207 SQUADRON ROYAL AIR FORCE HISTORY
Spilsby Airfield Memorial (2001)
Dedication & Unveiling, 25th August 2001
This memorial suffered from weathering and was replaced in 2012
The Company having assembled, the Chaplain, Reverend Richard Benson, Rector of the Partney Group of Parishes, enters with the unveiling party.
Reverend Richard Benson: The Standard Bearers line the rear of the memorial
Chaplain: We have come together in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to dedicate this memorial to the Glory of God and in memory of the men and women of the Royal Air Forces who served at this airfield. Let us remember God's presence with us now as we quietly bring to mind all who served here: those who war and time have taken from our sight; or who, though still with us, bear the scars of their service in mind or body.
There will then be a short silence for private prayer and reflection.
Chaplain: We especially remember the sacrifice of all who gave their lives or who did not return from operations whilst serving here. Today we pray for those who served here at RAF Spilsby from October 1943 to October 1945. No.207 Squadron Royal Air Force's losses during that period were 499 air crew killed; 12 of the ground crew were killed, three of whom have no known grave not far from this place. Another 133 air crew were lost in action, 24 evading capture and 109 becoming prisoners of war. We also remember Nos. 44 and 75 Squadrons, which served here for a short period.
We remember the families and loved ones they left behind. We give thanks for the support and friendship shown by the local community towards the young men and women of many nations stationed here, who by day and night waged war for our peace.
Let us join together in the Lord's Prayer.
All: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen
Prayer of Re-dedication
Chaplain: Teach us Good Lord to serve you as you deserve. To give - and not to count the cost. To fight - and not to heed the wounds. To toil - and not to seek for rest. To labour - and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that we do thy will. All: Amen
The Unveiling Party has been selected by draw: it comprises three former members of No.207 Squadron who served at RAF Spilsby, all donors to the Memorial Appeal: - a WAAF - a member of the ground crew - and a member of an aircrew.
Mr Kevin Mapley, Chairman of the Spilsby Airfield Memorial Committee, shall identify them by name, role and dates, addressing Group Captain W J Taylor OBE IEng FRAeS RAF(Retd) of 207 Squadron Royal Air Force Association: Sir, on behalf of the Spilsby Airfield Memorial Committee I present:
Mr A G 'Fred' Pearce, Flight Mech A (8/42-3/46)
Mrs Emily Bentley, Catering (9/42-10/45)
Flt Lt Bill Verralls DFC RAF(Retd), Pilot (10/44-5/45)
to unveil the memorial marker on behalf of their WAAF, ground crew and air crew comrades who served here at RAF Spilsby with No.207 Squadron Royal Air Force.
Mr Kevin Mapley, Chairman of the Airfield Memorial Committee (2nd R) presents the Unveiling Party (L-R: Bill Verralls, Emily Bentley, Fred Pearce) to Group Captain Bill Taylor of 207 Squadron RAF Association (2nd L). The party is flanked by Cadets from 207 (Cranfield) and 2266 (Spilsby) ATC Squadrons
Grp Capt Taylor : Sir, on behalf of No.207 Squadron RAF Association, I thank the Committee and all involved with this excellent memorial site. It honours all who served here. It is for those who survived, for the families and friends of those who died and for the local community. It will remind all who see it of the debt they owe.
Mr Mapley, Grp Capt Taylor and two Cadets, from 2266 (Spilsby) and 207 (Cranfield) Squadrons ATC, shall escort the Party to the marker, which the Party will then unveil. The group will then face the marker and the Chaplain shall say: To the Glory of God and in the faith of Jesus Christ, we dedicate this commemorative memorial site to all who served here at RAF Spilsby: in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. All: Amen
The Unveiling party pictured after the ceremony
The Unveiling Party and Escort move off, the Chaplain remaining. Official wreaths will be laid at the marker. Private wreaths and floral tributes may then be laid, at the No.5 Group and Bomber Command plaques please.
Lt Col Lee Smith, Assistant Air Force Adviser from the Canadian High Commission,
lays a wreath in memory of all RCAF who served at RAF Spilsby
Frank Haslam snr (Wireless Operator 4/44-6/44) lays a floral tribute for his crew,
Solly's Sinners, shot down on Wesseling 21/22 June 1944: three were killed
and one has since died: the other three are members of the Association
After which the Chaplain will give the Blessing: Go forth into the world in peace; be of good courage; hold fast to that which is good; render to no man evil for evil; strengthen the faint hearted; support the weak; help the afflicted; honour all men; love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit. And the Blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you for ever and ever. All: Amen
The National Anthem, verse 1
God save our Gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen.
Send her victorious,
happy and glorious,
long to reign over us:
God save the Queen.
The dedication is concluded.
Announcements will then be made about various group photographs, e.g. RAF Spilsby veterans, and about events at East Kirkby. Please watch out for traffic that may be passing by as you disperse.
RAF Spilsby veterans
some Friend Members of 207 Squadron RAF Association
L-R: detachments of 2266 (Spilsby) and 207 (Cranfield) Squadrons Air Training Corps
Kevin Mapley arranged for Ron Winton - Spilsby Veteran, Founding
207 Sqn Association Committee Member and Secretary of the
Airfield Memorial Committee - to return to something like his original office
The end of a momentous day.
Just Jane Lancaster NX611 seen through the hangar doors at East Kirkby
Two taxying runs were done.
The church of All Saints Great Steeping was encompassed in the boundaries of the aerodrome. 207 Squadron is also remembered there in the form of a Memorial Plaque and a Book of Remembrance (see All Saints link on the left).
Spilsby Airfield Memorial Committee
Mr Kevin Mapley, Friend Member of 207 Sqn RAF Association (Chairman)
Mr Ron Winton ISM, (Secretary): Secretary & Membership Secretary of 207 Sqn RAF Association: Wireless Operator 7/44-12/44: POW, shot down 18.12.44.
Mrs Sheilagh Wilford, Friend Member of 207 Sqn RAF Association and owner of the former Technical Site
Mr Ron Emeny AFM, Air Gunner 4/44-5/44: AG/AEO 1/46-4/50: Evader, shot down 3/4 May 1944, Member of 207 Sqn RAF Association, who has since died.
To all who made a donation to the Appeal Fund
Mr James Grant for the generous donation of the site
2266 (Spilsby) Squadron Air Training Corps
Leake's Masonry of Louth
Steve Andrews, Brendan Baker, Neil Coupland (building work)
Kellswood Rural Leisure Centre for facilities
This page was last updated on 27 Aug 2012: 2 Jan 14
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