Dedication day for hero of the Far East

Thomas Chellew dedication at Stotfold war memorial - from left, Helen Dawson, daughter of David Chellew (Senior),  David Chellew (Senior) - son of Flight Sergeant Thomas W Chellew,  Michael Dawson, David Chellew's (Senior)  son-in-law.
Thomas Chellew dedication at Stotfold war memorial - from left, Helen Dawson, daughter of David Chellew (Senior), David Chellew (Senior) - son of Flight Sergeant Thomas W Chellew, Michael Dawson, David Chellew's (Senior) son-in-law.
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A dedication service has been held in Stotfold to commemorate a Second World War airman after decades of campaigning by his family.

The name of Thomas W. Chellew is now among those honoured on the war memorial in Stotfold cemetery after the cause was taken up by the Stotfold and Arlesey branch of the Royal British Legion.

Stotfold and Arlesey branch of the RBL - war memorial dedication service at Stotfold cemetery

Stotfold and Arlesey branch of the RBL - war memorial dedication service at Stotfold cemetery

The service on Sunday, October 29 marked the end of 69 years of campaigning by the Chellew family to honour RAF Flight Sergeant Thomas Chellew, who served in the Far East and died shortly after the end of the war in a UK military hospital, having contracted a disease.

The campaign was taken up by the branch at the request of his son David Chellew.

Thomas was buried in Stotfold cemetery in a CWGC grave as a Casualty of War within the designated ‘time frame’.

The branch established documentary evidence that his name qualified to be placed on the memorial. Stotfold Town Council, the War Memorial Trustees, accepted the evidence presented

Dedication to Flight Sergeant Thomas Chellew at Stotfold war memorial

Dedication to Flight Sergeant Thomas Chellew at Stotfold war memorial

by the branch to warrant his name being added.

The dedication service was attended by representatives from RAF Henlow, where he was first stationed before the war, local branches of the RAF Association, Royal Naval Association, Royal Anglian Regiment and branches of the RBL in Bedfordshire.

Stotfold Mayor Alan Cooper and RBL Bedfordshire County Chairman Eric Robinson also joined Mr Chellew and his family.

The service was conducted by the Rev Bill Britt of St Mary’s Church, Stotfold.

During the service, John Street of the Stotfold Salvation Army played the Last Post and the Reveille after the Silence, followed by wreath laying by RAF Henlow and the RBL Stotfold & Arlesey Branch. The service was well attended by the local community.