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  #21  
Old 12-08-2018, 10:31 PM
DHoward DHoward is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hollydog View Post
I also had e-mail contact with the son of the surviving crew member, I'm sure he won't mind me posting part of the e-mail conversation I had with him, very interesting, tragic , a different world to now that should never be forgotten.

Quote "Only at the end of last year I spoke to the pilot who was next to land behind dads plane and saw the crash. He stated that the weather was fine and not as previous thought weather conditions although they were diverted from Mepal in Cambridgeshire. It appears the crash was due to the plane being shot up with damage to the fuselage.

As you know the crew all died alongside the children and were very close in fact the night before they were out in Cambridge.
My father received burns to side of the face and the ear had to be reconstructed, but was back flying again. You will recall he was awarded the DFM as a result of the crash. During his rehabilitation all the crews family either visited or wrote to him.
He never talked about the crash - both his parents were killed in the blitz as well as two brothers killed at Arnhem. He was a a very unassuming man - high achiever at school - goalkeeper for guildford city and on the books at Arsenal.
Dad continued flying in 1944 again crashing.
He had met my mother prior to the crash who was an RAF intelligence officer. Dad was later commissioned and stayed in the RAF until he retired. I recall back in the fifties while instructing he lent a parachute to his best friend so he could get a flight home for the weekend in Scotland while Dad was out shopping there was a knock at the door with two RAF officers telling my mother he had died in an air crash in North East! of couse it was not dad the shute had his name on it !
Anyway after he retired they moved to Devon unfortunately he died at 66 resulting from injuries from the crash ( loss of kidney) On his final night in the cottage hospital the staff recalled that he relived that night talking with crew and then crashing shouting to George we are going to hit the building later he begged forgiveness for he children loosing their lives.
This is fascinating to read, what a life he lived beyond the crash, very lucky man indeed.
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  #22  
Old 21-10-2018, 04:51 PM
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hollydog hollydog is offline
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I have now found more information concerning Jimmy Rowell and the civilian gallantry award nomination. I will upload it but I am not sure if it can be seen properly? perhaps Mike could make it more readable as it does have a lot of detail of the night.
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  #23  
Old Yesterday, 11:43 AM
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This is a transcription, I'm not certain regarding the handwritten words:

CASE 2127

James ROWELL — 51 years

Special Constable

4, Dilston Terrace, Amble

Special Constabulary, Northumberland — 5 years

Civil Occupation — Master Butcher

Previous honours — 1914- 18 War Medal; Victory Medal; General Service Medal; Special Constabulary Long Service Medal, 28. 7. 42.

Attempted rescue of crew of crashed and burning aircraft at Cliff House Farm, Amble, during the night of 1st December, 1943.

Recommended by – Chief Constable, Northumberland.

No. 1 (Northern) Regional Commissioner recommends – George Medal dated 21. 12. 43.

Documents
1. Particulars of Action
2. Statement by J. Rowell
3.Statement by Isabella E. Rowell
4. Statement by W. Robson
5. Statement by Wing Commander E.Graham
6. Statement by Sergt Hook
CASE CONSIDERED BY COMMITTEE: 4th Feb., 1944 RECOMMENDATION Com?
[ink stamp] 7. FEB.1944
TREASURY RECOMMENDATION??? GAZETTED 194?.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Copy of Particulars of Action

About 10:30 p.m. on 1st December, 1943, Mr Rowell and his wife were playing cards in the kitchen of Cliff House Farm, with the occupants Mr and Mrs Robson (whose family of 4 girls and 1 boy, ages 9, 7, 5, 3, and 1 year in bed upstairs) when they heard an aeroplane flying low, apparently making for the R.A.F. Station at Acklington, about a mile to the South-West. They only had time to throw themselves on the floor when the house was struck, obviously by the plane, and the whole of the upper storey, together with the top 5 feet of the kitchen walls were carried away. The only part left standing was the staircase and the bottom 5 foot of the kitchen walls.

As will be seen by the statements attached, the 5 children were killed, their bodies being afterwards found, seriously burned, and buried in debris beside the wreckage of the plane which crashed about 50 feet south of the house and took fire. Mr Rowell rushed out with his wife and Mr and Mrs Robson, and he, Mr Rowell, noted in the darkness, ‘something’ moving about in the flames. Mr Rowell went towards this ‘something’ and found what turned out to be the mid upper gunner, who had escaped out of the plane but whose clothing and equipment was on fire. Mr Rowell rolled the gunner on the grass and beat the flames, and got the equipment off him. Mr Rowell was informed by the gunner that there were another 6 men in the plane and in spite of it being on fire and ammunition exploding, he courageously entered the fuselage, but as the plane had broken in two, and the front part was lying at right angles to the rear part, he could not find any other person therein; the plane was burning fiercely by the time Mr Rowell got out and commenced to search for the children of Mr Robson. It was not until 1250 a.m. that the last 3 bodies the children were found. Meanwhile RAF Ambulances and different units of the Fire Brigade arrived, but the charred bodies of the other 6 occupants of the plane were found in the wreckage.

To give an idea of the danger from exploding ammunition, some stacks of straw, approximately 300 yards south of the spot where the plane fell were set on fire by tracer bullets from the wreckage.
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