Up In The Air
The World War I Diaries of Balloonist Cyril Gordon Jones
18 MON. Very misty and wet all day. Bolitho and Bevan lunched here. Went to Bailleul with Bolitho in Major’s car in afternoon. Walked back with Bolitho. Had tea and dinner at No2.
19 TUES. Much warmer. Misty in morning. Fair view in afternoon. Went to La Clite with Gavin and inspected 105 battery’s old position. Col Murphy lunched here.
Went to No 15 in Cols car after lunch. Visited 18 pdr battery in action in front of Dickiebush. Had tea at No 15.
20 WED. Wet windy day. Went to No 9 in morning. They had just had lunch so I did not have any.
Took Stringer to Hazebruck in afternoon. Went to 2 A A P then to Hotel de la Bourse. Then to another place where we had a bottle of fizz. Pouring wet and very cold all day. Whitaker dined here.
21 THUR. Fine still day.
I was ordered to send to 11th Wing. Inspctd positions of all hostile balloons in their Sectn. 3 ascended ½ an hour after one another. Their position and height were sent in. 2 came down. The remaining one P2S sheet 29 was attacked by a De Havilland Scout about 12.45 and when about 100ft from the ground burst into flame. It was burnt out in 5 seconds. Dense cloud of black smoke followed The machine used incendiary bullets.
22 FRI. Fine day. Ballooning all day.
Many targets done, 16 in all. Went to No 9 in morning and had lunch, then to graves Commission in Bailleul to see about Chisnells grave. Went to Elverdinghe and searched Church yard for his grave but could not find it. Church yard was full of shell holes and many of graves destroyed.
23 SAT. Beautiful fine morning but misty.
German aeroplane came over about 8am and flew straight over our quarters.. Archies opened fire. 2 bits of shell fell on our hut making large dent in corrugated iron roof. Shrapnel bullets were falling all round. Kept splinter which fell over my bed.
Heard from Brenda wishing me happy returns of tomorrow.
24 SUN. 14th after Trinity. Very fine hot day. Balloons up in afternoon. Went to No9 in morning and had lunch. Major Robinson (2nd A A P) came to tea and dinner and played poker afterwards. Major MacN won 170 frs.