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Crashed British Aircraft - The Great Escape (II)

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One more account from Major John Graham Gillam's (ASC) Gallipoli Diary p.246: http://librivox.org/gallipoli-diary-by-john-graham-gillam/

"13th October ...As we are up at Bde HQ we notice one of our aeroplanes swoop down on to the Salt Lake, obviously having to make a forced landing. A short pause, during which we notice the pilot and observer climb out, when suddenly shrapnel bursts over the machine and very near. It is quickly followed by another and another, and later high explosive shells, when the pilot and the observer scurry away pretty quickly. They are wise for the Turkish Artillery are now well on to the machine, which is rapidly becoming a helpless wreck. I should think they put a hundred shells on that machine before they stopped."

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michaeldr

One more account from Major John Graham Gillam's (ASC) Gallipoli Diary p.246: http://librivox.org/gallipoli-diary-by-john-graham-gillam/

"13th October ...As we are up at Bde HQ we notice one of our aeroplanes swoop down on to the Salt Lake, obviously having to make a forced landing. A short pause, during which we notice the pilot and observer climb out, when suddenly shrapnel bursts over the machine and very near. It is quickly followed by another and another, and later high explosive shells, when the pilot and the observer scurry away pretty quickly. They are wise for the Turkish Artillery are now well on to the machine, which is rapidly becoming a helpless wreck. I should think they put a hundred shells on that machine before they stopped."

See also my post #153 of 20 April 2011 - 07:44 PM :innocent:

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See also my post #153 of 20 April 2011 - 07:44 PM :innocent:

Sorry Michael..... didn't recall it...hats off to you for spotting it earlier, I am in the process of transcribing Gillam and it struck a chord. My oversight, apologies. MG

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michaeldr

No problem Martin

After seven-plus pages of thread it is easily done - "there, but for the grace of God, go I"

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tn.drummond

I have trawled through Ray Sturtivant's "Royal Navy Aircraft Serials and Units 1911-1919" and cannot find any reference to a British aircraft being lost as described. Nor does Samson in "Fights and Flights" mention such an incident. I would have expected such a loss to be recorded but Gallipoli records can sometimes be a bit sketchy. Almost inevitably the eyewitness accounts are at variance: the aircraft being described as "Allied", "British" and "French" with a crew of two or four, and being "high in the air when hit" (how did the eyewitness tell this?) or suffering a "broken control" or having "diving gear jammed" (I thought this was a submarine defect). All of which gives an impression of unreliability not unexpected in the absence of aviation specialists on the ground.

Overall I lean towards it having being a French aircraft. Who has a record of French losses?

I stumbled on this thread while doing a little surfing on a free day and I must say the hairs on the back of my neck stood up when I saw the name "Samson". Please could you tell me if this is a copy of his original 'Fights and Flights' (1930) autobiography or the book of the same name which I gather from 'amazon' reviews is a book of scraps and articles related to him published in America in 2010/11. If the former, has it by any chance been re-published or is it the case that you are the fortunate owner of an original ?

The original biography has been on my 'hit' list ever since I obtained a small collection of professional Naval photographs (20 or so) of which C.R and possibly his brother (at Gallipoli and around the Dardanelles) are the subject . They're a recent acquisition (within past year) so I have yet to make my way to the IWM. The leads in this thread will no doubt prove invaluable.

I would like to state very clearly that, as intended as a current research project and possibly for future publication, they are not available for posting at present.

Sorry to come to the table empty handed but no doubt one day I'll be making an offering.

Regards

Suddery

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Guest

I stumbled on this thread while doing a little surfing on a free day and I must say the hairs on the back of my neck stood up when I saw the name "Samson". Please could you tell me if this is a copy of his original 'Fights and Flights' (1930) autobiography or the book of the same name which I gather from 'amazon' reviews is a book of scraps and articles related to him published in America in 2010/11. If the former, has it by any chance been re-published or is it the case that you are the fortunate owner of an original ?

The original biography has been on my 'hit' list ever since I obtained a small collection of professional Naval photographs (20 or so) of which C.R and possibly his brother (at Gallipoli and around the Dardanelles) are the subject . They're a recent acquisition (within past year) so I have yet to make my way to the IWM. The leads in this thread will no doubt prove invaluable.

