SUSSEX AIRCREW ASSOCIATION
SUMMER NEWSLETTER 2012
Bomber Command Memorial
Bob Osborne, our Chairman, very adequately reported in his briefing on the highlight of the year for the Branch, the dedication of the Bomber Command Memorial which was attended by most of our Veterans. Below is a résumé of the day's events from Cherry Greveson who has been the coordinator for our Bomber Command Veterans, organising fund raising events and ensuring the arrangements for the Veterans on the big day went as smoothly as possible. After the heroes returned to Sussex, they were entertained at the Woolpack in Burgess Hill, where Shaun Casey had organised more celebrations and most our active Branch Members attended. We sincerely thank Cherry for all her hard work over the last couple of years.
'We took 21 to Dedication on 28th, in two mini buses, kindly supplied FOC by Dignity Funeral Services (yes, I know! Always amuses us - just a tad premature?) but has enabled the guys to do so much. We were 11 vets plus 3 wives, one companion, 4 daughters, one son-in-law, and me (whose late father was a pilot in BC). Three others travelled by other means with family - John Bell, Roy Smith by train, and I was told St John's Ambulance took Bill Farquharson and Patricia. Other members of families went under own steam and met up after ceremony in memorial area - I saw Reg's two daughters there. Bill and Dave did TV interviews while there, and press interviews. Final 'part' of ITV Bomber Command prog was filmed there - at memorial area.
A lot of effort went into getting ALL the guys into memorial area, but I have been lucky enough to get involved with BCA early on and had personal contact with 'ticketing lady'. The fact the guys have done so much fund raising (almost £9000 this year alone) really raised the group's profile, and three of them feature in the 'veteran' crew in the official book about the memorial from conception to realisation. There have been many press and TV interviews as a result of all this.
We now have a personal contact in RAFBF who have taken over responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of the memorial, so 'the show goes on'! Our next 'signing' under the auspices of RAFBF will be at Goodwood Revival on September 15th'.
Scenes at the dedication of the Bomber Command Memorial
October's Isle of Wight Trip & Future Plans
Malcolm Burwood reports that 28 of us will be invading The Isle of Wight on the 1st October. The full venue will conclude with a visit to The Mary Rose museum, followed by a farewell Dinner.
Malcolm has come to the conclusion that the further into the future we can plan our extended outings, the better it is for everyone. With that in mind, the following trips are being planned :
September 30th 2013, four day trip to The Somme. Battle fields, gastronomy, Tank warfare and cuisine.
June 4th 2014, a four day Return to Normandy, by popular request. 70th at Bayeux, Calvados, Beaches and of course, Nicole!!
June 16th 2015, a four day extravaganza to salute The Iron Duke. The Waterloo 200th Anniversary !! Anything could happen !!
The following day trips are anticipated:
The Chatham Naval DockyardsDover Castle
RAF East Kirby
Member feedback is welcomed by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. That includes the expression, "Brilliant, count me in!".
We had to cancel our June meeting at the Burgess Hill Conservative Club as they required the rooms for the Jubilee Celebrations. However we met in July as usual and were entertained to a very informative illustrated talk by David Clews from the Southdown Gliding Club which uses the old airfield at Parham, near Storrington. See below re Parham.
Our next meeting on Tuesday, 7th August, (normal time 1.30 for 2pm), promises to be one to remember as Reg Barker and Dave Fellowes, two of our illustrious Veterans are joining forces for a presentation on Bomber Command - get there early to ensure a seat!
Looking further ahead, September also promises to be another 'must go' as the speaker is Trevor Sapey who is booked to give an illustrated talk on the Mary Rose.
Advanced Landing Grounds
I was under the impression that Parham was originally an Advanced Landing Ground but having checked Google, not so. The ALG's in Sussex were, Apuldram, Bognor, Chailey, Coolham, Deanland, Funtington, Selsey and Hammerwood. The details of these airfields are well recorded but it is reputed that Apuldram, South West of Chichester, had more movements (take offs and landings) on D Day than any other UK airfield. (Parham Airfield in Suffolk was renamed Framlingham when the USAAF arrived in 1943).
Enjoy the rest of the Olympics!