11 Feb 1916. Imbros
Bunnie had a generally bad day at the office. In 1264, which had by now more or less become his personal machine, he spent just over an hour at the southern end of the peninsula, being tossed about and not enjoying himself very much.
Escorting M.F, over Helles. No huns or archie. Strong S wind. Very bumpy near the ground. Better high up, but air seemed very patchy. Sometimes she would be climbing a bit (well throttled down) and then at the same revs and speed she would lose height. Very bumpy landing, about the worst time I have yet had. A Nieuport cut in front of me from the wrong side and I had to go on and postpone landing. I got onto the ground all right, rather fast, and was blown up again twice.
Meanwhile Dickinson seems to have been having much more fun. His diary reads:
9th. Sunny and hot. Biscoe crashed Bristol in morning. Up in the BE (BE2C) for eighteen minutes in afternoon. Fairly satisfactory.
10th. Very windy. Unpacked Nieuports in the morning. Walked up to Panaghia in afternoon, arriving 5.00pm. Tea in Highlife Hotel. Excellent omelettes. Hacked home late, arriving 8.45. How those little devils kept their foothold and found their way along a very rough and steep path I don’t know, especially in the dark as the moon wasn’t very bright. Very amusing. Panaghia quite a pretty place but dirty.
11th. Sunny and warm. Team came for hockey from HMS Russell; most amusing game. Went over to dine on board with Thorold, Reid, S.P., Bosley, Savory, Littleton. great fun.
Bunnie doesn’t seem to have been invited. Perhaps he was too tired after his exertions over the peninsula. Panaghia was the main – more or less the only – town on Imbros, and is around 10 miles (15km) away from the airfield, so presumably when Dickinson says he ‘hacked’ home, presumably he hired a mule or donkey.
One other area for possible investigation is the other photograph of Biscoe’s accident.
If you look carefully at the underside of the fuselage between the wheels, there’s a dark circle in the middle. I’d assumed it was the shadow of one of the wheels, but comparing it with other photos, I think it may actually be a hole in the aluminium skin, and I wonder if this was the hole they were expected to aim their bombs through. It would mean we might have to do something similar to 1264, which was also used for bombing, but it’s a rather large and draughty hole, and I’d like to be absolutely sure before we get the tin snips out!
From → Granddad's Flying Career