The Royal Air Force Memorial Flight Club have published their Autumn Journal 2015. The beautifully produced publication aims to highlight the achievements and exploits of the famous Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and their inventory of historic World War II aircraft including one of only two Avro Lancaster bombers that remain airworthy anywhere in the world. The Royal Air Force Memorial Flight Club aims to support the Flight through raising awareness and funds to keep these historic aircraft in the air where they can best represent those brave men and women who built, flew and maintained them during the darkest days of World War II and beyond.
The Autumn Journal opens with a segment covering the standing down of Squadron Leader Dunc Mason as Officer Commanding of the Flight and the arrival of Squadron Leader Andy “Milli” Millikin as his successor. The Journal then goes in to a range of articles covering the story of the aircraft types the Flight operate. There is a fascinating article on the use of Hawker Hurricanes as night fighters and pays tribute to the Castle Bromwich factory where all four of the Flight’s Supermarine Spitfires were built.
The magazine is lavishly illustrated with beautiful and detailed photographs of the Flight in action during the recent air show season. There is also a detailed photo essay on the newest addition to the fleet, Spitfire LF.XVIe TE311, covering its story from restoration to flight.
This is an intimate look at the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight produced in high quality with the commitment one could expect from the supporters of one of the most public aspects of the Royal Air Force. If you would like to join the Royal Air Force Memorial Flight Club and receive your own copy of the Autumn Journal, then please visit the club’s page at www.memorialflightclub.com.
It costs just £25 (+ postage) to join and profits from the Club help to support the work the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight does. Thanks to Amy Sell at the Club for sending me this copy.
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As October comes to a close and November begins the people of Britain take to wearing their poppies to give thanks to those who have sacrificed their futures for our today. The very notion of wearing the poppy is a touching one as people from all walks of life and across the entire political spectrum show solidarity in their remembrance and appreciation.
Sadly, however this respect is not entirely universal. In the past few years there have been a worrying increase in theft and attacks on poppy sellers.
In 2003 a 79 year old volunteer collecting in Buckinghamshire was attacked with a hammer.
Just last year a 15-year old Army cadet was badly burned selling poppies in Manchester.
It’s difficult for right minded individuals to understand why these things happen but it is a fact of life that they do.
With that in mind I would like to ask that this year, as well as offering up a small donation, you take a moment to look around where the collection is taking place for any indication that someone may wish harm to the poppy seller or may want to steal the collection pot. If you suspect that this may be the case take the following action;
Discretely warn the ticket seller (shouting at the ticket seller may encourage a thief to try his luck and snatch the pot).
NEVER approach the person you suspect.
If you see the pot snatched DO NOT attempt to recover it no matter how much you may want to. You would do better to try to record as many details as possible about the thief such as his description, where he/she was standing and where they went and give them to the police.
If you witness a seller attacked try to raise the alarm as quickly as possible.
A calm approach is always the best. Nobody should be expected to do more than they can but together we can make it as difficult as possible for these thugs and in doing so make it all the safer for those selfless people who devote their time to a truly worthy cause.
HMS Portland sits in the background as the transfer of supplies takes place (MoD photo)
Two rowers making an epic transatlantic crossing for charity have received provisions from the Type 23 frigate HMS Portland F79 after they signalled Falmouth Coastguard for assistance. The rowers reported that they had almost run out of food as the end to their crossing was in sight and that they had been living on the bare minimum for a week. The Type 23 frigate responded to the rowers before launching their sea boat to send over at least three days of additional supplies for them to complete their crossing.
The two rowers, Tom Hudson and Pete Fletcher, are completing the epic challenge to support the McGrath Foundation, an Australian charity which aims to raise breast cancer awareness and put breast cancer nurses in to communities. They are aiming to become the first pair in history to row unassisted from New York to London, a journey of more than 3,000 nautical miles. So far the pair have raised 12,000 Australian dollars (£5,496) for the charity but after 97 days at sea things were getting grim but the men remained committed.
Included in the hamper from HMS Portland was soup, pasta, a thermos flask of tea and a bottle of champagne for the pair to celebrate the end of their journey on Friday.
I got the chance to meet these guys today at Fortress Wales 2015. The RIDERS BRANCH is one of the Legion’s national branches. It is open to anyone regardless of abode, nationality, branch of service and even those who have not seen military service but wish to help through the enthusiasm of motorbiking. Having spoken to them I decided to help out by making this little video in order to help spread the word of the work they do.