20.07.1918: Bernard and the Lewis Machine Gun | Bernard und das Lewis-Maschinengewehr | Bernard et les fusils mitrailleurs Lewis

Transcription:
[P. 1]
– Lewis Automatic Machine Guns –

Action Gas operated automatic
Weight
Unloaded 25 ¼ lbs
Stripped Aero Type 17 ½ lbs
Drum (loaded 4) rounds 4 lbs

Ammunition Mark VII . 303
Rapidity 600 rounds per min. Or 1 drum in 5 secs.
Trajectory 2ft. in 400 yds.
Rifling 4 leads at hand. 1 turn in 10 ‘’
Drum Rotates clockwise by motion imparted by feed arm.

Faults Wearing on cartridge guide (C.G.) spring
Tools Cartridge. 2 guide springs. Charging handle should always be carried.
Mechanism Gas pressure at approx. 19 tons. Per sq. in. Operates on piston in gas chamber.
“Piston operating rod”
“Strikerpost” Locks bolt with 1/8 of a turn

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30.06.1918: Bernard and the Morse Code | Bernard und die Morsezeichen | Bernard et les messages en Morse

 

+ Scans of Morse message tape. These Morse message tapes were inserted by Bernard into his log book. From the Collection of the Royal Air Force Museum (X002-5429/001/003/45-46).

+ Scans von Morsenachrichten. Die hier gezeigten Streifen wurden von Bernard in sein Logbuch aufgenommen. Aus der Sammlung des Royal Air Force Museum (X002-5429/001/003/45-46).

+ Scan de bandes de messages codés en Morse. Ces bandes étaient insérées par Bernard dans son carnet de vol. De la collection du Royal Air Force Museum (X002-5429/001/003/45-46).

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27.04.1918: Bernard – A Considerate Enemy? | Bernard – Ein rücksichtsvoller Gegner? | Bernard – Un ennemi qui vous veut du bien

 

+ Photo of an aluminium message buoy containing hand written message (in German). From the Collection of the Royal Air Force Museum (74/R/1282).

+ Photo d’une bouée de signalisation en aluminium contenant un message manuscrit (en allemand). De la collection du Royal Air Force Museum (74/R/1282).

+ Foto einer Aluminiumnachrichtenboje, die eine handschriftliche Mitteilung (auf Deutsch) enthält. Aus der Sammlung des Royal Air Force Museum (74/R/1282).

 

Transcription:
“Your brave comrade Flight Sub-Lieut Dalzell and his Observer fell headlong into the sea along the Belgian coast and have been rescued and are quite well”.

 For the remaining months of 2018 we do not have any of Bernard’s letters written 100 years ago. To find out more we can instead explore a First World War object from the RAF Museum’s collection – one that relates to both the German and British First World War air forces.

This is an image of a German buoy from the First World War. Remarkably, this buoy contains a message written by a German Naval Officer detailing the rescue of two British airmen. Dropping the message into Royal Naval Air Service Dunkerque, the Germans tried to lessen the worry for the British. It is believed that this refers to the loss of Sub-Lt Williamm Arthur Kirkpatric Dalzell and Sub-Lt Cutbbert Henry Dolling Smith during their Zeebragge reconnaissance on 29 July 1915. Both men subsequently became prisoners of war.

It is possible that Bernard came across a similar story during his time. Several First World War examples are known to exit where British and German airmen went to extraordinary lengths to help each other. Some warned the enemy of the time and place of future bombings. Some sent news of the dead. These scenarios seem a world away from some First World War propaganda which seeks to dehumanise the enemy. Stories like this have the ability to remind us of the humans behind the planes on the other side.

Visit the RAF Museum’s First World War in the Air exhibition to see the buoy and letter on display.

Transkription:
„Euer tapferer Kamerad Flight Sub-Lieutenant Dalzell und sein Beobachter sind an der belgischen Küste kopfüber ins Meer gestürzt, wurden jedoch gerettet und sind wohlauf.“

Für die letzten Monate des Jahres 1918 verfügen wir über keinerlei Briefe, die Bernard vor hundert Jahren geschrieben hat. Um mehr herauszufinden, können wir stattdessen einen Gegenstand aus dem Ersten Weltkrieg untersuchen, der sich in der Sammlung des RAF-Museums befindet – und der sowohl etwas mit den deutschen als auch den britischen Luftstreitkräften zu tun hat.

