Service marks 70th anniversary of bomber crash outside Farnsfield

70th anniversary of the deaths of the bomber crew.
70th anniversary of the deaths of the bomber crew.

The 70th anniversary of seven airmen who were killed when a Halifax bomber crashed on the outskirts of Farnsfield in 1944 has been marked with a special service.

The bomber was on its way back from a raid on the V1 flying bomb site at Croixdalle in France, and all seven men on board were killed.

Despite heavy anti-aircraft fire around the target, the bombers destroyed their target but MZ519, piloted by Reginald Parfitt (22) of Cardiff, was damaged.

The men who perished were navigator Brian Turnidge (24) from Bristol; Sergeant Thomas Hill, air gunner (21) of Staffordshire; Sergeant Leonard Leatham, air gunner (20) Staffs; Sergeant Thomas Pitts, wireless operator (22) Cheshire; Sergeant Raymond Rolph, flight engineer (23) Essex; and Flight Sergeant John Godin, bomb aimer (20) Ontario, Canada.

The service, conducted by Rev Peter Graves, took place on Sunday July 6th - 70 years to the day of the tragedy.

Cadets from 1260 Squadron Air Training Corps were joined by around 40 people, and the service included the Canadian National Anthem in memory of Flight Sergeant Godin.