Reunion 2016

550 Squadron Association Reunion 2016

Photographs from the Association Reunion at North Killingholme 1st-3rd July 2016.

Thanks to Kathleen Robinson, Mike Leeman and others for providing the photographs.

Many thanks to all in North Killingholme who, as ever, pulled out all the stops to make the weekend run smoothly. Thanks also to all the Association members and others who turned up, from all over the UK, as well as Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, Canada and Australia to make it a wonderful weekend for all.

Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016

Most images are available in one resolution only, in which case click on the picture to view (they will launch in another window).
Where there is a picture available in a choice of resolutions then click on the offered link rather than the thumbnail image.
NB: Most of the pictures are not particularly large (ca. 1Mb or less), but a few are larger (2Mb up to ca. 4Mb) and if you have a slow connection they may take a little while to download.

Anniversaries

This year is the 25th Anniversary of Association Reunions (the first having taken place in RAF Hendon, London).

Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016

Grimsby Telegraph online:
25th anniversary honours those part of the Royal Air Force 550 Squadron at North Killingholme

Reunion Weekend Welcome Pack

DocumentDescription
Reunion 2016 Welcome Pack Reunion Weekend Friday 1st - Sunday 3rd July: Welcome Information
Detailed information for the weekend
Timetable of Events Timetable of Events (final version)
Detailed timetable of the Saturday events
In the event this "final" schedule was revised on the day as the Spitfire flypast moved to 15:32 and finally 16:05

Friday Evening, Dinner at the Ashbourne (informal)

About 20 people were able to attend the Friday evening meal. With no seating plan for the informal dinner people were able to turn up, mingle and chat.

There were a number of displays around the room, and some aircraft wreakage brought back from Jalhay after the unveiling of the memorial there in April.

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Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016 Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016 Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016

Saturday Morning

Lunch at the Amethyst Hotel

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

Saturday Afternoon

Remembrance Service in St Denys' Church

Jack Harris gave a short talk. The Association members no longer with us were remembered.

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Parade to Memorial Stone

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Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016 Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016 Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016

Laying of the Wreaths At the Memorial Stone

Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016
Jack Harris
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016
Kathleen Robinson, John Arnold, Stan Freemont, Jack Harris, others
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016
Jack Harris
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016
John Arnold (Australia)
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Stan Freemont
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Kathleen Robinson
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016
William Albertyn (Belgium)
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Don Kentish
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Dan and Paula Jeffries
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Bill Swan (Australia)
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Pam Lipfriend
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016
Vic Parker, Iris Freely
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Ole Seberg, Susan Seberg (Denmark)
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Alan Turner, George Turner
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Gordon Bell
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Gary Brooks
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Veterans At the Memorial Stone

Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016
Stan Freemont, Jack Harris, Bill Swan, Maurice Snowball, Wally Fitch, Philip Blackham
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016
Stan Freemont, Jack Harris, Bill Swan, Maurice Snowball, Wally Fitch, Philip Blackham
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016
Stan Freemont, Jack Harris, Bill Swan, Maurice Snowball, Wally Fitch, Philip Blackham

Spitfire Flypast

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Parade Back to St Denys' Church

Lead by the Immingham Air Training Corps Band.

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Saturday Evening, Reunion Dinner, The Ashbourne Hotel

Sixty members of the Association, including members from Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Australia and Canada sat down to dinner on Saturday evening. After the Grace said by Jack Harris a fine dinner was enjoyed by all.

After the dinner Jack Harris said a few words, and proposed the toasts.

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):

DocumentDescription
Timetable of Events 2016 550 Squadron and RAF North Killingholme Association
MS Powerpoint Slide Set
NB: very large document (ca. 21 Mbytes) - will take a long time to download

John Arnold gave a short talk on his father's crew experiences with 550 Squadron illustrated with some photographs of the crew.

