Reunion 2018

550 Squadron Association Reunion 2018

Photographs from the Association Reunion at North Killingholme 7th-9th September 2018.

Many thanks to all in North Killingholme who, as always, did everything to ensure the weekend was a success. Flags and bunting adorned the village, the Memorial Stone and surrounding are was suitably flagged, large numbers of local people turned out for the Remembrance Service at the Memorial Stone and the flypast, St Denys' Church and the village hall were both decorated and looking fantastic. Thanks also to all the Association members and others who attended, from all over the UK and Ireland, as well as Australia, Belgium and Denmark, to make it simply a wonderful weekend.

Reunion, North Killingholme, 2018

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Anniversaries

This year is the 75th anniversary of the formation of 550 Squadron in November 1943. It is also the 100th anniversary of the formation of the RAF from the RFC at the end of World War I. Furthermore it is the 20th anniversary of the unveiling of the Memorial Stone in Westerlo, Belgium to the 550 Squadron Lancaster DV309 (P/O Hinde and crew).

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Online Reporting

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Reunion, North Killingholme, 2018
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The Grimsby Telegraph online has posted a video taken at the Memorial Stone:

Second World War veterans return to remember fallen comrades at RAF 550 Squadron's 75th anniversary reunion

Reunion Weekend Welcome Pack

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Timetable of Events Timetable of Events (final version)
Detailed timetable of the Saturday events
Reunion 2018 Welcome Pack Reunion Weekend Friday 7th - Sunday 9th September: Booking Form

Friday Evening, Dinner at the Ashbourne (informal)

Thirty-six people attended the informal dinner on Friday evening.

There were a number of displays around the room featuring, among other things, the minutes from the first reunion in 1992 (Hendon) and in 1993 (North Killingholme), and the 20th anniversary of the Westerlo Memorial.

Saturday Morning

Lunch at the Amethyst Hotel

As usual there was a gathering of people at the Amethyst Hotel for a lunch and drink prior to the afternoon events.

Saturday Afternoon

Parade to Memorial Stone

Lead by the Immingham Air Training Corps Band.

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Flypast

Before the Service of Remembrance, and at 13:45 (planned), there was to be a flypast by the BBMF Lancaster (weather, etc permitting). Just a short time before this scheduled time however the flypast got pushed back 30mins to 14:15. So the time-table for the afternoon was hurredly altered. In the event, however the 14:15 flypast did not occur (poor weather) and despite waiting for around a further 20mins at the Memorial Stone the Lancaster did not appear. Everyone trooped back to the Church for the Service. Which was just about to start when the cry went up "the Lancaster is coming". Never has a church emptied so fast!! We were treated to a super, low, flypast of three passes over St Denys' Church. The weather turned out to be our friend and rewarded us with a memorable and wonderful flypast of the Lancaster. The BBMF Events Team are greatly thanked for a wonderful display for our veterans, North Killingholme villagers and visitors.

Service At the Memorial Stone

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Laying of the Wreaths At the Memorial Stone

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Veterans At the Memorial Stone

Visitors from Australia, Belgium and Denmark joined veterans at the Memorial Stone.

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Front row, 550 Veterans:
Jack Harris, Wally Fitch, Maurice Snowball, Philip Blackham
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2018
William Albertyn, Jos de Ryck, Ole Seberg,
Wilfred Burie, Jack Harris, Angela Harris, Ben Voorspoels

Parade Back to St Denys' Church

Lead by the Immingham Air Training Corps Band.

Remembrance Service in St Denys' Church

After the rapid exit to see the Lancaster flypast the service re-started slightly later than planned.

Peter Coulter welcomed everyone to the service on behalf of the Association, and gave a short talk about the events attended in 2018 by the Association.

A poem, "Wings of Thunder" by Michael Skeet, was read by Terry Marsden.

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Reunion 2018 Speech Welcome Speech
WingsOfThunder "Wings of Thunder" by Michael Skeet

Tea in the Village Hall

Tea and cakes in the newly refurbished Village Hall.

Saturday Evening, Reunion Dinner, The Ashbourne Hotel

Sixty-eight people sat down to dinner on Saturday evening.

After dinner George Turner gave the toasts, and said a few words.

Slide sets displayed over the weekend and during the dinner are shown below (these will download and need MS Powerpoint (MSOffice) in order to be viewed):

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Reunion 2018, Powerpoint Slide Set 550 Squadron and RAF North Killingholme Association
MS Powerpoint Slide Set
NB: very large document (ca. 25 Mbytes) - may take a long time (up to a couple of minutes) to download depending on the speed of your internet connection
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2018
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2018
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Post-Reunion Note

In the after dinner speech on Saturday evening George Turner mentioned an oak sapling grown from seeds that had been brought back from Belgium in 2016.

That sapling has now been planted in St Denys' Church churchyard (replacing a tree what that had had to be removed). A plaque (Belgium Remembers Them) will, in due course, be placed alongside in recognition of the work done by our friends in Belgium in remembering 550 crews lost in action over Belgian air-space.

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The photos below taken on Remembrance Sunday following the Remembrance Service held in St Denys' Church.

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