Archive for the ‘Reunions’ Category

2018 Reunion and AGM – Some Early Details

23 February, 2018

2018 Reunion and AGM  6 October – Early details:-

Transport details

Barnes Coach departs Hilton Hotel 18:00 and Departs Lyneham Mess 23:59 for Return.

Hilton Hotel information

The Hilton are delighted to offer the following bedrooms for the night of our reunion:

  • Bed and breakfast rate
  • 5th and 6th October 2018
  • £60.00 Single occupancy rooms
  • £65.00 double occupancy rooms

 Please note:

  • All bedrooms are to be pre-paid at the time of booking and are non-refundable and non-transferrable.
  • Any bedrooms that haven’t been booked but have been kept in your allocation will automatically be released back for general sale 6 weeks before your event date. We will not be able to re-add rooms to your block after this time has passed. Any other bedrooms will be subject to availability and rates at the time of booking.
  • Any additional guests per room carry a supplement of £10 per room per night, under 14s are complimentary

  • Families with children over 2yrs old must book a family room in order to accommodate everyone. Our family rooms consist of a queen sized bed and a sofa bed, suitable for 2 under 14yr olds or 1 adult

  • We have 25 rooms on our group. There is a mixture of queen rooms that can either be double or single occupancy, twin room and family rooms on your allocation. They have also included a few upgraded rooms, just to ensure members have good selection of rooms available to book.

You can call the Hilton central team, quoting the date and G24SQ to book. You may also input this code into the group code box on the general website to qualify for the reduced rates.


XXIV Squadron Association – Summer Social & Lunch – Wednesday 30 May 2018

23 February, 2018

XXIV Squadron Association Summer Social & Lunch– Wednesday 30 May 2018

Latest Information as at 22 Feb 2018.


Presidents Room, RAF Club, 128 Piccadilly, London, W1J 7PY 


12.00 onwards:  Gather for drinks in private bar adjacent to Presidents Room

12.45:  Lunch served


An informal occasion with no seating plan

Dress Code

Jacket and tie for gentlemen. Equivalent for ladies.


Baked goat’s cheese encased in pistachio nuts, with poached pear & quince jelly

Chicken supreme, with mushroom & asparagus & tarragon velouté sauce
French beans & new potatoes

Crème brûlée

Coffee & petits fours

Note: Gluten-free & vegetarian options also available on prior request


Wines and other drinks are not included in the menu price but are available for individual purchase. Club house wines are particularly good value.


now £35 per head; (was £39). Association Treasurer Roger Hale will require full payment by cheque by 9 April at latest (see below) and will settle the total bill directly with the Club.

Confirmation of Attendance

Maximum capacity of the Presidents Room is 42. If last year’s support for this event is any yardstick, demand is again likely to exceed supply so we will have to adopt the same policy of “first come first served.” Please confirm your wish to attend by email to as soon as possible and no later than 9 April when the list will be closed. Please ensure that emails state member’s name and full names of all guests. Please follow up your email by posting a cheque for the full amount to Roger to arrive no later than 9 April. Cheques should be made payable to 24 Squadron Association. Roger’s home address is:

Roger Hale
14 Weiss Road
SW15 1DH

Summer Social – Menu

03 January, 2018
RAF Club Lunch

RAF Club Lunch

Your Committee has been in liasion with the RAF Club Banqueting Manager on the menu for our summer social & lunch at the RAF Club on Wednesday 30 May 2018 and chosen the following dishes. One menu to be served to everyone but there will of course be provision for special dietary needs.

Starter: Baked goat’s cheese encased in pistachio nuts with poached pear & quince jelly.

Main: Chicken Supreme, with mushroom & asparagus, new potatoes, french beans.

Dessert: Creme Brûlée; Coffee & Petits Fours.

Like last time, lunch will be served in the President’s Room and the adjacent Victoria Bar will be reserved for our exclusive use.

The Club have quoted £39/head but negotiations are on going for a 5 to 10% reduction OR a £5/head subsidy from Association funds if necessary.

Final details and invitations to attend will be sent out nearer the date.


Summer Social 2018 – Confirmed as 30th May

30 November, 2017
RAF Club Presidents Room

RAF Club Presidents Room

A firm booking has been made on behalf of the Association for the 2018 Summer Social to be held at the RAF Club, Piccadilly on Wednesday the 30th May.

The action was left outstanding at the AGM for the Committee to explore  this as an option. With such heavy demand on the Club during 2018 for all things 100, this slightly earlier date was secured.

It is expected to be a similar format as the 2017 meet up. More details a bit nearer the time, so put a marker in your diary as these events are very popular.



Centenary Dinner Photos – 11th September 2015

24 November, 2017

Although a little bit late in being published, the Committee have at last tracked down some of the official photographs taken on the evening of the 11th September 2015 on the occasion of the Squadron’s 100th Anniversary and Centenary Dinner in the Officers Mess, RAF Brize Norton.

