Some years ago the owner of the once RAF Lissett Mr James Tennant and Adrian Hammond, the Secretary of the 158 Squadron, discussed erecting a MEMORIAL to 158 SQUADRON on the site of the former RAF Lissett airfield This would educate people into the existence of the airfield that was tucked sleepily away in a tiny corner of England, and the to the role of the 158 Squadron played during those dark days of World War 2 some 65 years ago.
Several years later, Novera Energy approached Mr Tennant with a proposal to place a wind farm on the site. Mr Tennant mentioned the Memorial, which they readily agreed to fund as part of the development. “Propellers back at Lissett” became the project slogan.
There would be twelve Wind Turbines on the site with eleven turbines named after aircraft and the twelfth to commemorate the six airmen who perished on July 2nd, 1943 due to an explosion in the bomb dump.
The six airmen who perished due to the Bomb Dump incident were:- Corporal Leslie Fielding, Aircraftman 1 Lewis Moore, Aircraftman 1 William Mithan, Aircraftman 1 Kenneth Taylor, Aircraftman 2 Robert Mills and Aircraftman 1 Jack Laycock.
The decision was made by Novera to advertise on local radio, television and in the local tabloids for local artists to submit their designs for the new monument. 15 designs were submitted and a voting committee set up by Novera that consisted of Sarita Bansal and Groger Bryce from Novera, James Tennant land owner, Eddie Bartram Lissett Parish Council, Cllr Jane Evison East Riding Council, Anna Kirk –Smith Hull School of Art and Design and Adrian Hammond, Honorary secretary, 158 Squadron Association.
From 15 entries the design was finally awarded to Peter Naylor of Beverley, whose design consisted of Seven 8-feet tall airmen made of 15mm thick steel, with the names of those 851 personnel who perished whilst with 158 Squadron etched either side of the figures. The cutting and rolling of the steel would be undertaken by Campbell’s of Hull. The once post War owner of Lissett airfield a Mr. Stuart Voase, was once a family friend of the Campbell’s and Mrs Campbell can remember sitting and watching the aircraft of 158 Squadron take off from Lissett some 65 years ago.
The monument is situated on the edge of the old airfield site on Gransmoor Road, Lissett. The unveiling ceremony was on Saturday 16th May, 2009. The formal naming of the turbines was during the Squadron Reunion, September 15th 2009. The turbines were named: Friday 13th, Goofy’s Gift, Lily Marlene, Jane, Xpress Delivery, The Menace, Blondie, Zombi, Maori chief, Git up dem Stairs and Minnie the Moocher.
Saturday May 16th 2009
The unveiling ceremony started 14-30. Air Marshal Sir John Curtiss KCB, KBE, FRAeS RAF (Ret) Wing Commander Bill Stephenson RAF(Ret), Squadron Leader John Cotter DFC RAF (Ret), Squadron Leader Brian Quinlan DFC RAF (Ret) performed the unveiling followed by the dedication by the Most Reverend Dr. John Sentamu, Archbishop of York.
A large number of 158 Squadron veterans and their families from all corners of the globe were in attendance.
The evening hosted a 1940's style dinner dance at the Expanse Hotel.
Below are three short videos which record the unveling, courtesy of Novera Energy. Click here to read more about the wind farm development at Lissett.
The tribute is in the form of seven airmen and stands as part of a wind farm at the aerodrome, developed by Novera Energy. Adrian Hammond, of the 158 Squadron Association, said: "We are pleased the 851 men and women who lost their lives while based at the site are to be honoured. The 158 Squadron had members from all over the Commonwealth who took part in bombing raids almost every day. The sculpture is a fantastic tribute to the memory of all the crew and personnel who kept our shores safe."
Peter Naylor, the memorial's designer, won The Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture in 2010 because of the design. It is the UK's most prestigious award for public sculpture.
Eddie Bartram, chairman of Lissett and Ulrome Parish Council, said the sculpture would be another way to remember the dead. He said: "There is a service in the church every year and a lot of veterans attend. It is a celebration of their lives and it is fitting to have another memorial at the base."