Friday, 24 September 2010

Genealogy, Aubrey Belcher Lund DFC.

" If I had a photograph of you, something to remind me"

For a couple of years now I have been trying to find out some information about my Mums Dad,
Aubrey Belcher Lund, and with a faded photocopy of his RAF records I have been able to slowly piece together a few bits of information.

I had originally been trying to find a birth certificate for him as his place of birth is recorded as Greece (Rochester) Monroe USA. 19th of July 1917.
This led me to searching the website and after some digging I managed to find a two year old Aubrey on a passenger list returning from New York to Liverpool.
I then went backwards and found his father JT Lund travelling to New York alone, somewhere in between JT meets Naomi and they have Aubrey, here my search has dried up, I can not find who Naomi was, where she was from or even where she ended up!

Aubrey died on 2nd February 1961 when my mum was only six years old.

After watching the recent TV programs about the Battle of Britain I decided to have another look at the faded records and managed to read a few squadron numbers and found a column entitled 'Date of Gazette' I already have a copy of a page from the London Gazette but hadn't realised there were other mentions, so this was my first point of call, I found five different mentions.
Then I searched the internet for the different sqadrons listed
50 (bomber) squadron Waddington
14 Squadron Amman and Ismaili
102 Maintenance Unit
47 Squadron.
Whilst most were very interesting few gave names of crew.
So I emailed the host of 14 squadron association .
Mike emailed me back the following information:
Here are some extracts from my draft history of the Squadron which refer to your grandfather (quotes are from the memoir of Air Marshal Sir Anthony Selway which is in the RAF Museum):

Bombing Raid on Massawa on 11 May 1940 (First day of the war with Italy):
At 1600 hours Selway took off in Wellesley L2647 with his crew of Sgt J J W Mildren  and SAC A B Lund.  On his wing were Sgt Brown (in K7725) and Sgt L A J Patey (in L2645).  Climbing to ten thousand feet, Selway led his formation on a southeasterly track for the two-and-a-half hour transit to Massawa.  Ten minutes later the second wave, comprising Fg Off Soderholm (in K7723), Sgts Wimsett (in L2652) and R G Gilmore (in K7723) followed.  They, in turn, were trailed by Flt Lt A T Irvine  (in L2649), Fg Offs LeCavalier (in K7743) and R P B H Plunkett (in L2710).  
Approaching Massawa, Selway descended to the dropping altitude of five hundred feet, opened the bomb doors and selected the arming switches.  As darkness fell, at exactly 1830, he found the target and pressed home his attack.  “I think my second container load hit the target,” he reported, “for on the ‘C-r-ump!’ there was an immediate bright flash from under my wings, and over my shoulder I could see the glow of a petrol fire starting.  The firework display by the anti-aircraft barrage of all colours was most impressive.  Either Mildren or Lund had left his microphone on and all I heard as we went through all the fireworks was ‘Ker-ist! Ker-ist!’ in a low voice.  Suddenly it was all over and we were climbing up seawards to head for home.”  
Bombing Raid on Asmara 26 June 1940:
After the success of the first joint attack it was decided to try once again on 26 June.  Selway led the same team and the plan was very similar to the previous raid, except that the bombs would be dropped from 1,200 feet above the aerodrome.  This time the Wellesleys were greeted with heavy anti-aircraft fire as they approached Asmara and four CR42 fighters attempted to engage the 47 Squadron formation as they dived towards the target.  The CR42s closed in as the ten Wellesleys started to head homewards.  According to Selway “the CR42s were doing beam and stern attacks firing tracer.  One of them dived underneath me and pulled up well ahead and up into a half loop and fired at me as he came back completely upside down ... he - or one of the others - was quite a good shot.  There was suddenly a very strong smell of petrol and Mildren said ‘Sir, there’s petrol pouring into the belly of the fuselage from somewhere and it’s nearly ankle deep!’ and indeed the fumes were so powerful that I wondered they could put me out.  I told Mildren to switch off all electrics and to stop firing the guns and that he and Lund were to prepare to bale out if I said so.  I undid my straps, opened my sliding hood and the little side door and stood up and perched on the side of the cockpit and tried to keep the Wellesley straight and level with one hand.  My team drew closer in formation and watched me with some concern ... fortunately there was no spark and no hot pipe and therefore no fire and after about five minutes Mildren said ‘I think it’s going down’. Apparently we had lost most if not all of the fuel in the starboard wing and so I had to watch out for the engine cutting.  In any other aeroplane it would have meant a landing in enemy territory but not with the Wellesley with its vast reserves of fuel.”  Selway landed safely at Port Sudan, but not only had the Italian bullets had shot through the main fuel lines in the starboard wing, they had also torn a hole in the main tubular girder for the wing spar.  Additionally there was an eight-inch hole made by a shell splinter which had just missed the control runs in the tail-box. 
Armed with this information I have begun to dig a little deeper and found these articles in Flight Magazine

The first is a 3 page article about the director of accident prevention Air Commander ACH Sharp DSO and his 30,000 mile trip with his navigator F/lt A.B Lund DFC in a Mosquito P.R MK 34.

