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Commander Gary Duffield and Chief Petty Officer Aircraft Handler John Campbell, HMS Ringtail
Armistice service HMS Ringtail
Children from  Lordship Towngate School
HMS Ringtail Monument

RNR Air Branch keep close links with HMS Ringtail

Published: 28 Nov 2013

Two Royal Naval Reserve Air Branch members spent remembrance weekend paying their respects at a former Fleet Air Arm air station and touring local schools to speak about what the Poppy means to them. 

Commander Gary Duffield and Chief Petty Officer Aircraft HandlerJohn Campbellwere invited to HMS Ringtail the Royal Naval Air Station at Burscough, inLancashireby local Historian Richard Houghton, after their successful stay during the Battle of Atlantic Celebrations earlier in the year. 

 “HMS Ringtail was an important Naval Air Station during the Second World War,” said Commander Gary Duffield. “I’d researched some of its history before we visited back in the summer. Many of the Carrier Operations by FAA Squadrons started with the training at RNAS Burscough. It seemed only right we should pay our respects on the remembrance weekend.” 

At a Remembrance Service at the HMS Ringtail Monument on the site of RNAS Burscough attended by veteran’s organisations, children from Lordship Towngate School and local residences, the Reservists laid a wreath on behalf of the Officers and Ratings of the RNR Air Branch.  

Over the visit they also toured three local primary schools along with Richard Houghton who is secretary of the Lathom and Burscough Military Heritage Society, to talk about the importance of Remembrance and the Poppy. 

“John and Gary's ‘uniform presence’ emphasised what the Poppy means,” said Richard Houghton. “The children’s questions were overwhelming. Not only did they want to know about the Royal Navy and Fleet Air Arm but asked about their medals and uniforms. During ‘poppy fortnight’ we’ve been proactive in ensuring that local schools are aware of the poppy and of those from their specific school made the ultimate sacrifice.” 

The Remembrance weekend was rounded off with a lunch in the Bull and Dog Inn, which has its own wartime heritage as a favourite watering hole for many of the aircrew who flew from Burscough. After which they visited St John’s Church and laid poppy crosses on graves of the five Royal Navy personnel who served at HMS Ringtail and a Royal Marine buried in the churchyard.


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