Wellington BK387, near Oakworth, Yorkshire.

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The cause of this crash is unclear. Canadian crewed Wellington BK387 was on a night training exercise when the aircraft descended through cloud and crashed into farmland, January 2nd 1944. One witness account suggests Warrant Officer Glass was trying to land the plane in the fields.

This same account quotes the landlord of the nearby Grouse Inn, who says he had gone to his outside toilet and, with the door open (after all the customers had gone home for the night…) “he sat there frightened out of his skin as he could see the plane heading straight for his loo”. Fortunately for him at least, the Wellington crashed just beyond the pub.

Crew
Warrant Officer E.I Glass (Pilot)
Flying Officer J.J McHenry (Navigator)
Warrant Officer J E Dalling, (Bomb Aimer)
Warrant Officer J Henfrey (Wireless Operator)
Sergeant E Savage (Air Gunner)
Sergeant N W Crawford (Air Gunner)

All crewmen were killed in the crash.

For more about this well remembered crash, see The Tewitt Lane Memorial page at
www.oakworthvillage.com/tewitt-lane.html

Debris fragments;

7

24 comments on “Wellington BK387, near Oakworth, Yorkshire.
  1. Gary Shield says:

    Great shot and info Ian

  2. redrocker_9 says:

    Love the shot and the story~

  3. Corwin's Trumps says:

    Nice to see this memorial for lads who died so far away from home. Was the photo taken sometime soon after Remembrance Day?

    Seen in Canadian History (?)

  4. Ian D B says:

    Thanks guys.

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/agent_86/]
    No, took this at the weekend. There is a memorial service in January, and in November too I suppose. Looks like a fresh array of wreaths though doesn’t it? Not certain, but I get the impression that locally this is a well remembered incident, and this memorial is well looked after.

  5. Steve P.Kane (S.P.K.Photography) off & On says:

    wow thats fantastic my friend

  6. Steve P.Kane (S.P.K.Photography) off & On says:

    wow thats fantastic my friend

  7. Steve P.Kane (S.P.K.Photography) off & On says:

    wow thats fantastic my friend

  8. Steve P.Kane (S.P.K.Photography) off & On says:

    wow thats fantastic my friend

  9. Neal. says:

    We have some Canadian pilots and an American buried in our cemetry, my brother looked them up on the net and they have a fascinating history, kinda wish they could have been flown hoime so their loved ones were near.

  10. Pleasureprinciple2012 says:

    Thanks for this Ian, one reason for not having outdoor toilets I suppose.

  11. Tony-H says:

    Another all NCO crew … I guess they made up the bulk of the wartime air forces. The dressing of the memorial is very touching. So many wartime aircrew gave us their lives ….

  12. oakworthman says:

    We remember these six men every year on the first Sunday in January and have done since the memorial was added in 1993. People do come along in November too, but not to lay wreaths, as we prefer to remember them properly on the anniversary of the day they all died.
    Canada always sends an Air Force representative along (actually they have always volunteered for it).
    Any chance you could just add a second letter ‘e’ to Jack Henfrey’s name please?
    Cheers,
    Andy.
    (Oakworth Village Society)

  13. Ian D B says:

    Hi Andy, thank you for your visit and for pointing out the typo (which I was at least consistent with – repeated the error on several occasions!). My aim is to get these recorded details as accurate as possible, so I am grateful to you for that.

    It’s very touching that the people of your village have remembered this crew and maintained the memorial so well. Great web page too. Very often I will be chatting with a farmer who has no idea that a bomber came down in his fields, even when there are still fragments of wreckage on the surface.

    Paid a second visit to this site a couple of weeks ago. There’s a lot of debris still there. What we found we buried at the spot.

  14. oakworthman says:

    Wow, that was quick! 🙂
    I’ve made the same mistake myself, I seem to get McHenry and Henfrey mixed up quite a bit. I’m not really a spelling nazi… Incidentally the ranks are correct in both cases, the RAF rank of Flight Sergeant is roughly equivalent to the RCAF WO II rank, so it depends where you’re coming from, but advice was taken from the Canadian Bomber Command Association before the stone was engraved. It’s a bit of an anomaly but worth mentioning. We’ll be putting a brand new website together very soon for the village and the page address will be changed, but I’ve found that there are so many links to the Tewitt Lane pages that I’ll be setting up a redirect to the new page, so no need to change the link on your pages.
    When you were last here, did you look for the twisted and damaged trees? There’s also a huge hollow in the ground on the hillside, where the fuselage finally came to rest.

    Best wishes, Andy.

  15. Ian D B says:

    Thanks again Andy. yeah, we noticed the trees, we were actually looking for bits of metal wedged in the trunks, but couldn’t spot any. As for the spot where the aircraft came to rest, though in truth we didn’t spend much time looking round that side, didn’t realise the significance of the hollow!
    Let us know when your new website is ready? Will take a look. Good stuff though, pleased you do what you do.

  16. Benoit Foisy says:

    Being a Canadian my self, I’m touched by this. Thanks.

  17. oakworthman says:

    The new website address for the Oakworth/Canadian War Memorial is here:
    http://www.oakworthvillage.com/tewitt-lane.html
    Pictures of the men (the ones that we have) and information about them and the crash site and memorial.

    Cheers,
    Andy.

  18. Ian D B says:

    Thanks for the update Andy.

  19. Mike F says:

    Great site Ian D B. My father travelled from our home in the US to Oakworth for several years to attend the memorial service in January. He always returned home humbled by the experience and by the people of Oakworth with their dedication to the remembrance of the fallen crew members. Thank you to you and to the wonderful people of Oakworth. By the way, my father is the little boy in the photo with his uncle, Ernest Glass (my great uncle). Thanks again.

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Mike, great to hear from you. Thanks for the additional info. It is touching how this particular site is remembered by the people of the village, the majority of these places are forgotten and unknown to most people.

      That’s a wonderful photo of your Dad and his uncle, by the way.

    • Hi Mike, You father must have been Max? I had the honour to speak with him on a number of occasions and he very kindly sent me some original photographs for our archives. He was a very well-respected man in our circle of friends and he was mentioned (as always) with fond memories on Sunday by our Secretary Janet Armstrong.
      If you or any other members of your family are considering attending next year please get in touch with me and I’ll be happy to put you in touch with Janet who I’m sure would be only too pleased to send you an invitation to the ceremony.

  20. Hi Everybody.
    It’s been a while since I posted here. We have updated the page on the Oakworth Village website here: https://www.oakworthvillage.com/tewitt-lane
    We now have photographs of all six crew members who died and each man has his own information page which has been distilled from their Canadian service records, which we obtained a couple of years ago.
    In July 2018 the memorial stone will have been in place for 25 years, and in 2019 it will be 75 years since the crash on 2nd January 1944 so we are planning a larger event to commemorate these two anniversaries.
    Information on the above page will be updated to reflect the arrangements for what I am guessing will be a large ceremony on site on the 6th of January 2019, followed by a reception at the Grouse Inn just a few hundred metres away.

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