24.04.1917: Bernard Awarded the Military Cross | Bernard reçoit la Military Cross | Bernard erhält den Orden Military Cross

Transcription:

April 24: 4.15 – 5.35
Went out with Heaven to knock out
another battery. Saw 4 Hun Scouts coming up
so cleared for action. Were attacked by all four
atfirst {sic}. Two then broke off, and we set to.
Spiralling, and dodging, to keep them off my
tail. Heaven fired hard in bursts. Tracers
could be seen entering their fuselages. The poor
old Quirk shivered every time they hit us.
After 3 or 4 minutes hard work the Huns
cleared off, and appeared to have had enough.

Flew back very carefully to ‘drome and
counted our damage. One flying wire cut.
both bottom longerons holed. Rudder
frame smashed. Controls cut through.
In all 54 hits. Very fine scrap. Machine
written off. -12th Scrap- 276’20”.

Heaven, and I awarded M.C’s.

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22.04.1917: Die Familie Falkenstein im Frühjahr 1917 | The Falkenstein Family in Spring 1917 | La famille Falkenstein au printemps 1917

Transkription:
 

Jablonna, 22.4.1917

Der Gefreite Falkenstein bittet
um Arbeitsurlaub zur Bestellung
der Frühjahrssaat. Mein 4 Bruder ist
auch vor 14 Tagen bei Garde Pionier eingezogen und
der Vater allein in der Landwirtschaft
und Müllerei.

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11.04.1917: Bernard Takes Aim | Bernard a un but | Bernard nimmt den Feind ins Visier

Transcription:

Quirk cottage
BEF

11.4.17

Dear old Dad.

Still smiling and well. Have you been getting
any P.Cs.? Am writing to tell you the latest yarn to
be passed round in your mess. It is quite a nice one.
“ ‘Phone message to brigade. Lorry blocked by a tank
on Cambrai road. Result satisfactory, a Ford.”
How’s that? G.O.C Flying Corps landed here a few
days ago, and congratulated us on our excellent work.
And expressed a wish that we would let you at home
know what we are doing. (By the way this mustn’t
be published now, because it would mean a count
martial for me!) So I am going to let you into
some of the work we do. You can tell people about it
as much as you like. In the first place there is no
reason to be alarmed at our casualties we are not…

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09.03.1917: Bernard on Leave | Bernard auf Heimaturlaub | Bernard en permission

Transcription:

-No. 8 squadron-
-B.E.F.-

9th Mar 17

Dear old Dad.

That was a good spot of leave
By Jove. I was getting a little bit shakey {sic} before
I left here, and now we feel ready for
anything. Losses have been a bit stiff
since I came back, & I’ve attended (?)
double funeral, and skipped another,
cheeky isn’t it? However most of these
things can be accounted for by inexperience…

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20.02.1917: Peters Pakete aus der Heimat | Peter’s Parcels from Home | Peter reçoit des paquets du pays

Transkription:

Coblenz, d. 20.II.17.
Gestern Eure liebe Karte und
soeben das große Paket mit
vielem Dank erhalten.
Werde wahrscheinlich doch noch
in nächster Zeit in Urlaub
kommen. Sonst noch alles
beim Alten. Auf baldiges Wieder-
sehen grüßt Euch recht herzlich, Euer
Sohn u. Bruder Peter
Komme vielleicht
Sonntag nach dort

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15.01.1917: Bernard’s War Loan | L’emprunt de guerre de Bernard | Bernard zeichnet Kriegsanleihen

Transcription:

-15.1.17-

Dear old Dad.

Are you the father of a daughter-in-law
yet? Faut expliques. I had a capital letter
from Mary yesterday giving me all the news.
What is this she tells me about Eddy hot
stuffing your china & silver. Mon dieu, et
sacré mon dieu chien! Il a pas peur.
Bloody lip in plain English. What are
you doing, taking to chop sticks?

What about this war loan? I am ordering
two copies of it. Think I can scrape up enough
dust to pay for one dish, must overdraw a…

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01.01.1917: Bernard in High Spirits | Bernard de très bonne humeur | Bernard in bester Stimmung

Transcription:

-1.1.17-

Dear old Dad,

A very happy “New Year” to you, and
many, many more of them!

