11 February 1916 – A narrow escape

Charles Edmonds

In January 1916, the East Indies and Egypt Seaplane Squadron was formed from the carriers Raven II, Empress, Ben-my-Chree and Anne, under the command of C. L’Estrange Malone. The squadron, based at Port Said, was under the overall control of the General Officer Commanding, Egypt and its primary duty was to watch Turkish positions and movements in southern Palestine and the Sinai.

Robert Erskine Childers

Serving on the Raven II was one of the heroes of the Gallipoli campaign, Flight Commander Lieutenant Charles Humphrey Kingsman Edmonds, the first man to successfully attack a ship with a torpedo from the air. Today he and his observer Lieutenant Robert Erskine Childers (the author of “The Riddle of the Sands”) suffered engine failure while on patrol in their Short Type 184 Seaplane (849).

They landed in heavy seas and quickly the aircraft capsized. Fortunately, Edmonds and Childers were rescued by HMT Charlsen.


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