Remembrance- Halifax 579 51 Squadron

Remembrance Sunday always reminds me of the waste and tragedy of war.


I remember my father who returned from the First World War having served on the Russian convoys. I remember my uncle William who became a pilot officer in the RFC and died on the 28th December 1915 test flying a experimental Curtiss aeroplane at Gosport aerodrome. He was buried with full military honours 7th January 1916.  I remember the seven courageous young airmen who left Snaith aerodrome Yorkshire on 30th march 1944, on their return from Nuremburg they were diverted to Benson Oxon. Halifax 579 of 51 squadron crashed into Cowlease wood just 4 miles from Benson.  Placing our simple wooden cross beneath the stone memorial, we stand listening to the wind in the beech trees and the call of the green woodpecker.  I remember the spitfire pilot John Magee who scribbled the poem High Flight in 1941 on the back of an envelope sent to his parents in America, he died
flying a spitfire just a few weeks later.

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter- silvered wings
Sunward I`ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of–wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hovering there
I`ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I`ve topped the wind swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew–
And, while with silent lifting mind I`ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God. 

I remember even in death there is Hope.