Purewell Cross

This was the first service in the area, taking place at 9.15am on Sunday, 12 October 2017 at Purewell Cross, about half a mile from Christchurch centre.

This is a small but important part of the local Remembrance Day. Below, the ceremony is just beginning.

Purewell Cross Remembrance 2017 - The start

Purewell Cross Remembrance 2017

The Mayor, Cllr Nick Geary, laid a wreath at the main memorial.

Purewell Cross Remembrance 2017 - The Mayor

Other wreaths were laid.

A wreath was also laid at the memorial to the US Air Force 405th Fighter Group, who were stationed in the area for a time in World War II.

Purewell Cross US Air Force Memorial

The following description is taken from the American Air Museum website. The picture shows Lt Julian Morford on the wing of his P-47

Lt Julian MorfordFrom March to 29 June 1944, the 405th operated out of the RAF Christchurch. After setting up camp and training over England, the group began combat operations over France. During this period their primary task was ground attack ahead of the coming Operation Overlord invasion of Normandy. The group disrupted German positions and transportation infrastructure. Train locomotives were a favourite target. The group destroyed the Seine River bridge at Mantes-Gassicourt, northeast of Paris, just before the invasion, to inhibit movement of German material.

The group was grounded during the 6 June invasion activities because Allied command was concerned that inexperienced anti-aircraft batteries would mistake P-47s for the German FW-190. The 405th resumed flying on 10 June, providing close air support to the beachhead. On 18 June 1944, the group was redesignated to the 405th Fighter Group. A few weeks after the invasion, the 405th packed up and moved to a POE near Southampton

While encamped at Christchurch, the Group officers bivouaced in Bure Homage, an English manor adjacent to the airfield that was requisitioned by the British Ministry of Defence for the war.

405 Squadron

Finally, this was the Service Sheet.