Saturday, 8 August 2015

Two Aerial Duels

Private Arthur Humphreys [Luton Times]

Sunday 8th August 1915: Private Arthur Humphreys has written to his wife at 6 Tavistock Street, Dunstable describing two aeroplane duels he witnessed recently, from each of which the British pilot emerged victorious. In the first of these a German plane was scouting along British lines when a small British aircraft appeared and dived at him. The British pilot fired at the German, setting his plane on fire and causing the stricken aircraft to overturn. One man fell from the cockpit from a height of 500 feet. The pilot managed to return control and bring his plane down to a lower height but it dropped and he was burned to death. In the second fight a larger British plane was over the German lines when it was attacked by a higher flying German. The British pilot avoided the attack and launched an attack of his own, from which the German plane fled.

Private Humphreys, who is serving with the 1/5th Lincolns, is now in a base hospital at the Front with a wounded thigh. Coincidentally his brother Alfred, a lance-corporal in the 9th Lancers, also suffered a thigh wound at Ypres, with shrapnel so deeply embedded that it remains in his leg. He is now drilling recruits at Chigworth.

Source: Luton Times 13 August 1915

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