THE 10 SQUADRON RIBBON STONE
AT THE INTERNATIONAL BOMBER COMMAND CENTRE (IBCC), LINCOLN
The 10 Squadron Stone was laid in the IBCC, Lincoln ‘Ribbon Pathway’ in April 2022 but its ‘official’ viewing wasn’t achieved by the Association until later that year in early October. Our very grateful thanks go to those whose pockets became somewhat lighter, as a result of their generosity when asked to contribute to our crowd-funding appeal which bore the cost of the stone’s production and installation. It now lies among many others forming either side of the Ribbon Pathway, dedicated to those who will never be forgotten and our stone remembers all those who have ever served on No 10 Squadron, since its formation in the Royal Flying Corps on 1 January 1915.
A small group of Association members was honoured to be accompanied at the first viewing by the then OC10, Wg Cdr Tim Rushworth, after finding the stone to have been laid on the right-hand side of the Pathway about halfway along, towards the Spire.
At the end of the Pathway, the names of all the 55,000+ Bomber Command personnel who lost their lives during World War II are listed on rust-coloured, treated-steel panels. They surround the central ‘Spire’ focal point, whose height is that of the wingspan of a WW2 Lancaster bomber aircraft.
The IBCC has an excellent café, shop and museum, and it is well worth a day’s visit. Situated on the south side of Lincoln in Canwick, views of the city and its cathedral can be enjoyed from the grounds. Google ‘IBCC Lincoln’ to find out more.
Click on this link to read more and see photos of the 10 Sqn IBCC Stone when first viewed on 2 October 2022.
WG CDR ARTHUR T. WHITELOCK
In 2019 a small headstone was discovered in the Cemetery of the picturesque Gloucestershire village of Bibury, just a few miles to the west of 10 Squadron's present base at RAF Brize Norton. The stone marked the place where the ashes of a former Officer Commanding No 10 Squadron had been interred in 1964, to be later followed by those of his wife in 1972. It was in a very weather-beaten condition and its surfaces with engraved scripts were eroded and almost illegible, whilst also being covered with a hard fungal residue. The site held the ashes of Arthur and Frances Whitelock.
After painstaking and lengthy research to discover if there were relatives of the Whitelocks from whom permission might be obtained to replace the stone, no immediate family members were found: the couple had no children.
The 10 Squadron Association then submitted a formal ‘faculty’ to the Diocese of Gloucester asking for permission to replace the stone, which after some delay because it was in the Covid-19 pandemic year, took a while to eventually be granted. After a crowd-funding project amongst the 10 Squadron Association members had achieved the desired amount, a new stone was duly ordered and placed in situ on the site of the old one and a small ceremony held was by Squadron and Association members on 8 May 2021; numbers attending being limited by Covid ‘distancing’ rules.
Wg Cdr Arthur T. Whitelock had been the commanding officer of 10 Squadron from April 1929 to August 1930 whilst the Squadron were based at RAF Upper Heyford flying Handley Page Hyderabad bombers and it was he who conceived the idea of the Squadron Badge and Motto. The ‘winged arrow’ was considered to denote a modern bomb delivered from the air at great speed and the Latin motto translates to mean, ‘To Hit The Mark’.
Whilst this following website selection of 10 Sqn Memorial items have been found for locations distant from the known graves of the former 10 Squadron members, an exception has been made in Arthur Whitelock’s case in order to honour his memory for creating the badge and motto, which were later given Royal Approval in 1937, some seven years after his time on the Squadron.
Whilst it is well known that many 10 Squadron aircrew were amongst the nearly 11,000 prisoners of war incarcerated in the infamous Stalag Luft lll, PoW camp, none were amongst the escapers whose sad exploits gained fame in the 1963 film 'The Great Escape'.
Nevertheless, there is a close link to one particular PoW; - a 10 Squadron pilot whose name will live on in the memory of that event's subsequent outcome.
To read more: Click on the image below of the memorial built shortly after the March 1944 breakout.
The Memorial to the 'Great Escapers', many of whom were shot by the Gestapo after their re-capture
Heslington Hall is situated on University Way in south-east York.
The Hall was built in 1598 for Sir Thomas Eynns. With modifcations made in Victorian times and also in the 20th century, it was vacated in WW2 by the family of Baron Deramore and became the Headquarters of RAF No 4 Group Bomber Command. After the war it remained unoccupied until the mid-1960s when it became the Administrative Building for the newly opened York University.
A wall plaque measuring approximately 50 cms x 30 cms on a stairwell to the right side of the main Reception area pays tribute to the personnel of the Group who made the supreme sacrifice in the air and on the ground during WW2.
10 Squadron, based initially at Dishforth then Leeming and finally RAF Melbourne, comprised just one of the many Yorkshire 4 Group squadrons and lost some 839 aircrew during its WW2 bombing operations.