Page 43 of 76 FirstFirst ... 333435363738394041424344454647484950515253 ... LastLast
Results 2,101 to 2,150 of 3798

Thread: 100 Years Ago Today

  1. #2101

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    Thanks for the past two posts Neil - didn't know that Kozakov had scored his first victory by ramming his opponent. That seems a mighty dodgy way of doing things and I'm surprised he survived it himself
    Well the 'C' deck can be unpredictable...

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  2. #2102

    Default

    I was wondering if the photo of the German newspaper printing would make it into this thread. Nice touch, that.

  3. #2103

    Default

    Well the 'C' deck can be unpredictable...

  4. #2104

    Northern Command Squadron Leader.
    Colonel

    Users Country Flag


    Blog Entries
    10
    Name
    Neil
    Location
    Northumberland
    Sorties Flown
    11,671
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default

    Name:  Picture3(1).jpg
Views: 441
Size:  54.7 KB
    Friday 22nd December 1916
    Today we lost: 270
    Today’s losses include:

    • A holder of both the British and Italian Red Cross Medals
    • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
    • A man whose brother was killed in July of this year

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    • Lieutenant Colonel Percy Arnold Lloyd-Jones DSO (Royal Army Medical Corps) is killed in action at age 40. He earned the Italian Red Cross Medal for his services during the Messina earthquake of 1908 and the British Red Cross Medal for his service in the Balkan War of 1912-13.
    • Second Lieutenant Sigmund Alexander Oscar Thorne (West Yorkshire Regiment) dies of injuries received in a motor cycle accident at home while home on sick leave. He is the son of the Reverend P L Thorne.
    • Second Lieutenant George Weston Holme (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend George Frederick Holme Rector of Penshaw.
    • Private Herbert Cockroft (West Yorkshire Regiment) is killed at age 26. His brother was killed in July of this year.


    Air Operations:


    The first two prototype Sopwith Camels are completed.

    Name:  sopwith-camel.jpg
Views: 397
Size:  13.3 KB

    The Camel's predecessor, the Sopwith Pup, was no longer competitive against newer German fighters, such as the Albatros DIII, and thus the Camel was developed specifically to replace the Pup, as well as the Nieuport 17’s that had been purchased from the French as an interim measure. It was recognised that the new fighter would need to be faster and have a heavier armament. To meet this demand, Sopwith's chief designer, Herbert Smith, opted to develop a successor, the Sopwith F.1.

    The "Big Pup", as it was known early in its development, and powered by a 110 hp Clerget 9Z, was first flown by Harry Hawker at Brooklands on 22 December 1916. Its design was conventional for its time, featuring a wooden box-like fuselage structure, an aluminium engine cowling, plywood panels around the cockpit, and fabric-covered fuselage, wings and tail. While having some clear similarities with the Pup, it had a noticeably bulkier fuselage. For the first time on an operational British-designed fighter, two 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine guns were mounted directly in front of the cockpit, synchronised to fire forwards through the propeller disc. A metal fairing over the gun breeches, intended to protect the guns from freezing at altitude, created a "hump", and it was this feature that led pilots to refer to the aircraft by the nameCamel. However this was never an official name for the aircraft.

    The bottom wing was rigged with 3° dihedral but the top wing had no dihedral, so that the gap between the wings was less at the tips than at the roots; this change was made at the suggestion of Fred Sigrist, the Sopwith works manager, in order to simplify construction. The upper wing had a central cutout section to improve upwards visibility for the pilot. Production Camels were powered by various totary engines, most commonly either the Clerget 9B or the Bentley BR1. To avoid a production bottleneck being imposed on the aircraft by a potential engine shortage, other engines were also used.

    The first production contract for an initial batch of 250 Camels was issued by the War Office in May 1917. During 1917, 1,325 Camels were manufactured, almost entirely of the initial F.1 variant and by the time production came to an end, approximately 5,490 Camels of all types had been built. In early 1918, production of the navalised "Ship's" Camel 2F.1 began.

    Unlike the preceding Pup and Triplane, the Camel was considered to be difficult to fly.The type owed both its extreme manoeuvrability and its difficult handling to the close placement of the engine, pilot, guns and fuel tank (some 90% of the aircraft's weight) within the front seven feet of the aircraft, and to the strong gyroscopic effect of the rotating mass of the cylinders common to rotary engines.

    The Camel soon gained an unfortunate reputation with pilots. Many crashed on take-off when the load of fuel usually carried pushed the centre of gravity beyond the rearmost safe limits. In level flight, the Camel was markedly tail-heavy. Unlike the Sopwith Triplane, the Camel lacked a variable incidence tailplane, so that the pilot had to apply constant forward pressure on the control stick to maintain a level attitude at low altitude. The aircraft could be rigged so that at higher altitudes it could be flown "hands off". A stall immediately resulted in a dangerous spin.

    A two-seat trainer version of the Camel was later built to ease the transition process: in his Recollections of an Airman Lt Col L.A. Strange, who served with the central flying school, wrote: "In spite of the care we took, Camels continually spun down out of control when flew by pupils on their first solos. At length, with the assistance of Lieut Morgan, who managed our workshops, I took the main tank out of several Camels and replaced [them] with a smaller one, which enabled us to fit in dual control." Such conversions, and dual instruction, went some way to alleviating the previously unacceptable casualties incurred during the critical type-specific solo training stage
    Second air raid on Baghela; also on Beersheba. (See Kut)

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 3


    A Mech 1 Foye, T. (Thomas)
    , 1 Squadron, RFC.

    2Lt Laird, A.C. (Andrew Clark), 15 Squadron, RFC. Fell with aeroplane aged 22.

    A Mech 2 Roberts, W. (William), RFC, aged 50.

    Claims: 1

    Lt William Hastings Farrow
    , claims his 1st confirmed victory with 47 Squadron, RFC. Flying a Armstrong-Whitworth FK3 with Lt FC Brooks as observer, he shot down an enemy C type near Hudova.The son of Reuben Eugene Albert and Emily (Scully) Farrow, William Hastings Farrow served with the Royal Engineers before he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. He scored his first victory with 47 Squadron in 1916, flying an Armstrong-Whitworth F.K.3.

    Western Front


    France:
    Mangin in command of French Sixth Army, Micheler to head Reserve Army Group for 1917 spring offensive, Duchene takes over latter’s Tenth Army.

    Tunstills Men Friday 22nd December 1916:
    Winnipeg Camp

    A quiet day, with nothing to report, although the Battalion began to make preparations for a return to the front line. However, the weather became very windy; Brig. Genl. Lambert, commanding 69th Brigade (see passim) told his wife that, “I was out seeing some of the Battalion camps and was caught in about as heavy a gale as I have been in for a long time. It nearly blew me out of the saddle and the horse could hardly get along. Roofs etc were being swept off and it was a most surprising wind”.


    2Lt. John Selby Armstrong Smith (see 24th May), who had been with the Battalion for the previous seven months left, recorded simply as ‘unfit’. The nature of his illness or injury has not been established.

    Capt. George Reginald Charles Heale MC (see 7th December),who had recently been ordered to relinquish his commission on grounds of ill-health, wrote to the War Office asking that he should be allowed to retain the honorary rank of Captain.

    A payment was authorised, being the amount outstanding in pay and allowances to the late Cpl. Herbert Waddington (see 15th April). The payment was divided equally, presumably in accordance with the terms of his will, into seven separate payments, each of £1 9s. 9d. to Waddington’s Mother and six siblings.

    Eastern Front:


    Romania: Enemy concentrating at Ramnicu, Sarat; hard fighting; Russian retreat to Danube completed.

    Romania – Battle of Casin (*until January 16, 1917): Allies eventually check Archduke Joseph’s 4-division advance along three Carpathian valleys.

    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    British positions south of Kut consolidated.

    As the 52nd Division advance to occupy El Arish the Anzac Mounted Division, commanded by General Chauvel move to Magdhaba tonight.

    Naval Operations:


    Germany:
    Holtzendorff memo urges unrestricted U-boat war, can force England to peace table in 5 months ie before August 1 1917 and harvest if begun February 1.

    Adriatic:
    4 Austrian destroyers raid Otranto Barrage (night December 22-23): only 1 drifter damaged but 2 French destroyers hit, 2 Italian damaged plus one in collisions.

    Britain:
    New Shipping Ministry orders five types of standard merchant ship (3,000-8,000t) until April 1917.

    British ships again shell mouth of Struma (Gulf of Orfano).
    HMS E30, an E-class submarine, struck a mine and sank in the North Sea off Orford Ness, Sufffolk with the loss of all 30 crew.

    Shipping Losses: 5

    Political:


    King's Speech to Parliament.

    Ministry of Food formed in Great Britain (see 26th).

    Ministry of Pensions formed in Great Britain.

    Ministry of Shipping formed in Great Britain (see January 27th).

    Austria:
    Count Czernin succeeds Baron Burian as Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs (see January 13th, 1915, and April 15th, 1918).

    Neutrals:


    Swiss Note to Belligerents to support U.S.A. peace efforts.

    Anniversary Events:

    1135 Stephen of Blois is crowned the king of England.
    1775 Esek Hopkins takes command of the Continental Navy — a total of seven ships.
    1807 Congress passes the Embargo Act, which halts all trading completely. It is hoped that the act will keep the United States out of the European Wars.
    1829 The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad opens the first passenger railway line.

    Name:  comic 34 [1600x1200].jpg
Views: 427
Size:  26.9 KB
    Last edited by Skafloc; 12-22-2016 at 17:26.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  5. #2105

    Northern Command Squadron Leader.
    Colonel

    Users Country Flag


    Blog Entries
    10
    Name
    Neil
    Location
    Northumberland
    Sorties Flown
    11,671
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default

    Name:  Picture3(1).jpg
Views: 379
Size:  54.7 KB
    Saturday 23rd December 1916

    Today we lost: 334
    Today’s losses include:

    • The Captain of the Palmerston Football Club
    • An Olympic rower
    • A man whose brother will be killed in March 1918

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    • On the Western front Driver Arthur Whitbread (Royal Engineers) is killed at age 22. His brother will be killed in March 1918.
    • Captain and Adjutant Mervyn Bournes Higgins (Australian Light Horse) an Olympic rower is killed at age 29.
    • Lieutenant Maurice Alfred Harding (Wellington Mounted Rifles) is killed at El Arish at age 26. He is the Captain of the Palmerston Football Club.


    Air Operations:


    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 3


    Lt Clover, H.L. (Harwood Linay)
    , RFC, aged 23.

    A Mech 1 Sinclair, W. (William), HMS President II, RNAS, aged 27.

    A Mech 2 Wagstaff, P.D. (Philip Dudley), HMS President II, RNAS, died of meningitis aged 35.

    Claims: There are no confirmed claims for today.


    Western Front


    Hostile activity in Champagne.


    Tunstills Men Saturday 23rd December 1916:


    Winnipeg Camp

    The Battalion began their return to the front line. They marched first to Vlamertinghe, where they boarded a train, along with 8th Yorks, at 4.24pm. Having completed the short journey back into Ypres they met their guides at the Lille Gate at 4.45pm and were led to their positions in the front line, relieving 11th Northumberland Fusilers in positions from I.24.d.7.1½. to I.30.a.4.0. The relief was completed about 9.45 pm with three companies in the lines just east of Armagh Wood and the fourth in support at Rudkin House.
    Name:  Armagh Wood Dec 1916.jpg
Views: 477
Size:  161.3 KB
    There was a marked improvement in the weather following the gale-force winds of the previous day; according to Brig. Genl. Lambert, commanding 69th Brigade (see passim) “It was a regular Spring Day and quite charming”. However, heavy rain and strong winds returned overnight 23rd/24th.

    2Lt. Maurice Tribe MC (see 14th November), who had been severely injured at Le Sars, wrote to the War Office from Watermouth Castle, an officer’s convalescent home near Ilfracombe, Devon. He confirmed that he had been wounded on 5th October 1916 and requested that they ‘be good enough to send particulars of any wound gratuities to which I may be entitled having had my left eye removed and a wound in my skull’.

    2Lt. Bob Perks, DSO (see 10th December), serving with 3DWR at North Shields, wrote to his Father, with further news about his health. It appears that, whilst on leave at home recently, Perks’ Mother had raised concerns about her son’s health. After concerns had been raised about his fitness he had been assessed by a Medical Board which had declared him fit for home service, with a further review in a month’s time:

    My Dear Dad

    I am in faint hopes this will wish you anything on Christmas day but it wishes you every happiness on every day.

    After an extraordinary six weeks of changes for my future I am now fixed till Jan 19 (my next board) and almost sure to be in England till end of next month at least and should have another leave before I go out. Moreover, though I never believe anything now till it happens, I am in orders to go to Otley on Jan 4 for a fortnight’s course. Whether the present leave restrictions will allow the weekend leaves to you otherwise possible I don’t know. I fear not and the next possibility is paying my own fare for a Sunday but you and your station master pals know more than I do whether with the new railway ideas will allow that. By the way, old Lloyd George is getting a move on isn’t he?! Does the national service stunt look like affecting you? I wonder about Martin (Bob’s brother, who had originally been rejected for a commission on account of his eyesight). I expect he will find himself in a govt. office, though the children must be educated I suppose.

    You will be interested to know that in my opinion the medical board gave me my home service because I had the D.S.O. They were awfully bucked about it and asked how long I was out etc. etc. Especially where was I last Christmas. After a lot of “humming and hawing” they were still too honest to say my heart was bad but persuaded themselves that as both my regimental doctor and home doctor had thought they heard something and did not appear too well (which was hardly likely as I had been correcting “Little Mary” by starvation treatment!) a month at home might be advisable.

    Here I am and v pleased too. Again best wishes Dad

    Your son Bob

    My very best wishes to Miss Johnson


    Sgt. Frederick Griggs MM (see 13th December), who had been one of Tunstill’s original Company but was now serving with 2DWR, re-joined his Battalion after ten days’ leave in England.

    Eastern Front:

    Fierce struggle for Moldavian frontier positions.


    Russians from Dobruja retire to Bessarabia, leaving some troops at Macin (Braila).

    Rumania – Battle of Rimnicu Sarat (until December 27): Falkenhayn’s 10 divisions take town on December 27, together with 10,000 PoWs, 2 guns and 58 MGs.

    Southern Front:


    Bad weather last fortnight on Italian front.


    Two successful British attacks along Doiran front (Macedonia).


    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:


    British capture Magdhaba (Sinai), destroying practically whole Turkish force of 3,000.

    The assault on Magdhaba in the Sinai is made by the 1st and 3rd Australian Light Horse Brigades, the New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade and the Imperial Camel Corps Brigade supported by three batteries of horse artillery. Australian aircraft attack the Turkish defenses at 06:30 and by drawing fire help to reveal the location of the machine guns and trenches to the Light Horse.

    The main line of the attack is made from the north and east by the camel brigade. On their right, in reserve alongside the wadi is the 1st Light Horse Brigade. On the left are the New Zealanders and then the 3rd Light Horse Brigade which attacks from the north. The 10th regiment of the 3rd Brigade is sent around to the east and south to cuts off any retreat by the garrison. This move is made in time to capture a fleeing column of 300 Turks.


    Early reports indicate the garrison is evacuating ahead of the attack so General Henry George “Harry” Chauvel orders the 1st Brigade to make a mounted advance. As the regiments come under artillery fire they break into a gallop. As they come under machine gun fire from Redoubt No 2 it becomes clear that Magdhaba is still being defended so the light horsemen take refuge in the wadi. On all fronts the attackers have now gone to ground under heavy fire from the redoubts. Chauvel contemplates abandoning the attack and goes so far as to contacting his superior (General Philip Walhouse Chetwode) to seek approval for a retreat. However, a combined bayonet charge on the critical Redoubt No 2 by the camel brigade and the 3rd regiment of the 1st Light Horse Brigade, which in the relative cover of the wadi is able to close to within 100 yards of the defenses, resulting in the capture of the position. With a foothold in the defensive ring, the balance now swings towards the attackers.


    The camel brigade and 3rd Light Horse continue across the wadi to capture Redoubt No 1 where the Turkish commander is also captured. The 10th regiment having now swung all the way around to the south and the 2nd regiment from the west make mounted charges against the southern Redoubt No 5 resulting in its surrender. Attacking from the east, the New Zealanders and the 8th and 9th regiments of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade have dismounted and advance on foot for about a mile against the No 3 redoubt. As the other redoubts begin to fall the attackers are able to make a bayonet charge and after a brief fight capture the position. With all redoubts under Allied control the remaining defenders are rounded up by 16:30 while very few of the Turks are able to escape. Magdhaba represents the first significant battle of the Palestine campaign by mounted troops waged at a distance from base, 23 miles from an assured supply of water.


    Further success to the south at Mitla Pass and Abu Aweigila.

    East Africa: NRFF (1,900 soldiers with 6 guns) advances from Lupembe against Captain Langenn to Mkapira (*arriving January 16, 1917) without trapping foe.

    Naval Operations:


    Hostile naval night-raid in Straits of Otranto. No material damage.


    Shipping Losses: 4 (2 to mines, 2 to U-Boats).


    Political:


    Austria:
    Count Czernin succeeds Baron Burian as Foreign Minister.

    Anniversary Events:

    1861 Lord Lyons, The British minister to America presents a formal complaint to secretary of state, William Seward, regarding the Trent affair.
    1900 The Federal Party, which recognizes American sovereignty, is formed in the Philippines.

    Name:  cartoon.jpg
Views: 455
Size:  69.1 KB
    Last edited by Skafloc; 12-23-2016 at 12:34.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  6. #2106

    Northern Command Squadron Leader.
    Colonel

    Users Country Flag


    Blog Entries
    10
    Name
    Neil
    Location
    Northumberland
    Sorties Flown
    11,671
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default

    Hope you've all been good little girls and boys, less than 24 hours until Santa arrives!
    See you on the Dark Side......

  7. #2107

    Default

    Many thanks Neil - of course we've been good Merry Christmas to you and yours and all the best for 1917 !!!!!

  8. #2108

    Northern Command Squadron Leader.
    Colonel

    Users Country Flag


    Blog Entries
    10
    Name
    Neil
    Location
    Northumberland
    Sorties Flown
    11,671
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default

    Attachment 213584
    Sunday 24th December 1916

    Today we lost: 298
    Today’s losses include:

    • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
    • A man whose brother was killed last October
    • A man whose two brothers will also lose their lives in the Great War

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    • Second Lieutenant Ernest Harold Hamley Woodward (West Surrey Regiment) is killed. He is the son of the Reverend Alfred Ernest Woodward Vicar of Ugley.
    • Second Lieutenant Pieter Hendrick Schalk Bezuidenhout MC (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 22. He is the eldest son of the Reverend Pieter Schalk.
    • Private William Frederick Young (South Wales Borderers) dies on service in Egypt at age 25. His brother was killed in October of this year.
    • Private E G Young (Sussex Regiment) is killed. He has two brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War.

    Air Operations:

    Mesopotamia:
    First British aircraft over Baghdad since November 1915, Hereward de Havilland’s BE2c
    Attachment 213585
    Hereward de Haviiland

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 3

    Lt Brophy, J.B. (John Bernard)
    , 33 Squadron, RFC. Killed whilst flying aged 22.

    A Mech 2 Digby, E. (Edward), Crystal Palace Naval Depot, RNAS, aged 21.

    Cpl Dinnage, G. (George), 1 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action.

    Claims: 4
    Attachment 213586
    Capt Alfred Marie Joseph Heurtaux claims his 14th confirmed victory with Spa3. Shooting down an enemy aircraft near Liaucourt. It's believed Heurtaux shot down German ace, Kurt Wintgens. (25th September 1916). During World War II, Heurtaux was a member of the French Resistance. When the Germans occupied France, he was captured and sent to Buchewald concentration camp in 1941. He survived the experience and was freed in May 1945. In December of that year, Heurtaux was promoted to Général de Brigade Aérienne and was an Engineer in the Bank sector.

    Attachment 213588
    Capt
    Georges Raymond
    claims his 2nd confirmed victory with Spa3. Shooting down an enemy aircraft over the German lines.

    Attachment 213587

    Vizfeldwebel Georg Strasser claims his 1st confirmed victory with Jasta 17. He shot down a Caudron north west of Douaumont.

    Attachment 213589

    Oberlt Ernst Udet claims his 3rd confirmed victory with Jasta 15. Shooting down a Caudron G.IV near Oberaspach. Udet served as a motorcycle messenger with the Württemberg Reserve Division in 1914. He learned to fly by taking private lessons and entered the German Air Force in September 1915. Flying a Fokker D.III, he scored his first victory on 18 March 1916 in a lone attack against 22 French aircraft. He scored five more victories with Jasta 15

    Western Front


    Tunstills Men Sunday 24th December 1916:


    Trenches east of Armagh Wood

    Conditions remained generally quiet. On Christmas Eve the thoughts of many men must have turned, even more than usually, to home and family. Late in the evening Cpl. Fred Swale (see 21st December) wrote to his Mother:

    My Dear Mum
    It is Xmas Eve, so I must write to you. We are a long long way apart in person, but I am sure that while I am writing this, you will be wondering where I am and what I doing etc, so after all we are quite close to each other.
    Xmas Day will be here in about an hour, but although it is so late, no-one seems inclined for sleep on the night of all nights. In one of my letters I promised to tell you where we were on Christmas Day. Well, we are in the trenches, but we had our Xmas Dinner two days before coming in. The dinner was quite a success, and the menu was pork, beef, potatoes, cabbages, apple sauce, beer, plum pudding, sweets, cigarettes, etc etc, and after dinner we had a concert. A special band, on tour from ‘Blighty’, was the star turn.
    Your two letters and the card reached me quite safely, and I thank you so much for them. Please thank Bernie for his letter too. About a fortnight ago I got a parcel from someone beginning with ‘B’. There was no name or letter in, so I think it is from Willan’s. The parcel had been re-packed by the P.O. authorities. Let me know when you write if you have heard anything about it from Brierfield.

    Just at present our ‘Quarter Bloke’ (Q.M.S. Frank Stephenson, see 17th December) and is on leave, so I am quite a busy (to say nothing of important) fellow.


    Now for your letters. It is not at all selfish of you to be always looking for letters. It pleases me to think my letters are such a comfort to you, and who else has the right to claim my spare time but you.


    Tommy Harding
    (see 16th December) has got back here after having a fine old time in England. Just as he was going towards home he met his Father, going to post a parcel off to him. Being Sunday, he could not get a telegram through to let them know he was in England. Fancy Tom Pemberton being in the same lot as Harold. Quite lucky eh? I have just recently found out that we have a nephew of Margit Spedding’s with us. His name is Walker (L.Cpl. James Walker (see 8th December) and he used to live in Gargrave.

    Don’t send me any parcels (eatables) after the one with the ink bottle in, for I have eatables etc. from all over the globe.


    I am pleased you like the Christmas card so much. Everyone was so disappointed when the Colonel went.


    Let me know as soon as you hear from York again. Where is Wilson (Sgt. Wilson Pritchard see 8th December) now? Nellie told me he was back again in hospital at London, so I don’t quite understand where he is.

    ‘Fritz’ is singing, but whether he is singing hymns or songs I cannot say.

    I must stop now, so Good Night (11.45) and best wishes for a Happy New Year to all.


    With heaps of love and kisses.

    Your loving son.
    Fred

    Fred Swale’s letter is, of course, a single surviving example, but there must have been many more exchanges of letters, cards and gifts between men of the Battalion and their families and friends at home. Fred’s reference to his mother liking his Christmas card may refer to the Battalion Christmas card which was produced and doubtless sent home by many.

    The Addingham recruits in the Battalion each received a Christmas greetings card from their home village; and example of which survives among the papers of Pte. Reuben Smith (see 17th November).

    A short extract has also survived from a letter home written by Pte. Percival James (Percy) Pemberton. He had received a Christmas parcel from a collection raised in his home own of Menston and he wrote to offer his thanks, “There are shells bursting all around and they make me jump every now and again. I have a candle by my side. I wish to thank the Menston people very much for the parcel. I was just in form for cake as I had no bread left. Your kind gift came just in time and I was very pleased with it. It is still raining and we are up to our necks in mud”.

    Percy Pemberton was born in late 1880 (he was baptized on 9th January 1881 at Menston Parish Church); he was the third child of William Rhodes Pemberton and his wife Mary Ann (Thompson).

    William worked for his father-in-law, James Thompson, who was a partner in the firm of Thompson & Sons, coal merchants. In 1881 the family were living in New Road, Guiseley, next door to Albion House, which was the home of James and Sarah Thompson. Percy’s mother, Mary Ann, died in the autumn of 1883, aged just 28, and his father, William, died in 1890. The three children thus came into the care of their maternal grandparents, the Thompsons, who, by 1891, were living at Highfield House, Menston. The two grandsons were taken into the family coal merchants’ business but in 1901 Percy (aged 20) enlisted to serve with the Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment, having already been a member of the Regiment’s volunteer battalion. He was passed medically fit on 3rd July 1901 at Halifax, standing five feet five inches tall, weighing 115 lbs, with brown hair and hazel eyes. However, just two months later, his brother Henry wrote to the Colonel in command of the Regiment, asking that his brother be released from the Army on the grounds that he was not capable of serving on account of “an injury to his head when a little more than a year old, which had affected his brain”. Percy was duly discharged from the Army on payment of a sum of £10.

    Percy returned to his job with Thompson’s coal merchants and on 19th May 1904, at Menston Parish Church, he married Alice Clarke. Their first child, Mary, was born the same year (she was baptized on Christmas Day 1904), and a second daughter, Sylvia, was born in 1910. The family lived at first in Guiseley, but were at Roseberry Villas, Farmley Road, Menston, by 1911. Percy’s grandfather, James Thompson, had died in 1907 but Percy continued to work in the business, as did his elder brother Henry. Indeed Henry, married and with five children, continued to live with his grandmother at Highfield House.

    On the outbreak of war in 1914, Percy Pemberton again volunteered to serve with the Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment. In September 1914 he was one of eight men from Menston who joined the recruits raised by Gilbert Tunstill.

    Pte. Harold Schofield Hanson (see 18th November) who had spent the previous five weeks being treated in 2nd Western General Hospital in Manchester, died of “shrapnel wound to the right arm and pleurisy”. He would be buried at St John’s Church, Golcar, near Huddersfield.

    Eastern Front:

    Battle continues near Ramnicu Sarat.

    Dobruja: Bulgars attack Sakharov Macin bridgehead east of Braila, fails again on December 31.

    Southern Front:

    Lively British raids on Doiran front.

    Captain Richard Alfred Beresford Chancellor (Royal Berkshire Regiment) dies of wounds from the effects of shell wounds while leading his men in a raid on enemy trenches the previous evening on enemy trenches at age 21 in Greece. At Harrow he won the Shakespeare Medal and the Bourchier History Prize. G Townsend Warner dedicated his book “The Writing of English” to him. Instead of going into residence at Oxford he obtained a commission in the Royal Berkshire Regiment on the outbreak of the War. Three months later he became Lieutenant and Captain in March 1916. He went to France with his Regiment in September 1915 where they were in reserve at Loos, and in the following December he moved with the Regiment to Salonika. Caring only for the conduct of the raid, he insists that the wounded men of his company be carried back first, and he remains “joking and cheering on his men, with absolute disregard for himself”.

    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    Attachment 213590

    British cavalry charging in the Middle East.

    Mesopotamia:
    British cavalry blow up Arab Fort Gusab 18 miles southeast of Kut.

    Naval Operations:


    Shipping Losses: 3 (1 by mine, 2 by U-Boat)


    Anniversary Events:

    1638 The Ottomans under Murad IV recapture Baghdad from Safavid Persia.
    1812 Joel Barlow, aged 58, American poet and lawyer, dies from exposure near Vilna, Poland, during Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow. Barlow was on a diplomatic mission to the emperor for President Madison.
    1814 A treaty of peace between the United States and Great Britain, ending the War of 1812, is signed at Ghent, Belgium. The news does not reach the United States until two weeks later (after the decisive American victory at New Orleans).
    1861 The USS Gem of the Sea destroys the British blockade runner Prince of Wales off the coast at Georgetown, S.C.
    1862 A Christmas present arrives a day early for the Federal troops at Columbus, Kentucky, in the way of artillery on board the USS New Era.
    1914 Over 577,000 Allied soldiers are to spend Christmas as prisoners in Germany.

    Attachment 213591
    Last edited by Skafloc; 12-24-2016 at 05:29.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  9. #2109

    Northern Command Squadron Leader.
    Colonel

    Users Country Flag


    Blog Entries
    10
    Name
    Neil
    Location
    Northumberland
    Sorties Flown
    11,671
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default

    Name:  Picture3(1).jpg
Views: 362
Size:  54.7 KB
    Monday 25th December 1916


    THE KING’S MESSAGES


    Good Wishes for The Fighting Men


    The king has sent the following messages to his soldiers and sailors and to the sick and wounded: -

    I send you, my Sailors and Soldiers, hearty good wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

    My grateful thoughts are ever with you for victories gained, for hardship endured, and your unfailing cheeriness.

    Another Christmas has come round and we are still at war. But the Empire, confident in you, remains determined to win.

    May God bless and protect you.

    George R.I.

    At this Christmastide the Queen and I are thinking more than ever of the sick and wounded among my Sailors and Soldiers.

    From our hearts we wish them strength to beat their sufferings, speedy restoration to health, a peaceful Christmas and many happier years to come.

    George R.I.
    Today we lost: 275
    Today’s losses include:

    • A family that will lose three sons in the Great War

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    • Lieutenant Gerald Galt (Canadian Engineers) dies of wounds in London received while tunneling at Messines. He is the son of the ‘Honorable’ Mr. Justice Galt of Winnipeg.
    • Private Morgan David Hardwidge (Welsh Regiment) is killed in action. His brothers were shot by the same sniper in July of this year.


    Air Operations:

    Name:  sopwith-pup.jpg
Views: 380
Size:  14.5 KB
    The Sopwith Pup was Britains first true single-seat fighter.

    Western Front:
    First RFC Sopwith Pup Squadron (No 54) arrives in France, now 38 active squadrons with 700 aircraft against 33 German Jagdstaf*feln (establishment 14 planes each). No day flying possible.

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today:2 A Mech 2 Hynes, J.P. (John Philip), RFC. Died of pneumonia aged 33.

    2Lt Pashley, H.D. (Herbert Dudley), 29th Balloon Section, RFC. Killed aged 26.

    Claims: There are no confirmed victories today.

    Western Front

    Germany: Major Wetzel and OHL estimate that US expeditionary force on Western Front not possible before spring 1918.

    British take over more French line.

    Tunstills Men Monday 25th December 1916:


    Trenches east of Armagh Wood


    Christmas Day passed without remark in the Battalion War Diary, and the Diary of the Divisional Trench Mortar Battery noted simply, “No firing at all; Fritz heard singing in his trenches”.

    Capt. Henry Kelly VC (see 8th December) left the Battalion having reported sick; the nature of his illness and treatment have not yet been established.

    Eastern Front:

    Russia: Tsar’s Order to Army and Navy stresses no thought of Peace till ‘final victory’

    Severe fighting west of Lower Sereth; Macin bridgehead attacked.

    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    Armenian front: fighting round Van.

    Name:  City_of_Van_neighborhoods_1915.png
Views: 405
Size:  214.9 KB

    East Africa: Combined offensive by Generals Northey and van Deventer begins, pushing enemy east and south.

    South Persia – Action of Dasht-i-Arjan c.400 British & Persians troops forced back to Shiraz (until December 28).

    Naval Operations:


    Shipping Losses: 2 (By U-Boat)


    Political:


    King's Christmas message. (See top)

    Tsar replies to German Peace overtures.

    Premiers of self-governing Colonies and Indian representatives invited to War Conference.

