Diary And Letters Of A World War I Fighter Pilot, The

Diary And Letters Of A World War I Fighter Pilot, The by Christopher Burgess

Book: Diary And Letters Of A World War I Fighter Pilot, The by Christopher Burgess Read Free Book Online
Authors: Christopher Burgess
Watched the battle for Passchendaele – gun fire terrific and smoke barrage clouds low – pretty thick. Up 1 hour. Passchendaele taken.
    To Bailleul in evening, bought things for room, dud all day. Bailleul shelled at ½ hr intervals. Mail arrival.
    Â 
    Guy to May (his Sister)
    On Active Service in the Field
    Â 
    Passed by Censor No 5308
    65 Squadron
R.F.C. B.E.F.
France
    7th November 1917
    Dearest,
    Â 
    About time I wrote to you, what? Well here I am settled down at last, thank heavens. This Squadron has been wandering about ever since it came out, waiting for the Squadron who had this aerodrome to clear out. We came in here on Sunday.
    We are in little Nissan huts – v.warm & comfy. Before we came here we were staying with another squadron north of this place. It was North West of a v.well known town – perhaps the best known in the war. This place is about 12 miles south of it & about 7 miles from the Lines – within sound of the guns. The town near this place was shelled with 9.2” shells all yesterday at half hour intervals. It was being shelled when I was in it about a week ago. I was strolling down the street when suddenly “B o o m !! whe e e e! Crump!!” – & a house about 200 yds further down the street literally dissolved into brick dust! Gee, but I jumped some! I have been up on several defensive patrols at 10,000 but have not been across the lines yet. I saw some Hun machines the other day but we left them alone!
    You have no idea of the awful state of the ground around the lines. There is not a square inch without a shell hole – that town I mentioned is in an awful mess – hardly a standing wall! I was up yesterday morning & watched a v.big show on the ground. The gun fire was terrific & the whole ground was glittering with gun flashes.
    It will be topping if you can get up the line & see me. Let me know all about it. I think we shall be going over the lines pretty soon now! Wotto!
    Well, bests & love dearest
    from the Brother Boy
    Â 
    DIARY Wednesday 7th November
    Dud all day nearly. Rain in morning v cold. Went for joyride in afternoon in L.W.’s bus looped etc. Went over Armentières. Nearly got lost.
    To Bailleul in evening. Got some things. Gotha raid at night at 3.a.m!
    Â 
    65 Squadron
    8th November 1917
    Another mail hurrah! This time I got your 3 early letters. Mum & Dad’s first one – one from Elsie, one from May, also from Uncle Jack Cox [? last part illegible] & one from Carrie! I also got the gloves & etc., the former are very nice but not so warm as the others. Thanks awfully for your two first letters – I am keeping them both. Yesterday was dud nearly all day but I went for a “flip” in a borrowed bus, as my engine was being taken down & cleaned. I went over [a] small town & nearly got lost! In the evening I went down to the town & got some more things for my room. I haven’t used my hot [water] bottle yet. Last night there was an air raid all round here by Gothas at 3 a.m. I heard the engines & “Archies” but it was much too cold to get up & look.
    The weather today is fine thank goodness. This morning at about 11 a.m. a Hun machine came over & we were ordered to go up after it at once so I hove off first in my bus which is now running toppingly. I got up to 16,000 ft. & I think I saw him far off but lost him again. Then I joined some other “Camels” & did an ordinary defensive Patrol – we saw some Huns across the Lines but none near us. I was jolly cold I can tell you! We are getting the Mess in order now & my room looks v.bon!
    Bestest love to you both from the Bunsoy.
    Â 
    DIARY Thursday 8th November
    Lovely day – Bath in morning – v cold day. My bus ready. Tested it – v nice. Looped etc. Hun came over and O.B. and I went up after it. Got to 16,000 but missed it – Line Patrol – awful cold.
    Read in afternoon and played bridge – lost 4f 25c! Bed – v

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