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Thread: Lancaster PA411 crash, Tintwhistle Knarr: Memorial Placement...

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    Default Lancaster PA411 crash, Tintwhistle Knarr: Memorial Placement...

    Greetings, All!


    As the thread title suggests, I am getting the ball rolling toward placing a marble/stone memorial at the crash site of Lancaster PA411, in which my Great Uncle, Sgt William Allen Love (A/G) perished, December 1948.


    Once I've made enquiries with the local council covering that hill for any required planning permissions, etc., I'll get some design details sorted and costed for a plinth (like the type set over ashes burials, flat on the ground, but in this instance, bonded to a large rock on site), and probably set up a small crowd-funding appeal to cover it.


    By pure chance, a close friend of my Gt Uncle has recently got in touch with me via my Facebook Group (RAF Bomber Command) - Norman Appleton became close friends with Allen (my Uncle's preferred name) in the year running up to this tragic accident, and was on the same conversion course at 230 OCU, Lindholme (from Lancs to the Lincoln), and was actually supposed to be in the Tail-Turret on that trip, by invitation from Allen to fill a suddenly-vacant crew position, but Norman was confined to his bunk, ill, and declined to go. Allen deferred from Mid-Upper turret to the Tail Turret, Norman told me, and so, Norman lived to eventually enlighten me on what has proven to be quite an eye-opening family mystery (I didn't even know Allen was married, for one thing!); naturally, he's a keen supporter of a memorial.


    My question here, though, is how to begin trying to trace any surviving descendants or relatives of the other crew members (all 7 died in the training flight crash) - so if anyone here has any guidance or ideas on how we might achieve such a search, we'd very much appreciate some input, please. The intention is to try to gather these relatives at the spot, to carry out a proper dedication service, if possible.

    The crew list is as follows:


    Flight Sergeant Jack Sherwood Thompson, Pilot
    Flight Lieutenant Thomas I. Johnson, Pilot Instructor


    Flight Sergeant Vincent Graham, Flight Engineer
    Flight Sergeant David W. H. Harris, Engineer Instructor

    Flight Lieutenant Peter M. Maskell, Navigator

    Flight Sergeant Robert Smith, Signaller
    Sergeant William A. Love, Air Gunner

    Any ideas on the tracing process?
    Thanks in advance,
    Barry L.

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    Good luck with your venture. It is always nice to see aircrew remembered.

    A good way to start is tracing/confirming where the men came from and the putting a request in local newspapers. I've also had some luck with joining Facebook groups for local areas and putting requests on those. Obviously lots of people have moved around in the last 70 years, but you'd be surprised at how many people join Facebook history/community groups for areas they no longer live in to undertake research or just reminisce.

    You could also try ancestry as people add their family tree research there - I found the family ofmy grandfathers FE that way, or by searching through phone directories for people with the same name living in the area your men came from.

    You have to remember that there is always the chance no next of kin survive, but good luck and I wish you well.

    Johnnie

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    You might already have this, but if not it gives a bit more detail on where the men were from:

    Nottingham Journal 30th December 1948

    Lincs Pilot's Last Message
    Five minutes before a four engined Lancaster bomber crashed on top of Arndale Clough, Crowden, near Tintwistle (Cheshire) the pilot instructor, Thomas Ioworth Johnson, of Baston (Lincolnshire) wirelessed back to his Lindholme Doncaster) base that he was returning.
    This was revealed at the resumed inquest at Hyde yesterday, when a verdict of “death from misadventure” was returned on Thomas Ioworth Johnson (28), Westfield Avenue, Baston; Peter Morris Maskell (24) Morden, Surrey; David William Henry Harris (25) RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire; Jack Sherwood Thompson (23) Hull; Robert Smith (23) Inchinnan, Scotland; Vincent Graham (24) Lancaster; and William Alan Lowe (24) Marton, Blackpool.
    Adding a rider to their verdict, the foreman of the jury said: “We have had several crashes on these moors and we were wondering if it would be possible to have a beacon installed. We must safeguard the lives of these flyers who are prepared to die for their country.”

    Johnnie

    PS. Johnson should actually be Thomas Iorwerth Johnson. His probate records show his belongings were left to his wife. Searching probate records for the other men might also reveal more next of kin details.
    Last edited by johnnie214; 26th February 2018 at 07:55.

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    Thanks, chaps!

    I'll be sure to look into local press and all your suggestions - I just needed the ideas as a prod, as my thoughts had just stalled!

    Johnnie, that inquest report also got William Allen Love's surname wrong - not Lowe, but Love...

    Many thanks again!

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