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1917 - Edward Packe's diary of World War I

Grey background shows when Edward Packe was in Britain.

JANUARY 1917

Jan 1st. Dud all day, no flying. Moore arrives. Try to shoot. Play Bridge.

Jan 2nd. Give dual. After lunch fly a D.H.2. Play Bridge. Letter from Bob.

Jan 3rd. Flew D.H.2.s.

Jan 4th. Duddish day, flew D.H.2.s.

Jan 5th. Duddish day, did a little dual.

Jan 6th. A dud day. Played hockey in the afternoon.

Jan 7th. Put in a lot of flying, three and a half hours on Henrys.

Jan 8th. Another dud day. Go up to London in afternoon and choose gramophone records. Meet Jenkins and Maltby, go to Theodore & Co.

Jan 9th. Dud all day. Go up to London with Hills. Meet Jenkins, Maltby, Johnson, Moore and Binning. Dinner at the Piccadilly then go to High Jinks. Sleep at the Savoy.

Jan 10th. A dud morning but after lunch take a D.H.2. and fly to Wickham Bishops, the engine cuts out after losing height and I have to land down hill and down wind and crash in a hedge. Telephone the Sqn. (10 T.D.S.) and go to the Firs. The crash tender arrives about 10pm. and the mechanics sleep in the dining room.

Jan 11th. The lorry arrives about midday and we go down and dismantle the machine. It rains most of the time and the tender gets bogged. Back to the Firs and bed after playing Double Demon.

Jan 12th. Brekker early. Send the men off. Start back about 11.30am., have lunch in Romford , get back to Dartford about 3.30pm. Buy clothes for the Dance at the War Hospital. Bed about 1.45am.

Jan 13th. Wrote letters. Lancelot and Mannering come and I take them up in a Vickers. Take them to the station and then take the clothes back to the Pop shop. Read and talk, bed early.

Jan 14th. On early morning flying. Kimbell, Bush and Ginger all crash. Play hockey after lunch and Bridge after tea.

Jan 15th. Letter from Bob. Do some dual. Catch the 6.5pm. train up and meet Bob and Bay. Have dinner with the Hills, B.M. and Mannering at the Piccadilly and go to Theodore and Go. Supper at the Savoy,

Jan 16th. Go down by early train but no flying. Go up again in afternoon and go to Taylors and see Blummers who was up at Exeter. Dine with Bob and Bay at the Piccadilly and go and see 'London Pride.' Have supper at the Piccadilly.

Jan 17th. Come down on early train and test the air. Told to go to Orfordness and fetch an F.E.8. so back to London. Lunch with Bob, go and see "Tanks". See her off then go down to Ipswich.

Jan 18th. Leave Orfordness about midday, the clouds at about 600ft. most of the way and get my goggles frozen over, the machine nose heavy. The visibility getting worse. I land at Goldhanger and sleep at Wickham Bishops.

Jan 19th. Go down to the sheds at Goldhanger and run up the F.E.8. but the engine won't give the necessary revs. Sleep at Wickham Bishops.

Jan 20th. Leave Goldhanger about 11am., stunt over the Firs, Get to Joyce Green safely, Go up to London with Swart and see Peter Pan. Letter from Bob.

Jan 21st. Set Graves off. Solo. Try to shoot plover.

Jan 22nd. Sit on a Committee of Adjustment. Bryan pays us a visit. Play Bridge after dinner.

Jan 23rd. Dud day. Shoot and play Bridge.

Jan 24th. Dud day. Shoot a Duck, two Plover and three Snipe. Played Bridge.

Jan 25th. Dud for flying. Shoot one duck. Play Bridge.

Jan 26th. Dud day. Shoot and play Bridge.

Jan 27th. Quite dud. Shoot at Clay Pigeons. After lunch shoot a duck and two plover. Get wet, play Bridge.

Jan 28th. Did some dual. Shoot in afternoon and muck about with the boat.

Jan 29th. Not much doing. Go up to London in afternoon.

Jan 30th. Not much flying. Shoot in afternoon.


Jan 31st. Do some dual. The engine of my Henry cut out taking off, much too low to turn but managed to just stall it over the high canal bank on to the foreshore of the canal. As we ceased to move I heard a deep sigh of relief from my pupil behind me.

FEBRUARY 1917

Feb 1st. On early flying and did dual most of the day. Letter from Bob,

Feb 2nd. Gave dual most of the day.

