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  1. #11
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    Brave brave men. God bless them all
    portslade seagull..brighton till i die

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    • #12
      Longing for retirement. AmexRuislip's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by spongy View Post
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      My nan's brother (so great uncle??) Was a dam buster navigator on a Lancaster.

      My mum found all his old war letters and medals in a box in the loft of my nan's house.

      My dad saw them and wanted to know more so did a LOAD of research wanting to know more.

      Since found out loads. He was shot down over the channel just over the Belgian coast on the return of his 23rd sortie.

      We even have the location he was shot down. Where the wreck was found, his squadron, crew, plane number and nickname. (Can't remember exact details off hand)

      My dad also found a whole load of WWII maps that he used with notes scribbled on them to help him. They're in almost pristine condition. Not worth a lot in monetary terms but at the same time invaluable memorabilia.

      During his research he went with my mum up to RAF Coningsby where the Memorial Flight Lancaster is based and took all the letters and maps with him.

      The Lancaster was grounded as it was having repair work done but they spent hours in the museum and having a look around.

      They went to a cafe to have a coffee and two blokes in airsuits sat near them. My dad being dad started a conversation asking if they were pilots and was told that they were called Roger and Ian the pilot and navigator of the Lancaster.

      It was then that my dad said "I have something in my bag that may interest you" and preceded to show them all the letters, medals and maps he had.

      The two blokes. Roger Collins the pilot and Ian Shaw the navigator were awestruck and in awe of it all as they're still serving RAF.

      My dad said to Ian that he wanted him to keep two of the maps and gave them to him. At first he wouldn't take them saying they should be museum pieces but my dad insisted. He begrudgingly took them.

      As a thankyou Roger said "come with me I have something to show you". And then took them to the hanger that the Lancaster is stored in. Due to the repairs happening they couldn't start it but the two of them gave my mum and dad a personal tour of the whole plane. Every part of it. Even in the cockpit. He allowed my dad to sit in the pilot seat. My mum refused, even after lots of cajoling but insisted that it was a "mans seat, a seat for heroes" and wasn't comfortable sitting in it.

      Whilst in the cockpit, Ian, the navigator took the two maps and put one on the board and one on the bench area and said " these stay here, and will never be moved, these maps belong on this plane, as part of history, every time this plane flies be safe in the knowledge that they are here as a mark of respect to those few brave souls".

      I personally think it's amazing that my family paid so much and somehow by a twist of luck and being in the right place at the right that they my parents met Roger and Ian.

      If ever you see the Lancaster memorial flight know that there is genuine maps from WWII missions in that cockpit.

      This was 3 years ago this happened and I saw the Lancaster last year flying. I cried at the thought of this and am now writing it.

      My two pennies worth anyway.....
      That's brilliant.
      If you're interested and ever in the area.
      There's a National Trust property, called Hughenden Manor, near Wycombe.
      It only became apparent of how an important part it played in the bombing of Germany in WW2.
      https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hug...orld-war-story
      Well worth a visit
    • #13

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      Quote Originally Posted by AmexRuislip View Post
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      That's brilliant.
      If you're interested and ever in the area.
      There's a National Trust property, called Hughenden Manor, near Wycombe.
      It only became apparent of how an important part it played in the bombing of Germany in WW2.
      https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hug...orld-war-story
      Well worth a visit
      Was there last summer when they did a fly over as part of a 40s weekend including a battle re-enactment, the noise and flame that came out of a Vickers machine gun was deafening and a sight to behold. Little tip, the book shop has a large selection of excellent 2nd hand history books if you take a browse!
      "Never miss a good chance to shut up"
    • #14
      Longing for retirement. AmexRuislip's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by portlock seagull View Post
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      Was there last summer when they did a fly over as part of a 40s weekend including a battle re-enactment, the noise and flame that came out of a Vickers machine gun was deafening and a sight to behold. Little tip, the book shop has a large selection of excellent 2nd hand history books if you take a browse!
      Cheers, its one of our favourite NT places to visit, especially the walled garden and the monument walk.
    • #15
      The most curious thing.. Cheshire Cat's Avatar
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      About 1,600 German civilians and Russian forced labourers were drowned by the floods.
      "But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." "How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."
    • #16

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      Quote Originally Posted by AmexRuislip View Post
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      Cheers, its one of our favourite NT places to visit, especially the walled garden and the monument walk.
      Have you done Bentley Priory, Stanmore HQ? (Fighter Command) near you? Another amazing place, fascinating!
      "Never miss a good chance to shut up"
    • #17
      Longing for retirement. AmexRuislip's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by portlock seagull View Post
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      Have you done Bentley Priory, Stanmore HQ? (Fighter Command) near you? Another amazing place, fascinating!
      Yes mate, its all part of where I work, RAF100 and all that
    • #18

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      Quote Originally Posted by AmexRuislip View Post
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      Cheers, its one of our favourite NT places to visit, especially the walled garden and the monument walk.
      Give Cliveden a miss at the mo, Went past tonight and place is beginning to swarm with paps, weird to think we can wave to Megan across the other side of the valley on her wedding night!
      "Never miss a good chance to shut up"
    • #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by Cheshire Cat View Post
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      About 1,600 German civilians and Russian forced labourers were drowned by the floods.
      Hopefully these deaths will be recognised in some way shape or form.

      The Mohne dam is well worth a visit. As with most monuments / areas / sites of interest throughout Germany and France there is no glorification more remembrance.
    • #20
      Longing for retirement. AmexRuislip's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by portlock seagull View Post
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      Give Cliveden a miss at the mo, Went past tonight and place is beginning to swarm with paps, weird to think we can wave to Megan across the other side of the valley on her wedding night!
      I know, its madness, just for a circus wedding!

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