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The Fernhurst Society

Tales from the Archives - 24

Aerial Combat 1916 Style

Capt O T Boyd, MC, 5th Cavalry, att. RFC sent this contribution for the Special War Number (no 3) of the Fernhurst Parish Magazine:

‘We had rather an exciting show yesterday evening.  Six of us were in it – our job was an ‘offensive patrol’, ie sitting about over the far side of the line for about two hours to keep the Huns from flying.

I was leading and was flying a new machine but there was something wrong with my top gun which went off by itself and eventually jammed so I was minus a gun.

We crossed the line alright, the Huns being peculiarly unpleasant and chucking up clouds of shells quite unpleasantly accurately – they succeeded in spoiling two of my wings which have had to be changed since. 

All went well for about a quarter of an hour.  I was studying my map to make sure we were on our proper beat, when I heard a machine gun popping and felt a thump in the seat of my trousers! I looked up to find a Hun about 25 yards off letting fly at me with his gun. I turned ‘some’ and got my side gun into him, the rest of us also got on to him and we must have riddled his machine with bullets.

Don’t imagine that these shows are anything out of the ordinary.  I only tell you about them, because I know it interests you, but the same sort of thing is happening every day.’

If you would like to know more about this story, or research other local topics, the Archive is open on Tuesdays, 2.30-5pm in the Village Hall. Other times by arrangement.

Christine Maynard
Fernhurst Archive

One of a series of short articles bringing you some of the incidents from our rich village history. Collated by Christine Maynard, based on documents preserved at the Fernhurst Archives, these originally were published in the monthly Fernhurst News.

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