Es handelt sich um ein Bild einer deutschen Boje aus dem Ersten Weltkrieg. Die Boje enthält bemerkenswerterweise eine Nachricht, die ein deutscher Marineoffizier über die Bergung von zwei britischen Fliegern verfasst hat. Mit dieser Mitteilung an den Royal Naval Air Service in Dünkirchen versuchten die Deutschen, die Befürchtungen auf britischer Seite zu verringern. Sie bezieht sich vermutlich auf den Absturz von Sub-Lieutenant William Arthur Kirkpatric Dalzell und Sub-Lieutenant Cutbert Henry Dolling Smith, die sich am 29. Juli 1915 auf einem Aufklärungsflug über Zee­brugge befanden. Beide Männer gerieten anschließend in Kriegsgefangenschaft.

Möglicherweise widerfuhr Bernard seinerzeit ein ähnliches Schicksal. Es sind mehrere Beispiele aus dem Ersten Weltkrieg bekannt, nach denen britische und deutsche Flieger sehr darum bemüht waren, sich gegenseitig zu helfen. Einige teilten dem Gegner den Zeitpunkt und den Ort künftiger Bombenangriffe mit. Einige versandten Nachrichten über Gefallene. Diese Szenarien scheinen Welten entfernt von der Propaganda des Ersten Weltkriegs zu sein, die darauf ausgerichtet war, dem Gegner jede Menschlichkeit abzusprechen. Begebenheiten wie diese können uns bewusst machen, dass es Menschen waren, die hinter dem Steuer der Flugzeuge auf der anderen Seite saßen.

Besuchen Sie die Ausstellung „Luftkämpfe im Ersten Weltkrieg“ im RAF-Museum. Dort sind die Boje und der Brief ausgestellt.

Transcription:
“ Votre courageux camarade le Sous-Lieutenant d’aviation Dalzell et son Observateur sont tombés la tête en premier dans la mer le long de la côte belge, ont été secourus et se portent plutôt bien ”.

Pour les derniers mois de 2018, nous n’avons pas de lettres de Bernard écrites il y a cent ans. Afin d’en savoir plus, nous allons, à la place, étudier un objet de la Première Guerre mondiale tiré des collections du musée de la RAF – un objet qui concerne l’armée de l’air allemande et l’armée de l’air britannique durant la Première Guerre.

Voici l’image d’une bouée allemande datant de la Première Guerre mondiale. Fait incroyable, cette bouée contient un message écrit par un Officier de la marine allemande détaillant le secours porté à deux pilotes britanniques. Les Allemands ont remis le message au Service de l’Air de la Marine royale à Dunkerque pour essayer d’atténuer les inquiétudes des Britanniques. Il est admis que ce fait concerne la perte du Sous-Lieutenant William Arthur Kirkpatrick Dalzell et du Sous-Lieutenant Cuthbert Henry Dolling Smith pendant leur reconnaissance au-dessus de Zeebrugge le 29 juillet 1915. Les deux hommes furent ensuite fait prisonniers de guerre.

Il est possible que Bernard ait rencontré une histoire similaire durant son service. Ont été dévoilés plusieurs récits de la Première Guerre mondiale dans lesquels pilotes britanniques et pilotes allemands ont accompli des efforts extraordinaires pour s’entraider. Certains avertissaient l’ennemi de l’heure et du lieu de futurs bombardements. D’autres envoyaient des nouvelles des morts. Ces scénarios semblent à mille lieues d’une certaine propagande de la Première Guerre mondiale qui cherche à montrer un ennemi inhumain. De telles histoires permettent de nous rappeler qu’il y a, en face de nous, à bord des avions, des hommes.

Venez visiter l’exposition sur la Première Guerre mondiale aérienne au Musée de la RAF pour voir la bouée et la lettre.

 

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

 

05.03.1918: Bernard’s Hours in the Sky (1915-1917) | Bernards Stunden am Himmel (1915-1917) | Les Heures de Bernard dans le Ciel (1915-1917)

 
Transcription:
 

[P. 1]
Chart of Hours Flown weekly

 
[P. 2]
Chart of hours flown weekly

 
[P. 3]
Chart of Hours flown weekly

 
[P. 4]
Chart of hours

 
[P.5]
Table of hours

 

We have no letters from Bernard on this day 100 years ago. Instead, we are going back again to look at his documents – this time, his log of flights.

