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625 Squadron R.A.F.

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Conflict Commemorated:WW2

Address:Road Junction, Kelstern

Parish:Calcethorpe with Kelstern

Type of Memorial:Stone of Remembrance

Manufacturer:P. R. Leake and Son

Materials Used:Cornish granite

Description:The stone memorial stands 3ft 6ins high and is made from cornish granite and comemorates the members of 625 squadron. The memorial is set in a paved and gravel area, surrounded by blue railings and backed by a setting of conifer trees.

Inscription:(Main Plaque) 625 Squadron Royal Air Force October 1943 - April 1945 "We avenge" (Additional Plaques added after May 1993): We always remember THEM, in tribute and in thought. /Those of our gallant colleagues lost in the battles fought. /STRIKE HARD - STRIKE SURE, with valour, you gave your ALL to do. / Sleep in Peace, dear comrades, We did AVENGE for you. Memorial Custodians/1228 (Louth) Squadron /Air Training Corps In Memory / of / The Rev. Leslie Hakes / 625 Squadron

Memorial Condition:Good

Custodian/ Responsibility for Maintenance:1228 (Louth) Squadron Air Training Corps

Notes on Condition:UKNIWM REF: 20411

Surveyor/ Supplier of Information:Clement Koder and C J Anderson.

Notes:From all parts of the country, ex-members of the old 625 Squadron, R.A.F.-among them many men from Louth and North Lincolnshire-met on the disused air field at Kelstern, near Louth, on Sunday. With wives and families, they made up a congregation of about 250 for the unveiling and dedication o a squadron memorial. From this base, Lancaster bombers pounded 128 war targets in Germany and occupied territory, from October 1943 to April 1945. Now those who did not come back from daylight raids which helped to cripple the Nazi war machine, are permanently remembered. Surrounded by farm land where once the was the flying field, is a small plot of grass bought from the Air Ministry, on which stands the simple memorial, 3ft. 6in. High and of Cornish granite, the work of the Louth stonemasons, P. R. Leake and Son. Near the memorial during the service flew the squadron ensign, which has been in safe keeping since the airmen left this corner of Lincolnshire 19 years ago. "WE AVENGE" The memorial bears the inscription "625 Squadrom, Royal Air Force, October 1943-Aril 1945. We avenge." Sunday's ceremony coincided with the successful daylight raid, 20 years earlier, on Essen, in the Ruhr. Then all 17 aircraft completed their task, and all 112 aircrew returned safely to base. At the special request of the R.A.F. chaplaincy, the Sergeant Flight Engineer aboard the Lancaster V-Victor on that raid, now the Rev. Leslie Hakes, conducted the service. Mr. Hakes was ordained two years ago. Among the congregation were his pilot of that day, former Flg. Off. "Sandy" Lane, of Haywards Heath, Sussex and their rear gunner, ex-Sgt. Peter Kettle, of Peterborough. The memorial was unveiled by Group Capt. Paddy Forsythe, Officer Commanding R.A.F. Acklington, Northumberland, a flight lieutenant in the old squadron. DEDICATION The dedication was by the Rev. E. G. Alsop, Assistant Chaplain-General of R.A.F. Bomber Command. Assisting at the service was the Rev. Alan Vickers, padre at the nearby R.A.F. Station Binbrook, 625's wartime base headquarters. Australians flew with the squadron, and they were represented by Mr. Mervyn Bartimore, of Sheffield, who returned to this country from Sydney 10 years ago. In the past, ex-members of the squadron have travelled to Kelstern for occasional services, but two years ago at a reunion in London, it was decided to go ahead with a permanent memorial. (Louth Standard - October 30 1964) Rev. Les Hakes who had dedicated the memorial died in a tragic accident in 2000, and a flagstone commemorating him lies at the foot of the Memorial.

Sources Used:Louth Standard - October 30 1964

Links:
Kelstern LM1399 to LM1403.pdf

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Last updated: 13 Dec 2016

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