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

On Thursday, I had the privilege of representing the leader of the council at a memorial service held in Chapel en le Frith, to mark the 70th Anniversary of the famous 'Dambusters' raid, and the particular connection that Chapel, by way of two residents of the villages of Coombs and Chinley has to the raid.

The tribute which was organised by local Edmund Bradbury in association with the Chapel en le Frith branch of the Royal British Legion, and included the laying of wreaths at the Chapel War Memorial which includes the name of former Coombs residents Flight Lieutenant William Astell DFC. The tribute also remembered Sergeant Jack Marriott DFM formerly of New Smith Chinley who also lost his life in the raid.

A range of civic dignitaries including the county high sheriff Mr Derek Mapp, local clergy and Royal British Legion standard-bearers, along with school pupils (including from Coombs school which the Flight Lieutenant may well have attended) and members of the 2517 (Buxton) Squadron of the Air Training Corps were in attendance, along with liaison officer Captain Duncan Fraser and Flight Lieutenant Jennifer Shackley who were in attendance as representatives of the current day 617 Squadron, which is now based at Lossiemouth in Scotland.

The service also had a performance of the 'Dambusters March' by the Chapel en le Frith Male Voice Choir.

Following on from the service there was a reception in Chapel en le Frith Town Hall, where in recognition of his efforts in organising the days events a special presentation was made to Mr Bradbury by the representatives of the current 617 squadron, this was followed by entertainment from a talented local duo playing songs from the 40's / 50's both on guitar and ukulele.

Finally it was back onto the streets of Chapel to witness a fly past from the "City of Lincoln" Lancaster Bomber, which made four passes over the town on route to it's tribute at the Derwent Dams which were used by the 617 squadron in preparation for the Dambusters Raid.

More photo's at : http://flic.kr/s/aHsjF8g8xY

A few other reports from Thursday :

Uphilldowndale : http://uphilldowndale.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/70th-anniversary-of-the-dambusters/

View from the High Peak : http://viewfromthehighpeak.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/617-dambuster-squadrons-70th-anniversary.html?spref=tw

Whaley Bridge Writer : http://whaleybridgewriter.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/marking-70th-anniversary-of-dambusters.html?spref=tw

Update : Also of interest to folks around this is the Dambuster weblog at : http://dambustersblog.com/ which features a whole host of information including efforts to try and display photo's of all 133 crew and to bring things graphically up to date it includes a infographic about the raid done by the Royal Airforce : http://dambustersblog.com/2013/05/14/the-dams-raid-in-infographic-form/

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