Up In The Air
The World War I Diaries of Balloonist Cyril Gordon Jones
13 MON. CO appointed me Balln Officer and 2nd in command of Sectn and I took over Executive Officer’s duties. Beautiful day. Visited 14 Corps HW with Buchanan and interviewed GSO2 QCRE and Staff Major CRE etc as to felling timber for windscreen supports and pulling down hops poles at new ground. Also visited 10th (Const G Co0RE, who showed me could not use line at new position for ballooning. Major dined.
14 TUES. Beautiful day. Hot and Sunny. Feeling much better and getting stronger. Selected 14 trees for new balloon bed wind screens.
15 WED. Another splendid day. Getting used to new Camp. I share a hut with Buchanan. Mess room not so nice as old one. Naval Sectn left on SAT and I just missed them. Chester is staying behind and transferring to RFC as Sergt. Balloon crew all raw hands and know nothing about anything. Ascertained that all letters are being returned to England.
16 THUR. Fine morning rain in afternoon. Visited Staff Major CRE 14th Corps HQ also DADAS. No letters up to present. He arranged to stop mail being returned to England. Lrs of 13th arrived this evening.
17 FRI. St Patrick’s Day. Fine still day. Felled 14 Poplar trees at old balloon ground at Coppernob siding. Letters coming regularly. Feeling better and stronger. Balloon not inflated pending removal.
18 SAT. Loaded 14 trees onto lone trucks and carted them to new Ground. Majs Mcneece and Wise called. Orders to stop work at new bed and remove to another place. Very sick of all this moving. Gingerbread arrived from Benny.
19 SUN. 2nd in Lent. Fine warm day. Shifted all gear to latest new bed. Capt Warren (Squadron Equipment Officer) called and instructed us in keeping new forms. Talked about night ascents. Seems no end to our work. Daily returns are increasing. Raffles and Nelson dined. Had not seen Raffles for about 2 years.
Bosche machine over our heads, heavily shelled. CO picked up an anti aircraft shell fuse on road which fell about 50 yds from us. Fight in air.