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Thread: 100 Years Ago Today

  1. #2401

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    May 5th 1917


    Western Front
    Aisne: With 48 Saint Chamond tanks (combat debut) in support (6 lost) French take crest of Craonne Ridge including Chemin des Dames, Laffaux Mill with 6,000 PoWs (De Lattre’s 3rd Battalion, 93rd Infantry has 300 casualties but takes 500 PoWs and Cerny underground works); French repulse counter-attacks on May 6.

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    The Saint-Chamond, named after the commune of Saint Chamond, was the second French heavy tank of the First World War, with 400 manufactured from April 1917 to July 1918. Although not a tank by the present-day definition, it is generally accepted and described as such in accounts of early tank development. Born of the commercial rivalry existing with the makers of the Schneider CA1 tank, the Saint-Chamond was an underpowered and fundamentally inadequate design. Its principal weakness was the Holt "caterpillar" tracks. They were much too short in relation to the vehicle's length and heavy weight (23 tons). Later models attempted to rectify some of the tank's original flaws by installing wider and stronger track shoes, thicker frontal armour and the more effective 75mm Mle 1897 field gun. Altogether 400 Saint-Chamond tanks were built including 48 unarmed caisson tanks. The Saint-Chamond tanks remained engaged in various actions until October 1918, belatedly becoming more effective since combat had moved out of the trenches and onto open ground. Eventually the Saint-Chamond tanks were scheduled to be entirely replaced by imported British heavy tanks.

    In January 1915, the French arms manufacturer Schneider sent out its chief designer, Eugène Brillié, to investigate tracked tractors from the American Holt Company, at that time participating in a test programme in England. The original French project was to provide mobility to mechanical wire-cutting machines of the Breton-Pretot type. On his return Brillié, who had earlier been involved in designing armoured cars for Spain, convinced the company management to initiate studies on the development of a Tracteur blindé et armé ("armoured and armed tractor"), based on the Baby Holt chassis, two of which were ordered.

    Experiments on the Holt caterpillar tracks started in May 1915 at the Schneider plant with a 75 hp wheel-steered model and the 45 hp all-caterpillar Baby Holt, showing the superiority of the latter.[1] On 16 June, new experiments followed in front of the President of the French Republic, and on 10 September for Commander Ferrus, an officer who had been involved in the study (and ultimate abandonment) of the Levavasseur tank project in 1908.[2]

    In early 1916, the first prototype of the Schneider tank was assembled in an army workshop. It featured tracks from the American-made Holt caterpillar tractors that were already used in France for towing heavy artillery. Private Pierre Lescure designed the fighting compartment. Lieutenant Fouché lengthened the tracks to improve trench-crossing ability. In this early form the prototype of the Schneider was called Tracteur A - not for security reasons, but because nobody knew exactly how to call such vehicles; the French word char was not yet applied to tanks. Eugène Brillié, the chief designer at Schneider, rejected this Tracteur A prototype. Instead he had invented a tail for his own tank's chassis thus providing the same trench crossing ability but for less overall weight and length.

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    Production began in March 1917 and ended in March 1918, after the 377th vehicle. The remainder were converted to supply tanks and recovery vehicles. They saw their first action at Laffaux Mill on May, 5, 1917. Several were stuck in various trenches, but three succeeded.

    In total, following deliveries, twelve artillery groups were raised, “Artillerie Spéciale” number 31 to 42. However, its obvious limitations quickly caused regular complaints from various officers, relaying crews. It was phased out as an offensive tank, on the sole profit of the mass-produced FT. However, their precious 75 mm (2.95 in) and speed on roads and moderately flat terrains made them ideally suited as mobile assault guns, to deal with German batteries (Nahkampfbatterien). In the summer of 1918 the Allies were on the counter-offensive and the Saint Chamond found open terrains suitable for it. They fought on, sometimes with other tanks and US troops, until the armistice.

    Understandably the Saint Chamond was considered obsolete by 1918. But this did not prevent its constructing company from developing a replacement model, highly inspired by British designs. It was intended to weigh 25 tons, with full length tracks and a rhomboid hull, differing by a forward towering driver post and two 75 mm (2.95 in) guns in sponsons. Saint Chamond was unable to produce it quickly and the initial order was eventually dropped, as well as the project. No Saint Chamond actually fought outside France, despite some rumors that a handful were sent to the Polish forces fighting against the Soviets in 1919. The sole survivor was sent to the US Aberdeen Ordnance Proving Ground for evaluation and tests after the war. It was given back after a 67 year loan and arrived in France in 1985 along with the Schneider CA that had also been on loan. Both are on display now in the Saumur museum (Musee des Blindes).


    Southern Fronts
    Italian Front: Italians repulse Austrian attacks on Carso.
    Macedonia: Allied artillery preparation begins, French 122nd and Greek Seres Divisions take Bulgar Vardar sector trenches near Gevgeli (Bulgar frontier), repulse counter-attack on May 7.
    At Paris conference British announce 1 division and 2 cavalry brigades will be withdrawn from Salonika; Jellicoe says force will starve unless reduced.

    Politics
    USA: British Secretary of State Balfour first non-American to address Congress.
    Liberia: Government severs relations with Germany.
    Russia: Foreign Minister Miliukov tells Petrograd Soviet ‘Russia will never agree to a separate peace.’ Dumas President says same on May 10.

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    Inf. Josef Haslbeck, 8 komp, Kgl.Bayr.16.Res.Inf. Regt

    Josef was born in the winter of 1893. He was a farmer and came from Mietzing, Bavaria. Already a serving soldier in the Kgl Bayr. Inf Regt 16 in July 1914, he was soon transferred to the reserve regiment for active service and first saw action in October 1914 during the latter stages of the 1st Battle of Ypres. Remaining in Flanders through 1915 and into 1916, he took part on several actions against the British, including Fromelles, before moving to the Somme in October 1916. During 1917, Josef fought in the Battle of Arras where, on 5 May 1917, he was killed in action by shellfire. He has no known grave.

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    The Cunard steamship Feltria (Master Walter George Price) is torpedoed by the German submarine UC-48 eight miles south east of Mine Head, Waterford. The ship sinks with a loss of forty-five lives including the Master who drowns at age 34. The fleet sweeping sloop Lavender (Lieutenant Commander Thomas Stephen Leurs Dorman( DSO is torpedoed and sunk by UC-75 in St George’s Channel. Twenty-two including her commander are killed. His brother was killed in May 1915.

    5 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON SATURDAY MAY 5TH 1917

    2nd Lt. Adams, V.H. (Valentine Harold) 70 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Bruce, C.T. (Charles Tupper) 10 Squadron RFC
    2nd. Lt. Cheatle, C.C. (Charles Chesterfield) 23 Squadron RFC
    A.B. Crank, J. (John) H.M.S. 'Attentive' RFC
    Capt. Lomer, H.C. (Henry Charles (also known as Horace Clifford)) 10 Squadron RFC


    The following aces made aerial victory claims on this day.

    Roderic Dallas Australia #16

    Reginald Hoidge Canada #1

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    The son of John Robert and Loveday Ann (Cotton) Hoidge, Reginald Theodore Carlos Hoidge first served with the Canadian Royal Garrison Artillery before he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. Posted to 56 Squadron in 1917, he scored 27 victories flying the S.E.5 and S.E.5a. After serving as an instructor for nearly a year, he was posted to 1 Squadron as a flight commander and scored one more victory before the war ended.

    Albert Ball VC England #42 #43

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    James Belgrave England #3
    Reginald Conder England #2
    Francis Cubbon England #8 #9 #10

    Frederick Kydd England #1 #2

    The son of Joseph G. and Mary Elizabeth Kydd, Frederick Joseph Kydd studied dentistry before he enlisted. He served as an observer with 20 Squadron and scored five victories from the front of the F.E.2d in 1917. Post-war, he finished his studies at the University of Liverpool and practised dentistry in Frodsham.

    Frederick Thayre England #7 #8 #9

    Robert Delannoy France #1

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    Raoul Echard France #4
    Joseph-Henri Guiguet France #4
    Paul Bona Germany #6
    Friedrich-Karl Burckhardt Germany #3
    Wilhelm Cymera Germany u/c
    Walter Göttsch Germany #12
    Arthur Rahn Germany #3

    Oswald Tränkner
    Germany #1 #2

    Tranker scored 5 victories as an observer.

    Ernst Udet Germany #6
    Josef Veltjens Germany #3
    Ernst Wiessner Germany #3

    John Cowell Ireland #1

    One of ten children and the son of Michael and Kate Cowell, John Cowell was born at Carey's Road in the city of Limerick. He was married in the same city on 20 December 1916. After serving as a sapper with the 12th Field Company of the Royal Engineers, he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. Posted to 20 Squadron, Cowell served as a mechanic before becoming an observer/gunner aboard F.E.2Ds in 1917. He was one of the highest scoring gunners to serve with 20 Squadron. He returned to the Home Establishment for flight training, then rejoined 20 Squadron as a pilot in the summer of 1918. Having scored his first victory as a Bristol Fighter pilot on 29 July 1918, he was killed in action the following day, shot down by Friedrich von Röth of Jasta 16.

    Luigi Olivari Italy u/c
    Fulco Ruffo di Calabria Italy #5

    Captain Tunstill's Men: Billets at Steenvorde

    Training continued and the weather reamined hot for much of the day, before turning much colder, with a strong north-easterly gale in the evening.

  2. #2402

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    May 6th 1917

    Well this is my penultimate edition for now, Neil is picking up the thread from Monday. We have one major story coming tomorrow, but for now lets see...

    Western Front
    Aisne: French Reserve Army Group dissolved, Micheler takes over Fifth Army from Mazel.
    Artois: British repulse counter*-attack near river Souchez.

    Air War
    Britain – First night aeroplane raid on London: Albatros CVII (Klimke and Leon) on own initiative drops 5 x 22lb bombs between Holloway and Hackney (night May 6-7, 3 casualties).

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    On the night of 6/7 May 1917 a single Albatros C VII of the Army’s Feldflieger Abteilung 19 approached London from the north-east. Offizierstellvertreter Rudolf Klimke (pilot) and Oberleutnant Walter Leon (observer) do not appear to have received official permission for the raid.

    The first indication of an aeroplane over London came from Wanstead AA gun station who reported engine noise at 12.40am. Moments later a 12.5kg HE bomb landed on open ground on Hackney Marshes near the White House Inn, digging a crater six feet in diameter and three feet deep. The Albatros dropped five more 12.5kg bombs as it followed a westward course across north London.

    The next bomb landed in the back garden of 130 Stoke Newington Road, breaking 40 panes of glass in the house, damaging the contents as well as smashing a number of windows in a greenhouse. The blast also smashed windows in neighbouring buildings in Stoke Newington Road and Wellington Road. Two minutes later a bomb smashed through the roof of 9 Newington Green Mansions on Green Lanes and exploded in the flat where Frederick and Annie Dawson were asleep. The bomb killed Frederick and severely injured his wife. Another woman in the building was slightly injured and five other flats suffered serious water damage when the bomb smashed the cistern. The next bomb fell on a gravel path at 19 Aberdeen Park, off Highbury Grove, where it dug a crater, smashed some glass and damaged a chicken house, killing a chicken.

    The final two bombs failed to cause significant damage. One dropped on the open space at Highbury Fields, close to Ronalds Road, gouging out a three feet deep crater and smashing a water main. The other failed to explode when it struck a house at 65 Eden Grove, off Holloway Road, but still caused damage to a bathroom. Two RFC aircraft of No. 50 Squadron took off from Bekesbourne, and two of the RNAS were airborne from Manston, but none caught a glimpse of the raider on its homeward flight across Kent.

    Politics
    Austria: Common Ministers Council agrees to reopen Mitteleuropa (Central Europe) talks with Germany (Berlin owed RM 6 billions). Emperor says ‘I do not agree at all’ (May 14).
    Russia*: Kiev Czech congress recognises Masaryk and Czech National Council.

    Neutrals
    Greece*: Salonika mass meeting of 30,000 demands King’s deposition. Salonika plot to murder Venizelos discovered on May 10.

    Second Lieutenant Harold Parry (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed by a shell at age 20. He was the Queen’s Prizeman of Queen Mary’s School and the author of Letters and Poems which will be published by W H Smith & Son, Walsall in 1918. He is considered one of England’s Great War Poets.

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    I come from trenches deep in slime,
    Soft slime so sweet and yellow,
    And rumble down the steps in time
    to souse “some shivering fellow”.

    I trickle in and trickle out
    Of every nook and corner,
    And, rushing like some waterspout,
    Make many a rat a mourner.

    I gather in from near and far
    A thousand brooklets swelling,
    And laugh aloud a great “Ha, ha!”
    To flood poor Tommy’s dwelling

    There were two Victoria Crosses awarded on this day...

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    Michael Wilson Heaviside VC (20 October 1880 – 26 April 1939) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

    Heaviside was born in 1880 at Station Lane, Gilesgate in Durham where his father, John Wilson Heaviside, was a grocer. His paternal grandfather was the Durham-based photographer Thomas Heaviside (1828–1886). When Michael was still a boy, the family moved to Kimblesworh, where his father worked as head keeker and Michael went to the local municipal school. Later, the family moved to Sacriston, when his father transferred to the local pit. Following the death of his mother, Annie, Michael enlisted - as 11796 Private Heaviside - in the Royal Army Medical Corps. He served as a stretcher bearer in South Africa during the Boer War and was awarded the Queen’s and King’s South African Medals, before he was invalided home suffering from enteric fever. After he left the Regular Army, he transferred to the Army Reserve and began work underground at Burnhope Colliery. He met his future wife, Elizabeth, whilst living in Burnhope and they married at Lanchester. About 1913, he took work as a hewer at Oswald pit and the family moved to Craghead, near Stanley. On 7 September 1914, with the First World War just a month old, 4/9720 Private Michael Heaviside re-enlisted, just one amongst the thousands of miners from County Durham who answered Kitchener’s call. After training, he crossed to France in June 1915 and there settled into the deadly routine of trench warfare on the Western Front.

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    He was 36 years old, and a Private in the 15th Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry, British Army during the First World War at the Battle of Arras when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

    On the evening of 5 May 1917, the battalion returned to their barricades on the Hindenburg Line, near Fontaine-les-Croisilles, France. Only one hundred yards separated the British and German positions but the terrible fighting of the preceding days had died down. Snipers and machine gunners were, however, still active and any movement attracted deadly fire. Then about 2 o’clock the next afternoon, 6 May 1917, a sentry noticed movement in a shell hole about forty yards from the German barricade. A wounded British soldier was desperately waving an empty water bottle. Any attempt to help this soldier in daylight would result in almost certain death for the rescuers. Michael Heaviside, however, said that he was going to try. Grabbing water and a first aid bag, the stretcher bearer scrambled over the barricade and out into no-man’s-land. Immediately, he came under heavy rifle and machine gun fire from the German positions and was forced to throw himself to the ground. He then began to crawl sixty yards across the broken ground from shell hole to shell hole to where the wounded soldier was sheltering. One eye witness later wrote -

    “We could see bullets striking the ground right around the spot over which Heaviside was crawling. Every minute we expected to be his last but the brave chap went on.” As he crawled closer to the German lines, the firing increased. -

    “The enemy seemed to be more determined to hit him, for the bullets were spluttering about more viciously than ever.”

    When Private Heaviside reached the soldier, he found the man nearly demented with thirst for he had been lying badly wounded in the shell hole for four days and three nights, without any food or water. Michael Heaviside gave the soldier water, dressed his wounds and then promised that he would return with help. That night, Michael Heaviside led two other stretcher bearers out across no-man’s-land to the wounded soldier and carried him back to safety. Without doubt, he had saved this man’s life. The London Gazette announced the award of the Victoria Cross to Private Michael Heaviside on 8 June 1917 for his “most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty.” He was the third soldier of The Durham Light Infantry to gain this award during the First World War. After the war, Michael Heaviside VC returned to work as a miner at Craghead. On 26 April 1939, he died at his home at Bloemfontein Terrace, aged just 58 years, his health damaged by his years underground and his time on the Western Front. Hundreds of mourners, many wearing their Great War medals, followed Michael Heaviside’s coffin to St Thomas’s Church, Craghead, as the local Colliery Band played the “Dead March in Saul.” At the graveside, a firing party from the 8th Battalion DLI fired three volleys of shots, followed by the “Last Post” played by the battalion’s buglers, then the mourners filed past, each dropping Flanders poppies into the open grave.

    George Julian "Snowy" Howell, VC, MM (19 November 1893 – 23 December 1964) was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest decoration for gallantry "in the face of the enemy" that can be awarded to members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces. Howell was decorated with the Victoria Cross following his actions during the Second Battle of Bullecourt, in which he ran along the parapet of a trench bombing the German forces attacking his position through the use of grenades, and thus driving them back.

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    Born in a suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Howell was employed as a builder before enlisting in the Australian Imperial Force in June 1915. Allotted to the force's 1st Battalion, he served at Gallipoli prior to transferring to the Western Front. Participating in the Somme offensive of 1916, Howell was wounded at Pozières and promoted to corporal in early 1917. During an attack on a German held village, he led a rifle bombing section and was awarded the Military Medal for his actions. Severely wounded in his Victoria Cross action, Howell underwent a prolonged hospitalisation period before returning to Australia and receiving his discharge on medical grounds. Settling in Coogee, he gained employment by working on the advertising staff of several newspapers. Following the outbreak of the Second World War, Howell served with the Australian Eastern Command Headquarters but soon sought his discharge and enlisted with the United States Sea Transport Service. He died in 1964 at the age of 71.

    In preparation for an attack on the Hindenburg Line at Bullecourt, the 1st Australian Brigade—of which the 1st Battalion was part—was attached to the 2nd Australian Division.The attack commenced in the morning of 3 May 1917, with the 2nd Division lined up in conjunction with thirteen other divisions. Despite some progress made early in the attack, the Australian forces were soon held up by strong opposition, and in the evening the 1st Battalion was entrenched in the old German line known as 'OG1'. Three of the battalion's companies occupied the line, while a fourth was placed in reserve. Their position was such that they occupied a wedge into the German line, while two flanks were in German held territory. From the initial attack, only the Canadians on the extreme right and the 3rd Australian Brigade on the extreme left were able to capture and hold their set objectives. Over the course of the next three days, severe fighting took place and further troops were drawn in to hold and extend the gains of 3 May. On 6 May, the Germans launched a counter-attack which forced the 3rd Brigade to withdraw from their trenches; it was during this engagement that Howell was to perform the act which was to earn him the Victoria Cross.

    At 06:00, Howell, who was in charge of a post to the right of the line, noticed the battalion on the right flank was being forced out of its trench and was beginning to retire. Immediately alerting battalion headquarters, Captain Alexander MacKenzie—who had assumed temporary command of the battalion—hurriedly organised a group of non-combatant soldiers from headquarters together with several signallers to form a defensive line along a road bank in order to fend off the expected German advance. A fierce bombing and grenade fight soon ensued, with both sides suffering heavy casualties. Fearing the Germans would outflank his battalion, Howell climbed onto the top of the parapet and began running along the trench line throwing bombs down on the Germans, all the while being subject to heavy rifle and bomb fire. Forcing the Germans back along the trench, Howell was supported by Lieutenant Thomas Richards who followed him along the trench firing bursts from his Lewis Gun. Soon exhausting his supply of bombs, Howell began to attack with his bayonet until he fell into the trench wounded. Howell had been hit in both legs by machine gun fire, and when he was brought into the clearing station some hours later, it was discovered he had suffered at least twenty-eight separate wounds. Due to his actions, the ground which had been lost was soon retaken, and the German attack was later repulsed.

    6 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON SUNDAY MAY 6TH 1917

    Air Mech 2nd Class Ashford, A. (Alfred) Recruits Depot RFC
    Lt. Coupland, J.C.G. (John Charles Gerald) 2 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech 2nd Class Ekins, A.W. (Albert Walter) 100 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Ham, F.W. (Frederick William) 58 Reserve Squadron RFC
    Lt. Holmes, T.G. (Thomas George) 100 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Wood, G. (Geoffrey) 2 Squadron RFC

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

    William Price England #1 (48 Squadron RFC)

    One of 48 Squadron's original pilots, Price transferred to the Royal Flying Corps after serving with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He scored 7 victories flying Bristol Fighters before he was wounded and shot down by Lothar von Richthofen.

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    Frederick Carr Armstrong Canada #4
    Harold Kerby Canada #5 #6

    Frank Ford Babbage England #1

    Frank Ford Babbage was promoted to Temp. 2nd Lt. (on probation) on 28 March 1917. A two-seater pilot with 20 Squadron, he scored five victories in 1917.

    Albert Ball England #44

    Claiming his 44th and final victory on this day is Capt. Albert Ball VC ,DSO & Two Bars, MC 56 Squadron RFC (SE5a)

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    Albert Ball in his Nieuport

    VC citation - finalised on this day.
    Lt. (temp. Capt.) Albert Ball, D.S.O., M.C., late Notts. and Derby. R., and R.F.C. : For most conspicuous and consistent bravery from the 25th of April to the 6th of May, 1917, during which period Capt. Ball took part in twenty-six combats in the air and destroyed eleven hostile aeroplanes, drove down two out of control, and forced several others to land. In these combats Capt. Ball, flying alone, on one occasion fought six hostile machines, twice he fought five and once four. When leading two other British aeroplanes he attacked an enemy formation of eight. On each of these occasions he brought down at least one enemy. Several times his aeroplane was badly damaged, once so seriously that but for the most delicate handling his machine would have collapsed, as nearly all the control wires had been shot away. On returning with a damaged machine he had always to be restrained from immediately going out on another. In all, Capt. Ball has destroyed forty-three German aeroplanes and one balloon, and has always displayed most exceptional courage, determination and skill.

    Charles Booker England #7
    Spencer Horn England #2
    Leopold Anslinger Germany #6
    Julius Buckler Germany u/c
    Hans Klein Germany #9
    Edmund Nathanael Germany #15
    Lothar von Richthofen Germany #18
    Kurt Schneider Germany #13
    Pavel Argeyev Russia #3
    Aleksandr Kozakov Russia #6

    Ernst Leman Russia #1

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    Leman enlisted in the army on 14 November 1914. In 1916, he transferred to the air service and completed flight training on 29 June. In April 1917, he was promoted to Praporshik (Ensign) and scored his first victory in May while serving with the 19th Corps Fighter Detachment. Severely wounded while scoring his fifth victory on 26 September 1917, Leman was hospitalized for months. He returned to duty on 22 November 1917 but was incapable of flying combat missions. Less than a month later, Leman died from a gunshot wound to the head. It's unclear whether he shot himself or was the victim of Bolshevik revolutionaries.

    Frederick Libby USA #11

  3. #2403

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    May 7th 1917

    This is my last edition for a while as Neil takes over from tomorrow.

    There is only one real story for today and that is the death of Captain Albert Ball VC, DSO & Two Bars, MC (56 Squadron RFC). At the time of his death he was the leading allied ace and was 2nd only to Manfred Von Richthofen in the overall rankings...

