Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

1942 Spitfire & Pilot (Sgt W J Smith), Hardifort, France

Collapse
X
Collapse
Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts
  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest

    #41
    Thank you, Moggy, for your comment. It will surely be a poignant day.

    Sombody just asked a question (answer below)...but then deleted before I could reply....

    As to the April 20 programme, this is being brought forward as a "Special" on the back of the funeral tomorrow. However, it will then be repeated in a few weeks as part of the normal series run.

    I posted a thread here about it, somewhere...!
    Last edited by Tangmere1940; 18th April 2012, 06:59.

    Comment

    • ladybegood
      Registered User
      • Jul 2006
      • 36

      #42
      Fotos from today's ceremony:



      SGT Smiths brother Bert and wife June in the middle

















      Photos curtesy of Milena Kolarikova
      Last edited by ladybegood; 20th April 2012, 14:54.

      Comment

      • ladybegood
        Registered User
        • Jul 2006
        • 36

        #43














        relatives of SGT Smith







        Photos curtesy of Milena Kolarikova
        Last edited by ladybegood; 20th April 2012, 14:55. Reason: additions

        Comment

        • Guest's Avatar
          Guest

          #44
          Thank you for posting those images.

          We have all just returned from the most amazing, poignant and emotional day at Cassel.

          More about it later. For now, I just need to try to gather my thoughts.

          Comment

          • ian_
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • May 2007
            • 1954

            #45
            A very satisfactory conclusion.

            Comment

            • Guest's Avatar
              Guest

              #46
              In over forty years of involvement, one way or another, in the field of historic aviation this has to be the single most satisfying and rewarding project I have ever been involved in. Without any shadow of doubt.

              Despite the intermittent (and sometimes persistent!) rain, yesterday's ceremony in Cassel was utterly amazing. On every level.

              To have been one of the small team who brought this mystery to such a satisfactory conclusion feels a considrable honour, especially after having met Bert and his wonderful family - eighteen or so of whom were present from Australia. What this meant to them was evident, and was also eloquently put by Bert in his touching eulogy to his brother.

              In addition to the family, very senior officers were present from the RAAF, French Air Force and RAF as well as the Australian Ambassador and two senators - members of the Australian parliament. All spoke very positively about how important this discovery was, and what it meant to the family, RAAF and the Australian and French nations.

              I am not normally lost for words, but at the moment I am still struggling!

              Comment

              • Guest's Avatar
                Guest

                #47
                http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-2...france/3961694

                Comment

                • Paul F
                  Retired Lawnmower Racer
                  • May 2005
                  • 1108

                  #48
                  Andy,

                  Well done to all involved, one more family finally have the answers to years of uncertainty...

                  ...and one more of the brave lads has belatedly been given the honour and respect he deserves.

                  I can't begin to imagine how you must feel, but I sense your humility will always lead you to say you have done very little compared to the sacrifice made by those 'missing' aircrew you help to find.

                  The nation owes you and your colleagues a big thank you for your ongoing efforts to help reduce the list of the "missing" one name at a time.

                  Paul

                  Comment

                  • Guest's Avatar
                    Guest

                    #49
                    Thank you, Paul.

                    However, when you get involved in this you just feel very humbled, as well as privileged. I think the rest of the team would endorse that sentiment.

                    That said, and returning to your comment, we truly felt the gratitude of the Australian government and RAAF. The importance of the occasion to the Australian's was evident given the senior rank of attending military personnel and the fact that Australian MP's and their ambassador were in attendance. This would not have happened, sadly, if he had been a Brit.

                    However, such gratitude as expressed by the Australian's is not always apparent when it comes to HMG/MOD, although even there I do sense a different and softening attitude to such things of late - but whether they would take the view that the nation owes the team a thank you, well, I'm really not so sure.

                    Comment

                    • BlueNoser352
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Mar 2004
                      • 1048

                      #50
                      Thank You for the photos of ceremony

                      A note of additional thanks for taking and sharing the photos.. a fine tribute to this fallen airman !

                      BlueNoser
                      "Second To None"
                      352nd Fighter Group
                      The BlueNosers !

                      Comment

                      • Guest's Avatar
                        Guest

                        #51
                        Bradleygolding, a family member, also posts here (see posts above) and it was a pleasure to meet with him (albeit very briefly!) in Cassel. I am sorry we didn't get time to chat.

                        One of the most poignant scenes of the day was seeing Bradleygolding's four year old son, Leo, throw a rose into the grave of his great uncle.