    Coalition Government formed in Romania, including M. Take Jonescu.

    Anniversary Events:

    Merry Christmas!Christmas is the festival celebrating the birth of Christ and is observed in most countries on December 25. Christmas is sometimes called Yule (from the Anglo-Saxon) or Noel (from the French). Christian churches throughout the world hold special services on Christmas Day to give thanks for the birth of Christ.
    In addition to religious observances, Christmas is a time of merrymaking and feasting. North American customs are a combination of those of the various European countries from which the original settlers came. On Christmas Eve children hang stockings for Santa Claus to fill with gifts. The Christmas tree, usually an evergreen, was first used in Germany. Topped with a star or spire and decorated with colored lights and shiny ornaments, the tree plays an important part in the celebration.
    Mistletoe was sacred to the Druids, priests of ancient Britain and Gaul. The Norse used holly and the Yule log to keep away evil spirits. Gifts were exchanged during the Roman celebration of the Saturnalia, a feast to the god Saturn. Gift-giving came to symbolize the gifts brought to the Christ Child by the Magi.
    The most popular Christmas legend however, is that of Santa Claus, whose name came from Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of children. Many of the qualities that Santa Claus is known for came from Clement C. Moore’s poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas.”
    376 In Milan, Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan, forces the emperor Theodosius to perform public penance for his massacre.
    800 The pope crowns Charlemagne emperor in Rome.
    1066 William I is crowned king of England.
    1621 The governor of New Plymouth prevents newcomers from playing cards.
    1651 The General Court of Boston levies a five shilling fine on anyone caught “observing any such day as Christmas.”
    1776 Patriot General George Washington crosses the Delaware River with 5,400 troops during the American Revolution. Washington hoped to surprise a Hessian force celebrating Christmas at their winter quarters in Trenton, New Jersey.
    1861 Stonewall Jackson spends Christmas with his wife; their last together.
    1862 John Hunt Morgan and his raiders clash with Union forces near Bear Wallow, Kentucky.
    1862 President and Mrs Lincoln visit hospitals in the Washington D.C. area on this Christmas Day.
    1912 Italy lands troops in Albania to protect its interests during a revolt there.
    1914 German and British troops on the Western Front declare an unofficial truce to celebrate Christmas during WW1.

    Name:  WW1-Great-War-Cartoons-Punch-Magazine-Raven-Hill-1917-01-17-36.jpg
Views: 582
Size:  215.2 KB
    Last edited by Skafloc; 12-25-2016 at 16:03.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  10. #2110

    Default

    On behalf of the Editorial Staff of "The Snipers Times" I would like to wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas.
    Kyte
    .
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  11. #2111

    Default

    Well thank you one and all for all the continued effort - it really is appreciated and very much enjoyed. Happy Christmas to you too

  12. #2112

    Northern Command Squadron Leader.
    Colonel

    Users Country Flag


    Blog Entries
    10
    Name
    Neil
    Location
    Northumberland
    Sorties Flown
    11,671
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default

    Late news just in post 2109 updated

    Merry Christmas..
    See you on the Dark Side......

  13. #2113

    Northern Command Squadron Leader.
    Colonel

    Users Country Flag


    Blog Entries
    10
    Name
    Neil
    Location
    Northumberland
    Sorties Flown
    11,671
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default

    Name:  Picture3(1).jpg
Views: 352
Size:  54.7 KB
    Tuesday 26th December 1916

    Today we lost: 218
    Today’s losses include:

    • A man shot at dawn
    • A Sussex County and Gloucester County cricketer
    • A two handicap golfer

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    • Private Peter Cairnie (Royal Scots Fusiliers) is shot at dawn for deserting to avoid taking part in a specific assault. The attack was to take place on 13th November against the village of Serre. During the fighting his unit sustained 201 casualties.


    Air Operations:


    Naval aeroplanes bomb Turkish camps at Galata (Dardanelles).


    Naval air-raid on Zeebrugge.


    In Operation Iron Cross, the Imperial German Navy dirigibles L 35 and L 38 attempt the first bombing of Petrograd, Russia. Neither bombs the target due to clouds and bad weather, and L 38 makes a forced landing at Seemuppen, Courland, in German-occupied Russia, where strong winds eventually destroy her on December 29.

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 5


    2Lt Arnold, H.E. (Herbert Edward),
    5 Squadron, RFC. Pilot of B.E. 2c 4498, left Mariex 9.15am 26 December 1916 to bomb Vaulx Vraucourt, in combat over Beugny 11.10am. Died of Wounds as Prisoner of War 26 December 1916 aged 19.

    Lt Felix-Brown, C.A. (Claude Algernon), 46 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 21.

    2Lt Fryer, W.B. (William Basil), 22 Reserve Squadron, Egyptian Expeditionary Force, RFC. Killed whilst flying aged 22.

    Lt Lewis, E.L. (Edmund Llewelyn), 24 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 21.

    Capt Nason, J.W.W. (John William Washington), 46 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 27. Captain John William Washington Nason (Sussex Regiment attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 27. He played cricket for Sussex County at the age of 17 and received his Blue at Cambridge on is third appearance, earlier than it had ever been awarded previously. He appeared versus Oxford in 1909 and 1910 played for Gloucester County for years. He was also a two handicap golfer

    Claims: 14 (Central Powers 8: Allies 6)


    Name:  smith6.jpg
Views: 396
Size:  17.1 KB

    2Lt James Robert Smith claims his 1st confirmed victory with 18 Squadron, RFC. An observer in an FE2b with pilot 2Lt W.F.MacDonald, he shot down an Albatros DII near Velu. The son of James B. Smith, James Robert Smith emigrated to Canada in 1910. He returned to Britain to join the Royal Flying Corps. Posted to 18 Squadron, he scored 5 victories as an FE2b observer before being wounded in the stomach on 11 April 1917. After recovering from his wounds, he served with 33 and 51 Squadrons in 1918, received Competitor's Certificate 7767 on 25 February 1918, and injured his left eye on 6 August 1918. Before returning to Canada at the end of 1919, Smith also served with 78 Squadron.

    Name:  compston.jpg
Views: 362
Size:  2.7 KB

    Flt Lt Robert John Orton Compston claims his 1st confirmed victory with 8 Naval Squadron, RNAS. Flying a Sopwith Triplane he shot down a Albatros C type north of Cambrai. The son of a vicar, Robert John Orton Compston joined the Royal Naval Air Service in August 1915. Posted to 8 Naval Squadron in 1916, he was wounded in action in September 1917 and scored 25 victories before assuming command of 40 Squadron inAugust 1918.

    Name:  zink.jpg
Views: 398
Size:  15.4 KB

    2Lt Edmund Leonard Zink claims his 1st confirmed victory with 18 Squadron, RFC. Flying an FE2b with Pbserver 2Lt Mayher, he shot down an Albatros DII near Velu. When Edmund Leonard Zink enlisted, he gave his year of birth as 1897 in order to meet age requirements. The son of George Frederick and Anna Mary Zink, he was commissioned a temporary Second Lieutenant in the Suffolk Regiment on 7 October 1915. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps the following year and received Royal Aero Club Certificate 5794 on 27 September 1916. Posted to 18 Squadron on 16 November 1916, he claimed 4 victories flying the FE2b and was wounded in action on 23 April 1917. After serving as an instructor at Turnberry, Zink joined 32 Squadron as a flight commander in September 1918. A few days later he became an ace, scoring his fifth and final victory with the SE5a. He was granted a short service commission in the rank of Flying Officer, effective 24 October 1919.
    Lt Paul Bona claims his 1st confirmed victory with Jasta 1. He shot down an FE2b near Mory.
    Lt Seldon Long claims his 5th confirmed victory with 24 Squadron, RFC. Flying a DH2 he shot down a C type near Le Transloy.

    Capt Georges Gynemer claims his 24th confirmed victory.

    Capt Georges Heurtaux claims his 15th confirmed victory.
    Oberlt Hans Bethge claims his 3rd confirmed victory.
    Lt Erwin Bohme claims his 8th confirmed victory.
    Lt Dieter Collin claims his 2nd confirmed victory.
    Lt Erich Konig claims his 3rd confirmed victory.
    Lt Hans Karl Muller claims his 9th confirmed victory.
    Lt Renatus Theiller claims his 7th confirmed victory.
    Lt Alfred Ulmer claims his 3rd confirmed victory.

    Western Front

    France: JOFFRE RESIGNS as C-in-C French Armies, is CREATED MARSHAL OF FRANCE, first since 1870.
    Name:  joffre.jpg
Views: 398
Size:  24.3 KB
    The imperturable, ponderous, and taciturn Joffre.

    Tunstills Men Tuesday 26th December 1916:


    Trenches east of Armagh Wood


    There was a sharp increase in trench mortar activity from the Germans and the trenches in Winnipeg Street in particular were said to be “a good deal knocked about”. The Divisional Trench Mortar Battery fired “15 rounds retaliation”.

    Capt. Gilbert Tunstill (see 21st November), currently on light duty 83rd Training Reserve Battalion, based at Brighton Road Schools, Gateshead appeared before a Medical Board assembled atTynemouth. The Board found that, “he states that occasionally he feels that something gives way in the joint and then is sore for a day or two. There is no swelling of the joint, creaking or evident injury”. He was deemed unfit for general service for a further month, but fit to continue duties at home before being examined again in a months’ time.

    Pte. Irvine Clark (see 21st October) serving with 83rd Training Reserve Battalion, based at Gateshead, was reported absent without leave.

    2Lt. Harry Widdup (see 20th December), who had reported sick ten days earlier while serving with 9DWR, was evacuated to England for further treatment. He travelled via Rouen to Le Havre and embarked at Southampton onboard the hospital ship, St Andrew. Having arrived in England he was admitted to 1st Southern General Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham.
    The identity disc and chain belonging to the late Lt. Harry Harris (see 19th December) were forwarded to Messrs Cox & Co. for them to then send them on to the Harris family.
    Eastern Front:

    Heavy shelling of Russian positions in Galicia.


    Severe fighting along whole Romanian front.


    Rumania:
    Russian 124th Division holds Vizural against Bulgars until December 28 mainly due to 8 RNAS cars before retreating. Austrian First Army begins Trotus valley offensive until January 7, 1917.

    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    Mesopotamia: Weather broken; operations much hindered.

    Naval Operations:


    Shipping Losses: 5 (4 to U-Boats, 1 to a mine)


    Political:


    Lord Devonport appointed Food Controller, Great Britain (see 22nd).

    Central Powers (excluding Bulgaria) reply to Wilson’s note suggesting immediate meeting of delegates. Anglo-

    French London Conference discusses peace proposals until December 28.


    Anniversary Events:

    1776 After crossing the Delaware River into New Jersey, George Washington leads an attack on Hesian mercenaries at Trenton, and takes 900 men prisoner.
    1786 Daniel Shay leads a rebellion in Massachusetts to protest the seizure of property for the non-payment of debt.
    1806 Napoleon’s army is checked by the Russians at the Battle of Pultusk.
    1862 38 Santee Sioux are hanged in Mankato, Minnesota for their part in theSioux Uprising in Minnesota. Little Crow has fled the state.
    1866 Brig. Gen. Philip St. George Cooke, head of the Department of the Platte, receives word of the Fetterman Fight in Powder River County in the Dakota territory.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 12-26-2016 at 02:29.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  14. #2114

    Default

    Thanks again Neil. Such dedication over the Xmas break

  15. #2115

    Northern Command Squadron Leader.
    Colonel

    Users Country Flag


    Blog Entries
    10
    Name
    Neil
    Location
    Northumberland
    Sorties Flown
    11,671
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default

    Name:  Picture3(1).jpg
Views: 341
Size:  54.7 KB
    Wednesday 27th December 1916

    Today we lost: 240
    Today’s losses include:

    • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
    • A survivor of the S S Falaba torpedoing
    • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    • Captain Cecil William Hannington Parker (Worcestershire Regiment attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend William Henry Parker of St Peter’s Birmingham. He survived the torpedoing of S S Falaba.
    • Second Lieutenant Noel Milford Henson Atkinson (East Lancashire attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed in England at age 25. His brother was killed last October.
    • Rifleman John Alexander Nicholson (New Zealand Rifle Brigade) is killed. His brother will be killed next March.
    • Private Frederick Ward (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) is killed at age 29. His brother was killed in June of this year.
    • Private Walter Michael Carew Hunt (Central Ontario Regiment) is killed at age 22. His brother was killed in June of this year and they are sons the Reverend Robert Walter Carew Hunt Vicar of Albany.


    Air Operations:


    Eastern Mediterranean:
    Royal Navy seaplane carriers Ben-my-Chree and Raven II launch 9 aircraft which hit with 4 bombs and damage strategic Chikaldir bridge (Baghdad railway), near Gulf of Alexandretta; Turk heavy guns for Baghdad delayed.

    Airship HMA #4 sustains slight damage on landing at Howden due to a down draft.

    Big French air-raids on German industrial works (Rhineland, etc.).


    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 7


    2Lt Atkinson, N.M.H. (Noel Milford Henson)
    , 38 Reserve Squadron, RFC. Accidently killed aged 25.

    A Mech 2 Oxley, R. (Rowland), 3rd Wing, RFC. Died of wounds aged 21.

    Capt Parker, C.W.H. (Cecil William Hannington), 5 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action aged 23.

    PO Mech Sherry, J.W. (John William), Wormwood Scrubs Air Station, Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. 'President II', aged 27.

    2Lt Smith, E.F.W. (Ernest Frederick William), 9 Squadron, RFC. Died of wounds aged 20.

    PO Mech Sprules, P.A. (Porlech A.), Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. 'President'.

    AC1 Whitton, R.C. (Reuben Chester), Royal Naval Air Station, Wormwood Scrubs, RNAS. Accidently drowned aged 32.

    Claims: 20 (Central Powers 3: Allies 17)

    Name:  novak.jpg
Views: 340
Size:  8.9 KB
    Fldwbl Augustin Novak claims his 1st, 2nd & 3rd confirmed victories today with Flik 13. Flying a Hansa-Brandenburg CI he shot down a Farman near Batesti, and 2 Farman’s east of Onesti. Novak joined the army in 1911. Serving in the horse artillery, his unit was sent to the Russian front in August 1914. In January 1916, Novak transferred to the Army Air Service and was posted to Flik 30 on the Russian front. Whilst flying a Lloyd C.III on 12 August 1916, he and his observer were badly injured in a crash. Novak scored five victories flying the Hansa-Brandenburg CI.

    Marechal-des-Logis Marcel Hauss claims his 1st confirmed victory with N57, shooting down an enemy scout west of Etain. (Shared with Adj Belin).


    Offizierstellvertreter Wilhelm Cymera claims his 1st confirmed victory with Jasta 1, shooting down an FE2b near Cherisy. On the evening of 22 August 1916, Cymera's Roland two-seater was shot down over Maurepas by English ace Albert Ball of 11 Squadron. Crashing into the roof of a house near Vaux, Cymera survived but his observer was killed. After training on single-seat fighters, he was reassigned to Jasta 1 near the end of the year. On 27 December 1916, he witnessed the crew of an FE2b shoot down Gustav Leffers and promptly attacked John Quested’s two-seater, wounding the observer and forcing it down behind the British lines. The following year, Cymera was killed in action when his aircraft was shot down by the French.


    Manfred Richthofen claims his 15th confirmed (?) victory with Jasta 2. Shooting down a DH2 south of Arras. (Further reading of ‘Under the Guns of the Red Baron’, reveals there is some confusion as Richthofens claims to have shot down an FE. No FE’s were near that location but Sgt J. McCudden (MM, CdG) was engaged by Albatros aircraft and when his guns jammed he went into a tight spin. Both of his squadron reported him being shot down when they returned and were surprised when he turned up alive and well later on. So although credited with a kill there is some confusion as to who or what Richthofen shot down).


    Seldon Long claims his 6th victory.
    John Quested claims his 7th victory.
    Jean Derode claims his 2nd victory.
    Georges Guynemer claims his 25th victory.
    Mathieu de la Tour claims his 8th vctory.
    Alfred Heurtaux claims his 16th victory.
    Jean Loste claims his 6th victory.
    Louis Martin claims his 5th victory.
    Paul Sauvage claims his 8th victory.
    Pierre Violet-Marty claims his 4th & 5th victories.
    Rudolph von Eschwege claims his 2nd victory.
    Ivan Loiko claims his 2nd victory.
    Rauol Lufbery claims his 6th victory.


    Western Front

    France: Foch moves to new assign*ment at Senlis as ‘Military Adviser to French Government’.

    Tunstills Men Wednesday 27th December 1916:


    Trenches east of Armagh Wood


    On a colder, frosty day, the Battalion was relieved by 11th West Yorks, but on their return to Ypres, the Battalion was not billeted at the Infantry Barracks as before, but instead two companies were housed in the Cathedral and one each at the Hospice and the Cavalry Barracks; Battalion HQ was at the Hospice. The relief was complete by 8pm.

    (It is not clear whether the ‘Hospice’ refers to the ‘Hospice Belle’ or Women’s Asylum, or to the ‘Hospice Notre Dame’; both were located in the centre of Ypres, just off the Grande Place. The Cavalry Barracks were just south of the Infantry Barracks, close to St Peter’s Church).

    More men went back to England on leave; among them was LCpl. Christopher Longstaff (see 6th October).

    Pte. Jacob Carradice Green reported sick, suffering from ‘ICT’ (inflammation of connective tissue) in his leg; he was admitted, via a Casualty Clearing Station, to one of the local hospitals (which hospital is not known). He was not an original member of the Battalion but had attested on 6th December 1915, under the Derby Scheme, and had been called up on 24th January. He was posted to France on 12th July 1916 and had then been among the draft which joined 10DWR on 22nd July at Millencourt. He had attested at the age of 21 and had been living with his parents in Skipton, where he worked as a carter for Mr. T. Duckett; he had also played football for local club Niffany Rovers. He had five brothers serving in the Army; Pte. John Thomas Green and Sgt. Albert Edward Green were both serving with other battalions of DWR; Pte. James Green (Tyneside Scottish); Driver William Henry Green (R.F.A.), and L.Cpl. Fred Green (Training Reserve Battalion).

    CSM Alfred Lodge (see 31st October), who had been in England since July, having been severely wounded in the actions around Horseshoe Trench, and was now serving with 83rd Training Reserve Battalion, based at Gateshead, received formal confirmation of the award of the Military Cross. Shortly afterwards Capt. Gilbert Tunstill (see 26th December) hosted a dinner in his honour, attended by a number of Lodge’s comrades who were also now serving with 83rd Training Reserve. During the dinner Tunstill presented Lodge with his medal ribbon. The events were reported in a newspaper article (see below, exact date and publication unknown) which was kept in Tunstill’s personal album. Company Sergeant Major A.J. Lodge, MC, has a splendid soldier’s record. He served 16 years in the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment in India and South Africa, obtaining three medals, two in the South African War and one for dangerous segregation work in India at the time of the bubonic plague. He left the Army with the rank of Sergeant and was employed at Standon Mill and later at Chingford. When war broke out, he responded at once to his country’s call and rejoined his old regiment on August 8th 1914. He quickly rose to be Company Sergeant-Major, giving him the rank of Warrant Officer. In September 1915 he went to the front and had practically eleven months in the trenches.

    He was recommended for the Military Cross for the following deeds of heroism: On March 11th 1916 at Souchez he succeeded in bringing in fourteen wounded men under heavy machine gun fire, and, after dressing their wounds, sent them to the dressing station. On the same date, also under machine gun fire, he brought in fourteen other men suffering from frost bitten feet. His plucky action at Contalmaison on July 9th 1916, redounded to his courage and absolute absence of physical fear. The machine gun fire could hardly have been heavier, yet he courageously brought in Lieutenant Taylor, who had been wounded in the head. The gallant officer died and his rescuer was unfortunately wounded in the back during the operation, and buried. As he had sustained some injury to the spine it led to his being invalided home.

    He was a good shot, in fact he was a musketry instructor. After leaving the Bath hospital he returned to his regiment at Newcastle, and on December 27th he received word that he had been awarded the Military Cross. His Company Officer, Captain Tunstill, gave a dinner in his honour and pinned the white ribbon with the purple stripe on his breast amidst the delighted cheers of his comrades. His only regret is that he has to leave the Army owing to the disablement caused by his wounds. He is, however, hoping to do useful work for his country in a munition factory. He has a wife and two children residing at Puckeridge. He comes of a soldier family as seven of his brothers fought in the South African War and four in the present war, one of whom was killed. Undaunted in courage, cool in danger, resolute and resourceful, this brave soldier has well earned his laurels.

    Eastern Front:

    Falkenhayn takes Ramnicu Sarat.


    In the Dobruja, the Bulgars seize position east of Macin.


    Naval Operations:


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


    Aegean:
    Escorted French battleship Gaulois sunk by coastal submarine UB-47 (Steinbauer) 30 miles east of Cerigo between Crete and Peleponnese.

    Name:  BB-Gaulois.jpg
Views: 381
Size:  10.8 KB
    The French old battleship ‘Gaulois’ was completed in 1896 and a pre-Dreadnought

    Political:


    Three Scandinavian Governments agree to present Note to Belligerents in support of peace efforts.


    Franco-British Agreement re: temporary administration of Togoland.


    Anniversary Events:

    1512 The laws of Burgos give New World natives legal protection against abuse and authorize Negro slavery.
    1831 HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin on board, departs from Plymouth. It will eventually visit the Galapagos Islands where Darwin will form his theories on evolution.
    1862 Union General William Rosencrans’ army begins moving slowly toward Murfreesboro, Tennessee, from Nashville.
    1913 Charles Moyer, president of the Miners Union, is shot in the back and dragged through the streets of Chicago.
    1915 In Ohio, iron and steel workers go on strike for an eight-hour day and higher wages.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 12-27-2016 at 09:04.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  16. #2116

    Northern Command Squadron Leader.
    Colonel

    Users Country Flag


    Blog Entries
    10
    Name
    Neil
    Location
    Northumberland
    Sorties Flown
    11,671
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default

    Name:  Picture3(1).jpg
Views: 348
Size:  54.7 KB
    Thursday 28th December 1916

    Today we lost: 240
    Today’s losses include:

    • A man whose fiancé will die unmarried in 1975 leaving 50,000 pounds to Erskine Hospital “in memory of my late fiancé”
    • The son of composer and entertainer ‘Sir’ Harry Lauder
    • A possible victim of fragging
    • The son of the Salvation Army bandmaster
    • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    • Captain Charles Robert Forbes Hay-Webb (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 22. His brother was killed in August 1915.
    • Sergeant Christopher Howlett (Suffolk Regiment) dies of wounds at age 22. His brother died of wounds in October of this year.
    • Private John Smith Parish (Bedfordshire Regiment) dies of wounds received in action at age 29. He is the son of Alfred Parish, the Salvation Army bandmaster.
    • Private George Frederick Cook (East Kent Regiment) dies of fever at age 19. His brother will be killed in February next year.

    Captain John Currie Lauder (Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders) is killed at age 25. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Harry Lauder a popular composer and entertainer throughout the English-speaking world and Dame Lauder. His fiancée will die unmarried in 1975 and leave 50,000 pounds to Erskine Hospital “to provide some amenity for the hospital in memory of my late fiancée”. His father will compose a poem entitled “To the Memory of My Beloved Son Captain John Lauder”. But another side of Captain Lauder seems to have existed. He is seen by his men as a haughty disciplinarian, a stickler for rules and is intensely disliked by his men. It has been reported that he was actually killed by his own men.

    Air Operations:


    Western Front:
    RFC aid British artillery to get 25 direct hits on trench points and gun pits.

    Eastern Front:
    Poor weather rules out Operation Eisernes Kreuz primary target Petrograd; nor can alternatives (Reval, Helsinki, Oesel, Dago) be reached due to severe icing. Airship L35 force-lands in pine forest at Seemuppen; damaged beyond repair (night December 28-29).

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 2


    A Mech 2 Barker, J.C. (Jonathan Coulthard)
    , Recruit Training Centre, RFC, aged 29.

    Capt Spanner, H.S. (Herbert S.), 27 Squadron, RFC. Killed whilst flying aged 23.

    Claims: 2

    Hauptmann Adolf Heyrowsky
    claims his 7th confirmed victory with flik19 shooting down a Voisin west of San Marco. (Observer OberLt Josef Purer).

    OberLt Josef Purer
    claims his 2nd confirmed victory with Flik 19, shooting down a Voisin west of San Marco. (Pilot Hauptmann Adolf Heyrowsky).

    Western Front


    Verdun:
    Heavy German attack on Mort Homme front.

    Tunstills Men Thursday 28th December 1916:


    Billets in the Cathedral, Hospice and Cavalry Barracks in Ypres


    The whole Battalion was employed daily on working parties for the Royal Engineers, either in the line or in Ypres itself. There was shelling of the main square every day by the Germans.


    2Lt. Arthur Halstead (see 2nd September) wrote to the mother of the late Pte. Edwin Isherwood (see 27th October), who had been killed in action at Le Sars.

    Dear Mrs Isherwood
    I write to tell you how sorry I was to hear, on my return to the Battalion from Hospital the other day, of the death of your son in action. He was in my platoon and I always found him a very good man and a willing soldier.
    Unfortunately I was in Hospital when he was killed, and can only say that he lies near Le Sars. If you require any further particulars and I can get them I shall be very pleased to send them to you.

    Yours very sincerely
    A. Halstead
    Exactly when, and for what reason 2Lt. Halstead had been in hospital has not been established.

    2Lt. Frederick Millward (see 4th December), who had been in hospital in England for the previous three weeks, having been severely injured during the trench raid carried out in November, appeared before a Medical Board at 2nd Northern General Hospital in Leeds. The Board found that “He is quite well. The stump is now fit for an artificial limb for right leg. It is possible that this officer may be fit for some form of military duty when he has been fitted with an artificial leg”. He was instructed to return home and await further orders.

    2Lt. John Keighley Snowden (see 20th October), who had been wounded at Le Sars, appeared before a Medical Board; he was declared unfit for duty, with his case to be reviewed in another month.

    Eastern Front:


    Enemy pursues northwards from Ramnicu Sarat and advances to south-east.

    British armoured cars engaged.

    Southern Front:


    Salonika:Serb Colonel Dimitrievic (codename Apis) of Black Hand secret society arrested at Serb Third Army Headquarter on charges of planning a mutiny and murder of Crown Prince.

    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    Armenia: Turks driven south of Van.

    Naval Operations:


    The Ivernia leaves Marseilles bound for Alexandria.

    Shipping Losses: 6 (1 to mine, 5 to U-Boat action)


    Political:


    Germany hands appreciative reply to Swiss Note.

    Anniversary Events:

    1688 William of Orange makes a triumphant march into London as James II flees.
    1694 George I of England gets divorced.
    1846 Iowa is admitted as the 29th State of the Union.
    1872 A U.S. Army force defeats a group of Apache warriors at Salt River Canyon, Arizona Territory, with 57 Indians killed but only one soldier.
    1904 Farmers in Georgia burn two million bales of cotton to prop up falling prices.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  17. #2117

    Default

    Morning,

    The ship losses are very high from day to day.

    Didn't know that the German submarines were such busy.
    Voilà le soleil d'Austerlitz!

  18. #2118

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marechallannes View Post
    Morning,

    The ship losses are very high from day to day.

    Didn't know that the German submarines were such busy.
    I'm with you on that - we all know about the Battle of the Atlantic and the 'U-Boat' menace in WW2 but until starting this I had no idea there was so much submarine action in WW1 - and the German Navy really seem to be setting the standard - incredibly efficient and very, very effective.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  19. #2119

    Northern Command Squadron Leader.
    Colonel

    Users Country Flag


    Blog Entries
    10
    Name
    Neil
    Location
    Northumberland
    Sorties Flown
    11,671
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default

    Name:  Picture3(1).jpg
Views: 327
Size:  54.7 KB
    Friday 29th December 1916

    Today we lost: 234
    Today’s losses include:

    • The son of a Baronet
    • The son of the editor of the Hobart Mercury
    • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    • Second Lieutenant Guy Bloxham Simmonds (Machine Gun Corps) is killed in a railway accident in Ailly-sur-Somme at age 29. He is the son of William Henry Simmonds the editor of the Hobart Mercury.
    • Second Lieutenant David Wilson (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) is killed at age 19. He is the son of ‘Sir’ David Wilson Baronet.
    • Private Frederick Sparkes (Sussex Regiment) dies as a prisoner of war. His brother will be killed in July next year.
    • Private Frederick Jacob Beable (Devonshire Regiment) is killed at age 34. His brother will die on service next May.


    Air Operations:


    Western Front:
    Bad weather hampers flying until December 30.

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 2


    2Lt Taylor, D.J. (Douglas John)
    , 21 Reserve Squadron, RFC. Killed while flying (crashed) at Abbasiya aged 27.

    2Lt Watson, G.W. (George Walker), RFC, aged 22.

    Claims: No confirmed claims for today.


    Western Front


    Somme:
    Haig’s Battle of the Somme Dispatch published, covers BEF operations from May 15 to November 18, 1916. He divides battle into four phases, lists capture of 38,000 POW and 125 guns. Haig stresses that fully half German Army engagedand defeated and that British troops (many only partially trained) surpassed all expectations.

    Tunstills Men Friday 29th December 1916:

    Billets in the Cathedral, Hospice and Cavalry Barracks in Ypres

    The Battalion continued to be employed on working parties for the Royal Engineers and German shelling of Ypres continued.

    Pte. John Roebuck (see 18th December), who had been on ten days’ leave after being discharged from hospital, joined 83rd Training Reserve Battalion in Gateshead.

    Lt. Robert Stewart Skinner Ingram (see 16th September), who had been one of the original officers of Tunstill’s Company, but had transferred to the RFC, was posted, as Flying Officer (Observer) to 24th Training Squadron, based at Netheravon, Wiltshire.

    2Lt. Tom Pickles (see 20th December), formerly of Tunstill’s Company, but currently ill while on home leave from 9DWR, appeared before a Medical Board at Queen Mary’s Military Hospital, Whalley. Having been examined he was given a report certifying him unfit on the grounds of ‘muscular rheumatism of the lumbar and mid stomal region and weakening of the pectoral and erector-spinas muscles’. He was declared unfit for duty for one month after which his case would be re-examined. Pickles duly sent a copy of the report to his Battalion and again saw his own doctor.

    The War Office confirmed that the amount of 11 shillings payable on the account of the late Lt. Harry Harris (see 26th December) from his service with the Middlesex Regiment prior to his being commissioned had now been credited to his account.

    Pte. Albert Hoggarth (see 3rd September), serving with 3DWR, was declared medically fit for service overseas.

    Eastern Front:

    Russia: STAVKA conference until December 31 includes Tsar and all three Front C*-in-Cs, Brusilov decides, in principle, to launch 1917 offensive

    Heavy fighting continues on Moldavian frontier; some enemy progress in the Oitoz valley.


    Enemy advance north and east from Ramnicu Sarat continued.


    Naval Operations:


    Shipping Losses: 3 (2 to mines, 1 to U-Boat action).


    Political:


    French and British ministers, in Conference for last three days, arrive at complete agreement.


    Murder of Russian monk Rasputin.


    Sitting of National Socialist Congress in Paris.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  20. #2120

    Northern Command Squadron Leader.
    Colonel

    Users Country Flag


    Blog Entries
    10
    Name
    Neil
    Location
    Northumberland
    Sorties Flown
    11,671
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default

    Issue of Sir Douglas Haig's dispatch dealing with Somme Battle.
    General Headquarters,
    23rd December, 1916.

    My Lord,
    I have the honour to submit the following report on the operations of the Forces under my Command since the 19th May, the date of my last Despatch.


