Despite the elements
Our aim as a small group of local amateur historians:
History – We wish to search and pass historical information, to try to link up to the future in a digital area, that way preserving and applying new found data in an effort to complied history’s unspoken answers.
Respect – We cannot pay more tribute to them who have fallen, than to pay respect for them. In our research, we always respect the family's wishes and also the privacy of those who are left behind.
Remembrance - We wish to ensure that the people who fell, military and civilian are never forgotten. There for, each year, we lay a wreath at the monument of a crashed Lancaster.
Education – We support initiatives as; school projects and private quests, enabling us to understand the reasons for the freedom we have today and look to the future in a positive manner.
Future generations must be reminded of what happened in WWII so that they never forget that their freedom was gained by acts and sacrifices of these men and women in history.
Members, Geert Bourguignon, Bram Dermout, Filip Doms, Dan Jonckers, Erwin Sollie, Danny Van Den Broeck, Dirk Vermeulen.
|Losses over Belgium.|
|Roll of Honour |
and Aircraft losses.
1940 - 1941 - 1942 - 1943 1944/45/46
|Cope Jack Edward,|
Belgium to Gibraltar
|New pictures – New faces.|
2017 - 2018 - 2019
|Old newsletters. The Tiller|
|The story of |
"The Y's 'Owells"
Family Howell donating the
|TV reportage & slideshows.|
|Newspaper clips/photos 2019
27 April - Presentation of the book "Despite the Elements" written by Bram Dermout.
28 April - HLN - Remembrance Lancaster DS734, Sint-Katelijne-Waver.
28 April - photos from Bob Lams FaceBook
P/O Cagienard Robert Roland
Pilot. serv. no. 174879
°1920 - +1944
via Fam. Jean & Alan Duke
Sgt. Eldrett F.
Fl. Eng. serv. no. 1397252
via Mellissa Shepherd
WO 2. Davison Ray
Rear Gunner serv. no. 2200204
via Davison Lian
Commemorative memorial unveiled in Great Offley for WWII plane crash victims.
A commemorative stone was unveiled in Great Offley at the weekend, memorialising those killed in a nearby aircraft crash 75 years ago.
On July 18, 1944, a Lancaster Bomber crashed into West End Farm, Offley, killing all on board and three residents. And 75 years on, the event has been commemorated at the crash site with a memorial service.
More than 40 people attended Sunday's event, which was led by county and district councillor David Barnard, members of the armed forces and Angela Richardson, the person who pushed for the plaque installation.
Commissioned by Offley Memorials, the memorial was made in just two weeks.
Hayley Ayres, director of Offley Memorials, said: "The emblem is particularly intricate and has been painstakingly hand-painted.
"Being the seventh generation of our family to live in Offley it was a huge honour to be commissioned to make this memorial."
A previous attempt to get a permanent tribute installed was rebuffed by Offley Parish Council in 2014.
Thank you to Flt Lt Neil Bing from 115 Squadron RAF Wittering for attending and unveiling the memorial stone in memory of the crew and civilians killed in the Lancaster bomber crash in Great Offley 75 years ago.... There names will live forever more.
This crew crasched om 18th July 1944 with Lancaster Mk III - LM616 KO-J.
My name is Russell Lucas and I am the son of Ian Lucas who was part of the 115 squadron as a young member and as an active secretary for many years, organising lots of annual socials.
I'm messaging because our father passed away a few months ago and I thought I should tell you. I've included a few pictures for you as he was.
Thanks. R. Lucas.
He was also the driving force behind the newsletter for 115 Sqn, "The Tiller".
My Grandad, Flight Sergeant R A Webb was based at Witchford, we were lucky he survived the war as Tail end Charlie. Many of his comrades were lost. We owe so much to these brave people.
Asking for a photo Scott sent this lovely picture,
Hi Filip, I'll ping you a photo of him and also my Grandma, whom he met when he got stationed at RAF Marham, Flight Sergeant Frances Haigh who was in the WAAF.
I have attached a folder containing pictures of my late Uncle Douglas Cattle. He flew as part of 115 Sqn during the war alongside
F/O A J Osbourne Captain
F/S McNeil W J Navigator
F/S McGowan P Air/B
Sgt Simcox J W/Air
Sgt Cattle D MT/AG
Sgt Cowan J R/AG
Sgt Edwards H F/Eng
I would love to know more about his crew.
Hello from Canada,
My brother's wife has come upon a photo of F/O A B Campbell RCAF. He was a first cousin of her mothers and the photo has been in a drawer for many years.
F/O Campbell was KIA along with his entire crew flying Wellington BK274 KO-T with 115 Squadron RAF on a mission to bomb Fallersleben Germany on December 17/18, 1942.
I am involved with the Canadian Aviation Historical society and my brother asked me to look into F/O Campbell's history. I believe you do not have a photo of him in your records.
Thanks for all your efforts.
Thanks to David we have a new face for our Roll of Honour, much appreciated.
On this mission also Wellington BK336 KO-D and his crew was lost, no survivors. The all rest at the Rheinberg War Cemetery.
Just months before, on 17 November 1942 he survived a crash during a training flight on Wellington X9614 of 11 OTU.
He was the only survivor, and treated at Halton Hospital for severe burns. (info Aircrew Remembered).
Yesterday we added a photo of the only survivor of the crash of Lancaster DS655, Pilot F/O Cammell Gordon who became POW.
Thanks via Russell Cammell we received a photo of his father Pilot F/O Cammell Gorden with following message,
I gave thought to something you could add to my Dads 115 squadron memory......My Dad spent 2 years in Stalag III, The great escape camp, after parachuting into Germany. As a result he learned to speak German, and was released in 1945.
He spent five years as a farmer on a place he bought, but earning a living was difficult. He missed flying so rejoined the RAF in 1951 and flew Mosquitos, then jets.
He was sent to the USAF to learn current radar to relate back to the RAF. While in the USAF he enjoyed project test pilot status on the new F102A. After two years he continued back to the UK and became a helicopter pilot in the RAF. He flew Air Sea Rescue in Cyprus then flew twin rotor Belvedere troop transport choppers in North Borneo where he flew the famous Nepalese Ghurkha Rifle Troops in combat roles against the insurgent Indonesian forces.
He retired from the RAF in 1966 and only flew a little more selling light aircraft. He then became a pet store owner with his wife Fay, and took up real estate investing until later retirement....Looking back he had numerous near fatal flying incidents which he was blessed to survive, even though he was the most proficient of pilots....
I can attest to all this as I am writing this and I wouldn't be here, nor my sister and two brothers to write a story if my Dad hadn't survived being shot down over Germany.
His life story is available from him writting 'More Lives than a Cat' by Dorrance Publishing (US).
We thank for the hospitality and the warm welcome to the families and guests of the council of Alken.
The monument was a design of our friend Dan Jonckers of PROJEKTBUREAU SIGNA N.V., Mechelen. He also provided a scale model of the monument for the families.
The story of the crew (pdf file) was read for all participants by Wim Govaerts, a authority on Lancaster and supportive friend of us.
We thank all who has participated to make this a successful and unforgettable day, thanks.
A photo impression taken by Wim Govaerts published on our Face Book.