Bomber Command Clasp Downing St Presentation
Association President Gordon Mellor was among a party from Bomber Command Assn who this week were invited to 10 Downing St to receive their recently awarded Bomber Command Clasp from the Prime Minister.
See Daily Telegraph news story here. Added 23rd March 2013
Heroe's Return 2
National Lottery Announcement. http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/heroesreturn
Per Tim Nicoll - The significant points are that Heroes Return 2 has been extended to 1 December 2015 and that veterans who have already received a grant may make a second application for another trip. As before, when Tim obtained £9,980, he will be happy to handle the paperwork. If anyone is interested contact Tim at The fforstal, Barton le Willows, York, YO60 7PD. or e mail here Added 1st March 2013
We regret to announce that Joe Bailey passed away on the 25th Feb. Our sincere condolences to the Bailey family on their sad loss. Added 26th Feb 2013
Bomber Command Clasp and Arctic Convoy Medal to be issued within weeks
Second World War veterans who served on the Arctic convoys and in Bomber Command will begin to receive their new awards within weeks, the government has announced. Production of the Arctic Star and Bomber Command clasp is to begin within days, with up to 250,000 veterans and the families of those who have died expected to be eligible.
For full details see here. Added 26th Feb 2013
The Spring newsletter is now complete and will be off to the printers in the next week or two. It should be in the post mid or late March time. Added 19th Feb 2013
Alex Gamble DFC
Sadly Alex passed away quite recently at the age of 91. He is survived by his wife, Marie-Madaleine to whom he was married for 70 years. Alex was an Air Gunner and flew 2 tours with 103 Sqdn in 1943 and 1944. Members will recall Alex who attended reunions for many years up until about 5 years ago. Added 12th Feb 2013.
Air Commodore R. A. C. Carter, C.B., D.S.O., D.F.C., A.F.R.Ae.S.
Robert Carter, former OC 103 Sqdn 1942/43, passed away in Nov last year at the grand old age of 102.
See this Obit in the Daily Telegraph here. Added 31st Jan 2013
Mailly-le-Camp Commemoration Support Group - Notice
The Mailly-le-Camp Commemoration Support Group have informed us that there will be no Mailly trip to France this year.
However plans are being made for a visit in 2014 which will be the 70th anniversary of the raid.
Details of this will appear on the Mailly Commemoration Support Group Web Site in due course. Added 29th Jan 2013.
13 Base RAF Web Site
With effect from the 1st January 2013 this site will be solely in respect of content relating to the RAF Elsham Wolds Association. All other content has moved to a new site which is under the name of 13 Base. To transfer to the new site click on the banner below.
Kenneth J Day
We have recently been informed of the passing of Kenneth Day, husband of Jean, after a long illness. Added 19th Dec 2012
Former 576 Sqdn mid upper gunner Earl Grife passed away in Canada recently. Added 10th Dec 2012
A Merry Xmas and Happy 2013 to all Members.
This web site is getting rather large so I have decided to split this to make it more manageable.
In the New Year this site will be reduced solely to Association information and news. The bulk of the content will be on a separate new web site which I will set up under a new title. Something along the lines of 13 Base - The 103 Sqdn 576 Sqdn 166 Sqdn and 550 Sqdn Web Site. This will have a separate ULR address to be decided. I can then expand the site at my leisure and also include some Kirmington/166 Sqdn and North Killingholme/550 Sqdn material which is in my files
The change will take place late December and there will be a period of overlap ( about 2 weeks ) when some of the content will appear on both sites till the new site is established. Added 29th Nov 2012
Long time Member Phil Potts sadly passed away recently. Phil was a regular attender at Reunions for many years but we had not seen him for a while due to health issues. Phil was a former 103 Sqdn Navigator who was shot down in the summer of 1944 and became a POW. He wrote of his experiences in his excellent book Just a Survivor published by Woodfield Publishing. Added 27th Nov 2012
Newly appointed Events Secretary Mike Galvin has resigned for personal reasons and Angela has resumed these duties. Added 27th Nov 2012
The Xmas newsletter is running a bit late but will be away to the printers at the weekend and should be in the post by the end of November if all goes to plan. Added 25th Oct 2012
Rather late with this but I am informed that Gaven Henry passed away in Australia last year. Gaven was the youngest of the 3 Henry brothers that flew with 103 Sqdn in 44. See this page. His brother John died in 1978 in a car crash and the fourth brother Ron passed away a while back but David is still alive and well as is their sister Betty. Added 6th Sept 2012
Remembrance Day Event.
