AN APPEAL is being made to help collate information about a fatal war-time crash in the Moorlands so that residents of the area can properly commemorate those who died in the incident – some seven decades later. Local historian Martyn Hordern is currently working with Kingsley Parish Council to commemorate six members of the Royal Air Force on the 76th anniversary of their deaths. Martyn explained: “Whilst researching Kingsley’s World War 1 history, the story of a little-known Halifax bomber crash on land off Blakeley Lane was uncovered.
“The incident was witnessed by a young Peter Capewell who recounted the story whilst describing his fathers and two uncles service in WW1.
“In the early evening of February 7, 1944 the plane was heard in trouble and Peter saw it spiralling down to earth where it crashed in a field some 400 yards or so east of Blakeley Lane Chapel.
“Local residents rushed to the crash site but all members of the crew were already dead except for the rear gunner who was mortally wounded.
“Today there is no evidence of the events of that night in 1944 at the site and few have any knowledge of it.
“The crew are buried at several Commonwealth War Grave cemeteries and include the bomber aimer Hubert Kerr who was from Canada and the Pilot Ernest Richards who, whilst new to the Halifax, was an experienced pilot with over 600 hours flying time to his name with many on operational missions.”
Martyn further explained that family members of the pilot have been traced and efforts are ongoing to try and trace the others.
He added: “Kingsley Parish Council has agreed to fund a memorial plaque and efforts are now underway to ascertain a suitable location to site it.
“58,000 bomber command crew lost their lives in World War II, many in accidents like this.
“Few know of it and its only thanks to Peter Capewell that it’s now known by more people.
“We missed the 75thanniversary earlier this year but don’t want to miss this next one.”
Martyn is happy to hear from anyone who has information about the crash. He can be contacted either by calling 01538 750657 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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