Memorial for airmen who died in Oakworth wartime crash

Keighley News: Showing their support for the event are, from left, Keighley Mayor Councillor Sally Walker, Brigadier General Matthew Overton, Lord Mayor of Bradford Councillor Khadim Hussain and Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Richard Jackson Showing their support for the event are, from left, Keighley Mayor Councillor Sally Walker, Brigadier General Matthew Overton, Lord Mayor of Bradford Councillor Khadim Hussain and Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Richard Jackson

About 100 people gathered at a hillside memorial to commemorate six Royal Canadian Air Force crewmen who died at the site 70 years ago.

The men were killed when their Wellington Bomber BK387 crashed in fog at the spot in Tewitt Lane, Oakworth, on January 2, 1944, during a training flight.

The village society organises an annual service at the memorial on the first Sunday in January.

“With this year being the 70th anniversary, it was an extra special occasion and it went very well,” said Jackie McGinnis, the society’s vice-chairman.

“We had a good number of people there, and even the rain held off.”

Among those present were Brigadier General Matthew Overton, of the Canadian Air Force, Lord Mayor of Bradford Councillor Khadim Hussain, Keighley mayor Coun Sally Walker, Deputy Lord Lieutenant Richard Jackson and air cadets.

The service – which included prayers, readings and the laying of wreaths – was conducted by Bryony Partridge and Noeline Sharp.

“Some of the relatives of the airmen have attended over the years, and we know how grateful they and the Canadian Air Force are that those who lost their lives are remembered in this way,” added Mrs McGinnis.

A buffet was served afterwards at the Grouse Inn at Oakworth.

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