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History of No.14 Balloon Section

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Topic: History of No.14 Balloon Section
Posted By: ROBPUGH
Subject: History of No.14 Balloon Section
Date Posted: 28 Jun 2014 at 11:33
History of No.14 Balloon Section R.F.C. & R.A.F
1916 –1918
Transcribed by Robert Pugh from AIR1/163/15/131/1 – History of 14 Balloon Section R.A.F. 1916 –1918
 
(a). Formed at Roehampton, the 1st May 1916.
 
(b). Proceeded overseas 25th May 1916, landed at Le Havre and sent to Rouen. C.O. Capt. Faithful.
 

(g). Notable Parachute Descents

 
Lt. Simpson was burnt in a twin-basket Cacquot. Both observers jumped but the balloon caught up Lt. Simpson and he was badly burnt and died afterwards.
               
Lt. Cleaver parachuted from balloon which burst at 4000 feet. The balloon caught him up and the suction closed his parachute; he fell rapidly with the balloon and was killed.
               
Lt. Holloway did 3 parachute descents from burning balloons.
 
21/4/17 & 4/5/17 – Lt. Sharp parachuted from burning balloons. On the latter occasion Lt. Sharp stayed in the basket firing his revolver at the E.A. although the balloon was well alight.
 
(h). Notable Achievements of Section
 
19th Aug 17
13 shoots and much movement.
20th Aug 17
14 shoots.
22nd Mar 18
Last balloon in air in 5th Army.
20th May 18
13 shoots.
5th June 18
11 shoots.
15th June 18
14 shoots.
17th June 18
16 shoots.
19th June 18
21 shoots.
13th July 18
14 shoots.
16th July 18
21 shoots.
17th July 18
11 shoots.
21st July 18
20 shoots.
8th Aug 18
21 shoots. (2nd Battle of the Somme)
7th Sept 18
Moved forward 8000 yards.
6th Oct 18
Moved forward 8100 yards.
24th Oct 18
Moved forward 9000 yards.
28th Oct 18
5 shoots, 22 NF’s and much Intelligence.
Balloon worked at distance of 3000 yards.
2nd Nov 18
11 shoots.
7th Nov 18
Much Intelligence.
 
(i). Honours and Congratulations
 
28/7/16 & 5/1/17 – Congratulated by Brigade on number of shoots and good work done.
 
17th Aug 17 – Congratulated by 35th Division Artillery.
 
D.F.C., Lt. Annan, T.C.
M.M., 22074 Cpl. Jones, D.J. and A/1st A.M. Taylor, H.
Mentioned in Dispatches, F/Sgt. Clarke, J.
 
This Section has remained with 14 Company ever since the Company was formed.
 
Section moved forward over 50 miles from Aug. 8th to Nov. 1918.
 
 

14 BALLOON SECTION

 
(1)
Date
(2)
Station
(3)
Type of Balloon used
(4)
Name of C.O.
(5)
Section Commander
(6)
Wing and Brigade
(7)
No. of times Balloon destroyed by E.A.
 
25/5/16
 
Buire-sur-Ancre
 
Drachan
 
Capt. Faithful
 
No.1 K.B. Sqdn.
4th Bde.
 
Nil.
29/7/16
Dernancourt
do.
do.
 
do.
do.
 
4/8/16
 
Meaulte
do.
Cacquot
 
do.
 
 
do.
 
do.
19/9/16
Carnoy
Cacquot
do.
 
do.
do.
 
30/9/16
 
Mametz
 
do.
 
Maj. Faithful
 
Lt. Simpson
4th Balloon Wing,
4th Bde.
 
do.
 
28/1/17
 
Cappy
 
do.
do.
Capt. Buchanan
 
Lt. Cleaver
 
4th Balloon Wing.
 
One.
7/4/17
Hamelet
do.
do.
do.
do.
Nil.
8/4/17
Marquaise
do.
do.
do.
do.
do.
9/4/17
Roisel
do.
do.
do.
do.
do.
10/4/17
Hamelet
do.
do.
do.
do.
do.
16/4/17
Hervilly
do.
do.
do.
do.
Two.
6/5/17
Villers Faucon
do.
do.
do.
do.
Nil.
21/7/17
do.    do.
do.
Capt. Robotham
Lt. Scanlon
3rd Balloon Wing.
do.
24/8/17
Lieramont
do.
do.
do.
do.
do.
2/9/17
Hervilly
do.
do.
do.
do.
do.
 
