Leicester

Plungar bomber crew memorial unveiled

Avey family at grave
Image caption The family of pilot Russell Avey scattered Canadian soil on his grave at Long Bennington church

A memorial is to be unveiled to the crew of a Lancaster bomber which crashed near a Leicestershire village.

The aircraft, piloted by Canadian Russell Avey, came down near Plungar on 5 March 1943, with only one survivor.

Members of Mr Avey's family have travelled from Canada to attend a service to mark the dedication of the plaque at Plungar church.

An information board will also be set up to tell the story of the crew, organisers said.

The Lancaster had taken off from Grimsby and may have been damaged by enemy fire.

Family's honour

Former air raid warden Dennis Kirk was on duty on the night of the crash.

He remembered: "We heard the plane rumbling and it just went flop.

"It was a bit of a shock because we had never seen anything like that before, seeing people killed on a plane."

The pilot's nephew, John Avey, said: "My father wanted to be here but he is 94.

"He's the last surviving sibling and we are here representing him and we do it with great pleasure and honour."

The stone was officially unveiled on Saturday.

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