I was in Forres with a friend and saw for the first time the Nimrod Memorial at the Veterans Cottages in Orchard Road in the town. It was looking very tatty and saddens me greatly. I am filled with sadness to see this and how short people’s memories are. The cottages are owned/ maintained by the council would have thought this should be maintained by the council too . It is amazing how many of the great and good turn up on Remembrance Day and think that is it. Remembrance is every day and maybe someone needs a kick to sort this out and make the memorial look as it should again we owe it to those who gave their lives for us! Maybe a few flowers, the grass cut and things that are easy to maintain would not be to difficult or expensive to sort out? The aircraft crashed less than 10 years ago and lives of the families were changed for ever! I was working in the ARCC the day the crash happened and it was a tragic day as we got the news very quickly.
From the MOD at the time “It is with very great sadness and regret that the Ministry of Defence has confirmed the names of the fourteen British personnel killed following the crash of a Nimrod MR2 aircraft in Afghanistan on Saturday 2 September 2006. All on board died
- Flight Lieutenant Steven Johnson, aged 38, from Collingham, Notts
- Flight Lieutenant Leigh Anthony Mitchelmore, aged 28 from Bournemouth
- Flight Lieutenant Gareth Rodney Nicholas, aged 40 from Newquay, Cornwall
- Flight Lieutenant Allan James Squires , aged 39, from Clatterbridge
- Flight Lieutenant Steven Swarbrick, aged 28, from Liverpool
- Flight Sergeant Gary Wayne Andrews, aged 48 from Tankerton in Kent
- Flight Sergeant Stephen Beattie, aged 42 from Dundee
- Flight Sergeant Gerard Martin Bell, aged 48, was from Ely, Cambridgeshire
- Flight Sergeant Adrian Davies, aged 49 from Amersham, Bucks
- Sergeant Benjamin James Knight aged 25 from Bridgwater
- Sergeant John Joseph Langton, aged 29 from Liverpool
- Sergeant Gary Paul Quilliam, aged 42 from Manchester
- Corporal Oliver Simon Dicketts, the Parachute Regiment, aged 27
- Marine Joseph David Windall, Royal Marines, aged 22
How quickly they forget! Any comments welcome ?
I have spent a lot of time in the past though visiting remote Memorials though I am not really for Memorials specifically in wild places. Many of the Aircraft Crash sites I visit in the mountains are where the crews died. I worked hard with a few others on a famous Memorial In Assynt to the crew of an Anson that crashed high in the mountains and were buried on site when they were found 6 weeks later. The Memorial was looking awful and in a poor state and with the crew buried below something needed to be done.
Lots of work by all to a remote site 3 hour walk in to 2000 feet and worth all the effort to ensure that a simple easy to maintain memorial is now in place. A huge effort but worth it. On the 13th April 1941 an Anson aircraft from RAF Kinloss on a cross-country training flight crashed near Ben More Assynt in the North West Highlands at Inchnadampth above Ullapool. The aircraft had taken off from Kinloss in less than ideal weather to follow a route via Oban, Stornoway and Cape Wrath before returning to Kinloss.
“Here are commemorated the crew of an aircraft crash on Ben More Assynt on the 13 Th. of April 1941, whose bodies rest where they fell”
Flying Officer JH Steyn DFC. Pilot
Pilot Officer WE Drew. Observer/ Instructor
Sergeant J Emery. Wireless operator gunner
Flight Sergeant T R Kenny. Wireless Operator
Sergeant CM Mitchell. Observer Pupil
Sergeant HA Tompsett. . Wireless operator gunner.
We sorted this out in the wilds of Scotland in Assynt – Surely the Nimrod needs a bit of care and attention?
Any comments welcome?
2 June – Heavy, I have received a response from Moray Council “Our parks supervisor in Forres, Grant Speed, has been working with the community volunteers and the primary school on a revamp. They plan to use coloured chippings (red, white and blue) under the Nimrod and tidy the bed up. I’ve no time scale but it will be in short order.”
I also spoke to the Buffs in Forres on this and received an update, that should the volunteer approach fail the park will be sorted.
Razzah is correct, funding has been severely cut with volunteers now dealing with the flowerbeds for Britain in Bloom.