Up In The Air
The World War I Diaries of Balloonist Cyril Gordon Jones
16 MON. Windy morning but fine in afternoon. No15’s winch was out of commission due to clutch leather having seized. Spent most of the day there. Finished at 9pm. Took men at Sqdn for run at 6am.
17 TUE. Fine still day. Misty in morning. No view. Later balloons up from 11.30 am. Had tea at No9.
18 WED. Wet and windy all morning. Major, Stringer and Thornton went to St Omer. I lunched at No2. Sun came out after lunch and Gavin went up in balloon. I did ground Officer. Major dined at No2.
19 THUR. Very wet morning. Went for run to barrier and back before breakfast. About 3 ½ miles, without stopping. Ordinary leave reopens on 23rd inst.
20 FRI. Fine day. Sharp frost at night and very cold. Fresh wind E. GHQ photo shoot carriedTues. out, all sections.
Two Gavins went on leave. I took them to Hazebruck via Cassell and caught 8.43pm train. Dined at Faucon, opposite Station.
21 SAT. Very clear fine day. Wind E.
Went to No2 and 9 in morning. Lunched with No9 and had a rag with Nops. I watched Nops and a Gunner named Formby go up at 3pm. Just started off with Fulton for Cassell when balloon attacked by German aeroplanes and burnt. Gunner got out in parachute but Nops remained in basket and was killed. He died a few minutes after being removed from basket. Spine broken in 2 places.
At once made arrangements for new balloon and gas.
22 SUN. 18th after Trinity. Got up early and went to No9, arrived at 6am. Installed new balloon which was ready to ascend at 12 midday.
Went to Nops funeral at Trois Arbres at 12.30.
Major went up in No9’s balloon at 2.30.