Once again we are on the threshold of another reunion. I hope you have had a good summer and a holiday and feel much better for it.
Sadly, we have lost more veterans, the most recent one being Godfrey Flack, aka Geoffrey. He lived in Australia and was a pilot flying out of Snaith. He passed away on 23rd Aug. And his funeral was on 28th Aug.
u may remember that I told you Alastair Byers had written a book about his father's journey and I asked Alastair to post a copy to Geoff and I would reimburse him. Alastair parcelled up the book and it was ready to post when I received the sad news that Geoff had passed away.
As our last reunion was taking place we lost Alun Emlyn Jones OBE aka Grem. He was a bomb aimer also flying out of Snaith. Alun was also responsible for putting up the memorial stone at Garroby Hill for his crew. His family will be placing his plaque in April 2018.
With the help of SSAFA we located the hospital in which Jim Gardner was being treated. Jim had been in several hospitals and eventually his daughter, Glynis, managed to find him a Care Home as he was unable to return to his home. Glynis keeps me informed about his health which is not good. Jim was a regular attendee at all the reunions.
Albert Gunn's wife, Dorothy up in Scotland, tells me that all her family has been seriously ill and, whilst Albert was picking up a little, he fell at a family wedding which left his face in a terrible mess. Several nurses were at the wedding so they could help him. He was cross as he could not have a drink! We hope they are all making good progress and that Dorothy has more help now and Albert has his drink.
Bob Pickford has his ups and downs, more downs than ups but he keeps cheerful. He still manages to pay a visit to the garden to lay flowers on his crew's plaque on the anniversary of their crash. Well done Bob.
Peter Gulliver, our deputy chairman is suffering from the results of a crash and can only walk with two sticks and is unable to drive so he cannot visit the garden. We hope he makes a quick recovery as we need him. He still continues to cover all his requests for research.
Reginald Arthur Greisen aka Dick, has recently passed away and he used to live in Spain and was keen to know all the news on the garden. After he moved to this country to be near his family he kept in touch by telephone. His family has sent a very generous donation in his memory and we wish to thank them all most sincerely.
The garden is beginning to look nice again mainly through the efforts of a handful of helpers Geoff and Delise Thorp do good work every week and Mr Harker's gardener cuts the grass. Margaret, our Assistant Secretary deals with the everyday jobs needed to keep things going. We need more helpers to do some weeding occasionally.
The children from Snaith Primary School have done a good job cleaning the plaques. Well done children and thank you.
Richard Lyons, our Treasurer, is a very helpful member. If he sees a job needs doing he doesn't wait to be asked but gets on with it and always makes a god job of it. He has just renewed the lettering on the memorial which looks much better and also professional.
Thank you Richard.
Geoff Flack's daughter, Sandra, has sent me a copy of an excellent eulogy. I aim to make some copies and place them in the hall at the reunion. It is too long to put in the newsletter. Thank you Sandra. Dad would have like that touch.
We are trying to arrange for a tablet to be placed in Snaith church to match the one already in place for 150 squadron. It is a lengthy job trying to obtain permission from the church as Peter Warren and I have tried previously but we hope to get it in time to unveil it on 29th April 2018 which is also the day which is earmarked for The Freedom of Snaith for 51 squadron. If anyone would like to be a sponsor, we would be very grateful. We cannot use monies sent to us for the garden maintenance so need sponsors specifically for the tablet which will cost
The next reunion will be on 29th April 2018 which will be on the same day as the Freedom of Snaith for 5 1 squadron as already explained. The reason being is that the RAF cannot use two different days due to the exigencies of their duties.
Delise and Geoff Thorp have once again said they will open their home for Christmas Evenngs and devote part of the monies to the Memorial Garden as one of their chosen charities. This is the last year for this event and the house which is decorated by Delise is quite something. The cost to see this event is
10 which includes mulled wine and mince pies. They hope to see you all there and the evening dates start on November 27th (week days only) at 4.30pm to 7.30pm. Please contact Delise to arrange a booking.
Renee has received a medal from Australia with the help of Mr. Snowden MP for Lingiari and his assistant Mr. Vince Jeisman. It is from the Dept of Veterans Affairs.
Thank you all for your kindness.
I am sure most of you remember the two Hockley boys who have attended several reunions with Mum and Dad, Dave who was in 51 squadron and is now in 56 squadron. They have both done well at school and we hope to see, Luke, the younger one as a golf professional in the future also having gained 11 GCE s . He has started a BTEC course studying Sports Science. Dene has just graduated He has secured a position as a graduate chartered surveyor with a company who has a contract supporting the new High Speed Rail. Well done boys and congratulations.
We all wish to send our best wishes and congratulations to our former Wing Commander, Tom Talbot who has recently been promoted to Group Capt. He has moved to Bushey Heath and now works for Joint Forces Command at Northwood.
He has promised to keep in touch and to visit us when possible. Good luck in your new job Tom.
Alastair Byers' book is still available and can be bought at the reunion when we hope Alastair and his wife will be present. It is a good book and I am sure it will sell.
This will be my final newsletter as I have decided to hand over the reins to Margaret, our new General Secretary who will introduce herself to you in the next newsletter. I have been finding the job too much for a while and having the garden back on track I aim to spend more time with my family after 22 years as Secretary. Also, my son, Ian, who lives with me, recently had a heart attack and as a result had a triple heart bypass. This means that I have more jobs to do at home until he is A1 again. I will however, be on hand if needed for any advice.
Jonathan Wilson who is Mr. Harker's right hand man is very helpful to us and can be relied upon when we need extra help and advice. Thank you Jonathan.
I think that is about all the news I have to impart so I will say cheerio for now and look forward to seeing you all at the reunion.
Kind regards from all your friends at RAF Snaith