Bottesford (or, more precisely, Normanton) Airfield was home to over two thousand men and women during the Second World War, a population that dwarfed the surrounding villages, drawn from many parts of the world. The young air crews flew out night after night, and many failed to return.
These two poems were written by Derrick “Dixie” Dean and Pilot Officer John McGee, airmen serving at RAF Bottesford during the Second World War, and were displayed recently in Bottesford Parish Church. We are grateful to Mrs Viv Finch for showing them to us and allowing us to reproduce them as displayed.
We regret that we have not been able to contact the poets or their families, though we understand that Mr Dean still visits Bottesford with his wife. It would be wonderful to hear from them or to learn about them and their wartime expoits. We also hope they will forgive us posting their poems on this site.
Read more about the history of this remarkable place in:
Vincent Holyoak, 1995. On the Wings of the Morning. RAF Bottesford 1941-1945. Published by Vincent Holyoak, 38 Wilberforce Road, Leicester LE3 0GT, ISBN 0 9526739 0 8
The interment of Mr Derrick (Dixie) Dean’s ashes took take place on Monday 15th August at 12 noon at St Mary’s, Bottesford. Sadly, his wife Audrey was unable to attend. However, family members were there with representatives from the British Legion and the Armed Services, the Parish Council, Roseland Group, Bottesford Community Heritage Group and Bottesford residents.