Hurricane V6793, Merryton Low, Staffordshire

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Hurricane V6793, Merryton Low, Staffordshire

27 July 1944. Flight Sergeant Roswell Howard Tourle Martin of the Royal New Zealand Air Force died instantly when his Hurricane crashed on Merryton Low, a hill to the north east of Leek on the edge of the Peak District National Park.

He had been doing aerobatics as part of his training. Cunningham notes that while Flight Sergeant Martin may have started at the correct height, "…the tendency in aerobatics is for the height to gradually decay…" So over the course of the exercise, F/Sgt Martin lost height without realising it. Cunningham adds that during the course of the exercise, the pilot had probably "…entered cloud during one manoeuvre, and failing to realise that he was inverted, had pulled back on the stick" causing his aircraft to nose dive into the ground.

Last August (which was when this photo was taken hence the heather) there were a few scraps of debris still at the site. This little hollow is the impact crater.

Quotes from PEAKLAND AIR CRASHES – THE SOUTH, Pat Cunningham, 2005.

20 comments on “Hurricane V6793, Merryton Low, Staffordshire
  1. pasujoba says:

    Nice one Ian , the heather sets it off nicely .
    Dont know if you watched that Dambusters recreation they did the other year, but one of the modern day pilots had a go at flying the Canadian Lanc , he lost 400feet in a lefthand turn just because he was not used to the heaviness of the controls compared to the modern jets he flies as a norm . He wasnt impressed with himself . It is something that those of us who do not fly find hard to imagine .

  2. Lo Scorpione says:

    Love the build-up and the square composition. You would almost not notice the debris, even though it’s so central in the frame. It has become so much a part of the environment…

  3. **Hazel** says:

    How sad Ian, brought so much to life by your description of the crash!! It is a wonderful view with a very poignant reminder of a day which no doubt changed many peoples lives in a second!! Thanks for bringing this incident to the attention of many people!!!

  4. nondesigner59 says:

    Well spotted.!!

  5. Mustang Koji says:

    After all these decades, the remnants of the Hurricane are still there. Incredible.

  6. Tech Owl says:

    Nice context shot Ian – the contrast between the event and the surrounding are quite stark

  7. C J Paul (chris) says:

    brilliant ian love the heather it brings you into the image.
    well done my friend

  8. erwlas says:

    Great narrative Ian. Beautiful yet sad image. Love the square format and black borders.

  9. amyrey says:

    It is a beautiful locaton, enhanced by your telling of the history.

  10. andyholmfirth says:

    The purple splashes of heather really do make this one.

  11. mick cooke says:

    great photo ian , what a great looking place its a nice resting place for the departed hope i dont sound to morbid

  12. SolarScot. says:

    a sad story but in beautiful surroundings

  13. Pleasureprinciple2012 says:

    A very nice shot that stands on it’s own as a landscape scene. Only notice the debris because it has been pointed out to me.
    I wonder if the pilot was buried locally, he was along way from home.

  14. Richard Tierney says:

    Nice one Ian Another one lost on a training flight… quite late in the War and flying a Hurricane as well. looks like a very nice peaceful location…

  15. Richard Tierney says:

    I was coming home from work last night and over Winter Hill there was a Chipmunk doing aerobatics.. as I watched he started off quite high and as you say.. within three manoevers he had lost around 1500 feet.. ended up climbing away just to get over the hill en route back to Lancashire Aero Club It was clear sunny sky.. easy to see what might happen in broken cloud and inexperience. I was talking to a bloke a few years ago, who was flying a Harvard out of Hawarden Deeside.during the War. came over to "beat up" his parents house.in Stockport… did a climbing roll, blacked out and came to a few seconds later in a vertical dive … he got away with it, but it really scared him for the rest of his flying career.

    Nice how the heather has grown around the crater lip.. nature healing a sad place ?

  16. airplaneguy38 says:

    Ian it really makes you stop and think a bit about what the true cost of war really is.

  17. Billy Currie says:

    Beautiful location but so sad

  18. Ian D B says:

    Thanks everyone, will catch up soon.
    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/7749921@N04]
    Two great tales there Richard, I have never myself noticed that phenomenon re; aerobatics, will have to pay more attention next time I see it. Re; the pilot over Stockport, there must’ve been countless narrow escapes like that over the years!

  19. mojo_black says:

    Lovely colours, and I like the winding path in the background, not much left of the air craft though.

  20. cgullz says:

    i really can’t add anything further to all the great comments above, but congratulations on a respectful memorial shot.

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