Derby

Airman's family attend German memorial

Anthony Heeley and his wife Catherine in Germany
Image caption The Heeleys travelled to Salzbergen for the ceremony

Relatives of a World War II airman who was shot down in Germany in 1945 have attended a special ceremony at the site where he died.

Chesterfield Borough Council had been asked to see if any relatives could be found to attend a memorial service for Dennis Heeley in Salzbergen, Germany.

His nephew Anthony Heeley saw the story in a paper and contacted the council.

Mr Heeley joined 60 people on 13 November at the ceremony for seven crew members, including Sgt Heeley.

Lancaster crash

Gunther Gratzki from the memorial committee explained: "Without the help of the town-partnerships between Darmstadt and Chesterfield, Nurenberg and Glasgow, Berlin and London, and Celle and Plymouth the search for relatives of the Lancaster crew would not have been successful."

Before the ceremony Mr Heeley and his wife Catherine visited the British Reichswald Forest War Cemetery near Kleve to visit Sgt Heeley's grave.

Mr Heeley said: "It was a truly unforgettable experience to visit my uncle's grave. It was extremely moving and comforting to know that he found a dignified resting place amongst his comrades."

Sgt Heeley was a member of the Voluntary Reserve, belonged to the 514th Squadron of the RAF, and flew in an Avro Lancaster Mk III from Waterbeach in Cambridgeshire.

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