Following an internal review, Filey Town Council have decided to decline the request for a memorial to honour the 4,000+ RAF recruits who were trained at RAF Hunmanby Moor, Filey during WW2.
The request for the commemoration in Filey had originally been on the agenda for the full Town Council meeting on 6th April for which the Council requested representation to ensure they were well informed about the historical details behind the proposal. This was then deferred to allow more time for consideration, so it was moved to a Property Committee meeting (without an invitation) on 28th May. Following the decision to decline, the Council instead intend that the memorial should be to "all allies" at a yet undecided location.
While of course all allies should be honoured, this solution rather misses the significance of this exceptional story for Filey that saw so many West Indian service personnel coming to the aid of Britain as volunteers (sometimes enduring unfavourable treatment) - unlike those in the allied forces who were either conscripted or displaced from their countries. To acknowledge the presence of allied forces is important but not unique to Filey as most RAF camps could lay claim to that.
This initial request to North Yorkshire Council, Scarborough Borough Council and Filey Town Council was instigated by the request made by the Westcarr family back in July 2020 which has taken nearly one year to come to its conclusion. They and the Caribbean community who supported this request to highlight this lesser-known history are justifiably disappointed.
The search to identify as many of the servicemen as possible continues, as does the collection of stories. Catch up on the RAF WW2 recruits page.
On a more positive note, the family of Gilbert Clarke kindly let us know that Gilbert featured prominently in the official opening of the British Normandy Memorial last weekend, on Sunday 6th June (the 77th anniversary of D-Day). Watch the ceremony on YouTube - Gilbert appears from 28 minutes.