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22nd Jun, 2021

Service remembers victims of air crash

Rob George 11th Jun, 2021

A MEMORIAL service to mark 78 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, ex-members of the Royal Observer Corps, the Royal British and other service representatives and friends attended a short service last Tuesday (June 1).

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).

RAF veteran Danny Rollinson and chairman of the Bretforton Royal British Legion led the parade and the service was conducted by the Rev Michelle Ward, vicar of Broadway and Wickhamford.

Coun Jennie Johnson, chairman of the Evesham branch of the Royal Air Force Association welcomed all those present while 100-year-old Jeff Brereton, president of the Evesham branch of the Royal Air Force Association recited the RAFA dedication and placed a wreath on the memorial

A second wreath on behalf of the Royal Observers Corps, was laid by national secretary Jenny Morris, who had travelled up from Bristol to attend the ceremony.

The last post was played on trumpet by Sue Sollis BEM and Adam Willett carried the standard on behalf of the Evesham Branch of the Royal British Legion.

Annetta Gorton, owner of Broadway Tower, also attended. It was Annetta and the late Brian Kedward who back in 2000 were instrumental in getting the original memorial stone the airmen who died installed.

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