Spitfire flypast will pay tribute to Lancaster crew who crashed near village

There is a memorial in Graveley for those who gave their lives during World War Two.

There is a memorial in Graveley for those who gave their lives during World War Two. - Credit: HUNTS POST

Commemorative events - including a Spitfire flypast - are due to take place in two of Huntingdonshire's villages to pay tribute to the crew of a Second World War plane that crashed soon after take-off.

The seven-man crew of a Lancaster Bomber perished when the aircraft crashed on the edge of Great Paxton on December 24 1944. It had just taken off from the nearby former RAF Graveley airfield.

The new Lancaster Memorial will be unveiled at 2pm on Saturday, May 7 in the churchyard of Holy Trinity Church in Great Paxton

The service will include short talks by Air Commodore Neil Connell, historian David Duker, from the Tally Ho Project, and Pete Stanley. Also in attendance will be Father Peter, formerly of the Great Paxton parish.

An air cadet band will meet at the village green and march along the road just before the service and a bugler from Bedford Brass will play The Last Post. There will be two poems read out, one written by a member of the crew and one by a pupil from the village school.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight team will provide a Spitfire flypast at the end of the service.

We will be joined by many family members of the crew. We have arranged for nearby All Saints church, in Offord to be open from 9am where visitors can see a stained-glass window and a special corner of the church which has photos and memorabilia dedicated to RAF Graveley," said Graham James who has helped to organised the event.

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Holy Trinity Church will be open from midday till 3.30pm where there will be an exhibition, including fragments of the Lancaster plane and and photos and information about the crew, the plane and RAF Graveley, the nearby airstrip from which this Lancaster flew.

Visitors will also be able to see flying jackets worn by crew of other Lancasters and author Will Airedale will be in attendance as he will be selling and signing his book on Pathfinders which was published last year

David Duker, from the Tally-Ho Project, based in St Neots, which is aimed at engaging children in the history of the Battle of Britain pilots will also be there.

Teas and refreshments will be served before and after the ceremony.