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  • keithmroberts

    How NOT to use blogs

    By keithmroberts

    This area is not for queries but for ongoing blogs. if you want to ask for help, please go to the appropriate sub-forum in the main part of the GWF. You have been asked to make your first post in a specified location. Once you have done that, your query can be raised in the various sections of the forum. If you previously posted a request for help or information in this area, it is likely to be deleted at some point in the next few weeks or months. So if you have a reply, please make a note of it, If not, can you re-post it in the appropriate part of the forum, which is likely to get you a quick response. Keith Roberts for the GWF team
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Our community blogs

  1. andyselby's Blog

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    andyselby
    Latest Entry

    Hi there. I have a quick query and I hope someone can help me. At present I am attempting to mark out the barrage lines for the 5th Australian Division's Left Group Artillery in March 1917. I am using the 1/10000 Map of Guedecourt to Thilloy and Beaulencourt dated 5/1/1917. I have come across the map reference N9C 55.10. Is the last number a Ten or a One? I am a bit puzzled by this. The barrage line reference is: N 22a 50.55-N15b8.3-N9c 55.10. All the best-Andy RUSSELL

  2. Graeme Wapling's Blog

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    Hello all.

    This is my first post. And boy this forum seems complicated - probably me. My grandfather, Joseph Herbert Wapling, whom I never knew, was a Gunner in the RGA in France. He was a British reservist who was mobilized and left Australia, and was posted on arrival in England to what looks like "3 Dpt" on 18 Dec 1914.. His records for his time in France show Anti-Aircraft and trench details from 4 Jan 1915 to 14 Jun 1916, with the B.E.F., He was then returned to England, and was retired unfit for duty soon thereafter. He died a tragic death in 1918, apparently as the result of his war experiences. His Army record refers to trench fever and melancholia and being "In the field" in May 1916 when sent to 57th Field Ambulance. His medal card has in the "Roll" column the numbers and letters RGA/105B, (Page 485) and RGA/113, (Page 64) There is also mention on the bottom of that card SWB List RGA/59. His brother in a newspaper article said that Joseph was in the 4th Trench battery with the B.E.F. in France.

    I wonder whether this information is helpful and enough to determine where in France my grandfather served for that 17 month period.

    Thanks Graeme Wapling

  3. Westonfront's Blog

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    Westonfront
    Latest Entry

    blog-0283470001340014507.jpgHi I have just recently joined and am just feeling my way around the Forum to see how it all works.

    I am into the Herefordshire Regiment and WW1 in general, just republished my first book which went to print in 2005, long since sold out so have revised and done an updated version Redan Ridge The Last Stand isbn 978-0-9552477-1-2.

    I am due to retire in September so hope to do another book maybe on Gallipoli.

    Hope to meet up with members sometime.

    Pete

  4. Jason Davidson's Blog

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    blog-0811438001339642670.jpgHello,

    I am trying to make contact with a Peter Bennett regarding Photographs of Knightsbridge cemetry on Mesnil Ridge. I have just recieved information regarding my Great,Great uncle. Gunner Frank Richard William Hayward. He is buried at Knightsbridge row H 34.

    Peter had a post stating that he had taken photographs of every headstone within the cemetry and I would like to try and obtain some copies.

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    Kind Regards

    Jason Davidson

    Email firstoptionprinting_sales@bigpond.com

  5. I am trying to obtain information of Alfred Andrews, corporal of the Connaught Rangers born 1898 lived Kingston on Thames,his medal card shows 2B which i belive was the Balkans,it shows his service number as 5185,i assume he was in the 5th Battalion? Gallipoli.

    I have a hand writen letter from The King from Buckingham Palace signed George R dated 1918,and at the top is the name C/l Andrews Connaught rangers,in a different hand , i have also seen the same type of letter in Maidstone Museum,

    The letter states the Queen joins me in welcoming you on your release from the miseries and hardships which you have endured with much patience and courage .

    During these many months of trial,the early resuce of our gallant officers and men from the cruellties of thir captivity has been uppermost in our thoughts.

    We are thankful that this longed for day has arrived and back in the old country you will be able once more to enjoy the happiness of home & to see good days among those who anxiously look forward for your return

    George R

    I asume he must have been a POW ? any help would be appreciated

    Source: Connaught Ranger Alfred Andrews

  6. Helen Ball's Blog

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    I am trying to discover my grandfather's First World War record. I have discovered that he was in the 16th Queen's Lancers. I have tried the National Archives and Ancestry, and I can only find one entry, and that is for the Medal Rolls Index, and I have no confirmation that it might be him. I have contacted the 16th Queen's Lancers museum, and they have only one record of an A Carpenter. My grandfather never spoke of his time in the war, and I only have a photograph of him in uniform. I have scanned the photo, unfortunately my computer is in for repair, and cannot attach. His name was Charles William Carpenter, who was born on the 28th May 1893, at the time he enlisted he was a miner in Ferndale, in South Wales. Any help would be grately appreciated.

  7. Norrette's Blog

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    Twitter is based on 'Followers' (those who can see your tweets); and those you 'Follow' - those whose tweets you see on your home page.

    Postings are limited to 140 characters, though long urls will automatically be given a short name.

