Melksham RAFA sees National Arboretum’s salute to war veterans

This Is Wiltshire: From left, Sean McRandle, Melksham ATC, Sue Horton, social secretary of the Melksham Branch, Air Marshal Sir Dusty Miller and Trevor Paterson, chairman of the Melksham RAFA From left, Sean McRandle, Melksham ATC, Sue Horton, social secretary of the Melksham Branch, Air Marshal Sir Dusty Miller and Trevor Paterson, chairman of the Melksham RAFA

Melksham branch of the Royal Air Forces Association visited the National Arboretum in Stafford to attend a dedication of memorial stones and crosses at the Arboretum church and the Association Remembrance Garden.

Nine stones were dedicated, two of which were for past members of the Melksham branch, Gilbert Bourne and Mike Davey.

Gilbert flew Spitfires during the war, along with 17 other types, during and after the war.

The Spitfire was his favourite, according to his daughter Mary who, along with her husband, attended the ceremony and was delighted when the Spitfire of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight gave a flypast at the end of the ceremony.

Mike Davey’s widow Pauline – along with her daughter Caroline – also attended the ceremony, and was equally delighted with the Spitfire flypast, as the Spitfire was also her late husband’s favourite aircraft.

The service was conducted by the Padre of the nearby RAF Cosford, and the president of the Royal Air Forces Association, Air Vice Marshal Sir Dusty Miller, led the dedication of the stones at the Association’s Remembrance Garden.

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