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Remembrance Day 2003

In 2003, for the second year running, 627 Squadron was represented at the Remembrance Day Parade in Whitehall by Harry Willis and Ronnie Pate. On this occassion a 627 Squadron poppy wreath was laid at the Cenotaph to mark the 60th Anniversary. The photograph shows Ronnie Pate with the wreath before the parade.


Reunion 2003

The 627 Squadron 60th Anniversary Reunion took place on 20th and 21st June at the Admiral Rodney Hotel, Horncastle.

High House Museum, Tumby Moorside

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Lunch at the Blue Bell, Tattershall Thorpe

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Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre, Tattershall Thorpe

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Dinner at the Admiral Rodney

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Service of Dedication of the 627 Squadron Tree at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, Staffordshire, 28 May 2003

Some years ago the members of 627 Squadron in Retirement contributed to the purchase of a tree at the National Memorial Arboretum. On 28 May a joint Service of Dedication was held at the Arboretum for the Mosquito Aircrew Association, 515 Squadron and 627 Squadron.


Remembrance Day 2002

In 2002, 627 Squadron was represented for the first time at the Remembrance Day ceremony at the Cenotaph, Whitehall, with Ronnie Pate and Harry Willis (in photograph with his wife Grace after the ceremony) taking part in the march-past with other Bomber Command members.


Opening of the Garden of Remembrance at Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre, July 2002

The Garden of Remembrance at Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre forms a permanent memorial to the 250 or so aircrew who were killed on active service while based at RAF Woodhall Spa during the Second World War. The official opening and dedication ceremony took place on 14 July 2002, with 627 Squadron being represented by Ronnie Pate, reading part of For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon ("They shall grow not old . . . ."), Ken Oatley and Harry Willis. The occasion was a great success, with perfect weather, a large number of invited guests and other attendees, and rounded off with a flypast by the BBMF Lancaster and one each of their Spitfires and Hurricanes.

The Garden of Remembrance consists of four sections, one for each of the squadrons, each containing a coloured slate plaque of the squadron's badge. The 627 Squadron badge was paid for by subscriptions from the members of 627 Squadron in Retirement.

 

Ronnie Pate, Harry Willis Ken Oatley

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Reunion 2002

The 2002 Reunion took place on 14th -16th June at the Admiral Rodney Hotel, Horncastle. The photograph shows many of those attending at the Garden of Remembrance at Thorpe Camp a few weeks before its completion and opening.

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Australian Pathfinder Reunion 2002

On 15 June 2002, the same weekend as the squadron’s reunion in Horncastle, the New South Wales branch of The Australian Pathfinder Force Association in Australia held its 48th Annual General Meeting at RAAF Base, Richmond – HQ of the RAAF Airlift Group.

On the day, a magnificent wood and glass display cabinet measuring 10’X10’X 4’ located in the spacious Officer’s Mess and devoted entirely to Pathfinder Force memorabilia was unveiled in the presence of Commander Air Lift Group, AIRCDR Roger Harrison, Base Commander Wing Commander S. Richards, and PMC Wing Commander Steve Spencer. The cabinet and its contents were gifted to the Base by Alby Mather, President of the NSW branch of The Pathfinder Force Association in Australia on the Association’s behalf. At the ceremony, Ken Youdale, a former Flight Lieutenant navigator on the squadron in 1945, also presented the base with a beautifully framed, limited edition fine art print entitled 'Final Departure', featuring one of the squadron's Mosquito’s. This will hang in the Officer’s Mess alongside a large number of equally reminiscent paintings of prominent RAF and RAAF identities and aircraft from WW11. Ken & Alby also jointly presented a copy of the squadron history, 'At First Sight', to be added to the base’s library in its dedicated Pathfinder Room.

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