18.05.1917: Bernard’s Lecture | Le sermon de Bernard | Bernards Vortrag

Transcription:
~ No.8 Squadron ~

18 May
to 21 May

Dear old Dad

Wilt do slight job for me? I enclose
cheque for £1. for Johnny Morgan’s licence. Thanks
v.much if you will. The above is symbolical
of a dose of leave which I am expecting shortly.
Bill, a brother flight C.O., goes early this next
week, then Lewis, one of my pilots the week after,
and I go next. What ‘opes? {sic} I will probably
be home for my birthday so tell Mary with
suitable messages from me to have a dish of …

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10.05.1917: Bernard Moves House | Bernard déménage | Bernard zieht um

Transcription:
Quirk Cottage
10.5.17

Dear old Dad.

What lovely weather! What heat! What a
life! So many thanks for your letters of 29; and
4, and the congratulations contained in the letter.
Please convey my thanks to Sisters Edward, and
Theitre. About leave, people in the squadron
are getting it again in order of their last
entry into the country. Three months must elapse
after entering the country before one is again
eligible, so that I am not eligible before May
27, and as things go now my turn may come
in June, towards the end I expect.
I am writing this on the verandah {sic} which we
have fixed up outside the “Stage” and have …

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29.04.1917: Bernard’s Welcome Guest | L’invité de Bernard | Bernards willkommener Gast

Transcription:
 

The Dormitory
No. 8 BEF

29.4.17

Dear old Dad.

Summer like Spring is really come &
we are all flying just for the joy of it.
Eddy came over to dinner two nights ago on a
side-car, and gave me an awfully nice
surprise. He is a cheery bloke dear old thing.
He looks awfully well too, inspite of his late
attack of Hun malady. The following day
he came over on his own monster to lunch
and stopped with us until six o’clock when
he landed his biplane, and proceeded to stunt …

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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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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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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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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 …

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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.
I feel I will get along swimmingly. Ofcourse {sic} I only …

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15.10.1916: RFC Artillery Observation, Part 4 | RFC Artilleriebeobachtung, Teil 4 | RFC 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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15.09.1916: RFC Artillery Observation, Part 3 | RFC Artilleriebeobachtung, Teil 3 | RFC repérage d’artillerie, Partie 3


 Noon (X002-9669)

This painting, by Emile Antoine Verpilleux (1888-1964), 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 | RFC Artilleriebeobachtung, Teil 2 | RFC 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.

 Winde für Antennendraht (72/R/705)

Für die Übermittlung von per Morsecode abgefassten Meldungen zum Boden musste ein Luftbeobachter zuerst eine 45 Meter lange Schleppantenne aus dünnem Kupferdraht abspulen.

 

Kurzwellentuner, Mk. III (73/R/434)

Dieser tragbare Funkempfänger wurde von Funkern am Boden verwendet. Dieses an einen Außenantennenmast angeschlossene Gerät empfing per Morsecode übermittelte Meldungen von Flugzeugen in Artilleriebeobachtungseinsätzen.

Treuil aérien (72/R/705)

Pour envoyer le code Morse au sol un observateur aérien devait d’abord dérouler un mince fil de 150 pieds de long en cuivre qui servait d’antenne.

 

Mk. III Amplificateur à ondes courtes (73/R/434)

Ce récepteur portable sans fil était utilisé par les opérateurs au sol. Relié à une antenne aérienne fixée sur un mât, il recevait des messages en Morse envoyés depuis les avions effectuant des missions d’observation et de réglage d’artillerie.

Bernard Rice

Bernard Rice

When war began Bernard Curtis Rice was an apprentice with the Daimler Car Company. On 7 August 1914 he and his brother drove from the factory in Coventry to Avonmouth, where they joined the Army Service Corps (ASC), Britain’s army transport unit.

Bernard served in France and Flanders as a motor cyclist from 15 August 1914.
On 27 August 1915 Bernard joined the RFC as a Second Lieutenant. He became an Observer and later a Pilot, flying on artillery observation or spotting missions with Nos. 2 and 8 Squadron.


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Bernard Rice

15.07.1916: RFC Artillery Observation, Part 1 | RFC Artilleriebeobachtung, Teil 1 | RFC 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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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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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.

