100 Years Ago Today

Thread: 100 Years Ago Today

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  1. Jager's Avatar

    Jager said:


    I suppose we need a new thread to discuss the inevitability, or not, of the Great War.
    It is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he thinks he knows. -- Epictetus
  2. Flying Officer Kyte's Avatar

    Flying Officer Kyte said:


    Yes I would be grateful to keep this thread on topic.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."
  3. Flying Officer Kyte's Avatar

    Flying Officer Kyte said:


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    18th January 1916.

    1 airman has fallen on Tuesday January 18th 1916.

    2nd Lt. Richard Borlase Jenkins. 9 Sq. Royal Flying Corps.

    Died of Wounds 18 January 1916 aged 19.

    One claim was made today.

    Leutnant Leopold Anslinger FA 54 made his first claim, an EA. near Tarnapol.

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    When the war began, Anslinger was already a licensed pilot (#566) serving with the Fliegertruppe. Posted to the Eastern Front, he was commissioned on 22 March 1915 and scored his first four victories in 1916. Reassigned to FA 24 and 242, he scored the remainder of his victories in 1917. In the last months of the war, he was stationed in Mainz with Kest 9 on homeland defence. When the war ended, Anslinger became a commercial pilot with Lufthansa and enjoyed sketching and building motorcycles and automobiles.

    Eastern Front.

    Austrians claim complete victory in Galicia and Bukovina.

    Russian Aeroplane raids on Dvinsk.

    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres.

    Turks repulse British column west of Kurna (Mesopotamia).

    Russians take Hasan-Kala (Armenia).

    Naval and Overseas Operations.

    U boats were busy for the first time in several days.

    UB 16 and Hans Valentiner accounting for British Fishing Smacks Evelyn, Foamcrest and Sunshine Stopped and scuttled 34 miles SExE of Lowesoft with no casualties.

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    UC 1 Egon von Werner Dutch Passenger Steamer Rijndam Mined and damaged off the Elbow Buoy.
    UC 3
    Erwin Waßner French Auxiliary Minesweeper Auvergne, Mined outside Boulogne harbour (probably on a mine of Minensperre 44 laid by UC3 on Jan.11)

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    U 35
    Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière British Steamer Marere 236 miles E of Malta.

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    Allied warships bombard Dedeagach (Bulgaria).

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    H M Submarine H6 wrecked at Schiermonikoog on Dutch coast and interned.

    - Germans evacuate southern Cameroons (retiring into Spanish territory).


    Baron Beyens succeeds M. J. Davignon as Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs (M. Davignon was appointed on February 28th, 1914) [Baron Beyens officiated in the appointment from July 26th, 1915, till January 18th, 1916, during which period M. Davignon was absent, owing to ill-health.

    Royal patronage provided the lead article today, as the Prince of Wales undertook his “first work of a public character” in becoming chairman of a Statutory Committee dealing with Naval and Military Pensions.

    Finally a piece I came across from Imbros today.

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    After being shot down, Bunnie had ten days away from flying. I don’t know what precipitated the change, but from now on he was to spend virtually all his time in the single seat Bristol Scout (or Bullet, as he called it). Was it because of his natural aptitude for flying? Was it because of operational needs? It’s impossible to know.
    But it wasn’t a straightforward transition for him. He was 6ft 3in (1.90m) and the cockpit of the Scout was famously small. Cecil Lewis (6ft 4in) describes his only encounter with a Bristol Scout which ended in a crash. The reason is that as you push the rudder bar with one foot, the other knee inevitably rises, and – if you are particularly tall – contacts the fuselage crossmember at the bottom of the instrument panel. Cecil Lewis didn’t check this and when he needed full rudder to check a swing on landing he couldn’t get it.
    Bunnie had been asked to try a Scout for size at Chingford and identified the problem, but the authorities had ignored his request to be posted to a seaplane outfit.
    And this was the point at which he identified that he could just get enough room for his knees if he removed the seat cushion. As regular readers will know, I am exactly Bunnie’s height and can confirm that this is a satisfactory solution, though in my case I have to remove my shoes as well, since we raised the footrests by half an inch in order to fit a carry-through cable which was pretty essential structurally but seems mysteriously to have been removed during the redesign from the B type to the C type.
    And today, he went up in Bristol Scout 1261 for half an hour.
    Here’s his logbook entry.
    First flip in a fast machine. Beautiful calm day. Machine showed some slight tendency to spin on getting off, but corrected it quite easily. Did not find that Voisin had made me very heavy handed. Did not like right handed turns at first, but got better towards end. Flew in at 53 m.p.h. and made quite nice landing. She tried to spin when her tail came down, but I had engine on and kept it straight. On the whole much easier to fly than I expected, though not so comfortable as pusher.

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    Bristol Scouts 1261 and 1264 at Imbros. Note that 1264 has cockades on the top wing but 1261 doesn’t.
    And having stopped for a quick cup of tea, he was off again.
    Weather still absolutely calm. Right hand turns still a bit funny, but got all right, though a bit uncertain, at end. Landed from 3000 ft without engine. Came down at 60 m.p.h. and made decent landing. Lost engine so could not prevent her spinning about 45° to left at end of run.
    His record of landing speeds has been useful to us in our early flights. I’ve found no problem with turns to right or left, but I’ve only done pretty gentle ones, and steeply banked turns are the ones where the gyroscopic effects of the engine would be expected to kick in, in which case right turns would be the ones to cause problems, since you would initiate the turn with right rudder, and then have to use left rudder while in the turn to keep the nose from dropping. This was the only time he flew 1261; she survived until the August when she was tipped on her nose – probably by Sam Kincaid.

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    Scout C accident. The pilot is in the leather helmet on the left of the picture, and may be Sam Kincaid.

    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."
  4. Flying Officer Kyte's Avatar

    Flying Officer Kyte said:


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    19th January 1916.

    2 airmen have fallen on Wednesday January 19th 1916.

    Lt. Walter Arthur Brooking 15 Squadron RFC. Killed in Action 19 January 1916 aged 18.

    Lt. Harold Richard Johnson 3 Squadron RFC. Killed 19 January 1916 when aeroplane flew to 30 metres on artillery patrol and then stalled and crashed.

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    Lt. Johnson [Lt. Harold Richard Johnson went on to 3 Sqn where he was killed in a flying accident on 19 Jan 1916. Earlier that day he had flown James McCudden as his observer and the day's events are recorded in the latters' book. He is buried at Lapugnoy Military Cemetery]


    Leutnant Wilhelm Frankl, KEK Vaux, made his third claim, a Voisin over Woumen.

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    The son of a Jewish businessman, Frankl scored his first victory on 10 May 1915 while serving as an observer with FA 40. That day, he shot down a Voisin with a carbine. For this feat, he received the Iron Cross, 1st Class. Later that year he became a pilot and scored nine victories flying the
    Eindekker with KEK Vaux. On 1 September 1916, he joined Jasta 4 and scored eleven more victories before he was killed in action on the afternoon of 8 April 1917. During a fight with Bristol Fighters, his Albatros D.III came apart in the air and went down near Vitry-Sailly.
    When the Nazis came to power, Frankl's name was removed from the list of German World War I aviation heroes. After World War II, his name was reinstated to the l
    ist and in 1973, the Luftwaffe honored his memory by naming a barracks for him.

    Leutnant Walter Höhndorf FA 12 made his second claim today, a Voisin at Medevich.

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    The son of a school teacher, Walter Höhndorf learned to fly in Paris, receiving pilot's certificate No. 582 on 3 November 1913. When war broke out he enl
    isted in the air service, becoming a Leutnant on 15 March 1915. After almost a year working with Siemens-Schuckert as a test pilot, he was sent to Jastaschule. He served with FA 12 and FA 67 and won the Iron Cross, second class. Posted to Kek Vaux in April 1916, by the end of July he had received the Iron Cross, first class, the Knight's Cross with Swords of the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern and the Blue Max. In August 1916 he was posted to Jasta 1 and later served with Jasta 4 before becoming an instructor and test pilot at Valenciennes. On 15 August 1917, Höhndorf assumed command of Jasta 14 but was killed less than three weeks later when the AEG D.I (4400/17) he was test flying crashed.

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     Leutnant Theodor Mallinckrodt takes the world’s first all-metal aircraft, the
    Junkers J1 for its only known “high performance” flight test, which consists of a 7 km course, at varying altitudes from 200–300 metres. Mallinckrodt reaches a top speed of 170 km/h.

    More info:- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junkers_J_1

    Home Front.

    With the Kaiser finally authorising the commencement of an airship bombing campaign of Britain on 9 January 1915, the German Navy launched their first successful raid ten days later. Zeppelin L.6 turned back early with engine problems, but L.3 and L.4 – M-class Zeppelins - reached England. Their plan was to strike targets around the River Humber, but bad weather forced both further south leading to attacks on East Anglia.

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    Zeppelin L.3, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Hans Fritz, came inland near Ingham, Norfolk. From the light of a parachute flare, the crew appear to have identified their location and Fritz selected Great Yarmouth as their target.

    L.3 dropped its first bomb at 8.25pm, which fell on farmland at Little Ormesby, followed by another ten recorded in Great Yarmouth. As well as damage to buildings, the bombs claimed two lives - Samuel Alfred Smith, a 53-year-old shoemaker, and 72-year-old Martha Mary Taylor - and injured three.

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    Zeppelin L.4, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Magnus von Platen-Hallermund, crossed the coast near Bacton, Norfolk, but the crew struggled to identify where they were. Convinced they were on course for the Humber, L.4’s first bombs actually landed at Sheringham, followed by others at Thornham, Brancaster, Heacham, Snettisham and then a salvo of eight bombs on King’s Lynn. The bombs on this town also killed Percy Goate, aged 14, and Alice Maud Gazeley, aged 26, whose husband had been recently killed serving in France, and injured thirteen.

    The RNAS flew no defensive sorties against the raiding Zeppelins; information about the raid reaching the RNAS base at Yarmouth only after L.3 had turned for home. When L.4 crossed the coast later, aircraft at the base were put on standby, but no further information as to the whereabouts of L.4 was received so aircraft remained grounded. Two RFC aircraft from Joyce Green, Kent, took off to patrol south of London, believing the Zeppelins were heading for the city. Both suffered engine problems and made forced landings.

    Eastern Front.

    Renewed activity north-east of Czernowitz.

    The Battle of Koprukoy.

    On the night of the 16th-17th
    the Ottomans withdrew. The Siberian Cossacks did annihilate the rear guard, but most of the Ottomans withdrew into the Erzurum fortress to the west. The Third Army had lost about 20,000 out of the 65,000 soldiers it had started the battle with. The Russian Army lost about 10,000 and 2,000 more with severe frostbite out of 75,000.

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    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres.
    General Aylmer resumes his advance up the Tigris.

    General Sir P. Lake succeeds Sir J. Nixon in Mesopotamia command.
    Naval and Overseas Operations.

    U C 1 captained by
    Egon von Werner sank the French Steamer Leoville. It was mined 9 miles S of the Kentish Knock LV with no casualties recorded.

    Allied warships bombard Porto Lagos (Bulgaria).

    Anglo-French occupy Ebolowa (Cameroons).

    Political, etc.

    War Council of Allied Ministers meet in london.

    Last edited by Flying Officer Kyte; 01-19-2016 at 13:53.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."
  5. Rebel's Avatar

    Rebel said:


    With reference to Leutnant Wilhelm Frankl's name being removed from a list. If you visit German WW1 Military cemeteries in France you will find that all Jewish name headstones are much,much newer than all the others. I have not been able to find out why but my own theory is that Hitler had all Jewish name headstones removed during the German occupation of France between 1941 and 1944 and they subsequently been replaced post war.
    Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. Winston S. Churchill
  6. Flying Officer Kyte's Avatar

    Flying Officer Kyte said:


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    20th January 1916.

    After all the excitement of yesterday, today seems very quiet by comparison Ed.

    RFC. No deaths are recorded for Thursday January 20th 1916.

    No claims were made today.

    Casualties for today include:-

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    • Brigadier General Hugh Gregory Fitton CB DSO General Officer Commanding 34th Division dies of wounds received in action the previous day at age 52. While on a visit of instruction to the 16th Infantry Brigade, near Ypres, in company with the General Officer Commanding the Brigade, Brigadier General C L Nicholson, General Fitton is in the front line at night. Owing to a communications trench having been blown in, the party has to cross a bit of open ground and the night being bright they are spotted by a watchful sniper who shoots General Fitton through both thighs. He is the son-in-law of ‘Sir’ Alfred Hickman 1st
    • Lieutenant Colonel Hugh Wilson Cruddas DSO (Dogras commanding 4th Suffolk Regiment) is killed at age 48.
    • Second Lieutenant Hugh Durant DCM (Lancers) is killed at age 38. He is a veteran of the South Africa War and the revolver champion of South Africa.
    • Lieutenant John Burrows Whitfield (Royal Engineers) dies of wounds at age 26. His brother will be killed in May.
    • Second Lieutenant Dudley Mark Hayward Jewell (Royal Fusiliers attached Royal Engineers) is killed at age 22. His brother will be killed in May and both are members of the Worcester Cricket Club.

    Southern Front.

    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres.

    Russians take Sultanabad (Persia).

    On 20 January, on the Caucasian Front, the Russians had advanced to within 32 km of the Turkish fortress at Erzerum. In North Persia, the Russians took Sultanabad.

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    Russian progress in Armenia.

    Naval and Overseas Operations.

    British submarine in the Adriatic sinks an Austrian destroyer.

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    U35 captained by Lothar von Arnauld de la Periere sank the British Steamer Trematon 180 miles ExS of Malta with no casualties.

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    U11 intercepted the Italian Hospital ship Konig Albert Taken as prize, later released.

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    Political, etc.

    British Government buys 800,000 tons of wheat in Romania.

    Negotiations between Austria and Montenegro broken off. Armistice ceases.

    From the Daily Telegraph today.

    “Whether or no Conscience makes cowards of us, all, it assuredly makes talkers of certain members of Parliament. Interminable talkers, indeed. For hours yesterday the House of Commons was obsessed by the Conscientious Objector. Do what they would, the Government could not get rid of him. He kept breaking in upon the scene in a score of various forms. And nothing would satisfy his pertinacious and talkative champions.”
    You rather get the impression the Telegraph has little time for Conscientious Objectors (“a very pulse-fed Daniel” is one description later on) by the tone of the report on the debate on the House of Commons on whether they should be excepted from conscription; whilst the Government was prepared to make some concessions it too was not willing to grant them too much leeway.
    A meeting of the Earl of Derby and his Central Recruiting Committee decides that “an energetic new campaign should be inaugurated in the country to secure by voluntary means those men who have not yet attested” and that married men as well as single shall be targeted.

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

    Hedeby said:


    Well Rob the typing pool staff are grateful for the rest. Couple of fantastic days previous, very much air related as well which was great. Thank you.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!
  8. Flying Officer Kyte's Avatar

    Flying Officer Kyte said:


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    21st January 1916.

    No deaths are recorded for Friday January 21st 1916.

    No claims reported.

    Victoria Cross.

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    lance-naik ) Lala Ram (later promoted to jemadar.
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    Born on April 20, 1876, at Parol village of Hamirpur district (then part of Kangra), lance-naik Lala Ram was in 41 Dogras of the British Indian army during World War-1.

    (Hamirpur is 136km from state capital Shimla.)

    At 38, he received the Victoria Cross for "most conspicuous bravery" on January 21, 1916, during the first battle of Hanna in Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) between the Ottoman army and the Anglo-Indian forces. He saved the life of a British officer of another regiment who lay close to the enemy. He dragged him into a temporary shelter he had made and in which he had bandaged four wounded men already.
    After dark, he carried the first wounded officer back to the main trenches, and then, returning with a stretcher, carried back his adjutant. He, later, earned the rank of jemadar and died several years later of polio. His last words were: "We fought true."

    Notable casualties today include:-

    • Lieutenant William Herbert Lucas (North Staffordshire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 25 received four days prior. He is a Rosslyn Park Rugby footballer.
    • Sergeant David Finlay VC (Black Watch) is killed the day after his 23rd His Victoria Cross was awarded for actions performed on 9th May last year at Rue de Bois when he led a bombing party of twelve men in an attack until ten of them have fallen. He then ordered the two survivors to crawl back and he himself went to assist a wounded man and carried him over 100 yards of fire-swept ground into cover.

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    • Captain ‘The Honorable’ Robert Stafford Arthur Palmer (Hampshire Regiment) dies as a prisoner of war of the Turks at age 27. He is the son of the 2nd Earl of Selborne and grandson of the former Prime Minister Lord Salisbury.


    'Then you are willing to see your country defeated?'
    That's the question that stops the mouths of many of us when we are trying to explain our position as 'conscientious objectors' ... There is, I believe, hardly one of us who would, or could, say 'Yes'; but, if we say 'No,' we are at once open to the crushing reply, 'Then you are willing to let other men fight and die for you, while you stay quietly and safely at home.'

    Western Front.

    Captain Tunstall's men.

    A day-by day account of one Company in the Great War.

    Divisional reserve billets in Hallobeau.

    Another fine and quiet day, with nothing to report other than the usual aeroplane activity overhead.
    Day devoted to Company training. It seems to have been during this training that Tunstill’s Man, L.Cpl. Matthew Best suffered an accidental injury to his chest which resulted in his being treated locally for the next two weeks.

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    2Lt. Harry Thornton Pickles, who had originally served with Tunstill’s Company before being commissioned, was married to Ada Heuf, of New Eltham, Kent; the marriage took place in Lewisham. Within days of being married he left to serve in France as bombing officer with 9DWR.

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    Eastern Front.

    Renewed Russian attack in East Poland.

    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres.

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    Failure of attack on Turkish position at Um-el-Hanna, 23 miles from Kut; mud awful.

    This morning at Um-el-Hanna there is a thick mist, and from mid-morning it pours constantly. The Turkish defences are again bombarded from both banks, and from gunboats. 12,000 rounds in all are fired. The forty-six guns available to the British prove inadequate to dislodge or demoralize the Turkish defenders before the assault. There is no attempt to deceive the Turks or any attempt at surprise them and the main assault will be on a very narrow front less than a mile across. No man’s land is 600 yards deep. The attacking units are very under-strength, as a result of the earlier fighting, and from illness. The Meerut Division goes into action with fewer than 4,000 effective men. The 21st Brigade has to be broken up, and its battalions attached to the other Brigades, the 19th and 35th.

    The infantry attack goes in half an hour after the last shell has fallen, in clear (but misty) daylight, at 07:45. The Turkish troops – virtually undamaged by the shelling – rise to man their trenches and cut down the infantry in swathes. Very few men reach their trenches. Owing to wet soil, shelling and losses among the operators, the field telephone system break down almost immediately, leaving Brigade, Division and Corps completely in the dark as to what is happening. While various commands are given to reorganize and renew the attack, in the appalling weather and with such chaos in the front lines, no further effort is made. With defeat at the Hanna, the British attempt to relieve Kut is badly delayed. Morale among the British troops falls, with growing doubts about their leaders and dismay at the poor supplies, medical arrangements and ramshackle organization.

    The British and Indian attackers suffer 2,700 casualties.

    • Lieutenant Colonel Ewing Wrigley Grimshaw (commanding 62nd Punjabis) killed at age 48.
    • Lieutenant Colonel Francis Jearrad Bowker (commanding 1st/4th Hampshire Regiment) is killed at age 47. He is a veteran of the South African War.
    • Major William Hurst Nicolson (Dogras) is killed at age 45. He is the son of the Reverend William Millar Nicolson.
    • Major Oliver St John Skeen DSO (Punjabis) killed at age 41. He is the son of Deputy Surgeon General William Skeen.
    • Captain Alan Gordon Acheson Adam (East Kent Regiment) is killed at age 28. His brother will die at home in last month of the war.
    • Lieutenant Joseph Steward Fayrer (Dogras) is killed at age 18. He is the grandson of ‘Sir’ Joseph Fayrer 1st
    • Lieutenant John Charles Bucknill MC (Hampshire Regiment) is killed at age 36. His brother died of wounds last May.
    • Lieutenant Charles Randolph Prendergast (Punjabis) is killed at age 28. He is the son of the late Major General C L Prendergast Colonel Commandant of the 28th
    • Second Lieutenant Ewart Okey (Connaught Rangers) is killed at age 28. He is the first of three brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War.
    • Second Lieutenant Richard De Beauvoir De Lisle (Deccan Infantry) is killed at age 19. He is the son of Brigadier General G de S De Lisle.
    • Second Lieutenant Frank Henderson E Soutar (Black Watch) is killed at age 26. His brother will be killed in May 1918 and they are sons of the Reverend Alex Soutar.
    • Corporal John B Brown (Hampshire Regiment) is killed. His brother will be in July 1917.

    Naval and overseas.

    UC 10 captained by Alfred Nitzsche sank the Dutch Steamer Apollo. Mined 1 mile SSW of the Galloper LV.

    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."
  9. Flying Officer Kyte's Avatar

    Flying Officer Kyte said:


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    22nd January 1916.

    No deaths are recorded for Saturday January 22nd 1916.

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

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    • Lieutenant Colonel Henry Brydges Yates (Canadian Army Medical Corps) dies on service at home at age 50. He founded the Yates Cup which is annually presented to the winner of the Ontario University Athletics football conference of the Canadian Inter-University Sports Federation. This is the oldest still existing football trophy in North America dating back to 1898.
    • Second Lieutenant James Frederick Watson (Black Watch) dies at home at age 28. His brother will be killed in June of this year.
    • Second Lieutenant John Anthony Lovell (Life Guards) is killed at age 29. He is an England international hockey player and his brother will be killed next July.

    Western Front.

    Artillery active on both sides. Bombardment by 48th Div between 2.30 & 3.pm.

    Captain Tunstill's men.
    A day by day account of one Company during the Great War.

    • Divisional reserve billets in Hallobeau.

    • Orders were received that 69th Brigade was to return to the front line, replacing 24th Brigade in the right (southern) section of the Bois Grenier sector. Front line positions were to be occupied initially by 8th and 9th Yorkshires, with 11th West Yorks and 10DWR in Brigade reserve.
    • J.B. Priestley, in a letter to his family, referred to the death of L.Cpl Herbert Waddington (see 13th January) which had occurred whilst Priestley himself had been away from the Battalion having suffered a minor wound from the explosion of a rifle grenade: “By some strange irony of fate, each time I have been away from the Battalion, I have lost a very dear friend. First it was Ellis (Sgt. Irvine Ellis, for whom see 20th November 1915) and now it seems that Waddington (whom you met at the station) is either dead or wounded in the hands of the Germans. I am feeling rather lonely these days, and the loss of these chums has a greater effect on me than the experiences I go through personally”

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    the interior of a farmhouse kitchen. A woman sorts through a laundry basket watched by a soldier smoking a pipe and wearing jodhpurs. A small child sits at a table playing with a cigar box, and a dog sits under the table.
    Inscription' France' WMH 22.1.16

    Home Front.

    Aeroplane raid on Dover, 1 killed, 6 injured.

    On the night of 22/23 January 1916, Dover again became the target for a hit and run raid by a single German aircraft. A Friedrichshafen FF 33b floatplane of Seeflieger Abteilung 1 appeared over the town and began dropping bombs at 12.47am.
    The raider came inland just over half a mile south-west of Dover Castle and dropped its first two bombs on Waterloo Crescent and Cambridge Crescent, then continued on a course towards the castle dropping a total of eight high-explosive (HE) and one incendiary bomb. The next bomb fell on Camden Crescent followed by one that caused a fire at the maltings of the Phoenix Brewery in Dolphin Lane, which the fire brigade extinguished by 2.00am. The next bomb struck the gas office in Russell Street, then followed three that caused most of the damage.

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    One smashed through the roof of the Red Lion Inn in St. James’s Street, described in an official report as a ‘common lodging house used as a licensed premises’. The explosion killed 43-year-old Harry Sladden, who possibly worked there as a barman, and injured three men - James Browning, George Gambrill and Richard Willis. All had been sleeping in a first floor room. The blast blew off Sladden’s clothes and, when a doctor arrived, he was dead, lying with his intestines protruding from a stomach wound and compound fractures to his right leg.

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    The Red Lion Inn, St. James's Street, where Harry Sladden was killed when a bomb dropped through the roof.

    The other two dropped close by. One fell on a wall at the back of Golden Cross Cottages from which fragments injured three children - Daisy Marlow, aged 14, Grace Marlow (10) and another unnamed girl. The other bomb injured 71-year-old Julia Philpott as she lay in bed at 2 Golden Cross Place. The final bomb exploded in Victoria Park, estimated ‘within 100 yards of Garrison Headquarters’ at the castle.
    Having released all his bombs, the pilot turned out to sea and was observed from St. Margaret’s heading eastwards at 1.03am. The raid was over so quickly that no aircraft took off to oppose it, and no anti-aircraft guns opened fire. Captain Albert Ball was one of Britain's highest scoring profile fighter pilots during the First World War.

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    Albert Ball was born on 14 August 1896 in Nottingham to successful businessman Albert Ball, who went on to be knighted, and Harriett Mary Page. Albert had a brother and sister and enjoyed a happy childhood as both his parents were loving and indulgent.
    In his youth, Ball had a small hut where he tinkered with engines and electrical equipment. He also developed a good knowledge of firearms and often shot at targets. Ball had keen vision and quickly became a crack shot. He studied at Lenton Church School, Grantham Grammar School and Nottingham School before moving to Trent College in 1911. At the age of 17, he left school and his father helped him set up his own mechanical business Universal Engineering Works next to his family home in 1913.
    He joined the army upon the outbreak of war in August 1914, receiving a commission into the Sherwood Foresters. By October that year, he had been promoted to sergeant and was then promoted to Second-Lieutenant the same month. He was so desperate to get to the that he transferred to the North Midland Divisional Cyclist Company but he remained in England throughout 1915. Ball used this to his advantage, however, as he paid for private tuition and trained as a pilot at Hendon's Ruffy-Baumann School in July that year.
    On 15 October 1915, he obtained his Royal Aero Club Certificate and requested a transfer to the Royal Flying Corps. This was granted and after further training at Norwich and Upavon, Ball was awarded the pilot's beret on 22 January 1916.

