October 8th 2022 What a wonderful day at Elvington!
The sun shone and the Yorkshire Air Museum and Memorial organised a splendid day for fifty members and friends gathered to remember 77 on the 80th anniversary of the squadron’s arrival at the newly- opened airbase in 1942.
Andrew, chairman of the Association greeted arrivals at the gate and directed them to the renamed Café 77 which is now complete with photos of the squadron, to meet Van who had corresponded with everyone and handed out useful name badges.
Next came an extremely moving service in the lovely station chapel. There was a welcome from Rachel, chair of trustees, followed by a traditional service of remembrance conducted by the museum chaplain and Vulcan veteran, Rev Taff Morgan DFC, MBE. Goose bumps abounded when we decided that the 29 names of those we had come specially to remember should be read out at the service, followed by the resounding exhortation and a beautiful Last Post and Reveille from bugler Malcolm Watson. David Matthews son of flight engineer Ted Mathews read from Revelation, and Van, daughter of pilot Alan May, turned a page of the Roll of Honour kept in the chapel.
A short ceremony at the memorial saw wreaths laid by Ian Richardson, head of memorial and heritage at the museum and Ros Fairburn of the Braund family society who had been invited for the day to receive a copy of The Braund Twins of 77, the latest book by Van Wilson.
There was a very delicious buffet lunch in the Halifax Suite; a showing of the Veterans’ Voices, the Lottery-funded, edited version of the squadron’s DVD; a statement of the Association’s funds and approval of last year’s meeting minutes. Then a group picture by the mighty Halifax which was out on show. The afternoon was greatly enhanced by the presence of the community band Generation Groovewho helped us and visitors mark this significant day.
The air and ground crew who were specially commemorated by their relatives or friends present were:
Ronald Baker; Alan Ball; William (Bill) Ballantyne; John Braund and his twin brother, Paul Braund; Lawrence Bridger; Peter Cadman; William (Bill) Foote; Cyril Heathcote; Alan Hunter; Glyn Jones; Reginald Lambert; Raymond Leforte; Young John Markham; Edward Matthews; Alan L J May; Derek Oakley; Thomas Parsons; Brian Piper; Harold Roots; Albert Sainsbury; H E Smith; Ronald Stewart; Edward Sutton; Colin Sutton; Ralph Tailford; J. Walsh; Eric Ross Wishart; Eric Yates.