A BOSTON Second World War veteran has taken part in a national tribute with the Queen to those who gave their lives serving for Bomber Command.
Syd Marshall, 88, visited Green Park in London for the Bomber Command Memorial dedication and unveiling ceremony, with daughter Frances Taylor on June 28.
Proud Frances, of Amber Hill, described what she called a ‘wonderful’ and ‘humble day’.
She said: “It was 06:45 hours and there he was, as instructed, ready and waiting for the chance to pay tribute to the memory of those brave young men who gave their lives serving their country with Bomber Command.”
Flight Engineer, Sgt Syd Marshall, of Meridian Road, was just 19 when he joined the 128,000 young men who flew on thousands of terrifying air raids to Germany.
Some 55,573 of these volunteers, almost half of Bomber Command Aircrew, lost their lives during the raids.
“We went to remember them, and to pay tribute to the surviving veterans, all in their late eighties and nineties, many of whom had campaigned long and hard for this moment of recognition for the ‘Bomber Boys’.
“We met many veterans, some who had travelled from Australia, New Zealand and Canada – and all with their own tales to tell.”
Frances said she listened to their stories, with some recounting how they had been shot down and taken prisoner, some being the only survivor of their crew, and some, like her father, had been lucky enough to avoid serious injury during the 36 operations he flew over 226 hours.
After standing for The National Anthem the memorial statue was unveiled by the Queen followed by a round of applause.
This was followed by a fly past by five Tornadoes, a Merlin and then a Lancaster which released thousands of poppies above the crowds.
“All eyes now transfixed to the reddened sky it became apparent all were remembering their comrades with every poppy that floated down,” said Frances.
Speaking about the memorial, Mr Marshall remarked: “It’s all there, every fitting detail, it’s wonderful.”
His daughter added: “At last those that lost their lives, those that have since passed away and those that are still with us, some of which had been able to attend today, 67 years on, our heroes of the skies were honoured.
“I am deeply honoured to have attended the unveiling of The Bomber Command Memorial in the presence of many heroic veterans, including my wonderful dad.”