Wellington Z8799, Hurst Hill, Lancashire

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Wellington bomber Z8799

The exact location of the impact point of this crash is now unknown. I spent an hour searching a wide area and found some small fragments (pictured above including 2 bits of geodetic framework, each just a couple of inches long) near to this spot.

This probably isn’t the actual impact point but I choose it for the photograph. I was up there before sunrise this morning (I know how to enjoy Christmas!) but there was no colour in the sky. The water – a large puddle really – added a bit of interest.


At 2.30 am on 16th November 1943, Wellington Z8799 of 28 OTU, piloted by 24 year old Flight Sergeant Timperon of Ardrossan, South Australia, crashed on the moors near Chorley, Lancashire, with the loss of all on board.

The aircraft was flying out of RAF Wymeswold in Leicestershire on a night exercise. The cause of the crash was either build up of ice on the airframe rendering it uncontrollable or it may have been caused by the emergency dinghy breaking free from its stowage compartment and damaging the tail (as the consequent investigation evidenced). Either way, the Wellington went into a steep dive which F/Sgt Timperon could not pull out of.

Flt. Sgt. Joseph Banks Timperon, Pilot
Sgt. Eric Raymond Barnes, Bomb Aimer
Sgt. Joseph Banks Hayton, Wireless Op./Air Gunner.
Sgt. Robert Sidney Jackson, Air Gunner
Sgt. George Ernest Murray, Navigator
Sgt. Matthew Mouncey, Air Gunner

(Note two of the crew have the name Joseph Banks; initially I thought this was an error, but after much researching it seems this was the case. Also the crew positions given are not that definite)

EDIT 01 January 2024

There is a comment on the memorial page for this accident and copied here by Sean Devaney who writes,

Hi, the records relating to this flight are slightly wrong I understand. The a/c took off from RAF Castle Donnington (now East Midlands Airport) on a cross country training flight. Although 28 OTU was at stationed at RAF Wymeswold, 28 OTU a/c used Castle Donnington airfield to take off and landings.

The a/c actually took of on 16th November 1942 and crashed some time after 02:00 ON 17th according to Police records.

34 comments on “Wellington Z8799, Hurst Hill, Lancashire
    • Geoff Conway says:

      Eric BARNES who was killed believe he’s my uncle from my mothers side as he was killed in Lancashire

  1. Air Frame Photography says:

    Good choice for the cros location…..well done and merry Christmas.

  2. SolarScot. says:

    very poignant story Ian

    Wishing you a very Merry Chirstmas

  3. 5DII says:

    Excellent shot and history, as usual.

    Merry Christmas Ian.


  4. **Hazel** says:

    It is a very sad story Ian, thanks for the photo and story!! I wish you and your family a Very Happy Christmas!!!! H :-))

  5. Jainbow says:

    What a lovely shot, but sad story.

    Hope you have a very Merry Christmas. xXXx

  6. andyholmfirth says:

    You’re a real trooper with all this Ian.All the best !

  7. Ian D B says:

    Thanks folks. Not the jolliest of uploads for the season, is it?

    Anyway, best wishes one and all!


  8. rob of rochdale says:

    It might not be a very christmassy shot but it’s a bloody belter mate. The dof is perfect for giving more emphasis to the subject.

    Have a lovely christmas mate and here’s to a photogenic new year!

  9. nondesigner59 says:

    Excellent work..
    Have a good one..

  10. mick cooke says:

    great work ian
    take care and have a great christmas

  11. *Psycho Delia* says:

    Great set of shots

  12. BillAnd says:

    poignant as always

  13. nznatives says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/maycontaintracesofnuts] i think it is the perfect upload for the season! but then i am known to be contrary … however, if it were not for the sacrifices of these lads all those years ago – where would we be now? i’m actually totally enthusiastic about your upload, thankyou for your brilliant work, photos and information. have a lovely curry Christmas Ian,

  14. nznatives says:

    o .. i just checked up on my cgullz account. thankyou so much for visiting and commenting on each of my daisy day shots. really sweet of you and much appreciated by me. cheers Ian.

  15. Stezzer says:

    This is a touching tribute, I agree that background water adds atmosphere to the image, and with it helps keep their memories afloat. God bless you my friend.

  16. crusader752 says:

    Poignant it is and as nznatives rightly says if it wasn’t for these brave men we probably would’nt be celebrating Christmas the way we do now. My dad was training as a ‘Wellie’ rear-gunner when the war ended which curtailed his overseas posting! Luckily for me it did otherwise I doubt I would be typing this now. Sobering thoughts.
    Happily he and my mum are still around to celebrate too! Best Wishes πŸ™‚

  17. Reflective Kiwi %-) says:

    Sorry I haven’t caught up for a while Ian… it’s been a busy month!
    I hope you and your loved ones have had a wonderful Christmas! %-)

  18. amyrey says:

    Well done on digging out the history on this one Ian and for getting out so early at Christmas! Thanks for remembering these and all the other brave soles over the course of the past year.

    Have a lovely boxing day…..

  19. Billy Currie says:

    A fitting tribute, looks great without the colourful sunrise as well, maybe even a better mood

  20. pasujoba says:

    Cracking bit of work Ian ! Odd the duplicate names though ….doesnt seem very likely but I bow to your research πŸ™‚

  21. stopherjones says:

    Super composition, prefer it to the wider version, seems very appropriate to the history, even if not the precise location. Great detail and interest as usual.

  22. bill_fawcett says:

    Lovely composition Ian.

  23. IANLAYZELLUK says:

    Fantastic Moving Shot. Excellent information too.

  24. Gefcon says:

    My ungle Eric Raymond Barnes was on that flight I remember my pedants visiting the crash site along with my grandma Barnes many years ago I never met him but heard alot about him my elder brother was named after him Eric Raymond Conway god bless all these who died along with my ungle never met but never forgotten Feoff Conway Derby

  25. Ian D B says:

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/81658252@N07] Gefcon
    Thank you very much for your comment Geoff, it is always good to hear from the relatives of those who were on board, it adds to our remembering them.


  26. Colin says:

    A memorial was erected on Hurst Hill in 1955 by Horwich Rotary Club, and I’ve posted photos on facebook site Royal Air Force past and present

  27. Arthur Murray says:

    Just found this article
    Thank you so much.
    George Ernest Murray, Sgnt was my uncle and Godfather , it was very gratifying reading this article
    Thank you

  28. Michael Hough, Treasurer, Rivington Chapel Trust says:

    The Trustees of Rivington Chapel in the village of Rivington, which is only a few miles from the Z8799 crash site and memorial,are compiling a Book of Honour to record the names of servicemen from the surrounding districts who served and/or gave their lives in both world wars. To be completed in time for this years commemoration of Armistice Day marking 100 years since the end of WWI. The names of the crew of Z8799 will be included but could any family members of the crew provide a photograph ?? I understand that the niece and nephew of the pilot, Sgt Joe Timperon, could be planning a visit this year to coincide with the annual service that is held at the memorial on Remembrance Sunday.

  29. Carol Mouncey says:

    I am the niece of Sgt Matthew Mouncey. My late father, John, was his younger brother. I have long wanted to locate and visit the memorial. Can anyone provide me with a contact number? Thank you

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