The Reverend Ian Cook, the Association Chaplain, gives the following guidance to members regarding the legal position on the draping of coffins with flags and the scattering of Cremated Remains.
1. Relatives often enquire if the coffins, of their deceased relatives who served in the RAF, may be draped in a flag:-
Queen's Regulations preclude the draping of a coffin with the RAF Ensign, which may only be flown from a pole or mast. However draping a coffin with the Union Flag (Union Jack) is allowed, if the deceased has served his country in any of the Armed Services. The securing of the flag over the coffin should be within the scope of undertakers. Flags may be purchased relatively cheaply (about £5 -£8) depending on dimensions, and are available from that well-known on-line internet sales company.
2. It is imperative that the owners of private land must be consulted before any remains are left on the ground. The owner has the right to designate the place of deposit of any remains. Remains should be scattered in an appropriate manner on the ground, again in line with the wishes of the land owner. The owner has the right to remove any remains left in an unauthorised position and either place them in a different position or gather them up and await collection by whoever is responsible. The scattering may then be conducted in line with the land owner's rules.
At the former RAF Melbourne, now Melrose Farm, owner Mr John Rowbottom is willing to grant permission for the scattering of the Cremated Remains of former WW2 members of 10 Squadron.
The designated areas for the scattering are either behind the 10 Squadron War Memorial or, alternatively, on the main runway of the former RAF Melbourne. Mr Rowbottom does not allow the scattering to take place on any other parts of his farm. Permission is of course also required for any member of the public to enter the Farm land and to walk or drive on any part of it, especially to the old runway.
The Reverend Cook is available to answer any queries that Association members may have on this policy.