    Southern Front.

    Austrians occupy Antivari and Dulcigno (Montenegro).

    Austro-Bulgarians take Berat (Albania).

    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres.

    Armistice for six hours on Tigris; relief force hampered by floods.-

    An armistice is agreed upon for six hours on the Tigris River. As soon as the white flag is raised Arabs swarm out of the Turkish lines and begin to rob the dead and wounded collecting especially rifles. Flooding on the river hampers the Kut relief force.
    General Townshend reported Kut could hold out 17 days.

    Naval and Overseas Operations.

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    British SS Gemma bombed by German aircraft off Deal ; missed.

    British SS Norseman torpedoed by U39 commanded by Walter Forstmann in Salonika Bay ; beached.

    UC 10 captained by
    Alfred Nitzsche damaged the British Steamer. Falls City, mined between Elbow Buoy and the Kentish Knock LV

    Russian torpedo boats sink a further 40 sailing vessels in Black Sea.


    Rumanian Government open negotiations with Russian Government with a view to military assistance.

    Winston Churchill to the Duke of Marlborough, January 22, 1916
    Although the duties of a battalion commander in the Sixth Royal Scots Fusiliers took up most of his time, Churchill continued to give careful thought to British domestic politics as well as the overall course of the war. This letter displays his disgust with the policies of his former colleagues. The Germans, Churchill believed, had managed to fool British leaders into dispersing their forces even as they lured them into breaking "our teeth on their tremendous defensive lines in the West & in Russia."



    My dear Sunny,

    Your letter was very welcome, and will I hope be repeated. I must write to old Morley. He responds to attention, but he c'd not reasonably expect me to oppose the war of leave the gov't on its declaration. "My propensities were all the other way."

    I have been commanding this battalion for the last 3 weeks, & now in a few days I shall take them into the line. I have paid a couple of visits to the trenches & they are the best & most comfortable I have seen, in what is now a large & varied (examination?) of the front. They are dry, well supplied with dugouts, good communications, good wire, & minor conveniences. Our battalion H.Q. will be in a farm about 500 yards from the front line. Few of the buildings in this area are much knocked about but this farm has been hit a good many times & is a target. This is the blemish on an otherwise harmonious scheme. When we go into ‘rest' we only retire about 1500 yards, and so we shall dwell for the next few months continually within range of the enemy's artillery, field as well as heavy. Things are however fairly quiet at present on this sector; tho' no doubt we shall stir them up a bit. We shall not be far away from that wood in which you used to take an interest in the early days of the war. The battalion is one of the 9th (Scottish) division which fought heroically at Loos, storming the German trenches with a loss of 6000 men out of about 9000 engaged. It is in consequence shattered & only 2 officers who were present in the battle are still on duty. I have no regular officers (except Archie Suielaei/Swilaei?) who I brought with me & made 2nd in command) & hardly an officer over 25 years. The average must be about 231/2. I have 1g 2nd Lieuts. Re. these circ's. you will realise that my task is not an easy one, & that a very great deal of labor & responsibility will fall on me when we are actually in contact with the enemy. The battalion has improved since I came & the utmost loyalty & wish to do right characterizes everybody, & I am hopeful that we shall get in all right. But think what the professional soldiers will have said 2 years ago of a battalion so composed & efficient.

    I watch politics as through a reversed field glass. L.G. seems after all his manoeuvres to be quite isolated & kept in control. He was foolish to throw me over for together we were a power. Asquith flourishes like the green bay tree, & everything looks like holding together for some time to come. Meanwhile so far as I understand it the policy continues to be unwise. We are locking up a large army at Salonika whose only rôle seems to be to make enemies of the Greeks & to prevent the Turks & Bulgars from falling out. We are locking up another large army in Egypt, which K[itchener] and EG [Edward Grey] have got on the brain. The German game is a clear one. They should continue to frighten us at both places with the expectation of an attack & do their utmost to push large Turkish forces to Mesopotamia & Persia & rouse the East against us. Meanwhile they should invite us to break our teeth on their tremendous defensive lines in the West & in Russia. There is every reason to believe they will take this extremely obvious & disagreeable course, & that we shall continue to do at each stage exactly what they wish & need us to do. However I am not going to let myself be fretted by events I cannot control & of which my news may at any moment be cut off.

    With every good wish,

    Your affectionate cousin


    P.S. How lucky Cornelia is with her children. Chelmsford was as an extraordinary choice. But I daresay he will do it very well.

    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."
  10. Flying Officer Kyte's Avatar

    Flying Officer Kyte said:


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    23rd January 1916.

    2 airmen have fallen on Sunday January 23rd 1916.

    CPO2 Poney, H. (Henry) Royal Naval Air Service H.M.S. 'Ark Royal'
    Flt Sub-Lt Ward, C.G.B. (Clinton Granville Brooks) Royal Naval Air Service.
    No other details on either airman given.

    No claims are made today.


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    • Second Lieutenant Hugh Reginald Freston (Berkshire Regiment) is killed by a trench mortar in a skirmish at La Boisselle at age 24. He is a graduate of Dulwich and Exeter Colleges, a Great War Poet and author of “The Quest for the Truth” and other poems.

    The March.
    We were splashing along the muddy lanes:
    And as I walked behind the long column,
    I saw the men’s shoulders swing to and fro;
    And as they jolted along unevenly,
    Marching at ease,
    Their song came back to me on the wind;
    And my heart sang with them.
    When suddenly,
    As the wind will sometimes cease at twilight,
    Their song faded and died
    And then,
    Looking round,
    I saw, and in a glance understood
    We were passing the little graves…
    Lonely and silent, I saw them side by side,
    In the little new-made grave-garden:
    There slept the soldiers of England;
    There the heroes had found their peace.

    • Lieutenant J H C Herald (Durham Light Infantry) dies of wounds received in action at age 21. He is the son of the late Reverend W D Herald, and was taking the Holy Orders. He also served as an Intelligence Officer.
    • Lieutenant Robert Theodore Manners Downie (Highland Light Infantry) dies of wounds at home at age 25. His brother will be killed in March 1918.
    • Private John Harry Horlock (Dorsetshire Regiment) dies during the siege of Kut Mesopotamia. He is the brother of Victoria Cross winner Ernest George Horlock who will himself be killed in December 1917 in the sinking of the transport Arragon

    Western Front.

    Royal Flying Corps all-FE2b two-seat pusher squadron (No 20) reaches France.

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    German offensive near Neuville-St. Vaast (Arras).

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    The ruins of the Cloth Hall (Lakenhalle) and St Martin's Cathedral in Ypres, 23 January 1916. From the Royal Engineers Collection at the Imperial War Museum, copyright image Q29056,with my thanks.

    Home Front.

    Air-raid on Kent; no damage.

    A German floatplane targets Dover and Folkestone apparently taking photographs of the previous day’s raids. The aircraft appears over the Capel airship sheds at 15:45 then turns northeast and is seen over Dover sixteen minutes later.
    Just 12 hours after the previous raid, German seaplanes returned to Dover. A Friedrichshafen FF 33b and a Hansa-Brandenburg NW, flying at great height to avoid detection, came inland between Folkestone and Dover. Approaching the town from the west, they appeared over Dover on Sunday afternoon at 12.52pm. The raiders attracted immediate fire from the Dover anti-aircraft guns and from ships moored in the harbour; one passed out to sea towards the east while the other headed on an E.S.E course. Neither dropped any bombs.

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    Hansa-Brandenburg NW.

    The aircraft on the easterly course then turned back and approached Dover again, from the west, at 1.10pm. The anti-aircraft guns all opened on this sole aircraft, which again departed without dropping any bombs. The other raider had circled to the south and came inland again near Folkestone. At 1.23pm it dropped five high explosive bombs on the Royal Naval Air Service airship base at Capel-le-Ferne, but failed to cause any material damage.

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    Royal Naval Air Service airship base at Capel-le-Ferne.

    The comings and goings of the raiders left some confusing reports but it seems that one also passed over Dover again at 1.55pm from the direction of Folkestone and dropped two bombs. An eyewitness, standing close to the pier confirmed this when he wrote: ‘They dropped a bomb within about fifty yards of me, fortunately a “dud” and in the water. A second one fell immediately after, just short of a hospital ship lying alongside.’

    The anti-aircraft guns at Dover - at the Castle, Drop Redoubt and Langdon Battery - fired 71 rounds from a 6-pdr, 30 rounds from a 3-inch, 20cwt gun and 499 rounds from their four 1-pdrs. The same eyewitness who saw the bombs drop also watched this retaliation.

    'From one-pounder pom-poms up to three-inch and even seven-inch, both from the ships and the forts, they were all blazing away for all they were worth, while the Huns seemed to like it and to be even smiling at their efforts.’ The official reports state that the shells were all bursting short of their targets.

    Four RFC aircraft and a RNAS flying boat, all base
    d at Dover, took off. Although four of them reported sighting the raiders as they headed back to Belgium, they were too far away to be caught.

    Southern Front.

    Austrians take Nikshich.

    Austrian forces occupy Podgoritza in Montenegro and Scutari in Albania.

    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres.

    Armenia: Grand Duke authorizes attack on
    Erzerum. Yudenich has 20 aircraft (the first ones in this theatre), motor convoys and 34 siege guns to help.

    Dispersal of Senussi Camp at Halazin, 25 miles south-west of Mersa Matruh (West Egypt). Deep mud.

    The Western Frontier force attacks an encampment of 6,000 Senussi at Halazin
    in Egypt. The British sustain 312 casualties, including 21 dead; Senussi casualties
    number 700, including 200 dead.

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    Halazin, an action fought on 23 January 1916 in the Libyan Desert on Egypt's western frontier 35 kilometres south-west of
    Mersa Matruh, between pro-Turkish Arabs of the Senussi sect and a British expeditionary force under Major-General Alexander Wallace. Following an indecisive action at Gebel Medwa (q.v.), there was little action on this front until the main Senussi camp was located at Halazin on 19 January by the crew of a British aircraft who reported the presence of 300 tents, including that of Sheikh Saved Ahmed (the Grand Senussi) himself.

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    Wallace decided to mount an attack, buoyed by the fact that many of the improvised units initially scratched together from rear details to form his force had since been replaced by properly formed battalions and regiments. In addition to a newly arrived battalion of South African infantry, he also now had several complete yeomanry units which had become available following the end of the Gallipoli campaign. Although he still had light horsemen in his mounted brigade, the Australian presence was reduced on 15 January to just a half-regiment after two squadrons left to return to Egypt.

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    Australian Light horse.

    Marching out from
    Mersa Matruh with both his infantry and cavalry brigades, Wallace formed camp on the evening of 22 January only sixteen kilometres from the Senussi encampment. That night there was a torrential rainstorm, which meant the advance was resumed next morning in a quagmire of mud. Conditions were so difficult that armoured cars with the force had to he sent to the rear in case they became bogged in the face of the enemy. Once combat was joined that day, Wallace also found himself confronted by a spirited enemy who put heavy pressure on both his flanks. On the left flank in particular, covered by the mounted column, the Senussi attack was so determined that at one point several companies of New Zealand infantry had to be turned about to render assistance to the cavalry. The situation on this front continued to become pressing until the infantry forming the British centre, reinforced by some light horse, broke through the enemy's main defence line. The Arabs made a general withdrawal through and beyond their tented camp, leaving behind some 200 dead and 500 wounded.

    Exhaustion, and the sodden ground, again prevented success being exploited with a vigorous pursuit. The action had been hard and costly; with casualties on the British side totalling 312 (though only 21 were killed). Most of the wounded were not retrieved until the following day, being forced to spend an agonising and cold night on the battlefield. The force as a whole had a wretched night, being without food or shelter and forced to drink only muddy rainwater. The troops were withdrawn soon after the fighting ended, so enjoyed little warmth from the blaze made by the Senussi tents. The next day the 1st Australian Divisional Train, which had been stuck fast in mud during 23 January, succeeded in reaching the returning force and was able to relieve many of the shortages while helping to alleviate the sufferings of the wounded, for which it earnt special thanks from Wallace.

    Although there was a return to
    Mersa Matruh on this occasion, as after previous engagements, the way was finally clear for the British to advance and re-occupy the Egyptian border post at Sollum (Salem). This was accomplished on 14 March 1916, though not before one final large-scale clash at Agagiya, 24 kilometres south-east of Sidi Barrani, on 26 February. The 1st Australian Divisional Train was still serving in support of the advance at the, time of this final action, but on 7 March was withdrawn back to Egypt to join in the expansion and general reorganisation of the Australian Imperial Force which was then taking place.

    Political, etc.

    King Nicholas of Montenegro arrives at Rome; his son Prince Mirko accepts Austrian terms on January 25 which King disowns on May 24.

    Rumanian government begins negotaitions with Russians over military assistance.

    The Military Service Bill passes the House of Commons.

    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."
  11. Mike George's Avatar

    Mike George said:


    Thank you for you time and effort many thanks
  12. Пилот said:


    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Officer Kyte View Post
    Austrians take Nikshich.
    Does it make my grandfather (born in Nikšić, December 1916) temporary K.u.K. citizen?
  13. Flying Officer Kyte's Avatar

    Flying Officer Kyte said:


    Depends on how he felt about it. At that age I don't suppose he cared too much Heмaњa.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."
  14. Flying Officer Kyte's Avatar

    Flying Officer Kyte said:


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike George View Post
    Thank you for you time and effort many thanks
    Thankyou for taking an interest in the column Mike.
    It is readers like you which has given us the largest circulation on the site for our little newspaper.
    41,549 and rising.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."
  15. Flying Officer Kyte's Avatar

    Flying Officer Kyte said:


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    24th January 1916.

    1 airman has fallen on Monday January 24th 1916.

    Pte. Osterroth, V.G. (Victor George) Royal Flying Corps. Attached from 'D' Company, 27th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers. 24 January 1916 aged 24.


    There were two claims today.

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    Redford Mulock DSO. flying Nieuport (3977) claimed a C type (Forced to land) Near Westende. this was his second aircraft downed.
    The son of W. R. Mulock, K.C., Redford Henry Mulock was educated as an electrical engineer at McGill University. He enlisted in 1911 but resigned his commission in the 13th Field Battery of Winnipeg and joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1915. The highest ranking Canadian airman of the war, he became the first Canadian ace of the war as well as the first RNAS pilot to claim 5 victories.
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    Flight Lieutenant (Acting Flight Commander) Redford Henry Mulock, R.N.A.S.
    In recognition of his services as a pilot at Dunkirk. This officer has been constantly employed at Dunkirk since July, 1915, and has displayed indefatigable zeal and energy. He has on several occasions engaged hostile aeroplanes and seaplanes, and attacked submarines, and has carried out attacks on enemy air stations, and made long-distance reconnaissances.

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    Kurt Wintgens FA 48 claimed an unconfirmed Caudron G.IV

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    Wintgens was killed in action when his
    Fokker E.III went down in flames near Villers-Carbonnel. It's believed that he was shot down by French ace Alfred Heurtaux of Spa3.

    Notable Casualties.

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    • Brigadier General George Benjamin Hodson CB DSO (commanding 33rd Indian Brigade, 11th Division) dies of wounds received in action at Malta at age 53. He was wounded in the head by a sniper at Suvla Bay on 14th December 1915 while looking over a parapet.
    • Lieutenant Alfred Noel Garrod (Royal Army Medical Corps) is killed at age 28. He is the middle of three sons of ‘Sir’ Archibald E Garrod KCMG Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford who will lose their lives in the Great War.
    • Second Lieutenant Stephen Mewburn Orford (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 27. He is the son of Canon Horace William Orford.
    • Second Lieutenant Robert Basil Furley (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) is killed by a sniper shot to the head at age 27. He is the son of the Reverend Henry Furley Rector of Kingsworth and his brother will be killed in November 1917.

    Western Front.

    German offensive near Nieuport (Yser).

    Captain Tunstill's men.

    Brigade reserve billets at La Rolanderie.
    Conditions for the Battalion were quiet on a dull day with some rain. However it was observed that there was considerable artillery activity on both sides, with a number of shells falling on Rue Marle.

    Southern Front.

    Italians lose ground near Gorizia.

    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres.

    General Aylmer encamps at El Owasa, Orah.

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    In January 1916 the Imperial Camel Corps was formed from the infantry brigades of the AIF to defend the Western Frontier of Egypt from the Senussi rebels . Many of the men who volunteered for service with camels, especially in the Western Australian units, had years of experience with them. Four companies were initially formed and demand was so great that five more were formed in June 1916 from surplus light horse reinforcements.

    1st Camel Company [1st Camel Battalion]
    Formed Egypt 24 January 1916 from the 4th and 8th Infantry Brigades. Assigned to 1st Camel Battalion 16 December 1916. Disbanded 25 July 1918. Personnel used to form 14th Light Horse Regiment.
    Egypt, Western Desert, Sinai, Palestine.

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    Sinai 1916. Sgt Frederick Mercier - Imperial Camel Corps - 1st Camel Battalion [1st Company].

    Russians advance on forts of Erzerum.

    Political, etc.

    First Military Service Act passed by the British parliament making all single men between 18 and 41 eligible for conscription into the army.

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    General Smuts is appointed to command in East Africa.

    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."
  16. Flying Officer Kyte's Avatar

    Flying Officer Kyte said:


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    25th January 1916.

    Not a lot of news today, and tommorrow I hand over the reigns to my Editor in Chief for a spell.
    No deaths are recorded for Tuesday January 25th 1916.


    Flt.-Lieut. Noel Keeble, R.N.A.S. claimed his first victory flying Nieuport (3178) A German Seaplane (FTL) 7 mi off Neuport.

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    Noel Keeble was granted a permanent commission to Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force on 1 August 1919. Two of Noel Keeble's three sons were killed while flying for the RAF during WWII. His third son was invalided out of the RAF in 1939 whilst in training.
    Flt.-Lieut. Noel Keeble, R.N.A.S.
    For conspicuous gallantry on the 23rd October, 1916, when he attacked four German seaplanes and brought one of them down in a vertical nose-dive into the sea.
    Supplement to the London Gazette, 12 May 1917 (30066/4626)
    Lieut. (T./Capt.) Noel Keeble, D.S.C. {Sea Patrol).
    This officer (with an observer) has obtained 1,000 invaluable photographs of enemy positions miles behind the lines, and has brought home extremely important new information during this period. He has destroyed eight enemy machines, including one biplane during the past month. Captain Keeble is a most capable and gallant Flight Commander.
    Supplement to the London Gazette, 21 September 1918 (30913/11252)

    Sous Lieutenant
    Mathieu Marie Joseph Antoine de la Tour of Escadrille N57 destroyed a German Balloon for his first victory.

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    After serving in the cavalry, Mathieu de la Tour transferred to the French Air Service in 1915, receiving a Pilot's Brevet on 6 May. After recovering from injuries received in a flying accident on 30 October, he was posted to Escadrille N57 on 29 December. In the first month of 1916, he scored his first victory, downing a German observation balloon. Wounded in combat on 25 April, de la Tour did not return to combat duty until the summer. Reassigned to N3, he scored 7 more victories during 1916, including a second observation balloon. Following a promotion in 1917, he assumed command of N26, scoring his final victory on 7 May 1917. Toward the end of the year, de la Tour was killed in a crash while flying a

    "Sous Lieutenant of Escadrille N57. On 25 January 1916, he was surprised by a sea of fog, out of which emerged a German balloon which he decided to attack. He approached it and duelled with the passenger in the basket, succeeding in silencing the enemy's gun. He continued to fire at the balloon until he was within fifty meters of the ground. Completely lost and with his motor acting up, he returned by dint of his coolness and strength, and landed behind the British lines." Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur citation, 1 February 1916.

    Hans-Joachim Buddecke FA6 shot down his sixth victim, a Farman near the Dardenelles.

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    (22 August 1890 – 10 March 1918) was a
    Germanflying ace in World War I, credited with thirteen victories. He was the third ace, after Max Immelmann and Oswald Boelcke, to earn the Blue Max (Pour le Mérite). He saw combat in three theaters during the First World War: Bulgaria, Turkey, and the Western Front.

    Western Front.
    French airmen have raided German ecampments at Honthulst and Middlekerke, in Belgium.

    Severe fighting near Arras.

    13th Middlesex Reg Diary records.

    During the afternoon our 4.5 Howitzers fired 22 rounds at J13.C.4.8 (which it is believed is a strong point built of reinforced concrete) they obtained 3 direct hits, but these did not appear to have any effect on the work. In the evening an attempt was made to draw the fire of the machine gun in this work, it failed, but it had the effect of there being no sniping from this point during the night (previously there had been considerable sniping from this point).
    At 4.15 pm the enemy fired 3 Rifle Grenades over B8, these fell well over and did no damage, and at 9.15 pm 1 Rifle grenade fell short of C1. The night was quiet. Work done fire bays and parades improved in BS8. The wire was examined in front of C10, there are three rows in all, the furthest was found to be in good condition throughout. A small wiring party improved the wire immediately in front of C1 R. From 5.30-7.30 pm a wiring party improved the wire in front of C1.

    Southern Front.

    San Giovanni di Medua (Albania) captured by Austrian forces.

    Montenegro accepts Austrian terms.

    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres.

    General Aylmer remains encamped at El Owasa (Orah).

    Naval and Overseas Operations.

    General Smuts takes up his appointment to command in East Africa.

    Political, etc.

    Statement on contraband in parcel mails to neutral countries published by Press Bureau.

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

    Hedeby said:


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    Welcome back to the latest edition of 'The Sniper's Times', and I wish to start by saying a big thank you to Rob for the past few weeks, I have looked on with envy at the rich stream of history he has been able to produce for our viewing pleasure recently, and I shall endeavour to keep up the high editorial standards during my stint at the helm. So here goes

    January 26th 1916

    There was one reported airman loss on this day - Air Mechanic 2nd. Class William Chris Pass - 30 Squadron Royal Flying Corps.

    He died on this day 26 January 1916 while a Prisoner of War in Turkish Hands, aged 25. Alas such is the way with so many non- officers I am unable to find out any more details.

    There were two claimed aerial victories on this day...

    Colonel Redford Henry "Red" Mulock - Claimed his second victory in consecutive days flying his Nieuport (3977) - he downed an Albatross 'C' near Nieuport (ironic given the plane he was flying at the time) He would have to wait until May to claim his next victory.

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    The son of W. R. Mulock, K.C., Redford Henry Mulock was educated as an electrical engineer at McGill University. He enlisted in 1911 but resigned his commission in the 13th Field Battery of Winnipeg and joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1915. The highest ranking Canadian airman of the war, he became the first Canadian ace of the war as well as the first RNAS pilot to claim 5 victories.

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    The second claim of the day (although unconfirmed) was by Hauptmann Hans-Joachim Buddecke FA6 claimed to have shot down a Farman in the vicinity of the Dardenalles. This was his second claim in consecutive days. This brought his total to 11 (six confirmed and five unconfirmed)

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    He had been sent to Gallipoli to fly the Halberstadt D.II and Fokker E.III with Ottoman FA 6 against the Royal Naval Air Service. (These kills probably happened whilst flying the Eindecker as the Halberstadt did not see active service until the June of 1916) The Turkish campaign was successful, with four confirmed victories and seven unconfirmed, and Buddecke was personally awarded he Gold Liakat Medal by Enver Pasha. He was recalled to the Western Front in late August 1916 as leader of the newly formed Royal Prussian Jagdstaffel 4.

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    Elsewhere on the land and at sea we saw the following.... (Alas no Victoria Cross tales - next one due on 14th February)

    Nothing much to report from the Western Front on this day - but we are not far away now from the start of one of the biggest and bloodiest battles in human history - the titanic struggle between French and German forces at VERDUN (21st February)

    The War at Sea

    Today announced more future trouble for allied shipping with the official commissioning of a new U-Boat: SMU-72 - although would not start sinking shipping until September 1916

    German Type UE I submarines were preceded by the longer Type U 66 submarines. U-72 had a displacement of 755 tonnes (743 long tons) when at the surface and 832 tonnes (819 long tons) while submerged.[2] It had a total length of 186 ft 4 in (56.79 m), a pressure hull length of 153 ft 1 in (46.66 m), a beam of 19 ft 4 in (5.89 m), a height of 27 ft 1 in (8.26 m), and a draught of 15 ft 11 in (4.85 m). The submarine was powered by two 900 metric horsepower (660 kW; 890 shp) engines for use while surfaced, and two 900 metric horsepower (660 kW; 890 shp) engines for use while submerged. It had two propeller shafts. It was capable of operating at depths of up to 50 metres (160 ft).[2]

    The submarine had a maximum surface speed of 10.6 knots (19.6 km/h; 12.2 mph) and a maximum submerged speed of 7.9 knots (14.6 km/h; 9.1 mph).When submerged, it could operate for 83 nautical miles (154 km; 96 mi) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph); when surfaced, it could travel 7,880 nautical miles (14,590 km; 9,070 mi) at 7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph). U-72 was fitted with two 50 centimetres (20 in) torpedo tubes (one at the starboard bow and one starboard stern), four torpedoes, and one 5.5 centimetres (2.2 in) deck machine gun. It had a complement of thirty-two (twenty-eight crew members and four officers).

    Two allied ships were lost on this day....

    HMT Chance ( Royal Navy): The naval trawler was lost on this date.
    HM Torpedo Boat 13 ( Royal Navy): The torpedo boat collided with another vessel and sank in the North Sea.

    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres

    Sir Percy Lake joins the Kut relief force.

