415 Squadron Association
THE 2019 EAST MOOR FAMILY MEMORIAL SERVICE
The 30th Memorial Service was held on Saturday the 18th of May 2019, in the Village of Sutton-on-the-Forest. Over 100 members of the local community, including the local Air Training Corps Squadron and Cub Scout Troop, attended the Service. Given its rural location, Lieutenant-Colonel Bernie Thorne reported that “it felt like the whole Village had come to remember.”
Three representatives each from 415 “Swordfish” Squadron and 429 “Bison” Squadron made the journey to Yorkshire. On Friday before the Service, all six members visited the local primary school. This year the children briefed those in uniform about the research they had completed on the RCAF. Apparently they provided many interesting facts both from the past and current operations. Saturday started with a reception at the Rose and Crown – the local pub. From there it was a short march to the Memorial Cairn located in the Village “Pound”. The CO of 415 Squadron spoke on behalf of the RCAF and noted the warmth and depth of the relations between Sutton-on-the-Forest and the Squadrons, who had served at RAF East Moor. After the ceremony, tea was hosted by the Countrywomen’s Association, in the Village Hall located across the street from the Memorial Cairn. There were a few local veterans and many of their family members that came to talk about their wartime experiences. On Sunday a church service was held not far from a graveyard that holds some of the RCAF dead.
Despite the passage of time, the Village and the area remain very close to the members of the RCAF who serve today. Likewise there is a special bond with the people of Sutton-on-the-Forest. The annual ceremony and the local interactions around it serve to keep these feelings vibrant. Unfortunately, due to the fight against COVID-19 the 2020 Ceremony has been cancelled. We can only hope that in 2021 there will be a return of Swordfish and Bison representatives to Sutton-on-the-Forest.
It should be noted that Flight Lieutenant Alan Dolding, an RAF regular force member who lives in the Village, has been coordinating this annual event for the past five years. His volunteer efforts as Coordinator and his special attention to the needs of visiting RCAF members are truly appreciated. It is certain that those who placed the Memorial Cairn in 1990 would be proud that this ceremony of remembrance is still conducted 30 years later. A big thank you is extended to Alan for all his efforts.
If you wish to learn more about the history of the Memorial Cairn and the Village of Sutton-on-the-Forest take a look at the following website:
The content for this article was provided by Lieutenant-Colonel Bernie Thorne