Pilots killed in training commemorated at a Northamptonshire airfield

editorial image

Airmen who lost their lives in training excercises in Northamptonshire have been commemorated with a religious service today.

The 21 men who were killed at Sywell airfield or Denton landing ground between 1939 and 1945 were remembered at this year’s event to mark the reopening of Sywell Aerodrome.

Those advances in aircraft technology took a terrible price in the destruction of civilians and armed forces personnel

Andy Sheman, chairman of Sywell Aviation Museum

A memorial plaque bearing the name, rank and date of death of the airman, headed by the RAF motto ‘Per ardua ad astra ‘ (Through struggles to the stars) was unveiled.

Rev Jez Safford, the aviation museum’s padre, led prayers and there followed the sounding of the last post.

Andy Shemans, the museum chairman, said: “Because Sywell was an RAF training base, people have brought us things that belonged to their dad or their uncle.

“We’ve managed to find out little bits about many of those 21 airman.

“About 100,000 British air crew out of 1.1 million were killed but today is not about those killed in the heat of battle but those who died even before they got that far.”

The museum is now open every weekend and Bank Holiday between 10.30pm and 4.30pm.

As well as a display of re-enactors and military vehicles the event co-incides with the inaugural Radial-Engined Aircraft Fly-In.

Weather permitting, there may be fly-pasts of Harvards and perhaps a Spitfire.

The plaque and its roll of honour will now be on display in the museum.

Mr Shemans said: “At the museum we talk a lot about the world wars and that’s because of the great advances in aircraft technology those conflicts prompted.

“But those advances took a terrible price in the destruction of civilians and armed forces personnel.”

Those commemorated on the new plaque (in order off their deaths, earliest to latest) are:

G Bremridge

BW Lavan

H Macleod

AGF Moye

EM Frisby

DQ May

A Chruistie

SJ Brandon

GB Leddy

OJ McGowan

WM Rawbone

TW Dimma

CWH Brook

FA Duggan

GD Wyatt

P Henderson

SN Tabron

RA Tuckwell

JD Bould

BN Chisnall

FA Dumont