The VIP guest that evening was the Squadron’s Honorary Air Commodore, HRH Princess Royal. You will also see in the picture gallery, Wg Cdr Daz Rawlins, Grp Cpt Tim Jones, representing the Squadron and the Station, Air Cdr Dick Gould, Grp Cpt Keith Chapman and Sam Wright among others representing the Association.


Reunion Ladies Guest Night photo.

06 November, 2017

As a result of an excellent piece of background organisation we have a lovely photograph of the Association members, guests, after dinner speakers and serving squadron personnel at this years Reunion Ladies Guest Night dinner held at MoD Lyneham.

Considered by all those who attended to be a great success, it is hoped that this can be repeated in future years. Our thanks to all the mess staff who made the evening a memorable occasion.

Lost and Found

19 October, 2017

Did you leave a cream coloured Dorothy Perkins jacket after attending the Reunion AGM and Lunch at XXIV Squadron HQ on the 7th October?

If so or you know who it might belong to, contact Sam Wright on 01249 890516 for a different kind of reunion.

2017 Association Reunion and Dinner – Early Feedback

10 October, 2017

The good news is that the Association Members and Guests enjoyed another successful Reunion, AGM, meet up with the Squadron and Ladies Guest Night at RAF Brize Norton and Princess Marina Mess, Lyneham on Saturday 7th October.

Despite the Squadron and Brize being heavily committed to the hurricane relief out in the Caribbean, the job of hosting us and briefing us for the day was carried out impeccably. Everybody’s thanks go out to Sqn Ldr Mark Radbourne, Flt Lt Chris Jones and Hoggy who gave up their own time to make us so welcome.

The Dinner at Lyneham was voted by all attending a most enjoyable experience providing just the right sort of military ambiance lacking at commercial venues. Possible a firm favorite for future years.

Here are a few phone snaps of Association Members and Guests at XXIV HQ, the Squadron briefing and A400M Simulator visit. Further updates as once the dust settles and the Committee have had a spot of R & R.



04 October, 2017

Here is the latest update and news from Chas Whitaker regarding this years visit to Ligny Thilloy


Hawker v Richthofen.  All recipients will no doubt be aware that there is a memorial to No 24 Sqn’s first Commanding Officer – Major Lanoe G Hawker VC DSO – erected in front of the Mairie in the village of Ligny Thilloy (LT).  LT lies 26 kms due South of the town of Arras in the Pas de Calais region of France. The Memorial is geographically close to the site of Luisenhof Farm (destroyed in WW1).  Major Hawker was shot down by the Baron Manfred von Richthofen after an aerial combat lasting some 30 minutes and his DH2 aircraft crashed adjacent to the Farm on 23 Nov 16.

2011. With the approval and enormous support of the Mayor of LT, Monsieur Dominique Deleplace, and of his Assistant, Madame Brigitte Le Grand, the Memorial to Maj Hawker was erected and then inaugurated on 11-11-11 (11 Nov 2011).  The Ceremony was attended by a strong XXIV Sqn team led by OC XXIV (Wg Cdr Tim Jones) as well as by a large turnout of Assocn members and partners.  The occasion was also noteworthy for the participation of an Honour Guard provided by the Luftwaffe’s Richthofen Geschwader, with the Geschwader Standard paraded in honour of Maj Hawker. The French Air Force was represented by the Base Commander and the OC of a Mirage Fighter Sqn from the nearby Cambrai Air Base.

2016.  Last year marked the 100th Anniversary of Maj Hawker’s death in action on 23 Nov 16.  That event was marked by a Centennial Remembrance Ceremony at the Hawker Memorial in LT on Remembrance Day – Friday 11 Nov 16. This was led and co-ordinated by XXIV Assocn in close cooperation with XXIV Sqn, its Sqn Cdr – Wg Cdr Daz Rawlings – and his team of assistants.   And once again, Maj Hawker was remembered with honour by representatives from the Richthofen Geschwader and the Richthofen Association. The highlight of the Ceremony might well have been the Overflight of the Memorial by an A400 Atlas provided by RAF Brize Norton.  After this, The Mayor of LT marked the occasion by hosting a Vin d’Honneur and Buffet Lunch for all the attendees in the village’s modern Community Hall – the Salle Polyvalante Jaques Lolele (named after Dominique’s precursor as Mayor of LT).  I would say that Major Hawker would have considered we had done him proud 100 years after his own splendid contribution to the UK’s Campaign for Peace in Europe.

2017.  And here we are approaching the Anniversary and France’s Remembrance Day again, which this year falls on Saturday 11 Nov.  I doubt that we will draw together such a gathering as we had last year but I trust that we will gather a contingent of 20 to 30 to enjoy some time in France and to pay our respects to Major Hawker’s memory.  It is also of course very important that we keep the relationship with the Mayor and the villagers of Ligny Thilloy alive as it is they who have contributed so much over the last 6 years and will hopefully continue to do so over the years to come!!  (Maybe Brize Norton village should be twinned with Ligny Thilloy so long as No XXIV Sqn is based at RAF Brize Norton !!). However, maybe this year our focus should be on enjoying the traditions and the relationships that Flt Lt Phil Mobbs’ initiative – the creation of the Hawker Memorial – engendered back in 2010!