    The Hashtag is like a reference code so anyone who has a twitter account can put this in the search box and see all tweets which have that hashtag in the text (eg #Arras95 - it's not case sensitive) even from people they are not following. This is very useful when you have a new twitter account and not many people are following you (i.e. no-one knows you exist) That way everyone who has an interest in Arras95, say, will see your postings and then hopefully will 'follow you'

    Retweeting is the way of spreading someone's posting so that your own followers can see them. Move your cursor over the item to be retweeted and you will see the options: Reply , Retweet etc.

    To find people to 'follow', click on your 'Followers' and see who is following them. Then click on the userid and you will be given an option to follow.

    Here's a basic screenshot to show where everything is:

    7064127919_1570b5a1fd_b.jpg

    This is just the basics to get anyone started - if you get lost - just click on 'Home' at the top.

  8. Bob Wells' Blog

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    Hi,

    I am researching my father's military record. He was 5045 CSM H P Wells of the Royal Irish Regiment. I have an attestation from the ICRC listing him as being captured at Cambrai or Bertry or "Apincourt sic" on 27-08-1914. He is then listed as a POW at the following camps: -

    Senne 03-10-1914

    Sennelager 16-01-1915

    Dulmen 22-07-1916 coming from Mannheim

    MINDEN 30-04-1917

    Soltau 17-10-1917 coming from Minden II

    He was then repatriated to Hull 18-11-1918.

    He was awarded a DCM in 1920, which I can only assume was for something that happened whilst a POW.

    If anyone can help with my research I would be very grateful

    Many thanks

    Bob Wells

  9. Higgy's Blog

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    Hello I'm new to this, my post is about Mesopotania

    My wife's grandfather was 17787 Pte Henry Higgingbottom 2nd Batt Leicester Reg serving with the (Meerut) Div arriving in Mesopotania in Dec 1915, In Apr 1916 He was twice wounded and left for dead after the battle of Sanniyat, Later on the British Red Cross & the Cresent Red Cross came out to look for the wounded, from the story that has been passed down because he was a young and good looking chap, one of the nurses looked at him a second time and noticed that he was still alive, got him to the field hospital he was then evacuated by ship before the fall of Kut, and came back to england. I have His Discharge Certificate signed by the King stating that he Served with honour and was disabled in the great war, Honourably discharged on 18th Dec 1916.

    Could any out there tell me the name of the ship he might have been evacuated on and also the hospital he would have been sent to both overseas and here in England

    Would there have been any other medals other than the 1914 star, the Defence Medal, & the Victory Medal he would have been entitled too

  10. Demir's Blog

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    The Turkish War Medal - Harp Madalyası - Eiserner Halbmond - Gallipoli Medal

    AUTHOR : M. Demir Erman, ANKARA/TURKEY

    correspondence address: exe1exe@gmail.com

    Book Published by: Matsa Printing

    English and Turkish

    for pictures:

    http://theturkishwarmedal.wordpress.com/

    172 pages total. 65 pages English, 46 pages Annex color pictures, 61 pages Turkish

    CONTENTS

    Preface and Acknowledgements 6Very Brief History of the Ottoman Empire 9World War I 12Gallipoli War 13Palestine, Caucasus and Galicia Battles 16Independence War and the Republic 17War Medals of the Ottoman Empire 18The Regulation of the War Medal dated 1915 21Amendments on the War Medal Regulation 24The Effective Dates of the War Medal Regulation and Amendments 31Ministry of War and Army Orders About the War Medal 34Law of the Turkish Grand National Assembly and theDecree of the Council of Ministers 36First Type of the War Medal Which was DesignedAccording to the Regulation but Never Produced Due to aShape and Metal Change 39The War Medal 41The War Medal and the German Iron Cross 44The Certificate of the War Medal 46The War Medal Ribbon 49The Package of the War Medal 53War Medal Miniatures, Ribbon Bars And Pins 55 War Medals of the German and Austrian Make 56No Name Medals 58Views on the War Medal 59SOURCES 62ANNEX 66

  11. lanyard's Blog

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    denfus
    Latest Entry

    hi everyone, hope you can help. i am looking for pictues of regimental and kings colour flags for first battalion, royal irish rifles in ww1. tried the usual places, even R.I.R. museum in belfast. no luck so far. any ideas?

  12. august's Blog

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    I have a 57 page document written by General Hermann von Francois, o/c 1st Army Corps, 8th Army. He tells about his involvement in the battles of Stallaponen, Gumbinnen and Tannenberg during August 1914. My problem is that it is written in Gothic German and I wish to have it translated into English. Does anyone know where this can be done?

  13. old-snowdropo's Blog

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    My great uncle Raymond King Harvey enlisted in the RGA in about 1910, after initial training he was posted to 83 company RGA Hong Kong and in 1911 was an acting bombardier. In 1915 Raymond was posted to Egypt where he was promoted to sergeant. After posting home to England he joined 84 Brigade RGA in France about March1916 where he won the military medal and was commissioned in the field, posted to 77th siege battery. Raymond was ultimately promoted to captain and retired from the army in 1921. I am not able to get out and about much and wondered if any members can help me with the following information.

    (1) When I search the London Gazette I can only obtain Raymonds promotion from sergeant to 2nd lieutenant and cannot find any other reference in the gazette for any further promotions.

    (2) When an NCO was given a field promotion did he instantly become a 2nd lieutenant or posted back to England for officer training.

    (3) As stated previously cannot get out and about much so am reliant upon the internet for my information. Can anyone help with the unit diary for the 77th siege battery and or the history of the battery written by captain F W Walter published by Spottiswood I think. I really would be extremely grateful for any help fellow members can give me. Dick Harvey.