What a life!! ‘Xmas, and then “New
Year’s Eve,” some revelry!! You must
be having great times by your account,
up to your ears in festivities, dances, &
what not. Do send me a very full
account so soon as your hand steadies down
a bit! How is the matrimonial Eddy…

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31.12.1916: Sur les traces de Jean Chaput | Tracking Jean Chaput | Auf den Spuren von Jean Chaput


La vie de Jean durant l’hiver 1916 est peu connue. Comme l’indique l’article médical publié par son père, il est encore en convalescence en décembre et retrouve l’usage de sa jambe : il ne marche qu’avec une seule béquille, et il fait même du patin en janvier.

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26.12.1916: Bernard’s Windy Christmas | Bernards windige Weihnachten | Le Noël venteux de Bernard

Transcription:

26.12.16

Dear old Dad,

Very many thanks for your last two
letters. The one I received today, the other crossed
my last to you. About H.B’s offer to you
certainly don’t take it. You know what you
always said of Private work, “at everybodys {sic}
beck, and call”. Besides your present
position is much more befitting your dignity
than a junior partner. I do hope you won’t…

… take it. As for the money as you say the
extra would be more than swallowed up by
increased cost of living besides running the
risk of being “mobilised”.

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14.12.1916: Peter und die Lage in Polen | Peter and the Situation in Poland | Peter et la situation en Pologne

Transkription:

Hamborn, d. 14.XII.16.

Liebe Eltern, Geschw. u. Oheim!

Muß Euch doch eben noch ein wenig erzählen.
Heute Morgen bekam ich ein Briefchen von Bruder
Math. und gleichzeitig schickte er mir ein Brief zurück,
den Mutter mir am 4. Dezember geschrieben hatte.
Das ist der Brief, wo wir uns gar nicht erklären konnten,
daß der noch nicht angekommen sei. Die Ursache hat sich
nun aufgeklärt. Mutter hat in all ihrer Sorge und Arbeit
die Adresse verwechselt, hat Untffz. Falkenstein Inf. Ers. Truppe
Warschau geschrieben. Na, da wär’s mir auch schon
gut genug. Bruder Math. hat ihn nun mit seinem Brief
hierhin geschickt. Danke Euch noch nachträglich für denselben.
Gedenke, jetzt am Sonntag wieder zu Euch zu kommen;
denn am Sonntag Mittag hat’s mir bei Euch sehr gut
gefallen. Die können doch zu jeder Zeit das M. holen?
Für heute seit denn Alle recht herzlich gegrüßt, von Euerm
Sohn u. Bruder Peter.

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08.12.1916: Bernard Sees Mud | Bernard sieht den Schlamm in den Schützengräben | Bernard voit de la boue

Transcription:
 

8/12/16
Saturday

Dear old Dad,

Very many thanks for the “primus” which
came yesterday, also the refills. Mary’s cake
too has just arrived, so please thank her for
me I will write in due course.

About Vin. As he is so very backward I should
be inclined to let him stop on. Chev. cannot be
so dud than he is unable to give Vin a good
grounding. Anyway I don’t think it would be worth
sending him to a tip top man until he is able
to take in more advanced, and therefore, more
skilled teaching. I should put it to him like…

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17.11.1916: Bernard in the Thick of It | Bernard im Zentrum des Kampfgeschehens | Bernard en pleine formation

Transcription:
 

No. 8 Squadron RFC.
France

Dear Dad,

Here we are again – you priceless old thing – right
in the thick of it, about where Eddy was, and fairly
busy at the same work that I had last time I was
out. There is nobody in the squadron I used
to know but various people have been looking in
whom I used to know in the old squadron, and at
Farnborough. They are a very decent lot of fellows
and the C.O. a Maj. Gossage is a perfect dear.

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15.10.1916: RFC Artillery Observation part 4 | Artilleriebeobachtung, Teil 4 | Repérage d’artillerie Partie 4

 Co-operation of Aircraft and Artillery (R001299)

This manual instructed Royal Flying Corps and Royal Artillery personnel in how to direct artillery fire from the air. It highlights the importance of cooperation and communication between aeroplanes in the air and the artillery gun crews on the ground.

