Lincoln Cathedral Airmen's Chapel Altar

Lincolnshire is often referred to as 'Bomber County', with over 100 RAF airfields based there during WWII. 

It also boasted a wartime landmark for Air Force pilots as they flew home in Lincoln Cathedral, where to this day you can find three service chapels dedicated to those who served and continue to do so today.

The Very Reverend Christine Wilson, Dean of Lincoln Cathedral, showed Forces Radio BFBS' Rosie Duffield around the Airmen's Chapel and revealed a surprising forces connection that came to light when she took up her post there.

She said: "I rang my dad to tell him [about the job] – he's in his 90s.

"He said 'ooh, I was in Lincoln in the war!' It turned out he had served in Bomber Command… That was the first I'd heard of it."

Her father had served as a radio mechanic and then worked on radars at RAF Waddington and Coningsby.

Lincoln Cathedral Service Chapel Memorials

The Airmen's Chapel is easy to identify, with the altar front an RAF blue.

There are two shields that have the words 'swift to attack' and 'undaunted' hanging above and the chapel also has a number of beautiful stained glass windows that pay tribute to the RAF. 

The Dean explained:

"The stained glass windows within the chapel were unveiled by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1958."

"As you look round, you see memorials to the Flying Training Command, the Bomber Command and also the New Zealand memorial and in memory of the Rhodesian airmen."

Lincoln Cathedral Airmen's Chapel Remembrance Book

Christine also spoke about how knowing that the service chapels come under her jurisdiction made her feel, after the discovery of her family connection to Lincolnshire.

She said: "There's a beautiful memorial there dedicated to the men and women of Bomber Command… over 55,000 who died and, of course, my dad would have known them. They were his comrades and friends.

"He was 19 when he joined the RAF and the comradeship was the thing that struck me really… I think for me, he's part of that. He survived but he was part of that. This chapel reminds me of those who weren't so lucky; who served their country but fell."

Lincoln Cathedral Airmen's Chapel Memorials

Lincoln Cathedral has several RAF100 events lined up over the summer and recently hosted the RAF100 Baton.

"That was placed right here in this chapel overnight," the Dean explained, "and then was blessed and sent on its way with lovely two baton bearers: one from Cranwell and one from Digby."

RAF 100 Baton Lincoln Cathedral

The service chapels are made up of the Airmen's Chapel, the Seamen's Chapel and the Soldier's Chapel. 

They're open every day, with services held on Saturday.

Lincoln Cathedral Service Chapel Entrance

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