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Showing posts with label bomber. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bomber. Show all posts

Wednesday, 19 March 2014


Every week for the next 8 weeks I am attending physio (for my stroke) at the Prince of Wales hospital in the city of Ely.  This was once an RAF hospital.

Ely is a delightful place with a cathedral 1300 years old (LHS). My wife walks into town during my sessions. As a local parishoner she gets free entry too. Down by the river Ouse is lovely too and the market , although small, is delightful.

Years ago, during WW2, my dad (see RHS) had his appendix removed in the old Bishop's Palace in Ely (RHS).  He flew Lancaster bombers (see below) in the Pathfinders and was very lucky to survive the war. He crash landed once on the way home. He rarely spoke of his WW2 experiences: I think he did not really like the idea of helping to kill innocent civilians. He was much happier living his simple rural life in Devon after the war years . Wars are so bad for everyone on all sides. It humbles me to realise how young he was in those days: 20-26yrs old only. In the last months of the war he had a young child too. I never realised how brave he was until it was too late to tell him.

The Bishop's Palace,which dates back to the 15th century, was a Sue Ryder home, but since 2012 has been the home for the Kings School's 6th form.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Dam busters raid anniversary
Today marks the 70th anniversary of the raid on the dams in the Ruhr valley by RAF Lancaster bombers of 617 squadron. Whether the raids had the effect intended or not remains contentious but the dam reconstruction work set back the Nazi war effort for several months.

My father was a flight engineer in Lancasters in the 482 Pathfinder squadron in WW2. He flew many night raids over Germany and crash landed on the return to England on one occasion narrowly cheating death. We rarely talked about his time in the RAF: he didn't want to relive the sheer terror he must have felt nightly setting out in the dark knowing his chances of seeing out the night alive were slim. I am sure the fact he dropped flares for the bombers following to kill innocent men, women and children deeply troubled him in later years. He was a very brave man and I wish I had acknowledged this in his lifetime.