550 Squadron Commemoration April 2016
The ceremony of Inauguration of the Memorial to Jalhay took place on 9th April 2016 at the monument erected by Jean-Claude Pauly and André Deroanne, two citizens of Jalhay.
The British Ambassador to Belgium, Mrs Alison Rose, along with many standard-bearers of different veteran associations (British and Belgian) and local and provincial authorities attended the service. In addition many people from the village of Jalhay also remembered the airmen of 550 Squadron.
In total some 100 people attended at this remote site, which has limited access for vehicles the memorial being in a forest with only a forestry service dirt-track for access. The bulk of the aircraft wreakage is believed to lie now in the waters of the reservoir that is in the valley of the forest but which did not exist at the time of the crash.
The unveiling of the monument was carried out by Mrs Rose, Ambassador, the Mayor de Jalhay, and Mr. Pauly and Mr. Deroanne as well as the Mr. Guy De Braeckeleer, representing 550 Squadron Association.
The 550 Squadron Association was represented by Wilfred Burie who spoke on behalf of the Association, and a wreath was laid on behalf of the Association by Guy De Braeckeleer. The Ambassador expressed her thanks for the work done by the people of Jalhay in erecting this memorial and remembering this crew lost in their midst.
During the reception following the ceremony some parts of the aircraft were presented to the Association representatives.
See http://www.rebecq-memorial.eu/jalhay2016.php for a full record of the Inauguration of the Memorial.
Below is a selection of photographs from the Commemoration Service in Jalhay, Belgium on 9th April 2016. Click on individual pictures to view the larger image.
Many thanks to Wilfred Burie for making these pictures available for display on the web-site.
Mrs Rose, the British Ambassador, thanks the municipality and the people of Jalhay on the initiative for the monument reminding all of the sacrifice of the young British aircrew who gave everything in the fight for freedom
Wreaths are laid
Wilfred Burie speaks on behalf of the 550 Squadron Association with a message of gratitude from the members of the Association for the efforts of the Belgian people, and in particular, of Jalhay, so that the memory of the airmen of 550 Squadron, fallen in Belgium in 1944 is maintained for the future generations.
The fallen are remembered.
The Royal British Legion Standard is lowered.
The Ambassador speaks with members of veterans organisations.