Brookwood Military Cemetery/Lytchett Minster Churchyard/Glasgow Western Necropolis/ LANCASTER CRASH

Discussion in 'War Grave Photographs' started by STAN50, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. STAN50

    STAN50 Senior Member

    We now have the film that Colchester Film Makers Club completed for us on YouTube.

    Introduced by 'Lofty1' on this forum. (We wouldn't have accomplished the project without his input).
  2. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    I was born in Colchester and so have followed thread with interest. Thanks for posting link and I have just finished watching video and found it quite moving. Thanks to everyone who made this event possible.

  3. englandphil

    englandphil Very Senior Member

    Chris / Lofty, have finally got around to watching the DVD that you sent, and I dont think I can add anymore than Echo some of Lofty's comments in that something that started so small ended so well, with the amazing finalle of the Lanc fly past.

    Excellent, just excellent

  4. STAN50

    STAN50 Senior Member

    Last Sunday the Royal British Legion Brass Band who so kindly agreed to help us with the project in April held a concert at Clacton. Clacton is about 25 minutes drive from Colchester and is situated on the coastline. Every year about this time the Brass Band holds a concert there which is Remembrance Day themed. This year they wanted to include a feature about the Lancaster Crew into the programme. Towards the end of the second half Tony Chumbley, one of the members of the Sunday club went onto the stage to give a brief outline of how the project came about. In the audience were several members of the club who helped: Lofty Tolhurst (Lofty1 on here), Paul Rickwood (who was responsible for making the link with the brass band), Sean Kelly, Bill Foster, Bob Faiers, Barrie Marshall, Lofty's wife, Barbara, myself and my wife. Also there was Peter Potter who took part in the unveiling ceremony and Michael Heath who visited the crash site and also took part in the unveiling ceremony. At the end Peter wanted to stand up and say a few words of thanks from where he'd been sitting. Afterwards he received quite some applause. (Peter was a tail gunner with 626 Squadron, carried out over 30 operations and survived. He sees himself as filling the boots of the men that died).The end of the concert featured an Act of Remembrance: Evening Hymn and Sunset were played, Last Post etc. Several Royal British Legion Standard bearers took part as well. Despite all of the frustrations involved of putting the memorial together the concert was a fitting end to a project well done.

    (apologies the for poor quality of images).

    Attached Files:

  5. STAN50

    STAN50 Senior Member

    Memorial today 10.11.13

    Attached Files:

  6. Paul Rickwood

    Paul Rickwood Junior Member

    Nicely done Chris. Paul.
  7. STAN50

    STAN50 Senior Member

    Since posting about the RBL Brass Band concert two more relatives have come forward and got in touch. They have been directed to this thread on WW2talk and for their benefit here are some more photos.

    Pic 1: 25th April : David Seaborn left and Bill Foster. Bill contributed financially towards the project.

    Pic 2: 25th April 2013 later in the day: Three of the key people behind the scenes:
    L-R: Sean Kelly, Lofty Tolhurst & Paul Rickwood.

    Pic 3: 20th April 2013 L-R: Arthur Smith - local gunsmith who contributed financially towards the project; Lofty & Sean.

    Pic 4: 25th April 2013 Aerial view approaching the memorial site taken by one of the relatives from the helicopter. From the helicopter cockpit (black part of the image in foreground), counting 7 vehicles along on the road below and away, which is a dark or blue car; the memorial is line with this vehicle on the right hand side on the opposite side of the road. A small grassed area. The two box like structures were photo display boards (near the white vehicle on the bend in the access road and a couple of trees).

    Pic 5 - 8: 25th April 2013 Side panels on the memorial.

    Attached Files:

  8. STAN50

    STAN50 Senior Member

    February 2014

    Attached Files:

  9. STAN50

    STAN50 Senior Member
  10. STAN50

    STAN50 Senior Member

    On Friday 25th April Michael Heath will place a wreath at the memorial at 11.a.m. accompanied by my good self to mark the actual day. Two small flags will be put next to the memorial: RAF and Canadian National.

    Michael Heath was one of the witnesses who saw the aircraft overhead on fire prior to it crashing. Peter Potter was also going to attend on the Friday but he will now come on the Sunday.

    Peter was a tail gunner with the same Squadron (626) as the stricken Lancaster. He survived over thirty operations and later served at Boxted as a Warrant Officer at the end of the war when the Americans left. Both took part in the unveiling ceremony last year and both live locally.