But still no RAF search continues....



Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Birmingham City v Blackburn Rovers

Jack and Tommy

I love going to the Blues I always have, I loved going when we used to stand on the Kop, I really loved sitting on the Tilton, the singing and the banter was fantastic.I used to stand on the Kop in the early 90’s and then when the ground was rebuilt we had season tickets in the Tilton. My seven year olds first season was in the Tilton corner but he spent most of it with his fingers in his ears so we have relocated as a family to the family stand, it makes more sense, if only for the financial benefits.

I’ve learnt a lot about going to the Blues, little things your average male fan wouldn’t think of, what shoes to wear, what weight of coat to take and whether I will have anywhere to put it if I need to take it off, sunglasses and gloves can be worn on the same day, you can leave the house in a torrential rain storm and be putting on the factor 30 at half time.

Walking up to the ground today to watch the first home game of the season holding my 4 year olds hand was a lovely feeling following my husband and our 7 year old who was about to start his 3rd season up to the main stand I felt a slight pang, our first date had been at the Blues on Feb 8th in 1992 against West Bromwich Albion and here we were as a family strolling up to the ground.

Our 7 year old expertly lead the way and handed over his ticket and we all followed, Tommy paused to look out over the ground only to drop his ticket on to the roof of the paddock... luckily it was within reach.
From a personal point of view the first half was pretty uneventful, Jack needed the loo half way through and being about 6 people in I thought it might be a bit awkward but everyone stood up and we squeezed out and down to the ladies at the bottom of the stairs with out any trouble at all, no smelly loos, no lack of loo roll, no noisy hand dryer that automatically turns on when a small child brushes past it, no slightly worse for wear man to shout up the blues at us, and most of all no one scored whilst we were in there.

Jack sat on my lap for most of the first half and as there wasn’t anyone in the seat in front of mine we both had a decent view. I think Tommy enjoyed having his younger brother to impart his knowledge on and at half time they stood and looked over the edge. Jacks confidence grew during half time and in the second half he stood or sat in his own seat, clapped Fosters saves, any good chances and all the substitutions. We all clapped cheered jumped up and down and hugged each other when Gardner scored I even got to watch the replay on the big screen, something I didn’t think I would be able to do in the main stand.

I have to now admit that I think I might have thrown him in the air when we scored the second goal but he hasn’t mentioned it so I think its best that I don’t either.

It got a bit edgy towards the end of the game and slightly exciting for the kids when Robinson came up, I was convinced the ref was waiting for them to score before he finally blew his whistle.
Paul gave me a ‘Thank god we won and it was incident free’ smile at full time and we all agreed that it had been a good game and we couldn’t wait for the next.

Final Score Birmingham City 2 - 1 Blackburn Rovers

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Monkey and LaLa

My two boys have cuddlies, lots of them.

(strange choice of location ...I know!)

Jack has monkey, who is a lovely soft monkey we bought from Sainsburys before he was born.

Jack and monkey

Tommy has LaLa who was once a lovely yellow teletubbie.

not so cute anymore!

LaLa is actually a replacement cuddlie as Tommy originally had War-fee (War rhymes with star, fee rhymes with me!) it was a soft, home made, blue starfish that my mum made for Tommy so he could ‘drape’ it over his face when he was little.

...on holiday in Zante

Warfee went everywhere with Tommy, he would cuddle him in bed, stick him under his num num so he was close to his nose,

push him under his sunglasses on holiday and shove him up his jumper at nursery.

...getting ready to move house

...bouncing on a friends trampoline.

...playing in the ball pool

...or just relaxing on the setee

He had warfee for three years until Jack was born.

Jack was born by c-section and Paul took Tommy on the bus to register Jack, Tommy loves buses so this was a treat for him, they caught the bus into Town went to the registry office, went to Sainsburys for a carton of juice and caught the bus home. When they got home Warfee was gone!
I rang the Registry office and tried to describe a homemade blue starshaped piece of cloth with an embroidered face on it, the lady was sympathetic but said she hadn’t seen it, I then rang Sainsburys, same answer. I then had the task of ringing the bus station I tried explaining it to the lost property man, I tried describing it as a childs comforter…’Computer?’ the man replied. So I tried describing it again …I think he thought I was mad! All I wanted to say was have you seen Warfee? All I wanted to do was jump out of bed and get on the bus and find him. My mum even went in and retraced their steps. Even now if I go down Broad Street I still look out for him.(Not sure who it affected most...hmmm!)

Warfee was swiftly replaced by Lala who has an annoying rattle in her tummy that would jangle as he walked along the landing, looking back I wish I’d guided him to something cuter…lol.

