Commemorative bench in Louth to mark RAF centenary

A new commemorative bench has been installed at one of the main entrances to Louth, in a belated commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the RAF.

The Mayor of Louth, Councillor Darren Hobson; Rotary Club president, Rob Hall; Air Vice Marshall (Retired) Martyn Gardiner, and ex-Red Arrow Alan Chandler alongside the new bench and the members of the public who attended

The bench was purchased and dedicated by Alan Chandler and his family, and it was installed at St Mary’s Triangle on November 11.

Alan said that a wreath was also placed there on the day, in memory of: “all the young chaps that flew from Bomber County and never returned home.”

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Mr Chandler said: “Over 100 years ago on April 1, 1918, a few months before the end of the First World War, the Royal Air Force was founded by Lord Trenchard who is lovingly known as Father of the Royal Air Force.

“During the years since 1918, many airfields have been established in Lincolnshire, especially during the Second World War when a great many bomber airfields were built, so many in fact that Lincolnshire become known as Bomber County and many of those airfields were built near our wonderful town.

“Between the war years of 1939-1945, many young men came to Bomber County to fly on missions but never returned.

“Like those young men I also came to serve in Bomber County along with several of my friends that attended the ceremony on Armistice Day to give me their moral support.

“We, however, were the lucky ones and served in a time of peace so can be here to remember those that made that ultimate sacrifice.

“My family wish to thank the Rotary Club of Louth for allowing us to place this commemorative bench in an area of Louth that they have upgraded and care for, therefore allowing a lasting memorial in our town to celebrate 100 years of the RAF and to pay tribute to all those that gave their lives whilst serving.”