12/3/18
 
do.
 
do.
 
do.
 
do.
5th Balloon Wing,
5th Bde.
 
do.
22/3/18
Villers Carbonnel
do.
do.
do.
do.
do.
 
12/4/18
 
Behencourt
 
Cacquot
 
Capt. Robotham
 
Lt. Annan
5th Balloon Wing,
5th Bde.
 
Nil.
25/4/18
Bazieux
do.
do.
do.
do.
do.
 
Warloy
do.
do.
do.
do.
do.
7/8/18
Hennencourt Wood
do.
do.
do.
do.
do.
16/8/18
Millencourt
do.
do.
do.
do.
do.
21/8/18
Albert
do.
do.
do.
do.
do.
24/8/18
Becordel
do.
do.
do.
do.
do.
28/8/18
Fricourt
do.
do.
do.
do.
do.
29/8/18
Mametz
do.
do.
do.
do.
do.
30/8/18
Montauban
do.
do.
do.
do.
do.
3/9/18
Combles
do.
do.
do.
do.
do.
4/9/18
Rancourt
do.
do.
do.
do.
do.
6/9/18
Nurlu
do.
do.
do.
do.
One.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
18/9/18
Saulcourt
do.
do.
do.
do.
One.
26/9/18
Villers Faucon
do.
do.
do.
do.
One.
29/9/18
St. Emilie
do.
do.
do.
do.
Nil.
5/9/18
Bony
do.
do.
do.
do.
do.
8/9/18
Beaurevoir
do.
do.
do.
do.
do.
13/9/18
Bertry
do.
do.
do.
do.
do.
22/9/18
Reumont
do.
do.
do.
do.
do.
24/9/18
Le Forest
do.
do.
do.
do.
do.
 
Pommeruil
do.
do.
do.
do.
do.


-------------
Robert



Replies:
Posted By: NickForder
Date Posted: 28 Jun 2014 at 14:54
The Capatin Robotham is probably 2Lt Gordon Blews Robotham, Sherwood Foresters, Temp Captain attached RFC


Posted By: Ian Burns
Date Posted: 28 Jun 2014 at 15:40
Very interesting Rob.

Have you located any other KBS histories?

Ian


Posted By: ROBPUGH
Date Posted: 29 Jun 2014 at 12:11
Thanks Nick for info on Robotham.
 
Ian - I also have the 19 K.B.S. History. I'll transcribe it and post it on the forum.
I have got a copy of a file (AIR1/1004/204/5/1269) containing information on balloon casualties that makes interesting reading.
Here are a couple: -
 

To: -

H.Q., R.F.C.

----------------

 

Date 20-9-17.

 

Casualty report on Balloon No. B.M.A. 9D.

on charge of 2nd Balloon Wing, Section No.9.

Date of issue (to section): 28-8-17. Hours flown: 49 hours 14 minutes.

Details as to why Balloon is unserviceable:

 

Destroyed by Shell fire 19-9-17.

Number of holes or small rips – approximately – 200.

Disc of valve pierced.

Position of holes fairly evenly distributed over whole Balloon.

 

Previous damage.

 

17-9-17. 5 bullet holes.

16-9-17. 2 bullet holes.

12-9-17. 17 shrapnel holes.

11-9-17. 22 shrapnel holes.

7-9-17. 2 holes in envelope.

1 hole in Ballonnet.

            1 hole in Port Elevator.
 

To: -

H.Q., R.F.C.

----------------

 

Date 29-10-17.

 

Casualty report on Balloon No. F.M.118/D.

on charge of 1st Balloon Wing, Section No.20.

Date of issue: 13-10-17. Hours flown: 23 hours 9 minutes.

Details as to why Balloon is unserviceable:

 

On the morning of the 29th October 1917, at 8.0 a.m. the above balloon ascended to a height of 3,000 feet with Lieutenant J.H. O’Connell and Captain J.L. Fry.

