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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur Retiring President Air Marshal Sir John Sutton KCB.

Our New President,Tom Neil.

Our New President Wing Commander Tom Neil DFC* AFC

Our New President’s Address at The Reunion at North Weald on 17 August 2013;

Go to link at

Vice President Eddie Kelly

Our New Vice President Master Navigator Eddie Kelly

Mark SuttonOur deepest sympathy to Sir John on the loss of his son. Our thoughts are with him and his family at this saddest of moments.

It is with deepest regret that I have to announce the Death of Tony Gronert. Tony served on 249 as a Venom Pilot under S/Ldr John Gibbons , S/Ldr Gough S/Ldr  Jock Maitland from 1954 until 1957. He was a great supporter of the association and will be sadly missed. Our Sympathy goes out to his partner Mary, his relatives and friends from all the members of 249 Squadron Association.

Tony Gronert

Tony Gronert

Sir John and Lady Angela talking to the Venom Crews

Tony talking with Lady Angela Sutton North Weald Reunion August 2012

Tony Gronert and Mick Waterhouse watch the Spitfire copy

Tony and Mick Waterhouse at Jock Matland’s memorial.

Please return your booking forms by 21st July.

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).

I have recently received this email from Will Lilford.
“Hi, I was wandering if you had any records of my dad, Alf Lilford in the archives of 249? I remember him talking about being posted in Amman and Jordan and vague recollections of the 249 badge on a blazer of his. Sadly, he has been gone some 3 years but on sorting through some pictures saw one of him graduating, forgive the term, “flight school”.

Anyway, any info much appreciated.

Many thanks

Will Lilford ”

Does any member remember Alf?

It is with Deep regret that we have to report the death of Wing Commander Jimmy Ewan the Squadrons CO Between Wing Commander Dougie Barfoot and  Air Marshal Sir John Sutton.

Curly Hirst says”I am sorry to inform you that Wing Commander Jimmy Ewan, ex Squadron Commander of No 249 (Gold Coast) Squadron, died in his sleep yesterday after a long illness, suffering from cancer.”

Our Sympathy goes out to his Family, Friends and Colleagues


February 2012

I have booked the Petwood Hotel in Lincolnshire for the next Canberra Crews reunion in February 2012. It is South East of Lincoln at Woodhall Spa. The booking forms will be sent out later this year.

See Web Site at

Event Menu choices for 2012

Menu 1 –

Cream of Roasted Plum Tomato Soup

Finished with double cream and chives

* * * *

Breast of Chicken

Served with smoked bacon and a wild mushroom sauce

Selection of fresh Vegetables and Potatoes

* * * *

Lincolnshire Plum Loaf  Bread & Butter Pudding

Served with a vanilla custard

* * * *

Coffee and After Dinner Mints

Menu 4 –

Serrano Ham

Served with caramelised red onion,

Toasted pine nuts and parmesan

* * * *

Blade of Lincolnshire Beef

Carved on a horse radish mash

With a truffle & wild mushroom sauce

Selection of fresh Vegetables and Potatoes

* * * *

Lemon Tart

Served with a compote of woodland berries

* * * *

Coffee and After Dinner Mints



Cream of Roasted Plum Tomatoes

Finished with double cream and chives

A Red Pepper and Goats Cheese Soup

Topped with a red onion and goats cheese crostini

Minestrone Soup

Offered with freshly grated parmesan cheese

Broccoli and Stilton Soup

Finished with toasted flaked almonds


Deep Fried Tempura of Vegetables

Served with a timbale of rice with a sweet chilli sauce

Roasted Bell Peppers

Filled with vegetable and cheese risotto

A Tartlet of Spinach and Blue Cheese

Served with Provencal sauce

A Fricasse ofWoodlandMushrooms

Sautéed with garlic and shallots, finished with

White wine and cream and served in a filo basket

2011 Canberra Reunion at Charlecote

Updated the 249 Squadron Website with images of  the 2011 Canberra reunion at Charlecote.