Last updated: 12 January 2018, 18:16
255 Squadron Association
News Archive 2017


Christmas 2016 / New Year 2017 : Once again, the Association became involved in airspace security. A number of local building sites shut down for a ten-day break, without making adequate arrangements for powering the air navigation warning lights on their tower cranes. Lights were failing as the battery back-ups ran flat. The local MP has now become involved, with a view to some serious chasing-up of this Health & Safety issue.

January 2017 : New book published. Nominally about No.205 Bomber Group, RAF, Gardening by Moonlight tells the story of the RAF’s mining of the River Danube. Chapter 12 deals specifically with support sorties by 255 and includes photographs of several of the Beaufighter aircrew involved in these missions. Kaššák, P. and Gunby, D. (2017). Gardening by Moonlight, Bratislava : Degart. ISBN 978-80-971891-3-6. Available in the UK via the Print-on-Demand service of Language - English.

02 September 2017 : Visit made to Signals Museum. Rather late in the day, your scribe learned of the imminent closure of the Signals Museum at RAF Henlow, Bedfordshire. A recce was carried out and yes, there is equipment on display as fitted to the Defiant, Beaufighter and Mosquito aircraft flown by 255 – including a very rare example of Pip-squeak hardware. [UPDATE: Due to the wind-down of the whole Henlow site, the museum was due to close at the end of this year, but a temporary reprieve has been announced. The hunt is still on for a new home.] Access details here: Be very sure to take government-issued photo ID with you (such as passport, photocard driving licence or OAP bus pass) without which you will not even get through the main gate. The exhibits are of a very "hands-on" nature and delicate items abound; this is not really suitable for younger children.

17 September 2017 : Battle of Britain Sunday. Although 255 was not re-formed until after the official end of the Battle of Britain on 31.October.1940, members of 255 Squadron Association were nevertheless again invited to the Service of Thanksgiving and Rededication at Fighter Command’s Church, St.John the Evangelist at Great Stanmore, near Bentley Priory. Attendees included Geoff Kelly, son of Piers Kelly DFC who flew with No.74 Squadron in the battle, later becoming CO of 255, and Chris Eley, son of George Eley, whose distant cousin Frederick William Eley ("Tiger Tim") died in the battle whilst flying as Kelly's wingman on the occasion when Kelly himself was shot up over Dover. Piers Kelly’s medals were given a rare outing, correctly worn by Geoff on the right side of his jacket, including the only DFC sighted in the congregation.

Warwick War Memorial

Warwick War Memorial
Photo: © 2015 Paul Harrop
Remembrance weekend, November 2017. This was our major event of the year, including the 75th anniversary of the Squadron’s departure from RAF Honiley. On Saturday, which this year was Armistice Day, a single representative of the Squadron Association attended the two-minute silence at the War Memorial in Church Street, Warwick.

Come Sunday, the Squadron Association was represented at the church service at St.Mary’s Collegiate Church, where we were granted the considerable honour not only of reserved seats in the congregation but also, uniquely, a mention in the printed Order of Service. That included a complete list of the seven names of the Squadron casualties incurred whilst in Warwickshire. St.Mary’s, a magnificent building of cathedral-like dimensions, was filled to capacity in a way seldom seen in this secular age. The numbers in uniform or ceremonial dress were beyond counting.

Next came the wreath-laying and march past at the War Memorial, your scribe laying a wreath bearing the Squadron crest. Against the possibility of my going base over apex on the step, an Air Cadet with first aid badges on her sleeve accompanied me on a cold and windy but sunny and dry occasion.

Then followed a semi-formal dinner, organised by RBL and held at a village hall not two miles from the site of the crash that killed Guthrie and Parker. An audience of about 80 invited guests, including Matt Western MP, Member for the Warwick and Leamington Constituency, heard an after-dinner lecture on the history of No.255 Squadron.

Monday was the exact 75th anniversary of 255’s departure towards North Africa. By kind permission of the management of Holly Farm Business Park, the Association’s members and guests were allowed onto the airfield site, which is now private property. Guest attendees included representatives of both RBL and the West Midlands Branch of Air Britain. After commemorating the Beaufighters’ departure at 12:45 we travelled in a car convoy to what, 75 years ago, had been the Squadron’s pub – the Tipperary Inn. There a very good meal was enjoyed by all, kindly sponsored by a member unable to be present in person. Apologies for absence came from as far afield as Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.

Mailing List:

Due to Google Chrome now requiring that all websites inviting text input must have https certification, the system for self-service subscribe / unsubscribe has had to be withdrawn. It simply isn't economic to create, register and maintain SSL security just for this one facility. For the time being, please e-mail our "office at 255 dot org dot uk" address and request a manual amendment to the list. Alternatively use the mail link at the foot of our Sitemap page. This should continue to work with most browsers. If you get a pop-up asking you to configure Outlook please ignore it, cancel and open your Mail Client as you would when preparing to send a normal e-mail.

Google say that they intend in time to force all webmasters to implement https by labelling all http websites as insecure and downgrading them in the Google Search Engine results, even if the site has no input fields. This leaves your scribe feeling like a very small nut about to be unnecessarily clobbered by a very large hammer. Anyone who knows of a work-around, please advise.

Please use the Back button of your browser to return to the previous page you were viewing