Latest News

[Archived News at foot of page]


Seasonal Message
Thanks to all who have visited the website over the last 12 months and our members for their support over another difficult year.

On Christmas Eve, the Homepage counter showed over 11,000 'Hits' since the site relaunch in September 2020 and average visitor numbers continue to rise week-by-week. Although the pandemic has curtailed our activities and there has not always been much to report, the website will be updated when there is news to share, with new content continuing to be added periodically.

The Association sends very best wishes to everyone for the Festive Season and 2022. Although Covid still brings some uncertainty, it is sincerely hoped this year will see a greater return to normality and allow more of us to meet again in person.
Happy New Year to All.
Amended 3 January 2022
(First Posted 23/12/21)

November Remembrance 2021
Regretfully, the Remembrance Church Service and subsequent wreath laying at the Memorial Garden on Sunday 7 November has been cancelled and will not take place, as planned.
Added 30 October 2021

Remembering All Who Served
Despite cancellation of our Reunion and a Flypast by Lincolnshire’s Lancaster (see below), those who served at Elsham, after opening 80 years ago, are remembered. On Sunday 29 August, several members and volunteers gathered at the Memorial Garden for a simple wreath laying ceremony. The occasion was all the more poignant with the presence of a younger generation of Air Cadets and a reading of ‘The Exhortation’, from Robert Binyon’s poem - For The Fallen. This was recited by our newest member, whose uncle ‘failed to return’ in April 1942. Added 1 September 2021

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.


Cancellation of Flypast
This morning, news was received that the BBMF Lancaster is unserviceable and remains at Duxford, where it has been undergoing maintenance. Unfortunately, this means the flypast planned to mark 80 years of Elsham Wolds, scheduled for this Sunday (29 August), has been cancelled. Hopefully, something can be arranged for next year!
Added 26 August 2021

166 Sqn Memorial Service and Wreath Laying
The annual 166 Squadron Remembrance Service will take place on Saturday 4 September and be followed by a wreath laying following at the nearby Memorial.

For details please contact Wg Cdr Tony Lark RAFVR(T) (retd) by email email at:- adj.866@rafac.mod.gov.uk.

Please advise if you are plan on being there - it helps with organising refreshments. Also, if you wish to lay a wreath please advise Tony so that you can be called forward during the ceremony. If the wreath is dedicated to a particular person or group, this can be mentioned.
Added 24 August 2021

Annual Reunion 2021 - Announcement
The following update appeared on Social Media, late yesterday:
Due to continued uncertainty of the current pandemic, together with the possibility of localised Covid outbreaks, this year’s EWA Reunion weekend will not go ahead. The continuing safety, not only of our members and their families but also of the caterers, musicians and entertainers remain our priority.

After considerable discussion, the Association Committee agreed that this was the most appropriate course of action. Those many members who have already reserved will be refunded. NOTE: Our Newsletter and web site will carry information of our November Service of Remembrance, when available.
Added 28 July 2021

Newsletter 63
An 'Early Summer' Newsletter - i.e. the delayed since 'Spring' edition (see below) - has now been despatched to Members.
Added 10 July 2021

Memorial Room
Following some relaxation of UK Government Covid-19 guidelines, the Memorial Room has reopened to LIMITED NUMBERS of Visitors.

Visits are by arrangement and further information, including contact details are given on our Memorial Room page. Covid infection rates and other factors will continue to be monitored for the safety and well being of both visitors and our Volunteers, who welcome them.

Any future changes in opening arrangements will continue to be posted on this website.
Updated 11 July 2021

Spring Newsletter
To date, circulation of the Spring Newsletter has not been feasible for various reasons. Principally, we wish to include firm information about the 2021 Reunion weekend, with Booking Forms as necessary. Members are currently being consulted by e-mail, before deciding how to proceed. Further info is included in the Members Section of this site.
Added 19 May 2021

Betty Spencer
With considerable sadneess, it is advised that the wife of President, Fred Spencer, recently passed away. Her funeral was held in their local church, close to York, on 2 May.
Added 10 May 2021

Ken Duddell
It is with regret and great sadness we announce that former Chairman, Ken Duddell, passed away this morning. He was 96 and would have marked another birthday in just four days time.