I would like to state very clearly that, as intended as a current research project and possibly for future publication, they are not available for posting at present.

Sorry to come to the table empty handed but no doubt one day I'll be making an offering.

Regards

Suddery

I have an original copy...and if you are interested in following up on Samson there are a bundle of papers relating to him and his fFight at Gallipoli- including the complete record of every flight, pilot name, navigator name, type of aircraft flown at Gallipoli. Fascinating stuff and kept in a rather poor way (in my humble opinion) at the IWM. Also there are a few papers written by him at The National Archives. It is not my area of expertise and I only bought the book to explore the RNAS involvement at Gallipoli. You can get a copy for the princely sum of £84 plus p&p via Abe books: http://www.abebooks....hts+and+flights ...If you are really desperate, make me a bid as I don't need the original as I have photographed every page fro my research archive (copyright has expired). MG

PS. I wouldn't be shy of posting original research here - its what the GWF is all about - sharing knowledge - and everyone is very decent here. It is a truly wonderful platform of like-minded people. While possible, I think it highly unlikely anyone is going to plagiarise your work as we are all far too busy on our own obsessions. As you will see from this thread, many people have contributed considerable knowledge in the debate and we are all richer (in knowledge and in spirit) for it. You will find that there are experts on just about every detail of WWI and it is only thanks to the original owner(s) of the Forum that we are able to have these valuable exchanges. Embrace the spirit. MG

PPS. If that is not enough, you can exercise copyright here.

MG

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tn.drummond

I have an original copy...and if you are interested in following up on Samson there are a bundle of papers relating to him and his fFight at Gallipoli- including the complete record of every flight, pilot name, navigator name, type of aircraft flown at Gallipoli. Fascinating stuff and kept in a rather poor way (in my humble opinion) at the IWM. Also there are a few papers written by him at The National Archives. It is not my area of expertise and I only bought the book to explore the RNAS involvement at Gallipoli. You can get a copy for the princely sum of £84 plus p&p via Abe books: http://www.abebooks....hts+and+flights ...If you are really desperate, make me a bid as I don't need the original as I have photographed every page fro my research archive (copyright has expired). MG

PS. I wouldn't be shy of posting original research here - its what the GWF is all about - sharing knowledge - and everyone is very decent here. It is a truly wonderful platform of like-minded people. While possible, I think it highly unlikely anyone is going to plagiarise your work as we are all far too busy on our own obsessions. As you will see from this thread, many people have contributed considerable knowledge in the debate and we are all richer (in knowledge and in spirit) for it. You will find that there are experts on just about every detail of WWI and it is only thanks to the original owner(s) of the Forum that we are able to have these valuable exchanges. Embrace the spirit. MG

MG

Hi Martin and thank you very much for taking the time to respond with such helpful advice. I'll buy a copy of the repro' ( £24.00 + P&P ) before evaluating my need for an original. In any event, thank you for your kind offer - I may yet take it up.

Re. your comments about plagiarism I have absolutely no fears on this score whatsoever with the GWF and completely buy into all of your comments about furtherance of knowledge. Share and share alike is the best of dictum I always feel and I embrace the spirit. The issue in this case is a simple one of retention of possible photo-copyright.

I'd have to be a very pompous man to be concerned about any comment I make on this site being copied or plagiarised - I've always viewed it as a most valuable mutual resource and my content is unlikely to set the world ablaze.

Again, many thanks

Suddery

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Guest

First apologies, I am very much a newbie to this site. I have in my possession an interesting military horological item which I've uploaded a photo of. It is a 1st World War aircraft watch in original cockpit mount, there is a silver plaque attached to it which states ' Salved From a British Aeroplane Shot Down By The Turks, Salt Lake. Suvla Bay, Gallipoli. October 1915' the item is hallmarked for 1916. I have been unable to find any information regarding the aircraft.

post-100602-0-06809700-1374479150_thumb.