Feb 3rd. Did more dual. Had a forced landing the other side of the Creek, the usual broken inlet valve.

Feb 4th. No entry.

Feb 5th. More dual. Try for duck at flighting time but no luck.

Feb 6th. More dual. Blummers comes down and I take him up. Go up to London and dine with him.

Feb 7th. Did same dual but the weather gets too bumpy. Fetch the boat to the river. In the evening go duck flighting but no luck. Play Bridge.

Feb 8th. Did some dual but weather turns bumpy again. Guest Night and Eric Fletcher comes down, play Bridge.

Feb 9th. Did dual till the weather got too bumpy, Went over the river with the C.O. and landed at Purfleet. Fired a Machine Gun. Letter from Bob and wrote back.

Feb 10-12th. Nothing doing.

Feb 13th. Dine with Christopher and go to Theodore & Co.

Feb 14th. Dine with Robins (late of 15 Sqn.)

Feb 15th. Not much doing. R.M. comes down. A Guest Night in Mess.

Feb 16th. Give some dual and take R.M. up, have great fun. Leave for Eastbourne by the 6.18pm. train.

Feb 17th. Go up in the morning, do some shopping. Golf in the afternoon. Beatson for tea.

Feb 18th. Go to Church and see Hollins. Play golf. Leave about 8.30pm.

Feb 19th. Got back to Joyce Green for breakfast.

Feb 20th. Nothing much doing.

Feb 21st. Went up to London with Revs Elliott and heard de Groot.

Feb 22nd. Guest Night.

Feb 23rd. Nothing much doing.

Feb 24th. Did some dual. Up to London and saw The Professor's Love Story with Revs Elliott. Took over Mess President.

Feb 25th. Took early morning flying. Weather gets too bumpy after brekker so muck around with the boat. Flew the F.E.8.

Feb 26th. Not much doing. Went up to London with Mac and met Bob and Bay at the Piccadilly, talked then went to the Savoy. Saw them home then bed.


Feb 27th. Came down by early morning train. Then go to Dartford and meet Mr. Bob Lawson arriving on the 1.58 train. Took him to the aerodrome and took him up in a Henry. Took him to tea in the Mess, then caught the 5.5pm. train to London. Dinner at the Piccadilly and then go to the Aristocrat. See them home. (Note: "Mr. Bob Lawsan" was Claudia Barclay, pretending to be a male cousin of the author. It sounds as if Mac was in on the stunt.)

Feb 28th. Not much doing. Go up to London with Bill da Costa, meet Bob and Bay, we have dinner and go to Under Cover. Supper at the Savoy, watch the dancing downstairs then see them home.

MARCH 1917

March 1st. Came down on the early train. Do some flying. Guest Night.

March 2nd. A.C.O.'s Parade. (? ) Do some flying. Go to a dance at The Orchard (the local hospital, I think),

March 3rd. Take early flying. Launch our raft. Gifford comes. Bed early,

March 4th. Do a little flying, turns dud in afternoon. Go shooting and bag a partridge and a snipe.

March 5th. Letter from Claudia, write to her. Pretty dud day. Guy comes down and I take him up.

March 6th. Pretty dud day. Try to sail the boat with Kimbell and end up in the creek. Bed early.

March 7th. A dud day. Tidy our office. Try to get the boat back but fail. Nothing much doing.

March 8th. The record lost but nothing of interest till 24th. March.

March 9th. to 12th. No record.

March 13th. Ideson killed.

March 14th. to 23rd. No record.

March 24th. Go up to London with Swart and see Zig Zag.

March 25th. Dud day, not much doing.

March 26th. Dud all day. Go up to London to the accountant (?) in the afternoon, back early.

March 27th. Dud day. Go up to London with Baker, Bush, Revs and MacCudden, go to Theodore & Co. at the Gaiety.

March 28th. Dud day and no flying. Go up to London and dine with Beats and Bryan at the Piccadilly, go and see The Professor's Love Story. Baker goes, I take over P.M.C.

March 29th. Revs Elliott and Bill da Costa go. Dud day, dig in afternoon, Kindersley comes down.

March 30th. Take early morning but not much done. Take Kindersley up, dud rest of day. Dig in afternoon.

March 31st. Nothing of note till April 10th.

APRIL 1917

April 1st. to 9th. No record.

April 10th. Bill Adams arrives. Pretty dud all day. Shoot in evening.

April 11th. Go up to London with Bill Adams and Revs Elliott and see Theodore & Co.

