Minutes Of The IX(B) Sqn Annual General Meeting

MINUTES OF THE IX(B) SQUADRON ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING HELD AT RAF MARHAM ON 23 JULY 2015

Committee Members Present:

President………………………………………..AVM S Evans
Chairman……………………………………….Gp Capt N Hay
Vice Chairman…………………………………Gp Capt A Turk
Website Mgr…………………………………….Mr S Bowron
Deputy Sec………………………………………Sgt R Swanson
WO IX(B)…………………………………………WO IX(B) Sqn

Committee Members Apologies:

OC IX(B) Sqn…………………………………Wg Cdr I Sharrocks
Vice President……………………………….Gp Capt (Ret’d) A Ferguson
Treasurer……………………………………..Sqn Ldr (Ret’d) P Lenihan
Secretary……………………………………..Sqn Ldr (Ret’d) A Holland

Item 1 – Welcome

1.   The Chair welcomed all Members to the AGM (that followed OCIX(B) Sqn’s formation brief during the Centenary Reunion Event). He reiterated that the Association Committee’s Number 1 priority remained the securing of funds for a IX(B) Squadron Memorial to be erected at the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA) as soon as possible.

Item 2 – Association Memorial

2.   The meeting was informed that the next meeting of the NMA Lawns and Memorial Committee, when the design would be considered again, would be in August (18th). The Chair encouraged all members to look at John Fox’s excellent design and estimated that it would require about £15000 to ensure the memorial could be funded once the NAM L&M Committee approved the design. The Chair asked all Association Members to consider their ability to pledge funds to support the construction and mentioned that the Committee were considering other fund-raising events, including:

a. Draw for a signed Centenary Print – 23 July 2015.        (Chair/OCIX)

b. Draw for a signed Centenary Print during the CO/WO Dinner to be
held in London – 26 Sep 2015                                                 (Chair/OCIX)

c. Potential fundraising dinner – Apr 2016                           (Chair/OCIX)

Item 3 – Thompson Memorial

3.   Although the previous Committee and AGM had agreed to further plans for a memorial to be erected in Holland at the crash site of George Thompson’s aircraft, the Chairman briefed that the project would be placed on hold until the NMA Memorial Project was complete. However, the Chairman assured the AGM that he was in contact with the Base Cdr, RNAF Volkel and would further his engagement over the summer. Harry Irons commented that he was sure the locals would commit to maintaining the Memorial but this would be one of the aspects of the Committee’s engagement with the Dutch authorities. The meeting supported this prioritisation.                                                    (Chair)

Item 4 – Association Standard

4.   The Chair had begun initial enquiries regarding the design and acquisition of an Association Standard. However, this would require significant funding and was put on hold, prioritised behind the NMA and Thompson memorial projects. The meeting supported this prioritisation.                            (Chair)

Item 5 – Funerals

5.   All members were reminded to put procedures in place should they, their friends or families require Association support at Members’ funerals. The first point of contact in every instance should be the current Association Secretary, who would then inform the relevant Era Sec and agree the division of responsibilities for:

a. Acting as the single Association Point of Contact for the family and if requested by the family, the following:

b.   Informing Association Members via the Association Website and Facebook page.

c.   Liaison with members of the Association and Squadron to seek personnel representation at the funeral service

d.  Liaison with HQ Music Services to seek an RAF trumpeter to play the last post.

e. Offering to act as a conduit between the family and Service charities (eg RAFA, RAF Benevolent Fund) as required.
(All Association Members / Sec/ Era Secs)

Chair Comment: Although not discussed at the AGM, members should not expect attendance of the Squadron Standard or a flypast at Association Members’ funerals.  (All Association Members)

Item 6 – Centenary Event, St Omer.

6.   The Chair thanked the Vice President, Alfie Ferguson for his peerless organisation of the Centenary Celebration events in St Omer during the period 7-9 Dec 2014. The AGM agreed wholeheartedly.

