Organisers unsure whether historic Lancaster bomber will now fly over South Warwickshire later this month

By James Smith

11th Jun 2024 | Local News

A Lancaster bomb was scheduled to take part in this year's Armed Forces Day (image by Will Goddard)
A Lancaster bomb was scheduled to take part in this year's Armed Forces Day (image by Will Goddard)

Organisers remain unsure as to whether the famous Battle of Britain Memorial Flight's (BBMF) Lancaster bomber will feature at a community event in Warwickshire later this month.

The World War Two aircraft was scheduled to fly over Warwick on Saturday 29 June as part of the annual Armed Forces Day.

But following the death of Sqn Ldr Mark Long in a crash in Lincolnshire last month, the BBMF has been grounded.

An inquest last week heard Sqn Ldr Long died as a result of head and neck injuries following a crash of the Spitfire he was flying at RAF Coningsby on 25 May.

The cause of the crash is not known yet, but the BBMF did not take part in any D-Day commemoration events, and has had other commitments cancelled since.

Warwick District Council is organising the event at the end of June and said it is yet to have any official confirmation from the RAF but is "working on the assumption that the BBMF will remain grounded at the time of the event as their investigation continues".

 "Our thoughts remain with Squadron Leader Mark Long’s family, friends and RAF colleagues at this time," the council added.

The BBMF Lancaster was due to head to Warwick on Saturday 29 June (Image by Barry Collison)

The free Armed Forces Day will sill take place at St Nicholas Park from 12pm to 3pm as a celebration of current and former armed forces personnel.

"Come and join us for our Armed Forces Day celebrations in Warwick district as a thank you to current and former serving members of the Armed Forces and their families," organisers said.

"This annual celebration, a staple event in the district's calendar, is going to be bigger than previous years with the theme of 'Our Allies', recognising the contributions that our allies have made in past conflicts, and continue to make and strengthen.

"The event is completely free, with activities, information, performances and displays aimed at families, individuals, military enthusiasts and current and former serving members of the Armed Forces."

The event will feature:

  • Village of stalls to include military museums from the town, Commonwealth War Graves, the Sikh Soldier, and We Are West Indians
  • Performances by the Fusilier Band, West Indian Steel band and a wartime singer
  • A chance to see a range of military vehicles
  • Free children's activities including bouncy castle, trampolines, a craft stall and many more activities for all to enjoy
  • Free hot dogs and ice-creams and a Sikh Langar – vegetarian food (while stocks last)

Last year one of the BBMF's six Supermarine Spitfires flew over Kenilworth as part of the Kenilworth Lions Grand Show.

More information here.

     

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