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    Flying a new SE5a scout, Captain Albert Ball (Royal Flying Corps) with his patrol of eleven aircraft sets out on an evening offensive patrol. There is mist and clouds, and the SE5s lose formation on the outward journey. They encounter the Albatross fighters of Jasta 11, and furious fighting breaks out in and out of the cloud cover. Ball is last seen chasing a red Albatross into a cloud. A German pilot on the ground sees Ball’s plane fall inverted from the bottom of the cloud with a stalled prop, at an altitude of 200 feet. This German and three companions hurry to the crash site. They notice no bullet holes in the wrecked plane. A young French woman pulls Ball from the wreckage, and he dies in her arms of injuries. A German doctor later describes a broken back and a crushed chest, along with assorted lesser injuries. Lothar von Richtofen is credited by the Germans with shooting Ball down at 19:30 over Annoeullin; however there is some doubt as to what happened, especially as Richthofen’s claim is for a Sopwith Triplane, not an SE5, which is a biplane. At the time of his death, he is the leading Allied ace with 44 victories, second only to German ace and Lothar’s older brother, Manfred Von Richthofen. It is probable that Ball is not shot down at all, but has become disoriented and loses control during the aerial combat a victim of a form of temporary vertigo that has claimed many other pilots. At the end of May the Germans will drop messages within Allied lines announcing that Ball is dead, and has been buried with full military honors.

    Ball is the son of a successful businessman who became both mayor and alderman of Nottingham. He studied at The King’s School, Grantham, followed by Trent College from 1909 to 1913, where he showed average ability, but developed his curiosity for things mechanical. He was in the Officers Training Corps. His best subjects were carpentry, modeling, violin, and photography. During flying service, he was primarily a ‘lone-wolf’ pilot, carefully stalking his prey from below until he drew close enough to use his top-wing mounted Lewis gun on its Foster mounting to fire upwards into the enemy’s fuselage. Ball on the ground was also very much a loner, preferring to live in his own hut away from the other squadron members. He spent his off-duty hours tending his small garden and practicing the violin. He was not unsociable, so much as sensitive and shy. He had a preference for living on the flight line throughout his career. He worked on his own airplanes, and as a consequence, was often untidy and disheveled. He also flew without helmet or goggles.

    At the start of the war Ball enlisted in the 7th (Robin Hood) Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters (The Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment). By October, 1914, he was a Sergeant, when he was commissioned Second Lieutenant the same month. He was assigned to training recruits and his rear echelon assignment irked him. He then transferred to the North Midland Divisional Cyclist Company in an attempt to speed his way into action but remained in England. While in England he took private flying lessons at Hendon where his interest in engineering found an outlet. Beginning in June 1915, he paid his own way to train as a student at the Ruffy-Baumann School. On 15 October 1915 he was granted Royal Aero Club Certificate No. 1898, and promptly requested transfer to the Royal Flying Corps. He was considered only an average pilot.

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    On 23rd October 1915 Ball was seconded to No. 9 Reserve Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps and trained at Mousehold Heath aerodrome near Norwich. In the first week of December he soloed in a Maurice Farman after standing duty all night. His landing was rough and his instructor sarcastic about it. Uncharacteristically, Ball’s temper took over. He angrily exclaimed he had only fifteen minutes experience in the plane, and that if this was as good of instruction as he was going to get, he would rather return to his old unit. The instructor relented, and Ball then soloed again and landed successfully on five consecutive flights. He completed the RFC Central Flying School and was awarded his wings on 26 January 1916. On 18 February he joined No. 13 Squadron RFC at Marieux in France flying a two-seater BE2c on reconnaissance missions. At times, Ball managed to pilot the squadron’s single seat Bristol Scout, preferring the freedom of independent operations. His aggressive fighting spirit was encouraged by his commanding officer. While flying a BE2 he fought his first combat. On 29 March, he swooped in on a German two-seater. Ball’s observer, Lieutenant S A Villiers fired a drum and a half of Lewis ammunition into the German craft. In turn, a second German jumped the British duo, and the two Germans dived away. After this inconclusive skirmish, Ball wrote home in one of his many letters, “I like this job, but nerves do not last long, and you soon want a rest.” On 7 May 1916 Ball was posted to 11 Squadron, flying both FE2bs and Nieuport 11 fighters.

    On 16 May he scored his first aerial victory while flying a Bristol Scout when he drove an Albatros C out of control. He then switched to a Nieuport for his next four victories, becoming an ace and a balloon buster on 25 June by destroying an observation balloon with phosphor bombs. On the evening of 28 July he flew a French espionage agent across the German lines. Dodging both an attack by three German fighters and anti-aircraft fire, he landed in a deserted field, only to find that the agent refused to deplane. Ball’s twentieth birthday was marked by his promotion to captain and his return to 13 Squadron. Flying Nieuports he ran his total to 11 wins by 22 August the day he scored three victories. He ended the day by fighting 14 Germans about 15 miles behind their lines. With his plane shot about and out of fuel, he managed to work his way back to friendly lines to land.

    By 31 August he had run his total to 17 wins. The next day he went on leave. While he had been in France his feats had received considerable publicity. He found that his celebrity was such that he could not even walk down the streets of Nottingham without being stopped and congratulated. He returned, to the post of Flight Commander, and to immediate success. He scored a morning and an evening victory on 15 September flying different Nieuports. On the evening sortie he armed his plane with eight Le Prieur rockets on the outer struts set to fire electrically. He intended to use them on an observation balloon, however when he spots three German aircraft he breaks their formation by firing his rockets at them picking off one of the confused pilots.

    After that he settled in an improved Nieuport 17. He had it rigged to fly tail-heavy and had a holster built into the cockpit for the Colt automatic he always carried. He scored three triples and three individual wins in September with his new plane, ending the month with his score at 31. By the end of the month he had told his commanding officer that he had to have a rest because he was taking unnecessary risks because of his nerves. On 3 October he was sent on leave en route to a posting on the Home Establishment in England. He had been awarded both the Distinguished Service Order, and a bar for a second award simultaneously on 26 September 1916. Now he was withdrawn from combat and brought back to England. He expected a quiet spell of family leave for rest and recuperation. Instead, he was lionized as a national hero with a reputation as a fearless pilot and expert marksman. A crowd of journalists awaited him on his family’s doorstep.

    On 18 November he was invested with his Military Cross and both DSOs at Buckingham Palace by King George V. A second bar to the DSO followed on the 25 November making him the first triple winner of the DSO. Ball was not returned to combat but instead he was posted to instructional duties in England with 34 (Reserve) Squadron teaching pilot trainees. On 19 February, in a tribute from his native city Albert Ball became only the seventh Honorary Freeman of Nottingham. On 25 March while off-duty from this assignment, he met 18-year-old Flora Young. He impulsively invited her to fly with him and she promptly accepted. They borrowed a leather flying coat for her and away they went. Upon landing, he chatted lightly with her. That night, in the first of many notes he wrote to her, he admitted his attraction to her. Soon he was spending every spare moment with her. On 5 April, they became engaged; she wore his silver ID wrist bracelet in lieu of an engagement ring.

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    Inaction chafed Ball. He had already begun agitating for a return to action. He finally arranged a posting to 56 Squadron. This squadron moved to the front in France on 7 April 1917. He was assigned as flight commander in the new squadron the first to be equipped with the SE5 scout. Ball considered the aeroplane under-developed, and was allowed to retain a Nieuport 17 when the squadron went to France. Permission for the Nieuport came directly from Hugh Trenchard. On 23 April Ball was under strict orders to stay over British lines but he still managed to engage the Germans five times in his Nieuport. Fight number one, using his preferred belly shot, spun out an Albatros; he followed it, firing away, until its impact. It was the first kill for 56 Squadron’s tour of duty. Regaining altitude to 5,000 feet, he tried to dive on a lower flying Albatros two-seater and pop up under its belly. However he overshot and the German gunner put a burst of 15 bullets through the Nieuport’s wings and spars. Ball limped home. The undaunted Ball returned to battle in an SE5 and in his third combat of the day he fired five rounds and his machine gun jammed. After a landing to clear the gun, he returned to jump five Albatros fighters and sent one down in flames. His fifth battle, shortly thereafter, seemed inconclusive, as the enemy plane landed safely. However, its observer was mortally wounded.

    On the 26th he scored another double flying an SE-5 and one more on the 28th to bring his total to thirty-six. This days’ fight left this SE5 so battered by enemy action that it was dismantled and sent away for repair. Despite continual problems with jamming guns in SE5s, Ball had a week of triumphs to open May. On 1 May flying a brand new SE5 he destroyed an Albatros and drove another one down. The next day, he switched to a different SE5 and doubled again destroying an Albatros D.III fighter on 4 May and another pair the following day. The latter one of these victims nearly rammed him in a head on firing pass. Ball flew his seriously damaged plane home. Ball had been sporadically flying the Nieuport again and he was successful with it on 6 May destroying one more Albatros D.III in an evening flight for his 44th and final victory. Albert Ball Sr. bought the French field where his son died and erected a plain memorial stone on the site of the crash.

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    COME ON ARES GIVE US ALBERT BALL'S SE5a or NIEUPORT !!!!!!!!!

    In total 13 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON MONDAY MAY 7TH 1917


    Default icon for roll of honour entries
    Capt. Ball, A. (Albert) 56 Squadron RFC (See above)
    Air Mech 2nd Class Buxton, G.L. (Gordon Leslie) School of Wireless Operators RFC
    2nd Lt. Chaworth-Musters, R.M. (Roger Michael) 56 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Gaskain, C.S. (Cecil Stanley) 24 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Gaulter, C.V. (Cuthbert Vivian) 7 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech. 2nd Class Hickling, R. (Reginald) 13 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Jackson, G.W. (George William) 7 Squadron RFC
    Air Mech. 2nd Class Nichols, E.J. (Edward John) Base Depot Detail RFC
    Capt. Nixon, W.E. (William Eric) 40 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Orme, P.W.M. (Peter William Merton) RFC
    2nd Lt. Owen, I.R. (Iorwerth ap Roland) 13 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Weekes, R.P.O. (Reginald Percival Olive) 10 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Westlake, J.H. (John Howard) 12 Squadron RFC

    The following aces claimed aerial victories on another busy day in the skies over the WW1 battlefields... and as the career of one of the great pilots is cut short the career of another begins...

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    Edward Corringham 'Mick' Mannock VC dropped out of school to take various jobs in order to help with the family finances.When the war began, he was jailed in Turkey while working as an inspector for a British telephone company. After an unsuccessful escape attempt, he became deathly ill and was repatriated by the Turks in 1915. When he recovered, he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps before transferring to the Royal Engineers. Despite a congenital defect that left him virtually blind in his left eye, 2nd Lieutenant Mannock received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 3895 on a Caudron biplane at Beatty School, Hendon on 28 November 1916 and was accepted by the Royal Flying Corps in 1917, training under the scrutiny of James McCudden. In April, he was assigned to 40 Squadron where he got off to a slow start with his peers and his Nieuport scout. To the other flying officers, he seemed aloof and perhaps overly cautious in the air. It was not until a month later that he scored his first victory by flaming an enemy balloon. Eventually, Mannock earned the respect and friendship of men like Keith Caldwell. In February 1918, he was reassigned to 74 Squadron as a flight commander, scoring thirty six victories with an S.E.5a before replacing William Bishop as the commanding officer of 85 Squadron on 3 July 1918. Mannock never achieved the public notoriety of Albert Ball, but he was revered by his men and proved to be one of the greatest flight leaders of the war. Often physically ill before going on patrol, Mannock routinely shared victories with other pilots or didn't bother submitting claims for enemy aircraft he'd downed in combat. After selflessly sharing his 61st victory with Donald Inglis, a newcomer from New Zealand who had yet to score, Mannock was killed when his aircraft was shot down in flames by machine gun fire from the ground. Inglis was also brought down by ground fire but survived.

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    Patrick Gordon Taylor Australia #1

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    Taylor traveled to England at his own expense to enlist in the Royal Flying Corps. Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on 14th August 1916, he was posted to 66 Squadron and scored five victories flying the Sopwith Pup. He left the Royal Air Force in March 1919 with the rank of Captain.

    William Bishop Canada #18 #19
    Reginald Hoidge Canada #2 #3
    Frank Ford Babbage England #2
    James Belgrave England #4

    Charles Cudemore England #1 #2

    The son of Charles Hutchinson Cudemore, Charles William Cudemore's birth was registered in Derby in the 4th quarter of 1897.

    John Murison England #2

    Harold Bolton Redler England #1

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    Mid-morning on 15 March 1918, 24 Squadron tangled with Jasta 12 triplanes near Brancourt. Harold Bolton Redler, flying an S.E.5a, shot down Adolf von Tutschek by firing a burst at the Jasta leader's green Fokker DR.I. On 21 April 1918, Redler was wounded in action and left 24 Sqaudron. Later that year, Redler and Scottish ace Ian Henderson were killed in a D.H.9 (D1018) crash.

    Georges Blanc France #1

    Blanc joined the army on 10 October 1908. He left the infantry for pilot training on 20 June 1915 and received a pilot's brevet (2232) on 31 December 1915. On 31 March 1917 he joined Escadrille N31 and scored five victories with this unit by the end of October 1917.

    Karl Allmenröder Germany #10
    Fritz Bernert Germany #27
    Walter von Bülow-Bothkamp Germany #13
    Wilhelm Cymera Germany #5
    August Hanko Germany #2
    Josef Jacobs Germany u/c
    Heinrich Kroll Germany #2 #3
    Karl Menckhoff Germany #4
    Max von Müller Germany #9
    Lothar von Richthofen Germany #19 #20
    Werner Voss Germany #25
    Henry Meintjes South Africa #7 #8

    Other news on this day...

    On the day we lose the RFC's most iconic pilot we see the start of production of the RFC's most iconic Fighter plane...

    The Sopwith Camel

    The Camel had been developed by the Sopwith Aviation Company as a successor to the earlier Sopwith Pup and would become one of the most iconic fighter aircraft of the First World War.

    The Camel was powered by a single rotary engine and was armed with twin synchronized machine guns. Though proving difficult to handle, it provided for a high level of manoeuvrability to an experienced pilot, an attribute which was highly valued in the type's principal use as a fighter aircraft. In total, Camel pilots have been credited with the shooting down of 1,294 enemy aircraft, more than any other Allied fighter of the conflict. Towards the end of the Great War, the type had also seen use as a ground-attack aircraft, partially due to it having become increasingly outclassed as the capabilities of fighter aircraft on both sides was rapidly advancing at that time. The main variant of the Camel was designated as the F.1; several dedicated variants were built for a variety of roles, including the 2F.1 Ship's Camel, which was used for operating from the flight decks of aircraft carriers, the Comic night fighter variant, and the T.F.1, a dedicated 'trench fighter' that had been armoured for the purpose of conducting ground attacks upon heavily defended enemy lines. The Camel also saw use as a two-seat trainer aircraft. In January 1920, the last aircraft of the type were withdrawn from RAF service.

    The Camel's predecessor, the Sopwith Pup, was no longer competitive against newer German fighters, such as the Albatros D.III, and thus the Camel was developed specifically to replace the Pup, as well as the Nieuport 17s that had been purchased from the French as an interim measure. It was recognised that the new fighter would need to be faster and have a heavier armament. The design effort to produce this successor, initially designated as the Sopwith F.1, was headed by Sopwith's chief designer, Herbert Smith. Early in its development, the new aircraft was simply referred to as the "Big Pup". A metal fairing over the gun breeches, intended to protect the guns from freezing at altitude, created a "hump" that led pilots to refer to the aircraft by the name Camel. However, the Camel name never had any official status in regards to the aircraft. On 22 December 1916, the prototype Camel was first flown by Harry Hawker at Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey, it was powered by a 110 hp Clerget 9Z. In May 1917, the first production contract for an initial batch of 250 Camels was issued by the British War Office. Throughout 1917, a total of 1,325 Camels were manufactured, consisting almost entirely of the initial F.1 variant. By the time that production of the type came to an end, approximately 5,490 Camels of all types had been built. In early 1918, production of the navalised "Ship's" Camel 2F.1 began.

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    In total 836 British lives were lost on this day...

    Second Lieutenant Bernard Freeman Trotter
    (Leicestershire Regiment) is killed in action at age 26. While on his horse supervising the transporting of slag for repairing roads he is killed by an artillery shell. His initial attempt to enlist thwarted by ill-health, he finally set sail for Europe in March 1916. He is the son of the Reverend Professor Thomas Trotter DD and a Great War poet. His poems are published this year under the title of “A Canadian Twilight and other Poems of War and Peace”.


    A Kiss

    She kissed me when she said good-bye–
    A child’s kiss, neither bold nor shy.

    We had met but a few short summer hours;
    Talked of the sun, the wind, the flowers,

    Sports and people; had rambled through
    A casual catchy song or two,

    And walked with arms linked to the car
    By the light of a single misty star.

    (It was war-time, you see, and the streets were dark
    Lest the ravishing Hun should find a mark.)

    And so we turned to say good-bye;
    But somehow or other, I don’t know why, —

    Perhaps `t was the feel of the khaki coat
    (She’d a brother in Flanders then) that smote

    Her heart with a sudden tenderness
    Which issued in that swift caress–

    Somehow, to her, at any rate
    A mere hand-clasp seemed inadequate;

    And so she lifted her dewy face
    And kissed me–but without a trace

    Of passion,–and we said good-bye…
    A child’s kiss,…neither bold nor shy.

    My friend, I like you–it seemed to say–
    Here’s to our meeting again some day!
    Some happier day…
    Goodbye.

    Home Fronts
    Russia: First post-Revolution Bolshevik Party Conference (*until May 12) with 80,000 members; Lenin elected to Central Committee.

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    Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, named Lenin, after his return to Russia.

    Middle East
    Turkey: Falkenhayn reaches Constantinople to discuss Baghdad’s re*conquest (he leaves on May 13).
    Palestine: Imperial Camel Corps blow up wells south of Beersheba (until May 14).

    Captain Tunstill's Men: Halifax Camp, south of Vamertinghe

    Training continued. There was rain early in the morning, but this cleared by 8.30am and the weather became very warm.

    Pte. Charles Walton (see 5th January) of ‘A’ Company found himself on a charge for “absenting himself from a working party for three hours”. He was reported by Sgt. Charles Edgar Parker (see 22nd January) and Cpl. John Stewart (see 25th April) and sentenced to 14 days Field Punishment no.2. Two men from ‘C’ Company, Ptes. Charles Oldham (see 16th January) and Thomas Kay (see 6th March 1916), found themselves on a charge of “losing, by neglect, his field dressing”; on the orders of Capt. Alfred Percy Harrison (see 14th April) both would be confined to barracks for five days and would meet the cost of replacing their field dressing. Oldham had been reported by Sgt. Alfred Dolding (see below) and Kay by Sgt. John Ratlidge (see below).

    Alfred Dolding was from Camberwell, London, and had first joined the West Riding Regiment as an 18 year old in April 1902. He had served three years as a regular, during which he had a number of brushes with military discipline, including several peiods of absence without leave and a convictaion for stealing from a fellow soldier for which he had been committed to prison with hard labour for eight weeks. He had been discharged on the completion of three years service, with his character on discharge described as ‘very bad’. He had then remainedon the Army Reserve for the next five years, with this period terminating in April 1914. During that period he had been living in Camberwell, Dartford and latterly in Peckham and working as a plumber. He had married Alice Farran in 1907 and the couple had four children. On 9th September 1914 he had volunteered in Deptford and had been posted to his old regiment. He was posted to the newly-formed 10th Battalion as a Private on 18th September and promoted Lance Corporal in October and Corporal in December in 1914. He had then been promoted Lance Sergeant in June 1915 and, after arriving in France with the Battalion in August, Sergeant on 25th October 1915. He had been slightly wounded at Contalmaison in July 1916, after which he spent three weeks in hospital in Rouen before re-joining the Battalion. He had then had two further, short, stays in hospital in August 1916, being treated for pyrexia (high temperature) and influenza.

    John Ratlidge was 22 years old and one of nine children of Henry and Mary Ellen Ratlidge. Three of John’s siblings had died in infancy and his mother had also died in 1909. By 1911 the family was living in Keighley, where Henry worked for the local corporation as a road repairer and John, though only 15, was an overlooker at a worsted spinning mill. John Ratlidge was an original member of the Battalion, having enlisted in September 1914 and had been promoted Lance Corporal while still in training in England and subsequently Sergeant.

    A week after returning to France Capt. Adrian O’Donnell Pereira (see 30th April) re-joined the Battalion. He had been in England for the previous six months having been treated for shellshock.

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  4. #2404

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    This was a GREAT write up, keep it coming.

  5. #2405

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    Thank you for covering our local hero so well Chris.
    I did not put anything in myself today because I knew you had it covered.
    I could not have done a better job.

    Albert Ball VC. RIP.


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

  6. #2406

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    A tough act to follow tomorrow but I will try and do it justice. Cheers Chris.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  7. #2407

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    Tuesday 8th May 1917
    Today we lost: 1,141

    Air Operations:

    Flight Commander Van Reyneveld is named commander of 45th Squadron.

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 3


    A Mech 2 Beckett, F. HMS President II. Drowned aged 34.

    Maj Leighton, J.B.T. (John Burgh Talbot), 23 Squadron, RFC. Injured in crash 7 May, died of injuries 8th May aged 25.

    A Mech 2 Vamplew, E., RFC. No further details known.

    Claims:There are no confirmed claims for today (Apologies mistake corrected).


    Western Front

    Artois:
    5th Bavarian Division (176+ guns supporting) recaptures Fresnoy at second attempt (until May 9).

    Aisne: French storm and hold trenches near Chevreux (northeast of Craonne) despite counter-attacks.

    Tunstills Men Tuesday 8th May 1917:


    Halifax Camp, south of Vlamertinghe

    Another very warm Spring day. The danger of German shelling of Halifax Camp and the consequent request made by Lt. Col. Robert Raymer (see 6th May) saw the Battalion move, at 5pm, a few miles further south to Chippewa Camp, which was situated between Reninghelst and Kemmel. Meanwhile, the final of the Divisional football competition (see 28th April) was held on the football ground at Poperinghe with 69th Brigade defeating 70th Brigade 2-1, “after a very cose game”, with extra being played after the game was 1-1 at full time. 10DWR had four representatives in the Brigade team.

    Brig. Genl. Lambert (see 4th May) visited the Brigade school, at which training in bombing and other specialisms would be carried out. This had been established at Steenvorde and was under the control of Maj. Robert Harwar Gill (see 4th January); it has not been established exactly when Gill left 10DWR to take up this appointment.

    2Lt. Arthur Neill (see 23rd January) left the Battalion having reported sick (details unknown).

    Capt. Gilbert Tunstill (see26th January), currently serving with 83rd Training Reserve Battalion, based at Brighton Road Schools, Gateshead, appeared before a further Medical Board assembled at Newcastle. The Board found that, “his right foot is very flat and weak. It is much swollen and tilts over inwards badly when any weight is placed on it. He is quite unfit for any marching and some kind of support for the plantar arch is advised”. He was declared fit for light duty at home for the next month, at which point he would be re-examined.

    A payment of £2 3s was authorised, being the amount outstanding in pay and allowances to the late Pte. William Mitchell (see 19th March), who had been reported missing in action near Contalmaison on 5th July 1916. The payment would go to his father, Ernest.

