Freedom, Honours and Awards
Over 3 ceremonies in June, July and August service and civilian personnel from RAF High Wycombe celebrated the Freedom of High Wycombe, and received a variety of honours and awards in recognition of their endeavours with tours, deployments and significant career achievements.
5 Aug 15
Following the Annual Formal Visit, AVM Bishop acted as Presenting Officer for an Honours and Awards Ceremony recognising 5 Commendations, 2 Royal Warrants, a Long Service Good Conduct Medal and a long overdue South Atlantic Medal.
33 years later, but better late than never
The South Atlantic Medal was originally awarded to personnel who completed 30 days service in the region of the Falkland Islands during the conflict period in 1982 but only for those who served there before the 12th of July. Recently a review concluded that the qualifying end date should extend to the 21st of October as “those who served beyond that date experienced both risk and rigour”. AVM Bishop took great pleasure in awarding the South Atlantic Medal to Mr Dave Lunnon.
Mr Dave Lunnon joined the Royal Air Force in 1962. After completing initial training at Bridgenorth, he was posted to the Air Sea Rescue School at Mountbatten, followed by postings to RAF Tobruk in Libya, Bridlington, RAF Khormaksar in Yemen, and Holyhead.
In 1972 he transferred from the Air Sea Rescue Branch to the Admin Branch. Postings followed to Stanmore Park, Cranwell, Halton, 111 Squadron Leuchars, Bracknell, Wildenrath, Wyton, High Wycombe, Laarbruch and Henlow. In 1999 after almost 38 years Mr Lunnon left the service and now works as a Civil Servant in the 3 Site Guardroom at RAF High Wycombe.
In 1982 Mr Lunnon was selected to be part of an Advance Party to establish a permanent base in the Falklands – RAF Stanley. Travelling in the Rangatira troop ship from Ascension Islands, he arrived on the Falkland Islands in mid-July.
The deployment proved to be a unique and demanding experience, and the then Sergeant Lunnon had a multitude of taskings and responsibilities. One memorable day was the arrival of a tropical shower machine, designed for deployments such as Malaya, and given to Sergeant Lunnon to install and maintain in the bitter South Atlantic winter.
After receiving the unit from an underslung Chinook, Sergeant Lunnon got his team to building it, and found four ‘volunteers’ to stand in the cold and test their finished work.
Although at first freezing cold, luckily for the volunteers it soon warmed up, and became a vital part of the camp not just for cleanliness but also morale.
Mr Lunnon’s effect on the Operation can be summised by an excerpt from a letter dated the 4th of October 1982, written by Wing Commander Ray Hart:
“During the last 3 months, it has been my privilege to have Sergeant Lunnon serving on my Wing at RAF Stanley. When we arrived the conditions were atrocious. The airfield was covered in mud, no hard accommodation was available, and all in the height of the South Atlantic winter.
Sergeant Lunnon built bridges, cleared drains, painted buildings, shifted the mess of a defeated army, built and ran a bath unit, and never once lost his sense of humour. He led from the front and set an example to the whole station, and hisc ontribution to the building of RAF Stanley has been greater than I could have expected from any one man.”
Freedom of High Wycombe
On the 25th of June the Mayor of High Wycombe, Cllr Mohammed Hanif, and local dignitaries visited 3 Site to take part in the ceremony of Parading the Scroll, signifying the Freedom of High Wycombe to the Station. The parade, with Fg Off Kyle Evans holding the Scroll, made the short march from the WOs’ and SNCOs’ Mess to the Station Church, where a formal ceremony took place. The visiting party then relocated to the Officers’ Mess for an Honours and Awards Ceremony.
Mayor of Marlow
On the afternoon of the 16th of July the Mayor of Marlow, Cllr Bob Johnson, visited the Station to learn more about the historical and current operations of RAF High Wycombe. This was followed by a ceremony to present 7 commendations, 3 Royal Warrants and an Operational Service Medal.