A new memorial to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the crash of a 207 Squadron Manchester bomber near Wollaston in Northamptonshire, which resulted in the deaths of the crew of seven, has been unveiled.
The memorial unveiling was attended by some family members of the crew, together with representatives of the RAF, including personnel from today’s 207 Squadron and RAF Association veterans. Also in attendance were members of the Wollaston Parish Council and cadets from the Combined Cadet Force, Wellingborough School.
The memorial was unveiled close to the crash site close to Poplars Farm in Wollaston, in a ceremony that was organised by members of the village Parish Council.
“The current pandemic has reminded us all of those who serve our nation in peace and war. Captain Sir Tom Moore, himself a war veteran and who lived so close to us, was the perfect example of someone who understood the importance of recognising service and commitment. The loss of this aircraft was the result of a tragic accident but those airmen who served and lost their lives 80 years ago deserve to be remembered. It was important for us to acknowledge them and we are delighted that so many family members have joined us to do exactly that.”
Mr Lindsay Alvis
Chair of the Parish Council
The Manchester aircraft crashed after first having taken off from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire as part of a bombing raid on the docks at Boulogne docks in occupied France. Tragically, however, the bomber was mistakenly shot down by a RAF Beaufighter night fighter, searching for enemy raiders, reported to be in the area.
The ceremony was led by the Reverend Squadron Leader Perry from RAF Marham and was attended by family members of the lost men, as well as people from the area. One of the aircrew was Sergeant JA Maville of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RAFC). His family from Montreal was represented by Lieutenant Colonel Theriault from the Canadian High Commission.
"207 Squadron and all of the Squadron personnel played an important role throughout the war and we are proud to continue their legacy, as part of the RAF’s F-35 Lightning Force. We owe our freedom to those who served and in particular, those who lost their lives. It is a privilege to be here to remember the crew of L7314 and to meet the families. I would also like to thank the organisers here at Wollaston for inviting us to be here to remember the fallen."
Wing Commander Williams
Officer Commanding of 207 Squadron
The Crew of Manchester L7314
Flying Officer J.D.G. Withers DFC
Sergeant A.M. James
Flight Sergeant W. Brown DFM
Flight Sergeant M.V. Browne
Flight Sergeant A. Malone
Sergeant S. Veitch
Sergeant J.A. Maville RCAF