    A payment of £6 14s 4d was authorised, being the amount outstanding in pay and allowances to the late Pte. George William Thompson (see 22nd January), who had died in January. The payment would go to his mother, Susan.

    Southern Front:

    Salonika – Battle of Doiran continued (until May 9): British night attack from 2200 hours again fails under Bulgar searchlights between the lake and Petit Couronne but gains 500 yards on 2-mile front to west. British losses 1,861 soldiers; Bulgar guns fire 28,874 shells.

    Serbs seize useful points in Moglenitsa Valley.

    Naval Operations:


    HMS Milne (Commander V L A Campbell) rams and sinks the German submarine UC-26 in Thames Estuary.

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


    The hired Yacht Zarefay (Lieutenant Alfred Stephen Gilbert) strikes a mine and sinks with the loss of sixteen one mile northeast of Mull Head Deerness. Her commanding officer is among those lost.

    Political:


    Australian elections result in Nationalist majority in both Houses.

    "Combing out" of munition workers begins.

    Liberia breaks off relations with Germany.

    Anniversary Events:

    1450 Jack Cade's Rebellion--Kentishmen revolt against King Henry VI.
    1541 Hernando de Soto discovers the Mississippi River which he calls Rio de Espiritu Santo.
    1559 An act of supremacy defines Queen Elizabeth I as the supreme governor of the church of England.
    1794 The United States Post Office is established.
    1846 The first major battle of the Mexican War is fought at Palo Alto, Texas.
    1862 General ‘Stonewall’ Jackson repulses the Federals at the Battle of McDowell, in the Shenendoah Valley.
    1864 Union troops arrive at Spotsylvania Court House to find the Confederates waiting for them.
    1886 Atlanta pharmacist John Pemberton invents Coca Cola.
    1895 China cedes Taiwan to Japan under Treaty of Shimonoseki.
    1904 U.S. Marines land in Tangier, North Africa, to protect the Belgian legation.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 05-08-2017 at 15:15.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  8. #2408

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    Welcome back Neil.
    Great starter.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  9. #2409

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    Wednesday 9th May 1917
    Today we lost: 1,155

    Air Operations:

    Werner Voss gains three victories in the air giving him a total of twenty-eight. The first is a BE2e that is on an artillery observation sortrie. · Pilot Lieutemant Rowland Humphrey Coles age 23 (West Somerset Yeomanry attachd) and observer Second Lieutenant John Charles Sigismund Day age 27 (Royal Sussex Regiment attached) are both killed. Lieutenant Coles was appointed the Master of the Cirencester Beagles shortly before the war and previously served in Gallipoli where his older brother was killed in June 1915. His others victims today were all taken prisoner.

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 14


    LM Birse, D.J. (David J.), Tresco Naval Air Station, St Mary's, Scilly Isles, RNAS. Killed while flying -Drowned 9 May 1917 with Flight Lieut. J C Railton & Flight Sub Lieut. R S Whigham. Curtis H.8 'Large America' Flying Boat 8664 fell into the sea, exploded 1 mile South West of Gush Island

    A Mech 2 (Obs) Breakfield, G.D. (George Dwight), 70 Squadron, RFC. Killed in Action 9 May 1917 aged 21, whilst on reconnaisance between Caudry and Neuvilly

    2Lt Butterworth, N. (Norman), 70 Squadron, RFC. Killed in Action 9 May 1917 aged 25

    Lt Coles, R.H. (Rowland Humphrey), 52 Squadron, RFC. Killed in Action, whilst on artillery observation.

    2Lt Day, J.C. (John Charles), 52 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 27.

    Lt Drey, A. (Adolphe), 58 Reserve Squadorn, RFC. Died of injuries 9 May 1917 aged 23, received during pilot training on 8 May 1917 in BE2c 4145.

    A Mech 1 Dungin (van den Dungen), 51 Reserve Squadron, RFC. Accidently killed when struck by a propeller, aged 23.

    2Lt Gayner, W.J. (William John), 70 Squadron, RFC. Killed in Action 9 May 1917 aged 23, whilst flying on reconnaissance between Caudry and Neuvilly .

    A Mech 2 Imber, D.W., School of Wireless Operators, Dover, RFC. No further details known.

    2Lt Mills, W.L. (William Longley), 45 Squadron, RFC. Missing – Killed in action aged 19.

    Flt Sub-Lt Penney, D.E. (Douglas Eric), RNAS. Killed while flying at Chingford 9 May 1917 aged 22.

    Flt Lt Railton, J.C. (John Cedric), RNAS, aged 27. No further details known.

    Lt Senior, J. (Joseph), 48 Squadron, RFC. Died of Wounds received in aerial combat 9 May 1917 aged 24.

    Flt Sub-Lt Whigham, R.S. (Robert Scott), RNAS. Drowned in accident to seaplane while patrolling off Scilly Isles 9 May 1917 aged 19.

    Claims: 37 (Entente 30: Central Powers 7)

    Fred Holliday claims his #6th, #7th & #8th confirmed victories.
    Carleton Clement claims his #5th & #6th confirmed victories.
    Raymond Collishaw claims his #7th confirmed victory.
    Medley Parlee claims his #5th & #6th confirmed victories.
    Alexander Shook claims his #2nd confirmed victory.
    Arthur Treloar Whealy claims his #4th confirmed victory.

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    Flt Sub-Lt Albert Enstone claims his 1st confirmed victory with 4th (Naval) Squadron, RNAS. Shooting down a C type near Ghistelles.The son of Thomas and Flora Enstone, Flight Sub-Lieutenant Albert James Enstone received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 3677 on a Maurice Farman biplane at Royal Naval Air Station, Cranwell on 15 September 1916. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his courage and skill in repeatedly destroying enemy aircraft while serving as a Flight Sub-Lieutenant with 4 Naval Squadron at Dunkirk during May and June of 1917 and received the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1918. Three of his pilot logbooks and other memorabilia are held by the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.

    2Lt George Kemp claims his 1st confirmed victory with 20 Squadron. Shooting down an Albatros DV west of Comines. George Hubert Kemp served with the 15th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry. He was commissioned on 26 May 1918 and scored 12 victories as an observer on the Bristol F2b.

    Frederick Kydd claims his #3rd confirmed victory.
    Ernest Moore claims his #7th confirmed victory.
    John Murison claims his #3rd & #4th confirmed victories.
    William Price claims his #6th & #7th confirmed victories.
    Maurice Douglas Guest Scott claims his #3rd confirmed victory.
    Anthony Wall claims his #6th, #7th, #8th & #9th confirmed victories.
    Lt William Alan Wright claims his 1st confirmed victory with 45 Squadron. Shooting down an Albatros DIII north west of Seclin. The son of Reverend Thomas and Annie Wright, William Alan Wright was educated at Oundle. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Leicestershire Regiment in January 1915. Wright transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in May 1916. Posted to 45 Squadron in Belgium by early October 1916, he was downed by Max von Muller on 30 April 1917 but survived and scored eight victories flying the Sopwith 11/2 strutter and Sopwith Camel in 1917.

    Charles Nungesser claims his #25th confirmed victory.
    Tom Hazell claims his #3rd confirmed victory.

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    LtThomas Montagu Harries claims his 1st confirmed victory with 45 Squadron. Shooting down an Albatros DIII west of Menin. Corporal Thomas Montagu Harries received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 6141 on 30 November 1917.

    Karl Menckhoff claims his #5th confirmed victory.
    Lothar von Richthofen claims his #21st confirmed victory.
    Karl Schafer claims his #26th confirmed victory.

    Offizierstellvertreter Reinhard Treptow claims his 1st confirmed victory with Jasta 25, shooting down a balloon near Opticar. After serving in an artillery regiment, Treptow transferred to the German Air Force in 1915. Whilst serving in Macedonia with Jasta 25, he claimed 6 victories.

    Verner Voss claims his #26th, #27th & #28th confirmed victories.

    Seems I got ahead of myself with a dyslexic finger and produced today’s results yesterday!

    (Well take me out to no-mans-land and stake me out for the buzzards to lick my eyeballs out.)

    Western Front

    Aisne – NIVELLE OFFENSIVE ENDS: Germans attack on the Chemin des Dames, as well as Craonne and Corbeny, fail.

    The offensive was finally abandoned in disarray on 9th May following a final ineffective four day assault.
    French losses were significant, with 187,000 casualties. The Germans suffered an estimated 168,000 losses.
    At home, disillusion among French public and politicians alike led to Nivelle's prompt removal, replaced on 25 April by the considerably more cautious Henri-Philippe Petain. Petain was only able to restore order within the French Army by improving trench conditions and, more importantly, by refraining from committing his forces to offensive operations.

    Paul Painleve, French Minister of War, on the Third Battle of the Aisne and Second Battle of Champagne, 7 July 1917


    Grave mistakes were made in the course of our last offensive. We care neither to deny nor to minimize them. France is sufficiently sure of herself to be able to look the truth in the face.

    Yes, the price paid for the results that were obtained were paid for too dearly. It is true we suffered heavy losses, which, though they fell short of the fantastic figures that have been set about no one knows by whom, were unnecessarily heavy losses which could have been avoided and must be avoided in the future.

    The heads of the army on whom falls the responsibility for these mistakes have, in spite of the glorious services to which they might have appealed, been relieved of their command. [NB: On May 17th General Nivelle was withdrawn from command and General Petain appointed in his stead. General Foch was made Petain's Chief of Staff.]

    We must have done with rash plans whose grandiose conception hardly hides their emptiness and lack of preparation. We must have a rational and positive war policy, endowed with a prudence that is quite consistent with energy, but does not force impossibilities from human flesh and blood.

    Such a policy more than ever necessary now is to be that of the Government. This policy will enable us to keep strong until the final battles, and it will enable us to give our army a powerful armament of munitions and of heavy artillery.

    This policy, fruitful in results but economical in human life, we now know for certain will be followed in the future, since the General who is now at the head of the army has made himself the protagonist of it. After the attack on Carency, one of the most glorious episodes in this war, General Petain did not shrink from declaring that infantry was powerless against entrenchments that had not been overthrown by artillery, and in consequence he has never failed to employ these tactics of artillery preparation for attack.

    Our Allies, he said, know that nothing can bend the will of France. Whatever happens she will not fail in her task. But they know also that our army is like an army which protects civilization, and that its blood is flowing in streams.
    This thought, more than any other, determined the United States to enter the struggle. They did not wish France to resemble the funeral pile which illumines the world while consuming itself. The Government can give you the assurance that France will be able to reconcile her military effort and her economic effort.

    Victory is certain on the one condition that the morale in the country remains intact. Our soldiers must fight, resist, and die at their posts. History will say that they reached the limits of human courage. Our Republican army must know why it is fighting. Victory or submission, as President Wilson said, that is the alternative. There is no other.
    If our will should seem to bend, if a crack should seen to appear in the military bloc of the Allies, you would see the engaging smiles of Herr Scheidemann succeeded by the atrocious grimace of pan-Germanism.
    We shall not allow Prussian militarism to lay its heel on our neck. Until now France has victoriously borne the trial and has resisted the most monstrous attempt. No nation has shown more perfect discipline.
    It is necessary that that should continue until the hour of final victory. No impatience and no manoeuvre must intervene to defeat our union.

    We have to fight, and whoever advises us now to lay down our arms makes himself the accomplice of our foe.

    Erich Ludendorff on the Second Battle of the Aisne and Third Battle of Champagne, Official Announcement 28 April 1917

    A very heavy drum fire, which was begun before daybreak over the whole front from Lens as far as Queant, was the prelude to a battle by which the British for the third time hoped to pierce the German lines near Arras.
    By midday the great battle was decided by a heavy defeat of the British.

    At dawn, on a front of about thirty kilometres, British storming columns followed curtains of steel, dust, gas, and smoke, which had been advanced by degrees. The weight of the enemy thrust north of the Scarpe was directed against our positions from Acheville as far as Roeux, where the battle raged with extraordinary violence.
    The British forced their way into Arleux-en-Gohelle and Oppy and near Gavrelle and Roeux, occupied by us as advanced positions. They were met by a counter-attack by our infantry. In a severe hand-to-hand struggle the enemy was defeated. At some points he was driven beyond our former lines, the whole of which, with the exception of Arleux-en-Gohelle, is again in our hands.

    South of the Scarpe, in the lowlands, a desperate battle also raged. In their wrecked positions our brave troops withstood the British charges, repeated several times. Here also the British attacks failed. On the wings of the battlefield enemy attacking waves broke down under destructive fire. The British losses were extraordinarily heavy.
    April 28th was a new day of honour. Our infantry powerfully led and excellently supported by its sister and auxiliary arm, showed itself fully equal to its tasks.

    Unfortunately, the violence of the enemy fire prevents us from repairing our trenches. Any attempt to do so merely exhausts the fighting force of our men prematurely. From the outset of a battle another method of construction must be applied.

    A defensive zone extended in depth must be substituted for the old system of positions which can be destroyed by the enemy. This system, with its organizations concealed as far as possible from the enemy's observation, and with the troops holding it echeloned in depth so that their numbers, scanty in the front, increase progressively towards the rear, should enable us to pass from the defensive to the offensive with the troops from the rear.

    During the battle all idea of having a continuous front-trench line must be abandoned. This must be replaced by shell crater nests, held by groups of men and isolated machine guns, disposed like the squares on a chess-board. The shelter provided by the shell-craters will be extended by tunnelling into the sides, or by linking them to adjacent craters by means of tunnels, supported by timber props.

    The earth dislodged should be thrown into unoccupied craters near by, or, if the nature of the position permits it, should be spread over the ground between them. If timbered galleries cannot be built owing to the wetness of the ground, one must be content with very simple organizations to afford protection against shrapnel.

    For this purpose old shelters, dug before the new order of things, may be used, but if none are available the men must obtain shelter as best they can on the open ground. There should be a line of barbed wire in front of the first line of shell-craters, and the empty craters in front of it should be girdled with wire to prevent the assaulting infantry from occupying them.

    Telegram from Kaiser Wilhelm II to Crown Prince Wilhelm, 22 April 1917

    The troops of all the German tribes under your command, with steel-hard determination and strongly led, have brought to failure the great French attempt to break through on the Aisne and in Champagne.

    Also there the infantry again had to bear the brunt, and, thanks to the indefatigable assistance of the artillery and other arms, has accomplished great things in death-defying perseverance and irresistible attack.

    Convey my thanks and those of the Fatherland to the leaders and men. The battle on the Aisne and in Champagne is not yet over, but all who fight and bleed there shall know that the whole of Germany will remember their deeds, and is at one with them to carry through the fight for existence to a victorious end.
    God grant it.

    Tunstills Men Wednesday 9th May 1917:

    Billets at Steenvorde

    The day was again bright, but with a strong, cold wind as the Battalion formed up at 7.10am and marched twelve miles east from Steenvorde to Halifax Camp, which was situated halfway between Vlamertinghe and Ouderdom. German shelling of the nearby Vancouver Camp, with some men killed, had led to Lt. Col. Robert Raymer (see 27th April) requesting that the Battalion be moved to a different camp.

    Pte. John William Mallinson (see 28th March) was ordered to be confined to barracks for three days having been found to be “improperly dressed on parade”.

    Mrs. Emily Peach, sister of the late Pte. Frank Peel (see 28th April) who had died of wounds following the actions around Le Sars, acknowledged receipt of her late brother’s effects; they consisted of “letters, photos, cards, pipe, cap badge, cotton bag”.

    Southern Front:

    Serbia – Allied attack in Crna loop and in Moglena Mountains (Serb Second Army captures Hill 1824): in former, Russian 2nd Brigade capture Orle village a mile into Bulgar lines but forced out with 50% losses, and French 16th Colonial Division seizes the Mamelon only to be driven back by German attacks; French losses 1,579 soldiers. Italians reach 1st line but retreat at night.

    Naval Operations:


    Shipping Losses: 9 ( 1 to a mine and 8 to U-Boat action: 4 to UC-35!)


    North Sea:
    U-19 sinks ship in British Scandinavian convoy east of Shetlands.

    Political:


    British Labour Party decides not to attend Stockholm Conference.

    Mr. Henderson and deputation appointed to visit Russia.

    Anniversary Events:

    1502 Christopher Columbus leaves Spain on his final trip to the New World.
    1754 The first newspaper cartoon in America appears.
    1813 U.S. troops under William Henry Harrison take Fort Meigs from British and Canadian troops.
    1864 Union General John Sedgwick is shot and killed by a Confederate sharpshooter during fighting at Spotsylvania. His last words are: "They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist--"!
    1859 Threatened by the advancing French army, the Austrian army retreats across the River Sesia in Italy.
    1915 German and French forces fight the Battle of Artois.

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    Benjamin Franklin's Political cartoon.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 05-09-2017 at 09:00.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  10. #2410

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    Thursday 10th May 1917
    Today we lost: 740

    Air Operations:


    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 9


    Sgt Bond, W. (Walter), 55 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action.

    Lt Cutler, H.C. (Herbert Cecil), 24 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 26.

    Cpl Holland (Hubbard), P., RFC, aged 24. No further details known.

    2Lt Holroyde, J.S. (John Sheffield), 55 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action.

    Flt Lt Moir, C.J. (Charles Jarvis), 4 (N) Squadron, RNAS. Killed whilst flying aged 21.

    Lt Neville, H.G. (Henry George), 20 Squadron, RFC. Wounded in Action - Shot Down by anti-aircraft fire 9 May 1917, Died of Wounds 10 May 1917 aged 23.

    2Lt Pitt, B.W. (Bevan William), 55 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action.

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    Lieutenant Daniel Joseph Sheehan, 66 Squadron, (Royal Flying Corps) is killed in action at age 22. While on a scouting expedition, a superior body of German aircraft engaged the British and Sheehan is shot down by Lothar von Richthofen. He manages to land the damaged plane in an open field, near Novelles, before he dies in the cockpit of his Sopwith Pup. He is the eldest son of Captain Daniel Desmont (known as D D) Sheehan, MP. He was educated at Christian College, Cork, and Mount St. Joseph’sCollege, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary. He played for Munster two years in the Senior College Inter-Provincial Rugby Championships and was considered the best three-quarter back in Ireland. He joined the Devitt and Moore’s Ocean Training Ship Medway as a cadet in 1912, winning first prize for Navigation and General Seamanship. He transferred to HMS Hibernia as midshipman RNR, for training with a view to a permanent commission in the Royal Navy.

    After serving with the 3rd Battle Squadron in the North Sea, on the outbreak of the War he transferred to the Royal Naval Air Service, obtaining his aviator’s certificate in 1915. He was wounded while flying in Belgium, and, being regarded as unfit for further service with the RNAS, received permission to transfer to the Royal Flying Corps. He was engaged for a time as an instructor at Oxford before returning to active service. Sheehan’s two younger brothers are Lieutenant Martin Joseph (Royal Air Force) who will be killed on 1 October 1918 and Michael Joseph Aloysius Sheehan (1899-1975). Born in Skibbereen, Co. Cork Ireland, he left St. Finbarr’s, Cork to join the 7th Leinster Regiment on 20 April 1915. He is transferred on 25 September 1915 to the Royal Muster Fusiliers as a 2Lt and aged 16 is the youngest commissioned officer on the Western Front. He is promoted lieutenant on 1 July 1917 and was wounded twice. After the war he embarked 18 September 1919 for the British Indian Army and was promoted captain on 20 October 1920. In WW2, he served on the Headquarters of the 14th Army (UK) in Burma, reaching the rank of Brigadier. He was awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1944, later advanced to Commander (CBE) in 1946, in recognition of his distinguished services during the Burma Campaign.

    2Lt Webb, T. (Trevor), 55 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 21.

    Claims: 21 confirmed (Entente 11 : Central Powers 10)

    Robert Little #16th confirmed victory.
    Francesco Baracca #10th confirmed victory.
    Charles Booker #8th confirmed victory
    Fulco Ruffo di Calabria #6th confirmed victory.
    Jean Casale #8th confirmed victory.
    Robert Compston #6th confirmed victory.
    Kelvin Crawford #5th confirmed victory.
    Rene Dorme #23rd confirmed victory.
    Aleksandr Kozakov #7th confirmed victory.
    Ernst Leman #2nd confirmed victory.
    Thomas Middleton #3rd confirmed victory.

    Karl Allmenroeder #11th confirmed victory.

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    Lt Walter Blume claims his 1st confirmed victory with Jasta 26 shooting down a DH4 near Gouzencourt. Wounded early in 1914. Transferred to the air service on 30 June 1915. Wounded in the chest on 29 November 1917.

    Godwin Brumowski #6th confirmed victory.
    Rudolph Eschwege #7th confirmed victory.
    Heinrich Gontermann #19th & #20th confirmed victories.
    Hermann Goring #7th confirmed victory.
    Alois Heldmann u/c.

    Vizefeldwebel Fritz Krebs claims his 1st confirmed victory with Jasta 6 shooting down a DH4 north of Le Cateau.

    Lothar von Richthofen #22nd confirmed victory.
    Kurt Schneider u/c.
    Adolf von Tutschek u/c.

    Home Fronts:

    Britain:
    House of Commons secret session on U-Boat menace until May 11. Unofficial strikes involve 160,000 engineers (including London bus drivers on May 13) against dilution on private work (until May 24). 8 strike leaders arrested (released on May 23 after Munitions Minister meets shop stewards on May 19).

    Western Front


    USA:
    PERSHING APPOINTED C-IN-C AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE (AEF).

    France:
    Ribot cabinet decide to make Petain C-in-C but Nivelle refuses to go on May 11.

    Somme:
    Small British gains south-west of Lens and on south bank of River Scarpe.
    French success near Chevreux (Craonne).

    Tunstills Men Thursday 10th May 1917:

    Chippewa Camp, south-east of Reninghelst

    Another hot and sunny day. The provision of large working parties overnight continued.

    Following a report from Sgt. Alfred Dolding (see 7th May) that Ptes. Clifford Mackrell (see 16th January), Fred Riddiough (see 16th March) and Fred Slater (see 4th April) of ‘C’ Company had all been ‘late on parade’, they were ordered to be confined to barracks for five days on the orders of Capt. Alfred Percy Harrison (see 7th May).

    Pte. Harry Robinson (see 5th May), currently being treated for boils, was transferred from 69th to 70th Field Ambulance.

    Sgt. William Edmondson Gaunt (see 4th May)was posted back to England in preparation for a course of officer training; he would have a period of leave before beginning his course.

    Eastern Front:

    General Russki relieved of command on northern front by Provisional Government.

    Southern Front:

    French and Venizelists take enemy position near the Lyumnitsa.

    Two attacks on Krastali driven off by British.

    Naval Operations:


    Atlantic: First Allied general trade convoy (trial) sails
    (16 ships in 3 columns at 6 1/2 kts from Gibraltar with 5 escorts), reaches Plymouth unscathed on May 20 after 8 destroyers meet it 200 miles from Channel (May 18).

    North Sea:
    German battlecruiser Hindenburg (launched August 1, 1915) joins High Seas Fleet.

    British scouting force from Harwich chases 11 German destroyers into Zeebrugge.

    Shipping Losses: 10 (2 to mines & 8 to U-Boat action)


    Political:


    British Ministerial Conference with Engineer, etc. representatives.