    1. The principle of an offensive campaign during the summer of 1916 had already been decided on by all the Allies. The various possible alternatives on the Western front had been studied and discussed by General Joffre and myself, and we were in complete agreement as to the front to be attacked by the combined French and British Armies. Preparations for our offensive had made considerable progress; but as the date on which the attack should begin was dependent on many doubtful factors, a final decision on that point was deferred until the general situation should become clearer.

    Subject to the necessity of commencing operations before the summer was too far advanced, and with due regard to the general situation, I desired to postpone my attack as long as possible. The British Armies were growing in numbers and the supply of munitions was steadily increasing. Moreover a very large proportion of the officers and men under my command were still far from being fully trained, and the longer the attack could be deferred the more efficient they would become. On the other hand the Germans were continuing to press their attacks at Verdun, and both there and on the Italian front, where the Austrian offensive was gaining ground, it was evident that the strain might become too great to be borne unless timely action were taken to relieve it. Accordingly, while maintaining constant touch with General Joffre in regard to all these considerations, my preparations were pushed on, and I agreed, with the consent of H.M. Government, that my attack should be launched whenever the general situation required it with as great a force as I might then be able to make available.

    2. By the end of May the pressure of the enemy on the Italian front had assumed such serious proportions that the Russian campaign was opened early in June, and the brilliant successes gained by our Allies against the Austrians at once caused a movement of German troops from the Western to the Eastern front. This, however, did not lessen the pressure on Verdun. The heroic defence of our French Allies had already gained many weeks of inestimable value and had caused the enemy very heavy losses; but the strain continued to increase. In view, therefore, of the situation in the various theatres of war, it was eventually agreed between General Joffre and myself that the combined French and British offensive should not be postponed beyond the end of June.

    The object of that offensive was threefold:
    (i.) To relieve the pressure on Verdun,
    (ii.) To assist our Allies in the other theatres of war by stopping any further transfer of German troops from the Western front.
    (iii.) To wear down the strength of the forces opposed to us.

    3. While my final preparations were in progress the enemy made two unsuccessful attempts to interfere with my arrangements. The first, directed on the 21st May against our positions on the Vimy Ridge, south and south-east of Souchez, resulted in a small enemy gain of no strategic or tactical importance; and rather than weaken my offensive by involving additional troops in the task of recovering the lost ground, I decided to consolidate a position in rear of our original line. The second enemy attack was delivered on the 2nd June on a front of over one and a half miles from Mount Sorrel to Hooge, and succeeded in penetrating to a maximum depth of 700 yards. As the southern part of the lost position commanded our trenches I judged it necessary to recover it, and by an attack launched on the 13th June, carefully prepared and well executed, this was successfully accomplished by the troops on the spot. Neither of these enemy attacks succeeded in delaying the preparations for the major operations which I had in view.


    4. These preparations were necessarily very elaborate and took considerable time. Vast stocks of ammunition and stores of all kinds had to be accumulated beforehand within a convenient distance of our front. To deal with these many miles of new railways— both standard and narrow gauge—and trench tramways were laid. All available roads were improved, many others were made, and long causeways were built over marshy valleys. Many additional dug-outs had to be provided as shelter for the troops, for use as dressing stations for the wounded, and as magazines for storing ammunition, food, water, and engineering material. Scores of miles of deep communication trenches had to be dug, as well as trenches for telephone wires, assembly and assault trenches, and numerous gun emplacements and observation posts. Important mining operations were undertaken, and charges were laid at various points beneath the enemy’s lines. Except in the river valleys, the existing supplies of water were hopelessly insufficient to meet the requirements of the numbers of men and horses to be concentrated in this area as the preparations for our offensive proceeded. To meet this difficulty many wells and borings were sunk, and over one hundred pumping plants were installed. More than one hundred and twenty miles of water mains were laid, and everything was got ready to ensure an adequate water supply as our troops advanced. Much of this preparatory work had to be done under very trying conditions, and was liable to constant interruption from the enemy’s fire. The weather, on the whole, was bad, and the local accommodation totally insufficient for housing the troops employed, who consequently had to content themselves with such rough shelter as could be provided in the circumstances. All this labour, too, had to be carried out in addition to fighting and to the everyday work of maintaining existing defences. It threw a very heavy strain on the troops, which was borne by them with a cheerfulness beyond all praise.


    5. The enemy’s position to be attacked was of a very formidable character, situated on a high, undulating tract of ground, which rises to more than 500 feet above sea-level, and forms the watershed between the Somme on the one side and the rivers of south-western Belgium on the other. On the southern face of this watershed, the general trend of which is from east-south-east to west-north-west, the ground falls in a series of long irregular spurs and deep depressions to the valley of the Somme. Well down the forward slopes of this face the enemy’s first system of defence, starting from the Somme near Curlu, ran at first northwards for 3,000 yards, then westwards for 7,000 yards to near Fricourt, where it turned nearly due north, forming a great salient angle in the enemy’s line. Some 10,000 yards north of Fricourt the trenches crossed the River Ancre, a tributary of the Somme, and still running northwards passed over the summit of the watershed, about Hebuterne and Gommecourt, and then down its northern spurs to Arras. On the 20,000 yards front between the Somme and the Ancre the enemy had a strong second system of defence, sited generally on or near the southern crest of the highest part of the watershed, at an average distance of from 3,000 to 5,000 yards behind his first system of trenches. During nearly two years’ preparation he had spared no paim to render these defences impregnable. The first and second systems each consisted of several lines of deep trenches, well provided with bomb-proof shelters and with numerous communication trenches connecting them. The front of the trenches in each system was protected by wire entanglements, many of them in two belts forty yards broad, built of iron stakes interlaced with barbed wire, often almost as thick as a man’s finger. The numerous woods and villages in and between these systems of defence had been turned into veritable fortresses. The deep cellars, usually to be found in the villages, and the numerous pits and quarries common to a chalk country were used to provide cover for machine guns and trench mortars. The existing cellars were supplemented by elaborate dug-outs, sometimes in two storeys, and these were connected up by passages as much as thirty feet below the surface of the ground. The salients in the enemy’s line, from which he could bring enfilade fire across his front, were made into self-contained forts, and often protected by mine fields; while strong redoubts and concrete machine gun emplacements had been constructed in positions from which he could sweep his own trenches should these be taken. The ground lent itself to good artillery observation on the enemy’s part, and he had skilfully arranged for cross fire by his guns. These various systems of defence, with the fortified localities and other supporting points between them, were cunningly sited to afford each other mutual assistance and to admit of the utmost possible development of enfilade and flanking fire by machine guns and artillery. They formed, in short, not merely a series of successive lines, but one composite system of enormous depth and strength.

    Behind his second system of trenches, in addition to woods, villages and other strong points prepared for defence, the enemy had several other lines already completed; and we had learnt from aeroplane reconnaissance that he was hard at work improving and strengthening these and digging fresh ones between them and still further back. In the area above described, between the Somme and the Ancre, our front line trenches ran parallel and close to those of the enemy, but below them. We had good direct observation on his front system of trenches and on the various defences sited on the slopes above us between his first and second systems; but the second system itself, in many places, could not be observed from the ground in our possession, while, except from the air, nothing could be seen of his more distant defences. North of the Ancre, where the opposing trenches ran transversely across the main ridge, the enemy’s defences were equally elaborate and formidable. So far as command of ground was concerned, we were here practically on level terms; but, partly as a result of this, our direct observation over the ground held by the enemy was-not so good as it was further south. On portions of this front the opposing first line trenches were more widely separated from each other; while in the valleys to the north were many hidden gun positions from which the enemy could develop flanking fire on our troops as they advanced across the open.

    6. The period of active operations dealt with in this despatch divides itself roughly into three phases. The first phase opened with theattack of the 1st July, the success of which evidently came as a surprise to the enemy and caused considerable confusion and disorganisation in his ranks. The advantages gained on that date and developed during the first half of July may be regarded as having been rounded off by the operations of the 14th July and three following days, which gave us possession of the southern crest of the main plateau between Delville Wood and Bazentin-le-Petit. We then entered upon a contest lasting for many weeks, during which the enemy, having found his strongest defences unavailing, and now fully alive to his danger, put forth his utmost efforts to keep his hold on the main ridge. This stage of the battle constituted a prolonged and severe struggle for mastery between the contending armies, in which, although progress was slow and difficult, the confidence of our troops in their ability to win was never shaken. Their tenacity and determination proved more than equal to their task, and by the first week in September they had established a fighting superiority that has left its mark on the enemy, of which possession of the ridge was merely the visible proof. The way was then opened for the third phase, in which our advance was pushed down the forward slopes of the ridge and further extended on both flanks until, from Morval to Thiepval, the whole plateau and a good deal of ground beyond were in our possession.

    Meanwhile our gallant Allies, in addition to great successes south of the Somme, had pushed their advance, against equally determined opposition and under most difficult tactical conditions, up the long slopes on our immediate right, and were now preparing to drive the enemy from the summit of the narrow and difficult portion of the main ridge which lies between the Combles Valley and the River Tortille, a stream flowing from the north into the Somme just below Peronne.

    7. Defences of the nature described could only be attacked with any prospect of success after careful artillery preparation. It was accordingly decided that our bombardment should begin on the 24th June, and a large force of artillery was brought into action for the purpose. Artillery bombardments were also carried out daily at different points on the rest of our front, and during the period from the 24th June to 1st July gas was discharged with good effect at more than forty places along our line upon a frontage which in total amounted to over 15 miles. Some 70 raids, too, were undertaken by our infantry between Gommecourt and our extreme left north of Ypres during the week preceding the attack, and these kept me well informed as to the enemy’s dispositions, besides serving other useful purposes.

    On the 25th June the Royal Flying Corps carried out a general attack on the enemy’s observation balloons, destroying nine of them, and depriving the enemy for the time being of this form of observation.

    8. On July 1st, at 7.30 a.m., after a final hour of exceptionally violent bombardment, our infantry assault was launched. Simultaneously the French attacked on both sides of the Somme, co-operating closely with us. The British main front of attack extended from Maricourt on our right, round the salient at Fricourt, to the Ancre in front of St. Pierre Divion. To assist this main attack by holding the enemy’s reserves and occupying his artillery, the enemy’s trenches north of the Ancre, as far as Serre inclusive, were to be assaulted simultaneously; while further north a subsidiary attack was to be made on both sides of the salient at Gommecourt. I had entrusted the attack on the front from Maricourt to Serre to the Fourth Army, under the command of General Sir Henry S. Rawlinson, Bart., K.C.B., K.C.V.O., with five Army Corps at his disposal. The subsidiary attack at Gommecourt was carried out by troops from the Army commanded by General Sir E. H. H. Allenby, K.C.B.

    Just prior to the attack the mines which had been prepared under the enemy’s lines were exploded, and smoke was discharged at many places along our front. Through this smoke our infantry advanced to the attack with the utmost steadiness, in spite of the very heavy barrage of the enemy’s guns. On our right our troops met with immediate success, and rapid progress was made. Before midday Montauban had been carried, and shortly afterwards the Briqueterie, to the east, and the whole of the ridge to the west of the village were in our hands. Opposite Mametz part of our assembly trenches had been practically levelled by the enemy artillery, making it necessary for our infantry to advance to the attack across 400 yards of open ground. Nonetheless they forced their way into Mametz, and reached their objective in the valley beyond, first throwing out a defensive flank towards Fricourt on their left. At the same time the enemy’s trenches were entered north of Fricourt, so that the enemy’s garrison in that village was pressed on three sides. Further north, though the villages of La Boisselle and Ovillers for the time being resisted our attack, our troops drove deeply into the German lines on the flanks of these strongholds, and so paved the way for their capture later. On the spur running south from Thiepval the work known as the Leipzig Salient was stormed, and severe fighting took place for the possession of the village and its defences. Here and north of the valley of the Ancre as far as Serre, on the left flank of our attack, our initial successes were not sustained. Striking progress was made at many points and parties of troops penetrated the enemy’s positions to the outer defences of Grandcourt, and also to Pendant Copse and Serre; but the enemy’s continued resistance at Thiepval and Beaumont Hamel made it impossible to forward reinforcements and ammunition, and, in spite of their gallant efforts, our troops were forced to withdraw during the night to their own lines.
    The subsidiary attack at Gommecourt also forced its way into the enemy’s positions; but there met with such vigorous opposition, that as soon as it was considered that the attack had fulfilled its object our troops were withdrawn.

    9. In view of the general situation at the end of the first day’s operations, I decided that the best course was to press forward on a front extending from our junction with the French to a point halfway between La Boisselle and Contalmaison, and to limit the offensive on our left for the present to a slow and methodical advance. North of the Ancre such preparations were to be made as would hold the enemy to his positions, and enable the attack to be resumed there later if desirable. In order that General Sir Henry Rawlinson might be left free to concentrate his attention on the portion of the front where the attack was to be pushed home, I also decided to place the operations against the front, La Boisselle to Serre, under the command of General Sir Hubert de la P. Gough, K.C.B., to whom I accordingly allotted the two northern corps of Sir Henry Rawlinson’s army. My instructions to Sir Hubert Gough were that his Army was to maintain a steady pressure on the front from La Boisselle to the Serre Road, and to act as a pivot, on which our line could swing as our attacks on his right made progress towards the north.


    10. During the succeeding days the attack was continued on these lines. In spite of strong counter-attacks on the Briqueterie and Montauban, by midday on the 2nd July our troops had captured Fricourt, and in the afternoon and evening stormed Fricourt Wood and the farm to the north. During the 3rd and 4th July Bernafay and Caterpillar Woods were also captured, and our troops pushed forward to the railway north of Mametz. On these days the reduction of La Boisselle was completed after hard fighting, while the outskirts of Contalmaison were reached on the 5th July. North of La Boisselle also the enemy’s forces opposite us were kept constantly engaged, and our holding in the Leipzig Salient was gradually increased.

    To sum up the results of the fighting of these five days, on a front of over six miles, from the Briqueterie to La Boisselle, our troops had swept over the whole of the enemy’s first and strongest system of defence, which he had done his utmost to render impregnable. They had driven him back over a distance of more than a mile, and had carried four elaborately fortified villages. The number of prisoners passed back at the close of the 5th July had already reached the total of ninety-four officers and 5,724 other ranks.

    11. After the five days’ heavy and continuous fighting just described it was essential to carry out certain readjustments and reliefs of the forces engaged. In normal conditions of enemy resistance the amount of progress that can be made at any time without a pause in the general advance is necessarily limited. Apart from the physical exhaustion of the attacking troops and the considerable distances separating the enemy’s successive main systems of defence, special artillery preparation was required before a successful assault could be delivered. Meanwhile, however, local operations were continued in spite of much unfavourable weather. The attack on Contalmaison and Mametz Wood was undertaken on the 7th July, and after three days’ obstinate fighting, in the course of which the enemy delivered several powerful counter-attacks, the village and the whole of the wood, except its northern border, were finally secured. On the 7th July also a footing was gained in the outer defences of Ovillers, while on the 9th July on our extreme right Maltz Horn Farm—an important point on the spur north of Hardecourt —was secured. A thousand yards north of this farm our troops had succeeded at the second attempt in establishing themselves on the 8th July in the southern end of Trones Wood. The enemy’s positions in the northern and eastern parts of this wood were very strong, and no less than eight powerful German counter-attacks were made here during the next five days. In the course of this struggle portions of the wood changed hands several times; but we were left eventually, on the 13th July, in possession of the southern part of it.


    12. Meanwhile Mametz Wood had been entirely cleared of the enemy, and with Trones Wood also practically in our possession we were in a position to undertake an assault upon the enemy’s second system of defences. Arrangements were accordingly made for an attack to be delivered at daybreak on the morning of the 14th July against a front extending from Longueval to Bazentin-le-Petit Wood, both inclusive. Contalmaison Villa, on a spur 1,000 yards west of Bazentin-le-Petit Wood, had already been captured to secure the left flank of the attack, and advantage had been taken of the progress made by our infantry to move our artillery forward into new positions. The preliminary bombardment had opened on the 11th July. The opportunities offered by the ground for enfilading the enemy’s lines were fully utilised and did much to secure the success of our attack.


    13. In the early hours of the 14th July the attacking troops moved out over the open for a distance of from about 1,000 to 1,400 yards, and lined up in the darkness just below the crest and some 300 to 500 yards from the enemy’s trenciies. Their advance was covered by strong patrols, and their correct deployment had been ensured by careful previous preparations. The whole movement was carried out unobserved and without touch being lost in any case. The decision to attempt a night operation of this magnitude with an Army, the bulk of which has been raised since the beginning of the war, was perhaps the highest tribute that could be paid to the quality of our troops. It would not have been possible but for the most careful preparation and forethought, as well as thorough reconnaissance of the ground which was in many cases made personally by Divisional, Brigade and Battalion Commanders and their staffs before framing their detailed orders for the advance. The actual assault was delivered at 3.25 a.m. on the 14th July, when there was just sufficient light to be able to distinguish friend from foe at short ranges, and along the whole front attacked our troops, preceded by a very effective artillery barrage, swept over the enemy’s first trenches and on into the defences beyond.

    On our right the enemy was driven from his last foothold in Trones Wood, and by 8.0 a.m. we had cleared the whole of it, relieving a body of 170 men who had maintained themselves all night in the northern corner of the wood, although completely surrounded by the enemy. Our position in the wood was finally consolidated, and strong patrols were sent out from it in the direction of Guillemont and Longueval. The southern half of this latter village was already in the hands of the troops who had advanced west of Trones Wood. The northern half, with the exception of two strong points, was captured by 4.0 p.m. after a severe struggle.
    In the centre of our attack Bazentin-le-Grand village and wood were also gained, and our troops pushing northwards captured Bazentin- le-Petit village, and the cemetery to the east. Here the enemy counter-attacked twice about midday without success, and again in the afternoon, on the latter occasion momentarily reoccupying the northern half of the village as far as the church. Our troops immediately returned to the attack, and drove him out again with heavy losses. To the left of the village Bazentin-le-Petit Wood was cleared, in spite of the considerable resistance of the enemy along its western edge, where we successfully repulsed a counter-attack. In the afternoon further ground was gained to the west of the Wood, and posts were established immediately south of Pozieres.
    The enemy’s troops, who had been severely handled in these attacks and counter-attacks, began to show signs of disorganisation, and it was reported early in the afternoon that it was possible to advance to High Wood. General Rawlinson, who had held a force of cavalry in readiness for such an eventuality, decided to employ a part of it. As the fight progressed small bodies of this force had pushed -forward gradually, keeping in close touch with the development of the action and prepared to seize quickly any opportunity that might occur. A squadron now came up on the flanks of our infantry, who entered High Wood at about 8.0 p.m., and, after some hand-to-hand fighting, cleared the whole of the Wood with the exception of the northern apex. Acting mounted in co-operation with the infantry the cavalry came into action with good effect, killing several of the enemy and capturing some prisoners.

    14. On the 15th July the battle still continued, though on a reduced scale. Arrow Head Copse, between the southern edge of Trones Wood and Guillemont, and Waterlot Farm on the Longueval-Guillemont Road, were seized, and Delville Wood was captured and held against several hostile counterattacks. In Longueval fierce fighting continued until dusk for the possession of the two strong points and the orchards to the north of the village. The situation in this area made the position of our troops in High Wood somewhat precarious, and they now began to suffer numerous casualties from the enemy’s heavy shelling. Accordingly orders were given for their withdrawal, and this was effected during the night of the 15/16th July without interference by the enemy. All the wounded were brought in.

    In spite of repeated enemy counter-attacks further progress was made on the night of the 16th July along the enemy’s main second line trenches north-west of Bazentin-le-Petit Wood to within 500 yards of the north-east corner of the village of Pozieres, which our troops were already approaching from the South.
    Meanwhile the operations further north had also made progress. Since the attack of the 7th July the enemy in and about Ovillers had been pressed relentlessly, and gradually driven back by incessant bombing attacks and local assaults, in accordance with the general instructions I had given to General Sir Hubert Gough. On the 16th July a large body of the garrison of Ovillers surrendered, and that night and during the following day, by a direct advance from the west across No Man’s Land, our troops carried the remainder of the village and pushed out along the spur to the north and eastwards towards Pozieres.

    15. The results of the operations of the 14th July and subsequent days were of considerable importance. The enemy’s second main system of defence had been captured on a front of over three miles. We had again forced him back more than a mile, and had gained possession of the southern crest of the main ridge on a front of 6,000 yards. Four more of his fortified villages and three woods had been
    wrested from him by determined fighting, and our advanced troops had penetrated as far as his third line of defence. In spite of a resolute resistance and many counter-attacks, in which the enemy had suffered severely, our line was definitely established from Maltz Horn Farm, where we met the French left, northwards along the eastern edge of Trones Wood to Longueval, then westwards past Bazentin-le-Grand to the northern corner of Bazentin-le-Petit and Bazentin-le-Petit Wood, and then westwards again past the southern face of Pozieres to the north of Ovillers. Posts were established at Arrow Head Copse and Waterlot Farm,vwhile we had troops thrown forward in Delville Wood and towards High Wood, though their position was not yet secure.

    I cannot speak too highly of the skill, daring, endurance and determination by which these results had been achieved. Great credit is due to Sir Henry Rawlinson for the thoroughness and care with which this difficult undertaking was planned; while the advance and deployment made by night without confusion, and the complete success of the subsequent attack, constitute a striking tribute to the discipline and spirit of the troops engaged, as well as to the powers of leadership and organisation of their commanders and staffs. During these operations and their development on the 15th a number of enemy guns were taken, making our total captures since the 1st July 8 heavy howitzers, 4 heavy guns, 42 field and light guns and field howitzers, 30 trench mortars and 52 machine guns. Very considerable losses had been inflicted on the enemy, and the prisoners captured amounted to over 2,000, bringing the total since the 1st July to over 10,000.

    16. There was strong evidence that the enemy forces engaged on the battle front had been severely shaken by the repeated successes gained by ourselves and our Allies; but the great strength and depth of his defences had secured for him sufficient time to bring up fresh troops, and he had still many powerful fortifications, both trenches, villages and woods, to which he could cling in our front and on our flanks. We had, indeed, secured a footing on the main ridge, but only on a front of 6,000 yards; and desirous though I was to follow up quickly the successes we had won, it was necessary first to widen this front. West of Bazentin-le-Petit the villages of Pozieres and. Thiepval, together with the whole elaborate system of trenches round, between and on the main ridge behind them, had still to be carried. An advance further east would, however, eventually turn these defences, and all that was for the present required on the left flank of our attack was a steady, methodical, step by step advance as already ordered. On our right flank the situation called for stronger measures. At Delville Wood and Longueval our lines formed a sharp salient, from which our front ran on the one side westwards to Pozieres, and on the other southwards to Maltz Horn Farm. At Maltz Horn Farm our lines joined the French, and the Allied front continued still southwards to the village of Hem on the Somme. This pronounced salient invited counterattacks by the enemy. He possessed direct observation on it all round from Guillemont on the south-east to High Wood on the northwest. He could bring a concentric fire of artillery to bear not only on the wood and village, but also on the confined space behind, through which ran the French communications as well as ours, where great numbers of guns, besides ammunition and impedimenta of all sorts, had necessarily to be crowded together. Having been in occupation of this ground for nearly two years he knew every foot of it, and could not fail to appreciate the possibilities of causing us heavy loss there by indirect artillery fire; while it was evident that, if he could drive in the salient in our line and so gain direct observation on to the ground behind, our position in that area would become very uncomfortable. If there had not been good grounds for confidence that the enemy was not capable of driving from this position troops who had shown themselves able to wrest it from him, the situation would have been an anxious one. In any case it was clear that the first requirement at the moment was that our right flank, and the French troops in extension of it, should swing up into line with our centre. To effect this, however, strong enemy positions had to be captured both by ourselves and by our Allies.

    From Delville Wood the main plateau extends for 4,000 yards east-north-east to Les Boeufs and Morval, and for about the same distance south-eastwards to Leuze and Bouleau Woods, which stand above and about 1,000 yards to the west of Combles. To bring my right up into line with the rest of my front it was necessary to capture Guillemont, Falfemont Farm and Leuze Wood, and then Ginchy and Bouleaux Wood. These localities were naturally very strong, and they had been elaborately fortified. The enemy’s main second line system of defence ran in front of them from Waterlot Farm, which was already in our hands, south-eastwards to Falfemont Farm, and thence southwards to the Somme. The importance of holding us back in this area could not escape the enemy’s notice, and he had dug and wired many new trenches, both in front of and behind his original lines. He had also brought up fresh troops, and there was no possibility of taking him by surprise. The task before us was therefore a very difficult one and entailed a real trial of strength between the opposing forces. At this juncture its difficulties were increased by unfavourable weather. The nature of the ground limited the possibility of direct observation by our artillery fire, and we were consequently much dependent on observation from the air. As in that element we had attained almost complete superiority, all that we required was a clear atmosphere; but with this we were not favoured for several weeks. We had rather more rain than is usual in July and August, and even when no rain fell there was an almost constant haze and frequent low clouds. In swinging up my own right it was very important that the French line north of the Somme should be advanced at the same time in close combination with the movement of the British troops. The line of demarcation agreed on between the French commander and myself ran from Maltz Horn Farm due eastwards to the Combles Valley and then northeastwards up that valley to a point midway between Sailly-Saillisel and Morval. These two villages had been fixed upon as the objectives, respectively, of the French left and of my right. In order to advance in co-operation with my right, and eventually to reach Sailly-Saillisel, our Allies had still to fight their way up that portion of the main ridge which lies between the Combles Valley on the west and the River Tortille on the east. To do so they had to capture, in the first place, the strongly fortified villages of Maurepas, Le Forest, Rancourt and Fregicourt, besides many woods and strong systems of trenches. As the high ground on each side of the Combles Valley commands the slopes of the ridge on the opposite side, it was essential that the advance of the two armies should be simultaneous and made in the closest co-operation. This was fully recognised by both armies and our plans were made accordingly.
    To carry out the necessary preparations to deal with the difficult situation outlined above a short pause was necessary to enable tired troops to be relieved and guns to be moved forward; while at the same time old communications had to be improved and new ones made. Entrenchments against probable counterattacks could not be neglected, and fresh dispositions of troops were required for the new attacks to be directed eastwards. It was also necessary to continue such pressure on the rest of our front, not only on the Ancre but further south, as would make it impossible for the enemy to devote himself entirely to resisting the advance between Delville Wood and the Somme. In addition it was desirable further to secure our hold on the main ridge west of Delville Wood by gaining more ground to our front in that direction. Orders were therefore issued in accordance with the general considerations explained above, and, without relaxing pressure along the enemy’s front from Delville Wood to the West, preparations for an attack on Guillemont were pushed on.

    17. During the afternoon of the 18th July the enemy developed his expected counterattack against Delville Wood, after heavy preliminary shelling. By sheer weight of numbers’ and at very heavy cost he forced his way through the northern and north-eastern portions of the wood and into the northern half of Longueval, which our troops had cleared only that morning. In the south-east corner of the wood he was held up by a gallant defence, and further south three attacks on our positions in Waterlot Farm failed. This enemy attack on Delville Wood marked the commencement of the long closely contested struggle which was not finally decided in our favour till the fall of Guillemont on the 3rd September, a decision which was confirmed by the capture of Ginchy six days later. Considerable gains were indeed made during this period; but progress was slow and bought only by hard fighting. A footing was established in High Wood on the 20th July and our line linked up thence with Longueval. A subsequent advance by the Fourth Army on the 23rd July on a wide front from Guillemont to near Pozieres found the enemy in great strength all along the line, with machine guns and forward troops in shell holes and newly constructed trenches well in front of his main defences. Although ground was won the strength of the resistance experienced showed that the hostile troops had recovered from their previous confusion sufficiently to necessitate long and careful preparation before further successes on any great scale could be secured. An assault delivered simultaneously on this date by General Gough’s Army against Pozieres gained considerable results, and by the morning of the 25th July the whole of that village was carried, including the cemetery, and important progress was made along the enemy’s trenches to the north-east. That evening, after heavy artillery preparation, the enemy launched two more powerful counterattacks, the one directed against our new position in and around High Wood and the other delivered from the north-west of Delville Wood. Both attacks were completely broken up with very heavy losses to the enemy.

    On the 27th July the remainder of Delville Wood was recovered, and two days later the northern portion of Longueval and the orchards were cleared of the enemy, after severe fighting, in which our own and the enemy’s artillerv were very active.

    18. On the 30th July the village of Guillemont and Falfemont Farm to the south-east were attacked, in conjunction with a French attack north of the Somme. A battalion entered Guillemont, and part of it passed through to the far side; but as the battalions on either flank did not reach their objectives, it was obliged to fall back, after holding out for some hours on the western edge of the village. In a subsequent local attack on the 7th August our troops again entered Guillemont, but were again compelled to fall back owing to the failure of a simultaneous effort against the enemy’s trenches on the flanks of the village. The ground to the south of Guillemont was dominated by the enemy’s positions in and about that village. It was therefore hoped that these positions might be captured first, before an advance to the south of them in the direction of Falfemont Farm was pushed further forward. It had now become evident, however, that Guillemont could not be captured as an isolated enterprise without very heavy loss, and, accordingly, arrangements were made with the French Army on our immediate right for a series of combined attacks, to be delivered in progressive stages, which should embrace Maurepas, Falfemont Farm, Guillemont, Leuze Wood and Ginchy.

    An attempt on the 16th August to carry out the first stage of the pre-arranged scheme met with only partial success, and two days later, after a preliminary bombardment, lasting thirty-six hours, a larger combined attack was undertaken. In spite of a number of enemy counter-attacks—the most violent of which, levelled at the point of junction of the British with the French, succeeded in forcing our Allies and ourselves back from a part of the ground won—very valuable progress was made, and our troops established themselves in the outskirts of Guillemont village and occupied Guillemont Station. A violent counterattack on Guillemont Station was repulsed on the 23rd August, and next day further important progress was made on a wide front north and east of Delville Wood.

    19. Apart from the operations already described, others of a minor character, yet involving much fierce and obstinate fighting, continued during this period on the fronts of both the British Armies. Our lines were pushed forward wherever possible by means of local attacks and by bombing and sapping, and the enemy was driven out of various forward positions from which he might hamper our progress. By these means many gains were made which, though small in themselves, in the aggregate represented very considerable advances. In this way our line was brought to the crest of the ridge above Martinpuich, and Pozieres Windmill and the high ground north of the village were secured, and with them observation over Martinpuich and Courcelette and the enemy’s gun positions in their neighbourhood and around Le Sars. At a later date our troops reached the defences of Mouquet Farm, north-west of Pozieres, and made progress in the enemy’s trenches south of Thiepval. The enemy’s counter-attacks were incessant and frequently of great violence, but they were made in vain and at heavy cost to him. The fierceness of the fighting can be gathered from the fact that one regiment of the German Guards Reserve Corps which had been in the Thiepval salient opposite Mouquet Farm is known to have lost 1,400 men in fifteen days.


    20. The first two days of September on both Army fronts were spent in preparation for a more general attack, which the gradual progress made during the preceding month had placed us in a position to undertake. Our assault was delivered at 12 noon on the 3rd September on a front extending from our extreme right to the enemy trenches on the right bank of the Ancre, north of Hamel. Our Allies attacked simultaneously on our right. Guillemont was stormed and at once consolidated, and our troops pushed on unchecked to Ginchy and the line of the road running south to Wedge Wood. Ginchy was also seized, but here in the afternoon we were very strongly counter-attacked. For three days the tide of attack and counter-attack swayed backwards and forwards amongst the ruined houses of the village, till, in the end, for three days more the greater part of it remained in the enemy’s possession. Three counter-attacks made on the evening of the 3rd September against our troops in Guillemont all failed with considerable loss to the enemy. We also gained ground north of Delville Wood and in High Wood, though here an enemy counter-attack recovered part of the ground won.

