This Remembrance Sunday will be different.You may be joining the nation at 1100 from your living room or your doorstep, but there will be a number of ways to join together online:
BBC Radio 4 Nov 8th 08:10: Hear moving stories and thoughts from personnel within the Royal Air Force in a special Remembrance Sunday service from RAF College Cranwell.
YouTube Nov 8th 1030: Remember the Fallen; those who paid the ultimate price from St Clement Danes Church: YouTube
BBC One Nov 8th 1015: The Government led Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph will continue to go ahead as a closed ceremony. It will be broacast live on as representatives of the Royal Family, the Government and the Armed Forces lay wreaths at the Cenotaph. You will also be able to watch a live stream of events from the Cenotaph on the RBL Facebook page.
A memorial bench to Flt Lt Greg Noble placed at Beachy Head, nr Eastbourne has fallen into a state of disrepair as seen in the pictures above taken by Ian Nelson.
There is enquiry with Lewes and Eastbourne Council to ascertain if it has been adopted and can be repaired, however if it is not we enquire as to how we might be able to make it right.
The Association does not have the funds to unilaterally replace the bench, but we would assist any fund raising efforts to that end.
Any information anyone may have on the history and ownership of the bench would be gratefully received: email@example.com
On 28 May 1918, SE5a s/n B8394 was shot down by Lieutenant Emil Koch of Jasta 32. Its pilot, Lieutenant R.S. Milani of 41 Squadron was badly wounded. He was repatriated on 17 December 1918.
Credit: Ron Eisele @ron_eisele
Update 27 April 2020
The Veterans’ recognition scheme has a 2 phase rollout.
Phase 1 is complete; with Service leavers receiving a recognition card as part of the discharge process.
Phase 2 is to extend the scheme to existing veterans so that they can more quickly, easily and securely prove they served in the UK Armed Forces so they can access the services they need.
We had hoped to have this in place by the end of 2019, but due to the requirement to future-proof the scheme so that veterans can access a wider range of benefits, the need to safeguard against fraudulent use means, this process will take longer.
Information on how to apply will be released closer to the launch date.
This update comes amidst a time of uncertainty for the nation, where the requirement for military support is ever changing, as I am sure you can appreciate. The Sqn are well placed and primed to support in various different roles as directed if or when the time comes.
Following a well deserved Christmas break, a contingent of the Sqn headed out to Nellis AFB in Jan 20 to take part in Exercise Red Flag 20-1. It proved to be an excellent opportunity for the team to work in collaboration with other nations and their platforms, where they gained valuable tactical and training experience. The opportunity is normally afforded to one of the front line units and used as the primary training opportunity in preparation for operational deployment, but the benefit has been equally realised by 41.
On 1st April 20, Wg Cdr J McMeeking passed command of 41 Sqn to Wg Cdr L Gordon, following a final handover flight and small hangar gathering.
Our best wishes to all 41 Sqn Association members and their families during this unsettling time.
Men and Woman of the Royal Air Force have been recognised for their public service in the Armed Forces Operational Honours List, March 2020.
Full list: https://bit.ly/OpHonsMarch2020
Information for RAF personnel will be cascaded through official channels, however the wider RAF network, including dependants and families can access information through the RAF website.
41 Squadron Rested after the Battle of Britain
On 23 February 1941, following almost six months deployment in the thick of the action at Hornchurch, 41 Squadron was ordered north to Catterick, in 13 Group, for a rest. It was necessary.
Their time at Hornchurch had taken its toll on the unit, and it was now a very different squadron, both physically and psychologically. Most of the pilots who had been sent south from Catterick with the unit the previous September did not return today. Fourteen pilots landed at Catterick at 10:00, but of the original 23 pilots who had arrived at Hornchurch in early September 1940, only four made the return flight:
• Remaining – 4: Darling, Ford, Lovell, Mackenzie
• WIA/Hospitalised – 4: Bennions, Lock, Usmar, Wallens
• Killed – 6: Boyle, Hood, Langley, McAdam, Scott, Webster
• Posted – 9: Allison, Boret, Carr-Lewty, Cory, Howitt, Morrogh-Ryan, Piddocke, Ryder, Sayers
However, if one also includes all the pilots posted to the Squadron between 3 September 1940 and 23 February 1941, the statistics are much more grim: Angus, Boyle, Chalder, Garvey, Gilders, Hogg, Hood, Langley, Lecky, Lloyd, McAdam, O’Neill, Scott, Walker, and Webster were all dead.
Others had been wounded in action, such as Sqn Ldr Robert Lister who had taken over command from Sqn Ldr Hood in September 1940 but had only lasted a week before he was shot down and hospitalised. Bennions, Draper, Lock, Usmar and Wallens were also all still in hospital as the Squadron headed for Catterick and only two returned after they were released.
Additionally, Aldous, Aldridge, Allison, H. C. Baker, Bamberger, Boret, Carr-Lewty, Carter, Cory, Howitt, Le Roux, Mileham, Morrogh-Ryan, Norwell, Piddocke, Ryder, and Sayers had all been posted away.
Taking all these men into account, a total of 15 pilots had been killed, six wounded and hospitalised, and 17 otherwise posted away, making over a 150% turnover in manpower since the unit’s deployment to Hornchurch in early September 1940. The Squadron now also had its third Commanding Officer since then, and in fact its fourth within ten months [See the table in Appendix I for a clearer overview of personnel movements].
Nominal Roll, 23 February 1941
On their arrival at RAF Catterick, 41 Squadron consisted of the following 22 pilots:
Sqn Ldr Donald O. Finlay
Sqn Ldr Patrick E. Meagher (Supernumerary)
Flt Lt Anthony D. J. Lovell DFC, OC B Flight
Flt Lt John N. Mackenzie DFC, OC A Flight
Fg Off Dennis A. Adams
Fg Off M. Peter Brown
Plt Off Edward V. Darling
Plt Off Roy C. Ford
Plt Off Michael F. Briggs
Plt Off Norman M. Brown
Plt Off Edward P. Wells
Plt Off Archibald L. Winskill
Sgt Plt Aubrey C. Baker
Sgt Plt Robert A. Beardsley
Sgt Plt Norman V. Glew
Sgt Plt Terence W. R. Healy
Sgt Plt Thomas Hindle
Sgt Plt Harry Hopkinson
Sgt Plt Jack London
Sgt Plt Wilfred Palmer
Sgt Plt George W. Swanwick
Sgt Plt Thomas W. Willmott
The move to Catterick gave Sqn Ldr Donald Finlay a much-needed opportunity to rest his pilots and provided him a five-month window in which to do so.
Whilst most men were sent on leave of varying lengths, many were posted away soon after the unit’s arrival, and replaced by pilots from other squadrons or, more often than not, by fresh pilots, albeit inexperienced, who arrived directly from operational training units.
As such, by the time the Squadron returned to operations with 11 Group in late July 1941, the unit had undergone yet another major transformation, and nearly all of the old faces were gone.
[Excerpt from Steve Brew’s “Blood, Sweat and Courage” (Fonthill, 2014). Sharing permitted, but no reproduction without permission, please.]
Updates and news direct from the Committee