    Secret Session of House of Commons on submarine warfare.

    Plot to assassinate M. Venizelos discovered at Salonika.

    President of Duma (M. Rodzianko) affirms Russian loyalty to Allies.

    Anniversary Events:

    1285 Philip III of Spain is succeeded by Philip IV ("the Fair").
    1503 Christopher Columbus discovers the Cayman Islands.
    1676 Bacon's Rebellion begins in the New World.
    1773 To keep the troubled East India Company afloat, Parliament passes the Tea Act, taxing all tea in the American colonies.
    1774 Louis XVI succeeds his father Louis XV as King of France.
    1775 American troops capture Fort Ticonderoga from the British.
    1794 Elizabeth, the sister of King Louis XVI, is beheaded.
    1796 Napoleon Bonaparte wins a brilliant victory against the Austrians at Lodi bridge in Italy.
    1840 Mormon leader Joseph Smith moves his band of followers to Illinois to escape the hostilities they experienced in Missouri.
    1857 The Bengal Army in India revolts against the British.
    1863 General Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson succumbs to illness and wounds received during the battle of Chancellorsville.
    1865 Union cavalry troops capture Confederate President Jefferson Davis near Irvinville, Georgia.
    1869 The Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads meet in Promontory, Utah.
    1859 French emperor Napoleon III leaves Paris to join his troops preparing to battle the Austrian army in Northern Italy.
    1872 Victoria Woodhull becomes first the woman nominated for U.S. president.
    1917 Allied ships get destroyer escorts to fend off German attacks in the Atlantic.
    Attached Images  
    Last edited by Skafloc; 05-10-2017 at 03:39.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  11. #2411

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    Friday 11th May 1917
    Today we lost: 760

    Air Operations:


    A French seaplane captures the German submarine U-29 off Gibraltar.


    A naval bombardment is scheduled for Zeebrugge this night. A Sopwith Strutter of 2 Royal Naval Air Service, crewed by Flight Sub Lieutenant H V Tapscott and Gun-layer G A Richardson arrives off the coast to perform standby wireless ranging duty for the attack. This operation is planned to seal the German shipping in Zeebrugge by shelling the entrance, but to do so requires extremely accurate firing. It has been calculated that the firing will need to be sustained for almost ninety minutes. As there is a delay in bringing up one of the ships for the bombardment the crew of this aircraft delays their return flight home and when their engine fails they force land at Cadzand and are interned in Holland. 10th Royal Naval Air Service squadron also assists in the bombardment of Zeebrugge on this night one Sopwith Triplane being hit by anti aircraft fire and it goes down eight miles off shore, the pilot, Flight Lieutenant Maurice William Wallace Eppstein being killed at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend William Charles Eppstein DD Rector of Lambourne Essex.


    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 11

    Capt Cull, A.T. (Arthur Tulloch), 48 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action.

    Lt Davies, W.E. (William Evan), 7 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 24. Shot down by AA fire.

    2Lt Dennett, S.H. (Stephen Hepworth), 23 Reserve Squadron, RFC. Killed whilst flying aged 23.

    2Lt Duxbury, H.C. (Herbert Cecil), 54 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 18.

    A Mech 2 Gauntlett, J.W. (Jack Wallis), Recruits Depot, RFC, aged 19. NFDK.

    A Mech 2 Gladman, T.A. (Thomas Albert), 33rd Kite Balloon Section, RFC. Died of accidental injuries aged 25.

    2Lt Mason, A.W. (Arthur Walton), 7 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 23, shot down by AA fire.

    Flt Lt Morgan, L. (Lewis), RNAS. Killed whilst flying aged 24.

    2Lt Robertson, R. (Ralph), RFC. NFDK.

    Flt Off (Prob) Seed, R.H. (Randolph Henry), RNAS. NFDK.

    A Mech 1 Trusson, A. (Arthur), 48 Squadron, RFC. NFDK.

    Claims: 31 confirmed. (Entente 23 : Central Powers 8)

    Alfred Auger #5th confirmed victory. (French)
    Chalres Meredith Bouverie Chapman #4th confirmed victory.
    Albert Deullin #15th confirmed victory. (French)
    Fred Holliday #10th & #11th confirmed victories.

    Lt William Jenkins claims his 1st confirmed victory with 60 Squadron, RFC. Flying a Nieuport he shot down an Albatros DIII near Brebieres.

    John Herbert Towne Letts #4th confirmed victory.
    Gerald Maxwell #3rd confirmed victory.
    Richard Minifie #3rd confirmed victory.
    William Kennedy-Cochran-Patrick #9th confirmed victory.
    Edmund Pierce #6th confirmed victory.
    Maurice Douglas Guest Scott #4th confirmed victory.
    Joseph de Sevin #3rd confirmed victory. (French)
    George Simpson #4th & #5th confirmed victories.
    William Strugnell #5th & #6th confirmed victories.
    Oliver Manners Sutton #2nd confirmed victory.
    Joseph Vuillemin #3rd confirmed victory. (French)

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    Sous Lt Paul Waddington claims his first confirmed victory with N12. Flying a Nieuport he shot down a 2-seater near Vailly. Paul Yvan Robert Waddington entered the army on 15 December 1914. While serving with an infantry regiment, he was promoted to Caporal in June 1915. A month later, he transferred to the French Air Service and was assigned to N67. Promoted to Sergent in March 1916, Waddington began training to become a pilot in September, receiving a Pilot's Brevet on 26 January 1917. Following additional training, he was posted to N12 where he achieved his first victory by shooting down a two-seater. In March 1918, following two more promotions, he was reassigned to Spa154 where he shot down five enemy balloons in addition to several other enemy aircraft. Reassigned in September 1918, Waddington ended the war with Spa31 where he scored his twelfth and final victory.

    Anthony Wall #10th & #11th confirmed victories.

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    Lt Walter Bertram Wood claims his 1st confirmed victory with 29 Squadron, RFC. Flying a Nieuport 23 he shot down an Albatros DIII near Biache. Before joining the army in 1915, Walter Bertram Wood, the son of Walter James and Annie Jane Wood, was a Boy Scout coast watcher. During the summer of 1916, he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. In March 1917, he was sent to France where he flew Nieuports scouts with 29 Squadron. By August, he'd shot down 13 enemy aircraft when he was sent home to England and reassigned to 44 Squadron. While practicing air combat maneuvers in November 1917, the 19 year old ace was killed when his Sopwith Camel crashed for no apparent reason. Wood and his brother are the subjects of J. Bygott's book, "Two Soldier Brothers."

    Vladimir Strizhesky u/c.


    Alexander Tahy #2nd confirmed victory.
    Heinrich Gontermann #21st confirmed victory.
    Fritz Krebs #2nd confirmed victory.
    Kurt Kuppers #2nd confirmed victory.
    Lothar von Richthofen #23rd confirmed victory.

    Vizefeldwebel Otto Rosenfeld claims his 1st confirmed victory with Jasta 12. Shooting down an FE2b near Tilloy. Wounded in action on 12 June 1917, Otto Rosenfeld was captured on 29 December 1917 and repatriated. After his release, he scored five more victories before he was killed in action on 7 July 1918, believed to have been shot down by Sumner Sewall of the 95th Aero Squadron.

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    Oblt Franze Schleiff claims his 1st confirmed victory with FA300. Shooting down a Martinsyde G.100 near Beersheba. Schleiff joined the German Air Force in July 1915. Highly decorated for service on the Eastern Front and in Palestine, he was sent to the Western Front in October 1917. Schleiff assumed command of Jasta 56 in January 1918. Wounded in action on 27 March 1918, his career as a fighting pilot came to an abrupt end after he was struck in the hand by a tracer bullet. He returned safely to his aerodrome but the wound required the amputation of his left hand. He was recommended for the Blue Max but never received it. Claiming 21 victories, he was only credited with 12 of them.

    Adolf von Tutschek #7th confirmed victory.

    Home Fronts:

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    Germans in USA being rounded up.

    USA:
    Only 125 aliens arrested since 6 April.

    France: 10,000 Paris clothing workers strike (until May 23) against living costs.

    Britain: Appeal for men of 41-50 to volunteer, also coal economy.

    Western Front


    Artois:
    Canadian 44th Brigade regains 300 yds of trenches west of Avion and holds it against repeated German 80th Reserve Division counter-attacks. British attack astride Scarpe captures Roeux (German division fails to retake it until May 14), British cavalry the Farm and Chemical Works.

    Repulse of various German attacks on ground gained by Allies (Arleux, Souchez river, Cerny, Craonne, etc.).


    Tunstills Men Friday 11th May 1917:

    Chippewa Camp, south-east of Reninghelst

    On another very warm day, the Battalion again provided working parties of more than 500 men overnight for the Royal Engineers.

    2Lt. Bob Perks, DSO (see 25th April) wrote to his father,

    My Dear Dad

    Thanks very much for your letter which arrived to-day, and with it, that most extraordinary effort of Teddy’s. I have grown a few inches.

    Yes the gramophone arrived quite in good order and is a strong favourite with all the Officers who are rapidly making A Coy mess an Officers Club. We have managed to obtain 3 more records locally and add them to our store. On nice days such as we have been having continuously for nearly a fortnight now, we take the gramophone outside and the company which has probably been up all night working, lounges in the sun listening. Yes your record carrier arrived safely and I was sure it was your cunning device. Unfortunately, after two or three violent movements the sides cracked. Now we have bagged a strong box from the quartermaster (in which rations had come) and by the aid of our pioneers have fitted it up to take the gramophone and records together.

    Except that turning night into day gets rather tiring in the long run, we are having a very bon time in a camp so far proved out of range of old Fritz’ guns. Being infantry however they cannot let us settle down anywhere. We are to move to-morrow. No one knows whither, but I think it is only to another Camp but fancy I can see trenches looming very near.

    I enclose a receipt to be added to the large pile that must be collecting please. Also a draft for £2 13s 5d, my expenses allowed for going to see the King. Have you received the telegram from the Lord Chamberlain? I left it in N. Shields to be copied and then sent to you.

    I really must stop now. I have been interrupted once and now it is nearly midnight and we move they say to-morrow to a camp. I will write to Mother to-morrow or the next day if possible.

    Tell them love to both

    Bob

    Capt. Edgar Stanton (see 5th April), who had been with the Battalion for less than two months, commanding ‘D’ Company, now left the Battalion, reporting sick (details unknown).

    Pte. Elijah Sudworth (see 1st February), who had spent the previous three months in England recovering from a bout of influenza, returned to France, to 34th Infantry Base Depot at Etaples, en route to re-joining the Battalion.

    Eastern Front:

    Western Russia: German officers visit General Dragomirov’s North Front HQ at Dvinsk at his soldiers’ request but with little result. Prince Leopold’s follow-up letter suggesting armistice made a German leaflet (May 29).

    Southern Front:

    French carry Srka di Legen (west of Lyumnitsa).


    Serb raids on Moglena hills (Dobropolye), and north of Pozar.


    Naval Operations:


    Black Sea:
    Successful Russian submarine Morzh sails on last patrol, mined or sunk by air attack off Bosphorus.

    Baltic:
    Russian Baltic Fleet Central committee meets as ‘Centrobalt’ at Helsinki.


    A naval bombardment is scheduled for Zeebrugge this night. (See Air Operations above).


    Shipping Losses: 14 (1 to mines 13 to U-Boat action).


    U-35 sinks 5 ships!


    Political:


    House of Commons Secret Session continues.


    Sir Edward Carson refuses to alter form of weekly shipping losses.


    Anniversary Events:

    1573 Henry of Anjou becomes the first elected king of Poland.
    1689 French and English navies battle at Bantry Bay.
    1690 In the first major engagement of King William’s War, British troops from Massachusetts seize Port Royal in Acadia (Nova Scotia and New Brunswick) from the French.
    1745 French forces defeat an Anglo-Dutch-Hanoverian army at Fontenoy.
    1792 The Columbia River is discovered by Captain Robert Gray.
    1812 British Prime Minster Spencer Perceval is shot by a bankrupt banker in the lobby of the House of Commons.
    1857 Indian mutineers seize Delhi.
    1858 Minnesota is admitted as the 32nd U.S. state.
    1860 Giuseppe Garibaldi lands at Marsala, Sicily.
    1862 Confederates scuttle the CSS Virginia off Norfolk, Virginia.
    1864 Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart is mortally wounded at Yellow Tavern.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  12. #2412

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    On Friday 11th May 1917 the world's first airborne medical evacuation took place when a Lance-Corporal McGregor from the Camel Corps in the Sinai desert, who had been shot in the foot in action, was flown to hospital in a B.E.2. The flight lasted 45 minutes. It would have take three days to take him to hospital by camel and it was feared that he would have died on the journey.

    This story appeared on our local evening news because a commemoration display took place at Stow Maries airfield in Essex, where the Duke of Gloucester opened a new museum remembering 37 Squadron, who flew from there against Zeppelins.

    I have not been able to find the news clip on the B.B.C. website but here is an article from a local newspaper. http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/duke-of-g...rome-1-5014538

  13. #2413

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    Tom Dresser VC (21 July 1892 – 9 April 1982) was born on 21 July 1892. He was 24 years old, and a private in the 7th Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment (Alexandra, Princess of Wales’ Own).
    On 12 May 1917 near Roeux, France, Private Dresser, in spite of having been twice wounded on the way and suffering great pain, succeeded in conveying an important message from battalion headquarters to the front line trenches, which he eventually reached in an exhausted condition. His fearlessness and determination to deliver this message at all costs proved of the greatest value to his battalion at a critical period.

    His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Green Howards Museum in Richmond, North Yorkshire.

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    Rupert Theo Vance "Mick" Moon, VC (14 August 1892 – 28 February 1986) was born at Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, on 14 August 1892. He was the son of Mr and Mrs Arthur Moon of Kinaird, Toorak, Victoria. When he left school he worked for the National Bank of Australasia and was at the Maffra branch when World War I began. He was 24 years old, and a lieutentant in the 58th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force.

    On 12 May 1917 near Bullercourt, France, Lieutenant Moon's immediate objective was a position in advance of a hostile trench, and then against the trench itself, after the capture of which it was intended that his men should co-operate in a further assault. Although wounded in the initial advance, he reached the first objective, but was again wounded in the assault on the trench. He nevertheless continued to inspire and encourage his men and captured the trench, but was again wounded when consolidating the position. It was not until he was severely wounded for a fourth time that he agreed to retire from the fight. He later achieved the rank of captain.

    His Victoria Cross which he received from King George V at an investiture at Buckingham PAlace is displayed at the Australian War Memorial.

    After he returned from the war he resumed working for the National Bank in Geelong, a position he held until he took up a senior position with Dennys Lascelles Ltd. On 17 December 1931 he married Sammy Vincent at St George's Church Geelong.

    He lived at Calder Park, Mount Duneed from 1954 to 1978. He died at his home at Barwon Heads on 28 February 1986 and was buried in the Anglican section of Mount Duneed Cemetery.

    In 1918 an avenue of honour was created linking Bacchus Marsh to the Western Highway. Constructed from elm trees, the avenue was planted to commemorate soldiers from Bacchus Marsh who served in the First World War. The 164th tree in the avenue was planted and dedicated to Moon. In recent years, Moon Reserve was unveiled at the beginning of the Avenue of Honour in honour of Rupert Vance Moon. In 2010, the Avenue of Honour was nominated to be placed on the National Heritage list.

    On 12 May 2008, the Rupert Vance Moon V.C. Memorial Garden was unveiled at the Mount Duneed Cemetery, with a large crowd in attendance, including Moon's descendents, representatives from the Returned and Services League of Australia, and past and present soldiers.

    Today we lost: 1,100


    Air Operations:


    Western Front:
    French ace Nungesser shoots down 2 of 6 Albatros scouts over Douai.

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 6


    2Lt Adams, F. (Frederick), 53 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 28 with 2Lt O R Kelly.

    Flt Lt Eppstein, M.W.W. (Maurice William Wallis), 10 (N) Squadron, RNAS. Killed in action flying off Zeebrugge.

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    Lieutenant Augustus John Jessop, 56 Squadron, RFC. (General List attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed whilst flying at age 23. His brother will be killed on the last day of July in this year.

    2Lt Kelly, O.R. (Oscar Raphael), 53 Squadron, RFC. (General List - Northumberland Fusilers).

    Lt Robertson, J.R. (John Ross), 66 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 23.

    Capt Williams, W.G.B. (William George Bransby), 19 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 19.

    Claims: 31 (Entente 18: Central Powers 13)

    Laurence Allen #8th confirmed victory.
    Charles Booker #11th confirmed victory.
    Fulco Ruffo di Calabria #7th confirmed victory (Italy).
    Jean Chaput #11th confirmed victory. (France).
    Raymond Collishaw #8th confirmed victory.
    Francis Cubbon #11th confirmed victory.
    Albert Enstone #2nd confirmed victory.
    Thomas Harries #2nd confirmed victory.

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    Flt S-LtGeoffrey Hemming, 4 (N) Squadron, RNAS, claims his 1st confirmed victory. Flying a Sopwith Pup he shot down a Siemens Schukert D. Type off Zeebrugge. Geoffrey William Hemming's birth was registered in the 2nd quarter of 1898 at Droitwich, Hereford and Worcester, Worcestershire

    Arthur William Keen #3rd confirmed victory.
    John Herbert Towns Letts #5th & #6th confirmed victories.
    Gerald Maxwell #4th confirmed victory.
    Harold Mott #2nd confirmed victory.
    Charles Nungesser #26th & #27th confirmed victories
    Alexander Shook #3rd confirmed victory.
    Frederick Thayre #10th confirmed victory.
    Konstantin Vakulovsky u//c.

    Paul Billik #2nd confirmed victory.
    Godwin Brumowski #7th confirmed & #8th u/c victories.
    Julius Buckler #7th confirmed victory.
    Rudolph von Eschwege #8th confirmed victory.
    Frederick Gille #2nd confirmed victory.
    Bertram Heinrich #2nd confirmed victory.
    Karl Kaszala #4th victory.

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    Lt Wilhelm Leusch claims his 1st confirmed victory with Jasta 19 shooting down a Spad near Berry-au-Bac.

    Max von Muller #10th confirmed victory.
    Theodor Osterkamp #2nd confirmed victory.
    Gotthard Sachsenberg #3rd confirmed victory.
    Kurt Schonfelder u/c.
    Edmund Thieffry #3rd confirmed victory.
    Adolf von Tutschek #8th confirmed victory.

    Western Front


    British storm most of Bullecourt, and Roeux trenches. Enemy's counter-attack fails.

    Tunstills Men Saturday 12th May 1917:


    Chippewa Camp, south-east of Reninghelst

    The weather remained hot, “almost like being in India”, according to Brig. Genl. Lambert (see 9th May), as the Battalion marched north back to Scottish Camp where they had been billeted two weeks previously (see 29th April), to take over billets from 8th KOYLI. However, as the Battalion was ordered to be clear of Chippewa Camp by 11am, they were ordered to bivouac in the vicinity of Scottish Lines until their new billets were vacated by 8th KOYLI in the evening.

    Just two days after being found late on parade, Fred Riddiough (see 10th May) was again in trouble; he was reported by Sgt. John Scott (see 4th April) for ‘hesitating to obey an order’ and was sentenced to a further seven days confined to barracks, on the orders of Capt. Alfred Percy Harrison (see 10th May). Pte. Albert Moore (see 5th April) was also in trouble. He was reported as having been ‘unshaven on guard mounting parade at 7am’; he was ordered to forfeit seven days’ pay.

    Pte. Joe Fawcett (see 9th May) was transferred from 6th London Field Ambulance 23rd Division Rest Station, still at Remy Sidings, Lijssenthoek; he was now diagnosed as suffering from boils.

    Following ten days in hospital, suffering from myalgia, Pte. Arthur Leeming (see 3rd May) returned to duty.
    L.Cpl. Richard Cleasby Chorley (see 5th January) left the Battalion and joined 23rd Division Employment Company.

    Pte. Irvine Clark (see 6th March), one of Tunstill’s original recruits, but who was now serving with 8DWR in France, was posted back to the Regimental Depot at Halifax (reason unknown).

    Lt. Thomas Beattie, (see 12th April), currently serving with 83rd Training Reserve Battalion in Gateshead, appeared before a further Medical Board assembled at Newcastle-on-Tyne. The Board found that, “he is improving inasmuch as the scar is firmer and not so tender. The wearing of equipment, however, is not advised”. He was passed fit for home service for a further month before being re-examined.

    Southern Front:

    Tenth Battle of the Isonzo
    (until June 4): Two-day Italian barrage begins at dawn on 25-mile front with 1,058 heavy and 1,320 field guns vs 1,400 Austrian pieces. General Capello gives Badoglio, aged 45, II Corps due to previous commander’s inadequate artillery preparation.
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    Italian heavy 305mm howitzer, known as a ‘heavy mortar on a De Stefano carriage’. This distinctive system featured four large solid iron wheels running on rails to absorb the recoil.

    Artillery activity on Julian front from Tolmino to the sea.

    Italians bomb Prosecco (north of Trieste).

    Naval Operations:


    North Sea:
    3 Dover Patrol monitors (total 6 x 15-inch guns), and with air cover among 41 ships, continue to shell Zeebrugge for 73 minutes from 28.000 yards, for 1 hour but vital locks not hit although 19 of 250 shells land within 15 yards.

    Mediterranean:
    6 Australian destroyers (3 from Singapore) being sent to Mediterranean.

    Shipping Losses: 9 (2 to mines & 7 to U-Boat action)


    Political:


    Two new groups for attestation announced: 41 to 45, and 45 to 50.

    Bombs and seditious leaflets seized in Calcutta.

    Both Houses, Canadian Parliament, addressed by M. Viviani.

    Anniversary Events:

    254 St. Stephen I begins his reign as Catholic Pope.
    1588 King Henry III flees Paris after Henry of Guise triumphantly enters the city.
    1641 The chief advisor to Charles I, Thomas Wentworth, is beheaded in the Tower of London
    1780 Charleston, South Carolina falls to British forces.
    1851 The Tule River War ends.
    1863 With a victory at the Battle of Raymond, Mississippi, Union General Ulysses S. Grant closes in on Vicksburg.
    1864 Union Gneral Benjamin Butler attacks Drewry’s Bluff on the James River.
    1865 The last land battle of the Civil war occurs at Palmito Ranch, Texas. It is a Confederate victory.
    1881 Tunisia, in North Africa becomes a French protectorate.
    1885 In the Battle of Batoche, French Canadians rebel against the Canadian government.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 05-12-2017 at 01:03.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  14. #2414

  15. #2415

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    Quote Originally Posted by Naharaht
    On Friday 11th May 1917 the world's first airborne medical evacuation took place when a Lance-Corporal McGregor from the Camel Corps in the Sinai desert, who had been shot in the foot in action, was flown to hospital in a B.E.2. The flight lasted 45 minutes. It would have take three days to take him to hospital by camel and it was feared that he would have died on the journey.
    This rang a bell,so I checked; it was also reported as happening on 19 February, 1917. The original source was: https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/researc...tion/1917.aspx , which gave the earlier date.

    Tried to do some more digging; https://books.google.com/books?id=50...Gregor&f=false also gives a date of 19 February, 1917.

