1917, APRIL 8th, EASTER DAY , ALBATROSS SHOT DOWN AT LE CHATEAU DE CAULAINCOURT
From The Story of the 2/4th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, by Captain G. K. Rose M.C. (Oxford: B.H. Blackwell, 1920)
At 3 p.m. on ApriI 8 a curious noise was heard in the air. A German aeroplane had attacked the kite balloon, which hung, suspended by its gas, above the (Caulaincourt) château park. A French machine, not a moment too soon for the balloon’s safety, had swooped and shot the attacker to the ground. All the Battalion was out staring up at the balloon rotating on its wire, and the portions of the German ‘plane, which amid smoke were fluttering to earth. A rush, as always, commenced towards the scene. The aeroplane, brought down from a height, was half embedded in the mud. It was an Albatross, painted all colours, and possessed two machine-guns and several sorts of ammunition for use against balloons. I could see nothing of its former occupant, who must have been removed for burial, except a pool of bright blood upon the ground.
In a film taken soon after called, The German Retreat To St Quentin, officers are seen the wreckage of an Albatros DIII, no 2234/16, north of St Quentin. (This aircraft was shot down on April 8, 1917 by Lieutenant A de Laage de Meux in his Nieuport Scout of Esc N124; the pilot, Lieutenant d R Roaland Nauck of Jasta 6, was killed and 2234 was given the British “capture number” G21). Please see: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1060022639
Pictures of Caulaincourt château in its prime.
Captain H. J. Bennett posted to the Battalion as second in command in place of Major W. L. Ruthven.
During the night orders arrived for a move forward to support the Warwick Brigade, which had been fighting for several days between Maissemy and Fresnoy.