70th Anniversary of the Dambusters

Yesterday was a pretty significant day for the town of Chapel en le Frith in Derbyshire, people gathered in the market place, at the war memorial to witness a remembrance tribute.

Lancaster 70 years 117-1


  The local branch of the Royal British Legion had pulled out all the stops

Lancaster 70 years 3-1

The place was packed, not just with local people but those who had travelled from far and wide. You could  just tell some had made a supreme effort to get there.

Lancaster 70 years 6-1

One of the veterans shook me, and many many more, firmly by the hand, ‘Thank you for coming, thank you for coming!’ He kept repeating. I thought we were supposed to be thanking them?

There were civic dignitaries, the young (children from Combs Infants School and Chapel High School)

Lancaster 70 years 8-1

the decorated

Lancaster 70 years 4-1

the media ( a current member of 617 Squadron is interviewed for the BBC)

Lancaster 70 years 9-1

There was even a letter to be read, a letter from the Queen, her representative laid one of many wreaths

Lancaster 70 years 10-1

But there was more to come, at 12:50 hrs,  from the south, over Combs Moss above the nearby village of Combs where Astell lived came the Lancaster Bomber, The City of Lincoln.

Lancaster 70 years 15-1

We watched, as did many more, from the top of nearby Eccles Pike,

Lancaster 70 years 12-1

As the Lancaster made four sweeps above the town (here above the high school).

Lancaster 70 years 18-1

The Dambusters raid has a special place in the hearts and history of this area, not only because of the lost lives of local men,  Flight Lieutenant William Astell DFC and Sergeant Jack Marriott DFM, but because this area was where the men practiced for the mission, using the Derwent Valley, just over the hills,  to perfect the specialist  skills they would need for such an audacious attack.

Lancaster 70 years 16-1

The Lancaster, having paid its respects, banked off over the hills to join the Battle of Britain Flight down the Derwent Valley (spectacular video here)

Lancaster 70 years 19-1

Well done everybody, you did them proud.

12 thoughts on “70th Anniversary of the Dambusters

  1. Steve at the Pub

    Fantastic footage at that video link!

    One of the crew on the Dambusters raid was from my town. Despite being born & educated here he’s not recorded as one of the Anzac 14, for his parents were English. He was registered as, and maintained, UK citizenship.

  2. Malcolm Thurling

    The bravery and skill of the crews of 617 Squadron are beyond doubt, but even that was eclipsed by their modesty – so they would consider it right that they, or their comrades should thank you – the next generation.

  3. Pingback: Chapel-en-le-Frith – Dambusters and Flt Lt W Astell 70th Anniversary Tribute |

  4. Pingback: Chapel-en-le-Frith – Dambusters and Flt Lt W Astell 70th Anniversary Tribute

    1. Wooooohooooo, what a shot. The bomb doors are open? Does the rear wheel retract? I wonder where it was taken? I love the people of the ground, it gives the shot a certain something (as if it lacks anything!)

      1. Yes the bomb bay doors are open. The tail wheel is fixed, as it was on most aircraft of that era. The photo caption just says Peak District. Yes I like that as well as it gives a sense of scale. xx

  5. Pingback: Unknown Names | Uphilldowndale

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