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    Lake was born at Fulwood Barracks, Preston, Lancashire on 29 June 1855, where his father was stationed. He was the son of Lt.-Colonel Percy Godfrey Botfield Lake (1829–1899) and his wife Margaret Phillips of Quebec City. He was educated at Preston Grammar School and Uppingham School.[1]

    Lake was commissioned as a sub-lieutenant in the 59th Regiment of Foot in 1873.He fought on the Second Anglo-Afghan War in 1878 and in Sudan in 1885.He was promoted to lieutenant on 9 August 1873. He became Deputy Assistant Adjutant General and Quartermaster General in Egypt in 1885, Staff Captain at Army Headquarters in 1887 and Deputy Assistant Adjutant General (Intelligence) at Army Headquarters in 1888. He went on to be Deputy Assistant Adjutant General at Dublin District in Ireland in 1892, Quartermaster General for the Canadian Militia in 1893 and Assistant Quartermaster General at Army Headquarters in 1899. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) on 22 August 1902. After that Lake became Chief Staff Officer for 2nd Army Corps in 1904, Chief of the Canadian General Staff in 1905 and Inspector General of the Canadian Militia in 1908. He then became General Officer Commanding 7th Indian Division in India in 1911 and Chief of the General Staff in India from 1912. In January 1916 he was appointed Commander of the Mesopotamian Force, as part of an expeditionary force sent to relieve Sir Charles Townshend's troops at Kut.He was created Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) on 1 January 1916.

    The AIF 22nd Battalion(Australian) entrained for Ismailia and on the 29th marched to Ferry Post. After two days the Battalion moved to Brighton Beach out in the wastes of the Sinai desert. Two Companies were always on outpost duty, but as Gorman recalls ‘this was not nerve-racking as ‘no man’s land’ was many hundreds of miles wide.’

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    Political etc.

    United States Government make informal protest to British Government regarding their "Black List" policy (see December 23rd, 1915 and July 28th, 1916).

    House of Commons debate on the blockade.

    Austro-German protest to Romania on sale of wheat to Great Britain.

    I will finish with a small piece in the Telegraph from this day in 1916 - The Telegraph was fond of highlighting German barbarism, but one latest example is hidden near the bottom of page 9 today, and if the translation is in any way accurate then it is quite shocking to see the quite casual way a German Headquarters announces the destruction of the towers of the cathedral of Nieuport, justifying this vandalism on the grounds that they “offered excellent observation-posts to the enemy.” It is surprising that more isn’t made of this than the bare report we have.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!
  18. Hedeby's Avatar

    Hedeby said:


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    As January nears its dry and dusty end (I am suffering from having agreed to participate in 'Dry January' - only 4 days to go, then I welcome back lovely beer.... how ironic that I was mildly drunk when I agreed to this - mind you I think you have to be drunk to want to give up beer) I think - lol ... anyway on with the war.... and today saw one of the most momentous government bills of all time come into being....

    January 27th 1916

    One airman fell on this day in 1916 - Petty Office Mechanic Reginald H Young: Royal Naval Air Service armoured car squadron. Died at H.M.S. 'President II' like so many members of his unit whom we have highlighted in this thread over the past months. He died of wounds sustained in Gallipoli - he was just 19 years old.

    Today's aerial victory climas : For the third day in a row we have Hauptmann Hans-Joachim Buddecke, on something of a hot streak following his transfer to the skies over Gallipoli. Flying his Eindecker he shot down yet another Farman in the skies over Sedd-ul-Bahr. (Seddul Bahr)

    Here is a variant of the Eindecker which he flew whilst in Turkey (not the ARES paint scheme)

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    Seddul Bahr is perhaps better known as the site of a French WW1 cemetery:

    The French cemetery of Seddul Bahr (Gallipoli) is the only remaining of the four French cemeteries built during the 1915 operations. These cemeteries were the following ones: Galinier cemetery, located in the fortress of Seddul Bahr, Ambulance cemetery (Kilid Bahr road) and those of the 1st and 2nd Divisions, in Morto Bay. Seddul Bahr cemetery was inaugurated in 1930 by général Gouraud. It holds the mortal remains of about 15,000 soldiers. Only 2,340 of them are identified. Tho photograph below was taken in December 1915 - the one below that in 2003.

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    Western Fron

    German attacks repulsed at Neuville and north-east of Loos. (Photograph of the landscape around Loos January 1916 - see below)

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    Southern Front

    Austrians repulsed on Upper Isonzo.

    Kaiser meets King Ferdinand (Bulgaria) at Nish.

    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres

    Part of Turkish positions at Kut flooded; Turks fall back 2,000 yards.

    Naval and Overseas Operations

    One ship was reported lost on this day : Crystal ( United Kingdom): World War I: The fishing smack was scuttled in the North Sea 25 nautical miles (46 km) south east of Southwold, Suffolk by SM UB-6 ( Kaiserliche Marine). Her crew survived

    British monitors bombard Westeinde.

    German camp at Nkan captured (German East Africa).

    Political etc.

    Shipping Control Committee formed in Great Britain (see November 3rd and 10th, 1915 and December 22nd, 1916).

    The Military Service Act is passed by Parliament, imposing conscription on all single men aged 18 to 41 in Great Britain. Exemptions were made for men in essential war work, those declared medically unfit, religious ministers, and conscientious objectors. (The period of conscription was in force until 1919). See below...

    The Bill which became the Act was introduced by Prime Minister H. H. Asquith in January 1916. It came into force on 2 March 1916. Previously the British Government had relied on voluntary enlistment, and latterly a kind of moral conscription called the Derby Scheme.The Act specified that men from 18 to 41 years old were liable to be called up for service in the army unless they were married, widowed with children, serving in the Royal Navy, a minister of religion, or working in one of a number of reserved occupations. A second Act in May 1916 extended liability for military service to married men, and a third Act in 1918 extended the upper age limit to 51. Men or employers who objected to an individual's call-up could apply to a local Military Service Tribunal. These bodies could grant exemption from service, usually conditional or temporary. There was right of appeal to a County Appeal Tribunal.

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    Schedule of Exceptions (i.e. categories of men who were not deemed to have enlisted)

    1. Men ordinarily resident in the Dominions abroad, or resident in Britain only for the purpose of their education or some other special purpose.

    2. Existing members of the regular or reserve forces or of the Territorial Force who are liable for foreign service or who are, in the opinion of the Army Council, not suitable for foreign service.

    3. Men serving in the Navy or Royal Marines or who are recommended for exception by the Admiralty.

    4. Men in Holy Orders or regular ministers of any religious denomination.

    5. Men who had served with the military or Navy and been discharged on grounds of ill-health or termination of service.

    6. Men who hold a certificate of exemption or who have offered themselves for enlistment since 4 August 1914 but been rejected.

    Claiming exemption from military service

    An application may be made before the appointed date to a Local Tribunal for the issue of a certificate of exemption. There were four grounds for exemption:

    - if it is expedient in the national interests that he should be engaged in other work, or, if he is being educated or trained for any other work, that he should continue; or

    - if serious hardship would ensue owing to his exceptional financial or business obligations or domestic position; or

    - ill health or infirmity; or

    - conscientious objection to the undertaking of combatant service.

    Certificates of exemption could also be granted by any Government department to men or classes or bodies of men in their employ, where it appears more convenient for this to take place than by individual application to Local Tribunal. A certificate could be absolute, conditional or temporary. Exemptions for continued education or training and those on financial hardship grounds could only be temporary. If the conditions under which an exemption was granted changed, it was the duty of the person to inform the authorities. A fine of up to £50 could be applied if he did not do so. False statements or misrepresentation at time of application for exemption could lead to imprisonment with hard labour for up to six months. A duplicate certificate could be issued on payment of one shilling. A system of Local, Appeal and Central Tribunals was arranged. Each registration district as defined in the National Registration Act 1915 would have a Local Tribunal or Tribunals, consisting of between 5 and 25 members each. A Tribunal could work through a committee that it could appoint. There would also be Appeal and Central Tribunals with members appointed by the Crown. Any person aggrieved by the decision of a Local Tribunal could make an appeal. Army Council Instruction 386 (19 February 1916) made it clear that official War Service badges issued to those on War Office, Admiralty or Ministry of Munitions work before 1 March 1916 would count as though they were a certificate of exemption.


    Men were allocated into a Class, which was connected with the year of their birth, and were notified that they would be called up by Class.

    Class 1 was for those born in 1897. They were 18 years old. They were told they would not be called up until they were aged 19. Class 2 was for those born in 1896, Class 3 for 1895 and so on up to Class 23 for those born in 1875.

    A Public Proclamation was placed in prominent spots, advising the public the date on which a particular Class would begin call up. This was deemed to be sufficient notice, but in additional generally each man received an individual notice. It was the individual's responsibility to be alert to such notices and to report himself for duty. There were penalties for not reporting and for inducing or assisting a reservist to absent himself.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!
  19. Hedeby's Avatar

    Hedeby said:


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    Blimey looks like Dave Manly has visited then offices of the Sniper's Times - half the ladies of the typing pool have gone down with a cold and now it has spread to the editor's office. So with lemsip perched next to typewriter and a bit of Klaus Schulze on the wind up gramophone I struggle on, lol

    January 28th 1916

    One airman was lost on this day : Sergeant Major Joseph Henry Rose No.1 Aircraft Depot - Royal Flying Corps died of heart failure - alas I can find no further records. Although I suspect he may have been born in 1875 (married in 1899) making him 41 years old. No pictures were available. He may have been from 27 Squadron, looking at their roster lists.


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    An elephant - approved by HM King Edward VIII in October 1936. The badge was based on an unofficial emblem first used in 1934 and commemorates the Squadron's first operational aircraft - the Martinsyde G100 'Elephant' - and the unit's long sojourn to India.

    Formed at Hounslow on 5 November 1915 from a nucleus provided by No. 24 Squadron, No.27 became the first squadron to be fully equipped with the Martinsyde G100 'Elephant'. Although intended as a fighter, the aircraft found itself more suited to reconnaissance and bombing missions after moving to France in March 1916. It wasn't until the autumn of 1917 that DH4 light bombers replaced the G100s, and these remained with the Squadron for the remainder of the war. In March 1919, the Squadron returned to the UK and disbanded in January 1920. Within three months, however, No. 99 Squadron in India was renumbered No. 27 and the Squadron assumed air-policing duties over the North West Frontier with DH9s. These were not replaced until 1930 when Wapitis arrived. These aircraft remained on strength until October 1939 by which time the Squadron became a Flying Training School at Risalpur. Operational status was restored a year later with the arrival of Bleheims, and the Squadron moved to Malaya a few months later. This proved to be a short-lived situation as the Squadron was decimated by the advancing Japanese forces and disbanded in February 1942. When the first Beaufighters arrived in India in September 1942, No. 27 Squadron was reformed and began ground attack operations at the turn of the year. During 1944, rocket-firing Beaufighters had arrived, and No. 27, along with No. 47 Squadron, formed an anti-shipping Strike Wing. Ground attack and air-jungle rescue duties in Burma followed, but the Squadron was disbanded in February 1946.

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    There were no claims from either side today - I guess Hauptmann Buddecke was having a bit of a sit down after the past three days action

    Western Front

    Although still a few months away from possibly the most infamous battle in history things were already beginning to happen in the area of the Somme. Germans take Frise (Somme) and trenches near Givenchy; repulsed at Carnoy (Mametz).
    Frise was on the front line for much of the First World War, notably the Battle of the Somme in 1916. The outline of trenches and shell holes is still visible today.

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    The church at Frise

    The build up for the Battle of Verdun was by now well underway...and had been since 24th December 1915.

    On December 24, 1915 the decision was made to attack Verdun. The code name for this action was Operation Judgement (in German Judgement means: tribunal, verdict and execution as well). The attack was planned to take place on 12 February 1916. The German army was charged with the execution. This army normally stood under the command of Crown Prince Wilhelm, but de facto his Chief of Staff general Smith Von Knobelsdorf took the decisions. During the preparation-meetings two important issues came up for discussion. The leaders of the Vth army wished to launch an attack on both banks of the river Meuse simultaneously. Falkenhayn claimed to have insufficient manpower at his disposal and therefore the attack had tot be restricted to the right riverbank of the Meuse with a relatively small deployment of ten German divisions.

    There also turned out to be a misunderstanding about the orders the army had received: the commanders thought to conquer the city of Verdun as quickly as possible, where Falkenhayn spoke in his orders of "an offence in the surroundings of the river Meuse, in the direction of Verdun." He only aimed at the destruction (weissbluten) of the French army and not in the first place, at conquering Verdun. However, a direct attack on Verdun was launched because Falkenhayn thought the troops to be more motivated in a war of aggression rather than in a war of attrition.

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    Observation balloons in operation in the Verdun area January 1916

    To maintain full control over the events all reserve-troops were put under the direct command of Falkenhayn himself and not under the command of Crown Prince Wilhelm. The German plan of attack aimed to destroy the French frontlines completely with the present field guns and the howitzers. The long-distance-guns should keep all supply-routes under fire to keep France from bringing in reinforcements. The firepower of 1200 German guns was tremendous, an ammunition-supply, sufficient for 6 days was at hand near the guns to a total amount of 2.500.000, brought in by 1300 ammunition-trains. The German preparations were made in all secrecy: entire villages situated in the occupied zone were evacuated in order to make room for five army corps, consisting of ten divisions with a total of 150.000 heads of attack-troops.

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    German troops en route to the front at Verdun

    Roads and railways were constructed for transportation. Accommodations were built, gun-emplacements were constructed, and heavy artillery was supplied.
    The area of attack with frontal latitude of 13 kilometres would be bombarded by more than 1.200 pieces of guns. Even the remaining army-units did not know much about the plans. All activities were immediately camouflaged and masked by aeroplanes that formed a solid defence line (for the first time in military history). The few French reconnaissance aeroplanes thus failed to conduct observations, also hindered by bad weather, and the observations they did bring in, were disregarded as being unimportant by the French Staff. As part of a new tactical plan of attack, the Germans also built special accommodations for the attacking-troops, the so-called 'stollen' that were situated at some distance from the frontline. In here, the attackers could wait in a sheltered position, for the right moment to attack. Before, attack-trenches were constructed which were almost always visible from the sky. This attracted artillery-fire and often led, even before the attack, to many losses.

    Tomorrow we will look at the French preparations and will then detail the various developments right up to the start of the battle on 12th February, because once the battle starts I am sure it will dominate our daily reports.

    Meanwhile at sea - there were no reported losses on this day.

    Southern Front

    Serbians move south in Albania.

    Austrians occupy Alessio and San Giovanni di Medua (Albania).

    Allies occupy Kara Burun (Salonika): Greek protest.

    Political, etc.

    American protest against British search of parcel mails and British reply published.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!
  20. Hedeby's Avatar

    Hedeby said:


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    Welcome to the flu ravaged offices of the Sniper's Times for another edition in our long running series 100 years ago today in World War One, the lemp sip rations have been exhausted but we struggle on, this evenings musical accompaniment comes from the very wonderful Jefferson Airplane in memory of founding member Paul Kantner who passed away earlier today. So we will weave our own embryonic journey through the stories from one century ago....

    January 29th 1916

    For the first time in a while we have no recorded aircrew losses on this day in 1916.

    There were no claims of aerial victories from either side either (mind you if the weather was anything like it has been here all week not even the ducks would have been flying)

    This was however the date ofthe last German airship raid on Paris (see March 21st, 1915 and September 16th, 1918).

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    On 29 January LZ 79 killed 23 and injured another 30 but was so severely damaged by anti-aircraft fire that it crashed during the return journey. A second mission by LZ 77 the following night bombed the suburbs of Asnières and Versailles, with little effect. On the return trip, after a heavy flak bombardment in the darkness, LZ 79 made a forced landing but was damaged beyond repair once it became stranded on the rooftops of the village of Ath in south Belgium--at the time in German territory. All 12 crew members survived without injury. This crew later took over LZ 90 (first under the command of Major Geissert, later Hptm. la Quiante).

    French magazine "icare" #137 has an article about the loss of LZ79. It is actually the translation of a chapter from "On der luft unbesiegt" written by Major Viktor Gaissert, LZ79's captain.
    According to him, the mission took place the night of 29/30 january.
    Above Paris, the airship was gunned by AAA without visible result.
    Then it was attacked by a Farman from the CRP: Sgt Deneboude made a single pass, caporal Louis Vallin fired incendiary bullets with a carbine.
    Finally the airship was under the fire of Slt Jacques de Lesseps and Lt Galliot during half an hour.

    The rear of the airship was slowly losing gas. The LZ79 was losing height and speed. It crossed the frontline at an altitude of 1800 meters with a nose-high attitude. It was completely destroyed when it crashed-landed in the fog. The location was "close to Mainvault, west of Ath".

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    Western Front

    German offensive at Dompierre (south of the Somme).

    Following in from yesterday we have details of the French build up to the Battle of Verdun...
    Verdun was a garrison-town situated in the Region Fortifée de Verdun (RFV) at the river Muese. It was surrounded by a double circle (largest diameter 50-km) of 20 big forts and 40 medium seized fortifications in a almost impenetrable hilly country, covered with woods, criss-crossed with deep clefts and gorges where the Meuse flows right through.

    In the outermost circle of forts, Fort Vaux and the dominant Fort Douaumont were situated, the cornerstone of the defence, towering high above the whole area at a height of 400 m.. In the innermost circle of forts, Fort Souville, Fort Tavennes and closer to Verdun Fort Belleville, Fort St. Michel, Fort Moulainville and Fort Belrupt were situated. The forts had been built in a sandwich like construction of reinforced concrete with a thickness of 2 meters, covered with layer of soil, with 2 meters of reinforced concrete on top of it. In the largest forts a detachment of soldiers of 500 men could be accommodated. The armament consisted of some heavy 155-mm. guns, placed in turrets, which could be lifted and machine-guns of heavy calibre. The forts were surrounded by concrete fortifications, equipped with machineguns for flanking fire and all connected by trenches.

    The defence of Verdun had been seriously neglected ever since the beginning of the war. At the fall of Liege and Antwerp in 1914 the surrounding forts were literally destroyed by the Germans and their Big Bertha's. The French supreme command therefore considered forts to be no longer useful to the defence and had them dismantled. The guns, as far as they could be displaced, had been brought elsewhere. The occupation of the forts had been brought back tot a minimum. The defences around Verdun were also seriously neglected. The frontline around Verdun was often no more than a ditch and sometimes the second en third defence-line were simply absent. Defence-trenches and barbed wire entanglements were often not laid-out. The armament of the Verdun-sector was minimal as well. There only were 270 pieces of guns available with too little ammunition (whereas the Germans had more than 1.200 pieces laid-out).

    There were no more than 34 French battalions available at the moment of attack. The Germans could deploy 72 battalions consisting of seasoned frontier-soldiers. The general Herz, the commander in chief of Verdun, repeatedly plead for reinforcement of the lines, especially when it became clear from messages received from fled civilians and deserted Germans soldiers, that the Germans were preparing an attack on Verdun. The French Headquarters at Chantilly, which were under the command of commander in chief Joffre, however, paid no attention to the problems: 'Verdun is not a possible target', was their judgement.

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    Also colonel Emile Driant, who later became known as the famous defender of the Bois de Caures, protested against the neglecting of Verdun lines. He pointed out the shortage of men and 'barbed wire in particular'. His report provoked one of Joffre’s legendary rages of fury but did not lead tot reinforcement of the lines. Only at the very last moment when it became clear that the Germans were planning something the Chief of Staff of the French army, general De Castelnau came to visit Verdun. He gave orders to reinforce the defensive line but too few men were available and supplies like barbed wire could not be brought in on time, so that the works hardly made any progress. To reinforce the army, two divisions were sent who only arrived at Verdun at February 12th, the date of the planned attack.

    The War at Sea

    There were two ships lost on this day - neither to direct enemy action

    Aberdeen ( United States): The cargo ship was driven ashore at San Francisco, California and was a wrecked with the loss of all hands.[41]
    Marian ( United States): The tug was run into and sunk at Baltimore, Maryland by Vedamore ( United Kingdom)

    Eastern Front

    Renewed fighting on the Strypa and in Bukovina; Austrians claim success.

    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres

    Russians bombard ridge protecting Erzerum.

    Political, etc.

    Protest against closing of London museums.

    Labour Conference decides to allow its members to remain in the Cabinet.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!
  21. Hedeby's Avatar

    Hedeby said:


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    Welcome to another edition of the Sniper's Times. The end is nigh for dry January and the beer is in the fridge for Monday, lol. Most of the ladies in the typing pool are back in action and the editors office is not quite so full of germs as before, so all is looking good.

    January 30th 1916

    For the second day in a row there were no reported air service casualties on this day.

    There were also no aerial victory claims (and for the second consecutive day)

    On this day the Italian air force expanded with the creation of the 2a Squadriglia Caccia . On a day when many sources are coming back blank its a good opportunity to take a look at the Italian Air Force in the early part of the war. The 2a Squadriglia Caccia later changed its name to the 71a Squadriglia of the Corpo Aeronautico Militare. 71a Squadriglia of the Corpo Aeronautico Militare was one of the original fighter squadrons of the Italian military. Founded on 30 January 1916 to fight in World War I, the squadron served until war's end. It flew almost 3,000 combat sorties in defense of Italy at a cost of six pilots killed, scored 17 victories, and produced two aces from its ranks.

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    71a Squadriglia in 1918

    71a Squadriglia was founded in Torino on 30 January 1916 as 2a Squadriglia Caccia. The new unit initially lacked armament, but once machine guns were supplied for their craft, flew their first operational sorties on 18 February 1916. On 2 March 1916, the squadron began to redeploy to Cascina Farello; foul weather stretched the redeployment to almost a month's travail. On 2 April 1916, a squadron Nieuport 10 two-seater flew the new unit's first interception, with inconclusive results. On 15 April 1916, the squadron was redesignated as the 71a Squadriglia. It was transferred to Villaverla on 23 May. It was subordinated to 3o Gruppo on 8 July 1916. In September and October, the squadron supported the Italian Army's 45th Division, protecting the Asiago Plateau from attack. In December 1916, the unit began to upgrade with Nieuport 17s. The squadron changed commanders on 17 January 1917, with Chiaperotti moving up to command the group, and being replaced by Amerigo Notari. On 10 May 1917, the squadron was transferred to the newly formed 9o Gruppo. Late May saw the arrival of the unit's first Spad VII fighter; this first example was equipped for long range photo reconnaissance. As time passed, the squadron was drawn into the burgeoning Battle of Caporetto (see below). As a result, on 26 October the squadron was temporarily seconded to 3o Gruppo. It also lent four pilots to 82a Squadriglia, and received a section of SAML two-seater reconnaissance craft brought on strength. As the front moved south from Caporetto toward the Piave River, 71a Squadriglia came within enemy artillery range. As a result, on 23 November 1917, the unit relocated to Sovisso. On 16 December, it was reassigned, to the newly formed 16o Gruppo.

    Early 1918 saw several changes of commander for the squadron, including Ettore Croce's three days in charge that was terminated by his fatal accident. On 28 July, Salvatore Breglia settled into the post, and served through war's end. A Hanriot HD.1 section detached from 75a Squadriglia joined the 71a Squadriglia on 28 August 1918. On 20 October 1918, 71a Squadriglia was bisected, with one of its sections staying put while the six Spad VIIs of the other section moved to Quinto di Treviso to join a section from 75a Squadriglia in an ad hoc squadron. On 23 October, 71a Squadriglia became part of 17o Gruppo. On 31 October 1918, Capitano Breglia was wounded, but remained in command.

    The squadron remained active through war's end. During its wartime existence, it had flown 2,994 combat sorties. It had fought 203 combats in the sky, claimed 17 aerial victories, and lost two of its own aircraft in combat. The blood cost for the squadron was two killed in action, four killed in accidents.

    There were also some restructurings within the Royal Flying Corps: Brigade formations came into effect, further decentralising the Royal Flying Corps. Each Army was allotted two Wings grouped as a Brigade; one squadron for routine Army corps work and the other for fighting, bombing and distant reconnaissance.

    We also saw a second night of Zeppelin attacks on Paris (see previous post) This was led by Zeppelin LZ-77

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    Western Front

    Germans repulsed by French at Dompierre.

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    Verdun a viewpoint - : The Battle of Verdun is considered the greatest and lengthiest in world history. Never before or since has there been such a lengthy battle, involving so many men, situated on such a tiny piece of land. The battle, which lasted from 21 February 1916 until 19 December 1916 caused over an estimated 700,000 dead, wounded and missing. The battlefield was not even a square ten kilometres. From a strategic point of view there can be no justification for these atrocious losses. The battle degenerated into a matter of prestige of two nations literally for the sake of fighting......

    The War at Sea

    One ship was reported lost today: Maasdijk ( Netherlands): World War I: The cargo ship struck a naval mine and sank in the English Channel off the Kentish Knock Lightship ( United Kingdom)

    Other News

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    The New York Times 30/1/1916

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!
  22. Mike George's Avatar

    Mike George said:


    This post makes my day, most days thanks again.
  23. Hedeby's Avatar

    Hedeby said:


    Here I am sitting in the editor's chair watching the last 24 minutes of dry January tick away - toying with the idea of a cheeky port to celebrate.... and on the day we lose another national treasure in Sir Terry Wogan one brings to mind the 'casualty list' we have had in the first month of this year - Lemmy, Bowie, Wogan, Frank Finlay (passed away today), Alan Rickman, Glen Frey (The Eagles) and Paul Kantner (Jefferson Airplane), seeing people you have grown up with disappear is always something of a reality check... anyway on with the war... which today is dominated by action on the home front with a huge Zeppelin raid on the Midlands & East Anglia

    January 31st 1916

    The Joint War Air Committee is established under Chairmanship of Lord Derby to co-ordinate the question of supplies and design of aircraft for both the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service.

