The evening of Saturday 24th November was a treat for those with love of choir singing when Thurrock & Havering Male Voice Choir held a concert in Horndon Church, who were joined by Sonia Ward adding her vocal talents to the proceedings.
The evening was an enjoyable and resounding success raising about £700 for Horndon Church.
On Sunday 26th September 1943 inhabitants of Bulphan and West Horndon witnessed the tragic accident of two USAF B17 “Flying Fortress’ bombers the “Dorsal Queen” and “Raunchy Wolf”, colliding in mid-air and crashing near Dillingham Hall Farm and Notti’s Farm resulting in the deaths of all but one of the crews. The sole survivor was the Dorsal Queen’s tail gunner, Sgt John Adams.
On Saturday 22nd September a service of commemoration, thanksgiving and remembrance was held at St Mary’s, Bulphan to mark the 75th Anniversary of this accident. Present were Lieutenant Colonel Jim Gringras (assistant Air Attaché US Embassy) and family, Lieutenant Colonel Ian Slazinik (Officer Commanding 100th Air Refuelling Wing, RAF Mildenhall) and family, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Essex Mr Stephen Bennett and his wife, Councillor Barbara Rice (Mayor of Thurrock) and Councillor Sheila Murphy (Mayor of Brentwood). Also present was the Chairman of Thurrock Branch Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) Mr Jim Gooding who himself served as a tail gunner on Lancaster’s in WW2, flying from RAF Mildenhall, as well as members of RAFA, RBL and other interested groups. The Base Honour Guard from RAF Mildenhall also attended. The service was conducted by Reverend Sue Mann Rector of the Benefice of Orsett, Bulphan and Horndon on the Hill, with the address and blessing made by the Venerable Mike Lodge, Archdeacon of Southend, Mr Stephen Bennett DL read the lesson and Lt Col Gringras and Lt Col Slazinik read the names of the crews.
Janet McCheynne relayed her mother’s memories of the incident and how Sgt Adams came to their door, although injured and somewhat shaken was largely OK after his ordeal. It was mentioned that Sgt Adams never flew again after this.
Wreaths were laid by Lt Col Gringras and Lt Col Slazinik on behalf of the United States Air Force and Mr Jim Gooding on behalf of RAFA, during the Act of Remembrance.
Jane Bennett (of Bennett funeral services) presented framed a framed Roll of Honour Lt Col Gringras, Lt Col Slazinik, Cllr Rice and Cllr Murphy.
The ladies of Bulphan WI provided refreshments after the service.
On Sunday 2nd September we were pleased to welcome the new Bishop of Bradwell, Bishop John Perumbalath who came to lead his first service in the Benefice at the United Benefice service in Orsett.
At the end of the service it was announced by Sue that Canon Glyn Jones was stepping down from officiating in church services. The Bishop presented Glyn with a gift from the three churches of the Benefice. Glyn has served the Benefice for many years, bringing his rich wealth of experience and wisdom. We all wish Glyn a happy retirement … if clergy ever really retire!