    On the front of General Gough’s Army, though the enemy suffered heavy losses in personnel, our gain in ground was slight.

    21. In order to keep touch with the French who were attacking on our right, the assault on Falfemont Farm on the 3rd September was delivered three hours before the opening of the main assault. In the impetus of their first rush our troops reached the farm, but could not hold it. Nevertheless, they pushed on to the north of it, and on the 4th September delivered a series of fresh assaults upon it from the west and north. Ultimately this strongly fortified position was occupied piece by piece, and by the morning of the 5th September the whole of it was in our possession. Meanwhile further progress had been made to the north-east of the farm, where considerable initiative was shown by the local commanders. By the evening of the same day our troops were established strongly in Leuze Wood, which on the following day was finally cleared of the enemy.


    22. In spite of the fact that most of Ginchy and of High Wood remained in the enemy’s hands, very noteworthy progress had been made in the course of these four days’ operations, exceeding anything that had been achieved since the 14th July. Our right was advanced on a front of nearly two miles to an average depth of nearly one mile, penetrating the enemy’s original second line of defence on this front, and capturing strongly fortified positions at Falfemont Farm, Leuze Wood, Guillemont, and south-east of Delville Wood, where we reached the western outskirts of Ginchy. More important than this gain in territory was the fact that the barrier which for seven weeks the enemy had maintained Against our further advance had at last been broken. Over 1,000 prisoners were made and many machine guns taken or destroyed in the course of the fighting.


    23. Preparations for a further attack upon Ginchy continued without intermission, and at 4.45 p.m. on the 9th September the attack was reopened on the whole of the Fourth Army front. At Ginchy and to the north of Leuze Wood it met with almost immediate success. On the right the enemy’s line was seized over a front of more than 1,000 yards from the southwest corner of Bouleaux Wood in a northwesterly direction to a point just south of the Guilleniout-Morval tramway. Our troops again forced their way into Ginchy, and passing beyond it carried the line of enemy trenches to the east. Further progress was made east of Delville Wood and south and east of High Wood. Over 500 prisoners were taken in the operations of the 9th September and following days, making the total since the 1st July over 17,000.


    24. Meanwhile the French had made great progress on our right, bringing their line forward to Louage Wood (just south of Combles)- Le Forest-Clery-sur-Somme, all three inclusive. The weak salient in the Allied line had therefore disappeared and we had gained the front required for further operations. Still more importance, however, lay in the proof afforded by the results described of’ the ability of our new Armies not only to rush the enemy’s strongest defences, as had been accomplished on the 1st and 14th July, but also to wear down and break his power of resistance by a steady, relentless pressure, as they had done during the weeks of this fierce and protracted struggle. As has already been recounted, the preparations made for our assault on the 1st July had been long and elaborate; but though the enemy knew that an attack was coming, it would seem that he considered the troops already on the spot, secure in their apparently impregnable defences, would suffice to deal with it. The success of that assault, combined with the vigour and determination with which our troops pressed their advantage, and followed by the successful night attack of the 14th July, all served to awaken him to a fuller realisation of his danger. The great depth of his system of fortification, to which reference has been made, gave him time to reorganise his defeated troops, and to hurry up numerous fresh divisions and more guns. Yet in spite of this, he was still pushed back, steadily and continuously. Trench after trench, and strong point after strong point were wrested from him. The great majority of his frequent counter-attacks failed completely, with heavy loss; while the few that achieved temporary local success purchased it dearly, and were soon thrown back from the ground they had for the moment regained. The enemy had, it is true, delayed our advance considerably, but the effort had cost him dear; and the comparative collapse of his resistance during the last few days of the struggle justified the belief that in the long run decisive victory would lie with our troops, who had displayed such fine fighting qualities and such indomitable endurance and resolution.


    25. Practically the whole of the forward crest of the main ridge, on a front of some 9,000 yards from Delville Wood to the road above Mouquet Farm, was now in our hands, and with it the advantage of observation over the slopes beyond. East of Delville Wood, for a further 3,000 yards to Leuze Wood, we were-firmly established on the main ridge; while further east, across the Combles Valley, the-French were advancing victoriously on our right. But though the centre of our line was well placed, on our flanks there was still difficult ground to be won. From Ginchy the crest of the high ground runs northwards for 2,000 yards, and then eastward, in a long spur, for nearly 4,000 yards. Near the eastern extremity of this spur stands the village of Morval, commanding a wide field of view and fire in every direction. At Leuze Wood my right was still 2,000 yards from its objective at this village, and between lay a broad and deep branch of the main Combles Valley, completely commanded by the Morval spur, and flanked, not only from its head north-east of Ginchy, but also from the high ground east of the Combles Valley, which looks directly into it. Up this high ground beyond the Combles Valley the French were working their way towards their objective at Sailly-Saillisel, situated due east of Morval, and standing at the same level. Between these two villages the ground falls away to the head of the Combles Valley, which runs thence in a south-westerly direction. In the bottom of this valley lies the small town of Combles, then well fortified and strongly held, though dominated by my right at Leuze Wood, and by the French left on the opposite heights. It had been agreed between the French and myself that an assault on Combles would not be necessary, as the place could be rendered untenable by pressing forward along the ridges above it in on either side. The capture of Morval from the south presented a very difficult problem, while the capture of Sailly-Saillisel, at that time some 3,000 yards to the north of the French left, was in some respects even more difficult. The line of the French advance was narrowed almost to a defile by the extensive and strongly fortified wood of St. Pierre Vaast on the one side, and on the other by the Combles Valley, which, with the branches running out from it, and the slopes on each side, is completely commanded, as has been pointed out, by the heights bounding the valley on the east and west. On my right flank, therefore, the progress of the French and British forces was still interdependent, and the closest co-operation continued to be necessary in order to gain the further ground required to enable my centre to advance on a sufficiently wide front. To cope with such a situation unity of command is usually essential, but in this case the cordial good feeling between the Allied Armies, and the earnest desire of each to assist the other, proved equally effective, and removed all difficulties.

    On my left flank the front of General Gough’s Army bent back from the main ridge near Mouquet Farm down a spur descending south-westwards, and then crossed a broad valley to the Wonderwork, a strong point situated in the enemy’s front-line system near the southern end of the spur on the higher slopes of which T’hiepval stands. Opposite this part of our line we had still to carry the enemy’s original defences on the main ridge above Thiepval, and in the village itself, defences which may fairly be described as being as iiearly impregnable as nature, art, and the unstinted labour of nearly two years could make them. Our advance on T’hiepval, and on the defences above it, had been carried out up to this date, in accordance with my instructions given on the 3rd July, by a slow and methodical progression, in which great skill and much patience and endurance had been displayed with entirely satisfactory results. General Gough’s Army had, in fact, acted most successfully in the required manner as a pivot to the remainder of the attack. The Thiepval defences were known to be exceptionally strong, and as immediate possession of them was not necessary to the development of my plans after the 1st July, there had been no need to incur the heavy casualties to be expected in an attempt to rush them. The time was now approaching, although it had not yet arrived, when their capture would become necessary; but from the positions we had now reached and those which we expected shortly to obtain, I had no doubt that they could be rushed when required without undue loss. A a important part of the remaining positions, required for my assault on them was now won by a highly successful enterprise carried out on the evening of the 14th September, by which the Wonderwork was stormed.

    26. The general plan of the combined Allied attack which was opened on the 15th September was to pivot on the high ground south of the Ancre and north of the Albert-Bapaume road, while the Fourth Army devoted its whole effort to the rearmost of the enemy’s original systems of defence between Morval and Le Sars. Should our success in this direction warrant it I made arrangements to enable me to extend the left of the attack to embrace the villages of Martinpuich and Courcelette. As soon as our advance on this front had reached the Morval line, the time would have arrived to bring forward my left across the Thiepval Ridge. Meanwhile on my right our Allies arranged to continue the line of advance in close co-operation with me from the Somme to the slopes above Combles; but directing their main effort northwards against the villages of Rancourt and Fregicourt, so as to complete the isolation of Combles and open the way for their attack upon Sailly-Saillisel.


    27. A methodical bombardment was commenced at 6.0 a.m. on the 12th September and was continued steadily and uninterruptedly till the moment of attack. At 6.20 a.m. on the 15th September the infantry assault commenced, and at the same moment the bombardment became intense. Our new heavily armoured cars, known as “Tanks,” now brought into action for the first time, successfully co-operated with the infantry, and coming as a surprise to the enemy rank and file gave valuable help in breaking down their resistance. The advance met with immediate success on almost the whole of the front attacked. At 8.40 a.m. tanks were seen to be entering Flers, followed by large numbers of troops. Fighting continued in Flers for some time, but by 10.0 a.m. our troops had reached the north side of the village, and by midday had occupied the enemy’s trenches for some distance beyond. On our right our line was advanced to within assaulting distance of the strong line of defence running before Morval, Les Boeufs and Gueudecourt, and on our left High Wood was at last carried after many hours of very severe fighting, reflecting great credit on the attacking battalions. Our success made it possible to carry out during the afternoon that part of the plan which provided for the capture of Martinpuich and Courcelette, and by the end of the day both these villages were in our hands. On the 18th September the work of this day was completed by the capture of the Quadrilateral, an enemy stronghold which had hitherto blocked the progress of our right towards Morval. Further progress was also made beteen Flers and Martinpuich.


    28. The result of the fighting of the 15th September and following days was a gain more considerable than any which had attended our arms in the course of a single operation since the commencement of the offensive. In the course of one day’s fighting we had broken through two of the enemy’s main defensive systems and had advanced on a front of over six miles to an average depth of a mile. In the course of this advance we had taken three large villages, each powerfully organised for prolonged resistance. Two of these villages had been carried by assault with short preparation in the course of a few hours’ fighting. All this had been accomplished with a small number of casualties in comparison with the troops employed, and in spite of the fact that, as was afterwards discovered, the attack did not come as a complete surprise to the enemy. The total number of prisoners taken by us in these operations since their commencement on the evening of the 14th September amounted at this date to over 4,000, including 127 officers.


    29. Preparations for our further advance were again hindered by bad weather, but at 12.35 p.m. on the 25th September, after a bombardment commenced early in the morning of the 24th, a general attack by the Allies was launched on the whole front between the Somme and Martinpuich. The objectives on the British front included the villages of Morval, Les Boeufs and Gueudecourt, and a belt of country about 1,000 yards deep curving round the north of Flers to a point midway between that village and Martinpuich. By nightfall the whole of these objectives were in our hands, with the exception of the village of Gueudecourt, before which our troops met with very serious resistance from a party of the enemy in a section of his fourth main system, of defence. On our right our Allies carried the village of Rancourt, and advanced their line to the outskirts of Fregioourt, capturing that village also during the night and early morning. Combles was therefore nearly surrounded by the Allied forces, and in the early morning of the 26th September the village was occupied simultaneously by the Allied forces, the British to the north and the French to the south, of the railway. The capture of Combles in this inexpensive fashion represented a not inconsiderable tactical success. Though lying in a hollow, the village was very strongly fortified, and possessed, in addition to the works which the enemy had constructed, exceptionally large cellars and galleries, at a great depth underground, sufficient to give effectual shelter to troops and material under the heaviest bombardment. Great quantities of stores and ammunition of all sorts were found in these cellars when the village was taken.

    On the same day Gueudecourt was carried, after the protecting trench to the west had been captured in a somewhat interesting fashion. In the early morning a Tank started down the portion of the trench held by the enemy from the north-west, firing its machine guns and followed by bombers. The enemy could not escape, as we held the trench at the southern end. At the same time an aeroplane flew down the length of the trench, also firing a machine gun at. the enemy holding it. These then waved white handkerchiefs in token of surrender, and when this was reported by the | aeroplane the infantry accepted the surrender of the garrison. By 8.30 a.m. the whole trench had been cleared, great numbers of the enemy had been killed, and 8 officers and 362 other ranks made prisoners. Our total casualties amounted to five.

    30. The success of the Fourth Army had now brought our advance to the stage at which I judged it advisable that Thiepval should be taken, in order to bring our left flank into line and establish it on the main ridge above that village, the possession of which would be of considerable tactical value in future operations. Accordingly at 12.25 p.m on the 26th September, before the enemy had been given time to recover from the blow struck by the Fourth Army, a general attack was launched against Thiepval and the Thiepval Ridge. The objective consisted of the whole of the high ground still remaining in enemy hands extending over a front of some 3,000 yards north and east of Thiepval, and including, in addition to that fortress, the Zollern Redoubt, the Stuff Redoubt, and the Schwaben Redoubt, with the connecting lines of trenches. The attack was a brilliant success. On the right our troops reached the system of enemy trenches which formed their objectives without great difficulty. In Thiepval and the strong works to the north of it the enemy’s resistance was more desperate. Three waves of our attacking troops carried the outer defences of Mouquet Farm, and, pushing on, entered Zollern Redoubt, which they stormed and consolidated. In the strong point formed by the buildings of the Farm itself, the enemy garrison, securely posted in deep cellars, held out until 6.0 p.m., when their last defences were forced by a working party of a Pioneer Battalion acting on its own initiative. On the left of the attack fierce fighting, in which Tanks again gave valuable assistance to our troops, continued in Thiepval during that day and the following night, but by 8.30 a.m. on the 27th September the whole of the village of Thiepval was in our hands. Some 2,300 prisoners were taken in the course of the fighting on the Thiepval Ridge on these and the subsequent days, bringing the total number of prisoners taken in the battle area in the operations of the 14th-30th September to nearly 10,000. In the same period we had captured 27 guns, over 200 machine guns, and some 40 trench mortars.


    31. On the same date the south and west sides of Stuff Redoubt were carried by our troops, together with the length of trench connecting that strong point with Schwaben Redoubt to the west and also the greater part of the enemy’s defensive line eastwards along the northern slopes of the ridge. Schwaben Redoubt was assaulted during the afternoon, and in spite of counter attacks, delivered by strong enemy reinforcements, we captured the whole of the southern face of the Redoubt and pushed out patrols to the northern face and towards St. Pierre Divion. Our line was also advanced north of Courcelette, while on the Fourth Army front a further portion of the enemy’s fourth system, of defence north-west of Gueudeoourt was carried on a front, of a mile. Between these two points the enemy fell back upon his defences running in front of Eaucourt l’Abbaye and Le Sars and on the afternoon and evening of the 27th September our troops were able to make a very considerable advance in this area without encountering serious opposition until within a few hundred yards of this line. The ground thus occupied extended to a depth of from 500 to 600 yards on a front of nearly two miles between the Bazentin-le-Petit, Ligny, Thilloy and Albert-Bapaume roads. Destremont Farm, south-west of Le Sars, was carried by a single company on the 29th September, and on the afternoon of the 1st October a successful attack was launched against Eaucourt l’Abbaye and the enemy defences to the east and west of it, comprising a total front of about 3,000 yards. Our artillery barrage was extremely accurate, and contributed greatly to the success of the attack. Bomb fighting continued among the buildings during the next two days, but by the evening of the 3rd October the whole of Eaucourt l’Abbaye was in our hands.


    32. At the end of September I had handed over Morval to the French, in order to facilitate their attacks on Sailly-Saillisel, and on the 7th October, after a postponement rendered necessary by three days’ continuous rain, our Allies made a considerable advance in the direction of the latter village. On the same day the Fourth Army attacked along the whole front from Les Boeufs to Destremont Farm in support of the operations of our Allies. The village of Le Sars was captured, together with the Quarry to the north-west, while considerable progress was made at other points along the front attacked. In particular, to the east of Gueudecourt, the enemy’s trenchesi were carried on a breadth of some 2,000 yards, and a footing gained on the crest of the long spur which screens the defences of Le Transloy from the south-west. Nearly 1,000 prisoners were secured by the Fourth Army in the course of these operations.


    33. With the exception of his positions in the neighbourhood of Sailly-Saillisel, and his scanty foothold on the northern crest of the high ground above Thiepval, the enemy had now been driven from the whole of the ridge lying between the Tortille and the Ancre. Possession of the north-western portion of the ridge north of the latter village carried with it observation over the valley of the Ancre between Miraumont and Hamel and the spurs and valleys held by the enemy on the right bank of the river. The Germans, therefore, made desperate- efforts to cling to their last remaining trenches in this area, and in the course of the three weeks’ following our advance made repeated counter-attacks at heavy cost in the vain hope of recovering the ground they had lost. During this period our gains in the neighbourhood of Stuff and Schwaben Redoubts were gradually increased and secured in readiness for future operations; and I was quite confident of the ability of our troops, not only to repulse the enemy’s attacks, but to clear him entirely from his last positions on the ridge whenever it should suit my plans to do so. I was, therefore, well content with the situation on this flank. Along the centre of our line from Gueudecourt to the west of Le Sars similar considerations applied. As we were already well down the forward slopes of the ridge on this front, it was for the time being inadvisable to make any serious advance. Pending developments elsewhere all that was necessary or indeed desirable was to carry on local operations to improve our positions and to keep the enemy fully employed. On our eastern flank, on the other hand, it was important to gain ground. Here the enemy still possessed a strong system of trenches covering the villages of Le Transloy and Beaulencourt and the town of Bapaume; but, although, he was digging with feverish haste, he had not yet been able to create any very formidable defences behind this line. In this direction, in fact, we had at last reached a stage at which a successful attack might reasonably be expected to yield much greater results than anything we had yet attained. The resistance of the troops opposed to us had seriously weakened in the course of our recent operations, and there was no reason to suppose that the effort required would not be within our powers. This last completed system of defence, before Le Transloy, was flanked to the south by the enemy’s positions at Sailly-Saillisel and screened to the west by the spur lying between Le Transloy and Les Boeufs. A necessary preliminary, therefore, to an assault upon it was to secure the spur and the Sailly-Saillisel heights. Possession of the high ground at this latter village would at once give a far better command over the ground to the north and north-west, secure the flank of our operations towards Le Transloy, and deprive the enemy of observation over the Allied communications in the Combles Valley.

    In view of the enemy’s efforts to construct new systems of defence behind the Le Transloy line, it was desirable to lose no time in dealing with the situation. Unfortunately, at this juncture, very unfavourable weather set in and continued with scarcely a break during the remainder of October and the early part of November. Poor visibility seriously interfered with the work of our artillery, and constant rain turned the mass of hastily dug trenches for which we were fighting into channels of deep mud. The country roads, broken by countless shell craters, that cross the deep stretch of ground we had lately won, rapidly became almost impassable, making the supply of food, stores and ammunition a serious problem. These conditions multiplied the difficulties of attack to such .an extent that it was found impossible to exploit the situation with the rapidity necessary to enable us to reap the full benefits of the advantages we had gained. None the less my right flank continued to assist the operations of our Allies against Saillisel, and attacks were made to this end, whenever a slight improvement in the weather made the co-operation of artillery and infantry at all possible. The delay in our advance, however, though unavoidable, had given the enemy time to reorganise and rally his troops. His resistance again became stubborn and he seized every favourable opportunity for counter-attacks. Trenches changed hands with great frequency, the conditions of ground making it difficult to renew exhausted supplies of bombs and ammunition, or to consolidate the ground won, and so rendering it an easier matter to take a battered trench than to hold it.

    34. On the 12th and 18th September further gains were made to the east of the Les Boeufs-Gueudecourt line and east of Le Sars, and some hundreds of prisoners were taken. On these dates, despite all the difficulties of ground, the French first reached and then captured the villages of Sailly-Saillisel, but the moment for decisive action was rapidly passing away, while the weather showed no signs of improvement. By this time, too, the ground had already become so bad that nothing less than a prolonged period of drying weather, which at that season of the year was most unlikely to occur, would suit our purpose. In these circumstances, while continuing to do all that was possible to improve my position on my right flank, I determined to press on with preparations for the exploitation of the favourable local situation on my left flank.

    At midday on the 21st October, during a short spell of fine, cold weather, the line of Regina Trench and Stuff Trench, from the west Courcelette-Pys road westward to Schwaben Redoubt, was attacked with complete success. Assisted by an excellent artillery preparation and barrage, our infantry carried the whole of their objectives very quickly and with remarkably little; loss, and our new line was firmly established in spite of the enemy’s shell fire. Over 1,000 prisoners were taken in the course of the day’s fighting, a figure only slightly exceeded by our casualties. On the 23rd October, and again on the 5th November, while awaiting better weather for further operations on the Ancre, our attacks on the enemy’s positions to the east of Les Boeufs and Gueudecourt were renewed, in conjunction with French operations against the Sailly-Saillisel heights and St. Pierre Vaast Wood. Considerable further progress was achieved. Our footing on the crest of the Le Transloy Spur was extended and secured, and the much contested tangle of trenches at our junction with the French left at last passed definitely into our possession. Many smaller gains were made in this neighbourhood by local assaults during these days, in spite of the difficult conditions of the ground. In particular, on the 10th November, after a day of improved weather, the portion of Regina Trench lying to the east of the Courcelette-Pys Road was carried on a front of about 1,000 yards. Throughout these operations the enemy’s counter-attacks were very numerous and determined, succeeding indeed in the evening of the 23rd October in regaining a portion of the ground east of Le Sars taken from him by our attack on that day. On all other occasions his attacks were broken by our artillery or infantry and the losses incurred by him in these attempts, made frequently with considerable effectives, were undoubtedly very severe.

    35. On the 9th November the long continued bad weather took a turn for the better, and thereafter remained dry and cold, with frosty nights and misty mornings, for some days. Final preparations were therefore pushed on for the attack on the Ancre, though, as the ground was still very bad in places, it was necessary to limit the operations to what it would be reasonably possible to consolidate and hold under the existing conditions. The enemy’s defences in this area were already extremely formidable when they resisted our assault on the 1st July, and the succeeding period of four months had been spent in improving and adding to them in the light of the experience he had gained in the course of our attacks further south. The hamlet of St. Pierre Divion and the villages of Beaucourt-sur-Ancre and Beaumont Hamel, like the rest of the villages forming part of the enemy’s original front in this district, were evidently intended by him to form a permanent line of fortifications, while he developed his offensive elsewhere. Realising that his position in them had become a dangerous one, the enemy had multiplied the number of his guns covering this part of his line, and at the end of October introduced an additional Division on his front between Grandcourt and Hebuterne.


    36. At 5 a.m. on the morning of the 11th November the special bombardment preliminary to the attack was commenced. It continued with bursts of great intensity until 5.45 a.m. on the morning of the 13th November, when it developed into a very effective barrage covering the assaulting infantry. At that hour our troops advanced on the enemy’s position through dense fog, and rapidly entered his first line trenches on almost the whole of the front attacked, from east of Schwaben Redoubt to the north of Serre. South of the Ancre, where our assault was directed northwards against the enemy’s trenches on the northern slopes of the Thiepval ridge, it met with a success altogether remarkable for rapidity of execution and lightness of cost. By 7.20 a.m. our objectives east of St. Pierre Divion had been captured, and the Germans in and about that hamlet were hemmed in between our troops and the river. Many of the enemy were driven into their dugouts and surrendered, and at 9.0 a.m. the number of prisoners was actually greater than the attacking force. St. Pierre Divion soon fell, and in this area nearly 1,400 prisoners were taken by a single division at the expense of less than 600 casualties. The rest of our forces operating south of the Ancre attained their objectives with equal completeness and success.

    North of the river the struggle was more severe, but very satisfactory results were achieved. Though parties of the enemy held out for some hours during the day in strong points at various places along his first line and in Beaumont Hamel, the main attack pushed on. The troops attacking close to the right bank of the Aricre reached their second objectives to the west and north-west of Beaucourt during the morning, and held on there for the remainder of the day and night, though practically isolated from the rest of our attacking troops. Their tenacity was of the utmost value, and contributed very largely to the success of the operations. At nightfall our troops were established on the western outskirts of Beaucourt, in touch with our forces south of the river, and held a line along the station road from the Ancre towards Beaumont Hamel, where we occupied the village. Further north the enemy’s first line system for a distance of about half-a-mile beyond Beaumont Hamel was also in our hands. Still further north—opposite Serre— the ground was so heavy that it became necessary to abandon the attack at an early stage; although, despite all difficulties, our troops had in places reached the enemy’s trenches in the course of their assault.
    Next morning, at an early hour, the attack was renewed between Beaucourt and the top of the spur just north of Beaumont Hamel. The whole of Beaucourt was carried, and our line extended to the north-west along the Beaucourt road across the southern end of the Beaumont Hamel spur. The number of our prisoners steadily rose, and during this and the succeeding days our front was carried forward eastwards and northwards up the slopes of the Beaumont Hamel spur. The results of this attack were very satisfactory, especially as before its completion bad weather had set in again. We had secured the command of the Ancre valley on both banks of the river at the point where it entered, the enemy’s lines, and, without great cost to ourselves, losses had been inflicted on the enemy which he himself admitted to be considerable. Our final total of prisoners taken in these operations, and their development during the subsequent days, exceeded 7,200, including 149 officers.

    37. Throughout the period dealt with in this despatch the role of the other armies holding our defensive line from the northern limits of the battle front to beyond Ypres was necessearily a secondary one, but their task was neither light nor unimportant. While required to give precedence in all respects to the needs of the Somme battle, they were responsible for the security of the line held by them and for keeping the enemy on their front constantly on the alert. Their role was a very trying one, entailing heavy work on the troops and constant vigilance on the part of Commanders and Staffs. It was carried out to my entire satisfaction, and in an unfailing spirit of unselfish and broad-minded devotion to the general good, which is deserving of the highest commendation. Some idea of the thoroughness with which their duties were performed can be gathered from the fact that in the period of four and a half months from the 1st July some 360 raids were carried out, in the course of which the enemy suffered many casualties and some hundreds of prisoners were taken by us. The largest of these operations was undertaken on the 19th July in the neighbourhood of Armentieres [at Fromelles]. Our troops penetrated deeply into the enemy’s defences, doing much damage to his works and inflicting severe losses upon him.


    38. The three main objects with which we had commenced our offensive in July had already been achieved at the date when this account closes; in spite of the fact that the heavy autumn rains had prevented full advantage being taken of the favourable situation created by our advance, at a time when we had good grounds for hoping to achieve yet more important successes. Verdun had been relieved; the main German forces Lad been held on the western front; and the enemy’s strength had been very considerably worn down. Any one of these three results is in itself sufficient to justify the Somme battle. The attainment of all three of them affords ample compensation for the splendid efforts of our troops and for the sacrifices made by ourselves and our Allies. They have brought us a long step forward towards the final victory of the Allied cause.

    The desperate struggle for the possession of Verdun had invested that place with a moral and political importance out of all proportion to its military value. Its fall would undoubtedly have been proclaimed as a great victory for our enemies, and would have shaken the faith of many in our ultimate success. The failure of the enemy to capture it, despite great efforts and very heavy losses, was a severe blow to his prestige, especially in view of the confidence he had openly expressed as to the results of the struggle. Information obtained both during the progress of the Somme battle and since the suspension of active operations has fully established the effect of our offensive in keeping the enemy’s main forces tied to the western front.
    A movement of German troops eastward, which had commenced in June as a result of the Russian successes, continued for a short time only after the opening of the Allied attack. Thereafter the enemy forces that moved east consisted, with one exception, of divisions that had been exhausted in the Somme battle, and these troops were always replaced on the western front by fresh divisions. In November the strength of the enemy in the western theatre of war was greater than in July, notwithstanding the abandonment of his offensive at Verdun. It is possible that if Verdun had fallen large forces might still have been employed in an endeavour further to exploit that success. It is, however, far more probable, in view of developments in the eastern theatre, that a considerable transfer of troops in that direction would have followed. It is therefore justifiable to conclude that the Somme offensive, not only relieved Verdun, but held large forces which would otherwise have been employed against our Allies in the east.
    The third great object of the Allied operations on the Somme was the wearing down of the enemy’s powers of resistance. Any statement of the extent to which this has been attained must depend in some degree on estimates. There is, nevertheless, sufficient evidence to place it beyond doubt that the enemy’s losses in men and material have been very considerably higher than those of the Allies, while morally the balance of advantage on our side is still greater. During the period under review a steady deterioration took place in the moral of large numbers of the enemy’s troops. Many of them, it is true, fought with the greatest determination, even in the latest encounters, but the resistance of still larger numbers became latterly decidedly feebler than it had been in the earlier stages of the battle. Aided by the great depth of his defences, and by the frequent reliefs which his resources in men enabled him to effect, discipline and training held the machine together sufficiently to enable the enemy to rally and reorganise his troops after each fresh defeat. As our advance progressed, four-fifths of the total number of divisions engaged on the Western front were thrown one after another into the Somme battle, some of them twice, and some three times; and towards the end of the operations, when the weather unfortunately broke, there can be no doubt that his power of resistance had been very seriously diminished.
    The total number of prisoners taken by us in the Somme battle between the 1st July and the 18th November is just over 38,000, including over 800 officers. During the same period we captured 29 heavy guns, 96 field guns and field howitzers, 136 trench mortars, and 514 machine guns.
    So far as these results are due to the action of the British forces, they have been attained by troops the vast majority of whom had been raised and trained during the war. Many of them, especially amongst the drafts sent to replace wastage, counted their service by months, and gained in the Somme battle their first experience of war. The conditions under which we entered the war had made this unavoidable. We were compelled either to use hastily trained and inexperienced officers and men, or else to defer the offensive until we had trained them. In this latter case we should have failed our Allies. That these troops should have accomplished so much under such conditions, and against an Army and a nation whose chief concern for so many years has been preparation for war, constitutes a feat of which the history of our nation records no equal. The difficulties and hardships cheerfully overcome, and the endurance, determination, and invincible courage shown in meeting them, can hardly be imagined by those who have not had personal experience of the battle, even though they have themselves seen something of war.

    The events which I have described in this Despatch forms but a bare outline of the more important occurrences. To deal in any detail even with these without touching on the smaller fights and the ceaseless work in the trenches continuing day and night for five months, is not possible here. Nor have I deemed it permissible in this Despatch, much as I desired to do so, to particularise the units, brigades, or divisions especially connected with the different events described. It would not be possible to do so without giving useful information to the enemy. Recommendations for individual rewards have been forwarded separately, and in due course full details will be made known. Meanwhile, it must suffice to say that troops from every part of the British Isles, and from every Dominion and quarter of the Empire, whether Regulars’, Territorials, or men of the New Armies, have borne a share in the Battle of the Somme. While some have been more fortunate than others in opportunities for distinction, all have done their duty nobly. Among all the long roll of victories borne on the colours of our regiments, there has never been a higher test of the endurance and resolution of our infantry. They have shown themselves worthy of the highest traditions of our race, and of the proud records of former wars. Against such defences as we had to assault— far more formidable in many respects than those of the most famous fortresses in history— infantry would have been powerless without thoroughly efficient artillery preparation and support. The work of our artillery was wholly admirable, though the strain on the personnel was enormous. The excellence of the results attained was the more remarkable, in view of the shortness of the training of most of the junior officers, and of the N.C.Os. and men. Despite this, they rose to a very high level of technical and tactical skill, and the combination between artillery and infantry, on which, above everything, victory depends, was an outstanding feature of the battle. Good even in July, it improved with experience, until in the latter assaults it approached perfection.


    In this combination between infantry and artillery the Royal Flying Corps played a highly important part. The admirable work of this Corps has been a very satisfactory feature of the battle. Under the conditions of modern war the duties of the Air Service are many and varied. They include the regulation and control of artillery fire by indicating targets and observing and reporting the results of rounds; the taking of photographs of enemy trenches, strong points, battery positions, and of the effect of bombardments; and the observation of the movements of the enemy behind his lines. The greatest skill and daring has been shown in the performance of all these duties, as well as in bombing expeditions. Our Air Service has also co-operated with our infantry in their assaults, signalling the position of our attacking troops and turning machine guns on to the enemy infantry and even on to his batteries in action. Not only has the work of the Royal Flying Corps to be carried out in all weathers and under constant fire from the ground, but fighting in the air has now become a normal procedure, in order to maintain the mastery over the enemy’s Air Service. In these fights the greatest skill and determination have been shown, and great success has attended the efforts of the Royal Flying Corps. I desire to point out, however, that the maintenance of mastery in the air, which is essential, entails a constant and liberal supply of the most up-to-date machines, without which even the most skilful pilots cannot succeed.

