An Australian Lancaster bomber crew killed in a crash at Caythorpe in the Second World War were remembered on Saturday.
On February 10, 1945, Lancaster PB812 of 460 Squadron was on its way back to RAF Binbrook when it caught fire, went into a dive and crashed close to the old railway station.
Wireless operator Flight Sergeant Rhod Pope, pilot Dick Miller, navigator Jeff Downing, and gunners Graeme Dockery and Tony Robinson, all Royal Australian Air Force, and RAF flight engineer Freddie Nesbit-Bell, were killed. All six are buried at Cambridge City Cemetery.
A memorial service was held in Caythorpe on Saturday in St Vincent’s Church in the village led by Venerable Air Vice-Marshall Brian Lucas. The service was followed by the dedication of a plaque on the church wall and the unveiling of a memorial stone in Love Lane, close to the crash site.
This was the result of three years painstaking research by Dr Linda Pope, from Sydney, whose uncle Rhod perished in the crash. She has been looking into the circumstances since coming to the UK in 2013 on a wartime history tour.
In attendance were relatives, travelling from Australia, Barbados, Germany and Scotland. Also present day personnel, veterans associations, Stephen Phillips MP, a representative from the Australian High Commission, aviation heritage organisations, local councillors and George Plant of Grantham who witnessed the crash as a boy. The Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset also attended as “Freddie” Nesbitt-Bell had been a member of the force.
Chris Finn has researched the crash and on Sunday gave families a detailed insight into the incident and they later travelled to RAF Binbrook.