Interview with Allan Holmes


Interview with Allan Holmes
1012-Holmes, Allan-N Lincolnshire Disc 2


Allan Holmes’ uncle was Flight Sergeant Frank Norman Holmes (1577142 Royal Air Force) who flew operations as an air gunner with 103 and 582 Squadrons. He was killed 4 May 1944 on an operation to Didier.






00:05:24 audio recording


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Interviewer: It’s the 18th of May 2012 and I’m here to interview Mr Allan Holmes whose uncle was with 103 Squadron here. Right Allan, could you tell us about your uncle.
AH: I certainly can. Right. My uncle who was Frank Norman Holmes born at Twenty Foot in Kirmington and went to school at Kirmington. He joined 103 Squadron in 1941 and completed thirty ops with Geoff Maddern, Don Charlwood, Graham Briggs. I forgot the names of the others just at the moment. And then after they did the thirty ops he went to Finningley Gunnery Training, didn’t like that and volunteered for 582 Pathfinders and on the, that was in 1944, I think and he was lost on the night of May the 4th 1944 on a raid to Montdidier. That was the same night as the big Mailly raid where there was four hundred odd bombers. The other thing a little story about Uncle Frank was he was always late for briefings at Elsham because him and [pause] I’ve forgot his name now. Anyway, he was always looking, he was always going poaching and he got caught with the Lord Yarborough’s game keeper and was taken before Lord Yarborough who said to his game keeper, ‘What’s this man doing here?’ ‘Well,’ he said, ‘We’ve caught him poaching, my lord.’ ‘Well,’ he says, ‘He can go shooting wherever he likes. Don’t bring him here again because he’s doing a far better job than you.’ And so that was some of the antics that they got up to. He was lost on May the 4th as I said 1944. He is laid to rest in a cemetery in Rouen in France. I don’t remember him because I was only about four years old then when he was lost. Another little story apparently when I was a little kid the, when he came home on leave my dad, my father and Uncle Frank they had a little air rifle, not very powerful I don’t think and they used to give me pennies to crawl under the table and they used to fire pellets at my backside. So they was always up to some fun and you know they had to have some fun in them days because who knows how long they was going to be here with us. They never grew into old men. He was always a young guy to me. There’s not a lot more I can say about him really.
Interviewer: You regularly go to the Mailly Le Camp Remembrance Service. Could you tell us something about that?
AH: Yeah. Mailly Le Camp. That was a big raid. Some Lancasters went from Elsham Wold. One of the old veterans Jimmy Graham was one of the men that flew on that and Jimmy was at the Mailly celebrations or commemorations this May which is 2012 with one or two others. Another Australian guy there as well. It’s very well attended. The Air Cadets from Scunthorpe and —
Interviewer: Immingham.
AH: Immingham. They also come along and form, they have the band which comes along with us and do various presentations, concerts and they do all the national anthems for all the cemeteries that we visit. The British, the Australian, the Canadian, New Zealand and they put up a good show for us does the Cadets. And we do various other visits after that to different cemeteries and the reception we get is absolutely fantastic from all the French people and all the standard bearers that turn out. Firemen. Everybody at every cemetery that we go to which is absolutely fantastic. So all the lads that we lost are all very well remembered and the cemeteries and the graves are all fantastic and well looked after.
Interviewer: That’s fabulous. Lovely. Thank you.
AH: So, there you go.
Interviewer: Thank you, Allan. That’s brilliant. Thank you.


This Interview was recorded by Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire., “Interview with Allan Holmes,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 25, 2024,

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