    As I think it was Neil who pointed out, though, pinning down exact days long after the fact can be so difficult.

  16. #2416

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    Thank you for checking and correcting this, Sam. I expect that the R.A.F. museum is correct. It was only a small incident but it is worthy of note because it marked another development in the use of aircraft.

  17. #2417

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    Sunday 13th May 1917
    Today we lost: 690

    Air Operations:

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 6

    2Lt Gregory, J.L. (James Langdale), RFC. Killed in action aged 39.
    2Lt Merchant, A.D.M. (Arthur Douglas Mountstephen), 68 Squadron, RFC. Killed whilst flying aged 18.
    2Lt Sloan, C.R. (Cyril Rennie), 29 Squadron, RFC, aged 19. NFDK.
    2Lt Smith, W.E., RFC. NFDK.
    Lt Stewart, V.F. (Vernon Forster), 16 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action, Vimy Ridge, aged 24.
    Second Lieutenant John Guthrie Troup, 16 Squadron, RFC (Cameronians attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend George Elmslie Troup.

    Claims: 19 confirmed (Entente 14 : Central Powers 5)
    John Andrews #10th confirmed victory.
    Francesco Baracca #11th confirmed victory.
    Fulco Ruffo di Calabria #8th confirmed victory.
    John Cowell #2nd confirmed victory.
    Francis Cubbon #12th & #13th confirmed victories.
    Robert Farquhar 3rd confirmed victory.
    William fry 3rd confirmed victory.
    Conn Standish O’Grady #2nd confirmed victory.
    Victor Huston #5th confirmed victory.

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    2Lt Douglas McGregor claims his 1st confirmed victory with 23 Squadron, RFC. Flying a Spad VII he shot down an Albatros DIII near Vis en Artois-Vitry. The son of Dr. John O. McGregor, Douglas Urquhart McGregor was a student at McGill University and a member of the famous Redmen football squads when he joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1916. He set sail for England on 25 September 1916 from Halifax aboard the Corsican. He was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant (on probation) on 6 October 1916. After training he was posted to 23 Squadron at Baisieux, arriving on 20 April 1917. With this unit he scored 12 victories in 1917 flying the Spad VII. Following in his father's footsteps, Douglas McGregor became a physician after the war. He died suddenly while attending a wrestling match in Hamilton, Ontario. He was 58.

    William Kennedy-Cochran-Patrick #10th & #11th confirmed victories.
    Frederick Thayre #12th & #13th confirmed victories.

    Godwin Brumowski u/c.
    Karl Allmenroder #12th & #13th confirmed victories.
    Lothar von Richthofen #24th confirmed victory.
    Paul Strahle #5th confirmed victory.
    Kurt Wolff #30th confirmed victory.

    Western Front

    Flanders:
    General Sir H Gough to command key northern wing of Ypres offensive.

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    Gough, the young ‘thruster’ put in charge of the opening offensive in Flanders.

    Somme:
    British establish themselves in Roeux & gains on ‘Greenland Hill’.

    Champagne:
    German counter-attacks north of Reims and in Maisons de Champagne repulsed


    Tunstills Men Sunday 13th May 1917:

    Scottish Camp, south-west of Brandhoek

    Another hot day, although there was a little rain around midday. The large overnight working parties which had been provided whilst at Chippewa Camp resumed.

    The Battalion was bolstered by a draft of 59 men, which had originally been destined for posting to 9DWR. They had arrived in France on 26th April and had spent the interim at at no.34 Infantry Base Depot at Etaples. A number of members of this draft have been identified. Many of them had previously seen active service, often with 6DWR. Among the men returning to France were Pte. William Postill Taylor (see 26th April) who had served with 10DWR on the Somme in July 1916; he had deserted from 3DWR in March, but had been apprehended after only two days.

    A number of others were men who had been called up in December 1916 and had trained with 3DWR before being posted to France. Pte. Willie Bates was a 36 year-old joiner and cabinet maker from Bradford. Pte. Joseph Henry Woodcock was a 30 year-old mechanic from Bradford; he was married with an eight year-old son. He had spent two weeks in hospital during training in December 1916, suffering from influenza.

    Pte. Richard Marsden (see 3rd May) also re-joined with this draft from Etaples, he had been away from the Battalion for the previous month following a bout of influenza.

    At home in Bradford, Agnes Evans, wife of Pte. Ernest Evans (see 16th January), gave birth to the couple’s sixth child; the boy would be named Victor Leslie.

    Eastern Front:

    General Kornilov, Commandant of Petrograd, and M. Guchkov, Minister of Marine and War, resign.

    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    Mesopotamia: Russian detachments compelled to retire across Diala river towards Kifri.

    Naval Operations:


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


    Spanish S.S. "Carmen" sunk in protected zone by German submarine.


    Political:


    Socialist Conference opens at Stockholm.


    Marshal Joffre reviews garrison troops at Montreal; much enthusiasm.


    Anniversary Events:
    1607 English colonists land near the James River in Virginia.
    1648 Margaret Jones of Plymouth is found guilty of witchcraft and is sentenced to be hanged.
    1779 The War of Bavarian Succession ends.
    1846 The United States declares war on Mexico after fighting has already begun.
    1861 Britain declares its neutrality in the American Civil War.
    1864 The Battle of Resaca commences as Union General William T. Sherman fights towards Atlanta.
    1888 Slavery is abolished in Brazil.
    1912 The Royal Flying Corps is established in England.
    1913 Igor Sikorsky flies the first four-engine aircraft.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  18. #2418

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    Thanks for the good read, keep it up.

  19. #2419

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    Monday 14th May 1917
    Today we lost: 589

    Air Operations:


    Flight Sub Lieutenant Robert Leckie (Royal Naval Air Service) is one of the officers involved in the destruction of the Zeppelin L-22. Flying the Curtiss H.12 Large America flying boat 8666, RNAS Flight Commander Robert Leckie shoots down the German Zeppelin L 22 18 nautical miles north-northwest of Texel Island near Terschelling Light Vessel. It is the first time that a flying boat shoots down a Zeppelin.

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    Curtiss H12

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 8

    2Lt Alexander, J.P. (John Petrie), 4 Squadron, RFC. Died of pleurisy whilst home on leave aged 24.

    Flt S-Lt Avery, G.G. (George Gladstone), Cattewater Seaplane Staion, RNAS. Drowned in accident to Short Admiralty 184 Type seaplane No.8362 aged 29. He was accompanied by A.M.1 W. E. Elliott.

    Lt Brown, J.W. (James Westhall), 8 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 32.

    A Mech 1 Elliott, W.E. (William Edward), Cattewater Seaplane Staion, RNAS. Drowned in accident to Short Admiralty 184 Type seaplane No.8362 aged 28.

    A Mech 2 Hodge, S.J.G. (Stanley James George), 5 Squadron, RFC. Died of wounds aged 23.

    2Lt Holm, F.D. (Frank Diederick), 27 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 18.

    Lt McCormick, E.J. (Edward John), 8 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 28.

    A Mech 3 Woodbridge, W. (William), Boy’s Training Wing, RFC, aged 29. NFDK.

    Claims: 11 (Entente 4 : Central Powers 7)

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    Capt William Charles Campbell claims his 1st confirmed victory with 1 Squadron, RFC. Flying a Nieuport 17 he shot down a C type near Polygon Wood. William Charles Campbell joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1916. He was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant (on probation) on 10 August 1916 and received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 3806 on a Maurice Farman biplane at military school, Ruislip on 1 November 1916. Posted to 1 Squadron in May 1917, he scored twenty-three victories flying Nieuport scouts, all in just three months. Campbell was the first Royal Flying Corps pilot to shoot down five enemy observation balloons. Wounded in action on 31 July 1917, he returned to England and became an instructor.

    Capt St. Cyprian Churchill Tayler claims his 1st confirmed victory with 32 Squadron, RFC. Flying a DH2 he shot down an Albatros DIII south east of Baralle. St. Cyprian Churchill Tayler, Royal Sussex Regiment, was the son of John Frederic Jenner and Minnie Ruth Tayler, The Haven, Boshoffs Road, Natal, South Africa.. A two-seater pilot with 32 Squadron, he scored six victories in 1917. With 80 Squadron in 1918, he scored three more victories flying the Sopwith Camel. Captain Tayler was killed in action when his SE5 was shot down by Heinrich Kroll of Jasta 24.

    Jean Derode #4th confirmed victory.
    George Kemp #2nd confirmed victory.

    Karl allmenroder #14th confirmed victory.
    Julius Arigi #1th confirmed victory.
    Stefan Fejes #2nd confirmed victory.
    Heinrich Lorenz #3rd confirmed victory.
    Hermann Pfeiffer #11th confirmed victory.
    Alexander Tahy #3rd confirmed victory.
    Franz Walz #7th confirmed victory.

    Home Fronts:


    Germany: First German tank (A7V) on trial
    at Mainz.

    Western Front


    British line advanced north of Gavrelle.

    Strong hostile reconnaisances north-east of Vauxaillon (Soissons), west of Craonne, Berry au Bac and in Champagne fail.

    Tunstills Men Monday 14th May 1917:


    Scottish Camp, south-west of Brandhoek

    There was a period of heavy rain in the morning which then cleared to leave a fine day. Large working parties were again provided overnight.

    Pte. Joseph Clough (see 12th November 1916) was reported wounded in action, most likely while employed on one of the working parties. He suffered a severe wound to his left arm and was treated at no.10 Casualty Clearing Station and no.4 London Ambulance before being evacuated (on 17th May) to no.32 Stationery Hospital at Wimereux.

    After spending three months at the Lord Derby War Hospital in Warrington being treated for ‘trench foot’, Pte. Clifford Midwood (see 19th February) was discharged and given ten days’ leave.

    The re-organisation of the Labour Corps continued with the formation in France of Labour Companies. As part of this, 15th Infantry Labour Company, Lincolnshire Regt. Became 54th Company, Labour Corps. Former members of 10DWR Ptes. Sam Tinkler and Eber Casson Sykes (see 6th April), were among those serving with this unit.

    A number of other former members of 10DWR were affected by this re-organisation of the Labour Corps, some of whom have been identified. Pte. Thomas Angus McAndrew (see 21st February) was promoted Corporal on the same day that his unit, 6th Infantry Labour Company, Durham Light Infantry, was re-designated 37th Company, Labour Corps. Sgt. George Thomas Bates (see 24th December 1914) serving with 1st Infantry Labour Corps, Durham Light Infantry was transferred to 32nd Company, Labour Corps; he had previously served with 10DWR but had been transferred at some point (date unknown). Sgt. John Edward King, serving with 1st Infantry Labour Company, Lincolnshire Regiment, was transferred to 40th Company, Labour Corps. Like Bates, he had been an original member of 10DWR, having previously served with 1st battalion and two years with the 4th, Territorial, Battalion. When he had left 10DWR has not been established. He was 43 years old, married with three children, and had been working as a labourer before re-joining the army. Pte. Mitchell Dunn, serving with 17th Yorks. and Lancs. was transferred to 30th Labour Company, Labour Corps. He had been an original member of 10DWR, but the date and circumstances of his leaving the battalion are unknown. He was 22 years old and originally from Beckwithshaw; he had been working as a grocer’s apprentice before joining up.

    A payment of £8 12s was authorised, being the amount outstanding in pay and allowances to the late Pte. George Gelling (see 24th January); the payment would go to his widow, Julia.

    Eastern Front:

    Russia: Petrograd Soviet proclamation appeals for end to fraternization. At STAVKA C-in-Cs discuss resigning en masse, decide to visit Petrograd.
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    After the Russian revolution, the fraternities between German and Russian soldiers, who believed that the war had now come to an end, happens along the Eastern front

    Southern Front:

    Isonzo: Italian Gonzia Command and Third Army (28 divisions) vs Austrian Fifth Army (11 divisions). Italians attack at noon with main thrust north of Gorizia east of Plava, capturing Hill 383, and Zagora and Mt Santo. East of Gorizia Messina Brigade takes Hills 174 and 126 but forced out by heavy counter-attacks. Badoglio promoted Lieutenant-General (confirmed August 23).

    Serbia:
    Serb Sumadija Division captures 2 spurs a mile from Mt Dobropolje

    Naval Operations:

    British Naval forces destroy Zeppelin L.22 in the North Sea.

    Sir John Jellicoe to be Chief of Naval Staff, Sir E. Geddes Controller.

    SM U-59 sunk.The type U 57 submarine struck a mine and sank in the North Sea with the loss of 33 of her 37 man.

    Shipping Losses: 8 (1 to a mine & 7 to U-Boat action)


    The fishing trawler Bel Lily (skipper Amos Smith) strikes a mine and is sunk one and a half miles northeast from Peterhead. Ten are killed including the skipper.

    Political:


    King George tours industrial centres in the North.

    British labour unrest; engineers on strike, ditto omnibuses in London, weavers in north threaten strike.

    Anniversary Events:

    1264 King Henry III is captured by his brother-in-law, Simon de Montfort, at the Battle of Lewes.
    1509 At the Battle of Agnadello, the French defeat the Venitians in Northern Italy.
    1610 French King Henri IV (Henri de Navarre) is assassinated by François Ravaillac, a fanatical monk.
    1796 English physician Edward Jenner gives the first successful smallpox vaccination.
    1804 Explorer William Clark sets off from St. Louis, Missouri.
    1853 Gail Borden applies for a patent for condensed milk.
    1863 Union General Nathanial Banks heads towards Port Hudson along the Mississippi River.
    1897 Guglielmo Marconi sends the first communication by wireless telegraph.
    1897 "Stars and Stripes Forever" by John Phillip Sousa is performed for the first time in Philadelphia.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  20. #2420

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    Like the photo of the Curtiss H12. Not seen that one before, Guess I need to research this aircraft properly - looks great. Thanks once again for the post Neil. Cheers, Mike

  21. #2421

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    Joseph Watt, VC (25 June 1887 – 13 February 1955) was a Scottish recipient of the VC, He achieved the award during service in the Strait of Otranto and as a result of his meritorious service also received the French Croix de Guerre and the Italian Silver Medal for Military Valour.

    Joseph Watt was born in 1887 in the Scottish fishing village of Gardenstown on the Moray Firth, into the large family of Joseph Sr. and Helen Watt. His father was a fisherman of many years service and his mother was also employed in the fish industry. At age ten his father was lost at sea in an accident, and the family moved to Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire where his mother remarried. He learned the fishing trade from an early age and served aboard the White Daisy before purchasing a stake in the drifter Annie.

    The war changed life in the community as most of the menfolk volunteered for service with the Royal Navy on the patrol service, hunting for enemy shipping and submarines, often in small drifters and trawlers similar to the ones they sailed in every day. Joe was no exception, being rated a skipper in the patrol service, and marrying Jesse Ann Noble in the days before his posting overseas. Transferred to Italy in 1915, Watt served on drifters in the Adritatic Sea, enduring boring patrol work keeping Austrian submarines from breaking into the Mediterranean Sea. During this time he was highly commended, for his role in the operation to evacuate the remnants of the Serbian Army following their defeat & retreat to Albania in January 1916 for which he was later awarded the Serbian Gold Medal for Good Service.

    Shortly before Christmas 1916, Watt's drifter, HM Drifter Gowanlea was attacked by an Austrian destroyer sortie, which was attempting to break the line of drifters and allow submarines to escape into the Mediterranean. Although hit several times by shellfire, the drifter was not seriously damaged and the crew unhurt. It was however a mild precursor to a major raid planned against the Otranto Barrage as the drifter line was now called.

    On 15 May 1917 Skipper Watt and his crew of eight men and a dog were patrolling peacefully in the Otranto Strait on the lookout for any suspicious activity following an increase in submarine sightings. Unbeknownst to the allied line, the Austrians had planned a major operation against the barrage, utilising the Rapidkreuzers SMS Saida, Helgoland & Novara under Admiral Miklos Horthy with two destroyers and three submarines. These ships fell upon the drifter line during the night and sank 14 trawlers and drifters which were helpless to reply, as well as two destroyers.

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    The SMS Novara following the battle of the Otranto Straits

    Gowanlea was confronted by the Helgoland, which demanded the surrender of the tiny ship and ordered the crew to abandon ship prior to sinking. Instead, Watt ordered his crew to open fire on their large opponent with the drifter’s tiny 6-pounder guns. Gowanlea was quickly hit by four heavy shells, seriously damaging the boat and wounding several crewmen. The other drifters around Gowanlea followed her example but were also subject to heavy fire, three sinking and the last lurching away seriously damaged. The Austrian cruisers headed for home but were engaged on their return by British, Italian and French units and became involved in the inconclusive Battle of the Otranto Barrage.

    For Watt and the survivors on their battered boats and in the water the fight now was with the sea, as Gowanlea, despite her own heavy damage and casualties moved amongst the wreckage, rescuing wounded men and providing medical attention to those in most need. In particular Watt saved the wounded crew of the sinking drifter Floandi who otherwise may have drowned.

    There was some dispute at the time as to whether the award of the Victoria Cross was appropriate given the defeat suffered by the barrage despite the resistance against overwhelming odds In the event, Watt was the only recipient of the men put forward from the drifter crews although several other men were given the CGM or the DSM, including three from Gowanlea's crew.

    Watt was characteristically uncomfortable with his award, commenting on a request for an interview postwar with the words "There has been too much said already and it should get a rest . . . I'm ashamed to read the exaggerations which have been printed". He was moved from drifters shortly after the action, becoming sick and spending the remainder of the year in hospital in Malta before being brought home to receive his award at Buckingham Palace and serve on light duties as a Chief Skipper.

    Admiralty, 29 August 1917

    HONOURS FOR SERVICE IN THE ACTION IN THE STRAITS OF OTRANTO ON THE 15TH OF MAY, 1917

    The King has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned officer:-
    Skipper Joseph Watt, R.N.R., 1206 W.S.A. For most conspicuous gallantry when the Allied Drifter Line in the straits of Otranto was attacked by Austrian light cruisers on the morning of the 15 May 1917.

    When hailed by an Austrian cruiser at about 100 yards range and ordered to stop and abandon his drifter "Gowan Lea", Skipper Watt ordered full speed ahead and called upon his crew to give three cheers and fight to the finish. The cruiser was then engaged, but after one round had been fired, a shot from the enemy disabled the breech of the drifter's gun. The gun's crew, however, stuck to the gun, endeavouring to make it work, being under heavy fire all the time. After the cruiser had passed on Skipper Watt took the "Gowan Lea" alongside the badly damaged drifter "Floandi" and assisted to remove the dead and wounded.

    Third Supplement to the London Gazette of Tuesday, 28 August 1917

    Joe Watt returned to Fraserburgh after the war and refused point blank to ever speak of his war experience again, even to his wife. His boat Annie had been lost in the war to a sea mine, and so he bought Benachie as a replacement, on board which he once forgot to remove his cap on meeting the Duke of Kent, an omission which mortified him for years afterwards. He served on several other fishing vessels over the next twenty years before joining the Navy again as a drifter captain to serve in WW2, which he spent on uneventful duties in home waters accompanied by his son who had been wounded serving with the Gordon Highlanders and invalided out of the army. He was on occasion heard to complain that he had been refused foreign service due to his age, which he seemed to feel should be an advantage rather than a hindrance.

    Joe Watt died of cancer at home in 1955 and was buried alongside his wife and in-laws at Kirktown Cemetery in Fraserburgh. His passing was remarked on by a local politician who visited him and said of the experience that "He had wonderful faith and courage".

    Watt, who always shunned the fame generated by his award, kept the medal in a drawer full of junk on board his boat. Many of the locals who requested to see the medal were surprised to see it being kept in such a place. His VC medal was placed in auction in April 2012 but can now be seen at the Imperial War Museum, London.

    Today we lost: 715

    Air Operations:

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 2

    Capt Curphey, W.G.S. (William George Sellar "Growler"), 32 Squadron, RFC. Died of Wounds aged 21. He had been Wounded in Action 14 May 1917 near Cagnicourt.

    2Lt Reeve, C.F. (Charles Frederick), 2 Squadron,RFC. Died of Wounds at 33rd Casualty Clearing Station aged 21.

    Claims: 5 confirmed (Entente 1: Central Powers 4)

    Flavio Baracchini u/c
    Orazio Pierozi u/c
    Juri Gilsher #3rd confirmed victory.

    Juluis Arigi #12th confirmed victory.
    Adolf Heyrowsky #9th confirmed victory.
    Joachim von Bertab #5th confirmed victory

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    Oblt zur See Friedrich Christiansen claims his 1st confirmed victory with SFL 1, shooting down a Sopwith Pup. NFDK.
    Western Front

    France: NIVELLE DISMISSED AND REPLACED BY PETAIN
    (who assumes command on May 17). FOCH APPOINTED COGS in Paris.
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    Petain

    Artois:
    Heavy fighting round Bullecourt (British secure May 17, advance northeast on May 19).

    Aisne:
    Heavy fighting on Chemin des Dames.

    Meuse:
    French trench raids in the Woevre and in Lorraine.

    Tunstills Men Tuesday 15th May 1917:


    Scottish Camp, south-west of Brandhoek

    Large working parties were again provided for the Royal Engineers on another very warm day.

    L.Cpl. Jonathan Richardson Sunderland (see 26th January) was promoted Corporal.

    Pte. Harry Robinson (see 10th May), following treatment for boils, was transferred from 70th Field Ambulance to 23rd Divisional Rest Station.

    Pte. Harold Dale (see 5th May) was transferred from no.7 Convalescent Depot at Boulogne to no.10 Convalescent Depot, a few miles south at Ecault.

    The mother of Capt. John Atkinson (see 23rd March), who had recently been declared unfit for further service overseas, wrote to the War Office, requesting a gratuity on behalf of her son.

    Dear Sir
    I wish to claim a gratuity for my son, Capt. John Atkinson, 10th West Riding Regiment, now attached 3rd Reserve Battalion in North Shields. My son joined the Army immediately on the outbreak of war in 1914 leaving a good position, although married, to do so and proceeded with his Regiment to France in August 1915. While in France he commanded a Company. He was slightly wounded in the forearm and blown up by a shell which left him unconscious for several hours; he still remained at duty although urged repeatedly to return. In September he contracted trench fever, a complaint much more serious in my opinion than most wounds. This fever has completely wrecked his whole system and he has been to considerable expense with various doctors. When my son returned home from hospital I had him examined by my own doctor who found his heart considerably enlarged. This I have no doubt was due to trench fever. In conclusion I wish to state that I have had three sons fighting in this war, one of whom was killed in Gallipoli. My son, Captain Atkinson, does not know that I have written to you on his behalf, he informed me that gratuities were not admissible for sickness but only in cases of wounds but I think in this instance a gratuity is justified.

    Eastern Front:

    Indecisive fighting in Casin valley sector.

    Unsuccessful Russian attack in neighbourhood of Fundeni.

    Southern Front:

    Isonzo: Badoglio’s II Corps storms Mt Kuk (2004 ft) and Vodice ridge. Italians claim 4,021 PoWs so far, Austrians 2,000 on Carso.

    Salonika:
    British 10th and 28th divisions capture 3 villages in 3 1/2 mile advance east of Struma on 9-mile front (until May 16), taking 89 PoWs from Bulgar 7th Div, but prepare to withdraw to summer line from May 26.