April 12th. Pretty dud all day. Take the Swarts to see The Professor's Love Story.

April 13th. Bill Adams goes away.

April 14th. Nothing much doing.

April 15th. Do a certain amount of flying but a washout after lunch.

April 16th. Take early morning flying. Letter from Claudia.

April 17th. Dud all day and no flying. Shoot rats in the evening,

April 18th. Dud all day. No flying,

April 19th. Not much flying, Weaver Adams (Haileybury) comes down for a Guest Night.

April 20th. Fly over to Ware in a Vickers Fighter with Thomas and land on the Golf Course. Have lunch and tea at Hertford Heath and then come back,

April 21st. Not much doing. Bob rings me up.

April 22nd. Nothing all day.

April 23rd. Letter from Bob. Go up to London and meet her at Liverpool Street, shop and have tea at the Piccadilly. See her off at Baker Street. Go and see about a Billiard Table for the Ness.

April 24th. Go and look at Bush's forced landing.

April 25th. On early flying, not much doing, letter from Bob.

April 26th. Go over to see the remains of 1194. "Me Miserum." Have tea at the Orchard. Marsh Mallows from Bob.

April 27th. No flying all day. Write to Bob.

April 28th. Jones goes into the river. Go up to London to get a tooth put right. Dine with Bush and Arberry. Letter from Bob.

April 29th. Not much doing. Played tennis at the Orchard in the evening.

April 30th. Managed to get some dual in.

MAY 1917

May 1st. Wadlow killed. Go down to Dartford and play golf with Mac.

May 2nd. Nothing much doing, Played tennis at the Orchard in the afternoon. Dud for Henrys in the evening.

May 3rd. Dud day with no flying for Henrys. Wrote to Bob. Went up to London with Mac and had lunch. Go to the dentist. Tea at the Piccadilly. Down by the 6.15pm. train.

May 4th. to 12th. Nothing of interest.

May 13th. Played tennis with Swart.

May 14th. Nothing of interest.

May 15th. Nothing of interest,

May 16th. Went up to London and to the dentist. Met Robins and had lunch at Princes, then on to see Cheap.

May 17th. Went and had dinner with the Clays and on to see Bubbly.

May 18th. Came down to Dartford by the 4.36am train. Went off on leave to Wickham Bishops by the 3.25pm train,

May 19th. Played cricket. Fetched Lancelot.

May 20th. Played cricket, Went to Church. Overhauled the bike.

May 21st. Letter from Bob.

May 22nd. Went up to London to the dentist.

May 23rd. Play tennis at Rentons.

May 24th. Nothing of interest.

May 25th. Not much doing, Go up to London to the dentist. Do dual in the evening. A raid on.

May 26th. Make Henry No 1192 click. Play tennis at Chancellors.

May 27th. Take off in F.E.8. No. 6401 at about 11am, and reach Northolt at 11.45am. Go to Oak Farm and spend the night there.

May 28th. Rise about 5.30am, and Bob gets me some brekker. Leave about 7am, the engine is a bit dud but I manage to get back to Dartford about 8am.

May 29th. Go up to London to the dentist. Not much doing. News of a move to Tern Hill, Letter from Bob.

May 30th. Rather a blind all day, finish by going to see some friends of von Poelnitz (subsequently killed) in a taxi. Cigarette holder from Bob.

May 31st. Aroused at odd hours, Maxwell turns up, bath and bed.

JUNE 1917

June 1st. The Scouts go off to Tern Hill but weather too bumpy for the Henrys.

June 2nd. Weather still too dud to leave. Play billiards.

June 3rd. Still too dud to leave. Play billiards and slack about all day,

June 4th. O'Gowan and Phillips leave but my engine goes dud, mope all day. Manage to get off in the evening and land at Oak Farm, then to the aerodrome and walk back to Oak Farm for the night.

June 5th. Arrive at aerodrome at about 6am., too dud to proceed. Rag about most of day. Help Bob to sweep out cowsheds etc. Talk after dinner on haystack.

June 6th. Rose early, took off and landed at Oak Farm, broke a tail skid wire. Clouds too low to go on so return to the aerodrome, Walk back to Oak Farm and cleaned out cowsheds, drove into Uxbridge. Dressed up for dinner and ragged about on the haystack afterwards.

June 7th. Rose early but weather not too good and didn't go up, Cleaned cowsheds, went into Uxbridge with Marjorie. Talked on haystack after dinner.