Bernard recorded the details of his every flight in a log. This would have acted as evidence towards his Flying Certificate administered by Royal Aero Club in 1916. In order to pass, Bernard would have tried to fly as often as possible in order to build up his ‘hours’. Through Bernard’s charts, we can see that the time he spent in the air is not extensive. This is because severe flying constraints existed – one being the aircraft itself. Bernard worked with BE.2s during his time with No. 2 Squadron (specifically the BE.2c) and with the BE.2e when in No. 8 Squadron (1917).

These planes were limited to flying no more than 3-4 hours at once.  The time of day and weather were also important constraints. Pilots tried to view the ground as a vast map, using obvious ground identifiers such as train tracks for navigation. Paired with compasses, charts, and flying aids, a pilot could typically navigate well enough in clear daylight. In bad weather or at night however, navigation could be perilous. The inability to see the ground and navigational aids was complicated further when the things that could be seen turned unreliable; aircraft magnetism could interfere with compass readings for instance.

Additionally, Bernard would not have been exempt from the elements. In crudely shielded First World War aircraft, flying at height could equate to low temperatures. This could be problematic for pilots who needed to maintain effective on the spot thinking. Early pilots layered their clothing to protect them from these bitter temperatures, and in 1916 the development of the Sidcot suit helped pilots greatly in defeating the cold. With these factors in mind, Bernard was restricted to a few hours flying time a day.

 

Da uns keine Briefe vorliegen, die Bernard heute vor 100 Jahren geschrieben hat, schauen wir in diesem Monat noch einmal in seine Unterlagen, und zwar in sein Fluglogbuch.

Zu jedem seiner Flüge machte Bernard Aufzeichnungen in einem Logbuch. Dieses diente als Nachweis für seine Fluglizenz, die 1916 durch den Royal Aero Club abgenommen wurde. Um diese zu erhalten, versuchte Bernard, so oft wie möglich zu fliegen und so Flugstunden anzusammeln. Bernards Aufzeichnungen zeigen uns, dass er nicht viel Zeit in der Luft verbracht hat. Dies ist darin begründet, dass das Fliegen in starkem Maße eingeschränkt war – unter anderem durch das Flugzeug selbst. Während seiner Dienstzeit bei der Staffel No. 2 Squadron war Bernard mit der BE.2 geflogen (genauer mit der BE.2c) und bei der Staffel No. 8 Squadron (im Jahr 1917) mit der BE.2e.

Diese Flugzeuge konnten nicht mehr als 3 bis 4 Stunden am Stück fliegen. Die Tageszeit und die Wetterbedingungen waren ebenfalls wichtige Faktoren, die das Fliegen beeinträchtigten. Die Piloten versuchten, die Erde wie eine große Landkarte zu lesen und verwendeten eindeutige Geländemarkierungen wie zum Beispiel Bahnschienen für die Navigation. Dadurch und durch den zusätzlichen Einsatz von Kompass, Karten und anderen Hilfsmitteln konnte ein Pilot am helllichten Tage normalerweise ausreichend gut navigieren. Bei schlechtem Wetter oder in der Nacht konnte das Navigieren jedoch äußerst riskant sein. Abgesehen von der Tatsache, dass man weder die Erde noch die Navigationshilfen sehen konnte, wurde die Situation noch komplizierter, wenn man sich auf die Dinge, die man sehen konnte, auf einmal nicht mehr verlassen konnte. So konnte beispielsweise die Kompassanzeige durch das Magnetfeld des Flugzeugs gestört werden.

Darüber hinaus war Bernard den Elementen ausgesetzt. In den nur notdürftig geschützten Flugzeugen des Ersten Weltkrieges konnte es beim Fliegen in großen Höhen sehr kalt werden. Dies konnte für Piloten problematisch werden, die in der Lage sein mussten, in kürzester Zeit Entscheidungen zu treffen. Die ersten Piloten trugen mehrere Kleidungsschichten übereinander, um sich vor der Kälte zu schützen. Die Entwicklung des Fliegeranzuges Sidcot Suit im Jahr 1916 hatte einen wesentlichen Anteil daran, die Piloten vor Unterkühlung zu bewahren. In Anbetracht all dieser Faktoren musste sich Bernard auf einige wenige Flugstunden pro Tag beschränken.

 
Transkription:
 

[S. 1]

 
[S. 2]

 
[S. 3]

 
[S. 4]

 
[S. 5]

 

 Nous n’avons plus de lettres de Bernard d’il y a 100 ans maintenant; dès lors pour le post de ce mois, nous allons lire ses papiers de l’époque. Ce mois-ci, son carnet de vol.

