Tribute, respect and Ross Stewart

At present the Log Book is with Nick’s sister Simonne at the Rockville Hub awaiting its next appointment. On 22 March the book was treated with an excursion paying respect at the Arlington National Cemetery courtesy of Simonne and her daughter Daniella who suggested trip.

The book contains the signatures of over 150 veterans and witnesses to WWII, civilians and soldiers from all sides of the conflict. It may seem mundane and perhaps even insignificant seeing the book photographed with the white Arlington headstones in the background. But for the project it serves as a solemn act of respect in tribute of the fallen.

The earthly weight of the book may be measured in lbs while the combined weight of the spirits and souls it contains are immeasurable. This visit to Arlington was not scheduled or asked for, however as the occasion is digested we realize how profoundly grateful we are for this rare gift.

Thank you Simonne and Daniella!

A first encounter

On a lighter note we realize that in this visit to Arlington we need to take the opportunity to recognize and pay tribute to a key person in the project – our UK based associate Ross Stewart.

The below images are taken at Arlington National Cemetery – just 4.5 years apart.

The 416th BG operated from RAF Wethersfield in UK during the war – the gentleman kneeling next to the plaque is none other than Mr Ross Stewart who is the curator of Wethersfield Airfield Museum. On 13 September 2017 he was in Washington DC to give a speech to veterans at a 416th BG reunion. When having his photo taken here The Log Book Project wasn’t even conceived as the project it is today, nor had he ever heard of this log book.

The reunion was organized by Margaret McEvoy whose uncle perished serving in the 416th BG. Nick’s sister Mary Devaux and McEvoy are dear friends since school and in a twist of fate where Nick is visiting Washington the upcoming reunion is brought up in conversation. Not before long plans are made to have the book come with McEvoy to the reunion to obtain the signature of 416th BG veteran Harold David Andrews.

At some point during the reunion Margaret McEvoy realized that the energetic enthusiasm of guest speaker Ross Stewart from UK would transcend to The Log Book. Indeed when asked Mr Stewart readily agreed to personally carry The Log Book, obviously already present at the reunion, back to the UK where the next appointment and signer awaited. Stewart then, back in UK, personally facilitated the signature by presenting the book to Mr Victor Gregg.

The rest is history as one say – Ross Stewart has since then in person presented The Log Book to several veterans obtaining their signature and endorsement of the project. It is only through Stewart a majority of the European signatures were made possible – without him they would simply not have happened.

With great efficiency he has been coordinating the movements in Europe acting like a hub sending and receiving the book from his Sudbury home. As we conclude the internal audit of piecing together the books journey we can see that the book has passed through the hands of Stewart at the TLBP Hub Sudbury a staggering 20 times (at least!) to-date.

Thank you Ross!

About Lars McKie 73 Articles
An ordinary Swede with a passion for history and just grateful to be given the chance to participate and contribute to the project.

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