“If you are looking for a Christmas present for the Dambusters aficionado (or Old Marlburian) in your life, then you might be interested in this limited edition of Flt Lt John Hopgood’s schoolboy diary……” Continue reading →
As you may have seen or heard on the news, one of the last two men alive who took part in the Dams Raid, George ‘Johnny’ Johnson, was decorated this week with the MBE by the Queen at a Buckingham Palace investiture, following a campaign for Johhny’s recognition led by TV presenter Carol Vorderman, and a public petition.
Johnny, who was born in Hameringham, near Horncastle, joined the RAF aged 19 and flew 50 missions between 1942 and 1944 before retiring in 1962 to live in Bristol, having reached the rank of squadron leader. He was awarded the DFM in 1943, and an honorary doctorate at the University of Lincoln earlier this year. As well as attracting international press and media coverage, the story was reported by Charles Foster on his excellent Dambusters BlogContinue reading →
Look what popped up on Facebook the other day – “a short clip from 2014 of the “two Lanc’s” flying over Petwood Hotel. Used as the officers mess for 617 Sqn not only is it steeped in history the building and gardens are beautiful. The video is courtesy of Chf Insp Phil Vickers of Lincolnshire Police – many thanks.”
“The last two airworthy Lancaster Bombers took to Lincolnshire skies together on August 13 as part of their UK Bomber Tour. Continue reading →
Charles Foster has come up with another Dambusters gem – a 1/50 scale model of the Möhne Damme, built with great secrecy in the winter of 1940–41 in the secluded grounds of the Building Research Establishment (BRE) in Garston, near Watford. The concrete model was designed by Barnes Wallis, who had been put in touch with the BRE and RRL team. Used to try out possible ways of blowing up the real dam, the repaired model was on show last weekend.
Don’t worry, it’s only temporary! Petwood Hotel Director Emma Brealey recently spent some time in Hamilton, Ontario, and sent back a souvenir video (via Facebook,) showing “our” Lancaster being transformed with the temporary markings of the Ruhr Express, KB700, Canada’s first built Lancaster. All was revealed at a special event at the Canadian Warplane Heritage museum. “It’s so wonderful to see our Canadian friends on screen again – and doesn’t Vera film well?!”
[If you can’t hear any sound, uncheck the default speaker mute setting on the Facebook player control bar at the bottom right of the screen]
The latest twist in the story of the stolen logbook is that Shere Fraser Lowe, the daughter of its owner Sgt John Fraser, has offered a £5,000 reward for information leading to its return. It was loaned to researcher Alex Bateman by the Fraser family for his work. Bateman was jailed for two years in February this year for theft after failing to return it. Shere explained: “Some people say it’s just a document, a piece of paper, but that’s not what it is to me – it’s priceless. Because I lost him at a very young age – I value every little piece – so to get it back would be like getting a piece of my father back.”
Sincere congratulations to Charles Foster, creator and doughty editor of the Dambusters Blog, which has just passed the million hits mark. In noting this achievement, Charles comments on the enduring fascination of the Dambusters raid:
“I think the reason may be because although the raid itself is the stuff of legend, it also represents a bigger story: that of the ‘greatest generation’ who fought tyranny, came through the years of austerity which followed, and built a better society in which all could flourish.”
Many of those who today visit the Squadron Bar, our lovingly preserved 617 Squadron Officers’ Mess here at the Petwood Hotel, former home to those who flew in the 1943 raid, might agree. | Related posts