Letter to Will from F Hammond 7 Jun 15

62210 RE

9th Scottish Div

Sig Co

28th Inf Bde

7th June 1915

Dear Will

Just a line to let you know I am still kicking about.  Sorry I did not get a chance to see you before I landed in Flanders.  We are all in the pink here altho I had the misfortune to fall off a geegee the other day and knocked my arm a bit however it is nearly OK now.  We are billeted in a farm attached to a chateau.  There are some very old fashioned places in this part.  The beer here is very weak in fact it takes no notice of you however

 

We had a move yday and find that there is more go in it.  There are some Indian troops in this part so we have commenced eating curry which makes you think you have swallowed the cruet in fact it makes you swear in Indostani.  We are not allowed to say anything about military matters as it rather spoils one of giving many interesting incidents.  I had a bath in a small tub the other day which was rather amusing.  I got your cigarettes OK, in fact they have all vanished by now.  We get some given us every week but we have some many opportunities to smoke that they don’t last long & the ones you buy here are nothing like English.  Our Brigade have been in the trenches altho I have not had the chance yet.  They say they are simply great.  Parts being laid out with flower beds they have different names such as Kew Gardens . Harley Street Ldn. Bridge, the last name is a real bridge in the trenches.  The entrance is named Shaftesbury Avenue owing to the rows of trees.  In fact it is like being in Ldn without the busses & busers.  You are quite safe in the trenches as long as you keep your napper down but pop it up even only for a second and they’ve got you.

I had a letter from Geo about a week ago.  I was rather surprised about A Boon.  I hope Geo manages something.

Had a postcard from Gladys.  I hear Mar & Gladys have been to Blackpool.  I think Mar should get about a bit now she has the chance.

Well I don’t think I have anything else to say.  Will drop you a line again soon.  Am always glad to get a letter or post card.  We have a mail here once a day.

So Bye Bye old sport for the present.  Remember me to the Bhoys

Bungy

 

 

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June 1915

On the 7th June 1915 Reginald (Rex) Warneford was serving in the 1st Squadron of the Royal Naval Air Service based at Veurne on the Belgian coast. He flew a Morane-Saulnier Type L aircraft. Warneford encountered and attacked the German airship LZ37 on the coast near Ostend in Belgium He chased the airship from the coast to Ghent, Belgium. He succeeded in dropping several bombs on it despite the airship’s defensive machine-gun fire. The final bomb exploded and set the airship on fire. The explosion caused his aircraft engine to stop and the aircraft to overturn. He managed to land in enemy territory and after spending some time on repairs he took off and returned to his base. For this action, Warneford was awarded the Victoria Cross.

 

10th June 1915 saw the 5th Nigerian Regiment taking the stronghold of Garua in the German Cameroon in Africa. There had been fighting in the Cameroon since the outbreak of war. Fighting had been between British native forces led by British officers and German troops.

 

The French Army launched a second attempt to seize Vimy Ridge on the 16th June 1915. The improvised German defences began an intensive artillery bombardment but despite this, the French army achieved their initial objective. German forces counter attacked, and just as they did after first Vimy Ridge assault, the French called off the attack. The losses on both sides were huge with the French suffering 100,000 casualties and the Germans suffering 60,000.

 

Once Italy’s entry into the war, the First Battle of Isonzo began on 23rd June 1915. The Italians did not possess a particularly efficient or effective army but it required the Austrian army to oppose them. The alpine border between Italy and Austria favoured the defence by the Austrian army. The Austrians had taken up strong defensive positions on high ground against Italian attack. The initial gains by the Italians were soon repulsed with heavy casualties on both sides. This battle was the first of many Battles of Isonzo before the end of the war.

 

By Italy entering the war, significant Central Power front line troops were redirected to  face the Italians rather than engaging in other theatres of war on the Eastern and Western Front.