe, Js27, 7th victory ?
    Capt E Pope (Pow) & 2nd-Lieut A F Wynne (Pow), 57 Sqn, DH4 A7424 – took off 11:45/12:45 then missing from photography; Vzfw Otto Fruhner, Js26, 4th victory [Neuville at 12:50/13:50] ?
    Capt F H B Selous MC (Kia), 60 Sqn, SE5a C5334 - fell in enemy lines after wings broke off in steep dive on hostile machine about 1 mile east of Menin at 11:45/12:45 on offensive patrol; Ltn Papenmeyer, Js2 ?

    The following aerial victories were claimed on this day:

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    These include a hat trick for Major John Ingles Gilmour MC. DSO

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    2nd Lieutenant John Ingles Gilmour, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 2888 on a Maurice Farman biplane at military school, Farnborough on 17 March 1916. With 3 victories each, he and South African ace Douglas Bell achieved the highest scores of the war flying Martinsyde Elephants.

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    There were 15 British Airmen lost on this day

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    The well-lit hospital ship Rewa, under the command of Captain J E Drake, is torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U55 at about midnight as she approaches the Bristol Channel waters supposedly open to hospital ships. The officers and crew number fifty-one British and one hundred sixty native seamen. There are two hundred eighty-seven wounded on board, including thirty cot cases. She has come from the Mediterranean and carried Spanish commissioners as far as Gibraltar. The wounded are safely transferred to patrol vessels and there are only four casualties among the crew. About ten minutes after the last boat is loaded the ship plunges head first into the water and disappears. Just before the engines stop, wireless messages are sent from on board which are picked up by three vessels, including a tank steamer and two patrol boats or mine sweepers and these craft divert their courses and steer at full speed to the crippled ship. The survivors are taken to Bristol.

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    In France a soldier drops a lighted match in a dug-out which is being used as a store for gunpowder. Although most of the gunpowder had been removed there is a considerable amount scattered on the floor, which catches fire. The soldier is overcome by the fumes and in spite of the volumes of smoke issuing from the dug-out Lance Corporal Sidney Williams (London Regiment) enters the dug-out and rescues the soldier who is by now badly burned and unconscious. Williams who is severely burned has to carry the man up twenty steps and if not for his prompt action the man would have lost his life. For his actions Corporal Williams will be awarded the Albert Medal.

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    Bristol Channel: British hospital ship Rewa (4 lives lost) from Mediterranean sunk by U-55.
    North Sea: RNAS aircraft raid Ghistelles airfield near Ghent.
    Flanders: U*-boat Flotilla has 29 boats (loses 24 subs in 1918).

    France and Sweden recognize Finland’s independence (Norway and Denmark on January 10).

    NB. Gregorian Calendar dates...

    To The Finnish People.

    The Finnish Parliament has on 15th day of the last November, in support of Section 38 of the Constitution, declared to be the Supreme holder of the State Authority as well as set up a Government to the country, that has taken to its primary task the realization and safeguarding Finland’s independence as a state. The people of Finland have by this step taken their fate in their own hands: a step both justified and demanded by present conditions. The people of Finland feel deeply that they cannot fulfil their national duty and their universal human obligations without a complete sovereignty. The century-old desire for freedom awaits fulfilment now; The People of Finland has to step forward as an independent nation among the other nations in the world.

    Achieving this goal requires mainly some measures by the Parliament. Finland’s current form of government, which is currently incompatible with the conditions, requires a complete renewal and therefore has the Government now submitted a proposition for a new Constitution to the Parliament’s council, a proposition that is based on the principle that Finland is to be a sovereign republic. Considering that, the main features of the new polity has to be carried into effect immediately, the Government has at the same time delivered a bill of acts in this matter, which mean to satisfy the most urgent renewal needs before the establishment of the new Constitution.

    The same goal also calls for measures from the part of the Government. The Government will approach foreign powers to seek an international recognition of our country’s independence as a state. At the present moment this is particularly all the more necessary, when the grave situation caused by the country’s complete isolation, famine and unemployment compels the Government to establish actual relations to the foreign powers, which prompt assistance in satisfying the necessities of life and in importing the essential goods for the industry, are our only rescue from the imminent famine and industrial stagnation.

    The Russian people have, after subverting the Tsarist Regime, in a number of occasions expressed its intention to favour the Finnish people the right to determine its own fate, which is based on its centuries-old cultural development. And widely over all the horrors of the war is heard a voice, that one of the goals of the present war is to be, that no nation shall be forced against its will to be dependent on another (nation). The Finnish people believe that the free Russian people and its constitutive National Assembly don’t want to prevent Finland’s aspiration to enter the multitude of the free and independent nations. At the same time the People of Finland dare to hope that the other nations of the world recognizes, that with their full independence and freedom the People of Finland can do their best in fulfilment of those purposes that will win them an independent position amongst the people of the civilized world.

    At the same time as the Government has wanted to let all the Finnish citizens to know these words, the Government turns to the citizens, as well as the private and public authorities, calling everyone on their own behalf with rapt attention to follow the (law and) order by filling their patriotic duty, to strain all their strength for achieving the nations common goal in this point of time, which has such an importance and decisiveness, that there have never before been in the life of the Finnish people. In Helsinki, 4 December 1917.


    Palestine: Allenby telegram insists on consolidation and capturing Jericho as EEF advances another mile north of Jerusalem. Britain notifies Hussein that Palestine must have special regime.

    Captain Tunstill's Men
    : The Battalion was relieved overnight 4th/5th. On relief by 8th Yorks. and Lancs. the Battalion met with their guides at the junction of Road 15 and the Cliff Road and marched to billets at Biadene. The move was completed in heavy snow.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  13. #2963


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    Its another late posting today, still time to get this up then spend an hour dying horribly on Omaha Beach trying to get started on Call of Duty WWII on my new PS-4 (courtesy of the very lovely Mrs. L at Christmas)

    January 5th 1918

    So it looks like a very quiet day today (made even queter by the fact that a couple of sources haven't updated yet...)

    General Headquarters, January 6th:

    “On the 5th instant little flying was possible, owing to unfavourable weather, but half-a-ton of explosives was dropped by our aeroplanes, and nearly 6,000 rounds fired from machine-guns from the air at the enemy's troops and at other targets.

    “On the night of the 5th-6th instant over half-a-ton of bombs was dropped on Ramegnies Chin aerodrome, where direct hits were obtained, and also on stations and hostile billets. A ton of bombs was also dropped on Conflans Station and sidings, north-west of Metz. Many direct hits were observed and a large explosion and fire were caused. Half-a-ton of bombs was dropped on Courcelles station, south-east of Metz."

    RFC Communiqué number 121:

    Very little work was possible owing to low clouds and mist.

    Two successful reconnaissances were carried out by Brostol Fighters of No 11 Squadron and one by a Corps machine.

    One hostile battery was successfully engaged for destruction by artillery of the First Army with aeroplane observation, and eight active hostile batteries were reported by zone call.

    Thirty-eight photographs were taken by the 5th Brigade, 57 25-lb bombs dropped and 4,583 rounds fired as follows:-
    1st Brigade: Eight bombs and 650 rounds.

    2nd Brigade: 347 rounds.

    3rd Brigade: Forty-five bombs and 2,547 rounds.

    5th Brigade: Four bombs and 1,044 rounds.

    On the night of the 4th/5th, a machine of No 101 Squadron driopped eight 25-lb bombs in the vicinity of Wavrin. Four were seen to hit hutments and four fell on the railway line.

    41st Wing: On the night of the 4th/ 5th, nine machines of No 100 Squadron again left to bomb the factories at Maizieres, but owing to the low clouds and heavy mist some of the machines failed to find the target and bombed their bombs as follows:

    1 230-lb and 6 25-lb bombs on the railway station at Marly,
    3 230-lb, 16 25-lb bombs and one phosphorus bomb on Maizieres,
    1 230-lb and 6 25-lb bombs on a railway junction between Woippy and Devant-les-Ponts,
    1 230-lb and 6 25-lb on Courcelles Railway Junction,
    1 230-lb and 6 25-lb on a railway bridge 4 miles south of Maizieres,
    1 230-lb, 4 25-lb and 1 phosphorus bomb on a train at Wurtemberg Junction.

    All machines returned.

    RNAS Communiqué number 13:

    Weather conditions prevented any war work being carried out.

    Enemy aircraft: Enemy aircraft were inactive.

    2nd-Lieut M E Gonne, 54 Sqn, DFW C out of control St Quentin - Marty at 15:55/16:55 - One scout was shot down out of control by 2nd-Lieut M Gonne, No 54 Squadron


    2nd-Lieut S Grossberg (Wia), 13 Sqn, RE8 - hit by machine-gun fire on artillery patrol

    I can only find record of 4 aerial victory claims...

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    There were still 7 British airmen lost on this day

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    I use the word ONLY carefully, but there were only 273 British lives lost on this day, including...

    Major William Claud Kennedy Birch MC (Yorkshire Regiment) is killed in a fire at Hedged Street Tunnel at age 26. The fires was caused by an electrical fault which burned so fiercely that the tunnel had to be sealed off to prevent the fire spreading eighteen members of the battalion perish in the fire. He was captured while serving in the Royal Flying Corps made in January 1915 and later escaped and rejoined his regiment.

    Chaplain the Reverend Edgar Noel Moore MC
    (attached King’s Liverpool Regiment) is killed in action at age 29.

    Private C Cobb (Manchester Regiment) is killed at age 24. His brother was killed in October 1914.

    Western Front

    Cambrai: German attacks on British east of Bullecourt repulsed (and on January 8), trench raid near Bullecourt on January 8. Two German raids near Hollebeke. Germans raid British post near Flesquieres, both sides raid in sector on January 19.
    Ypres*: German raid repulsed.

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    German stormtroopers undergo realistic training by advancing through a cloud of gas.

    Air War

    Germany: 5 Navy airships (L46, L47, L59, L58 and SL20) destroyed by explosions and fire at Ahlhorn (petrol fire under L59 rear gondola likely, or sabotage), 15 dead.
    Italy: 74 Royal Flying Corps aircraft serviceable, later 1918 strength varies from 65 to 91.


    Britain: Lloyd George war aims speech to TUC Manpower London Conference envisages peace based on moral principle and League of Nations war alternative. No intention of molesting Turk homelands, Straits to be internationalized.

    Lloyd George War Aims Speech

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    When the Government," said Lloyd George, "invite organized labor in this country to assist them to maintain the might of their armies in the field, its representatives are entitled to ask that any misgivings and doubts which any of them may have about the purpose to which this precious strength is to be applied should be definitely cleared, and what is true of organized labour is equally true of all citizens in this country, without regard to grade or avocation. "When men by the million are being called upon to suffer and die, and vast populations are being subjected to the sufferings and privations of war on a scale unprecedented in the history of the world, they are entitled to know for what cause or causes they are making the sacrifice. It is only the clearest, greatest and justest of causes that can justify the continuance even for one day of this unspeakable agony of the nations, and we ought to be able to state clearly and definitely, not only the principles for which we are fighting, but also their definite and concrete application to the war map of the world.
    "We have arrived at the most critical hour in this terrible conflict, and before any government takes the fateful decision as to the conditions under which it ought either to terminate or continue the struggle, it ought to be satisfied that the conscience of the nation is behind these conditions, for nothing else can sustain the effort which is necessary to achieve a righteous end to this war.

    "I have, therefore, during the last few days taken special pains to ascertain the view and the attitude of representative men of all sections of thought and opinion in the country. Last week I had the privilege, not merely of perusing the Declared War Aims of the Labour Party, but also of discussing in detail with the labour leaders the meaning and intention of that declaration. I have also had an opportunity of discussing this same momentous question with Mr. Asquith and Viscount Grey. Had it not been that the Nationalist leaders are in Ireland engaged in endeavoring to solve the tangled problem of Irish self-government, I should have been happy to exchange views with them, but Mr. Redmond, speaking on their behalf, has, with his usual lucidity and force, in many of his speeches, made clear what his ideas are as to the object and purpose of the war.

    "I have also had the opportunity of consulting certain representatives of the great dominions overseas.

    "I am glad to be able to say, as a result of all these discussions, that, although the Government are alone responsible for the actual language I propose using, there is national agreement as to the character and purpose of our war aims and peace conditions, and in what I say to you to-day, and through you to the world, I can venture to claim that I am speaking, not merely the mind of the Government, but of the nation and of the empire as a whole.

    "We may begin by clearing away some misunderstandings and stating what we are not fighting for. We are not fighting a war of aggression against the German people. Their leaders have persuaded them that they are fighting a war of self-defence against a league of rival nations bent on the destruction of Germany. That is not so. The destruction or disruption of Germany or the German people has never been a war aim with us from the first day of this war to this day. Most reluctantly, and indeed quite unprepared for the dreadful ordeal, we were forced to join in this war in self-defence. In defence of the violated public law of Europe, and in vindication of the most solemn treaty obligation on which the public system of Europe rested, and on which Germany had ruthlessly trampled in her invasion of Belgium, we had to join in the struggle or stand aside and see Europe go under and brute force triumph over public right and international justice. It was only the realization of that dreadful alternative that forced the British people into the war.

    "And from that original attitude they have never swerved. They have never aimed at the break-up of the German peoples or the disintegration of their state or country. Germany has occupied a great position in the world. It is not our wish or intention to question or destroy that position for the future, but rather to turn her aside from hopes and schemes of military dornination, and to see her devote all her strength to the great beneficent tasks of the world. Nor are we fighting to destroy Austria-Hungary or to deprive Turkey of its capital, or of the rich and renowned lands of Asia Minor and Thrace, which are predominantly Turkish in race.

    "Nor did we enter this war merely to alter or destroy the imperial constitution of Germany, much as we consider that military, autocratic constitution a dangerous anachronism in the Twentieth Century. Our point of view is that the adoption of a really democratic constitution by Germany would be the most convincing evidence that in her the old spirit of military domination had indeed died in this war, and would make it much easier for us to conclude a broad democratic peace with her. But, after all, that is a question for the Gerrnan people to decide.

    "It is now more than a year since the President of the United States, then neutral, addressed to the bel- ligerents a suggestion that each side should state clearly the aims for which they were fighting. We and our allies responded by the note of the tenth of January, 1917.

    "To the President's appeal the Central Empires made no reply, and in spite of many adjurations from their oppoltents and from neutrals, they have maintained a complete silence as to the objects for which they are fighting. Even on so crucial a matter as their intentions with regard to Belgium, they have uniforrnly declined to give any trustworthy indication.

    "On the twenty-fifth of December last, however, Count Czernin, speaking on behalf of Austria-Hungary and her Allies, did make a pronouncement of a kind. It is, indeed, deplorably vague. We are told that it is not the intention of the Central Powers to appropriate forcibly any occupied territories or to rob of its independence any nation which has lost its political independence during the war. It is obvious that almost any scheme of conquest and annexation could be perpetrated within the literal interpretation of such a pledge.

    "Does it mean that Belgium, and Serbia, Monte-negro and Roumania will be as independent and as free to direct their own destinies as the German or any other nation? Or does it mean that all man- ner of interferences and restrictions, political and economic, incompatible with the status and dignity of a free and self-respecting people, are to be imposed? If this is the intention then there will be one kind of independence for a great nation and an inferior kind of independence for a small nation. We must know what is meant for equality of right among nations, small as well as great, is one of the fundamental issues this country and her Allies are fighting to establish in this war. Reparation for the wanton damage inflicted on Belgian towns and villages and their inhabitants is emphatically repudiated.

    "The rest of the so-called 'offer' of the Central Powers is almost entirely a refusal of all concessions. All suggestions about the autonomy of subject nationalities are ruled out of the peace terms alto- gether. The question whether any form of self-government is to be given to Arabs, Armenians or Syrians is declared to be entirely a matter for the Sublime Porte. A pious wish for the protection of minorities 'in so far as it is practically realizable' is the nearest approach to liberty which the Central statesmen venture to make.

    "On one point only are they perfectly clear and definite. Under no circumstances will the 'German demand' for the restoratlon of the whole of Germany's colonies be departed from. All principles of self-determination or, as our earlier phrase goes, government by consent of the governed, here vanish into thin air.

    "It is impossible to believe that any edifice of permanent peace could be erected on such a foundation as this. Mere lip-service to the formula of no annexations and no indemnities or the right of self determination is useless. Before any negotiations can even be begun, the Central Powers must realize the essential facts of the situation.

    "The days of the Treaty of Vienna are long past. We can no longer submit the future of European civilization to the arbitrary decisions of a few negotiators striving to secure by chicanery or persuasion the interests of this or that dynasty or nation. The settlement of the new Europe must be based on such grounds of reason and justice as will give some promise of stability. Therefore, it is that we feel that government with the consent of the governed must be the basis of any territorial settlement in this war. For that reason also, unless treaties be upheld, unless every nation is prepared at whatever sacrifice to honour the national signature, it is obvious that no treaty of peace can be worth the paper on which it is written.

    "The first requirement, therefore, always put forward by the British Government and their Allies, has been the complete restoration, political, territorial and economic, of the independence of Belgium, and such reparation as can be made for the devastation of its towns and provinces. This is no demand for war indemnity, such as that imposed on France by Germany in 1871. It is not an attempt to shift the cost of warlike operations from one belligerent to another, which may or may not be defensible. It is no more and no less than an insistence that, before there can be any hope for a stable peace, this great breach of the public law of Europe must be repudiated and, so far as possible, repaired. Reparation means recognition. Unless international right is recognized by insistence on payment for injury done in defiance of its canons it can never be a reality.

    "Next comes the restoration of Serbia, Montenegro and the occupied parts of France, Italy and Roumania. The complete withdrawal of the alien armies and the reparation for injustice done is a fundamental condition of permanent peace.

    "We mean to stand by the French Democracy to the death in the demand they make for a reconsideration of the great wrong of 1871, when, without any regard to the wishes of the population, two French provinces were torn from the side of France and incorporated in the German Empire. This sore has poisoned the peace of Europe for half a century and, until it is cured, healthy conditions will not have been restored. There can be no better illustration of the folly and wickedness of using a transient military success to violate national right.

    "I will not attempt to deal with the question of the Russian territories now in Gemm occupation. The Russian policy since the revolution has passed so rapidly through so many phases that it is difficult to speak without some suspension of judgment as to what the situation will be when the final terms of European peace come to be discussed. Russian accepted war with all its horrors because, true to her traditional guardianship of the weaker communities of her race, she stepped in to protect Serbia from a plot against her independence. It is this honourable sacrifice which not merely brought Russia into the war, but France as well. France, true to the conditions of her treaty with Russia, stood by her ally in a quarrel which was not her own. Her chivalrous respect for her treaty led to the wanton invasion of Belgium; and the treaty obligation of Great Britain to that little land brought us into the war.

    "The present rulers of Russia are now engaged without any reference to the countries whom Russia brought into the war, in separate negotiations with their common enemy. I am indulging in no reproaches; I am merely stating facts with a view to making it clear why Britain cannot be held accountable for decisions taken in her absence and concerning which she has not been consulted or had her aid invoked.

    "No one who knows Prussia nd her designs upon Russia can for a moment doubt her ultimate intention. Whatever phrases she may use to delude Russia, she does not mean to surrender one of the fair provinces or cities of Russia now occupied by her forces. Under one name and another -- and the name hardly matters -- these Russian provinces will henceforth be in reality part of the dominions of Prussia. They will be ruled by the Prussian sword in the interests of Prussian autocracy, and the rest of the people of Russia will be partly enticed by specious phrases and partly bullied by the threat of continued war against an impotent army into a condition of complete economic and ultimate political enslavement to Germany.

    "We all deplore the prospect. The democracy of this country means to stand to the last by the de mocracies of France and Italy and all our other Allies. We shall be proud to fight to the end side by side with the new democracy of Russia, so will America and so will France and Italy. But if the present rulers of Russia take action which is independent of their Allies we have no means of intervening to arrest the catastrophe which is assuredly befafling their country. Russia can only be saved by her own people.

    "We believe, however, that an independent Poland comprising all those genuinely Polish elements who desire to form part of it, is an urgent necessity for the stability of Western Europe.

    "Similarly, though we agree with President Wilson that the break-up of Austria-Hungary is no part of our war aims, we feel that unless genuine self-government on true democratic principles is granted to those Austro-Hungarian nationalities who have long desired it, it is impossible to hope for the removal of those causes of unrest in that part of Europe which have so long threatened its general peace.

    "On the same grounds we regard as vital the satisfaction of the legitimate claims of the Italians for union with those of their own race and tongue. We also mean to press that justice be done to men of Roumanian blood and speech in their legitimate aspirations.

    "If these conditions are fulfilled Austria-Hungary would become a power whose strength would conduce to the permanent peace and freedom of Europe, instead of being merely an instrument to the pernicious military autocracy of Prussia, which uses the resources of its allies for the furtherance of its own sinister purposes.

    "Outside Europe, we believe that the same principles should be applied. While we do not challenge the maintenance of the Turkish Empire in the homelands of the Turkish race with its capital at Constantinople, the passage between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea being internationalized and neutralized, Arabia, Armenia, Mesopotamia, Syria and Palestine are in our judgment entitled to a recognition of their separate national conditions. What the exact form of that recognition in each particular case should be need not here be discussed, beyond stating that it would be impossible to restore to their former sovereignty the territories to which I have already referred.

    "Much has been said about the arrangements we have entered into with our Allies on this and on other subjects. I can only say that as new circumstances, like the Russian collapse and the separate Russian negotiations, have changed the conditions under which those arrangements were made, we are and always have been perfectly ready to discuss them with our Allies.

