Reunion 2017

550 Squadron Association Reunion 2017

Photographs from the Association Reunion at North Killingholme 8th-10th Sepember 2017.

Many thanks to all in North Killingholme who, as usual, did everything to ensure the weekend was a success. Flags and bunting adored the village, 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 turned up, from all over the UK, as well as Australia, Ireland, Belgium and Denmark to make it a wonderful weekend for all.

Reunion, North Killingholme, 2016

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Anniversaries

This year the Annual Reunion is the 25th to be held in North Killingholme, and so a very important landmark for the Association.

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Online Reporting

DocumentDescription
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2017 The Grimsby Telegraph online has posted a video taken at the Memorial Stone
(which includes the Lancaster flypast):

Watch as world famous Lancaster bomber performs flypast in memory of airmen of 550 Squadron

Reunion Weekend Welcome Pack

DocumentDescription
Reunion 2017 Welcome Pack Reunion Weekend Friday 8th - Sunday 10th September: Welcome Information
Detailed information for the weekend
Timetable of Events Timetable of Events (final version)
Detailed timetable of the Saturday events
Reunion 2017 Welcome Pack Reunion Weekend Friday 8th - Sunday 10th September: Booking Form

Friday Evening, Dinner at the Ashbourne (informal)

Some forty 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 featuring the first reunion in 1992 (Hendon) and in 1993 (North Killingholme).

A special anniversary cake was baked. It tasted as wonderful as it looked.

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A model of ME581/BQ-D lost over Berinzenne in Belgium, with the F/O Milburn crew, was on display. The model was made by Eric Moureau and presented to the Association by Wilfred Burie of the Rebecq Association.

Reunion, North Killingholme, 2017 Reunion, North Killingholme, 2017

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 spot on 14:05, the BBMF Lancaster did a three-pass flypast for the cheering crowd.

Lloyd Fleming took some lovely video footage of the Lancaster flypast which is available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPy3Y_V0vlc

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Veterans At the Memorial Stone

Reunion, North Killingholme, 2017
Stan Freemont, Jack Harris, Wally Fitch,
Maurice Snowball, Edward Fleming, Philip Blackham
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2017
Stan Freemont, Jack Harris, Wally Fitch,
Maurice Snowball, Edward Fleming, Philip Blackham
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2017
Stan Freemont, Jack Harris, Wally Fitch,
Maurice Snowball, Edward Fleming,
Angela Tompson (seated)
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2017 Reunion, North Killingholme, 2017
Stan Freemont, Jack Harris, Wally Fitch,
Maurice Snowball, Edward Fleming, Philip Blackham (hat)
George Turner (behind,obscured)

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

Reunion, North Killingholme, 2017
William Albertyn, Donna Henry, Wilfred Burie, Ole Seberg,
Chris Swan, Jos de Ryck, Jack Harris, Edward Fleming
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2017
William Albertyn, Donna Henry, Wilfred Burie, Ole Seberg,
Chris Swan, Jos de Ryck, Jack Harris, Edward Fleming

Parade Back to St Denys' Church

Lead by the Immingham Air Training Corps Band.

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Remembrance Service in St Denys' Church

Jack Harris gave a short talk about operations from North Killingholme. The Association members no longer with us were remembered.

Ildiko Van Dyck sang two pieces for the gathering in the church.

Tea in the Village Hall

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Saturday Evening, Reunion Dinner, The Ashbourne Hotel

A total of 84 members of the Association, including members from Australia, Belgium, Denmark and Ireland sat down to dinner on Saturday evening.

Chris Swan read a message from his father Bill Swan (Pilot/Flight Engineer with the F/O Findlay crew, in Australia and unable to attend this year).

Elizabeth Coulter read her poem "Respect" in memory of her grandfather Jim Cassidy, a Navigator with 550 Squadron.

DocumentDescription
RespectPoemJimCassidyIllustrated "Respect", a poem about F/Lt James Cassidy (RAAF) DFC and Bar

After the Grace said by Jack Harris a fine dinner was enjoyed by all.

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
Reunion 2017, Powerpoint Slide Set 550 Squadron and RAF North Killingholme Association
MS Powerpoint Slide Set
NB: very large document (ca. 21 Mbytes) - will take a long time (many minutes) to download

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

There then followed a few songs from yesteryear. To close there was a short Jack Harris "comedy spot"; laugther was uncontained, a joyous end to the evening.

Sunday, International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC), Lincoln

A party of about thirty people travelled to Lincoln to visit the site of the International Bomber Command Centre in the centre of the city. Although still under construction the Association was given special access to the site (Spire and Exhibition building).

Reunion, North Killingholme, 2017
Wally Fitch, Jack Harris and Edward Fleming place a wreath for 550 aircrew lost on operations 1943-1945
by the name of W/Cmdr A F M Sisley (Commanding Officer, 550 Sqdn)
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Wally Fitch, Jack Harris and Edward Fleming and representative from the IBCC (presented with a copy of "Five Fifty")
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Clare Fleming, Edward Fleming (pilot, 550 Sqdn)
Lloyd Fleming
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View of the memorials
(listing crews lost from Lincolnshire stations)
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2017
View of the memorials
(listing crews lost from Lincolnshire stations)

The following photographs from Don Kentish.

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