  14. magicpom's Blog

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    Would anyone believe it has taken me over 2 hours to get this far with my first blog.... didnt even know what one was til now!!

    I am working with the World war 1 project for Tynemouth ROH, and thought it might me good if I could research some of the soldiers. My husband was in the army but doesnt know anything about research or computers, so I need some kind person to help me out.

    Thank you in advance

    magicpom

  15. jmmalone's Blog

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    jmmalonejr
    Latest Entry

    "Haileybury College, Inter-House Team Race, 1915,L.E.B. Wimbush." These words areengraved on an antique pewter beer mug that somehow foundits way from England 7,280 miles across Europe and Asia to an antiques flea marketin Jalan Surabaya, Jakarta, Indonesia, where it was found, purchased andpresented to me by my wife sixty-two years later in 1977. The mug gathered duston various shelves as we continued to travel the world until we finally retiredand came to rest in the mountains of Western North Carolina in 2001. It was there, one longwinter evening about four years ago, that I happened to take it down from theshelf and re-read the inscription. My curiosity was aroused. Who was Wimbushanyway, and why might this trophy of his have found its way into my possession?Was there perhaps an interesting story waiting to be told? Would I be able tofind some information about him on Google? That evening I began a fascinating internet"paper chase" which, over many more evenings, gradually enabled me to piecetogether almost the entire life history of young L.E.B. Wimbush as well as awealth of background information about the people, times and places he musthave encountered.

    This is the true story behind the mysterious mug, consisting mostly of documented facts from internetsources or published histories but partly of my own imaginings. It is a story of heroism, love, irony and tragic death; a story about a handsome youngEnglishman who volunteered to fight the Germans in the skies above Franceduring the Great War; a story I felt strongly compelled to discover, research and write, not out of mere curiosity but almost as if called to the task frombeyond the grave by young Wimbush himself.

    Haileybury College, originally founded in 1805 as "East India Company College" and subsequently renamed "Imperial Service College" (1845) and later "United Services College" (1874), has traditionally servedas an elite preparatory school for the upper ranks of military and civilian leadershipof the British Empire,both at home and abroad. Seventeen Haileybury alumni have received the VictoriaCross, placing Haileybury a close third among British "public schools," rightbehind Eton and Harrow. And more than 1,400 Haileyburyalumni have given their lives while serving their country in the military.

    Try to imagine L.E.B.Wimbush as a handsome, dark-haired, rosy-cheeked, seventeen year old Englishschoolboy in running shorts and singlet. He stands in the center of a similarly-clad group of schoolboys. It would be early fall in 1915, and they gather on the terrace behind "The East India College Arms," the oldestpublic house in the tiny village of Hertford Heath, just a convenient six hundred yards from the four Haileybury College Quad Houses. As a sixth former and house prefect, Wimbushis allowed by the House Master of Melvill to drink "small beer and cider inmoderation." He lifts his new trophy, not yet engraved with his name, tocelebrate his team's victory. He drains the beer, burps with satisfaction,licks his lips and smiles beatifically at his teammates.

    It is the afternoon of the annual Inter-House Team Race. They have just defeated their traditionalrivals from Bartle Frere House across the Quad, captained by Barker, Wimbush's best friend and greatest rival ever since they attended Berkhampstead Grammar School together. Bartle Frere actuallyfinished the course just ahead of Melvill, but were disqualified for failing to touch hands at one of the relay points along the course.

    "Remember, chaps, we Melvillians are always good sports. Moreover, we only won the race by sheerluck, not by running faster. So let's not rub it in when we meet the Bartle Frere boys. If I hear of any ungentlemanly behaviour, there will be lots oflines to write! Understood?"

    The other boys reply to their house prefect in unison, "Yes, Wimbush."

    Later, Wimbush meetsBarker on the Quad, and they shake hands.

    "Hard luck, Barker!Your boys ran a fine race."

    "Thanks, Wimbush. Decent of you to say so. But let me ask you, if I may be so bold: Do you reallyintend to display that ridiculous little tin cup you won?"

    "I see your point,Barker. No, I rather think I will just keep the handsome pewter mug in my room as a reminder of the importance of my continuing good fortune. But I really must take issue with your calling it a 'little tin cup.' That's a bit unfair,isn't it, old man? After all, the inter-house team race has been Haileybury'sfavorite athletic event ever since it was first run eleven years ago. Apartfrom rugger and cricket, that is."

    The scene shifts. It is now June, 1916, and the war is going badly for the Allies, with Hindenburg'sarmy advancing deep into northern France along the valleys of the Somme and the Oise. Wimbush graduates from Haileyburyand is now a man of eighteen years, volunteering, along with most of hisclassmates, to fight the Germans. He and the other brand new Probationary Flight Sub-Lieutenants (temporary) have purchased their uniforms, kissed theirparents and girlfriends good-bye and arrived to learn how to fly at the Eastbourne Royal Naval Air Station, perched on the low cliffs above the beachtwenty miles east of Brighton. Wimbush carefully unpacks his kit and places the pewter mug on a shelf above his bed in the room he will be sharing with Barker.

    "You still seem inordinately proud of that little tin cup of yours, Wimbush. Does it possessmagic powers?"

    "I'm hoping so, Barker.I'll probably need a lucky talisman over there in France. But you still sound envious. Are you?"

