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Regulus 1

Rhys Davids 56 Sqdn crash site

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alex revell

Johan, Where are you? You recently posted some tantalising hints that you would have some new and fantastic information re the RD crash site. But since then - nothing. Still waiting with bated breath. :-)

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Regulus 1

Ah ! Guess where I was this afternoon ? At the crashsite, guess I'll have to post some photo's now...

Ok, this evening that is, at the latest !

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david lee

Ah ! Guess where I was this afternoon ? At the crashsite, guess I'll have to post some photo's now...

Ok, this evening that is, at the latest !

You are a great man Johan-----we all look forward to seeing them.

cheers,

Dave.

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Regulus 1

You're much to kind Dave :)

These are the photo's of the Rhys-Davids crash area. For obvious reasons i'm not going to say which part is the exact spot. But perhaps we can see if Alex recognizes anything and I would welcome his and other opinions !

Best from Johan

5675706163_94ca4fd9fe.jpg

Afbeelding 246 by Regulus 1, on Flickr

5675704845_fd0680ed58.jpg

Afbeelding 245 by Regulus 1, on Flickr

5675703723_58e627fbee.jpg

Afbeelding 244 by Regulus 1, on Flickr

Here are some more...

5675702825_0d4a8e115c.jpg

Afbeelding 243 by Regulus 1, on Flickr

5676263538_d1f4652258.jpg

Afbeelding 242 by Regulus 1, on Flickr

5676262368_dcc75b685f.jpg

Afbeelding 241 by Regulus 1, on Flickr

5676261332_1ae50919ed.jpg

Afbeelding 240 by Regulus 1, on Flickr

5676260062_7781a2d0a9.jpg

Afbeelding 239 by Regulus 1, on Flickr

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alex revell

Johan,

My reply seems to have been lost in cyperspace. I said that I think they are fine photos but am puzzled as to how you were able to determine the exact spot of the crash site from a photograph which merely shows the remains of an aeroplane, with no other details. :D

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Regulus 1

Alex you have the answer in your mailbox !

Best from Johan :innocent:

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david lee

Alex you have the answer in your mailbox !

Best from Johan :innocent:

Ah but why not here Johan----in, what is, after all, your own thread?

This would be of huge interest to almost everyone with even a passing interest in Rhys Davids, 56 Squadron----even Werner Voss.

Please offer US something on this. Surely it is not a 'secret'

Hopefully,

Dave.:)

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Regulus 1

Dave,

I still have to do a little research, some talking about a number of things in the area, and after that, when I'm that far, I will certainly tell more here, and here first of all.

Sorry

Johan

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david lee

Dave,

I still have to do a little research, some talking about a number of things in the area, and after that, when I'm that far, I will certainly tell more here, and here first of all.

Sorry

Johan

Many thanks Johan, Look forward to your conclusions.

Cheers,

Dave.

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alex revell

Dave,

Johan is in touch with me through Email. He has some interesting information which he is apparently still checking out. He has been working from another photograph of, presumably, the RD crash. I have not seen this photograph so until he gives some more details I wouldn't like to comment.

By the by. Just had a look on the 'other' site. I do now and again for a laugh. I see they are still going on and on about von R's last words!! Amazing :D

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david lee

Dave,

Johan is in touch with me through Email. He has some interesting information which he is apparently still checking out. He has been working from another photograph of, presumably, the RD crash. I have not seen this photograph so until he gives some more details I wouldn't like to comment.

By the by. Just had a look on the 'other' site. I do now and again for a laugh. I see they are still going on and on about von R's last words!! Amazing :D

Hi Alex, I have no access even as a 'visitor'----the axe cuts unreasonably deeply I think----but nevermind.

He did have last words---someone should tell them.

Probably 'contact' --or the German equivalent. If later, talking to himself in the air, perhaps variations on a 'what the f---' theme...:lol: :lol:

Cheers,

Dave..

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alex revell

Dave,

I've no access as a 'visitor'. But there's more than one computer in the house. :lol:

Alex

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ChuckB7

A little late to the party here, and this concerns one of the "sub-topics" in this thread, the crash photo. I only have the photo in HITEB to go by, but regarding the "fencecpost", I believe this is the starboard rear landing gear strut. This bit of wood is too square to be a wing strut and too long to be a center-section strut. At first, it just didn't seem to fit any known structure on the aircraft, but the wreakage is so compact that there's nothing to reference it against. If you look at just the "fencepost" and the items which are mostly intact - the wheel, lewis gun and exhaust pipe, then I believe it matches the rear landing gear strut exactly. Also it still seems to be attached just under the cockpit at the bottom fuselage longeron.

With regard to the "circle" at the left of the photo, until I read Alex's message about being able to look through the hole to the wing beneath it, I always thought this was just the center red circle of the cockade. If it is a hole, then it must be a plywood bulkhead of some sort. It seems to fit the width of the fuselage fairly well. Just a guess, really, as I've been unable to find any period photographic evidence of any such plywood with a circular hole, and nothing obvious in the construction photos of the French built SE5A.

