RAF Waddington Pipes and Drums at the Bomber Command Memorial Ceremony

During WW2 RAF Waddington lost more bombers on operations than any other Bomber Command station, a total of 345. Of these aircraft 103 were Hampden’s,15 were Manchester’s and a staggering 227 Lancaster’s.

It was entirely fitting that RAF Waddington’s Pipes and Drums were invited to take part in an emotional event as her Majesty the Queen unveiled The Bomber Command Memorial in London’s Green Park on 28th of June 2012. We were originally formed as The Number. 1 Group Bomber Command Pipe Band here at Waddington and are very proud of our roots.

The Bomber Command Memorial remembers the sacrifice and bravery of the 55,573 RAF crewmen who lost their lives in the conflict and it was an honour to take part in the ceremony. The band were introduced to the assembled veterans by Carol Vorderman, who is an active supporter and advocate of the RAF Wings Appeal charity, appearing at air shows and taking part in other fundraising events

A few days before this, the Military Wives Choir and the Pipes and Drums hit the right notes as together they helped raise funds for service charities by performing at the Cleethorpes Military Tattoo. Our next big Tattoo will be a bit further afield in Berlin in November.

On the home front the band performed at the Air Show and the Lincolnshire Show. At the Air Show the band took the opportunity to present a cheque to the RAF Benevolent Fund, the money was raised at the band’s Burns night dinner, a big thanks to all who contributed.

Such is the strength of the band that while one half thrilled the crowds at the Air Show the other half sped north to compete in the British Championships at Annan in Scotland. After gaining second spot against some very strong Scottish and Irish opposition they headed south clutching the silverware just in time to join their colleagues for the show on Sunday, dedication indeed. This result following on from a second place at the Scottish Championship is by far the best result that the band has achieved and is very significant as it puts them top of the leader board after two major events.

Further success was achieved as the band took top spots in the Colchester and Corby Highland Games. Competitions are important as they help to maintain playing standards and we all like to see how we compare with other bands. So the next big challenge will be at the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow in August where the best of the best battle it out for global honours. The RAF Ceremonial Office considers attendance at this event as the standards check for RAF Pipers prior to deploying on Ceremonial Duties representing the wider Royal Air Force.

For further information please contact the Pipe Major at the band room or visit our website at www.rafwaddingtonpipeband.com

Mr Sean Cleary

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