Capt W T L Allcock's
      RFC Diary



No 16 Squadron RFC April 1916 to May 1916

Captain Allcock's diary continued:

April 2nd   

Passenger Lt. Truscott.  Machine Test OK. 1/2 hr  

Gun flash patrol with 2nd Lt. Caton.  Train movement slight.  New assemble trenches located. 2 1/2 hrs

April 3rd    

Machine Test with 1 AM Rockcliffe. 15 mins

Photography with Lt. Truscott.  14 taken.  Height 4,500 ft. 3/4 hr

Machine test. 15 mins

April 5th

Gun Flash Patrol with 2 Lt. Caton,  Height 1500 ft.  3 flashes observed. Very amusing thing happened.  We fired into the trenches, the Huns replied at us.  Our men in the trenches fired at their machine gun  emplacements.  The Huns then turned 7 mm guns on.  We replied with 18 Ibs and some large stuff.  Finally a little bombardment was going on thus we managed to spot some flashes. 2 hrs

April 8th

2nd Lt. Logan machine tested after overhaul.  OK. 15 mins

Artillery Reg solo with 66th Siege 9.2 hours,  on anti-aircraft gun S6d 24- 2^.  Unsuccessful owing to wrong corrections.  Landed at battery position to enquire.  Stayed for tea.  Returned to aerodrome later. 2 hrs

April 9th  

Artillery Reg solo with 66th Siege.  Successful.  Anti-aircraft twenty rounds for effect.  Including 62 7 OK.   One shot (Z) gave a large flash which looked like ammunition exploded.  Height 2000 ft. 2 hrs

Bristol Scout engine test. 1 hr


Bristol Scout D similar to the C type referred to. Picture ©

April 10th 

With 2nd Lt. Caton went to St Omer to see Fokker machine which landed in our lines.  The pilot lost himself.  Brand new machine 1914 model. Gun firing through prop.  Efficiency 89 mph, climb poor.  Engine 100 hp Gnome. 3/4 hr

Photography with 2nd Lt. Caton.  12 taken.  Height 4,500 ft. 1 hr

History note

The end of the Fokker Scourge

Fokker EIII (serial 210/16) captured on 8 April 1916 (No copyright)

The German Fokker Eindecker fighter had dominated the skies with its forward firing machine gun from autumn 1915. It had achieved an air of invincibility. The Fokker Eindecker mentioned above was on a German delivery flight to FFA 5 when the pilot inadvertently crossed the lines and landed at Renescure on April 8th. It was moved to St Omer on April 9th. Cecil Lewis in his book Sagittarius Rising describes the flight test which was arranged possibly on April 9th or 10th:

"... it was perfectly orthodox, and there remained only to put it up against a British Scout to judge its performance. The Morane Bullet was chosen and the two machines were run out on the aerodrome, side by side.  All the General Staff assembled to watch the tests. Both machines took off together, and it was immediately clear that the Morane was all over the Fokker. It climbed quicker, it was faster on the level, and when the machines began a mock fight over the aerodrome, the Morane had everything its own way. A cheer went up from the ground.  The bogey was laid. .. It did a gret deal to raise the morale..."

General Trenchard (GOC RFC France) visited the aircraft on April 9th with his Staff Officer Captain Maurice Baring who also recorded the capture of the aircraft in his book. The Fokker may have been flown that day by Lt.  Charles Cochran-Patrick who was OC of the pilots pool at 1 AD St Omer.

This Fokker EIII (serial 210/16)  is now on display at the Science Museum in London (see photo below).


April 15th 

Bristol Scout Patrol.  Hun sighted over aerodrome.  Chased back across lines.  Height 13,000 ft. 1 hr

April 16th

B. Scout return from force landing by Lt. Minot. 15 mins

B. Scout.  Hostile aircraft patrol.  Hun reported over H24C (nothing seen) 1 hr

April 21 st

Hostile aircraft patrol on Bristol Scout.  Returned owing to clouds. 1/2 hr

Patrol on BE2C. 1 hr

April 23rd

HA Patrol on Bristol.  Patrolled from Bruary to Bailleul.  Nothing seen. 1 1/2 hrs

HA Patrol on B, Scout.  Two hostile machines seen going West from aerodrome.  Went in pursuit.  Caught one recrossing lines South of Souchez.  I put in a few shots at long range and the Hun dived through the clouds.  Engaged another Albatross over Don after 15 minutes, chased from over Bruay.  Got in two drums at close range, believed to have landed near Don.  2nd Lt. Colison Observer killed in combat.  Went out to see machine . 1 hr

April 24th   

Patrol on B. Scout.  Engine missing badly at 6000 ft.  Landed. 15 mins

April 24th   

Reconnaissance of front on BE2C 4195 with Lt. Summons. 2 1/4 hrs

April 25th   

Escort to Zeppelin machine.  Rendezvous at Abeele.  Patrolled  Armentieres to Meuport and Ostend,  Nothing seen,  Lt. Logan Zep machines, six bombs.   Lt. Gould's Observer killed.  Landed at No 16 Squadron.  Aircraft guns. 1/1/2 hrs

April 25th  

HA Patrol on B. Scout.  3 seen (Albatross).  Caught one over Bethune,  chased over to Carvin, sent him down, another attacked me putting a drum into him he disappeared, a third seen doing wireless over Lens. 1 1/2 hrs

April 26th   

Escort to Short Range Reconnaissance.  Hallium, Linsalles etc.  Four FEs taking photos etc.  A/A guns very active.   2 main spars and 2 ribs shot through.  No hostile machines seen. 1 hr

April 27th   

BE2c 1777.  Weather test.  Pass Corp. Woolley.

BE2C 4195.  Art Reg with 66th Siege with Lt. Tyrell.  Unsuccessful, light bad. 25 mins

April 28th   

B.Scout 5302 [C Type],  Test satisfactory. 20 mins

April 28th   

Gun Flash Patrol with Lt. Tyrell in 4195 2C.  Two hostile machines seen.  One Albatross recrossing lines at 15,000 ft, too high to attack.  A LVG caught over Ypres.  I dived at him (8000 ft), he passed in front, his first burst of shot took away my lateral controls and a strut,  I turned, my Observer putting in a drum.   His  second burst  cut a drift  wire and hit the engine.  It was extremely difficult to turn, but we fought Hun for 25 mins up and down the line, luckily with our last drum of ammunition my Observer got it in at close range over the tail and the Hun dived homewards.  Observer hit in the hand. 1 1/2 hrs

B.Scout 5302.  HA Patrol.  Nothing seen. 1hr

April 29th   

Test flight on 4195 BE2C with Sgt Greasy. 1/4 hr

April 30th   

B.Scout 5302 HA Patrol.  Machine tested for climb and speed.  Speed 85 mph at 8000 ft.  Climb 8000 ft in 15 mins. 1 hr


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