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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Henry Allingham


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The Sunday Telegraph refers to Henry serving as a RNAS mechanic servicing Sopwiths at Ypres, being shot in the arm and observing soldiers standing in water 2 feet deep in the trenches. Where exactly might Henry have done this aircraft work around Ypres?

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In his book "Kitcheners Last Volunteer", p. 106, Henry says:

"I remember getting my wound. It happened when I was at St Pol aircrft depot. We were shelled by a lrge gun, a Leugenbloom. This gun fired 15-inch shells at a rate of one very eight minutes."

and on the next page: "We were certainly caught with out pants down and the depot took a pasting. There was nowhere to find cover so we ended up lying in a crater. Suddenly I felt a burning sensation in my arm and saw that a sliver of shrapnel had grazed me. There's not much of a scar now. It wasn't all that bad."

There are some excellent photos of Henry with his planes between pages 64 - 65 of the book - I can recommend it, it's an excellent story of a great man.


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Thanks, Graham. Another misquote then - the ST said "During the battle (Ypres) HA was shot in the arm, the bullet passing straight through the limb". It also reports him as saying "The men would just stand there, in two feet of water in mud filled trenches, waiting silently to go forward. It was pathetic to see those men like that". Where would HA be likely to witness that scene?

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