    There were two airmen lost on this day in 1916 - and we have to thank the dedication of one of their descendants for much of the information on one of them...

    2nd Lieutenant John Sleeman Reed
    - Royal Flying Corps (attached from The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) and buried in Gorleston Cemetery in Norfolk - he was killed in a flying accident aged just 19.

    Second Lieutenant John Sleeman Reed of the 1st Battalion, East Kent Regiment, was attached to the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War – the air arm of the British Army.

    Born on November 14 1896, 2nd Lt Reed was from Gorleston-on-Sea, in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, and attended Great Yarmouth Grammar School.

    Following the outbreak of the war, he gave up his medical training and went to the Royal Military College Sandhurst, before he was gazetted to the Buffs in November 1915.

    He was the only son of Dr John Sleeman Reed and Mary Reed, of Surbiton Lodge, Gorleston-on-Sea.

    On January 31 1916, 2nd Lt Reed was killed in a biplane accident at Laffans Plain, Farnborough, at the age of 19.

    It was stated during an inquest that 2nd Lt Reed had travelled by air to Laffans Plain to look at the wreckage of an aeroplane that had been involved in a previous accident. An eyewitness stated that as he was walking across the plain, he saw a biplane pass over him at a height of around 200ft. The aircraft suddenly came down, falling nose first and turning slightly as it dropped. The eyewitness suggested the biplane had been travelling at a slow speed, which could have caused it to fall before the pilot was able to regain control. The witness stated the plane was travelling at around 36mph and had dropped below a "safe flying speed".

    Military honours.
    The pilot, a Lieutenant Browning, survived the accident despite suffering serious injuries, however 2nd Lt Reed died of head injuries a few days later in the Cambridge Military Hospital, Aldershot . The coroner ruled a verdict of accidental death and said the pilot was not to blame for the accident. Second Lt Reed was buried at Gorleston Cemetery, in Norfolk, on February 5 1916 with full military honours.

    Bob Aindow, 2nd Lt Reed’s great nephew and a retired Chief Petty Officer in the Royal Navy, has been researching the incident and has put together an account of events from that day.

    He said: “His funeral was a rather grand affair because of my great grandfather’s standing in the local community. “There were 100 armed soldiers from the local regiment and a six-horse carriage with his coffin covered with a Union Flag, and laying on top his sword and cap. “All businesses in Gorleston closed during the funeral and windows of houses were blacked out on the route.” Mr Aindow carried out some of his research at Farnborough’s Air Sciences Trust Museum (FAST), as well as by trawling through original local news articles held at Farnborough Library, written following his great uncle’s death. A tribute from 2nd Lt Reed’s colonel, Frederick Charles Romer, stated: “He was fearless and would have made a splendid airman. “All the officers just loved him.” Another tribute read: “He was the dearest young gentleman and never gave me any trouble.”

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    The military parade at Lt. Reed's funeral

    The other casualty was Air Mechanic 2nd. Class G.S. Pardoe He is buried in the Birmingham (Yardley) Cemetery B. 20930. His death is remembered by The City of Lincoln Company of Civic Bell Ringers and his name can be found on the City War Memorial
    on the High Street in Lincoln.

    There were again no claims of aerial victories on this day in 1916.

    Western Front

    Six Zeppelins raid East Anglia and Midlands; 70 killed and 113 injured. For a change there are actually several highly detailed reports of this raid - I have selected only a couple...

    On the evening of 31st January 1916, nine Zeppelin airships set off from their base in Germany with the intention of bombing Liverpool. The English west coast port was considered by the German military to be the most important target after London. The decision to bomb Liverpool had actually been taken in October 1915, but the winter weather conditions were considered unsuitable for airships until early 1916. Despite the wait for more clement weather, none of the nine Zeppelins came anywhere near Liverpool with the bombs being dropped over a very wide area of the Midlands and East Anglia.

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    Airship L14 was commanded by Kapitanleutnant Alois Boecker, a reserve officer and former Hamburg-America shipping line captain. (Image to the right.) L14 was laden with at least 30 high explosive bombs and six incendiary devices and crossed the English coast around the area of The Wash around 6.15pm on 31st January 1916. She meandered westward rather indecisively for a while, passing south of Nottingham and Derby, north of Stafford and almost reaching Shrewsbury at 10.05pm. At this point Boecker turned the airship around and headed back east, dropping a few bombs around Tamworth, Overseal and Swadlincote. It was now approaching midnight and possibly believing the threat had passed, the lights in Derby were being turned back on. It is probable that these lights guided in the airship and the remaining bombs were dropped on Derby shortly after midnight, mainly in the area around Rolls Royce, the Midland Railway Loco Works and the Gas Works. L14 then returned to Germany, its deadly cargo which had been intended for Liverpool unloaded somewhat randomly over the Midlands.

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    The details of the bombing of Derby: The raid on Derby was carried out by an L14 type of Zeppelin, of the L10 class of 12, under the command of Captain Alois Boeker.
    It was the second year in which these bombing raids had been carried out and the plan was to attack Liverpool and Birmingham. So, on the night of January 31, nine surviving airships of the L10 class sallied forth from three bases to try to achieve just that. It was a clear night with little wind, essential for the Zeppelins. It was just under 500 miles to Liverpool but not one of the force actually got nearer than Stoke. The L14 crossed the coast at Holkham, Norfolk, at 6.15pm but had only managed to reach Wisbech 45 minutes later. Zeppelins were slow and ponderous. By 10.15pm they were almost at Shrewsbury and began to turn back, eventually making it to Swadlincote by 11.45pm. They dropped one or two desultory bombs there but hardly mounted a convincing raid. However, just after midnight on February 1, L14 was over Derby, where it dropped its remaining 21 high explosive bombs and four incendiaries at nine locations on the south side of the city. No-one knows the exact order of the raid, but from the spread of the targets – Royce’s in the south to the Locomotive Works of the Midland Railway in the north and the Etches Park gas works in the east – it suggests that L14 approached from the south, working roughly north along the Osmaston Road at about 8,000ft before bombing the Loco Works and then ending up at the gas works. Derby received a warning about an impending raid just after 7pm and the authorities had taken steps to douse street lighting, halt tramcars and close businesses. Three airships did pass close by within half an hour, so the precautions may have been effective. But just before midnight, the measures were relaxed enough to make Captain Boeker believe he had reached Liverpool. He released his bombs.

    The Royce’s bombs fell harmlessly, while three more fell on the Metalite lamp works on Graham Road. Five more bombs landed on the Carriage and Wagon Works, three incendiaries hit Fletcher’s lace mill on Osmaston Road and four, possibly five, more incendiaries missed and landed, mostly harmlessly, in the road at Horton Street, one setting a house on fire. On the corner of Bateman Street, in the garden of Litchurch Villa, another bomb landed harmlessly. Nine more hit the Loco Works and two more, plus an incendiary, hit the gas works, the latter without serious damage, having landed in an open area. Quite a bit of damage was done at Metalite and the Carriage and Wagon works, but none at Fletcher’s, where the bombs landed in a courtyard. The worst damage was inflicted at the Loco Works, where three men were killed and two injured in the work’s yard, one of the latter subsequently dying. A Mrs Constantine, living nearby, also died of a heart attack during the raid. Captain Boeker and his crew continued, having off-loaded all their ordnance, via Nottingham and Lincoln, recrossing the coast at 2.10am on February 1, heading for home and a debriefing at which they reported that they had bombed Liverpool.

    The Zeppelin that bombed Derby, survived the war, but was sabotaged to stop her falling into the Allies’ hands. Apparently, the control gondola of L14, with part of the ship’s keel still attached, was placed on display at the Berlin aviation museum in 1936. Unfortunately, the museum was destroyed by Allied bombing on the night of November 22-23, 1943 – wiping out the last relic of the only Zeppelin to have bombed Derby.

    The view from Germany: An article from the Hamburger Nachrichten claimed the Zeppelins ‘taught the haughty people that war can overtake them everywhere and that it is bloody, terrible and serious’. It also said ‘England’s industry to a considerable extent lies in ruins’.

    Zeppelin Damage in Leicester (below)
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    The War at Sea

    On this day U-17 was extremely busy accounting for four of the five ships reported as lost today...

    Arthur William ( United Kingdom): World War I: The fishing smack was scuttled in the North Sea south east of Lowestoft, Suffolk by SM UB-17 ( Kaiserliche Marine). Her crew survived.
    Hilda ( United Kingdom): World War I: The fishing smack was scuttled in the North Sea 14 nautical miles (26 km) east by south of Aldeburgh, Suffolk by SM UB-17 ( Kaiserliche Marine). Her crew survived.
    HMML 19 ( Royal Navy): The motor launch was lost on this date.
    Marguerite ( Belgium): World War I: The fishing vessel was sunk in the North Sea off Lowestoft by SM UB-17 ( Kaiserliche Marine). Her crew survived.
    Radium ( United Kingdom): World War I: The fishing vessel was scuttled in the North Sea 25 nautical miles (46 km) south east by south of Lowestoft by SM UB-17 ( Kaiserliche Marine).

    Political, etc.

    War Savings Committees inaugurated.

    General Sir H. Smith-Dorrien resigns appointment as Commander-in-Chief British Forces, East Africa [Did not take over command owing to illness.] (see November 22nd, 1915, and February 19th, 1916).

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!
  24. Flying Officer Kyte's Avatar

    Flying Officer Kyte said:


    Well that was certainly full of impact Chris.
    Nice one.
    Last edited by Flying Officer Kyte; 02-01-2016 at 09:14.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."
  25. Hedeby's Avatar

    Hedeby said:


    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Officer Kyte View Post
    Well tat was certainly full of impact Chris.
    Nice one.
    Nice to be able to use eyewitness accounts for once - the level of detail is so much more, also when it comes to bombing places you are familiar with I guess it adds a certain something

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!
  26. Flying Officer Kyte's Avatar

    Flying Officer Kyte said:


    My Gran and great Aunt with whom she shared a bedroom saw that Zep fly up the Trent Valley on its way to Derby.
    She told me that from her bedroom window in the moonlight up on the hill where thy lived, it seemed as if they were actually higher than the Airship. There old house is still there but now has a Housing estate masking the view of the Trent.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."
  27. Hedeby's Avatar

    Hedeby said:


    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Officer Kyte View Post
    My Gran and great Aunt with whom she shared a bedroom saw that Zep fly up the Trent Valley on its way to Derby.
    She told me that from her bedroom window in the moonlight up on the hill where thy lived, it seemed as if they were actually higher than the Airship. There old house is still there but now has a Housing estate masking the view of the Trent.
    I cannot begin to appreciate the impact of actually seeing a Zeppelin flying over (even if it wanted to drop bombs on me!)

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!
  28. Hedeby's Avatar

    Hedeby said:


    Hooray its finally February and having survived dry January without even the slightest slip, I can now sit at the editors desk with a nice old pint of my favourite Jaipur IPA (Thornbridge Brewery and a lively 5.9% at that). The world seems somewhat fairer, lol

    Right - reports to publish...

    February 1st 1916

    According to RFC/RAF records there were NO DEATHS ARE RECORDED FOR TUESDAY FEBRUARY 1ST 1916.

    However today we see the first claimed (although unconfirmed) kill of one of the most successful fighter pilots of the entire war - something we will begin to see more of over coming months as the 'big guns' of the fighter pilot business start to ply their deadly trade. However before we get to today's 'special guest' , we have one pilot well on their way to becoming an Ace with their 4th victory:

    Leutnant Wilhelm Frankl
    The man the Nazi's tried to forget... The son of a Jewish businessman, Frankl scored his first victory on 10 May 1915 while serving as an observer with FA 40. That day, he shot down a Voisin with a carbine. For this feat, he received the Iron Cross, 1st Class. Later that year he became a pilot and scored nine victories flying the Eindecker with KEK Vaux. On 1 September 1916, he joined Jasta 4 and scored eleven more victories before he was killed in action on the afternoon of 8 April 1917. During a fight with Bristol Fighters, his Albatros D.III came apart in the air and went down near Vitry-Sailly. When the Nazis came to power, Frankl's name was removed from the list of German World War I aviation heroes. After World War II, his name was reinstated to the list and in 1973, the Luftwaffe honored his memory by naming a barracks for him. On this day whilst flying his Eindecker he shot down a Voisin over Chaulnes.

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    Now to today's special guest, claiming his first victory (although it remained unconfirmed) as part of FA11 and again flying an Eindecker he claimed to have shot down a Caudron. That man was Leutnant Josef Carl Peter Jacobs

    Josef Carl Peter Jacobs (15 May 1894 – 29 July 1978) was a German flying ace with 48 victories during the First World War. His total tied him with Werner Voss for fourth place among German aces. Josef Carl Peter Jacobs was born in Kreuzkapelle, Rhineland, German Empire on 15 May 1894, and learned to fly in 1912, aged 18. As a schoolboy in Bonn, he had been fascinated by the activities he saw at the nearby flying school in Hangelar. There he learned to fly, under the tutelage of Bruno Werntgen. When war broke out, he joined up for the Imperial German Army Air Service to train as a pilot with Fliegerersatz-Abteilung (Replacement Detachment). On 3 July 1915, Jacobs was posted to FA 11 (a reconnaissance squadron) for a year, flying long-range sorties over Allied lines, his first flight occurring the evening of his arrival. His first victory over a French Caudron occurred in February 1916, however, it was unconfirmed, due to lack of independent witnesses. After leave in April, Jacobs was posted to Fokkerstaffel-West to fly a Fokker E.III Eindecker and he finally achieved his first official victory, over an enemy aircraft on 12 May when he shot down a two-seater Caudron crewed only by its pilot.[2] At the end of July, Jacobs and his unit had been pulled back for what became a month's aerial bodyguard duty, protecting General Headquarters at Charleville. On 1 September, Jacobs left this duty that disgusted him, and returned to a front line assignment flying a Fokker E.III. On the 19th, he upgraded to a Fokker D.II. His old comrade in arms, Max Ritter von Mulzer, died in a crash a week later. On the 29th, Jacobs fell ill from dysentery; the sickness way layed him for several weeks.

    Fokker Staffel West became Jasta 12 on 6 October 1916, and Jacobs remained with it, although a month later he transferred to Jasta 22, then under the command of Oberleutnant Erich Hönemanns, who was a personal friend.

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    We shall pick up more of Jacobs story in the coming months - but one interesting fact before he died in 1978, Josef Jacobs was the last surviving aviation recipient of the Orden Pour le Mérite.

    Interesting Fact:

    The first officially recorded air-to-ground telephone communication is achieved by Major C.E. Prince 'somewhere in France'. He was using a Wireless Telephone MkI during a demonstration put on for Lord Kitchener. Prince had been a Marconi engineer since 1907. Valves enabled more compact wireless sets. This made it feasible to put sets into airplanes which could then be used either as spotters – communicating intelligence back to the ground – or as bombers supplementing ground-based artillery, directed by spotters on the ground or aloft in balloons. Special short codes had to be developed that could be remembered and easily transmitted or understood by pilots who also had to keep an eye all around them to avoid being fired upon as well as actually operating their aircraft. There were real problems to be overcome, however – even in 1916 aircraft sets weighed some 300lb and required a trailing antenna up to 400ft long.

    The War at Sea

    British S.S. "Appam" brought to Norfolk, Va., U.S.A., by German prize crew from raider "Moewe".

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    On 15 January 1916, the British steamship Appam was captured off the Canary Islands by the German auxiliary cruiser SMS Möwe. A 22-man prize crew, and 138 passengers taken from other captured ships, were put aboard and she was taken to Hampton Roads, Virginia, arriving on 1 February. Appam's British owner, the British and African Steam Navigation Co, filed suit to recover possession of her from her captors. Federal Judge Edmund Waddill of Virginia, in a 15,000-word opinion, directed, 29 July 1916, that the vessel, with the cargo remaining aboard her and the proceeds of the perishable cargo already sold, should be restored at once to her British owners.

    The German government appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States, which on 6 March 1917 handed down a decision that a belligerent nation may not bring prizes of war into a neutral port. The Supreme Court held that it would be unneutral for the United States to permit either belligerent to bring prizes into American ports, and that Germany could not claim such right under any of the existing treaties between that country and the United States. In bringing Appam into an American port, it was held, the German officials were committing a clear breach of American neutrality.

    Ship and cargo, valued at between three and four million dollars, were delivered to the British owners 28 March 1917. The decision, written by Justice William R. Day, affirmed decrees by Federal Judge Waddill, and upheld the original ruling by Secretary of State Robert Lansing that prizes coming into American ports unaccompanied by captor warships have the right to remain only long enough to make themselves seaworthy. The court stated that neither the Treaty of 1799 with Prussia, the Hague conventions nor the Declaration of London, entitled any belligerents to make American ports a place of deposit of prizes as spoils of war under such circumstances. “The principles of international law," the opinion adds, "leaving the treaty aside, will not permit the ports of the United States to be thus used by the belligerents. If such use were permitted, it would constitute the ports of a neutral nation harbors of safety into which prizes might be safely brought and indefinitely kept. “From the beginning of its history this country has been careful to maintain a neutral position between warring governments, and not to allow use of its ports in violation of the obligations of neutrality, nor to permit such use beyond the necessities arising from perils of the seas or the necessities of such vessels as to seaworthiness, provisions and supplies.”

    After return to the rightful owners, the ship was renamed Mandingo for the rest of the war. Thereafter she traded for many years on routes to West Africa and was scrapped in 1936.

    We usually report on the loss of shipping in this thread but today we will look at new ship commissionings - after all its not every day a new Battleship takes to the high seas...

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    HMS Malaya was a Queen Elizabeth-class battleship built for the Royal Navy during the early 1910s. She participated in the Battle of Jutland during the First World War as part of the Grand Fleet. Other than that battle, and the inconclusive Action of 19 August, her service during the war generally consisted of routine patrols and training in the North Sea.
    The Queen Elizabeth-class ships were designed to form a fast squadron for the fleet that was intended to operate against the leading ships of the opposing battle line. This required maximum offensive power and a speed several knots faster than any other battleship to allow them to defeat any type of ship.

    Malaya had a length overall of 643 feet 9 inches (196.2 m), a beam of 90 feet 7 inches (27.6 m) and a deep draught of 33 feet (10.1 m). She had a normal displacement of 32,590 long tons (33,110 t) and displaced 33,260 long tons (33,794 t) at deep load. She was powered by two sets of Brown-Curtis steam turbines, each driving two shafts, using steam from 24 Yarrow boilers. The turbines were rated at 75,000 shp (56,000 kW) and intended to reach a maximum speed of 24 knots (44.4 km/h; 27.6 mph). Malaya had a range of 5,000 nautical miles (9,260 km; 5,754 mi) at a cruising speed of 12 knots (22.2 km/h; 13.8 mph). Her crew numbered 1,217 officers and ratings in 1919.
    The Queen Elizabeth class was equipped with eight breech-loading (BL) 15-inch (381 mm) Mk I guns in four twin gun turrets, in two superfiring pairs fore and aft of the superstructure, designated 'A', 'B', 'X', and 'Y' from front to rear. Twelve of the fourteen BL 6-inch (152 mm) Mk XII guns were mounted in casemates along the broadside of the vessel amidships; the remaining pair were mounted on the forecastle deck near the aft funnel and were protected by gun shields. Their anti-aircraft (AA) armament consisted of two quick-firing (QF) 3-inch (76 mm) 20 cwt Mk I[Note 1] guns. The ships were fitted with four submerged 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes, two on each broadside.[4]

    Malaya was completed with two fire-control directors fitted with 15-foot (4.6 m) rangefinders. One was mounted above the conning tower, protected by an armoured hood, and the other was in the spotting top above the tripod foremast. Each turret was also fitted with a 15-foot rangefinder. The main armament could be controlled by 'B' turret as well. The secondary armament was primarily controlled by directors mounted on each side of the compass platform on the foremast once they were fitted in April 1917.

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    The waterline belt of the Queen Elizabeth class consisted of Krupp cemented armour (KC) that was 13 inches (330 mm) thick over the ships' vitals. The gun turrets were protected by 11 to 13 inches (279 to 330 mm) of KC armour and were supported by barbettes 7–10 inches (178–254 mm) thick. The ships had multiple armoured decks that ranged from 1 to 3 inches (25 to 76 mm) in thickness. The main conning tower was protected by 13 inches of armour. After the Battle of Jutland, 1 inch of high-tensile steel was added to the main deck over the magazines and additional anti-flash equipment was added in the magazines.

    Malaya was built by Sir W. G. Armstrong Whitworth and Company at High Walker and launched in March 1915. She was named in honour of the Federated Malay States in British Malaya, whose government paid for her construction. She served in Rear-Admiral Hugh Evan-Thomas's 5th Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet. She took part in the Battle of Jutland, on 31 May 1916, where she was hit eight times and took major damage and heavy crew casualties. A total of 65 men died, in the battle or later of their injuries. Among the wounded was Able Seaman Willie Vicarage, notable as one of the first men to receive facial reconstruction using plastic surgery and the first to receive radical reconstruction via the "tubed pedicule" technique pioneered by Sir Harold Gillies. Uniquely among the ships at the battle, HMS Malaya flew the red-white-black-yellow ensign of the Federated Malay States.


    Eastern Front

    Violent cannonade south-east of Riga.

    Southern Front

    Zeppelin raid on Salonika.

    The Zeppelin LZ85 raided Salonika on 1st February 1916. It was brought down on 5th May 1916 during another attack on the port.
    “A Salonika telegram says: Yesterday morning shortly before three o'clock a succession of violent reports aroused even the heaviest sleeper in Salonika. Between the reports the humming of powerful motors was audible, and, looking aloft, some people were able to make out the dim cigar-shaped outline of a Zeppelin.
    “Altogether about 20 bombs were thrown, which seem to have mostly fallen in the harbour, exploding in the water, and not injuring a soul. The airship apparently hoped to strike the warships in port, but had no luck, also fortunately missing the hospital ships.
    “Afterwards turning shorewards , she dropped seven bombs on the western extremity of the town, where the poorer quarter is situated. One of the bombs struck the quay and riddled the forepart of a merchant vessel lying alongside. A projectile also burst some boxes of of horseshoes, and killed one man. A second bomb set fire to a Greek commercial warehouse, which blazed fiercely for a couple of hours, and was completely destroyed.
    “The remaining bombs either struck ramshackle buildings, smashing them to matchwood, or exploded in the streets, damaging the frontages of the houses, and splintering windows in the neighbourhood. The victims, who were happily comparatively few, were mostly Greek, including several refugees from Turkey and half a dozen Greek soldiers.
    “The Zeppelin apparently came from an easterly direction, and retired to the north-east.

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    Serbians repulse Austrians near River Ishmi (northern Albania).

    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres

    Russian progress in Armenia.

    Russians drive back Turks in Karmanshah district.

    Naval and Overseas Operations

    "Appam" brought to Norfolk, Va., by a German prize crew. (See above)

    Political, etc.

    M. Goremykin, Russian Premier, resigns: M. Stuermer appointed.

    Prince Yussuf-Izz-ed-Din, Turkish heir-apparent, commits (?) suicide.
    Last edited by Hedeby; 02-01-2016 at 15:41.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!
  29. Hedeby's Avatar

    Hedeby said:


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    Just looked back at the volume of stuff on the last two posts - going to struggle to match that tonight - given the first few blank search results....

    February 2nd 1916

    1 AIRMAN HAS FALLEN ON WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 2ND 1916: Air Mechanic 2nd Class Albert Edward Brockway RNAS - HMS Campania. SERVICE NO. F/7783. Accidentally Killed 2 February 1916 aged 26. Son of William and Rebecca Brockway, of Hackney, London. He is buried at CHINGFORD MOUNT CEMETERY in Essex. I have been unable to find out any more details (ongoing issue - not an officer not much info - its a shame)

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    It is worth at this point considering the ship upon which Albert Brockway served...

    HMS Campania

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    HMS Campania was a seaplane tender and aircraft carrier, converted from an elderly ocean liner by the Royal Navy early in the First World War. After her conversion was completed in mid-1915 the ship spent her time conducting trials and exercises with the Grand Fleet. These revealed the need for a longer flight deck to allow larger aircraft to take off, and she was modified accordingly. Campania missed the Battle of Jutland in May 1916, but made a number of patrols with elements of the Grand Fleet. She never saw combat and was soon relegated to a training role because of her elderly machinery. In November 1918 Campania was anchored with the capital ships of the Grand Fleet when a sudden storm caused her anchors to drag. She hit several of the ships and the collisions punctured her hull; she slowly sank, with no loss of life.

    Originally built as a passenger liner for Cunard Line's service between Liverpool and New York in 1893, RMS Campania was the holder of the Blue Riband award for speed early in her career. In October 1914, she was sold to the shipbreakers T. W. Ward as she was wearing out. The Royal Navy purchased Campania from the shipbreakers on 27 November 1914 for £32,500, initially for conversion to an armed merchant cruiser equipped with eight quick-firing 4.7-inch (120 mm) guns. The ship was converted by Cammell Laird to an aircraft carrier instead and the two forward 4.7-inch guns were deleted in favour of a 160-foot (48.8 m) flying-off deck. Two derricks were fitted on each side to transfer seaplanes between the water and the two holds. The amidships hold had the capacity for seven large seaplanes. The forward hold, underneath the flight deck, could fit four small seaplanes, but the flight deck had to be lifted off the hold to access the airplanes. HMS Campania was commissioned on 17 April 1915.