Chuck

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ChuckB7

Re: crash photo - structure with circular hole at far left of photo.

Plowed through more of the SE5A reconstruction website and found a photo which shows a structure which may have a large hole cut through it. On the website in the section which displays more construction photos, the photo to the right of the description: "Cockpit right side / note the flare gun between the pilot's legs and the Lewis drum" shows the wood flooring which has a circular structure through which the rudder bar is mounted. It's about the same size and shape as the piece of wood seen at left in the crash photo, and the additional rectangular cutout in the crash photo (left and down from the hole) might correspond to the cutout in the construction photo for the spent ammo chute. How this particular piece would end up outside the fuselage and near the wing is problematic. The only other possibility I can imagine would be some part of the upper wing center section structure, which was wood covered. But again, I can find no photo which shows an uncovered center section in enough detail to see if any plywood might've been used as addt'l internal bracing. Just guessing here, so this is probably better left to the experts.

Chuck

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alex revell

Chuck, 'The round hole'. That's interesting. Where did you see this. Is it available to look at on the web. As for the landing strut. You may well be right, but if you look at page 3 in this thread, you'll see that we also came to another conclusion. That also checked out as regards size, which was checked against the aileron in the photo.

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RAF_Louvert

.

Alex, I imagine that Chuck is referring to the SE5a project at The Vintage Aviator

se5a-walkaround-008.screensize.jpg

Chuck, I had wondered about that portion of the floorboard myself, but decided it was likely not it as the section in the crash photo that has the "hole" also appears to have an end that resembles an aileron or elevator hinge point.

Lou

.

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alex revell

Chuck. That certainly looks interesting, but the problem is that piece with the hole has a clear doped finish, which it wouldn't have had if it was the section in the cockpit.

Lou, I must admit that I can't see the hinge point you mention, even though I've blown up that part of the photo. That 'hole' is one of the minor mysteries of WW1 aviation! !

I'm still waiting to see this 'other' photograph of the crash which Johan says has enabled him to pinpoint the exact psoition of the crash. :D

Sorry, meant to say a clear doped fabric finish

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ChuckB7

Alex/Lou,

Actually, the photo I referred to was on the "restauration du SE5A" website, and the link to the cockpit photo is: http://storage.mfa.free.fr/gallery/Se5/27.jpg. I hope I'm not violating anyone's copyright laws by including the photo here:

27.jpg

The photo (of the very crowded cockpit!) was taken from the right side of the fuselage with the seat to the left, and the Vickers spent shell casing chute at the right. I understand what you mean about wood in the cockpit being varnished, Alex - it should be - and the piece in the crash photo does not appear to be. I also made a very broad assumption that the wood circular structure beneath the rudder pedal might somehow match the size of the hole in the crash photo, though I admit that this may be a reach! Still, interestingly, the cutout in the wood for the vickers spent shell casing chute seems to be present on the piece in the crash photo, and in the same proximity to the circular cutout. Mysteries which may never be solved! I look forward to more of Johan's crash site research!

Regards,

Chuck

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alex revell

Johan. Where are you? I don't think I can hold my breath for much longer. :-)

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Rogueraven

Those who have the photograph can examine it and cross check. Now take up a position on Potterijstraat, Moorslede at the bridge pictured by Johan using Google maps. Look at the surrounding land, very flat? Now take a look at the photograph. If we assume camera was sitting at about 4 to 5ft high, assuming a stand was used for it to look onto the wreckage, the land in the photograph slopes uphill to the right. Unlike the area of land by the bridge which is Potterijbrug today.

The name of the area is the name of the town. The town name is a reference to the bridge (Potterijbrug, Bridge to Pottery) this does not make the bridge a specific location for the crash site. So why a historian is stating it is I have no idea.

Looking at the photograph more. If we assume the photograph was taken in the area of Potterijbrug, the only likely area this photograph could have been taken is East or South East of the town. I concluded this based on the slope uphill to the right and the lack of any other signs of war in the photograph. Assuming the camera was level and further away from the frontlines. Given this information is not available to us it is hard to base a conclusion on it. But, if what I am assuming is true the camera should have been facing a northerly direction. With that information tell me what time would you make it in the photograph?

If photographer came from Rumbeke and Jasta 2 how long would it take them to reach Potterijbrug? One hour by vehicle? Give or take maybe 20 to 40 mins to included the fact there was a war on, and to bring in condition of roads. The shadow cast from the exhaust signals what time? and does that tie in to possible events of the day?

I think if the camera was facing south it would show either flat land or land that slopes away. Also the view south would likely show more features. Because, looking south there is more features in the landscape trees etc. There does not seem to be a lot of features looking North. All this adds to the circumstantial evidence that the camera was facing north if the picture was taken at said location.

