Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Lost bomber

We were walking in the vicinity of Ecclesbourne Valley today, well-known locally for its heritage railway. The area is mostly rolling farmland rather than the limestone hills we prefer, but pleasant walking on a lovely sunny day.

Not far from the path on Bullhurst Hill is a memorial to the crew of a Whitley Mk V twin-engined bomber which crashed there in 1944. It's a sombre sight set in a large field with no obvious reason why the aircraft might have crashed. A reminder of just how young the airmen were too. From Peak District Air Accident Research

The crew had flown a night cross country navigation flight and were returning to their home base at Ashbourne when the aircraft dived into the ground only a few miles short.

Following the crash three of the crew could not be accounted for and were assumed by No.42 OTU to have "disappeared with the aircraft which went fifteen feet into the ground". On the 1st August the vicar of St Saviour church in Ashbourne, Canon Farrow, took the memorial service for those who had died after which he held a committal service at the crash site.

Sgt William Smith was buried at Ashbourne cemetery only a few miles from the crash site and Sgt Maurice Lyon was buried at St Helens Cemetery in Lancashire.


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James Higham said...

You get about all right.

A K Haart said...

James - it's the new boots (: