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Military History Tours          On Tour - Bomber Command (RAAF in the UK) 18 July 2015


Our day started with a visit to Zeals where during the War there were a number of various Sqns with different tasks and planes. The Spitfires were there and the grass strip was augmented by hard standing bays for the Spitfires when being serviced or refuelled. After viewing the remains of the airfield and the Tower, owned by Kevin Byrne, we set out to find the knoll where a Dakota ploughed through the trees in 1945. We found the site, it was on a knoll around 500 metres along a ridge line. 20 airmen were lost as the plane came to grief as it hit the trees. There is a Memorial in that place and we conducted a small Service to honour their sacrifice.

We made our way back to our coach and left to visit Sutton Veny where there is a Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery that has mostly Australian interred, many victims of the flu plague that swept through Europe in 1919, including the Matron of the hospital, Matron Walker.

After Sutton Veny, we went to the Museum at Middle Wallop.

Lunch followed in the Woolpack Hotel where we met Frank, a local, before he headed down to join his wife at the Sutton Veny Flower Show. Lunch was excellent and this pub will be visited in the future.

We then put our faith in Ray to get us safely home to our hotel in Winchester. As it was only 1700, many made their way to the Cathedral to check the magnificent architecture and the historical artefacts within. Many of the plaques on the walls depict the famous Battalions such as the Rifle Brigade and its losses and successes. The Cathedral has many featured iconic architectural masterpieces. The workmanship in both the woodwork and stonework is so fine and beautiful.

Tomorrow we head West to Yeovil for the for the Fleet Air Arm Museum.

The video is of the CWG Cemetery at Sutton Veny at the Western end of the Salisbury Plains. Also the Cross of Remembrance erected within the church grounds has those from the Parish, who were lost during the First World War, engraved upon the base. One name served with the AIF and as he was born in the Parish, he is included, see photo, on the right above the video.

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