If you come east from the bridge along Potterijstraat it is hard to see on Google maps but the land does start to slope uphill to the east at about the same rate in the photograph. so "If" we class all circumstantial evidence as fact the evidence points to a crash site on the east side of Potterijbrug.

The issue of heavy fighting in said area. Look at the maps of the area at the time. Compare the natural features on them, with maps and aerial photographs of today. Now tell me why the natural features are the same today? Especially the stream almost exactly like it was mapped 100 years ago. Also the photograph seems to show little evidence of heavy fighting other than the wreckage of a fighter plane you could assume it was crash site at an air show.

Addressing an issue with regards to grave or crash site being destroyed.

After the Battle of Passchendaele 20th November 1917, the offensive switch south to the Battle of Cambria 20th November 1917 - 7th December 1917. This does not mean the fighting stopped but would have turned into defensive warfare by the British. The Germans more than likely consolidated their positions in order to focus on the Battle of Cambria sector as well. So, now we talking most likely counter battery warfare which involved a lot of aerial work in area of crash site. But, RFC operation also switched focus to the south and to the Cambria sector which now limits the fighting even more in the area of the crash site. I think this would make more specific locations points of interest like rally points? maybe Dadizele, Moorslede, Roulers rather than insignificant area's of land between the lines.

Spring Offensive is when the fighting returned to the area we are looking at or did it?

By the end of the first day the British armies was in full retreat due to the strength in depth strategy not being fully achieved in this area. A lot of the British Battalions and equipment would have been outside the range of German heavy guns. Beings the crash site is not in the British lines and not exactly in key German positions I also do not think the warfare during the Spring Offensive severely influenced Potterijbrug's landscape during this fighting. The Spring Offensive targeted an area West of Cambria with the focus switching to Amiens. It also focused North along the coast. The British withdrew from the area, we are talking about, in order to close up holes in the lines. Even conceding the area fought over during the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

4th Battle of Ypres 9th April 1918 to the 29th April was the last Offensive in this area by the Germans. This German Offensive managed to capture much of the land lost during the Battle of Passchendaele. Langemarck, Passchendaele itself, Gheluvelt and land up to the outskirts of Messines and Ploegstreert. So only troop movements, supplies to and from the lines would influence our area of interest. Given Potterijbrug is not a major town or village it seems highly unlikely it was targeted due to no mention of the towns use on record. Another reason I come to this conclusion, Potterijbrug was neither in the Hindenberg line or the Dadizele line. Which suggests it was not a fortified location and that being said likely surrounding area was not of interest either.

Western front goes quiet in May, June and July 1918 Germany tries a series of offensives in the French sectors, French counter attack July 18th 1918 leads to the Hundred Day Offensive.

I need to research this part of the war more, due to some fighting around Dadizele Hill 60. But, other than that I cannot find any heavy fighting in the area of Potterijbrug. Saying this I assume if the body was not buried where it fell, the likelihood of it being buried east of crash site is greater than it being buried west of crash site.

So could the gravesite have been destroyed by heavy fighting? I think there is a strong debate either way which leaves us at "Maybe" and I think I will leave it there.

Hopefully this will throw up some questions which I can answer or research to another conclusion.

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alex revell

9827 views!!! If only that amount of people had bought the biography of RD. Brief Glory. Recently re-published by Pen & Sword :-)

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David Filsell

"Get up orf your Alice, and get down the Frog to the nearest Alltime"

Sadly I have only just come across this splendid thread hence this last. I too am a refuge from the aerodrome, not through banning but choicebecause of the God Bless America, Hail to the Hun approach of so many users which so unbalance discussion.

I bow to no man in my admiration to Alex and his willingness to assist us less knowledgeable enthusiasts.

But surely Alex it is 'arris not Alice!!

best regards

David

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alex revell

David, Yes, can't think why I put Alice, it's so long ago now. Actually, it should be aris, with only one r. Originally it was Bottle and Glass, so just Bottle, but then it evolved into what I believe is known as double slang. Aris became Aristotle, and hence to Aris. I was born in Highgate and I've been told that Bow Bells can be heard from there, which makes me, officially at any rate, a cockney.

Best

Alex

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David Filsell

Alex

Being from Sarf London I heard the slang used and often mixed with Polari and back slang when young. I rarely hear it now though, innit.

Best regards

David

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Rogueraven

9827 books at £19.99 = £197041.43p - Publishing cost = this time next year you be a millionaire :w00t: joking aside. Brief Glory is a very good book anyone with a slight interest should purchase it.

I think High in the Empty Blue should be re-published it is a great book. I bet it would take some negotiations to get a publisher to even consider re-publishing it though? I cannot imagine the trials and tribulations trying to get a book based on this era published, I can only guess it is not easy. Though I guess with the centenary year it is a bit easier maybe?

Anyway Alex how is the new book coming along? I hope the research not keeping you cooped up in small rooms designed to bake people ? :blink:

Best regards

James

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