Last year we reported that a permament memorial to Major Lanoe Hawker VC was being created on the site of his fatal crash in France. Phil Mobbs, from today's 24 Sqn, tells us that the project is now complete.
The Hawker Memorial was completed in October 2011, beside the French War Memorial in Ligny Thilloy, a small village just over a km north of Hawker's burial place. The sun shone on the building work. We were fortunate in obtaining sponsorship from BAE System's Heritage Fund for the cost of flying the Wickenby based DH2 replica - painted in the colours of Hawker's machine for his last flight - to France for the ceremony on 11 November. The aircraft departed from Headcorn on 8 November, crossing the English Channel to Cap Griz Nez before heading to Albert, its base for its stay in France. It was the first of its type to make the journey & fly over the Western Front since 1918.
On Remembrance Day it did a flypast and Poppy drop at the Thiepval Memorial for the main commemorations in the morning and a second flypast at the Hawker Memorial in the afternoon. The afternoon's flypast was timed for 3.10pm, the approximate time that Hawker was killed.
None of this could have been accomplished without the generosity of individuals & companies who have willingly donated both money and services, & I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all. This year is the 95th anniversary of Hawker's death and he finally has his memorial close to the place where he died.
© 2013 Cross and Cockade International
The First World War Aviation Historical Society. Registered UK charity number 1117741.
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