Up In The Air
The World War I Diaries of Balloonist Cyril Gordon Jones
10 MON. Blustery cold day.
Called at Canadian Corps HQ at Abrele and arranged about tents and chutes for No15. Then inspected windscreens with Major of No15 Sect. Went to No9 and met Curwin who talked about Scammel winch, which I think is rotten and will probably capsize in a wind. Various things wrong with it. Had fire in evening. Very cold.
11 TUES. Windy day. Both balloons up for short time. Stringer lunched here.
Stringer, Raffles and I went to Hazebruck to tea and afterwards to Burnetts’ concert where – Romford sang. Excellent concert. Met Carr and Scott Brown 5th Lancers. Took them back to No9 Sectn where we all dined and got a bit merry. Played roulette after dinner. Made 1fr! Arrived home at 2.30am. Wrote Brenda. Got to bed 3.30am. Heard from Warren.
12 WED. Cold windy day. No ballooning.
No15 Sectn arrived. Major and I went to level crossing W of Pop and found them and conducted them to Ouderdoine. Tents and rations for them. Capt Russell had tea here. Major hit with shell splinter in Pop which was being heavily shelled.
13 THUR. Cold wet day.
Spent most of day at No 15 Sectn showing them round. Took Nicholson their A EOA to Supply Dump. Dined at No9 to celebrate Maclean’s Observers Badge. Plenty of Champagne. Won a few francs at Roulette.
14 FRI. Misty day. Went to No15 in the morning. Arranged with Belgian liaison Officer for a field for No17’s camp etc. Strap about telephone wires. Gen Webb Bowen and Col Longcroft were at No15. Went to Hazebruck with Gavin and brought back a Balloon Officer named Jenkinson.
15 SAT. Spent all morning and afternoon at No15 Sectn. Lunched there. Inflated balloon in afternoon with air. Rather porous and apparently not a good one. Deflated and packed up for night.
Thornton and Fielden (attached to No2 Sectn) dined at Squadron.
16 SUN. 4th after Trinity. Wet cold day. No ballooning.
Went to No15 in morning and inflated balloon with air again. Had tea at No9 and inspected their Vickers gun and gear. Gun rigged on post. Quite effective and easy to manipulate. Russell, Bradford and Owen dined here.