Item 7 – Remembrance Sunday.

7.   All members were reminded of the Annual Pilgrimage to Bardney scheduled for Remembrance Sunday (8 Nov 15) and the need for them to return their attendance proformas and payments to the Association Secretary ASAP. Lunch would be held in York House Officers’ Mess at a cost of £12 per head. The Chair was the Association Project Officer for the Remembrance Sunday events.
 (All Association Members by 30 Sep 15 & Chairman)

Item 8 – Association Accounts.

8. The Chair informed the meeting that the Treasurer was unable to attend the AGM but was currently carrying out a detailed audit of Association Funds post the handover. The Accounts would be submitted to the Members present at the CO/WO Dinner of 26 Sep 2015 for ratification. (Treasurer)

9.   Association Subscriptions would remain fixed at £10 per member per year. Members who had lapsed were reminded that they could pay via cheque or bank transfer:    (All Association Members)

a.  Cheques should be made payable to ‘The IX(B) Squadron Association’.

b. Bank transfer to Sort Code 12-11-03 Account 00403116, using the Member’s name as reference.

Item 9 – Association Information Plan.

10. The Chair informed the meeting that the Association website (www.9sqn.co.uk) and Facebook page (contact the secretary for access – association.sec@9sqn.co.uk) would be used as the primary method for relaying information to Association Members, including the minutes of Committee meetings. The Annual letter would still be circulated with the annual distribution of TABS.  (All Association Members)

Item 10 – TABS.

11.   The AGM was reminded that the TABS Editor (Andy Turk – association.vicechairman@9sqn.co.uk) would welcome articles from any Members to ensure TABS remained an Annual Magazine of the highest quality and a key repository of informative, humorous and/or historic anecdotes. All Members were requested to submit any articles, with or without photos, by 1 Jan 2016.  (Vice Chair & All Association Members)

Item 11 – 2016 Reunion.

12.   The Chair thanked the IX(B) Squadron representatives for their sterling efforts in making the Centenary Reunion such a success and he looked forward to the day’s events. The AGM was informed that the Committee would take back the organisational reins for 2016 and that it would revert to a ‘standard’ September format (Secretary is lead for the Committee). Once the Secretary had contacted BBMF to ascertain the availability of the Lancaster and the Sqn to ensure access to the Officers’ Mess in September 2016, the date would be promulgated ASAP on the Association website and Facebook page. (Sec)

Item 12 – AOB

13.   The Chair thanked the Era Secs for their continued support to the Association.

14.   The Chair thanked Sgt Daz Owen for his efforts in acquiring the Centenary Squadron watches.

Item 13 – Date of next Annual General Meeting

15.   The next AGM will be held on the day of the 2016 Reunion (TBC) at RAF Marham. All Members should forward items for inclusion on the agenda to the Sec by 31 August 2016.  (Sec & All Association Members)

The IX(B) Squadron Memorial proposal at the National Memorial Arboretum

 

 

fullIXmemorial

 

ixmemplangreen

IX(B) Squadron 100th Memorial Design

The monument features 3 colours as follows:

Polished brown granite derived from the Khaki of the Royal Flying Corps.

Polished green granite derived from the Squadron’s crest.

Polished solid sandstone derived from the Squadron’s history.

The monument’s shapes are derived as follows:

The square footprint represents the camera plate in WWI reconnaissance.

The triangle represents the Geodetics, used for navigation and the Wellington’s airframe.

The monument’s 42 degree design angle is the travel sweep of the Tornado wing.

The 4-sided prism represents the bomb sight of the Lancaster.

The monument’s orientation is as follows:

Side 1 – The WW2 panel will be North facing, so not directly lit by the sun (WW2 night ops).

Side 2 – The contemporary panel will be East facing (Middle East) and lit by the rising sun.

Side 3 – The WWI panel will be West facing (western front) and lit by the evening sun.

Side 4 – The Dedication panel will be south facing, so lit by the sun during the day.