    The first takeoff from the flight deck did not occur until 6 August 1915 when a Sopwith Schneider floatplane, mounted on a wheeled trolley, used 130 feet (39.6 m) of the flight deck while the ship was steaming into the wind at 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph). The Sopwith aircraft was the lightest and highest-powered aircraft in service with the Royal Naval Air Service, and the close call in a favourable wind demonstrated that heavier aircraft could not be launched from the flight deck. By October 1915 Campania had exercised with the Grand Fleet seven times, but had only flown off aircraft three times as the North Sea was often too rough for her seaplanes to use. Her captain recommended that the flying-off deck be lengthened and given a steeper slope to allow gravity to boost the aircraft's acceleration and the ship was accordingly modified at Cammell Laird between November 1915 and early April 1916. The forward funnel was split into two funnels and the flight deck was extended between them and over the bridge to a length of 245 feet (74.7 m), so that aircraft from both holds could use the flight deck. A canvas windscreen was provided to allow the aircraft to unfold their wings out of the wind, and a kite balloon and all of its supporting equipment were added in the aft hold. Campania now carried seven Short Type 184 torpedo bombers and three or four smaller fighters or scouts; a Type 184 made its first takeoff from the flight deck on 3 June 1916, also using a wheeled trolley. This success prompted the Admiralty to order the world's first aircraft designed for carrier operations, the Fairey Campania. The ship received the first of these aircraft in late 1917 where they joined smaller Sopwith 1½ Strutter scouts. At various times Campania also carried the Sopwith Baby and Sopwith Pup. Campania failed to receive the signal to deploy when the Grand Fleet departed Scapa Flow on 30 May 1916 en route to the Battle of Jutland, but she sailed two hours and fifteen minutes later. Even though she was slowly overtaking the fleet early in the morning of 31 May, she was ordered to return to Scapa Flow as she lacked an escort and German submarines had been reported in the area. The ship participated in some anti-submarine and anti-Zeppelin patrols, but she was later declared unfit for fleet duty because of her defective machinery and became a seaplane training and balloon depot ship. In April 1918 Campania, along with the Grand Fleet, was transferred from Scapa Flow to Rosyth

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    On the morning of 5 November 1918, Campania was lying at anchor off Burntisland in the Firth of Forth. A sudden Force 10 squall caused the ship to drag anchor. She collided first with the bow of the nearby battleship Royal Oak, and then scraped along the side of the battlecruiser Glorious. Campania's hull was breached by the initial collision with Royal Oak, flooding her engine room and shutting off all main electrical power. The ship then started to settle by the stern, and sank some five hours after breaking free. The ship's crew were all rescued by neighbouring vessels. A Naval Board of Inquiry into the incident held Campania's watch officer largely responsible for her loss, citing specifically the failure to drop a second anchor once the ship started to drift. The wreck of HMS Campania was designated in 2001 under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 as a site of historic importance, making it an offence to dive it without a licence.The remains of the four Campania aircraft and seven 1½ Strutters that she had on board when she sank are still entombed in her wreck.

    There were two claimed aerial victories today - both by German pilots (and later Aces):

    Oberleutnant der Reserve Ernst Freiherr von Althaus He had a confirmed kill over Biache shooting down a Voisin - this was his second victory - we would go on to record 9 victories and to survive the war (and the next one).

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    Ernst Althaus joined the 1st Royal Saxon Hussar Regiment as an Ensign at the age of 16 and was promoted to Leutnant in 1911. Awarded the Military Order of St. Henry and the Iron Cross, second class, on 27 January 1915, he transferred to the air service on 4 April 1915. Nicknamed Hussar Althaus, he completed his training and was promoted to Oberleutnant before joining FA 23 on 20 September 1915. Two months later he joined Kampf Kommandos Vaux and scored 5 victories before he was wounded in action in April 1916. When he recovered, he was awarded the Iron Cross, first class, the Knight's Cross with Swords of the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern, and in July 1916, the highly prized Orden Pour le Mérite. Wounded again on 4 March 1917, Althaus recovered and was posted to Jasta 14 shortly before Manfred von Richthofen selected him to command Jasta 10. With this unit he flew an Albatros D.V (1119/17) with his personal marking, the letters H and A (for Hussar Althaus), spelled out along the fuselage in morse code. He scored one more victory with this aircraft in July 1917 but the following month, due to failing eyesight, he was forced to relinquish command of Jasta 10 to Werner Voss. He then assumed command of Jastaschule 11 but his eyesight worsened and he returned to the army, commanding a company of infantry near Verdun. There he was captured by the Americans on 15 October 1918. Although completely blind by 1937, post-war, Althaus became a lawyer and was the Director of the County Court of Berlin during World War II. Before his death due to illness in 1946, he served as an interpreter for the Allies.

    The second claim of the day was the first aerial victory for Hauptmann Rudolf Berthold - a Voisin shot down over Chaulnes - we would go on to score 44 victories and survive the war only to be murdered in riots in 1920.

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    Berthold joined the infantry in 1910 and learned to fly by the end of 1913. When the war began, he transferred to the German Air Service as an observer. In 1916, he began flying single-seat fighters with KEK Vaux and was credited with five victories before crashing a Pfalz E.IV on 25 April 1916. Injured and wounded several times throughout the war, Berthold earned a reputation for returning to duty before he had fully recovered. In August, he formed Jasta 4 before turning command over to Hans Buddecke. Berthold then assumed command of Jasta 14 until badly injured in an accident on 23 May 1917. Recovering from a broken nose, fractured skull, thigh and pelvis, he returned to duty the following August and assumed command of Jasta 18. He was wounded again on 10 October 1917 when a bullet shattered his right arm. When he returned to duty, he assumed command of Jagdgeschwader 2, remaining in command until wounded on 10 August 1918. Credited with downing two D.H.4s that day, his career as a fighting pilot ended when his crippled red and blue Fokker D.VII crashed into a house after colliding with his second opponent. Murdered by rioters in 1920, some sources claim Berthold was strangled with the ribbon from his Blue Max.

    Still in the air (well partly at least)

    German airship "L.-19" founders in the North Sea. There are a lot of Zeppelin tales about at the moment I have to say... and alas this is a tale which doesn't paint the allies in a glorious light (Yes I know it was war and tensions were high following the recent bombing raids but...)

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    L 19 (constructor's number LZ 54) first flew on 27 November 1915. She completed 14 flights during her nine weeks of service.[2] Several of these flights were patrols over the North Sea, searching for Allied merchant and naval ships. Naval scouting was the main role of the navy's Zeppelin fleet, and a total of 220 such flights were carried out during the war. The lack of aggressive activity by the German Navy meant the tactical need for such scouting was reduced.[3] During the winter of 1915–1916 winter, L 19 became well-known to neutral merchant ships in the North Sea due to her frequent patrols. On one occasion, she touched down close to a Swedish ship to inspect her. The ship was allowed to proceed when her neutral status was established. On another occasion, she and two other Zeppelins forestalled a British air raid by discovering, to the north of Terschelling, an approaching flotilla of three Royal Navy seaplane tenders, an apparent British attempt to repeat their successful Cuxhaven Raid. The British were surprised while lowering their seaplanes into the sea.

    Commanded by Kapitänleutnant Odo Löwe, the L 19 left her base at Tondern (now Tønder in Denmark) at noon on 31 January 1916, one of nine navy Zeppelins to raid England that night.This was part of a new, more aggressive strategy that had been brought to the German Navy with the recent appointment of Reinhard Scheer as its commander-in-chief. The head of German naval airships, Fregattenkapitän Peter Strasser, was on board the L 11, leading the attack personally.He had orders to bomb targets of opportunity in central and southern England, reaching Liverpool if possible.

    The Zeppelins encountered thick fog in the North Sea, followed by rain clouds and snow off the English coast, and the attacking force became dispersed;the nine airships crossed the English coast between 5:50pm and 7:20pm. The L 19 was the very last, crossing the coast near Sheringham. At 10:45pm, she reached Burton on Trent, becoming the third raider to attack the town that night. She then proceeded south, dropping the remainder of her bomb load on several towns on the outskirts of Birmingham. At 12:20am, a pub in Tipton was destroyed; buildings were also damaged in nearby Walsall and Birchills. She caused no casualties aside from some farm animals, although bombs dropped three hours earlier by her sister-ship, the L 21, killed 35 people in the area, including the wife of the Mayor of Walsall; a total of 61 people were reported killed and 101 injured by the raid. Due to the extreme difficulties of navigating with primitive equipment at night over a darkened countryside, the captain of the L 21 believed he had bombed Liverpool, in fact around 70 miles (110 km) away.

    The L 19 made a slow, erratic return journey, doubling back several times; this was almost certainly due to engine trouble.The Zeppelin force had been newly fitted with Maybach HSLu engines. While lighter and more powerful than those they replaced, the new engines were proving unreliable – five of the nine airships had suffered engine failures during the raid. The L 19 sent several signals, asking for a position fix by radio-triangulation and reporting the results of her bombing. The last signal was heard from her at 4pm on the day after the raid when she was 22 miles (40 km) north of the Dutch island of Ameland. She reported three out of four engines had failed and her Telefunken radio equipment was malfunctioning. Around an hour later, the Zeppelin drifted low over the island, and Dutch units on the ground opened fire on her. The Netherlands was a neutral country and Dutch forces had standing orders to fire on overflying, foreign aircraft. A south wind blew the L 19 offshore and, some time during the night of 1–2 February, the Zeppelin came down in the North Sea. Loewe dropped a bottle into the sea, with a report on his situation and with letters to his family; this was found a few weeks later by a yacht near Gothenburg, Sweden.The German Navy put ships to sea that night to search for the L 19, but they only discovered one of her fuel-tanks, still containing fuel. This was likely dropped as a desperate measure to save weight and remain aloft.

    The next morning, the floating wreck of the airship was discovered by a British steam fishing trawler, King Stephen, of 162 tons, commanded by William Martin (1869–1917). The vessel had sighted distress signals during the night and had spent several hours steaming towards them. Clinging to the wreck were the airship's 16 crew The normal complement of a P-class Zeppelin was 18 or 19, but Zeppelins flying on air-raids often flew short-handed, with two or three of the least needed crew members left behind in order to save weight. The fishing vessel approached and Kapitänleutnant Loewe, who spoke English well, asked for rescue. Martin refused. In a later newspaper interview, he stated that the nine crew of King Stephen were unarmed and badly outnumbered and would have had little chance of resisting the German airmen if, after being rescued, they had hijacked his vessel to sail it to Germany. An alternative explanation for his action, suggested by a 2005 BBC documentary on the incident, is that King Stephen was in a zone in which fishing was prohibited by the British authorities and that Martin feared that if he returned to a British port with a large number of German prisoners, attention might have been drawn to this and he would have been banned from fishing. Ignoring the Germans' pleas for help, promises of good conduct and even offers of money, Martin sailed away. He later said he intended to search for a Royal Navy ship to report his discovery to. However, he met none and the encounter with the L 19 was only reported to the British authorities on his return to King Stephen's home port of Grimsby. The weather was worsening as King Stephen departed and the Zeppelin remained afloat for only a few hours. During this time, the L 19's crew threw a bottle with messages into the sea. Discovered six months later by Swedish fishermen at Marstrand, the bottle contained personal last messages from the airmen to their families and a final report from Loewe.

    "With fifteen men on the top platform and backbone girder of the L 19, floating without gondolas in approximately 3 degrees East longitude, I am attempting to send a last report. Engine trouble three times repeated, a light wind on the return journey delayed our return and, in the mist, carried us over Holland where I was received with heavy rifle fire; the ship became heavy and simultaneously three engines broke down. 2 February 1916, towards one o'clock, will apparently be our last hour.

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    Elsewhere in the war...

    Elbasan (Albania) taken by Bulgarian forces (see October 7th, 1918

    and finally...

    British Chief Petty Officer Hill of the Royal Naval Air Service became the first man in history to be called a tank driver when he took the controls of the new invention at the official unveiling ceremony.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!
  30. Flying Officer Kyte's Avatar

    Flying Officer Kyte said:


    Another very interesting edition.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."
  31. Hedeby's Avatar

    Hedeby said:


    Thank you Rob - it has certainly been challenging over the past few days lets hope we can maintain the quality tonight - no pressure, lol

    3rd February 1916

    NO DEATHS ARE RECORDED FOR THURSDAY FEBRUARY 3RD 1916 - good news for the RFC - bad news for the editors....

    There were two aerial victory claims today - by the same pilot - yes we have a double..

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    France's very own and beloved Charles Guynemer claimed 2 x LVG 'C's on this day whilst flying for N3 - one over Roye and one over Carreouisw-East of Roye. Hwe was flying a Nieuport 11.
    Guynemer was France's most beloved ace. He entered the French Air Service in November 1914 and served as a mechanic before receiving a Pilot's Brevet in April 1915. Despite his frail physical appearance, he took part in more than 600 aerial combats and was shot down seven times and survived. An excellent marksman and highly skilled pilot, he was hailed as the French Ace of Aces.

    But just what did he mean to the French? here are a few insights....

    "A pilot of great spirit and daring, willing to carry out the most perilous assignments. After a relentless chase he engaged a German aircraft in combat which ended with its bursting into flames and crashing." Médaille Militaire, 21 July 1915

    "Pilot of great gallantry, a model of devotion to duty and courage. During the course of the past six months he has fulfilled two missions of a special nature requiring the highest spirit of self-sacrifice, and has engaged in thirteen aerial combats, of which two ended in the destruction in flames of the enemy aircraft." Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur citation, 24 December 1915

    "Officer of the elite, a fighting pilot as skilful as he is audacious, he has rendered brilliant service to his country, as much by the number of his victories, as by his daily keenness and ever-growing mastery. Heedless of danger he has become for the enemy, by the sureness of his methods and by the precision of his maneuvers, the most redoubtable adversary of all. On 25 May 1917, he accomplished one of his most brilliant exploits in downing, in one minute, two enemy planes and reporting in the same day two other victories. By all his exploits he contributes to the excitement, courage and enthusiasm of those who, in the trenches, are witnesses to his triumphs. Forty five planes downed, 20 citations, two wounds." Officier de la Légion d'Honneur citation, 11 June 1917

    In his own words..."My method consists in attacking almost point blank." he said. "It is more risky, but everything lies in maneuvering so as to remain in the dead angle of fire."

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    Georges Guynemer's original SPAD S.VII, nicknamed "Vieux Charles", preserved at Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace. http://www.museeairespace.fr/

    The Musée de l'air et de l'espace, is a French aerospace museum, located at the south-eastern edge of Le Bourget Airport, north of Paris, and in the commune of Le Bourget. Has to be worth a visit if only to see this one aircraft....

    Western Front

    In a touching follow up to yesterday's story of the crash of the L-19 Zeppelin and the non -rescue by the crew of the King Stephen - here is another side of the story told by Pat Thompson the grandson of the King Stephen's skipper on that fateful day...

    A century on and his great-grandson Pat Thompson, 67, has been learning more about the story. He was a child when he heard from family members about what happened. “There were stories about him being sent poisoned cigarettes and wine and that he was on a (German) ‘most wanted’ list.” He has discovered how his relative was tormented by his decision to leave the Germans to the mercy of the sea. Mr Thompson, from Grimsby, has tried to put himself into his great grandfather’s shoes. “I would have been thinking, first and foremost, about the safety of the crew and the ship. To be a trawler skipper, you had to be a brainy chap. The decision he made came back to haunt him – that decision changed his life. He never went back to sea after that trip.”

    When he died in 1917, aged 45, William Martin was said to be a broken man. His great-grandson believes he may have been mentally damaged by his decision not to help the German crew. “He was a broken man and he drank heavily. We would call it Post Traumatic Stress Disorder now. I think that’s what happened to him.” Mr Thompson recently visited the grave of Heinrich Specht, from Alsace, a machinist on the crashed Zeppelin whose body was washed ashore in Denmark. He placed flowers on the grave and read letters posted in bottles by the doomed airmen. Afterwards he told a BBC Yorkshire film crew: “To read the letters is heart rending. If I could make amends I would. All I can do is send my sincere apologies.” Yesterday, Mr Thompson told The Yorkshire Post: “I don’t want great- granddad portrayed as a villain. Whatever he did, I’m sure he had his reasons. The trawlermen were unarmed, they were just working men.”

    Germans shell Loos.

    Eastern Front

    Resumed Russian attack in Bukovina.

    Political, etc.

    Australian War Loan totals nearly �21,000,000.

    Romanian cereal crop reported to be sold to an Austro-German syndicate.

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    he huge and impressive Gothic stone and wood Parliament had dominated the skyline of Ottawa, the capital of the young country for just over 50 years.

    Late in the evening of February 3rd, 1916, as the First World War raged in Europe, smoke was seen escaping from the reading room of the Centre Block.

    The fire spread quickly and by 21;30 the roof collapsed, and in the early hours of February 4th, the clock tower collapsed. Seven people died in the blaze.

    By the next day, the fire was out, but the structure was a smouldering icy shell.

    In Ireland: Irish Parliamentary Party leader John Redmond told an army recruiting meeting in Galway an impression was being created that Ireland’s exclusion from conscription meant the country was shirking her duty. Such an impression would be a false one, a cruel one, and would be a deadly injury to the future interests of Ireland. Since the commencement of the war, this little island had put a huge Irish army in the field. Up to January 8 last lreland had sent 86,277 men into the army and into the navy 3,466, making a total of 89,743... He honestly believed that if this war ended in the defeat of the Allies THERE WAS IMMINENT DANGER THAT EVERY TENANT FARMER IN IRELAND WOULD BE ROBBED BY THE PRUSSIANS of his ownership of the soil...The position of the tenant farmer who would not fight for the land for his children, and who expected the people of the towns to do the fighting for him was a contemptible position.

    and finally
    - A total solar eclipse occurred on February 3, 1916.

    A bit shorter tonight but there really was so little information to work with.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!
  32. zenlizard's Avatar

    zenlizard said:


    Wow, the past few days have been exceptional.
  33. Hedeby's Avatar

    Hedeby said:


    Quote Originally Posted by zenlizard View Post
    Wow, the past few days have been exceptional.
    Thanks Sam much appreciated - the ladies in the typing pool will be very happy.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!
  34. Hedeby's Avatar

    Hedeby said:


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    Another day, another trawl through the sometimes sparse news archives - I have been lucky recently with some great stories to be able to bring to you all. Fingers crossed we can continue in the same vein....

    February 4th 1916

    There was one recorded air crew loss on this day: Major (Squadron Commander) Leslie Da Costa Penn-Gaskell He was the commanding officer of 11 Reserve Aeroplane Squadron. (Attached from the Norfolk Regiment).

    Died of injuries 4 February 1916 aged 34. After an anti Zeppelin patrol on 31 January 1916 his machine ( BE 2c 2091) hit a tree and caught fire. Pulled from the fire, he was badly injured, he later died from these injuries. He is buried in Ruislip Cemetery in MIddlesex. (See Jan.31st posting for details of the Zeppelin attack, LZ-14 and much more). Unfortunately I am unable to find out more about Major Penn-Gaskell.

    There was one claimed aerial victory on this day:

    Oberleutnant Theodor "theo" Jakob Croneiss

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    Croneiss was one of a few pilots to become an ace while serving on the Turkish front. After the war, he was well known for flying in competition and was employed as a test pilot by the Messerschmitt company. His third victory on February 4th 1916 was either a Farman or BE-2 shot down over Baba-Tepe, off Imbros. Croneiss was one of the German pilots assigned to duty with Germany's allies, the Ottoman Empire and as such, he was assigned to Feldflieger Abteilung 6, which was also known as the Jasta Chanak Kale—Turkei as early as late 1915 or early 1916. His first aerial victory came on 7 January 1916, when he downed a Farman bomber over El Sedd-ul-Bahr. The next day, he downed a Royal Naval Air Service Voisin III LAS in the vicinity of Cape Helles. On 4 February 1916, his victory was over a reconnaissance two-seater at Baba-Tepe, off Imbros. On 24 January 1918, Croneiss shot down a Sopwith over the Gulf of Saros. His fifth victory came on 23 May 1918, when he destroyed a Sopwith fighter. He was subsequently decorated with the Iron Cross First Class and the Knight's Cross of the House Order of Hohenzollern in August 1918

    Having survived the war as an oberleutnant, Croneiss became a sporting aviator. He became director of a flying club that sponsored Willy Messerschmitt. Croneiss piloted one of Messerschmidt's early designs, the M-21, to win the designer a 60,000 Reichsmark prize. In 1928-1929, Croneiss won the East Prussia Flying Trophy with the M-23 model. He later evolved into a test pilot for the Messerschmitt Company. Theodor Jacob Croneiss died on 7 November 1942

    House Order of Hohenzollern - now here's a decoration I have never heard of so....

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    The House Order of Hohenzollern (Hausorden von Hohenzollern or Hohenzollernscher Hausorden) was a dynastic order of knighthood of the House of Hohenzollern awarded to military commissioned officers and civilians of comparable status. Associated with the various versions of the order were crosses and medals which could be awarded to lower-ranking soldiers and civilians. The House Order of Hohenzollern was instituted on December 5, 1841 by joint decree of Prince Konstantin of Hohenzollern-Hechingen and Prince Karl Anton of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. These two principalities in southern Germany were Catholic collateral lines of the House of Hohenzollern, cousins to the Protestant ruling house of Prussia.

    On August 23, 1851, after the two principalities had been annexed by Prussia, the order was adopted by the Prussian branch of the house. Also, although the two principalities had become an administrative region of the Prussian kingdom, the princely lines continued to award the order as a house order. The Prussian version was then known as the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern (Königlicher Hausorden von Hohenzollern or Königlich Hohenzollernscher Hausorden), to distinguish it from the Princely House Order of Hohenzollern (Fürstlicher Hausorden von Hohenzollern or Fürstlich Hohenzollernscher Hausorden). Although Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated in 1918 as German Emperor and King of Prussia, he did not relinquish his role as Head of the Royal House and as such he was still able to confer the Royal House Order. The Princely House Order continued to be awarded, unofficially, after the fall of the German Monarchy.

    Another development occurred in 1935. Prince Karl Anton's second son, Karl Eitel Friedrich of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, had become prince and then king of Romania as Carol I. Carol I had died childless and was succeeded by his nephew Ferdinand I, also of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. During the reign of Ferdinand's son King Carol II, the Romanian government established its own version of the House Order of Hohenzollern, known in Romanian as Ordinul "Bene Merenti" al Casei Domnitoare ("Order of 'Bene Merenti' of the Ruling House"). This form of the order existed until the Romanian monarchy was abolished in 1947; King Michael also awarded a slightly altered order in exile.

    Zeppelin LZ86 Raided Dvinsk: LZ 86 served on the Eastern Front until it crashed over Romania in fall of 1916. Seen in profile here, it offers a good view of the placement of the upper machine gun platform, one of the crewmen standing there to offer scale.

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    Elsewhere in the war...

    Western Front

    Owing to heavy casualties, The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) formed the Highland Battalion with 1st Battalion, the Seaforth Highlanders.

    The Black Watch....
    The source of the regiment's name is uncertain. In 1725, following the Jacobite rebellion of 1715, General George Wade was authorised by George II to form six "watch" companies to patrol the Highlands of Scotland, three from Clan Campbell, one from Clan Fraser, one from Clan Munro and one from Clan Grant. These were to be "employed in disarming the Highlanders, preventing depredations, bringing criminals to justice, and hindering rebels and attainted persons from inhabiting that part of the kingdom." The force was known in Gaelic as Am Freiceadan Dubh, "the dark" or "black watch".

    This epithet may have come from the uniform plaids of dark tartan with which the companies were provided. Other theories have been put forward; for instance, that the name referred to the "black hearts" of the pro-government militia who had sided with the "enemies of true Highland spirit", or that it came from their original duty in policing the Highlands, namely preventing "blackmail" (Highlanders demanding extortion payments to spare cattle herds). However, these theories are without historical basis and do not stand up to scrutiny.

    In 1739, the six Highland watch companies were augmented to ten and incorporated into the regular forces of the Crown as the Earl of Crawford's Regiment of Foot. The regiment was ordered to London by George II in 1743 for inspection; however, along the way, rumors spread that that they were to be sent to the West Indies to fight in the War of Austrian Succession. That was not what the Highlanders expected when they enlisted. As a result, on May 17, 1743, approximately 100 men deserted and set off to return to Scotland. They were intercepted by cavalry in Northamptonshire. The ringleaders (Corporal Samuel MacPherson, Corporal Malcolm MacPherson and Private Farquhar Shaw) were executed by firing squad at the Tower of London on 18 July 1743. The remaining deserters were sent to regiments in Minorca, Gibraltar, Georgia, and the West Indies.

    The first battle in which The Black Watch took part was the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745, where the regiment distinguished themselves with great bravery.The regiment was numbered the 43rd Regiment of Foot in 1747, changing to 42nd in 1749. In 1751, the regiment was titled "42nd (Highland) Regiment" and, in 1758, was permitted the honour to add "Royal" to its title. However, it continued to be known colloquially as the "Black Watch". The Battle of Ordashu was a battle fought on 4 February 1874 during the Third Anglo-Ashanti War, when Sir Garnet Wolseley defeated the Ashantis. The attack was led by the 42nd Regiment of Foot. L/Sgt Mcgaw won the Victoria Cross during the action. In 1881, when the 42nd amalgamated with the 73rd Regiment of Foot, the new regiment was named "The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)". The regiment adopted the royal motto of Scotland's Stewart monarchs, Nemo me impune lacessit ("No-one provokes me with impunity"). The Black Watch was formed as part of the Childers Reforms in 1881, when the 42nd (Royal Highland) Regiment of Foot (The Black Watch) was amalgamated with the 73rd (Perthshire) Regiment of Foot to form two battalions of the newly named Black Watch (Royal Highlanders). The 42nd became the 1st Battalion, and the 73rd became the 2nd Battalion. The 1st Battalion then served in Africa taking part in the Highland Brigade's dawn assault on the Egyptian position at Tel-el-Kebir in 1882. Two years later, it was in the thick of the fight with the Mahdi's tribesmen at El Teb and Tamai. The following year, 1885, saw it taking part in the Nile Expedition and the action at Kirbekan.

