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Thread: Grave stone in Allainville-aux-Bois, Yvelines, France

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    Default Grave stone in Allainville-aux-Bois, Yvelines, France

    During a recent visit to France I noticed in Allainville-aux-Bois Cemetery, Yvelines, France, a collective War Grave for two airmen. FO C Moss (RCAF) and Sgt W Steel (RAF). Date 5 July 1944. At the foot of the Grave there is a stone plaque but with three names. C Moss - Pilot, W Steel-Engineer and H.A.Atkin-Wireless operator (translated from French) I can not find a H Atkin on the CWGC site. Can anyone shed some light on this please?

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    The entry in RAF Bomber Command Losses 1944 by W R Chorley gives the details that it was a 427 Squadron Halifax lost on an op to Villeneuve. The fates of those onboard as follows:- F/O C A Moss RCAF & Sgt W A Steel were killed. F/O J F Bester RCAF & F/O J D Siddall RCAF evaded. F/Sgt H Atkin RCAF, Sgt G G C Brown RCAF & Sgt J E Finnie RCAF all POW.

    Regards
    Linzee

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    Default From Newspapers

    Globe and Mail, 1944/08/08
    Ottawa, Aug. 7.-The Department of National Defense for Air today issued casualty list No. 955 of the Royal Caradian Air Force, showing next of kin of those named from Ontario as follows

    MISSING AFTER AIR OPERATIONS:
    ATKIN, Harold, F.-Sgt. Mrs. Harold Atkin (wife), Leamington,
    BESTER, John Francis. FO. Mrs., M. A. Bester (mother), 130 Mill St., London, Ont.
    SIDDALL, John David . FO. David Siddall (father), 69 Melbourne Ave., Toronto.

    Globe and Mail, 1944/08/19
    Ottawa, Aug. 18.-The Department of National Defense for Air today issued Casualty List No. 965 of the Royal anadian Air Force, showing next of kin of those' named from Ontario as
    follows:
    Reported Prisoners of War- (Germany)
    FINNIE, James Erlund, Sgt. R. C. Finnie (father), 117 Strathcona Ave., Ottawa

    Globe and Mail, 1941/10/29
    Ottawa, Dec. 17.-The Department of National Defense for Air today issued Casualty List No. 1068 of the Royal Canadian Air Force, showing next of kin of those named from Ontario as follows :
    Reported Prisoner of War (Germany)
    ATKIN, Harold, Fit. Sgt. Mrs. Harold, Atkin (wife), Leamington .

    Globe and Mail, 1945/05/21
    The RCAF issued Saturday a list of 159 Canadian airmen freed from German prisoner - of -war camps, bringing to 1,315 the number of RCAF prisoners officially announced as liberated.

    Atkin, Harold PO. Leamington

    Taken from :
    http://www.warmuseum.ca/cwm/newspapers/index.html

    And your not the first person to ask the question!
    http://pub36.bravenet.com/forum/3053210301/show/849856

    Also referenced
    http://www.rcaf.com/6group/July44/July4~544.html

    regards

    Dennis
    Last edited by dennis_burke; 10th August 2008 at 00:36. Reason: added my name
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Default Grave stone in Allainville-aux-Bois, Yvelines, France

    Thank you Linzee. Thank you Dennis. The information you have kindly given is most appreciated.

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    Thanks Norman,

    you mentions above 'translation from the French", was their more information on the plaque or just the names, might their be a clue on that? What would be your guess as to the age fo the mystery plaque, old or new. Did you get tot ask anyone locally, a priest etc? Perhaps try contacting locals in the area, they surely might have the answer.

    Dennis
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Default Grave stone in Allainville-aux-Bois, Yvelines, France

    I have some photographs of the Grave which I'm now reading from. The square white plaque looks bright and clean but the inscription is worn. It rests on the ground at the foot of the grave and has 5 lines of inscription upon it. Reading from top to bottom:


    ANOS LIBERATEURS
    At the begining of the next line there is something unredable but it could well the left side of "C"
    A. MOSS PILOTE
    H.A. ATKIN RADIO
    W STEELE MECHANIEN
    (5 WORDS UNREADABLE) 1944


    On the Head Stone, under a twin crest of the RCAF & RAF are the inscriptions:

    FLYING OFFICER
    C A MOSS
    PILOT
    ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE
    5TH JULY 1944 AGE 21


    2206920 SERGEANT
    W.A. STEEL
    FLIGHT ENGINEER
    ROYAL AIR FORCE
    5TH JULY 1944 AGE 26

    My interest in this War Grave has come about through my earlier contact with nearby Longvilliers where a memorial has been kindly erected by the inhabitants of the Communes of Longvilliers and Rochefort in memory of a Halifax that crashed in the area on 3 June 1944. My father was the sole survivor. Several inhabitants are puzzled over the 3 names on the plaque at nearby Allainville Cemetery and the Mayor has written to ask if I could look into it. This I gladly accepted. I understand that local school children are visiting War Graves in the area and returning with many questions.

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    Just a thought Norman, could you get someone to take some rubbings of the unreadable words? In the same way as brass rubbings bring up worn words on brass memorials it might just work in this case. Alternatively have you tried contrast and brightness settings using Photoshop or a similar program? I've done that myself and managed to identify sufficient letters to work out whole words?

    Brian

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    I sent you a PM, afraid I'm totally stumped. Would the person(s) managing the cemetery have any old correspondances? I'm sure the locals have done that.

    is there any significance to 'ANOS Allainville-aux-Bois Cemetery'?

    "Anos" is Spanish for years? The cemetary is just outside Paris though?

    I'm afraid I'm not much more help.

    Dennis
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Hi guys,

    ANOS LIBERATEURS should read A NOS LIBERATEURS, meaning TO OUR LIBERATORS in French, no Spanish involved.

    Alternatively to rubbing unreadable engravings, a photo taken with cross light might help. Cross light meaning with a light source shining parallel to the plaque, close to it. That increases the contrast of an engraving, prior to Photoshop measures.

    In France many examples can be found of memorials for Allied aviators, erected already shortly after the War by local initiative.

    Regards,

    Rob

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    Norman,

    Thanks for emailing the photo - Rob's beaten me to it for the top line. The last line, translated, reads 'Buried on 8th July 1944' - at least I'm 99% sure it's an 8.

    The headstone has been erected by the CWGC, whereas the memorial at the foot of the plot is clearly French. It might be that the bodies found in the aircraft's wreckage were in such a poor condition it was not possible to determine how many there were. If Aitkin managed to evade for a while, it might have been assumed when the remains found in the aircraft were buried, that there were three bodies not two, and it was the three names that were placed on a temporary memorial - later transferred to the one now in place.

    Brian

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