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25 April 1916. Imbros

02/05/2016

17 April.

Dickinson.

Unsettled. Reid and Blair in the Gunbus (two-seater Nieuport 12) and Kinkhead in the Scout, gave us a bad time by landing on Tenedos and we heard nothing of them till they had been gone over four hours. The first two returned during the afternoon. Severe rain during evening.

Nieuport G12 Gunbus - Adams launching

Nieuport G12 Gunbus – Adams launching

18 April.

Dickinson.

Kinkaid returned from Tenedos.

19 April.

Dickinson.

South wind, fine and hot. Came back to find Savory and CO going to England tomorrow. Opened cellar in his honour and everyone was fearfully drunk. Alas, I drank too much, though not to the extent that I was actually ‘bottled’. In fairly late.

20 April.

Bunnie on 1264.

Escorting M.F. on photographic trip over Chan Tepe (also known as Bell Hill). Strong S.W. wind. Very bumpy indeed coming down, made an excellent landing.

Dickinson.

Up in EP tent from 6.30 to breakfast. Saw CO and asked for leave. He was very nice but I shall have to wait till next week, and then only to Malta I fear, and I do so long for a few days at home.

21 April.

Bunnie on 1264.

Escort M.F. as yesterday. Gun fixing came loose over salt lake so I had to come down again. M.F. went off without me and I did not pick him up till he had started back. I went on to Maidos but could see no damage to seaplane shed after last night’s raid. Slight S.W. wind. V. Bumpy coming down. Touched very lightly and bounced high, stalled slightly and rubbed one wingtip but skid saved me. Principally due to carelessness. (Been there, done that. On this sortie Bunnie was at an amazing 9800ft. David). No huns or archie.

Dickinson.

Very hot. Jacob, Barnato and Nicholson all came back safely from attacking old seaplane shed and no one hit it. CO and Savory left in Empress last night for England. Lucky dogs, though of course they both have far more right to go than I have. Went over to RND and saw the padre and had tea with him. In early.

22 April.

Bunnie on 1264.

Submarine reported south of Tenedos, so went to look for it. Very unpleasant and bumpy at 1000 ft. Went up to 5000 ft to look at Adriatic coast line, and about 1825 when near Tenedos saw something in water S.E. of ?Maro? and half way between Island and mainland. It looked like a small ship giving out a lot of smoke. I dived down, keeping it in sight, but it faded away and disappeared before I got there. It may have been a squall in the uncertain light. Perfect landing.

Imbros and Tenedos, with the Adriatic coast in the west. Bunnie saw something just off the south eastern tip of Tenedos, though it seems to have disappeared when he got closer.

Imbros and Tenedos, with the Adriatic coast in the west. Bunnie saw something just off the south eastern tip of Tenedos, though it seems to have disappeared when he got closer.

Dickinson.

Very hot in the morning. Went and had tea on board the Grafton with Oxley. Submarine scare just before we came back. (One of the few times the two accounts coincide. David.) Barney had gone up to Goo Goo and left a Lieutenant Bellairs, Naismith’s Number 1, to look after himself. Very interesting talk with him. In early; not feeling well.

23 April.

Dickinson.

Easter Sunday. Strong south wind; cooler with a peculiar mist about. S.P. (Smyth Piggott, the First Lieutenant of no. 2 Wing) refused me leave to go to Panaghia. Seems to have his knife into me for some reason or another. Feeling better. I do dislike all these crawling creatures which are beginning to appear. Especially big tarantulas and centipedes quite six inches long and of a nasty scarlet colour. Wondering whether S.P will give me the leave that CO promised me. Down to meet the ferry which brought Portal back, still unaware that he had a DSC. Small mail but very excellent, including a bill for £1-13-6 from Emmanuel for my drill suit.

24 April.

Bunnie on 1264.

Went over early morning to see if I could see the seaplane, but nothing doing. Dropped two bombs near shed but did not hit it. The old bus is a bit nose heavy with bombs now, even though I only took two. N wind, landing quite good, perhaps a shade fast.

Dickinson.

Very hot. South wind letters most the day. Bathe in Alski with Oxley. In early.

25 April.

Dickinson.
Still very hot. Last night a curious fog rolled up from the south and enveloped everything. This morning it returned, but only as far as the harbour where it hung about all day near nearly. Bathe before tea with Kinkaid. Had my hair cut for the first time since Malta! Spent the evening in Jacob’s cabin. I grow to like Jacob more and more every day. I wish I could set down my impressions of these moments when we are all together listening to the gramophone. Jacob stands at the door with his Cheltenham blazer and his glorious smile; old Barney sitting in the middle strokes his beard unceasingly. On the settee to the left are Reid, Portal and Belton, Portal being very busy dealing with the Primus and making cocoa. I sit reading diligently some very light literature in the old Caudron seat in the corner. Bremner and Kinkhead sit silently at the other end, one on the bed and the other on a broken-down chair, while Blandy fidgets with his Sam Browne waiting to hear the Master at Arms inform him that he is ‘Ready for rounds, sir.’ I wonder how often these scenes will recur in the years to come. The wind is getting up.

I love this last entry – it’s the first time Dickinson mentions Bunnie by name and I find the image truly haunting.

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