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12.10.1916: Jean à l’hôpital | Jean is in the Hospital | Jean ist im Krankenhaus


Le 12 octobre 1916, Jean Chaput quitte Lariboisière, où il était hospitalisé depuis deux mois et demi. C’est bien plus court que ce que son père espérait en l’y accueillant. Le docteur Chaput a rédigé un article scientifique, paru en mars 1917 dans Paris médical, sur la prise en charge du sous-lieutenant Chaput depuis sa blessure jusqu’à sa guérison complète.

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15.09.1916: RFC Artillery Observation part 3 | Artilleriebeobachtung, Teil 3 | Repérage d’artillerie Partie 3

 Noon (X002-9669)

This painting, by Emile Antoine Verpilleux, shows the interior of a hut near an artillery position. Messages from Observers in the air were transmitted to the gun positions by means of wireless and then megaphone.

In this painting a Royal Flying Corps wireless operator listens to messages sent from an aircraft observing the accuracy of a gun battery. On the right an officer with a megaphone is passing the corrections to the gun’s crew. (To the left an officer is marking targets on a map.)

The photographs on the desk are aerial reconnaissance photographs (taken by Observers) which were also studied for potential targets.

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15.08.1916: RFC Artillery Observation part 2 | Artilleriebeobachtung, Teil 2 | Repérage d’artillerie Partie 2

 Aerial Winch (72/R/705)

In order to send Morse Code to the ground an observer in the air had to first unwind a 150 foot long trailing aerial of thin copper wire.

 

Mk. III Short Wave Tuner (73/R/434)

This portable wireless receiver was used by wireless operators on the ground. Attached to an external aerial mast, it received Morse Code messages sent from aeroplanes on artillery observation sorties.

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15.07.1916: RFC Artillery Observation part 1 | Artilleriebeobachtung, Teil 1 | Repérage d’artillerie Partie 1

 Morse Key (X007-0062)

Before effective voice transmission, Morse Code was used to send wireless messages. Tapping down on the key is a certain pattern represented a number or a letter. Royal Flying Corps wireless operators aimed for a messaging speed of 20 words per minute.

 

Type 52a Transmitter (1996/0200/R)

This compact and light 9lb ‘Spark-Gap’ transmitter was used to send Morse Code messages from aircraft to a receiver on the ground. It was powered by a 150 Watt air-driven alternator.

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19.06.1916 : Jean s’envisage comme une « machine » | Jean betrachtet sich als „Maschine“ | Jean Sees Himself as a “Machine”

 

 

19 juin 1916

Si je continue pendant une dizaine de jours à faire la guerre comme ces trois derniers, je vais certainement me faire descendre. Par trois reprises différentes j’ai reçu des balles dans mon appareil

 

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15.06.1916: Fokker Fodder | Fokker-Futter | Chair à Fokker

 B.E.2b Cockpit (1992/0382/A)

The Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 is a British single-engined two-seat biplane which was in service with the Royal Flying Corps from 1912 until the end of the War. The B.E.2 was a very stable aircraft that was ideally suited to artillery observation and aerial photography.

Throughout the War it proved vulnerable to German fighter attack and it was hopelessly outclassed by the Fokker Eindecker fighter. The defenceless crews of the B.E.2 quickly became known as ‘Fokker Fodder’.

The Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 is a typical example of an aircraft in service with the Royal Flying Corps that will have been flown by Bernard Curtis Rice.

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22.05.1916 : Attaque groupée d’une “saucisse” allemande | Geschlossener Angriff auf einen deutschen Fesselballon | Grouped Attack on a Drachen

 

 

22 mai 1916

Ma chère Jeanne

Je crois qu’il y a fort longtemps que je ne vous ai envoyé de nouvelles. J’ai été très occupé ces temps-ci.