    In reply, Barker shies his pillow at Wimbush's head, missing. "See, Barker? It's working already!"

    Ever since losing the race Barker has kept up a badinage about Wimbush's trophy, superficiallygood-natured, but with undertones of bitterness. Wimbush wonders if Barker is still hoping for a chance to even the score somehow. The rivalry soonre-emerges as the two accumulate hours of instruction and practice in theungainly MF7 "Longhorn" flight trainers. Then, a few days ahead of Barker,Wimbush is cleared for solo flight. On the 23rd of August, having accumulated atotal of 353 hours at the controls, Wimbush takes his final qualifying flightwith his instructor in the old MF7 and is certified ready for advanced trainingin fighting aeroplanes. He is confirmed in his rank as a Probationary Flight Sub-Lieutenant and given a week's leave to visit his familyat 13 Pembroke Gardens in Kensington before reporting to RNAS Chingford for advanced training.

    One evening during his leave, after rather a lot of Champagne at the Elysée Restaurant inPicadilly, where they might have watched a cabaret performance by a handsome young dancer named Noel Coward, Wimbush and his sweetheart – let us call her "Barbara"– become engaged. Barbara loves the way he looks in his smart navy blue uniform with the gold braid on the sleeves. He loves the way she French kisses.

    As it happens,Chingford Naval Air Station is on the northern outskirts of London, only fourteen miles from Wimbush'shome in Kensington. He will be able to get weekend passes to go home, spend Saturday evenings dancing, drinking and French kissing with Barbara and enjoyhis Dad's good claret and a thick slice of his Mum's Sunday joint before going back to another week of the food at the Chingford mess.

    Even before arriving at Chingford,Wimbush has heard a lot about the revolutionary new Sopwith Triplane he and theothers would be flying there. Nothing quite like it has ever been built for military purposes. The Triplane layout was adopted in order togive the pilot the widest possible field of vision, and to ensure manoeuvrability.The central wing is level with the pilot's eyes and obscures very little of his view, and the narrow chord of all the mainplanes ensures that the top andbottom wings interfere less with his outlook than the wings of a biplane. The narrow chord aids manoeuvrability, for the shift of the centre of pressure withchanges of incidence is comparatively small; this permits the use of a short fuselage. At the same time, the distribution of the wing area over threemainplanes keeps the span short and confers a high rate of roll. The Triplanehas a maximum speed of 117 mph at 5,000 ft. and can stay in the air for two and three quarters hours without refuelling. Its service ceiling is 20,500 ft. Itcarries only one synchronized Vickers .303 machine gun mounted centrally on topof the fuselage, firing forward.

    The prototype Triplane, serial N500,first flies on the 28th of May, 1916, with Harry Hawker, a Sopwith test pilot, at the controls. Within three minutes of takeoff, Hawker startlesonlookers by looping the aircraft three times in succession, the daring "tripleloop" manoeuvre. The Triplane is very agile, with effective, well-harmonisedcontrols.When manoeuvring, however, the Triplane presents an unusual appearance. Oneobserver notes that the aircraft looks like "a drunken flight of steps"when rolling.

    N500 flies to France in mid-June, 1916 to undergo service trials with Naval "A" Fighting Squadron at Furnes. No time islost in testing it in action against the Germans, for it is sent up on an interception within a quarter of an hour of its arrival at Furnes. TheTriplane's combat debut is highly successful. The new fighter's exceptionalrate of climb and high service ceiling give it a marked advantage over the Albatros D III, though the Triplane is slower in a dive and carries only onemachine gun. The Admiralty quickly issues orders for the construction of 147more Triplanes for the RNAS.

    Unfortunately, after a near-fatal accident during advanced pilot training at Chingford, the Triplanealso gains a reputation for structural weakness because the wings sometimes threaten to collapse in steep power dives. This defect is attributed to the useof light gauge bracing wires in the first 46 aircraft, built by subcontractorClayton & Shuttleworth. Several pilots use cables or additional wires tostrengthen their Triplanes.

    Wimbush receives orders to join the recently formed No. 8 Naval Air Squadron inFebruary 1917 and is granted a fortnight's leave before leaving for France and the war. The night before his departure, he takes Barbara back to the Elysée Restaurant where they firstdecided to become engaged during his last leave in September. The Elysée is the only decent London nightspot still open since the Zeppelin bombing attacks on Britishcities began the year before. Again they have lots of Champagne, watch the cabaret performance and dance the night away, holding each other close. Barbara is tipsy. She kissesthe lobe of Wimbush's ear and whispers.

    "Darling, Mummy and Daddy are down at the country house this weekend, and the servants have thenight off. I've had enough Champagne and dancing. Take me home and take me to bed. That's an order, Lieutenant!" Wimbushquickly pays their bill and they don their coats and rush out into the freezingcold night to find a taxicab.

    In the back of the taxion the way to Barbara's house they kiss hungrily, exploring each other's bodieswith eager hands under their heavy woolen coats. By the time they reach their destination they are both mad with desire. Once inside the front door, theymarch straight up the stairs to Barbara's bedroom, where the servants haveturned down the covers and lit the gas fireplace before leaving for the night. Wimbush has drunk a lot of Champagne, but he hasn't forgotten his packetof three "French letters" issued to him by the Royal Navy "for disease prevention only" as he was going on leave. He does not want to make Barbarapregnant, should anything awful happen to him in France.

