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21 December 1915. Imbros


After leaving Dover, Bunnie travelled to join No. 2 Wing at Imbros.

His journey took him by train across France. One thinks of France as being engulfed in war, and it’s easy to forget that the war zone was very narrow, and in fact he saw nothing of it. The train was a sleeper, and they travelled in some comfort, arriving at Marseilles, where they embarked on a ship travelling Malta.

When they got to Malta, the Commanding Officer knew nothing about them and had no instructions for their onward journey to Imbros, so Bunnie set off to find friends of the family for whom he had a letter of introduction from his father.

He sauntered back to the port to find that in his absence, the ferry trip to Imbros had been organised, and he had to make a pierhead jump to avoid being left behind!

The island of Imbros (modern day Gokceada) is about 13 miles from the Gallipoli peninsula, and the airfield was situated in the curve of the bay on the south east corner.

2015-12-21 ImbrosMany airfields on the Western Front were quite luxurious, accommodation (for the officers at least) being in large country houses. Not so at Imbros. The airfield was a patch of level dirt, and sleeping accommodation was in the packing cases in which the aircraft had arrived. There was a motley collection of different aircraft types, most of which were obsolete, and finding spares for them was a nightmare.

No. 2 Wing airfield, with the bay in the background.

No. 2 Wing airfield, with the bay in the background.

The field was surrounded by high hills which made flying particularly tricky in the swirling winds.

On 19 & 20 Dec, Bunnie was told to go for a familiarisation flight in an Avro 504B to get his bearings. It was a type he’d flown before.

Avro 504B S/no 1043 outside the hangar at Imbros. This is the actual aircraft that Bunnie flew.

Avro 504B S/no 1043 outside the hangar at Imbros. This is the actual aircraft that Bunnie flew.

Both flights were short – 10 minutes and 20 minutes respectively, and they just let him get his hand in again.

Today, 21 December, he started a couple of days off – maybe he was getting his things settled into his packing case accommodation. These were lined with paper, and one of the favourite leisure time activities was to try and locate the creepy-crawlies between the paper and the cardboard from the sounds they made, and to stab at them with a penknife!


  1. Errol Cavit permalink

    I don’t know if you have seen the photos of Imbros shared on Wings Over NZ forum?

  2. I didn’t. thanks very much – I shall post a link and see if they might be interested in our.

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