    I have now decided that the photo / information boards displayed last year at the ceremony will be displayed at Langham community village hall in School Road late morning on the Friday (from about - might be earlier), and over the weekend until Sunday noon. Directions of how to get to there will be displayed at the memorial on Ipswich Road.

    Please note that only a couple of people will be at Ipswich Rd on the Friday 25th and it is not an organised ceremony of any sort. It is just to mark the actual date as a sign of respect.

    I am now informed that the story of the Lancaster crash will be included in Boxted airfields small museum in May.
  11. STAN50

    STAN50 Senior Member

    For anyone reading this thread who is not familiar with why the memorial came about this is briefly why:

    A group of people regularly meet up on Sundays in the Colchester area for a social chat. Eventually retired David Seaborn came along to these meet ups and one day he recounted the story of the Lancaster crash. Although it was fairly well known about this crash by many, it wasn't until David told us his memoirs of the early morning of 25th April 1944 that it was realised just how painfully close the aircraft had been to reaching the main runway at Boxted airfield. Another 30 seconds airborne could have meant such a different story. Hence we decided to build a memorial.

    The group who meet up known affectionately as 'SOGS' will be meeting at the memorial on Sunday 27th at 10.30 a.m. and at 11.a.m. David will lay a wreath. Patrick Mills will say a few appropriate words and there will be a bugler to sound the Last Post. Peter Potter, veteran of 626 Squadron will also now be attending and taking an active part and Michael Heath will also be attending.

    As with the Friday this is not a comprehensive ceremony like last year by any means. But if locals wish to turn up they are welcome to participate and / or observe.

    Please be conscious that this is a working business area and any visitors are requested not to clog up the parking areas for the Space Makers Safestore customers. This company has been extremely sympathetic and helpful and we don't want to dent that relationship.

    Attached Files:

  12. STAN50

    STAN50 Senior Member

    The rain thankfully held off whilst we were there this morning.

    Images of Michael Heath laying a wreath and with friend Dave Macklin. Photo and information display inside Langham Village Hall.

    Michael was twelve years old on 25th April 1944 but can still remember seeing 'the fireball in the morning sky.'

    Attached Files:

  13. Lofty1

    Lofty1 Senior Member

    Hi all
    This being the nearest Sunday to the anniversary of the loss of this Lancaster and the seven crew, a short act of remembrance took place at 11am today at the memorial.
    We had in attendance Peter Potter, who was a member of the same squadron, who read the RAF prayer, and Patrick Mills who kindly put together some appropriate words and the act of remembrance, the Soggers wreath was laid by David Seabourne who so vividly remembers that fateful night, and had visited the crash site the next morning,
    A year has passed since the unveiling of the memorial, and it holds a special place in the hearts of many relatives and others, although a simple ceremony today I am sure the tragic loss of this aircraft and crew will never ever be forgotten.


    Attached Files:

    Peter Clare likes this.
  14. STAN50

    STAN50 Senior Member

    A few more images of Sundays commemoration:

    Pic 1: Left to Right: Lofty Tolhurst (responsible for a lot of what happened with the whole project), Michael Heath (12 year old eye witness in 1944) Peter Potter (Veteran of 626 squadron - survived 30 missions as Tail Gunner on Lancasters and Halifaxes), David Seaborn (15 year old eye witness in 1944).

    Pic 2: Patrick Mills who led the commemoration.

    Pic 3: Peter Potter lays a Remembrance Cross for the Pilot, Canadian Murray McPherson. Peter had the nice idea of saying the crew members name as he placed the cross. As he was the first to place a cross others followed his lead speaking each airmans' name.

    Pic 4: Tony Chumbley

    Pic 5: Paul Rickwood reciting part of the poem that David Smith used in his address last year at the unveiling.
    (David Smith was the Canadian researcher and member of The Royal Canadian Air Force Association of London Ontario who came over last year specifically to participate in the ceremony. He also made a significant contribution towards the project).

    Pic 6: L - R Michael Heath, Peter Potter and David Seaborn.

    Pic 7: The poem Paul is reciting in pic 5 written by John Oxenham.

    Attached Files:

  15. STAN50

    STAN50 Senior Member

    The local press very kindly have covered the commemoration again, and our thanks goes to the James Calnan the Chief Reporter of the Essex County Standard and to Patrick Mills (Sunday club 'SOG' member) who submitted the write up. The Essex County Standard is our local weekly newspaper.

    Attached Files:

  16. STAN50

    STAN50 Senior Member

    Also in Colchester we have a daily newspaper printed by the same company which James has kindly included the commemoration write up as well.