 

At 8.17 a.m. the winch telephonist informed the balloon that an E.A. was seen approaching the balloon from the East.

 

The aeroplane when noticed by the observers was about 2,000 yards away and at a height of approximately 3,500 feet.

 

The aeroplane opened fire at a distance of 1,500 yards diving towards the balloon, setting it on fire.

 

Both observers descended safely in their parachutes.

 

Our four Lewis guns fired three drums, one gun went out of action owing to return spring breaking.

 

I beg to point out that no warning was received of approaching E.A. from the A.A. Battery in the vicinity and it was not until both observers had left the basket that three rounds were fired.

 

The aeroplane after encircling the balloon made off in an Easterly direction.

 

On examining the basket several bullet holes were found, which leads to the belief that the basket was aimed at.



-------------
Robert


Posted By: NickForder
Date Posted: 29 Jun 2014 at 14:15
I'd be interested in anything you come across for Lieutenant Thomas Guinan, General List attached RFC/RAF, commissioned from 16th Manchesters (formerly 6993 WO2/RQMS), who was a KB officer.

His MIC notes him as having served at 2 BTD, Richmond Park, so his medal entitlement might be linked solely to his service with the Mancs (to BEF 7.11.1915) and he may never have served overseas with a KB unit.

He was a commercial traveller from Ormskirk, having served previously with the 4th Volunteer Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. the 16th Mancs were the 1st Manchester Pals. 


Posted By: Ian Burns
Date Posted: 29 Jun 2014 at 15:26
Rob,
I've been working on the RNAS Balloon Sections at Gallipoli. They had their problems with German/Turkish aeroplanes and shrapnel, but nothing compared to the Western Front sections.

You have to admire those old balloonatics, sitting up there with their balloons almost flashing a neon sign saying - Here I am, come and get me!
The early balloons were all a bright yellow as well, only later were they finished in various type of camouflage.

One thing I have learnt during my research is that there are huge gaps in our knowledge of balloon operations, Western Front and all the Sideshows. I also have, as mentioned above, an enormous respect for those guys.

Any chance you might have a Journal article in the works? I am about to inflict my RNAS research on Mick - Sorry, Mick.

Ian


Posted By: NickForder
Date Posted: 29 Jun 2014 at 16:53
Not that I disagree that more should be published on them, but wasn't there been a C&CI Journal devoted to the Balloonatics ?
Certainly, an article noting where the various KBS served would be very useful.
It is notable how many KBS members were 'combed out' in 1917/18 for transfer to the infantry, to be replaced by lower medical grade men, many of whom weren't physically capable of taking on the work involved.
I interviewed a 6 Sqn pilot many years ago who had had a trip in a balloon as part of an exchange deal agreed with his CO. The balloon was attacked by an aircraft and the observer ordered the pilot to jump. He was reluctant, having never used a parachute. He was told to jump anyway as instructions would be shouted to him on the way down...


Posted By: Ian Burns
Date Posted: 29 Jun 2014 at 22:17
Some notes I've made on the early all RNAS KBS.

Note on the Numbering of Kite Balloon Sections.

In the beginning there was the RNAS who had charge of all things lighter than air.
1 KBS went to Gallipoli on Manica.
2 KBS went to France.
3 KBS went to Gallipoli on Hector.
4 KBS went to France.
5 KBS went to Dover with Menelaus. Later transferred to City of Oxford?
6 KBS went to France.
7 KBS went to Gallipoli on Canning, then served in Salonika.
8 KBS went to France
9 KBS to 12 KBS to France?
13 KBS to Egypt and Aden.
14 KBS and on ??? - was 14KBS originally an RNAS unit?

Sensibly, in the autumn of 1915 responsibility for KBS in France was transferred to the RFC.
It appears that the RFC continued numbering KBS consecutively. However, it also seems that they reused 1 and 3 KBS which were in France by the early 1916. War in the Air, Vol 2, p.196 notes on 1 April 1916: ‘No.1 Kite Balloon Squadron (Nos. 1 and 3 Sections)’ was part of IV Brigade. Probably, 5 and 7 KBS were also reused.

