Hurricane P3522

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Hurricane P3522

This memorial stone was erected by the mother of Hurricane pilot Sergeant Eric Gordon Bruce RAFVR, who died on this lonely expanse of grouse moor on 10 January 1941.

Flying in formation Sgt Bruce became separated from his leader in cloud. Possibly disoriented with the low cloud and snow covered moors below, Sgt Bruce was killed when his Hurricane crashed into the moor. The wreck and the body of Sgt Bruce were not discovered until January 22 1941.

One source says the Hurricane dived into the ground, Yorkshire Aircraft (source of most of the info about the crash) suggests Sgt Bruce was flying level at the time.

There is not much at the site, this fragment of metal left by the memorial was all I could see though I did find a jewel sized fragment of perspex.

Close up of the debris and poppy cross
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Close up of the memorial plaque
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Hurricane P3522 was veteran of the Battle of Britain and there are numerous images and photos of the aircraft online and in books. This image from Asisbiz shows P3522 having just downed a Bf109.

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4 comments on “Hurricane P3522
  1. ang wickham says:

    I really really like that his mother was the motivating force behind the memorial. Such things are usually so official, but with this the family connection really strikes home. It wouldn’t surprise me if he was her only boy. As soon as I read your words on this, I could totally imagine her standing at this stone when it was erected all those years ago – and if it was put up in the month he was lost, it would most likely have been in snow. How she must have felt.

    Really like the images, your second shot down with foreground heather has lovely light and depth.

    • Ian D B says:

      Thanks Ang. The second shot is my favourite, the lucky composition of bands of light and shadow, the shadow of the cross and the rivet holes on the metal, the black void setting off the poppy cross etc. But I went with the other as the lead photo because the long shadow and empty moor beyond emphasise the loneliness and the poignancy of the location (given what you rightly say about his mother standing there and that it was 12 days before Sgt Bruce’s body was discovered).

  2. Paul says:

    Great Shots Ian . Terrific tale told too !
    Typical of the remains in North Yorkshire , not much left , they have all been stripped bare .

    • Ian D B says:

      Thanks Paul. I visited the Halifax B926 site too, one you have been to. A fair bit of debris still there but I agree, of the sites on that side of the Pennines there is generally not much left.

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