Up In The Air
The World War I Diaries of Balloonist Cyril Gordon Jones
25 MON. Very fine hot sunny day. Went to No15 in morning with Major. Had lunch and took Bevan in my tender to Cassell in afternoon. Lovely afternoon but rather misty. Visited Church at Cassell. Ballooning in afternoon.
26 TUE. Fine hot day but misty. Ballooning in afternoon.
27 WED. Fine lovely day. Went to Hazebruck in afternoon.
German balloon broke away near Bethune and floated across our lines. Observer jumped out in parachute but fouled tail. Whilst in that position one of 29 Squdn’s machines brought balloon down in flames. Observer taken prisoner and unhurt. We had orders to collect all debris.
28 THUR. Working most of last night getting remains of balloon. Laid it out at No2 and thoroughly examining it. It was only 1/3 burnt. Tested German parachute with ours. German one best although made of very coarse print calico.
29 FRI. All day preparing report and drawings of German balloon, comparing it with ours. Fabric much better than ours. Rigging much larger and heavier. No picketing lines. Cable 7.5 mm.
Went to No9 for tea and took Stringer’s leave ticket. His leave commences today. Wet cold day.
30 SAT. Fine day but strong wind at 2000ft
No15 tried this morning and had tension of 47 cwt on their cable. Windy, stopped twice. Went to Hazebruck with fortnightly indents. Stayed to dinner with 2nd A A P. Played dice, lost 8 Francs. Ballooning in afternoon.
OCT. 1 SUN. 15th after Trinity. Fin still day. Splendid view. Balloons up all day. Summary of evidence taken at No2 Sectn in Morning, relating to Keech taking 14 lbs of sugar.
Belgian balloon burnt by German aeroplane, first attack on our balloons.