 

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14.05.1916: Bernard’s Crash | Bernard hat einen Unfall | Le Crash de Bernard

 On 14th May 1916 Bernard Rice was involved in an accident while undergoing pilot training in England. Operating out of RAF Beaulieu aerodrome and piloting the AVRO 504 trainer, Rice’s Flying Log Book simply states “Crash. Nose dive from 300’”. He was admitted to Balmer Lawn Military Hospital in Brockenhurst with a broken femur. Rice was unable to fly again until discharged from hospital. In October 1916 he re-joined his squadron and continued his training at RAF Beaulieu.

The Royal Air Force Museum is not in possession of any letters written by Bernard during this time, though he undoubtedly wrote often. In the absence of letters the posts that follow this one will look at the machinery and equipment that Rice would have used during his time with the RFC.

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30.04.1916: Combat aérien et expérimentations | Air Combat and Experimentations | Luftkampf und Erprobung

Transcription:

[page 1]

30 avril

L’aviation allemande se souviendra de cette journée ; elle a voulu montrer de l’activité, mais elle l’a payé cher. Un Aviatik tout neuf et chargé de bombes a été abattu par le canon. Un Albatros a dû atterrir du côté de Ste Menehould par suite de balles dans le moteur. Un autre avion est tombé du côté de Verdun ; enfin j’ai abattu un Fokker.

J’avais été réveillé vers 5h par tout un vacarme de bombes, de moteur, éclatement d’obus contre avion etc. Je me suis habillé en hâte et j’ai bondi dans mon…

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22.04.1916: Bernard’s New Accommodation | Bernards neue Unterkunft | Le nouvel hébergement de Bernard

Transcription:

22:4:16

Dear Dad,

Have I told you of our latest
stunt in Bungalows? Because six
of us have taken a place on the
beach directly opposite Ryde, and
are living here altogether only
going to the aerodromes for duty.
It is an excellent arrangement
and works well. We have a very nice
woman to cook and clean & a soldier…

…servant to help her, and valet us.

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11.04.1916: Bernard Transfers to Gosport | Bernard wird nach Gosport verlegt | Bernard est transféré à Gosport

Transcription:

41 Squadron

Tuesday
11/4/16

Dear Dad,

Very many thanks for your letter &
the photos, – they are damned rotten.
Did they send the mounted ones of myself?

This is a capital place, there is strong
smell of seaweed, and barnacles, in
the air which pleases me muchly &
every time one goes up one sees the
sea. I am going to start bathing
soon. Gould, Scholte, & I spent the
week end {sic} with the Aldridges at Sou’ton
and had a vastly entertaining time…

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29.03.1916, Jean: Alors je serai maître de mon petit royaume | Then I’ll be master of my little kingdom | Dann werde ich Herr meines kleinen Königreiches sein

 

J’ai enfin obtenu un Nieuport. De nouveau en prenant cet appareil j’éprouve  une fois de plus la sensation désagréable de monter un engin neuf, qui n’a pas été mis à l’épreuve par soi-même. Il marche bien cependant ; et contre toute attente ne me change pas trop après le Morane.

 

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18.03.1916 : Jean percute un avion ennemi dans le ciel de Verdun | Jean Hits an Enemy Aeroplane in the Verdun Sky | Chaput stößt am Himmel von Verdun mit einem feindlichen Flugzeug zusammen

 

Toute mon existence je me souviendrai de cette journée car elle pourra être mémorable entre toutes. Le matin de bonne heure je pars à Ancemont après avoir fait arranger à nouveau le support de ma mitrailleuse abîmée pendant le combat de la veille.

 

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03.03.1916 : Le rassemblement des “As” | Flying “Aces” Rally | Das Treffen der Fliegerasse

 

Mon cher Papa,

J’ai été désolé de quitter Paris ou tout au moins ses environs sans avoir pu vous dire au revoir.

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02.03.1916: Bernard Flies to France | Bernard fliegt nach Frankreich | Bernard s’envole pour la France

Transcription:

2/3/16

Wednesday

Dear Dad,
What an apalling {sic} weekend that
last one was! We had about 6” of snow
here. There was snow all over these
southern counties, and it was pretty
general all over the North of France too.
You will be amused to learn I was back
in France again last week. Hele-Shaw
& I flew a new fighting machine over
to St. Omer, and trained back. We left…

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17.02.1916 : Jean doit réapprendre à piloter | Jean must learn to fly again | Jean muss seine Flugkenntnisse wieder auffrischen

 

Ma chère Jeanne,
Je te remercie de ta lettre. Je suis toujours à ce diable de Plessis où je m’ennuie comme un rat mort.

