Netheravon - A Place fit for heroes
With so much rhetoric and media hype going on across the world, particularly since the US elections, and this weeks’ opening of the ‘wrong’ envelope at the Oscars! It’s good to be able to get back to basics and calmly consider the things that have happened over the years so that we can make the most of trivia!
Here at Netheravon we get lots of visitors. Some are ex-servicemen wanting to relive the scene of their youth, some have a fascination with aircraft and parachutes and some visit us because they are trying to add to their own history.
The weather yesterday was pretty dismal with drizzle and high winds, which meant not being able to fly. However, the day was brightened somewhat by a visit from the son of a WWII veteran who had flown the mighty Halifax from Netheravon during war time operations.
What a fascinating visit; his son Robert was visiting all the airfields in which his father served and brought with him his father’s log book from 1941 to 1946 as well as many photographs taken here on the airfield.
Flying Officer Robert Seymour was a navigator and part of 298 Squadron. He flew a wide variety of aircraft whilst he was based here and at Tarrent Rushton (Dorset). Amongst other medals, he was awarded the Croix de Guerre at Netheravon in 1944 for his part in SOE operations helping the Resistance and flew at D-Day and Arnhem, amongst other ops. It’s only recently his family has been able to find out why it was awarded as it was something he never talked about.
It was looking through the vast amount of memorabilia that Robert his son brought with him, that you realise how dangerous their day job was in those days. Although to them it was just another day at the office, some would return to base that night, others would not.
We are glad to say that Mr Seymour Senior came through the war and at 95 is still going strong. But its people like him who have enabled us to enjoy what we have today and without them our lives might have been very different.
So whilst we see the stories on Face Book and are aghast at the wrong person being given an award at the Oscars; spare a thought for all those who deserve awards but never get them. People like Flying Officer Seymour who joined up at 18 and fought for what we have now. Whether what we have is good or bad is only for us to say, but we are duty bound to try and make the world a better place! Here at Netheravon, we are very proud to have been associated in some small part with such a brave man.
“I had a truly awesome experience yesterday, in every way. I was absolutely terrified but felt totally invincible afterwards and I even fell in love with your cameraman, Mike! Cam was lovely too and if I decide to do it again it would have to be with him. It was all very professional, from start to finish. They were a great bunch and I will recommend this to anyone and everyone. I jumped for the MS Trust and secured £723 in sponsorship so far with promises of more to come. It is great to feel alive again.”
“First ever tandem skydive for worthing churches homeless project today, loved it. Special thanks to my instructor Jay and the cameraman trevor who both made me laugh a lot and really relaxed me! definately want to jump again Thanks guys for a great day!”
"First charity tandem skydive done here last Saturday. Despite being extremely scared, the instructors made me feel completely at ease and in safe hands. Highly recommend anyone doing a jump, to do it here. Would definitely consider doing another skydive off the back of this experience despite my fear of heights and flying. Brilliant day and life experience. Thank you."
"First ever tandem skydive....amazing!!! Massive thank you to my instructor Gary u were fab!!!"
"Amazing Day, looked after from start to finish, great people, very friendly, relaxed atmosphere, Pete my tandem partner.. TOP BLOKE he was very professional and experienced. HIGHLY RECOMMEND this to anyone."
"Wow first ever tandem skydive today for oakhaven. Raised over £1000, so thank you all ... with my daughter Leah lopez, amazing surreal, nothing else like it. Thank you to Gary and Jay...... Leah now wants to do more and do a single jump!! Eeek!"