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Newark Air Museum - Press Release

Newark Air Museum - Press Release

Monday 5th March 2012
Newark Air Museum
55th Anniversary - Beverley Crash Commemoration

On Monday 5th March 2012, around 30 RAF Police veterans and their relatives gathered in the memorial Garden at Newark Air Museum in eastern Nottinghamshire to commemorate the 55th Anniversary of Blackburn Beverley XH117 at Sutton Wick. They were joined by three serving members of the RAF Police Dog Handlers Section at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire; and everyone joined in a short service of dedication for a commemorative tree and bench that have been purchased in memory of those lost at Sutton Wick in 1957.

Everyone present was welcomed by Squadron Leader P Summerville RAF Rtd., who was the last Officer Commanding the RAF Police Dog School at RAF Newton, Notts. Having provided background details to the commemoration Squadron Leader Summerville read out the names of those service personnel that were lost at Sutton Wick. This was followed by a reading of the Kohima Epitaph, after which the Last Post was sounded.

'Beverley Corner' in Display Hangar 2 at Newark Air Museum features a graphic display that has been prepared as a tribute to those that lost their lives in the Sutton Wick Beverley crash of March 5th 1957.

The Sutton Wick Beverley display was instigated by Nigel Bean who was a RAF Police Dog Handler and the display commemorates the aircrew, RAF Police Officers, civilians and RAF Police dogs that were killed in the tragic crash of Beverley XH117 from 53 Squadron. The aircraft crashed at Sutton Wick, which is approximately 2 miles south of RAF Abingdon, whilst attempting to return to base after having just taken off en route to Cyprus via Malta. On board the aircraft were 18 personnel and 11 RAF Police dogs; only 3 personnel survived the crash; and 2 local villagers were also killed.

Amongst the veterans that assembled at Newark today was Eddie Snailum, who was the Instructor to most of the RAF Police Officers killed on that fateful day in 1957.

Each year after the Remembrance Day Service at the RAF Winthorpe Memorial Garden, Nigel Bean moves a wreath into Hangar 2 to honour those who lost their lives at Sutton Wick.

Veterans and relatives gathered around the commemorative tree and bench in the Newark Air Museum Memorial Garden. Pictured from left to right are: Corporal Dack and 'Blade'; Squadron Leader Summerville; Nigel Bean; Sergeant Slaissor; Eddie Snailum; Corporal Morgan and 'Archie'.

Photo Credits: Howard Heeley - Down To Earth Promotions

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