On the 11th of November at 11:00am in 1918, the guns finally fell silent. The Great War, as it came to be known, ended.
There were, of course, no victorious celebrations. Unlike the Second World War that sadly followed, there was no real, clear winner. However there were many casualties and broken lives.
At the Yorkshire Air Museum, we have been proud to have participated in various commemorations and to have played a part in helping to remind people of the enormity of the conflicts of the 20th century.
Regular visitors may well recall our involvement of the emotional events of July 2016 and the 100th Anniversary of the beginning of The Battle of the Somme. We were truly honoured to have been present at Theipval in France on the day that marked the centenary of that fateful moment when more than 19,000 people lost their lives in a single day.
The Museum’s AVRO 504k was transported by the Museum team to an event where event the most hardened were affected and we were very proud to have been there.
This year for Remembrance, we are incredibly fortunate to have the support of the local village of Pocklington in the creation of The Bomber Stream. This summer, Pocklington volunteers created a wonderful display at Pocklington Church of more than 1,000 poppies and also cornflowers to commemorate Remembrance.
They generously donated the flowers which allowed us to create The Bomber Stream display. Using the statuesque backdrop of Halifax Friday the 13th, the display commemorates the 55,500 RAF Bomber Command airmen who were killed in action in World War Two.
The “Bomber Stream” refers to the name given during World War Two to the large numbers of aircraft, sometimes over 1000, which would take off nightly from Britain to attack the industrial centres in Germany to reduce the enemy’s ability to wage war.
The display of poppies at the Yorkshire Air Museum also includes the blue cornflower or “bleuet” which is the French symbol of Remembrance, which, like the red poppy, also came from the battlefields of Northern France after the First World War, representing the millions of people who were lost in both these major world conflicts.
We hope you will take the time to come to the Museum over the Remembrance period and visit The Bomber Stream inside of the main hangar and share in remembering the airmen of the two French Squadrons and the RAF’s No 77 Squadron, who all flew from here at RAF Elvington into the darkness of occupied Europe, far too many of whom were never to return.