11 August 1916 – A loss in the desert

Back in Sinai, British troops are mopping after the Turkish retreat from Romani. Aircraft from 14 Squadron RFC are continuing to reconnoitre. Today Second Lieutenants E. W. Edwards and Lieutenant J Brown got caught out by a rare enemy aircraft. Brigadier-General E. W. C. Chaytor witnessed the attack while making a reconnaissance on horseback of Bir el Abd.

‘Suddenly the anti-aircraft firewas switched off and an enemy aeroplane swooped down on ours which was apparently badly damaged, but shortly steadied and came down about threequarters of a mile south-east of my head-quarters. Captain Rhodes, my aide-de-camp, went off to locate the plane to give first aid, and I to head-quarters to send an ambulance. On finding the plane Captain Rhodes found that the pilot, Second Lieutenant E. W. Edwards, who was very badly wounded—I think seven bullets had hit him, one of which broke his lower jaw on both sides, another his shoulder—had gone off to get help for the observer who was shot through the chest and could not move. The observer. Second Lieutenant Brown, though in great pain, refused to have his wounds attended to until he had made his report, as he said they had some important information and he was afraid he would faint if his wound was touched. He very gallantly held himself together until he had dictated his report and verified it and then, his duty done,fainted and died two hours later.’


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