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michaeldr

Derbyshire Yeomanry War Diary - 13th October 1915 " [Reserve Area] Found 20 men to dig in Boycott trench 9:30-11:30 a.m. Allies aeroplane landed on Salt Lake (1/2 mile NW of trench) broken control. Was shelled and smashed by enemy guns"

Derbyshire Yeo War History: "On another occasion one of our own planes provided the excitement. When at 9,000 feet and well behind enemy the enemy lines its diving gear jammed, necessitating a forced descent. It appeared as if it must land behind enemy trenches but just cleared them, being fired at by everything which the Turk could bring to bear. It literally skimmed our trenches and took the ground in the mud of Salt Lake..... Turkish field guns immediately opened fire and made remarkable shooting, hitting it with the third or fourth shot and at the same time making what seemed very close shooting at the two airmen who were ploughing their way in thick deep mud back to Lala Baba but without hitting them"

Henry C Day SJ MC: "Another day the fall of a sea plane provided a thrill. The plane was high in the air when hit and soon gave evidence of loss of control. Starting to glide it descended rapidly in constantly narrowing circles. the end was a nose dive to earth half a mile away in the middle of the Salt lake. The plane was the largest of the few aircraft of the Gallipoli force and its loss was considerable. But this was a matter of less concern. At the moment all thought was taken up with the fate of the crew whom we judged to be destined for certain destruction. the sight of the crash was sickening. For several seconds there was silence as of death. Then a great cheer arose when four men were seen to extricate themselves from the wreckage and run for their lives. Our relief was intense. Cheer after cheer followed the retreating aviators as they made good their escape through the barrage. In calculating the chances of the crew we had omitted the nature of the ground, which fortunately at the time was a mud swamp. After the tension followed a period of amused interest during which the Turkish gunners from the Anafarta ridge fired persistently at the huge helpless monster outstretched on the plain. In spite of the target being a sitting one, they made the worst possible shooting. The machine was abandoned in the forenoon and the firing continued till evening. Yet at night a rescue party went forward took out the engine and bore it back in triumph uninjured" [Edit: It is my view that Day had a reputation as a rumour monger whilst at Gallipoli and his biography has a few inaccuracies, so despite this account being the most detailed, it is worth noting it sadly comes with a caveat regarding accuracy]

The Roughriders (A S Hamilton MM) " The Trenches were violently bombarded on the 13th, after the Turks had smashed up a British plane which made a forced landing on the Salt Lake..."

[Edit: additional ref] Two further accounts by members of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade of an aircraft being brought down at Suvla Bay on Wednesday 13th October 1915. 3rd LH Bde at that time were occupying Table Top.

Tpr Ronald Campbell ROSS No. 181. "D" Troop, "A" Sqdn, 8th LH Regt. From his diary entry of the 13th October: "“Turks brought down aeroplane.

Captain Kenneth McKenzie, 3rd LH Bde HQ, Table Top, From his diary entry of Thursday 14th October, a report of the shooting down of an English aeroplane over the Salt Lake by the Turks:“British aeroplane came down on dry lake. Aviators ducked & plane shelled by Turks, smashing one wing. Brought in at dark".

[Edit: additional ref] 11th Manchesters War Diary 13th Oct: " One of our aeroplanes came down in Salt lake and shelled. Both aviators survived and aeroplane rescued after dark."

How wonderful to have such a direct contact with a very specific event

Many, many thanks for posting your photograph of the rescued timepiece

with best regards

Michael

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Guest

First apologies, I am very much a newbie to this site. I have in my possession an interesting military horological item which I've uploaded a photo of. It is a 1st World War aircraft watch in original cockpit mount, there is a silver plaque attached to it which states ' Salved From a British Aeroplane Shot Down By The Turks, Salt Lake. Suvla Bay, Gallipoli. October 1915' the item is hallmarked for 1916. I have been unable to find any information regarding the aircraft.

Many thanks for sharing this. Wonderful to see a real fragment of this episode. I assume the 1916 hallmark is on the plaque, not the watch. Might I enquire how the watch came into your possession and if there is any provenance linking the timepiece to Newton-Clare? You will now at least have a decent body of written material that relates to its history.

MG.