    During World War I, the 25 battalions of the Black Watch fought mainly in France and Flanders, except for the 2nd Battalion, which fought in Mesopotamia and Palestine, and the 10th Battalion, which was in the Balkans. Only the 1st and 2nd Battalions were regulars. The rest were either part of the Territorial Force or the New Army. The Black Watch served with the British 51st (Highland) Division.

    Southern Front

    Austrians occupy Kroja, 25 miles north of Durazzo.

    German Army in the Cameroons retreated in good order to the Spanish island of Rio Muni.

    The War at Sea

    One ship was reported lost today : Vigilant ( Denmark): The schooner was abandoned in the Atlantic Ocean 80 nautical miles (150 km) off the Butt of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, United Kingdom. Her crew were rescued. She was later towed into Stornoway

    Other News....

    Famous Speeches Of Gandhiji (Gandhi)
    Banaras Hindu University Speech
    February 4, 1916

    Pandit Malaviya had invited Gandhiji to speak on the occasion of the opening of the Banaras Hindu University. Lord Hardinge, the Viceroy, had come specially to lay the foundation-stone of the University. To protect his life extra precautions were taken by the police. They were omnipresent and all houses along the route were guarded. Banaras was, so to say, in a state of siege. Eminent persons from all over India had come. Many of them delivered addresses. On February 4, 1916 it was Gandhiji’s turn to address the audience, mostly consisting of impressionable youths. A galaxy of princes, bedecked and bejeweled, had occupied the dias. The Maharaja of Darbhanga was in the chair.

    An excerpt of his speech on the day: Language is not subjective, but it can be used as a sign of defiance and even a means of communication that may leave the dominant group in the dark. That is why, in many cases one of the first things that an invading people tries to do is eradicate the native tongue in favor of their own.

    When history and language come together they form the first pieces of a culture. Culture is what separates people more than anything else. Culture is what divides the accepted from the taboo. Culture is what makes each group unique. By destroying a people’s history and language you drive a crack through their culture so prominent that the rest will crumble soon after. After the culture is destroyed the people are subject to assimilate to whatever they can find. This means either joining the culture of the dominant group and working against their own people or forming a counter-culture. If a counter-culture is formed the dominant group will repeat the process of ‘forced assimilation’. This cycle is infinite and can be observed anywhere in the world.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!
  35. Hedeby's Avatar

    Hedeby said:


    Well its been a long week - axe wielded at work - another 1400 jobs down the swanee - but looks like I should be able to dodge that particular bullet - so very relaxing Friday night - 'Uncle Jack' for company (even found my Titanic and Iceberg ice cubes lol - so here we go again)... with this evening's musical accompaniment provide by the very wonderful Mogwai !

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    5th February 1916

    There was one reported RAF/RFC loss on this day: Air Mechanic 1st Class Edwin C. WInter Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. 'President II'. Accidentally Killed 5 February 1916. Alas, and as is unfortunately all to usual with those who were not officers, I am unable to find out any more information.

    HMS President II was a 'stone frigate' or shore based location rather than a ship - This was another accounting base, based at times at Chatham, Crystal Palace, Chingford and Shrewsbury, and extant between 1916 and at least 1947. Also at Felixstowe in 1917. (possibly also at Calshot and Bembridge during 1917)

    The War in the Air.

    Well folks we have hit the 'Jackpot' here all right with FIVE aerial victories being claimed... so in no particular order, here we go...

    Lieutenant Colonel Jack Armand Cunningham DSO. DFC. Legion d'Honneur. Croix de Guerre. Order of Leopold. Croix de Guerre (Belgium) - Royal Flying Corps

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    Lieutenant Jack Armand Cunningham, of the Royal Field Artillery, received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 623 on a Bristol biplane at The Bristol School, Brooklands on 12 September 1913. On 5th February 1916 whilst flying a DH.2 (serial No. 5916) he shot down (forced to land) and ALbatross 'C' over Carvin. This was his 3rd kill flying as part of No.18 Squadron. His next kill would not be until December 1917 when flying a Sopwith Camel of No.65 Squadron. Lieutenant Colonel Jack Armand Cunningham DSO, DFC (4 December 1890 – 3 April 1956) was an English World War I flying ace credited with 10 aerial victories. His victory record was remarkable for being scored over a four-year stretch, using four different types of aircraft. Cunningham continued his lengthy military career until the end of World War II, when he retired.

    Cunningham first served as a second lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery. He was granted the Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate No. 623 at the Bristol School, Brooklands, on 12 September 1913.[2] He was promoted to lieutenant on 23 December 1913.[3] Soon after the outbreak of World War I he was seconded to the Royal Flying Corps, and was appointed a flying officer on 12 September 1914.

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    On 16 May 1915 Cunningham was appointed a flight commander with the rank of temporary captain.[5] He served in 5 Squadron from 7 July to 18 October 1915 in Warwickshire, England.[6]

    After a transfer to 18 Squadron in France, on 28 November 1915 Cunningham and his observer used a Vickers Gunbus to drive down an LVG reconnaissance machine down over La Bassée. On 29 December 1915, Cunningham had switched to a single-seat Bristol Scout to drive down an Aviatik recon plane over Provin. On 5 February 1916, he used an Airco DH.2 to force an Albatros recon machine to land at Carvin.

    Effective 15 July 1916, Cunningham was appointed a squadron commander, with the concomitant rank of temporary major.He would not score his next victories until 18 December 1917, when he was apparently commanding 65 Squadron. He became an ace flying a Sopwith Camel fighter to destroy one German Albatros D.V fighter and drive another down out of control.Cunningham scored again on 5 February 1918, when he destroyed an Albatros D.V over Beythem. On 12 March, he destroyed an Albatros over Westrozebeke, Belgium. Five days later, he destroyed another over Zuidhoek. He destroyed another one east of Demuin, France on 3 April 1918. On 2 June 1918, Cunningham was promoted to temporary lieutenant colonel while he was assigned as such.The following day, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in the King's birthday honours. Cunningham would win one final victory, when he destroyed a German reconnaissance two-seater over the English Channel off the Belgian coast on 3 August 1918 for his tenth win. He was flying with 65 Wing at the time.

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    Major Frederic James Powell
    MC Royal Flying Corps. Already and established Ace he claimed THREE aircraft shot down on this day (two unconfirmed) which could have taken his total to 12 were it not for the fact that 8 of these were unfortunately unconfirmed.
    Whilst flying an F.E.8 (7457) of No.5 Squadron he claims to have shot down two Aviatiks and one Albatross 'C'.

    Lieutenant Frederick James Powell, Manchester Regiment, received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 1130 on a Maurice Farman biplane at Farnborough on 2 March 1915. Posted to 5 Squadron, he scored two victories flying the Vickers F.B.5 and four victories flying the F.E.8. After serving with 40 Squadron, Powell assumed command of 41 Squadron on 2 August 1917. Now flying the S.E.5a, he was shot down over Auberchicourt by Jasta 10 and captured.

    Powell began his military service in August 1913, when he joined the Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry, a unit of the Territorial Force. On 21 September 1914, soon after the outbreak of the war, he transferred to the 18th (Service) Battalion (3rd City) of the Manchester Regiment, part of the New Army, as a second lieutenant. He then promptly volunteered for service in the Royal Flying Corps, and was transferred in November. Powell trained as a pilot at Farnborough, and was promoted to lieutenant on 2 February 1915. He was granted Royal Aero Club Aviators' Certificate No. 1130 on 2 March, after soloing a Maurice Farman biplane, and then completed his training at Netheravon. Powell was appointed a flying officer on 25 May, and transferred to the General List.

    Powell was posted to No. 5 Squadron, based at Abele, Belgium, serving in "B" Flight. He staked his first two claims for aerial victories on 19 September 1915 while flying a Vickers Gunbus, one claim being confirmed. He had a string of four unconfirmed claims during October and November, and on 15 December he was appointed a flight commander with the temporary rank of captain. He gained his second confirmed victory on 19 December. He had one more unconfirmed claim while flying the Gunbus, on 2 January 1916,[8] and was awarded the Military Cross, on 14 January. As the commander of "B" Flight, he then flew the first FE.8 to go into action in France, No. 7457. He was rather proprietorial about it, supposedly refusing leave to monopolize flying it on a daily basis. He scored his first win with the new aircraft on 17 January 1916; by 12 March, he had three unconfirmed wins, and three more triumphs credited to him, including one with Gilbert W. M. Green serving as his gunner/observer.

    Powell returned to England in April 1916, and was based at Cambridge, but in May returned to France when posted to No. 40 Squadron as a flight commander. The squadron was the first unit to be equipped with the FE.8.In February 1917 Powell was appointed chief fighting instructor in the RFC's Northern Group, based at York,and from April he commanded No. 43 Training Squadron at Ternhill, being appointed squadron commander with the temporary rank of major on 16 May 1917. Powell returned to France on 2 August 1917 when appointed commander of No. 41 Squadron. On 2 February 1918, during an offensive patrol over the Douai sector, Powell was wounded and his engine disabled during a dogfight with Max Kühn of Jasta 10 He made a forced landing on a German airfield, and was captured, spending the remainder of the war as a POW. He was repatriated after the Armistice, and eventually left the RAF on 17 May 1919.

    Major William Victor 'Struggy' Strugnell
    MC Royal Flying Corps - claimed his first kill flying a Morane (5068) and shooting down an Aviatik South East of Armentieres. Air mechanic William Victor Strugnell received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 253 on a Bristol biplane at army school, Salisbury Plain on 24 July 1912. With 1 Squadron in 1916, he scored his first victory flying a Morane monoplane. Later posted to 54 Squadron, he scored five more victories flying the Sopwith Pup.

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    Group Captain William Victor Strugnell (23 July 1892 - 1977) was a World War I flying ace credited with six aerial victories. He went on to a long career in the Royal Air Force, eventually rising to Group Captain and serving through World War II. Effective 27 June 1915, Sergeant Strugnell was commissioned a second lieutenant.On 5 February 1916, he piloted a Morane-Saulnier that drove down an Aviatik C.I reconnaissance plane for his first victory. On 2 June 1916, he was awarded a Military Cross.

    He spent some time on instruction duty before returning to action flying a Sopwith Pup in 54 Squadron as flight commander of A Flight. On 19 March 1917, he shared in the setting afire of a German reconnaissance plane. On 14 April and 1 May, he sent another recon plane and an Albatros D.III down out of control. On 11 May 1917, he cooperated with fellow aces Oliver Sutton, Maurice D. G. Scott, and three other pilots in destroying a recon plane; Strugnell then single handedly destroyed an Albatros D.III. He finished the war as a major.

    Georges Marie Ludovic Guynemer - Flying his Nieuport 11 he shot down an LVG over Herbecourt. This was Guynemers's 7th victory. (for more on Guynemer see previous postings including Feb.3rd.)

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    Hauptmann Rudolf Berthold - Flying his Eindecker he shot down a BE2.c over Irles - this was his second kill (see previous posts for more on Berthold - although he will feature again in coming months)

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    Good job this isn't 1918 or I would be having a very late night detailing the 32 aerial victories claimed on that day - remind me to 'be away' for that one leaving Rob holding the typewriter ribbon, lol

    Also in the air...

    A Zeppelin dropped bombs on Paris last Saturday night, killing twenty-three persons and injuring about thirty. Several houses were wrecked. The electric lights, the Times correspondent says, were suddenly extinguished about 10 o'clock, and firemen drove through the streets sounding the " Garde A. vous." Thirteen bombs were dropped and the attack was over in about two minutes. The Zeppelin, flying at a height of about ten thousand feet, had evaded the searchlights and the aeroplanes outside the city. Five aeroplanes, however, sighted the Zeppelin at the time of the attack, and one of them chased it for some distance. The bombs were of extraordinary size. Owing to the mist, the crew of the Zeppelin could not aim at any particular points, even if they had desired to do so. The bombs fell in a working-class quarter. _This fresh experience shows that the argument that Paris had discovered a perfectly effectual means of defence, which London ought to imitate, was ill-founded.

    Naval and Overseas Operations

    Germans from Cameroons interned in Spanish Guinea.

    Two ships were lost on this day -
    Geraldine ( United Kingdom): The barque foundered in the English Channel east of Herm, Channel Islands.
    Marie ( France): The three-masted sailing ship was wrecked off the Jardin Lighthouse, Saint-Malo. Ille-et-Vilaine. Her crew were rescued.

    5 February 1916 HM Submarine D8 left Blyth

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    Today also saw the launch of another Battleship - HMS COURAGEOUS

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    HMS Courageous was the lead ship of the Courageous-class cruisers built for the Royal Navy during the First World War. Designed to support the Baltic Project championed by First Sea Lord John Fisher, the ship was very lightly armoured and armed with only a few heavy guns. Courageous was completed in late 1916 and spent the war patrolling the North Sea. She participated in the Second Battle of Heligoland Bight in November 1917 and was present when the German High Seas Fleet surrendered a year later.

    Courageous was decommissioned after the war, then rebuilt as an aircraft carrier during the mid-1920s. She could carry 48 aircraft compared to the 36 carried by her half-sister Furious on approximately the same displacement. After recommissioning she spent most of her career operating off Great Britain and Ireland. She briefly became a training carrier, but reverted to her normal role a few months before the start of the Second World War in September 1939. Courageous was torpedoed and sunk in the opening weeks of the war, going down with more than 500 of her crew.

    During the First World War, Admiral Fisher was prevented from ordering an improved version of the preceding Renown-class battlecruisers by a wartime restriction that banned construction of ships larger than light cruisers in 1915. To obtain ships suitable for the doctrinal roles of battlecruisers, such as scouting for fleets and hunting enemy raiders, he settled on ships with the minimal armour of a light cruiser and the armament of a battlecruiser. He justified their existence by claiming he needed fast, shallow-draught ships for his Baltic Project, a plan to invade Germany via its Baltic coast.

    Courageous had an overall length of 786 feet 9 inches (239.8 m), a beam of 81 feet (24.7 m), and a draught of 25 feet 10 inches (7.9 m) at deep load. She displaced 19,180 long tons (19,490 t) at load and 22,560 long tons (22,922 t) at deep load. Courageous and her sisters were the first large warships in the Royal Navy to have geared steam turbines. To save design time, the installation used in the light cruiser Champion, the first cruiser in the navy with geared turbines, was simply replicated for four turbine sets. The Parsons turbines were powered by eighteen Yarrow small-tube boilers. They were designed to produce a total of 90,000 shaft horsepower (67 MW) at a working pressure of 235 psi (1,620 kPa; 17 kgf/cm2). The ship reached an estimated 30.8 knots (57.0 km/h; 35.4 mph) during sea trials. The ship's normal design load was 750 long tons (762 t) of fuel oil, but she could carry a maximum of 3,160 long tons (3,211 t). At full capacity, she could steam for an estimated 6,000 nautical miles (11,110 km; 6,900 mi) at a speed of 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph). Courageous carried four BL 15-inch Mk I guns in two hydraulically powered twin gun turrets, designated 'A' and 'Y' from front to rear. Her secondary armament consisted of eighteen BL 4-inch Mk IX guns mounted in six manually powered mounts. The mount placed three breeches too close together, causing the 23 loaders to get in one another's way, and preventing the intended high rate of fire. A pair of QF 3-inch 20 cwt anti-aircraft guns were fitted abreast the mainmast on Courageous. She mounted two submerged tubes for 21-inch torpedoes and carried 10 torpedoes for them.

    HMS Courageous was laid down on 26 March 1915, launched on 5 February 1916 and completed on 4 November. During her sea trials later that month, she sustained structural damage while running at full speed in a rough head sea; the exact cause is uncertain. The forecastle deck was deeply buckled in three places between the breakwater and the forward turret. The side plating was visibly buckled between the forecastle and upper decks. Water had entered the submerged torpedo room and rivets had sheared in the angle irons securing the deck armour in place. The ship was stiffened with 130 long tons (130 t) of steel in response. As of 23 November 1916, she cost £2,038,225 to build. Upon commissioning, Courageous was assigned to the 3rd Light Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet. She became flagship of the 1st Cruiser Squadron near the end of 1916 when that unit was re-formed after most of its ships had been sunk at the Battle of Jutland in May.The ship was temporarily fitted as a minelayer in April 1917 by the addition of mine rails on her quarterdeck that could hold over 200 mines, but never laid any mines. In mid-1917, she received half a dozen torpedo mounts, each with two tubes: one mount on each side of the mainmast on the upper deck and two mounts on each side of the rear turret on the quarterdeck.On 30 July 1917, Rear-Admiral Trevylyan Napier assumed command of the 1st Cruiser Squadron and was appointed Acting Vice-Admiral Commanding the Light Cruiser Force until he was relieved on 26 October 1918.

    On 16 October 1917, the Admiralty received word of German ship movements, possibly indicating a raid. Admiral Beatty, the commander of the Grand Fleet, ordered most of his light cruisers and destroyers to sea in an effort to locate the enemy ships. Courageous and Glorious were not initially included amongst them, but were sent to reinforce the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron patrolling the central part of the North Sea later that day. Two German Brummer-class light cruisers managed to slip through the gaps between the British patrols and destroy a convoy bound for Norway during the morning of 17 October, but no word was received of the engagement until that afternoon. The 1st Cruiser Squadron was ordered to intercept, but was unsuccessful as the German cruisers were faster than expected. hroughout 1917 the Admiralty was becoming more concerned about German efforts to sweep paths through the British-laid minefields intended to restrict the actions of the High Seas Fleet and German submarines. A preliminary raid on German minesweeping forces on 31 October by light forces destroyed ten small ships. Based on intelligence reports, the Admiralty allocated the 1st Cruiser Squadron on 17 November 1917, with cover provided by the reinforced 1st Battlecruiser Squadron and distant cover by the battleships of the 1st Battle Squadron, to destroy the minesweepers and their light cruiser escorts.

    The German ships—four light cruisers of II Scouting Force, eight destroyers, three divisions of minesweepers, eight Sperrbrechers (cork-filled trawlers) and two other trawlers to mark the swept route—were spotted at 7:30 am. Courageous and the light cruiser Cardiff opened fire with their forward guns seven minutes later. The Germans responded by laying an effective smoke screen. The British continued in pursuit, but lost track of most of the smaller ships in the smoke and concentrated fire on the light cruisers. Courageous fired 92 fifteen-inch shells and 180 four-inch shells during the battle, and the only damage she received was from her own muzzle blast. One fifteen-inch shell hit a gun shield of the light cruiser SMS Pillau but did not affect her speed. At 9:30 the 1st Cruiser Squadron broke off their pursuit so that they would not enter a minefield marked on their maps; the ships turned south, playing no further role in the battle.

    After the battle, the mine fittings on Courageous were removed, and she spent the rest of the war intermittently patrolling the North Sea. In 1918, short take-off platforms were fitted for a Sopwith Camel and a Sopwith 1½ Strutter on both 15-inch (380 mm) turrets. The ship was present at the surrender of the German High Seas fleet on 21 November 1918.Courageous was placed in reserve at Rosyth on 1 February 1919 and she again became Napier's flagship as he was appointed Vice-Admiral Commanding the Rosyth Reserve until 1 May, The ship was assigned to the Gunnery School at Portsmouth the following year as a turret drill ship. She became flagship of the Rear-Admiral Commanding the Reserve at Portsmouth in March 1920. Captain Sidney Meyrick became her Flag Captain in 1920.He was relieved by Capt John Casement in August 1921

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    As a carrier in 1930
    Last edited by Hedeby; 02-12-2016 at 15:59.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!
  36. Flying Officer Kyte's Avatar

    Flying Officer Kyte said:


    Some very good stuff there Chris. I just worked out the two weekly changeovers to 1918 and I'm afraid it will be your week on.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."
  37. Naharaht's Avatar

    Naharaht said:


    An Edward C. Wynter Air Mechanic 1st Class RNAS F4321 was killed accidentally on 5th Febrauary 2016 at the RNAS station Eastchurch. I imagine that he was the same sailor that you referred to but again there \re no details as to how he died. http://www.worldwar1atsea.net/xDKCasAlpha1914-18W2.htm

    The airfield at Eastchurch on the Isle of Sheppey played a significant role in the history of British aviation from 1909 when Frank McClean acquired Stonepits Farm, on the marshes across from Leysdown, and converted the land into an airfield for members of the Aero Club (later Royal) of Great Britain. Later, McClean loaned his aeroplanes there to the Royal Navy to train officers in the skill of flying.

    RNAS Eastchurch (parent ship PEMBROKE II ) existed from June 1913 until 1 April 1918 when the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Flying Corps combined to form the Royal Air Force and RNAS Eastchurch became RAF Station Eastchurch.

    In fact the first flying course started 2 March 1912.

    Four Aircraft hangars, built by the engineers Harbrows for the Admiralty in 1912 still remain at Eastchurch within what is now HM Prison Standford Hill. HM Prison Swaleside was built on the airstrip of RAF Eastchurch.
  38. Hedeby's Avatar

    Hedeby said:


    Thanks for that useful addition David , much appreciated

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!
  39. Hedeby's Avatar

    Hedeby said:


    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Officer Kyte View Post
    Some very good stuff there Chris. I just worked out the two weekly changeovers to 1918 and I'm afraid it will be your week on.
    Crap !

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!
  40. Hedeby's Avatar

    Hedeby said:


    Right car all packed ready to head off for Vapnartak early doors - hopefully to meet up with several loyal readers...

    Need beauty sleep for tomorrow so hopefully stories won't take too much ferreting out this evening...

    February 6th 1916

    One airman was lost on this day: Petty Officer Mechanic Alfred James Evans Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. 'President II' Armoured Car Division - he is buried at ALEXANDRIA (CHATBY) MILITARY AND WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY

    There were no claims of aerial victories on this day in 1916.

    In Germany Fokker begins testing prototype M 17 (w/n 433) and M 18 (w/n 434).These are Fokker's first answer to the need for a biplane fighter to counter the Nieuport 11 and the new DH.2.

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    The Fokker D.II was a German fighter biplane of World War I. It was a single-seat fighter aircraft developed before the Fokker D.I. It was based on the M.17 prototype, with single-bay unstaggered wings and a larger fuselage and shorter span than production D.IIs. Using a 75 kW (100 hp) Oberursel U.I, the D.II was underpowered, though the single 7.92 mm (.312 in) lMG 08 machine gun was normal for 1916. The German Army purchased 177. In service, the D.II proved to be little better than the earlier Fokker Eindecker fighters - in particular, it was outclassed by the Nieuport 11 and 17. A few examples were used by the Kampfeinsitzerkommandos and the early Jagdstaffeln alongside the Halberstadt D.II but the early Fokker biplanes were quickly discarded when the new Albatros fighters came out. Production of the D.II was slow. Fokker’s Schwerin factory was not really big enough to deal with all the orders that Fokker’s enthusiastic sales techniques were winning, and by the time the D.II appeared in sufficient numbers to enter service, it was already obsolescent. A few aircraft saw active service on quiet fronts, but most were used as training aircraft. One hundred and thirty two aircraft were ordered, but at best only half of this number were available at any one time and by September 1917 most were no longer in use.

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    Although NOT 100 years ago today marks the death in 1975 of Sir Keith Rodney Park, GCB, KBE, MC, DFC, DCL - I think it is right to pay respect to him within this thread.

    Sir Keith Rodney Park, GCB, KBE, MC, DFC, DCL, was educated at Otago Boys. High School and Oxford University. He joined the New Zealand Field Artillery and served in Egypt and Gallipoli. Commissioned in July 1915, he transferred to the Royal Artillery in September 1915. In October 1916, he was wounded in action while serving in France. Two months later, he joined the Royal Flying Corps. After flight training he became an instructor and accumulated 100 hours of flight time before joining 48 Squadron as a Bristol Fighter pilot in July 1917. He scored his 13th victory on 5 September 1917, downing an Albatros D.V flown by Franz Pernet of Jasta Boelcke, the stepson of General Erich Ludendorff. By the end of the year, Park scored sixteen victories and was shot down once by anti-aircraft fire. On 3 January 1918, he was shot down again, this time by Kurt Ungewitter of Schusta 5. The highest scoring ace to serve with 48 Squadron, Park scored 20 victories by the end of the war. He remained in the Royal Air Force, eventually attaining the rank of Air Chief Marshal. During World War II, he commanded the Royal Air Force during the evacuation at Dunkirk and later assumed command of Number 11 Fighter Group, defending London and southern England during the Battle of Britain. Upon retiring from the RAF, he returned to New Zealand.

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    "If any one man won the Battle of Britain, he did. I do not believe it is realised how much that one man, with his leadership, his calm judgement and his skill, did to save, not only this country, but the world." Lord Tedder – Chief of the Royal Air Force, February 1947.

    Western Front

    German bombardment of Loos.

    Allied bombard Lille.

    German gas reservoirs at Navarin bombed by French.

    Naval and Overseas Operations

    Four Austrian destroyers driven to Cattaro by British cruiser and French torpedo boat covering retirement of Serbian army to Corfu.

    Two ships were reported lost on this day :

    Balgownie ( United Kingdom): World War I: The cargo ship struck a mine and sank in the North Sea with the loss of a crew member.[2]
    Flamenco ( United Kingdom): World War I: The cargo ship was scuttled in the Atlantic Ocean 310 nautical miles (570 km) north east by north of Pernambuco, Brazil by SMS Möwe ( Kaiserliche Marine) with the loss of a crew member

    A patrol of the 17th Indian Cavalry encounters the enemy and fights a skirmish at Nagarsene, East Africa in which the patrol’s commander Captain Vernon Conrad Duberly is killed. He and a small party of ten fight a rear guard action to save the rest of his patrol numbering almost 40 men.

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    The home front

    Irish Volunteers armed with rifles and shotguns marched through an army recruiting meeting at Kilbrittain in west Cork, which was being presided over by the Earl of Bandon. Members of the Ballinadee company of the Volunteers, probably the strongest in west Cork in numbers of men and of arms, were cautioned by police as they made a return pass through the crowd.

    and finally...

