The Gaddensen Diary The Gaddensen Society The Gaddensen Diary

The Gaddesden Society Royal British Legion

Royal British Legion

We held our Annual Dinner in April at Ashridge Golf Club, welcoming 82 members and guests to a splendid meal. For a good many of our guests this was their first experience of this event, and we very much hope to see them on a more regular basis. This year’s event coincided with the Centenary of the Armistice in 1918, and also that of the formation of the Royal Air Force in the same year.


Our President, Air Commodore John Mitchell, spoke in moving terms about two R.A.F. officers who had served in 92 Squadron (John’s own command during part of the Cold War) with very different outcomes. One of them, Roger Bushell had been the C.O. of the squadron in 1939. He was shot down in action and subsequently became one of the unintended ‘stars’ of the blockbuster film ‘The Great Escape’ in the guise of the character Roger Bartlett (played by Richard Attenborough). The real-life Bushell was a particular thorn in the side of the Germans, tying up huge resources of troops searching for him and his fellow escapees when they should have been in action against the Allies. Upon his capture Bushell was summarily executed at the side of a road; 49 other escapees were also murdered. Later this year we will be commemorating all of those who gave their lives in service to their country: November 11th in this Centenary year will be a very special day.


More modest get-togethers continue on the first Monday of the month at the Bridgewater Arms (6.30pm for 7.00pm), when for a modest outlay members can enjoy a two-course meal and the chance to catch up with friends both new and old. We hope to welcome you soon.


In the next Diary we’ll be outlining two new ‘special events’ for the autumn; we also hope to release our plans as part of a village-wide initiative to mark Little Gaddesden’s contribution to the sacrifice of those who served.

Shaun McCarthy

How to get in touch…

Gaddesden Society President
Trevor Fernandes 01442 843498

Gaddesden Society Honorary Secretary
Mandy Haynes 01442 842496

Gaddesden Society Treasurer
Phil Heaphy 01442 842283

Diary Editorial Team

Phil and Rachael Heaphy 01442 842 283

Emma Thon

Genny Snowdon 01442 843834

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