Buckley's pride as memorial unveilved to crashed bomber


Laura Edwards

SUPPORTERS from Buckley proudly looked on as a memorial to a crashed Second World War bomber was unveiled.

The memorial to the Wellington bomber crew was revealed at a special ceremony on Saxby Road, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, 70 years after the bomber fell there on August 13, 1944.

The Wellington LN281 took off from nearby Market Harborough for a cross-country exercise at 3.45pm, but stalled and crashed almost three hours later after the starboard engine failed and a forced landing was attempted in a field.

The aircraft, which was built at Hawarden, caught fire immediately.

Aged just 20, Sergeant Edward Mansel Roberts, of Buckley, known as Mansel Roberts, was one of the seven who died in the tragedy.

And a plaque with the names and ages of the tragic seven will now stand proudly at the site.

Dave Vickers, who runs website Buckley at War, which researches and posts information about any soldiers and sailors from Buckley who served in any of the major wars, researched Mansel Roberts' story and put his relatives and Buckley Society in touch with the organiser of the memorial appeal Brian Fare, a founder member of Melton Aviation Society.

Buckley Society made a £100 donation towards the tribute to Sgt Roberts.

Members of the families of three of the other dead crewmen were at the unveiling. Raymond Glynne-Owen, of Lincolnshire, attended to pay tribute to his uncle, Flight Officer Norman Owen.

Mr Glynne-Owen, from Slingsby, Lincolnshire, said: "My uncle was the instructor on the flight.

"The ceremony was very enjoyable for all members of our family. In all a dozen or so of us came with people from Wales and the North West.

"The ceremony and the memorial are a fitting tribute to the crew who lost their lives.”

Air Marshal Dusty Miller delivered a speech on the history of No 14 Operational Training Unit and Bomber Command and the ceremony ended with a fly past by the Red Arrows.

See full story in the Leader

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