THE CENTENARY OF THE ROYAL AIR FORCE

The 1st April 2018 saw the 100th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force, formed from the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Navy Air Service. We marked the Centenary with a short service of Remembrance at the War Memorial. The Chairman read out the names of the airmen on the memorial. From the First World War;.

 

 

We then walked to the Holy Trinity Catholic Church and laid a  cross on the grave of Oliver Plunkett, then onto the plaque at the 1942 Wellington crash site in Church Street to lay a wreath and then to the town cemetery to lay crosses on the graves of Flight-Sub Lieutenant Herbert Rutter Simms and Flight Sergeant Roderick George Morison.

On Saturday 28th April we visited Little Rissington Churchyard where we were joined by members of 136 Squadron ATC, the Reverend Christopher Etherton and bugler Kim Prentice from the Shires Youth Band. After the act of Remembrance crosses were laid on all the Commonwealth War Graves there and the stories of three airman told. 

NOTICEBOARD FOR CHIPPING NORTON CEMETERY

Chipping Norton cemetery, along with many graveyards in the area has a smattering of war graves, 12 in fact, 8 from the First World War and 4 from the Second. As part of our commemorations to mark the centenaries of the First World War and the formation of the RAF we have installed a new memorial board in the entrance to the cemetery telling their stories. Based on research carried out by branch chairman Steve Kingsford and placed in a noticeboard paid for by our Armed Forces Trust, this was unveiled by Town Mayor Don Davidson on 27th May 2018. Present were branch members including WW2 veteran Peter Williers, members of the Cemetery committee and cadets from 136 Chipping Norton Squadron ATC.


40's SWING EVENING

On Friday 14th September we hosted a 1940's evening at the Crown & Cushion with the Swingettes, featuring our Legion sweetheart Lula May.

The ballroom was beautifully decorated with sandbags and camouflage netting outside created by Carol and Dave Peachey. Inside Linda had paid great attention to period detail and the stage was set for a great evening.









 POPPY APPEAL AND REMEMBRANCE

On Saturdays 3rd and 10th November we had our gazebo in the Town Centre
and our marvellous collectors out in force. On 10th we also had a 1940’s American Willys Jeep alongside, kindly brought along by its owner
Roger Stone from Over Norton. We also had the loan of some replica First World War uniforms, which some of us wore whilst collecting in a scenario that was a cross between Blackadder and Benny Hill with a touch of Dad’s Army thrown in. Still it certainly gained us a lot of attention!


We also had the help of the Army and Air Cadets who did themselves, their units and the Legion proud and our thanks go out to them.


We were also joined by our MP Robert Courts and as Armistice Day fell on Remembrance Sunday we also held a service of Remembrance at the War Memorial followed by one in Over Norton. The total collected on the two Saturdays for the Poppy Appeal was a magnificent £2,557.25.

On Remembrance Sunday early morning rain gave way to a chilly but bright and sunny day. The parade gets bigger every year and we set out in good order, despite having to wait for our Parade Marshal and Standard Bearer to emerge from the pub!







The church as ever was packed. In a very moving service I read the letters sent from Officers and a chaplain to the wife of Bombardier Arthur Withers after he was wounded in action and then sadly died in a Casualty Clearing Station. Arianne Bennett again reprised her rendition of the song “No Man’s Land” which was incredibly beautiful.