    :With regard to the German colonies, I have repeatedly declared that they are held at the disposal of a conference whose decision must have primary regard to the wishes and interests of the native inhabitants of such colonies. None of those territories are inhabited by Europeans. The governing consideration, therefore, in all these cases must be that the inhabitants should be placed under the control of an administration, acceptable to themselves, one of whose main purposes will be to prevent their exploitation for the benefit of European capitalists or governments. The natives live in their various tribal organizations under chiefs and councils who are competent to consult and speak for their tribes and members and thus to represent their wishes and interests in regard to their disposal. The general principle of national self-determination is, therefore, as applicable in their cases as in those of occupied European territories.

    "The German declaration that the natives of the German colonies have, through their military fidelity in the war, shown their attachment and resolve under all circumstances to remain with Germany is applicable not to the German colonies generally, but only to one of them, and in that case (German East Africa) the German authorities secured the attachment, not of the native population as a whole, which is and remains profoundly anti-German, but only of a small warlike class from whom their Askaris or soldiers were selected. These they attached to themselves by conferring on them a highly privileged position as against the bulk of the native population, which enabled these Askaris to assume a lordly and oppressive superiority over the rest of the natives. By this and other means they secured the attachment of a very small and insignificant minority, whose interests were directly opposed to those of the rest of the population, and for whom they have no right to speak. The German treatment of their native populations in their colonies has been such as amply to justify their fear of submitting the future of those colonies to the wishes of the natives themselves.

    "Finally, there must be reparation for injuries done in violation of international law. The Peace Conference must not forget our seamen and the services they have rendered to, and the outrages they have suffered for the common cause of freedom.

    "One omission we notice in the proposal of the Central Powers, which seems to us especially regrettable. It is desirable and, indeed, essential, that the settlement after this war shall be one which does not in itself bear the seed of future war. But that is not enough. However wisely and well we may make territorial and other arrangements, there will still be many subjects of international controversy. Some, indeed, are inevitable.

    "The economical conditions at the end of the war will be in the highest degree difficult. Owing to the diversion of human effort to warlike pursuits, there must follow a world-shortage of raw materials, which will increase the longer the war lasts, and it is inevitable that those countries which have control of the raw materials will desire to help themselves and their friends first.

    "Apart from this, whatever settlement is made will be suitable only to the circumstances under which it is made and, as those circumstances change, changes in the settlemeht will be called for.

    "So long as the possibility of dispute between nations continues-that is to say, so long as men and women are dominated by passion and ambition, and war is the only means of settling a dispute-all nations must live under the burden, not only of having from time to time to engage in it, but of being compelled to prepare for its possible outbreak. The crushing weight of modern armaments, the increasing evil of compulsory military service, the vast waste of wealth and effort involved in warlike preparation, these are blots on our civilization of which every thinking individual must be ashamed.

    "For these and other similar reasons, we are confident that a great attempt must be made to establish by some international organization an alternative to war as a means of settling international disputes. After all, war is a relic of barbarism and, just as law has succeeded violence as the means of settling disputes between individuals, so we believe that it is destined ultimately to take the place of war in the settlement of controversies between nations.

    "If, then, we are asked what we are fighting for, we reply as, we have often replied: we are fighting for a just and lasting peace, and we believe that be fore permanent peace can be hoped for three conditions must be fulfilled; firstly, the sanctity of treaties must be established; secondly, a territorial settlement must be secured, based on the right of self-determination or the consent of the governed, and, lastly, we must seek by the creation of some international organization to limit the burden of armaments and diminish the probability of war.

    "On these conditions the British Empire would welcome peace; to secure these conditions its peoples are prepared to make even greater sacrifices than those they have yet endured."

    Captain Tunstill's Men:
    The weather for the next two weeks would remain very cold, with intense frosts.

    Following their relief overnight (4th/5th) the men of the Battalion enjoyed their delayed Christmas dinner and a special performance by the Divisional Concert Party, ‘The Dumps’.

    A detailed kit inspection led to a number of men being reported for missing kit and iron rations; on the orders of Lt.Col. Francis Washington Lethbridge DSO (see 4th January) all were to pay for the lost items. Pte. James Cowie (see 30th October 1917) was reported by CQMS Thomas Winder (see 8th September 1917) and Sgt. Lionel Vickers (see 29th November) for ‘loss of kit’ (detail unspecified). Pte. Walter James Biddle (see 3rd December 1917) was also reported by Winder and Vickers, in his case for “loss of iron rations”. Pte. Ernest Locker Smith (see 29th October 1917) was reported by Winder and Sgt. Joseph Maddison MM (see 17th December 1917, it is not known when he had been promoted Sergeant) for ‘loss of kit’ (detail unspecified). Pte. Smith would also be reported on four successive days as being either dirty or improperly dressed on parade, resulting in a total of 14 days confined to barracks. Pte. John Malcolm Starbuck (see 30th November 1917) was reported by Winder and Sgt. Frank Shelah Gilleard (see 24th March 1917) for loss of his ‘housewife’ (the name given given to the personal ‘repair kit’ kept by soldiers). Pte. Walter Wardley (see 16th December 1917) was reported by Sgt. Richard Everson (see 9th July), and L.Cpl. John Wright Pollard (see 29th November 1917) as being, “deficient of cap badge”. Pte. Arthur Wood (29524) (see 3rd December 1917) was reported by Winder and Sgt. John William Wardman MM (see 17th December 1917) for “loss of canteen cover”.

    I will update as and when more info becomes available...
    Last edited by Hedeby; 01-06-2018 at 09:11.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  14. #2964


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    6th January 1918

    General Headquarters, January 7th.

    “On the 6th inst. much successful work was accomplished by our aeroplanes in co-operation with artillery. A large number of photographs were taken and 12,000 rounds were fired from machine-guns at hostile troops, transport and other targets. Nearly 3 tons of bombs were dropped by our aeroplanes on different objectives. A number of fights took place in the air, as the result of which six hostile machines were brought down and two others driven down out of control. One of our machines is missing."

    RFC Communiqué number 121:

    Although misty, thje weather was fine and a considerable amount of work was done.

    Fifteen reconnaissances were carried out – one by the 1st Brigade, six by the 2nd, when Lieuts Walker and Playford, No 9 Squadron, Lieuts Jones and Johnson, No 21 Squadron, and pilots of No 10 and 69 Squadrons made valuable reports.

    Two reconnaissances were carried out by Bristol Fighters of No 11 Squadron, 3rd Brigade, one by No 8 Squadronand another by No 35 Squadron of the 5th Brigade, and four by No 25 Squadron of the 9th Wing.

    On the night of the 3rd/4th, Capt L Payne and Lieut Wardill, No 101 Squadron, carried out a special long recconnaissance, while another done by Capt G Talbot-Willcox and 2nd-Lieut F Lyll of the same Sqnndron.

    With aeroplane observation 39 hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction. Six gun-pits were destroyed, 15 damaged, 14 explosions and six fires caused, and 39 active hostile batteries were reported by zone call.

    926 photographs were taken, 12,594 rounds fired at ground targets trom low altitudes, and bombs dropped as follows :-

    1st Brigade: No 18 Squadron dropped four 25-lb bombs on Perenchies. Forty-four 25-lb bombs were also dropped on and 4,450 rounds fired at various ground targets.
    2nd Brigade: No 57 Squadron dropped 40 25-lb bombs. 2,517 rounds were fired at various ground targets.
    3rd Brigade: Eighty-five 25-lb bombs were dropped on, and 2,910 rounds fired at various targets.
    5th Brigade: Fifty-one 25-lb bombs were dropped on various targets and 2,177 rounds fired, of which 2,370 were by No 35 Squadron.
    9th Wing: No 27 Squadron dropped four 112-lb bombs on Cambrai.

    On the night of the 5th/6th No 101 Squadron dropped 45 25-lb bombs, two phosphorus and three incendiary bombs on Ramegnies Chin Aerodrome and St Andre engine shops and fired 1,000 rounds at ground targets. No. 102 dropped 40 25-lb bombs on Roulers, Courtrai, billets at Menin and Comines aud on Gontrode where eight bombs were seen to hit the objective.

    41st Wing: On the night of the 5th/6th Naval “A” Squadron dropped 12 112-lb bombs on Courcelles, and No 100 Squadron dropped six 230-lb, 32 25-lb and two phosphorus bombs on Conflans and on a railway station there. A large explosion and fire were caused.

    RNAS Communiqué number 13:

    Owing to the unfavourable weather conditions only fighter patrols could be carried out during the day.

    Visibility throughout the day was extremely poor. A certain number of engagements with E.A. in the vicinity of the forest of Houthulst took place, but all with indecisive results.

    Enemy Aircraft: Enemy aircraft were fairly active.

    2nd-Lieut R P Fenn & 2nd-Lieut A Priestman, 18 Sqn, Scout out of control - another De Havilland 4 of No 18 Squadron, in which were 2nd-Lieuts Fenn & Priestman, was attacked by seven scouts and this pilot and observer fought for 20 minutes before the scouts were evaded and one shot down out of control

    Capt P Huskinson, 19 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control near Houthulst Forest at 07:00/08:00 – an EA was shot down out of control by Capt Huskinson, No 19 Squadron
    Flt Cdr R J O Compston and Flt Sub-Lieut W L Jordan, 8N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control south of La Bassée at 11:50/12:50 - pilots of Naval Squadron No 8 fought ten scouts. Flight Commander Compston shot one down out of control

    2nd-Lieut W E Green & 2nd-Lieut E H Wilson and Sergt E R Clayton & 2nd-Lieut L L T Sloot, 57 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control north-east of Courtrai at 12:00/13:00 - 2nd-Lieuts Green & Wilson, No 57 Squadron, shot down a scout apparently out of control and Sergt Clayton and 2nd-Lieut Sloot, who were attacked by eight scouts, also shot one down out of control [both attacked the same EA?]

    2nd-Lieut D A Stewart & 2nd-Lieut H W M Mackay, 18 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Valenciennes at 12:05/13:05 - while engaged on photography over Valenciennes, 2nd-Lieut Stewart & Lt Mackay, No 18 Squadron, were attacked by five enemy scouts. One scout was shot down completely out of control, but unfortunately the camera and plates of the De Havilland 4 were completely destroyed by bullets

    2nd-Lieut W Beaver & 2nd-Lieut H E Easton, 20 Sqn, Albatros C out of control Houthulst Forest at 12:10/13:10 - 2nd-Lieuts Beaver and Easton, No 20 Squadron, shot down one EA out of control
    Flt Cdr G W Price, 8N Sqn, two-seater crashed Fresnes les Montauban at 12:55/13:55 - while on patrol, Flight Commander Price, Naval Squadron No 8, destroyed a two-seater
    Flt Sub-Lieut H Day, 8N Sqn, two-seater crashed Fresnoy at 13:00/14:00 - later in the day Flight Sub-Lieut Day, Naval Squadron No 8, shot down a two-seater which crashed

    2nd-Lieut F R McCall & 2nd-Lieut F C Farrington, 13 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed near Noyelles at 13:40/14:40 - Lieuts F McCall & F Farrington, No 13 Squadron, were engaged on artillery work when they were attacked by an Albatros scout. The observer opened fire at close range and the EA crashed into the wire on the enemy's side near Noyelles

    Capt W M Fry, 23 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed Stadenberg at 14:00/15:00 - Capt W Fry, No 23 Squadron destroyed an EA which fell in our lines (G.123); Ltn Walter von Bulow-Bothkamp, Jasta 2, Kia [same EA as claimed by 70 Sqn]

    2nd-Lieut F G Quigley and 2nd-Lieut F C Gorringe, 70 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed east of Passchendaele at 14:15/15:15 - 2nd-Lieut F Quigley, No 70 Squadron, destroyed an EA; 2nd-Lieut F Gorringe, No 70 Squadron, assisted in the destruction of the EA

    2nd-Lieut R H Nixon & 2nd-Lieut E H Church, 11 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Estourmel at 14:15/15:15 Lieut S A Oades & Lieut D N G Brampton, 22 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control north of Roulers at 14:50/15:50
    Capt J D Payne, 29 Sqn, Albatros Scout destroyed north-east of Staden at 15:25/16:25 - Capt J D Payne, 29 Squadron, destroyed an EA


    2nd-Lieut N Gwyer (Wia) & 2nd-Lieut E H Church (Wia), 11 Sqn, Bristol F.2B - combat on DOP

    2nd-Lieut G R Vickers (Kia) & Lieut G E Rodmell (Wia), 27 Sqn, DH4 A7706 - force landed near Ames burst into flames and bomb exploded on bomb raid to Cambrai

    Capt R H Rusby (Wia), 29 Sqn, SE5a - shot up in combat

    2nd-Lieut A S Hemming (Ok), 41 Sqn, SE5a B633-force landed near Lavieville after engine hit by shrapnel on DO patrol Douai

    2nd-Lieut G W Ferguson (Wia) & Lieut F W Howitt (Ok), 16 Sqn, RE8 A4300 - force landed near Mericourt at 08:00/09:00 after engine failure over Billy Montigny at 6,000 feet on artillery patrol

    2nd-Lieut O Thamer (Int), 60 Sqn, SE5a B4885 – took off 12:10/13:10 then missing on offensive patrol

    Flight Sub Lieutenant Harold Day
    (Royal Naval Air Service) will be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in recognition of the skill and determination shown by him in aerial combat, in the course of which he has done much to stop enemy artillery machines from working. On this day he observes a new type enemy aircraft. He immediately dives to attack, and after a short combat the enemy machine goes down very steeply and is seen to crash. This is the sixth victory for the man who will achieve 11 victories before he is shot down and killed on 5th February.

    Flight Lieutenant William Lancelot Jordan
    (Royal Naval Air Service) will be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for skill and determination when leading offensive patrols. On this day when on offensive patrol he observes ten Albatross scouts. The enemy dive and spread out and Flight Lieutenant Jordan, in conjunction with another pilot, attack one, into which he fires at close range, sending it down, in a side slipping dive.

    British air losses on the day are two aircraft. One is destroyed when bombs explode when it lands. The pilot Godfrey Raymond Vickers is killed. The other goes down in Holland where the pilot is interned.

    However a total of 11 British airmen were lost on this day

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    The German air Ace Leutnant Walter von Bülow-Bothkamp is shot down and killed on this day

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    Brother of German ace Harry von Bülow-Bothkamp, he was killed in action when his Albatros D.V shot down by Frank Quigley and William Fry on 6 January 1918. He had 28 victories to his name at the time of his death.

    The following aerial victories were claimed on this day...

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    Capt. Frederick Robert Gordon McCall DSO. DFC. MC & Bar 13 Squadron RFC

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    Frederick Robert Gordon McCall went overseas with the 175th Battalion in 1916 and was seconded to the Royal Flying Corps on 22 November 1917. After scoring 35 victories, he became ill and returned to Canada. Post-war he performed stunts at air shows and pioneered the air trails along the mountainous regions between Golden, British Columbia, Banff, Alberta and Fernie, British Columbia. As managing director of Great Western Airways in 1929, McCall made headlines when he ignored bad weather and flew round trip to the Skiff oil fields with Dr. J. S. Wray of Lethbridge in a Stinson-Detroiter to treat and recover two workers who had been injured in an explosion. During World War II McCall served as a squadron leader at a number of flying stations across Canada. He retained an active interest in flying throughout his life and was one of the founders of the civilian flying club system in Canada as well as the originator and first president of the Calgary Flying club.

    2nd Lieutenant Lambertus Louis Theodore Sloot
    (aka Lambert Slooit - no relation)

    The son of Nicholas and Maria Sloot, Cadet Lambertus Louis Theodore Sloot was promoted to temporary 2nd Lieutenant (on probation) on 29 August 1917. He was confirmed in rank on 15 January 1918 with seniority from 20 November 1917. As a D.H.4 observer, he scored five victories with 57 Squadron in the first three months of 1918. Lieutenant Sloot to be Lt. (A.), from (Observer Officers) on 14 November 1918. Sloot was transferred to the unemployed list on 6 June 1919.

    2nd Lieutenant Harry William MacKintosh MacKay

    The only son of William (a journalist and editor of "North British Agriculturalist") and Janet (Lauder) Mackay, Harry William MacKintosh MacKay was a member of the Aberdeen Grammar School Company of the Territorial Gordons before the war. After serving on the Western Front with the 6th Battalion Gordon Highlanders Regiment, he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps on 25 October 1917 and scored five victories as an observer with 18 Squadron in 1918.

    Heiaz Railway: Nasir’s 300 Arabs with 1 gun capture Jurf-ed*-Derawish Station with over 200 Turks 30 miles north of Maan (Maulud’s Arabs advance near on January 7).

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    Turk Arab cavalry on the march.

    Germany recognizes Finland’s independence.

    Russia: British Major Banting reports ‘On all sides German agents are appearing … buying up existing stocks’.

    Russia: Lenin takes Finland holiday until January 11.
    Austria: Czech Prague Convention demands sovereign state.

    Captain Tunstill's Men:

    The Battalion settled into its new routine, with around 120 men employed each day on working parties and the remainder occupied in training, including using the lower slopes of the Montello for training in hill fighting and on the Divisional rifle range, which 10DWR had helped construct (see 3rd December 1917).

    The conditions in and around Biadene were described in some detail by Pte. Norman Gladden of 11th Northumberland Fusiliers in 68th Brigade,

    “Biadene … a collection of whitewashed farms and deserted dwelling houses straggling along the road, where we occupied the second floor of one of the houses, each section having a small room to itself. In front rose the slopes of the Montello, covered on this side with prosperous looking farms, while at the back, from the far side of the field behind the house, a low, ridge rose cliff-like to a height of a couple of hundred feet, the intervening space covered with crops of uncut maize, now looking somewhat bedraggled. The road from Montebelluna led past the house up the valley, where it opened out funnel-wise towards the river, beyond which the mountains towered up rising majestically in the clear atmosphere. It was not easy to imagine these heights being in the hands of the enemy, who was in a position to observe almost everything that happened in the village. Compared with the awful forward areas in France, this was a situation of sylvan peacefulness, and if our above-ground exposure at first seemed positively indecent, we soon got used to it. The main activity on the enemy side seemed to be the creation of fires in the woods. Smoke and flame were continually issuing from some spot or other on the mountainside. After dark the Austrians embellished the scene by switching on searchlights to observe the river bed at night. These swept the sky and shingle methodically throughout the night”.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 01-07-2018 at 11:48.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  15. #2965


    Crap, getting invalid attachment messages again.

    Well, the text is still readable, so that's a great plus. Still makes your efforts worthwhile, Chris.

  16. #2966


    Happening all the time. I will add them back in. Apologises

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  17. #2967


    Quote Originally Posted by Hedeby View Post
    Happening all the time. I will add them back in. Apologises
    Just goes to show how attatched you are getting to this thread Chris.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  18. #2968


    Thanks for the last few posts Chris. I see there are a few pics of aircraft - Brisfits I think And A Martinsyde Elephant no less - very nice illustration

  19. #2969


    Thanks chaps - trying to keep things ticking over, although some info now not updating until the following day, so looks like its a case of half a post today half tomorrow (with the first half of tomorrow's etc)

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  20. #2970


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    January 7th 1918

    Flight Observer William Basil Loxdale Jones
    (Royal Naval Air Service) is lost at age 28. He is the son of the late Basil Jones former Bishop of St David’s. He was educated at Harrow and Oxford. He obtained a commission in the Royal Marines on 24th September 1914 and immediately went to France. He served with the RNAS in France and the Eastern Mediterranean, and was mentioned in despatches.
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    Observer Sub Lieutenant Archibald Gordon
    age 20 whose brother was killed in August 1917. He was educated at Temple Grove and Westminster, where he was elected a resident King’s Scholar in 1911, and when he left in 1916, he was a monitor, secretary to “The Elizabethan” and a member of the school Officer Training Corp.

    The German submarine U-93 is sunk by the special service ship Prize in the English Channel near Lizard Point. This is debateable - the submarine was indeed lost around this time, but the clash with HMS proze (detailed below) is also recorded as happening back in April 1917...

    SM U-93 was one of the 329 submarines serving in the Imperial German Navy in World War I. U-93 was engaged in the naval warfare and took part in the First Battle of the Atlantic. German Type U 93 submarines were preceded by the shorter Type U 87 submarines. U-93 had a displacement of 838 tonnes (825 long tons) when at the surface and 1,000 tonnes (980 long tons) while submerged.[2] She had a total length of 71.55 m (234 ft 9 in), a pressure hull length of 56.05 m (183 ft 11 in), a beam of 6.30 m (20 ft 8 in), a height of 8.25 m (27 ft 1 in), and a draught of 3.94 m (12 ft 11 in). The submarine was powered by two 2,400 metric horsepower (1,800 kW; 2,400 shp) engines for use while surfaced, and two 1,200 metric horsepower (880 kW; 1,200 shp) engines for use while submerged. She had two propeller shafts. She was capable of operating at depths of up to 50 metres (160 ft).[2]

    The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 16.8 knots (31.1 km/h; 19.3 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 8.6 knots (15.9 km/h; 9.9 mph).[2] When submerged, she could operate for 52 nautical miles (96 km; 60 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph); when surfaced, she could travel 9,020 nautical miles (16,710 km; 10,380 mi) at 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph). U-93 was fitted with six 50 centimetres (20 in) torpedo tubes (four at the bow and two at the stern), twelve to sixteen torpedoes, and one 8.8 cm (3.5 in) SK L/30 deck gun. She had a complement of thirty-six (thirty-two crew members and four officers).

    Since February 1917 she was commanded by the late author of books (e.g. U boat 202. The war diary of a German submarine, 1919) and experienced submarine commander Edgar von Spiegel von und zu Peckelsheim

    On 30 April 1917 about 180 nautical miles (330 km; 210 mi) south of Ireland, in the Atlantic, U-93 attacked HMS Prize, a three-masted topsail schooner (one of the Q ships) commanded by Lieutenant William Edward Sanders (who received a Victoria Cross for the action). HMS Prize was damaged by shellfire. After the 'panic party' had taken to the boats and the ship appeared to be sinking, the U-boat approached to within 80 yards (73 m) of her port quarter, whereupon the White Ensign was hoisted and the Prize opened fire.

