Andrew/Wilding Memorial Service

On Sunday the 11th September cadets from 966 (Wallingford) Sqn attend the Andrew/Wilding Service, to pay respect to the memory of Flying Officer John Wilding RCAF and Flight Sergeant John Andrew RAF.   Both were members of the 426 “Thunderbird” Squadron RCAF.   They died on the 9th September 1944 when their severely damaged bomb laden Halifax aircraft crashed on the Crowmarsh side of the river.  Their deliberate action of staying with their stricken aircraft and guiding it to an uninhabited area saved the Town of Wallingford.  Cadets attending were the Banner Party (Sgt Payne, Cpl Evans, Cdt Woollard and Cdt Cox) plus Cpl Harrington and Cdt West.All girls except for Sgt Payne! On arrival we put up the banner in the car park and then marched to the monument where we formed up opposite.

Lots of people turned up to pay respect. Poppy wreaths were laid by representatives from the RAF, the Canadian Air Force, the RBL and the Town Council.

The service was led by the Rev David Rice. We had a minute’s silence to think about the ultimate sacrifice of Flying Officer John Wilding and Flight Sergeant John Andrew, we were also mindful of the victims of the 9-11 terrorist attacks in America 10 years ago on that day.The service finished with the Lord’s Prayer after which we marched back to the car park to disband – just as it started to rain heavily.All together, a thought-provoking afternoon.

by Cdt West