Walter "Toby" Yeulett DFC

The Raid on Tondern 1918

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Site News & Updates

This site has been redesigned in XSitepro and is hosted by my friends over at TGIS (Thames Global Internet Services). I will list here any updates to the site and if anyone has anything they can contribute or have any questions then do please contact me.


17/9/2014 Again apologies for lack of updates, I didn't foresee the amount of work I'd have to put into my new house! I have just about about managed to keep up with all the questions I get but havn't done any serious site updates for a while now despite having a fair bit of new material to put up. I will get back to it once the garden has been put to bed for the winter!

12/02/2014 I'm pleased to say that I'm now 98% moved and will be able to get back to working on the site. I will also now be able to get on with answering the various questions that I get e-mailed. To those who have been patiently waiting for answers I do apologise but with everything having been buried in boxes for a while now!

20/12/2013 I'm now in the midst of moving house so there'll be no changes before January at the earliest. In the meantime Festive Greetings to all who visit here, I trust you have a wonderful Xmas and New Year. I shall be back when I'm settled into the new house!

09/11/2013 I have removed the Twitter link since it hasn't been used at all and is just wasting space.

06/11/2013 I have ammended the descriptions of Yeulett being awarded a "posthumous DFC" since at the time the DFC couldn't be so awarded. I can only assume that it was approved prior to the confirmation of his death a month after the Raid on Tondern.

10/10/2013 Sorry it's been very quiet on the updates front but time is very limited just at the moment. I will be back on the case soon, promise!

24/08/2013 Minor corrections to the Raid page including removing a reference to Operation F5 since that's now known to have been just a reconnaissance operation, not a planned attack on Tondern.

13/08/2013  I have added the eye-witness account of the Raid since I now have a copy of the book in which it appears. Thanks to Ian Burns for telling me about it. I have yet to add the diagram of Dickson's attack which answers the question as to where his mis-targetted first bomb landed. I'll try and do that this week but it may be next.

09/08/2013 I've started adding the new bits. Toby's Story now includes his graduation examination results and a couple of further details from his service records. These include his initial recommendation for deck flying and his progress during the landing trials at the Isle of Grain.

02/08/2013 Just a bit of general tidying up done today but I am now in possession of quite a bit of further information that needs to be added to both The Raid page and Toby Yeulett's own story including an eye-witness report of his flight over the Tondern base. I also have a map of the area drawn by Capt. Dickson after the raid which will also be added. Due to the volume of stuff I now have there's quite a bit of work to do, I shall get there eventually!

11/07/2013 Help Needed! I've changed the description of the cockpit photo on Photos Page 2 because I believe it may have been misidentified as a Norman Thompson. I now think it may be a Felxstowe but could use some help getting a poistive ID on it if anybody knows? Thanks in advance.

10/07/2013 Added another logbook entry to the new page about the sinking Felixstowe F2c.

09/07/2013 New page added about the photograph of the partly submerged Felixstowe F2c (on Photos Page 2). This includes what appears a plausible explanation for the incident as well as further detail behind this aircraft's history and the first time I'd been aware of a bounty scheme for WW1 Navy pilots. The new page is here . If anyone has any further information about such bounties, please let me know.

04/07/2013 Fixed the broken links on the screenshots from the video on the Deck Landing page so bigger versions are now available. I've also been contacted by the family of another pilot who was at Grain at the same time as Yeulett and they have a logbook! He's linked to the picture of the sinking Felixstowe flying boat and I'll be doing a bit more about all that in the next couple of days.

10/06/2013 Added a missed link on the Furious photo's page - the newest one added a couple of weeks ago can now be clicked to get a bigger (well, huge!) version.

09/06/2013 To answer some questions I've had recently.... I'm still trying to get all the pages lined up properly for tablets without wrecking them for PC's; it's proving messy but I am seeing a sharp increase in tablets accessing this site so it needs doing. I can only test properly on Android (which are 70% of the tablet visits) since I don't and won't own any Apple devices. I'll try and get access to one to have a look but won't be able to make any Apple specific adjustments, sorry!

31/05/2013 Fixed a link to a larger picture that was missing from the Furious Photo's page. I have also added a new & excellent picture of Furious as she was in 1918.

29/05/2013 I have added to "Toby's story" the snippet that he didn't actually do a Royal Aero Club Certificate test, not all pilots did these and, after some detailed checks, Ian Burns has confirmed to me that Toby ddn't have one. Thanks Ian!  I've also started changing a few things for the benefit of tablet users but please forgive me if for a few days things look a bit messy across different PC's, tablets etc. It's one of those exercises where you have to publish a change before you can really see the effect that it's had! 