During WW2, Ken qualified and flew as a Flight Engineer in Lancasters – an aircraft he always considered to be “Queen of the Skies”. Early Autumn 1943 saw a posting to 460 Squadron at Binbrook, but his pilot failed to return from a ‘Second Dickie’ and he became a ‘spare bod’, along with the rest of the crew. A transfer to 12 Sqn at Wickenby failed to find a pilot, so Ken and his comrades were sent to 1667 HCU, Faldingworth. There, they met up with Sqn Ldr Whittet - a former Instructor about to join 103 as Flight Commander.

Relocating to Elsham that October, they survived nine trips to Berlin. When the Skipper and Navigator both completed second tours, the others found themselves ‘spare’ once again, flying with various crews to finish a first. In May ’44, Ken became an Instructor at Blyton HCU, before a final move to 625 Sqn at Scampton, towards the end of the War.

He joined the Association around 1990. Without his stewardship, it would not have continued in the new Millennium or prospered to reach a 40th Anniversary in 2019. Such was Ken’s dedication to all things Elsham Wolds and the pull of Lincolnshire, he and wife, Valerie, relocated to a house in Barnetby: coincidentally, on the site of the former station ‘Waffery’. On ceasing to be so actively involved, after 13 years in the Chair, Ken and Val returned to their native Midlands, settling in Droitwich Spa.

An edited version of this announcement has been posted on Social Media and a fuller obituary prepared for the next Members' Newsletter.
Added 25 February 2021

Website
If you are reading this, you've found our revamped website - initially launched on 25/09/2020.

Items from the old site, retained to give an indicatation of what to expect on this page, have been moved to the News Archive (see below).
Updated 25 February 2021

New Year + New Content
This item (included on 3 January) has now been archived (see below).
Status Amended 26 February 2021


Newsletter 62
The Winter Newsletter has now been despatched to Members, despite postal difficulties. Copies to UK addresses should be received before Christmas. To mitigate any delay, advance copies have been sent electronically to all those overseas for whom we have an e-mail address.

Non-members wishing a sample copy are requested to contact:- Editor@elshamwolds.org.uk
Added 23 December 2020

Contributions to Remembrance
Throughout the summer, our former Association Secretary and c.30 other volunteers knitted and stitched poppies onto netting (camouflage variety, supplied by the Yorkshire Regiment) for their local church. Various shades of red wool were used, according to what was available. Poppies of other hues were also added in acknowledgement of other forms of Remembrance - white for all war victims, including civilians, and future peace; purple, remembering the service of animals in wartime and black poppies emphasising the contribution of black, African and Caribbean communities' to the war effort.

It was intended to hang the netting, with its hundreds of poppies, from the tower to mark November Remembrance but sadly, given the blustery autumnal weather prevailing, it was decided to drape the poppies inside the church. Unfortunately, only those permitted entry for solitary prayer were able to view this magnficent effort.

In Barrie, Ontario, member and RCAF veteran, Bill Sergeant organised virtual speeches at several schools, distributed poppy donation boxes, participated in associated advertising and arranged for churches in the town to ring their bells 75 times at 11:00 on 11 November.
Bill had also planned on visiting a local Secondary School for the sixth time, to tell students about Remembrance Day and what it means to Veterans. Unfortunately, Covid restrictions prevented this, so he recorded his speech for broadcast.
Added 23 November 2020

November Remembrance Observed
As noted previously (see News Archive), We were unable to hold a November Service this year, however, several Members contributed to or participated in acts of Remembrance, often of a more personal nature - See Item above, added 23 November. On Remembrance Sunday, 8th November, the RAF Ensign was raised and poppy wreathes placed by the cairn in the Memorial Garden, at 11.00 am, on behalf of the membership.

Three days later, on Armistice Day, it had been intended to hold a small ceremony with our President in attendance but, with the introduction of a (second) Lockdown, this was considered inappropriate. Two of the Association 'stalwarts' met at the Memorial in blustery and cold conditions and were joined by, appropriately distanced, Anglian Water personnel (two of whom were ex-servicemen, replete with medals). With the flag blowing stiffly, the Ode to Remembrance was recited and silence observed before a wreath laying, including one honouring all No.13 Base Squadrons on behalf of the President (who was simultaneously placing a personal wreath for 103 Squadron at his local village War Memorial).
Corrected 8 January 2021



!! Watch This Space for More Updates !!

News Archive


(Further content will added to this area, as it is created)