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The bombing of No. 3 Cavalry Field Ambulance at Caix during the Battle of Amiens, 9 August 1918


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103 years ago this evening, my grandfather, Tom Verrinder, a 21-year old Lance-Corporal in the 9th Lancers, was one of few men to survive unscathed when a bomb from a German airplane burst in the courtyard of a farm being used as a Cavalry Advanced Dressing Station during the Battle of Amiens, killing 12 men, wounding ten others and killing and wounding many horses. This incident and his luck in surviving it preoccupied him during his later years, and he often spoke of it to me – I have a copy of a letter he wrote to the Royal Army Medical Corps Museum aged 89, still wanting to find out more.  Because of the significance of his survival in this incident for my own life and that of his other descendants – he was only a few feet away from the bomb, and had the blast pattern been slightly different he would probably have been killed – and because he died without having been able to research it fully, I made it something of a mission to find out all that I could and eventually to visit the site of the courtyard and the cemetery where those who died alongside him are buried. My mother and I did this three years ago, and I have found time since then to write it all up as a blog on my website. It has been fascinating to research the incident in detail through the unit war diaries, the trench maps, aerial photos and my own fieldwork in France.  This blog is the basis for a chapter in a forthcoming book based on my grandfather's experiences during the war. I would be most grateful for any comments and additional information.


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In looking through the book "Schachtflieger!" a number of German Air Force ground attack units or Schlastas were in action during these days:

8 Aug 18 German 2nd Armee SS17 joined during the day by 3 aircraft each from SS 11 ,27b and from the German 7 Army by SS 1,8,10,14,21 als o 18 Armee SS12

9 Aug 18 the following  Schlastas  were in action German 2 Armee SS 17 , 27b: German 18 Armee SS12, Schagru A SS 1,8,10,14,21, Schagru B 2,22b, Schlagru 2-3,13,19,29b, Schlagru 3- SS 6,18,34,38s

SS Schlasta 6 aircraft

b Bavarian

s Saxon

it could have been possible that a SS aircraft could have bombed No 3 CFA they did fly some night ops

I might have more

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would say the SS were mostly equiped at this time with the following aircraft:

Halberstadt CL II ,IV

Hannover CL II, III, IIIa

The RAF official history War in The Air is online at archive.org


Schlasta with Armees: 

10 August

2nd Armee 17, 3,13, 19, 6,18,34, 38s, 28b, 30b, 31b,32

18 Armee 12, 1, 8, 10, 14, 2, 22b

11-12 August

2 Armee 17,11, 27b, 13, 19, 6, 18, 34, 38s, 4, 15, 24b, 25b, 35

18 Armee 12,2,22b

Note the Schlastas moved around a lot during 1918 first supporting German offensives later to help stop Allied offensives

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from the NB Nachrichtenblatt 

8 Aug day Schusta and BG ops

9 Aug day Schusta and Bg ops Amiens

9/10 Aug night BG Amiens area large fires possibly ammo dump(s)

10 Aug Schusta E and SE of Amiens attack infantry, Cavalry, tanks and artillery

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks very much for these replies - I'll look at that and amend my text on the German aircraft accordingly.


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That is such a heartwarming story.

That you and your Descendants are here living and breathing is not by luck.

Live your Life to the fullest and make sure that you bless his memory by finding out what he couldn't.



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