South Scotland

Spitfire crash remains recovered in Berwickshire

Spitfire remains
Image caption The Spitfire crashed in the Scottish Borders while on a training flight in January 1943

Police have begun a search for human remains at the site of a World War II Spitfire crash in the Borders.

A group specialising in the excavation and recovery of WWII aircraft found human bones at Westruther near Greenlaw in Berwickshire last week.

A Spitfire crashed in the area in 1943 and the 20-year-old pilot, Sgt Malcolm Robertson from the Royal New Zealand Air Force, was killed.

Det Supt Lesley Boal said forensic testing would identify the remains.

"Our primary objective is to safely and securely undertake a dignified recovery of any other human remains present at the previously excavated site," she said.

"While we are unable to confirm identification at the moment, the next of kin of the deceased pilot have been contacted and we will continue to keep them updated."

Trained body recovery officers from Lothian and Borders Police are working with anthropologists from Dundee University.

An initial report has been submitted to the Scottish Fatalities Investigation Team of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

Police also said they would continue to liaise with the Ministry of Defence.

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