This is a memorial I stumbled across outside a church in Nottinghamshire a year ago. There’s not a great deal of information on the memorial itself but thanks to the efforts of a number of people who have been diligently researching the loss of Lancaster W4270 with all its crew some 73 years ago, there’s a detailed noticeboard nearby… and a video.
The bomber, from 61 Squadron based at RAF Syerston and flown by WO11 Thomas Herbert Warne RCAF from Saskatchewan Canada with six crew, had been on a long distance training flight on the night of 18 February 1943. On its return to base it was diverted to RAF Bottesford and then suffered an engine malfunction (broken con-rod) on the inner starboard engine which burst into flames. The crew were unable to put the fire out and lost control of the aircraft which crashed into a field outside Staunton-in-the-Vale where the memorial can be found. There were no survivors.
Were it not for a local man, Sid Baggaley, who heard the crash and wondered about the aircraft and its occupants, the accident would have disappeared into history, a footnote in an RAF log, but in 1999 he gave a small piece of wreckage that he had picked up from the field a few days later, to a friend and so began an investigation leading to the memorial and recognition for a brave crew.