TWENTY – FIVE YEARS OF THANKS, SUTTON-ON-THE-FOREST REMEMBERS
In June it was the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in France which was supported by aircraft flying from East Moor, so your Parish Council deemed it appropriate to remember that event at the East Moor Family Memorial Service held in the village. At that time there were 1,745 Canadian and British servicemen stationed in the village who on the night of 5th June were confined to camp and on the following day 20 Halifax’s took off at 21.58 hours to bomb a railway bridge. “It is difficult to imagine how the crews came to terms with a situation which could suddenly wrench them from the calm and beauty of East Moor and despatch them on snarling engines into the hell and destruction of the target area.”
Early in 1990 the Canadian veteran aircrew and ground staff subscribed to and built the war memorial at the east end of Main Street in memory of the 640 who flew out of East Moor never to return, the airfield having been built on land to the south of what we now call Well Lane and was largely manned by members of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Every year since then the RCAF have sent a contingent to the village to help conduct a short memorial service, originally organised by the veterans themselves but as the numbers fell away with the passage of time the Parish Council took over the responsibility able assisted by our branch of the YCA together with the RBL and the ATC.
For the last two years we have been concerned that only 4 serving RCAF members have been able to attend but we are grateful to the Canadian Govt. for financing this aspect of the weekend. In recent years we have been able to incorporate a talk by the Canadians to the pupils at our school and also a visit to Sutton Hall which was the Officers Mess during the war. School children have also laid flowers during the service.
On behalf of the Parish Council may I thank all those who in any way helped to entertain our visitors?