    In the photo Patrick Mills is the fourth person in from the left, Paul Rickwood is 5th, Lofty Tolhurst responsible for a lot of what happened last year and this is the 7th, David Seaborn (slightly obscured) is 10th, Peter Potter is 13th, Micahel Heath 14th. Representing the village of Langham on the end is Simon Gallup - (he recited the poem 'High Flight' at last years unveiling ceremony).

    Attached Files:

  17. STAN50

    STAN50 Senior Member

    On August 21st and 22nd the nearby Clacton on Sea air show will be taking place.

    August 8th sees the arrival in the U.K. from Canada of the one other airworthy Lancaster in the World. This will be flying with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flights Lancaster at various events including an attendance at the Clacton on Sea show.

    We have asked we BBMF if they would consider flying over the Colchester memorial. They have provisionally agreed to do so dependent on the usual conditions. If this goes ahead we should receive confirmation the day before.

    So IF this happens it will be on THURSDAY 21st August at 14.55 hours.

    I suspect all they will do is to pass over Ipswich Road on the way to Clacton. I believe prior to Colchester they will go over RAF Wattisham. Hopefully both aircraft will come over together at Colchester which will be quite a sight and be a most fitting tribute to the crew of DV 177 - four British and three Canadian airmen.
  18. STAN50

    STAN50 Senior Member

  19. STAN50

    STAN50 Senior Member

    Text from Wickenby Memorial Museums April 2014 newsletter:

    The last two flying Lancaster Bombers will fly together this summer for what will most likely be the last time.
    Lancaster FM213 will leave Hamilton, Ontario on 4 August to cross the North Atlantic in a four day trip, stopping off at Goose Bay in Labrador, Narsarsuaq in Greenland, & Ke-flavik in Iceland before landing in the UK on 8 August. An expected 19 hours of flying time.
    The crew on board will be, pilot Leon Evans who has had a 34 year career with Air Canada, which included making 398 crossings over the Atlantic Ocean. The co-pilot will be Don Schofield, a retired Air Canada pilot. Also on board will be Dave Rohrer, CEO of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Mu-seum along with Craig Brookhouse & Randy Straughan.
    After a scheduled maintenance inspection on arrival, the CWHM & BBMF crews will complete a short training
    programme in preparation for flying together in several fly-pasts and air displays, starting on 14 August 2014, in tribute to all those who served in WW2. It will also conduct a num-ber of flights from Humberside Airport. It is anticipated that the Lancaster will fly for around 25 hours whilst in the coun-try.
    FM213 has been owned by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario since 1978. The plane has been maintained to the highest of standards with its original four engines which have been rebuilt. CWHM spent 10 years restoring the aircraft before its first flight with the Museum on 11 September 1988. The Museum has enough parts to keep it in the air for the next thirty years.
    The Lancaster is flown in the paint scheme of KB726 VR-A an aircraft of RCAF No 419 “Moose” Squadron. It is known as the “Mynarski Memorial Lancaster” after 419 Squadron VC recipient Andrew Mynarski, who received the medal post-humously after trying to save the rear gunner of his aircraft, who had become trapped as it was crashing to the ground in flames. When Mynarski bailed out his parachute was on fire and he was killed on hitting the ground. The rear gunner and the rest of the crew all survived.
  20. STAN50

    STAN50 Senior Member

    Having received a phone call from the BBMF on Monday the odds are in our favour that they will come over the memorial Thursday next week. It still will depend on my receiving a phone call from them either the day before or on that morning. And even then as we know the weather or serviceability comes into the equation.

    The person I spoke to on Monday was however very upbeat and keen to steer over our way so it's looking promising.

    All that is planned is to fly over then go onto the Clacton show. However, I'm informed that if their display slot is behind they will then circle the memorial on Ipswich Road and around that area.

    Photographers will have to snap away quickly if all goes to their arrangements. If the schedule is behind at Clacton there may be more opportunities for photos.

    Prior to coming to Colchester they will be going to RAF Marham and RAF Wattisham.

    So fingers crossed for THURSDAY 21st Aug at 14.55 over Space Makers and the memorial. If it happens it will mean both BBMF and the Canadian Lancaster come over at the same time.

    Obviously being at Clacton is the place to be but this may give people who can't get there a chance to see the marvellous aircraft.

    I will update this as I hear. It could be a case of check on here Thursday 21st morning to know for sure.

    P.S. For those interested I'm informed that the two bombers will be parking up at Southend airport overnight Thursday ready for Fridays Clacton show.
    CL1 likes this.

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