27/05/2013 Sorry it's been very quiet on the updates front recently, I've discovered that my pages don't look great on 10" tablets (I just bought one) and I'm trying to fix that. Until then, if you're on a tablet, apologies that some things don't line up correctly and that some of the photo pages are all over the place. I'm not yet sure what the problem is but I'm on it!

11/04/2013 'Escape from Denmark' page, added current and period photos of the hotel in Esbjerg where the pilots who landed in Denmark were initially interned.

08/04/2013 I've just been doing some general tidying up recently but have noticed a recent big increase in people searching for HMS Furious (no idea why!) so I may have to write some more detail surrounding her history

26/03/2013 Added a paragraph to the 'Toby Yeulett's Story' page about the March 1918 formation of the Grand Fleet Flying Squadron which is something I have only recently become aware of (very lax on my part!), it was perhaps the first naval organisation that saw aviation as a distinct branch of the Royal Navy. I shall probably expand on this at some point.

21/03/2013 Added a link on the Furious page to the IWM's image archive and a picture of Furious with just the take-off deck forward and still with the gun turret aft. I've not seen many pictures of her looking like that.

19/03/2013 Twitter users: I've now created a Twitter account for this website where I'll tweet any of the updates that appear on this page (they'll appear both here and on Twitter). I'd also very much welcome tweets with comments, suggestions and questions about the site. There is now a Twitter Follow button at the top of the main menu which will add @tondernraid to your Twitter feed. Let's see if it's worthwhile, if it isn't I'll just drop it!

18/03/2013 Added some detail about the scanned postcard on the Furious Photographs page. After a bit of searching it seems such cards are quite rare are much sought after by collectors (but they won't be getting this one!).

17/03/2013 With the change of web address I''ve been doing quite a bit of background SEO work in the last few days which means some pages have had some rewording but no material change to the information therein.

13/03/2013 I've added a new page about how the world's newspapers covered the Tondern Raid. I'm limited in what I can show on it due to either copyright restrictions or sites wanting vast amounts of money for small snippets (which then can't be used on here!) but what I have found thus far is enough for a page. I hope you find it worthwhile!

09/03/2013 I have added a link to another account of the escape from Denmark. It's at the bottom of the Escape page. This one is a 1918 newspaper article from New Zealand which recounts the experience of Lieut. S. Dawson (a New Zealander). I have also corrected an absolute howler on that page where I'd said Captain Jackson was a Lieutenant!

09/03/2013 Quicker than I expected it seems Google is already re-indexing itself and the old links are being remapped to the new ones. Due to the new and relevant domain name it's getting higher listings too which is all good news. For someone who this time last week had never heard of "301 Redirects" nor the mysteries of htaccess files I'm quite pleased with how it's all gone!

08/03/2013 As of this morning all the 'old' web pages should be automatically redirected to this 'new' address so anyone using old links should still end up in the right place.

07/03/2013 Day 2 of the new address and there was a server outtage this morning (good old Murphy's Law strikes!) but overall it seems to be running OK. If anyone does experience any issues please let me know! Contact Me

06/03/2013 If you're reading this then you're on the new domain for my website which came into existence just this morning (break open the champers!). Google is already starting to pick it up even though the auto-redirect from the old site isn't yet working so the old pages do still exist and work but will no longer be updated. This should be sorted out in the next day or so and then my Google ranks will transfer to this address (well, that's the theory).

04/03/2013 Upcoming website move. We'll be moving to a new domain in the next few days, it's not active yet, and if all goes to plan it should be absolutely painless for everyone (except me of course!) because anyone looking at my pages will get instantly directed to the new address without even noticing it's happened, well, that's the theory anyway. I'll stick a note at the top of every page when it happens so anyone who has me in their favourites (which I doubt!) will know to update their link. The old one will continue to redirect for a while anyway. By the way, I've never done this before so fingers crossed! 

03/03/2013 I have decided that after 11 years it is time I did something about the horrendous URLs that this website has and so I have decided it will get it's own proper domain. Once the webspace is available to me I'll keep both sites running in parallel for at least six months with identical content and will set a target date from which the existing sites will just have a re-direct message on them. More details when I have them!