    Naval Operations:


    Brindisi:
    Rear-Admiral Bolio superseded.

    Otranto Barrage restricted to daylight use.

    An Austrian naval force of three light cruisers and two destroyers is directed against the ill-defended Allied anti-submarine trawlers which comprise the Otranto Barrage in the Adriatic. The three cruisers proceed to sail along the barrage at 03:30 sink fourteen trawlers in the space of two hours, having first given their hopelessly out gunned crews an opportunity to take to their escape craft. In addition to the trawlers Admirable, Avondale, Corel Haven, Craginoon, Felicitas, Girl Gracie, Girl Rose, Helemora, Quarry Knowe, Selby, Serene, Taits, Transit (Skipper George Ross RNR age 40 killed) and Young Linnett who are sunk many others are severely damaged. A combined British, French and Italian flotilla is dispatched from Brindisi in an attempt to cut off the enemy as they retire. The Allied force includes two British Town Cruisers, Dartmouth and Bristol, together with four Italian destroyers and the Aquila, the flotilla leader. Catching up with the Austrians at 07:45 the enemy is still able to escape due to poor Allied tactics. Aquila is disabled by Austrian fire and due to lack of speed Bristol ends her chase. Eventually Dartmouth and her escorting destroyers end their pursuit as they detect smoke approaching to reinforce the Austrians. While returning Dartmouth is severely damaged by a torpedo fired by German U-boat UC-25 (Austrian U-89) and one of its accompanying destroyers is sunk by a mine. · Commander Robert Gerald Fane (HMS Dartmouth) is killed at age 35. His brother will be killed in August 1918.

    Shipping Losses: 26 (1 to friendly collision, 16 to surface action & 9 to U-Boat action)


    Anniversary Events:

    756 Abd-al-Rahman is proclaimed emir of Cordoba, Spain.
    1213 King John submits to the Pope, offering to make England and Ireland papal fiefs. Pope Innocent III lifts the interdict of 1208.
    1602 English navigator Bartholomew Gosnold discovers Cape Cod.
    1614 An aristocratic uprising in France ends with the Treaty of St. Menehould.
    1618 Johannes Kepler discovers his harmonics law.
    1702 The War of Spanish Succession begins.
    1730 Following the resignation of Lord Townshend, Robert Walpole becomes the sole minister in the English cabinet.
    1768 By the Treaty of Versailles, France purchases Corsica from Genoa.
    1795 Napoleon enters the Lombardian capital of Milan in triumph.
    1820 The U.S. Congress designates the slave trade a form of piracy.
    1849 Neapolitan troops enter Palermo, Sicily.
    1862 The Union ironclad Monitor and the gunboat Galena fire on Confederate troops at the Battle of Drewry’s Bluff, Virginia.
    1864 At the Battle of New Market, Virginia Military Institute cadets repel a Union attack.
    1886 Emily ****inson dies in Amherst, Mass., where she had lived in seclusion for the previous 24 years.
    1916 U.S. Marines land in Santo Domingo to quell civil disorder.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  22. #2422

  23. #2423

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    Nice one Neil - thanks! Mike

  24. #2424

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    Wednesday 16th May 1917
    Today we lost: 717

    Air Operations:


    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 4


    2Lt Cox, H.H. (Henry Hays), RFC. Killed in action aged 26. NFDK.

    A Mech 3 Jones, J.H. (James Harold), Depot, RFC, aged 25. NFDK.

    2Lt Lucas, A.J. (Albert James), 66 Squadron, RFC. Died of wounds aged 22.

    A Mech 1 Thompson, H. (Horace), HMS Monica, RNAS. Died of heatstroke.

    Claims: 1

    Lt Gustav Frädrich claims his 1st confirmed victory with FA 30, shooting down a Farman south of Huxa. NFDK.

    Home Fronts:


    Russia: Trotsky arrives in Petrograd
    (from April 3 internment in Canada). Cabinet reshuffle admits 6 Petrograd Soviet Menshevik members.

    USA:
    Aircraft Production Board set up.

    Western Front


    Enemy attacks on Gavrelle, north of River Scarpe, fail with heavy losses.

    British hold on "Siegfried" line, north-east of Bullecourt, extended.

    French make appreciable advance east of Craonne.

    End of Battle of Arras. BEF has regained 61 sq miles, takes 20,834 POW and 252 guns in 38 days.

    Tunstills Men Wednesday 16th May 1917:


    Scottish Camp, south-west of Brandhoek

    A much colder day, especially in the morning. More large working parties were provided for the Royal Engineers. Orders were issued for the Brigade to relieve 68th Brigade in the trenches in the Hill 60 sector, with the relief to take place overnight 17th/18th. 10DWR would take over the right sector, with 8th and 9th Yorks to their left and 11th West Yorks in reserve.

    Pte. Patrick Sweeney (see 8th April) went missing from a bathing party at 1.30am, as attested to by Sgt. Richard Everson (see below), Cpl. George Wallace Fricker (see 31st March) and L.Cpl. Horace Dunn (see 5th May).

    Richard Everson was an original member of the Battalion and originally from Leeds but had enlisted in Shipley, aged 18. He was one of six children of **** and Ann Everson. It is unclear when he had been promoted, although he was still a Private when the Battalion had left for France in August 1915.

    Cpl. John Stewart (see 7th May) was admitted to 71st Field Ambulance, suffering from ‘Pyrexia, NYD’ (high temperature, not yet diagnosed).

    Pte. James Wilson (see 19th April), who had been transferred to the ASC as a lorry driver with the Motor Transport Section in October 1915, and had recently been under treatment for dysentery at Addington Park War Hospital, Croydon, was transferred to D Division dysentery convalescent hospital, Barton, New Milton, Hants.

    Richard Dury, father of the late Pte.Albert Edward Dury (see 27th February) who had been killed at Le Sars in October 1916, died.

    Eastern Front:

    Russia: Kerensky War Minister; he is visited at Petrograd by all the C-in-Cs.

    Austria:
    CoS Arz (to Czernin) believes Russian Army collapse will obviate need for armistice talks.

    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    General Van Deventer succeeds General Hoskins in East Africa.

    Naval Operations:


    SMS S17, Kaiserliche Marine, a VI class destroyer, struck a mine and sank in the north sea with the loss of 25 of her crew.

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    A VI class destroyer.

    Adriatic:
    Austrian U-5 mined and sunk off Pola but raised and reused.

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


    French S.S. "Sontay" torpedoed in Mediterranean, 45 lost.

    The steamship Highland Corrie is torpedoed and sunk by UB-40 in the English Channel.

    ·
    Temporary Surgeon Archibald McKerrow Russell (HMS Macedonia) is killed while in transit.

    Political:


    M. Kerenski succeeds General Guchkov as Russian Minister for War (see March 15th and November 8th).

    M. Tereshchenko succeeds M. Milyukov as Russian Foreign minister (see March 15th and November 8th).

    Anniversary Events:

    1770 Marie Antoinette marries future King Louis XVI of France.
    1863 At the Battle of Champion’s Hill, Union General Ulysess S. Grant repulses the Confederates, driving them into Vicksburg.
    1868 PresidentAndrew Jackson is acquitted during Senate impeachment, by one vote, cast by Edmund G. Ross.
    1879 The Treaty of Gandamak between Russia and England sets up the Afghan state.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 05-16-2017 at 13:04.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  25. #2425

  26. #2426

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    Thursday 17th May 1917
    Today we lost: 471

    Air Operations:


    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 4


    A Mech 3 Davis, F.W. (Frederick William), Recruits Depot, RFC. Died of bronchitis aged 32.

    Lt Fuller, L.A. (Leonard Arthur), 11 Squadron, RFC. Killed in Action aged 25. Shot in the head flying over enemy lines at Arras.

    Sgt Roberts, W.B. (William B.), Egyptian Expeditionary Force, RFC. NFDK.

    A Mech 2 Townsend, G.R. (George Robert), Reserve Depot, RFC, aged 18. NFDK.

    Claims: 6 (Entente 5: Central Powers 1)

    Pavel Argeyev #4th confirmed victory.
    George Kemp #3rd & #4th confirmed victories.
    Aleksandr Kozakov #8th confirmed victory.
    Vladimir Strizhesky #5th confirmed victory.

    Leopold Anslinger #7th confirmed victory.

    Western Front

    British complete capture of Bullecourt.

    King of Belgians visits the Somme, Ancre and Arras battlefields.

    Tunstills Men Thursday 17th May 1917:

    Scottish Camp, south-west of Brandhoek
    The weather remained cold and there was rain throughout the day. Large working parties were again provided overnight. The relief planned to take place overnight (see 16th May) was postponed for 24 hours. This may have been due to an intensive German bombardment which was noted in the War Diary of the 11th Northumberland Fusiliers.

    Pte. Patrick Sweeney (see 16th May), who had been absent without leave since 1.30am the previous day, returned at 8.30pm.

    Pte. Harry Robinson (see 15th May) was discharged to duty from 23rd Divisional Rest Station.

    Pte. Albert Saville (see 7th March) was transferred from 83rd Training Reserve Battalion at Gateshead to 298th Labour Company, based at Ripon.

    A/Sgt. Harry Smith (see 3rd August 1916) was discharged from the Army with the award of the Silver War Badge as a result of wounds received on the Somme in the Summer of 1916. He had been one of Tunstill’s recruits from Waddington but I am, as yet, unable to make a positive identification beyond this.

    2Lt. Stanley Belshaw, 2DWR, wrote to his family from a prison camp at Karlsruhe to reassure them that he was alive and well. He had been taken prisoner during the assault on the Chemical Works at Fampoux in which Capt. George Reginald Charles Heale MC (see 9th May) had been reported wounded and missing. As well as telling his family about the circumstances of his own capture, Belshaw also confirmed that Heale “had his leg practically blown off and bled to death”. Heale’s remains were never recovered and he is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial.


    A payment of £11 2s 6d was authorised, being the amount outstanding in pay and allowances to the late Pte. William Holdsworth (see 1st February); the payment would go to his widow, Elizabeth.



    Eastern Front:

    Intense enemy fire on Russian trenches near Kukhary (Kovel).

    Southern Front:

    Italians, supported by British heavy artillery, stick to M. Kuk, Vodice, and M. Santo.

    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    Kurds attack Russian rear near Khanikan.

    Mesopotamian Commission's report presented.

    Naval Operations:


    The British Admiralty, following on a Cabinet decision, appoint a Committee, in conjunction with the Ministry of Shipping, to draw up a plan to convoy merchant ships (see June 14th and July 2nd).

    The Q-Ship schooner HMS Glen (Lieutenant Richard James Turnbull, RNR) sinks the German submarine UB-39 off the Needles.

    Shipping Losses: 13 (1 to a mine, 1 to a collision, 2 to surface action & 9 to U-Boat action)


    Political:


    Annual meetings of Imperial Cabinet announced.

    Herr Zimmermann on "Kadaververwaltungsanstalten".

    Honduras severs diplomatic relations with Germany.

    U.S.A. Minister in Belgium issues damning report on German deportations.

    Anniversary Events:

    1540 Afghan chief Sher Khan defeats Mongul Emperor Humayun at Kanauj.
    1630 Italian Jesuit Niccolo Zucchi sees the belts on Jupiter's surface.
    1681 Louis XIV sends an expedition to aid James II in Ireland. As a result, England declares war on France.
    1756 Britain declares war on France.
    1792 Merchants form the New York Stock Exchange at 70 Wall Street.
    1814 Denmark cedes Norway to Sweden.
    1863 Union General Ulysses Grant continues his push towards Vicksburg at the Battle of the Big Black River Bridge.
    1875 The first Kentucky Derby is run in Louisville.
    1881 Frederick Douglass is appointed recorder of deeds for Washington, D.C.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 05-17-2017 at 14:02.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  27. #2427

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    Thanks Neil.
    I have had trouble with that dispatch rider myself. Something about magneto trouble he told me last time.
    Kyte.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  28. #2428

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Officer Kyte View Post
    I have had trouble with that dispatch rider myself. Something about magneto trouble he told me last time.
    Kyte.
    Get "Professor X" onto it.............

  29. #2429

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Helmut View Post
    Get "Professor X" onto it.............
    Ha ha! Tim. Glad to see you are back to your usual level of jokes.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  30. #2430

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    Dispatch rider in post amended. Dispatch rider was riding one of these contraptions, he says they are excellent in mud, snow and difficult terrain like shell craters!

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

  31. #2431

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    Friday 18th May 1917
    Today we lost: 428

    Air Operations:


    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 8


    2Lt Cole, M.G. (Maxwell Gerard), 1 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action, whilst strafing balloons, aged 18.

    Lt Drummond, L. (Lindsay), 1 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action, aged 24. NFDK.

    2Lt Grandin, R.J. (Richard John), 60 Squadron, RFC. Killed in Action when his Nieuport fell to bits while diving at enemy aircraft.

    2Lt Howard, E.S. (Eric Stanley), 60 Squadron, RFC. Killed in Action , aged 23. NFDK.

    Lt Mackay, A.G. (Arthur Gordon), 12 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action near Arras, aged 21.

    A Mech 1 Robinson, R.W. (Robert William), 55 Squadron, RFC. Died of wounds aged 21.

    2 Lt Strachan, B. (Benjamin), 12 Squadron, RFC. Killed in aerial combat aged 28.

    2Lt Waller, J.R. (John Raymond), RFC. Died of accidental injuries aged 22.

    Claims: (Entente 5: Central Powers 2)

    George Kemp #5th confirmed victory.
    Robert Little #17th & #18th confirmed victories.
    Rene Montrion #2nd confirmed victory.
    Luigi Olivari #5th confirmed victory.

    Karl Allmenroder #15th confirmed victory.
    Karl Schafer #27th confirmed victory.

    Western Front

    Artillery activity near Fresnoy.

    Germans concentrate on California Plateau, Chemin des Dames; slight attacks repulsed.

    Tunstills Men Friday 18th May 1917:

    Scottish Camp, south-west of Brandhoek

    There was an improvement in the weather, which again became fine and bright. Lt. Col. Robert Raymer (see 8th May) was taken ill and admitted to hospital. Maj. Charles Bathurst (see 7th April) took temporary command of the Battalion, with Capt. James Christopher Bull (see 4th May) as second-in-command.

    In the evening the Battalion moved up to the front line, relieving 10th Northumberland Fusiliers in the same positions that they had held a month earlier (see 14th April) in the front line trenches in the Hill 60 sub-sector, opposite the Caterpillar, south of the railway cutting. The relief was a difficult one as, from 6.15pm the Germans bombarded the sector, and especially the point known as SP9 (I.28.a.6.4) with guns of calibres up to and including 21cw. Several dugouts were blown in. The relief finally began but was delayed owing to the late arrival of the Lewis gun sections and was not finally completed until 2.30am (19th May). On arrival, two Companies, ‘B’ and ‘D’ went into the front line from the railway cutting south west to I.34.b.7.8. ‘C’ Company was in close support in the sunken road at I.28.d.3.3 and ‘A’ Company was held in reserve at SP9 (I.28.a.6.4).

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    Pte. Patrick Sweeney (see 17th May), who had been absent without leave for more than 40 hours before returning to duty the previous day, was awarded 14 days’ Field Punishment no.1.

    Lt. Paul James Sainsbury (see 28th April) who had been in an officer’s convalescent hospital following an operation to remove his appendix, resumed light duties with 3DWR at North Shields.

    The weekly edition of the Craven Herald carried news of Cpl. Fred Swale (see 2nd May), who had returned to England to begin his officer training.

    AUSTWICK

    COMMISSION FOR LOCAL SOLDIER

    Corporal Fred Swale, younger son of the late Mr. N.S. Swale, Main Street, has been offered and accepted a commission. He is at present at home on a month’s leave prior to entering into training. He joined the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment at Settle in September 1914, and went to France the following year, where he has been up to the present time. Corporal Swale is one of few left of Captain Tunstill’s hundred.

    There was also news in the West Yorkshire Pioneer of Johnny Bradley (see 7th June 1915), younger brother of Pte. Willie Bradley (see 22nd October 1916).

    COWLING

    WOUNDED SOLDIERS

    Pte. Johnny Bradley of the West Riding Regiment has been wounded whilst fighting with the Army in France. He is at present in the Leeds General Infirmary, and is suffering from a shrapnel bullet wound in the left arm. Pte. Bradley, who has two brothers serving in France, enlisted in June 1915 and has visited France on two occasions, in addition to a short spell of service with the forces in Ireland.

    Southern Front:

    Italians extend their hold on Vodice and Hill 652.

    Naval Operations:


    Shipping Losses: 13 (4 to mines & 9 to U-Boat action)


    Political:


    The Duma urges loyalty to Allies on Provisional Government.

    U.S.A. Congress passes Army Bill: 500,000 to be mustered in September.

    Unit of U.S.A. Medical Corps reaches England.

    Anniversary Events:

    526 St. John I ends his reign as Catholic Pope.
    1643 Queen Anne, the widow of Louis XIII, is granted sole and absolute power as regent by the Paris parliament, overriding the late king's will.
    1652 A law is passed in Rhode Island banning slavery in the colonies but it causes little stir and seems unlikely to be enforced.
    1792 Russian troops invade Poland.
    1802 Britain declares war on France.
    1804 Napoleon Bonaparte becomes the Emperor of France.
    1828 The Battle of Las Piedras, between Uruguay and Brazil, ends.
    1860 Abraham Lincoln is nominated for president.
    1864 The fighting at Spotsylvania in Virginia, reaches its peak at the Bloody Angle.
    1896 The Supreme Court's decision on Plessy v. Ferguson upholds the "separate but equal" policy in the United States.
    1904 Brigand Raisuli kidnaps American Ion H. Perdicaris in Morocco.
    1917 The U.S. Congress passes the Selective Service act, calling up soldiers to fight World War 1.

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

  32. #2432

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skafloc View Post

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    He has the bike of a Lady. My Lord.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  33. #2433

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Officer Kyte View Post
    He has the bike of a Lady. My Lord.
    'tis x-rated after all.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  34. #2434

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    Albert White VC (1 December 1892 in Liverpool – 19 May 1917) was 24 years old, and a sergeant in the 2nd Battalion, The South Wales Borderers, when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
    On 19 May 1917 at Monchy-le-Preux, France, Sergeant White, realising during an attack that one of the enemy's machine-guns, which had previously not been located, would hold up the whole advance of his company, dashed ahead to capture the gun. When within a few yards of it, he fell riddled with bullets, having willingly sacrificed his life in an attempt to secure the success of the operation

    Today we lost: 593


    Air Operations:

    The United States adopts an official national insignia for U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps aircraft for the first time, a white star centered in a blue circle with a red disc centered within the star. Except for an 18-month interruption in 1918-1919, the marking will remain in use until June 1942.

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 14


    Sgt Abrahams, C.J. (Clarence John), 23 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action. NFDK.

    Capt Annersley, J.F.S.J. (James Ferguson St John), 25 Reserve Squadron, RFC. Killed whilst flying aged 52.

    Flt S-Lt Bowman, G.G. (Geoffrey Glendinning), 1 (N) Squadron, RNAS. Killed in Action aged 19, Sopwith Triplane N5461 was attacked by three enemy aircraft, shot down in flames by Oblt Ritter Adolf Von Tutschek, Jasta 12, 08.00hrs,Eterpigny – Dury.

    Flt S-Lt Ellis, O.B. (Oliver Bernard), 1 (N) Squadron, RNAS. Killed in Action aged 18. Downed in flames north of Arleux.

    2Lt Fidler, C.W. (Canel Watt), 6th Balloon Coy, RFC. Died of wounds.

    2Lt Goodban, M.S. (Montague Sidney), 22 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action. NFDK.

    Capt Hall, W.T. (William Teasdale), 24 Squadron, RFC. Killed whilst flying aged 24. Crashed. NFDK.

    Pte Johnston, J., 43 Squadron, RFC, aged 23. NFDK.

    2Lt Kidder, M.E. (Milton Elroy), RFC. Killed. NFDK.

    A Mech 1 Lecomber, E.C. (Edward Charles), HMS President II, RNAS. Died of sickness aged 26.

    Maj Mills, G.D. (Gerald Desmond), 19 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action, aged 26, crashed.

    2Lt Nicholson, G.A. (Geoffrey Arnold), RFC. Accidently killed whilst flying.

    2Lt Thompson, J.G. (Jonah George), RFC. Killed whilst flying aged 27.

    2Lt Ward, P.H.B. (Percival Harry Banister), 22 Squadron, RFC. Killed in aerial combat at Gouzeaucourt aged 22.

    Claims: 12 confirmed (Entente 8 : Central Powers 4)

    Captain William Jameson Cairnes claims his 1st & 2nd confirmed victories with 19 Squadron. Flying a Spad he shot down an Albatros C type east of Croisillies & an Albatros DIII north of Vitry. The son of William P. Cairnes of Stameen, Drogheda, William Jameson Cairnes was educated at Rugby and Cambridge. An infantry officer with the Leinster Regiment, he joined the Royal Flying Corps in Egypt and became a Flying Officer on 6 November 1916. He was promoted to Captain on 20 December 1916. After scoring 4 victories with 19 Squadron, Cairnes was appointed Flight Commander on 1 February 1918. In the spring of 1918, he scored 2 more victories with 74 Squadron before he was killed in action, NE of Estaires. His SE5 was shot down by Paul Billik of Jasta 52. Ira Jones witnessed the event and reported Cairnes' plane went down after losing a wing.


    Wiliam Charles Campbell #2nd confirmed victory.
    Roderick Dallas #17th confirmed victory.
    William Fry #4th confirmed victory.
    Thomas Gerrard #6th confirmed victory.
    George Kemp #6th confirmed victory.
    Richard Minifie #4th confirmed victory.

    Karl Allmenroder #16th confirmed victory.
    Fritz Bernert u/c.

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    Lt Gisbert-Wilhelm Groos claims his 1st confirmed victory with Jasta 4, shooting down a Sopwith Triplane near Droucourt. Groos was wounded in action on 14 September 1917.

    Julius Schmidt #3rd confirmed victory.
    Adolf von Tutschek #9th confirmed victory.

    Western Front


    British push forward beyond Bullecourt.


    Fighting about Chemin des Dames, hostile attack on La Bovelle repulsed.


    Tunstills Men Saturday 19th May 1917:


    Trenches in the Hill 60 sub-sector, opposite the Caterpillar


    The weather again became very warm. There was heavy shelling throughout the day by both sides. The Battalion War Diary reported simply that, “Much work was done during this tour to improve the trenches and large ammunition, bomb, rations and water stores were formed in view of impending offensive. Owing to enemy retaliation for our heavy bombardments, the Battalion suffered casualties”.

    Although no specific mention is made in the War Diary, the first of these casualties were incurred on the first day, with two men killed. Pte. Richard Field (see 11th January), who had only been with the Battalion for four months, and Pte. Thomas Kay (see 7th May) were both buried at Railway Dugouts Burial Ground. Among those wounded was Pte. Walter Pedley (see 16th January); he suffered shrapnel wounds to his head, right arm and left leg and was admitted to 3rd Canadian Casualty Clearing Station before being transferred to 4th London Field Ambulance and finally to 13th General Hospital at Boulogne. Pte. Ernest Needham (see 5th February) suffered relatively minor facial wounds; he was treated at 69th and 71st Field Ambulance but would return to light duty with the battalion within a week. Pte. Henry Marshall (see 8th April) was also wounded by a shell concussion but was treated locally and remained with the battalion. The Divisional Trench Mortar Battery fired 26 rounds in total, “in retaliation for 3 heavy trench mortars and 2 rifle grenades”.

