Wallingford Pay Their Respects

On the afternoon of Sunday the 8th September 2013 cadets from 966 (Wallingford) Sqn attend the Andrew/Wilding Service of Remembrance to pay respect to the memory of Flying Officer John Wilding RCAF and Flight Sergeant John Andrew RAF.   Both were members of the 426 “Thunderbird” Squadron RCAF.   They died on the 9th September 1944 when their severely damaged and bomb laden Halifax crashed on the Crowmarsh side of the river.  Their deliberate action of staying with their stricken aircraft and guiding it to an uninhabited area ultimately saved many of the then inhabitants of the Town of Wallingford.  

Cadets attending from 966 were the Banner Party (Sgt Thompson, Cdt Blake, Cdt Baggott and Cdt Morrison) with Sgt Woollard acting as Banner Bearer for the British Legion and FS Evans in her capacity as Mayor’s Cadet.

The service, which was led by the Rev David Rice, was well attended by members of the public and poppy wreaths were laid by representatives from the RAF, the Canadian Air Force, the British Legion, the RAF Association and Wallingford Town Council.  This was followed by the now famous words from the Kohima Epitaph, “When you go home, tell them of us and say, for their tomorrow, we gave our today”.

The service ended with the Lord’s Prayer and a minute’s silence to reflect on the ultimate sacrifice of Flying Officer John Wilding and Flight Sergeant John Andrew and to remember all those still affected by conflicts around the world.

The afternoon concluded with a buffet provided by members of the British Legion in the Masonic Hall in Wallingford.