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Bomber Command Museum Chronicles


2009 was the sixty-fifth anniversary of S/L Ian Bazalgette's Victoria Cross Flight. As the Village of Senantes in France and the Town of Nanton in Canada remain determined to see that the courage and sacrifice of S/L Bazalgette VC is not forgotten, it was fitting that the special bond between the two communities be formally recognized.

During a ceremony held at the museum on August 15th, 2009, the Village of Senantes and the Town of Nanton were officially "Twinned." Following approval by their respective civic governments, Mayor Christian Gavelle of Senantes and Mayor John Blake of Nanton signed a document that, "acknowledges that a firm bond exists between the two communities," and refers to the hope that S/L Bazalgette VC, "will not be forgotten and that a special relationship between the citizens of the two communities will continue to develop into the future."

2014 was the seventieth anniversary of the VC Flight. Nine representatives of the Town of Nanton and the museum attended a commemorative program in Senantes that also celebrated the fifth anniversary of the twinning of the two communities. Four members of the Bazalgette family were in attendance as well.

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John Blake, Nanton's former mayor, Christian Gavelle, mayor of Senantes,
and museum president Rob Pedersen outside the village office.

The two mayors at the receiption at the village office.

The march to the Memorial at the crash site.

The Senantes village hall was decorated for the occasion.

2019 was the seventy-fifth anniversary of the VC Flight. Four representatives of the Village of Senantes (Mayor Christian Gavelle and his wife Sylvie, and Gaëtan Deffontaines and his wife Anne) travelled to Nanton to attended a commemorative program that also celebrated the tenth anniversary of the twinning of the two communities.

Mayors Christian Gavelle of Senantes
and Jennifer Handley of Nanton at the Town office
with the plaque declaring the Twinning.

Christian, Sylvie, Gaetan, and Ann at the museum.

Why Have The Two Communities Entered Into This Agreement?

On August 4, 1944 S/L Ian Willoughby Bazalgette, a Canadian Lancaster Bomber pilot,
died in a valiant attempt to save his two injured crewmembers.
The reasons for the twinning, from the points of view of each of the two communities, are as follows:

Christian Gavelle, Mayor of Senantes and John Blake, Mayor of Nanton, signing the Twinning Agreement.
[ Sheena Read photo ]

Bomber Command Museum of Canada