My thinking is that we should major on the social aspects that have grown up over the last few years, and encourage members of XXIV Sqn to participate as fully as possible and to feel welcome to join the XXIV Assocn, as I fear that the age gap between the “Oldies” and the current “youthful” Sqn members is growing ever wider!?  And surely the last thing that the first Sqn Cdr would want to see is the XXIV Assocn withering away!!  So, this communication is an Open Invitation to all XXIV Sqn and XXIV Association Members to get together this year – and even more so in 2018 – the 100th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force’s Foundation on 1 April 1918!!

Well then, what is on the cards for Op Lima Tango 2017?  First off, a comfy crossing of the English Channel on Friday 10 November- by Channel Tunnel or a Cross Channel Ferry – in good time to reach your pre-booked Hotel in Arras!  There are a number of good ones, but the XXIV Association’s favoured hostelry is the Mercure, next to the town’s station and only a few minutes’ stroll from the historic town centre. I won’t presume to tell you how to search hotels on Google or how to book them on the Internet!! But, once you have checked in to your preferred overnight accommodation – around midday to 14:00 – you will probably want to take a promenade to one of the historic Squares in the Town Centre. Once there, you will perhaps locate the typically French hostelry called Les Trois Futs (The Three Barrels) located at 72 Place des Héros (in a corner of the attractive central square). Here you are likely to find Keith Chapman – our President – surrounded by other stalwarts, all enjoying the skills of French or Belgian brewers.

In parallel, they will doubtless be sorting out the World’s issues – from Brexit, to the unpublicised role of RAF Brize Norton providing Hurricane Relief in the Caribbean, via French History and any other theme you want to throw into the melting pot! We will spend a convivial time in this lively brasserie – or perhaps shopping in the town’s excellent magasins (shops!) – before retiring to our hotels for a charp (sleep) and a wash and brush up in time to reach our designated restaurant.  This is “Le Bistrot du Boucher” located at 6 Boulevard de Strasbourg, a mere five minutes stroll from the afore-mentioned Place des Héros. Keith will have reserved sufficient places for our group to dine together from 19:30 hrs. As some of you will recall, food and service are very good in this restaurant and everyone should get a delicious meal and ample wine for about 25 euros per head. Lively conversation will continue long into the evening as you enjoy excellent French cuisine and sip your preferred libations! The time you elect to leave and retire to bed is optional but you should remember your ETD next morning to attend the ceremony on Remembrance Saturday!!

So, on the Saturday, the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely or a rushed petit déjeuner will depend on your Get Up Time! But the initial target is 10:00 for a departure due South to Ligny Thilloy, to ensure we are all gathered in good time before the start of the French Memorial Service, which will begin on the dot of 11:00.  Dominique Deleplace, the Mayor, will lead the proceedings as usual and Keith Chapman will lay a wreath on Major Hawker’s Memorial , as also will Wg Cdr Gareth Burdett, OC XXIV Sqn, I feel sure.  This year, after the ceremonies at the village War Memorial and Hawker Memorial, I expect we will make the traditional one km walk to the Ligny Thilloy Village Cemetery where Dominique will ensure that the village’s children are aware of France’s history and the nation’s involvement in the Franco Austrian War of the 19th Century.  Seemingly, humanity never learns that Wars don’t tend to sort matters out in any permanent manner!

After that, we will walk back to the Salle Polyvalante Jaques Lolele where Dominique and Keith Chapman will each say a few words and we will enjoy a Vin d’Honneur (drinks reception) laid on by the Mayor.  And then we will depart by car to the nearby village of Bapaume to arrive between 12:30 and 13:00 at the Le Gourmet Restaurant. Dominique and his wife Michelle will be our guests, but my “Maitresse de Liaison”, Madame Brigitte Le Grand, will not attend this luncheon as she will be looking after the Village Committee in the Salle Polyvalante.  Lunch is usually a 3 course affair with wine and coffee included. I will make the reservation for our party and shall be endeavoring to keep the cost to not more than Euros 25 per head. I will let you know what the menu choices are when the owner of the restaurant confirms them to me!

So there is our basic plan for Op Lima Tango 2017! 

If you are planning to attend, could you please include me – my e-mail is – as a copy addressee in your reply.  I will then ensure that you are kept informed as details are refined

Reunion Raffle – Reminder

04 October, 2017

Raffle Tickets


Each year at our Reunion, due to the extra effort put in by Sam Wright and helpers on the day, the infamous multi prize raffle always generates an addition valuable contribution to Association Funds.

and so to make this event another great success, any suitable raffle prizes you could bring along for the draw on Saturday the 7th would be most welcome.