 

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17.01.1916: Bernard Receives word from POWs | Bernard erhält Nachricht von Kriegsgefangenen (POWs) | Bernard reçoit des nouvelles de prisonniers de guerre

Transcription:

17th Jan. ‘16

Dear Father.

How is life? Are there any more
engagements in the family? Vin? Laddie?
Sanday my flight commander, has just got the Military
Cross for Valour in the air. Likewise Gilbert, an
observer, both for work done before I came here. I
believe they were some stunt jobs they did too. It
has to be something pretty good to get recognised
in the R.F.C you know. Best of all good old
Sison has got the cross too! I am so glad. You
know he did twenty long reconnaissances {sic} last
Summer! He is an awfully stout lad. I should like
to see my pilot Allcock get something too. I expect
he will someday he is an awfully fine pilot and…

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09.01.1916: Une soirée dans les airs | A Party in the Air | Ein Abend in der Luft

” Je lui ai fait faire un tour sur les lignes et lui ai fait voir le tir des boches sur nous. Je lui expliquais les différents coups pendant que les obus éclataient. J’ai poussé le raffinement jusqu’à lui faire observer le sifflement des éclats et le bruit de ceux-ci touchant l’appareil. ”

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27.12.1915: Bernard Goes to the Theatre | Bernard geht ins Theater | Bernard va au théâtre

Transcription:

Had very nice letter from Felicity today.

27/12/15

Dear Father,

Very many thanks for your ‘Xmas
letter. It is quite funny our two complaints
crossing each other is it not? Ofcourse {sic} I
know how jolly busy you are only I want
to hear from you just the same old lad!

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08.12.1915: Bernard off Target | Bernard verfehlt ein Ziel | Bernard manque sa cible

Transcription:

8:12:15

Dear Father.

This is too bad nearly ten
days since my last letter. I am so
sorry. What do you think of our
second raid? Like the last is was undertaken
by this squadron, and was eminently
successful. Johnny has had a couple
of scraps in the air. He is keen as nuts
on the business. Two evenings ago I
went over to dinner at No. 10. with
Sison. We had a most festive evening…

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23.11.1915 : Jean affronte un Aviatik à la carabine | Jean confronts an Aviatik with a rifle | Jean bekämpft eine Aviatik… mit einem Karabiner

” J’ai attaqué un autre avion dans nos lignes mais ma mitrailleuse a refusé de fonctionner et nous avons poursuivi le combat, le lieutenant Gambier tirant avec un mousqueton et moi avec une Winchester.”

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20.11.1915: Bernard Promoted to Flying Officer | Bernard wird zum Fliegeroffizier ernannt | Bernard promu « flying officer »

Transcription:

20:11:15

Dear Father.

How time rolls on. By Jove it is
nearly ‘Xmas again already! Things here
move slowly just now. The weather is
bad for one thing, and there seems to be a
lull in proceedings too. I hear the Huns are
limited as to the number of rounds per
gun daily now. Shurely {sic} a sign of strained
resources don’t you think?

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14.11.1915: Bernard Behind Enemy Lines | Bernard hinter den feindlichen Linien | Bernard derrière les lignes ennemies

Transcription:

14:11:15

Dear Father,

It is several days now since I
last wrote to you is it not? I hope
you have not been “wind up” about me!!
Between you, and me, old Dad it’s me
that’s had the bally wind up. Jolly well
shoved right up too!! It is finished
now thank goodness. We have been doing
the long reconnaissance which necessitated
penetrating the Hun country to the
extent of some fifty odd miles. I can…

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08.11.1915: Bernard and the Fog | Bernard und der Nebel | Bernard et le brouillard

Transcription:

8:11:15

Dear Father,

Very many thanks for your last
letter.  Wonder of wonders John Milne
has turned up to this squadron, and
I have so arranged things that he is
in my flight, ditto billet, ditto mess.
Top hole isn’t it?  I have been putting
him up to the ropes all day, when
not in the air myself.

