Commemoration in memory of six airmen killed in a field at Bodicote

28/12/2023

Its 81 years since the men aged 19 to 26 lost their lives

Shortly before midday on December 28, 1942 a Wellington bomber aircraft crashed in fields to the west of Bodicote.   Six men aged between 19 and 26 lost their lives.

Today members of the public will walk across the fields to the site of the crash 81 years ago.   A commemoration will be held at the spot, which is marked by a memorial boulder bearing the names of the six airmen.

Back in 1942 the aircraft had been seen by a schoolboy and his mother flying low over the rooftops and Bodicote church tower.   They reported seeing one engine smoking as it passed overhead.   The bomber clipped a tree and crashed into the valley a quarter of a mile west of the village.

It had taken off from RAF Atherstone-on-Stour, close to Stratford-Upon-Avon, at 11.20am for an air test.   Within minutes the crew encountered very poor weather conditions.

No wireless operator had been on board as only a short flight had been planned and it is suspected it wasn’t thought to be necessary.  This meant there was no record of whether the crew had encountered problems.

Following the crash the schoolboy ran to the site and found parts of the aircraft on fire and that none of the crew had survived.

The memorial boulder at the site was unveiled during a ceremony in June 2012, attended by relatives of those who died.

Today, people walk across fields to the memorial for a commemoration at 10.45am.   Those wanting to attend can park at the bottom of Church Street in Bodicote, or on Wykham Lane in the specified field or at the cemetery.   Stout footwear is recommended for the walk across the fields.


Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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