Nottingham

Memorial for Nottinghamshire WW2 air crash crews

Bleasby memorial Image copyright Nottinghamshire County Council
Image caption The £20,000 sculpture incorporates a tail fin of one of the aircraft with the names of all the men

A new memorial has been installed remembering 40 World War Two airmen who died in crashes close to a village.

The crews included those in two Lancaster Bombers which crashed over Bleasby, Nottinghamshire, in 1943.

The £20,000 sculpture incorporates an aircraft tailfin with the names of every man killed.

Fundraiser Ken Ogilvie said following his research he has been able to tell the families the exact circumstances of the men's deaths.

Image caption A ceremony took place on Saturday afternoon

The dedication ceremony of the Bleasby Aircrews Memorial took place on Saturday afternoon, following a church service.

The airmen in six aircraft that crashed in the area, as well as other RAF personnel deaths, have been remembered with the memorial, near St Mary's Church at Glebe Field, Bleasby.

On 1 September 1943, Lancaster JB132 crashed in mid-air with Lancaster R5698 over High Cross in Bleasby.

JB132 was returning from a bombing raid in Berlin and was close to landing at RAF Syerston.

Image caption Names of all the airmen has been etched on to the sculpture

All 19 men who died in the crashes were buried at Newark Cemetery.

Councillor Sue Saddington, from Nottinghamshire County Council, which contributed £5,500, said the memorial was a way of keeping the "brave men alive in our minds".

Mr Ogilvie, 70, began his research five years ago to uncover information about the fallen airmen.

He approached the RAF and the Canadian and Australian air forces, scoured local records and the National Archive, to uncover what happened.

He said: "Until the research was carried out, many of these families did not know the exact circumstances about how their loved one died in the war and we have been able to find this information out for them."

Some families travelled from Australia for the ceremony.

Image caption A Polish crew died after their plane crashed soon after take off in their Wellington bomber

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