No 76 Squadron RAF. Memorial Service.

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by Harry Ree, Jun 18, 2006.

  1. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    A memorial service will be held at 1030 hrs on 24 June 2006 at Lesges Churchyard,Aisne,France to honour the seven crew members of No 76 Squadron Halifax, Mark 111 Serial No MZ 679 MP-C who were shot down over Lesges on 28-29 June 1944 and to pay tribute to the courage and compassion shown by the community of Lesges,then and since.

    Information via Daily Telegraph.

    This aircraft was one of three Halifaxes lost by No 76 Squadron on the night of 28-29 June 1944 whilst attacking railway yards at Blainville.Shot down by a night fighter,it crashed at Lesges,5kms SSW of Braine on the south side of the Aisne with the loss of all crew.The aircraft was one of 12 aircraft lost in the month of June 1944 by the squadron whilst attacking enemy targets in support of the invasion of Europe.

    Aircraft bearing MP-C and MP-D codes were lost twice and and that of MP-B code,thrice during June.

    Remembering those at Lesges Churchyard

    F/O J G Jannings

    Sgt J E Beeson

    F/S Givens

    F/O T W Thompson RCAF

    Sgt C F Poole

    Sgt R P Lucas

    Sgt B C Acourt
     
  2. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

     
  3. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    Glad to hear of this.

    I hope the families can make it.
     
  4. David Seymour

    David Seymour Senior Member

    Harry,
    Many thanks for posting on this topic. One of my Old Boys at school was lost with 76 Sqn in 1943, and is buried in Hanover War Cemetery. Do you know who is organising this event at Lesges ? Is it the local commune? Is it an annual event? Which Telegraph was it in?
    Many thanks for any help you can give.
    Best wishes,
    David
     
  5. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Harry,
    Many thanks for posting on this topic. One of my Old Boys at school was lost with 76 Sqn in 1943, and is buried in Hanover War Cemetery. Do you know who is organising this event at Lesges ? Is it the local commune? Is it an annual event? Which Telegraph was it in?
    Many thanks for any help you can give.
    Best wishes,
    David

    Publicity in The Daily Telegraph,dated Friday,June 16 2006 under "Memorial Services" without origin.

    Unable to find news of the event via RAFA "online" sources.

    There does not appear to be a RAF No 76 Squadron Association.However the squadron operated out of Holme on Spalding Moor with No 4 Group from June 16 1943 for the remainder of the war.For interest there is a pub in the village which was associated with the squadron which to this day,it is said has a fine collection of photographs of the era.Whether there is a connection here I do not know but the event will no doubt be recorded in The Daily Telegraph next week.

    I have been able to trace some background of two of the crew in addition to that in the CWGC Register.

    The Pilot, F/O John Gordon Jannings was an Old Boy of Haileybury

    The Bomber Aimer,F/O Thomas Wellwood Thompson RCAF was a Freemason with membership of the Kent Lodge,Blenheim,Canada and whose designation was listed as Pilot by the Lodge.

    Whether these organisations are associated with the Memorial Service, I do not know.
     
  6. abbeyjan

    abbeyjan Junior Member

    Message for Harry Ree,

    Burleigh Charles Acourt, buried as Lesges, was my first cousin, once removed. He was born in 1919 and raised in Gilfach Goch, up in the Welsh valleys. His grandfather and uncle were both coal miners. He was the son of Henry Acourt and Gwladys (nee Williams) ... Gwladys was the youngest sister of my grandfather Henry James Williams.

    My father and aunt remember Burleigh visiting them only a few days before he died.

    Burleigh's sister Mary did visit the grave as Lesges many years ago - and complained about the state of disrepair. But from what I can see now, both the War Graves Commission and the villagers are looking after the graves extremely well. Mary died some years ago, but Burleigh's brother Vernon only died last year. His brother-in-law is still alive and I hope to meet him next month to see if he has any more memories and photos.

    My sister and I hope to visit Lesges this summer.

    Hope that helps. Do get in touch if you need more information - very happy to help.

    Janet Williams
     
  7. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    Message for Harry Ree,

    Burleigh Charles Acourt, buried as Lesges, was my first cousin, once removed. He was born in 1919 and raised in Gilfach Goch, up in the Welsh valleys. His grandfather and uncle were both coal miners. He was the son of Henry Acourt and Gwladys (nee Williams) ... Gwladys was the youngest sister of my grandfather Henry James Williams.

    My father and aunt remember Burleigh visiting them only a few days before he died.

    Burleigh's sister Mary did visit the grave as Lesges many years ago - and complained about the state of disrepair. But from what I can see now, both the War Graves Commission and the villagers are looking after the graves extremely well. Mary died some years ago, but Burleigh's brother Vernon only died last year. His brother-in-law is still alive and I hope to meet him next month to see if he has any more memories and photos.

    My sister and I hope to visit Lesges this summer.

    Hope that helps. Do get in touch if you need more information - very happy to help.

    Janet Williams

    Welcome Janet,

    Great to see that these brave lads are still remebered. I research the 11,091 RAAF/RAF Aussies who were killed/died during WW2 of which 25 were lost with 76 squadron between July 1941 and July 1944.

    As those seven are the only ww2 burials it would be great to see some photos of the cemetery and the headstones posted here if you can find the time.

    I hope you trip is most rewarding.

    Regards

    Geoff
     
  8. Jake Drummond

    Jake Drummond Junior Member

    Sorry for the delay in following this thread!
    I noticed this when the original message was posted and contacted the nephew of the late F/S Givens.
    Bill and Heather Givens made contact with the organisers and attended the ceremony, and they have photographs. I'll speak to them and see if they will post them, or pass them to me and I'll do so on their behalf.
     
  9. Jane Burke

    Jane Burke New Member

     
  10. Jane Burke

    Jane Burke New Member

    I have just found this site, so apologies for such a long delay.
    My mother, Jean (nee Wrigley) was married to Burleigh in 1942. She spoke fondly of him and of course with sadness. Through mum I also feel a link and think of his bravery. I have been to York Minster and have seem his name in the roll of honour there. I wa interested to read Janet
    Williams information about Burleigh's life.
    Jane Burke
     

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