    Within a few minutes the submarine was on fire and her bows rose in the air, whilst the Prize was further damaged. The U-boat disappeared from sight, and was believed to have been sunk by the crew of the Prize and by several of the German crew (including her captain) who had been blown or jumped into the sea. Neither of the crippled ships had sunk, with the Prize being towed in flames back to Kinsale, while the U-93 struggled back to the Sylt nine days later after a dramatic escape effort through the British mine and destroyer barrages off Dover. U 93 after repairs operated in the English channel. She was lost to unknown cause off Hardelot, France in January 1918. The wreck was located by divers in 2003.

    The War in the Air

    General Headquarters, January 8th:

    “On the 7th inst. very little work in the air was possible owing to thick mist and rain. After dark, there was a short fine interval, during which our machines dropped bombs on Roulers and Courtrai railway stations."

    RFC Communiqué number 121:

    Little flying was done owing to bad weather.

    Four reconnaissances were carried out by Nos 7, 10, 21 and 69 Squadrons and much valuable information was obtained.

    With aeroplane observation nine hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction; five gun-pits were damaged, four explosions and two fires caused.

    Twenty-eight plates were exposed during the day and 3,140 rounds fired at ground targets.

    RNAS Communiqué number 13:

    The unfavourable weather conditions prevented aerial work to any great extent. Patrols over the Fleet were maintained.

    Three E.A. were observed approximately 20 miles off Nieuport in close proximity to our patrol vessels. The E.A. were successfully driven back in the direction of Middlekerke.

    Enemy Aircraft
    : Enemy aircraft were not active.

    2nd-Lieut F H Hobson, 70 Sqn, two-seater out of control north-east of Houthulst Forest at 08:05/09:05 – a two-seater was shot down out of control by Lieut F Hobson, No 70 Squadron

    Capt J H Medcalf, 43 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Douvrin at 15:40/16:40



    There was just the one ace claiming a victory on this day - Captain Frank Harold Hobson MC 70 Squadron RFC

    The son of William Newton and Mary Ellen (Cooper) Hobson, Frank Harold Hobson served with the Royal Engineers before he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. Posted to 70 Squadron, he scored fifteen victories flying the Sopwith Camel. He served as an instructor before he transferred to the Unemployed List in February 1919. He died in Nottinghamshire later that year. He was flying a Sopwith Camel when he claimed his 9th victory on this day.

    Despite minimal action there were still 13 British Airmen lost on this day

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    Mozambique: Main body Gold Coast Regiment (500 + 300 carriers) lands at Port Amelia. British column from Fort Johnston drives German force north in Mwembe area.

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    German Askaris of the ‘Schutztruppe’. They have a wide mixture of uniforms and equipment.

    Western Front

    Britain: BEF GHQ Intelligence analysis ‘If Germany attacks and fails, she will be ruined.’

    Thats it for now folks .. hope fully I will be able to update with more later (and I hope the pictures stick this time)
    Last edited by Hedeby; 01-08-2018 at 16:07.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  21. #2971


    Crap - no they didn't - amending now...

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  22. #2972


    Chris, you're doing a grand job under difficult circumstances - my hat off to you sir!

  23. #2973


    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    Chris, you're doing a grand job under difficult circumstances - my hat off to you sir!
    Much appreciated Mike

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  24. #2974


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    8th January 1918

    It was snowing... a lot !

    “A” Squadron RNAS was re-designated No 16 Squadron, remaining part of the 41st Wing.

    RFC Communiqué number 122:

    Very little work was possible owing to snow storms.

    One reconnaissance was enrried out by the 2nd Brigade (No 57 Squadron), two by the 3rd Brigade (No 11 Squadron), and two by the 5th Brigade (Nos 8 and 35 Squadrons).

    1,342 rounds were fired at ground targets and 92 bombs dropped as follows :-

    1st Brigade: No 5 Squadron dropped four 25-lb bombs.

    3rd Brigade: 22 25-lb bombs were dropped and 97 rounds fired.

    5th Brigade: Nos 8 and 35 Squadrons dropped 16 25-lb bombs; No 8 Squadron fired 445 rounds, No 35 Squadron 150, and No 84 Squadron 50.

    There were no combats.

    RNAS Communiqué number 13:

    No flying was possible owing to clouds and high wind.

    Casualties: None

    There were no aerial victory claims on this day

    There were just the two British airmen lost on this day

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    USA: WILSON’S FOURTEEN POINTS MESSAGE TO CONGRESS outlines peace programme. Office of Public Information distributes all over Europe. French Parliament adopts it on January 11. The speech, known as the Fourteen Points, was developed from a set of diplomatic points by Wilson[5] and territorial points drafted by the Inquiry's general secretary, Walter Lippmann, and his colleagues, Isaiah Bowman, Sidney Mezes, and David Hunter Miller.Lippmann's draft territorial points were a direct response to the secret treaties of the European Allies, which Lippmann had been shown by Secretary of War Newton D. Baker. Lippmann's task according to House was "to take the secret treaties, analyze the parts which were tolerable, and separate them from those which we regarded as intolerable, and then develop a position which conceded as much to the Allies as it could, but took away the poison. ... It was all keyed upon the secret treaties."

    In the speech, Wilson directly addressed what he perceived as the causes for the world war by calling for the abolition of secret treaties, a reduction in armaments, an adjustment in colonial claims in the interests of both native peoples and colonists, and freedom of the seas. Wilson also made proposals that would ensure world peace in the future. For example, he proposed the removal of economic barriers between nations, the promise of self-determination for national minorities, and a world organization that would guarantee the “political independence and territorial integrity of great and small states alike”—a League of Nations.

    Though Wilson’s idealism pervades the Fourteen Points, he also had more practical objectives in mind. He hoped to keep Russia in the war by convincing the Bolsheviks that they would receive a better peace from the Allies, to bolster Allied morale, and to undermine German war support. The address was well received in the United States and Allied nations, and even by Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin, as a landmark of enlightenment in international relations. Wilson subsequently used the Fourteen Points as the basis for negotiating the Treaty of Versailles that ended the war

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    Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) attempted to invite the European nations into the League of Nations, but was no supported by the Congress, and was subsequently defeated in the 1920 elections.

    Western Front
    Britain: Haig’s fourth Dispatch on Battles of Arras, ‘Lens’, Messines and Third Ypres in previous summer, claims 131 German divisions defeated. Petain writes to Clemenceau ‘In reality, the 1918 battle will be defensive…‘. He and Haig present strategy together on January 24 and 30, only choice until US arrives in strength.
    Upper Marne: Patton’s US Tank School opens at Langres.

    The Second World War saw Dwight D. Eisenhower and George S. Patton, Jr. accomplish their greatest deeds as soldiers and achieve lasting fame for the role they played in bringing about the defeat of Nazi Germany. Less well known is their service in the First World War, when both men were involved in the birth of a new form of warfare destined to revolutionize the battlefield and change the way wars were fought. As officers in the United States Army's fledging Tank Corps, they helped develop the technology of tracked armored fighting vehicles as well as the doctrine that would later govern their use; and, in so doing, they also helped lay the groundwork for future victories in a conflict where the tank would come into its own as a weapon of decisions. What follows is an overview of their involvement in the Tank Corps., both during the war and in its immediate aftermath.

    Just four months prior to the Armistice, in July 1918, Patton was in France as the commander of the Tank Corps' 1st Tank Brigade. It was an assignment he had gotten in a roundabout manner. In October 1917, with service as General John J. Pershing's aide-de-camp during the 1916 Punitive Expedition in Mexico working in his favor, he wangled an appointment to AEF headquarters in Chaumont, France, as post adjutant and commander of the headquarters company. He wasn't there for long, however. He wanted to see action and, after some wavering while he contemplated seeking command of an infantry battalion, Patton became convinced that the army's nascent Tank Corps offered him the best way of achieving this goal. His subsequent application to Pershing for a transfer to tanks was granted on November 10, 1917 when he was ordered to report to the commandant of the army schools at Langres to establish a light tank school for the US First Army. Patton, then a captain, thus became the first soldier in the US Army assigned to work with tanks.

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    Soon thereafter, Patton acquired a mentor in the person of Samuel D. Rockenbach, a cavalry colonel who had previously served as quartermaster in charge of port operations at St. Nazaire. There he had caught the eye of Pershing, who needed someone with experience in supply operations and logistics to get the AEF Tank Corps up and running. Rockenbach fit the bill, and was accordingly appointed to command the corps on December 22, 1917. But it was Patton and the other younger officers under Rockenbach's command who proved to be the real brains of the Tank Corps, creating the training programs and formulating the doctrine for using the tanks in battle in cooperation with their French and British allies.

    In February 1918, Patton established the AEF's Light Tank School at Bourg, located five miles from Langres on the road to Dijon. Lacking tanks at the outset, Patton and his men were forced to make do with plywood mockups complete with a turret armed with a Hotchkiss 8mm machine gun. the entire contraption was mounted on a rocking device used to simulate movement over rough terrain while a trainee fired at a fixed target. It wasn't until March 23 that the unit received its first shipment of ten 7.4-ton Renault light tanks, with another fifteen following in May.

    At Bourg, Patton demonstrated that he was a hands-on commander who liked to take part in all the training exercises with his men. He was quite strict when it came to saluting and drill, and he insisted that procedures which he formulated for maneuvering tanks in tactical formations be followed to the letter.

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    The 1st Light Tank Battalion was organized at Bourg on April 28, 1918, with Patton in command. By the first week of June, however, officers and men had been assigned to him in sufficient numbers to organize a second battalion. At about the same time, the two battalions were redesignated the 326th and 327th Tank Battalions, and command was given to Captains Joseph W. Viner and Sereno E. Brett, respectively. But at the end of August -- just prior to the St. Mihiel offensive, when the Tank Corps received its baptism of fire -- Viner was made director of the tank center and school, a move which resulted in Brett assuming command of the 326th and Captain Ranulf Compton taking over the 327th.

    Brett was a former infantry officer who was especially skilled in the use of the 37mm cannon which armed one variant of the Renault tank (a second was armed with an 8mm Hotchkiss machine gun), and had instructed Patton's men in the use of this weapon before assuming battalion command. Patton thought a great deal of him, but not so Compton, whom he regarded as an incompetent fool and disliked accordingly.

    While Patton was setting up the armor training program at Langres and Bourg. Captain Dwight Eisenhower was similarly engaged in the United States. Eisenhower had gone to Camp Meade, Maryland, in February 1918 with the 65th Engineer Regiment, which had been activated to provide the organizational basis for the creation of the army's first heavy tank battalion. In mid-March the 1st Battalion, Heavy Tank Service (as it was then known) was ordered to prepare for movement overseas, and Eisenhower went to New York with the advance party to work out the details of embarkation and shipment with port authorities. The battalion shipped out on the night of March 26, but Eisenhower did not go with it. He had performed so well as an administrator that, upon his return to Camp Meade, he was told he would be staying in the United States, where his talent for logistics would be put to good use in establishing the army's primary tank training center at Camp colt in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

    Like Patton, Eisenhower also had mentor -- Lt. Colonel Ira C. Wellborn, and infantry officer who had been awarded the Medal of Honor for service in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. On March 5, 1918, Secretary of War Newton D. Baker appointed Wellborn to serve as director of the Tank Corps in the United States. Throughout the war, the army maintained a Tank Corps, AEF, which was distinct from the Tank Corps, United States, resulting in a divided command structure with two men -- Rockenbach and Welborn -- separately directing the development of the American armored arm.

    Eisenhower went to Camp Colt as a captain in command of eighty men, but by September 1918 he was a lieutenant colonel commanding ten thousand men and eight hundred officers. Initially, the training program he established there was severely hampered by a lack of tanks -- for a brief spell, he had but a single Renault which the AEF had sent from France so that his men could at least see what a tank looked like. Nevertheless, he accomplished a great deal with the meager resources at his disposal. For instance, he set up a telegraphy school, only to be told that the AEF did not need telegraphers; whereupon he had the men trained as tank crew-men. Ironically, the first overseas draft from Camp Colt was made up of sixty-four men whose telegraphy skills were sorely needed in France. In addition, Eisenhower and his subordinates, again making the most of what little they had, developed a program for training tank crewmen in the use of machine guns. The weapons were mounted on flatbed trucks, which were driven around the camp grounds at speed while the trainees fired at Little Round Top to get a feeling for shooting on the fly. A three-inch naval gun was used to familiarize crewmen with the larger caliber guns used in tanks.

    The AEF Tank Corps was first committed to action in the offensive aimed at eliminating the Saint-Mihiel salient in September 1918. The operation was conducted by the US First Army, organized into the I, IV, and V Corps;. Patton, working with I Corps, attacked with two battalions of the 304th Tank Brigade, which was equipped with 144 Renaults obtained from the French. In support of the Americans were two groupments of Schneider and St. Chamond heavy tanks weighing 14.9 and 25.3 tons, respectively. These were manned by French crews. In all, the First Army deployed 419 tanks, a figure that includes three French-crewed battalion-sized formations of Renaults and two additional company-sized elements of heavy tanks used in support of IV Corps.

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    Although the Americans accomplished their limited objective of eliminating the enemy salient, the offensive turned into a debacle for the Tank Corps, not so much because of anything the Germans did but rather because of mechanical failures and muddy conditions on the battlefield. By the time the fighting had run its course the battlefield was strewn with immobilized Renaults. Enemy action in the form of direct artillery hits claimed only three tanks; the rest, some forty in all, simply broke down or got stuck in the mud. The French quickly replaced the three knocked-out tanks and the others were quickly repaired, bringing the Tank Corps back up to full strength when the Meuse-Argonne campaign kicked off on September 26th.

    In the St. Mihiel Offensive Patton learned that he couldn't count on army motorization to keep his armored units supplied with fuel. In the Meuse-Argonne campaign, therefore, he ordered his tank crews to strap two fifty-five gallon fuel drums to the back of their machines. This entailed the obvious risk that a drum might be hit by shells or shrapnel, causing a fiery explosion which would incinerate the crewmen inside. Patton was well aware of the potential for disaster and, quite characteristically, ignored it. He felt that the loss of a few tanks and their crews to shellfire was preferable to the loss of many to a lack of fuel. Even so, he ordered that the drums be loosely tied to the tanks with ropes, the idea being that a fire would burn through the ropes and cause the drums to fall to the ground before exploding.

    Given the propensity of the tanks for breaking down, maintenance was one of Patton's chief concerns. He was constantly after his men to keep their tanks in good running condition, a difficult task greatly hampered by a shortage of spare parts and the absence of repair facilities close to the battlefield. As it happened, it was neither Patton nor one of his officers, but rather a private soldier who came up with a solution to the problems. The private, whose name has long been forgotten, suggested that one tank in each company be converted into a sort of roving repair shop loaded with various spare parts (particularly fan belts) and equipped with towing apparatus to retrieve damaged, mired, or broken-down vehicles from the battlefield. Patton thought this an excellent idea and immediately saw to its implementation. This led to the creation of the first tank company maintenance team, which consisted of mechanics from battalion headquarters who were assigned to each tank company to operate the company's recovery vehicle. It was the beginning of a system that is still in use today in American armored units. And it is worth remembering that it was the brainchild of a private, which just goes to show how much Patton encouraged initiative in the ranks of the AEF Tank Corps.

    Meuse: Major French trench raid near Seiche prey (Woevre); Legion (141 casualties) bring back 188 PoWs, 16 MGs and 9 mortars.

    Eastern Front
    Brest-Litovsk: Bolsheviks resume talks under Trotsky (arrived January 7); Talaat Pasha arrives.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  25. #2975


    i really need better glue to stick these images into place - fixing now

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  26. #2976


    Well, the images are visible now.

    Nicemini-bio on Patton & the nascent armor arm. And a shame that the enterprising private's name is lost to history.

  27. #2977


    Interesting post Chris. Thanks

  28. #2978


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    9th January 1918

    As is usual at the moment lets start with the war in the air and the reports from the RFC and RNAS

    General Headquarters, January 10th.

    “During the morning of the 9th inst. there was great activity in the air. A great deal of artillery work was accomplished and many photographs were taken. Bombs were dropped on the enemy's billets and hutments, and hostile troops in the trenches were repeatedly attacked with machine-gun fire from a low altitude. Four hostile machines were brought down in air fighting, and two others were driven down out of control. Three of our aeroplanes are missing; of these, two were seen to collide during a combat over the enemy's lines. After 1 p.m. snow fell, rendering flying impossible."

    RFC Communiqué number 122:

    On the 9th the weather was fine during the morning, but in the afternoon snow stopped flying.

    Five reconnaissances were carried out by 1st Brigade, two by the 2nd Brigade, when Lieuts Walker and Playford, No 9 Squadron, and Lieut Abell and Eyden, No 21 Squadron, obtained useful information, and two were done by Nos 8 and 52 Squndrons of 5th Brigade.

    With aeroplane observation 39 hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction and 17 were neutralized. Four gun-pits were destroyed, 11 damaged, 10 explosions and six fires caused, and 15 active hostile batteries were reported by zone call.

    868 photographs were taken, 3,050 rounds fired at ground targets; and 136 bombs dropped as follows:-

    1st Brigade: No 40 Squadron dropped 44 25-lb bombs, and fired 250 rounds at various ground targets. Corps Squadrons fired 620 rounds.
    2nd Brigade: 690 rounds were fired at various targets, 60 of which were by No 10 Squadron.
    3rd Brigade: Sixty 25-lb bombs were dropped and 420 rounds fired at ground targets.
    5th Brigade: No 8 Squadron dropped 12 25-lb bombs, No 35 Squadron 20 25-lb bombs and fired 500 rounds. No 84 Squadron fired 180 and No 8 Squadron 390 rounds.

    RNAS Communiqué number 13:

    No war work of importance could be carried out owing to the weather, low clouds and mists prevailing.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Activity was not as pronounced as usual during the fine period; only a few combats took place.

    Capt J D Payne, 29 Sqn, Albatros C out of control – Capt J Payne, No 29 Squadron, fought a two-seater which he drove down apparently out of control, but could not follow it down owing to three scouts atacking him

    Capt W D Patrick, 1 Sqn, DFW C out of control Comines at 10:25/11:25 - Capt W Patrick, No 1 Squadron, shot down a two-seater out of control

    Capt J T B McCudden, 56 Sqn, LVG C crashed Graincourt at 11:30/12:30 – Capt McCudden, No 56 Squadron, attacked two E.A. and the following is his account:

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    “Crossed lines 10.40 over Flesquieres at 14,000 feet. At about 11.5 attacked two two-seaters over Bourlon Wood at 12,000 feet. I engaged a new type E.A. at 50 yards range but could not see E.A. through my Aldis sight, owing to water freezing on the lens, so had to sight by tracer. E.A. then went down in a spiral with petrol or water issuing from him, and I last saw him gliding down under control north of Raillencourt at about 500 feet at 11.10.

    At 11.20 drove an Albatross Scout away from over Ribecourt. At 11.30 attacked an L.VG. over Graincourt at 9,000 feet and after a short burst from both guns E.A’s engine stopped and he started coming west, after which he did flat spiral glide. I got under his tail again and fired at close range, but Vickers now got No 4 and Lewis finished drum, but E.A. continued to go down steeply and finally hit the ground in glide down wind.”

    Lieut R E Dodds & 2nd-Lieut W Hart, 48 Sqn, Rumpler C out of control Caudry at 11:40/12:40 - Lieut R Dodds and 2nd-Lieut W Hart, No 48 Squadron, were taking photographs when three E.A. attacked. One two-seater was shot out down of control.

    Capt R L Chidlaw-Roberts and Capt F O Soden, 60 Sqn and Capt G Zimmer & 2nd-Lieut H Somerville, 21 Sqn, Albatros Scout in flames Moorslede at 11:45/12:45 - A machine of No 21 Squadron was engaged in photography when it was attacked by seven E.A. Capt G Zimmer enabled his observer, 2nd-Lient H Somerville, to fire close range into one of the scouts, and it immediately fell out of control and in flames - Ltn Max Ritter von Muller, Jasta 28, Kia

    Capt L J Maclean, 2nd-Lieut A T Isbell and 2nd-Lieut A S Hemming, 41 Sqn, Rumpler C out of control east of Marcoing at 11:45/12:45 - a patrol of No 41 Squadron met five scouts and a two-seater which they attacked, but the scouts immediately dived away east. The pilot [?], however, succeeded in catching up the two-seater and shot it down completely out of control

    Lieut R E Dodds & 2nd-Lieut W Hart, 48 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Wallencourt at 11:50/12:50 - Lieut R Dodds and 2nd-Lieut W Hart, No 48 Squadron, were taking photographs when three E.A. attacked. One two-seater was shot out down of control. Shortly afterwards they engaged three scouts and shot down another out of control

    Lieut E H Peverell, 70 Sqn, two-seater crashed Quesnoy at 11:55/12:55 - Lieut E Peverell, No 70 Squadron, saw a two-seater at which he dived and opened fire. The German pilot at once dived, and in attempting to land, his machine turned over on its nose and crashed


    Capt F S Thomas (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut D A S Stevens (Ok), 16 Sqn, RE8 A4294 - attacked by 3 HA and damaged by machine-gun fire during photography

    Lieut E K Skelton (Kia), 1 Sqn, Nieuport 24 B3607 – took off 09:58/10:58 and last seen with formation at 10:25/11:25 on reserve patrol

    Lieut R C Southam (Kia), 1 Sqn, Nieuport 27 B6768 - last seen with formation at 10:25/11:25 on reserve patrol

    Capt A W Field (Kia) & 2nd-Lieut W S Smith (Kia), 48 Sqn, Bristol F.2B C4816 - last seen going down out of control with left wings shot off east of Estrees at 11:45/12:45 during counter battery photography Cambrai and St Quentin; Vfw Meinke & Uffz Kurt Ungewitter, SS5

    There was one German air ace killed on this day: Leutnant Max Ritter von Müller of Jasta 2

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    While chauffeur to the Bavarian War Minister, Müller's constant request for a transfer to the Air Service was eventually approved. As Jasta Boelcke's acting commander, he attempted to shoot down an R.E.8 when he was attacked from behind by Robert Chidlaw-Roberts and Frank Soden of 60 Squadron. Müller was killed in action and fell from his Albatros D.V (5405/17) as it went down in flames near Moorslede. At the time of his death von Muller had 36 victories.

