Battlefield History Tours

Battlefield History Tours
Incorporating History and Heritage tours

On Tour - RAAF Bomber Command in the UK Tour 12 July 2023


We left The Petwood Hotel at 0900 as this day we are heading to York. Our stay at Petwood was just as good as it has been each year that we have been there since our first visit in 2009. This really was special for those with me as at both dinners and both breakfasts we had the Dambuster's Special Bar to ourselves as a Private Function. This was at the initiative of the Petwood Hotel staff and I thank them for that special thought. The Hotel is really a special place to stay with its Bomber Command history and the friendly atmosphere that abounds there which is due to the professionalism of all the staff. On top of that there are the beautiful grounds that are so well maintained and a pleasure to stroll through. Sad to leave but we had to as our adventures take us elsewhere.

Off to York, that beautiful City, surrounded by the wall that had protected it over the decades allowing the history within to be there for all to enjoy. A long history has York with Vikings there for many years and surviving the War of the Roses but standing alone is the York Minster. York Minster is one of the world's most magnificent cathedrals .Since the 7th century, the Minster has been at the centre of Christianity in the north of England and today remains a thriving church rooted in the daily offering of worship and prayer. The Minster was built for the glory of God. Every aspect of this ancient building - from the exquisite, handcrafted stone through to the unrivalled collection of medieval stained glass - tells the story of Jesus Christ.

On our way we called into Binbrook where the airfield that was there had the famous Australian Squadron, SQN 460. Famous as it dropped more tonnage than any other SQN but sadly had more casualties than any as well. Romaine and Brian did have a direct family or friend who had served in the Squadron which made the visit quite moving. We had a little Service there to remember those lost and Poppies we laid in Remembrance.

Our next call, closer to York was to Holme on Spalding Moor where again another famous Australian Squadron had served with the same professionalism and dedication that was evident in 460 Sqn. There are 2 memorials there, the 460 SQN and 76 SQN which was led by Lord Leonard Cheshire VC etc. There were many wreaths at both memorials, and we had a small Service and laid our poppies in Remembrance to the men of both Squadrons. The tree that was planted in memory of those lost in 460 SQN has grown considerably since I first visited the memorial in 2007 when planning the Bomber Command Tours. Following our Service we hit the road again to York and to our hotel. We settled in quite early and then went to dinner in a small Italian Restaurant on Micklegate Road just before the bridge over the River Ouse.

Tomorrow our adventures continue with a visit to Elvington Airfield famous for the French Squadron that operated out of there in their Hallifax Bombers.

Graham Fleeton.


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