    The style of warfare in which we have been engaged offered no scope for cavalry action, with the exception of the one instance already mentioned, in which a small body of cavalry gave useful assistance in the advance on High Wood.
    Intimately associated with the artillery and infantry in attack and defence the work of various special services contributed much towards the successes gained. Trench mortars, both heavy and light, have become an important adjunct to artillery in trench warfare, and valuable work has been done by the personnel in charge of these weapons. Considerable experience has been gained in their use, and they are likely to be employed even more frequently in the struggle in future. Machine guns play a great part—almost a decisive part under some conditions—in modern war, and our Machine Gun Corps has attained to considerable proficiency in their use, handling them with great boldness and skill. The highest value of. these weapons is displayed on the defensive rather than in the offensive, and we were attacking. Nevertheless, in attack also machine guns can exercise very great influence in the hands of men with a quick eye for opportunity and capable of a bold initiative. The Machine Gun Corps, though comparatively recently formed, has done very valuable work and will increase in importance. The part played by the new armoured cars —known as “tanks”—in some of the later fights has been brought to notice by me already in my daily reports. These cars proved of great value on various occasions, and the personnel in charge of them performed many deeds of remarkable valour.
    The employment by the enemy of gas and of liquid flame as weapons of offence compelled us not only to discover ways to protect our troops from their effects but als- to devise means to make use of the same instruments of destruction. Great fertility of invention has been shown, and very great credit is due to the special personnel employed for the rapidity and success with which these new arms have been developed and perfected, and for the very great devotion to duty they have displayed in a difficult and dangerous service. The Army owes its thanks to the chemists, physiologists and physicists of the highest rank who devoted their energies to enabling us to surpass the enemy in the use of a means of warfare which took the civilised world by surprise. Our own experience of the numerous experiments and trials necessary before gas and name could be used, of the great preparations which had to be made for their manufacture, and of the special training required for the personnel employed, shows that the employment of such methods by the Germans was not the result of a desperate decision, but had been prepared for deliberately. Since we have been compelled; in self defence, to use similar methods, it is satisfactory to be able to record, on the evidence of prisoners, of documents captured, and of our own observation, that the enemy has suffered heavy casualties from our gas attacks, while the means of protection adopted by us have proved thoroughly effective.
    Throughout the operations Engineer troops, both from home and overseas, have played an important role, and in every engagement the Field Companies, assisted by Pioneers, have co-operated with the other arms with the greatest gallantry and devotion to duty. In addition to the demands made on the services of the Royal Engineers in the firing line, the duties of the Corps during the preparation and development of the offensive embraced the execution of a vast variety of important works, to which attention has already been drawn in this despatch. Whether in or behind the firing line, or on the lines of communication, these skilled troops have continued to show the power of resource and the devotion to duty by which they have ever been characterised. The Tunnelling Companies still maintain their superiority over the enemy underground, thus safeguarding their comrades in the trenches. Their skill, enterprise and courage have been remarkable, and, thanks to their efforts, the enemy has nowhere been able to achieve a success of any importance by mining. During the Battle of the Somme the work of the Tunnelling Companies contributed in no small degree to the successful issue of several operations. The Field Survey Companies have worked throughout with ability and devotion, and have not only maintained a constant supply of the various maps required as the battle progressed, but have in various other ways been of great assistance to the artillery. The Signal Service, created a short time before the war began on a very small scale, has expanded in proportion with the rest of the Army, and is now a very large organisation. It provides the means of inter-communication between all the Armies and all parts of them, and in modern war requirements in this respect are on an immense and elaborate scale. The calls on this service have been very heavy, entailing a most severe strain, often under most trying and d’angerous conditions. Those calls have invariably been met with conspicuous success, and no service has shown a more whole-hearted and untiring energy in the fulfilment of its duty.
    The great strain of the five months’ battle was met with equal success by the Army Service Corps and the Ordnance Corps, as well as by all the other Administrative Services and Departments, both on the Lines of Communication and in front of them. The maintenance of large armies in a great battle under modern conditions is a colossal task. Though bad weather often added very considerably to the difficulties of transport, the troops never wanted for food, ammunition, or any of the other many and varied requirements for the supply of which these Services and Departments are responsible. This fact in itself is the highest testimony that can be given to the energy and efficiency with which the work was conducted. In connection with the maintenance and supply of our troops, I desire to express the obligation of the Army to the Navy for the unfailing success with which, in the face of every difficulty, the large numbers of men and the vast quantities of material required by us have been transported across the seas.

    I also desire to record the obligation of the Army in the Field to the various authorities at home, and to the workers under them— women as well as men—by whose efforts and self-sacrifice all our requirements were met. Without the vast quantities of munitions and stores of all sorts provided, and without the drafts of men sent to replace wastage, the efforts of our troops could not have been maintained.

    The losses entailed by the constant fighting threw a specially heavy strain on the Medical Services. This has been met with the greatest zeal and efficiency. The gallantry and devotion with which officers and men of the regimental medical service and Field Ambulances have discharged their duties is shown by the large number of the R.A.M.C. and Medical Corps of the Dominions who have fallen in the Field. The work of the Medical Services behind the front has been no less arduous. The untiring professional zeal and marked ability of the surgical specialists and consulting surgeons, combined with the skill and devotion of the medical and nursing staffs, both at the Casualty Clearing Stations in the Field and the Stationary and General Hospitals at the Base, have been beyond praise. In this respect also the Director General has on many occasions expressed to me the immense help the British Red Cross Society have been to him in
    assisting the R.A.M.C. in their work. The health of the troops has been most satisfactory, and, during the period to which this despatch refers, there has been an almost complete absence of wastage due to disease of a preventable nature.
    With such large forces as we now have in the Field, the control exercised by a Commander-in-Chief is necessarily restricted to a general guidance, and great responsibilities devolve on the Army Commanders. In the Somme Battle these responsibilities were entrusted to Generals Sir Henry Rawlinson and Sir Hubert Gough, commanding respectively the Fourth and Fifth Armies, who for five months controlled the operations of very large forces in one of the greatest, if not absolutely the greatest struggle that has ever taken place. It is impossible to speak too highly of the great qualities displayed by these commanders throughout the battle. Their thorough knowledge of the profession, and their cool and sound judgment, tact and determination proved fully equal to every call on them. They entirely justified their selection for such responsible commands. The preparations for the battle, with the exception of those at Gommecourt, were carried out under Sir Henry Rawlinson’s orders. It was not until after the assault of the 1st July that Sir Hubert Gough was placed in charge of a portion of the front of attack, in order to enable Sir Henry Rawlinson to devote his whole attention to the area in which I then decided to concentrate the main effort. The Army Commanders have brought to my notice the excellent work done by their Staff Officers and Technical Advisers, as well as by the various commanders and staffs serving under them, and I have already submitted the names of the various officers and others recommended by them.
    I desire also to record my obligation to my own Staff at General Head Quarters and on the Lines of Communication, and to the various Technical Advisers attached thereto for their loyal and untiring assistance. Throughout the operations the whole Army has worked with a remarkable absence of friction and with a self-sacrifice and whole-hearted devotion to the common cause which is beyond praise. This has ensured and will continue to ensure the utmost concentration of effort. It is indeed a privilege to work with such officers and with such men.
    I cannot close this Despatch without alluding to the happy relations which continue to exist between the Allied Armies and between our troops and the civil population in France and Belgium. The unfailing co-operation of our Allies, their splendid fighting qualities, and the kindness and goodwill universally displayed towards us have, won the gratitude, as well as the respect and admiration, of all ranks of the British Armies.
    In conclusion, I desire to add a few words as to future prospects. The enemy’s power has not yet been broken, nor is it yet possible to form an estimate of the time the war may last before the objects for which the Allies are fighting have been attained. But the Somme battle has placed beyond doubt the ability of the Allies to gain those objects. The German Army is the mainstay of the Central Powers, and a full half of that Army, despite all the advantages of the defensive, supported by the strongest fortifications, suffered defeat on the Somme this year. Neither victors nor the vanquished will forget this; and, though bad weather has given the enemy a respite, there will undoubtedly be many thousands in his ranks who will begin the new campaign with little confidence in their ability to resist our assaults or to overcome our defence. Our new Armies entered the battle with the determination to win and with confidence in their power to do so. They have proved to themselves, to the enemy, and to the world that this confidence was justified, and in the fierce struggle they have been through they have learned many valuable lessons which will help them in the future.

    I have the honour to be,
    Your Lordship’s obedient Servant,
    D. HAIG,
    General, Commanding-in-Chief,
    British Armies in France.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  21. #2121

    Northern Command Squadron Leader.
    Colonel

    Users Country Flag


    Blog Entries
    10
    Name
    Neil
    Location
    Northumberland
    Sorties Flown
    11,671
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default

    Name:  Picture3(1).jpg
Views: 338
Size:  54.7 KB
    Saturday 30th December 1916

    Today we lost: 247
    Today’s losses include:

    • A battalion commander

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    • Colonel Frederick Clifton Briggs (Devonshire Regiment commanding 3rd Border Regiment) dies at home at age 59.
    • Second Lieutenant John Richard Gutteridge Smith (Northumberland Fusiliers) dies of wounds received at the Battle of the Somme at age 26.

    Air Operations:

    Italian raid on Volano and Rifemberga.

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 1


    A Mech 2 Short, J.A
    ., RFC. No further details known.

    Claims: No confirmed victories today.


    Western Front


    Tunstills Men Saturday 30th December 1916:

    Billets in the Cathedral, Hospice and Cavalry Barracks in Ypres


    Working parties continued as did the German shelling of Ypres. A 5.9-inch German shell landed in the courtyard of the Hospice, where one Company was billeted, killing Sgt. Sam Phillips; he had originally served with 2DWR, arriving in France first on 30th November 1914. It is not clear when, or under what circumstances, he joined 10DWR. Sam Phillips was married with one daughter. He was buried at Menin Road South Military Cemetery in Ypres.


    L.Cpl. Ronald Ferguson (see 27th November), in training with the Inns of Court OTC, was promoted Corporal; once commissioned he would serve with 10DWR.

    Percival Victor Thomas completed his attestation papers to join 28th Battalion London Regiment (Artists Rifles) which was an officer training battalion, based at Richmond Park. He was 22 years old, living in Shepherd’s Bush and working as a ‘seal engraver and gem sculptor’. He would later be commissioned and serve with 10DWR. He was one of eight children (two of whom had died) of John and Alice Sophie Thomas.

    Eastern Front:


    Very heavy fighting on whole Romanian front.

    Enemy progress at various points in mountains and south-east of Ramnicu Sarat, but checked between here and Focsani.

    Bulgars and Turks advance slowly towards Macin.

    Naval Operations:


    Shipping Losses: 7 (1 to a mine, 1 to a surface vessel & 5 to U-Boat action)


    Political:


    Greek Note to Allies requests rising of the Blockade.


    Southern Slave Committee issues declaration at Coronation of Austrian Emperor.


    Allies reply to "Peace" Note of Enemy Powers forwarded to U.S.A. Government.


    Spain declines to second President Wilson's proposal.


    British and Chinese Governments conclude agreement for employment of Chinese labour in France.


    Bulgarian Government reply accepting President Wilson's.


    Hungary:
    Emperor Charles crowned King Charles IV at Budapest.

    Name:  Kaiser-Karl-Koenig-von-Ungarn.jpg
Views: 376
Size:  27.9 KB

    Emperor Charles at the Coronation as Hungarian King in Budapest

    Germany:
    War Ministry dismounts 16 cavalry regiments.

    Russia:
    Tsar tells British Ambassador ‘In the event of revolution, only a small part of the Army can be counted to defend the dynasty.’


    Anniversary Events:

    1460 The Duke of York is defeated and killed by Lancastrians at the Battle of Wakefield.
    1803 The United States takes possession of the Louisiana area from France at New Orleans with a simple ceremony, the simultaneous lowering and raising of the national flags.
    1861 Banks in the United States suspend the practice of redeeming paper money for metal currency, a practice that would continue until 1879.
    1862 The draft of the Emancipation Proclamation is finished and circulated among President Abraham Lincoln's cabinet for comment.
    1905 Governor Frank Steunenberg of Idaho is killed by an assassin's bomb.

    Name:  WW1-Women-Female-Soldiers-Make-Up-Punch-Magazine-Shepperson-1916-04-26-277.jpg
Views: 381
Size:  261.4 KB
    See you on the Dark Side......

  22. #2122

    Northern Command Squadron Leader.
    Colonel

    Users Country Flag


    Blog Entries
    10
    Name
    Neil
    Location
    Northumberland
    Sorties Flown
    11,671
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default

    Name:  Picture3(1).jpg
Views: 314
Size:  54.7 KB
    Sunday 31st December 1916

    From the editorial staff may we wish you all a happy New Year.

    Today we lost: 449

    Today’s losses include:


    • A man whose brother died of wounds in September 1915
    • The brother of artists Norman Lindsay and Ruby Dyson
    • A Hull City footballer

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    • Second Lieutenant William McDonald Noble (East Kent Regiment attached Royal Engineers) is killed at age 26. He is the son of ‘Sir’ William Noble.
    • Gunner Reginald Graham Lindsay (Australian Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 29. He is the brother of artists Norman Lindsay and Ruby Dyson.
    • Private Robert Bloye Wanstall (Royal Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 30. His brother died of wounds in September 1915.
    • Gunner Douglas Morgan (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed at age 26. He appeared in 52 matches for the Hull City Football Club.

    Air Operations:

    Jasta “Boelcke” in the first four months of its existence, September-December 1916, achieves a record of scoring 86 victories while losing only 10.


    17,341 officers and men are deployed in the United Kingdom for home air defense. Among them are 12,000 officers and men manning antiaircraft guns and 2,200 officers and men assigned to the 12 RFC squadrons operating 110 aeroplanes.


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


    Claims: There are no claims today.


    Home Fronts:


    Russia:
    Rasputin murdered (night December 30-31).
    By now 14,648,000 men mobilized including 47.4% of the male peasants.

    Austria:
    Nearly 5 million men mobilized (800,000 killed, 1 million wounded and sick) but 20 new divisions formed.


    Western Front


    106 French, 56 British, 6 Belgian and 1 Russian division oppose 127 German divisions (44 new divisions formed in 1916).

    Britain: Haig promoted to Field Marshal.

    Germany:
    German Army has now 16,000 MGs, each division has 48 mortars. In 1916 it has raised 1,050 batteries (4,200 guns).

    France:
    French Army has now 40,000 motor vehicles
    .

    Tunstills Men Sunday 31st December 1916:


    Billets in the Cathedral, Hospice and Cavalry Barracks in Ypres.


    Name:  Armagh Wood Dec 1916.jpg
Views: 401
Size:  270.3 KB

    The Battalion returned to the same sector of the front line they had occupied over Christmas, relieving 11th West Yorks. The relief was completed at around 9 pm and the night passed quietly. Three Companies were in the front line and one in support at Halifax Street.

    Dr. Stacey Southerden Burn, MRCS, of Tudor House, Richmond, Surrey, provided a statement of the fitness for service of Capt. George Reginald Charles Heale MC (see 22nd December),who had recently been compelled to relinquish his commission on grounds of ill-health. Dr. Burn stated that, “I have examined Captain Heale and, with the exception of a cold, he is now in good health and fit for duty. As he has spent sixteen years in South Africa and the West Indies, he is not likely to stand active service in a cold climate well”.

    69th Brigade War Diary recorded casualties for the Brigade for the month of December:


    Killed 3 other ranks
    Accidentally killed 0
    Died of wounds 0
    Wounded 14 other ranks
    Accidentally wounded 2 officers and 3 other ranks
    Missing 0
    10DWR’s casualties were recorded as:
    Killed 1

    Accidentally killed 0

    Died of wounds 0
    Wounded 4 (The Battalion War Diary records 7 wounded)
    Accidentally wounded 1
    Missing 0
    These official casualty figures do not take account of the deaths of Ptes. Priestley and Hanson, both of whom had been wounded but had died subsequently from their wounds.

    The official cumulative casualty figures for the Battalion since arriving in France were now:
    Killed 143
    Accidentally killed 4
    Died of wounds 7
    Wounded 721
    Accidentally wounded 48
    Missing 116

    Eastern Front:

    Further enemy progress in Moldavian mountains and west and south of Focsani.


    Bulgars fail in attack on Braila bridgehead, but carry positions east of Macin.


    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:


    Magharah Wells, Hassana and Nakhl (Sinai) cleared of enemy.

    Naval Operations:


    HMS Rifleman joins Ivernia to escort her on the last part of her journey.


    Britain:
    In last quarter of 1916 only 958,000t neutral shipping (723,000t Norwegian) enters British ports compared with 3,442,000 in January to March. Grand Fleet now mostly equipped with Poulsen-arc jam-resistant radios.

    Chanel:
    Dover Patrols has 5 cruisers and 35 destroyers and many smaller craft with 10 French destroyers (Admiral Ronarc’h).


    Shipping Losses: 4 (2 to mines & 2 to U-Boat action)


    Political:


    Entente Note to Greece calling for reparation for events of 1 and 2 December, with other demands.


    Anniversary Events:

    1775 George Washington orders recruiting officers to accept free blacks into the army.
    1852 The richest year of the gold rush ends with $81.3 million in gold produced.
    1862 Union General William Rosencrans’ army repels two Confederate attacks at the Battle of Murfreesboro (Stone's River).
    1910 John B. Moisant and Arch Hoxsey, two of America's foremost aviators, die in separate plane crashes.
    1911 Helene Dutrieu wins the Femina aviation cup in Etampes. She sets a distance record for women at 158 miles.
    1915 The Germans torpedo the British liner Persia without any warning killing 335 passengers.

    Name:  WW1-KYTE JOKE.jpg
Views: 456
Size:  223.2 KB
    Last edited by Skafloc; 12-31-2016 at 12:25.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  23. #2123

    Default

    Almost 1917 now and what a year we have ahead of us, not least we have a Bloody April winging our way - I know the editorial team are bracing themselves for that one. With one more post due for 1916, its been a hell of a year, we have seen two of the biggest and longest battles in history with The Somme and Verdun, we have seen the rise of the flying aces, the development of proper air forces, we have seen Zeppelin raids a plenty as well as the scourge of the U-boats. We have certainly not been short of stories. So its a goodbye to 1916 and a massive thank you to Rob and especially Neil for all their hard work in the editor's desk over the year. It only leaves me so say a final thank you to you, the readers. Thanks for all the great feedback and nice comments. This would be a pointless exercise without you.

    Thank you again and happy 1917

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  24. #2124

    Default

    Thanks again for your time and effort.

  25. #2125

    Default

    May I also add my best wishes to the Editors for a Happy New Year to all our readers.



    Name:  fathertime.jpg
Views: 341
Size:  65.2 KB

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

  26. #2126

    Default

    A great thanks and best wishes in the New Year to the staff and all those involved in the Sniper's Times!

  27. #2127

    Default

    [QUOTE
    Name:  WW1-KYTE JOKE.jpg
Views: 456
Size:  223.2 KB[/B][/QUOTE]

    Blimey Kytey didn't realise that you were that old!

    Happy New Year to all on the Drome.
    Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. Winston S. Churchill

  28. #2128

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    [QUOTE
    Name:  WW1-KYTE JOKE.jpg
Views: 456
Size:  223.2 KB[/B]
    Blimey Kytey didn't realise that you were that old!

    Happy New Year to all on the Drome.[/QUOTE]

    Have you not read back about my exploits in the Great War Reg?
    Kyte.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  29. #2129

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Officer Kyte View Post
    Blimey Kytey didn't realise that you were that old!

    Happy New Year to all on the Drome.
    Have you not read back about my exploits in the Great War Reg?
    Kyte.[/QUOTE]

    Ha Ha! Didn't you used to be Jimmy Edwards?
    Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. Winston S. Churchill

  30. #2130

    Default

    The SS Ivernia was torpedoed and sunk, 100 years ago today.
    The reason that this is of interest to me, is that my Grandmother, Stella (Hanson) Page came to this country as a little girl aboard the Ivernia before WWI.


  31. #2131

    Default

    That is very interesting Ken. it is great to be able to find a link with history like that.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  32. #2132

    Northern Command Squadron Leader.
    Colonel

    Users Country Flag


    Blog Entries
    10
    Name
    Neil
    Location
    Northumberland
    Sorties Flown
    11,671
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default

    Yep all in the report when I get home from taxi duty.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  33. #2133

    Northern Command Squadron Leader.
    Colonel

    Users Country Flag


    Blog Entries
    10
    Name
    Neil
    Location
    Northumberland
    Sorties Flown
    11,671
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default

    Name:  Picture3(1).jpg
Views: 317
Size:  54.7 KB
    Monday 1st January 1917
    Remember the war will be over by Christmas.

    Today we lost: 566
    Today’s losses include:

    • The uncle of a man who will be killed in September 1918
    • The brother of the Aide de camp to Lord Liverpool
    • A military Chaplain
    • A Constable of the Guildford Police Force
    • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
    • A man whose wife’s brother was previously killed in the Great War
    • A family that will lose four sons in the Great War
    • The son of a member of the clergy

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    • Second Lieutenant Ernest Creswell Helmore (Sherwood Foresters) dies of wounds at age 21. His brother is the Aide de Camp to Lord Liverpool.
    • Chaplain Peter Grobel dies on service.
    • Sergeant Henry John Gascoyne DCM (Coldstream Guards) is killed at age 35. His is a former Constable of the Guildford Police Force.
    • Lance Corporal Henry Thomas Bolton (East Surrey Regiment) is killed at age 26. He is the middle of three brothers who are killed in the war. His wife’s brother was killed last December.
    • Private Donald Sloan (Black Watch) is killed in action. He is the last of four brothers to be killed in the Great War.
    • Private Albert Hewitt (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed in action at age 22 during the relief of Kut. His twin brother was killed last April.
    • Private Edgar Frank Rivers (Gloucestershire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 19. His brother was killed in September 1915.
    • Private Basil Penty (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 22. His brother was killed last July and they are sons of the Reverend Robert Penty Vicar of Taralga New South Wales.

    · Among the fatalities is Private Harry Rule (Army Service Corps) the uncle of Private Andrew Hill Rule MM who will be killed in September 1918. (See Ivernia – Naval operations)

    Air Operations:


    Western Front:

    After his Albatros D III’s lower wing cracks in combat in January, Richthofen switches temporarily to a more conventional Halberstadt fighter. Despite modifications wing failures continue to plague the ‘Vee-strutter’ Albatros D III and D V/Va.

    No 53 Squadron with BE2 arrives in France. No 43 Squadron with Sopwith two-seater on January 17; No 35 Squadron with Armstrong-Whitworths on January 24.

    On this foggy and wintery day, four new Handley Page O/100 heavy bombers take off from England for delivery to the Royal Flying Corps in France. One machine, under the command of Flight Lieutenant H C Vereker, loses its way and is forced to land in enemy territory. It lands at the aerodrome of Flieger Abteilung (A) 208 at Chalandry. The amazed members of this unit find themselves in possession of not only a new bomber type but also the comprehensive performance documentation. This O/100 is subsequently flown and tested by the Germans until it is crashes at Johannisthal aerodrome on 22 August 1917.

    Salonika:

    Captain G Murlis Green (17 Squadron) forces down 2 Albatros two-seater behind British lines.

    Lieutenant W S Scott (Royal Flying Corps) lands a second agent behind the Bulgar lines while Captain G Murlis Green (Royal Flying Corps) forces down two Albatross two-seaters behind British lines. 53rd Squadron (BE2) arrives in France.

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 4


    Lt Clark, E.F. (Eric Foster)
    , 52 Squadron, RFC. Killed while flying aged 20, crashed at Malincourt.

    PO Mech Graham, S.T.C. (Skeffington T.C.), Armoured Car Division, Russia, Squadron 1, RNAS. Died of typhoid and dysentery aged 32, in Hospital at Kars, while a Prisoner of War in Asia Minor

    Pte Murray, F. (Frank), RFC. Apparently Died in 1917 'per Wiliamson'.

    Lt Robertson, J.K.G. (John Keith Grant), RFC. Killed in action aged 21.

    Claims: There are no claims today.

    Home Fronts:


    Britain:
    RFP (Retail Food Price) 87% (up 3%).

    During January Wheeldon family arrested for farcical plot to murder Prime Minister on golf course with air rifle
    poison dart (charged at Derby on January 31, jailed March).

    Official film Battle of the Ancre and the Advance of the Tanks released.

    Rail fares up 50%.

    Turkey:
    Bank of National Credit formed.

    Western Front


    Normal activity proceeding.

    Sir Douglas Haig promoted to Field Marshal

    Tunstills Men Monday 1st January 1917:

    Trenches east of Armagh Wood,

    Between 5pm and 6.30pm the Germans opened heavy trench mortar fire on the front line and artillery fire on the reserve and support positions, causing considerable damage and several casualties, including two men killed. Both Pte. Harold Anderton and Pte. William Butterfield had joined the Battalion at some point in 1916 and both were buried at Railway Dugouts Burial Ground. Harold Anderton was 19 years old, the elder of two children of Thomas and Emma Anderton of Baildon. William Butterfield was a married man from Keighley, but beyond this it has not yet been possible to make a positive identification. Among those wounded was Pte. Arthur Gill who had been posted to 10DWR having recovered from wounds suffered on 1st July while serving with 2DWR (see 1st July). Gill was wounded in the left leg and right arm, but the wounds were relatively minor and he appears to have been treated in France and not evacuated back to England.

    The Divisional Trench Mortar Battery fired 145 rounds in reply “with good effect”.
    Lt. James Oag, RAMC, was temporarily transferred from 69th Field Ambulance to stand in as RMO for the Battalion; presumably this was in the absence of Battalion Medical Officer Capt. Cecil Berry (see 25th November 1916).

    Battalion Adjutant Lt. Hugh William Lester (see 26thNovember 1916) was awarded the Military Cross in the King’s birthday honours list. Another recipient of the same award was 2Lt. George Reginald Percy had (see 9th November 1915) who had been among Tunstill’s original company but had been granted a commission with the Royal Engineers in June 1915.

    2Lt. Bob Perks, DSO (see 23rd December), serving with 3DWR at North Shields, went home on leave.

    2Lt. George Henry Roberts (see 7th December 1916), formerly of 10th Battalion, but currently serving with 3DWR at North Shields, suffered compound fractures of his left tibia and fibula; “while playing at football was kicked causing above injuries. Was taken to North Shields Infirmary to operate upon and then transferred to Military Hospital, Newcastle and again operated upon”. He would remain in hospital until June.

    Wilfred Frederick John Thomson joined the Inns of Court OTC; he would later be commissioned and serve with 10DWR. Wilfred Thomson was 27 years old (born 1st June 1898) and the fourth child of William and Isobel Thomson and the family lived on the Strand in London, with William working as a bookseller and printer. William had died in 1898 and Wilfred had been working as an office manager for a firm of insurance brokers and underwriters. He had attested under the Derby Scheme on 3rd December 1915 and had been on the army reserve for more than a year.

    Eastern Front:

    Stubborn fighting in Carpathians on Moldavian frontier; slight enemy progress at various points.

    Enemy in touch with Sereth lines at Focsani and Fundeni.

    Further enemy progress at the Macin bridgehead (Dobruja).

    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    General Sir R. Wingate becomes High Commissioner of Egypt.

    British carry German lines near Lissaki in the Mgeta valley (German East Africa), and pursue enemy towards the Rufiji valley at Kibambawe.

    Naval Operations:


    North Sea:
    During January Light battlecruisers Courageous and Glorious join Grand Fleet.
    Name:  HMS-Glorious.jpg
Views: 307
Size:  5.7 KB
    ‘HMS Glorious’ from the ‘Emergency War Programme’, intended for Operations in the Baltic and equipped with two planes on the main turrets

    In January HMS Muskerry, world’s first fleet minesweeper enters service, 19 sister ships follow by August 1917. Beatty proposes 157-mile minefield with 80,000 mines (only 1,100 in stock) to encircle Heligoland Bight, officially announced on January 23.


    Eastern Mediterranean:
    Egypt-bound British troop transport Ivernia sunk by coastal submarine UB-47 off Cape Matapan (120 lives lost).

    Name:  ivernia.png
Views: 339
Size:  111.6 KB
    The German submarine UB-47 torpedoes the troopship Ivernia at 10:12, fifty-eight miles south-southeast from Cape Matapan in Greece. Within one hour the ship sinks and 85 troops and thirty-six of her crew drown. The survivors are picked up and landed at Suda Bay on Crete. HMS Racehorse and HMS Rifleman are escorting the troopship when she is lost. The Captain of Ivernia is William Turner who survived as he did when as Captain of RMS Lusitania he was also torpedoed in May 1915.

    Caribbean:
    During January US Atlantic Fleet manoeuvres until April.

    Shipping Losses: 9 (1 by mine & 8 by U-Boat action)


    Political:


    Publication of denunciation by Turkey of Treaty of Paris (1856) and Treaty of Berlin (1878).

    Anniversary Events:

    1500 The Portuguese explorer Pedro Alvares Cabral reaches the coast of Brazil and claims the region for Portugal.
    1586 Sir Francis Drake launches a surprise attack on the heavily fortified city of Santo Domingo in Hispanola.
    1698 The Abenaki Indians and Massachusetts colonists sign a treaty halting hostilities between the two.
    1766 The Old Pretender, son of James III, dies.
    1788 The Times, London's oldest running newspaper, publishes its first edition.
    1808 A U.S. law banning the import of slaves comes into effect, but is widely ignored.
    1824 The Camp Street Theatre opens as the first English-language playhouse in New Orleans.
    1830 William Lloyd Garrison publishes the first edition of a journal entitled The Liberator, calling for the complete and immediate emancipation of all slaves in the United States.
    1863 Confederate General Braxton Bragg and Union General William Rosencrans readjust their troops as the Battle of Murfreesboro continues.
    1863 President Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves in the Confederacy.
    1891 Facilities opened on Ellis Island, New York, to cope with the vast flood of immigrants coming into the United States.
    1907 The Pure Food and Drug Act becomes law in the United States.
    1915 The German submarine U-24 sinks the British battleship Formidable in the English Channel.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 01-01-2017 at 15:16.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  34. #2134

    Northern Command Squadron Leader.
    Colonel

    Users Country Flag


    Blog Entries
    10
    Name
    Neil
    Location
    Northumberland
    Sorties Flown
    11,671
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default

    Name:  Picture3(1).jpg
Views: 309
Size:  54.7 KB
    Tuesday 2nd January 1917

    Today we lost: 260
    Today’s losses include:

    • A bombing instructor
    • A man whose brother will be killed in October

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    • Sergeant and bombing instructor Cecil James Dougan (Seaforth Highlanders) dies of accidental injuries caused by the premature explosion of a rifle grenade at Abbeville.
    • Private Frank R Rometch (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 36. His brother will be killed in October.


    Air Operations:


    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 5

    Lt McWha, A.J. (Archibald John), School of Aerial Gunnery, RFC. Accidentally Killed (crashed) while flying in Kent. Flying an FE2b the aircraft stalled on a turn after engine failure. Tried to restart but engine caught fire.

    Sgt Wilkes, G. (George), School of Aerial Gunnery, RFC. Accidentally Killed (crashed) while flying in Kent, aged 26. (See above entry).

    A Mech 2Quinn, L.V., School of Military Aeronautics, RFC.

