On a thankfully relatively dry afternoon, a number of veterans of two Squadrons from East Kirkby’s past assembled in the museum’s main hangar for their annual service of remembrance, with music provided by The Mareham-Le-Fen Victory Silver Band and an address by The Reverend Richard Benson (honorary Chaplain to the 57 Squadron Association).

630 Squadron disbanded in July 1945, but 57 Sqn was represented by an immaculate colour party, led by Officer Commanding 57 Sqn, Sqn Ldr Wes Wesley. The Sqn is now numbered as 57 (Reserve), operating the Grob Tutor T.1 for flying training at RAF Wyton.

Sombrely impressive was the playing of The Last Post, followed by the laying of wreaths. Many veterans remained behind after the service to witness what was once an undoubtedly familiar sight and sound, as NX611 ran up her four Merlin 24s and taxyied out on to the grass strip.

Personnel based at East Kirkby Killed in Action 

 

57 Squadron

630 Squadron

RAF

349

301

RAAF

40

29

RCAF

43

43

RNZAF

8

11

SAAF

1

1

USAAF

3

1

RNorAF

3

0

Total:

447

386

 

 

In addition to the 833 lives lost on operations, a number of non-aircrew station personnel also lost their lives during the same period. For more information please see the history of RAF East Kirkby HERE.

 “They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them”