War heroes honoured at special RAFA events

Melton RAFA members in suitable dress with a 1960s Army Scout Car at an event to mark the 70th anniversary of VJ Day and the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain EMN-150818-125442001
Melton RAFA members in suitable dress with a 1960s Army Scout Car at an event to mark the 70th anniversary of VJ Day and the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain EMN-150818-125442001
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It was a busy weekend for members of the Melton branch of the Royal Air Force Association (RAFA).

An open day at their Asfordby Road headquarters on Saturday raised £2,200 for club funds and the organisation’s Wings Appeal, which supports serving and ex-RAF personnel and their families.

RAF Flying Officer Dan McGlynn lays his wreath during the service of re-dedication of the memorial site of the Second World War Wellington bomber crash EMN-150818-125503001

RAF Flying Officer Dan McGlynn lays his wreath during the service of re-dedication of the memorial site of the Second World War Wellington bomber crash EMN-150818-125503001

And on Sunday members were involved in a re-dedication service to remember the crew of a Wellington bomber which crashed in Melton during the Second World War.

The fundraiser was arranged to mark the 7oth anniversary of VJ Day and the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Visitors enjoyed various stalls, raffles, tombolas, children’s games and displays showing aspects of the Second World War.

There was also a bar with guest beers, a barbecue, music provided by Tornado Brass and evening entertainment.

There was also the opportunity to sample a cream tea, dubbed as a ‘Brew for the Few’ in honour of the brave pilots who took on the Luftwaffe.

Brian Fare, secretary of the Melton branch of RAFA, said: “We had a really good turnout for the open day and it was busy all day.

“We thought it was a good idea to organise it at the same time as people were remembering VJ Day and the Battle of Britain.”

A party of around 25 people attended the re-dedication service of the Wellington bomber crash site memorial on Sunday.

They included two relatives of crew members who were on that fateful flight on August 13, 1944, when seven out of the eight on board were killed after the aircraft came down on Saxby Road.

It had left RAF Market Harborough for a routine cross country training flight and bombing practice but engine trouble caused it to lose height.

It was flying too low for the crew to bale out safely by parachute so an emergency landing was attempted at Melton Airfield, only for the plane to stall and then crash in the Copley South field before bursting into flames.

Wreaths were laid by members of 1279 Squadron ATC, Ratcliffe College CCF, Melton Aviation Society, Melton RAFA and relatives of those killed at a memorial stone outside CE Turners. The Rev Catriona Cumming gave a short service and speeches were made.

Mr Fare said: “A lot of people are still unaware of this incident and it’s important we remember the crew.

“There were lots of plane crashes around the area during the war but this was the only one to come down in the town.”