RAF veterans celebrate air force’s 100th birthday at Melton garden party

Warden Maggie Hill with resident Roger Cheese at a garden party at Wexford House in Melton to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the RAF EMN-180521-173235001
Warden Maggie Hill with resident Roger Cheese at a garden party at Wexford House in Melton to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the RAF EMN-180521-173235001
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Residents of a Melton sheltered housing complex for veterans of the Royal Air Force and their families have celebrated the 100th birthday of the RAF at a special garden party.

Many of the people who live at Wexford House, on Burton Road, gave sterling service to the air force, either during the Second World War or in the years since.

Residents enjoy their garden party at Wexford House in Melton to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the RAF EMN-180521-173225001

Residents enjoy their garden party at Wexford House in Melton to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the RAF EMN-180521-173225001

They chatted about those days and enjoyed slices of cake and other refreshments at the bash, which was also attended by members of their families.

Warden Maggie Hill said: “The veterans are very proud of the history of the RAF and we all thought the party was a fantastic day.”

One of those present Margaret Habberfield, who was a telephonist in the signals department during the war years of 1941 to 1945 at RAF Uxbridge, Upwood and Stormy Dawn.

Jack Cook was also there as a veteran of the Second World War. He told the Melton Times his story three years ago from when he took part in Operation Manna to drop desperately needed food supplies for starving civillians in occupied Holland.

Residents cut their cake with warden Maggie Hill and deputy warden Mandy Hill at a garden party at Wexford House in Melton to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the RAF EMN-180521-173257001

Residents cut their cake with warden Maggie Hill and deputy warden Mandy Hill at a garden party at Wexford House in Melton to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the RAF EMN-180521-173257001

It was a brave mission for Jack, who was just 19 at the time, and fellow crew members of bombers which had to fly low to drop their parcels and trust German gunners not to shoot them down.

Also at the party was Kenneth Saunders, an ex-SNCO with the RAF who did his national service with the air force from 1947-1949 in the RAF police and regular service from 1960 to 1984 with the statistics corps.

They were joined by Roger Cheese, who served on RAF Gan, in the Maldives, for a decade from 1965, and also saw service at HQ for strike command operations research and at the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall, on the staff of the chief of the defence staff and Nato briefing team.

Also present were, John Limb served in the RAF for 24 years, in this country and abroad in Aden, Cyprus, Singapore and Berlin.

The party was also attended by Bernard Goulding, a firefighter and radio operator for six years in England and Rhodesia. and Joe Blundell, who gave 22 years service as a technician in Ceylon, Aden, Nairobi, Germany, Malta, Singapore and the Persian Gulf.