    The following aerial victories were claimed on this day, including quite a few 'first timers'

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    Lieutenant Edmund Heaton Peverell
    70 Squadron RFC

    A Gentleman Cadet from the Cadet College, Wellington, Edmund Heaton Peverell was approved for admission to the Unattached List for the Indian Army on 18 April 1916. He was promoted to Second Lieutenant on 23 April 1916 and Lieutenant on 18 April 1917 whilst serving with the 93rd Burma Infantry. Peverell resigned from the Indian Army on 24 April 1917 and transferred to the Royal Flying Corps on 30 April 1917. He scored five victories with 70 Squadron flying the Sopwith Camel.

    Leutnant Hans Muller of Jasta 12

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    In 1914, Müller joined the army and served in the infantry. He transferred to the German Air Force in 1916 and flew two-seaters until the end of 1917. In March 1918, after downing an R.E.8 for his third victory, Müller was shot down over no man's land but managed to make it back to his own lines. In May, Jasta 18 engaged the 103rd Aero Squadron and Müller shot down a SPAD for his fifth victory. His victim was probably Paul Baer, the first American ace of the United States Air Service. On 14 September 1918, Müller scored Jasta 18's 100th victory. That morning he encountered the 13th Aero and shot down three SPAD XIIIs in 15 minutes. Later the same day, he claimed a fourth SPAD from the same squadron.

    At some point in time, Müller changed his surname to "Garrelt" as the name "Hans Müller" was rather common and he and a neighbor with the same name were forever getting their mail confused. During World War II, Müller served on the staff of Lutflotte III under Generalfeldmarschall Sperrle. In civilian live he became an engineer designing steam locomotives for Hanomag and Henschel before going freelance. Müller died of a brain tumor in 1964.

    The Sopwith Camel fighter unit 73 Squadron arrives in France.

    Captain William Donald Patrick scores the last Nieuport Scout victory for 1 Squadron on this day. British air losses for the day are placed at three aircraft. All three pilots are killed along with one observer.

    There were seven British airmen lost on this day

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    The War at Sea

    The destroyer Racoon (Lieutenant George Levack McKay Napier) strikes rocks off the north coast of Ireland at about 02:00 during a snowstorm and subsequently founders with all one hundred and five hands on board drowning. Nine of the crew had been left behind at her last port of call, and these are the sole survivors. Seventeen bodies are recovered by patrol craft and are buried at Rathmullan. Five more bodies will wash ashore and will be buried locally.

    Stoker 1st Class John Greer is among the killed. He dies at age 25 and is ironically buried in his hometown in Belfast City Cemetery.
    Commander Henry Halahan, who has previously been in charge of the Royal Navy’s siege guns supporting the army’s left flank in Flanders beginning in 1915, writes to Admiral Keyes: “If the operation for which you said you might want some of my men (Zeebrugge) is eventually undertaken, I should very much like to take part in it. I would willingly accept the same conditions, viz: that I should not expect to come back.”

    HMS Cyclamen uses high-speed explosive paravane and depth charges to sink the German submarine UB69 off Bizerta.

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    Mozambique: Hawthorn’s 3 KAR battalions drive Goering Detachment (3 coys) to east bank of river Lugenda and take Luambala from it on January 15.

    Eastern Front
    Russia: Trotsky appeals for volunteers to march against ‘Bourgeoisie of the world’.
    South Russia*: White Volunteer Army manifesto by Kornilov and Alexeiev pledges resistance to Reds and Germans.

    Sea War
    Atlantic: Destroyer HMS Racoon lost with all hands in storm off Ireland.
    North Sea: Royal Navy destroyers Opal and Narbrough wrecked on rocky Pentland Skerries off Scotland (12 resp 1 survivor from 180). Beatty memo establishes new Grand Fleet strategy of containing Scheer in his bases rather than fighting at any cost (Cabinet approves on January 18).
    Western Mediterranean: Convoy escort sloop HMS Cyclamen sinks coastal submarine UB-69 with high-speed paravane off Bizerta.

    The paravane, a form of towed underwater "glider", was developed from 1914–16 by Commander Usborne and Lieutenant C. Dennistoun Burney, funded by Sir George White, founder of the Bristol Aeroplane Company.

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    Initially developed to destroy naval mines, the paravane would be strung out and streamed alongside the towing ship, normally from the bow. The wings of the paravane would tend to force the body away from the towing ship, placing a lateral tension on the towing wire. If the tow cable snagged the cable anchoring a mine then the anchoring cable would be cut, allowing the mine to float to the surface where it could be destroyed by gunfire. If the anchor cable would not part, the mine and the paravane would be brought together and the mine would explode harmlessly against the paravane. The cable could then be retrieved and a replacement paravane fitted. Lieutenant Burney developed explosive paravanes as an anti-submarine weapon, a "high speed sweep". It was a paravane, containing 80 pounds (36 kg) of TNT towed by an armoured electric cable. The warhead was fired automatically as soon as the submarine touched the paravane or towing cable or by hand from the ship's bridge. It could be quickly deployed into the water and towed up to 25 knots (46 km/h), and recovery if unsuccessful was reasonably simple.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  29. #2979


    Bloody hell - the images have stayed this time - woo hoo

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  30. #2980


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    January 10th 1918

    Bit of a quiet one today I'm afraid folks

    “During the 10th inst. our aeroplanes carried out a considerable amount of successful artillery work in spite of unfavourable weather. Ground targets were engaged with machine gun fire; nearly two tons of bombs were dropped on an ammunition depot in the vicinity of Courtrai and on other targets. One enemy machine was driven down out of control. One of our machines is missing.

    RFC Communiqué number 122:

    A good deal of flying was done in spite of low clouds and a strong wind.

    Two reconnaissances were carried by the 1st Brigade, two by the 2nd, three by the 3rd, and two by the 5th Brigade.

    With aeroplane observation 29 hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction, 17 being by the 2nd Brigade; two gun pits were destroyed, seven damaged, 11 explosions and five fires caused, and 86 active hostile batteries were reported by zone call.

    323 photographs were taken, 6,416 rounds fired at ground targets and 166 bombs dropped as follows:-

    1st Brigade: (No 40 Squadron) - 29 25-lb bombs, 36 photographs, 600 rounds. (Corps Squadrons) - 160 rounds.
    2nd Brigade: (No 57 Squadron) - 56 25-lb bombs on Deerlyck Ammunition Dump. (Nos 21 and 69 Squadrons) – 18 25-lb bombs, 251 photographs, 1,676 rounds.
    3rd Brigade: 32 25-lb bombs, 36 photographs, 2,200 rounds.
    5th Brigade: (No 8 Squadron) – 18 25-lb bombs. (No 35 Squadron) – 13 25-lb bombs. (No 8 Squadron) – 730 rounds. (No 35 Squadron) – 1,050 rounds.

    RNAS Communiqué number 13:

    No war work of importance could be carried out owing to the weather, low clouds and mists prevailing.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Capt D F Stevenson & Lieut H E Rosborough, 16 Sqn, Scout out of control - Capt Stevenson and Lieut Rosborough, No 16 Squadron, were on artillery work when they were attacked by five E.A. but returned safely after shooting one down apparently out of control

    2nd-Lieut G R Howsam, 70 Sqn, Camel B2530, two-seater out of control Menin at 14:30/15:30 -

    Lieut H L Symons, 65 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Frelinghien at 15:30/16:30 – Lieut Symons, No 65 Squadron, was testing his engine when he saw two E.A. diving at an R.E.8, so he dived at one and shot it down completely out of control and drove the other away


    2nd-Lieut C W Leggatt (Pow), 3 Sqn, Camel B9163 – took off 07:30/08:30 and last seen 1 mile west of Marcoing flying east at 2,500 feet on low flying and ground target duty

    2nd-Lieut H P J G Hamel (Kia) & 2nd-Lieut L C S Tatham (Kia), 5 Sqn, RE8 A3655 - crashed near Thelus at 12:15/13:15 after probably hit by one of our own shells on artillery registration

    There were a limited number of claims on this day

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    Despite the lack of flying there were still six British airmen lost on this day

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    The FE2b night bombing unit 58 Squadron arrives in France.

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    No. 58 Squadron was first formed at Cramlington, Northumberland, on 8 June 1916 as a squadron of the Royal Flying Corps. During World War I it operated initially as an advanced training unit but was mobilised in late 1917 and posted to the Western Front until the end of the war. There from February 1918 it flew F.E.2b's and from September, 1918 Handley Page 0/400's. Its targets included airfields, railway communications, rest billets and troop columns, and during some nine months of operational service it dropped 247 tons of bombs. In 1919 it was moved to Egypt as a training unit and redesignated in February 1920 as No. 70 Squadron

    Western Front
    Britain: Supreme War Council recommend BEF take over more of French sector, and creation of general Allied reserve (January 23). British War Office orders reduction in battalions per division from 12 to 9 thus disbanding 141 battalions and 2 cavalry divisions until March 10 to compen*sate for insufficient reinforce*ments (200,000 instead of 615,000 requested).
    Somme*: British Fifth Army relieves French in St Quentin sector (completed January 14).
    Ypres: British trench raid.

    Eastern Front

    Britain: Government assures Bolsheviks she supports an independent Poland.
    Ukraine: Central Powers and Bolsheviks recognize Ukraine as separate state.
    Don: Independent Republic declared under General Kaledin.
    Rumania: After request on January 6, 3 Rumanian divisions cross river Pruth into Bessarabia, enter capital Kishinev on January 26.

    Britain: Balfour Edinburgh speech ‘the horrors of war … are nothing to .. a German peace’, House of Lords adopts women’s suffrage clause.

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    British recruiting poster with the perished popular Secretary of War Kitchener.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  31. #2981


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    11th January 1918

    Another weather related quiet day - so apologies for that folks

    RFC Communiqué number 122:

    Very little flying was done owing to low clouds and the high wind.

    A reconnaissance was carried out by 2nd-Lieut Skinner and Lieut Johnson, No 21 Squadron, and a dawn reconnaissance carried out by No 8 Squadron.

    Twelve photographs were taken and 16 25-lb bombs dropped.

    Five active hostile batteries were reported by zone call.

    RNAS Communiqué number 13:

    No war work of importance could be carried out owing to the weather, low clouds and mists prevailing.

    Casualties: None

    Ther German Air Ace Hans Kummetz of Jasta 1 was shot down by the Sopwith Camels of 66 Squadron RFC. Hans Kummetz was born on 29 April 1890 in Illowo, then part of the German Empire but now in Poland. His early military career is unknown, including any pilot training or early aviation service. However, he became the Staffelführer of one of the German air service's original fighter squadrons, Jagdstaffel 1 soon after its foundation, on 18 November 1916. The newly formed unit went into action in France on the Western Front. Kummetz would shoot down five enemy aircraft and a French observation balloon, beginning 4 March 1917, with his sixth victory coming on 17 August 1917. He was then posted to Jastaschule II (Fighter School 2) on 12 September 1917. It is unknown whether he was an instructor or a pupil, with the former being probable. On 12 November, he returned to Jasta 1, which had been repositioned in Italy. On 20 November 1917, he reassumed command, which he would hold until his death. He shot down a Sopwith Camel over Villamata for his seventh victory. On 1 January 1918, Kummetz claimed another Sopwith Camel, but the claim was unconfirmed. On 11 January 1918, Hans Kummetz clashed with Camels from No. 66 Squadron RAF over Conegliano, Italy. He was downed and killed in action; his most likely killer was Lieutenant H. T. Thompson. During his military career, he had won both the Second and First Class Iron Cross.

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    Despite the bad weather there were still five British airmen lost - only one in combat

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    45 Squadron Royal Flying Corps is escorting RE8s on a photo-reconnaissance of enemy aerodromes in the Vittorio area when they are attacked and heavy fighting breaks out. The Camel pilots make 5 claims while losing

    Second Lieutenant Douglas William Robertson Ross at age 24. He was an Honours Graduate of McGill University.

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    Western Front
    French raids in Argonne, Vosges and Champagne, German one fails south of Anmentieres.

    Home Fronts
    Russia: Sovnarkom orders all interest and dividend payments to cease.

    Found the following article from Worcestershire:

    1st Batt: Batt relieved by the 2nd Middlesex Reg and entrained at Wieltje Station for Brandhoek. Batt marched to Brake camp. 3 OR were wounded. 4 OR joined the Batt.

    4th Batt: W and Y Coys practised bombing. Y and Z Coys did map reading and compass marching.

    2/7th Batt: These officers reported for duty; Lt HS Smith from 4th Northants, 2Lt HC Horsfall, 2Lt LJ Finch, 2Lt Landreth and 2Lt Thomas from the 5th Worcs.

    2/8th Batt: Batt marched in rain and snow to Voyennes and billeted in houses and barns. The following officers joined the Batt: 2 Lts Wells, Yardley, Turner, Swindell, Grainger, frost, Spenclayh, Allard, Ludlow, Adams, Jones, Lawrence and Rushton.

    10th Batt: Batt proceeded to trenches in the right sub-sector, relieving the 9th Royal Lancs. 1OR was wounded.

    Home Front:

    War Honours: The following Officers of the Worcestershire Regiment have been awarded the Military Cross: Lieut. Edward Cecil Barton - Finding his company under heavy rifle and machine-gun fire from an enemy strong point, he led forward a party of ten men and captured the position, putting the gun out of action and killing the occupants. By his prompt and determined attack his company were enabled to consolidate their objective; Sec.-Lieut. Harold Brackenbury Bate – During a night attack on a farm he led his platoon with the greatest courage and determination. Although later he was badly wounded in both legs and his men compelled to retire, throughout the whole operation he set a splendid example of pluck under very heavy shell fire; Temp. Sec.-Lieut. Alfred Brewer – While relieving two companies on a defensive flank he and his company were subjected to very heavy shell fire, losing 50 per cent of their strength during the day. The personality and coolness of this officer during this very trying period were of the greatest value, and it was entirely due to him that the men were kept cheerful and ready for action under demoralizing conditions.

    A Communal Kitchen in connection with the Malvern Food Economy Committee’s work, was opened at the Mission Room, Barnard’s Green, yesterday, when 80 children were provided with twopenny dinners.

    Malvern Wells Women’s War Aid Association: During the past year about 1,140 articles of clothing, etc., have been made and distributed by this Association, bringing the total number since August, 1914, to over 7,000. The subscription list is less than in 1916, but this falling off is counter-balanced by the sum of £38 18s. presented by the Committee of the Lawn Tennis Club, to be expended for the benefit of the British Red Cross Society. This has been done, and grateful acknowledgments received from headquarters.

    Captain Tunstill's Men
    : The weekly edition of the Clitheroe Times reported on the award of the Military Medal to Pte. Richard Butler (see 17th December 1917),

    Private R. Butler, Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regt., son of Mr. W. Butler, Paythorne, has been awarded the Military Medal, for his courage shown in rescuing a wounded comrade under fire.

    The Craven Herald reported on the ‘Mention in Despatches’ for Trooper Claude Darwin (see 19th September 1917), who was the brother of Tunstill recruit, Pte. Tom Darwin (see 19th September 1917), who was back in England having been wounded on 7th June. Although the report referred to Tom Darwin as having been discharged from the Army due to his wounds, his discharge had not yet formally been confirmed.


    It will be noted with pride by Grassington people that one of the old Grassington lads has been singled out for a distinction. A letter to Mr. J.W. Darwin, Fell View, Grassington, father of Pte. C. Darwin, shows that in the despatch from General Sir Archibald Murray, G.C., M.G., K.C.R., Commander-in-Chief, Egyptian Expeditionary Force, is the name of Private Claude Darwin, 1st Field Squadron Engineers, Australian Expeditionary Force, for ‘distinguished conduct in the field or for valuable services”. Private Darwin, who emigrated to Australia seven years ago, was some time ago wounded in the back of the neck, and later suffered from septic poisoning in the fingers. His brother, Thos. Darwin, has just been discharged from the Army with a shattered arm. This is the second honour that has come to a Grassington lad, the first being the awarding to Second Lieutenant William Oldfield (2Lt. Billy Oldfield MM, see 1st October 1917) of the Military Medal for gallantry on the field of battle.

    There was also news that Pte. John Myles Raw (see 20th September 1917) had been confirmed killed in action,

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    As and when I find any more I will update...

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  32. #2982


    Cheers Chris - nice posts again !

  33. #2983


    Thanks Mike and honoured to receive your 1000th post

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  34. #2984


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    January 12th 1918

    The destroyers HMS Narbrough (Lieutenant Edmund Mansel Bowly) and HMS Opal (Lieutenant Commander Charles Ceasar De Merindol Malan) are wrecked on the Pentland Firth outside Scapa Flow during a violent gale and snowstorm. All 188 on board are lost but for one survivor from Opal who manages to climb up the rocks onto a ledge from where he is rescued with great difficulty. Among those killed in Opal is

    Surgeon Probationer Louis Percival St John Story (Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve) who is killed at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend Lawrence Parsons Story.
    On HMS Narborough

    Petty Officer Stoker Richard Morris is killed at age 40. He is the middle of three brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War
    Ordinary Seaman Francis Wallace McCheyne is also killed. The 19 year old is the last of four brothers who are killed in the war.
    Auxiliary transport Whorlton (Master Alexander Gordon) is sunk in the English Channel near the Owers light vessel killing the crew of 13. Her Master is killed at age 48.

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    HMS Narborough

    A Handley Page 0/100 (16th Naval Squadron) is shot down by French forces near Nancy. Two other aircraft are brought down in combat, both behind enemy lines. The pilot and observer of the first both die of wounds as prisoners of war, while the pilot of the other is taken prisoner.

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    RFC Communiqué number 122:

    Low clouds and wind greatly interfered with work.

    Two successful reconnaissances were carried out by the 1st Brigade, two by the 2nd, when Capt Burgess and Lieut Durham, No 7 Squadron, and Lieuts Herbert and Taylor, No 69 Squadron, made valuable reports.

    With aeroplane observation, nineteen hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction and twenty-four neutralised. Of the former, eleven were by the 1st Brigade and seven by the 5th.

    Fifty-nine photographs were taken during the day, 8,014 rounds fired at ground targets and 165 bombs dropped as follows:-

    1st Brigade: (1st Wing) – 32 25-lb bombs, 44 photographs. (10th Wing) – 3,450 rounds.
    2nd Brigade: (No 69 Squadron) – 8 25-lb bombs. (No. 53 Squadron) 2 25-lb bombs. (No 69 Squadron) – 650 rounds.
    3rd Brigade: 58 25-lb bombs, 10 photographs, 1,097 rounds.
    5th Brigade: (No 8 Squadron) – 31 25-lb bombs, 915 rounds, 5 photographs. (No 35 Squadron) – 34 25-lb bombs, 1,900 rounds.

    RNAS Communiqué number 13:

    A Fleet patrol and an offensive sweep were the only operations possible, owing to the weather.

    Enemy Aircraft: Enemy aircraft were not active and his scouts kept well east of the lines.


    Lieut J Boyd (Pow), 43 Sqn, Camel B2354 – took off 15:00/16:00 then missing on OP; Ltn d R Hermann Stutz, Js20, 2nd victory [Beaumont at 15:30/16:30] ?

    2nd-Lieut T A Urwin (Pow, Dow 15-Jan-1918) & 2nd-Lieut J H Young (Pow; Dow 17-Jan-1918), 35 Sqn, AW FK8 B283 - missing on artillery patrol machine believed to be AW seen to land under control at Sh62b.G.28.b.17 [south of Riqueval]; Ltn d R Ludwig Hanstein, Js35, 15th victory [south-west of Bellicourt at 11:50/12:50] (Riqueval is south-east of Bellicourt)

    Lieut J L S Hanman (Ok) & Lieut T L Settle (Ok), 12 Sqn, RE8 B5023 - force landed Sh51b.T.16.a [north-west of Croisilles] and destroyed after hit by machine-gun fire at 800 feet over Fontaine on reconnaissance

    The following aerial victory claims were made on this day

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    There were a total of six British airmen lost on this day

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    Home Fronts
    Britain: Officers pay put up to 10s 6d pd plus child allow*ances. Workers loot closed food shops in Leytonstone and Wembley.
    USA: Employment Service organizes women’s division. US Army DSC (Distinguished Service Cross) and DSM (Distinguished Service Medal)

    Western Front
    Flanders: British raid at Loos, disperse 4 German ones south of Lens and east of Monchy.

    Eastern Front

    Pacific: First of three Japanese warships arrives at Vladivostok (Royal Navy cruiser Suffolk from Hong Kong on January 14) to protect 600,000t of Allied supplies.

    The Minnie Pit disaster
    was a coal mining accident that took place on 12 January 1918 in Halmer End, Staffordshire, in which 155 men and boys died. The war only claimed 453 lives on this day....