    2Lt Townsend, J.E. (Joseph Ernest), 66 Squadron, RFC. Killed in aeroplane crash, aged 25. Flying a BE2d the aircraft stalled on a turn in misty conditions and nosedived from 200ft into the ground.

    2Lt F Bissicks, 66 Squadron, RFC. (See above entry).

    Claims: There are no claims today.


    The German Air Force begins the year with more advanced aircraft and more experienced pilots than the British or French and continue to hold air superiority that would culminate in “Bloody April.” The Germans dominate the ground battlefield in preparation for their withdrawal to shorten their front on the Hindenburg Line in March.

    The Luftstreitkrafte (German Air Force) disbands three Kampfgeschwader (bomber wings) and redesignates their squadrons as Schutzstaffeln (escort squadrons). Operating two-seat Albatros L 1 DDK, Rumpler 4A 13, Gotha Taube, and Fokker M.8 aircraft, the new "Schusta" squadrons are tasked with escorting two-seat observation planes of the Feldflieger Abteilungen (field flying detachments) and Artillerieflieger Abteilungen (artillery flying detachments) during their reconnaissance flights and are based with them.

    The German Air Force deploys the Albatros D. III, which is designed with a thin lower wing, like the Nieuport fighter. The aircraft is more maneuverable than other biplanes, but the wing is subject to frequent failures, and the type is grounded at the end of the month until the wing can be strengthened. After the alterations, the Albatros D. III becomes the most numerous German fighter during “Bloody April.”

    The Thomas Brothers Aeroplane Company merges with the Morse Chain Works to form the Thomas-Morse Aircraft Corporation in Ithaca, New York.

    Western Front


    The Norfolk Regiment suffers a heavy German trench raid.

    Britain:
    Haig issues orders for Arras offensive on April 8.

    Lorraine:
    Mudra (from Eastern Front) takes over German Army Detachment A (until June 18, 1918) from General d’Elsa (in command since April 15, 1916).

    Tunstills Men Tuesday 2nd January1917:

    Trenches east of Armagh Wood

    Sporadic trench mortar fire continued but conditions were generally quieter.

    Battalion C.O., Lt. Col. Robert Raymer (see 20th November 1916) took temporary command of 69th Brigade with Brig. Genl. Lambert going to England on one months’ leave and Major Ashton St. Hill (see 10th December 1916), took temporary command of the Battalion.

    Pte. Joseph Simpson (see 1st September 1916), serving with 14th Training Reserve Battalion having been wounded when with 10DWR in September 1915, was appointed (unpaid) Lance Corporal.

    Eastern Front:

    Continued heavy fighting in Moldavian mountains.

    Enemy advance between frontier and Focsani; Russian successful counter-attacks south-east of that town.

    Galicia:
    Suedarmee attack near Zloczow repulsed.

    Dobruja: *Mackensen’s Bulgars take Macin and Jijila.

    Baltic Provinces: General Scholtz takes over Eighth Army (until April 22) from Mudra (in command since October 22, 1916). General Hutier replaces Scholtz in command of Army Detachment D.

    Africa, Asiatic & Egyptian Theatres:

    Name:  Lawrence-von-Arabien.jpg
Views: 316
Size:  12.4 KB
    T E Lawrence, the legendary ‘Lawrence of Arabia’

    Arabia:
    Lawrence and 35 camel men ambush Turk camp southeast of Yanbo. Feisal’s 10,400 men, 4 guns and 10 MGs march on January 3 to Owais wells, 15 miles north of Yanbo for 185-mile advance on Wejh.

    Naval Operations:


    Shipping Losses: 13 (1 to surface raider & 12 to U-Boat action)


    Political:


    M. Bratianu, Premier of Romania, reconstitutes Cabinet.

    Anniversary Events:

    1492 Catholic forces under King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella take the town of Granada, the last Muslim kingdom in Spain.
    1758 The French begin bombardment of Madras, India.
    1839 Photography pioneer Louis Daguerre takes the first photograph of the moon.
    1861 The USS Brooklyn is readied at Norfolk to aid Fort Sumter.
    1863 In the second day of hard fighting at Stone’s River, near Murfreesboro, Tenn., Union troops defeat the Confederates.
    1903 President Theodore Roosevelt closes a post office in Indianola, Mississippi, for refusing to hire a Black postmistress.
    1904 U.S. Marines are sent to Santo Domingo to aid the government against rebel forces.
    1905 After a six-month siege, Russians surrender Port Arthur to the Japanese.
    1915 H.M.S. Formidable is struck by two torpedoes and sinks in the English Channel
    See you on the Dark Side......

  35. #2135

    Northern Command Squadron Leader.
    Colonel

    Users Country Flag


    Blog Entries
    10
    Name
    Neil
    Location
    Northumberland
    Sorties Flown
    11,671
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default

    and so after a 'quiet' spell I hand over the reigns to Chris.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  36. #2136

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Skafloc View Post
    and so after a 'quiet' spell I hand over the reigns to Chris.
    Thanks again Neil.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  37. #2137

    Default

    Thanks for covering the festive period Neil - looking forward to dredging through the depths of the Internet for some juicy January tales..

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  38. #2138

    Default

    Need to get a few of these for the typing pool - never let it be said that The Sniper's Times does not utilise the latest cutting edge technology...
    Name:  images.jpg
Views: 313
Size:  11.1 KB

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  39. #2139

    Default

    I'd like to thank the editors and staff of this fine paper for their efforts in producing an excellent publication.
    Now I have 6 months of backlogged reading to start
    Karl
    It is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he thinks he knows. -- Epictetus

  40. #2140

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jager View Post
    I'd like to thank the editors and staff of this fine paper for their efforts in producing an excellent publication.
    Now I have 6 months of backlogged reading to start
    Karl
    Lol good luck with that...

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  41. #2141

    Default

    Name:  Sniper 1.jpg
Views: 305
Size:  49.8 KB

    January 3rd 1917

    Its good to be back... now lets see what the new year has in store for us.

    2 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON WEDNESDAY JANUARY 3rd 1917

    2nd Lieutenant Francis Ronald Bissicks 48 Squadron RFC Died of Wounds 3 January 1917 aged 27, received in aeroplane crash the previous day, 2 January 1917. Son of Henry James and Agnes Bissicks, of 20, Fairmount Rd., Brixton, London. Born at Vincennes, France.

    Air Mechanic 1st Class Arthur Augustus Stooke RFC No.4 Kite Balloon Section. Died on this day aged 27.

    Name:  Stooke Arthur.jpg
Views: 502
Size:  159.8 KB

    Arthur Stooke was one of four brothers from Essendine to die in the First World War. He was the son of John Robert Stooke, who was the headmaster of the village school, and his wife Christiana Stooke. Arthur was born there between July and September 1889, and was one of sixteen children raised by his parents. In total seven of the Stooke sons served in the war. Arthur's elder brother Frank was killed in May 1915, and his younger brothers Frederick and Edgar both died in 1918. Three other brothers returned home at the end of the war. The family lived in Essendine for many years, and when John retired they moved to nearby Carlby in Lincolnshire. John died in 1910 and Arthur's mother took over running the Plough Inn in the village and around this time Arthur left home to work as a linesman for the Post Office, based in Skegness. After the war began he joined the Royal Flying Corps and served in the No 4 Kite Balloon Section as an Air Mechanic 1st Class. His family still have a copy of a Christmas Card that he sent the family from the Curragh army camp in Ireland, presumably where he was training (see photograph above). He was killed on 3 January 1917 and has no known grave. His name is on the Flying Services memorial in the Fauberg d’Amiens Cemetery in Arras. It is a special memorial inside the grounds of the cemetery and close to the Arras Memorial. Arthur was 27. There is a memorial tablet to the four Stooke boys in St Stephen’s church in Carlby. The men’s mother Christiana is buried in St Stephen’s churchyard almost within sight of the memorial tablet.

    There were no aerial victory claims on this day.

    African Fronts
    East Africa: Action of Beho-Beho (until January 4) continues German retreat, but big game hunter Captain Selous DSO killed, aged 65 on January 4.
    Beves’ South African advance guard crosses river Rufiji in four Berthon boats.

    Name:  SA-MG-gun-detachment.jpg
Views: 322
Size:  19.5 KB
    South African Machine Gun Squad

    Captain Frederick Courteney Selous is killed in action near Kissaki during the Battle of Behobeho, in German East Africa at age 65. His son will be killed in action on the Western Front one year to the day serving in the Royal Flying Corps. Frederick Courtney Selous is an explorer, hunter, and conservationist famous for his exploits in Southern Africa. His real-life adventures inspire ‘Sir’ H. Rider Haggard to create the fictional Allan Quartermain character. During the Great War Selous participates in the fighting in East Africa as a Captain in the 25th Royal Fusiliers, a unit he joins when he is 64 years of age. He is killed by a German sniper a minor engagement at Behobeho where his troops are trying to encircle a detachment of Germans under the command of General Paul von Lettow Vorbeck, along banks of the Rufiji.

    Selous is one of the first conservationists. In none of his expeditions is his object the making of a big bag, but as a hunter-naturalist and slayer of great game he ranks with the most famous of the world’s sportsmen. In leading so many hunting expeditions, Selous notes over time how the impact of European hunters is leading to a significant reduction in the amount of game available in Africa. In 1881 he returned to Britain for a while, saying;

    Name:  frederick-courteney-selous.jpg
Views: 310
Size:  32.1 KB

    Every year elephants were becoming scarcer and wilder south of the Zambezi, so that it had become impossible to make a living by hunting at all.

    The Selous Game Reserve in southeastern Tanzania is a hunting reserve named in his honor. Establish in 1922, it covers an area of more than 17,000 square miles along the rivers Kilombero, Ruaha, and Rufiji. The area first becomes a hunting reserve in 1905, although it is rarely visited by humans due to the strong presence of the Tsetse fly. In 1982 it will designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the diversity of its wildlife and undisturbed nature. He is killed within the confines of today’s reserve. A simple concrete sarcophagus with a small brass plate indicates the spot where he falls.

    Selous is a good friend of Theodore Roosevelt. He was born in London, and educated at Rugby and in Germany. His love for natural history leads him to resolve to study the ways of wild animals in their native habitats. Going to South Africa when he is nineteen, he travels from the Cape of Good Hope to Matabeleland, reaching it in early in 1872, and is granted permission by Lobengula to shoot game anywhere in his dominions. From then until 1890, with a few brief intervals spent in England, Selous hunts and explores over the then little-known regions north of the Transvaal and south of the Congo basin, shooting elephants, and collecting specimens of all kinds for museums and private collections. His travels add largely to the knowledge of the country now known as Zimbabwe. He makes valuable ethnological investigations, and throughout his wanderings – often among people who have never seen a white man – he maintains cordial relations with the chiefs and tribes, winning their confidence and esteem, notably in the case of Lobengula. In 1890 Selous enters the service of the British South Africa Company, acting as guide to the pioneer expedition to Mashonaland. Over 400 miles of road are constructed through a country of forest, mountain and swamp, and in two and a half months Selous takes the column safely to its destination. He then goes east to Manica, concluding arrangements there which bring the country under British control. Coming to England in December 1892, he is awarded the Founder’s Medal of the Royal Geographical Society in recognition of his extensive explorations and surveys, of which he gives a summary in “Twenty Years in Zambesia”.

    He returned to Africa to take part in the First Matabele War (1893), being wounded during the advance on Bulawayo. While back in England he marries, but in March 1896 settles with his wife on an estate in Matabeleland when the Second Matabele War breaks out. He takes a prominent part in the fighting which follows, serving as a leader in the Bulawayo Field Force, and publishes an account of the campaign entitled Sunshine and Storm in Rhodesia (1896). Following the consolidation of white rule in Rhodesia, Selous settles in England. He continues, however, to make shooting and hunting expeditions, visiting Asia Minor, Newfoundland, the Canadian Rockies and other parts of the world. Contrary to popular belief, while Selous was a member of this expedition from time to time and helped organize the logistics of the safari Selous did not lead Theodore Roosevelt’s 1909 expedition to British East Africa, the Congo and Egypt. This is possibly the largest safari ever, with a retinue of some 300 people. The official purpose of the expedition was to collect specimens for the Smithsonian Institution. During the trip, Roosevelt and his son Kermit shot over 500 animals. Roosevelt wrote of Selous;

    Mr. Selous is the last of the big game hunters of Southern Africa; the last of the mighty hunters whose experience lay in the greatest hunting ground which this world has seen since civilized man has appeared herein.

    The full story of his remarkable life can be found in the following biography.

    Name:  21256930.jpg
Views: 350
Size:  27.8 KB

    Eastern Front
    Baltic Provinces: Germans take Dvina Island near Glandau northwest of Dvinsk but Russians recover on January 8.
    Bukovina: Lechitski attack succeeds near Mt Botosul, 2,218 German PoWs taken between Kimpolung and Jakobeny (January 27 and 30); 3 German night attacks fail on January 31.
    Rumania: Cossack Division leaves Rumanian III Corps for Russian one causing gap that Falkenhayn exploits on January 6.

    Home Fronts
    Russia: Imperial family buries Rasputin at Tsarskos Salo by night. His murderers exiled in January 6.

    Tunstill's Men: Pte. Irvine Clark (see 26th December 1916) serving with 83rd Training Reserve Battalion, based at Gateshead, who had been absent without leave for the previous week, now returned to duty. The nature of his punishment is unknown.

    Capt. George Reginald Charles Heale MC (see 31st December 1916), who had recently been compelled to relinquish his commission on grounds of ill-health, wrote to the War Office to seek reinstatement to his post.
    Sir, I have the honour to apply for a Central Medical Board so that I may be examined with a view to being re-instated as Captain in the Army. I enclose certificate of fitness from my medical adviser. My service during the present war dates from May 1915 when I was gazetted Lieutenant, and I was promoted to Captain on July 6th 1916. Gazetted out as relinquishing my commission on account of ill-health on December 7th 1916. I have been mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig’s despatches (April 30th 1916) and received Military Cross, March 1917.

    Name:  untitled.png
Views: 290
Size:  24.1 KB
    Capt. George Reginald Charles Heale MC

    The War in the Air...

    First flight of the Zeppelin LZ88 (L 40), German dirigible. Zeppelin LZ88 (L40) was an R Class Super Zeppelin which had its first flight on the 3rd of January 1917 It carried out 6 reconnaissance missions and 2 attacks on England dropping a total of 3,105 kilograms (6,845 lb) of bombs. Damaged beyond repair while landing on the 16th of June 1917 in Nordholz.

    The War at Sea

    U-Boat U39 causes absolute havoc on this day causing the loss of no less than 14 French ships (mostly fishing vessels)

    Angela Italy The cargo ship was sunk in the Atlantic Ocean 35 nautical miles (65 km) west of Cape St. Vincent, Portugal by SM U-79 ( Kaiserliche Marine). Her crew survived.
    Capricieuse France The schooner was scuttled in the Atlantic Ocean 12 nautical miles (22 km) west south west of Cape St. Vincent by SM UC-37 ( Kaiserliche Marine). Her crew survived.
    Columbia France The fishing vessel was scuttled in the Bay of Biscay off La Rochelle, Charente-Maritime (46°27′N 2°28′W) by SM UB-39 ( Kaiserliche Marine).
    Diamant de la Couronne I France The fishing vessel was scuttled in the Bay of Biscay off La Rochelle (46°27′N 2°28′W) by SM UB-39 ( Kaiserliche Marine).
    Diamant de la Couronne II France The fishing vessel was scuttled in the Bay of Biscay off La Rochelle (46°27′N 2°28′W) by SM UB-39 ( Kaiserliche Marine).
    Fama Norway The cargo ship was scuttled in the Atlantic Ocean south west of Spain (36°47′N 8°43′W) by SM UC-37 ( Kaiserliche Marine). Her crew survived.
    Formidable France The fishing vessel was sunk in the Bay of Biscay off La Rochelle by SM UB-39 ( Kaiserliche Marine).
    Helgøy Norway The cargo ship was sunk in the Bay of Biscay 10 nautical miles (19 km) south of the Chassiron Lighthouse, Charente-Maritime (45°55′N 1°35′W) by SM UB-39 ( Kaiserliche Marine) with the loss of a crew member.
    Honneur et Devouement France The fishing vessel was sunk in the Bay of Biscay off La Rochelle by SM UB-39 ( Kaiserliche Marine).
    Jeanne Mathilde France The fishing vessel was sunk in the Bay of Biscay off La Rochelle by SM UB-39 ( Kaiserliche Marine).
    La Pensee France The fishing vessel was sunk in the Bay of Biscay off La Rochelle by SM UB-39 ( Kaiserliche Marine).
    Marie Henriette France The fishing vessel was sunk in the Bay of Biscay off La Rochelle by SM UB-39 ( Kaiserliche Marine).
    Moderne France The fishing vessel was sunk in the Bay of Biscay off La Rochelle by SM UB-39 ( Kaiserliche Marine).
    Petite Emile France The fishing vessel was scuttled in the Bay of Biscay 40 nautical miles (74 km) west of the Baleines Lighthouse, Seine-Maritime by SM UB-39 ( Kaiserliche Marine). Her crew survived.
    Père Montfort France The fishing vessel was sunk in the Bay of Biscay off La Rochelle by SM UB-39 ( Kaiserliche Marine).
    Pierre le Grand France The fishing vessel was sunk in the Bay of Biscay off La Rochelle by SM UB-39 ( Kaiserliche Marine).
    Richelieu France The fishing vessel was sunk in the Bay of Biscay off La Rochelle by SM UB-39 ( Kaiserliche Marine). Her crew survived.
    Saint Jacques France The fishing vessel was sunk in the Bay of Biscay off La Rochelle (46°27′N 2°28′W) by SM UB-39 ( Kaiserliche Marine).
    Saint Paul II France The fishing vessel was sunk in the Bay of Biscay off La Rochelle by SM UB-39 ( Kaiserliche Marine). Her crew survived.
    Valladares Portugal The sailing vessel was sunk in the Atlantic Ocean (43°30′N 9°48′W) by SM U-79 ( Kaiserliche Marine).
    Viking Denmark The coaster was sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by SM U-82 ( Kaiserliche Marine). Her crew survived.

    News from Home...

    There was news today of a serious train crash near Queensferry Junction

    "In this case, when the 4.18 p.m. down express passenger train from Edinburgh to Glasgow was approaching Queensferry Junction, with all signals clear, it ran into a light engine which was moving on the down road in the facing direction. A violent collision with disastrous effects ensued. Twelve passengers in the express were killed, or died from injuries, and 44 suffered more or less seriously. All four enginemen were also injured."

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  42. #2142

    Default

    Looking at the number of views, and the average per day, I would like to say thank you to our 110,000 viewer which will in all likelihood happen overnight...

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  43. #2143

    Default

    Name:  Sniper 1.jpg
Views: 283
Size:  49.8 KB

    4th January 1917

    6 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON THURSDAY JANUARY 4TH 1917

    Air Mechanic 2nd Class Thomas ****en
    RFC 39 Reserve Squadron Died of pneumonia 4 January 1917 aged 30

    Lieutenant William Maberly Fatt 48 Squadron RFC Accidentally Killed 4 January 1917

    Air Mechanic 2nd Class Gilbert Andrew Nicholson No.1 Aircraft Depot - died on this day in 1917

    Air Mechanic 2nd Class Hubert Payne
    41 Squadron RFC died on this day in 1917

    Sub Lieutenant George H Porter Royal Naval Air Service died on this day in 1917

    Flight Lieutenant Allan Switzer Todd 8 (N) Squadron attached 20 Wing, Royal Flying Corps. Killed in Action near Bapaume by Richtofen 4 January 1917 aged 31 (see below)

    Manfred von Richthofen’s sixteenth victim is a Sopwith Pup piloted by Flight Lieutenant Allan Switzer Todd of the 8th (Naval) Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. Todd rashly attacks three Albatros biplanes, one of which is flown by von Richthofen. While he is hotly engaged with two of the German aircraft, the Baron closes in behind his Pup and shoots it out of the air killing Todd at age 21. With this victory the Baron is awarded the Blue Max. Flight Lieutenant Edward Rochfort Grange (Royal Naval Air Service) attacks, during one flight, three hostile machines, all of which are driven down out of control. Three officers, including Flight Sub Lieutenant John Roland Devlin (Royal Naval Air Service) carry out a bombing attack on the Kulei Burges Bridge south of Adrianople on the Maritza River, Balkans. They score several direct hits and considerable damage is done. Their machines are exposed to anti-aircraft, rifle and machine gun fire during the attack, and also on the return journey.

    There were 4 pilots claiming aerial victories on this day...

    Captain Edward Rochfort Grange 8th Naval Squadron claims a hat-trick on this day with his second, third and fourth victories and earns the DSC for his efforts today

    Name:  grange.jpg
Views: 318
Size:  13.1 KB

    Born to British parents in Lansing, Michigan, Edward Rochfort Grange was raised in Toronto and after joining the Royal Naval Air Service, Flight Sub-Lieutenant Grange received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 1850 on a Curtiss biplane at the Curtiss school, Toronto on 20 September 1915. In early 1916, he traveled to Britain to join the Royal Naval Air Service. Flying the Sopwith Pup he served with 1 Naval Wing and was wounded in action on 25 September 1916. In October 1916 he was posted to 8 Naval Squadron. On 4 January 1917, Grange claimed three Albatros D.IIs and three days later, he was wounded in action scoring his fifth victory over another Albatros D.II. He finished the war as a flight instructor in England before returning to Canada where he became a successful businessman and engineer. During World War II, he joined the civilian arm of the Canadian Air Force and served as an inspector/auditor.

    Flight Lieut. Edward Rochfort Grange, R.N.A.S
    .
    For conspicuous gallantry and skill on several occasions in successfully attacking and bringing down hostile machines, particularly on the 4th January, 1917, when during one flight he had three separate engagements with hostile machines, all of which were driven down out of control.On the 5th January, 1917, he attacked three hostile machines, one of which was driven down in a nose-dive. On the 7th January, 1917, after having driven down one hostile machine, he observed two other enemy aircraft attacking one of our scouts. He was on the way to its assistance when he was attacked by a third hostile scout. He was hit in the shoulder by a bullet from this machine, but landed his aeroplane safely in an aerodrome on our side of the lines.

    Major Gilbert Ware Murlis Green 17 Squadron RFC claims his 3rd kill flying B.E.12 (6601).

    Name:  green2.jpg
Views: 281
Size:  7.4 KB

    Leutnant Friedrich Mallinckrodt of Jasta 6 claims his second victory by shooting down a Sopwith Strutter over Neuchatel

    Name:  jasta6grupp.jpg
Views: 448
Size:  188.9 KB
    Jasta 6

    Rittmeister Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen claims his 16th kill

    Name:  images (1).jpg
Views: 287
Size:  6.4 KB

    Von Richthofen's combat report: 16:15hrs near Metz en Couture. Sopwith one-seater (lying south of this place) No.LTR5193. Motor 80hp Le Rhone No.5187. A new type of plane, never seen before, but as wings broken, barely discernable. Occupant Lieutenant Todd, killed, paper and valuables enclosed.

    About 16:15, just starting out, we saw above us at 4000 metres altitude four planes, unmolested by our artillery. As the archies were not shooting, we took them for our own. Only when they were approaching we noticed they were English. One of the English planes attacked us and we saw immediately that the enemy plane was superior to ours. Only because we were three against one did we detect the enemy's weak points. I managed to get behind him ans shot him down. The plane broke apart whilst falling.

    Thursday 4 January 1917 – We Lost 246 men

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    Lieutenant Colonel Allan William Leane (commanding 28th Australian Infantry) is killed by shrapnel at Delville Wood at age 44. He is the brother of Brigadier General Leane and has another brother who will be killed in April 1917.

    Lieutenant Bruce Moses Farquhar Sloss (Australian Machine Gun Company) is killed instantly, behind the lines near Armentières, when a German shell lands near him, exploding and showering him with white-hot shrapnel at age 27. He is a member of the Melbourne Cricket Club and 1911 Champion of the Australian Colony and is an Australian rules footballer who played as a follower with Essendon and South Melbourne in the Victorian Football League and with Brighton in the Victorian Football Association. When just 18, Sloss was invited to train with Essendon. He played his first match in round 2 of the 1907 season against Melbourne. He played one more senior match for Essendon that year, against Geelong, in round 8; and he played his third and last senior game for Essendon in round 2 of the 1908 season. Having left Essendon after that second round match he went to the VFA Club, Brighton. He played for Brighton for the remainder of the 1908 season, the entire 1909 season, and the first half of the 1910 season. In his last VFL match, the 1914 Grand Final against Carlton – which Carlton won 6.9 (45) to an inaccurate South Melbourne’s 4.15 (39) – Sloss ran himself into the ground, and nearly won the game off his own boot; and, despite South Melbourne losing, many considered Sloss to be the best player on the ground. Sloss was employed as a maintenance engineer at a jam factory. He invented (and patented) a method for cutting melons into cubes that involved revolving circular wheels (instead of fixed knife blades) which prevented the fruit being reduced to a pulp. An article in The Recorder reported that his invention had “revolutionized the jam-making industry”. Sloss enlisted in 1915, and is trained as a machine-gun officer. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on 17 January, 1916, and is assigned to the unit in which his oldest brother Roy also serves. The Unit arrives in England in July 1916. While the Unit is in camp (on 3 September), Sloss is promoted to Lieutenant. On Saturday 28 October 1916, an Australian Rules football match is held between two teams of Australian servicemen in aid of the British and French Red Cross at Queen’s Club, West Kensington. Sloss is the captain of the victorious Third Australian Divisional Team which beat the Australian Training Units team.

    Name:  P08519.001.JPG
Views: 284
Size:  18.8 KB

    Second Lieutenant William Maberly Fatt (Royal Flying Corps) is accidentally killed at home when he falls from his plane while training at age 24. He is the son of the Reverend Frederick Helling Fatt.
    Private Noel Finucane (Liverpool Regiment) is killed in action at age 26. He was a crewman on the Lusitania when she was sunk and later served on the Aquitania until the evacuation of Gallipoli.
    Private James Davidson (Gordon Highlanders) is killed at age 23. He is the first of four brothers who are killed this year.

    Neutrals
    USA: Wilson speech ‘There will be no war … it would be a crime against civilisation for us to go in’.

    Western Front
    France: Nivelle visits and impresses King Albert from Belgium, tells him ‘We must gain our objectives in the first two days of the offensive’. Nivelle also forms a General Staff 4e bureau to handle all logistics at army level.



    Eastern Front
    Rumania: Mackensen takes Gurgueti and Romanul, piercing Braila bridgehead which Russians evacuate. Falkenhayn begins Battle of the Putna until January 8.

    Sea War
    Eastern Mediterranean: Russian pre-Dreadnought Peresviet sinks on U-boat (probably U-73) mine off Port Said; ship a Russo*-Japanese War prize bought back from Japan.

    Name:  300px-Peresvet1901.jpg
Views: 304
Size:  13.1 KB

    Peresvet (Russian: Пересвет) was the lead ship of the three Peresvet-class pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Imperial Russian Navy at the end of the nineteenth century. The ship was transferred to the Pacific Squadron upon completion and based at Port Arthur from 1903. During the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05, she participated in the Battle of Port Arthur and was seriously damaged during the Battle of the Yellow Sea and again in the Siege of Port Arthur. The ship was scuttled before the Russians surrendered, then salvaged by the Japanese and placed into service with the name Sagami. Partially rearmed, Sagami was reclassified by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as a coastal defense ship in 1912. In 1916, the Japanese sold her to the Russians, their allies since the beginning of World War I. En route to the White Sea in early 1917, she sank off Port Said, Egypt, after striking mines laid by a German submarine.

    The design of the Peresvet class was inspired by the British second-class battleships of the Centurion class. The British ships were intended to defeat commerce-raiding armored cruisers like the Russian ships Rossia and Rurik, and the Peresvet class was designed to support their armored cruisers. This role placed a premium on high speed and long range at the expense of heavy armament and armor. Peresvet was named after Alexander Peresvet, a Russian Orthodox monk who fought and died at the Battle of Kulikovo in 1380, against a Mongolian army. Her keel was laid down on 21 November 1895 by the Baltic Works in Saint Petersburg and she launched on 19 May 1898. She was not completed, however, until July 1901, at the cost of 10,540,000 rubles. Peresvet entered service in August,and was sent to Port Arthur in October 1901.En route, she ran aground on the tip of Langeland Island while passing through the Danish Great Belt on 1 November, but was apparently not seriously damaged. Upon arrival she was assigned to the Pacific Squadron and became the flagship of the squadron's second-in-command, Rear Admiral Prince Pavel Ukhtomsky.

    In 1916 the Russian government decided to reinforce its naval strength outside the Baltic and Black Seas. As Japan and Russia were allies during WW1. The ship ran aground on 23 May while conducting trials and was refloated by the IJN on 9 July. Peresvet arrived at Maizuru Naval Arsenal for repairs on 30 July and sailed for European Russia on 18 October. She was intended to serve with the White Sea Fleet and paused en route in Port Said for machinery repairs at the beginning of 1917. On 4 January 1917, about 10 nautical miles (19 km; 12 mi) north of the harbor, the ship struck two mines that had been laid by the submarine SM U-73. Holed forward and abreast one of her boiler rooms, Peresvet sank after catching fire. Losses were reported as either 167 or 116 men

    Politics
    London and Berlin agree to swap all internees over 45 years.

    Tunstill's Men: In the evening the Battalion was relieved by 11th West Yorks and returned again to Ypres. On this occasion ‘B’ and ‘D’ companies were billeted at St. Peter’s Church, ‘C’ at the Cavalry Barracks and ‘A’ Company was based at the Hospice, along with Battalion HQ. (It is not clear whether the ‘Hospice’ refers to the ‘Hospice Belle’ or Women’s Asylum, or to the ‘Hospice Notre Dame’; both were located in the centre of Ypres, just off the Grande Place. The Cavalry Barracks were just south of the Infantry Barracks, close to St Peter’s Church).

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  44. #2144

    Default

    Name:  Sniper 1.jpg
Views: 289
Size:  49.8 KB

    January 5th 1917

    As I thought, thank you very much for whomsoever managed to be our 110,000th view yesterday.

    5 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON FRIDAY JANUARY 5TH 1917

    Air Mechanic 1st Class Walter T Hollidge RNAS Mudros died on this day 5 January 1917 aged 28. He was mentioned in dispatches.

    2nd Lieutenant Harold Jameson
    42 Squadron RFC MM (Medaille Militaire) and DCM Killed in Action 5 January 1917 aged 20. Shot down while directing artillery fire from an aeroplane from over German lines. Harold Jameson was born in Whitby, Yorkshire, United Kingdom in 1896 to Hannah Margaret and William Storm Jameson.

    Name:  26.jpg
Views: 355
Size:  44.6 KB

    Lieutenant Archibald John McWha RFC Accidentally Killed 5 January 1917 aged 23.

    2nd Lieutenant John MacLellan Mowat RFC Killed while flying 5 January 1917 aged 20. John MacLellan Mowat was born on the 14th March 1896 in Busby, Lanarkshire, son of Joseph Gunn Mowat, a Flour Merchant, and Catherine Knight Mowat (nee MacLellan), of Branxton, Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire. John was educated at the Greenock Collegiate School and Bootham School, in York, England. While at school he received high commission, and was said to be ‘a great favourite of all who knew him’. John became an agricultural student at the West of Scotland College. John first joined the University’s Officer Training Corps in 1915, before being gazetted 2nd Lieutenant to the North Staffordshire Regiment on the 29th April 1915. He served with his regiment on home duty until October 1916 when he joined the Royal Flying Corps. 2nd Lieutenant John MacLellan Mowat died during military service on the 5th January 1917, aged 20, in a tragic flying accident at Cramlington, just north of the city of Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, England. He is buried at Kilmacolm Cemetery in Renfrewshire, Scotland. His funeral gathered a large crowd and the local shops closed for the occasion.

