Sunday, 13 November 2011

Bomber Memorial – 13 November

With no ill effects from yesterday I decided a few more miles today would probably do no harm either so a short run to the Bomber Memorial for the Remembrance Sunday service seemed just right. Over Spittler’s Edge to Great Hill and back to the memorial in Lead Mines Clough over Round Loaf was fine.

LMC-002Spittler’s Edge

LMC-001Great Hill


LMC-003Drinkwaters Farm (in the furthest clump of trees) below Great Hill

Operational Training Units, or OTUs as they were often called, were a vital cog in the running of RAF Bomber and Fighter Command. Their aim, as the title suggests, was to train pilots, navigators, wireless operators and air gunners in the art of Operational flying. This meant carrying oxygen for high altitudes and live rounds of ammunition for gunnery exercises. Bad weather was also something the crews had to get used to.

On a cold clear moonlit night the crew of Wellington Z8799 boarded their bomber at RAF Wymswold (Leicestershire) for a night training flight in almost perfect conditions, apart from the sub-zero temperatures. Almost four hours later with ice on the wings and ailerons adding weight and causing stability problems the aircraft went into a steep, uncontrollable dive causing structural failure and eventual impact with high ground three miles north of Horwich, Lancashire. The Australian crew of six, skipper F/Sgt Joe Timperton, Sgt ER Barnes, Sgt, JB Hayton, Sgt RS Jackson, SG GE Murray and Sgt M Mouncey were killed instantly as the impact spread the wreckage over several hundred yards on Anglezark Moor above Yarrow Reservoir.

In June 1955, in remembrance of the crew, The Rotary Club of Horwich erected a memorial in the form of a stone pillar and a brass plaque which bears the names of the crew. Unfortunately the stated date of November 12th, 1943 isn’t correct – the crash occurred on at 02:40 on November 16th, 1943. For a number of years local hill walkers, fell runners, cyclists, the Mountain Rescue Team and others have gathered to remember these young men, and others, who gave their lives for the rest of us.










LMC-007The Bomber Memorial