Association members are reminded of the AGM to be held at the Officer’s Mess RAF Marham at 1100 on the 23rd September. The Agenda for which can be found in the AGM section of the website. Members are requested to read the Financial report for 2016/17 and the financial plan for Financial year 2018/19, which are also in the AGM section: members will be requested to ratify both documents at the AGM.
CENOTAPH MARCH PAST – SUNDAY 12 NOVEMBER 2017
Following the very successful inaugural IX(B) Squadron Association march past of The Cenotaph in Whitehall on Sunday 13 Nov 16, we are urgently seeking Association members to join us again.
Here’s a run through of what will happen on 12 Nov 17:
We will meet at Horse Guards at about 0945. Don’t worry if you cannot walk too far if your “undercarriage” is getting a bit worn, as wheelchairs are on hand and we will provide “pushers”. We may also be able to arrange a free Taxi for you from anywhere inside the M25.
Following a trip to the loos, we will walk onto Whitehall at about 1020 hrs, dressed in jacket & tie, or whatever is comfortable.
We stay in this area watching events on a large screen for 30 mins or so, then come to attention for the 2 mins Silence.
The 5000 vets will then start marching past the Cenotaph in turn. We will hand a IX(B) Squadron Association Wreath to the wreath marshal, then turn right into Parliament Square, then right again into Horse Guards Road, where we will have a Royal salute. We go a little further then return to Horse Guards Parade for the dispersal. After dispersal, some go home, some go to local pubs and some go to Clubs for lunch.
Here’s a few comments from last year:
- What a very memorable day: meeting up with RAF colleagues; enjoying the banter and friendliness; marching in step and in line (more challenging than I remember!); glorious sunshine; applauding crowds; distinguished company; recalling the past with an emphasis on the achievements of past and current generations.
- What a truly magnificent day we had yesterday!
- What a privilege to join you all yesterday. A once in a lifetime moment, although it sounds like there is an appetite to make it a bit more often than that.
- It was an honour and privilege to be with IX Sqn Association for our inaugural participation in the Remembrance Sunday Cenotaph parade.
- So glad I decided to attend. It was a truly wonderful day to meet with fellow members and feel the warmth and friendliness that epitomises Armed Forces camaraderie. The sun shone and medals glittered making it a splendid day.
If you would like to join us on 12 November 17, we need your name ASAP.
Please contact Dicky James ASAP
All, please see the minutes of the AGM which took place on the 23 June 2017.
I am very sorry to have to pass on the news that ‘Jock’ died peacefully in his sleep on Good Friday at the age of 97. I would normally write a little bit about Jock but I think the following letter from his son-in-law to the Association Secretary in 2011 sums Jock up much better than I can. This is reproduced by kind permission of the family:
“My father-in-law, Flt Lt Allan “Jock” Richardson, started WWII as a Sgt Weapons Operator/Air Gunner on Wellingtons at RAF Marham. During the war he was commissioned, went through pilot training and ended up flying Lancasters on a Pathfinder squadron. He and his wife, Triss, live in Swaffham. During a party at Swaffham Golf Club to celebrate Allan’s 90th birthday in 2009, Dicky James, representing the Stn Cdr presented him with a signed print from all at RAF Marham. It was a personal touch that was much appreciated.
For a number of years we have been trying to get Allan to visit RAF Marham on the afternoon of the IX(B) Sqn reunion so that he could re-acquaint himself with the Lanc. He has steadfastly resisted. However, this year Viv, my wife, had driven down to Swaffham from our home in Cheshire to collect her parents and bring them back to stay with us for a week. We were due to return them to Swaffham on the day of the reunion. So, a little bit of subterfuge was called for! During the week prior to the reunion I was in contact with Dicky and he kindly arranged for me to bring my vehicle on to the Sqn HAS site (subject to a tyre FOD check) and drive up close to the Lanc.
As we drove my in-laws back towards Swaffham I told Allan that we needed to call in at RAF Marham to see someone about the reunion dinner that evening and he said that would be fine. As we drove towards the Sqn HAS site I tried to sound surprised when I said to Allan “Oh look, there’s the Lanc parked up”; “So it is” he replied. We drove up and parked near the aircraft and I said “come on out and have a closer look”. As we approached the Lanc there was clearly some dust in the air as Allan’s eyes got a little misty!
I was able to get him on board where he was treated with great affection by the BBMF crew. He also displayed great nimbleness for someone in his 90s as he scrambled over the main spar. Coming backwards down the ladder at the end of his visit Allan found a little more difficult. When he finally got his feet back on the concrete he declared “that was worse than going on Ops!”
As the Lanc started up prior to the wonderful display Allan said “T, M, P, F, G, G, C, B, P”.
“What was that Dad?” said Viv.
“The Lanc pre-take off checks, of course” came the reply.
“Can you remember them?”
“Yes! Trim, Mixture, Pitch….” and he ran through the whole lot to the last P, saying “Power – leading with the port throttles for take off”.
Allan’s verdict on the display? “Bloody marvellous!”
After the display we repaired to the Sqn HQ, where Allan was clearly interested in the many pictures on the wall. After a while in the corridor upstairs he suddenly shouted “bloody hell, that’s me!” Sure enough there is a picture of a Wellington with a group of aircrew in front of it, Allan is in the group and he can still remember many of the other names. It was taken after return from the first bombing raid on Berlin mounted by RAF Marham. Allan has since looked in his logbook and found details of the mission.
As we drove them home later in the afternoon Allan said “If I die tomorrow I’ll die a happy man”.