Polish Air Force 60th Anniversary Service
and Dedication of Memorial

RAF / PAF Faldingworth - 8 May 2004

za nasza i wasza wolnosc

 

In the spring of 2004 it was 60 years since the Lancasters of 300 Squadron of the Polish Air Force first flew from RAF/PAF Faldingworth.

Faldingworth was at that time not only home to 300 Squadron, but was a Polish station with ground staff, crews and aircrews being Polish with British and Commonwealth support, rather than the other way around as was the case on other stations.

300 Squadron Lancaster 300 Squadron

An anniversary service was held in the village church of All Saints, with the dedication of a new memorial on the airfield, on Saturday 8 May 2004.

The memorial on the old airfield forms part of a chain, starting at the Polish Air Force memorial dedicated in Warsaw in 2003. That memorial includes all the names of the men who lost their lives flying from Faldingworth. The next is the memorial in Northolt in England where the names are repeated. From there to RAF/PAF Faldingworth from where they flew.

That memorial is connected to the church at Faldingworth, where there is a memorial to all who served on 300 Squadron. It consists of a number of items including a stained glass window, plaque, and memorial guard books. A new set of memorial outer gates to the church were dedicated in late 2005.

The final connection to the community in the area is via a painting in the Faldingworth primary school, depicting the aircraft at Faldingworth preparing to drop food to the starving people of The Netherlands in 1945. This was painted by the children and teachers in 1995. Again in the school is a picture of a Polish airman’s wings and insignia donated by the Polish Air Force Association.

The whole is to remind people how strangers can come together in the face of evil and in doing so become their friends. There is one other connection, that is with the memorials to Lancaster crews that were lost over Europe. Fragments from four of those Lancasters have been sent to be included in the memorial on Faldingworth airfield.

Polish Air Force Ensign Faldingworth Memorial

The memorial has the following elements -

ball the base is constructed from concrete blocks broken from the old runway, perimeter track and aircraft standings; this represents the broken lives and tragedy of war

ball inside the base are small parts from four Lancasters that were destroyed over Europe; the crews will have taken off for the last time on the runway where this memorial stands

ball out of the base rise three columns of stone; these represent Lincoln Cathedral, known by many aviators as a landmark, and also represents hope for future peace

ball between the uprights and the base, there is a stone plaque inscribed to those whom the memorial is dedicated

ball behind the memorial is the flagpole from which flew the old windsock

ball those who fought from here prevented a tyranny that our friends the Polish men and women who came here knew and know, only too well; trees planted nearby reminding us of today’s living world, a world that we must now look after

ball finally there will be two short walls on either side, which will allow people to sit down and on which there will be further displays about the airfield and the memorial

Polish Air Force Polish Air Force Polish Air Force

If you are interested in the memorial, or if you wish to make a small donation to this project or the memorial gates church project, you are invited to contact -

Colin Mitchell-Smith
Chestnut Lodge, Spridlington Road, Faldingworth, Market Rasen, Lincolnshire LN8 3SQ, England
Telephone 01673 885384 or (+44) 673 885384 from outside the UK.

Cheques should be made payable to the Faldingworth Memorial Account.

Polish Air Force Polish Air Force Polish Air Force

On 8 September 2007 a Commemorative Service was held to mark the 60th anniversary of the disbandment of 300 Squadron.

See the Faldingworth Memorials website for more details of the memorials.


text © Colin Mitchell-Smith
memorial photographs © Mike Ingham
Lancaster photograph © Faldingworth
300 Squadron Badge © Polish Air Force


Polish Air Force Polish Air Force Page

this page last updated 17 April 2009

© HFM Design