You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2011.

A photo album has been started to try and capture the Squadron’s history in Photographs. The photos will be arranged in sets. If any one wishes to add a photo please send  an emailed copy and I will process it to: tcullen@tinyworld.co.uk

See sitehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/249squadron/sets/

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A very successful reunion was held at North Weald on 20th August 2011.

It was attended by nearly 80 members and their guests.

The proceedings started with a short eulogy for two of our members who passed on this Year, Wing Commander John Beazley and Wing Commander Jimmy Ewan.

Mrs Mary Beazley laid the Wreath to remember our Members who are no longer with us. Air Marshal Sir John Sutton our President and Mr Tommy Cullen Hon Sec laid  crosses in memory of John Beazley and Jimmy Ewan.

After the memorial Service we met up at “The Squadron” for refreshments.

There were a number of Guest Speakers, Tom Neil told us of his memories of his days serving with Wing Commander Beazley, he also read a very moving eulogy to John. I think most of us were near to Tears.

Tom also informed us that there are two projects  underway under the guidance of The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust. A learning Centre will be built at Capel-le-Ferne and another at the RAF Museum at Hendon.

SAC Joel Diggles give us a short talk on his newest project Jeol was the driving force behind the new Slate commemorative Plaques which can be seen at the Gate Guardian at North Weald.

David Rowlands gave a talk on his painting of SS Ohio, if this ship had not arrived with aviation fuel for Malta the battle of Malta would have been lost.

We then had a report from 249 ATC Squadron on their progress over the last year. They are going from strength to strength. They were accompanied by their New C.O. F.O Craig Thomson.

The Weather stayed fine for most of the day and a good time was had by all.

Our thanks go out to all those who contributed to the raffle and Auction. This helps with the finances for the news letter.

 

 

 

I have just received another photograph of Wing Commander Ewan receiving a trophy on behalf the Squadron at RAF Akrotiri.

Thanks to Curley Hirst and The Wing Commanders daughter.

I was asked by the Hon Sec of 218(Gold Coast Squadron) if I knew the history of the Gold Coast title. Terry Gill has done some research which is shown below.

Sir John Shuckburgh writes:

‘Mention should be made of the number of Bomber  or Fighter Squadrons of the R.A.F. which bore Colonial  names. These included Ceylon,  Gold Coast and Hong Kong  Squadrons, as well as others named after Malta,  Jamaica, Uganda and Kenya. All such Squadrons were  regular units in the R.A.F. which had either been ‘adopted’ by some Colonial territory or were named after it in  recognition of generous contributions for the purchase of aircraft or for  promotion of the general war effort … In the Gold  Coast a local ‘Spitfire Fund’ was inaugurated in June 1940, total  contributions to which had reached the sum of £100,000 by June 1942. The  title ‘Gold Coast’ was conferred  upon No 249 Fighter Squadron of the R.A.F. – and later upon Bomber Squadron  No. 218 –  which was ‘adopted’ by the Governor and peoples of the Gold Coast in October 1941. The composition of  these and other ‘Colonial’  Squadrons was similar to that of other R.A.F. units. Their personnel did not  necessarily include any inhabitants of the eponymous Colony,  though there were cases in which individuals from the territory did in fact  see service with the unit. The choice of names was intended partly as a  compliment, and partly as a means of associating outlying parts of the Empire  as closely as possible with the general war effort. There is evidence to show  that the policy was successful in  both respects. The compliment was appreciated by those to whom it was paid,  and the fortunes of the Squadrons were followed  with interest and pride by their Colonial  ‘godparents’. Special steps were taken to ensure that their exploits obtained  suitable publicity in the territories concerned’. (Shuckburgh n.d., p.65).