MEMORIAL TO MAJOR HAWKER VC DSO – APPEAL

Maj Hawker VC DSO
The following post is an appeal to the XXIV Squadron Association Members and any other parties who have an interest in Major Hawker VC DSO – read on.

As you may know, XXIV Sqn plans to erect a memorial to its first CO, Major Hawker VC DSO, who was shot down and killed on the Somme by the Red Baron on 23 Nov 1916. After due deliberation and discussions with all interested parties, including the Association, the new OC XXIV Squadron, Wing Commander Tim Jones, has decided that the memorial will be located in the centre of Ligny-Thilloy. This village, situated two kilometres south of Bapaume, is very close to the spot where Hawker’s DH2 is presumed to have crashed. Your Committee strongly supports OC XXIV’s decision to build the memorial in this location.

OC XXIV Squadron has also decided that the memorial will be inaugurated at a special ceremony in Ligny-Thilloy on Friday 11 November 2011 – a public holiday and national day of Remembrance in France. Ligny-Thilloy, situated 20 miles south of Arras and about 90 miles south-east of Calais, is easy to reach by car. Once again, your Committee strongly supports the decision to inaugurate the memorial on 11 November (11-11-11) and hopes that as many members of the Association as possible will attend what is certain to be a memorable event in the history of XXIV.

The estimated cost of the memorial is £2500. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has generously pledged to provide a headstone free of charge (representing a saving of £600) and the Sqn has already raised £815 from a variety of other sources. However, another £1000 is still needed. Your Committee hopes that much if not all of this sum can be raised by private donations from our members.

Your President and Committee believe that this project is both extremely worthy and long overdue. Moreover, it will provide a fitting and enduring memorial to a man who was one of the most distinguished pilots of the First World War. We therefore wish to encourage members to give whatever support they can afford by making a voluntary donation.

If you do wish to make such a donation, please send a cheque made payable to “24 Sqn Association” to our Treasurer at the address below, with a note saying that this money is intended for the Hawker Project. The Treasurer will later consolidate these individual donations into a single cheque which he will send to OC XXIV for payment into the Squadron’s own fund for the project.

Address for Donations:

Keith Rayner
Treasurer XXIV Sqn Association
Rayners Solicitors
57 Market Place
Chippenham
SN15 3HL

Further up-dates on the progress of the project and details of the inauguration ceremony will be posted on the Association Blog as and when more news becomes available. Meanwhile, please note that Chas Whitaker has kindly taken on the role of liaising on our behalf with the Squadron’s project officer, Flt Lt Phil Mobbs.

Best regards from

Your Chairman& Committee – 28 February 2011

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