The chapel at RAF Scampton, 1942. [Pic: Stephen Murray]
The spiritual needs of the Allied forces during the Second World War were met by a large number of clergy who volunteered to serve as chaplains for its duration. One of these was Rev Donald Hulbert, Rector of a Suffolk parish, who became the Anglican padre at RAF Scampton in 1942. His wife, Vi Hulbert, a musician and a woman with a strong faith of her own, moved with him to live in two rooms in a builder’s house in a nearby village. The base’s chapel can be seen in the wartime pciture shown above.
They stayed at Scampton for about two years, a period which covered the five and a half months 617 Squadron was present, and were there when the Dams Raid took place. Some thirty years later, Vi Hulbert wrote a short pamphlet called Reflections of a Parson’s Wife. Stephen Murray has kindly sent me a copy of this, along with some other wartime photographs.
Mrs Hulbert’s account of the period is very short, but is worth recording. She was responsible for the flower arrangements on the day of the visit to Scampton by the King and Queen on 27 May 1943.
Donald and Vi Hulbert can be seen together in this picture. Note that she is wearing a ‘sweetheart’ RAF wings brooch.
Among the other interesting pictures in Stephen Murray’s collection is this shot of Scampton CO, Gp Capt Charles Whitworth. The officer on the right is Wg Cdr Everett Briggs, a First World War RAF officer who re-enlisted in the later conflict and who worked on administrative matters at Scampton. The name of the airman on the left is not known. The picture was taken in the vegetable garden on the base, and a couple of men can be seen at work in the background.
All pics courtesy Stephen Murray.