New Interpretation Board for Lancaster W4270 Memorial
Monday 30th January 2012 saw the official unveiling of a new Interpretation Board for the W4270 Memorial at Staunton-in-the-Vale in eastern Nottinghamshire.
Funding for the Interpretation Board was provided by a Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) grant from Nottinghamshire County Council. The unveiling was performed by County Councillor for Farndon and Muskham, Sue Saddington; also in attendance was Councillor Richard Butler Nottinghamshire County Council Member for Environment & Sustainability.
The new Interpretation Board provides background details about a memorial in the churchyard at Staunton-in-the-Vale that commemorates the crew of 61 Squadron Lancaster W4270 that crashed 1 mile north west of St Marys Church on 18th February 1943. The aircraft was operating from nearby RAF Syerston and was returning there when it got into difficulties.
All of the crewmembers were killed in the crash and most were returned for burial in their home towns. However the Canadian pilot “Herb” Warne is buried in Newark Cemetery (No 307 Section P). A research team has investigated the nearby crash site and have found a lot of new information, including the fact that the crew trained with 1661 HCU at RAF Winthorpe and they were also briefly there moving Lancasters from RAF Waddington. Part of the former RAF Winthorpe is of course now the home of the Newark Air Museum, who's Archive, has been used for parts of the research.
The memorial was rededicated on 3rd July 2010 when new plaques were unveiled, and at the same time contact was made with the last of the crewman's relatives, so all are now aware of the memorial. The memorial is featured in the Aviation In Nottinghamshire booklet that was published last year by the Newark Air Museum, with funding provided by the same Nottinghamshire County Council LIS grant fund. Local researchers Di Ablewhite, Ian Hinks and Annie Hogg have also published a booklet entitled 'The last Crew Of Lancaster W4270', which can be purchased from the Newark Air Museum.
This year a rare event takes place at Staunton-in-the-Vale called Snowdrop Sunday, on 19th February 2012, between 11am and 4pm. Among the displays will be some aviation displays including a display entitled: The last Crew of Lancaster W4270; plus two talks / demonstrations by the Summer of '44 Living History Group. A modest fee is charged for adult admission (children free), with proceeds going towards the church tower fund.
Photo Credit: Howard Heeley - Down To Earth Promotions