    Wimbush reports to hisnew Squadron Commander, G.R. Bromet, in early February in Dunkirk where the squadron is resting andbeing re-equipped with new Sopwith Triplanes, none of them from the originalClayton and Shuttleworth order. Naval 8's surviving pilots have already been inaction since November and have seen seven of their comrades killed, wounded or captured by German pilots flying vastly superior Albatros D III's. With thearrival of the new Triplanes, however, they will finally be a match for the Germans. On February 15th they proceed to the aerodrome at Furnes in West Flanders, ready to go back to war.

    Just before dawn on the 9th of May, 1917, the alert siren at Squadron No. 8's aerodrome now relocated near thecoal mines and slag heaps of Auchel, wails insistently. Wimbush wakes andsearches groggily for his flying gear. It is still dark in his blacked-outroom, and his precious beer mug has disappeared somewhere. He looks for it hurriedly until the twenty-one year old Flight Commander puts his head aroundthe door and shouts at him, "Get moving, Wimbush, you lazy sod, Bob Little is waitingfor you out on the flight line!" Leaving on a patrol without his lucky charm for the very first time, he stumbles outside and boards the waiting lorry.

    On the short ride from his billet in town to the flight line he fights to get control of his frazzlednerves. His rank body smells rise to his nostrils from within his heavy flight jacket, tinged with the animal scent of fear. So what if this is the first combat mission without my lucky mug, isn't it just superstition to hang on to it? He knows lots of other pilots who have objects they rely on to keep them safe: pictures of their sweethearts orof the Sacred Heart of Jesus, unwashed socks, women's undergarments. Many ofthem, he knows, have gone down in flames in spite of their trusted talismans. Other pilots don't indulge their superstitions and come back safely time after time. So where's the luck in that? When your number's up, it's up. And yet…Oh, what the hell. Let's have a drink. He reaches in the pocket of his jacket and pulls out his silver flask. Almost full, thank God! At least he can still rely on this old friend, and a good stiff drink will put him right, hethinks. Silly to get so upset over a"little tin cup," as Barker used to call it. Poor Barker. He was one of the first to die when his squadron went up against the bloody Albatros D-III's.He shudders as he gulps the raw whiskey, feeling its fire all the way down tohis privates. Please, God, don't let this be the day my number comes up. Later, as he boards his Sopwith Triplane,number N5458, with "Barbara" painted in big white letters on the side of the fuselage just beneath the cockpit, he feels strangely lighter. Is it thewhiskey, or is he perhaps finally liberated from the power of the pewter mug?He misses Barbara.

    Auchel aerodrome is a bad one. It is surrounded by huge slag heaps and other obstructionsand its surface is very rough. On one side there is a miniature precipice. Ahead of him for takeoff is Australian pilot Bob Little, Naval 8's leading "Ace,"already credited with an impressive number of kills. Little is flying his ownTriplane N5493, nicknamed "Blymp." At 07.05 hours, Little, Wimbush and oneother Triplane bump down the runway and leave Auchel on offensive patrol acrossthe Vimy Ridge and the Hindenburg Line to the German stronghold of Lens.

    Thirty miles to the east, in a tiny village on the outskirts of Douai, another siren has sounded.Vizefeldwebel Carl Menckhoff of Jagdstaffel 3, Royal Prussian Luftstreitkräfte,climbs into the cockpit of his new Albatros D-III with a big black M painted onthe fuselage and takes off toward the west to meet the British patrol, already crossing the Hindenburg Line into German-held territory.

    At 07.30 hours,Menckhoff sees the three Sopwiths approaching in the distance, signals to twoof his squadron to proceed toward them at a low altitude as decoys and quickly climbs higher with the rest of the squadron so they can dive down on top of theSopwiths directly out of the bright morning sun. As they come within range, hecocks the twin 7.92 mm Spandau machine guns mounted on the nose of his Albatros just in front of thecockpit and swoops down like a giant falcon on the British patrol.

    Little's log book contains the following entry: Whilst on patrol at 0730 hrs in company withtwo other Triplanes, I observed two hostile aircraft east of Lens, steeringwest. At the same time all three Triplanes attacked them, but we were set uponby a large number of scouts from above. One Triplane had to break off thecombat owing to a jammed gun, and the hostile aircraft diving past me attacked Lieutenant Wimbush, who was about 200 feet below me. He fought with them verywell until his engine was shot and he himself was wounded. He escaped and made a forced landing near Koleuse-les-Mines.

    After wounding Wimbush and disabling his engine, Menckhoff follows the crippled Triplane, which isleaving behind a sour-smelling trail of dark brown smoke, as it glides to earth. He sees it land bumpily in the distance on the other side of thetrenches, and takes a victory roll as he turns back to look for the otherSopwith. Wimbush is his fifth victory. In the meantime, Little has attacked the two German decoys from above and shot down one of them. Alone and badlyoutnumbered, he heads south to the aerodrome at St. Eloi to findreinforcements.

    After managing to land his disabled Sopwith in a field behind the Allied trenches, Wimbush is found andrescued by three Canadian soldiers, who give him first aid for his wounded left leg, splintered by one of Menckhoff's machine gun rounds. He is then carried ona stretcher to a nearby advanced dressing station and from there by motor ambulance to the casualty clearing station in Barlin and by rail to the basehospital in Boulogne for treatment and evacuation by sea to England. His good luck still seems to be with him.

