- Contributed by
- Dundee Central Library
- People in story:
- Sheilah Cruickshank, Sheilah Lundie, Sheila Wearmouth
- Location of story:
- Background to story:
- Royal Air Force
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 25 June 2004
One night at R.A.F. Millingthorpe a bombing raid over Germany had been planned. There were usually some hours to put in before the planes took off. The custom at R.A.F. bomber stations, to bring good luck for the raid, was that the Officers' Mess constantly played "The Shrine of Saint Cecilia". The Sergeants' Mess played a different "lucky" tune. The unfortunate officer who broke "The Shrine" was soundly dressed down by the Group Captain and sent forthwith to Lincoln to buy another copy.
That night, Flying Officer Ron B had a personable girl beside him but it might as well have been a dog or a bicycle, for all he did was talk. And what did he talk about ? His wife ! — the colour of her hair, her laughter, their shared love of books, how she felt, how she responded to him, the plans they had made together. After a couple of hours we strolled in the gathering darkness and still he talked, until I felt I knew this girl as if she lived next door.
We eventually returned to the Mess, to the sound of "Saint Cecilia". He went off to be crucified and I went to make sure that supplies and staff were in readiness for the middle-of- the-night return feast of bacon and eggs.
We went out. I watched the lumbering shape of the Lancasters as they thundered down the runway. But his plane did not return. He was killed that night.
Sheilah Cruickshank via Dundee Central Library
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