Service honours crew killed in bomber tragedy 79 years ago - The Evesham Observer
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18th Aug, 2022

Service honours crew killed in bomber tragedy 79 years ago

Rob George 12th Jun, 2022

A MEMORIAL service to mark 79 years since the tragic crash of a Whitley Bomber close to Broadway Tower saw dignitaries from across Evesham pay their respects.

Members of the Evesham Branch of the RAFA and other service representatives and friends attended a short service last Thursday (June 2).

The service was held to honour the two Canadians and three British servicemen who tragically died on June 2, 1943 on board a bomber at the end of their training course.

On the second circuit the aircraft crashed into the top of the hill, near to Broadway Tower. The five were: F/Sgt H.G Hagen, RCAF; F/Sgt R.S. Phillips, RAF; Sgt D.H. Kelly, RCAF; Sgt D.A. Marriott , RAF (VR); Sgt G.E. Elkins, RAF (VR).

Coun Jennie Johnson, chairman of the Evesham branch of the Royal Air Force Association, welcomed the small contingent of ex-service members, ex-service organisations, standard bearers, and guests who attended.

The parade was led by RAF veteran David Ayres who also read the exhortation and the service was conducted by the Rev Jo Williamson, curate of St Michael and All Angels’ Church with St Eadburgha’s Church Broadway.

Coun Johnson laid a wreath before 101-year-old Jeff Brereton, a survivor of the Battle of Britain read the Royal Air Force dedication. Mike Butler played The Last Post and Reveille and RAF veteran Danny Rollinson read the Kohima Epitaph.

In the week of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, guests were treated to a flypast of three Lockheed C-130J Hercules aircraft passing over en route to Brize Norton.

These aircraft had been practising close formation flying and were involved in the flypast over Buckingham Palace as part of the Jubilee celebrations

Refreshments at the tower’s cafe by Annetta Gorton, owner of Broadway Tower, who once again attended the service with members of her family.

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