Royal Flying Corps Diaries - Interesting days in 1918, January to March
(With comments by the website author in brackets)
Tuesday January 1st:
Arose at 7. Spent morning in usual way, took in Revue in afternoon. Stayed in at night and read over my notes. Retired about 9:30
Wednesday January 2nd:
Arose at 7 am. Spent day writing tests. Averaged 85%, got 100% in Engine and Rigging. Went downtown to Obelisk Movie Theatre with Wilsons. First movie show of year. Got back to Hotel about 12, some of the boys well oiled. Retired about 12:15
Saturday January 5th:
Arose at 7. Got pass in morning and went downtown in afternoon with Wilson. Went through all Bazaars and Jewellery shops looking for Cameo. Couldn't get one. ate at Lipton's, went back to Hotel. retired about 9 pm.
Sunday January 6th:
Arose at 7 am. Packed my kit ready to go to Ismailia. Left at 11 am from Cairo. Arrived Ismailia at 2 pm. Frank met me. Got in same Flight as boys. Met all the old gang again. Hilly and I bunking together. Retired about 9:30 pm.
Monday January 7th:
Arose at 8 am. No Flying. Reported to Orderly Room at 8:30 and at Flight Office at 10:00. Brushed (?) over a machine with 'C' Squad. Spent afternoon lying around. Dressed for dinner, ate, retired at 9:30 pm.
Tuesday January 8th:
Calley my Instructor took me up for my joy ride and aerial winding.(?) I spent 22 minutes in the air and liked it fine. I did nothing in particular in the afternoon. (Konnie's first flight, see photo of Maurice Farman ShortHorn)
Wednesday January 9th:
Arose at 5 AM. Frank & I took out machines ready for early flying with others. Frank got up ahead of me. I spent 5 minutes in air and came down to learn (harm ?)signal. retired about 9:15 pm.
Thursday January 10th:
Arose at 5 am. Frank and I early flying again. I got up first and put in about 40 minutes with Calley. Spent afternoon lounging around. After dinner we had a sort of rehearsal in Staff's anteroom. Frank & I left for our tent immediately after. Retired about 10 pm.
Friday January 11th:
Arose at 7 am. Calley took me up for 8 minutes. Cleaned up No. 4, oil leaking from engine, covered tail plane. Lay around in afternoon. Spent some time playing fiddle. Dressed for dinner and fooled around with Hilly. Practised in Mess after dinner. Retired about 10.
Saturdy January 12th:
Arose at 6 am. Up for early flying. Bumpy up. Got in 40 minutes flying before too windy to keep it up. Practised with Orchestra after dinner. Mr. Davies played bass. Others on drum, bells ,etc. Old Doc conducting. Left at 9:30. Went to bed.
Sunday January 13th:
Arose 4:45 am. Up for early flying. Too windy, went back to bed. Spent morning in tent. Practised with orchestra until 4:00 pm. Went down to Ismailia to French Club. Had Tea there. Saw Spaulding in Hospital. Rode back to Camp in Gharry. Dinner at 7:30, retired 9 pm.
Monday January 14th:
Arose at 4:45 am. Up for sweeping party. Helped take out machines. Gunnery and Wireless in morning, Art.(?) Obs(erver) exam in afternoon. Rehearsal at 6:00, had dinner. Colonel there, and at show afterwards. Show came off good, played in trio, dolled up in grease paint & white ducks, etc. Had a table with Feather and Colly after. retired 2 am.
Tuesday January 15th:
Arose at 5 am. Up for early flying. Frank up 1st, I up 2nd. Put in 30 minutes taking off and landing. Took few snaps around Aerodrome (the ones on this website). Sent snaps downtown with Grant. Had little practise after in Anteroom. Retired at 9:30
Wednesday January 16th:
Helped pull out machines. Was up with Calley 46 minutes. Meanwhile Carsburg was killed in collision in air, machine fell 150 ft. on back. Went downtown in afternoon, got films, etc. At Funeral. Retired at 9:30.
Thursday January 17th:
Arose at 7:30. Fog out, no flying until 8:30. Calley sore we (were) not out for flying earlier.
Friday January 18th:
Arose at 5 AM. Swept out hanger on "T" (?). Flew 3rd turn.
Saturday January 19th:
Up with Calley, had 49 minutes. Up with Smith right after, had 21 minutes. Decided to launch me (Solo flight). Whiled away afternoon. Retired 9:00 PM.
Sunday January 20th:
Arose at 5 AM. Smith sent for me. Went up for 30 minutes, did landings. To be launched tomorrow. Went downtown in afternoon and took snaps. Had tea at the Savoy with Frank Frederickson, Davies, Willoughby and friends. Retired after dinner.
Monday January 21st:
Arose at 5:30 AM. Went up with Smith for 30 minutes. Was launched (soloed) for 26 minutes, made 2 landings. Picture Printed bunch of pictures. retired about 9:30.