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Guest

Many thanks for comments and reply, really quite exciting to start to understand its history and relevance. Yes the 1916 hallmark is the silver plaque; inside the watch on the movement is a 'Swiss type' cross then P.33103 D.R.P. 175275 U.S.A.P 816321. It is a very good quality jewelled movement in a nickel case. Although a member of the B.H.I (British Horological Association) I have had the watch restored to working condition by an excellent watchmaker as I wanted to ensure it was restored sympathetically. As to provenance I was given the watch and mounting by a very good friend in our Village, I am aware that his Father was a member of the Royal Flying Core, so I will contact him and ask if he would be willing to share any provenance he has about the watch and will post as soon as I have reply, I also intend to try and track down the manufacturer of the watch.

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Bernoullis

I happened to take a peek at this thread today merely out of curiosity, I decided to read the entire thread and it has been facisnating to see the apparently 'hidden' picture come to the fore. And then this clock pops up, about 18 months after the thread had petered out! Fantastic!

Martin G, the hallmark referred to by clocksandwatches can actually be seen on his accompanying photo. Although it is a small image,, if you zoom in to it you can see the hallmark under the engraved word "Gallipoli" on the semicircular silver plate mounted under the clock.

Interesting that the engraving on the plate refers to the Turks shooting down the aircraft - I thought it was due to an elevator control problem. I assume that whoever finally acquired and mounted he clock, in 1916, would not have necessarily had first hand knowledge of the circumstances. With all the competing contributions, and without ploughing back through the thread, can those more in the know say if a final reason for the forced landing was decided upon?

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Guest

The 3 Wing log records it was forced to land due to engine trouble.

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Bernoullis

The 3 Wing log records it was forced to land due to engine trouble.

Oh dear, I must have missed that nuance, sorry! I only recall the various 'control problems' or 'Turkish shoot down' theories. :blush:

... I will contact him and ask if he would be willing to share any provenance he has about the watch and will post as soon as I have reply, I also intend to try and track down the manufacturer of the watch.

clocksand watches, when you do have something more I would also love to see a higher resolution pic of your clock, if you can manage it. It is a delightful piece of memorabilia and being able to examine it a bit more closely would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! :thumbsup:

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b3rn

A. A. Walser's personal account of Gallipoli is published in Cross & Cockade (Vol 45 Number 4). He describes the forced landing at Suvla on 13 October.

 

Newton Clare [Walter Newton-Clare?] and I were flying over a placed called Teursten Keui when suddenly our Maurice Farman began to spin, lateral control being entirely lost. Something had locked or destroyed the aileron control. We came down in a slow flat spin and eventually crashed on the Salt Lake without damage to ourselves.

 

The lake is described as "slightly boggy ... we moved laboriously through the mud towards our trenches." He doesn't mention the engine being recovered. "We were able to get some of the instruments and gun off the wrecked machine at night." 

Edited by b3rn

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b3rn

This photo has been discussed in the thread.


"Forced landing of a Royal Flying Corps aeroplane near Chocolate Hill, Suvla Bay." (IWM Q 25125)

 

It's clearly not the forced landing onto the salt lake by Newton-Clare and Walser on 13 October.

 

Could it be Samson's machine of 19 August? And is it Chocolate Hill (as per the IWM caption) or Lala Baba (the location I think previously suggested)?

 

This is Samson's description of the incident in Fights and Flights:

 

I set off with Jopp on a Henri Farman to carry out a reconnaissance over the Suvla area. We hadn't been over there for more than half an hour when we got hit in the engine by a piece of shrapnel, which stopped it completely. I had to make a landing on the only patch of good ground I could discover, just south of the Salt Lake, and well within our lines. The ground was fairly steep, and as soon as we came to rest the aeroplane ran backwards downhill again ; but finally came to rest quite undamaged. On examination I found that the magneto was completely smashed up.

 

Within two minutes of our landing the enemy guns started on us, and Jopp and I had to make for cover in a small gulley.

 

After about ten minutes' bombardment they ceased fire, and we went back to see what the damage was. It was surprisingly little considering the number of shells that had burst all round her ; but she was certainly out of action for some time, especially the engine, which had two cylinders hit by fragments.

 

 

aeroplane at suvla.jpg

Edited by b3rn

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