The Annual Association Remembrance Day event will be held on Sunday the 4th November. Elsham Church opens 10:00 am, Service starts 10.30 am with lunch at Artie's Mill 1.00 pm - cost £14.00 Bookings for lunch must be made through the Secretary beforehand. Pay on the day. Added 27th August 2012 - Amended 6th Sept 2012.
The annual Association Reunion was held over the August Bank Holiday weekend. It was well attended as usual and much enjoyed by all. It was decided at the AGM to hold another similar event in August 2013. The BBMF Lancaster could not do its usual fly over on Sunday but the BBMF sent one of their Spitfires which gave us an excellent little display. For further details see the Xmas newsletter. Added 27th August 2012.
Australian Member Bill Higgs sadly passed away recently. Bill was a long time friend and travelling companion of Keith Bailey and will be particularly remembered by all those who went on Keith Bailey’s Mailly trip some years ago. His funeral is on the 24th Aug in Adelaide. Added 20th August 2012.
The Summer Newsletter is in the post and should arrive in the next few days for UK members and in a week or so for those living abroad. Added 28th July 2012.
This has been delayed because of the BC Memorial event however it should be in the post by the beginning of August. It has been a busy time what with one thing and another so there will be a few more pages in this issue. Added 30th June 2012.
Bomber Command Memorial Dedication
Several Members attended the Official unveiling of the BC Memorial on the 28th June. A couple of photos and an account will be included in the next Newsletter. Added 30th June 2012
Reunion and Newsletter.
Bookings are now being taken for the August 2012 Reunion. Booking forms were enclosed with the last newsletter or can be obtained from the Secretary. As per the Statement from the Committee enclosed with the last Newsletter the future of the August Reunion is under review. However it has been suggested that perhaps some sort of alternative event on a smaller scale could be arranged over the Association Remembrance weekend in November. No doubt all this will be discussed at the forthcoming AGM in August.
On an entirely separate matter unconnected with the above I regret to inform Members that I have resigned as Newsletter Editor and Committee Member for personal reasons. However I have provisionally offered to produce 3 more newsletters through till the end of 2013. I am not sure how many pages however.
I have fulfilled several roles for the Association for eleven years now. It has been a pleasure and an honour to do this for the Members and I have made many good friends and met many charming and interesting people whilst I have been with involved.
I will continue to keep a web site going in some form and add to it as and when convenient. I have decided to split the site into two. One will be a basic Association site and the other will be for specific 103 and 576 Sqdn items, histories and profiles. I will extend that to include some 166 Sqdn and Kirmington material as well. Added 25th June 2012
I am very sorry to inform members that Don Charlwood passed away on the 18th June. He was 96 years old. Don had been a well known member of the Association for many years and was famous for his superb books regarding his experiences at Elsham Wolds and in the RAAF. He was a very accomplished writer and produced a number of outstanding books and articles during his life. There will be a private family funeral in Australia and a memorial service at a later date. Added 19th June 2012
Sad to inform you that John passed away a couple of weeks ago. The John had been a Committee Member for many years and was a well known and popular Association personality. Our most sincere condolences to Molly and her family. There was a private family funeral last week. A memorial service is to be held at Hough-on-the-Hill Church on Thursday, June 28 at 11am. Added 18th June 2012.
David “Mickey” Masters DFC
Sadly Mickey passed away this week at his home in Falmouth. He had been ill for sometime. Mickey served as a flying instructor in Rhodesia until 43 and then returned to the UK and was posted to 576 Sqdn at Elsham Wolds in the summer of 44. He was later promoted to Flight Commander and awarded a DFC. Post war he completed a test pilots course and joined the Fairey Aviation Company where he became Chief Test Pilot. He was a charming and interesting chap who had a fine career. Sincere condolences and Sally, her mum and the rest of the family. Added 21st April 2012.
Apart from official letters and announcements the Spring Edition of the Newsletter is now complete. It will be sent to the printers in mid March and should be in the post in early April. I have made a start on the Summer Edition. Added 4th Feb 2012
Northern Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Trail
From May 2012 the Association Museum will be featured in the new Northern Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Trail organised by the North Lincolnshire Council and local Tourist Board. The trail is made up of sites/venues at Sandtoft, Hilbaldstow/Kirton on Lindsay, Elsham Wolds, Goxhill, Kirington, North Killingholme and Waltham. There is to be a formal launch of this project at Elsham Wolds in early May. Further details will appear in the Summer Newsletter. Added 4th Feb 2012
Bomber Command Memorial Update
The latest bulletin from the Bomber Command Association states that the dedication and unveiling of the Bomber Command Memorial will take place in London on the 28th June 2012. For those wishing to attend priority will be given to Bomber Command veterans from home and abroad and members of the Bomber Command Association. Chairman Ken Duddell has requested all that RAF Elsham Wolds Association members who wish to attend express their interest direct to Wing Commander Sophy Gardner, Bomber Command Royal Air Force Museum, Grahame Park Way, Hendon, London, NW9 5LL. Further details of the event will appear on the Bomber Command web site in the next few weeks. Added 19th Jan 2012 Amended 4th Feb 2012
A Merry Xmas and Happy New Year to all our readers.
