550 Squadron Association Reunion 2023
Photographs from the Association Reunion held in North Killingholme 7th - 8th July 2023.
Many thanks to all in North Killingholme who, as always, ensure the weekend was a success. Flags and bunting adorned the village, the Memorial Stone and surrounding area suitably flagged, large numbers of local people turned out for the 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, Australia and The Netherlands, to make it a memorable weekend.
The reunion takes place in a year of anniversaries significant in the life of the Squadron and the Association:
- 80th anniversary of Squadron formation in November 1943
- 30 years of reunions in North Killingholme.
So a significant year in the history of the Association to share with all our visitors and the village!
Reunion Weekend Welcome Pack
|Reunion Weekend Friday 7th - Saturday 8th July: Booking Form|
|Reunion Weekend Friday 7th - Sunday 9th July: Welcome Information
Detailed information for the weekend
Friday Evening, Dinner at the Ashbourne (informal)
Visitors sat down to an informal meal at 8 PM.
Parade to Memorial Stone
Led by the Immingham Air Training Corps Band.
Service At the Memorial Stone
A short service at the Memorial Stone was followed by two minutes silence and the laying on wreaths and placing of poppy crosses.
Laying of the Wreaths At the Memorial Stone
Due to the heavy traffic from the industrial estate making it hard to hear the proceedings the service concluded after the wreath laying.
Parade Back to St Denys' Church
This was again led by the Immingham Air Training Corps Band. This was done at a somewhat brisk pace due to the heavy rain.
Lancaster Flypast over St Denys' Church
The flypast was scheduled to be at 13:00 over St Denys' Church. Except that this was updated a couple of times during the course of the day due to the inclement weather and in the end the BBMF Lancaster was unable to take to the air so unfortunately the flypast did not take place.
Remembrance Service in St Denys' Church
Peter Coulter welcomed everyone to the service on behalf of the Association, including visitors from far (very far!) and wide, and gave a brief summary of the events attended in 2023 by the Association.
The service was led by The Revd. Trevor Riess.
|Order of Service|
|Welcoming Speech and summary of significant anniversaries and events for the Association|
Tea in the Village Hall
Following the service everyone adjurned to the Village Hall for tea and cakes.
At this point everyone was still hopeful for a flypast by the BBMF Lancaster, as this had been pushed back a couple of times to 18:00, but sadly this was not to be.
After The Deluge
Overall it was a very wet day in North Killingholme (several very heavy downpours during the Service at the Memorial Stone and also later in the afternoon) and it was not only the people in attendance that needed to dry off!
And so the drying out begins ...
Saturday Evening, Reunion Dinner, The Ashbourne Hotel
Visitors sat down to dinner on Saturday evening at 7.30 PM.
About 32 people in total sat down for dinner. After dinner George Turner said a few words of welcome, presented honorary assocation memberships to Arno and Mariska Gommans visiting from The Netherlands (the Gommans family have "adopted" the grave of 550 airman Henry Black buried in Venray War Cemetery, The Netherlands) and then made the toasts (listed in the Reunion Dinner card below).
The slide set displayed over the weekend and during the dinner is shown below (this will download and need MS Powerpoint (MSOffice), or at least a Powerpoint reader, in order to be viewed). A collection of photographs, then and now, was also projected after dinner.
George Turner took a small group of visitors for a guided tour of the airfield.