Bernard a noté les détails de chacun de ses vols dans un carnet. Celui-là servirait pour obtenir en 1916 le brevet de pilote attribué par le Royal Aero-Club. Afin de réussir, Bernard devait voler le plus souvent possible de façon à accumuler ses “heures”. A travers les graphiques de Bernard, nous pouvons constater que le temps passé en vol n’est pas considérable. La raison provient de sérieuses contraintes de vol – l’avion étant lui-même une contrainte. Bernard a travaillé sur des BE.2 pendant son stage dans le 2eme escadron (plus précisément le BE.2c) et sur le BE.2e alors qu’il servait dans le 8eme Squadron (en 1917).

Ces avions ne pouvaient pas voler plus de 3 ou 4 heures à chaque fois. Le moment de la journée ainsi que la météo étaient aussi contraignants. Les pilotes essayaient de regarder le sol comme une grande carte, utilisant des repères caractéristiques telles que les voies ferrées. A l’aide d’une boussole, de tableaux et de supports de navigation, un pilote pouvait généralement suffisamment très bien voler à la lumière du jour.
En revanche, par mauvais temps ou même la nuit, la navigation pouvait être dangereuse. La difficulté à discerner le sol ainsi que des outils de navigation rendus moins efficaces quand les éléments survenaient; par exemple, le champ magnétique de l’avion pouvait dérégler la boussole.

Bernard dépendait également des conditions météorologiques. Les fuselages sommaires des avions de la Première guerre mondiale signifiaient de basses températures en altitude. Cela était très gênant car les pilotes devaient se concentrer sur l’observation. Pour se protéger des températures cinglantes, les premiers pilotes portaient plusieurs couches de vêtements et, en 1916, le développement de la combinaison Sidcot leur permit de résister au froid. Compte tenu de ces nombreux paramètres, Bernard ne pouvait voler que quelques heures par jour.

 
Transcription:
[P. 1]

 
[P. 2]

 
[P. 3]

 
[P. 4]

 
[P. 5]

 

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

 

24.02.1918: Bernard’s Duties (1915-1916) | Bernards Dienste (1915-1916) | Bernards Fonctions (1915-1916)

Transcription:
[P. 1]
– Log of Flights –

No. 2 Sqdn.                                    1915-1916

Sept 18 11.0 A.M. – 2.30 hrs. – Total 2.30
Took air for first time with Carthew in
all the stiffness of new leather coat. Most
bewildering experience at first. Soon got
accustomed to regarding country as one
vast map. Picked up main features.
Splendidly clear day. Called up a battery
and shelled some “Archie” guns in houses
on outskirts of LENS. Saw three houses
wrecked. Then registered a 9’’. How on the
station much to the detriment of latter.
Coming down from 8,000 felt very deaf.

Sept. 19th 10.40. – 3’.20’’ hrs.  Total 5.50
Beautifully bright morning. Went up
with Carthew on trench registration.
Got some excellent shooting in. Hun
“archie” very busy, Had my first
taste. Counted fifteen shrapnel
holes in our planes.

Sept 20th 4.5.p.m. to 6.10 p.m. Total 7.55
Clean sky. Went on test reconnaissance
to Dunkerque with Medlicott. Had

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14.01.1918: Bernard’s War Dates (04.08.1914 – 25.04.1918) | Journal de Guerre de Bernard (04.08.1914 – 25.04.1918) | Bernards Kriegstagebuch (04.08.1914 – 25.04.1918)

 
Transcription:
 

[P. 1]

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– War Dates Diary –
War declared Aug 4: 1914
Left. Coventry with section of 30 ft. Daimler lorries. ‘’ 6 ‘’
Enlisted. at Avonmouth as M.T. driver. ‘’ 8 ‘’
Embarked          ‘’                 on ‘’ 15 ‘’
Landed Rouen ‘’ 18 ‘’
First under shell Fire ‘’ 26 ‘’
  ‘’       ‘’       Rifle   ‘’ Sept 1st ‘’
Started advancing from Marne ‘’ 6 ‘’
Took over motor cycle ‘’ 13 ‘’
Promoted Corporal i/c D.R.s ‘’ 29 ‘’
Left Aisne for North Oct 8th ‘’
Eddy’s smash Nov 3rd: ‘’
Went up to Ypres May 16th. 1915
Left Ypres for Albert July 23rd ‘’
Gazetted 2nd Lieutenant. Gen. List. Aug 27th ‘’
Left 4th Division Sept 5th ‘’

