A small ceremony took place at Newark Cemetery to commemorate the 76th anniversary of the air bridge during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. The usual service could not take place because of the coronavirus restrictions. However, the Balderton branch of the RAF Assocation organised a discreet ceremony of remembrance.
It was attended by a small number of people, including historian Paul Trickett and eight-year-old Danial Michalak and his parents, of Nottingham, who regularly attend the town’s air bridge service.
Balderton and Newark branch standards were paraded, and lowered for the Last Post and Reveille played by trumpeter Nathan Bray.
A wreath was laid by Mr Alan Simmons. The event was commanded by Balderton Branch chairman, Mr Brian Hughes.
Earlier in the day, wreaths were laid at the memorial by the Mayor of Newark, Irene Brown; the chairman of Newark and Sherwood District Council Rob Crowe; and RAF Cranwell representative Ian Ridley.
The air bridge ceremony remembers those who took part in missions to drop vital supplies to Britain’s Polish allies during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against the Nazi occupiers.
Among those who took part in the missions was Jim Auton, who is bured near the Air Bridge Memorial in Newark Cemetery following his death earlier this year. He flew many missions with 178 Squadron. During his lifetime he was awarded 20 medals by six different countries.
Pictures: Nigel Branston, British Poles, private archives of Jim Auton (courtesy of Paul Trickett)
The article has been firstly published on newarkadwertiser.co.uk
We have written more about Jim Auton’s mission in our article: “A hero to remember – Jim Auton – a RAF airman who supported the Warsaw Uprising”.Culture