South East Wales

Vale of Glamorgan church organ 'made from WW1 plane'

The organ and a Sopwith Camel (plane) Image copyright Wales News Service/Getty
Image caption Villagers believe parts from a World War One biplane, such as the Sopwith Camel, were used to build their organ

South Wales worshippers believe the organ in their village church was made from parts of a World War One plane.

The instrument was donated to St Curig's Church in Porthkerry, Vale of Glamorgan, in 1920 as a memorial for local soldiers who died in the conflict.

But during recent repairs a Royal Flying Corps (RFC) insignia was discovered inside.

The Reverend Melanie Price said: "We were very excited about our discovery."

Carpenters working on the renovation found wood inside the organ which had been taken from a fallen biplane.

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Media captionReverend Melanie Price discusses the organ at St Curig's Church

"When they opened up the organ they found one of the target roundels that you find on RAF planes," Ms Price added.

She said the village "would love to know more" about the organ's construction.

Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption The roundel found inside the organ during repairs
Image copyright Wales News Service

One theory is that the plane crashed during World War One, before the Corps became the Royal Air Force.

Worshippers at the 13th Century church believe the plane came from a nearby airfield, but records show no airport was built in the town until 1942.

The only military airfields in Wales in the 1920s were set up 100 miles (160km) away in Pembrokeshire and 200 miles (320km) away on Anglesey.

The Royal Flying Corps was the airborne arm of the British Army from 1912-18, before it merged with the Royal Naval Air Service to create the Royal Air Force.

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