• Plage Bonaparte à Plouha (Côtes d'Armor) - Haut-lieu de la Résistance

  • Sacy-le-Grand (Oise) - Mémorial en souvenir du F/O H. H. MacKenzie (RCAF)

  • Supermarine LF Mk.Vb Spitfire EP120 - G-LFVB - (The Fighter Collection)

  • Le Cardonnois (Somme) - Stèle à la mémoire de l'équipage du Boeing B-17 #42-31325, 452nd Bomb Group

  • B-17G-85-VE 44-8846 - F-AZDX - (FTV)

27th June 2014

 

 

Senantes (Oise)

 

 

Tribute to Squadron Leader

Ian Willoughby Bazalgette

 

RAF 635 Squadron

                                                                                  

 

                                                                                                               Copyright © 2014 - Association des Sauveteurs d'Aviateurs Alliés - All rights reserved -

                                                                                                                En français france

                                                                                                   

 

 

On Saturday 27th June 2014, the municipality of Senantes (Oise) organized a ceremony in memory of Squadron Leader Ian Willoughby Bazalgette, pilot of the Lancaster ND811, RAF 635 Squadron, who was killed with two of his crew members on 4th August 1944 on the territory of the municipality after the bombing of the V1 rockets storage site in Trossy-St. Maximin. Members of Victory Vehicles Group, members of our Association, had the honour of participating in this event.

 

Drapeau canadien  Jeeps

                                                                                                                      The Jeeps of the Victory Vehicles Group

 

Coming from Nanton, Alberta, a Canadian delegation was present as well as the family of the pilot who came from England, all warmly welcomed by the municipality and the population of the village on this memorable day.

 

Everyone was invited to enter the village hall where an exhibition recalled the fate of S/L Bazalgette and his crew.

 

This day was an opportunity for Mr. Christian Gavelle, Mayor of Senantes, and Mr. John Blake, former Mayor representing the city of Nanton, Alberta, to countersign the twinning agreement initiated in August 2009 in Canada. This symbolic act sealed between the two towns, in the presence of the nephew and niece of Squadron-Leader Ian W. Bazalgette, will perpetuate his memory and his sacrifice.

 

Among the large audience, was Mr. Simeon Desloges, who witnessed the crash. 

 

Very emotionally, Mr Gavelle received from the family of the airman a frame containing a copy of the long letter that Ian Bazalgette's sister wrote to her parents after attending the funeral of her brother in October 1944.

 

 Mairie 1  Mairie 2

Mr. Christian Gavelle, Mayor of Senantes and Mr. John Blake signing the act of twinning.
 
Mairie 3  acte de jumelage

 

 

Following the signing and before the traditional reception, outside the village hall, the Canadian delegation and the municipality unveiled together panels of the twinning agreement, signs which would be placed later at the entrance of the village.

 

Panneaux 1  Panneaux 2

Panneaux 4  Panneaux 3

 

In the early afternoon, many flags bearers and veterans at the head of the procession, fifty schoolchildren equipped with small flags, local elected officials and the public went to the memorial erected in 1994 at the crash site of the Lancaster.

 

Vers le lieu du crash  Lieu du crash

 

Dtail de la stle

The memorial at the crash site

 

After the wreath laying at the foot of the small memorial and the respect of one minute of silence, three aircraft of the Second World War, appeared in the threatening sky and several times flew over the ceremony in tribute to S/L Bazalgette, F/L Hibbert and F/S Leeder, at the very place where they had lost their lives.

 

After the speech of the Mayor of Senantes recalling the tragic events that occurred in August 1944, and that of  Rob Pedersen, Director of the Bomber Command Museum of Canada, echoed the national anthems of Canada and the United Kingdom followed by the Marseillaise sung by the schoolchildren.

 

Avion  Ecoles

 

Discours lieu du crash

Speech of Mr. Pedersen, President of the Bomber Command Museum of Nanton

 

The long procession then regained the village for a ceremony at the War memorial before paying homage and a pray at the grave of S/L Bazalgette in the small cemetery next to the church. Schoolchildren placed, in turn, a red carnation on the grave of the pilot before the family laid a wreath of flowers.

 

A minute of silence was observed and the Marseillaise was sung again.

 

Plaque au monument aux morts  Fleurs sur la tombe

                         The plaque at the War Memorial
 
 La tombe    Tombe de Bazalgette 2  
S/L Ian W. Bazalgette’s grave

 

Cary Bazalgette then read, in French, the moving letter written in October 1944 by her aunt after she had attended the funeral of her brother.

 

Cary Bazalgette

Cary Bazalgette reading the letter. 
On the right: Mr. Simeon Desloges, witness of the crash in 1944.

 

This tribute ended by the perfect interpretation, with trumpet, of the famous song "Roses of Picardy" by an inhabitant of Feuquières.

 

Famille Bazalgette

In the middle, Cary and Edward Bazalgette, 
niece and nephew of the airman

 

This wonderful day ended with a very friendly reception in the village hall park, around the maple tree planted in 2009 after the trip to Canada of the Senantes delegation.

 

A deep mutual appreciation and a beautiful friendship now link the small French village and the Canadian town in remembrance of the sacrifice of S/L Bazalgette and his crew.

 

Vin dhonneur 1  Vin dhonneur 2

Mr. Gavelle, Mayor Senantes, and John Blake, former mayor representing the town of Nanton

 

The next day, the Canadian delegation and the Bazalgette family continued their tour by visiting the Museum of Aviation in Beauvais-Warluis then the military cemetery at Beauvais-Marissel for a tribute at the graves of F/L Hibbert and F/S Leeder.

 

Hibberts grave   Leeders grave

Beauvais-Marissel French National Cemetery
F/L Hibbert and F/S Leeder's graves

 

The book "Baz", the biography of Ian W. Bazalgette, Victoria Cross, by Dave Birrell.

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