    During the summer Wimbush is released from hospital in England, promoted to full flight lieutenantand, after a month's leave, assigned to temporary duty with No.19 Training Squadron back at Chingford. He spends the weekends with Barbara and hisparents, but he is not content to while away the rest of the war living in thelap of luxury while his friends are fighting and dying in France. As long as there is any chance that he might be back in harm's way again, he decides not to marry Barbarauntil the war ends. It would be so unfair to die and leave his beloved Barbara a young war widow. He knows several such women. Their prospects are bleak.

    Having recovered sufficiently from his wound to walk without a cane, he is now an assistantinstructor, teaching newly certified pilots to fly fighting aeroplanes before sending them into battle. Naval 8's remaining Sopwith Triplanes have all beenbrought back from France to Chingford, replaced inoperations by sturdy, powerful Sopwith Camels, dangerous aeroplanes, not onlyfor their enemy opponents but also for novice pilots who haven't learned how tohandle them.

    Ever since leavinghospital, Wimbush has been trying to return to active duty in France, making a nuisance of himself byrepeated transfer requests to the Admiralty and letters to Wing Captain C. L.Lambe at RNAS Headquarters in Dover. If only he could meet Menckhoffagain, he thinks, maybe he could even the score. And what a score thereis! Menckhoff continues to shoot downAllied pilots at an awful rate. Wimbush learns from naval intelligence that hisnemesis downed his 20th Allied aeroplane, a British SE5a, on February 4th nearPoelcapelle in Flanders. One week later Menckhoff was promoted to Captain and put in command ofJagdstaffel 72, and the tally continues to rise. The man is like a bloody machine! Wimbush is determined to seek himout in single combat and shoot him down.

    In March the Navy finally agrees to transfer him back to his old squadron, which has just comeback to England on March 3rd and is awaiting orderswhile enjoying a well-earned month's rest at Walmer, near Dover. Two thirds of the squadron havebeen granted leave.

    Then, on March 21st,with forty added divisions freed by the surrender of Russia, General Ludendorff suddenlylaunches massive surprise attacks at five different points along the Western Front, penetrating far into France. All leaves are cancelled. Naval 8is quickly recalled to duty as part of the newly formed "Royal Air Force" andbecomes RAF 208 Squadron, scheduled to begin operations at La Gorgue aerodromein France on the first of April. Wimbush is ordered tojoin them on March 30 at Teleghem on their way to the front lines. At last, he thinks, I get my wish.

    In late March, Wimbush receives a telephone call at his parents' home from the head of Berkhampstead Grammar School, which he and Barker attended untilthey were twelve. They would like him to make a patriotic speech at the school's annual Speech Day on the village green on March 27th, two days beforehis departure from England, to an audience of students,teachers, alumni and their families. Wimbush is embarrassed by the thought ofspeaking before such a large crowd. Instead, he proposes to borrow a Sopwith Triplane from Chingford and put on an exhibition of aerobatics to entertain theaudience. It would be his last chance to fly a Triplane before going back to France to fly a new Sopwith Camel.

    On the morning of the27th, he drives to Chingford and checks out one of the Triplanes parked on thetarmac, number N5351. It has been based there at Chingford on training duty since leaving the Clayton & Shuttleworth factory in 1916. Like me, he thinks, it's a survivor.

    The crew chief warn shim, "Watch out for that one, sir. She's seen a lot of rough handling bytrainees here at Chingford, so do be careful when you dive. Some of these old low numbered tripes try to shake off their wings."

    "I'll be careful,Chief. It wouldn't do to get knocked about two days before reporting back in France, would it?" The chief salutes andgives him thumbs up for takeoff. As the old Sopwith rumbles down the runway, he thinks, Look out, Menckhoff, you bloodybastard, here I come!

    He arrives over Berkhampstead on schedule, buzzes the cheering, waving crowd assembled in thebright sunshine on the village green and begins a series of aerobatics. For his grand finale he chooses the risky "triple loop." It is a particularlyspectacular stunt when performed in a Sopwith Triplane, as the aeroplane hangssuspended upside down almost motionless at the top of each loop before diving backward into the next loop. He easily completes the first two of the loops anddives backward into the third. Just as he reaches the bottom and applies full power to pull back up, he suddenly hears the discordant sound of breaking wires.The Triplane's wings collapse above him, and it plummets to the ground like a stone in full view of the crowd of horrified onlookers.

    Wimbush dies inhospital with Barbara and his parents at his side the following day. It is just two months before his twentieth birthday. He is buried in Islington Cemetery.

    Several months later,the RAF finally issues a technical order for the installation of a spanwise compression strut between the inboard cabane struts of all the surviving Sopwith Triplanes.

    After receiving Germany's highest military award, the coveted "Blue Max" medal, for his 39 air combatvictories, surviving wounds and forced landings on twooccasions and miraculously escaping from a year in a French POW camp to a new life in Switzerland, Menckhoff dies in 1948 at the age of sixty-five, asuccessful businessman, mourned by his wife and two children.

    In 1924, a new owner purchases the Elysée Restaurant and renames it the "Café de Paris." In spite ofreceiving a direct hit from two deadly 50 kg German "landmines," killing 80 patrons, performers and staff and wounding many others on the night of March 8th,1941, the Café de Paris still survives today as London's favorite venue for therich and famous to watch cabarets, drink champagne and dance the night away.

