A touching tribute to brave wartime airmen

Bruce Jobson lays a wreath on the grave of his uncle, Sgt George Jobson.
Bruce Jobson lays a wreath on the grave of his uncle, Sgt George Jobson.
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A poignant ceremony was held on Sunday to honour 10 airmen from Australia and New Zealand who lost their lives in the Second World War.

Organised by the Newcastle and Gateshead branch of the RAF Association, the annual Anzac ceremony took place at Chevington Cemetery, close to the former RAF Acklington.

Standards are lowered during the ceremony.

Standards are lowered during the ceremony.

A large crowd of people turned out to pay tribute to the Anzac servicemen buried at the site.

The reviewing officer was Wing Commander Gareth Taylor and an honour guard from RAF Boulmer was commanded by Flying Officer Nathan Ellis. Warrant Officer Karen Bowers was the parade marshal.

The RAF Association contingent was headed by Newcastle branch president, Air Commodore Ian Forster OBE, and among the guests were Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan and county-council ward member Scott Dickinson.

Standard bearers came from RAFA branches at Rothbury and Alnwick, among others, and were joined by representatives from the likes of the Royal Observer Corps, Royal British Legion and Air Training Corps (ATC).

RAF Boulmer provided personnel to take part in the Act of Remembrance.  Picture by Mark Parkinson

RAF Boulmer provided personnel to take part in the Act of Remembrance. Picture by Mark Parkinson

The padre was the Rev Michael Boag, the Vicar of Rothbury, and the Royal New Zealand Air Force was represented by Flt Lt Baines.

The Australian and New Zealand national anthems were played and wreaths were laid at the RAF memorial.

During the reading of the roll of honour, cadets of 1801 (Alnwick) Squadron ATC placed a cross on the grave of each Anzac.

Guyzance-based farmer Bruce Jobson placed a wreath on the grave of his uncle, Sgt George Jobson, who was from Broomhill and died, aged 20, in an air crash in 1942 while flying in a Sterling bomber with No 75 (New Zealand) Squadron.

Preparing to lay wreaths.

Preparing to lay wreaths.

Following the Act of Remembrance, Flt Lt Bains gave a short address on behalf of the Royal New Zealand Air Force and the poem, A Mother’s Prayer, was read by Warrant Officer Bowers.

The ceremony closed with the National Anthem before a march-past, led by RAF Boulmers’ guard of honour. Wing Commander Taylor took the salute.

A buffet reception was held at The Trap Inn, Broomhill.

Ahead of the ceremony, the county council installed four permanent flag poles at the cemetery to replace the temporary ones used in previous years.