From the web master. Look out for more updates etc in the New Year. Added 10th Dec 2011
I have added a link to a rather good article about Warsaw Hamlet to the relevant page. This explains the background and situation of the exiled Poles at that time in more detail. Added 10th Dec 2011
Mailly-le-Camp Commemoration Support Group - 2012 Trip
Will Members please note that the itinerary and booking form for the 2012 trip to Mailly-le-Camp are now available on the group web site. Click this link for details. Added 29th Nov 2011
Personnel Histories and Profile Section.
I have made a start with this new section and included 2 profiles which I will expand in due course. New items will be added through the winter on a regular basis. These items will relate to Members and close contacts for the most part and also prominent personalities in the history of the two Squadrons and Elsham Wolds. Added 22nd Nov 2011
The Xmas Newsletter is now back from the printers and should be in the post by the end of the November. Added 11th Nov 2011
103 Sqdn and 576 Sqdn Web Site
This site which was set up by Kevin Audsley in Australia about 12 years ago is now off line. This is because Esmart are no longer continuing with their free web hosting package. It is a shame as there was a considerable amount of good content on that site - mostly written by me ! I may well transfer some of that content onto this site in the future. Further announcements regarding this will follow. Added 11th Nov 2011
John has resigned from the committee due to health issues which now prevent him from driving. We thank John for his work over the last 10 years. Added 28th Oct 2011
Members Survey Form.
The Xmas newsletter will include a short members survey form regarding the future format of the annual Association weekend in August. Please complete this and return as your thoughts and ideas concerning the way forward will be welcome. Added 23rd Oct 2011.
2011/12 Membership Subs
A reminder for anyone wishing to renew their membership who has not already paid to please send their subs to the membership secretary asap. Any queries re this contact Jennie MacKay. Added 23rd Oct 2011
The following new members have joined since the summer newsletter.
Peter and Diana Douce, Stan and Kath Gregory, Christine and Colin Rowe, Ashley Staniland, Rosamund Blackmore, Dr. Robert M Laws, Trevor G Bridle. Added 23rd Oct 2011
The next newsletter is now at the printers and should be in the post to members around mid or late November. Added 19th Oct 2011
Edgar Jones DFC and bar
Edgar Thompson Jones, DFC and Bar, late of No.103 Squadron, died on 28 September 2011 at the age of 88. Edgar was a Canadian pilot and awarded a double DFC whilst flying from Elsham Wolds in the winter of 43/44. My own uncle flew his first sortie as a spare bod with Edgar Jones in Feb 44 to Schweinfurt. Post war Edgar was a renowned ornithologist and wild life photographer in Canada. He was a member of the Association in the early days of its existence but has not been involved for many years. Added 19th Oct 2011
Dennis Arthur Josey DFC
We have been informed that Dennis Josey DFC passed away very recently at the age of 91 at his home on Norfolk. Dennis had been a long time member but had not attended any events for a few years due to ill health. He flew a tour as a pilot with 103 Sqn in the spring and summer of 1944 and was awarded a DFC. He continued in the RAF after the war and I seem to recall he was in some Air Control capacity. I had the pleasure of meeting Dennis several times over the years at Reunions. Sincere condolences to his daughter Anita and the Josey family. Added 18th Oct 2011.
Association Remembrance Service.
The Association Service of Remembrance will be held on Sunday the 6th November 2011 at Elsham Parish Church. Arrangements as in previous years with the Service staring at 10:30am. Any members who wish to book lunch at the Golf Club please contact the Angela Vora so she can advise them of the numbers. Pay on the day. Added 2nd Oct 2011.
Air Commodore Dick Skelley RAF Ret’d
Dick Skelley passed away suddenly in June this year. He was the last OC 103 Sqdn when they disbanded in Singapore 1975. Added 2nd Oct 2011
Herbert “ Dizzy” Spiller. DFM
We have been informed Dizzy Spiller sadly passed away quite recently. He was a member in the 80s and 90s but had ill for sometime. He was an Observer with 12 Sqdn in 1940 and fought in the Battle of France and was with 103 Sqdn in 1942 on Wellingtons and Halifaxes. He was shot down in Oct 42 and evaded. He wrote of his experiences on the run in his excellent book Ticket to Freedom. Added 9th Sept 2011