Received the following photos from Pierre over the weekend that show the unvailing of a temporary memorial post to the crew of K9353 of No.218 Squadron. The day was well attended by the local mayor and senior members of the community. The RAF presence was also worthy of note. The gentleman in the grey jacket, black tie and laying flowers, is Tony DAVIES, the grand’nephew of LAC DAVIES, gunner on K9353.
Remarkably the following were found on the surface 75 years on.
The crash site and the propeller memorial originally used by the villagers to mark the spot where the aircraft crashed.
Copies of the local newspapers.
A copy of the email I received confirming the wonderful news that the sacrifices of the Fairey Battle crews who were killed in the bloody campaign of May 1940 will be remembered. I will keep updating the news as and when received.
I’m back from a meeting of the City Council with the Civil Authorities of the Bouillon.
The City wishes to pay tribute to the crews of Fairey Battles K9485, K9353, P2193 and L5514 shot down near Bouillon on May 12th and May 26th, 1940. The commemoration is to take place on friday May 8th, 2015.
It has been emphazied by The Mayor that there was no better opportunity of paying tribute to the crews than to commemorate their sacrifice the very same day we celebrate the victory against nazism. I personnaly fully agree.
He added that they were among the first to fall and payed the highest price during the dark days of the Allies. While celebtrating V-Day, we can not forget those fallen at a time it looked so in vain. It was not in vain.
I also think that joining the beginning of the war to its end is meaningfull. Like the Alpha and the Omega.
So exceptionnaly, the City traditionnal commemoration of May 8th will be hold in the little village of Curfoz.
Civil and military Authorities will attend as local former WW2 soldiers.
Metal plaques mentionning the names of the fallen ones are to be unveilled that day at each place of the 4 crashsites.
I’ve contacted the Royal Air Force Association (RAFA belgian branch) which will attend by sending a delegation of both retired and active personnel.
Unveilling ceremony will be hold in the street in front of crashsites situated actually on non-built private properties. Actual owners told me they will of course warmly welcome any stay of relatives on the crashsites. We were recently welcomed so during last Remembrance Day as a relative laid flowers and a “poppy crosses”.
Seat/drink accomodation is garanteed.
Part of the ceremony will take place in the little church and cemetery of the village of Curfoz that are of normal access to pedestrians. Concerning the (short -I hope-) religious part, I think I can manage the presence of both anglican and catholic priests.
Curfoz is situated 1 mile north of the Medieval (and touristic) City of Bouillon which has 3.000 inhabitants. I spotted 3 hôtels of normal accomodation and 2 of higher comfort. Dozens of B&B are also available near Bouillon. I can further All let you now.
Bouillon has been recently designated as “first care medical level” for the sub-region, so disposing of a permanent 24h/24h medical center (3 medics, 4 assistants) and 2 high speed ambulances and 1 classic ambulance. A friend of mine is one a the medics and another co-organizer of the ceremony is an usual driver of the ambulances, so I think I can manage the permanent stay of one of the ambulances in Curfoz during the ceremony.
The nearest hospital is situated in Libramont, 15 miles in the north, linked to Bouillon by a 4 lanes high-speed motorway.