The engravings, which will be reverse engraved, as follows:

The WW2 face on polished brown granite with King’s Crown IX Squadron crest.

The contemporary face on polished brown granite with Queen’s Crown IX Squadron crest.

The WWI face on polished brown granite with RFC crest.

The Dedication face on polished brown granite with RAF crest.

Many thanks to Mr John Fox for all his work in the design of the memorial.

 

 

Raffle in aid of the Royal British Legion

IX(B) Sqn Raffle

Tickets £1 each.

Draw will take place on 10th Sept 15 with winners notified by 18th Sept 15.

1St Prize: Winner plus 3 guests spend a day on the Sqn, seeing how an operational Sqn operates.

2nd Prize: Male & Female anniversary watch.

3rd Prize: Bottle of Centenary Whisky.

4th Prize: Sqn Tie, cufflinks, cummerbund and bow tie.

5th Prize: Framed Anniversary Print, signed by OC IX, Sqn Executive Officers and Sqn Warrant officer.

6th Prize: Framed Limited edition Skytoons print.

7th Prize: Personalised IX(B) Sqn slate.

8th Prize: A Century of Air Warfare with Nine (IX) Squadron, RAF. Signed by OC IX.

9th Prize: IX(B) Sqn anniversary Booklet signed by all Officers and SNCO’s.

10th Prize: Anniversary Coin.

Raffle in aid of the Royal British Legion.

Cheques made payable to ‘Service funds RAF Marham’

Post them to:

Sgt D Owen
IX(B)Sqn
RAF Marham
King’s Lynn
PE33 9NP

They will also be available for sale at the association day.

For further information please contact Sgt Daz Owen:

Via E-mail:     9Sqn-SPTAVSNCO@mod.uk

Association Dinner 23rd July 2015

The Association’s allocations of seats at the Reunion Dinner have now been filled.  However, should you wish to be placed on the Reserve list in case of cancellations, please contact Neil Franklin on 9Sqn-Pilot7@mod.uk.  There are still places available for attendance at the lunch and Friends and Families Day.

Wing Commander Phil Cash RIP

It is with great sadness that the Association reports that Wing Commander Phil B Cash (GD/P) died on 19 Feb 2015, aged 83.  His funeral will be held on Wednesday 4th March at 1400hrs at St Mary’s Church, Leckhampstead, Bucks.

Phil was a close friend of our previous Chairman, Spike Milligan and was known by his friends as ‘Handsome Phil.’  Phil and Spike served together on IX(B) Sqn Canberras between 1959-61 at both Binbrook and Coningsby.  Phil was a Cranwell-trained Admin Officer turned pilot and two of his IX(B) Squadron navs were both RAF Regiment officers who transferred to aircrew duties ( still wearing Regt flashes ).  These two trusty crewmembers, Air Vice Marshal Bobby Robson and Gp Capt Alistair Sutherland will both be representing the Association at the funeral, with Bobby presenting the Eulogy. Our thoughts are with this family on this sad day.

Philip Edward Tetlow RIP

It is with great sadness that the Association must report the recent passing of Philip Edward Tetlow, one of our stalwart World War II veterans from the Lancaster era.

Philip’s funeral will be held at the Bramcote Crematorium on Thursday 5th March at 1.30pm and Mary would be delighted to see any members of the Association or current Squadron.  The address and postcode is:

Bramcote Crematorium, Coventry Lane, Beeston, Bramcote, Nottinghamshire NG9 3GJ

Should you be planning to attend, please let Andy Holland know via e-mail (association.sec@9sqn.co.uk) as he will be calling Mary to forward all the names of those attending from the Sqn and Assn.

Philip’s wishes were for ‘no black’ at the funeral and for ‘bright colours to be worn’. Also, please do not send flowers but if you would like to make a donation, please donate to Cancer Research.