    What happened to the mug? I wish I knew. Perhaps it was foundunder Wimbush's bed in Auchel by a French charwoman while cleaning his room forthe next occupant. Maybe she then gave it to her alcoholic husband, possibly a wounded veteran with a croix de guerre who might have used it to drink his daily ration of rough-tasting, cheap red wine.At some point, however, it must have begun its long, mysterious journey to the flea market in Indonesia – and to me!

  16. I'm trying to gather as much information as possible about H.S. (Henry Sheffield) Clapham, author of Mud & Khaki. For family reasons, I have some information and documents about his life before and after the Great War. Certainly, I'm new to this activity and I'm from outside UK, so would greatly appreciate any information or tips to achieve my goal. Thank you.

  17. FW Battman 1DCLI

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    My grandfather almost certainly was with 1DCLI from 1908 until the mobilisation for WW1 where he was in Curragh, Ireland.

    BUT I have a photo of the DCLI 3rd Battalion marching to Tregantle in 1913, Mygrandfather played the base drum.

    On 12th August 1914 he was aCorporal in the ‘Peace Detail’. Presumably in the rear party leftbehind at the Curragh when the Battalion entrained for Dublin, and thence toFrance on the following day.

    Anybody have ideas as to why my grandfather, attached to the 1st battalion would suddenly appear in DCLI 3rd in Tregantle?

    And also what 'Peace detail' means in the context of WW1 mobilisation in 1914.

    Would love to hear from you or any others who had relatives in 1DCLI in August 2014 in Curagh.

    Thanks.

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    www.firstworldwar-history.co.uk

    There weretwo primary reasons for me building the Web Site, one, to Remember the Lost Innocenceof Youth, during the 1914 – 1918 Conflict, and two, hopefully, to Educatepeople about the First World War. And I do suppose there is a third reason, Iam very passionate about the First World War, and have been to manyBattlefields in France and Belgium. There are many, but these are some I havebeen fortunate to visit, The Somme, Ypres, Passchendaele, Arras, Vimy Ridge,Messines Ridge, Mons, Loos, Verdun, and many British and Commonwealth WarCemeteries.

    I am a 56Year old man, and live in Lincolnshire. I was a Managing Director of an OfficeSupplies Business for 30 Years, and also a Director of a Buying Consortiumbased in Sheffield. I took early retirement at 50, and now try to Design Website'sunder my Company Name of Smart Solutions UK.

    I was alsovery fortunate to be invited to the Burial of the 6 "Grimsby Chums". TheseBoys, were found in a Mass Grave near Arras, and the Ceremony was held at Pointdu Jour Cemetery in 2002.

    I designedand built this Website for the purpose of People who are interested in TheHistory of the First World War. This is by no means a Full and Comprehensiveover view of the War, but a quick preliminary overview.

    It can beused by anyone who is interested in First World War History, Students atSchool, and even University Undergraduates who wish to gain a betterunderstanding of moments in history which have affected this Country.

    On the Siteyou will find information relating to the Battles of Ypres, Passchendaele, TheSomme, Marne, Retreat from Mons, Loos, and again many more, the life's of the"British Tommy" in the Trenches, how they lived and how they died. The gasattacks at the Second battle of Ypres, and many more other interesting facts.

    So please ifyou would like to learn more about the First World War, visit my Site www.firstworldwar-history.co.uk,

    I hope youmay be pleasantly surprised, and like the work I have done.

    If you wouldlike to contact me with any comment, I would be happy to receive your views,and can be contacted at, gordon@firstworldwarhistory.co.uk

    Thank youfor taking time to read my Blog.

    GordonEllerby

  18. John FP's Blog

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    I am currently researching the life of Fergus Mackain, Great War soldier-artist who drew many postcards for sending home from the front by soldiers. All information is most welcome, including interesting messages on these postcards and dates of sending before January 1918. Happy to share research with others also interested.

  19. Eva Ernst's Blog

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    Hi Jadzia/ Vanessa. I think Joseph was my Nans brother. If your Grandparents were called Joe and Della we are distantly related. I know most of the information you are looking for. Georgina Bristol U.K

  20. robinone's Blog

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    Alexander Robert Davidson Kemp was a 2nd Lt.Com. Labour Corps in Trinidad and Tobago 1918, other than this there is no information found. Although after WW1 he was said to be in Military Intelligence and lived in Peru by 1921.

    I would be interested in any direction to take this search.

  21. bbradymn's Blog

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    We just this month found a long lost box of me Grandfathers who was on the SS Aragon when it was sunk. in it was letters to his mother about the sinking, his watch which was stopped at 11:20, news paper articals & more. We are looking for info about what regiment number he was in or ANY info about them. With luck we are going to dive on the Aragon this year. THANKS in advance!

  22. Rifleman S/26148 Thomas Edwin Capers 8th Rifle Brigade, DOW 13/04/1917 VII. F. 9. WARLINCOURT HALTE BRITISH CEMETERY, SAULTY

    5322821395_e86127966a.jpg

    courtesy of Jim Smithson, Dec. 2010

    Thomas Edwin Capers was born and brought up in Ibstock, he was 26 and single at the outbreak of the Great War. Thomas was the youngest of three brothers and had two sisters, all born in Ibstock to parents Thomas and Sarah where the family had lived since about 1880. All the males of the family had worked either in the Ibstock Colliery or brick works.

