Hi Mike
Yes, I have looked at the Martel translation which, if nothing else, demonstrates the need to address the general lack of English study of French air operations !

I agree totally about the eyewitness accounts, especially as, in the case of Courtney, a number of his recollections don’t quite match the documentation (which may not have been available to him to support his memory). However, if the Ministry of Munitions volume is to be taken at face value, Courtney’s account of bombing is more relevant to 1914 than 1915.

The answer might be with the ‘system’ for fitting war equipment to new aircraft prior to the decision to delivery them to St Omer (& Candas etc). If this wasn’t done by the manufacturer, it had to be done on the Squadron and, as the aircraft were used for a range of roles, the equipment had to be removable. So, a lot of scope for initiative !

There is an official manual on aerial bombs (1915 ?), a copy of which I had until I (perhaps foolishly) loaned it out and it has yet to return. I will have to track that down as I recall that it provided much more detail that Hogden & Bean (which is a WW2-biased history with a WW1 intro)though I don’t know if it covers ‘homemade bombs’. Duxford has a small number of the latter (in store), about which no one seems to know much.