June 8th. Rose at 4.30am. Left the aerodrome and landed at Oak Farm, found Bob and took her up. Left about 6.30am. and landed near Tring for my mechanic to clear the jet. Went on again and landed at Fleckney. James and Ruth come over, slept at Fleckney. By request I gave the school children a talk on flying. To make this cross country from Joyce Green, on the Thames near Dartford, in a Henry Farman, the only map I had was one torn from the back of a Bradshaw railway guide.

June 9th. Left Fleckney about 6am., landed at Rugeley, took off again and arrived at Tern Hill 7.45am. Poked around, slept in the afternoon. Hughes crashes in the evening. Bed early.

June 10th. Took early morning flying.

June 11th. Nothing doing.

June 12th. Letter from Bob. Nothing doing.

June 13th. Not much doing. Took early morning flying. Played tennis at Coghills.

June 14th. Log book and letter from Claudia. Not much doing.

June 15th. Did some flying. Wrote to Marjorie. Bed early.

June 16th. Tennis match against Newport Agricultural College which we won. I played with von Poelnitz.

June 17th. Nothing doing.

June 18th. Nothing doing. Watch back from Bob.

June 19th. Only a little flying.

June 20th. Not much doing. Martin goes away.

June 21st. Go in and meet F.G. (Pym), have tea in Market Drayton. Back to the Mess and play Bridge. F.G. sleeps in my room.

June 22nd. F.G. goes after brekker. Not much doing.

June 23rd. Various letters, Not much doing. 'Plain Tales' and a letter from Bob. Played Bridge.

Avro 504k Biplane
June 24th. Wrote letters. The Group Commander comes round.

[Extract from letter]

June 25th. Took early morning flying. Had dual in an Avro. Crashed the Pakoplane in the evening, my pupil was taking off and the long grass caught the wires of the undercart. Played Bridge.

June 26th. Got up late, feeling somewhat groggy. Wrote to Bob. Tried out No. 1250.

June 27th. Got up pretty late. Rained all day so played bridge most of it. Von Ploenitz goes.

June 28th. No entry.

June 29th. Moved to Shawbery, a pretty dud place, not even finished.

June 30th. No entry.

JULY 1917

July 1st. No record.

July 2nd. Go over and play tennis at Coghill. Dine at Corbets Arms and go to Kirbys and back with Grey Edwards.

July 3rd. to 5th. No entries.

July 6th. Go and play tennis at Coghills. Dinner at the Corbett Arms,

July 7th. & 8th. No entries.

July 9th. Go into Shrewsbury and shop. Dine at the Crown.

July 10th. No Entry.

July 11th. Not much doing.

July 12th. Sports at Tern Hill and a concert in the evening.

July 13th. Hear that I'm to go to rotary engined Scouts.

July 14th. On early flying. Not much doing, put in for leave.

July 15th. No entry.

July 16th. Cayford killed.

July 17th. No entry.

July 18th. Attended the inquest on Cayford.

July 19th. & 20th. No entries.

July 21st. Go over in the afternoon to Midwoods. McKenzie arrives,

July 22nd. A whole holiday, spent on the river at Shrewsbury with 0'Gowan. Dine at the Crown.

July 23rd. A mess up about a Dance.

July 24th. Failed to get to the Midwood wedding. Flew a D.H.5.

July 25th. Took early morning flying, flew the D.H.5. Left Shrewsbury at 11am, and reported to Powell at Tern Hill. Caught a train at Shrewsbury and got to Oak Farm at about 6.30pm.

July 26th. Cleaned out sheds. Went and shot rooks. Went and met Guy and Marjorie in the pony cart.

July 27th. Cleaned out sheds then went and shot rooks. Cleaned the cart in the afternoon. After tea dressed up for dinner.

July 28th. A telegram arrives (?) After mucking out the cowsheds go with Guy and try to shoot rooks. Catch cows with Bob and in the afternoon go into Uxbridge with her in the milk cart. Go into the station in the side car and miss the train.

July 29th. Left Uxbridge at 8am. arriving at Tern Hill at 6pm. Saw Grey Edwards. Went over to Shawbury and saw the Colonel and dined with 10 T.D.S.

July 30th. Arrive at Liverpool Street Hotel at 6am, and slept till 10am. Caught the 11am. train to Witham. Ragged about.

July 31st. Wrote a few letters. Had lunch with the Pellys (Arnoid), then on and had tea with the Witham Pellys (Edmund).

