Astor Theatre - Deal, England
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Wartime Heritage Completes 3rd Successful Time to Remember British Performance Tour (May 17-22, 2007) May 25, 2007 Eighteen members, the cast and production crew of Tragedy and Triumph - Memories of World War II, departed Halifax for London England on May 17th 2007. On May 18th the group travelled to Portsmouth, Hampshire where they visited the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, and the Royal Navy Submarine Museum. On Saturday morning the group visited the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, and the D-Day Museum before traveling to HMS Collingwood and the Warrant Officers, Senior Ratings and SNCO's Mess (Fareham) to set up for the performance of Tragedy and Triumph as part of the 60th Annual Memorial Weekend of the Telegraphist Air Gunners Association. Approximately 200 TAGs, Veterans, their families and friends attended the evening performance. On Sunday morning the group attended TAGA Memorial Service at the LEE-ON-SOLENT MEMORIAL. Following the Service the cast and crew joined the Telegraphist Air Gunners at the 60th Annual TAGA Memorial Dinner held a HMS Collingwood. It was off mid afternoon to Dover and Deal in Kent for the group where they were guests at the Downs Branch, Royal British legion in Deal that evening. On Monday morning the group travelled to Folkestone waterfront, and a visit to the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-Le-Ferne. Bernard Hyde, a RAF Veteran who trained in Canada during WWII, met the group and provided a guided tour of the site. After visiting the Battle of Britain Memorial the group visited the Hawkinge Cemetery where there are 156 casualties of war at rest at the Cemetery. The Cemetery, two miles north of Folkestone, was the site of an aerodrome from which air liaison was maintained between the Royal Air Force and the British Expeditionary Force during the fighting in France and the evacuation from Dunkirk in 1940. As long as communications remained open targets were selected in accordance with requests from the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) and Hawkinge was one of the advanced re-fuelling bases when maximum range was required for operations over France. It was a fighter airfield for squadrons of No. 11 Group, and was so severely damaged by German bombing and machine gun attacks during the Battle of Britain that it had to be abandoned temporarily. The Cemetery is near the site of the aerodrome and most of the 95 WWII casualties buried there were airmen. About a quarter were killed during the Battle of Britain. Most of the war graves are in a special plot east of the chapel, including 59 German graves, which are together in a group at the south eastern corner. Among the casualties at Hawkinge, were five Canadians: Sgt (Pilot) William Lorne FRASER, Pilot Officer Charles Willard GOMM, Pilot Officer James Norman LEWIS, Flight Sgt (Pilot) Stanley Gilbert NAPIER, and Flight Sgt (Pilot) Walter Charles WICKER. The group placed small Canadian Flags and poppies at each of the five gravesites. Returning to Dover the group had lunch at lunch in the NAAFI restaurant in Dover Castle. Following a brief walk about the Dover Castle site the eighteen moved on to the Astor Theatre in Deal to prepare for the final performance of Tragedy and Triumph that evening. Prior to the performance the cast and crew attended a reception and buffet at the Clarendon Hotel in Deal with Eric May, his son Peter, and Gwen Buchanan and her daughter Lindsay. The curtain opened to a full house for the final performance of the tour that evening. The cast and crew were guests at the Downs Branch RBL following the performance. On May 23rd the group returned to London for the return flight to Halifax.
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Astor Theatre - Deal, England
Memorial Wall - Capel-Le-Ferne
Wartime Heritage Completes 3rd Successful Time to Remember British Performance Tour (May 17-22, 2007)