18 May 1917 – Double Bust

This evening around 2010, Six Nieuports from 1 Squadron RFC set off to attack a group of German balloons near the front armed with Le Prieur Rockets and incendiary ammunition. Early on the flight commander Captain Richard Hume Cronyn was forced to retire with engine trouble.

The remaining five continued the attack and crossed the lines low to try and surprise the balloons. 2nd Lieutenant Theodore Herbert Lines in Nieuport 17 A6644 shot down one balloon in flames and another was brought down by Lieutenant Hugh James Duncan MC in Nieuport 17 A6619. Duncan attacked another balloon but was wounded in the leg and was forced to flee. The rest of the balloons were hauled down without further loss.


Lindsay Drummond

These types of low level attacks obviously expose the aircraft to anti-aircraft fire and none of the aircraft had any kind of armour, so hits can prove catastrophic. And so it proved. Lines was shot down by anti-aircraft fire and taken prisoner. His colleagues 2nd Lieutenant Maxwell Gerard Cole in Nieuport 23 B1555 and Lieutenant Lindsay Drummond in Nieuport 23 B1636 were not so lucky. They were also hit by anti-aircraft fire, but both crashed and were killed.

For years, Drummond’s grave was unknown because his name was incorrectly registered by the Germans as “Oberleutnant L. Bromont” the Imperial War Graves Commission did not find him back in their lists and could not give him a known grave

Exactly 100 years after his death on 18 May 2017, the towns of Wervik-Geluwe and Langemark in cooperation with the Belgian Ministry of Defence organized a Centenary Commemoration for Lindsay Drummond with a ceremony at his grave in Langemark and a monument for him unveiled near the place where he crashed.


One thought on “18 May 1917 – Double Bust

  1. Julianne Webb

    Wonderful web site. Lots of helpful information here. I am sending it to several buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And certainly, thank you in your sweat!

    Liked by 1 person


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