Wednesday January 23rd:
Arose at 6 AM. Went up with Smith for 11 minutes. Then solo for 53 minutes. Made good landings. Read until tea. Went down to Ismailia for pictures. Had dinner and retired at 9 PM.
Thursday January 24th:
Up first for 5 minutes. Had to land, throttle control loose. Up for 60 minutes after repairs. Had breakfast. Up again for 25 minutes. Bumpy. (air turbulence in the desert)
Friday January 25th:
Arose at 5:30. Up for 42 minutes then 36. Finished Rumpety (Maurice Farman Shorthorn) solo.
Saturday January 26th:
Arose at 7. Got my Log Book & transfer card and left for Suez at 2:15 PM. Arrived at 4:50. Reported to Orderly room. Slept on floor in Davey's room.
Monday January 28th:
Arose at 7:30 AM. Did an hour's buzzing ( Morse Code! ) in Avro. Fixed up new room. Retired about 10:15 PM.
Tuesday January 29th:
Arose 7:45 AM. Did an hour's buzzing & machine guns. Printed some pictures in afternoon. Read, had dinner and retired about 9:30PM.
Wednesday January 30th:
Arose at 7:15. One hour's buzzing, two hours machine gun. Cleaned buss (the airplane). Printed pictures in afternoon. Figured up my Pay Book to date. Retired about 9 PM.
Thursday January 31st:
Arose at 7:15. Two hour's MG, one hour buzzing. Cleaned Busses. read bunch of (Winnipeg) Tribunes that Dad sent. Retired about 10 PM.
Friday February 1st:
Arose at 7:15. Two hour's MG, one hour buzzing. Passed buzzing test. Read papers from home. Went up for first ride in Avro (504), did couple of Immelman turns, up for 20 minutes.
Sunday March 3rd:
Arose at 6:30.Up with West-Whyte for 30 mins. He calmly jumped out and sent me up alone. (after about 3 hours of dual instruction in an Avro with 'West-Whyte' over the past 3 weeks) I did 2 circuits, first landing rough, second landing average, up for 10 minutes solo. Retired about 9 PM.
Tuesday March 5th:
Arose at 5:30 AM. Up at 6:00 on '82. Petrol feed broke, forced landing. Time up 5 minutes. Up on '76 for 25 minutes. Inlet valve went at 4000 feet over Tewfik. Got back to camp.
Tuesday March 12th:
Arose at 5:00 am. Hung around tarmac, went to ranges. Attached to Parnell for instruction.
Saturday March 9th:
Was up for 25 mins, 3 landings, engine missing. Took up another buss for 25 mins., damn bumpy. Got into a flat spin. Made fair landings although very windy and bumpy. Printed pictures of myself in Avro taken in my machine by Bouchier.
Monday March 11th:
Raining and windy. Up for 10 mins. Got caught in rain cloud, started raining again, flying stopped. Transferred from A Flight to B Flight. Through with Gnomes (Rotary Engines) now on Monos (Monosoupapes)
Tuesday March 12th:
Hung around Tarmac, went to Ranges. Attached to Parnell for instruction.
Wednesday March 13th:
Up for 45 mins dual with Parnell. Did turns steep & shallow, 8000 ft. Did a spin & 4 cart wheels. Read all afternoon, played violin in evening.
Thursday March 14th:
40 mins with Capt. Stovell.
Saturday March 16:
Up for 50 mins with Tidmarch. Said my flying was good. Stunted me, felt rather giddy.
Tuesday March 19th:
Arose at 7:00 AM. Did 45 minutes in 7806. Switch on buss broke. Up again for 60 minutes in 4286, 5 landings. Did 30 minutes in afternoon, 5 landings.
Wednesday March 20th:
Arose at 7:30 AM. Was up for 15 mins and 50 mins on 3223. Had close call. Did 55 minutes in afternoon. (the close call, entered on the previous page, was:
"this morning I got into a spin 200 feet off the ground. I just got out in time. After that I felt - well not exactly pensive yet happy")
Thursday March 21st:
Arose 7:30 AM. Cold Shower. up for 65 mins. Up again for 65 mins. in afternoon. Caulfield did spin into ground. Passed MG and CC gear (machine gun & interrupter ?) Camford crashed, flat turn spin. Stayed home all evening, retired at 9:30.
Saturday March 23rd:
Arose at 7 AM. Cold shower. up for 1:20 without landing. Very cold at 8000', also bumpy. Graduated with total time 20 hours 7 mins..
Monday March 25th:
Arose at 5 AM. Packed up bed and roll. Left for Cairo SAG on 7:15 Tram, arrived and had lunch at Shepherd's Hotel. Reported to Adjutant of 38 Squadron S.A.G. In hut with Grant and Spalding. In bed at 9, Frank came and pulled me out and we went downtown, had a great time, danced, etc.
Tuesday March 26th:
Arose at 7:30. Up 3 times, fired at trenches, made 28 out of 40 with Lewis. Fired at truck with Vickers. Went solo on BE2E after three landings.
Wednesday March 27th:
Up with Lewis, fired at silhouettes (planes)