DocumentDescription
Timetable of Events 2016 550 Squadron F/O Summons Crew
MS Powerpoint Slide Set
NB: large document (ca. 4 Mbytes) - will take a long time to download
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016
Table 1
L-to-R: Paul Freemont, Stan Freemont, Angela Tompson, Jack Harris, Sue Etherington, Andrew Etherington, Gordon Bell, Christine Dunlavy, William Albertyn (obscured), Denise Rammeloo, Maurice Snowball, Barbara Hercliffe
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016
Table 1
L-to-R: Gordon Bell, Christine Dunlavy, William Albertyn (obscured), Denise Rammeloo, Maurice Snowball, Barbara Hercliffe, Paul Freemont, Stan Freemont (obscured), Angela Tompson, Jack Harris, Sue Etherington, Andrew Etherington
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016
Table 2
L-to-R: Sally Craddock, Chris Swan, Gary Brooks, Gary Harris, Marianne Harris, Ruth Turner, George Turner, John Arnold, Bill Swan, Pat Swan
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016
Table 3
L-to-R: Mike Cross, Diana Cross, Pam Lipfriend, Val Kentish, Honor Redshaw, Keith Allen, Kath Robinson, Dave Robinson, Don Kentish
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016
Table 4
L-to-R: Sylvia Pexman, Katy Pritchard, Lewis Mason, Steve Parker, Chris Parker, Vic Parker, Iris Freely, Ole Seberg, Susan Seberg, Len Pexman
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016
Table 5
L-to-R: Michael Holmes, Susan Schmidt, Alan Turner, Beattie Turner, Mike Noonan, Margaret Noonan, Peter Coulter, Sally Coulter, Rachel Coulter
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016
Table 6
L-to-R: Margaret Leeman, Wally Fitch, Elizabeth Norton, Keith Fitch, Phillip Norton, Phil Blackham, Andy Gilbride, Sydney Gilbride

Sunday Morning, Airfield Tour

George Turner led a small convoy of four or five vehicles on a tour of the airfield at 11AM. He stopped at various places to point out items of interest, for example, where "Queenie" bogged down (in a well known photograph), where the "Phantom of the Ruhr" overshot the runway (and where in 1963 the metal "carpet" that was used by the winching crew to retrieve her, was dug up by ploughing), dispersal areas, bomb and fuel dumps, site of the control tower, etc. (although some buildings have been knocked down over the last couple of years as planned developments have commenced). Most of the large hangers remain, and are in current use by various businesses.

This was much appreciated by all attending.

A photo of the map of the airfield that George used is available: here.

PhotoDescription
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016 "Home of 550 Squadron" North Killingholme village sign (one of three on the approach roads to the village)

L-to-R: John Arnold, Barbara Hercliffe, Michael Holmes, Chris Swan, Susan Schmidt, Maurice Snowball, George Turner, Chris Parker, Rachel Coulter, Sally Coulter, Steve Parker, Iris Freely, Denise Rammeloo, Vic Parker, William Albertyn

Sunday Afternoon, Elsham Wolds

A group, including all our visitors from Belgium and Canada, travelled to see the museum at Elsham Wolds (about 20 minutes from North Killingholme).

There the group was welcomed by members of the Elsham Wolds Association and given a guided tour of the museum.

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PhotoDescription
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016 Visitors gathered around the Memorial Stone (to 103 and 576 Squadrons which flew from Elsham Wolds)

L-to-R: Honor Redshaw, Keith Allen, Kathleen Robinson, Michael Holmes, Susan Schmidt (Canada), Peter Coulter, Sally Coulter, Steve Parker, Iris Freely, Chris Parker, Vic Parker, Rachel Coulter, William Albertyn, Denise Rammeloo

Many thanks to all at Elsham Wolds, especially Robin Lingard (Curator, Elsham Wold Air Museum), Alan Holmes, and Graham Brett for giving us an extremely interesting and enjoyable visit, with many new exhibits since our last visit including items such as Don Charlwood's uniform.

Afterwards the group also visited the RAF Memorial in Kirmington village.

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Monday, International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC), Lincoln

A party of ca. 18 people travelled to Lincoln to visit the site of the International Bomber Command Centre in the centre of the city.

PhotoDescription
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016 Visitors gathered with the Memorial in background

L-to-R: Iris Freely, Mike Leeman, Margaret Leeman, Steve Parker, Chris Parker, Vic Parker, Honor Redshaw, Don Kentish, Val Kentish, Keith Allen, Peter Coulter, Sally Coulter, William Albertyn, Denise Rammeloo
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016
Wally Fitch lays a wreath
For 550 aircrew lost on operations 1943-1945
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016
Memorial Spire
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View of Lincoln city centre from the Memorial site
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William Albertyn, Denise Rammeloo
Placing poppies for members of the Dukelow crew lost in Sint Niklaas
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016
William Albertyn, Denise Rammeloo
Placing poppies for members of the Dukelow crew lost in Sint Niklaas

Poppy Wave, Lincoln

While in Lincoln some visitors took the opportunity to see the Poppy Wave on display in Lincoln Castle.

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