Canadians raise a flag for remembrance in Burn
The flag of the Royal Canadian Air Force was raised over Burn village, near Selby, on Saturday September 15 to welcome some special visitors.
Brendan Hennigan, an associate member of the Royal Canadian Air Force officers mess, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and friends Frank Peddle and Eric Beauchesne were visiting North Yorkshire to lay flags at the Burn RCAF 431 Squadron Memorial and at the grave of RCAF Sgt. Drake, which is located in the Selby cemetery. Mr Hennigan, who was born in Selby, said he had followed with interest the dedication of Burn villagers in preserving the memory of the brave men and women who served with 431 and 578 squadrons.
After a brief ceremony at the memorials, Mr Hennigan and his Canadian compatriots joined members of Burn Parish Council, villagers and regulars back in The Wheatsheaf to raise a glass to fallen heroes. Throughout the weekend, the RCAF standard flew on the village flagpole next to the Wheatsheaf pub where, during WW2, many Canadian airman had a last pint before leaving Burn airfield for bombing missions over Germany, some never to return.
Burn unveiled a new memorial, adjacent to the existing RAF 578 Squadron stone, in October 2012 in honour of the Royal Canadian Air Force?s 431 (Iroquois) Squadron, founded at Burn in November 1942.
The then 431 Squadron commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Maryse Carmichael, accompanied by Chief Warrant Officer Alan Blakney, flew in from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, where the modern-day squadron (The Snowbirds, the Canadian equivalent of the Red Arrows) is based, specifically for the ceremony.
Frank Peddle, Burn Parish Council Chair Chris Phillipson, Brendan Hennigan, Bernard Hennigan and Eric Beauchesne at the Burn 578 RAF and 431 RCAF Squadron memorials