    The disaster, which was caused by an explosion due to firedamp, is the worst ever recorded in the North Staffordshire Coalfield. An official investigation never established what caused the ignition of flammable gases in the pit. Minnie Pit, which was named after Minnie Craig, the daughter of one of the owners, a Mr. W.Y. Craig, was opened in 1881 in the small village of Halmer End, Newcastle-under-Lyme. At 359 yd (328 m) deep, it had been one of the most profitable pits in the North Staffordshire coalfields because it mined five seams of thick, good quality coal. It was the downcast shaft for the Podmore Hall Colliery, part of a wider industrial business that mined coal at the Burley Pit - the principal winding pit - on the Podmore Hall site, near Apedale. The business also included an ironworks, forge and coking ovens at Apedale. In 1890, the entire combine was formed into the Midland Coal, Coke and Iron Company, Ltd. and apart from mining and iron making, the combine company had its own mineral railway, the Apedale and Podmore Hall Railway.

    Despite its profitability, Minnie was a dangerous pit because it had firedamp. Two other explosions had already happened before the 1918 disaster. A blast killed all the pit ponies but no miners on 6 February 1898. Nine miners - including the colliery engineer, a Mr. John White - were killed by an explosion on 17 January 1915. As both explosions had happened on Sundays, it had resulted in a relatively low loss of life.The prevalence of firedamp affected all the Podmore Hall Combine collieries. It caused a number of explosion at the Burley Pit: 23 killed, 23 March 1878; 9 killed June 1878; 10 killed, 2 April 1891.

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    On Saturday, 12 January 1918, 248 men were working underground when a huge explosion tore apart the Bullhurst and Banbury Seams. Within minutes 155 men died from the effects of the explosion, roof falls or inhaling poisonous gases. Rescue teams from across the North Staffordshire Coalfield were quickly mobilised to search for survivors. But during the rescue attempts, Hugh Doorbar, Captain of the Birchenwood Colliery No. 1 rescue team,was killed in the operation. His death brought the final death toll to 156. The explosions caused severe damage to the underground workings. Large sections of the pit had collapsed and methane remained an ongoing problem. Search and recovery teams were at all times aware that further roof falls or explosions might occur. It took 12 months to recover all the bodies from the pit.

    A formal investigation of the causes and circumstances of the disaster was launched under section 83 of the Coal Mines Act 1911. It was headed by William Walker CBE, acting Chief of His Majesty's Inspector of Mines, (father of future Chief inspector of Mines Sir Henry Walker).

    The inquiry opened at Kings Hall, Stoke in December 1919. The jury returned the following verdict, after hearing witness evidence from 40 persons, viz:

    “We consider that the deceased persons met their death from a medical point of view as follows,
    144 from carbon monoxide poisoning
    11 from violence plus carbon monoxide poisoning

    The cause of death was an explosion of gas and coal dust in the Bullhurst and Banbury seams of the Minnie pit.That there is not sufficient evidence to show what caused the initial flame.
    We consider that the pit has been carried on in accordance with the Coal Mines Act 1911, and general regulations as far as they have been issued, but, we are of the opinion that, if the dust had been systematically removed, the explosion would not have been so extensive.
    We do not consider that any particular person is to blame for the explosion.

    As a result of the inquiry, we consider that further regulations should be issued at once for the treatment of coal dust. But we agree with the miners representatives, that nothing what so ever should be introduced, which will injure the miners, or young life in the mine and that there is great scope for inquiry by government experts on this point, particularly making coal dust itself inert.
    The jury consider that any shot-lighter should report in writing anything he considers unsafe in the mine.
    It appears that the workmen have not taken advantage of Section 16 of the Coal Mines Act, relative to the periodic inspection of the mines by workmen and we consider that they do so.”

    In summary, the jury concluded that no blame could be apportioned to any one individual but regulations should be issued for the treatment of coal dust. This was recommended because it was thought that the wholesale devastation of the mine was propagated by an abundance of dust. The disaster placed a huge strain on the mining community at Halmerend and its neighbouring villages because their livelihoods depended on the colliery and it related industries. With the First World War entering its fourth year, many families had now lost men at home on the Western Front. The Miners Federation Of Great Britain established a relief fund, 6s and 3d a week were collected from miners and boys at other pits around the country. Financial assistance came from other relief efforts. The Podmore company paid out compensation to bereaved families. Nevertheless, many families were forced into poverty due to loss of their main wage earners.

    In April 1930, the Minnie Pit along with the Podmore Hall Colliery closed at the start of the Great Depression. The company also shut down its foundry, railway and iron-making plant. Thousands lost their jobs sinking the area into a serious economic slump.

    Finally an exert from the war diary of the Master of Belhaven

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    Never knowingly under gunned !

  35. #2985


    Thanks Mike and honoured to receive your 1000th post
    I had no idea I was anywhere near that number of posts. I don't even know where to look to find out that sort of stat Guess the drinks are on me then. Any excuse huh!

    PS OK just twigged - Its the number of sorties flown - right Doh - Should have seen that long time ago

    Thanks Chris and thanks for your latest post - looks like I have a bit of catching up to do

  36. #2986


    Well done Mike. Don't forget when you get to May to let me know so that I can give you your 2year and 1000 posts medal.

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

  37. #2987


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    13th January 1918

    Second Lieutenant F B Willmott
    (Australian Royal Flying Corps) lags behind and is cut off by three enemy aircraft during an offensive patrol east of La Bassee. He is shot down, becoming the first casualty of the squadron, suffered on the squadron’s first air fight. He is taken prisoner. Two other pilots are lost on this day, one killed and one made a prisoner.

    Second Lieutenant Alan Scott Balfour
    (Royal Field Artillery attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 23. He is the son and heir of ‘Sir’ Robert Balfour 1st Baronet MP for the Partick Division of Lanarkshire. He was educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Oxford, and received his commission in the Artillery in August, 1916, subsequently joining the Royal Flying Corps.

    Lieutenant Commander Arthur Cyril Brooke-Webb DSC (Royal Navy Reserve) is killed at age 36. He is the son of the Reverend Albert Brooke-Webb.

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    General Headquarters, January 14th.

    “On the 13th inst. there was a great deal of useful work done in the air, much strenuous fighting taking place. The fine weather enabled photographic and artillery work to be carried out all day. Bombing and attacks with machine-gun fire from low altitudes were also carried out incessantly, over 400 bombs being dropped on a large ammunition dump near Roulers and on hostile billets hutments, and railway junctions. Amongst the targets attacked with machine-gun fire was a party of the enemy engaged in extinguishing a large fire; casualties were caused and the men scattered, and the fire left to burn at will. In combats seven hostile machines were brought down, and three others were driven down out of control. Our anti-aircraft fire forced another hostile machine to land intact behind our lines, the pilot being captured. Three of our machines are missing.

    "During the night of the 13th-14th inst. our night-flying machines dropped bombs on Roulers and Menin. All machines returned safely.”

    Admiralty, January 14th.

    “At noon on January 13th naval aircraft carried out a bombing raid on Engel dump. Bombs were observed to burst among sheds. A direct hit is reported, and a large cloud of smoke was seen to rise. All machines returned safely."

    RFC Communiqué number 122:

    The weather was mainly fine and a large amount of flying was done by all Brigades.
    Ten successful reconnaissances were carried out, one by the 1st Brigade, two by the 2nd Brigade, two by the 5th Brigade, four by the 3rd Brigade and one by the 9th Wing.
    Ten long distance photographic reconnaissances were attempted by the 9th Wing, but all except one proved unsuccessful owing to clouds.
    With aeroplane observation 39 hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction, 15 neutralized, two gun-pits were destroyed and 12 damaged, 11 explosions and five fires were caused, and 54 active hostile batteries reported by zone call.

    1,667 plates were exposed, 421 bombs dropped and 10,889 rounds fired, as follows:—

    1st Brigade: No 18 Squadron dropped four 25-lb bombs on Pont-à-Vendin; 1st Wing dropped 69 25-lb bombs and fired 135 rounds, and 10th Wing fired 1,850 rounds.

    2nd Brigade: No 57 Squadron dropped 64 25-lb bombs on Ledeghem ammunition dump; No 65 Squadron dropped 44 25-lb bombs on Ledeghem ammunition dump; 2nd Wing dropped 62 25-lb bombs; No 32 Squadron fired 50 rounds at a hostile balloon which was hauled down; No 70 Squadron fired 650 rounds at German infantry trying to extinguish a fire, and 2nd Wing fired 2,608 rounds.

    3rd Brigade: No 49 Squadron dropped 6 112-lb bombs on Marquion. 104 25-lb bombs were dropped and 2,725 rounds fired at various tsargets.
    5th Brigade: No 8 Squadron dropped 41 25-lb bombs and fired 2,921 rounds, and No 35 Squadron dropped 22 25-lb bombs and fired 550 rounds.
    9th Wing: No 27 Squadron dropped 5 25-lb bombs on Deynze railway junction.

    An offensive patrol of machines of No 84 Squadron (5th Brigade) encountered several two-seater enemy machines, two of were destroyed and two more driven down out of control.

    No 41 section's balloon was destroyed by an enemy triplane; the observers both made safe descents. The triplane was brought down in our lines by anti-aircraft fire. [Ltn Eberhardt Stapenhörst, Js11, Pow in Fokker Dr.I 144/17]

    RNAS Communiqué number 13:

    No reconnaissance could be carried out.

    Bombing raid by day - No 5 Squadron, D.H.4s: At noon a bombing raid was carried out on Engel Dump. Six 50-lb and twenty-four 16-lb bombs were dropped. A direct hit with a 50-lb bomb is reported on one of the sheds, and immediately afterwards a large cloud of smoke was seen to arise.

    All machines returned safely.

    Little E.A. activity was observed during the day.

    750 rounds were fired into enemy trenches from the air at Nieuport.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Enemy aircraft were extremely active.

    2nd-Lieut H A Payne, 84 Sqn, Albatros C out of control north-west of Masnieres - 2nd-Lieut Payne, No 84 Squadron, attacked an Albatross two-seater getting on to its tail and firing a good burst with both guns. The E.A. turned over steeply and fell out of control

    Lieut C Marsden, 46 Sqn, EA (out of control?) -

    Lieut G E H McElroy, 40 Sqn, Rumpler C out of control Pont-à-Vendin at 09:20/10:20 - Lieut McElroy, No 40 Squadron, shot down out of control an E.A. two-seater near Pont-à-Vendin

    Capt J T B McCudden, 56 Sqn, LVG C crashed north of Le Hancourt at 09:40/10:40 - Notler (Ok?) & Ltn Max Pappenheimer (Kia), FAA 264
    Capt J T B McCudden, 56 Sqn, DFW CV crashed east of Vendhuile at 09:50/10:50 - Vfw Hans Rautenberg (Kia) & Ltn Gerhard Besser (Kia), BG 7
    Capt J T B McCudden, 56 Sqn, LVG C captured east of Lempire at 10:05/11:05 - ? (Ok) & Ltn Max Rittermann (Kia), BG 7 [?] [G124]

    Capt McCudden, No 56 Squadron, reports as follows :

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    Left aerodrome at 8.40 to pursue E.A. At 9.35 I saw an L.V.G. going north over Belinglise at 8,000. I glided from in the sun and secured a firing position at 50 yards without being seen, fired a short burst from both guns, when E.A. went into a right hand spiral glide, which got steeper, and he then crashed just north of Lehancourt 62B, H31B at 9.40 a.m. Went north and saw two D.F.W.s being shelled at about 5,000 feet north-east of Ronnsoy at 9.50. Engaged one at close range and fired a long burst from both guns. E.A. went down steeply, emitting smoke and water, and hit the ground in a vertical dive just east of Vendhuille at 57B, S27.a as far as I could judge, as I did not pay too much attention to it as I was being engaged by the remaining D.F.W. This E.A. continued to circle round and got well east of the line like this, so I left him. Went north and saw two L.V.G.s going west aver Epehy at 10 a.m. I engaged one at 200 yards range at 9,000 feet and fired 200 rounds of Vickers into him. E.A. stalled, went down in a vertical dive, left hand wings fell off, and E.A. then burst into flames and crashed into our lines just east of Lampire at 62B, F16.b at 10.15 a.m. At 10.30 had an indecisive engagement with a D.F.W. over Gonnelieu but E.A. got away. Returned 11.5."

    Capt J L Trollope, 43 Sqn, EA out of control ? Vitry at 10:10/11:10 -

    Capt P D Robinson & 2nd-Lieut W C Venmore, 57 Sqn, Albatros Scout in flames Gheluwe at 10:30/11:30 - Capt Robinson and Lieut Venmore, No 57 Squadron (2nd Brigade), while on photography were attacked by 10 Albatross Scouts. The observer fired at one under its tail and it went rolling and spinning. He then fired at another EA which burst into flames and fell to pieces. The observer took 12 more photographs but the pilot was forced to return as his machine becoming unmanageable, two flying wires, rudder control and petrol pipe having been shot away

    Capt E R Pennell, 84 Sqn, two-seater out of control Bantouzelle at 10:35/11:35 - Capt Penell, No 84 Squadron, attacked a large two-seater near Bantouzelle, diving on it and firing with both guns from close range. The E.A. stalled and fell vertically out of control

    Lieut J H Tudhope, 40 Sqn, DFW C out of control Hulluch at 10:55/11:55 – Capt Tudhope, No 40 Squadron, attacked a D.F.W. two-seater in the vicinity of Hulloch. He fired about 120 rounds into him and the EA went down steeply out of control

    Lieut J S Ralston, 84 Sqn, two-seater crashed Crèvecoeur at 11:15/12:15 - Lieut Ralston, No 84 Squadron, dived on an enemy two-seater machine near Forenville. He got to its tail and fired two bursts with both guns at very close range. It fell out of control and crashed in the vicinity of the enemy's reserve trenches

    2nd-Lieut J V Sorsoleil, 84 Sqn, two-seater crashed north-west of Graincourt at 11:30/12:30 - 2nd-Lieut Sorsoleil, No 84 Squadron, attacked one two-seater over Graincourt, opening fire from 200 yards range. He closed with the enemy machine and got under its tail firing a second burst. The E.A. then went down vertically and was seen to crash south-west of Graincourt [Red coloured]

    2nd-Lieut H L Rough & 2nd-Lieut V Dreschfield, 49 Sqn, Fokker DrI out of control Cambrai at 11:45/12:45 - 2nd-Lieuts Rough and Dreschfield, No 49 Squadron, attacked a two-seater and fired a burst of 20 rounds; the E.A. turned away climbing. A tri-plane then fired on them by [but?] 2nd-Lieut Dreschfield fired a burst and the triplane turned over and went down in a spin completely out of control

    Lieut J E Pugh & 2nd-Lieut O S Hinson, 25 Sqn, Scout out of control La Jardinet at 11:50/12:50 -

    Lieut T Colvill-Jones & 2nd-Lieut H G Crowe, 20 Sqn, two-seater in flames north of Moorslede at 14:25/15:25 – 2nd-Lieuts Colville-Jones and Crowe, No 20 Squadron, while on O.P. dived on a E.A. two-seater; they fired 150 rounds and the E.A. went down emitting smoke and crashed


    ? (Ok) & 2nd-Lieut J H Haughan (Wia), 25 Sqn, DH4 - shot up and frostbite

    Capt R W Chappell (Wia), 41 Sqn, SE5a B624 - hit in face on COP

    2nd-Lieut H V Biddington (Pow) & 2nd-Lieut J H Corbet (Kia), 11 Sqn, Bristol F.2B A7174 – took off 09:50/10:50 and last seen over Douai going east with flames and smoke coming from engine on DOP; Vzfw Fritz Rumey, Js5, 6th victory [Beaumont at 11:30/12:30] ? (Hénin-Beaumont is north-west of Douai)

    Lieut F H Hall (Wia) & Lieut A S Balfour (Kia), 8 Sqn, AW FK8 B5826 - brought down near Épehy at 11:00/12:00 by EA during photography; Offz Stv Josef Mai, Js5, 6th victory [Gonnelieu la Vaquerie at 10:58/11:58] (Épehy is south of Gonnelieu)

    2nd-Lieut H E Davies (Pow), 84 Sqn, SE5a C5329 - last seen with patrol north-east of St Quentin on OP; anti-aircraft fire

    2nd-Lieut P B Wilmott (Pow), 71 Sqn, Camel B5602 - last seen spinning down through cloud 5 miles east of La Bassée with 2 Albatros Scouts in vicinity on OP; Ltn d R Günther Schuster, Js29, 3rd victory [south-west of Phalempin at 11:50/12:50] (Phalempin is east of La Bassée)

    The following aerial victory claims were made on this day

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    Captain John Victor "Jack" Sorsoleil MC
    84 Squadron RFC

    The son of Millon Arthur Sorsoleil of Toronto, John Victor Sorsoleil was promoted to temporary 2nd Lieutenant (on probation) on 19 August 1917 and confirmed in rank on 13 October 1917. Posted to 84 Squadron, he scored 14 victories flying the S.E.5a. He was promoted to temporary Captain on 20 April 1918. Post-war he studied science at University College, the University of Toronto, class of 1923. In 1951 he was chairman of the provincial committee of the Air Cadet League of Canada and living in Calgary.

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    T./2nd Lt. Jack Victor Sorsoleil, Gen. List, and R.F.C.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. While on patrol with three other scouts he engaged a hostile formation of ten scouts, driving one of these down. While climbing to rejoin his patrol he was attacked by an enemy scout, upon which he opened fire at close range, bringing it down spinning, with the result that it crashed to earth. He has also driven down one enemy machine in flames, and sent another crashing to earth, where it was destroyed. His gallantry and skill have been most conspicuous.

    Lieutenant Henry George "Hal" Crowe
    20 Squadron RFC

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    An observer with 20 Squadron, Henry George Crowe scored eight victories in the first half of 1918. His Bristol F.2b was shot down on 1 April 1918 but he survived. Post-war, Flying Officer Crowe received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 7911 on 25 November 1920

    A total of seven British airmen were lost on this day

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    Eastern Front
    Russia: Reds imprison Rumanian Ambassador Diamandi (released January 15 after diplomatic corps protest) and seize Rumanian gold in retaliation for Bessarabia takeover, also order King of Rumania’s arrest on January 15.

    Southern Fronts
    Italy: Italian Army has received 300,000 British gas masks.

    Russia: Lenin and Stalin’s Decree No 13 in Pravda backs Armenian self*-determination.


    Norway: Sugar, coffee, corn and meal rationing

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    Advertising poster for Italian war loans.

    Captain Tunstill's Men: Training continued but there was time also for more relaxation; the author of the Divisional History recalled that the Divisional Concert Party, known as “The Dumps”, presented shows “on a far more ambitious scale than in the old days”, including a review entitled, ‘Remember Belgium’. Performances were well attended by all ranks and concerts were given also by French and Italian troops. Most of this entertainment was conducted in Montebelluna, which also boasted a canteen and a cinema. Montebelluna was described by Pte. Norman Gladden of 11th Northumberland Fusiliers in 68th Brigade,

    “Montebelluna, which we were to get to know quite well, was an open township of modern construction nestling amidst the foothills, and had until quite recently been a thriving community on the main route into the mountains. Many of its inhabitants had fled before the unexpected tide of war, but some civilians were hanging on hopefully to look after their possessions or to keep open a few shops; though there was little to be bought, certainly not bread, which was our greatest need. The place had an abandoned air, which, to some extent, was being accentuated by the superimposition of alien military establishments. These occupied the municipal buildings, including the now forlorn little theatre, so typical of Italian provinicial culture. There was a half-built modern church, on which work had presumably been suspended at the outbreak of war, and the electric trams no longer rattled over the pave streets. Yet there was still an air of acute respectability about the place”.

    Home Front:

    The Director of Food Economy calls the attention of the public to the following:- The other day three British destroyers were lost while convoying butter ships from Holland. Let this harsh fact be a constant reminder to us that – (1) While we are grumbling because we cannot get butter and margarine, or because we have to wait in queues to obtain it, the men of the Royal Navy are dying without a grumble in order to bring it to us. (2) Therefore the imported butter and margarine and all other imported foodstuffs that we scrambe for is very often bought with the blood of our own menfolk. (3) The less food we – every class of the public-try to get, whether in queues or hotels and restaurants the less do we risk the lives of others. This should be an unshirkable inducement to food economy.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  38. #2988


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    14th January 1918

    The submarine G8 (Lieutenant John Francis Tryon) fails to return from a North Sea patrol and it is believed that she falls victim to a mine or ran aground. Her crew of 32 is lost including Able Seaman John Short age 22 whose brother will be killed next August.

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    Yarmouth is bombarded from the sea. Fire is opened at 22:55 and lasts about five minutes, some twenty shells falling into the town. Six civilians are killed and seven injured. German destroyer raid on Gt Yarmouth (12 casualties including 3 military). Harwich Force (Tyrwhitt promoted Rear-Admiral today above 48 captains) sails within 90 minutes of shelling starting but unable to intercept until January 15.

    British air forces (12 x DH.4s from 55 Squadron RFC) bomb Karlsruhe, Thionville and the Metz area. In broad daylight a successful air raid is carried out on the railway station and nunitons factories in the Rhine Valley one and a quarter tons of bombs are dropped. There is also a raid on the steelworks of Thionville midway between Metz and Luxemburg and also bombs are dropped on the two large railway junctions near Metz. The 6th (Naval) Squadron arrives at Petite Synthe Dunkirk as a day-bomber unit on this day. It has been reformed at Dover at the end of last year from personnel of the Walmer Defense Flight and #11 Squadron Royal Naval Air Service. The 17th (Naval) Squadron is formed to replace the Seaplane Base at Dunkirk.

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    AirCo DH.4

    General Headquarters, January 14th.

