The 2023 AGM and Dinner, organised by Terrry Hulmes, was based around the International Bomber Command Centre & The Bentley Hotel Lincoln. THe theme for this year’s event was the 80th anniversary of Op Chastise – The Dambusters Raid. Thanks to Paul Draycott and Bob Hamilton for the photos.
International Bomber Command Centre
The formal dinner saw a new format for the Association where the details of Op Chastise were recounted throughout the meal. To conclude, our guest speaker, Adrian Woolrich-Burt, put the raid into context and gave an overview of his research into the subject matter.
Adrian, along with his friend and former Air Engineer, Pete Chicken, have researched in depth one particular operation in December 1944. You can read more and listen to their podcasts here: One Night in December.
The final toast, written and delivered by Terry Hulmes, proved to be an emotional and fitting end to the proceedings.
The Flight Engineer
Only we know what it feels like – to once – some time ago – be a different kind of kid – the kind that was willing to risk life for country.
We gave up a lot of ourselves, and it must have been in our hearts to do so.
We were challenged academically, physically, morally and sometimes treated as if we did not exist. We missed out on holidays with our families, and it was not an easy journey.
Wherever you originated from in this, our great country, and whatever persuaded you to become a flight engineer, we have been supported by a legion of families who have suffered as much, and sometimes more, than we have.
Never forget how it started – Never forget what it took to decide as a kid that your life was going to be about more than just yourself.
Your family always worried about what you were doing, yet still supported you.
From the very beginning, it has always started the same way…Across generations – across eras
We volunteered, and were chosen to dedicate, to sacrifice – to serve. And so we headed off to Topcliffe, to Finningley, to Cranwell.
It takes a certain kind of kid who chooses to commit to our way of life.
And so, we should – at gatherings like these, celebrate the courage of every man and woman who made that commitment.
And so – I give you a toast – The Flight Engineer!