Emotional night will mark two important war missions

Event organiser Peter Foster with the raffle prize
Event organiser Peter Foster with the raffle prize

Plans are progressing well for what promises to be an emotional night in Horncastle to commemorate two of the Second World War’s most important missions.

The town’s Rotary Club is holding a Dambusters Tribute Night on Wednesday May 6 at Stanhope Hall.

It will feature a special screening of the film “The Dambusters” which features Lancaster bombers from the famous 633 Squadron - flying from Lincolnshire - destroying strategic German dams.

The evening will also feature another lesser-known war-time mission - Operation Manna.

It took place towards the end of the war and involved Allied aircraft dropping more than 11,000 tons of food to help save the lives of starving Dutch people, including women and children.

Ironically, one of the Dutch towns helped by the operation was Den Helder.

Today, Den Helder Rotary Club is twinned with Horncastle Rotary Club.

Horncastle Rotary Club spokesman Peter Foster said: “It should be a very special night.

“A lot of people know all about the Dambusters but perhaps less so about Operation Manna.

“In terms of saving lives, though, it was a very important mission and deserves to be recognised.”

Members of the Horncastle squadron of the 
Air Training Corps will present a special tribute to Operation Manna.

Fittingly, the tribute will coincide with the 70th anniversary of the mission.

There will be several photographs from the mission while a retired Air Commodore of the Royal Netherlands Air Force has pledged to help with additional information.

Another highlight promises to be a raffle, the first prize for which is a 20x16inch canvas photograph called ‘Lancaster in the Clouds’.

Tickets for the event are on sale at the Music Shop in Horncastle and the Print and Copy shop in Woodhall Spa.

Organisers are urging people to buy as soon as possible because capacity is limited to 200.

Proceeds from the evening - which starts at 7pm - will go towards Horncastle Rotary Club’s charity fund which helps a number of local organisations.