Unknown Date | Poem by W.Scott Ex-630 Squadron.
I lie here still beside the hill
Abandoned long to natures will
My buildings down my people gone,
My only sounds the wild birds call.
But my mighty birds will rise no more
No more I hear the Merlins roar
And never now my busom feels
The pounding of their giant wheels
From the ageless hill their voices cast
Thunderous echos of the past
And still in lonely reverie
Their great dark wings sweep down to me
Laughter, sorrow, hope and pain
I shall never know these things again
Emotions that I came to know
Of strange young men so long ago
Who knows as evening shadows meet
Are they here still a phantom fleet
And do my ghosts still stride unseen
Across my face so wide and green
And in the future should structures tall
Bury me beyond recall
I shall still remember them,
My metal birds and long dead men
Now weeds grow high obscure the sky
Oh remember me when you pass by
For beneath this tangled leafy screen
I was your home, your friend "silksheen"
Note: Silksheen was the call sign for RAF East Kirby.
31st October 2018 | East Moor
I said earlier that there was no commemorative memorial to mark the site of East Moor airfield.
But I've now found out that there is actually a memorial at the end of the main street, in the nearby village of Sutton-on-the-Forest.
The simple yet moving memorial is a sundial, and on it's base, the inscription reads "This memorial is dedicated to all who served at East Moor in World War II, many of whom gave their lives, and in gratitude to the people of Yorkshire who welcomed them."
What's more, each year since 1990 the village has held a memorial service in remembrance of the 640 Royal Canadian Air Force aircrew who lost their lives during operations flown from East Moor.
And just to be clear, that is not a typing error. 640 Canadian airmen lost their lives flying from East Moor, just a single airbase amongst many, in just short of a year, from July 1944 to May 1945.
I must admit, I find it difficult to understand the human cost of such a loss. It's easier to understand the consequences of one death, but when you multiply that by 640, over just one year, I feel completely lost.