  Am 14. Mai 1916 hatte Bernard Rice während seiner Pilotenausbildung in England einen Unfall. Für die Zeit eines Fluges außerhalb des RAF-Fliegerhorsts Beaulieu mit dem Schulungsflugzeug AVRO 504 ist im Bordbuch von Rice lediglich “Unfall, Sturzflug aus 300” eingetragen. Er wurde mit einem Oberschenkelbruch in das Lazarett Balmer Lawn in Brockenhurst eingewiesen. Rice konnte bis zu seiner Entlassung aus dem Lazarett nicht wieder fliegen. Im Oktober 1916 trat er wieder seinen Dienst in seiner Staffel an und setzte seine Ausbildung auf dem RAF-Fliegerhorst Beaulieu fort.

Das Royal Air Force Museum besitzt keine Briefe, die Bernard in dieser Zeit schrieb, obwohl er dies zweifellos oft getan hat. In den folgenden Beiträgen werden deshalb die Maschinen und Geräte beschrieben, die Rice während seiner Zeit im Royal Flying Corps (RFC) genutzt hätte.

Le 14 mai 1916 Bernard Rice est impliqué dans un accident alors qu’il effectue son entrainement de pilote en Angleterre. Opérant en-dehors de l’aérodrome Beaulieu de la RAF et pilotant l’AVRO 504 d’entrainement, le livret de vol de Rice mentionne simplement « Crash. Piqué du nez à 300 ». il est admis à l’Hôpital militaire de Balmer Lawn à Brockenhurst pour un fémur brisé. Rice est incapable de voler de nouveau jusqu’à sa sortie d’hôpital. En octobre 1916 il rejoint de nouveau son escadrille et continue son entrainement au RAF Beaulieu.

Le Royal Air Force Museum n’est en possession d’aucune lettre écrite par Bernard durant cette période, bien qu’il ait indubitablement écrit souvent. En l’absence de lettres les publications qui suivent celle-ci s’intéresseront aux machines et équipements que Rice aurait utilisés pendant sa période avec le RFC.

Bernard Rice

Bernard Rice

When war began Bernard Curtis Rice was an apprentice with the Daimler Car Company. On 7 August 1914 he and his brother drove from the factory in Coventry to Avonmouth, where they joined the Army Service Corps (ASC), Britain’s army transport unit.

Bernard served in France and Flanders as a motor cyclist from 15 August 1914.
On 27 August 1915 Bernard joined the RFC as a Second Lieutenant. He became an Observer and later a Pilot, flying on artillery observation or spotting missions with Nos. 2 and 8 Squadron.


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Bernard Rice

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 …

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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02.06.1915: Bernard and the Mules | Bernard und die Maultiere | Bernard et les mules

Transcription:
 

June 2nd ‘15

Dear Father

Have you got your promotion yet? I am so keen
about it.  I have had two cards from Eddy, and am delighted
to hear he is getting on so well.  You know out here his
job is considered quite one of the safe ones although so often
under shell fire it is very seldom they get brought down short.
I saw a French ‘plane forced to descend yesterday evening
it was only that his engine was damaged by shrapnel.

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25.05.1915: Bernard and the Shell Shortage | Bernard und der Munitionsmangel | Bernard et la pénurie d’obus

Transcription:
 

Tuesday 25th May

Dear Father

I am awfully lazy I know, I should have written much
oftener, and will in future.  I am so glad Vin is getting on
so well, and only hope he will not become foul minded.  Try & get
him to a good school if it can be done.  There is, or rather has been,
a hell of a battle going on up here it started as usual Sunday
and kept on ‘till last night with unabated fury.  The roar of the guns
was {scored out} continuous, & gave most of us headaches.  We were knocked out

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28.04.1915: Bernard on Green Envelopes | Bernard über grüne Briefumschläge | Bernard au sujet des enveloppes vertes

Transcription:
 

28th Apr. ‘15

Dear Father

This letter has got to be just “êntre nous”
since I have signed the wee statement en
derrière vous voyez.  The idea of the “green envelope”
as it is known, is to enable the men to write
home confidences to their relations etc without
feeling that their C.O. will know all their private
business.  As a matter of fact, although I think
from the point of honour the censoring officer
should maintain the strictest silence with regard
to the contents of the letters submitted to him
for examination, yet this is not so, for very
often they will joke, & laugh, about what they
have read, and ofcourse {sic} the servants take care
to let the men know.  Hence the introduction
of these green envelopes which if examined at all
are opened at the base.