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05.11.1915: Bernard’s Artillery Show | Bernards Artillerie-Spektakel | La démonstration d’artillerie de Bernard

Transcription:

26:10:1915

Dear Father,
Very many thanks for your letter of 29th. The
“Engineering W. of the W.” arrived yesterday, and an excellent
supply of apples today. I am glad you find my letters
interesting, and that you are able to form some idea
of what it is like flying over the lines. It is very
difficult to write what seems even a moderately
interesting letter, since one must not mention the
really interesting things atall {sic}. However if you like
to squash yourself very small, and hop in alongside
‘o’ me when nobody’s looking, and leave a decent box
of gaspers behind you when you get out, you can come
out with us and do an artillery show. The machine
you are getting into is exactly the same as those they
are building at the old works. You get into the…

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26.10.1915: Bernard’s Hand | Bernard hat sich an der Hand verletzt | La main de Bernard

Transcription:

26:10:1915

Dear Father

My blighted hand is worrying me rotten at times especially
in the morning when I wake up it feels stiff, & hurts when I spread it out.
So I am writing to ask you if you think I ought to see someone
about it or if it is worth risking. The chart on the other side
of this shows what is happening. It is now about nine weeks
since the cut. If I have anything done it will mean an
operation I fear which would be highly inconvenient just now.
What are the risks I run, & is it worth letting it slide? taking
them & letting it slide? If one gets into the hands of R.A.M.C
for even two days one is struck off strength, which means practically
starting all over again in perhaps another Squadron.

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18.10.1915: Bernard Becomes an Observer | Bernard wird Beobachter | Bernard devient observateur

Transcription:

18th:10:15

Dear Father

For the last four days we haven’t been able to fly atall {sic}
on account of the foggy state of the weather so you can imagine
how anxiously we scan the prospects each morning!  By the way
I have qualified for my wing, my flying badge {original censored, written in later: “arse-hole”; with sketch} sothat {sic}
now I am a full blown observer supposed to be competant {sic} to
fight Huns, shoot batteries, and the rest!!  There was a
statement appeared in the papers made by the Huns to the effect
that our gas attack extended over a front of 23 miles?  It was
corrected by the “Daily Mail” of 16th and rightly so too.  I was
over the attack whole time {sic}, & it was only quite local on a front
of 5 miles at the most.

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16.10.1915 : Du peu d’organisation des escadrilles | a Squadron’s Lack of Organisation| Über fehlende Organisation in der Staffel

“Nous sommes ici en plein bled à plusieurs kilomètres de toute habitation. L’escadrille est en plein champs et nous logeons à côté sous la tente, le parc nous a fourni de vagues lits démontables mais je préfère coucher sur la paille.”
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01.10.1915: Bernard on Loos | Bernard bei Loos |Bernard à Loos

Transcription:

1st October ‘15

Dear Father

Very, very many happy returns of your birthday.
May it keep fine for you! (R.F.C. Blessing)  I expect this
will just about arrive in time for the day. I haven’t
been able to find you any suitable offering yet.  There is
however one small thing which will possibly please you
and that is that my name has appeared with Medlicott’s
in the Flying Corp’s communiquè {sic}, or orders, circulated amongst
all the wings out here, in connection with our Hun strafing
episode the other day.  The O.C. here seemed quite bucked
about it.  Ofcourse {sic} it was only my third flight, & was
awful rot really, the damned gun jamming as it did.

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20.09.1915: Bernard’s Dogfight | Bernards Nahkampf in der Luft | Le combat de Bernard

Transcription:

Bernard’s diary, 20th September 1915

Clear sky. Went on test reconnaissance to Dunkerque with Medlicott. Had to report on rolling stock etc seen on the way. Saw Dover very plainly, Had no difficulty in finding my way although pilot did his best to loose {sic} me! As privately pre-arranged we came back following lines all the way. Over La Bassee sighted a Hun way over Douai way. Put our nose down and gave chase. In coming to 500yds I fired, but gun jammed after first shot. Found two albatrosses one on either flank belting lead at us.