As Manica returned to UK before the end of 1915, the reuse of 1 KBS may not have caused any confusion.
Hector remained at Gallipoli until May (?) 1916, so numbering of 3 KBS may have briefly been duplicated.
Canning remained at Gallipoli and Salonika until July (?) 1916. Her 7 KBS was transferred ashore in May 1916 and was ordered home in October (AIR 1/658/17/122/582).

Not much, but it's a start.



Posted By: ROBPUGH
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2014 at 19:17

Nick,

I have checked the Nominal Roll of R.F.C. Units (Overseas) (AIR1/1214/204/5/2630) and can find no mention of Thomas Guinan with any of the balloon units. This roll covers the period Nov. 17 to Jan. 18 (approx), so it would appear he was not in France at this time. If I find anything on your man I will let you know.

 

Ian,

Unfortunately I don’t feel I’m clever enough to write an article for the journal. I find it hard to string all my research together into an interesting narrative. Confused But never say never, it might happen one day. That said, I’m more than happy to pass on information I find. Big smile

Your right about those balloon chaps, a very brave bunch of men.

I don’t have any information on the R.N.A.S. Kite Balloon Sections, but the following might be of interest.

 

The below list is extracted from AIR1/1214/204/5/2630 – Nominal Roll of R.F.C. Units (Overseas) With Lists of Officers and Aerial Gunners. Jan.1918. (More accurately Nov. 17 to Jan. 18).

 

France

 

1st Balloon Wing Headquarters.

Lt.-Col. P.K. Wise, D.S.O. Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Wing Commander.

Capt. M.W. Bovill. R.F.C. (S.R.) Adjutant.

Lt. S.S. Dixon. R.F.C. (S.R.) E.O.2.

1st Balloon Company (8 & 20 Sections).

2nd Balloon Company (Page missing).

3rd Balloon Company (30 & 37 Sections).

4th Balloon Company (40, 42 & 46 Sections).

 

2nd Balloon Wing Headquarters.

Lt.-Col. H.M. Meyler, M.C. Border Regiment. Wing Commander.

Capt. C.B. Baker. Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. Adjutant.

Lt. G.R. Nicholson. R.F.C. (S.R.) A/E.O.2.

5th Balloon Company (2 & 25 Sections).

6th Balloon Company (16 & 32 Sections).

7th Balloon Company (15, 18, 36, 38 & 47 Sections).

8th Balloon Company (23 & 39 Sections).

11th Balloon Company (9 Section).

13th Balloon Company (3 & 4 Sections).

17th Balloon Company (13 Section).

 

3rd Balloon Wing Headquarters.

Lt.-Col. F.H. Cleaver, D.S.O. General List. Wing Commander.

Capt. J.G. Howell, M.C. Royal Artillery. Adjutant.

2/Lt. R.P. Lamb. General List. Recording Officer.

Lt. G.F. Golding. R.F.C. (S.R.) E.O.2.

10th Balloon Company (5 & 28 Sections).

12th Balloon Company (35 & 45 Sections).

18th Balloon Company (1 & 31 Sections).

19th Balloon Company (11 & 44 Sections).

 

3rd (Corps) Wing Headquarters.

Capt. W.L. Burt. Essex Regiment. Adjutant.

Lt. H.L. Horn. R.F.C. (S.R.) E.O.2.

16th Balloon Company (12 & 43 Sections).

 

5th Balloon Wing Headquarters.

Lt.-Col. Hon. A.L. Byng. R.F.C. (G.L.) Wing Commander.

Capt. A.J.R. Waller. Essex Regiment. Adjutant.

Lt. R.F. Howard. R.F.C. (S.R.) E.O.2.

14th Balloon Company (14 & 29 Sections).

15th Balloon Company (19 & 41 Sections).

 

Middle East (I think)

 

6th Balloon Wing Headquarters.

21st Balloon Company Headquarters.

49 Balloon Section.

50 Balloon Section.

 

53 Balloon Section.

54 Balloon Section.

 

22nd Balloon Company Squadron (26 & 27 Sections).

 

23rd Balloon Company Headquarters (51 & 52 Sections).

 

57 Balloon Section (Aden).

-------------
Robert


Posted By: NickForder
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2014 at 19:35
The C&CI Journal did a KBS 'special' in 1996 (Vol 27 No 3), with articles, mostly, by David Hide.

