poppy field


Remembrance Sunday 2021


This year marked the centenary of the creation of the Royal British Legion and a return to the High Street following the restrictions that caused last years to be cancelled. However, we returned and I don't think there could be another village in England where Remembrance Sunday is so well attended. Once again the school cadet contingents were immaculate in their dress, their marching and their turnout. What a credit to Kimbolton School. 

The parade was led again this year by the Standard Bearers of the Royal British Legion followed by the RBL members, a contingent of school OKs rejoined the parade. After the reading of the names of the fallen, at exactly 11 o clock, in between the last post and Reveille,  two minutes silence was observed.

Once again, the march past after the service was led by the cavalry, followed by the RBL and the school cadet force. A truly memorable day. Well done everybody. Below are some photos of the day.

The parade lead by the Standard Bearers.                                 

Squad of Old Kimboltionians marched alongside the Royal British Legion. 

The parade led by the Standard Bearers

Royal British Legion led by Vice Chairman, Stuart Ainsworth
Standard Bearers at 11:00.                                                                 

The President, Capt. RN Garry Newton and the reviewing officer, Lord Lancaster of Kimbolton.

im Baker read the names of the fallen. 

Remembrance Parade.

Cavalry on the march past down Kimbolton High Street.   

Standard Bearers and the Royal British Legion on the return down the High Street. 

Other photos from the day including the service held at the Bicton Industrial Estate, site of the former RAF Kimbolton and also a Centenary Celebration Lunch for the Royal British Legion. 

Also amongst our guests were Bob Cavaliere and his sister Joan. Below is an article written by Stuart Ainsworth regarding their visit to Kimbolton. 

A chance find of their father’s uniform started a chain of events that lead Bob Cavaliere and his sister Joan to Kimbolton airfield where their father flew from during the war.

The uniforms were discovered by Bob in 2019 when he cleared out his mother’s house in Virginia after her death. He said he was "shocked, awed and amazed" when he went into the clothes closet and found bags containing the wartime flying jacket, dress uniforms and personal kit belonging to his father, who had died in 1984.

Mr Cavaliere said he had previously been in touch with Christopher Bates, from Kimbolton School and the UK representative of the 379th Bombardment Group (Heavy) Association, when he thought about making a visit to Kimbolton.

"When my wife reminded me of that I knew instantly that the museum at the school was the perfect place for all of the items." Mr Cavaliere said. "If the family kept them they would have been in a closet somewhere until I died and then no one else would have wanted them.  But here, they can be on display for many to see and the photographs and navigational instruments, along with the uniforms, tells a story that none of us siblings knew very much about when my dad was alive, a missed opportunity to learn about an amazing time in his life.

"So there was no question in my mind but that the School would treat the items with  reverence and make them much more widely available to the public than they would have been anywhere else we could have given them to."

Mr Cavaliere said he was looking forward to the Remembrance events, adding: "We are very humbled by all the attention and we are looking forward to hearing maybe some first-hand accounts of people who were young kids at the time and may have some memories of the planes rumbling overhead."

Andrew Bamford, the Kimbolton Castle Historian, said: “Robert and his family thought carefully about how to preserve these wonderful, historic effects and remembered the connection with a member of staff at Kimbolton School, Christopher Bates, and therefore donated the uniforms and personal effects to Kimbolton School, where they are proudly displayed.”

Bob and Joan, whose planned visit last year was hit by the pandemic lockdown, will be present for a Last Post ceremony at the school,  wreath-laying at the airfield and other Remembrance events at Kimbolton. 

Their father Flight Officer Paul Cavaliere flew on 21 operations between January and March 1945 with one of the squadrons making up the 379th Bombardment Group (Heavy), regarded as one of the most successful in the US Eighth Army Air Force, which flew more sorties and dropped more bombs than any other unit.

During their stay on Armistice Day, they joined the students and staff at Kimbolton to observe the national 2 minutes silence before spending the afternoon talking to various groups of students.  In the evening, they had dinner at the Snooty Tavern in Great Staughton as guests of the Kimbolton Rotary Club.

On Friday 12 November, Andrew Bamford accompanied Bob and Joan to the American Cemetery at Madingley where they heard first-hand of the sacrifice of those who flew with the 379th BG(H). They had the opportunity to sample the delights of another local pub at dinner in The George in Spaldwick.  The following day, they got up close and personal with a B-17 Flying Fortress, their father’s aircraft, on a visit with Stuart Ainsworth from Kimbolton Branch Royal British Legion to IWM Duxford. It was especially emotional for him to find out during his visit that his Dad’s usual plane, Seattle Sue, had crashed after colliding with another aircraft a mere one week after his father’s last mission. 

On Remembrance Sunday, Bob and Joan joined local residents at the Bicton Industrial Estate the site of the former RAF Kimbolton (USAAF Station 117) which was the home of the 379th. After a short service of commemoration, they laid a wreath on behalf of the 379th BG Association.  Bob and Joan then joined the residents of Kimbolton at the church service and parade before joining Legion members at a lunch in the Castle to celebrate the Legion’s Centenary.

Reflecting back on his visit, Bob said, “It was eye-opening, and humbling, to experience the reverence with which the American and English servicemen from both World Wars are still held.”