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15.09.1915 : Les frustrations de Jean| Jean’s frustration| Jean ist frustriert

” Je me trouve actuellement uniquement avec un Caudron ordinaire alors que pendant 3 mois j’ai fait la chasse sur Parasol Morane, le plus souvent sans mitrailleuse. Cet appareil qui était devenu fatigué et démodé a fini par rester à la peine et on ne m’a rien donné pour le remplacer, moi qui avais toujours eu deux appareils à l’escadrille. ”
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29.08.1915: Bernard Joins the Flying Corps | Bernard tritt dem Fliegerkorps bei | Bernard rejoint le Flying Corps

Transcription:

Sunday Aug. 29th ‘15

Dear Father

Very many thanks for your long and
newsy letter.  I am so glad to hear you are
enjoying such an excellent holiday and hope
you will return to your work next Tuesday
all the better for it.  My own affairs are
going along very nicely, and I am expecting to
be sent home any day now for a brief stay to
collect the necessary kit.  I went all the way
to G.H.Q. by rail, a six hours journey, on
Wednesday last to see the R.F.C. people who
required a personal interview.  The Captain who
saw me was most awfully nice and after a
short talk with me told me to return to my corps
there to await further instructions in the shape of
my commission papers, and leave warrant.  When
these turn up I shall come home to get fitted up,
and return to France as soon as possible for…

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15.08.1915: Bernard Applies for a Commission | Bernard bewirbt sich um ein Offizierspatent | Bernard présente sa candidature à un poste d’officier

Transcription:

Sunday 15th Aug ‘15

Dear Father

Thank you so much for the parcel of
supplies which arrived two days ago.  The cigarettes
were most welcome, as were the tobacco, and
cake.  Thank you very much for them.  The cake
was especially appreciated in my mess, which
consists of the sergeant, and myself!  Ofcourse {sic} we
gave a tea party, and had excellent fun terminating
with much smoking, & a gamble with “les petits
cheveaux”.  The pipe, and mouthpiece, arrived yesterday
maintenant je suis fort content!  The aeroplanes
have been very busy these last few days.  Last evening
I could see four enemy machines behind our own
lines at once, & all being vigorously shelled.
Two must have been hit by the shrapnel, the bursts
were so close, but none were brought down.

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05.08.1915: Peter feiert den Sieg von Warschau | Peter celebrates the victory in Warsaw | Peter fête la victoire à Varsovie

Crouy, d. 5.8.15.

Liebe Eltern, Geschw. u. Oheim!

Da ich schon verschiedene

Tage nicht mehr von Euch

gehört habe, und Ihr auch jetzt

mit Arbeit überhäuft seid,

will ich Euch [eingefügt] ein wenig erzählen.

Sind jetzt wieder in Stellung

und zwar ist’s hier wunderbar.

Man merkt auch kaum

daß Krieg ist, wird fast gar

nicht geschossen. Liegen nur

5-600 m vor Soisson und

können uns die ganze Gegend

kostenlos beschauen.

 

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22.07.1915: Peters Front beruhigt sich | Peter’s Front is Quietening Down | Accalmie sur le front

Wissignicourt, 22.7.15

Liebe Eltern, Geschw. u. Oheim!

Was jetzt aber die Post schnell

von Euch bei uns ist.

Erhielt heute schon die zwei

Paketchen und eine Karte

vom 20.7. nähmlich daß mit

Kuchen, und eins mit

Strümpfen und Cigarren.

Für all die schönen Sachen

meinen herzlichsten Dank.

Mutter schreibt ja in der

Karte, ob ich die Sachen

auch gerne an nähm.

Das ist ja selbstverständlich,

ich nehme alles gerne

und dankbar an, wie’s

kommt.

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11.07.1915: Bernard Considers a Commission | Bernard möchte Offizier werden | Bernard réfléchit à une nomination

Transcription:

July 11th ‘15

Dear Father

Very many thanks for your letters of June
17th, 24th and July 4th.  I have been a long time
answering them I know, but honestly we have been
so tremendously busy that there has been no time
for letter writing, indeed I carried several letters
about with me unopened for two days!!  Now
however our division having come out for a rest
there is not so much to do, and I hope to get my
letters straightened out, for I owe a good many.

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