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246. Somme

2nd Lt David Bremner, 1st Bat., Border Regiment, 1914.

2nd Lt David Bremner, 1st Bat., Border Regiment, 1914.

Those who’ve been following this blog know that I’ve always wanted to fly over the Somme this summer to commemorate Bunnie’s first cousin, David, who died of injuries received on 1 July. He was a 2nd Lt in the Border regiment at Beaumont Hamel and the whole battalion was more or less wiped out. of 23 officers, only 3 survived unscathed. His bravery and sacrifice, leading his men over the top, knowing exactly what was in store, is in stark contrast to Bunnie’s, which was largely great fun by comparison.

So we’re stopping off at the Somme on the way back from Greece, and while airspace will be closed down for the official commemoration on 1 July, we had hoped to fly on 2 or 3 July.

But now we’ve had notification that we will be flying as part of the official commemoration on 1 July, performing a flypast of the Thiepval memorial in formation with the BE2F and Albatros of WAHT. We’ll be temporarily French for the occasion, courtesy of our RNAS cockades, and will be operating out of the aerodrome at Albert Bray, which is only 5 miles from the Thiepval memorial, so almost in gliding range.

Thiepval memorial

Thiepval memorial

It’s a huge honour, and it’s yet another astonishing twist to an astonishing summer.

Here’s hoping the weather holds!



From → Shows

  1. daftasabrush46 permalink

    Fascinating blog, and history. Good luck with the weather, it’s been rocking backwards and forwards here in France for last few weeks. Naturally being Northern Irish, and the history of the huge losses of the 36th (Ulster) Division, particularly on the 1st July, the Somme Battles have a great fascination for me. I now live in northern France, and hope one day to go pay my respects. Bon fin de weekend from Chez les Ch’tis biloutes. What a wonderful beautiful aircraft.

    • You’re too kind. At least I know that if the BE2 can make it, so can I! And he’s got to fly it across the Channel…

      • daftasabrush46 permalink

        Not at all – fantastic achievement. At least it’s not the Irish Sea. I remember one year hearing on the airband, the Fleet Air Arm Historic Flight’s Stringbag had to pull out of the Northern Ireland International Air Show, as the winds were too strong, and he was flying backwards over the Isle of Man!

  2. Colin Williams (George's Father) permalink

    David, Theo, I was very sorry to see that the poor weather precluded your flypast. I was watching the proceedings “live” on the BBC and it certainly did not appear favourable! You don’t seem to be having much luck lately, regardless of location! I guess that is three countries within the last month where the elements have played an overriding part….I wish you better luck in the future!

    • Thanks very much. Disappointing but not unexpected. We hope for better things in the next couple of days…

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