Above: A new blue plaque in Antrobus Village Hall commemorating John Wilkinson.
The small Cheshire village of Antrobus was the birthplace and home of Sgt John Wilkinson, wireless operator in Vernon Byers’s AJ-K on the Dams Raid. The village held a special weekend of commemorative events on 6 and 7 May including a display at the War Memorial in the church, exhibitions about John Wilkinson, the Dambusters and Farming in the War. A special blue plaque was unveiled in the Village Hall.
Highlights included a special Flypast by a Dakota from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight to salute John Wilkinson and a display of model aircraft including an 11 foot Lancaster Bomber by the Liverpool Model Aircraft Society. The events also raised £1000 for the RAF Benevolent Fund.
Above: The BBMF Dakota performing a flyover salute to the commemorations
The newly re-formed 617 Squadron sent a special message to the organisers: ‘We’d like to offer the Squadron’s thanks [to the Village] for celebrating John’s life and remembering his sacrifice. 617 Squadron is very proud of its history and it’s so good to see others doing such good work to keep it alive.’
Many of Wilkinson’s relatives still live in the area. June Morris, Wilkinson’s niece, said on their behalf: ‘It was a very lovely fitting tribute to our late uncle.’
Below: Susan Sinagola of Antrobus presents a photograph of John Wilkinson to Mrs Phoenix of Antrobus Village School.