Last Updated on July 6, 2023 by Fumipets
Historic Dambusters’ Mascot Grave: Council Rejects Relocation Proposal Amidst Public Outcry
The RAF’s Relocation Plan Thwarted: A Momentous Decision for Britain’s Heritage
Preserving the past for a more informed future, a group of vigilant councilors made a critical decision in the ongoing saga concerning the relocation of a historically significant grave. The resting place in question belongs to the 617 Squadron’s black Labrador mascot, an integral part of the Dambusters’ legacy. This grave at RAF Scampton is seen as a poignant symbol of Britain’s war history, a memorial that the Royal Air Force (RAF) recently sought to move.
RAF Scampton: An Emblem of Britain’s War History
The RAF applied for planning permission to move the grave from its current site at RAF Scampton, aiming to repurpose the area to accommodate asylum seekers starting from August. This move, however, sparked a significant backlash from the public, culminating in the recent council meeting.
A Decisive Meeting: Council and Public Stand United
About a hundred people convened at the West Lindsey District Council’s extraordinary planning meeting at Lincolnshire Showground to deliberate on the RAF’s controversial application. The council, standing firmly with the public sentiment, rejected the proposal on Wednesday evening.
A Victory for Heritage Preservation: Public Rejoices Over Decision
Following this historic decision, Melanie Newham, a campaigner, expressed her joy and relief: “RAF Scampton is probably the most famous base in the whole of the UK, so to take that dog away would be an absolute disgrace, and I’m absolutely over the moon.”
Dambusters’ Mascot: A Tragic End, A Legacy Begins
The black Labrador in question, owned by commanding officer Guy Gibson, served as the 617 Squadron’s mascot during the Second World War. The dog tragically died on the day of the famous raid on German dams in 1943, an event known as the Dambusters mission.
The news of the dog’s death, caused by a car hit on the A15, was kept from the airmen, fearing it might be seen as a bad omen. The Labrador was later buried outside Hangar Two, a Grade II listed building that was home to Gibson’s office and the squadron.
A Voice for the Voiceless: The Public Speaks
The RAF’s proposal to relocate the grave to RAF Marham in King’s Lynn, where it believed the memorial could be better preserved, was met with substantial public opposition. The planning meeting revealed a petition against moving the grave, signed by over 5,500 people. Additionally, the council received 171 letters objecting to the plans from people living across the UK.
Moving Forward: The Future of RAF Scampton’s Legacy
The decision to keep the grave at RAF Scampton signifies a crucial victory for those advocating the preservation of war history and heritage. As the story unfolds, all eyes will remain on how RAF Scampton will manage to maintain its historical legacy while addressing its future needs.