Nottingham

Memorial service for Nottinghamshire bomber crews

Image caption Helen Nall discovered the aircraft at Hoveringham

Families from Canada and New Zealand have attended a service for the unveiling of a memorial to 14 airmen who died during World War II.

Two Lancaster bombers crashed in Nottinghamshire in 1945 and the aircraft remains were discovered by a woman using a metal detector in 2008.

Helen Nall, who discovered the aircraft at Hoveringham, has organised the memorial service.

Ms Nall said it was important the dead men were not forgotten.

She was given a metal detector for Christmas in 2008 and went out to try it with her brother who was visiting.

She found a piece of twisted metal on her land and was about to throw it away when her brother identified the metal as belonging to an aircraft.

From that piece Ms Nall discovered that two Lancaster bombers from RAF Syerston, which lies across the river from her land at Hoveringham, had crashed within days of each other in January 1945.

Both crews were training airmen, and the planes crashed in virtually the same spot on the Nalls' land.

By August 2009 Ms Nall had identified all the dead crewmen and found that they came from Canada, New Zealand and Australia, as well as from across the UK.

She said: "The big achievement is that the men's names are on the memorial, in the field where they died.

"They won't be forgotten, because they were about to be forgotten.

"It was only by a chance discovery that people's memories were stirred and it all came to light.

"With the internet we've managed to locate 13 of the 14 families."

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