207 SQUADRON ROYAL AIR FORCE HISTORY
10th Anniversary of 207 Sqn Langar Airfield Memorial
Saturday, 8th May 2004, original dedication 12 May 1994
The Langar Airfield Memorial.
This was orginally erected by the local community and dedicated on Thursday 12th May 1994 in tribute to the 251 members of 207 RAF Squadron who gave their lives whilst serving at RAF Langar in WWII. It is at the entrance to the airfield from the Harby Road/Langar Lane, not far from the Control Tower.
It was unveiled on that day by Mrs Dorothy Ware, widow of Sgt Thomas Skelton, kia from Langar 13 May 1943, and the late AVM David Dick, then President of the Association.
Flying Avro Lancaster heavy bombers, 207 was the only RAF Squadron to fly operations from RAF Langar, where it was based from 21st September 1942 to 13th October 1943.
The young trees in the background (see left, taken at the re-dedication on 8 May 2004) from the countries of the British Empire among those whose men and women served at RAF Langar, were planted in 2003 in a major combined effort by the local community, media and the University of Leicester after the original trees had been damaged.
Getting ready: Standards of the local service organisations:
Cadets of 1936 (Newton) and 1279 (Melton) ATC Squadrons assisted on the day.
above & below: Norman Allen, President of Granby, Barnstone & District RBL
Address by Sqn Ldr John Mitchell DFC, 207 Sqn RAF Association and
Chairman of the 207 Squadron Langar Airfield Memorial Committee
Prayers lead by Rev Douglas Dennis CBE, Former Deputy Chaplain General
Wreath layers approach the Memorial: in order:
Mrs Dorothy Ware, Sqn Ldr Alan Dolding, Les Fahy (Chmn Granby, Barnstone & District RBL - ex Stirlings), group of Nat Bury DFM, Arthur McDavitt DFM, Andrew Pegrum DFM, Jack Stephens DFC, Jim Wright (whose father was kia from Langar in the Badge crew, which is commemorated near the crash site in Switzerland)
Four members of a crew which successfully completed a tour (March 1943-October 1943) at RAF Langar, laying a wreath on behalf of the 207 Squadron RAF Association.
L-R: Jack Stephens DFC (Pilot), Andrew Pegrum DFM (Wireless Operator), Arthur Barfoot DFM (Mid-Upper Gunner), Nat Bury DFM (Flight Engineer).
Jim Love DFC (Navigator), who lives in Canada, was unable to attend.
Arthur McDavitt DFM (Rear Gunner) died in 1996.
front row : The Lady Gretton (HM Lord Lieutenant for the County of Leicestershire), Squadron Leader John Mitchell DFC (Chairman of the Langar Airfield Memorial Committee), Mrs Dorothy Ware, Mrs Ann Dennis (the padres' wife), Sqn Ldr Alan Dolding OC 207(R) Sqn, Mrs Helen Dolding, Norman Allen, Wallace McIntosh DFC* DFM who completed a tour at Langar
(2nd row (saluting) Flt Lt Alan Mawby OBE 207(R) Sqn History Officer and Association Liaison Officer, next to Mrs Diane Mawby
Local Service Association Standards are lowered: in the background front row
L-R: Mrs Dorothy Ware, Mrs Ann Dennis, Sqn Ldr Alan Dolding OC 207(R) Sqn, Mrs Helen Dolding, (behind, Kevin Mapley, Secretary 207 Sqn RAF Association), Norman Allen, Wallace McIntosh DFC* DFM.
The Lady Gretton (HM Lord Lieutenant for the County of Leicestershire)
In the background in cap: far left Ken Smith (Armourer 9/43-5/45);
on far right behind Ron Brown (Flight Engineer at RAF Spilsby) in his wheelchair,
Peter Coady, a Friend Member
Gordon Spence, Committee Member of the 207 Squadron Langar Airfield Memorial Appeal Committee
L-R: Squadron Leader John Mitchell DFC (Chairman of the Langar Airfield Memorial Committee, who served at RAF Langar in 1943); Tim Chamberlin (Treasurer of the Langar Airfield Memorial Committee); The Lady Gretton (HM Lord Lieutenant for the County of Leicestershire); Mrs Helen Dolding, Squadron Leader Alan Dolding (Officer Commanding 207 (Reserve) Squadron).
207 Squadron was 'adopted' by the City of Leicester in 1939, and was currently a Reserve Squadron, flying Tucano turboprop trainer aircraft, as part of No 1 Flying Training School, based at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire.
10th Anniversary Re-dedication
207 Squadron 1942 - 1943 Memorial
Saturday 8th May 2004
Reverend Douglas Dennis CBE
Former Deputy Chaplain General
Squadron Leader John Mitchell DFC
207 Squadron Association Langar Airfield Memorial Committee Chairman
In the presence of
The Lady Gretton HM Lord Lieutenant for the County of Leicestershire
Warrant Officer Simon Pill 1936 (Newton) Sqn ATC
Act of Re-dedication
Ecclesiasticus Chapter 44 verses 1 to 14
Chaplain Lord, we come to you in the assurance that you are present with us now. We do not have to seek your presence. We are daily living in your presence. Make us aware of it. Make it real to us, and help us in these moments of prayer to know we are speaking to one who is near and not far off, whose love is all around us and who knows our every need. May we be relaxed in your presence and our hearts be at peace.
Almighty Father on this day we remember those who have gone before and who now serve you in a place beyond this earthly home, we ask that we may feel the tug of love and gratitude that ties us to them and to be given grace to follow in their footsteps.
O God the Creator of all things in heaven and on earth, look down on this Parcel of Land that has been set aside and beautified by the Friends of this 207 Squadron Royal Air Force. We therefore ask your Blessing on this Memorial, re-dedicated to those who lost their lives in conflict and pray that it may become a ladder to heaven for many who will pause in silent Remembrance at this spot.
We ask this in the name of your Son Jesus Christ who gave His life for all humankind.
Laying of Wreaths
THE ACT OF REMEMBRANCE
And now, let us remember before God, and commend to his keeping, those who have died for their country in war, those whom we knew, and those whose memory we treasure, and those who have given their lives in recent conflicts and in peacekeeping roles in several parts of the world.
They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
We will remember them.
A Royal Air Force Collect
Almighty God who makest the clouds thy chariots and walkest upon the wings ofthe storm, look in mercy we beseech thee upon the Royal Air Force. Make us a tower of strength to our Queen and to our country. Help us to do our duty with prudence and with fearlessness, confident that in life or in death the eternal God is our refuge and strength.
Grant this for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen
Lord accept all that we have done in your name this day and may the Peace of God that passes all understanding keep our hearts and minds in your love and the love of your son Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Blessing of God the Father rest above you like a hand, guarding, guiding and comforting;
The Blessing of Jesus reside in your hearts as saviour, companion and friend;
The Blessing of Holy Spirit empower you in this life and through to the next.
Grateful thanks are extended to our Sponsors and Helpers
Derek Cox and East Goscote Nurseries
Long Clawson Dairy Ltd
L R Mees Ltd
Harby PO & General Stores
Mr & Mrs A Baker
Harby Village Hall
Brewster's Brewing Company
The Unicorn's Head, Langar
The University of Leicester
Nottinghamshire Fire Service (for irrigation)
Printed byJohn A Cranswick, Granby, Nottinghamshire
page last updated 6 Nov 06
images: Raymond Glynne-Owen unless otherwise specified