This has gone around the world and was recently posted on the FB group by Denise. I think it deserves a place on The Lexicans.
Author Archives: hogdayafternoon
….since I posted here. Don’t think I’ve forgotten you. Been up to my ears busy, with only time for `soundbite` posts over on the facebook group. So…..
Its the time of year when Britons wear their poppies with pride. Our Remembrance Day is 11.11 and the National Service of Remembrance is on the Sunday closest to that date. For any casual readers `just surfing by`, that date commemorates the date the guns in The Great War fell silent, at 1100hrs, 11.11.1918 but has remained as the focus for remembrance of those of our Nation and countries of the British Commonwealth, past and present, lost in all wars since.
Originally posted by an old mucker of mine, Stefan King, former cop, Territorial Army* (*Reserves) soldier and nifty bass player, I want to share with you the below video, made in support of the Royal British Legion. This was the accompanying message: One of these superb young singers is the daughter of a good friend and former Control Room colleague Nicola Milburn who husband is a Captain RN. The Poppy Appeal, indeed The Royal British Legion in general means an awful lot to me, and I wonder if I could ask you to support it by helping get this recording to No1 in the singles chart.? Regina Spektor is an awesome songwriter and The Poppy Girls more than do her tune justice. They also have an album coming out in the near future – I’ll keep you posted – thanks in anticipation – Stef xx
Thought some of my pals might enjoy some of the links in this post (wot I rote)
Re-printed from “Hog Day Afternoon”
Retrieved by Bill Brandt.
For the non-facebook members, I’ve re-posted some photographs I put on for the `Facebook Group` from when I visited Duxford last week. I’m no photographer and only have a basic digital camera and some of these had to be snapped on my `mobile` phone as batteries conked out, but I hope it gives you a little insight into some of the things going on at Duxford.
It would have been more fitting to have got these up for your Memorial Weekend, but I was out doing my own remembrances at the Thorpe Abbotts 100th Bombardment Group museum. Will put up a couple of videos from that in due course. Hope you enjoy these.
2 weeks ago I posted about the Dambusters 70th Anniversary commemorations broadcast live on the BBC which I thought was very well produced and staged by the RAF and BBC .
I’ve just found these recently posted extracts on You Tube. One is of the aforementioned BBC broadcast and the other is amateur footage taken of events during that day. Some quite good shots, which may be of interest to our bloggers.
There was a couple of excellent programmes on the BBC last night, paying tribute to the Dambusters raid of 617 Squadron seventy years ago. There were two surviving crew members present at the sunset ceremony at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire which was broadcast live.
There was a flypast by two Spitfires (Griffon engined) painted sky blue, in the colours of the photo-recon units that preceded the raids and then delivered the damage reports over the following days. They landed, taxied and parked in front of the gathered guests. Two Tornados from the current 617 Sqdn made a typical, low entrance on reheat, climbed out and slotted into a circuit then landed and parked behind the Spits. The finale was a grand entrance of our last Lancaster, “The City of Lincoln” which, after several graceful fly-by’s, landed and slowly taxied to a halt, inch-perfect and centre stage, shutting down her engines as the band played the Dambusters March. It was timed to absolute perfection and was emotional enough watching on TV, so how the gathered guests felt, stood behind former bomb aimer Sgt `Johnny` Johnson and former Kiwi pilot Sqdn Leader Les Munro (both in their nineties) I can only imagine.
I wanted to let you know something else about this outwardly `very British` ceremony. As the proceedings opened, the RAF Band marched on playing a specially chosen tune for the occasion, “Eagle Squadron”. This was in honour of those American airmen who came here, as volunteers, to fly with the RAF before America joined the war. I reiterate, this was the tune that opened the ceremony. Furthermore, I wanted to mention that among the Dambusters was American pilot Joe McCarthy who joined 617 Squadron after having just completed a tour of thirty operations and who was included in one of the tribute programmes shown on television later that evening. As you know I do love my co-incidences – and here’s another. Joe McCarthy’s son, former US jet pilot and Vietnam Veteran Joe McCarthy jnr, is married to Shere Fraser, whose father was Flight Sgt John Fraser, RCAF, and a bomb aimer on the raid. Read his remarkable story here.
It was a wonderful little ceremony honouring the remarkable feat of 617 Squadron, honouring the two remarkable 617 survivors present, honouring the airmen who didn’t return that night and of those souls caught up in the terrible aftermath of the raid and, last but not least, honoring the Americans who came to fly with us several years before this raid and were part of what, arguably, still remains the RAF’s finest hour.
I know that not everyone in the current White House administration is much bothered by `Little Britain` these days and some State Department official said a few years ago that `there’s nothing special about Britain`, but those aforementioned little touches in last nights moving ceremony are a small part of the whole that makes up this Nation of mine, are part of what I believe we still stand for and testament that we don’t forget our friends.