    "On the 14th inst. after a long spell of bad weather, our squadrons carried out a most successful raid into Germany in broad daylight, their objective being the railway station and munitions factories at Karlsruhe, in the Rhine Valley. 1¼ tons of bombs were dropped with excellent results, bursts being observed on buildings and sidings of the main railway junction in the centre of the town, on the railway workshops, and on the smaller junction in the town. Observers report a very large fire was started in the factories alongside the railway; this is confirmed by photographs taken after the raid. Anti-aircraft fire was very heavy and accurate over the objectives, and several hostile machines attacked the formation without success, as all our aeroplanes reached the objectives, and returned safely.”

    General Headquarters, January 15th.

    “Snow prevented much flying on the 14th inst., though a little photographic and artillery work was carried out. Only a few combats took place, in which one hostile machine was brought down. None of our machines are missing. Following on the very successful daylight raid into Germany on the 14th inst., another was carried out during the night of the 14th-15th inst. The objective in this case was the steelworks of Thionville, midway between Luxemburg and Metz, where a ton of bombs was dropped. A further half-ton of bomb, was dropped on two large railway junctions in the neighbourhood of Metz. Anti-aircraft gunfire and searchlight barrages were considerable round the objective. All machines returned."

    RFC Communiqué number 122:

    The weather was mainly overcast except on the 2nd Brigade front where it was fair.
    Three reconnaissances were carried out by the 2nd Brigade and two by the 5th Brigade.
    Ten hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction with observation by machines of the 2nd Brigade; five gun-pits were damaged, eight explosions and four fires caused. Ten active hostile batteries were reported by zone call.
    Two hundred and thirty-two photographs were taken, 131 bombs dropped and 3,387 rounds fired as follows:-
    2nd Brigade: Thirty-four 25-lb bombs were dropped and 1,427 rounds fired at various targets.
    3rd Brigade dropped six 25-lb bombs.
    5th Brigade: No 8 Squadron dropped eight 25-lb bombs and fired 150 rounds, and No 35 Squadron dropped eight 25-lb bombs and fired 1,060 rounds:

    9th Wing: On the night of the 13th/14th machines of No 101 Squadron dropped six 112-lb and 42 25-lb bombs on Roulers and Mouscron railway stations. One direct hit was obtained on the railway at Roulers. 2nd-Lieut Montgomery and 2nd-Lieut Strang being unable to see the ground descended to 500 feet and dropped their hombs and became the target of a great many anti-aircraft guns and machine gun fire. Machines of No 102 Squadron dropped 13 25-lb bombs on Menin.

    41st Wing: At noon on the 14th instant, 12 machines of No 55 Squadron carried out a successful raid on the munition factories and railway centre at Karlsruhe in Germany. One and a quarter tons of bombs were dropped, four bursts being observed on the buildings and sidings of the main railway junction in the centre of the town; two on the railway workshops and two on the smaller juncytion in the town.

    Fifty-two photographs were taken, which confirm the bursts and show a very large fire indeed in one Of the workshops by the railway.

    Anti-aircraft was very heavy and accurate over the objective. The formation was attacked by seven E.A. but only three were able to attain the height of our machines and these were kept at a distance by the observers. All machines returned safely.

    2nd-Lieut McLeod and Lieut Thomson, No 2 Squadron, observed a hostile baIloon over Bauvin. They flew through the clouds toward it and dived, the pilot flring 100 rounds into the balloon, which folded up and fell quickly.

    RNAS Communiqué number 13:

    Weather conditions prevented coastal reconnaissance being carried out during the day.

    Twenty-four E.A. were observed during the day, a number of indecisive engagements taking place.

    A flight of No. 9 Squadron fired 1,600 rounds into enemy trenches and machine gun emplacements E. of Nieuport Piers.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Very few combats took place.

    Flt Cdr W A Curtis, 10N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control east of Houthulst Forest at 11:35/12:35 - In the course of a general fight between six Albatross scouts and two two-seaters and a patrol of No 10 Squadron, Flight Commander Curtis brought an Albatross down completely out of control. This was confirmed by one of the other pilots

    Capt G M Cox, 65 Sqn, two-seater crashed Westroosebeke at 11:55/12:55 - Capt„ Cox, No 65 Squadron (2nd Brigade), shot down a two-seater in flames at Westroosebeke, which was confirmed by the Ll. Corps, who saw it crash; Uffz Max Lehmann (Kia) & Ltn d R Ernst Hilker (Kia), FA 256(A) [?]



    The following claims were made on this day:

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    Claiming his first victory was Captain Cedric Ernest "Spike" Howell MC, DFC, DSO 45 Squadron RFC

    The son of Ernest Howell of Myall, Eaglemont, Heidelberg, Victoria, Cedric Ernest Howell was a draughtsman before he enlisted. He embarked from Melbourne on 14 March 1916 as a private with the 14th Infantry Battalion of the AIF. After serving as a sniper on the Western Front, he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps from 46 Battalion of the ANZAC. In 1917 he was posted to 45 Squadron in France and served with this squadron in Northern Italy in 1918. He scored 19 victories as a Sopwith Camel pilot. On 10 December 1919, enroute from Hounslow to Australia, Howell and Sergeant George Henry Fraser were killed when their Martinsyde aircraft crashed into the sea off Corfu.

    2nd Lieutenant William O'Toole
    48 Squadron RFC

    William O'Toole served with the 4th Reserve Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers before transferring to the Royal Flying Corps on 2 April 1917. Posted to 48 Squadron on 19 June 1917, he scored 8 victories that summer as a Bristol F.2b observer. He was injured during pilot training at Reading on 14 January 1918.

    Eastern Front
    Russia: Lenin receives diplomatic corps, speaks at departure of ‘first volunteers of the Socialist army’ and escapes shots fired at his car.

    Southern Fronts
    Piave: Italian 22nd Infantry Division reaches Mt Asolone summit, taking 400 PoWs, but forced off until January 16. Some Italian advance in Piave Delta.

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    Soldiers of the socialist revolution. A relatively small party of 350,000 men should succeed in bringing a country with 150 million inhabitants under control.

    Five British airmen were lost on this day
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    Captain Tunstill's Men: Training continued.

    Pte. Fred Smith (23056) (see 19th December 1916) was posted back to England; the reason for his departure is unknown, but it may have been in connection with wounds he had suffered twelve months previously. On returning to England he would be posted to Northern Command Depot at Ripon.

    Pte. William Carver (see 29th October 1917) was re-classified as being fit only for Permanent Base duties and transferred to 273rd Employment Company at GHQ, Italy.

    Lt. David Lewis Evans (see 18th December 1917), serving with 3DWR, appeared before a further Army Medical Board assembled at Ripon. The report of the Board found that, “There is still considerable diminution in the expansion of the right lung. He states that he is still short of breath on exertion. There are no further physical signs in the chest. The hearing is very much improved and is now very little disability”. The Board instructed him fit to resume light duties with 3DWR at North Shields. He was to be re-examined in three months.

    A payment of £61 4s. was authorised, being the amount due in pay and allowances to the late Lt. Joseph Crocker (see 18th September 1917), who had been killed in action on the night of 18th-19th September 1917; the payment would go to his mother, Harriet.

    A payment of £2 1s. 1d. was authorised, being the amount due in pay and allowances to the late Pte. George Edward Hickson (see 20th September 1917), who had been killed in action on 20th September 1917; the payment would go to his father, Frederick.

    A payment of £2 5d. was authorised, being the amount due in pay and allowances to the late Pte. Herbert Hirst (see 20th September 1917), who had been killed in action on 20th September 1917; the payment would go to his father, Fred.

    A payment of £2 6s. was authorised, being the amount due in pay and allowances to the late Pte. Stanley Arthur Lucas (see 20th September 1917), who had been killed in action on 20th September 1917; the payment would go to his father, Arthur.

    A payment of £4 12s. 9d. was authorised, being the amount due in pay and allowances to the late Sgt. Thomas Sheldon (see 23rd September 1917), who had been killed in action on 20th September 1917; the payment would go to his widow, Emma.

    A payment of £2 14s. 3d. was authorised, being the amount due in pay and allowances to the late Pte. Harry Stillwell (see 20th September 1917), who had been killed in action on 20th September 1917; the payment would go to his widow, Ada.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  39. #2989


    Well done Mike. Don't forget when you get to May to let me know so that I can give you your 2year and 1000 posts medal.
    Cheers Rob. Shall do - I hope

    Thanks again for your work Chris - DH4 huh. Makes a change I guess

  40. #2990


    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    Cheers Rob. Shall do - I hope

    Thanks again for your work Chris - DH4 huh. Makes a change I guess
    Well, a change is as good as a rest, and they are fairly similar lol

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  41. #2991


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    15th January 1918

    Not sure if I can get a full edition out tonight - have been having problems with my PC and only just got it rectified (and I have to be up at 05:30) - anything missing will be added in tomorrow - never fear.

    An Army Order issued on January 15th announced the abolition of the Administrative Wing of the R.F.C. from 15 January 1918. A Reserve Depot, Royal Flying Corps, was to be formed, which would deal with the training of recruits of the Royal Flying Corps. The Officer in charge Royal Flying Corps Records would, in addition to his other duties, be responsible for the final approval of recruits and for the transfer of rank and file to the Royal Flying Corps.

    RFC Communiqué number 123:

    Heavy rain during the day prevented any flying, except two test and practice flights, taking place.

    41st Wing: On the 14th one machine of No 55 Squadron attempted photography, but was forced to return owing to heavy banks of clouds and thick mist. No plates were exposed.

    On the night of the 14th/15th instant, 11 machines of No 100 Squadron left to bomb the steel works at Diedhofen (Thionville) in Germany. Six 230-lb, 29 25-lb and two phosphorus bombs were dropped on the objective with good results; two 112-lb and 12 25-lb bombs were dropped on the railway junction two miles south-west of Metz, and one 230-lb, two 25-lb and one phosphorus bombs were dropped on Ebingen Railway Junction, while 1,680 rounds were fired at searchlights and trains in the railway stations. Anti-aircraft fire was heavy, but very inaccurate, and the searchlight barrages were considerable. All machines returned.

    RNAS Communiqué number 13:

    No operations were carried out during the day.



    Interestingly other sources show seven British airmen lost on this day

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    There were very few aerial victory claims on this day, but there was a hat trick for one pilot who was wounded in action

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    Captain Matthew Brown "Bunty" Frew DSO, MC & Bar 45 Squadron RFC

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    The son of Henry and Annie Frew, Matthew Brown Frew joined the Highland Light Infantry in 1914. After serving in France, he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in August 1916. Posted to 45 Squadron on 28 April 1917, he served in France and Italy and was credited with 23 victories while flying the Sopwith 1½ Strutter and Sopwith Camel. In 1918 he was injured when his Camel was hit by anti-aircraft fire. He returned to England and served as an instructor for the duration of the war. Frew remained in the Royal Air Force, was knighted and retired with the rank of Air Vice-Marshal in 1948.

    (MC) T./2nd Lt. Matthew Brown Frew, Gen. List and R.F.C.
    For conspicuous gallantly and devotion to duty on patrol, showing a fine offensive spirit in many combats. He has shot down five enemy aeroplanes, on one occasion leading his formation to attack twenty-two Albatross Scouts, and himself shooting one down.

    (MC Bar) T./2nd Lt. Matthew Brown Frew, M.C., Gen. List and R.F.C.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in shooting down three enemy machines in two days. He has destroyed eight enemy machines and driven down many others out of control.

    (DSO) T./Capt. Matthew Brown Frew, M.C., Gen.. List and R.F.C.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. On one occasion when leader of a patrol he shot down an enemy aeroplane, two others being also accounted for in the same fight. On a later occasion he destroyed three enemy machines in one combat, all of which were seen to crash to the ground. Immediately after this combat he had to switch off his engine and make an attempt to glide towards our lines five miles away on account of his machine having received a direct hit. Owing to the great skill and courage he displayed in the handling of his damaged machine, he succeeded in bringing it safely to our lines. He has destroyed twenty-two enemy machines up to date.

    Western Front
    Lorraine: US I Corps formed (General Hunter Liggett) at Neuf Chateau – 1st, 2nd, 26th and 42nd US Divisions.
    Britain – Cambrai Inquiry (Bryce) Report: British War Cabinet satisfied German counter*stroke did not surprise BEF commanders, but admits ‘breakdown’.

    Eastern Front
    Brest-Litovsk: Czernin receives Vienna’s appeals to make early ‘bread peace’.
    Britain: British War Cabinet cables General Poole to destroy Allied military stores.


    Mexico: After January 15, US agent captures German spy Lothar Witzke (alias Russian Pablo Waberski) in Nogales. Sentenced to death in Texas, but commuted and freed 1923.

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    US troops with Springfield rifles in front, probably from the ‘Rainbow’ division.

    I will update the rest tomorrow chaps...

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  42. #2992


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    16th January 1918

    From the depths of a very wintry Yorkshire this evening , welcome to the latest edition of the Sniper's Times

    Not much different from 100 years ago judging by some of the sources I utilise

    What the media boys would call a 'slow news day':


    RFC Communiqué number 123:

    High wind and rain all day made flying practically impossible.

    2nd-Lieut A A McLeod and Lieut A W Hammond, No 2 Squadron (1st Brigade), attempted an artillery patrol. They fired 225 rounds at an anti-aircraft gun and a group of men near La Bassée, and dropped two 20-lb bombs on La Bassée.

    Second Lieutenant Alan Arnett McLeod (General List attached Royal Flying Corps) crosses the lines at La Bassee, and observes a group of men around an anti-aircraft gun, descends to within 50 feet from the ground and fires 150 rounds; one man standing near the gun falls while the other men take cover. McLeod will be awarded the Victoria Cross for actions performed in March of this year and will die of the Spanish influenza in November after returned to his native Canada.

    A machine of the 2nd Brigade fired 300 rounds at a party of the enemy.

    RNAS Communiqué number 14:

    No war flying was carried out owing to unfavourable weather.



    Despite this there were still five British airmen lost on this day

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    There were NO claims what so ever on this day (first time for about 2 years...)

    Austria: General strikes until January 21 over daily bread ration cut (7 1/2 oz to under 6oz) and Brest*-Litovsk impasse involve nearly 100,000 workers in Lower Austria alone and Government taken by surprise. Spreads to Hungary on January 18.

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    General starve: helping out by the military with field kitchens in many cities of the Central Powers.

    USA: Fuel Administrator closes all non-war industry east of Mississippi for 5 days (January 18-22) plus nine Mondays to save moving coal.
    Germany*: Hindenburg letter removes Kaiser’s radical Civil Cabinet chief (for past 10 years) Valentini (who protests to Crown Prince).
    Britain: Board of Trade and Munitions Ministry allowed to drill for oil.

    Eastern Front
    Brest-Litovsk: Central Powers and Ukraine reach settlement in principle (announced January 21).
    Russia: CEC (Central Executive Committee of Bolshevik) adopts decree forming Red Army.

    Southern Fronts
    Piave: Austrian attack on Capo Sile (lower river) fails bloody, Italians occupy Austrian advance post on January 24 and repulse attack on January 26.

    Home Front:

    Damage and Inconvenience in Worcester: The snowfall of Tuesday evening was one of the heaviest known in this part of the country for many years. Steady and persistently it fell from the early hours of the evening till the morning was well advanced, when there was a depth of nine inches. Unaccompanied by wind the downfall differed in point of resultant damage from the violent blizzards which were here experienced during the past year or two, though the inconvenience caused by the miles of broken telegraph and telephone wires will be very considerable…The great weight of the accumulated snow has had some curious effect. In some roads in the city, where the wires have so far withstood the strain the telegraph poles have been pulled out of the perpendicular by this steady pressure…Early this morning over 260 subscribers were cut off, and the number was increasing as the morning advanced…A tramcar proceeding in the direction of Barbourne ran off the lines when near St. Nicholas’ Church. It was pushed back on to the metals and proceeded on its journey.

    Workmen’s Compensation Application: Mr. W.W.A. Tree applied on behalf of Mr. H. Davies and his wife, Poplar Row, Hallow, for payment to them of £32 paid into Court by Mr. W.A. Pitt, Bear Inn, Hylton Road, Worcester, in respect of the death of applicants’ son, who died as a result of a kick by a horse while following his employment as a stable boy with Mr. Pitt. He received 5s. per week (in addition to his board and lodging) which he paid to his mother…Three elder children who were supporting themselves had put in disclaimers and there were two younger children aged six years and one year and four months respectively. His Honour allotted £10 each to Mr. and Mrs. Davis and the balance to the benefit of the two young children. Mr. Tree explained that about £7 of the £32 was for funeral expenses, which would not be divisible between applicants.

    Scene at Worcester Cross: A large crowd of people gathered outside the Maypole Dairy Shop at the Cross early this morning. Someone had heard, or said, that the branch had a supply of butter, and the news quickly spread. People took their station at seven o’clock. One woman was complaining that it was a hardship that she should have to lose a day’s wages of 11s. at a munition factory to stand in the queue. The crowd were informed by the police that the shop would remain closed for the day, and later a notice was posted to that effect. While some people left, others remained. At nine o’clock there was a crowd of 150 people. Half an hour later there was a far larger queue, numbering 500 or 600, reaching to Angel Street almost. Newcomers gathered about the door, and tried to squeeze themselves into a foremost position…About ten o’clock the doors were opened and there was at first a determined rush by the crowd, and a few got into the shop out of their turn. But the police resolutely insisted that those who came late should go to the rear, and on the whole fair order was preserved.

    From The Times 16th January 1918

    Yarmouth, which was bombarded in November, 1914, and again at Easter, 1916, was made the target of enemy guns for the third time last night. It is not known whether a destroyer or a submarine made this last attack, which opened at 11 o’clock when a star shell lit up the town. A fusillade of shells followed, and swept the town for about five minutes, after which the raider vanished. Many of the inhabitants were in bed, and others were at supper, while some were making their way home from picture theatres. One person was killed and another severely wounded in one house by a bursting shell. A man and his wife are two other victims, and a sailor was killed on board a steamer in the harbour. Some persons were severely, and others slightly, injured. A doctor’s house was badly knocked about, while concussion from exploding shells caused other damage. Houses were filled with brickwork, stoves were blown out, doors wrenched from their hinges, and much window glass was broken. Many persons had remarkable escapes. One room was wrecked, but the child sleeping in a cot escaped without a scratch. The damage had been done before people realized what was happening. The inquest will be held tomorrow.

    • From our naval correspondent. The accounts of the British raid on Karlsruhe and the German raid on Yarmouth contain instructive points of contrast. The former was presumably a reprisal, as the bombardment of Whitehaven by a submarine in August, 1915, was said to be a reprisal for the shelling of a Turkish troop train by a British submarine in the Sea of Marmara. But in every other sense, what a difference! The British airmen attacked in broad daylight, their targets railway junctions, munition works, and other establishments, all of military value. They also waited after the job was done in order to obtain photographic confirmation of the destruction. The place they attacked was defended both by anti-aircraft armament and aeroplanes. Compare this with the attack on Yarmouth. It occurred on one of the darkest nights of the winter, and the raider hurried off after he had thrown a few shells into the town. No damage could have been done which is likely to have any influence on the progress of the war. This business was pure devilry.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 01-17-2018 at 14:30.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  43. #2993


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    17th January 1917

    The editorial staff would like to apologise for the somewhat 'samey' nature of the last few posts, I am really struggling to find many interesting stories, looks like a severe winter has really brought a halt to events, there was even snow in Italy (and having lived just outside Naples I know just how infrequent that is) anyway on with the news (or lack of it...)

    Lieutenant Len M.S Potts
    and Lieutenant Fred Hancock claim an Albatros DIII OOC near El Lubban. Lieutenant Potts brother Lieutenant Jack Diamond Sumner Potts (Australian Flying Corps) was killed less than two weeks ago when his aircraft collided with an enemy aircraft which had attacked an RE8 of 113th Squadron. The Potts brothers were from the Hawkesbury area in north western Sydney, their father was the Dean of the Hawkesbury Agricultural College for many years.

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    Honour thy opponent - downed Albatross D.III

    There were just the two aces making claims on this day

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    Captain Austin Lloyd Fleming MC 111 Squadron (Flying Bristol Fighter A7192)

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    A stockbroker and the son of Robert and Lydia (Orford) Fleming, Austin Lloyd Fleming joined the Royal Flying Corps in November 1916. After successfully completing flight training, he was posted 46 Squadron on 8 June 1917. Later that year, he was reassigned to 111 Squadron in Palestine. Flying the Bristol F.2b and S.E.5a, Fleming scored eight victories during the first four months of 1918. He was injured on 11 September 1918. After the war, he lived in the United States for a few years, then returned to England. During World War II, he served with the Royal Air Force.

    MC Citation: T./Lt. Austin Lloyd Fleming, R.F.C.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He attacked a formation of three enemy machines, and forced the leading machine, which was a two-seater, to land, although the other two were attacking him from behind. He then attacked and destroyed another of the enemy machines, and engaged the third, which succeeded in escaping. He destroyed four enemy machines during one month, and showed splendid courage and skill on many occasions.

    RFC Communiqué number 123:

    Low clouds, rain and mist made operations impossible.

    41st Wing: On the night of the 16th/17th, six machines of No 100 Squadron left the ground to attack the railway and factory at Diedhofen. Owing to a thick mist, four machines were forced to return; the remaining two crossed the lines. The weather conditions rapidly deteriorated. One machine dropped one 230-lb and two 25-lb bombs on the large railway sidings at Bernsdorf; the other machine dropped one 230-lb and one 25-lb bombs on lights at Orny and one 25-lb bomb on a searchlight near Vigny. All machines returned safely.

    RNAS Communiqué number 14:

    No war flying was carried out owing to unfavourable weather.

    There were three British airmen lost on this day

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    The steamer Kingsdyke (Master John Hutton) is torpedoed and sunk en route from Rouen to Cardiff in the English Channel. Sixteen are killed including her master.