Philip was crewed with Don Macintosh DFC and flew on all of IX(B) Squadron’s raids against the Tirpitz.  His own written words explain the events leading up to the Squadron’s sinking of one of Hitler’s crown jewels in November 1944:

‘On armistice morning we were ordered to proceed post-haste to the advanced base in Scotland.  I remember wondering inanely, how the two minutes silence affected us.  That was the condition this target had reduced me to.  In the afternoon I went to sleep on my bed and awoke to find I had missed the Wireless Operators briefing.  Perhaps I shall go down in history as the only clot ever to be briefed for a major operation – in a Salvation Army canteen.  Round about two o’clock next morning, the air was filled with the sound of aero engines being run up for a final check over.  Our own Group Captain had taken possession of the contents of my pockets, in lieu of the intelligence officer, and he had smiled reassuringly when he saw my white, strained face.  I forced myself to smile back but I was not reassured. 

Sitting in the aircraft, awaiting the signal to take off, I conjured up visions of the entire Luftwaffe waiting to pounce on us.  I prayed for a last minute cancellation.  A few seconds later, we were bouncing along the runway with the airframe shuddering and straining to get the immense weight into the air.  About four hours later, as we neared the Norwegian coast I picked up a message telling our deputy controller to take over leadership.  This caused much speculation amongst the crew.  Had our leader ditched? Been shot down?  Suffered engine trouble?  It was as though an alert had been sounded in the aircraft.  Every man increased his vigilance, scouring the skies for the fist signs of hostility. 

Once again we had been selected for wind finding.  As we completed the necessary orbit and turned to join our formation an exclamation broke from Pete.  We were at least half a dozen aircraft short in our squadron!  There was no time for questions.  The weather was perfect and the “pride of the German navy” was clearly visible, surrounded by a mass of lighter craft who were cramming on speed to get out of the target area.  Everything was perfect – then Pete’s voice came over the inter-comm announcing that his automatic computer box was out of order and could we go round again to give him time to work out his own computations.  We turned slowly in a wide circle getting a grand stand view as the other aircraft bombed.  It was possible to watch some of the 12,000 lb missiles right down and I had not seen one hit the vessel although all were very close.  By now Pete was all set to go, so we turned into our bombing run, scarcely daring to breathe, lest we disturbed Pete’s run up. 

The Lanc gave a convulsive jerk and the bomb was away, speeding down to its target almost three miles beneath.  There was a tremendous explosion about twenty yards away from her on the port side.  We had missed but had we inflicted serious damage?  There was an ear splitting yell from the Rear Gunner.  “Ship, she’s on fire!  Mac banked over and we could see a mighty blaze raging amid ships.  Another explosion and then – yes – she was keeling over, slowly!  Our petrol was extremely limited, so we reluctantly turned away.  Mac gave a report of what we’d seen to the leader but he couldn’t get a reply.  Everyone seemed to be using the radio at once.

We cheered and laughed and sang, then fell to feverishly discussing whether the Germans would be able to repair the so called “invincible battleship” or whether we had put her out of action for good.

After landing, I got a meal and went to bed.  Round about nine, Pete woke me and we dressed and went down to the mess.  Pandemonium was raging.  Everybody was hopelessly drunk.  Eventually we managed to corner our skipper and he explained that the only thing left of the Tirpitz was her back side sticking up out of the water!  I can remember nothing more of that gloriously, chaotic evening.’

Funeral Of Henry Thomlinson

The funeral of Henry Thomlinson will be held on Saturday 14th March at 1500hrs in close proximity to York.

All Association and Sqn members who are planning to attend please could you inform Dutch Holland Via e-mail (association.sec@9sqn.co.uk) and copy the Dep Sec too (association.assistantsec@9sqn.co.uk) by 1700 hrs March 10th.

The address of the church is:

St. Giles
Church Street
Copmanthorpe
York
YO23 3SW

Post the Service, Henry will be buried in a graveyard circa 400m from the Church and his sons, Michael and James are planning to hold the wake in a local WI (TBC). Details will be updated on the Association website as soon as we know more.