Lala has been a great comfort to Tommy and still turns up when he is feeling low or unsure of things, she went in his pocket when he had his first season ticket to watch Birmingham City, although she does now have a slightly scary appearance and has even been decorated like Darth Maul!!!and patched up a few times (Nanna to the rescue again.) she's still very much loved.

Darth LaLa

This why Jack has monkey

Jack and monkey...looking at monkeys

…and monkey 2 ...and why he had FOUR funny bunnies,( )
I was so sure that it wouldn’t happen again.
I mean you can describe a monkey, you can look for a monkey and hopefully you can find a monkey…you could even put up a poster for a missing monkey!

Monkey or Teetee as he was known for a short while isn’t so easily shoved into small places so hasn’t been on as many adventures as Warfee or Lala, although we did lose him once, only to be found a short time later hiding in the seat of Jacks push along car, this how Jack found out about monkey 2

(we once lost Lala for some weeks and found her squashed into the lower compartment of their Early learning centre Rocket.)

Every night when I go upstairs and peep in on them before I go to bed Jack has monkey in his arms and LaLa isn't too far from Tommys grasp (along with toastie, squashy, terry, tc, ted, trevor, blues bear,sooty, mummy lala.....)

Wednesday, 16 June 2010


My boys are easily pleased, mum went on holiday last week and bought Jack a watering can, to water his sunflower she has planted for him, and bought Tommy a pack of post it notes, we now have post-its labelling things everywhere. We have one on the TV, the wall, window, bed etc I even found one with bum and willy written on them, even Martha had one stuck to her for a while.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

todays favourite

My fave blog at the moment

maxi tweeting

I have been reading lots of other blogs recently and come to the conclusion that I dont need to just blog when I ve got loads (or time) to write but maybe I could do extended tweets, if twitter is micro blogging then blogging can be maxi tweeting!
my favourite blog at the moment is
Its worth a read especially if you are westie lovers.
We have had a social networking revolution here as OH has a new blackberry and we have netbook on loan from college, in fact everything seems to have changed here as we have swapped the sitting room and dining room over, Martha seems more relaxed as we are not on show at the front of the house and the boys seem happier as the back room is cosier, footyboy even lay on the floor and played cars with biscuitboy the other day (photos to follow!)

Friday, 19 February 2010

mummy I look like a naan bread.

Half term been and nearly gone and Jack heeded my request and managed to hold out until the day before half term to catch chicken pox...bless him. He has been quite well with it and just complains every morning that the spots haven't gone yet.
We've had a relatively calm half term although it did start with me doing my very best deranged mother impersonation in Asda. I decided to take both boys with me and they just were not in the mood to follow me round in a calm and pleasant way after quietly screaming at them to get off the floor, stop hiding behind the pillars, stay where I can see you, get off that shelf.....Jack (covered in spots!) then decided to kick an empty cardboard tray up and down an aisle... I told him to stop...he gave it one last kick...went flying...landed with a big thump on the wheel of my trolley! Blood and tears everywhere thankfully it was just a nose bleed but when I picked him up I was sure he had done much worse. I struggled to open the loo roll and wipes in my trolley and cleaned him up (not a single person came to help me) I then said through gritted teeth to both of them 'Now do you see why I want you to behaive' and stomped through last few aisles grabbed a bag of peas and held them on his nose!
The rest of the week has been a breeze!
Tommy went to a Birmingham City Football camp on Monday, I was so proud of him, I don't think I could of walked into a dressing room full of strangers at his age and stayed the day without my mum. He gave it 9 out of 10 when he got home.
My brother who has a 2 month old baby has avoided us like the plague which I suppose when Tommy was little I would of done if someone had mentioned chicken pox. All I asked him to do was come and get his furniture from my garage which I said I'd look after whilst he moved house 3 months ago, he now has a house the same size as mine and a car bigger than mine so...I have a football teams worth of equipment and bikes and half my kitchen appliances to squeeze round I don't need his stuff too. (its still here!)
Had a lovely lunch time play date with a friend who has 3 girls the same ages as my boys (the chicken pox didn't frighten her!)and all the kids played nicely and enjoyed a crazy game of hide and seek, Tommy and his female equivalent were hid in the down stairs loo for along time!!
Jack said with amazement 'I didn't know they were gonna play with me' after they'd left and thinking back he's now got to that age where he'll play with people rather than along side, these milestone come and go with out you noticing second time around!
The outside world is covered in snow again so not sure if the weekends fixtures will go ahead, We're supposed to be playing a team that was cancelled during the Christmas snow how ironic!

Not sure Martha is liking all this white stuff she had a play in it yesterday and a roll on it and then ran lots of it in to the house, most days start with me mopping the floor (thankfully we have laminate!) and wiping the setee of snowy/muddy footprints ( and again thankfully leather)

Well need to get the boys into some warmer clothes Tommy has his blues kit on and Jack has his pjs o...OMG naked..time to go!