The Association has held annual reunions of 101 Squadron veterans and their guests since the first at RAF Waddington in September 1979. During the early years of the Association many of the reunions were hosted by friendly messes on RAF stations but the introduction of contract catering in the RAF during the 1990’s made this arrangement increasingly difficult.
Since 1999 the Association’s Annual General Meeting and Reunion Dinner has been held in the splendid Lincoln County Assembly Rooms, but from 2019 future reunions will be held at or near Brize Norton and it is hoped that it’s more central location will make it easier for more members to attend.
The Ludford memorial service will remain unchanged, and the June date is set to continue for 2019.
2018 Lincoln AGM and Reunion Dinner
Both the Annual General Meeting and Reunion Dinner at Lincoln Assembly Rooms on 9th June and the Ludford memorial service the following day were a resounding success – thoroughly enjoyed by all those who attended.
The AGM began with a viewing of Gary Weightman’s film of the history of 101 Squadron, now updated to bring it into the Voyager era. President and OC 101 Squadron, Wg Cdr Pete Thorbjornsen, who is a keen supporter of the Association, spoke of his desire to strengthen the bond between today’s operational squadron and the Association. The rest of the AGM business was concluded, leaving members a few hours free time before getting ‘suited and booted’ for the reunion dinner the same evening.
Approx. 60 guests included a party of current Squadron members from Brize. They engaged enthusiastically with the veterans and other members and an excellent meal, and superb service, made the evening flow effortlessly. Our Guest Speaker for the evening, Sidney Macfarlane, gave an insight into establishing the remarkable International Bomber Command Centre, of which he is a Trustee. Our thanks go to Sidney for his superb contribution to a successful evening.
Everyone said their farewells, and by all accounts those on the squadron thoroughly enjoyed their evening away from the day to day demands of an operational unit!
New friends were made and old acquaintances revisited –it was abundantly clear that the spirit of 101 Squadron is alive and well and the desire to remember the lives of those who made the ultimate sacrifice endures.
Attendance at the church service was much greater than last year. Readings by Gary Weightman and OC101 were followed by Flt Lt Damien Mayhew reading the names of those whom we had lost in the previous year. After an address from the Brize chaplain, the Rev (Sqn Ldr) Eddie Wynn MBE, everyone made their way to the memorial. With the road closed, everyone could relax and focus on the service, which saw wreaths laid by ex-Association Chairman Jon Ager and our current President, Wg Cdr Thorbjornsen. The youngsters from 1228 Louth Air Cadets acquitted themselves admirably and all of the 101 Squadron party performed their duties in exemplary fashion. The service was rounded off with a flypast of the BBMF Lancaster.
At the Village Hall, Ludford WI had laid on a splendid afternoon tea, and a cake to celebrate the 75th anniversary of 101’s arrival at Ludford Magna. This was cut by the three oldest veterans present using a ceremonial sword.
Photographs by Graham Finch and Saskia Beuvery
A full report of this event can be found in the latest Association newsletter, available exclusively to members of the Association. To get your copy, become a member for a mere £10 per year!!