    Maj. Robert Harwar Gill (see 19th May) who had been in charge of 69th Brigade School on secondment from 10DWR was transferred to become second-in-command, 11th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers.

    Pte. Patrick Sweeney (see 18th May), who, the previous day, had been awarded 14 days’ Field Punishment no.1, having been absent without leave, was admitted to 71st Field Ambulance, suffering from pyrexia NYD (raised temperature; not yet diagnosed).

    The weekly edition of the Keighley News reported news of the wounding of Pte. Gilbert Bell (see 24th April) who had originally served with 10DWR but had been posted to 9DWR after suffering shellshock on the Somme in July 1916.

    “Mrs. A. Bell, of 76 Chip Hill, Bogthorn, Keighley, has been notified by the Infantry Record Office, that her son, Private Gilbert Bell, of the West Riding Regiment, was wounded on April 25th. He joined the forces at the commencement of hostilities, and had been at the front a considerable period”.

    Eastern Front:

    Russian Army at the front remains passive.

    Southern Front:

    Austrians fail to recover heights north of Gorizia; their surprise attack at night on Vodice collapses.

    Naval Operations:


    The Q-Ship schooner HMS Mary B Mitchell (Lieutenant Lawrie) sinks the German submarine UB-36 near Ushant.

    Shipping Losses: 11 (all to U-Boat action, 6 alone to SM UC-58)


    Among the merchant ships sunk today is SS Caspian (Master Arthur Douse) which is torpedoed in the Mediterranean Sea three and a half miles east from Cape Cervera, Spain by U-34. A total of 25 are lost including her master who is killed at age 54. Dana, sailing vessel and Mientji, sailing vessel are both captured by a submarine and sunk by bombs 25 miles north from Les Hanois. Also SS Tycho is torpedoed by UB-40 16 miles west by south from Beachy Head. As she begins to go down by the head the order to abandon ship is given at 17:10, ten minutes after the ship is struck and is carried out without casualties. The vessel goes down 10 minutes later. The crew pulls towards the ship SS Porthkerry which has seen the explosion and is standing by about 200 yards off the port beam. As the Tycho’s boats come along side another torpedo is fired by UB40 blowing up one of Tycho’s boats killing the Master and 14 men including Second Mate Ernest Carmichael who is killed at age 21. His brother died on service at home last December and capsizing the other boat. The Porthkerry is seriously damaged and abandoned going down in three minutes after being struck by the torpedo. Seven of her crew are killed including her Master. The survivors from both ships are picked up at 19:00 this evening by a small coastal steamer and will be landed at Newhaven at midnight.

    Political:

    Settlement with Amalgamated Society of Engineers agreed on.


    Nicaragua severs diplomatic relations with Germany.


    Russian Provisional Government issue declaration repudiating a separate peace.

    United States Government announce decision to send a Division of the United States Army to France at once (see June 25th).

    Anniversary

    715 St. Gregory II begins his reign as Catholic Pope.
    1535 French explorer Jacques Cartier sets sail for North America.
    1536 Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife, is beheaded on Tower Green.
    1568 Defeated by the Protestants, Mary Queen of Scots, flees to England where Queen Elizabeth imprisons her.
    1588 The Spanish Armada sets sail from Lisbon, Portugal.
    1608 The Protestant states form the Evangelical Union of Lutherans and Calvinists.
    1635 Cardinal Richelieu of France intervenes in the great conflict in Europe by declaring war on the Hapsburgs in Spain.
    1643 The French army defeats a Spanish army at Rocroi, France.
    1780 Near total darkness descends on New England at noon. No explanation is found.
    1848 Mexico ratifies the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ends the Mexican-American War. Under the treaty Mexico agrees to cede California, most of Arizona and New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado, with the Rio Grande River becoming the boundary of Texas. In return the United States agrees to pay Mexico $15 million.
    1856 Senator Charles Sumner speaks out against slavery.
    1858 A pro-slavery band led by Charles Hamilton executes unarmed Free State men near Marais des Cygnes on the Kansas- Missouri border.
    1863 Union General Ulysses S. Grant ‘s first attack on Vicksburg is repulsed.
    1864 The Union and Confederatearmies launch their last attacks against each other at Spotsylvania, Virginia.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 05-20-2017 at 00:46.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  35. #2435

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    Apologies this will be tidied up tomorrow, due to an immenent bombardment by the dastardly Hun we are having to take coverrrrrrrrr..................
    Last edited by Skafloc; 05-20-2017 at 05:32.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  36. #2436

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    drat those air raids !!! sterling work in the face of enemy bombardment old chap !!

  37. #2437

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    Yes it was a nearly midnight raid and the 'ARP Warden' was none to happy about the blackout curtain!
    See you on the Dark Side......

  38. #2438

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    Sunday 20th May 1917
    Today we lost: 589

    Air Operations:


    A flying boat of the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) destroys the first hostile submarine to be sunk by an aircraft without any form of assistance. A 'Large America' flying boat flown by Flight Sub-Lieutenant C.R. Morrish, Royal Naval Air Service, on a 'Spider Web' patrol from Felixstowe sighted and attacked the German submarine UC36 on the surface near the North Hinder Light Ship. Destruction of the submarine was confirmed in January 1919.

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 10


    2Lt Beaumont, C.L. (Charles Leslie), 29 Reserve Squadron, RFC. Accidently killed whilst flying in Norfolk with Capt J F Annesley, RAMC, aged 18.

    L/Cpl Bradley, R.I. (Rowland Irvine), 20 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action. NFDK.

    2Lt Garrett, H.T. (Hyde Tregallas), 23 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 22. NFDK.

    Flt S-Lt Haig, J.D. (James Douglas), 2 (N) Wing, HMS Ark Royal, RNAS. Killed in Action aged 18. Downed while flying over Bulgaria.

    Capt Horncastle, L.H. (Leonard Harry), 11 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 22. NFDK.

    2Lt Hudson, T.J. (Thomas James), 11 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 24. NFDK.

    2Lt Johnston, T.P. (Thomas Peacock), RFC. Killed whilst flying aged 27. NFDK.

    Sub-Lt Keightley, G. (Gordon), Mudros, Eastern Mediterranean, RNAS. Downed by enemy near Thassos.

    A Mech 2 Paton, J., RFC. NFDK.

    Sgt Rogers, J.N. (John North), RFC. Aged 22. NFDK.


    Claims: 23 confirmed. (Entente 12 : Central Powers 11)

    Francesco Baracca #12th confirmed victory. (Italy)

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    Lt Flavio Torello Baracchini, claims his 1st confirmed victory with 81 Squadrillia. Flying a Nieuport 11 he shot down an Albatros south of Marco. Flavio Torello Baracchini was wounded in action on 8 August 1917 and again on 25 June 1918. He died from burns received in a chemical lab explosion in 1928.

    Lt George Walker Blaiklock claims his 1st & 2nd confirmed victories with 45 Squadron RFC. As an observer in a Sopwith 11/2 Strutter with pilot Sgt E A Cook, he shot down 2 Albatros DIII’s near Lille. The son of George H.E. Blaiklock and brother of James Frederick Walker Blaiklock (High. L.I., Spec. Res.), George Walker Blaiklock was promoted to temporary Lieutenant on 14 February 1917, Second Lieutenant on 18 June 1917, with seniority from 21 April 1917; seconded for duty with the Royal Flying Corps on 18 June 1917; relinquished his commission and left the Royal Air Force on 31 March 1919.

    Reginald Conder #3rd confirmed victory.
    John Cowell #3rd confirmed victory.
    Reginald Hoidge #4th confirmed victory.
    Pier Piccio #2nd confirmed victory. (Italy)
    William Kennedy-Cochran-Patrick #12th confirmed victory.
    Leonard Henry Rocheford #2nd confirmed victory.

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    Maj Bruno Philip Henry de Roeper claims his 1st confirmed victory with 6N, flying a Nieuport Scout he shot down an Albatros C type north west of Bohain. Flight Sub-Lieutenant Bruno Philip Henry De Roeper received Roya Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 1379 on a Grahame-White biplane at Grahame-White school, Hendon on 1 July 1915. He was wounded in action on 25 May 1917.

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    Capt Henri Joseph Marie Hay de Slade claims his 1st confirmed victory with N86. Shooting down a DFW C type near Pontavert. A cadet at Saint Cyr in 1913, Hay de Slade transferred to aviation on 11 May 1916, earning a Pilot's Brevet in August of that year. After receiving advanced training, he was assigned to N80 on 13 December 1916. Reassigned to N86 on 16 April 1917, he scored 5 victories by the end of that year and followed this achievement with 6 more victories in the spring and summer of 1918. On 28 July 1918, Hay de Slade assumed command of Spa159, scoring 8 more victories by the end of the war.
    Heinrich Bongartz #6th & #7th confirmed victories.
    Godwin Brumowski #8th confirmed victory.
    Rudolph von Eschwege #9th confirmed victory.
    Stefan Fejes #3rd confirmed victory.
    Franz Graser #2nd confirmed victory.
    Karl Kaszala #5th confirmed victory.
    Heinrich Kroll #4th confirmed victory.
    Otto Rosenfeld 2nd confirmed victory.
    Adolf von Tutschek #10th confirmed victory.
    Franz Wognar 3rd confirmed victory.

    Western Front


    British force line near Fontaine-lez-Croisilles.

    Germans gain 200 yards north-east of Cerny. They lose 500 prisoners on Moronvilliers sector.

    End of Second Battle of the Aisne.

    Tunstills Men Sunday 20th May 1917:

    Trenches in the Hill 60 sub-sector, opposite the Caterpillar
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    The weather continued hot and sunny. Three men from the Battalion were among a draft of 20 from the Brigade who were attached to the Divisional Machine Gun Company. One of those from 10DWR was Pte. Harold Bray (see 23rd March); the other two have not yet been identified. There was further German shelling and the Divisional Trench Mortar Battery reported firing 15 rounds, “in retaliation for a few heavy trench mortars sent over near Grand Fleet Street”. A number of men were wounded; among them was Pte. Jacob Carradice Green (see 7th March) who was struck in the left thigh by a machine gun bullet and evacuated to no.10 Casualty Clearing Station at Remy Sidings, Lijssenthoek. Also wounded was Pte. John William Midgley (see 19th December 1916), who suffered wounds to his head and both legs; it is not clear where he was treated, but he would be evacuated to England a week later.

    Lt. John Edward Lennard Payne (see 21st March) was promoted Captain and again took command of ‘D’ Company, following the departure of Capt. Edgar Stanton (see 11th May).

    Pte. Tom Darwin (see 3rd May), who had recently returned to France having being wounded on the Somme in July 1916, now re-joined the Battalion. Pte. Jacob Sweeting (see 6th April) also re-joined; like Darwin he had been wounded in July 1916. Both men had been posted back to France, from 83rd Training Reserve, on 3rd May.

    Southern Front:

    Austrian attacks on the Carso beaten off.

    Naval Operations:


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


    Political:


    U.S.A. Division to start at once for France under General Pershing.

    Mr. Roosevelt's offer declined.

    Conscription bill in Canada announced and well received.

    Russian Provisional Government recognises debt of honour to Allies and repudiates peace talk.

    Serbian Government transferred from Corfu to Salonika (see February 9th, 1916 and December 9th, 1918).

    Anniversary Events:

    325 The Ecumenical council is inaugurated by Emperor Constantine in Nicea.
    1303 A peace treaty is signed between England and France.
    1347 Cola di Rienzo takes the title of tribune in Rome.
    1520 Hernando Cortes defeats Spanish troops sent against him in Mexico.
    1690 England passes the Act of Grace, forgiving followers of James II.
    1674 John Sobieski becomes Poland's first king.
    1774 Parliament passes the Coercive Acts to punish the colonists for their increasingly anti-British behavior. The acts close the port of Boston.
    1775 North Carolina becomes the first colony to declare its independence.
    1784 The Peace of Versailles ends a war between France, England, and Holland.
    1799 Napoleon Bonaparte orders a withdrawal from his siege of St. Jean d’Acre in Egypt.
    1859 A force of Austrians collide with Piedmontese cavalry at the village of Montebello, in northern Italy.
    1861 North Carolina becomes the last state to secede from the Union.
    1862 President Abraham Lincoln signs the Homestead Act, providing 250 million acres of free land to settlers in the West.
    1874 Levi Strauss begins marketing blue jeans with copper rivets.
    1902 The U.S. military occupation of Cuba ends.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 05-20-2017 at 16:01.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  39. #2439

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    Monday 21st May 1917
    Today we lost: 593

    Air Operations:


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


    Claims: 11 confirmed (Entente 5 : Central Powers 6)

    William Charles Campbell #3rd confirmed victory.
    James Hubert Ronald Green #5th confirmed victory.
    George kemp #7th confirmed victory.
    Ivan Orlov #5th confirmed victory. (Russia)
    Alexander Roulstone #3rd confirmed victory.

    Walter von Bulow-Bothkamp #14th & #15th confirmed victories.

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    Oblt Bela Macourek claims his 1st confirmed victory with Flik 23, flying a Hansa-Brandenburg CI he shot down a Spad VII near Selo. Macourek joined the Royal Hungarian Mounted Artillery Division No. 1 in 1914. After two years on the ground, he volunteered for the air service and completed observer training in December 1916. He was assigned to Flik 23 on the Isonzo front and scored his first victory flying a Hansa-Brandenburg C.I. In 1917, having completed pilot school, he joined Flik 6 on the Albanian front in October and scored two victories flying a Berg (Aviatik D.I). Macourek assumed command of Flik 1J at the end of July 1918 and after scoring two more victories, he finished the war as an ace. Post-war he flew for the Red Air Corps, became a citizen of Hungary and changed his surname to Maklary. Macourek was awarded the Hungarian Order of the Brave and, in 1931, the Gold Bravery Medal for Officers.

    Eberhard Mohnicke #2nd confirmed victory.

    Lt Theodore Quandt claims his 1st & 2nd confirmed victories with Jasta 36 shooting down 2 balloons near Bouvancourt. A Major in the Luftwaffe during World War II, Quandt was killed in combat when his ME109 was shot down over France.

    Home Fronts:


    The Imperial War Graves Commission is created to oversee the care of graves of all members of the Imperial Forces who “died from wounds inflicted, accident occurring or disease contracted, while on active service whether sea or land”.

    Western Front


    British capture "Siegfried" line from Bullecourt to one mile east of Arras (bar 2,000 yards).

    French claim great success on Moronvilliers ridge and ground held.

    Activity on California Plateau and near Craonne.

    Tunstills Men Monday 21st May 1917:


    Trenches in the Hill 60 sub-sector, opposite the Caterpillar

    Another very warm day, with artillery active on both sides throughout the day. Brig. Genl. Lambert (see 12th May) visited the Battalion’s sector, in company with temporary CO Maj. Charles Bathurst (see 18th May). The Divisional Trench Mortar Battery was again in action, firing 78 rounds, “in retaliation heavy trench mortars and rifle grenades”.

    Capt. **** Bolton (see 14th April), commanding ‘A’ Company, departed for England on ten days’ leave.

    Having spent twelve days being treated in hospital, Pte. Joe Fawcett (see 12th May) returned to duty.

    Pte. Joseph Clough (see 14th May), who had been wounded a week previously, was evacuated from no.32 Stationery Hospital at Wimereux to England for further treatment. Having arrived in England he would be transferred to Edinburgh War Hospital.

    James Wilkinson, landlord of the Coach and Horses Inn, Bolton-by-Bowland, died; he was the father of James Wilkinson jnr. (see 10th January 1916), who had been one of Tunstill’s original recruits, but had been rejected on medical grounds. James jnr.’s elder brother, Harry, was serving with the ASC.

    Southern Front:

    Severe fighting in the Travignolo Valley (Trentino); enemy penetrate and are later ejected.

    Naval Operations:


    SM U-36, Kaiserliche Marine, a Type UC II submarine was rammed and sunk in the Bay of Biscay off Ouessant by Moliere (France) with the loss of all 26 crew.

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


    Merchant ship S S Jupiter (Master John Symonds Penwill) is sunk while sailing in ballast from Dieppe to Manchester
    by submarine UB-40 fifteen miles west of Beachy Head. Nineteen are killed including the master.

    Political:


    U.S.A. Division to start at once for France under General Pershing.

    M. Albert Thomas, French Minister of Munitions, speaks with effect in Moscow.

    Debate in House of Commons on proposed Irish Convention.

    Anniversary Events:

    996 Sixteen year old Otto III is crowned the Roman Emperor.
    1471 King Henry VI is killed in the Tower of London. Edward IV takes the throne.
    1506 Christopher Columbus dies.
    1536 The Reformation is officially adopted in Geneva, Switzerland.
    1620 Present-day Martha’s Vineyard is first sighted by Captain Bartholomew Gosnold.
    1790 Paris is divided into 48 zones.
    1832 The Democratic party holds its first national convention.
    1856 Lawrence, Kansas is captured and sacked by pro-slavery forces.
    1863 The siege of the Confederate Port Hudson, Louisiana, begins.
    1881 The American Red Cross is founded by Clara Barton.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  40. #2440

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    I now hand over to Chris for a short time before he is galavanting on R&R.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  41. #2441

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    As Neil says, I am back in the saddle for a few days, still grinning about the low level flypast by the Hurricane and Spitfire at the Newark show yesterday, now that was nice little bonus.
    Thanks for all your time and effort these past few weeks Neil.

    May 22nd 1917

    We will start with news that troubles on the home front were not limited to the towns and villages of Britain...

    Crisis in Austria-Hungary

    With hunger and discontent spreading among the civilian and military populations of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a crisis mounts within its government, as Hungarian Prime Minister Istvan Tisza resigns at the request of the Austrian emperor, Karl I, on May 22, 1917. A great power in decline when World War I broke out in 1914, Austria-Hungary was a predominately agricultural society but was not agriculturally self-sufficient. The war had cut off the empire’s two main sources of food, Russia and Romania, and the military effort cut domestic production significantly: by 1917, Austria’s output of wheat had fallen to less than half of its 1913 total, and that of rye and oats had fallen even more. To make matters worse, Hungary—Austria’s less powerful partner in the so-called Dual Monarchy—had closed its frontier with Austria in 1914 and ceased to consider its agricultural produce as a common resource, choosing instead to sell whatever surplus it had to the army and to Germany. Defeat on the battlefield against Russia in the first years of war forced Austria-Hungary to rely heavily on its ally, Germany, to keep them in the war effort, and the Italian entrance into the war in 1915 forced the Austrians to fight on yet another front, to the south.

    On November 21, 1916, Emperor Franz Josef died; he was succeeded by his great-nephew, Karl I, who assumed supreme command of the army, dismissing longtime chief of the general staff, Conrad von Hotzendorff. Though the new emperor promised to institute reforms and build consensus within the Dual Monarchy, his efforts led initially to disorder and dissent. Karl’s liberalism posed a direct challenge to the Hungarian government and its prime minister, Ivan Tisza. His reformist opposition within Hungary, Party of Independence, led by Mihaly Karolyi, favored a total break with Austria when the compromise between the two nations came up for renewal in 1917.

    Socialists and revolutionaries supported Karolyi, who organized major demonstrations in Budapest on May 1, 1917. Meanwhile, though he had urged restraint in 1914, Tisza was by now associated in the mind of the Hungarian public with the aggressive prosecution of a war effort many had come to see as hopeless, and had begun to lose much-needed support. At the emperor’s request, he tendered his resignation on May 22, 1917. He was succeeded by Moritz Esterhazy, who expressed his desire to build “Hungarian democracy”; the new deal between Austria and Hungary, signed in December, would last just two years, not the expected 20. Still blamed for the continued war effort, and its impending failure, Tisza was assassinated on October 31, 1918, by Magyar members of the Communist Red Guard. Meanwhile, barely a week after Tisza’s resignation in May 1917, Austria-Hungary experienced the first of a series of mutinies within its army. Led by nationalist groups, the first mutiny involved a group of Slovenes; no sooner had it been suppressed than others broke out, led by Serbs, Rusyns (or Ruthenians) and Czechs.

    Seven airmen were lost on this day...

    7 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON TUESDAY MAY 22ND 1917

    2nd Lt. Crapp, C.F. (Cyril Frederick) 76 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Fletcher, A.H.F. (Arthur Henry Felix) No.1 Aircraft Acceptance Park RFC
    2nd Lt. Gunnery, C.L. (Cedric Leopold) 46 Squadron RFC
    Capt. Jenkins, C.H. (Christopher Hutchinson) 45 Squadron RFC
    PO Mech. Smith, H.G. (Harry George) Royal Naval Air Service Armoured Car Division
    Capt. Tailford, J.W. (John Wilson) RFC
    2nd Lt. Vince, W.J.D. (William John Douglas) RFC

    Newspaper reports of a mid air collision:

    Air Collision at 4,500 feet.

    At the Inquest on Thursday on the two airmen who were killed while flying at Hove on Tuesday , the officer in charge of the squadron said that four machines were flying in formation at 4,50 feet. He gave the order for the formation to break up and in doing so Lieutenant Crapp collided with Lieutenant Vince and both crashed to Earth. Neither airman could see each other owing to the glare of the sun. A verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned , the Jury expressing sincere sympathy with the relatives.

    Flight Magazine 31st May 1917

    Fatal Accidents

    A verdict of "accidental death" was returned, on May 24th, at Hove, at the inquest on 2nd Lieut. W. J. D. Vince and 2nd Lieut. C. S. Crapp, R.F.C., whose machines collided and feil while flying over the town on May 22nd.
    -The leader of the squadron of four said they were flying in diamond formation at a height of 4,500 ft. He gave the order for the formation to break up, and in carrying this out Crapp came into collision with Vince. Neither could see the other owing to the sun. Asked if there was not some unnecessary danger in mancanvring over a town like that the officer replied, , " No, not really. This was a most unlucky accident "

    There was just the one aerial victory claim on this day (and this was unconfirmed)

    Leutnant Carl "Charly" Degelow
    FA.216

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    When the war began, Degelow joined the infantry and served with distinction in France and Russia. In 1916, he transferred to the German Air Force and began flying artillery support missions in Albatros two-seaters. Briefly assigned to Jasta 36 for single seat fighter training, Degelow was reassigned after wounding a man on the ground during gunnery practice. He was the last German pilot of the war to be awarded the Orden Pour le Mérite (Blue Max). His book, With the White Stag Through Thick and Thin, was published in 1920. (The white stag was the emblem on his plane - see below) Degelow was a Major in the Luftwaffe during World War II.

