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, 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
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.
The book is writtin in Dutch, but will be available in English, probably november 2019.
As soon as the English version is available a correct price incl. shipping will be available.
You can order a Dutch version book via Bram Dermout, e-mail, for € 20, shipping is €3.
For each book sold, € 2 will go to the "display of memorabilia" in Witchford, former airbase of 115 sqn.
Thanks to Genevieve Norris we have a new face for our Roll of Honour,
"Robert Ryland Reid was born on 24th May, 1914 to Frederick Reid and his first wife Agnes Jane Kimbrey (known as Daisy).
He had a younger brother Brian HenryNeville Reid who was born in Janunary 1923. I believe he was also in the RAF but I am not certain. I do not known if Robert was married".
Robert Reid and his crew members crashed with Lancaster Mk II - DS655 KO-W on 27/28 May 1943 on a mission to Essen, Germany.
Only Pilot G. Cammell, RNZAF, survived to become POW,
Sgt Baker Eric – age 19
F/O Cooper George – age 25
Sgt Parker George – age 32
F/O Pye Halford – age 23
F/O Williams David – age ?
F/O Reid Robert – age 29
lost their lives.
On that night 23 aircraft were lost - 11 Halifaxes, 6 Lancasters, 5 Wellingtons, 1 Mosquito.
Andrew Barrie sent on 04/02/2019 two photos for the Roll of Honour, thanks.
F/O Smith Kenneth Victor - Pilot - age: 21 - RAAF (L)
Sgt Mason Eric Thomas - MUG - age: ? - RAFVR (R)
The other crew members were,
Sgt Rutson George Jack - FE - age: 31 - RAFVR
Sgt Greener Thomas - Nav - age: ? - RAFVR
F/S Denholm Robert Russell - WOP - age: 22 - RAAF
F/O Skelton Ivan George - BA - age: 23 - RAFVR
Sgt Constable John Charles - RG - age: 20 - RAFVR
Lost without trace. Now remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.
Who can help us with photos of, Sgt Rutson, Sgt Greener and Sgt Constable ?
We received this message from Valerie Redgate regarding her father Sgt Sheppard Alan Henry. (26/01/2019)
In 2010 my sister and I went to France to meet a historian who was interested in the Lancaster that crashed in his area in June 1943. He showed us the field where it landed and was told they still dig up pieces of the plane from time to time.
We met the interpreter of the resistance who was 90, his identity was changed to Felix Branger, he was 23 at the time. He spoke to us in English and even said he remembered our Dad when shown a picture.
We were shown the derelict farmhouse where my Dad was taken when the farmer found him. It was the son of Monsieur Voisine who gave my fathers flying boots to the historian a few years before we met. He gave them to us and they are now in the Tangmere museum in the bomber command area.
Graham Sturrock send (21/01/2019) us a photo from F/O Pusey Frederick Ronald Charles. He was the brother of his mum Diana Margaret Sturrock (maiden name Pusey, born 14/1/1925 - died 24/8/2011).
F/O Pusey was one of a small number of RAF personnel entitled to wear both RAF and USAF wings (see photo) as he trained in the US and then stayed to train both RAF and USAF pilots hence he had to have his American qualification and earned there wings as well.
F/O Pusey Frederick Ronald Charles - Pilot - age 23
Sgt Leonard Thomas Marshall - FE - age 23
F/O Bruton Cecil Gilbert - Nav - age 23 - RCAF
Sgt Howard Leslie Pinnington - WOP - age 32
P/O Cable Skelton John Duncan - BA - age 19
Sgt McKibbon Mervin George - MUG - age 30 - RCAF
Sgt Corbett John Joseph - RG - age 20
He and his crew crashed on their 3rd operation at Denmark, after a raid on Peenemunde.
There were never found and are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.
Who can provide the other missing faces?