A Real Pride

Godlingston CemeteryYou may remember my post about seeing cemeteries during the course of my cycling trips. Well it’s happened again.

Godlingston Cemetery in Washpond Lane near Swanage holds 15 Commonwealth war graves from World War II.

Maintained by the War Graves Commission, it is a credit to the town, to the Commission and more importantly, a credit to the brave servicemen who gave their lives in the service of their King.

This evening, whilst looking at the boats in the Quay, I heard a very familiar sound, that of four Rolls-Royce Merlin engines droning overhead. It was the Lancaster from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, having done a fly-by at the Bournemouth Air Show, but that sound and the memories it conjures, left a real sense of pride to be British.

When other countries are been blamed for injuring and killing their own people, it is a great thing that we still hold those men, and machines, who fought for our freedom between 1939 and 1945, so dear.

Coincidentally, one of the graves in Godlingston is that of Michael Giles Homer DFC, a Pilot Officer, who while flying with 44 Squadron was decorated for his actions during a bombing raid in 1940. The citation reads:

“In April, 1940, this officer was pilot of an aircraft carrying out a high-level bombing attack on two enemy cruisers anchored in Christiansand Bay. In the face of intense anti-aircraft fire and attacks by enemy fighters, he successfully pressed home his bombing attack and his air gunner shot down an enemy fighter which burst into flames and crashed into the sea. Although his aircraft had been damaged he skilfully piloted it back to his base, which necessitated a sea crossing of more than 400 miles.”

Although it is unlikely that Pilot Office Homer flew the Avro Lancaster, as 44 Squadron was only equipped with them in late 1940, after his demise, it is a fitting link and further goes to illustrate the ‘connectedness’ of all things.

Avro Lancaster
The Avro Lancaster

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