Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence

Lest We Forget
British Legion
The Royal British Legion

CLEETHORPES RAF MEMORIAL

The memorial takes the form of the bronze figure of an airman in flying kit on a stone plinth with four bronze plaques. It cost £3000 through private sponsorship and was unveiled by Air Chief Marshall Sir Beil Wheeler 25th September 1999 and dedicated by local clergy and dignitaires. The sculptor was Pamela Taylor.

THE ROYAL AIR FORCE
NORTH COATES STRIKE WING

THIS MEMORIAL COMMEMORATES THE MEN
AND WOMEN WHO SERVED AS PILOTS,
NAVIGATORS AND GROUND PERSONNEL,
WHICH FORMED THE ROYAL AIR FORCE
NORTH COATES STRIKE WING
DURING WORLD WAR II.

FROM 1942 TO 1945 COVERING THE
COASTAL REGIONS OF NORWAY, DENMARK<
GERMANY, HOLLAND, BELGIUM AND FRANCE
FROM BERGEN TO THE SKAGERRAK,
THE FRISIAN ISLANDS, THE NORTH SEA,
THE ENGLISH CHANNEL AND
THE BAY OF BISCAY TO BORDEAUX,

OPERATING WITH BRISTOL BEAUFIGHTER
AIRCRAFT, ARMED WITH CANNON, BOMBS, TORPEDO AND ROCKETS INFLICTED
HEAVY LOSSES AND DAMAGE TO SHIPPING,
DENYING FREEDOM OF THE SEA FOR SUPPLY
PURPOSES, FOR THE NAZI GERMAN FORCES
AND WAR INDUSTRY,
OVER 150,000 TONS OF ENEMY SHIPPING
WAS DESTROYED.

THESE ATTACKES WERE MADE BY DAY &
NIGHT, FLYING AT VERY LOW ALTITUDE
IN COMBAT CONDITIONS OF VERY HEAVY
GERMAN ANTI-AIRCRAFT FIRE.
120 AIRCREW FAILED TO RETURN AND
241 AIRCREW FROM GREAT BRITAIN,
THE COMMONWEALTH AND OUR ALLIES
GAVE THEIR LIVES FLYING WITH
THE ROYAL AIR FORCE
NORTH COATES STRIKE WING
(No's 143, 236 and 254 SQUADRONS).

ALMIGHTY AND ALL PRESENT POWER,
SHORT IS THE PRAYER I MAKE FOR THEE:
I DO NOT ASK IN BATTLE HOUR / FOR ANY SHIELD TO COVER ME.
THE VAST UNALTERABLE WAY,
FROM WHICH THE STARS DO NOT DEPART
MAY NOT BE TURNED ASIDE TO STAY
THE BULLET FLYING TO MY HEART.
I ASK NO HELP TO STRIKE MY FOE;
I SEEK NO PRETTY VICTORY HERE,
THE ENEMY I HATE, I KNOW TO THEE IS DEAR
BUT THIS I PRAY: BE AT MY SIDE
WHEN DEATH IS DRAWING THROUGH THE SKY;
ALMIGHTY GOD WHO ALSO DIED,
TEACH ME THE WAY THAT I SHOULD DIE.
(FG OFF ERNEST RAYMOND DAVEY RCAF
FROM LONDON, ONTARIO, CANADA
KILLED IN ACTION 2-10-44
IN A 404 SQN BEAUFIGHTER
ON THE DUTCH COAST.)

AGE SHALL NOT WEARY THEM
NOR THE YEARS CONDEMN,
AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN,
AND IN THE MORNING
WE SHALL REMEMBER THEM.

THE BEAUFIGHTER ('BEAU')
WHEN A 'BEAU' GOES IN, INTO THE DRINK
IT MAKES YOU THINK, BECAUSE YOU SEE THEY ALWAYS SINK
BUT NOBODY SAYS 'POOR LAD' OR GOES ABOUT LOOKING SAD
BECAUSE YOU SEE IT'S THE WAR, IT'S THE UNALTERABLE LAW.
ALTHOUGH IT'S PERFECTLY CERTAIN THAT THE PILTOS GONE FOR A BURTON
AND THE OBSERVER TOO, IT'S NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU
AND IF THEY BOTH SHOULD GO, TO A LAND, WHERE FALLS NO RAINS,
NOR HAIL, NOR DRIVEN SNOW, DO YOU SUPPOSE THEY CARE.
YOU AND HERALD, I CRY OR SAY A PRAYER OR SIGH,
IN THE COLD SEA, IN THE DARK, IT ISN'T A LARK
BUT IT ISN'T ORIGINAL SIN IT'S ONLY A 'BEAU' GOING IN.
GAVIN EWART

Last updated 18 March, 2010

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