    Germany admits full responsibility for Lusitania incident and recognizes America's right to claim indemnity. The story will not be made public until February 9th.

    Rubén Darío, Nicaraguan poet, journalist, and diplomat. Born in 1867 died on this day.
    Félix Rubén García Sarmiento, known as Rubén Darío, was a Nicaraguan poet who initiated the Spanish-American literary movement known as modernismo that flourished at the end of the 19th century.

    and really finally in America a small boy names Ronald Reagan celebrates his 5th birthday...

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!
  41. Flying Officer Kyte's Avatar

    Flying Officer Kyte said:


    All ready to take up the reigns again tomorrow Boss.
    Have a good Leave.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."
  42. Hedeby's Avatar

    Hedeby said:


    Well after a frantic day for the reporters at York its back to the typing pool for this evening's edition. My last for a while as I am off on a few days R&R and our noble WIng Commander is taking over the reins. I can holiday easy knowing matters are in excellent hands...

    February 7th 1916

    One airman was lost on this day - Lieutenant Joseph Prestwich 15 Squadron Royal Flying Corps - attached from East Lancashire Divisional Train, Army Service Corps. He died of his wounds on this day aged 23. He was the son of Joseph and Elizabeth Prestwich of Eccles Manchester. CWGC reference: I. F. 8. He is buried at POPERINGHE NEW MILITARY CEMETERY WEST-VLAANDEREN BELGIUM

    There were two claimed aerial victories today:

    Major Frederic James Powell MC Royal Flying Corps - following his treble a few days earlier the (currently) prolific Major Powell shot down another Aviatik - although yet again this was not confirmed.

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    Major Frederick James POWELL, MC, who was with 5 Sqdn. RFC in 1915 and 40 Sqdn. RFC in 1917, became CO of 41 Sqdn. RFC on 3 Aug. 1917. He was shot down by Jasta 10 over Auberchicourt, France, on 2 Feb. 1918. He was wounded in the combat and became a POW. After the Armistice, he returned home and was posted to the unemployed list on 17 May 1919, then had his short service commission cancelled on 12 Dec. 1919. He was also called up for service in WW2 is because a "Frederick James POWELL, MC (74207)" appears in the LG on 26 Sep. 1939 as "granted commission for duration of hostilities" on 19 Sep. 1939, and appointed a Plt. Off.

    On 19 September 1939, soon after the outbreak of the Second World War, Powell was granted a commission "for the duration of hostilities" as a pilot officer on probation in the Administrative and Special Duties Branch of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He was promoted to the war substantive rank of flying officer on 6 February 1940, and from flight lieutenant to temporary squadron leader on 1 June 1942, which was made war substantive on 2 December 1942. Shortly afterwards he was promoted to acting wing commander, and subsequently received three mentions in despatches, on 1 January 1943, 8 June 1944,[30] and 1 January 1945. Finally, on 14 June 1945, in the King's Birthday Honours Powell was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. In his later years, Powell lived in Dorset. He died in Cambridge in May 1992

    The second claim was by Captain Guy Patrick Spence Reid MC - Flying an FE2b he shot down an Fokker Eindecker over Roulers claiming his first kill.

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    The son of Thomas Miller and Lisette (Livings) Reid, 2nd Lieutenant Guy Patrick Spence Reid received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 1693 on a Maurice Farman biplane at military school, Farnborough on 4 September 1915. He transferred from the Seaforth Highlanders to the Royal Flying Corps and was posted to 20 Squadron in 1916. An F.E.2b pilot, he scored 5 victories with his observers and was awarded the Military Cross in September 1916. He flew for 20 Squadron and accumulated five kills before being killed in action on 16th September 1916.

    His MC Commendations read as follows...

    2nd Lt. Guy Patrick Spence Reid, Sea. Highrs. and R.F.C.
    For conspicuous skill and gallantry on many occasions. Capt. Dixon-Spain, with 2nd Lt. Reid as pilot, attacked and drove back a hostile machine. A few minutes later four hostile machines were seen, three of which were attacked one after another and driven back, the fourth being accounted for by another patrol. Another time they attacked two hostile machines, shot down one and drove the other back. Two days later they attacked two more machines, of which one is believed to have been destroyed, the other being pursued back to its aerodrome.

    Eastern Front

    Heavy artillery duel round Riga.

    The War at Sea

    There were three ships reported lost today

    Amiral Charner ( French Navy): World War I: The Amiral Charner-class armoured cruiser was torpedoed and sunk in the Mediterranean Sea off Beirut, Lebanon by SM U-21 ( Kaiserliche Marine) with the loss of 426 of her 427 crew.
    Argo ( United Kingdom): World War I: The cargo ship struck a mine and sank in the English Channel 4.5 nautical miles (8.3 km) north west of Boulogne, Pas-de-Calais, France (50°43′N 1°25′E) with the loss of a crew member.
    Westburn ( United Kingdom): World War I: The cargo ship was scuttled in the Atlantic Ocean 530 nautical miles (980 km) north north east of Pernambuco, Brazil by SMS Möwe ( Kaiserliche Marine). Two of her crew were taken as prisoners of war

    SMS Mowe (German Surface Raider)

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    SMS Möwe (German: Seagull) was an merchant raider of the Imperial German Navy which operated against Allied shipping during World War I. Disguised as a neutral cargo ship to enable it to get close to targets, the Möwe was effective at commerce raiding, sinking several ships in the course of the war. Built by the Tecklenborg yard at Geestemünde, she was launched as the freighter Pungo in 1914 and operated by the Afrikanische Fruchtkompanie for F. Laeisz of Hamburg. After an uneventful career carrying cargoes of bananas from the German colony of Kamerun to Germany she was requisitioned by the Imperial German Navy for use as a minelayer. Her conversion took place at Imperial shipyard at Wilhelmshaven in the autumn of 1915, and under the command of Nikolaus zu Dohna-Schlodien, she entered service on 1 November that year.

    Möwe slipped out of Wilhelmshaven on 29 December 1915 for her first task, to set a minefield in the Pentland Firth, near the main base of the British Home Fleet at Scapa Flow. This was completed in severe weather conditions. A few days later the pre-dreadnought battleship HMS King Edward VII struck one of the mines; despite attempts to tow her to safety she sank. Möwe then moved down the west coast of Ireland to France. There she laid another mine field off the Gironde estuary, which sank a further two ships. This part of her mission complete, Möwe then moved into the Atlantic, operating first between Spain and the Canary islands, and later off the coast of Brazil. On January 16, 1916, the Möwe encountered a lightly armed British merchant ship and after a small battle, the British ship was scuttled. In three months she caught fifteen ships, two of which were sent, with cargo and prisoners, to port as prizes; the rest were sunk. She returned to Germany, and a hero's welcome, on 4 April 1916. Richard Stumpf records that there were a number of Africans amongst the crew upon this arrival. Felix von Luckner served aboard SMS Möwe before his journey with SMS Seeadler in late 1916 to late 1917.

    Departing on 23 November 1916, Möwe had even more success on her second cruise into the Atlantic.

    On 6 December 1916, she captured and sank the Canadian Pacific Steamship freighter SS Mount Temple outbound from Halifax to Liverpool. The Mount Temple's cargo included war matériel of 700 horses bound for the Canadian Expeditionary Force in France, and many crates of dinosaur fossils collected from Alberta's Red Deer River badlands by Charles H. Sternberg destined for the British Museum of Natural History. On 12 December, it was the turn of the SS Georgic with 1,200 horses that would have been used on the Western Front. In four months she had accounted for another 25 ships totalling 123,265 GRT. One of these, SS Yarrowdale, was sent as prize to Germany; as Dohna Schlodien hoped, was outfitted as a commerce raider herself. Möwe also retained SS Saint Theodore as a collier, before arming and commissioning her as the auxiliary Geier. Geier operated in this role for six weeks, accounting for two ships sunk, before being disarmed and scuttled by Möwe prior to returning home. On 10 March, she was damaged in action against an armed New Zealand merchant ship. Five of her crewmen were killed and another ten men were wounded. The damage forced the raider to return course for Germany. In March 1917 Möwe again successfully ran the British blockade, ironically at the same time as her prize, now the auxiliary cruiser SMS Leopard, was cornered and sunk by the same blockading force. Möwe arrived home safely on 22 March 1917.

    A new Brigade was formed on this day : The 1st Dismounted Brigade... The 1st Dismounted Brigade was a formation of the British Army in World War I. It was formed in Egypt in February 1916 by absorbing the Lowland and Scottish Horse Mounted Brigades. The brigade was on Suez Canal defences attached to the 52nd (Lowland) Division and was broken up in October 1916. he 1st Dismounted Brigade was formed in Egypt in February 1916 by absorbing the Lowland Mounted Brigade and the Scottish Horse Mounted Brigade.[1]

    The Scottish Horse Mounted Brigade had served dismounted in the Gallipoli Campaign from September to December 1915 with the 2nd Mounted Division[2] before being withdrawn to Egypt. Similarly, the Lowland Mounted Brigade served in Gallipoli from October until 30 December 1915 with 52nd (Lowland) Division[3] when it was evacuated to Mudros.[4] It was transferred to Egypt, arriving on 7 February 1916 and was immediately[3] absorbed into the 1st Dismounted Brigade.[5] On formation, the 1st Dismounted Brigade was commanded by Br-Gen Marquis of Tullibardine (former commander of the Scottish Horse Mounted Brigade[6]) and consisted of:[3]

    1/1st Ayrshire Yeomanry
    1/1st Lanarkshire Yeomanry
    1/1st Scottish Horse
    1/2nd Scottish Horse
    1/3rd Scottish Horse
    1st Dismounted Brigade Signal Company
    1st Dismounted Brigade MG Company
    1st Lowland Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance, RAMC
    1st Scottish Horse Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance, RAMC

    From 8 February 1916, the brigade was attached to the 52nd (Lowland) Division in No. 3 (Northern) Section, Suez Canal Defences. The brigade remained with 52nd (Lowland) Division until 16 October 1916 when the brigade was dissolved.

    Hmm the only picture I find of the 1st DISMOUNTED Brigade is one of them all on horseback...

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    and on that note its goodbye from me and hello to him...

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!
  43. Flying Officer Kyte's Avatar

    Flying Officer Kyte said:


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    8th February 1916.

    No deaths are recorded for Tuesday February 8th 1916.

    I must mention one notable birth on this day in 1894. One William (Billy) Bishop.

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    William Avery Bishop attended the Royal Military College before joining the 8th Canadian Mounted Rifles at the beginning of the war. After serving overseas with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in December 1915 and received his pilot's certificate in 1917. Flying Nieuport scouts and the
    S.E.5a, "The Lone Hawk" was considered by some to be a mediocre pilot, but his extraordinary eyesight and consistent practice earned him a reputation as a crack shot. As the commanding officer of the "Flying Foxes," he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) after scoring 25 victories in just twelve days. On the morning of 2 June 1917, his single-handed attack against a German aerodrome on the Arras front earned him the Victoria Cross, making Bishop the first Canadian flyer to receive this honor. Before the war ended, he found time to write "Winged Warfare," an autobiographical account of his exploits in the air over France.

    (More about the exploits of this airman will be revealed in the years ahead.) Ed.

    No claims were made on this day.

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

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    Major Spencer Maxwell Tahourdin (Indian Cavalry) is killed in Mesopotamia at age 40. He is the son of the Reverend Richard Tahourdin.

    Lance Corporal Charles Clunas (Royal Fusiliers) dies of wounds received in action at age 21. He played football for the Clyde Football Club.

    Charles Clunas.

    Born at Johnstone, Renfrewshire, in 1894, he started out with Kilbarchan Athletic before Clyde signed him in 1912. In three seasons at Shawfield, he made 19 league appearances, scoring three goals. He joined the 23rd Royal Fusiliers (London), the Sportsman's Battalion in November 1914 and, after training for a year, went to France and was killed by a rifle grenade at Pas de Calais on 8 February 1916, at the age of 22 years. According to press reports at the time, he was the fifth Clyde player to be killed.

    Private Edward Collingwood Wintle (West Yorkshire Regiment) is accidentally shot by his best friend while they are cleaning their weapons at Kantara, Egypt. He dies this evening at age 21.

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    Born. Chesterfield, 1895.

    Died. Kantara, Egypt, 9th February 1916.

    Edward Collingwood Wintle was the youngest son of local solicitor T.G Wintle. Before war broke out Edward was working on the staff of the Liverpool, London and Globe Insurance Company, at their Bradford office.
    On the 4th September 1914, whilst living at “Hazlemere”, Tarn Villas, Ilkley He enlisted into the Leeds Pals. After training he served in Section 4, 9 Platoon of C Company, his Commanding Officer being Captain George Clifford Whittaker, and his Platoon Commanding Officer being 2nd/Lt George Emil St Brooksbank. He served with the “Pals” at Colsterdale, Ripon, Fovant and Egypt. On the 8th February 1916,when the battalion was on duty in the desert a party of men from 9 platoon, C Company had returned from patrol at point 80 and were cleaning their weapons, when Sergeant Joseph Prince. “Wintles” best friend accidentally shot him. He died later that night before the medical officer could reach him.
    Private Wintles body was buried on the morning of the 9th February 1916. His body carried for burial by his “Pals”. Clifford Hollingworth in his diary wrote:
    “I marched down from point 80 to attend the funeral, I had my bugle with me and I remember the Colonel ( Stead ) was in tears!. We sounded the last post!”
    Private Wintle is buried in Kantara Military Cemetery, Egypt.


    Western Front.

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    The de Havilland DH2 single-seat pusher scouts of No.24 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, arrives at St Omer in France, primarily to combat the 'Fokker menace' which had begun the previous summer. The DH2, supplemented by the Royal Aircraft Factory FE2b and the Nieuport Scout, was successful in re-establishing air superiority by May 1916.

    Tunstall's Men.

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    At 6 am Pte. Harry Iredale, who just days earlier had written home with thanks for parcels received, (see 5th February) was taking his position on the fire-step for stand-to when he was shot in the head.

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    He was quickly carried back down the communication trench by his platoon sergeant and then taken by the company stretcher-bearers, including Pte. Mark Beaumont to the dressing station. He was treated there before being transferred on to 8 Casualty Clearing Station where he died of his wounds; he was nineteen years old. Harry was buried at Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension (Nord) (grave ref. II.C.120).
    The remainder of the day passed quietly. At 10am officers from each company departed to take over billets from 13th Durham Light Infantry but by the time that the relief began in the early evening heavy rain was falling, which slowed the relief to such an extent that it was almost midnight before the last of the Battalion completed the five mile march to their billets at Fort Rompu.

    Pte. Mark Beaumont had enlisted at Ilkley on 17th September 1914 and had been one of the local contingent who had been added to Tunstill’s original recruits prior to their departure for training. He was born in Menston on 7th November 1890 and was the youngest of six children of David and Jane Beaumont. His father had owned a greengrocer’s shop but had died in 1903. Mark had been working before the war as a weaver for Abraham Moon and Sons, Netherfield Mills, Guiseley. His elder brother, Harry, had attested for service under the Derby Scheme in December 1915, but had not yet been called up.

    L.Cpl. Matthew Best who had suffered an accidental injury to his chest during training three weeks earlier and had been treated at 13 General Hospital in Boulogne (see 3rd February) was transferred to 25 General Hospital in Hardelot, near Etaples.

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    Eastern Front.

    Russians reach west bank of Dniester.

    Naval and Overseas Operations.

    Turkish positions on Anatolian coast bombarded by Russian Fleet.

    Two losses to U boats were recorded today, and one damaged vessel.

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    "Admiral Charner", French cruiser, torpedoed off Syrian coast by U21 commanded by Otto Hersing. Torpedoed 15 miles W of Beirut (374 drowned).

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    Otto Hersing
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    British Steamer Argo sunk by UC3 captained by
    Erwin Waßner Mined 4.5 miles NW Boulogne with one casualty.

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    British Steamer Elswick Manor mined by UC 7 captain
    Franz Wäger, 4 miles off Southwold. Beached off Yarmouth but refloated. No casualties.

    Political, etc.

    Von Papen papers published as a White Paper.

    Romanian reservists recalled from Salonika.

    British Government request naval assistance from Japan.

    A German plot to invade Canada is unmasked in the USA.

    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."
  44. Flying Officer Kyte's Avatar

    Flying Officer Kyte said:


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    9th February 1916.

    1 airman has fallen on Wednesday February 9th 1916.

    2Lt. Albert Erskine Carson, 24 Squadron Royal Flying Corps. Killed in Action 9 February 1916 aged 19. The Squadron left England on February 7th. Only two machines failed to cross the English Channel, and the following day the Squadron was unfortunate enough to suffer its first casualty - Lt. Archer , then in charge of "C" flight, failing to pull his machine out of a spin and crashing into the ground. Thus a career full of promise to the RFC terminated on its threshold.
    No other losses nor claims were recorded today.

    Home Front.

    9th February 1916

    At 3.26pm on a bitterly cold Wednesday afternoon, the North Goodwin Light Vessel, off the Kent coast, reported the sound of approaching aircraft. Ten minutes later observers at the North Foreland lookout post saw two German seaplanes overhead.

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    The aircraft, a Hansa-Brandenburg NW, no. 487, flown by Leutnant Friedrich Christiansen,

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    and a Friedrichshafen, FF33e were both from Seeflieger Abteilug (SFA) No. 1 based at Zeebrugge.

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    Between them the two aircraft dropped four bombs near Ramsgate and, according to the official report, nine on Broadstairs although other accounts give twelve.

    Of the Broadstairs bombs, four dropped on the Bartrum Gables girls’ school in Dumpton Park Drive. One of these bombs exploded on the upper floor causing the ceiling below to fall on a class of children. One, 9-year-old Hermione Michaels, sustained slight cuts while a housemaid, Alice Earlop, was also injured. Three more bombs landed in the school grounds and although a number of the pupils were using the playing fields, damage was restricted to broken windows.
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    Bartrum Gables girls’ school.

    A bomb that exploded at a house named Tenerife in Dumpton Park Drive cut the cheek of a Miss Stevens and others exploded at the rear of Beresford House on Ramsgate Road and in the garden at Beaumont House.

    The other four bombs were dropped to the north of Ramsgate. One, apparently aimed at a tram travelling on the main road between Broadstairs and Ramsgate, exploded in the road close behind the tram. The driver pulled up and the passengers got off, watching the aircraft as three more bombs dropped harmlessly in fields nearby, close to the Montefiore College, a synagogue and the Lillian Road School.

    An eye-witness in Ramsgate reported that, ‘The raiding machines were seen by everybody in the town, and the crosses on the planes could be clearly distinguished.’

    The RNAS sent up 19 aircraft in response to the attack as well as four from Dunkirk, and the RFC added five aircraft from Dover, but none was able to engage as the raiders turned for home as soon as they offloaded their bombs.

    Western Front.

    French regain part of trenches lost at Frise, and repulse Germans at Vimy Ridge.

    Germans' reserves estimated at 2,000,000.

    Tunstall's men.

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    (Several people have asked me who Tunstall was, so here is his Photograph.) Ed.

    There was a marked improvement in the weather and, although conditions at Fort Rompu were poor, with the billets described as, “dreadful – rusting heaps of corrugated tin, draped in canvas”, spirits must have been lifted further with the news that on the 14th the Battalion would march further back into Corps Reserve. They would not return to the front line for almost a month and, although they would not have known it at the time, this was to be the end of the Battalion’s stay in the Bois Grenier area, which had been their area of operation for almost five months since they had first arrived in France.

    Eastern Front.

    Severe fighting in Volhynia and Galicia.

    Southern Front.

    Fortification of Monastir by Bulgaro-Germans reported.

    Germans reported at Gevgeli.

    Serbian Government set up at Corfu.

    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres.

    Major-General W. Peyton succeeds Major-General A. Wallace in command of western force, Egypt
    Naval and Overseas Operations.

    SEA POWER COMPARED. LONDON, 9th February. An .illuminated article on the Allies' sea power has been published in the "Daily Chronicle." The writer says,, that Captain Perseus. in the "Berliner Tageblatt," reviews the naval and. maritime gains of the various belligerents during the war. and shows that the losses suffered by the British merchant marine owing_ to the German ' naval campaign, are less than .o per cent. of the total British tonnage: Captain Perseus admits that British sea power is stronger now than at the beginning of the war. The "Daily Chronicle" writer says that the Allies' sea power at the beginning of 1916" is thrice as strong as that of their enemies, the figures reading: - Allies. Enemies. Pre-Dreadnoughts ... 39 33 Dreadnoughts and super -Dreadnoughts 62 21 " . " Battle cruisers ... ... 21. , Protected cruisers ... 71 Lesser warships .... 133 . 5 Destroyers ...... .. 542 180 918 280 It. would be more difficult to compare the relative submarines .strengths, but the pro portion was the same as in the case of the larger units. " Germany had 30 submarines at the beginning of the war. She probably had the same number now, while those of the Allies had greatly increased. . Of 1200 German merchantmen, 200 were. captured at the outset of the war, 600 had taken refuge in neutral ports, and most of the remainder were. in dock at Hamburg and Bremen.

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    "Moewe" reported to have sunk five ships since 16 January.

    Only one U boat victim today.

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    Our old adversary U 38 captained by Max Valentiner struck the British Steamer Springwell. Torpedoed 64 miles SWxW of Gavdo Island. It was his 75th victim. there were no casualties.

    Political, etc.

    Agreement between U.S.A. and Germany on the "Lusitania" case reported.

    Military Service Act comes into operation.
    Extension of restrictions on lighting and on sale of sugar.
    Greek neutrality re-affirmed.

    General Sir Charles Monro vacates command of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force and General Sir William Birdwood vacates command of the Dardanelles army (see November 25th, 1915). [Sir Charles Monro was appointed later Commander-in-Chief in India. Sir William Birdwood later temporarily commanded the Fourth Army in France and then the Australian Corps, till eventually appointed to command the Fifth Army on May 23rd, 1918.]

    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."
  45. Flying Officer Kyte's Avatar

    Flying Officer Kyte said:


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    10th February 1916.

    No deaths are recorded for Thursday February 10th 1916

    Only one claim was made on this day.

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    Capitaine Albert Louis Deullin of the French Air Service with his observer Capitaine Colcomb made his first claim stated simply as EA.

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    His citations for the Légion d'Honneur medal read:-

    Commander of a Groupe de Combat, marvelous pursuit pilot, elite officer and model of the highest military virtues of bravery, character, and intelligence that have become legendary in French aviation. Wounded three times in aerial combat, he always returns to his place in the battle before being completely healed. Has admirable qualities of a fighter along with rare qualities of leadership. By his daily example and ceaseless work, in three months he has forged his Groupe de Combat into an elite unit. During the first days of the German offensive he executed in the rain and close to the ground, an audacious reconnaissance which was valuable to the intelligence officer. He recently downed his 20th enemy plane. Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur for feats of war. Twelve citations." Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur citation, 4 June 1916

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    A member of a class which is being instructed in bomb throwing drops a live bomb then picks it up and throws it to a corner of the room. Lance Corporal George Broadhurst (South Wales Borderers) immediately places his foot on the bomb with a view to minimizing the effect of the explosion. He is severely wounded in both feet but undoubtedly saved many others from serious injury or death. For his actions Broadhurst will be awarded the Albert Medal.

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    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

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    • Major Ernest Arthur Leather (Northumberland Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 48. He is the last of three brothers to be killed in the Great War.

    • Major G S Douglas (Cameronians) dies at home. He is the son of Admiral the Honorable G H Douglas.

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    • Corporal George Parrott (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed at age 22. His brother will be killed in May 1918.
    • Private George Burnell (Devonshire Regiment) is killed at age 27. His two brothers will be killed next year.
    • Driver Samuel Novis (Royal Field Artillery) dies of disease at Rawalpindi at age 35. His brother will die of war wounds in June 1919.
    • Ordinary Seaman Harold Grice (HMS Victory) dies of illness at home at age 20. His brother will be killed in April 1917.

    • Trooper Harold Vernon Tattersall

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    • Pte Tattersall was shot by a sniper in France. He was a bomber and was in a sap at the time being located near Fosse 8 and the heavily fortified Hohenzollern Redoubt located north of Loos.

    Tunstill's men.

    Billets at Fort Rompu.
    Another quiet day, with the weather remaining fine.

    Capt. Harry Hildyard (see 4th February), who had been on sick leave since early January, appeared before a further Medical Board. He was declared fit for home service as being, ‘somewhat improved but not yet fit for full duty’ and unlikely to be so for three months. He was therefore ordered to join 11th Battalion West Ridings at Brocton Camp, Cannock Chase, Staffs., with a further re-examination set for 10th April.

    Western Front.

    Germans repulsed south of Frise.

    Home Front.

    The Admiralty who were in charge of defence were busy combating an increasing U-boat menace. On 10 February 1916 the Army took over mainland defence.

    For more info :-


    Southern Front.

    75,000 Serbian troops brought to Corfu.

    Naval and Overseas Operations.

    Four mine-sweepers attacked by Germans off Dogger Bank; one sunk.
    German destroyers in the North Sea sink the minesweeping sloop HMS Arabis. There are seventy-six casualties while fourteen survivors are picked up by the Germans and made prisoners of war.

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    HMS Arabis.

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    The Battle of Dogger Bank on 10 February 1916 was a naval battle between the Kaiserliche Marine of the German Empire and the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom during the First World War. Three German torpedo boat flotillas sortied into the North Sea and encountered the British 10th Mine-sweeping Flotilla near Dogger Bank. The German vessels eventually engaged the British after firstly mistaking the British vessels for cruisers but were actually minesweepingsloops. Knowing they were outgunned, the British attempted to flee. In the engagement that ensued, the sloop HMS Arabis was sunk before the British squadron was able to escape. Although the Germans were victorious, they inflated their victory by reporting they had sunk two British cruisers; but in fact, the Arabis was the only vessel sunk in the battle.
    For his actions during the battle, Arabis′ commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Robert Raymond Hallowell-Carew, received the
    Distinguished Service Order.