AUGUST 1917

Aug 1st. Went up to London and shopped. Took Sis, Beats, Fen and Ruth to Theodore & Co.

Aug 2nd. Not much doing. Wrote letters and cleaned the bike. Beats comes over to tea.

Aug 3rd. Went up on the 10.10am. train and shopped. Met Bob for lunch at the Piccadilly. Had a box at the Comedy. Tea at Princes and then went to the New Kinema. Dinner with Marjorie and Guy at Euston, then went with Marjorie and Bob to Oak Farm, Left there and caught the 10.15pm. train at Harrow.

Aug 4th. Arrived at Shrewsbury at 11am. Went over to Shawbury in the evening.

Bristol Scout
Aug 5th. Rose at midday, Shot a pigeon in the afternoon. Bridge and dinner at the Parkers with Grey Edwards.

Aug 6th. Do a certain amount of flying including a Bristol Scout and a D.H.5.

Aug 7th. Fly most of day. Dine with Grey Edwards at the Corbet Arms.

Aug 8th. Take early morning flying, Shoot from D.H.5. Dud most of the day. Dine with Grey Edwards at "Parkers".

Aug 9th. Finish time on D.H.5s. Go out to Midwoods in afternoon and also tea at Parkers, Hear I'm going overseas. Pack up on return and leave at midnight in Grey Edward's car and catch a train at Crewe.

Aug 10th. Arrive in London at about 5.30am., wash and brekker at Charing Cross, Get down to Hiilingdon at 8.15, drag them up, shop and lunch with Bob, see "Better 'Ole". Sit out on wall after dinner and count searchlights, bed about midnight.

Aug 11th. Rise at 4.45am., Bob sees me off. Leave Victoria at 7.35 and reach Folkestone at 10.30. Lunch at Metropole. Sail on Princess Victoria at 4.50pm. Dine at Hotel de Folkestone. Leave Boulogne at 12.50am.

Aug 12th. Reach St. Omer at 6.30am, and go to Pool and see Waller. Go up with Waller in a D.H.4. and reach 18,000 (oxygen didn't work). After lunch posted to 32 Squadron. Tea in Cassel, arrive at Droglandt at about 7pm. Meet several friends.

Aug 13th. Get up about 9am. Go into St. Omer to fetch a D.H.5. Lunch at Hotel du Commerce. Write letters and look around.

Aug 14th. Do two patrols and have one dud plug.

Aug 15th. Do one patrol then another one in the evening, forced landing near 'Willow Walk' (in forward area) and lorry back to No. 4 Sqn. See Mitch (who was in 15 Sqn. with me).

Aug 16th. Do three patrols and have two dud plugs also one scrap.

Aug 17th. Do an early patrol, also one at 11, come back with a dud plug.

Aug 18th. Did two patrols. Dined with No. 4 Sqn.

Aug 19th. Went 'over the top' with the infantry in morning. Patrol in evening.

Aug 20th. Attack two Agos and drove them off. Forced landing on aerodrome, (engine cuts out at 8,000).

Aug 21st. Did two patrols. Letter from Marjorie. Black Chapman cones and dines.

Aug 22nd. Did two patrols. Gun goes dud both times.

Aug 23rd. Did early patrol. Not much doing. Another patrol in afternoon. Played Bumble Puppy.

Aug 24th. No flying. Very strong winds all day. Played cards in afternoon. Dined in Poperinghe.

Aug 25th. Thorogood bags a Hun.

Aug 26th. Did a patrol and saw a good many Hun two seaters, attacked six times but they outdistanced me. Did another patrol in afternoon. Celebrated the day in Poperinghe at 5a Rue de Dunkerque.

Aug 27th. Did a patrol. Dud in afternoon. Dined with 29 Squadron.

Aug 28th. Dud all day, Played polka in afternoon. Jenkins, Robins and Hodgson dine here.

Aug 29th. Dud day again and no flying. Go over with Mich and Hodgson and dine with Bill Adams at Bailleul,

Aug 30th. Dud day. Do a patrol in evening, Sparts (?) comes to Mess.


Aug 31st. Entry missed.

[Extract from letter]

SEPTEMBER 1917

Sept 1st. Dud day. Played cards in evening. Celebrated Thorogood's getting a 'Flight' at 5a Rue de Dunkerque in Poperinghe.

Sept 2nd. Do a patrol. Not much doing.