26/02/2013 It's a bit quiet on updates at the moment since I'm currently researching a possible trip to Denmark to  travel down the route of the raid (camera in hand), going to Yeulett's grave and visiting the museum at the Tønder site. It's starting to look like rather an expensive trip for the relatively short amount of time needed so there's a lot of research needed to get it right!

12/02/2013 Added some more details to The Raid page, made some corrections to the map and also corrected some other detail errors on that page. Having re-read all my documents again there is a lot of detailed information that I could now add but I am trying to determine the best way to do it. It may be by just adding to an already unweildy page or by having several sub-chapters to the story. I suspect that the latter is the best way forwards but it's also the most work since I will have to redesign, rewrite & rebuild a large chunk of the site!

06/02/2013 I've just been doing some general tidying up & SEO work on the site recently so no new bits have been added. Most of this work has been to try and make bits easier to find via search engines so there isn't much visual evidence of it but I hope it's working!

25/01/2013 My brother has unearthed a remarkably good quality photograph of Toby Yeulett amongst my late father's archives. It's taken aboard ship, almost certainly Furious, and is the very best photograph that I have seen of him. I've now added it to the "Toby Yeulett's Story" page. I personally find this picture quite moving since over the years of doing this I feel I've got to know him, a bit.

25/01/2013 In order to comply with daft EU laws I've had to add a statement to the bottom of each page to explain that I use a basic Google Analytics cookie to count the number of visits to each page. It doesn't record ANY information about who has visited, just that "a" visit was made. Obviously the tracking helps me to know which pages generate the most interest so I know where to focus my efforts to improve the site but the overpaid timewasters at the EU regard this as some form of invasion. Apologies for the rant!

14/01/2013 "Advice" page: added the rules for the flight test leading to receiving the pilot's certificate from the Royal Aero Club. Any current PPL who has just gone through their Skills Test will be a bit peeved by what their forebears had to achieve to get their pilot's licences. It's a bit basic!

13/01/2013 Another book about learning to fly in the early days arrived this week and I have started to add a few more choice items to the "Advice" page notably that you needn't concern yourself if you break your aeroplane! More to come on that page as I plough through these manuals.

09/01/2013 Simple addition of a Twitter share button above the menu to see if anyone uses it. I am considering adding this page to a Twitter feed so that people get notification of updates without having to visit the site to find them. The jury is out on that at the moment.

08/01/2013 Added a paragraph to The Raid page regarding the Tondern Raid serial numbers of the partaking aircraft. It's something I know people search for but it's a huge grey area. I've included some of the possible serials but it's all very debateable. I've also included a snippet I received many years ago from the Phillimore family relating to Adm Phillimore's belief as to what happened to Toby Yeulett.

03/01/2013 Happy New Year and a new page has been added. This is a light-hearted look at advice that was provided to new RNAS recruits by way of selected quotations from the books they would have been advised to read. Enjoy!

24/12/2012 Added a paragraph to Toby's Story about life at Crystal Palace as recruits were inducted into the Navy

21/12/2012 For those of you who check this page regularly (I know you exist!) I'm planning some updates for the New Year which will cover a bit more about pilot training in 1917/18. I'm also delving through to see if I have any other photographs worth including (there must be > 50 that I havn't yet included for one reason or another). If you are checking here for anything specific then do please let me know what you're interested in (contact me link above) and I'll let you know what I can do. In the meantime Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!

10/12/2012 I've added two more screen grabs to the Deck Landing Trials page to help better illustrate how the concept of the arrestor cable was first tested at Grain.

06/12/2012 Not a site upate but something nice that happened this week. I found an original copy of one of the books that was recommended reading for new RNAS pilots. There was a signature in the front, dated August 1916, and I tried to find out a little about the original owner. He eventually became an Air Commodore and I actually bumped into his son via another website! I obtained another copy for myself and have now returned the other to the late Air Commodore's family. Not only did he know some of the significant names in my uncle's history but he also knew my godfather! It's a very, very small world sometimes.

27/11/2012 Added some more detail to the "Toby's story" page covering the various stages of his flying training outlining what they were taught and how. I'll be adding more to this in the coming weeks.

26/11/2012 More updates to "Deck landing.." page. Added a superb recently found overhead shot of Grain in 1918 which just shows where the dummy deck was. I am still waiting to hear from the website where I found it as to whether it's copyright free or not, I wrote to them nearly a month ago so am now assuming it's ok to use? Also added some information to the page of pictures of HMS Furious.

18/11/2012 I've started adding further information from the DVD about the Deck Landing Trials and have placed a grabbed picture from just one frame of it on the Trials page. I'm not permitted to link the whole video so a screen grab will have to do.

