207 SQUADRON ROYAL AIR FORCE HISTORY
Corless crew memorial Meeuwen 8 May 2005
Lancaster EM-W ME683
this page contains many large images, please allow time for them to load
last updated 11 Jul 2005
Jean Bosmans of the Association for the Study Local History and Tradition De Reengenoten conducts the dedication of the memorial
Kevin Mapley, Secretary of 207 Sqn RAF Association thanks the people of Meeuwen and explains his personal interest in ME683
Canadian relations ready to lay wreaths, with Hugh Wynter, next to Joe
English holding the wreaths they were going to lay
Mayor of Meeuwen-Gruitrode Mr Lode Ceyssens (in sash), the Governor of Limburg Mrs Hilde
Houben-Bertrand, and Thos Murray in uniform waits with a wreath, with Air Forces representatives
Mayor of Meeuwen-Gruitrode Mr Lode Ceyssens accompanies the Governor of Limburg
Mrs Hilde Houben-Bertrand to untie the parachute fastenings
the memorial is unveiled and the Mayor, Mr Lode Ceyssens,
watches as the parachute shroud is gathered
The Memorial information board is unveiled by Mrs Lydia Jacobs, council member responsible for Tourism
Royal Belgian and Canadian Air Force representatives join
Wg Cdr Thos Murray DSO DFC* RAF(Retd) in the salute for the Last Post
'Thos' Murray read the well known verse from Laurence
Binyon's For the Fallen, written in September 1914.
It is reproduced here in full.
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
" They shall grow not 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. "
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.
dedication of the wreath laid by
Wg Cdr Russ Jeffs AFC RAF(Retd)
OC 207 Squadron May-Dec 1942
dedication of the wreath laid by
Wg Cdr Thos Murray DSO DFC* RAF(Retd)
Flight Commander 207 Squadron and
Pilot, April 1941-September 1942
Mrs Norah Alkins, Bruce's sister, with her sons
left and right in photo, flanking Mrs Norah Alkins
Joe English of 625 Sqn, brother in law of Sgt Mireault, kindly laid the wreath from the Barnes family in memory of Sgt Kenneth Barnes. Ken's sister Sheila had arranged for a Mass for the crew to be held at the Roman Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart & St Margaret Mary, Dereham, Norfolk, at about the same time as the church service was taking place in Meeuwen.
dedication of the wreath laid by Hugh Wynter
Air Gunner Nov 1944-March 1945
This wreath was returned to the
Town Hall for display there.
young children from the families connected with Sgt Raphael
de Casagrande lay their floral tributes
Wg Cdr Thos Murray DSO DFC* RAF(Retd) at the memorial.
This shows the names of the crew, mounted on one of the armour plated doors recovered from ME683's crash site in the fields opposite the memorial.
Mrs Ferne Melvin and Mrs Yvonne Gray, sisters of Sgt James Magoffin
A happy Kevin Mapley
The Corless crew Memorial
images: mostly Frank Haslam, some Bill Alkins