08.12.1917: Bernard Brings the War Home | Bernard gibt seine Eindrücke über den Krieg in der Heimat wieder | Bernard étend la guerre au pays

Transcription:
[P. 1]
42. T.S.
RFC
Hounslow

Monday 9.20pm

Dear old Dad.
Here I am flapping again. What a life!
I am flying a machine called D.H.6 which refuses to
do anything funny and dodders around in quite
a drunken fashion. Capital machine to learn on.
They have only just got them, and nobody
understands the RAF engine so I’ll be busy.
The C.O. is a very young major named Neale
he seems a decent sort of fellow, I will get on
with him alright. My quarters are not a patch

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29.10.1917: Bernard’s Comrade is Missing | Bernards Kamerad wird vermisst | Un camarade de Bernard a disparu

Transcription:
 

[P. 1]
Royal Flying Corps
Hounslow Heath

29/10/17

Dear Old Dad,
You will be disturbed to hear that
Johnny is missing. Maj Shields commanding
48. Squadron writes that he was last seen in
a big scrap over the lines with his formation.
The others returned but Johnny didn’t, and
nobody saw him go down. From this I think
he did not go down in flames and think
the odds are he is a prisoner possibly
wounded.   I had tea with Jack Milne at

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08.10.1917: Bernard’s New Recruits | Les nouvelles recrues de Bernard | Bernards neue Rekruten

Transcription:
 

[P. 1]
Royal Flying Corps,
Hounslow Heath.

8.10.17

My dear old Dad,
Umpteen dozen returns of the
third, your birthday. I meant to have
written you for the day but Hell
I forgot to write.  Do you know I’m
darned busy they keep me going
like blazes 27 pupils to look after, and
only 7 of them able to fly themselves as

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07.08.1917: Bernard’s Night Antics | Les pitreries nocturnes de Bernard | Bernards Eskapaden bei Nacht

Transcription:

 
[P. 1]
The Raiders Retreat

7.8.17

Dear Old Dad,

Soft time be damned!  Just got your
Letter of 30th, do you know what we are
doing? Night raiding my boy, night raiding.
First you find your objective then you bomb
it Singing to the tune of “A perfect Day” the while:-

“As we draw near the end of a perfect raid”
“I sit in my quirk all alone.”

I will leave the verse unfinished as don’t know
Who may get hold of this letter!! We had a

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17.07.1917: Bernard’s Royal Visit | Bernard et la visite royale | Bernard bekommt königlichen Besuch

Transcription:
 

[P. 1]
Quirk Manor 17.7.17

Dear Old Dad,

The cake and ultimatum have arrived,
hence this. The cake was good, please thank
the manufacturer, and tell her I will write off
a dish of letter soon. I got caught good, and
proper, a few days ago it will make you laugh!
I received an invitation to tea from the nurses at
the local C.C.S. so ofcourse {sic} accepted prompt
like, and duly turned up. After tea there was
a general thrill went round on hearing of H.M. visiting
Corps Cleaning Dressing Station opposite, so in

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

Transcription:
 

[P. 1]
~ 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:
 

[P. 1]
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 “Cottage” and have

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

Transcription:
 

[P. 1]
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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11.04.1917: Bernard Takes Aim | Bernard a un but | Bernard nimmt den Feind ins Visier

Transcription:
 

[P. 1]
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:
 

[P. 1]
-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:
 

[P. 1]
-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:
 

[P. 1]
-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:
 

[P. 1]
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:
 

[P. 1]
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:
 

[P. 1]
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: Bernard – RFC Artillery Observation, Part 4 | Bernard – RFC Artilleriebeobachtung, Teil 4 | Bernard – RFC repérage d’artillerie, Partie 4

+ Manual with the title: “Co-operation of Aircraft and Artillery“. From the Collection of the Royal Air Force Museum (R001299).

+ Handbuch mit dem Titel: “Zusammenwirken zwischen Flugzeugen und Artillerie“. Aus der Sammlung des Royal Air Force Museum (R001299).

+ Manuel avec le titre: “Coopération entre aviation et artillerie“. De la collection du Royal Air Force Museum (R001299).

 

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

+ Painting “Noon” by Emile Antoine Verpilleux (1888-1964), 1919. From the Collection of the Royal Air Force Museum (X002-9669).

+ Zeichnung “Noon” von Emile Antoine Verpilleux (1888-1964), 1919. Aus der Sammlung des Royal Air Force Museums (X002-9669).