    Name:  CH-4-4-2-2-199.jpg
Views: 407
Size:  12.1 KB

    Lieutenant William Davidson Thomson RFC Killed in aerial combat 5 January 1917 aged 31. Son of Janet Thomson, of 714, Lansdowne Avenue, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and the late John Thomson.He is buried at LIJSSENTHOEK MILITARY CEMETERY WEST-VLAANDEREN BELGIUM

    There were the following Aerial Victory Claims on this day:

    Claiming his 5th and final victory we have Sous Lieutenant Andre Jean Delorme. Serving with an infantry regiment in 1914, Delorme was wounded three times during 1914. He transferred to the French Air Service in 1915 and received a Pilot's Brevet on 14 June. Posted to C56, he scored his first two victories in the summer of 1916 but was wounded again during aerial combat on 31 July 1916. When he recovered, he was reassigned to N38 where he scored three more victories before he was killed in action.

    Name:  delorme.jpg
Views: 278
Size:  8.4 KB

    A balloon busting double today for Leutnant Otto Brauneck of Jasta 25

    Name:  brauneck.jpg
Views: 275
Size:  11.2 KB

    Leutnant Walter Gottsch of Jasta 8 claimed his 4th victory. Volunteering for service on 1 July 1915, Göttsch transferred to the German Air Force in 1916. After serving with FA 33 at Flanders, he was trained on single-seat fighters and posted to Jasta 8 on 10 September 1916. Scoring his fourth victory on the afternoon of 7 January 1917, Göttsch shot down an F.E.2d flown by Thomas Mottershead of 20 Squadron. Despite terrible burns that later proved fatal, Mottershead succeeded in landing his aircraft within his own lines and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. Göttsch was credited with two more F.E.2d's on 1 February 1917 but two days later he was shot down over Wervicq while attacking another F.E.2d. Recovering from his wounds, he returned to duty in April 1917, scoring six more victories before he was shot down for a second time by an F.E.2d on 29 June 1917. Göttsch's score continued to climb but on 25 September 1917 he was wounded and shot down for the third time by a Bristol Fighter. He was wounded in action on 30 November 1917 and upon returning to duty in January 1918, he assumed command of Jasta 19 on 14 February 1918. Flying a Fokker DR.I with a white swastika on its fuselage, he scored three more victories before he was killed in action. Downing an R.E.8 near Amiens, Göttsch was shot down by an accurate burst of fire from the British observer's Lewis gun.

    Name:  gottsch.jpg
Views: 269
Size:  4.7 KB

    Vizefeldwebel Friedrich Manschott
    of Jasta 7 claimed his 2nd victory

    Name:  manschott.jpg
Views: 285
Size:  8.8 KB

    Oberleutnant Hans-Georg von der Marwitz of Schusta 10 claims his first aerial victory. Hans-Georg von der Marwitz was born to nobility, his father being General of Cavalry Georg von der Marwitz, commander of Germany's Second Army. The younger Marwitz began is career as a cavalryman in Uhlan Regiment No. 16. By 1915, he was in the infantry, successively in Infanterie Regiment No. 13 and Infanterie Regiment No. 16. Marwitz transferred to aviation in March 1916 and became a pilot. Marwitz scored his first victory while flying for Schusta 10, on 5 January 1917. A year later, he trained as a fighter pilot; upon completion of training, on 18 April 1917, he was assigned to Royal Prussian Jagdstaffel 30 under the command of Hans Bethge. He scored his second time that year, when he used his Pfalz D.III fighter to burn an observation balloon on 13 May. Marwitz would not score again until 19 February 1918; he then tallied a victory or two per month for the remainder of the war. Marwitz was the second ranking ace in his squadron, and tallied about a quarter of the unit's wins. He also commanded it for two months, from 17 April to 17 June 1918. As Staffelfuhrer, he flew a Pfalz painted all burgundy except for a white rudder and a large orange diamond emblazoned on either side of its cockpit. He was wounded on 17 June. He would fly a Pfalz until July 1918, when Jasta 30 upgraded to Fokker D.VIIs. He survived the war to die in a plane crash in 1925.

    His plane is number 7 in the image below

    Name:  jasta30-5-8.jpg
Views: 377
Size:  224.5 KB

    Leutnant Alfred Mohr of Jasta 3 claimed his 4th kill on this day when he shot down a Caudron.

    On this day there were 253 British losses...

    Name:  edwin-leopold-arthur-dyett.jpg
Views: 284
Size:  6.6 KB

    Sub Lieutenant Edwin Leopold Arthur Dyett (Nelson Battalion Royal Naval Division) is executed for desertion at age 21. In October 1916 he found himself along with the rest of the Division on the Somme and about to take part in the battle for Beaucourt in the Ancre Valley. By this time he had already made application to transfer away from the front as he didn’t think that he was suitable for that service. The Nelson Battalion was the reserve for the Hood and Hawke Battalions who were charged with taking the German Front Line on 13 November. The attack was a success, though the Nelson Battalion lost 34 killed and 204 wounded with a further 120 missing. As he was not considered to be quality material he was left as a reserve officer and it was only in the course of the battle with confusion all around, that he was sent forward with reserves. Not being able to find anyone from his unit Dyett and another officer decide to return to Brigade Headquarters for more information. At Beaucourt Station they meet up with a junior officer on staff duties who has a number of men with him who need to be taken back to the front. This is where it all goes wrong for Dyett. While his companion accompanies the men back to the front and goes on to take part in the latter stages of the battle. Dyett took offence at being ordered by a junior officer and continues on his way towards the rear. He meets up with a number of soldiers who are also lost, but in the dark none of them can find Brigade HQ and they spent the night in a shell hole. What he does not realize us that the junior officer put in a report to HQ explaining Dyett’s refusal to go forward.

    The following day Dyett is found at Englebelmer some kilometers behind the front line. He is placed under arrest and later charged with desertion. His trial is held at la Ferme du Champ Neuf near St Firmin a ten minute drive from Le Crotoy. Dyett does not give evidence and the evidence of the prosecution is damning. At the conclusion he is condemned to death, with a plea for mercy on account of his age and lack of experience. Major-General Shute in command of the 63rd Division recommends mercy, but General Gough makes the remark: If a private had behaved as he did in such circumstances, it is highly probable that he would have been shot. On 2nd January Field Marshal Haig confirmed the death sentence. Dyett is informed on the evening of the 4th and at 07:30 he meets his end, probably in the courtyard of the farm where he had been held and tried.

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    Second Lieutenant Howard Glynn Williams (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is accidentally killed at home at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend Griffith Williams Rector of Llanrust.
    Second Lieutenant William Scott Boyle (Cameronians) is killed in action in Greece at age 21. He was the 1912 Edinburgh Angus Club Latin Medalist.
    Private William McAdie (Seaforth Highlanders) dies of wounds at age 19. His brother was killed in March 1915.
    Private George Chestney (Royal West Surrey Regiment) is killed at age 32. His two brothers will also die in the Great War.

    Tunstill's Men: Billets in the Hospice and Cavalry and Infantry Barracks in Ypres and at Zillebeke Bund. There was further German shelling, though not so extensive, but the Battalion suffered no more casualties. Acting Sgt. William Edmondson Gaunt (see 2nd December 1916) was confirmed in his rank. Pte. Patrick Sweeney (see 16th December 1916), serving with 3DWR at North Shields, was among a draft of men who were posted to France en route to join 10DWR. Also known to have been among this draft was Pte. Richard Field; he was a 24 year-old married man from Bradford and had worked as a tailor. He had married Minnie Pouncey in May 1915 and the couple’s daughter, Doris Ivy Field, was born a year later. Richard had enlisted under the Derby Scheme in November 1915 but had not been called up for active service until 4th September 1916, since when he had been in training with 3DWR at North Shields.

    Southern Fronts
    Allied Rome Conference (until January 7): Fifth Meeting of Allied military and political leaders. Cadorna asks for 8 divisions and 300 heavy guns (later 10 divisions and 400 guns) to capture Laibach and Trieste and so eliminate Austria. Anglo-French only willing to lend guns till April (Western Front offensive), first month when Italian large-scale operations possible. Conference also acts to improve communications to Salonika via Southern Italy.

    Name:  General-Cadorna.jpg
Views: 303
Size:  23.7 KB

    Salonika: Sarrail and Milne attend Rome Conference, but Italians decline to reinforce them although former impresses Lloyd George. General Sir H Wilson temporarily in command of Salonika Army (January 3-10). British 65th Brigade raid on Akinjali village only takes 4 PoWs.

    Eastern Front
    Baltic Provinces – Battle of the Aa (until February 3): Surprise Russian Twelfth Army (Radko) offensive with 2 Latvian brigades (3 other regiments refuse to attack, 94 soldiers executed), without prelim shelling, between Lake Babit and Tirul Marsh, west of Riga. It gains 4 miles plus 8,000 PoWs and 36 guns by January 11 despite German counter attacks from January 11-13.

    Sea War
    Biscay: French steamer escapes twice only to be caught after 15-hour chase (until January 6) during U-48 patrol claiming 11 ships worth 27,000t.
    Black Sea: 4 Russian pre-Dreadnoughts, 1 cruiser and 3 destroyers sink 39 Turk sailing coasters off Anatolia (until January 9).

    and finally an extract from the war diary of Private 2305 Frank Longson of th1/6th Battalion of the Derbyshire Territorials:

    Name:  5th-officers-1910.jpg
Views: 373
Size:  87.4 KB

    On the 5th January in the afternoon we decided to again follow the same procedure, to send them over and the same retaliation. About the fifth grenade I was told that the General was in the line observing the hits. He came round to me and remarked that we were doing very good work and asked how long we kept it up? I told him that as soon as the Germans made it too hot for us we gave up for the day. He said “Keep up the good work”, and left.

    The Germans by this time were giving it to us thick and heavy. I loaded again, took the cord half way round the barricade when crash! A blinding explosion of mortar or some such missile had fallen on our emplacement. The result, our emplacement and our unfired grenade were blown to smithereens and the fragments of the Trench mortar and our grenade were distributed around our position. At first I was stunned, then I realised I was wounded. I was bleeding from several wounds in the face and neck. What was worse I could not see. They led me down the trenches and to the Regimental Aid Post and then to a Casualty Clearing Station. I was examined by a Surgeon Major who told me that my fighting days were finished because for the time being at any rate I was blind. Fragments of the metal had entered my eyes.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  45. #2145

    Default

    Name:  Sniper 1.jpg
Views: 277
Size:  49.8 KB

    As I am away for the weekend there will either be a double post tonight (waiting til after midnight of course) or one very early tomorrow morning, so apologies for the timings.

    January 6th 1917

    3 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON SATURDAY JANUARY 6TH 1917

    Air Mechanic 1st Class Harry W Everest
    Royal Naval Air Service Dunkerque Naval Air Station. Accidentally Killed 6 January 1917

    2nd Lieutenant Leofwin Collings Fellowes Lukis 27 Squadron RFC Killed in crash 6 January 1917 aged 19. 2Lt Leofwin Collings Fellowes Lukis of No 27 Sqn RFC, a 19-year old pilot from Guernsey, was killed in an accident while flying Martinsyde G.100 ‘Elephant’ 7497 on 6 January 1917. 2Lt Lukis was commissioned in the Essex Regiment, and transferred to the RFC on 20 September 1916. He is buried at St Ouen, France.

    2nd Lieutenant David WIlliam Laird 53 Squadron RFC. Killed while flying 6 January 1917 aged 19. DAVID WILLIAM LAIRD YOUNG, known as William, was born on 18 Feb 1897 in Skelmorlie, to parents David, a farmer, and Harriet Hewitson (who were married in Ripon on 28 Oct 1891). He died on 06 Jan 1917 in France, at No. 2 Casualty Clearing Station, of a fractured skull sustained as a result of an accident while flying on duty. He is buried at Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension – headstone inscription “He was lovely and pleasant in his life” He is also named on his father’s headstone at Kirkliston Cemetery, West Lothian. On 12 Jan 1918, the Largs & Millport Weekly News reported that a brass memorial tablet in Fairlie Parish Church had been dedicated in his memory.

    Fairlie Parish Church; Memorial Tablet: On Sunday last a beautiful brass memorial tablet surmounted by a cross was solemnly dedicated to the glory of God and in loving memory of David William Laird Young, 2nd Lieutenant 53rd Squadron R.F.C., only son of David and Henrietta Young, Beach-house, Fairlie, who gave his life for King and country in France on 16th January, 1917, aged 19 years. The dedicatory service was very simple but very impressive. After praise and prayer, Mr. Allan made touching reference to the passing of the brave young soldier, who had so nobly made the supreme sacrifice. His life, though cut off at such an early age, had not been lived in vain. It will be for ever enshrined in our hearts in sacred memory, and will be to us and all who knew him, a divine inspiration to imitate his example of fortitude and devotion in many an hour of trial. “We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths. He most lives who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.” During the service the young soldiers favourite hymns were sung.

    There were no aerial victory claims on this day.

    On this day British troops lost 215 men.

    The 10th Durham Light Infantry attack in the Arras vicinity at 15:00 and when the German line is reached Mills and Phosphorous bombs are thrown but no Germans are encountered. The second and third German trenches are reached and bombed by a small party. The British are now attacked from both sides and the order is given to withdraw. The battalion’s losses are 2 officers wounded and 44 other ranks killed wounded or missing. Among the dead is Private John Edward Howden who is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed in October 1918.

    Sea War
    Britain: Royal Navy orders 6 Anchusa-type ‘Flower’-class convoy sloops for June and September completion (2 more on January 13 and remaining on February 20 and 21), enter service from June 1917 to June 1918.

    The Flower class comprised five sub-classes of sloops built under the Emergency War Programme for the Royal Navy during World War I, all of which were named after various flowers. They were popularly known as the "herbaceous borders". The "Flowers" were designed to be built at merchant shipyards, to ease the pressure on yards specializing in warships. The initial three groups were the first purpose-built fleet minesweepers, built with triple hulls at the bow to give extra protection against loss from mine damage when working. When submarine attacks on British merchant ships became a serious menace after 1916, the existing Flower-class minesweepers were transferred to convoy escort duty, and fitted with depth charges, as well as 4.7-inch naval guns.

    They were single screw fleet sweeping vessels (sloops) with triple hulls at the bows to give extra protection against loss when working.

    The Anchusa class of corvettes or convoy sloops were completed in 1917 and 1918. They were a small class of convoy protection ships built to look like merchant ships for use as Q-ships in World War I.

    Name:  Valerian-Flower-class.jpg
Views: 275
Size:  8.7 KB

    Two members of the Anchusa group, HMS Chrysanthemum and HMS Saxifrage (renamed HMS President in 1922), survived to be moored on the River Thames for use as Drill Ships by the RNVR until 1988, a total of seventy years in RN service. HMS President (1918) was sold and preserved, and is now one of the last three surviving warships of the Royal Navy built during the First World War, (along with the 1914 Light cruiser HMS Caroline in Belfast, and the 1915 Monitor HMS M33 in Portsmouth dockyard).

    Name:  300px-20040918-027-thames-ship.jpg
Views: 321
Size:  15.6 KB

    There were 4 ships reported lost on this day, all to U-Boat action:

    Alphonse Conseil France The cargo ship was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean 180 nautical miles (330 km) west north west of A Coruña, Spain by SM U-48 ( Kaiserliche Marine). Her crew survived.
    Beaufront United Kingdom The cargo ship was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean 76 nautical miles (141 km) north west of Ouessant, Finistère by SM U-82 ( Kaiserliche Marine). Her crew were rescued by Aldebaran ( Sweden)
    Hudworth United Kingdom The cargo ship was torpedoed and sunk in the Mediterranean Sea 94 nautical miles (174 km) east south east of Malta (35°31′N 16°24′E) by SM U-35 ( Kaiserliche Marine). Her crew survived.
    Ville du Havre France The cargo liner was sunk in the Atlantic Ocean 145 nautical miles (269 km) north west of Cape Villano, Spain (44°00′N 10°00′W) by SM U-48 ( Kaiserliche Marine)

    Western Front
    French GQG moves from Chantilly to Beauvais. General Rucquoi becomes Belgian CoS (after death of Wielemans).

    Tunstill's Men: Billets in the Hospice and Cavalry and Infantry Barracks in Ypres and at Zillebeke Bund. There was further German shelling, though not so extensive, but the Battalion suffered no more casualties. Acting Sgt. William Edmondson Gaunt (see 2nd December 1916) was confirmed in his rank. Pte. Patrick Sweeney (see 16th December 1916), serving with 3DWR at North Shields, was among a draft of men who were posted to France en route to join 10DWR. Also known to have been among this draft was Pte. Richard Field; he was a 24 year-old married man from Bradford and had worked as a tailor. He had married Minnie Pouncey in May 1915 and the couple’s daughter, Doris Ivy Field, was born a year later. Richard had enlisted under the Derby Scheme in November 1915 but had not been called up for active service until 4th September 1916, since when he had been in training with 3DWR at North Shields.

    Eastern Front
    Dobruja: Clear of Russians and Rumanians after Sakharov’s defeat at Vacareni.

    Bit of a short one today folks - but when there is no news there is no news

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  46. #2146

    Default

    Name:  Sniper 1.jpg
Views: 266
Size:  49.8 KB

    January 7th 1917

    I am going to start with a Victoria Cross awarded to a member of the RFC (always a highlight in this publication)

    Name:  victoria-cross.jpg
Views: 287
Size:  9.7 KB

    Sergeant Thomas Mottershead (Squadron Royal Flying Corps) will be awarded the Victoria Cross for landing his burning FE2 and saving the life of his observer Lieutenant W E Gower. Sergeant Mottershead is the first NCO to win the Victoria Cross for air operations during the Great War, though he will die of first degree burns on the 12th. Their aircraft is attacked at an altitude of 9,000 feet, the petrol tank is pierced and the machine set on fire. Enveloped in flames, which Lieutenant Gower is unable to subdue, Sergeant Mottershead succeeds in bringing his aircraft back to our lines, and though he makes a successful landing, the machine collapses on touching the ground, pinning him beneath the wreckage from which he will be subsequently rescued. Though suffering extreme torture from burns Sergeant Mottershead shows the most conspicuous presence of mind in the careful selection of a landing place, and his wonderful endurance and fortitude undoubtedly saved the life of Lieutenant Gower.

    After having driven down one hostile machine, Flight Lieutenant Edward Rochfort Grange (Royal Naval Air Service) observes two other enemy aircraft attacking one of our scouts. He is on his way to its assistance when he is attacked by a third hostile scout. He is hit in the shoulder by a bullet from this machine, but lands his airplane safely at an aerodrome on our side of the line.

    Name:  VCThomasMottershead.jpg
Views: 266
Size:  9.3 KB

    Thomas Mottershead was born in Widnes, Lancashire on 17 January 1892. He was the son of Thomas and Lucy Mottershead. He studied engineering at Widnes Technical School and was apprenticed as a fitter and turner after leaving school. In February 1914, he married Lilian Medlicott Bree and the couple had a son, Sydney, the following year.[2] Mottershead was living at 31 Lilac Avenue in Widnes and working as a garage mechanic when World War I began. He enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps on 10 August 1914 as a mechanic, Mottershead had studied engineering and had been apprenticed as a fitter working in Widnes. He was posted to the Central Flying school at Upavon and was promoted to Sergeant on 1 April 1916. In May 1916 he began pilot training and in June of that year he obtained his Flying Certificate.[citation needed] He was posted to No.25 Squadron at St Omer, flying the FE 2, on 6 July 1916 and saw action in the Battle of the Somme.

    One of his first operations was low-level bombing raid on a German anti-aircraft battery which he successfully destroyed. On 22 September, with 2/Lt C. Street as observer he bombed the railway station at Samain, destroying one ammunition train and strafing another. While climbing away from the target, their aircraft was attacked by a Fokker scout. Accounts of the engagement indicate that it was Mottershead's skillful manoeuvring which enabled Street to shoot the enemy aircraft down.[8] For this action and other displays of gallantry, Sgt Mottershead was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal and promoted to the rank of Flight Sgt. Undocumented accounts state that Mottershead and another No. 25 Squadron pilot landed on a German airfield, allowing their gunners to shoot up the hangars before taking off and escaping. The reputed date and location seem to remain unknown, but he was then transferred to No.20 Squadron at Clairmarais.

    On 7 January 1917 near Ploegsteert Wood, Belgium, Sergeant Mottershead was on patrol in FE-2d (serial number A39) with observer Lt. W E Gower when he was engaged in combat by two Albatros D.III of Jasta 8. Lt Gower managed to hit one and put it out of the action, the second Albatros however, flown by German 'ace' Leutnant Walter Göttsch (20 victories), hit Mottershead's aircraft, with the petrol tank pierced and the machine was set on fire. Enveloped in flames which his observer was unable to subdue with a handheld fire extinguisher, the Sergeant was badly burned but nevertheless managed to take his aircraft back to the Allied lines and made a successful forced landing. The undercarriage collapsed on touching the ground however, throwing the observer clear but pinning Mottershead in his cockpit. He was subsequently rescued but died of his burns five days later. Mottershead received the only V.C. ever awarded to a non-commissioned RFC officer during the First World War.The medal was presented to Mottershead's widow Lilian by King George V in a ceremony in Hyde Park, London on 2 June 1917.

    VC Citation: For most conspicuous bravery, endurance and skill, when attacked at an altitude of 9,000 feet; the petrol tank was pierced and the machine set on fire. Enveloped in flames, which his Observer, Lt. Gower was unable to subdue, this very gallant soldier succeeded in bringing his aeroplane back to our lines, and though he made a successful landing, the machine collapsed on touching the ground, pinning him beneath wreckage from which he was subsequently rescued. Though suffering extreme torture from burns, Sgt. Mottershead showed the most conspicuous presence of mind in the careful selection of a landing place, and his wonderful endurance and fortitude undoubtedly saved the life of his Observer. He has since succumbed to his injuries.

    On this day we lost 282 British Troops:

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    Major Leonard Parker (Hussars attached Royal Flying Corps) dies of wounds at age 31 when he and his observer are shot down near Allaines while on a photo recon. He is the 1st casualty in action for 52nd squadron and the 1st involving an RE8 aircraft. He is the son of the Reverend and ‘Honorable’ Algernon R Parker.
    Lieutenant George Haire (Connaught Rangers) is killed at age 26. He is the son of the Reverend Canon W J Haire.
    Flight Observer William Basil Loxdale Jones (Royal Naval Air Service) drowns at age 28. He is the only son of the late Bishop of St David’s Gwynfryn Taliesin Cardiganshire.
    Lance Corporal Basil Bowen Harker-Thomas (British Columbia Regiment) is killed at age 24. His brother will be killed in September 1918.

    There were 4 RFC losses on this day:

    Air Mechanic 1st Class Richard C Ambler
    Royal Naval Air Service H.M.S. 'Egmont' , Malta. died on this day in 1917

    2nd Lieutenant Edward George WIlliam Bisset 6 Squadron RFC Killed while flying 7 January 1917 aged 20

    Major Leonard Parker (Commanding Officer) 52 Squadron RFC Killed while flying 7 January 1917 aged 31 (although I have one source who actually places his death on 22nd March !)

    Name:  Parker-L.jpg
Views: 319
Size:  14.2 KB

    Leonard was born at Bix, Oxfordshire, the second youngest of the eight children of the Reverend the Hon. Algernon Parker, Rector of Bix, a son of the 6th Earl of Macclesfield, and Emma Jane (nee) Kenyon. Leonard was educated at Marlborough, coming up to Christ Church in 1905. He appears to have been at the College for only one year and it is not known what he did until he received his Flying Certificate on 28 May 1914. He was flying a Bristol bi-plane at the Bristol School at Brooklands. On 12 August 1914 he was gazetted as a Second Lieutenant on Probation in the RFC Military Wing. By 1916, he had reached the rank of Major, and Commanded Fifty Two Squadron which had been the first RFC Squadron to be equipped with the new R.E.8 reconnaissance aircraft [nicknamed ‘Harry Tate’ after a successful music hall comedian of the time]. The unit assembled at Rouen before moving southwards to the Somme Sector, where the Squadron made its home at the large aerodrome situated near Bertangles, a village situated a few miles north of Amiens. Attached to Tenth Corps of the Fourth Army, the squadron undertook its primary role of Corps reconnaissance, a task which entailed the taking of hundreds of aerial photographs, and sketching maps, often in atrocious weather, of the enemy’s positions in the Corps sector to the east. By December the Squadron had moved eastwards to an airfield near the village of Chipilly. On the 7 January 1917, the Squadron suffered its first casualty to enemy action. A little before midday Parker and his observer, Second Lieutenant Mann, left Chipilly in an R.E.8 on a photographic patrol. They never returned, having been shot down half an hour after taking off, north west of Peronne. Parker was killed in the crash, Mann was taken prisoner, and survived the war.

    Much of the acclaim for the successful achievements of the opening phase of the Arras Offensive can be placed on the shoulders of the airmen of the Royal Flying Corps. Flying their flimsy aircraft, often in atrocious weather, they took thousands of aerial photographs and drew an equal number of sketch maps, pin pointing every German gun position and strongpoint, thus placing in the hands of the British High Command a complete overview of the obstacles they were facing, and ensuring that the British artillery could accurately pinpoint every enemy gun position. The Corps flew innumerable reconnaissance flights over the enemy’s positions and provided close cooperation to the troops on the ground by ‘strafing’ and bombing enemy troop concentrations once the assault began

    2nd Lieutenant Ethelbert Godwin Stockwell 32 Squadron RFC Killed in Action 7th January 1917.

    Tunstill's Men:
    Billets in the Hospice and Cavalry and Infantry Barracks in Ypres and at Zillebeke Bund. There was more German shelling of Ypres, but the Battalion suffered no casualties. The weather turned wet, and increasingly stormy, overnight. Two of the men who had been wounded in the German shelling of Ypres two days earlier (see 5th January) died of their wounds. Sgt. Herbert Veal (12424) was 23 years old and originally from Halifax; he had been an original member of the Battalion. Pte. John Greenwood was 39 years old and from Hebden Bridge; both were buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery. The Battalion Chaplain, Rev. Wilfred L. Henderson (see 16th October 1916) wrote to the parents of Sgt. Thomas Moyle MM who had been killed two days’ earlier (see 5th January): “You will already have heard the sad news of the death of your son, but I just wish to say how deeply we all sympathise with you in your loss. It happened while we were in billets behind the line, an unfortunate shell killing and wounding many of our men; your son was very seriously wounded and died shortly afterwards. We buried him the following evening in a soldiers’ cemetery, and a short service was held at the graveside. A cross with his name and number will be put over his grave which will be forever kept sacred and reverently cared for. Your son will be much missed in the battalion; he had been with us long and had the love and respect of all. Believe me, our prayers and sympathy are with you in your great sorrow.

    Name:  Image.jpg
Views: 488
Size:  16.3 KB
    Sgt. Thomas Moyle MM

    Eastern Front

    Russians gain more ground south of Lake Babit.

    Russo-Romanian front broken north-west of Focsani.

    Political, etc.

    Close of Rome Conference.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  47. #2147

    Default

    Name:  Sniper 1.jpg
Views: 246
Size:  49.8 KB

    January 8th 1917

    Back from a cheeky weekend away to the Yorkshire Dales (which was nice) lets see what the newshounds of the Sniper's Times have uncovered for your reading pleasure today.

    Ok so not a promising start as according to RFC records NO DEATHS ARE RECORDED FOR MONDAY JANUARY 8TH 1917, and in addition there are no aerial combat victories claimed anywhere that I can find.

    London Weather Summary - January 1917: Much of the first fortnight of the year was generally mild and unsettled. On the 1st, the temperature rose above 12°C. On the 11th, over 7mm of rain fell, and it then turned much colder. There was occasional snow, and the period between the 21st and 30th was particularly wintry. On both the 26th and 28th the maximum temperature failed to rise above minus 0.4°C., but cloudy nights and a fresh northeast wind prevented temperatures from falling greatly at night.

    Interestingly on the night of 7th/8th January there was a total lunar eclipse viewable from many parts of the globe including europe.

    On this day British forces lost 235 men (the lowest figure for some considerable time)

    The commander of British forces in Egypt, General ‘Sir’ Archibald Murray, is eager to complete the advance across the north of the Sinai, believing this will compel the Turks to abandon their inland outposts. This evening the Anzac Mounted Division, under the command of General ‘Sir’ Henry George Chauvel rides out of El Arish towards Rafa where a 2,000-strong Turkish garrison is based. The commander of the Desert Column, General Philip Chetwode, travels with the division to supervise the attack. This will be the third and final major battle mounted by the British to drive the Turkish forces from the Sinai.

    Name:  220px-Murray1.jpg
Views: 256
Size:  11.3 KB

    General Sir Archibald James Murray GCB, GCMG, CVO, DSO (23 April 1860 – 21 January 1945) was a British Army officer who served in the Second Boer War and the First World War. He was Chief of Staff to the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in August 1914 but appears to have suffered a physical breakdown in the retreat from Mons, and was required to step down from that position in January 1915. After serving as Deputy Chief of the Imperial General Staff for much of 1915, he was briefly Chief of the Imperial General Staff from September to December 1915. He was subsequently Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force from January 1916 to June 1917, in which role he laid the military foundation for the defeat and destruction of the Ottoman Empire in the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant.

    Lloyd George wanted to make the destruction of Turkey a major British war aim, and two days after becoming Prime Minister told Robertson that he wanted a major victory, preferably the capture of Jerusalem, to impress British public opinion. Robertson thought the capture of Beersheba should suffice as more divisions were needed in France. However, Robertson was not entirely hostile to efforts in Palestine, telling Murray (31 January 1917) he wanted him to launch a Palestine Offensive in autumn and winter 1917, if the war was still going on then. The object was to sustain public morale and, with a compromise peace leaving Germany in control of the Balkans increasingly possible, to capture Aleppo. Aleppo was more easily reached from Palestine than from Mesopotamia, and her capture would make untenable Turkey’s hold on both regions. At this stage Russia was still pinning down many Turkish troops, although the Admiralty were not enthused about suggestions that the Royal Navy make amphibious landings in Palestine. It was agreed to build up Murray’s forces to 6 infantry divisions and 2 mounted divisions by the autumn, as well as 16 Imperial Camel Companies and possibly some Indian cavalry from France. It was Murray who authorized T. E. Lawrence's expedition to join the Arab Revolt against the Turks in Arabia, providing monetary and limited military support for Lawrence's attack on Aqaba: initially skeptical of the Revolt's potential, Murray became an ardent supporter of it later in his tenure in Cairo, largely through Lawrence's persuasion. By early 1917 the Turks had also withdrawn from Persia and had pulled back from Medina, which was besieged by the Arabs.

    Name:  220px-Machine_gun_corps_Gaza_line_WWIb_edit2.jpg
Views: 248
Size:  9.6 KB
    Ottoman Machine Gun Position

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    Brigadier General R H W Dunn (Royal Welsh Fusiliers) dies on service at home at age 60. He is the son of General William Dunn and the son-in-law of General George Erskine.
    Vice Admiral ‘Sir’ George John Scott Warrender KCB KCVO (Royal Navy) the 7th Baronet dies on service at age 56.
    Lieutenant Philip John Rupert Steele (Australian Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 27. He has two brothers who will be killed in the Great War.
    Second Lieutenant Eric Leslie Vickers (Rifle Brigade) dies of wounds received in action. He is the son of the Reverend Nathanael Vickers of St Simon’s Vicarage, Southsea.
    Private Albert E Prior (Sussex Regiment) dies at home at age 23. He has two brothers who will lose their lives in the War.
    Private Percy C Pink (Sussex Regiment) dies at home at age 28 of disease. His brother will be killed in September 1918.

