Hawker Memorial Inauguration – Op 11-11-11

DH2 Lanoe Hawker from Military Times by Mark-Bromley

DH2 Lanoe Hawker from Military Times by Mark-Bromley

Chas Whitaker has compiled a package of information if you are interested in making the trip to Ligny-Thilloy for the Hawker Memorial Inauguration which will take place at 1500 on 11 Nov 11.

Following the Memorial Inauguration Ceremony, OC 24 Sqn, the XXIV Sqn Association and the Mayor of Ligny-Thilloy are planning  to jointly host an  “Entente Cordiale Vin d’Honneur” in the rather fine Community Centre in the Village of Ligny-Thilloy.  This will be a traditional French Function, involving Champagne and Canapes, (which is on my list of responsibilities to organise in conjunction with Monsieur le Maire)!  We anticipate that the cost will not exceed 10 to 12 Euros per head.  This event is expected to commence at about 15:45 and to last about an hour. It will feature a few short addresses, and an exchange of gifts.

We are hoping  this will be a memorable occasion and will mark the start of new friendships. OC 24 Sqn has extended invitations to the Inauguration and the Vin d’Honneur to representatives of the Luftwaffe’s Richthofen Geschwader at Wittmund,Germany.  He has also invited representatives of the closest Armee de l’Air Base 103 at Cambrai in France.  Cambrai is 32 kms (20 miles) east of Ligny-Thilloy and is the home of No 1/12 Fighter Sqn, operating Mirage jets.  It was felt this was particularly appropriate as No 24 Sqn RFC was a fighter squadron in 1916.

In summary, most will be making their way to the vicinity of Arras for accommodation and restaurant dinners on Thursday 10 November.  Attendance at the French Remembrance Ceremony at 1100 on 11/11/11 is to be encouraged but is optional, but we would hope to see you in Ligny-Thilloy for the Hawker Memorial Inauguration at 15:00, and the Vin d’Honneur at about 15:45, on the Friday.  Following the Vin d’Honneur your time is of course your own, and the Weekend in France is your Oyster!

Following on from the initial communication regarding the Inauguration of the Memorial to Major Lanoe Hawker VC DSO on 11/11/11, you might like to follow this link: http://www.wickenbyairfield.com/news/?p=473. It will take you to a website and to a blog which you may wish to follow over the weeks to come.

They will follow the progress of the plan to fly the only replica (in the Northern Hemisphere) of Major Hawker’s DH-2 to the Somme in November this year, now christened “Operation Somme”. The aim is that the DH-2 should overfly the Somme Memorial at Thiepval at 11:00 and the Hawker Memorial at Ligny-Thilloy at 15:15 on 11/11/11.

The plan will be dependent on 2 parameters – funding and the weather. I doubt we will be able to influence the latter, but we will be in touch in the next couple of weeks to update you on how the quest for the necessary funds for “Operation Somme” is progressing.

Recommended Date for Channel Crossing Outbound –  Thursday 10 November 2011


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