Those who’ve been following this blog know that I’ve always wanted to fly over the Somme this summer to commemorate Bunnie’s first cousin, David, who died of injuries received on 1 July. He was a 2nd Lt in the Border regiment at Beaumont Hamel and the whole battalion was more or less wiped out. of 23 officers, only 3 survived unscathed. His bravery and sacrifice, leading his men over the top, knowing exactly what was in store, is in stark contrast to Bunnie’s, which was largely great fun by comparison.
So we’re stopping off at the Somme on the way back from Greece, and while airspace will be closed down for the official commemoration on 1 July, we had hoped to fly on 2 or 3 July.
But now we’ve had notification that we will be flying as part of the official commemoration on 1 July, performing a flypast of the Thiepval memorial in formation with the BE2F and Albatros of WAHT. We’ll be temporarily French for the occasion, courtesy of our RNAS cockades, and will be operating out of the aerodrome at Albert Bray, which is only 5 miles from the Thiepval memorial, so almost in gliding range.
It’s a huge honour, and it’s yet another astonishing twist to an astonishing summer.
Here’s hoping the weather holds!