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    Political, etc.

    Montenegrin Premier defines position of Montenegro.

    German Note to U.S.A. on arming of merchantmen.

    German Government send Note to united States Government stating that defensively armed merchantmen will be treated as belligerents from March 1st onwards.

    Mr. Garrison, U.S. War Secretary, resigns.

    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."
  46. Flying Officer Kyte's Avatar

    Flying Officer Kyte said:


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    11th February 1916.

    2 airmen have fallen on Friday February 11th 1916.

    2Lt. Thomas George Hakewill 17 Squadron Royal Flying Corps.
    Died of accidental injuries 11 February 1916 aged 19 received whilst flying at El Hamman.

    2Lt. Richard Yates 14 Squadron Royal Flying Corps. Killed 11 February 1916 aged 22.

    No claims were made today.

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

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    • Captain Kenneth Rees Habershon (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 26. He played for the Wanderers Cricket Club and his brother will be killed in November of this year.
    • Second Lieutenant Hugh Fabian Barton (Norfolk Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed in July of this year and they are sons of the Reverend Alfred John Barton Rector of Strumpshaw.
    • Sergeant Albert Edward Reay (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 25. His brother was killed in March 1915.

    In an incident similar to one on 23rd December last year a catapult fails to act properly with the result that bomb is thrown only a short distance and falls close to a party of men under instruction. Corporal Percy Fairborn Annis (Central Canadian Infantry) at once runs out to pick up the bomb which explodes just as he reaches it.

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    Clifton (Front) and his brother Percival Annis.

    He will suffer blindness for two weeks as a result of his wounds. For these two actions Annis will be awarded the Albert Medal.

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    Western Front.

    French success near Mesnil (Champagne).

    Tunstall's men.

    Billets at Fort Rompu.

    Heavy rain fell for much of the day and the Battalion provided a working party of one officer and eighty men to work in the Bois Grenier line. Meanwhile, there was considerable German shelling of Erquinghem; around fifty shells between 10.45 and 11am. However the damage was slight (mainly to the Royal Engineers store) and only a few men were reported wounded.

    More men departed for England on one week leave (see 23rd January); among them were Sgt. Tom Pickles (see 7th July 1915) and Signaller Arthur Herbert Procter (see 7th September 1914).

    The weekly edition of the Craven Herald carried news of the death of Trooper Reggie Killeen and of the memorial service which had been held in his home village of Bolton-by-Bowland. Reggie was the younger brother of one of Tunstill’s original recruits, Pte. Harry Killeen (see 6th February), who had only recently been wounded and was still being treated in hospital in Manchester.

    Sad news from the front to Bolton-by-Bowland continues to be received. Inspector and Mrs. Killeen, of the Police Station, have been informed that their younger son Reggie has died for his country. This so soon after the wounding of their elder son, who is now in hospital at Manchester, is a very hard blow to the parents who have the sympathy of the whole district.
    Reggie, who is only 18 years of age, joined he 12th Lancers in September 1914, and was afterwards attached to the 3rd Dragoon Guards. He was sent to France early in October 1914 and has often been in action. He has had a lot of experience in trench warfare, and bomb throwing.
    Trooper L. Boyer writes:- "I thought it my duty to write and let you know the sad end of Reggie. I feel very sorry, as he was my mate. I am in the same troop and squadron, and he died a hero fighting, and his death was instantaneous. He had no pain. I was only five yards from him when he was killed."
    At the Parish Church on Sunday evening, the Rev. C. Broadhurst made feeling reference to the loss the village has sustained. His text was St. John. ii. 25, 'I am the Resurrection and the Life.' He continued "When he who has parted this life is laid to his rest, whether amidst the roar of artillery, or whether he be in the quiet of our own country churchyard, the first words of the Burial Service are words, not of death, but of life. 'I am the Resurrection and the Life.' It does not say I promise to bring the Resurrection of Life, but I am the Resurrection and the Life - an absolute certainty, which God alone could say. Surely it is as a thought to help us in the hour of sorrow that he whom we loved, losing his life, has gained it. That the boy which fought a brave fight for his country rests in peace, but this soul - his real life - lives in Paradise."
    In spite of an exceptionally wet morning, special constables from Gisburn, Bolton-by-Bowland, and Grindleton attended the service at the conclusion of which the organist played the Dead March in 'Saul.'

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    Trooper Reggie Killeen
    Trooper Claude Darwin, (see 3rd December 1915) serving at Heliopolis in Egypt, was transferred from the Australian Light Horse to 5th Australian Army Service Corps. He was the brother of Tunstill recruit, Pte. Tom Darwin, who was currently being treated for ‘debility’ whilst serving with 10DWR (see 4th February).

    Home Front.

    A bit for the Editor.

    An amusing story from Crowle, near Doncaster.
    A well dressed man of somewhat strange manner failing to secure the hire of a taxi-cab a night or two ago struck Mr Charles Hill, the owner of the cab and then rushed through the streets shouting “murder” and threatening to blow out the brains of anyone who stopped him. His strange manner gave rise to the rumour that he was a German spy. A chase ensued in the darkness and there was a violent struggle. Eventually the man was placed in a taxi-cab, and, followed by the crowd, was driven to the police station.
    Immediately the door of the taxi-cab was opened several of the crowd seized the forst man to alight, and, despite his fierce struggles bore him in triumph into the police station. To their chagrin, when a light was brought upon the scene, they found they had got the wrong man, and that they had hustled a well known farmer and parish councillor into the arms of the law. This unfortunate man had almost had the life choked out of his body, and ruefully rubbed various parts of his anatomy.
    The real offender was subsequently brought in, Army papers in his possession showed him to be a discharged officer of the artillery, and he was in due course fined 10s. For assaulting the owner of the taxi. His friends took charge of him, as he was evidently suffering from mental depression.

    Eastern Front.

    Russians repulsed south of Dvinsk.

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    Russian General Yudenich launched a winter offensive and advances west.

    Southern Front.

    French reinforcements reach Salonika: right bank of Vardar occupied.

    Italian detachment reaches Corfu.

    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres.

    Hostile Arabs occupy Baharia Oasis (200 miles south-west of Cairo).

    Naval and Overseas Operations.

    English Battle Squadron Awaits The German Fleet; Huge British cruisers, a host of scouting vessels and mosquito craft are formed in battle line headed toward the North Sea.

    Two losses to U boats occurred today.

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    H.M.S. "Arethusa" mined off east coast.

    The cruiser HMS Arethusa strikes a mine and is sunk in the North Sea approaching Harwich. It is while returning from the abortive sweep to look for German High Seas Fleet that the light cruiser is lost. She is steaming at 20 knots and has just entered the Sledway Channel when she strikes a mine which has been laid by UC-7 Captain Georg Haag the previous evening. The explosion occurs under the machinery spaces and she loses power and begins to settle. The destroyers Lightfoot and Loyal try to take her in tow but on each occasion the tow rope parts. Eventually Arethusa drifts on to the Cutler Shoal and breaks in half. Six men are killed in the explosion and another two drown when their Carlet float overturns. Commander Tyrwhitt is the last to leave the ship, having remained to look for his cat. After Tyrwhitt’s boat has pushed off a bearded figure is seen to rush on to the quarterdeck. This is a stoker who has not only slept through the explosion but slept on through the subsequent activity! Trapped below he has clambered up the inside of the after funnel and then out on to the quarterdeck. The next day salvage of papers and portable items will be carried out since the cruiser’s upper works are still above the water. However, wind and tide slowly bury the ship in the sandbank where she lays to this day. There are two hundred seventy-two survivors.
    Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class James Thomas Andrew Taylor is among those killed. His wife is waiting at the dock when she hears the explosion. She was going to tell him that she is pregnant with their first child.

    UC 1 Captained by Egon von Werner sank the Norwegian Steamer Alabama 5 miles N of the Kentish Knock LV. There were no casualties.

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    Norwegian Steamer Alabama

    German East Africa.

    Salaita near Moutn Kilimanjaro is one of the principal German centers for railway communications situated near Taveta in German East Africa. The German force defending it is seriously underestimated and believed to consist of some 300 men with machine guns and no artillery. In fact the local command amount to almost 1,400 with additional 1,000 men distributed between Taveta and Salaita. The forces defending Salaita Hill is also equipped with artillery. The South Africans moving against Salaita Hill begins their advance at 05:00 supported by scouts, armoured cars, artillery and machine guns. Shortly after 07:00 when Brigadier General P S Beves’ 2nd South African Brigade comes under sporadic fire from enemy artillery. Three South African Infantry Regiments penetrate enemy forward positions but are ordered to withdraw due to heavy enemy fire. The South African losses at Salaita Hill are 138 killed, wounded and missing.
    Captain William George Horace Mules (Baluchis) dies of wounds at Taveta at age 29. He is the son of ‘Sir’ H Charles Mules.


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    U.S.A. Jailed for Advocating Birth Control 11th February, 1916 : Emma Goldman who worked as a nurse and midwife among the poor in New York who was also a crusader for women’s rights and social justice, is arrested in New York City for lecturing and distributing materials about birth control. She was accused of violating the Comstock Act of 1873, which made it a federal offense to disseminate contraceptive devices and information through the mail or across state lines.

    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."
  47. Flying Officer Kyte's Avatar

    Flying Officer Kyte said:


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    12th February 1916.

    Today saw the issue of the first edition of the Wipers times. The editorial staff wish it to be known that it has no connection whatever with our august publication The Snipers' Times, and that any similarity is purely coincidental. Ed.

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    No deaths are recorded for Saturday February 12th 1916.

    No claims were made for this date.

    Western Front.

    German offensive west of Soissons and temporary success at Pilkem (north of Ypres).

    Enemy pretty active all day so steady shell fire on the front line and communication trenches. There were aerial attacks by torpedoes which were very large and exploded with a deafening noise. They made deep caverns of 15-18 feet in diameter. Our Howitzers retaliated.

    On December 24, 1915 the decision had been made by Germany to attack Verdun. The code name for this action was Operation Judgement (in German Judgement means: tribunal, verdict and execution as well). The attack was planned to take place on 12 February 1916. The German army was charged with the execution. This army normally stood under the command of Crown Prince Wilhelm, but de facto his Chief of Staff general Smith Von Knobelsdorf took the decisions. During the preparation-meetings two important issues came up for discussion.

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    Crown Prince Wilhelm and his father the Kaiser during a visit of the front in 1916

    The leaders of the Vth army wished to launch an attack on both banks of the river Meuse simultaneously. Falkenhayn claimed to have insufficient manpower at his disposal and therefore the attack had tot be restricted to the right riverbank of the Meuse with a relatively small deployment of ten German divisions.

    There also turned out to be a misunderstanding about the orders the army had received: the commanders thought to conquer the city of Verdun as quickly as possible, where Falkenhayn spoke in his orders of "an offence in the surroundings of the river Meuse, in the direction of Verdun." He only aimed at the destruction (weissbluten) of the French army and not in the first place, at conquering Verdun. However, a direct attack on Verdun was launched because Falkenhayn thought the troops to be more motivated in a war of aggression rather than in a war of attrition.

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    German preparations before the battle:
    flying an observation balloon

    To maintain full control over the events all reserve-troops were put under the direct command of Falkenhayn himself and not under the command of Crown Prince Wilhelm. The German plan of attack aimed to destroy the French frontlines completely with the present field guns and the howitzers. The long-distance-guns should keep all supply-routes under fire to keep France from bringing in reinforcements. The firepower of 1200 German guns was tremendous, an ammunition-supply, sufficient for 6 days was at hand near the guns to a total amount of 2.500.000, brought in by 1300 ammunition-trains. The German preparations were made in all secrecy: entire villages situated in the occupied zone were evacuated in order to make room for five army corps, consisting of ten divisions with a total of 150.000 heads of attack-troops.
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    German troops on their way to the frontline

    Roads and railways were constructed for transportation. Accommodations were built, gun-emplacements were constructed, and heavy artillery was supplied.
    The area of attack with frontal latitude of 13 kilometres would be bombarded by more than 1.200 pieces of guns. Even the remaining army-units did not know much about the plans. All activities were immediately camouflaged and masked by aeroplanes that formed a solid defence line (for the first time in military history). The few French reconnaissance aeroplanes thus failed to conduct observations, also hindered by bad weather, and the observations they did bring in, were disregarded as being unimportant by the French Staff.

    As part of a new tactical plan of attack, the Germans also built special accommodations for the attacking-troops, the so-called 'stollen' that were situated at some distance from the frontline. In here, the attackers could wait in a sheltered position, for the right moment to attack. Before, attack-trenches were constructed which were almost always visible from the sky. This attracted artillery-fire and often led, even before the attack, to many losses.

    The situation on French side.

    Verdun was a garrison-town situated in the Region Fortifée de Verdun (RFV) at the river Muese. It was surrounded by a double circle (largest diameter 50-km) of 20 big forts and 40 medium seized fortifications in a almost impenetrable hilly country, covered with woods, criss-crossed with deep clefts and gorges where the Meuse flows right through.

    In the outermost circle of forts, Fort Vaux and the dominant Fort Douaumont were situated, the cornerstone of the defence, towering high above the whole area at a height of 400 m.. In the innermost circle of forts, Fort Souville, Fort Tavennes and closer to Verdun Fort Belleville, Fort St. Michel, Fort Moulainville and Fort Belrupt were situated. The forts had been built in a sandwich like construction of reinforced concrete with a thickness of 2 meters, covered with layer of soil, with 2 meters of reinforced concrete on top of it. In the largest forts a detachment of soldiers of 500 men could be accommodated. The armament consisted of some heavy 155-mm. guns, placed in turrets, which could be lifted and machine-guns of heavy calibre. The forts were surrounded by concrete fortifications, equipped with machineguns for flanking fire and all connected by trenches.

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    The effect of a 420-mm Big Bertha on of the forts of Antwerp

    The defence of Verdun had been seriously neglected ever since the beginning of the war. At the fall of Liege and Antwerp in 1914 the surrounding forts were literally destroyed by the Germans and their Big Bertha's. The French supreme command therefore considered forts to be no longer useful to the defence and had them dismantled. The guns, as far as they could be displaced, had been brought elsewhere. The occupation of the forts had been brought back tot a minimum. The defences around Verdun were also seriously neglected. The frontline around Verdun was often no more than a ditch and sometimes the second en third defence-line were simply absent. Defence-trenches and barbed wire entanglements were often not laid-out. The armament of the Verdun-sector was minimal as well. There only were 270 pieces of guns available with too little ammunition (whereas the Germans had more than 1.200 pieces laid-out).

    There were no more than 34 French battalions available at the moment of attack. The Germans could deploy 72 battalions consisting of seasoned frontier-soldiers. The general Herz, the commander in chief of Verdun, repeatedly plead for reinforcement of the lines, especially when it became clear from messages received from fled civilians and deserted Germans soldiers, that the Germans were preparing an attack on Verdun. The French Headquarters at Chantilly, which were under the command of commander in chief Joffre, however, paid no attention to the problems: 'Verdun is not a possible target', was their judgement.

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    General Joffre - commander in chief of the French Army

    Also colonel Emile Driant, who later became known as the famous defender of the Bois de Caures, protested against the neglecting of Verdun lines. He pointed out the shortage of men and 'barbed wire in particular'. His report provoked one of Joffre’s legendary rages of fury but did not lead tot reinforcement of the lines. Only at the very last moment when it became clear that the Germans were planning something the Chief of Staff of the French army, general De Castelnau came to visit Verdun. He gave orders to reinforce the defensive line but too few men were available and supplies like barbed wire could not be brought in on time, so that the works hardly made any progress. To reinforce the army, two divisions were sent who only arrived at Verdun at February 12th, the date of the planned attack.

    Tunstall's men.

    Billets at Fort Rompu.

    After the heavy rain of the previous day, drier conditions returned and the Battalion again provided a working party, this time of one officer and fifty men.

    Pte. Mark Beaumont wrote to the mother of Pte. Harry Iredale who had died of wounds four days earlier (see 8th February). Beaumont had been one of the stretcher bearers who had evacuated Harry from the trenches;
    "Just a few lines to convey to you the sad news of your son's death, which I am sure will be a terrible shock and loss to you. I was one of the stretcher bearers who helped to carry him to the dressing station, where his wound was quickly attended to. I will try to give you the details as near as I can. He was getting up on to the fire step when he was struck by a bullet in the head. Seeing he was in the same platoon to which I belonged, I thought it my duty to express our sympathy with you. I am sure he will be missed, for he was a true soldier and friend to all who knew him. The platoon sergeant carried him on his back to the communication trench, and then we carried him forward to the dressing station. From the time he was hit, about 6 in the morning of the 8th inst., until reaching the hospital there was no time lost. Along with the section I again express our deepest sympathy with you in your loss.”

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    Pte. Harry Iredale

    Second-in-Command of 10DWR, Major Lewis Ernest Buchanan (see 30th January) went home to England on one weeks’ leave.

    Cpl. George Liddemore (see 3rd December 1915) reverted to the rank of Lance Corporal.

    Having arrived home on leave Sgt. Tom Pickles (see 11th February) was married to Nora Leach, of 3 Calder Street, Colne, at the Baptist Church, Colne. Witnesses to the marriage were Henry Pickles (Tom’s father) and Frank Widdup, who was the elder brother of L.Cpl. Harry Widdup (see 2nd January), who was a colleague of Tom’s in Tunstill’s Company.

    Southern Front.

    Russian attack on Erzerum begins.

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    On February 11 and 12th, theDeve-Boyun Ridge, an important artillery platform, was the scene of heavy fighting. To the north of the Deve Boyun ridge the Russian columns approached over the Kargapazar ridge, which the Turks considered impassable. The X Turkish Corps guarded that sector of the line, and its commander had positioned his divisions so that they were not mutually supporting. Mahmut Kamil had five divisions in the Deve-Boyun ridge area, but was slow to react to what was going on north of that position.

    Austrian air raid on Italian coast.

    Naval and Overseas Operations.

    Three ships were casualties to U boats on this day.

    UC 4 captained by Frederich Moecke was responsible for Belgian Steamer Aduatiek Mined off Aldeburgh Napes or 52°11’N, 01°49’E.

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    Also British Steamer Cedarwood Mined 2.5 miles E of Aldeburgh Napes with six casualties.

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    UC 6
    Matthias Graf von Schmettow sank the British Steamer Leicester. Mined 2.5 miles SExE Folkestone Pier with 17 casualties.

    Reconnaissance against Salaita (East Africa)

    The Battle of Salaita Hill was the first large-scale engagement of the
    East African Campaign of the First World War to involve British, Indian, Rhodesian and South African troops. The battle took place on February 12, 1916, as part of the three-pronged offensive into German East Africa launched by General Jan Smuts, who had been given overall command of the Allied forces in the region..

    Political, etc.

    Franco-Italian conference decides for an Allied Conference at Paris.

    Prices of sulphuric acid are fixed by the Ministry of Munitions.

    Alarm in Germany over reports that Romania is to enter the war in the side of the Allies.

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

    Hedeby said:


    Few great editions there Rob - really good spot on the 'Wipers Times' date.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!
  49. Flying Officer Kyte's Avatar

    Flying Officer Kyte said:


    Thank you Editor in chief sir.
    I don't suppose a rise is in order sir, very kind sir?
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."
  50. Flying Officer Kyte's Avatar

    Flying Officer Kyte said:


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    13th February 1916.

    2 airmen have fallen on Sunday February 13th 1916.

    2nd Lt. Eric Arthur Cave 24 Squadron Royal Flying Corps.
    Killed while flying 13 February 1916 aged 22.

    A Mech 2 Francis Godfrey Haynes Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. 'President' Calshot Naval Air Station.

    Nothing further known.


    There was one claim today.

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    Captain Frank "Pongo" Billinge. R.F.C. claimed an AGO C (DES) West of Mouscron whilst flying F.E.2b (6336) His pilot was Pilot Lt J T Kirton. this was his first of five victories.

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    AGO C.

    Frank Billinge joined 20 Squadron as an observer, scoring his first victory in February but was wounded by anti-aircraft fire on 14 March 1916. In August of the same year, he returned to the Home Establishment for pilot training and was posted to 32 Squadron on 24 November 1916. In 1917, he downed 2 more enemy aircraft and was promoted to flight commander. Reassigned to 56 Squadron on 6 February 1918, he scored his last two victories of the war flying theS.E.5a.

    DFC Citation.

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    Capt. Frank Billinge (Manch. R.).

    A gallant officer who displays determination and judgment. When on a night reconnaissance his engine suddenly failed and he was compelled to head for home. At this moment he was attacked by an enemy aeroplane. Owing to engine trouble he was forced to avoid an engagement, and only escaped by the exercise of marked skill and resource. With great difficulty he managed to cross our trenches at a height of 200 feet, crashing into the reserve trenches behind. Although considerably shaken and bruised he and his observer proceeded to the nearest signal station and sent in their reconnaissance report.

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    Major William McCall Johnstone (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 24. His brother will be killed in March 1918.
    He was mobilised August 1914 as a gunner in the Notts Royal Horse Artillery and was Gazetted Second Lieutenant 17 March 1915. He served at Home August 1914 to January 1916 and in France January to February 1916. He was killed by a piece of shrapnel from a shell which burst near him and he is buried in Erquinghem-Lys Churchyard Extension.

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    Second Lieutenant Peter Langton May (Scots Greys) is killed in a mine explosion at the Quarries Hulloch at age 39. He is the son of Peter Wilson May JP.

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    Second Lieutenant John Alexander Thynne (Scots Greys) Viscount Weymouth is killed at age 20.
    Eldest son and heir of Thomas Henry Thynne, KG, CB, PC, fifth Marquess of Bath and Violet Thynne, nee Mordaunt, daughter of Sir Charles Mordaunt. He came to Winchester from Mr J S Norman’s school at Sevenoaks.
    Viscount Weymouth obtained a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the 5th Reserve Regiment of Cavalry in December 1914, and went on to serve in 2nd Dragoons (The Royal Scots Greys), arriving at the front in the late autumn of 1915.
    He fell in action in February 1916 near Hulluck, while engaged with his squadron in strengthening a recently captured position. He died of his wounds the same day. He had only been at the front four months and had been due to go on leave.
    He lies in grave II.C.I of the Vermelles British Cemetery.

    Private William C Pettman (Highland Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 22. His brother will be killed in October 1917.

    Western Front.

    French regain ground at Tahure (Champagne).

    German attacks on Soissons failed.

    Germans took trenches at Sept (Alsace).

    Captain Tunstall's men.

    Billets at Fort Rompu.

    A largely quiet, fine day. The only incident of note was the passage of two German aircraft which dropped bombs close to the Battalion billets, but without causing any damage or casualties. Orders were issued in preparation for a move into Corps Reserve.

    Pte. Tom Darwin, who had been taken ill ten days earlier (see 4th February) was transferred to 8 Casualty Clearing Station at Bailleul for further treatment.

    Eastern Front.

    German attacks in Dvinsk district repulsed.

    Southern Front.

    Russians carried another Ersum fort.

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    General Sarrail, Commander-in-Chief of Allied forces at Salonika 16 January 1916 - 22 December 1917.

    POSITION AT SALONIKA. 13th February. The "Petit Parisien" states the French have crossed the Vardar in Macedonia, and have installed themselves on the right bank in the region of Yenitso and Verria, an important station on the Monastir.

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    All eyes are again turned towards the. Balkans. The news from the Vardar has intensified public interest in the possibilities. The correspondent of "Le Lournale" of Paris who is at Salonika. telegraphed on Thursday and supplemented the Petit Parisien's announcement of the French forward movement. He says "The enemy is still not displaying offensive intentions. On the contrary strong French forces to-day crossed the Vardar in front of Topsin and advanced in two converging columns eight miles west. "This movement put in our hands strong natural positions. Such. a march forward was rendered possible by the arrival of strong reinforcements. Salonika is full of transports. and the Allied troops are pouring in. It may be holed that we will soon no longer be compelled to keep within the limits of the entrenched camp." The correspondent adds that the Germans are preparing a fresh air raid on Salonika, which they intend to be super colossal. A French wireless communiqué states General Sarrail, the Allies' Commander-in Chief at Salonika, has ordered the occupation of the right bank of the Varria to a depth of 10 kilometers to prevent attacks from the direction of Monagstir.
    The situation of the Allies has now improved. Meanwhile Greece's attitude has undergone a favor able change.

    Asiatic and Egyptian Theatres.

    In an attempt to relieve their compatriots under heavy siege by Turkish forces at Kut-al Amara in Mesopotamia, British forces under the command of Lieutenant General Fenton Aylmer launch an attack against Turkish defensive positions on the banks of the Wadi River.
    Aylmer planned to surround the Turkish forces, sending troops around to secure the area immediately behind the Turkish lines while simultaneously attacking with artillery from the front. The attack, which began in the early afternoon of January 13—postponed from the morning because of a persistent mist and a slow advance by artillery across the river—quickly lost the intended element of surprise, as the outnumbered British forces on both sides of enemy lines struggled to assert themselves against a robust Turkish defense. By the time Aylmer called off the attack at the end of the day, his troops had gained control of the Wadi, but it was a small advance that was unworthy of the 1,600 men killed or wounded in the attack and did little to bring relief closer to Townshend’s beleaguered forces at Kut.

    Naval and overseas.

    Only one recorded ship sunk by U boat today.

    The British Steamer Tergestea by UC 4 captain Friedrich Moecke Mined 8 miles ExS of Aldeburgh. No recorded casualties.

    Political, etc.

    Parliament meets.

    Speeches on the war by Mr. Asquith and Lord Kitchener.

    M. Sazonov makes representations to Allied Conference.

    Senator Root attacks U.S. foreign policy.

    Agreement between British Government and Bakhtiari (Persia).

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