Sept 3rd. Do an Offensive Patrol in morning. Go and see Bamford in evening,

Sept 4th. Did an I.O.P. (Inner Offensive Patrol!). Went into Poperinghe in evening.

Sept 5th. Did two I.O.P.s. Letter from Sis. Bed early.

Sept 6th. Dawn I.O.P., a few Huns about.

Sept 7th. Did a quaint patrol, clouds at 200 ft, in places. Landed at 29 Squadron's aerodrome.

Sept 8th. Did a patrol. Play Bumble Puppy after tea. Mc Kergow (?) dines.

Sept 9th. Did dawn patrol, also last patrol, managed to defeat a grey and red Hun.

Sept 10th. Dud weather in the morning, did a patrol in the evening, had a dud plug.

Sept 12th. Did two patrols, nothing much doing.

Sept 12th. Did two patrols, nothing much doing.

Sept 13th. Did a patrol, petrol pipe broke. Landed at 29 Squadron's aerodrome.

Sept 14th. Dud early morning, did a patrol later. Played Bumble Puppy with Simpson and tennis (?) with Bell. Chapman, John Willie and Harbord come to dine.

Sept 15th. Did a patrol, not much doing, attacked by Scouts. Simpson brought down.

Sept 16th. Dud early. A lot of Huns over, also a Bosche Armada. Another patrol in evening.

Sept 17th. Did a couple of patrols. Went and saw Simpson in hospital at Goderswaervelde. Lunch with No. 6 Sqn.

Sept 18th. Did a patrol, dud for rest of day. Letter from Bob. Dined with 1 Sqn.

Sept 19th. Patrol in morning, landed on 29 Sqn's aerodrome. Another patrol in evening. News of "war". Wrote to Bob.

Sept 20th. Dawn patrol, weather dud. Sing glees. Another patrol, clouds at 500 to 2000 feet, very dud, nothing much seen.

R.E.8
Sept 21st. Did a couple of patrols. Lloyd sinks a couple of Huns; Bosche patrol of twelve aircraft came over to bomb.

Sept 22nd. Did a patrol, not much doing, wrote letters. Did another patrol, shot a Hun off an R.E.8's tail.

[Extract from letter]

Sept 23rd. Did two patrols. Chapman and John Willie come to dine.

Sept 24th. Heavy mist all morning and nothing doing. Did a patrol in evening.

Sept 25th. Did patrols in morning and afternoon. Dined with 29 Sqn.

Sept 26th. Did a patrol in the morning, a battle on, very misty. Concert on with the 'Navy' (R.N.A.S).

Sept 27th. Did two patrols. Lloyd killed.

Sept 28th. Did two patrols.

Sept 29th. Dud weather most of day, nothing much doing. Wrote to Simpson and Blummers.

Sept 30th. Did a patrol. Wrote to Sis. Black Chapman killed.

OCTOBER 1917

Oct 1st. Did a couple of patrols. Dined with Worcesters.

Oct 2nd. Did a patrol and escorted an R.E.8 to Westrousbeke, attack three Huns, dud show rest of time. The cylinder 'leads' went wrong in the evening; bed early.

Oct 3rd. Did a patrol in the morning but weather comes up dud. Fetched a D.H.5 from St Omer in the afternoon.

Oct 4th. Battle on. Not on patrol. Dined with Harbord in the evening.

Oct 5th. Did a patrol.

Oct 6th. Did a patrol, not much doing, Went into Volche—-? and fetched 0'Hanlon.

Oct 7th. Did a patrol, shot a Hun off a Spad's tail but not much else doing. Went into St Omer to fetch a D.H.5, weather turned dud. Dined with No 4 Sqn. at Abeele.

Oct 8th. Did a patrol, nothing much doing. Went into St Omer to fetch a D.H.5, dud weather.

Oct 9th. Did a patrol, battle on.

[Extract from letter]

Oct 10th. Did two patrols, lots of Huns about. Gazetted Captain and Flight Commander.

Oct 11th. Not much doing. Took Bateman out in the afternoon. Pearson comes back,

Oct 12th. Did a short patrol, a 'war' on. Dud most of day. Dined with Bill Adams at Bailleul.

Oct 13th. Did a patrol, not much doing,

Oct 14th. Got up late. Did a patrol. Jones claims a Hun.

Oct 15th. Did a couple of patrols. Bill Adams comes to lunch.

Oct 16th. Did a show in the morning, not much doing.