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    Home Fronts

    Austria: Emperor Charles cables Czernin ‘If peace is not made at Brest-Litovks it will be revolution here, no matter how much there is to eat’.

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    Emperor Karl I and Empress Zita of Austria-Hungary with Crown Prince Franz Josef Otto.

    Eastern Front
    Ukraine: Red Guard drive on Kiev begins, takes Poltava on January 18.

    Sea War
    Germany: Light cruiser Koeln II completed at Hamburg, first of projected 10-ship class, only 5 launched and one other, Rostock II completed on March 28.

    From The Times, January 17, 1918

    Brigadier-General J G Hearson, DSO, RE, General Officer commanding the Training Division of the RFC, addressed the students of the Aeronautical Section at East London College yesterday. At present, he said, the Air Service was small compared with the Army and Navy, but it had grown and was going to grow beyond imagination. This was not only growth in numbers, but growth in power. Aeroplanes had developed in speed in the last three years from 60 miles an hour to the present machines, which could go at 110 miles, and the power of bombs had increased in the same proportion. Accuracy of machine-gun fire and manoeuvring in the air had developed to such an extent that one could not compare the present day with the past of only yesterday, and the development in the near future was going to be just as astonishing.

    Some people thought that “the larger the show” the less important the individual. Never was there so great a fallacy as in the Air Service. The opportunity to an individual of making his way was almost boundless. How had the great pilots of the war made their names? Not by luck, but by sheer hard work. The pilot who did not know the details of his work was asking for trouble. He might miss a priceless opportunity and throw away his life for the same reason. “I went on active service as a pilot with only 13½ hours’ flying experience and an education on the ground which was the result of asking questions,” said Brigadier-General Hearson. “Many of those questions were answered wrongly, and many were not answered at all.” He congratulated his audience on the splendid facilities at their disposal. Flying officers felt new things which infantry and gunnery officers never saw. They saw the whole of the battle, and even had conversations with generals. (Laughter.) Infantry and gunnery officers were in their own little bit of line, and their interests were local compared with their flying comrades. Flying officers lived in comparative luxury behind the lines, and not under shell fire while on the ground. They always had a good mess and a bed, and generally speaking were not in danger except when flying. “You in the Air Service have tremendous opportunities in the finest service of the future.”

    one more site to update...
    Last edited by Hedeby; 01-18-2018 at 17:29.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  44. #2994


    Just remember Chris. Snow news is good news.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  45. #2995


    You have absolutely nothing to apologise for Chris. If there is no news, there is no news. There will always be plenty of folk glad to here that. I bet the pilots of all sides were glad of the respite.

  46. #2996


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    18th January 1918

    Late one tonight (just tonight actually as its 11:58pm) so here goes....

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    The sloop HMS Campanula (Commander P L Goddard) sinks the German submarine UB66 off Cap Bon. UB-66 was sunk by HMS Campanula at 38°30′N 24°25′E on 18 January 1918, 30 crew members died in the event. She was built by Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft of Kiel and following just under a year of construction, launched at Kiel on 31 May 1917. UB-66 was commissioned later that same year under the command of Kptlt. Fritz Wernicke. Like all Type UB III submarines, UB-66 carried 10 torpedoes and was armed with a 8.8 cm (3.46 in) deck gun. UB-66 would carry a crew of up to 3 officer and 31 men and had a cruising range of 9,090 nautical miles (16,830 km; 10,460 mi). UB-66 had a displacement of 513 t (505 long tons) while surfaced and 647 t (637 long tons) when submerged. Her engines enabled her to travel at 13.2 knots (24.4 km/h; 15.2 mph) when surfaced and 7.6 knots (14.1 km/h; 8.7 mph) when submerged.

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    H M trawler and minesweeper Gambri (Skipper Albert Edward Sayers DSC) is sunk by a mine in the English Channel off the south east coast of the Isle of Wight. Twenty-one crew members including the skipper are killed.

    Eastern Front

    Brest-Litovsk: Trotsky breaks off talks, envoys leave to confer at home on January 20.
    Finland: Mannerheim, Army C-in-C since President Svinhufvud’s promise of no Swedish intervention on January 16, takes night train from Helsinki to West coast port of Vaasa.

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    A professional revolutionary heads for peace talks with a Prussian general. The Germans knew that Russia could not stop their armies, but Trotzky hoped for a revolution in Germany.

    Middle East

    Mesopotamia: Major-General Dunsterville arrives at Baghdad (left Karachi on January 6) to head British Mission to Caucasus.
    Palestine: British advance on 4-mile front near Durah 12 miles north of Jerusalem.
    Arabia: Arab raids damage Hejaz Railway (70 miles northwest of Medina to 60 miles south of Maan until January 28).

    The War in the Air

    Western Front: Major-General Sir J Salmond in command of Royal Flying Corps, succeeding Trenchard.

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    Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir John Maitland Salmond, GCB, CMG, CVO, DSO & Bar (17 July 1881 – 16 April 1968) was a British military officer who rose to high rank in the Royal Flying Corps and then the Royal Air Force. During the First World War he served as a squadron commander, a wing commander and then as General Officer Commanding the RAF on the Western Front towards the end of the war. He went on to be Air Officer Commanding British Forces in Iraq in the early 1920s when he halted a Turkish invasion and sought to put down a Kurdish uprising against King Faisal, the British-sponsored ruler of Iraq. He was Chief of the Air Staff in the early 1930s and bitterly opposed the position taken by British politicians at the World Disarmament Conference in Geneva, which would have led to the UK's complete aerial disarmament. In the event the talks broke down when Adolf Hitler withdrew from the Conference in October 1933.

    John Salmond was born the son of Major General Sir William Salmond and Emma Mary Salmond (née Hoyle). His siblings included a brother, Geoffrey, and sister, Gwen. After first being taught by a series of governesses he then attended Miss Dixon's School in Thurloe Square, London. At the age of nine Salmond was sent to Aysgarth Preparatory School in Yorkshire. In 1894, he went up to Wellington College and in 1900 he attended the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. After Salmond graduated from Sandhurst with a commission as a second lieutenant on 8 January 1901, he was transferred to the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment on 9 March 1901.He sailed for South Africa to join his unit, which was engaged in the latter part of the Second Boer War. In 1902 he applied for a secondment to the West African Frontier Force but was turned down on the grounds that he was too young: he re-applied the following year and was accepted on 14 November 1903. He was immediately seconded to the colonial service[8] and then promoted to lieutenant on 5 April 1904. Salmond's time in Africa was cut short as he was pronounced medically unfit and returned to England in November 1906. He was promoted to captain on 26 June 1910.

    Salmond learned to fly at the Central Flying School in 1912 and was awarded Royal Aero Club certificate No. 272 on 13 August 1912. Having been seconded to the Royal Flying Corps, he became a flight commander at the Central Flying School on 12 November 1912 and then a squadron commander there on 31 May 1913. In December 1913 he set the solo British altitude record at 13,140 feet. He became Officer Commanding No. 7 Squadron flying Sopwith Tabloids and the RE8s from RAF Farnborough with the temporary rank of major on 1 May 1914. He continued in that role during the early weeks of the First World War until August 1914, when he became Officer Commanding No. 3 Squadron on the Western Front. He was mentioned in despatches on 8 October 1914 and awarded the Distinguished Service Order on 24 March 1915. Salmond went on to be Officer Commanding the Administrative Wing at RAF Farnborough in April 1915, and having been promoted to the substantive rank of major on 8 January 1916, he became Commander of II Brigade RFC in February 1916, Commander of V Brigade RFC later that month and of VI Brigade RFC in March 1916. He was promoted to brevet lieutenant colonel on 3 June 1916 and was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George on 4 June 1917.

    Salmond became Commander of the Training Brigade in July 1916 and then, as General Officer Commanding Training Division from August 1917, he opened many more flying schools, laid down minimum training standards and introduced new modern teaching methods. He was appointed Director-General of Military Aeronautics at the War Office on 18 October 1917. Promoted to brevet colonel on 7 December 1917,Salmond became General Officer Commanding the Royal Flying Corps in the Field (formation subsequently redesignated Royal Air Force in the Field) on 18 January 1918 and managed to secure complete air superiority over the German forces. He was appointed a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order on 13 August 1918. Salmond was appointed an Officer of the French Legion of Honour on 10 October 1918 and a Commander of the Belgian Order of Leopold on 8 November 1918 and was awarded the Belgian Croix de guerre on the same date. He was also appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on 1 January 1919 and awarded the American Distinguished Service Medal on 15 July 1919[32] and the French Croix de Guerre on 21 August 1919.

    Salmond was awarded a permanent commission in the Royal Air Force as a major-general in August 1919 (shortly afterwards redesignated as an air vice marshal). He was made Air Officer Commanding Southern Area in September 1919 and then Air Officer Commanding Inland Area in April 1920. In October 1922 he became Air Officer Commanding Iraq Command, in which role, as officer commanding all British forces in Iraq, he halted a Turkish invasion and sought to put down a Kurdish uprising against King Faisal, the British-sponsored ruler of Iraq. Promoted to air marshal on 2 June 1923, he became Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Air Defence of Great Britain in January 1925. He was placed on loan to Australian Government in May 1928, where he made an extensive aerial tour of northern Australia. before being promoted to air chief marshal and appointed Air Member for Personnel on 1 January 1929. Salmond was appointed Chief of the Air Staff on 1 January 1930. In that role he bitterly opposed the position taken by British politicians at the World Disarmament Conference in Geneva which would have led to the UK's complete aerial disarmament. In the event the talks broke down when Hitler withdrew from the Conference in October 1933. Salmond was advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in the 1931 Birthday Honours. Salmond was promoted to Marshal of the Royal Air Force on 1 January 1933 and he relinquished the post of Chief of the Air Staff on 1 April 1933. Salmond was succeeded by his older brother, Air Chief Marshal Sir Geoffrey Salmond. However, only 27 days later, Geoffrey Salmond died and John Salmond was temporarily re-appointed as Chief of the Air Staff. He stood down for the second and final time on 22 May 1933.

    The following limited number of claims were made on this day

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    Six British Airmen were lost on this day

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    General Headquarters, January 19th.

    On the 18th, inst., although the sky was overcast all day, with rain at intervals, a certain amount of flying took place, chiefly consisting of observation for the artillery. Bombs were dropped and many rounds fired from low heights at numerous targets, including a long column, in which many casualties were seen to be caused. Three hostile machines were brought down by aeroplanes and one by our infantry, while another was driven down out of control by anti-aircraft gunfire. One of our machines is missing."

    RFC Communiqué number 123:

    In spite of mist mist and rain-storms, a certain amount of flying was done.

    A total number of 13 reconnaissances were carried out – nine by the 5th Brigade. Forty-two hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction, and one neutralized; three gun-pits were destroyed, 22 damaged, 35 explosions and 16 fires caused. Fifty-five zone calls were sent down. Out of the total of batteries successfully engaged for destruction 22 were by the 2nd Brigade.

    Sixty-nine photographs were taken, 115 bombs dropped and 7,791 rounds fired as follows :

    1st Brigade: Corps Wing dropped 48 25-lb bombs; 10th Wing fired 1,370 rounds; No 4a (resumed No 40 Sqn intended) Squadron fired 100 rounds, and No 43 Squadron fired 400 rounds into a procession where many casualties were caused.

    2nd Brigade: Took 40 photographs, dropped 29 25-lb bombs and fired 1,910 rounds.
    3rd Brigade: Took 11 photographs; dropped 25 25-lb bombs and fired 1,890 rounds.
    5th Brigade: Eighteen photographs were taken; No 8 Squadron dropped four 25-lb. bombs and fired 721 rounds; No 35 Squadron dropped eight 25-lb bombs and fired 900 rounds, and No 52 Squadron fired 500 rounds.
    One EA was brought down near Lens by infantry.

    RNAS Communiqué number 14:

    RECONNAISSANCE - No. 2 Squadron carried out a special coastal reconnaissance over Zeebrugge, and to a point 15 miles north of the Mole at a height of 7,000 feet.

    Visibility was poor, and observations could only be made through gaps in the clouds.

    Owing to adverse weather conditions no other war work could be carried out during the day.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Capt R S Maxwell, 54 Sqn, Albatros Scout broke up Beaurevoir at 09:20/10:20 – Maj R Maxwell, No 54 Squadron, fired a burst at 70 yards at an enemy scout, which turned over, the right bottom wing came partly away and the EA went down in a steep spiral; Flg Hellmuth Reinsburg, Jasta 10, Kia [?]

    2nd-Lieut G Clapham, 54 Sqn, Albatros Scout in flames Beaurevoir at 09:30/10:30 – 2nd-Lieut G Clapham, 4 Squadron, attacked an Albatros Scout and fired a burst at point blank range. The EA went down in flames; Flg Hellmuth Reinsburg, Jasta 10, Kia [?]

    2nd-Lieut A E Wylie, 65 Sqn, Albatros Scout crashed Westroosebeke at 10:25/11:25 – 2nd-Lieut A E Wylie, No 65 Squadron, shot down one EA near Westroosebeke

    Capt G E Thomson, Camel B2451, two-seater out of control 51B V22 at 11:45/12:45


    2nd-Lieut W K Fenn-Smith (Kia) & 2nd-Lieut N L Cornforth (Kia), 2 Sqn, AW FK8 B273 - shot down by EA west of Hulluch at Sh36c.G.23.a [north-west of Loos-en-Gohelle] at 10:25/11:25 and burst into flames on artillery registration; Vzfw Ulrich Neckel, Js12, 4th victory [Lens – Loos at 10:25/11:25]

    2nd-Lieut A E Wylie (Kia), 65 Sqn, Camel B4629 - dived on by 5 EA and seen to go down out of control on OP Westroosebeke at 10:25/11:25; Ltn d R Karl Gallwitz, Js2, 6th victory [north of Paschendaele at 10:20/11:20] ?

    2nd-Lieut W G Ivamy (Wia), 54 Sqn, Camel – shot up in combat; Ltn Otto von Breiten Landenberg, Js6, 6th victory [Hargicourt at 09:20/10:20] ?
    Last edited by Hedeby; 01-18-2018 at 17:37.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  47. #2997

  48. #2998


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    19th January 1918

    The Home Front - Germany

    The time which the Germans most dreaded is now upon them. They are passing through the fourth war winter and, contrary to their hopes, it began with a hard frost. What this means can only be appreciated by those who know what Germany passed through last winter. Since then a year of suffering, anxiety, and privation has elapsed. The home population, so sorely tried before, now finds life almost intolerable.

    Wherever one goes in Germany one sees evidences of the toll which the war has taken of the nation. There is not a place, however small, where the signs of mourning are not to be seen. Children have suffered severely, and the most superficial observer cannot but be impressed by the signs of underfeeding and delicacy, in such striking contrast to the robust, sturdy appearance of German children before the war. Tuberculosis is making havoc among the population, children and young people being especially liable. During the summer and autumn contagious dysentery prevailed throughout the country. The cause is undoubtedly bad food.

    The Christmas just past has been the gloomiest in the history of Germany. Everyone knows how great a part the Christmas tree plays in German celebrations. There was a dearth of Christmas trees in Berlin at Christmas, 1915, and people lent their trees to each other in order that the time-honoured custom might not be broken. This Christmas there was an abundance of trees and the prices were not high, but they remained unpurchased, and those who had speculated in them found themselves with their stock on their hands. The explanation is simply that the people could get no candles and that they were not willing to place an unilluminated Christmas tree before the children — it would have been too sad a spectacle.

    Nothing is causing Germany greater anxiety than the decline in the number of children. On the one hand millions of young men and boys are being killed, wounded, or permanently incapacitated for useful work in the future, while on the other there is a steady decrease in the birth-rate. Naturally the hard winter is having a disastrous effect upon a population of elderly people enfeebled by inadequate food.

    The War in The Air

    Flight Sub Lieutenant E G Johnstone (Royal Naval Air Service) will be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for the pluck and determination shown by him in engaging enemy aircraft. On this day he attacks five Albatross scouts, and engages one, nose on, opening fire at 75 yards range. The enemy aircraft turns on its side and spins. He follows and engages the enemy again at 80 yards range. The enemy aircraft goes down completely out of control. Later in the day, in a general engagement with fourteen Albatross scouts, he follows one down to 8,000 feet, firing all the time. This machine is confirmed by other pilots of the patrol to fall completely out of control.

    The 68, 69 and 71 (Australian) Squadrons are re-designated 2, 3 and 4 Squadrons, Australian Flying Corps.

    British losses in the air for the day are four aircraft the pilots of three are killed while the fourth is taken prisoner.

    It is generally recorded that Numbers 67, 68, 69 and 71 (Australian) Squadrons, RFC, were officially re-designated Numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 Squadrons, Australian Flying Corps. However, the Squadron Record Books for Nos 2 and 4 Squadrons AFC show these titles being first used on 16 January.

    General Headquarters, January 20th.

    "On the 19th inst., good visibility enabled a great many hostile batteries to be engaged successfully by our artillery with observation from the air. Over 300 bombs were dropped during the day on miscellaneous targets, including a large ammunition dump near Courtrai; and several thousands of rounds fired at the enemy in their trenches by our low-flying aeroplanes. Five hostile machines were brought down, and three driven down out of control. Four of our machines are missing."

    RFC Communiqué number 123:

    The weather was fine all day and the sky was covered with Iight clouds. The visibility was good.

    Nineteen reconnaissances were carried out; 10 of these were by machines of 5th Brigade, including eight by by No 2 Squadron.

    Ninety hostile batteries were successfulluy engaged for destruction and six were neutralized; 16 gun-pits were destroyed, 44 damaged, 52 explosions and 26 fires caused. One hundred and forty-seven zone calls were sent down.

    Eight hundred and seventy photographs were taken, 317 bombs dropped and 14,458 rounds fired at ground targets as follows:

    1st Brigade: 187 photographs. 1st Wing dropped 69 25-lb bombs and fired 380 rounds, and 10th Wing fired 2,450 rounds,
    2nd Brigade: 263 photographs. 2nd Wing dropped 61 25-lb bombs; No 57 Squadron dropped 68 25-lb bombs on Heule Ammunition Dump, and 3rd Squadron A.F.C. fired 2,400 rounds. 2,110 rounds were fired by other squadrons.
    3rd Brigade: 221 photographs were taken, 73 25-lb bombs dropped and 2,826 rounds fired.
    5th Brigade: 195 photographs. No 8 Squadron dropped 22 25-lb bombs and fired 1,652 rounds; No 35 Squadron dropped 24 25-lb bombs and fired 1.140 rounds, and No 52 Squadron fired 1,500 rounds.
    Eight targets were registered by balloons of the 2nd Brigade, four of the targets being hostile batteries.

    RNAS Communiqué number 14:

    W/T SPOTTING - No. 2 Squadron carried out spotting for the monitor firing on Ostende. Firing was opened at 5.30. Good shooting appears to have been made. After the third shot the enemy put up their usual dense smoke screens; nevertheless spotting was able to be continued.

    Batteries in action against the Fleet: Turpitz, Deutschland Jacobinessen, and a battery near Blankenberghe. Very few E.A. observed.

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    Enemy Aircraft:

    Enemy aircraft were active, especially in the neighbourhood of Lens.

    Lieut T Colvill-Jones & Lieut L H Phelps, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control east of Moorslede - 2nd-Lieut Jones and Lieut Phelps, No 20 Squadron, dived at an Albatross Scout and after firing 50 rounds brought it down out of control

    Capt K Shelton, 54 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Estrées at 09:25/10:25 – a patrol of four machines of No 54 Squadron engaged seven Albatross Scouts, and Capt K Shelton dived on two of them and followed them down to 500 feet. One of these fell out of control and was seen to be crashed on the ground by two other pilots of the same patrol

    2nd-Lieut G R Howsam, 70 Sqn, Albatros C out of control Moorslede at 10:20/11:20 - 2nd-Lieut G Howsam, No 70 Squadron, attacked an enemy two-seater which had been pointed out to him by anti-aircraft fire. He fired a burst and the E.A. went down out of control

    Capt J L Trollope, 43 Sqn, DFW C crashed south of Vitry at 10:25/11:25 – Capt J L Trollope, No 43 Squadron, while on offensive patrol over Vitry, shot down one D.F.W., which was seen to crash

    2nd-Lieut F H Hobson, 70 Sqn, two-seater in flames Warneton at 11:00/12:00 - 2nd-Lieut F Hobson, No 70 Squadron, dived at an E.A. two-seater which went down out of control and then burst into flames

    Capt G H Lewis, 40 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Hénin-Liétard at 11:15/12:15 – with Lieuts Rusden and Wallwork, climbed to 11,000 feet in the direction of Douai and engaged five Albatros Scouts. They were reinforced by three or four other S.E.5s and a patrol of Camels. Capt Lewis obtained a good position behind and below an Albatros which turned over and appeared to be out of control. He also saw a Camel attack and send down another Albatros half in a spiral and half in a spin [the Albatros Scout claimed by Naval 8]

    Capt N V Harrison & 2nd-Lieut T C Noel, 20 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control south-west of Roulers at 11:20/12:20 – Capt Harrison and Lieut Noel, No 20 Squadron, saw four E.A. and dived on one and fired 20 rounds after which the E.A. went down out of control

    Flt Sub-Lieut W L Jordan, Flt Sub-Lieut P M Dennett and Flt Sub-Lieut E G Johnstone, 8N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Wingles at 11:25/12:25 - Flight Lieut Jordan, Naval Squadron No 8, fired a burst of 50 rounds into an E.A. which turned on its side and spun. Flight Sub-Lieuts Dennett and Johnstone followed this machine down, each firing 250 rounds and the E.A. went down out of control

    2nd-Lieut W L Harrison, 40 Sqn, DFW C out of control east-north-east of Arras at 12:05/13:05 – whilst flying with Lieut McElroy, saw two machines (DFWs with green, white and blue camouflage) pointed out by AA. He attacked one at close range which went straight down in a steep dive and was lost sight of. He attacked the other, firing a whole drum of Lewis and 80 rounds of Vickers. Attacked alternately with Lieut McElroy and when at 4,000 feet the EA went down in a spin and was seen to crash. The combat report has ‘Yes’ written against Driven down but has been endorsed ‘Brought down’.

