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6 Mar 1916. Imbros


2 Mar:

Bunnie flying Bristol Scout 1264. Morning reconnaissance of straits. Strong S wind. S.W. high up. Very bumpy up to 7000. Landing fair, but bouncy.

Dickinson: Squally and wet. In bed till 12 feeling very ill. Very sick when I got up. Walk by myself along hills to south west. Terrible night. Roofs blown off. Everything flooded. Terrific lightning and thunder. Our cabin only leaked slightly in a few places. Poor Belton had to get up twice to see that Bessoneaus (the aircraft hangars) were still intact. Personally, slept very well.

3 Mar:

Dickinson: Glorious morning. Sun shining brightly. Wind still fairly high from South. Aerodrome one large lake. Feeling better. Walk with Fitzherbert around Salt Lake after tea. Very young!

No wonder Bunnie didn’t fly today…

4 Mar:

Dickinson: Another glorious day, sun very hot. Strong south wind. Stood by at 8am for bombing, but nothing reported in Straits. Took up H-F 3994 (most likely a misprint for 3904 which was a Henri Farman HF27) for forty five minutes at 10.30am. Went over to Helles and along the coast of peninsula to Suvla, then home. Glorious view all along the coast to Mount Athos. Went on board HMS Agamemnon for concert from 2 till 5. Extraordinarily good.

Henri Farman F27 with No. 3 Wing RNAS on Mudros in 1915.

Henri Farman F27 with No. 3 Wing RNAS on Mudros in 1915.

Dickinson’s route took him along all of the west coast of the peninsula shown on the map below.

5 Mar:

Dickinson: Sunny, but a very windy day from south. Went aboard Agamemnon at 2.00pm where Thortold and I procured a glorious hot bath, after which we had tea with Lieutenant Commander Murray. Left at 5.30. went to see reverend Bloggs up at Field Ambulance Unit. Attended 6.00pm service. Very nice, quite simple but perfectly sincere and obviously convinced. One of the most affecting services I have ever attended.

6 Mar:

Bunnie flying Bristol scout 1259: Escort two H.F. and bomb shipping in straits. In dropping 1st bomb I pulled the machine back to 35 knots by mistake and bomb touched my axle. Machine quite reasonably steady at 35 knots, and answered at once when I put her nose down. Fairly good shooting with bomb, but I let them all off too soon. No wind, slow landing, but bounced a little. Saw quite a lot of archie, but he never came close to me.

Dickinson: Glorious day, very hot with gentle southerly breeze. First service flight in afternoon. Spotting for M-17’s fire on batteries on Hunter-Weston Hill. Out for two hours twenty minutes between Fusilier’s Bluff and Kum Kale. Fairly satisfactory. High explosive being fired at us from Helles and Fusilier’s Bluff not badly, but Kum Kale’s shrapnel very far in front and below so that I took it to be shells from the Edgar bursting high over the town. Feet got very cold: otherwise most interesting and even enjoyable. Turned in early, being tired.

It’s clear Bunnie was escorting Dickinson on this sortie, but had bombs with him as well that he was allowed to loose off on targets of opportunity at the same time, presumably on the basis that if an enemy aircraft turned up, he’d have some chance of engaging him. His maximum height was 11,000ft – amazing.

35 knots is pretty slow, but accords with our measured stall speed, and the control response seems similar. the stall itself – if it was anything like what I’ve experienced in 1264 -is pretty benign, and as long as he had a few hundred feet to recover, he shouldn’t have been in tons of danger, though the damage to 1259’s axle might have been a bit of a worry!

The tip of the Gallipoli peninsula. Fusilier's Bluff is between Cape Helles and Krithia on the west coast, and Kum Kale is just opposite Cape Helles on the Asiatic shore.

The tip of the Gallipoli peninsula. Fusilier’s Bluff is between Cape Helles and Krithia on the west coast, and Kum Kale is just opposite Cape Helles on the Asiatic shore.



M-17 was a monitor ship – with one very large gun – and HMS Edgar was one of a class of large cruisers built around the turn of the century.

HMS M-21

HMS M-21


One Comment
  1. Well, finally Dickinson got well, I wonder why he was always ill… 😮
    Love the map!

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