We should all raise a glass in memory of veteran Don
A Bomber Command survivor who flew from RAF Elsham Wold during the Second World War, Don Charlwood, has died in Australia, aged 96.
Flt Lt navigator Don, and many other brave contemporaries, used to unwind, as best they could, by drinking in the Black Bull, in Wrawby Street.
I have a copy of Don's acclaimed book, No Moon Tonight, before me as I pen this week's column. It is a gripping, first-hand account of an era when many, unlike Don, died young – shot down over enemy-occupied territory.
Don and fellow aircrew cycled between Elsham and Brigg to visit mine hosts, Mr and Mrs Ted Batten, at the town centre watering hole.
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"Still clutching Black Bull tankards, we pedalled north through the fog," he recounts in No Moon Tonight of a happy night out in town.
After the Remembrance Day wreath-laying ceremony at The Monument in Brigg every November, many connected with the Brigg Branch of the Royal British Legion meet up for a pint or two in that very same pub. This autumn a glass can be raised in memory of Don, as well as all the others who made the ultimate sacrifice in all the services.
To put things into perspective, Don's crew were the only ones in their intake to complete an initial tour of 30 operations at Elsham.
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