Capt W T L Allcock's
      RFC Diary



 No 2 Squadron RFC Nov 1915

Editor's note: Major C F de S Murphy took command of No 2 Sqn

Nov 3rd                                                       

Artillery Observation with Lt. Rice. Unsuccessful owing to clouds at 1500 ft. On return practised bomb dropping over aerodrome. 3/4 hr

Nov 3rd (2nd sortie)

Artillery observation with Lt. Rice.  Successful. Archie active. 2 3/4 hrs.

Nov 6th    

Artillery observation with  1 AM Bowes.  Successful.  Archie active. 3 1/4 hrs

Nov 7th                                      

Artillery observation with Lt. Rice.  Unsuccessful owing to clouds. 1 1/4 hrs

Nov 8th

Bomb dropping practice.  Looped the loop three times.  It is very easily done.  The first one was a perfect loop.  I put her nose down  to 95 mph and then pulled the joystick lack cruickly but steadily.  On the top throttled off the engine and she came down gently.  The next two I did one after the other.  Height 5000 ft. 1 1/2 hrs

Nov 10th   

Stood by with Gilbert for long reconnaissance.  Weather rainy, clouds thick and very low.  They decided we should try to do it.  Medlicott and Brown, Russell and Rice.  Wind 60 mph.  Medlicott left the ground first.  Russell followed, I came next.  I kept Medlicott in sight going due SW until we reached 2000 ft when I entered clouds, climbing all the time I reached 8000 ft still in  clouds going SW.  At 8000 ft the machine itself took control and started spinning, the controls would not work so I left her alone and she eventually came out herself.  Then I descended to 1000 ft. still in clouds, came further down to 500 ft, saw the ground but had no idea where we were, so I went due East, hit the trenches South of  Grenay and followed them to La Bassee from where I followed the canal to Bethune and eventually came to earth after a terrible experience. Medlicott and Brown lost themselves and were forced to land in Hunland 10 miles behind owing to carburettor freezing.  They crashed on landing - Brown broke his hip and leg, cut his face.  Medlicott got scot free. Latest report is Brown in hospital doing well and Medlicott is in a prisoners camp. 1 1/4 hrs

Editor's note: Brown referred to was Lt. Arthur Whitten Brown who together with John Alcock (no relation) was the first to fly the Atlantic non-stop in June 1919. Medlicott was later shot attempting to escape a German prison camp (May 1918).

Nov 11th

Escort to long reconnaissance machine. Observer 1AM Bowes District Valanciennes, Douai etc. Three machines crossed the line at eight thousand feet. Kept together until we turned to come back when we had a very strong head wind. My machine was slightly slower so I got left behind. Over Douai a Fokker attacked us over my tail; he dived at us and fired through his propeller. The first thing we heard was the rattle of the machine gun then the thud of bullets hitting. I managed to put in a drum from the back gun bracket as he crossed behind my machine. He then cleared off. In the meantime an Albatross attacked from underneath but at fairly long-range. My observer did some long potting and we kept him at a good distance under. We got to Lens when ‘Archie’ started shelling us and tore gaping holes in my planes. Fortunately, we arrived home safely, but much dilapidated.

Editor's note: The following is the RFC Communiqué (Comic cuts) account of the aforementioned action.

RFC Communiqué 20

Nov 11th

2nd Lt. Allcock and 1 AM Bowes, 2 Sqn, in a BE2c escort to a reconnaissance machine, were attacked by a Fokker which dived underneath them opening fire at 300 ft range. Lt. Allcock turned and from the back mounting fired half a drum at the Fokker which cleared off. He was then  attacked by an Albatros which followed the Fokker after one drum had been discharged at him.

Mounting for the Lewis gun demonstrated here in the pilot's position (rear seat) on a BE2c of No 2 Sqn. Obervers gun bracket can be seen between the two cockpits.

Picture ©

Nov 11th  (2nd sortie)

Fetched new machine from St Omer.  Lt. Nulue as passenger.  This one  called Malaya 5, one of five given by the Strait Settlements.  Very fast and climbs exceedingly well. 30 mins

Nov 13th

With Lt. Gilbert as Observer we did the long reconnaissance at 12000 ft.  Wonderful clear morning.  Nothing much very exciting happened.  We kept together very well.  Archie was active.  Don Orchres  Seclin  Valenciennes  Devarn  Douai. 2 1/2 hrs

Nov 13th (2nd sortie)

Passenger 1AM Harris.  Joy ride engine testing of Malaya 5. 1 hr

Nov 14th   

Hun Patrol with Lt. Rice.  Height 10500 ft.  Arras to Amentieres.  Three hostile Batteries located. 2 1/2 hrs

Nov 15th                                                              

Joy ride with 2 AM Aston as passenger.  Testing wireless.  Put the wind up Aston by doing a steep spiral and tail sliding. 1 1/2 hrs

Nov 19th   

Hun Patrol with Lt. Rice at 10,500 ft between Arras and Amentieres. No hostile machines seen but 3 anti-aircraft guns located. 2 hrs    

Nov 25th     

Observer Lt. Nulue.  Weather very thick.  Went out as escort to Photography Machine, who descended owing to weather conditions. Spying a hostile aircraft sign out on our aerodrome we cleared off in direction of the lines and patrolled hoping to discover the Hun. In the meantime the clouds came up very thick, so I descended to 500 ft of the ground to find my way home.  It came on thicker so I came down lower, not recognising the landmarks.  I landed in a ploughed field.  Having enquired my way we started off again and hitting a ditch we overturned.  I was thrown out into a ditch full of water and appeared out the other side like a drowning rat.  It however broke my fall and I got off with a shaking up and a few bruises. My Observer was strapped in and he was hanging down head first, so I helped to unstrap him and he got out OK.  We went to an Infantry Brigade HQs, phoned up No 2 for a salvage crew, having had in the  meantime a good wash.  We had lunch with the General and I met a fellow in the mess who I knew out in the West, a veterinary surgeon named Watts.  The mechanics turned up in good time and we took the bus to pieces and carried her away on trailers.  Everything went OK. Poor Old Malaya. 3 hrs

Nov 28th

Counter Battery Registration with Lt. Rice.  Archie active. 2 1/4 hrs

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