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    Degelow's Fokker D.VII

    Late in his life, Degelow worked on a new manuscript which incorporated most of what he had written in the book, along with historian Peter Kilduff. Degelow died on 9 November 1970, 52 years to the day after he had received the last Pour le Merite bestowed by the Kaiser. Kilduff published an article entitled "Reminiscences of Jagdstaffel 40" in Cross & Cockade Journal. He then continued to gather new information from Jasta 40 members Toni Raab and Adolf Auer. Kilduff eventually combined all this material into a book entitled "Germany's Last Knight of the Air, the Memoirs of Major Carl Degelow", translated and edited by Peter Kilduff. It was published by William Kimber, London in 1979. The ISBN is 0718301463. It's a very nice hardbound book of 218 pages, well illustrated and containing Kilduff's usual meticulous documentation and extensive footnotes, as well as Degelow's lively first-hand accounts written in his own style.

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    Degelow's Pfalz D.III

    Captain Tunstill's Men:
    There was much artillery activity, from both sides, again during the day. There was an especially ferocious German bombardment in the early hours during which three men from ‘C’ Company were killed. Ptes. Michael Gallagher (see below), Arthur Gill (see 1st January) and John Smith (13382, see below) would all be buried at Railway Dugouts Burial Ground. Pte. William Boodle (see below) wrote to Arthur Gill’s family with details of exactly what happened; “about 2.50 am he had just got into a dugout to have a sleep after being on patrol all night, and he had not been in it an hour when the Germans opened a very heavy bombardment upon us. The first shell knocked the dugout in and buried five of us. We got out all right but suddenly found that your boy was still under, being covered with the remains of the dugout. I at once started to dig him out, and after working for an hour succeeded. I then got him onto a stretcher and saw him out of shellfire, as I was for hospital myself.” According to stretcher bearer Pte. John William Atkinson MM (see 4th August 1916), “Arthur was in a dugout which they knocked in with a shell, and he was very badly wounded and died nearly right away”.

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    Among those wounded on the same day, though whether in the same incident is uncertain, was 2Lt. Benjamin Owen Hunt (see 25th August 1916). He was evacuated to no.10 Casualty Clearing Station at Remy Sidings, Lijssenthoek and a telegram despatched to his parents reporting him to be “dangerously wounded, shell wound, head”. Also wounded was Pte. William Postill Taylor (see 13th May) who had only joined the battalion ten days previously. He suffered a wound to his left hand and was treated first at 3rd Canadian Casualty Clearing Station before being transferred, via 69th Field Ambulance, to 32nd Stationery Hospital at Wimereux. Pte. Fred Morrell (see 16th January) suffered shrapnel wounds to his left thigh; he was evacuated via the same route as Pte. Taylor.

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    Eastern Front
    Russia: Kerensky demands CoS Alexeiev resignation, replaces him with Brusilov.

    Sea War
    Eastern Mediterranean: British Malta-Alexandria convoys begin (4 ships with 4 escort trawlers, only 2 ships lost until July 16).

    Home Fronts
    Hungary: Prime minister Count Tisza resigns at Emperor’s bidding.
    Britain: Postwar shortage of 500,000 houses estimated. Brigade-General Nash succeeds Sir E Geddes as Inspector-General Transportation.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 05-24-2017 at 04:49.

  42. #2442

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    Many thanks to Neil for his stint. Its difficult trying to keep up to date reading it all, never mind posting it in the first place. Enormous amount of work when you add it all up. My hat off to all of you. Welcome back Chris and thanks for todays post. What scale is that awesome model, do you know? Cheers Mike

  43. #2443

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    Many thanks to Neil for his stint. Its difficult trying to keep up to date reading it all, never mind posting it in the first place. Enormous amount of work when you add it all up. My hat off to all of you. Welcome back Chris and thanks for todays post. What scale is that awesome model, do you know? Cheers Mike
    Not sue Mike - I will try and find the image again and see if there is an indication - but that is a repaint that needs to happen...

  44. #2444

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    23rd May 1917

    Southern Fronts
    Isonzo:Italian offensive on Carso from Kostanjevica to sea aided by 60 British guns and Royal Navy monitors begins with 6-hour barrage from 0600 hours, attack at 1600 hours with 130 aircraft in close support. Four hills stormed. Austrian attacks beaten off on May 24.

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    Air War
    Britain: 6 Navy airships fly against London but nearest 40 miles away; (1 fatal casualty to 60 scattered bombs) (night May 23/24). 76 defence sorties only sight 1 Zeppelin, and 1 plane of Royal Navy Air Service failed to return.
    Italian Front: D’Annunzio flies in aircraft over Carso, wins third Silver Medal, promoted Major on September 29.

    Zeppelin Raids

    This second raid by ‘height-climber’ Zeppelins again proved ineffective. Six Zeppelins set out hoping to reach London but the winds at high altitude were against them. Only four reached England: L.40, L.42, L.43 and L.45. None got even close to London.

    L.40, commanded by Kptlt Erich Sommerfeldt, came inland at 12.18am over Kessingland on the Suffolk coast. Heading towards Norwich on a north-west course, at about 12.45am L.40 dropped a 300kg HE bomb near the village of Little Plumstead, about five miles east of the city. This resulted in some broken windows in two cottages and a greenhouse. Continuing on a course roughly to the north, L.40 dropped a fuel tank at Horstead and another at Worstead. Having passed North Walsham, at 1.00am Sommerfeldt dropped an HE bomb at Knapton that tore down telegraph wires for a distance of 50 yards. L.40 then passed out over the coast at Mundesley and was later heard dropping 14 bombs out at sea. Nearing home L.40 managed to climb into cloud and escape an attack by a Curtiss H-12 ‘Large America’ flying boat sent out from RNAS Yarmouth.

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    Kptlt Martin Dietrich commanding L.42 came inland over Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex at 12.20am and heading west passed Colchester before following a meandering course over Essex and Suffolk at a height of 18,700 feet. At 1.30am Dietrich dropped an incendiary about a mile outside Halstead without effect. About 35 minutes later he dropped an HE and an incendiary at Radwinter, both landing about 500 yards from the church but again without effect. Heading north L.42 approached Newmarket at about 2.30am and five minutes later, just west of Mildenhall, dropped an HE bomb on West Row Fen at least a quarter of a mile from the nearest cottage. Three minutes later another HE bomb burst harmlessly on a grass track just over a mile from Lakenham. Continuing north, L.42 crossed into Norfolk and at 2.40am dropped five HE bombs at Hockwold. Two fell on a meadow owned by Frederick Rickard, smashing some windows and roof tiles at his house. Two more exploded on Charles Thompson’s wheat field. Two minutes later two HE bombs landed at Weeting Heath without causing damage. Moments later two HE fell at Cranwich, where one failed to detonate and the other exploded harmlessly, then an incendiary dropped at Ickburgh without burning.The final two bombs, both incendiaries, landed in fields at Hilborough at about 2.47am. Dietrich headed north to the coast and left Norfolk between Weybourne and Sheringham at 3.25am. L.42 flew into a heavy storm on the return flight, being struck by lightning three times, but she made it home safely.

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    L.45 came inland at about 1.00am and Kptlt Waldemar Kolle, commanding a Zeppelin over Britain for the first time, had a miserable night. He crossed the coast at Hollesley Bay in Suffolk and followed a north-west course largely dictated by the wind. He also encountered heavy rain and thunderstorms making accurate navigation impossible. An incendiary dropped at Banham in Norfolk was attributed to L.45. She dropped no more bombs until reaching Docking in north-west Norfolk. There L.45 released an incendiary and an HE bomb at about 2.20am, which caused minor damage to a ceiling and broke a window. After that L.45 crossed the coast over Brancaster Bay and set course for home.

    The last Zeppelin to come inland, L.43 commanded by Kptlt Hermann Kraushaar, passed over the coast near Hollesley, Suffolk, at 2.20am. On a north-west course L.43 passed over Suffolk and into Norfolk where Kraushaar dropped five incendiary bombs over the village of Wretham at 3.05am followed five minutes later by another at Tottington. Continuing on the same course two more incendiaries dropped at Little Cressingham at 3.25am, but none of these eight firebombs caused any damage. Five minutes later L.43 dropped three HE bombs: one landed at Houghton-on-the-Hill (causing slight damage to crops) and two at neighbouring North Pickenham where they damaged roof tiles and smashed windows in one house. The next village in L.43’s path, Little Dunham, received six HE and three incendiary bombs at 3.35pm, which broke seven panes of glass in cottage windows. Five minutes later two incendiary bombs dropped at West Lexham but failed to burn. Another followed at Weasenham St. Peter but caused no damage. At about 3.45am L.43 dropped three HE bombs over Wellingham, where they damaged farm buildings, five cottages and the church, also causing the only casualty of the raid. The bombs killed a farm labourer who had gone out to warn his employer that Zeppelins were in the area. Kraushaar continued to rain his bombs down on these tiny Norfolk villages. A few minutes after Wellingham five HE and two incendiaries fell at South Raynham wrecking the interior of a cottage while the church, vicarage and 14 cottages suffered broken windows.Then three HE and two incendiaries dropped over East Raynham, breaking the windows in three large houses and seven cottages, smashing greenhouse windows, uprooting trees and dislodging roof tiles. The bombs also killed two horses in a meadow. With the sky now beginning to lighten, L.43 headed towards the coast, which it reached at 4.05am from where a mobile AA gun at Holkham fired 21 rounds without effect.

    A significant response from the RFC and RNAS saw aircraft fly 76 sorties searching for the raiders but due to the poor visibility only one made a sighting. One RNAS pilot, Flt sub-Lt H.D. Smith, did not return; it was presumed his aircraft came down in the sea after running out of fuel.

    Middle East

    Palestine: ALH and Camel Corps destroy 13 miles of (and 6 bridges along) Turk Beersheba-Auja railway.

    11 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON WEDNESDAY MAY 23RD 1917

    2nd Lt. Bird, F. (Frederick) 20 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Britton, W.K.M. (William Kerr Magill) 59 Reserve Squadron RFC
    Lt. Brodie, C.G. (Charles Gordon) 6 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Carter, W.A.D. (Wilfred Arthur Douglas) 59 Reserve Squadron RFC
    Capt. Clark, W.L. (Walter Llewellyn) 6 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Diment, H.S. (Harry Stanley) 6 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. MacDonald, W.F. (Wilfred Ferguson) 18 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Mackimmie, A.I. (Alexander Ian) 6 Squadron RFC
    Flight Lt.Pailthorpe, H.A. (Harold Anderson) 8(N) Squadron RNAS
    Lt. Shackell, F.C. (Frank Charles) 18 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Stephen, J.P. (James Pedraza) 46 Squadron RFC


    There were 28 aerial victory claims on this day

    Robert Little
    Australia #19
    George Simpson Australia #6
    Lloyd Breadner Canada #7
    Joseph Fall Canada #8

    James Glen Canada #1

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    The son of Andrew and Agnes Glen, James Alpheus Glen was born on a farm near Turtle Mountain, Manitoba. He attended high school in Enderby, British Columbia. He joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1915. Flying the Sopwith Pup, he became an ace during the summer of 1917 but was ill in August and went home to Canada to recuperate. In January 1918, he returned to active duty, scoring nine more victories with the Sopwith Camel. Glen retired from the Royal Air Force in 1928.


    Charles Booker
    England #10
    Cyril Marconi Crowe England #5
    Francis Cubbon England #14 #15

    Augustus Orlebar England #1

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    Under the guns of Augustus Henry Orlebar and Bristol F.2b crew Geoffrey Hughes and Hugh Claye, Lothar von Richthofen fell out of control east of Cambrai in a Fokker DR.I on 13 March 1918. Orlebar was granted a permanent commission to Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force on 1 August 1919. Promoted to Air Commodore and served at RAF Fighter Command HQ during World War II.

    Arthur Percival Foley Rhys Davids England #1

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    Rhys Davids attended Eton and received a scholarship to Oxford. Fearing he might be shot down and captured, he always carried a book of Blake's poetry into combat. In his first dogfight on 7 May 1917, his flight commander, Albert Ball, was shot down while Rhys Davids survived an attack by Kurt Wolff of Jasta 11. On 23 September 1917, during one of the most famous dogfights of the war, he shot down a Fokker Triplane piloted by Werner Voss. When Karl Menckhoff arrived on the scene in an Albatros Scout and attempted to assist Voss, Rhys Davids shot him down too. The following month, on 27 October 1917, Rhys Davids was missing in action. He was last seen pursuing an Albatros east of Roulers. It is believed that his S.E.5a was shot down by Karl Gallwitz.

    From beginner to Ace:

    Rhys-Davids' beginning as a fighter pilot was inauspicious. He misjudged a landing and totally wrecked his SE5 A4847 when it overturned on landing and broke its fuselage in two. Rhys-Davids sprained his back. Lacking an aircraft he was effectively grounded for a month.[22] After a brief test on 2 May 1917 in A4868 Rhys-Davids flew his first combat mission the following morning escorting Martinsyde G.100 bombers from 27 Squadron.

    On 7 May Rhys-Davids took part in a disastrous sortie. The day was cloudy with thick layers of cumulus between 2,000 and 10,000 feet. Rhys-Davids's flight kept just below the cloud to avoid attack, and headed towards Cambrai. Eleven Royal Aircraft Factory SE5s of 56 Squadron ran into the experienced German airmen of Jasta 11 of the Flying Circus. One of the Squadron 56 flight commanders, famous ace Albert Ball (44 victories), was killed when he likely flew into the ground after becoming disorientated in low-lying cloud. Three other British pilots were shot down, including Rhys-Davids. He came under attack from an Albatros D.V which was painted red, with a green band behind the cockpit. The pilot was Kurt Wolff, a very experienced pilot and ace with 20 victories. Rhys-Davids was unaware he was under attack until he saw Wolff's tracers pass his aircraft. He evaded Wolff's initial attack and a duel for position followed. Rhys-Davids's guns jammed but he managed to get up to Wolff's height and took evasive action. But he had taken hits to the wing, undercarriage and engine. He kept cool and continued turning, denying the German an easy shot. As Rhys-Davids was deciding just how best to escape his hazardous position, Wolff abandoned the fight and headed for Douai. Rhys-Davids headed for British lines, his engine streaming water; west of Arras his engine finally seized up. He attempted to glide to Belle Vue but had insufficient height and force-landed near La Herliere. The reason for Wolff's decision to break off combat is unknown. He may have run out of ammunition or perhaps was low on fuel.

    More bad luck followed as A4868 seemed plagued with engine trouble and he was forced to crash-land again on 18 May. On 20 May he flew a bomber escort mission and fought off an interception by German fighters.

    On 23 May, Rhys-Davids gained his first victory, shooting an Albatros D.III fighter down out of control. On 24 May he scored three victories in an hour. One day later, he shot down another for his fifth victory and became a flying ace. The second to fifth victories were against enemy observer aircraft; Rhys-Davids repeated the tactics of diving and eliminating the gunner before bringing down the aircraft. In late May No. 56 Squadron moved to Saint-Omer. On 26 May he destroyed another Albatross followed by another on 4 and 7 June, the former date being the first day of the seven-day battle for Messines. On 5 June 1917, after his sixth triumph, he received a telegram informing him that along with Captain Cyril M. Crowe and Second Lieutenant Reginald Hoidge he had been awarded the Military Cross (MC). During the last battle Rhys-Davids's SE5, A4563, had its propeller damaged and its right top wing's main spar was shattered by ground fire.

    In June, Rhys-Davids returned to England to take part in Home Defence duties. He returned to France in late June. On 12 July Rhys-Davids bounced and shot down an enemy scout then followed it up with a DFW CV which crash-landed. Its crew—Eugen Mann and Albert Hahnel—were taken prisoner. Hahnel was badly wounded. Rhys-Davids followed this success with victories against Albatross' on the 13, 17 and 21 July 1917. The beginning of the Third Ypres Campaign on 31 July provided Rhys-Davids with the opportunity to increase his successes. On 3 September, he destroyed an Albatros D.V. On the 5th, he shot down two more D.Vs and drove another one out of the battle claiming it out of control, all within 45 minutes. On 9 September he scored again, downing two more Albatross' whilst dispatching another on 14 September.

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    Reginald Soar England #3
    Frederick Thayre England #13 #14
    Hugh White England #2
    Gilbert de Guingand France u/c
    Omer Demeuldre France #2
    Paul Aue Germany u/c
    Heinrich Bongartz Germany #8
    Dieter Collin Germany #3
    Max von Müller Germany #11
    Karl Schäfer Germany #28 #29
    Werner Voss Germany #29
    Giles Blennerhasset Ireland #7 #8
    Flavio Baracchini Italy #2
    Phillip Prothero Scotland #3

  45. #2445

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    that is a repaint that needs to happen
    Definitely. May even have a stab at it myself

    The Zeppelin saga is amazing - almost reads like an episode from "Dad's Army". Makes you wonder why they bothered, but then I guess they probably thought, at the time, they were causing mayhem, death and destruction. Interesting post re Rhys Davids. Thanks Chris

  46. #2446

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    Strange that Mike!
    I just happen to have the decals for a good number of the Jasta.
    Also a book I would recommend is Black Fokker Leader by Peter Kilduff ISBN 978-1-906502-28-7


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

  47. #2447

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    24th May 1917

    Late post tonight - so fingers crossed its not a monstrous one...

    Sea War

    Atlantic: First homeward-bound British transatlantic convoy sails from Hampton Roads, Virginia, USA, arrives safely despite fog and rough seas, 1 straggler lost to U-boat (4 convoys follow in June with 60 ships, no losses).
    First U-cruiser patrol (2 5.9in-guns and 18 torpedoes) begins: U-155 (Meusel) sinks 10 steamers and 7 sailing ships in 104 days or 52,000t (until September 4) on 10,220-mile voyage, longest yet.
    Adriatic: French submarine Circe torpedoes and sinks UC-24 off Cattaro. 2 Royal Navy monitors shell Prosecco crossroads and airfield near Trieste despite Austrian seaplane attacks (1 bomb hit, 1 shot down).

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    A convoy of merchant ships which is escorted by warships crosses the Atlantic. With the introduction of the convoy system, the rate of sunken merchant ships drops while the sunken submarines are rising.


    Eastern Front

    Russia: Kerensky’s Declaration of the Rights of Soldiers (published on May 27).

    Politics
    USA: Prince Udine’s Italian War Mission sees Wilson (landed New York on May 9-10).

    The War in the Air

    Second Lieutenant Lewis Langharne Morgan’s aircraft (Royal Flying Corps) is hit at 4,500 feet by a British shell that demolishes half the engine. It leaves one of Morgan’s legs nearly severed and the other broken at the ankle. Despite this he manages to glide down to a crash landing. Morgan will lose the leg, but will return to active duty only to die in a crash in 1918.

    11 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON THURSDAY MAY 24TH 1917

    Sergeant Aldred, B. (Bernard) 20 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Gagne, J. (John) 43 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Goode, G.M. (George Mortlock) 43 Squadron RFC
    Flt. Lt Masson, R.G. (Robert Geoffrey) 20 Squadron RFC
    Cadet Millar, S.W. Farnborough Depot RFC
    Pte. Muncey, F.W. (Frank W.) RFC
    Cadet Pritchard, S.M. (Stafford Macklin) 44th Wing, Canada Royal Flying Corps
    Flt. Sub Lt. Smith, H.D. (Harold Dent) RNAS
    Flt. Sub Lt. Smith, H.L. (Harold L.) 8(N) Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Thompson, P. RFC
    Lt. Turner, W.G.D. (Warren Geoffrey Dalton) 11 Squadron RFC

    In direct comparison her are the lost of claims for that day...

    Reginald Hoidge Canada #5 #6 #7

    Roderick McDonald Canada #1 #2

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    Posted to 8 Naval Squadron in 1917, McDonald scored 8 victories before his Sopwith Camel was shot down over Provin by Jasta 43.

    Laurence Allen England #9
    James Belgrave England #5
    Charles Booker England #11 #12 #13
    Cyril Marconi Crowe England #6
    Kenneth Lloyd Gopsill England #3
    John Herbert Towne Letts England #7
    Leslie Mansbridge England #2
    Arthur Percival Foley Rhys Davids England #2 #3 #4
    Oliver Manners Sutton England #3
    William Wright England #2 #3
    Gustave Daladier France #2
    Karl Allmenröder Germany #17 #18
    Eduard von Dostler Germany #7
    Robert von Greim Germany u/c
    Wolfgang Güttler Germany #2
    Max von Müller Germany #12
    Julius Schmidt Germany #4

    Alvaro Leonardi
    Italy #1

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    Tenente colonnello Alvaro Leonardi (16 November 1895 – 1 January 1955) was a World War I Sottotenente from Italy and a flying ace credited with eight aerial victories.
    Alvaro Leonardi was born in Terni, Kingdom of Italy, on 16 November 1895. In September 1915, just after Italy entered World War I, Leonardi served in the Technical Services Department of the Italian military. He was then posted to the 6th Railroad Engineers' Regiment before transferring to aviation.

    He attended aviation training at Mirafiori, and was awarded his wings for the Caudron G.3 on 29 April 1916. In May, he went to aerial observers training at Centocelle Airport. He was then sent to a unit flying two-seater reconnaissance craft, 41a Squadriglia. On 31 July, he was promoted to Caporal; on 31 October to Sergente. He was then packed off for training as a fighter pilot, arriving at Cascina Costa on 3 November 1916. He trained on Nieuports, and was assigned to the Malpensa defense flight on 25 January 1917. The following month, he rejoined 80a Squadriglia. On 2 May 1917, he was officially rated as a Nieuport pilot. On 24 May, he scored his first aerial victory. He continued to score throughout 1917 and 1918, posting his eleventh claim on 20 August 1918; though most of his claims were singular, he did share one each with Giovanni Ancillotto and Cosimo Rizzotto. On 25 October 1918, Leonardi was transferred out of combat, being assigned to 122a Squadriglia. When the war ended, Alvaro Leonardi had flown 140 fighter escort missions in 700 hours flight time, and engaged in 21 combats to stake his 11 victory claims. He had earned two awards of the Silver Medal for Military Valor

    Luigi OlivariItaly #6

    Capt Tunstill's Men: The weather remained very warm and conditions were somewhat quieter. However, Pte. Selwyn Stansfield (see 16th January) was wounded, suffering injuries to his left arm; he would be evacuated back to England five days later.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 05-25-2017 at 03:11.

  48. #2448

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    Great picture of the convoy Chris. Where on earth did you find that?
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  49. #2449

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    I just happen to have the decals for a good number of the Jasta.
    Also a book I would recommend is Black Fokker Leader by Peter Kilduff ISBN 978-1-906502-28-7
    Hahahaha do you have decals for everything Rob? Lovely aircraft in your photo and a fine repaint job! Did the Jasta fly a mixture of DVIIs and PfalzDIIIs, or is thatThanks for the heads up re the book title - I shall follow that up.

    Busy day in the sky, Chris. Lewis Morgan was made of stern stuff OK!! Thanks for the post. Mike

  50. #2450

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    Hahahaha do you have decals for everything Rob? Lovely aircraft in your photo and a fine repaint job! Did the Jasta fly a mixture of DVIIs and PfalzDIIIs, or is thatThanks for the heads up re the book title - I shall follow that up.

    Busy day in the sky, Chris. Lewis Morgan was made of stern stuff OK!! Thanks for the post. Mike
    Both types were flown with an overlap as the DVIIs came in and a few personal favourites were hung on to.
    I actually have more of the Jasta completed but no Photo to hand at present.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

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