Air crash victims families gather for ceremony marking 75 years since the tragedy

Ex-Halifax Bomber gunner Geoff Towers BEM comes to lay a wreath at the memorial in Chapel Hill in Darrington.
Ex-Halifax Bomber gunner Geoff Towers BEM comes to lay a wreath at the memorial in Chapel Hill in Darrington.

The families of airmen and villagers killed in a crash 75 years ago attended a ceremony at the weekend for the unveiling of a plaque.

Tragedy struck when a Halifax Bomber lost height and ploughed into a row of cottages near Chapel Hill in Darrington while on a training exercise in September 1943. All six crew members along with six villagers died in the crash.

On-lookers pay their respects as the Last Post is sounded.

On-lookers pay their respects as the Last Post is sounded.

On Saturday more than 100 people attended the special ceremony close to the crash site, off Valley Road, with relatives travelling from as far away as Australia and Canada.

Following the gathering hundreds more attended an exhibition at Darrington Golf Club where there was also a flyby by a Lancaster Bomber in the afternoon.

The day was the culmination of two years’ work by a volunteer group supported by Darrington Parish Council and led by Andy Tagger. He said: “The day was absolutely magnificent, everything fitted into place.

“The ceremony was moving and wonderful and the flyby from the Lancaster was incredible - it went over three times and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house.”

The findings from the project are now on display at Pontefract Library where they will remain until October 5.

The group behind the project will also be holding a Q&A session for the public at the library on Tuesday, October 2 from 10am. Anyone is welcome to attend.

The memorial.

The memorial.

Members of the  Darrington Air Crash Commemoration Project, Jeff Pickering, Gail Jenkins, Andy Tagger, Judith Fisher and Dave Hepworth, carrying  part of the Halifax Bomber at the site of the crash.

Members of the Darrington Air Crash Commemoration Project, Jeff Pickering, Gail Jenkins, Andy Tagger, Judith Fisher and Dave Hepworth, carrying part of the Halifax Bomber at the site of the crash.