17/11/2012 I have just received the film from the IWM of the deck landing trials at Grain and it is stunning! I will have to watch it a couple more times and will then add a write-up to the relevant page.

09/11/2012 Corrected the description of the Norman Thomson NT2B photograph since I now know exactly where at Grain the photo was taken. We have also discovered the rest of my Gt Uncle's medals so now have a nice group of DFC, BWM and Victory medal. All three need some work doing to them and I'll add a picture when they're done. It seems the ribbon on his DFC is mounted incorrectly!

04/11/2012 I have corrected the link on the credits page to the Zeppelin Museum in Tønder which had become out of date

28/10/2012 Added a link on the Yeulett's Story page to a flight report of him flying a 1½ Strutter off the deck of Furious. Report written by Lieut. Col. Richard Bell-Davies (his rank at that time).

26/10/2012 Added a link on The Raid page to an article about it in the New York Times in 1918 reporting both the raid and a subsequent visit to HMS Furious by HM The King. I also now have in my possesion Lieut Yeulett's Distinguished Flying Cross awarded for the Tondern raid. Before adding a picture of it to this site I do need to get it restored, it's in a rather sad condition.

18/10/2012 Some minor re-writes, no new information at this stage. While awaiting the film from the IWM I'm now doing more work on the history of the Grain airfield. None of this is published yet because it depends if it throws up enough worthwhile information to add another page about it.

12/10/2012 Minor addition to Toby's personal history, I found out where he went to school and the date he left.

10/10/2012 A nagging loose end has finally been tied up. The aerial photo on Page 1 of the photographs has always annoyed me because I couldn't confirm where it was! Today I saw a very similar photograph from a different perspective which tells me that it's definitely of the Port Victoria sheds. Photo description updated.

05/10/2012 Having done a bit of research into RNAS pilot's training I've been able to flesh out "Toby Yeulett's Story" with more information about his activities at the various stations he was at in his first 6 months with the RNAS. I have also discovered that some film actually exists of the deck landing trials at Grain that my gt uncle took part in. I have ordered a bespoke DVD from the Imperial War Museum in order to see the two films. I'll break out the champagne if Toby appears in just one frame!

28/09/2012 Added some detail to The Raid page as to why the bombing raid was launched with 7 aircraft rather than the originally planned 8. More typo's found :(

27/09/2012 Corrected the titles of some of the pictures which were giving a few people problems when searching on particular aircraft types. While doing that I resized some as well but nothing significant.

17/09/2012 A few small rewrites, nothing important, and yet more typos/errors corrected. I seem to find more typos every time I re-read a page! Added a little more info to some of the pictures but nothing groundbreaking. My next job is to go right back through my 9"-high pile of paper documents to see what I may have missed first time round. Some cross-checking of detail would be worthwhile too.

05/09/2012 Added another picture to the deck landing page. Added Page 5 of photos including some of battleships at sea.

30/08/2012 The file arrived from the Archives and I have now had to alter some of the dates surrounding the deck landing trials at Grain. 'Deck Landings' and 'Toby's Story' pages updated to reflect the new info as far as I can but grey areas still exist around the dates that my uncle went to Grain, it looks like he was there before the rest of the pilots on Furious but I need more detail (from where????!)

22/08/2012 More snippets added to The Raid page. I'm still awaiting the documents from the NA!

15/08/2012 One or two details ammended on 'The Raid' page plus a few more typos discovered and fixed.

09/08/2012 Another photo added to the deck landing trials page. I have requested a file from the National Archives about the deck trials which may add considerably more detail to this section. It may be a couple of weeks before this arrives.

08/08/2012 Added Page 4 of photographs from my uncle's album. Also tidied up some of the descriptions of other photos.

31/07/2012 Further photo/info added to the Deck Landing page. Also a credit added to the page for the sources of some of this information. Since I have now included the piece about landings I have also reordered the menu a bit to give a more logical flow. I also have now to rewrite "The Raid..." page to take this into account plus some more details about the raid that I recently acquired. This will hopefully be in the next few days.

30/07/2012 I've started to add a new page about the deck landing trials that took place at Grain. This is WIP as I am currently tracking down further information to go with the pictures. The page is also probably full of awful grammar and typos!

13/07/2012 Replaced the map on "The Raid..." page with a slightly more legible version, also reformats of that page with the text re-ordered to make a little more sense.

[Older updates now removed]