Oct 17th. Did two patrols. General Gough comes round. Dine at Baileul.

Oct 18th. Did a patrol. Jones goes on leave. Another patrol later.

Oct 19th. Dud weather all day, get up late. Dine with Infantry and meet Ford, (I think this was with the Grenadier Guards who were in a rented camp east of Poperinghe in a sea of mud. Their buttons and boats were good enough for Changing the Guard duties at Buckingham Palace. They were to make an attack at Passchendaele the next day.)

Oct 20th. Did a patrol, chased a two seater. Went up to grid (?) in afternoon. 0'Hanlon to dinner.

Oct 21st. Did a patrol in morning and another in afternoon. Bill Adams to dinner.

Oct 22nd. Dud in morning but did a patrol at midday, Passchendaele still on, shot up lorries in Routhoulst Forest. Upton comes to tea. Do another patrol. Pearson's 21st. birthday party.

Oct 23rd. Dud in morning so get up late. Dud all day. Howlett and Smith come and feed.

Oct 24th. Do a patrol in morning, take Glentworth to see the war. Another patrol in the evening.

Oct 25th. Go on leave via St Omer, sleep at Hotel de Paris at Boulogne.

Oct 26th. Met MacCudden on the boat. Get up to London and have tea at the Savoy. Catch a Metropolitan train for Hillingdon and meet Dorothy Violet Raikes on the way, who borrows 1 from me!

Oct 27th. Go into Uxbridge with the milk.

Oct 28th. Talk to Bob all the morning, slack about in the afternoon and in the evening take a black cat in with the milk.

Oct 29th. Clean out cowsheds and sweep yard. Talk all afternoon. Go in with Bob in the evening with the milk, arrive back at the Firs late.

Oct 30th. Not much doing all day, write letters.

Oct 31st. Not much doing. Go over to Feering in the afternoon and see the Reids and the Hunts.

NOVEMBER 1917

Nov 1st. Shoot with Littlehales (hedgerowing). Lunch at Champion Lodge.

Nov 2nd. Go to Witham in morning. Slack about in the afternoon.

Nov 3rd. Go up to London and have lunch with Mozeley at the Criterion. Go to "Round the Map". Go on to Northwood to stay with the Hills.

Nov 4th. Brekker in Pen's room. Slack day. Beats arrives and Dolly Fell.

Nov 5th. Leave Northwood at midday. Lunch with Beats and Lancelot. Back to Wickham Bishops in the evening. Letter from Dorothy Violet Raikes.

Nov 6th. Surprised in blankets by the Pellys and Littlehales. Shoot and have lunch at Champion Lodge.

Nov 7th. Go to Witham in morning, slack about most of day; shoot two rabbits in the evening.

Nov 8th. Go up to London with Sir Claude de Crespigny. Meet Bob at Baker Street. Choose gramophone records. Lunch at Les Gobelins then go to The Royalty. Tea at The Trocadero and dinner at the Piccadilly and go to the New Cinema. Go back to Oak Farm but I miss the last train back to London so sleep on the floor at Oak Farm.

Nov 9th. Go to Ruislip with Bob then come back and clean cow sheds. Try and milk in the afternoon. Go in with Bob in the milk float and 'pulled the plug' on Ickenham Bridge. Catch the 9.50pm.

Nov 10th. Detailed to be O.C. of the 8.15am. train, which meant that I had to march all the troops on the train up to the Rest Camp on the Leas at Folkestone and down to ship again in the evening. Reached St Omer at about 5.45pm.

Nov 11th. Had brekker in the Church Army hut and afterwards get back to 32 Sqn. Bed early.

Nov 12th. Stay late in bed. Do midday patrol and made an awful landing. Not much doing.

Nov 13th. Do first patrol but the weather is dud till 11am., not much doing. Played Bridge and Patience in the afternoon. Topping letter Bob, answer it in the afternoon.

Nov 14th. Dud all day, stay late in bed. Go for a ride in the afternoon on some hairys from the Gunners. Concert in the evening.

Nov 15th. Did a patrol in the morning, the Camels bring a Hun down in flames South of Poelcapelle, lot of scrapping going on. One of my leads breaks.

Nov 16th. Not much doing, do a patrol in the evening. Wrote to Bob. Went to a concert, and Wallace who was at The Grange with me.

Nov 17th. No flying and not much doing all day. Go and dine at Cassell.

Nov 18th. Dud all day, play Patience. Dine with the Middlesex Regiment.

