May 14, 2023 9.00 am This story is over 9 months old

Battle for history: Readers call for preservation of dog’s grave at RAF Scampton

Strong sentiments around the fate of grave at the RAF site

By Local Democracy Reporter

RAF plans to move the grave of Guy Gibson’s dog from the Scampton airbase have sparked a fierce debate.

The remains of the Dambusters’ mascot could be moved to the 617 Squadron’s current base in Norfolk, due to fears of vandalism at the current site.

The RAF’s application says there could be no guarantee that the heritage of RAF Scampton could be secured given asylum seeker housing plans.

Residents described the proposal to move the grave to RAF Marham in Norfolk, where the squadron is currently based, as a “kick in the teeth” for the county’s proud RAF history.

The overwhelming sentiment on social media saw people wanting to keep the dog’s grave in Bomber County.

Jules Doughty described the grave and Guy Gibson’s legacy “massively symbolic to Lincolnshire”, saying he should be left where Gibson “asked for him to be buried.”

Many felt that moving the grave showed a lack of respect for the country’s history.

Karl Anders labelled it “absolutely disgusting”, while others wanted the grave to be left alone.

Commenters expressed concerns that moving the grave could also lead to disrespect or potential vandalism if the site is repurposed, as per Home Office plans.

A tribute to fallen Dambusters at Lincoln’s IBCC by Dan Barton and Simon Smith | Photo: IBCC

Some suggest alternative locations, such as Lincoln’s International Bomber Command Center, as more suitable places to relocate the grave.

Kath Crampton suggested that if the grave cannot be kept at RAF Scampton, it should be brought to the Netherlands, where his owner Guy Gibson rests following his death in 1944.

Others argued that moving the grave to a more protected or accessible location could ensure its preservation and prevent neglect over time.

They expressed concerns about the potential deterioration of the site if it remains in its current location.

The future of the dog’s grave remains uncertain, as West Lindsey District Council’s planning officers consider the application.

Regardless of the outcome, it will stir up debate around the preservation of historical sites and how Lincolnshire’s wartime heroes are honoured.

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