    Name:  220px-GeorgeWarrenderSigned.jpg
Views: 270
Size:  13.0 KB
    Admiral Warrender

    Warrender was the son of Sir George Warrender, 6th Baronet (1825–1901) and Helen Purves-Hume-Campbell, born at Bruntsfield House, Edinburgh.[1] Warrender joined the navy as a cadet in 1873 at Dartmouth.[2] He qualified as a French interpreter in 1878.[2] He served in the Zulu War in 1879 as midshipman on the corvette HMS Boadicea.[2] As a member of the naval brigade he was part of the force send to relieve Eshowe and was present at the Battle of Gingindlovu, so receiving the South Africa medal. In 1880 he was promoted to Lieutenant, specialising in gunnery.

    He was a staff officer at HMS Excellent between 1884 and 1885,[2] the second lieutenant on the cruiser Amphion from 11 December 1888 serving on the Pacific Station,[3] It listed her commissioned and warrant officers as follows:[3] and was promoted to commander in 1893. He commanded the royal yacht HMY Victoria and Albert II between 1896 and 1899.[2]

    He was appointed captain on 13 May 1899. He fought at the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 as flag captain to Rear-Admiral Sir James A.T. Bruce, K.C.M.G. and commander of HMS Barfleur (1899–1902). He was captain of HMS Lancaster in the Mediterranean between 1904 and 1905, followed by the command of HMS Carnavon, also in the Mediterranean from 1905. From 1907 to 1908 he was Aide-de-Camp to King Edward VII and on 2 July 1908 he was promoted to Rear Admiral.[4] He served as Commander in chief of the East Indies Station from 1907 to 1909. He became commander of the second cruiser squadron in 1910, serving as such until 1912, and was awarded KCVO in 1911. He became commander of the 2nd Battle Squadron, with the new dreadnought battleship HMS King George V as his flagship, in 1912, holding the command until December 1915, and was awarded KCB in 1913. He was promoted to Vice-Admiral on 4 June 1913. Warrender was considered a good admiral during peacetime, but his reputation suffered as the war proceeded. His squadron was regarded as one of the best trained in gunnery in the fleet. He was described by Commodore William Goodenough as having an imperturbability that no circumstances could ruffle, although others ascribed this stolidity to simply a lack of initiative.[9]

    One of the battleships in his command, HMS Audacious, sank after striking a mine when at sea for gunnery practice in October 1914. He commanded a British squadron of six battleships, four battlecruisers, cruisers and destroyers which attempted to intercept Admiral Hipper following Hipper's raid on Scarborough. Hipper escaped, some of his ships slipping past Warrender despite being spotted and coming within range of his superior force. First Sea Lord Fisher wanted Warrender replaced for his poor performance, but Warrender was a friend of Admiral John Jellicoe commanding the Grand Fleet, who kept him in his post because of his past experience handling large fleets. Warrender was also suffering from increasing deafness and was replaced in December 1915. He became Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth in March 1916, but asked for retirement in December 1916 because of increasingly poor health. He died in January 1917, was cremated at Golders Green on 12 January and his ashes placed at the church of the Annunciation, Bryanston Street, London.

    The aircraft carrier HMS Ben My Chree is hit and set on fire by Turkish shore batteries off Castelorizo on the southern coast of Asia Minor. She will burn for another two days and before finally sinking at her moorings.

    Name:  Stern_of_HMS_Ben-my-Chree.jpg
Views: 263
Size:  104.1 KB

    HMS Ben-my-Chree (Manx: "Woman of My Heart") was a packet steamer and a Royal Navy (RN) seaplane carrier of the First World War. She was originally built in 1907 by Vickers for the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company and was intended for use on the England–Isle of Man route. She was the third vessel to bear her name. To this day Ben-my-Chree holds the crossing speed record from Liverpool to Douglas for a steamship at under three hours.

    She was chartered by the RN at the beginning of 1915 and participated in several abortive attacks on Germany in May. The ship was transferred to the Dardanelles in June to support the Gallipoli Campaign. One of her aircraft made the first ship-launched aerial torpedo attack on a ship in August. After Gallipoli was evacuated at the end of the year, Ben-my-Chree became flagship of the East Indies and Egypt Seaplane Squadron that operated in the Eastern Mediterranean, performing reconnaissance missions and attacking Turkish facilities and troops. She was sunk by Turkish artillery while anchored at the recently occupied island of Kastellorizo in early 1917, five members of her crew being injured. The ship was salvaged in 1920 and broken up in 1923. Ben-my-Chree also holds the distinction of being the only aviation vessel of either side to be sunk by enemy action during the war.

    Tunstill's Men: Billets in the Hospice and Cavalry and Infantry Barracks in Ypres and at Zillebeke Bund. The German shelling of Ypres intensified again and a number of shells fell in and around the Hospice, but without causing any casualties in the Battalion.

    Politics
    Germany: Mueller diary ‘The general war situation demands our ultimate weapon’ (unlimited U-boat war). Kaiser so orders Naval Staff on January 9.
    Greece: Allied ultimatum to government demands acceptance of December 31, 1916 terms. Greece accepts on January 10.

    Eastern Front
    Rumania: Falkenhayn captures Focsani with 5,500 PoWs and crosses river Putna north and southeast of it on January 9, only to be repelled on January 10.

    Middle East
    Mesopotamia: Khalil Pasha moves Sixth Army HQ from Baghdad to 20 miles west of Kut , but refuses to evacuate south bank.

    Secret War
    Arabia: British Arab Bureau reports Baron Oppenheim’s mission at Medina.

    The War at Sea


    Three ships were reported lost today

    Andoni United Kingdom The cargo ship was torpedoed and sunk in the Mediterranean Sea 46 nautical miles (85 km) south east of Malta (35°19′N 15°07′E) by SM U-35 ( Kaiserliche Marine) with the loss of three crew.
    HMT Cape Colony Royal Navy The naval trawler struck a mine and sank in the North Sea off Harwich, Essex (52°02′N 1°46′E). Her crew survived.
    Lynfield United Kingdom The collier was sunk in the Mediterranean Sea 32 nautical miles (59 km) south east by south of Malta by SM U-35 ( Kaiserliche Marine) with the loss of a crew member. Her captain was taken as a prisoner of war. Survivors were rescued by Chili ( France).

    and finally...

    In an address before a joint meeting of Congress, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson discusses the aims of the United States in World War I and outlines his famous “Fourteen Points” for achieving a lasting peace in Europe. The peace proposal, based on Wilson’s concept of peace without victory, called for the victorious Allies to set unselfish peace terms, including freedom of the seas, the restoration of territories conquered during the war and the right to national self-determination in such contentious regions as the Balkans. Most famously, Wilson called for the establishment of a general association of nations—what would become the League of Nations—to guarantee political independence to and protect the territorial lines of great and small States alike.

    Name:  download.jpg
Views: 247
Size:  14.5 KB

    Wilson’s principal purpose in delivering the speech was to present a practical alternative both to the traditional notion of an international balance of power preserved by alliances among nations—belief in the viability of which had been shattered by the Great War—and to the Bolshevik-inspired dreams of world revolution that at the time were gaining ground both within and outside of Russia. Wilson hoped also to keep a conflict-ridden Russia in the war on the Allied side. This effort met with failure, as the Bolsheviks sought peace with the Central Powers at the end of 1917, shortly after taking power. In other ways, however, Wilson’s Fourteen Points played an essential role in world politics over the next several years. The speech was translated and distributed to the soldiers and citizens of Germany and Austria-Hungary and contributed significantly to their decision to agree to an armistice in November 1918.

    Like the man himself, Wilson’s Fourteen Points were liberal, democratic and idealistic—he spoke in grand and inspiring terms but was less certain of the specifics of how his aims would be achieved. At Versailles, Wilson had to contend with the leaders of the other victorious nations, who disagreed with many of the Fourteen Points and demanded stiff penalties for Germany. The terms of the final peace treaty—including an ineffectual League of Nations convention that Wilson could not even convince his own Congress to ratify—fell far short of his lofty visions and are believed by many to have ultimately contributed to the outbreak of a second world war two decades later.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  48. #2148

    Default

    Name:  Sniper 1.jpg
Views: 241
Size:  49.8 KB

    January 9th 1917

    1 AIRMAN HAS FALLEN ON TUESDAY JANUARY 9TH 1917

    Commander (The Honourable) Richard Orlando Beaconsfield Bridgeman RNAS - H.M.S. 'Himalaya' - H.M.S. 'Hyacinth'.

    Name:  ModinDSC.jpg
Views: 276
Size:  85.5 KB

    With Flt. Comm E. R. Moon in Short Admiralty 827 Type Seaplane No.8254 Suffered engine failure, forced to land near Kiombini, Rungi River Delta 6 January 1917. Spent four days adrift at sea,Drowned 9 January 1917 aged 37.

    Commander Bridgeman had a leading role in the key actions along the coast of East Africa between July 1915 and January 1917. During this period, he was Admiral King-Hall's Flag Commander but he didn't just remain aboard the flagship, Hyacinth. During the destruction of the Koenigsberg he often acted as Flt. Cdr. Cull's observer. The following month, he took charge of two whalers to board the SS Markgraf in Tanga Harbour, an action for which he was awarded the DSO. In August and September 1916 he was active in the actions that led to the capture of the town of Bagamoyo and the surrender of Dar es Salaam. He died in February 1917, when the seaplane in which he was flying once agian as observer, came down in the Rufiji. The pilot, Lt. Moon, was captured but Cdr. Bridgeman was drowned.

    Flt. Lt. E R Moon (pilot) & Cdr R O B Bridgeman (observer) undertook a reconnaissance of the Rufiji Delta in Short 8254, operating from seaplane carrier HMS Himalaya. On their way back the engine failed and they made a forced landing in a creek... They spent the next three days walking and swimming towards the mouth of the river. Sadly, Bridgeman died after a raft they had made was swept out to sea. Moon was captured and later awarded a DSO. Commander Bridgeman was greatly liked by the RNAS officers, with whom he had worked closely over the previous year.

    There were three aerial victory claims by aces on this day...

    Offizierstellvertreter Karl Kaszala Austro Hungarian Air Service

    Name:  kaszala.jpg
Views: 239
Size:  10.3 KB

    During World War I, Kaszala was the only Austro-Hungarian non-commissioned officer awarded the German Iron Cross, second class. He joined the army in 1914 but transferred to the air service and was posted to Flik 14 as a reconnaissance pilot. Claiming the Aviatik B.III was a deathtrap, Kaszala refused to fly it and was reassigned to Flik 1. Flying the Brandenburg C.I, he scored three victories by the beginning of 1917 and in February of that year, he was reassigned to Flik 41J under Godwin Brumowski. Flying Brandenburg and Albatros scouts on the Isonzo Front, he was credited with five more victories, including one balloon.

    Leutnant Rudolph Von Eschwege FA 30.

    Name:  eschwege.jpg
Views: 237
Size:  5.9 KB

    Having joined the army before the war, Eschwege saw action with the cavalry before his transfer to the German Air Force in 1915. In August of that year, he was posted to FA 36 as a reconnaissance pilot on the Western Front. In 1916, he was credited with his first two victories after joining FA 66 on the Macedonian front. Reassigned to FA 30 in January 1917, Eschwege became known as "The Eagle of the Aegean," achieving 18 additional victories with a variety of fighter aircraft. Having just been recommended for the Blue Max, he was killed in action during an attack on a decoy balloon launched by No. 17 Balloon Section of the Royal Flying Corps. As Eschwege engaged the target, the British ground crew detonated 500 pounds of explosive in the balloon's basket, damaging the German's Halberstadt Scout and causing it to crash.

    Leutnant Otto Konnecke Jasta 5

    Name:  konnecke.jpg
Views: 237
Size:  5.9 KB

    Könnecke entered the military in 1911 and learned to fly at Metz in 1913. When the war began, he was serving as a flight instructor. In December 1916, he was posted to Jasta 25 in Macedonia where he scored his first confirmed victory on 5 February 1917. At the end of April, Könnecke was sent to the Western Front where he often flew a green Albatros D.V with red trim and a black and white checkerboard insignia. As non-commissioned officers, Könnecke, Fritz Rumey and Josef Mai shot down 109 enemy aircraft while serving with Jasta 5.

    The Battle of The Khadairi Bend

    Name:  second-battle-of-kut.jpg
Views: 235
Size:  22.0 KB

    The Battle of the Khadairi Bend is fought as a prelude to the main offensive at the Second Battle of Kut. The highly fortified Turkish defenses at Khadairi Bend are positioned in two deep trench lines at the north of Kut in a loop of the River Tigris along the left bank. The British operations are overseen by newly-installed regional Commander-in-Chief ‘Sir’ Frederick Maude. British sappers began to dig positions underneath the Turkish lines back on 22nd December 1916 with the objective of capturing the Turkish outposts. Within two weeks they had succeeded in digging to within just 200 meters of the Turks’ eastern position. Following a series of diversionary attacks launched along the Tigris the last two days and preceded by an unusually effective artillery bombardment, a major British assault against the town is begun. British progress is good in the face of impressive Turkish opposition. Khadairi Bend itself will fall, after heavy fighting (including two concerted Turkish counter-attacks), on 29 January. With Kut secured the following month Maude briefly paused before continuing onwards to seek the politically spectacular capture of Baghdad, which duly falls in early March.

    Specifically it was intended at undermining Turkish defences sited at the highly fortified Khadairi Bend, positioned in two deep trench lines at the north of Kut in a loop of the River Tigris along the left bank. Following a series of diversionary attacks launched along the Tigris on 7 and 8 January 1917, and preceded by an unusually effective artillery bombardment, a major British assault against the town was initiated by Maude on 9 January.

    The Battle of Magruntein

    The Battle of Magruntein (or Battle of Rafah) begins. At 07:00 the Turkish garrison is isolated by the cutting of the telegraph lines to Gaza and the British horse artillery batteries commenced firing on the redoubts. The bombardment begins at 09:30 and ends thirty minutes later. Around 10:00 a party of Turks attempt to escape up the road towards Gaza but are intercepted by the Canterbury Regiment of the New Zealand brigade who capture 171 prisoners. The attack commences with the dismounted troops advancing from the east and south. The 3rd Light Horse and 5th (Yeomanry) Brigades are initially held in reserve but are quickly sent to join the attack so that by 11:00 a ring of infantry is advancing on the Turkish positions. However the Turks are in a strong defensive position and their redoubts are ideally placed to provide supporting fire for each other. The Turkish position is located at El Magruntein, about one mile south of the Rafa police post on the border. A bare hill, named Hill 255, dominates the surrounding country which is utterly devoid of cover. The Turks have constructed four redoubts; one on the summit of Hill 255 and three more to the west, south and east of the summit, named “A”, “B” and “C” Redoubts respectively.

    By 12:15 the New Zealanders have closed to within five hundred meters of the enemy trenches but they can make no further progress. In most places the attacking troops are exposed to direct fire from the redoubts so a constant stream of fire is maintained on the Turkish parapets to protect them. As the afternoon wears on the attacker’s ammunition begins to run low. When their machine guns begin to run out of ammunition the quartermaster of the Wellington Mounted Rifles brings up 24,000 rounds of small arms ammunition at the gallop while the Inverness Battery of the horse artillery runs out of shells and has to withdraw.

    Name:  Firing_line_at_the_Battle_of_Rafa_1917.jpg
Views: 243
Size:  16.0 KB
    Empire Firing Line at Rafa

    General Chetwode is now becoming worried. Prisoners have told him that he is facing 2,000 Turks, supported by four mountain guns and by German machine gunners, and that another regiment is on its way to reinforce the garrison. Chetwode calls for a last concentrated effort by all assault forces. Chetwode and Chauvel are well aware that the Anzac Mounted Division comprises the majority of the mounted troops available to the British in the Egyptian theatre and consequently they are not willing to sustain significant casualties.

    The attack gains no ground, and by 16:00 the situation is critical. Chetwode decides to break off the attack. Orders for the withdrawal are issued, and some assault units immediately pull back. However, the withdrawal order has not reached Chaytor. At the same time Chetwode is issuing his withdrawal order Chaytor issues orders for a brigade advance. From the north, the three regiments of the New Zealand brigade charge over a mile against the main redoubt on Hill 255. At the same time, the camel brigade charges from the south against the ‘B’ Redoubt. Seeing these attacks going in, the 1st Light Horse Brigade moves in from the east against the ‘C’ Redoubt. In all cases when the attackers get into the Turkish trenches, the defenders quickly surrender and as each redoubt was taken, the resistance from the other redoubts diminishes until by nightfall the entire position has been captured.

    The Turks facing the New Zealand Mounted Rifles charge surrender but German machine gunners on the right flank fire into the New Zealanders, causing several casualties. The mounted riflemen immediately bring up machine guns and, covered by their fire, climb out of the captured redoubt and attack the next one. However before they reach their objective the garrison stands up as one and surrenders. With the loss of the vital high ground, the lower enemy positions are immediately rendered indefensible, and they quickly collapse. The Australian light horsemen and the Imperial Camel corps quickly secure the remaining enemy positions. By 17:15 it is all over. At 18:30 the Desert Column withdraws to Sheikh Zowaiid, where it spent the night. The Anzac Mounted Division’s field ambulances remain on the battlefield overnight to collect the last of the wounded, protected by two regiments of light horsemen. The British have suffered 71 killed and 415 wounded among the dead is Private Frank Robert Morse-Kincaid (Imperial Camel Corps) killed in action at age 21. His brother will be killed in August next year. The Turks have lost about 200 killed, 162 wounded and 1,473 unwounded prisoners. This battle clears the Turks out of the Sinai desert in Egypt, and General ‘Sir’ Archibald Murray is authorized an advance into Palestine.

    Name:  Battle_of_Rafa_map_(Powles_pp.80-1).jpg
Views: 240
Size:  21.8 KB

    Following the battle, a strong rearguard position manned by two light horse regiments, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Leslie Cecil Maygar, was established. Meanwhile, the bulk of the Desert Column returned to Sheikh Zowaiid for water and rations, arriving about midnight. The two light horse regiments that had remained at Rafa stood guard, while the battlefield was cleared by the light horse field ambulances, whose stretcher bearers worked into the night. The 3rd Light Horse Field Ambulance, covered by the 8th Light Horse Regiment (3rd Light Horse Brigade), remained on the battlefield, as all available ambulance carts and empty wagons were sent up from Sheikh Zowaiid to help transport the wounded to hospital. The ANZAC Mounted Division's field ambulance units had been reorganised before the battle, and were equipped with 10 pairs of litters, 15 pairs of cacolets, 12 sand-carts, 12 cycle stretchers and six sledges. With this, they were able transport 92 patients at a time, and they set about the task of evacuating the wounded. The following morning, the 8th Light Horse Regiment was attacked by Ottoman cavalry and camel units. After a period of fighting, the attackers were forced to withdraw, leaving 14 prisoners behind. The whole of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade returned to the battlefield on 10 January with the 7th Light Car Patrol and wagons to collect captured materials.

    The War at Sea

    The battleship HMS Cornwallis is sunk sixty miles southeast of Malta by three torpedoes fired by the German submarine U32.

    HMS Cornwallis was a Duncan-class pre-dreadnought battleship of the Royal Navy. After commissioning in 1904, she spent most of her pre-World War I service with the Mediterranean Fleet. At the time of the outbreak of World War I, she was part of the 6th Battle Squadron which was composed of pre-dreadnought battleships and based at Portland. From January 1915, Cornwallis served in the Dardanelles Campaign, bombarding Ottoman Turkish forts and proving support for Allied forces landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Apart from a short period of service in the Indian Ocean, she remained in the Mediterranean and it was here that she was lost to a torpedo from a German submarine. She remained afloat long enough for most of her crew to abandon ship, although fifteen men of her complement of 720 died from as a result of the explosion of the torpedo.

    Name:  HMS_Cornwallis_(Duncan-class_battleship).jpg
Views: 239
Size:  10.6 KB

    HMS Cornwallis was laid down by Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company at Leamouth, London on 19 July 1899 and launched on 17 July 1901, when she was christened by Mrs. William L. Ainslie, wife of one of the directors. The launching ceremony was subdued, due to the Court mourning, yet the launch was witnessed by a vast throng of spectators, including diplomats from the other naval powers at the time. After delays due to labour troubles, she was completed in February 1904.

    Cornwallis and her five sisters of the Duncan class were ordered in response to large French and Russian building programmes, including an emphasis on fast battleships in the Russian programme; they were designed as smaller, more lightly armoured, and faster versions of the preceding Formidable class. As it turned out, the Russian ships were not as heavily armed as initially feared, and the Duncans proved to be quite superior in their balance of speed, firepower, and protection. Armour layout was similar to that of London, with reduced thickness in the barbettes and belt. Cornwallis and her sisters had machinery capable of 3,000 indicated horsepower (2,200 kW) more than the Formidables and Londons and were the first British battleships with 4-cylinder triple-expansion engines. They also had a modified hull form to improve speed. The ships had a reputation as good steamers, with a designed speed of 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph) and an operational speed of 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph), good steering at all speeds, and an easy roll. They were the fastest battleships in the Royal Navy when completed, and the fastest pre-dreadnoughts ever built other than the Swiftsure-class HMS Swiftsure and HMS Triumph. Cornwallis herself was the fastest of the Duncan class on trials, achieving 19.56 knots (36.23 km/h; 22.51 mph), although her sister Albemarle was viewed as the best steamer of the class in everyday operations.

    When World War I began in August 1914, plans originally called for Cornwallis and battleships Agamemnon, Albemarle, Duncan, Exmouth, Russell, and Vengeance to combine in the 6th Battle Squadron and serve in the Channel Fleet, where the squadron was to patrol the English Channel and cover the movement of the British Expeditionary Force to France. However, plans also existed for the 6th Battle Squadron to be assigned to the Grand Fleet, and, when the war began, the Commander-in-Chief, Grand Fleet, Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, requested that Cornwallis and her four surviving sister ships of the Duncan class (Albemarle, Duncan, Exmouth, and Russell) be assigned to the 3rd Battle Squadron in the Grand Fleet for patrol duties to make up for the Grand Fleet's shortage of cruisers. Accordingly, the 6th Battle Squadron was abolished temporarily, and Cornwallis joined the 3rd Battle Squadron at Scapa Flow on 8 August 1914. Cornwallis and her four Duncan-class sisters, as well as the battleships of the King Edward VII class, temporarily were transferred to the Channel Fleet on 2 November 1914 to reinforce that fleet in the face of Imperial German Navy activity in the Channel Fleet's area. On 13 November 1914, the King Edward VII-class ships returned to the Grand Fleet, but Cornwallis and the other Duncans stayed in the Channel Fleet, where they reconstituted the 6th Battle Squadron on 14 November 1914. This squadron was given a mission of bombarding German submarine bases on the coast of Belgium, and was based at Portland, although it transferred to Dover immediately on 14 November 1914. However, due a lack of antisubmarine defenses at Dover, the squadron returned to Portland on 19 November 1914. The 6th Battle Squadron returned to Dover in December 1914. Cornwallis was detached from the squadron in late December 1914 and assigned to West Ireland, where she was based at Clew Bay and Killarney Bay. She remained there until January 1915. In January 1915, Cornwallis was ordered to the Dardanelles to participate in the Dardanelles Campaign. She departed Portland on 24 January 1915 and arrived at Tenedos to join the British Dardanelles Squadron on 13 February 1915.

    Name:  250px-HMS_Cornwallis_broadside_Suvla_December_1915.jpg
Views: 249
Size:  10.0 KB
    Cornwallis fires a broadside during the withdrawal from Suvla Bay in December 1915

    Cornwallis participated in all the operations of the Dardanelles campaign. She took part in the opening bombardment of the Ottoman Turkish entrance forts on 18 February 1915 and 19 February 1915 (firing the first shell of the bombardment), combined with battleships Albion, Triumph, and Vengeance in using her secondary battery to silence forts Sedd el Bahr and Kum Kale on 25 February 1915, and took part in the main bombardment of the Narrows forts on 18 March 1915. She also supported the landings at Morto Bay on 25 April 1915. From 18 December 1915 through 20 December 1915, she covered the evacuation of Allied troops from Suvla Bay, firing 500 12-inch (305 mm) and 6,000 6-inch (152 mm) rounds, and was the last large ship to leave the Suvla Bay area. After the Suvla Bay evacuation was complete, Cornwallis was transferred to the Suez Canal Patrol, which she joined on 4 January 1916. She operated as part of this patrol and on the East Indies Station until March 1916, including convoy duty in the Indian Ocean. She returned to the eastern Mediterranean in March 1916, and underwent a refit at Malta in May and June 1916. On 9 January 1917, Cornwallis was hit on her starboard side by a torpedo from German submarine U-32, commanded by Kurt Hartwig, in the eastern Mediterranean, 60 nautical miles (110 km; 69 mi) east of Malta. Some of her stokeholds flooded, causing her to list about ten degrees to starboard, but counter flooding corrected the list. About 75 minutes after the first torpedo hit, another did, also on the starboard side, and Cornwallis rolled quickly to starboard. Fifteen men were killed in the torpedo explosions, but she stayed afloat long enough to get the rest of the crew off. She sank about 30 minutes after the second torpedo hit.

    Tunstill's men: Billets in the Hospice and Cavalry and Infantry Barracks in Ypres and at Zillebeke Bund. The Battalion was relieved by 8th KOYLI and assembled at Ypres station at 5.45pm; at 7pm they boarded a train for Vlamertinghe and on arrival completed the familiar march to Winnipeg Camp.

    Sea War
    Germany: After final council of war (at Pless) a Kaiser order is issued: ‘I command that UNRE*STRICTED U-BOAT WAR*FARE BE INSTITUTED WITH THE UTMOST ENERGY ON FEBRUARY 1.’ Bethmann says ‘U-boat warfare is the last card’. (Austria backs decision on January 20)

    Eastern Atlantic: Raider Seeadler sinks first victim and another British ship (January 10) south of the Azores.

    SMS Seeadler (Ger: sea eagle) was a three-master windjammer. She was one of the last fighting sailing ships to be used in war when she served as a merchant raider with Imperial Germany in World War I. Built as the US-flagged Pass of Balmaha, she was captured by the German submarine SM U-36, and in 1916 converted to a commerce raider. As Seeadler she had a successful raiding career, capturing and sinking 15 ships in 225 days until she was wrecked, in September 1917, in French Polynesia.

    Name:  300px-Pass_of_Balmaha_later_SMS_Seeadler.png
Views: 229
Size:  69.3 KB

    Originally named Pass of Balmaha, she was built by Robert Duncan Company, Port Glasgow, Scotland, in 1888. She was a 1,571 GRT steel-hulled sailing vessel 245 feet (75 m) long owned by the Harris-Irby Cotton Company, Boston.

    She was captured by U-36 in the North Sea en route to Kirkwall. The circumstances of her capture are somewhat peculiar. She departed from New York Harbor in June 1915. Originally bound for the Arctic port of Arkhangelsk to deliver a cargo of cotton for the Russian war effort, she was intercepted by the British auxiliary cruiser Victorian off the coast of Norway. A boarding party was sent aboard to inspect the cargo for contraband, headed by the captain of the cruiser. The British captain found reason to find the ship suspect, and ordered the captain of the Pass, Captain Scott, to set sail for Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands for further inspection. A prize crew of one officer and six marines was left aboard to ensure that Scott did not alter his course. The British officer ordered the neutral American colours struck and replaced with the British flag, against the will of Captain Scott, who realised that this would mark his ship as a belligerent. Soon after, the U-36 intercepted the Pass. Out of a desire to avoid being impounded, Scott ordered the British hidden in the hold and the Union Jack quickly replaced with the Stars and Stripes. The commander of the U-36, Captain Ernst Gräff, was not entirely convinced by this ruse and ordered the Pass to sail for Cuxhaven for inspection. A German ensign was left aboard. The American crewmen, resentful of what they perceived as British meddling, locked the British marines in the hold to make sure that they did not attempt to retake the ship and cause unnecessary bloodshed.

    Name:  200px-SMSSeeadlerFront.PNG
Views: 226
Size:  103.5 KB

    The Pass of Balmaha reached Cuxhaven without major incident, and was boarded by a German inspection party. Captain Scott then revealed the seven British seamen to the Germans, who imprisoned them. For their cooperation, the Americans were allowed free passage to a neutral country, but the Pass became property of the German Navy. By 1916 the Allies had blockaded German warships in the North Sea, and any commerce raiders that succeeded in breaking out lacked foreign or colonial bases for resupply of coal. This gave rise to the idea of equipping a sailing ship instead, since it would not require coaling. The Seeadler was equipped with an auxiliary engine, hidden lounges, accommodation for additional crew and prisoners, two hidden 105 mm cannons that could emerge from the deck, two hidden heavy machine guns, and rifles for boarding parties. These weapons were rarely fired, and many of the 15 ships encountered by the Seeadler were sunk with only one single accidental casualty on either side during the entire journey.

    On 21 December 1916, she sailed under the command of Kapitänleutnant Felix von Luckner. The ship was disguised as a Norwegian wood carrier and succeeded in crossing the British blockading line despite being boarded for an inspection. The crew had been handpicked partly for their ability to speak Norwegian. Over the next 225 days, she captured 15 ships in the Atlantic and Pacific and led the British and US Navies on a merry chase. Her journey ended wrecked on a reef at the island of Mopelia 450 km from Tahiti in the Society Islands, part of French Polynesia. Luckner and some crew sailed for Fiji, where they were captured and imprisoned. A French schooner, the Lutece, of 126 tons was captured by the remaining crew on 5 September 1917. They sailed to Easter Island as Fortuna, arriving on 4 October and running aground there, after which they were interned by the Chilean authorities.

    Name:  250px-Seeadler_SLV_Allen_Green.jpg
Views: 228
Size:  5.0 KB

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  49. #2149

    Default

    How could I have missed this one...

    SS Lesbian (I kid you not folks) was a cargo ship built for the Ellerman Lines in 1915. She was shelled and sunk by German U-boat U-35.

    Lesbian was a built as a cargo ship for the Ellerman Lines by W. Harkess & Sons of Middlesbrough. Sources do not indicate when Lesbian's keel was laid, but she was launched on 3 April 1915, and completed by July of the same year. The ship was 93.1 metres (305 ft 5 in) long (between perpendiculars) and was 12.9 metres (42 ft 4 in) abeam. She was powered by a single triple-expansion steam engine and had a top speed of 11 knots (20 km/h). Lesbian was registered at 2,555 gross register tons (GRT).[Sources do not indicate what size crew she carried. Lesbian was defensively armed against attacks by submarines, but available sources provide no indication of what size or how many guns with which she was equipped.

    Name:  lesbian.jpg
Views: 218
Size:  40.3 KB

    As an aside you wouldn't believe some of the links you get when you put the words SS Lesbian into a search engine, (now where is the delete history button, lol)
    Last edited by Hedeby; 01-09-2017 at 15:55.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  50. #2150

    Default

    Like the salty sea tales Chris.

    "He is wise who watches"

Page 43 of 76 FirstFirst ... 333435363738394041424344454647484950515253 ... LastLast


Similar Missions

  1. 100 up today.
    By Flying Officer Kyte in forum UK Wing
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 02-23-2018, 02:05
  2. 68 years ago today - A Warning to New York
    By Naharaht in forum Officer's Club
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 05-07-2015, 10:54
  3. 100 years ago today.
    By Flying Officer Kyte in forum Officer's Club
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 07-29-2014, 01:05
  4. 71 Years Ago Today
    By ptownhiker in forum Officer's Club
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 12-10-2012, 14:13
  5. (Werner Voss) 95 years ago today ...
    By MoonSylver in forum WGF: Historical Discussions
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 09-27-2012, 07:21

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may edit your posts
  •