Lincoln. Birchwood - R.A.F. Skellingthorpe

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Reference WMO/261336


129 Birchwood Avenue.





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Status: On original site
Type: Freestanding
Location: External
Setting: Within a garden/park/churchyard/enclosure/Marketplace
Description: Obelisk
  • Brick Brick
  • Stone Stone (any)
About the memorial: Lincolnshire Echo, 10:30 - 03 June 2005 Hundreds of people are gathering this weekend for a tribute to men who served their country in a time of crisis. Members of the 50 and 61 Squadrons Association and their families will assemble for a service to honour airmen who were based at RAF Skellingthorpe during the Second World War. The station has long since been decommissioned and demolished. The site where it stood is now part of the Birchwood estate in Lincoln. And foremost in their minds will be those men who did not make it home. During the war, 1,976 of the airmen and ground crew stationed at Skellingthorpe lost their lives. And in 1989, on a site at the Birchwood Leisure Centre, Lincoln, a memorial was erected as a permanent reminder of those who gave their lives. This year's service at the memorial will take place on Sunday at 11.30am. And it will feature the rededication of the memorial, which has recently been refurbished. There will also be music from the RAF Waddington Voluntary Band, which will lead members of the association, air cadets and ex-service associations in a marchpast. Receiving the salute will be Marshal of the RAF Sir Michael Beetham and the Mayor of Lincoln, Councillor Adele Ellis. Sir Michael, who is president of the association, makes the journey back to Lincolnshire each year for the service, having fond memories of the time he spent as a flight lieutenant at Skellingthorpe. The Last Post will be played, and there will also be a laying of wreaths during the ceremony. Then in the afternoon there will be another short service, at Skellingthorpe Community Centre. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster bomber will make a pass over the memorial. The day will conclude with a buffet prepared for the association by the ladies of the parish. This will provide the ex-servicemen with an opportunity to catch up with their old friends and exchange war-time memories. With people coming from as far away as Canada and Australia this service provides one of the few opportunities for a full reunion. Association secretary Gerry Collins said that many of the men still had positive memories of their days in the Lincoln area. And with everyone swapping stories "you can't even hear yourself think at times," he said. But Mr Collins hopes that even after the last squadron member has died the tradition will be continued by younger generations. "This service means a hell of a lot to all those who flew in the crew, who never knew if their current mission would be their last," he said.
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