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19.03.1915: Bernard Witnesses a Bombardment | Bernard wird Zeuge eines Bombenangriffs | Bernard est témoin d’un bombardement

Transcription:
 

19th Mar. ‘15

Dear Father

Ever so many thanks for the parcel of
supplies which arrived yesterday in excellent order.
My good hostess was absolutely charmed with the
“cadeau” and insists on “concerving” it for the special
occasions when she gives a “soiree” entre sa famille
or in other words intends to use the things on
special occasions only.  You have no idea what
rottenly made stuff they use out here it is
mostly lead I think, & the knives never cut.
Half the village has been in to inspect I am
told, but luckily I’ve been out!

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22.02.1915: Bernard’s Perilous Journey | Bernards gefahrvolle Fahrt | Bernard fait un trajet périlleux

Transcription:
 

22nd Feb. ‘15

Dear Father

Eddy tells me you think it time I wrote you
something interesting – now that is about the breaking
point, for there is nothing to tell!  However I will
do my best to tell you something about nothing!

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29.01.1915: Bernard Returns from Leave | Bernard kehrt vom Fronturlaub zurück | Bernard rentre de permission

Transcription:
 

? Quod Erat Demonstrandum ?

29th Jan ‘15

Dear Father

Do not be alarmed by the above it is merely the
outcome of a muddled brain, and an army order, or what
not.  The order forbids the use of headings in letters as
dealing with the writers’ address, and the muddled brain
refuses to see the order in the clear light of reason.
Two simple results you will note.

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26.12.1914: Bernard and the Christmas Party | Bernard und die Weihnachtsfeier | Bernard et la fête de noël

Transcription:
 

Correspondence Militaire
4th Div.Amm.Col.   26th Dec. -‘14

Have just celebrated a most excellent ‘Xmas, and I trust you have done
likewise.  We moved our quarters on the morning of ‘Xmas Eve, which somewhat
dislocated my arrangements, back to a small village we stayed in some time
ago.  However I was received with true French hospitality by my old friends
and was able to hold my “dinner party” with no small measure of success.
Taylor, Holmes, North, Newsome, two amusing car drivers, a droll little man
from Yorkshire, and myself made up the party.  About six French people, mostly
quite entertaining girls assisted to make things merry.  I was lucky enough to find
a secluded little “estaminet” where they sold bubbly at 8f per bottle, so each
sported a bottle!  The evening commenced with smokes of the tip topmost, & {unreadable} of various subtle concoctions, it continued with an unlimited supper of soupes {sic}, ducks
(turkeys couldn’t be raised) beef, puddings á le feu, cake (from Yeovil), crackers, chocolate,

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06.12.1914: Bernard and the King | Bernard und der König | Bernard et le roi

Transcription:
 

4th Div. Amm. Col    6th Dec ‘14.

Dear Father.

Many thanks for your letter of 25th.  I am indeed
glad to hear that you have got “hold of” Eddy at last, &
hope he will make a speedy recovery.  The plate business
sounds alarming, though I suppose it is the only way out
of the trouble.  Will he have to have another operation later
on to remove the plate?  About young Ashly I will
do my best, though there is not much likelihood of my
finding him with so few particulars.  There are roughly
twenty cyclists attached to each army Hqs., and each
Division, so that roughly there are 260 despatch riding at
present.  If you could obtain his postal address I could push
inquiries with more certainty of result.  As it is however I will
do what I can.

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23.11.1914: Bernard Receives Cake | Bernard erhält einen Kuchen | Bernard reçoit un gâteau

Transcription:
 

Field Service Post Card

Edward Rice Esq. M.D.
Allesley
Nr. Coventry
Angleterre…

[Written in pre-printed typescript]

… NOTHING is to be written on this except
the date and signature of the sender. Sentences
not required may be erased. If anything else
is added the post card will be destroyed.

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23.11.1914: Bernard in Winter | Bernard im Winter | Bernard en hiver

Transcription:
 

4th Div. Amm. Col.   Nov 23rd ’14

Dear Father,

Thank you so much for the parcel of grub, it was
most acceptable, and much enjoyed by my assembled guests, Holmes
Newsome, and one, or two, others. The cake, tell Mary, was excellent
and lasted four days! Please thank the sisters for the OXO. cubes
they will be most useful now this cold weather has set in.

