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Thread: Rainscombe Farm, Wiltshire in WW2

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    Default Rainscombe Farm, Wiltshire in WW2

    In the Sunday Times at the weekend, there was an article about the childhood home of Lord (Douglas) Hurd, the former Foreign Secretary. This was Rainscombe Farm, in the village of Oare, on the Wiltshire Downs. He mentions the following "While I was away at school there were two fatal aircraft crashes on the farm. During the Battle of Britain, in 1940 a Spitfire blew up. We were picking up twisted bits of metal over a wide area for many years. In 1941 a Wellington bomber crashed on the side of the hill. Something must have gone wrong with the altimeter, as the pilot crashed straight into the down. You could see the burnt outline of the bomber in the turf for a long time"

    I don't suppose from the clues these 2 aircraft could be identified?

    Thanks

    Paul

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    Paul

    The Wellington would appear to have been Z1597 of 419s on 07-Jul-42 (see Chorley for full details)

    Oare, on its NE fringes, has a horseshoe-shaped escarpment which would all-too-easily entrap low-flying aircraft heading in that direction in poor visibility: Rainscombe House & Rainscombe Farm lie inside the 'horseshoe' at the base of the escarpment

    The 'Spitfire' could be a mistake - Harvard N7074 of 1FTS crashed on nearby Oare Hill on 11-Sep-39, Unable to find any appropriate Spitfire loss
    dg

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    DG - thankks for looking this up. I had suspected the first it wasn't a Spitfire - and the dates being out! - I was more certain of the Wellington !

    BTW can anyone ID the crew of the Harvard - I am on holiday and writing this via a mobile phone

    Thanks
    Paul

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    Default Suggestion

    Using Geoffs search Engine for the CWGC I might suggest

    Douglas Genders, Age 26 registered in the Devizes district which is in Wiltshire, and includes Pwesey which Wiki reliabily tells me is near Oare.

    F/O Douglas Genders 37633
    Killed on active service per Flight Magazine.

    Dennis
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

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

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    Default Oare

    Douglas Hurd's once home in Oare is between Marlborough & Pewsey. I presume the farm & house are still in the family.There are hills around it .

    Anne
    Last edited by aestorm; 26th August 2008 at 07:12.

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    Dennis and Anne, a belated thanks

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    Coming back to this, the second crewman in Harvard N7074 of 1 FTS was Mid John Harrington Jefford who baled out successfully.. He provides a vivid account of the loss in a letter to his brother which was published. He was killed 04/07/1944 while with 768 Sqn FAA in an aircrash. Can anyone supply details

    Wednesday 27 September 1939 , Gloucestershire Echo

    LEAP FOR LIFE FROM CRASHING AEROPLANE
    MR. F. R. JEFFORD'S SON'S PARACHUTE ESCAPE
    Mid. (A) John H. Jefford, R.N., son of Mr. F. R. Jefford, the
    Borough Sanitary Officer for Cheltenham, and Chief Food Control Officer, has
    qualified to join the select membership of the Club. Membership is open only to airmen who have saved their lives by making a parachute jump. Mr. Jefford, who is attached to the Fleet Air Arm, was receiving instruction at Netheravon when the 'plane was put into a spin at about 9,000 feet. It remained in the spin, and at about 4,000 feet he bailed out and made a safe landing.
    Unhappily the instructor remained in the machine and lost his life. Midshipman Jefford gives a graphic description of his escape in a letter to a brother Birdman. He says:— I went up with my instructor, an F/O, to go spinning. We climbed up to 8,000 feet, and he did one to the left. We shot round, but came out quite O.K. Back again we went to 9,000. Straight away he shot her into a right-hander, and down we went We went on spinning, 8,000 —7,000 (some spin this, still I suppose he knows what he's up to) 6,000 something is wrong whip the stick backwards and forwards still spinning—jump! FOUND I WAS STUCK So I slid the hood back, tore off the Sutton harness, stood up thought I might fall into the prop—turned round, leant half-way out, and found was stuck.
    The pack had caught on the cover could feel the stick wrapping' my leg I thought I would never get clear. Things were getting desperate when I fell and was flung right out—hung for a few seconds kicked hit the wing and shot into space head first. . ..
    I couldn't see the machine and drifted down towards hill, juggled with the cords to steer away from a. small wood, swung like mad—remembered it was like jumping off a 15ft. wall—and crump! Did that dirty bit of wet meadow feel comfortable! I gathered up the 'chute, and up walked
    dame and a car which took me to the nearest house, where I tried to find out if anyone had seen my instructor come down, but, of course, nobody had. telephoned the 'drome, and beat it to look for the rest of the outfit. About a mile away on a hill we came across the crash. Poor old Genders, there was nothing we could do for him.
    It's just the luck of the game. . . .and I was lucky, very lucky.

    The dame is probably Stephanie Hurd (wife of Sir Anthony Hurd) and mother of Douglas Hurd.

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