Derby

Memorial flypast at 75th anniversary of WWII bomber crew

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Media captionA Spitfire flies over a village where a Wellington Bomber crashed killing its crew

A World War Two aircraft has taken part in a memorial flypast over a village where a Wellington Bomber crashed 75 years ago killing its crew.

The Spitfire, from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, flew past in tribute to the five men who died, near Ilkeston, on 12 July 1942.

The crew's W5795 was on a secret experimental flight when it came down on a field in Stanley, Derbyshire.

A service, attended by relatives, was followed by a 1942-themed parade.

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The men were flying at 35,000 feet to see whether it was possible to fly over the top of German fighters.

But, a propeller on the bomber sheared off and tore through the pressurised cabin causing the fatal air crash.

The W5795 Wellington Bomber crew

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  • Sqn Ldr Cyril Colmore (29)
  • Pilot Officer Kenneth Radford (27)
  • Flt Sgt Ronald Gillott (22)
  • Flt Sgt Arthur Smith DFM (23)
  • Clifford Abbott BSc Civilian Technical Observer (23)
Image caption Wreaths were laid for each of the five men at the service

Hillary Eddleston, whose father Mr Radford was the rear gunner on the bomber, was amongst the dozens of people at the service at St Andrews Church.

She said: "It has brought closure to us as a family because the bomber crashed when my mother was only six weeks pregnant with me, so I never knew my father."

Ms Eddleston added it was "really lovely" that her children and grandchildren were there to mark the 75th anniversary.

Mr Radfords's great-granddaughter Rosin Eddleston-McGrath said: "All the men died in the war so we can have our future and have peace, so it's really special to be here."

Image caption A war memorial to honour the W5795 Wellington Bomber crew lies at the church

Ex-serviceman Terry Hall, one of the organisers, said he and church warden Bernard Walters, who witnessed the crash as a boy, commissioned a memorial to honour the five men.

Image caption A service was followed by a parade and a carnival

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