So, I think that we are long overdue for another one ?

I have another account of the tethered balloon that was blown loose in a storm incident (mentioned in Morris' 'The Balloonatics') which I can offer, if anyone is interested ?

Does the Royal Aero Club have albums for the Aeronauts' tickets ?


Posted By: Ian Burns
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2014 at 21:23
Does the Royal Aero Club have albums for the Aeronauts' tickets? - Some of the earlier ones are there. I don't know whether records were kept during the war.

I'll take a look at the earlier C&C.

A very comprehensive account, with nice cover art by Peter Green and Joe Michie. The drawings from various manuals are reproduced as a fold out drop in - Drachen, Caquot and many of the adaptations to ships for fleet use at sea.
I only feel 'qualified' to comment on the early history of RNAS kite balloons and David covered the Gallipoli campaign in two paragraphs - I regret my article uses very many more.

I don't believe the article can be usefully updated. But there is plenty of opportunity to enhance with new research and detailed articles on individuals and units.

I'll stick to my RNAS research, but thanks for the offer. Surely, someone else will have a go.


Posted By: Ian Burns
Date Posted: 30 Jun 2014 at 22:10
David Hide also has a brief but interesting article on KBs with the Grand Fleet - All At Sea, V32N3.


Posted By: ROBPUGH
Date Posted: 03 Jul 2014 at 10:13

Because my main reply is ‘Pending Approval’, Confused here is another casualty report you might find interesting in the meantime.

 

 

To: -

H.Q., R.F.C.

----------------

 

Date 28-11-17.

 

Casualty report on Balloon No. F.M.86D.

on charge of 2nd Balloon Wing, Section No.2.

Date of issue: 23-10-17. Hours flown: 54.

 

Details as to why Balloon is unserviceable: -

Balloon was lost at 2.15 p.m.

A heavy gust of wind struck the balloon while being taken from the winch to the bed.

Owing to the slippery ground and obstacles intervening – e.g., a line of pollard willows – the crew failed to hold her, and the balloon blew away.

 

H.Q.,

2nd Brigade, R.F.C.

-------------------------

Herewith report on loss of balloon F.M.86.

I have investigated the matter, and am of opinion that the loss was due to an accident.

The position from which the balloon ascended has been in use since July, and is considered a safe one.

The Flight Sergeant, who was in charge of the crew, which was above the standard strength, is a capable N.C.O., and Lieut. Giffard, acting O.C., No.2 Section, was Ground Officer.

The wind was not unduly high whilst the balloon was in the air, and it was hauled down when the wind commenced to rise.

The suddenness and nature of the gust which caught the Balloon probably made it quite impossible to rip.

The basket had been detached, but the balloon itself is believed to have been lost over the enemy lines.

28th November 1917.

 

 

No.1 Squadron report Balloon seen to be brought down by E.A. over TOURCOING, after having been fired at by E.A.

-------------
Robert


Posted By: Ian Burns
Date Posted: 03 Jul 2014 at 14:48
Yes, the "Pending Approval" does seem to be stalled at the moment - I've had one stuck there for almost a week now.
Webmaster please note!

The loss report was very interesting. Mainly because it confirms that there was some form of serial number attached to the kite balloons.

I have seen the following associated with 13 KBS, RNAS, at Aden :
AM 74, BM 173 and SB 239.

Yet another mystery waiting to be investigated.


Posted By: KK
Date Posted: 04 Jul 2014 at 12:54
Major Faithful had a DSO but that might be for action in a Scottish regiment pre RFC

-------------
KK


Posted By: NickForder
Date Posted: 05 Jul 2014 at 11:34
GFB Faithfull, Major(KBO) in the April 1918 Air Force List.
Are sure about the DSO ? There is no listing in the DSO book or the Honours & Awards supplement to the Army List.


Posted By: NickForder
Date Posted: 07 Jul 2014 at 11:21
The Royal Aero Club does have balloon pilots' licence photo albums (they are on Ancestry) but many KBOs didn't get licences because they required experience with free reand that was available in England only and Trenchard was reluctant to send KBOs home to train for a pointless qualification (there being no free balloons in France).

