The name Skelley's Dream
Where did the name Skelley's Dream arrive from?
When I was visiting Texel, one of the Wadden Islands in the Netherlands, I visited The War Cemetery there. Soldiers from the second World War are honoured there. Texel (Den Burg) General Cemetery contains a plot of 167 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, most of them airmen. 44 of the burials are unidentified.
(Photo by Gerard Passchier)
Walking pass the headstones, I came across 'Frank Skelley'. I wrote down his name and looked for him on the internet and to my surprise, I found more information about him.
The youngest member of Baden Fereday's crew was Sgt Frank Skelley aged 19. Sgt Skelley had joined the Merchant Navy as a boy. After war broke out he had transferred to the RAF to train as aircrew. He acted as bomb aimer and also manned the front turret.
The airplane Frank was in, got shot down and landed in the water.
Time seemed endless; they had been in the water several hours. With the passing of time their resistance to the cold had lowered. They were all feeling the onset of exposure. Young Frank Skelley began praying. He prayed out loud and long to his God to be allowed to live. His anguished voice was lost in the vastness of the sea. The other two tried to comfort him but as Baden Fereday was to say later,
"There wasn't much we could do for him because we were all in the same boat."
Frank's prayers went unanswered.
They had been in the water for nearly six hours when a Luftwaffe air-sea rescue seaplane from Norderney landed on the sea near them. It was just ten minutes after Frank Skelley had died.
read more : Copyrights by Don Bruce 1996.
Frank Skelley was so young, undoubtably with still so many dreams, that were just stolen from him when he gave his live for our freedom. Freedom in which we are allowed and privileged to make our music and make our dreams come true. Thank you Frank and all others.
And that is why we shoud savour and embrace our blessings.