    Lieut G E H McElroy, 40 Sqn, DFW C out of control Vitry at 12:05/13:05 - whilst flying with Lieut Harrison observed HA pointed out by AA. Went east to cut him off. Got in burst of about 60 rounds at EA from underneath at about 10 yards range. EA went down out of control. SE followed down to 2,000 feet firing whilst following and from that altitude saw EA crash - this was confirmed by observers of “D” Battery, AA; Uffz Ludwig Bayer & Gefr Hugo Reichert, Schusta 24 [described as blue and white]

    Flt Cdr G W Price, 8N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Sailly (south of Vitry) at 12:15/13:15 - Flight Commander Price, Naval Squadron No 8, observed three Albatross scouts near Vitry. He dived and attacked one of these and fired 300 rounds. The E.A. fell over sideways and fell vertically

    Capt R Hilton & Lieut A Clayton, 9 Sqn, Albatros Scout broke up east of Houthulst Forest at 13:25/14:25 - Capt R Hilton and Lieut A Clayton, No 9 Squadron, were attacked by six E.A. two of which dived on the R.E.8. The observer opened fire at 100 yards and the leading. E.A. was seen lose a wing and crash; the other E.A. was driven off after 150 rounds were fired; Vfw Max Krauss, Js27, Kia [?]

    Sergt E R Clayton & 2nd-Lieut L L T Sloot, 57 Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Roulers at 14:45/15:45 – Sergt E Clayton and 2nd-Lieut L Sloot, No 57 Squadron, when returning from a bomb raid were attacked over Roulers by six Albatross Scouts. The observer fired 200 rounds, and one E.A. went down in a vertical dive for 5,000 feet

    Flt Sub-Lieut E G Johnstone, 8N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Henin-Lietard at 15:00/16:00
    Flt Sub-Lieut P M Dennett, 8N Sqn, Albatros Scout out of control Hénin-Liétard at 15:15/16:15

    In a general engagement between Naval Squadron No 8 and 14 Albatross Scouts, Flight Sub-Lieut Johnstone attacked one E.A. and followed it down to 8,000 feet, firing all while. The E.A. was observed to fall completely out of control. Flight Sub-Lieut Dennett fired a good burst at another E.A. at very close range and it went down completely out of control


    ? (Ok) & Lieut F D Howitt (Wia), 16 Sqn, RE8 - hit by machine-gun fire

    2nd-Lieut E H M Fetch (Wia), 56 Sqn, SE5a - wounded on DOP

    Capt F D Grant (Wia) & ? (Ok), 57 Sqn, DH4 - shot up on photography

    2nd-Lieut E T Baker (Kia), 65 Sqn, Camel B2468 - formation of 5 Camels attacked 17 EA and was last seen going down in spin followed by 2 Albatros Scouts between Westroosebeke - Staden on OP; Oblt Bruno Loerzer, Js26, 20th victory [north of Houthulster Wood at 11:35/12:35] or Ltn Karl Gallwitz, Js2, 7th victory [south of Houthulster Wood at 13:45/14:45] ?

    2nd-Lieut F M Ohrt (Pow), 54 Sqn, Camel B5423 - last seen over Ramicourt at 09:30/10:30 at 6,000 feet on offensive patrol

    2nd-Lieut L B Starfield (Kia) & Lieut A Hutchinson (Kia), 20 Sqn, Bristol F.2B A7193 – took off 10:16/11:16 and last seen near Wytschaete on roving commission

    2nd-Lieut C N Madeley (Kia), 43 Sqn, Camel B6208 - last seen in combat with EA over Vitry at 10:55/11:55 then spinning down out of control on OP; Ltn Koch, Js12, 1st victory [Biache at 10:45/11:45] ?

    The following claims were made on this day

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    The following British airmen were lost on this day

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    The War at Sea

    The submarine H10 (Lieutenant Martin Huntly Collier age 25) does not return from a North Sea patrol and it is believed she struck a mine.

    Home Fronts
    Hungary: 86th Infantry Regiment mutinies at Szabadka, 2 other regiments likewise (February 11 and 14).

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    Hungarian War Loan appeal.

    After more than two years of an Entente blockade in the Adriatic, the Austro-Hungarian Empire began to suffer from hunger and all types of shortages. The Joint Navy crews were stuck in the Istrian and Dalmatian harbors since 1915, especially on larger ships, which had almost never sailed out of the Cattaro Harbor. Rations had to be reduced in January 1917 and again in January 1918. Shortages provoked an increasing discontent among sailors, especially given that officers benefited from much better living conditions. Throughout January 1918, strikes and social unrest spread across the Empire, notably in the major Navy base of Pula. But by the end of January, work resumed and order was restored.

    Home Front (England)

    The Little Salkeld rail accident occurred between Little Salkeld and Lazonby railway stations in Long Meg cutting on the Settle-Carlisle Line on 19 January 1918.

    As the 11 carriage 08:50 London St Pancras to Glasgow express approached the cutting a heavy landslip caused by a sudden thaw blocked both roads ahead of the train. Just five minutes earlier a platelayer had walked past the spot and seen nothing amiss. The engine, a Midland compound No. 1010, ploughed into the mass of clay at a speed of 60 mph, telescoping the front two carriages and killing seven passengers.

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    The injured were taken the Cumberland Infirmary and Fusehill Military Hospital, both in Carlisle

    Captain Tunstill's men
    : Periods of fog and mist made observation difficult but conditions remained “exceptionally quiet”.

    Pte. Ernest Jones (see 13th January) appeared before a Field General Court Martial on a charge of having “used insubordinate language to his superior officer”; he was found guilty and sentenced to 56 days’ Field Punishment No.1.

    L.Cpl. Jesse Merritt (see 26th November 1917) was discharged from 62nd General Hospital at Bordighera, near Ventimiglia, and re-joined the Battalion; he had been treated for two months for pneumonia.

    Pte. Stephen Shevill (see 5th July 1917) was formally discharged from the Army as a result of wounds suffered in action. (In the absence of his service record it has not been possible to establish any further information about when he had been wounded).

    A payment of £3 3s. 9d. was authorised, being the amount due in pay and allowances to the late L.Cpl. Arthur Charles Elkington MM (see 18th September 1917), who had been killed in action on 18th September 1917; the payment would go to his widow, Ellen.

    A payment of £2 6s. 5d. was authorised, being the amount due in pay and allowances to the late Pte. Francis Seed (see 12th June), who had been killed in action on 7th June 1917; the payment would go to his widow, Ann. She would also receive a parcel of his personal effects comprising of, “disc, cigarette case, wallet, photo, diary, cards, 2stamps (½d)”.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 01-22-2018 at 14:46.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  49. #2999


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    20th January 1918

    Sea War
    Aegean – Action off Imbros: Battlecruiser Goeben and light cruiser Breslau (Vice-Admiral Rebeur-Paschwitz) sortie against British monitors near Dardanelles, sinking Raglan (127 dead) and M28. Breslau sunk by 5 mines, Goeben also mined 3 times and runs aground at Nagara Point, Dardanelles. After 65 Royal Navy Air Service raids drop 180 bombs (2 hits) refloated and towed into Constantinople end of March. Admiral Calthorpe arrives at Mudros to direct operations on january 25.

    SMS Goeben  was the second of two Moltke-class battlecruisers of the Imperial German Navy, launched in 1911 and named after the German Franco-Prussian War veteran General August Karl von Goeben. Along with her sister ship, Goeben was similar to the previous German battlecruiser design, Von der Tann, but larger, with increased armor protection and two more main guns in an additional turret. Goeben and Moltke were significantly larger and better armored than the comparable British Indefatigable class.

    Several months after her commissioning in 1912, Goeben, with the light cruiser Breslau, formed the German Mediterranean Division and patrolled there during the Balkan Wars. After the outbreak of World War I on 28 July 1914, Goeben and Breslau bombarded French positions in North Africa and then evaded British naval forces in the Mediterranean and reached Constantinople. The two ships were transferred to the Ottoman Empire on 16 August 1914, and Goeben became the flagship of the Ottoman Navy as Yavuz Sultan Selim, usually shortened to Yavuz. By bombarding Russian facilities in the Black Sea, she brought Turkey into World War I on the German side. The ship operated primarily against Russian forces in the Black Sea during the war, including several inconclusive engagements with Russian battleships. She made a sortie into the Aegean in January 1918 that resulted in the Battle of Imbros, where Yavuz sank a pair of British monitors but was herself badly damaged by mines.

    In 1936 she was officially renamed TCG Yavuz ("Ship of the Turkish Republic Yavuz"); she carried the remains of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk from Istanbul to İzmit in 1938. Yavuz remained the flagship of the Turkish Navy until she was decommissioned in 1950. She was scrapped in 1973, after the West German government declined an invitation to buy her back from Turkey. She was the last surviving ship built by the Imperial German Navy, and the longest-serving dreadnought-type ship in any navy.

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    Goeben’ and ‘Breslau’ at Constantinople.

    Goeben and Breslau leave the Dardanelles to attack Imbros sinking the monitors Raglan (6,150 tons) and M28 (540 tons). One hundred twenty-seven sailors are killed including

    Lieutenant H L Bacon (HMS Raglan) whose brother will die on service in 1920. They are both sons of the Reverend Dr. Bacon DD.
    While heading for Mudros, Breslau strikes four mines in quick succession to the northwest of Rabbit Island and sinks. Five Turkish destroyers endeavor to reach the point, but are driven off by two British destroyers. Goeben also strikes two mines, and then another trying to re-enter the Dardanelles, and finally runs aground off Nagara Point.

    The escort ship HMS Mechanician is torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine eight miles west of St Catherine’s Point. The armed boarding steamer HMS Louvain is torpedoed and sunk by another German submarine in the Eastern Mediterranean, killing seven officers and two hundred seventeen men.

    North Sea: U-boat sinks armed boarding steamer HMS Louvain (224 lives lost). 2 German destroyers sunk by mines.

    Eastern Front
    Ukraine: French General Tabouis vainly orders Czech Corps to cover Mogilev-Vinnitsa rail line against Germans.

    The Air War

    General Headquarters, January 21st.

    "On the 20th inst. the good visibility again enabled our aeroplanes to observe for the artillery all day and to take many photographs in the enemy's forward area. Bombs were dropped throughout the day on various targets, while the enemy in his trenches and in the open was engaged with machine gun fire from the air. One hostile machine was brought down. None of our machines are missing."

    RFC Communiqué number 123:

    Although the sky was covered with clouds, the visibility was good, and a lot of artillery work was carried out.

    Seventeen reconnaissances were carried out, 12 of which were by machines of the 5th Brigade.

    Seventy-two hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction and 12 neutralized with aeroplane observation; five gun-pits were destroyed, 30 damaged 18 explosions and 18 fires caused. One hundred and fifty-four zone calls were sent down.

    Three hundred and twenty-three photographs were taken, 222 bombs dropped and 10,572 rounds fired at ground targets as follows:

    1st Brigade: Fifty-six photographs. 1st Wing dropped 55 25-lb bombs and fired 1,500 rounds, and 10th Wing fired 2,050 rounds.

    2nd Brigade: Nine photographs were taken, 36 25-lb bombs dropped and 1,040 rounds fired.

    3rd Brigade: Sixty photographs were taken, 76 25-lb bombs dropped and 2,682 rounds fired.

    5th Brigade: One hundred and ninety-eight photographs. 15th Wing dropped 55 25-lb bombs, No 8 Squadron fired 830 rounds, No 35 Squadron fired 250 rounds, No 52 Squadron 870 rounds and No 84 Squadron 700 rounds.

    RNAS Communiqué number 14:

    No flying was carried out through the day owing to rain and low clouds.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Capt J T B McCudden, 56 Sqn, LVG C destroyed north-west of Cambrai at 11:40/12:40 – Capt J B McCudden, No 56 Squadron, brought down one enemy machine; Uffz Gustav Mosch (Kia) & Ltn Friedrich Bracksiek (Kia), FA 202 [?]


    2nd-Lieut R Buchanan (Wia) & Lieut T G Mather (Ok), 35 Sqn, AW FK8 B3313 - forced to land by EA at Sh62c.R.4.a.3.7 [south of Le Verguier] at 12:00/13:00 during photography

    Claims were few on this day

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    During the war, the Mesopotamian Campaign was under the responsibility of the Indian Army until the disaster surrounding the surrender at Kut. The campaign started well with the landing in Basra in November 1914, but the attack on Baghdad by 9,000 troops of the 6th Indian Division commanded by General Townshend in 1915 ended in catastrophe when the remnants of the British invasion force were surrounded in Kut El Amara, and three attempts to relieve the trapped British and Indian troops also ended in failure, at the cost of 23,000 lives. The surrender on 29 April 1916 has been described as one of the worst military disasters of the British Army. Consequently the Commander in Chief India, General ‘Sir’ Harry Beauchamp Duff was relieved of command on 1 October 1916. In 1917, the Mesopotamia Commission of Enquiry was damning in its conclusions. While General Townshend was exonerated, the Commission was harsh towards the Government of India and Duff together with the Viceroy, Lord Hardinge. Both were found to have showed little desire to help and some desire actually to obstruct the energetic prosecution of the war. General Nixon, the Commander-in-Chief of the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force, was also held responsible for the failed campaign. Unable to live with the shame, Duff committed suicide today.

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    Captain Tunstill's Men: As the Battalion settled down into its new routine there was time for some relaxation alongside the continued training. Pte. Harold Charnock (see 27th December 1917) remembered that, “There was an excellent range here and a very good Divisional rifle meeting was held. We also had several battalion Competitions. We also played a good deal of football, both codes, and had a battalion boxing competition. The left of our sector was reconnoitred with a view to supporting the French and several tactical schemes for officers were carried out with this object in view”.

    L.Cpl. Richard Cleasby Chorley (see 12th May 1917), serving with 23rd Division Employment Company, relinquished his appointment as Lance Corporal at his own request and departed for England on two weeks leave.

    Pte. James Frederick Coldwell (see 29th October 1917), having been discharged from 4th Stationary Hospital at Arques, was posted to ‘B’ Infantry Base Depot, pending a return to active service.

    In Glasgow, Pte. James Hillhouse (see 11th January), home on leave, was confronted with a family tragedy. At the family home in Edmund Street, a leak of coal gas killed his married sister, Mary Wallace, and her 11 year-old son David, and left his father, James, in hospital. In the absence of Mary’s husband, David Wallace, who was serving in France with the Royal Engineers, it would be left to James Hillhouse to make the arrangements for the family funerals. The Glasgow Police would send a telegram to the military authorities requesting that he be allowed an extension of his leave to put the affairs in order. His leave would be extended to 10th February.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 01-27-2018 at 10:59.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  50. #3000


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    21st January 1918

    General Headquarters, January 22nd.

    "On the 21st, flying was confined to observation for the artillery and the dropping of bombs in the enemy forward areas, owing to frequent rainstorms. After dark, when the weather cleared, our night-flying machines were very active. They dropped over 200 bombs on aerodromes in the neighbourhood of Courtrai and on the enemy's billets at Roulers and Rumbeke. Raids were also carried out into Germany, two tons of bombs being dropped on the steel works at Thionville, on the large railway sidings at Bernsdorf (30 miles south-east of Metz), and on Arnaville railway junction, just south of Metz. One machine is unaccounted for."

    RFC Communiqué number 123:

    Low clouds and rain prevented much flying being done.

    Six reconnaissances were carried out, one by the 2nd Brigade, two by the 3rd Brigade, and three by the 5th Brigade.

    Twenty-two hostile batteries were successfully engaged for destruction with aeroplane observation and five neutralized; 15 gun-pits were damaged, 26 explosions and seven fires caused. Seventy-five zone calls were sent down.

    One hundred and forty bombs were dropped and 9,086 rounds fired at ground targets follows:

    1st Brigade: 43 25-lb bombs were dropped; 1st Wing fired 3,600 rounds, and No 40 Squadron 100 rounds.

    2nd Brigade: 2nd Wing dropped 39 25-lb bombs; 2,455 rounds were fired.

    3rd Brigade: Dropped 29 25-lb bombs and fired 1,100 rounds.

    5th Brigade: No 8 Squadron dropped 16 25-lb bombs and fired 591 rounds; No 35 Squadron dropped four 25-lb bombs and fired 500 rounds; No 48 Squadron dropped nine 25-lb bombs; No 52 Squadron fired 500 rounds and No 54 Squadron 100 rounds.

    41st Wing: On the night of the 21st/22nd, 17 machines of No 100 Squadron started to bomb the steel works at Thionville and Bernsdorf railway sidings. Twelve machines crossed the line and dropped bombs as follows:

    Four 230-lb, 12 25-lb and one phosphorus bombs on Thionville; five 230-lb., 16 25-lb and two phosphorous bombs on Bernsdorf, and two 230-lb and eight 25-lb bombs on various targets. 1,520 rounds were fired at searchlights, trains and factory lights.

    One machine of Naval Squadron No 16 dropped 12 112-lb bombs on the railway junction at Arnaville, south of Metz.

    RNAS Communiqué number 14:

    Only a few fighter patrols could be carried out. Nothing to report.

    Enemy Aircraft:

    Enemy aircraft activity was slight all day, a few indecisive combats taking place.

    Flt Cdr R B Munday, 8N Sqn, Balloon on the ground Godault Farm at 18:00/19:00 - Flight Cdr R Munday, Naval Squadron No 8, made a night attack on an enemy balloon. He crossed the lines at 3,000 feet, dived down to 1,000 feet, making for a point where he judged the balloon to be. He twice dived to within 100 feet, firing two bursts of 100 rounds each. When passing the balloon the second time at about 30 feet it burst into flames


    2nd-Lieut A H Peile
    (Pow) & Lieut C W Reid (Pow), 100 Sqn, FE2b A5695 – took off 20:40/21:40 then missing from night bombing raid

    Not suprisingly victory claims were low

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    Air fighting remains light and the only British casualty of the day is one pilot and his observer taken prisoner.

    Father and son both named Andrew Wilson and both serving as sailors on in the Newfoundland Mercantile Marine are killed when S S Beverley is sunk.

    Air War

    Western Front: Royal Flying Corps bomb German Flanders airfields (and on January 23), Roulers (and on January 28), Menin, and Coutrai bombed (January 22).
    Salonika: 3 Royal Flying Corps aircraft fly to Mudros to share in bombing of battlecruiser Goeben; 7 more aircraft sent on January 22 and 28, return on January 29.
    Mesopotamia: 12 Royal Flying Corps DH4s (1 lost to anti-aircraft guns) bomb German Kifri airfield. 2 German aircraft retaliate against Baghdad on Jnauary 24, Royal Flying Corps respond against Humr and Kifri airfields (night January 25-26).

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    The DH.4's American Story: The United States possessed no combat-worthy aircraft upon entry into World War I in 1917. Several European aircraft were considered. The British DH-4 was selected because of its comparatively simple construction and its apparent adaptability to mass production. It was also well-suited to the new American 400-horsepower Liberty V-12 engine. American-built DH-4s were dubbed the "Liberty Plane." By war's end, 13 Army Air Service squadrons, five of them bomber squadrons, were equipped with them. In addition, four combined Navy-Marine squadrons were flying DH-4s along the Belgian coast. Of the 4,346 DH-4s built in the United States, 1,213 were delivered to France, but of those only 696 reached the Zone of Advance. In the postwar period, the DH-4 was the principal aircraft used by the U.S. Government when air mail service began in 1918.

    Western Front

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    Hindenburg, Emperor Wilhelm II and Ludendorff on the ordnance map.

    Lorraine: US 1st Division takes over 8 miles of trenches northwest of Nancy (first casualties January 30).
    Flanders: *Smuts and Hankey visit GHQ (*until Jnauary 26), find no alternative to Haig.

    Eastern Front

    Russia: Lenin discusses German peace terms with 63 Red leaders, 32 vote for ‘revolutionary war’.

    Home Fronts

    Austria: Strikes over, but 7 divisons permanently recalled from fronts and news leaks to Germany. Factory workers to get extra bread rations, at Army’s expense.
    Britain: Sir E Carson resigns from War Cabinet on Irish question. Daily Mail attacks General Staff for squander*ing Britain’s manpower.
    France: Ex-Interior Minister Malvy’s Senate trial (until August 6).

    Captain Tunstills Men (excerpt): Pte. Tom Darwin (see 11th January), who had been in England since having been wounded on 7th June 1917, was formally discharged from the Army as no longer physically fit for service. He was awarded a pension of 27s. 6d. for four weeks, reducing thereafter to 16s. 6d. and to be reviewed in a years’ time.

    A payment of £8 2s. 2d. was authorised, being the amount due in pay and allowances to the late Pte. James Tunnicliffe (see 20th September 1917), who had been killed in action on 20th September 1917; the payment would go to his father, James.

    A parcel of the personal effects of the late Sgt. Luke Dawson (see 20th September 1917) was despatched to his mother, Sarah. The parcel comprised of, “watch, chain, matchbox, rosary, 2 wallets, photos, letter, cards, cigarette case, 2 coins (2d.)”. There would be no payment on Sgt. Dawson’s account as there had been a debit balance of £2 1s. at the time of his death.

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    Sgt. Luke Dawson (standing, left)
    Last edited by Hedeby; 01-27-2018 at 10:49.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

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