+ Tableau “Noon” de Emile Antoine Verpilleux (1888-1964), 1919. De la collection du Royal Air Force Museum (X002-9669).

 

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15.08.1916: Bernard – RFC Artillery Observation, Part 2 | Bernard – RFC Artilleriebeobachtung, Teil 2 | Bernard – RFC repérage d’artillerie, Partie 2

+ Mk. III Short Wave Tuner (73/R/434) and Aerial Winch (72/R/705). From the Collection of the Royal Air Force Museum.

+ Kurzwellentuner, Mk. III (73/R/434) und Winde für Antennendraht (72/R/705). Aus der Sammlung des Royal Air Force Museums.

+ Mk. III Amplificateur à ondes courtes (73/R/434) et Treuil aérien (72/R/705). De la collection du Royal Air Force Museum.

 

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15.07.1916: Bernard – RFC Artillery Observation, Part 1 | Bernard – RFC Artilleriebeobachtung, Teil 1 | Bernard – RFC repérage d’artillerie, Partie 1

+ English Morse Key (X007-0062) and Spark-gap transmitter (1996/0200/R), 1914. From the Collection of the Royal Air Force Museum.

+ Englische Morsetaste (X007-0062) und Löschfunken-Sender (1996/0200/R), 1914. Aus der Sammlung des Royal Air Force Museums.

+ Clef de Morse anglaise (X007-0062) et transmetteur « Spark-Gap » (1996/0200/R), 1914. De la collection du Royal Air Force Museum.

 

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

+ Flugbuch von Bernard Rice, 1916. Aus der Sammlung des Royal Air Force Museum (RAFM).

+ Flight book of Bernard Rice, 1916. From the Collection of the Royal Air Force Museum (RAFM).

+ Livret de vol de Bernard Rice, 1916. De la collection du Royal Air Force Museum (RAFM).

 

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

Transcription:
 

[P. 1]
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:
 

[P. 1]
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:
 

[P. 1]
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:
 

[P. 1]
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:
 

[P. 1]
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!
Do you get me? I will tell you what it
is I was some bored at not getting home
for ‘Xmas, however inspite {sic} of that didn’t
really have such a bad time. We started
the day by going over the lines to see if
the Huns were going to play the dirty, ornot {sic},

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

Transcription:
 

[P. 1]
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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26.11.1915: Bernard on Flying Training | Bernard in der Flugausbildung | Bernard à propos de l’entrainement aérien

Transcription:
 

[P. 1]
26:11:15

Dear Father,

Very many thanks for your last
letter, and for the numbers of “Flight”
which I was very glad to have. Thanks
awfully, if you will send me a copy per
week it would be very nice.
About leave. It is probable now that
I shall be home on the 18th ‘till 25th since
another observer is going home for his
wings. I would rather really that it was
the next week it would suit me better.
I am sorry if I have not made it plain to

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

Transcription:
 

[P. 1]
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?
By the way I have managed to get my foot
up another rung of the old ladder. The
authorities have determined to appoint certain

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

Transcription:
 

[P. 1]
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:
 

[P. 1]
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:
 

[P. 1]
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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18.10.1915: Bernard Becomes an Observer | Bernard wird Beobachter | Bernard devient observateur

Transcription:
 

[P. 1]
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:
 

[P. 1]
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.
I fancy Medlicott will get a D.S.O, also his observer a man
named Gilbert, for attacking two, (as we did the other day),
only the difference was they forced both to descend, and
we only scared our lot away with an empty automatic,
a jammed machine gun, & high speed flying.  Don’t
blast this about by the way, bow-wow {?}.  Many thanks

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29.08.1915: Bernard Joins the Flying Corps | Bernard tritt dem Fliegerkorps bei | Bernard rejoint le Flying Corps

Transcription:
 

[P. 1]
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:
 

[P. 1]
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.
The country round here resembles some parts of Wiltshire

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

Transcription:
 

[P. 1]
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:
 

[P. 1]
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:
 

[P. 1]
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:
 

[P. 1]
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.
Ever so many thanks for the parcel of supplies

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

Transcription:
 

[P. 1]
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:
 

[P. 1]
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:
 

[P. 1]
? 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. 

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

Transcription:
 

[P. 1]
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 in Winter | Bernard im Winter | Bernard en hiver

Transcription:
 

[P. 1]
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:
 

[P. 1]
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:
 

[P. 1]
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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