Nov 19th. Rise early, do a patrol at 11am., strafe German two seaters. Dine with 70 Sqn.

Nov 20th. Did a patrol in Pyjamas. Go to Ypres and have tea with Christopher in the Ramparts, John Willie to dine.

Nov 21st. Dud all day. Grey Edwards and Gould come and dine, go to a Concert. Play polker (sic) afterwards.

Nov 22nd. Did early morning patrol, dined with 29 Sqn.

Nov 23rd. Did a patrol. Dined with 24 Sqn. near Dunkerque and afterwards went over to 54 Sqn. and met K.K. Horne and Morse, and went to their excellent Concert. Wrote to Bob.

Nov 24th. Get up late as it's very dud and stays so all day; bed early,

Nov 25th. Dud all day, Went to an Estaminet at Winnizeele and was introduced to the Widow.

Nov 26th. Dud all day. Walked to Winnizeele.

Nov 27th. Dud most of the day. Did the last patrol. Dined at The Widow's at Winnizeele.

Nov 28th. Did the early morning patrol. Letter from Bob. Dined with 54 Sqn.

Nov 29th. Dud most of the day. Go into Poperinghe and see The Duds. Dine at Winnizeele.

Nov 30th. Dud all day. Watch a football match. Letter from Bob. Dine with 70 Sqn.

[Extract from letter]

DECEMBER 1917

Dec 1st. Got up for first patrol, dud all day, Fish goes home. Wrote letters, bed early.

Dec 2nd. High wind all day. Did a patrol. Went to Church.

Dec 3rd. High wind. Do a patrol but not much doing.

Dec 4th. Did a patrol but the weather comes up dud, not much doing. Grey Edwards comes to dinner, go to a concert afterwards,

Dec 5th. Did the midday Ypres patrol, very boring. Went and had tea with Christopher.

Dec 6th. Did a patrol in the morning and another at midday.

Dec 7th. Did a patrol. Dined with 7 Sqn.

Dec 8th. Did a patrol. Dined with 65 Sqn.

Dec 9th. Dud all day. Went for a run in the afternoon. Wrote letters; bed early.

Dec 10th. Dud at first, did a patrol later. The Army Commander comes round. Sleep in the afternoon. Go to St Omer and dine.

Dec 11th. to 13th. No entry.

Dec 14th. Dud day, no offensive flying but went up for a joke.

Dec 15th. Letter from Bob. Did a patrol but weather pretty dud. Dined in St Omer with Glentworth. Had a good night.

Dec 16th. Did the early patrol. Letter from Bob, answered it. Stood-by in afternoon.

Dec 17th. First day of Training. Go for a run. Glentworth goes home, did a formation flight.

Dec 18th. Did a formation flight.

[Extract from letter]

Dec 19th. Did a formation flight. Wrote letters. Went to the Cinema in our Hangar.

Dec 20th. Dud all day. Slid on ponds. Dined with 10 Sqn.

Dec 21st. Dud all day. Did various things, went for a walk with Pearson and slid on ponds. Had some Infantry to dine.

Dec 22nd. Did two formation flights. Northwood hits an A.M. taking off. Dined with 70 Sqn.

Dec 23rd. Dud in the morning. Did machine gun. Did a weather test in afternoon, slid on ponds. Letter from Sis.

Dec 24th. Quite dud weather and no flying,

Dec 25th. Went into the air to wish the Germans a Happy Christmas by firing into Houthoulst Forest but returned through snow showers. Go out shooting and kill a pheasant. After Mess visit the Sergeants' Mess. Bed about midnight.

Dec 26th. Wake up to find our paraffin lamp had smoked and everything Pearson and I (owned) in France together with our beds and ourselves were covered in black, oily soot. Our Padre proved a true Good Samaritan and we spent most of the day in pyjamas and Sidcup suits.

S.E.5A
Dec 27th. Another dud day with no flying. Went for a walk and played Bridge after Mess.

Dec 28th. Did two patrols. Our first S.E.5.a arrives.

Dec 29th. I was detailed to be the first to fly the new S.E.5.a. Took it up and found it O.K. if strange after flying a rotary engine; made a perfect three point landing on the snow covered aerodrome in spite of having to manipulate an adjustable tail plane for the first time.

Dec 30th. Letter from Bob. Not much doing. Walk to Houtkerque.

Dec 31st. Not much doing. A good binge in the Sergeants' Mess, Some people from a nearby Park come in.

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