Frank remembers raid with Bomber Command

Messenger Newspapers: Frank Tolley Frank Tolley

A SECOND World War veteran has been commended for giving a charity talk on his experiences with Bomber Command.

Frank Tolley, resident of McCarthy and Stone Residential Home, Sale, gave the talk as part of an afternoon of tea and cakes to raise money for the Salvation Army.

Frank, 91, spoke about his time in the RAF and recalled how he took part in operations, including the controversial Dresden bombings where an estimated 25,000 people were killed.

In his talk Frank referred to the raid as “genocide” and said: “I wouldn’t say we were heroes, we were all volunteers.”

Most moving however was his description of how he did not really think about his part in the death of so many until 50 years later, when his grandson asked him to help with a school project on the subject and asked: “What do you think about killing people?”

His answer: “Nothing until much later, when your father was born.”

He also spoke of his crew’s part in operation Manna, dropping food parcels over Holland towards the end of the war.

As a part of Bomber Command, Frank was one of the many War veterans who were denied recognition for their service until recently.

He was in attendance at the unveiling of the long overdue Bomber Command memorial last year.

Rachel Stuard, communications manager for the Salvation Army, expressed great thanks for the money raised.

She said: “We were touched that Frank wanted to donate the money to us.

“It’s very important that people like Frank recognise the SA does a lot of work to help people now as in the war.”

Frank expects to raise around £100 from the talk, which Rachel said would hopefully be spent on local residential projects.

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