I   re-read Alan Morris' 'The Balloonatics' over the weekend. Though it is a good read, it remains limited in that it concentrates on (relatively) unusual incidents (like attacks by aircraft), even though the author makes mention of trying to convey something of the routine nature of the work. One does wonder what happened to the veterans interviews, as only extracts are included in the book ?

Generally, though, the book suffers from the same fault as Farndale's 'History of the Royal Artillery : Western Front 1914-1918', in that it contains lots of information but it is extremely difficult to determine what specific units were doing at a specific time. So, for instance, 12 KB Company, 3 Balloon Wing, was with VI Corps on 11.11.1918, but where was VI Corps and what were the artillery units the KBs  were working with ?

So, a Journal article on movements and artillery unit associations for KB units would be greatly appreciated (by me, at least !).

I presume that the KBS would have a war diary, or would this be kept by the Company or Wing ? Next task is tracking the movements of 45 KBS 2.6.1918 to 1.1.1919... 


Posted By: NickForder
Date Posted: 07 Jul 2014 at 16:36
According to TNA Faithfull was a substantive Captain in the 126th Baluchis, Indian Army


Posted By: NickForder
Date Posted: 07 Jul 2014 at 16:41
Colonel George Ferdinand Hay Faithfull married  http://www.thepeerage.com/p55837.htm#i558366" rel="nofollow -      He was Officer, Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.).  He was Indian Army and Royal Air Force (d ) issue in 1942.


Posted By: NickForder
Date Posted: 07 Jul 2014 at 16:43
DODD, ALBERT, Lieut., Royal Air Force, 3rd son of Joseph (and Anna Maria) Dodd, of 304, New Chester Road, Port Sunlight. He was born 20 October 1898 in the parish of St Mary’s, Widnes, co. Lancaster. He completed his education at the West Bank Board Schools, Widnes, and was also educated at the Port Sunlight Schools, gaining a “Lever Scholarship” in July, 1911: continued his education at the Birkenhead Institute, and also gained an Oxford Junior and Senior Scholarship in 1914 and 1915. Certificates for the Lancashire and Cheshire Institute of Chemical Courses of 1915-16-17, and matriculated as a student of the London University in 1916. He was employed by Messrs’ Lever Brothers, Port Sunlight, as an Analytical Chemist. On 1 June 1917, at the age of 18 years and eight months, he joined the Artists’ Rifles OTC, and gained his commission to the Balloon Section, Royal Air Force, on 1 November 1917. He served with No.11 Balloon Section, British Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders, until 30 October 1918, when he was killed in action at Salache. Buried at Vicely, in a French cemetery. Lieut. Col. G F H Faithfull, command 3rd Balloon Wing, Royal Air Force, wrote: “Your son was a very promising officer and a good Observer, who had done a great deal of very valuable work during the strenuous times of the last few months,” and Major W Huxley: “He was one of my most keen young observers, and I was most interested in him, as he had shown great promise. He had, as you know, gained his Observer’s badge just before going.”"


Posted By: ROBPUGH
Date Posted: 08 Jul 2014 at 21:15

Thanks Nick and Ian for all the interesting information you have posted.

 

Can’t find anything specific to 45 Balloon Section but there are some files at TNA on 12 Balloon Company.

 

12 Balloon Company Summary of work Jan – May 18 (AIR1/1836/204/207/1)

12 Balloon Company Summary of work May – Nov 18 (AIR1/1837/204/207/3)

12 Balloon Company Field Returns Feb 17 – June 18 (AIR1/1836/204/207/2)

Operations and movements of 12 and 19 Balloon Company March – April 18 (AIR1/1804/204/158/17)

 

There are lots of files on 3 Balloon Wing (To many to list).

 

Field returns are great for information on Postings, Attachments, Leave, Promotions etc.

 

Ian, there is no doubt that balloons had serial numbers like aeroplanes. All the records I have seen referring to balloons state their serial number.

-------------
Robert


Posted By: KK
Date Posted: 18 Jul 2014 at 14:43
mea culpa,l once read some correspondance where Faithful mentioned a DSO , but he was congratulating a friend.

