Hemswell Antique Centres

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Remembrance Day at Hemswell Antique Centres


RAF Hemswell

Lincolnshire became known as Bomber County during World War Two when it was home to over 50 operational airfields, most of which were the starting point for bombers heading out over occupied Europe. Hemswell Antique Centres occupy one such site, the former RAF Hemswell, home to the Lancaster Bomber during the war.

We are proud of our long association with the armed forces; the first airfield on this site opened in 1916 and was named after the local village of Harpswell, serving as both a night landing ground and a squadron training ground. By 1936, airbase RAF Hemswell opened to accommodate Bomber Command and continued in this vein until 1956. Here at the centres, we welcome the annual RAF Hemswell Day Service which traditionally takes place on the third Wednesday in September at the Station Memorial which is sited on the former Parade Ground. The memorial commemorates all who served at RAF Hemswell during its 30 years as a Bomber Command station and it was unveiled in 1995 by the sister of one of the first of RAF Hemswell’s losses, Ronald Herd, who was killed in action 29th September 1939.

What is Remembrance Day?

Armistice Day marks the end of World War One at 11.00 on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, and is also known as Remembrance Day. On this day at 11.00, a two-minute silence is observed to remember people who have died in all wars.

What is Remembrance Sunday?

Remembrance Sunday falls on the second Sunday in November and is the day when most memorial parades and wreath-laying take place, including the ceremony at The Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, attended by members of The Royal Family and leading political parties.

Why do we have a two-minute silence?

The first two-minute silence was observed on November 11th 1919, following a request from King George V. Marking the first anniversary of the end of The Great War, the King’s request was so ‘the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead’. We continue this tradition to focus our thoughts on those who have been lost.

Why do we wear poppies on Remembrance Day?

Following the end of World War One, the first flower to bloom on the former battlefields was the poppy, immortalised in the famous poem, ‘In Flanders Fields’ by Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, in 1915. The poppy has subsequently come to symbolise all those who have given their lives in conflict as well as all those who have died on behalf of their country and those lost through terrorism. By wearing a poppy, we show we are remembering all the lives lost to maintain our freedoms, while all money raised from the sale of poppies by The Royal British Legion goes to support veterans of the Armed Forces.

Militaria at Hemswell Antique Centres

Unsurprisingly, given our history, Hemswell Antique Centres are home to many antique military dealers with a passion for their area of expertise.  Military memorabilia gives collectors an insight into the lives and property of those who served but, as an area for collectors, it is vast. Many experienced collectors will focus on particular areas, for example antique arms, or regimental militaria, and our dealers have a wide variety of specialisms, from firearms and binoculars to medals and uniform.

Militaria can be found in Buildings One, Two and The Guardroom, as well as online here. However, to really soak up the atmosphere of our unique setting, a day trip is highly recommended. Spend time taking in the contents of our four buildings, stopping for lunch in one of our restaurants, before heading to the historic cathedral city of Lincoln, just a short car drive away.

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