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04.11.1914: Bernard’s Brother Injured | Bernards Bruder verletzt | Le frère de Bernard est blessé

Transcription:

Your letter of 29th to hand

4th Nov ’14

Dear Father,

You will be sorry, or perhaps a little

relieved, to hear that one of our party has
been invalided down to the base after an
accident in collision with an officer’s touring
car attached to the Food Supply Column.

Eddy was the luckless one in question, and
suffers from a broken leg. A clean break
half way between knee and ankle. He was
most cheerful when I saw him this morning
in No. 15 Clearing Hospital awaiting a motor
ambulance to convey him, and the others, to
the base hospital at Boulogne. The circumstances…

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27.10.1914: Bernard Witnesses War in the Air | Bernard wird Zeuge des Luftkrieges | Bernard assiste à la guerre aérienne

Transcription:

Tues 27th Oct ‘14

 

Dear Father,

What a long time it seems since I
last wrote a letter to you! Post Cards {sic} I
have despatched in plenty, but doubtless you
will be waiting a fuller account of our
doings than it is possible to get on a mere
P.C.

As I expected in my last letter we made a
big move which entailed a good deal of travelling,
and passed through some very interesting towns,
and country on our way here. Where we are I
may not say, but if you will remember we are
with the 3rd army and read the papers carefully
I think you will have a very good idea where…

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27.09.1914: Bernard On Armies | Bernard beschreibt die Armeen | Bernard décrit les armées

Transcription:

Sunday 27th Sept.

Dear Father,

Very many thanks for the books which arrived safely today,
and for your letters, the last of which bore the date of 13th Sept.
We are most frightfully upset at the news of Lil Goodson’s death it
really was too sudden and tragic for anything. Do let me know what
the family are doing with the Grange, & also any other Sutton Courtenay
news that may be going. Did you read of Capt Grenfell’s splendid
action? I wonder where Billy Grenfell is have you heard? We have met
several friends here already, amongst them being Major Short of 68th
Battery. He is in splendid health, & spirits, & his men tell me he is
a surety for a D.S.O. for saving his guns at Le Cateau. We are
supplying him with ammunition, so hope to see him again. I wonder if
you understand how the armies are arranged? In case you do not I will
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10.09.1914: Bernard Needs Chocolate | Bernard bittet um Schokolade | Bernard a besoin de chocolat

Transcription:

 
We are still getting on alright. Things are
altering a good deal. The country we are entering
now has been devastated so we do not get so
many “little” gifts from the people as hitherto with
the result that we shall soon be down on the plain
rations. Please send some more chocolate out. We
may get it though at present we haven’t had any post
since we left the ship.

Bernard

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19.08.1914: Bernard Goes to France | Bernard zieht nach Frankreich | Bernard part en France

Transcription:

 

19th Aug

Address letters etc as before,
only leaving out the name of place.

We are both well and
flourishing. We have had a
remarkably calm passage and
a splendid reception on landing.
All letters pass the Censor so we
may not say where we are! It
is deadly important our whereabouts
be not known. Kitchener is arranging
the game so we are alright! The
War Office Postal dept. sees to letters
so address them to our Company and
Regiment so they will be alright.

Bernard

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09.08.1914: Bernard in Avonmouth | Bernard in Avonmouth | Bernard à Avonmouth

Transcription:

 

4th Div. Amm. Park.
47th Motor Traction Company
Avonmouth

Dear Dad,

We spent an excellent night in the covered
lorries last night, parked with the above, where
we were lucky enough to get our machines at 10.30
pm. Breakkers was served at a kitchen erected on
the dock yard & consisted of bread, cheese & fried
bacon & jam. We spent rest of day signing on and

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07.08.1914: Bernard Joins Up | Bernard ist Kriegsfreiwilliger | Bernard rejoint l’Armée

Transcription:

 

Avon Mouth (Post Restante)

Dear Dad
We got off last night at 10.30 from the
works and received tremendous ovation in Coventry
whence we departed at 11.0. We arrived here
at 7.0 am this morning and found ourselves at the
tail of a que of 1200 other lorries, They have enlisted
3000 into the “Army Service Corps” and are embarking as
fast as they can for shipping round to Belgian shores.

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