-------------
KK


Posted By: Family-Researcher
Date Posted: 12 Aug 2014 at 12:32
Albert Dodd was my Great Uncle. I came across this forum whilst researching the men who wrote to my Great Great Grandparents and were included in this biography of Albert from De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour. It was a surprise to find Albert mentioned here. I have now joined the forum and hope to learn more about 11 Kite Balloon Section, which I believe from my research was part of 19 Company. Thank you for including my Great Uncle here and ensuring he is remembered not only by his family. 


Posted By: Gordon
Date Posted: 31 Jan 2015 at 03:33
Hello,
I have recently joined this forum as my wife has asked me to do some research into her great-uncle. So I was very pleased when I cam across this forum and found him in your thread. He is Lt Col Hugh M Meyler, DSO, MC. 

My knowledge of what he did and where he did his service in France in the Balloon Corps is very limited. I know he was an artillery observer whilst in the army. He fought in South Africa, then the 4th Middx and then the 2nd Borders, before transferring to the the Balloon Corps:

Wing-Adjutant- 06.04 1916 Capt HM Meyler, MC from Border Regiment

In October 1915 he transferred to the 2nd Bn Border Regiment (20th Brigade in 7th Division) as a Captain but in March 1916 he joined the Royal Flying Corps. Appointed to the command of No. 5 Kite Balloon Company (Sections  2, 25 & 34), 2nd Kite Balloon Wing.

He also appears on the orbat in the 3rd Battle of Ypres – 31.07.1917 (Passchendaele).

Balloon Officer – Capt HM Meyler, MC from Adjutant. 26.06.1916

Flight Commander – 08.08, 1916 Capt HM Meyler, MC Border Regt, from Balloon Officer.

Balloon Wing Commander.—Capt. (Temp. Major) H. M. Meyler, M.C., Bord.R., from a Coy Comdr. (graded as a Sqdn. Comdr.), and to be Temp. Lieut.-Col. while so employed ; Nov. 22nd.1917.


I'd really appreciate it if anyone can enlighten me as to the movements of the units he served with in France. Particularly where the balloons were raised behind the lines, as I know it was quite a dangerous role.

Many thanks

Gordon



Posted By: brackles
Date Posted: 25 Jul 2015 at 14:02
This is a bit of a diversion I'm afraid but I'm baffled by an abbreviation in the Muster Roll. 13604 Sawyer D. J.  has a Trade Classification K.B.S.(SilPlt). Assuming that K.B.S is Kite Balloon Section (or similar) what does the SilPlt mean? 
There is also a similar Trade Classification, K.B.S.(B.P.), applied to several airman that appear on the same page - I haven't figured that out either!
Many thanks
Brackles
 


Posted By: Ian Burns
Date Posted: 25 Jul 2015 at 17:40
(SilPlt) is a reference to the Silicol hydrogen generating plant. A highly technical position.

(BP) has me foxed at the moment. B probably refers to Balloon, but what the P stands for...


Posted By: Errol Martyn
Date Posted: 25 Jul 2015 at 23:40
From a list of abbreviations file in AIR1 819/204/4/1316:

K.B.S. (Balloon Party) - K.B.S. (B.P.)
K.B.S. (Balloon Rigger) - K.B.S. Rigger
K.B.S. Fitter - K.B.S. (Ftr.)
K.B.S. Telephonist Learner - K.B.S. Tele. Lr.
K.B.S. (Winchdriver) - K.B.S. (WhD.)
K.B.S. (Winchdriver & Fitter) - K.B.S. (WnchD.F.)
Kite Balloon Section - K.B.S.
Kite Balloon Section - (Telephonist) - K.B.S. (Tele.)
Silicol Plant - (Sil.Plt.)

Errol

PS: I'm sure I've seen somewhere a list of KBSs and their locations. Can anyone remind me as to where it might be found?


Posted By: brackles
Date Posted: 26 Jul 2015 at 07:46
Many thanks, the best I could do was Silver Plate which seemed highly unlikely!
 