    Thomas Capers papers have not survived, in fact the papers of men in the number block S/26000 to S/26200 are few and far between. But combining what information there is with their medal index cards gives some idea of Thomas Capers' dates of joining, etc. Many of the men in this block first joined the KRRC before being transferred to the Rifle Brigade while still in the UK. These men are in alphabetic order through this small number range. Scattered amongst them are others who were first posted to the 5th Battalion of the Rifle Brigade and were then posted to either the 8th or 9th Battalion after completion of basic training and on arrival in France. All of them appear to have attested under the Derby Scheme in late November or Early December 1915, and were not called up until May and June of 1916. Thomas Capers does not fit into the alphabetical grouping of ex. KRRC men, and so it is likely he was first posted to the Rifle Brigade's 5th Battalion before being sent to France around October 1916, where he would have joined the 8th Battalion.

    Easter Day in 1917 fell on the 8th of April. The 8th Battalion of the Rifle Brigade was in the Arras sector. Two celebrations of Holy Communion took place in the cellar of battalion HQ and they had moved to the Christchurch caves by nightfall. The following day the 1917 Arras offensive was launched, and the battalion had left the caves at 9am and initially moved to the reserve line. With many German prisoner coming back from the front and large numbers of British Cavalry moving forward news came that the first and second Brigade objects have been taken. There is some snow overnight, and on the 10th April 1917 the 8th Battalion moves forward several miles South East of Arras and by 4.30pm receives orders to “clear up the situation in the direction of Wancourt and the high ground south west of the village”. The Battalion advances in a heavy snow storm coming under a light barrage and machine gun fire. As the snow stopped, leading companies found themselves in an exposed position and suffered casualties from machine gun fire coming from the direction of Wancourt and Hill 90.

    The attack on Wancourt is pressed home on the 11th April, with the 8th Battalion Rifle Brigade in support of the 7th KRRC. But they are caught in machine gun cross fire, the 7th KRRC suffer badly, and the 8th RB suffer one officer wounded and 20 OR casualties. They are relieved from their forward position by the 7th RB that night, during another heavy fall of snow.

    In the early hours of 12th April “B” coy. patrols get as far as Wancourt and Marliere. Easterly patrols establish that the enemy holds Guemappe in strength. While “C” coy. captures a 77mm field gun in the vicinity of Marliere. At 11am orders are received to attack the high ground South East of Wancourt, with the 8th KRRC on the right crossing the Conjeul river to the south of Wancourt, and the 8th RB on the left crossing the river to the north of Wancourt. But this would have meant passing in front of the enemy at Guemappe for about a mile. By 2.30pm the orders for the attack had changed. Both 8th KRRC and 8th RB were to cross the river to the south of Wancourt. The assault was to take place at 5.30pm, but by 5pm only three companies had managed to cross the river after wading through very deep and sticky mud. An alert enemy put down a heavy barrage on the Conjeul valley from Wancourt to Heninel, and before the attack even started the whole area was subjected to heavy machine gun fire. Advance was impossible and the attack was abandoned. The 8th RB was relieved that night and by the 13th April had returned to billets in Arras. The total casualties for these few days are: 5 Officers wounded; 25 other ranks killed, 5 other ranks missing and 68 other ranks wounded.

    5322821339_eae85d9621.jpg

    courtesy of Jim Smithson, Dec. 2010

    Private 26148 Thomas Edwin Capers is one of those wounded during these few days, he is evacuted as far as a CCS at Warlincourt, but dies of his wounds on the 13th April 1917. In fact, the Battalion seems to have lost track of him at one point, as his name appears on the Battalion's casualty figures as being KIA on the 12th April.

  23. Sun. Aug 15th/15. I left Heliopolis today, for Alexandria. I am not sorry to say goodbye to Luna (tic) Park. On arrival at Alexandria we embarked on H. M. Hospital Ship "Ghoorkha". This is a very good boat. The sisters & doctors are English, but all the orderlies are natives of India. Some of them are very nice fellows, & I spend many an hour talking to them in Hindustani. Mon. Aug. 16th/15. We had a man die in our ward today. One man suffering from dysentery, is nothing but a mere skeleton. Aug. 18th/15. We arrived at Malta. We left Malta the following morning about 6 o'clock, & arrived at Gibraltar on Sun. Aug, 22nd/15. We saw two sharks & shoals of flying fish & porpoises on the way from Malta. Tues. Aug. 24th/15. We saw two whales last night, & another this morning, quite close to the boat. Thur. Aug. 26th/15. We anchored off Netley Hospital. Fri. Aug. 27th/15. We disembarked at Southampton, & entrained for London, where we were met by motor ambulance & conveyed to the King George Hospital, Stamford St. What a treat the nice green fields were to our eyes, after the burning & glaring sands of the Egyptian desert, & the shell ploughed & bullet swept veldt of the Gallipoli Peninsula. Thur. Sep. 9th/15. We had a very excitable time last night. The Germans made another air raid on London. They started dropping bombs between 10pm & 11pm. They passed over the hospital & we saw two fires not far from here. The anti-aircraft guns were firing all the time, & we could see the shells bursting all around the Zeppelin, but they could not hit it; worse luck. Mon. Sep. 13th 1915. I left the King George Hos. & proceeded by motor to the Orchard Military Convalescent Hos. Dartford, Kent, where I am put on the staff; being temporary unfit for active service. I am ward orderly here, in charge of one of the wards. I am also a member of the hospital military band (cornet) & the hospital string band (violin)

    P. Brown.

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