May 23, 2023 7.00 pm This story is over 10 months old

Call for Showground meeting to decide fate of Scampton dog grave

Encouraging public input

By Local Democracy Reporter

A West Lindsey District Councillor is urging the council to decide the fate of Guy Gibson’s dog’s grave at Lincolnshire Showground.

The RAF’s application to move the memorial from RAF Scampton due to questions over the base’s future has proved controversial.

During Monday’s AGM, Councillor Ian Fleetwood (Conservative) requested that the Planning Committee hold its upcoming meeting concerning the future of the grave at the showground’s Epic Centre, encouraging members of the public to come and express their feelings towards the situation.

This would allow more space than the limited public seating at West Lindsey District Council.

“I want to make sure that the public gets the opportunity to hear what is said and take into account where the council want to take it,” the former Chairman of the committee said.

The memorial, dedicated to Wing Commander Guy Gibson’s black Labrador, has recently become a subject of controversy as the RAF submitted an application seeking permission to move it from its home at RAF Scampton to the current location of the 617 Squadron in Norfolk.

The grave of Wing Commander Guy Gibson’s dog at RAF Scampton

In its application, the force stated concerns about preserving the dog’s place of rest following uncertainty surrounding the housing of asylum seekers at the base.

Nearly 300 people have submitted comments to West Lindsey District Council so far.

Councillor Matthew Boles (Liberal Democrat), who was elected the new Chairman of the Planning Committee during Monday’s meeting, acknowledged Councillor Fleetwood’s request and promised to look into organising the meeting in due course.

The proposed relocation has divided many since becoming public knowledge, with Scampton Councillor Roger Patterson describing it as “a kick in the teeth for the community”.

However, others feel the grave should go where it would be best cared for.

Like many, the representative for Bardney ward is of the belief that the grave should stay at Scampton, adding: “It is part of the heritage of the base and so should be protected.”

The dog’s grave is outside a hangar at RAF Scampton near Lincoln.

The dog, whose name was a racial slur, served as the mascot for the Dambusters and was buried outside Hangar 2 at the request of his owner.

Lincolnshire County Council’s Archaeology department has recommended that the local authority reject the application, citing concerns over the impact it would have on the heritage of RAF Scampton.

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