Brackles


Posted By: NickForder
Date Posted: 03 Aug 2015 at 18:12
17 KBS member found today :

Arthur Leslie Kent-Lemon
30.11.1889 Born
1913 Lieutenant Arthur Leslie Kent-Lemon, from 3rd Battalion, The Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) to The York and Lancaster Regiment. Gained commission in Special Reserve and transferred to a Regular Army commission without attending Sandhurst (London Gazette, 23.5.1913).
6.3.1914 Promoted Lieutenant, 1st Battalion, York & Lancaster Regiment
15.1.1915 Joined BEF in France
24.2.1916 Graduated as Kite Balloon Officer, Lieutenant, York & Lancaster Regiment, to be seconded to the Royal Flying Corps (London Gazette 7.3.1916)
1.4.1916 Captain/ Flight Commander, while seconded to Royal Flying Corps (London Gazette 10.5.1916)
6.9.1916 Left Balloon Training Depot, Roehampton, for embarkation to join 17 Kite Balloon Section, Salonika
24.11.1916 Posted from 17 KBS to Balloon Training Wing
21.12.1916 Joined Egyptian Army
24.11.1916 Promoted Captain, York & Lancaster Regiment (London Gazette 24.11.1916)
12.1.1917 Captain. Remains seconded for service with Egyptian Army (London Gazette 8.3.1917)
11.1919=5.1920 Involved in fighting the Aliab Dinka in Southern Sudan.
Awarded Sultan’s Sudan Medal.
To be Nominated Official in place of Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Stewart Davies CMG, DSO, Officer commanding troops, resigned (Kenya Gazette 19.7.1927)
13.7.1927 Provisional Appointment of Major AL Kent-Lemon as temporary Nominated official Member of the Legislative Council revoked (Kenya Gazette 31.1.1928)
13.7.1927 Major AL Kent-Lemon to be Acting Officer Commanding Troops, and Acting Officer Commanding 3rd Battalion, King’s African Rifles, with effect from 13 July 1927. (Kenya Gazette 26.1.1927)
25.4.19140 Appointed acting Commanding Officer of 15th Infantry Brigade, in Norway (1st Battalion, Green Howards, 1st Battalion, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, 1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment)
25.5.1940 Ceased to be acting Commanding Officer of 15th Infantry Brigade, in Norway.
8.6.1940 “This officer commanded the centre brigade when the Div was attacked by greatly superior enemy forces on June 9th. He showed the greatest courage and determination in dealing with the situation and directed a counter attack which recaptured a village captured by the enemy. Later when the brigade position became untenable he personally supervised the arrangements for withdrawal and showed great courage, resource and energy in extricating the remnants of the brigade from a most difficult position. His determination, energy and personal example throughout the operations 8/9 June were beyond all praise.” Recommended for a DSO by Major-General A.B. Beauman, Commander, Beauman Division, 10.6.1940. CBE awarded instead 20.8.1940.
1.7.1940 Appointed Commanding Officer, 36th Independent Brigade (6th Battalion, Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment, 7th Battalion, Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment (until 20 August 1942),36th Infantry Brigade Anti-Tank Company (formed 18 August 1940, disbanded 20 June 1941),8th Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (from 21 August 1942), 181st Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps (from 10 December 1941 until 22 June 1942)
22.6.1940 Ceased to be Commanding Officer, 36th Independent Brigade
20.12.1940 Mentioned in Despatches, for service with 15th Infantry Brigade Headquarters, in Norway
22.6.1942 Appointed Commanding Officer, 36th Brigade, North Africa
17.12.1942 Ceased to be Commanding Officer, 36th Brigade, North Africa
1952 The 'KING has been graciously pleased to sanction the following Promotions in, and Appointments to, the Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem: — Serving Brothers:- Brigadier Arthur Leslie Kent-Lemon, CBE

13.7.1970 Died


Posted By: KK
Date Posted: 12 Aug 2015 at 16:37
Originally posted by Ian Burns Ian Burns wrote:



(BP) has me foxed at the moment. B probably refers to Balloon, but what the P stands for...



Balloon Patcher?


Posted By: Errol Martyn
Date Posted: 12 Aug 2015 at 23:25
Originally posted by KK KK wrote:

Originally posted by Ian Burns Ian Burns wrote:



(BP) has me foxed at the moment. B probably refers to Balloon, but what the P stands for...



Balloon Patcher?


Kevin,

Already answered - see my post of 25 July.

Errol



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