We’ll never forget those men who fought for us

Rev Ian S Partridge, honorary chaplain to the RAF Wickenby memorial collection, shares a quiet moment after the laying of wreaths at Sunday afternoon's 70th birthday memorial service.
Rev Ian S Partridge, honorary chaplain to the RAF Wickenby memorial collection, shares a quiet moment after the laying of wreaths at Sunday afternoon's 70th birthday memorial service.

MORE than 250 people turned up to pay their respects to fallen servicemen during a special memorial service at Wickenby Airfield.

The service, on Sunday, was held to commemorate the 1,147 men who served with 12 and 626 Squadrons at RAF Wickenby and lost their lives serving their country in the Second World War.

This year’s service was an extra special occasion for RAF Wickenby as it is celebrating its 70th birthday.

Wickenby Airfield curator Anne Law said: “We were really pleased with the turnout. We weren’t really expecting so many people.

“It’s emotional because there were a few veterans there who would have been thinking of their lost comrades.

“Of those who survived, many of them have passed away – and many of their wives were there to remember their husbands.

“We’ve got quite a lot of families from this area who lost someone – it’s very emotional.”

The day finished with a flypast from the BBMF Lancaster. Anne said: “The Lancaster fly past was fantastic - it did three really low passes. Everyone loves to see the Lancaster.”

During their time at 
Wickenby 12 and 626 
Squadrons flew their Lancaster Bombers in raids over the occupied territories of Europe including the first 1,000 bomber raid to Cologne – the final operation of the war to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest at Berchtesgaden.

They also took part in Operation Exodus to repatriate British Prisoners Of War and Operation Manna to drop much needed supplies for starving Dutch people.

Anne said: “I’d like to thank everyone for coming and everyone who helped to make it go so well.

“We’ve already started planning next year’s service.”