Wednesday, 30 May 2012

War Grave on Ben More

Crash site and war grave Wreckage from the Avro Anson near to the  cairn on Ben More that marks the war grave

Efforts are being made to contact the families of six airmen buried at one of the most remote war graves in the UK.  The crew from Scotland, England and South Africa died when their Avro Anson crashed on Ben More, a mountain in the north west Highlands, in April 1941.
It was almost a month before their bodies were found.

The crew were flying their twin-engined aircraft on a night-time cross country navigation exercise out of RAF Kinloss in Moray on 13 April.  They crashed at 701m (2,300ft) on Ben More, a Munro near Inchnadamph, in Sutherland.  Because of bad weather and the remoteness of the area, their bodies were not discovered until 25 May.
Those who died were: Pilot Officer William Drew, from Barrow in Furness in Lancashire; Sgt Jack Emery, of Trowbridge in Wiltshire; Flt Sgt Thomas Kenny, from Barnsley in Yorkshire; Sgt Charles Mitchell, of Aberdeen; Flying Officer James Steyn, from Johannesburg; and Sgt Harold Tompsett, of Croydon in Surrey.

The CWGC is writing to the last known addresses of the airmen's next of kin to try to let the families know that a granite memorial is to be placed at the war grave.  A stone slab for the memorial has been ordered. It will be placed over the grave to preserve its integrity.

At present he burial site is marked by a cairn and pieces of the wrecked aircraft can still be found nearby

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