Reunion 2019

550 Squadron Association Reunion 2019

Photographs from the Association Reunion at North Killingholme 12th-13th July 2019.

Many thanks to all in North Killingholme who, as always, did everything to ensure the weekend was a success. Flags and bunting adorned the village, the Memorial Stone and surrounding are was suitably flagged, large numbers of local people turned out for he flypast over St Denys' Church and the Remembrance Service at the Memorial Stone and in the church. Thanks also to all the Association members and others who attended, from all over the UK and Ireland, as well as Belgium and Denmark, to make it simply a wonderful weekend.

Reunion, North Killingholme, 2019

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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. 2-4Mb), but a few are larger and if you have a slow connection they may take a while to download.

Anniversaries

This year is the 75th anniversary of operations from North Killingholme which commenced in January 1944.

It is also 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in which 550 Squadron played such a significant role, as mentioned in the welcoming address in the church.

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Online Reporting

DocumentDescription
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2019 The Grimsby Telegraph online has posted videos of events on Saturday:

Watch Lancaster roar over North Killingholme in tribute to veterans marking anniversary of 550 Squadron

Reunion Weekend Welcome Pack

DocumentDescription
Timetable of Events Timetable of Events (final version)
Detailed timetable of the Saturday events
Reunion 2019 Welcome Pack Reunion Weekend Friday 12th - Sunday 14th July: Booking Form

Friday Evening, Dinner at the Ashbourne (informal)

ca. 30 people attended the informal dinner on Friday evening.

There were a number of displays around the room featuring, among other things, the unveiling of a new Memorial in Sint Niklaas, records of earlier reunions and audio recordings of 550 veterans.

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

Flypast

Before the Service of Remembrance, and at 13:40 (planned), there was a flypast by the BBMF Lancaster. Bang on time the sound of mighty engines announced the arrival of the Lancaster. We were treated to a super, low, flypast of three passes over St Denys' Church. A truely memorable and wonderful flypast of the Lancaster. A very large turnout of local people and visitors lined the streets and filled the churchyard. The BBMF Events Team are greatly thanked for a wonderful display for our veterans, North Killingholme villagers and visitors.

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Video footage of the flypast (turn on your audio and turn it up, up, up!)

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Parade to Memorial Stone

Lead by the Immingham Air Training Corps Band.

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Service At the Memorial Stone

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Laying of the Wreaths At the Memorial Stone

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Veterans At the Memorial Stone

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

Reunion, North Killingholme, 2019
The Revd. Mark Hutson leads the Service of Remembrance
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550 Veterans:
Jack Harris, Maurice Snowball
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Party from Sint Niklaas
Reunion, North Killingholme, 2019
550 Veterans:
Jack Harris, Maurice Snowball
and visitors

Parade Back to St Denys' Church

Lead by the Immingham Air Training Corps Band.

Remembrance Service in St Denys' Church

The service was led by The Revd. Mark Hutson.

The Bible reading, from Isaiah, was read by Val Kentish.

A poem, "Who are these men?" (Anon.), was read by Honor Redshaw.

Peter Coulter welcomed everyone to the service on behalf of the Association, noted the significance of this, the 75th anniversary of operations from North Killingholme, and gave a brief summary of the events attended in 2019 by the Association.

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Reunion 2019 Speech Welcome Speech

Photos from the commemorations in 2019 mentioned in the welcome address:

Tea in the Village Hall

Tea and cakes in the Village Hall.

Saturday Evening, Reunion Dinner, The Ashbourne Hotel

ca. 66 people sat down to dinner on Saturday evening.

After dinner George Turner gave the toasts, and said a few words.

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). The information related to the available audio recordings of 550 veterans (IBCC digital archive) is also shown below.

DocumentDescription
Reunion 2019, Powerpoint Slide Set 550 Squadron and RAF North Killingholme Association
MS Powerpoint Slide Set
NB: very large document (ca. 25 Mbytes) - may take a long time (up to a couple of minutes) to download depending on the speed of your internet connection
AudioPlayer-Recordings Audio Recordings (IBCC Digital Archive) by 550 Squadron veterans
AudioPlayer-Instructions Guide to playing the audio recordings

Sunday Morning

Airfield Tour

George Turner took a number of people for a guided tour of the airfield.

The Belgians Remember Them Oak

In the after dinner speech last year (September 2018) George Turner mentioned an oak sapling grown from seeds that had been brought back from Belgium in 2016.

That sapling has since that last reunion weekend been planted in St Denys' Church churchyard (replacing a tree what that had had to be removed). A plaque (Belgium Remembers Them) was, in due course, placed alongside in recognition of the work done by our friends in Belgium in remembering 550 crews lost in action over Belgian.

The photos below show, one year on, the progress of the tree.

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Other

International Bomber Commmand Centre, Lincoln

A number of people visited the IBCC in Lincoln either on the way to, or the way home from, North Killingholme. Below are selection of photos from those visits.

Jack Harris and family, 13th July 2019

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Peter and Sally Coulter, 14th July 2019

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