                        Comment

                        • Guest's Avatar
                          Guest

                          #52
                          Although there are dozens of newslinks and videos to this story, the very bottom line of this one caught my attention:

                          http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/b...rom=public_rss

                          I am not sure if this is correct in terms of what the newspaper was told by the current custodians of the aircraft, or if this explains why the aircraft wreckage has (apparently) been placed into storage at La Couploe near St Omer.

                          The Smith family, after the funeral, expressed some interest in the wreckage being returned to Australia. Certainly a possibility that should be explored, and I'd be happy to help facilitate that if it was what the family wanted - although, sadly, I am by no means sure it would meet with a favourable reaction in France.

                          Comment

                          • me109g4
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • May 2009
                            • 554

                            #53
                            Well, my first reaction to the French wanting to keep the plane is,, "its not yours to begin with, so ****** off".

                            But then i was never one to be tactful,,,,,

                            Comment

                            • Guest's Avatar
                              Guest

                              #54
                              I suppose, and to put things into perspective, the only important issue here was Sgt Pilot William Smith. Of course, though, the wishes of his family are also paramount and so it may yet be possible to acede to those wishes - whatever they yet may be. However, and as things stand, control over the Spitfire wreck remains with the French and I doubt that is likely to change anytime soon.

                              Comment

                              • bradleygolding
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Nov 2005
                                • 264

                                #55
                                Hi Andy, and other readers. Just got back from France about an hour ago and spending a few more days in the UK before returning downunder. Great to meet you Andy albeit rather briefly, although I understand you were around in the afternoon as well. I was given your card and emailed you (which I presumed you got about using the image?).

                                The whole event was very impressive and I have to again say a big thanks on behalf of the family. You mentioned in an earlier post about the size of the Australian response and I have to say that since moving there in 2005 it is very obvious how highly regarded the Defence Force is by the population as a whole and how the concept of service is a very respected one, very different than in the UK as I remember it. I think that goes some way towards explaining it.

                                More when I think about it.

                                All the best,

                                Steve
                                75-Stay alive, 76-Radio tricks, 77-Going to Heaven.

                                Comment

                                • Guest's Avatar
                                  Guest

                                  #56
                                  Steve

                                  I feel really bad about only speaking to you so briefly! Said hello, then got distracted to talk to one of about five hundred people...and then you were gone!

                                  What an amazing day, and so good to meet Bert and the family and to know how moved they were by everything. The handshake (which he didn't want to break!) and warm words from Bert left a lump in my throat that is still there!

                                  I will reply to your e-mail about the image of your son, Leo, at the ceremony.. One of the UK nationals have expressed an interest in using it.

                                  Comment

                                  • ~Alan~
                                    Rank 5 Registered User
                                    • Mar 2010
                                    • 5018

                                    #57
                                    What an excellent documentary. Congratulations to all of those involved.

                                    It's a shame there had to be such a sad conclusion.
                                    Engine Failure:.... A condition which occurs when all fuel tanks mysteriously become filled with air.

                                    Comment

                                    • Guest's Avatar
                                      Guest

                                      #58
                                      Perhaps, not really, a "sad" conclusion. But I understand what you mean.

                                      In fact, despite all the mixed emotions, the family (especially brother Bert) were utterly delighted at the outcome. So, a very satisfactory conclusion, really.

                                      Comment

                                      • OZPete
                                        Registered User
                                        • Apr 2012
                                        • 1

                                        #59
                                        I was also privileged and honoured to be at the Service. It was a very moving experience to be involved in farewelling an Aussie airman, whose fate had had been unknown for nearly 70 years. It was very humbling to talk to Bert and his family and to learn of some of their experiences when they learnt of the discovery of SGT W.J 'Bill' Smith and his Spitfire.

                                        Thank-you for the posting of the photo's of the Guard of Honour.

                                        Comment

                                        • Dr. John Smith
                                          Rank 5 Registered User
                                          • Nov 2010
                                          • 356

                                          #60
                                          Andy,

                                          I see that the Daily Mail has picked up the story again (albeit somewhat belatedly*) see: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-70-years.html - and you are specifically name checked in the article!

                                          (*PUBLISHED: 12:07, 26 April 2012 | UPDATED: 16:31, 26 April 2012)

                                          Comment

                                          Unconfigured Ad Widget

                                          Collapse

                                           

                                          Working...
                                          X