Memorial unveiled in honour of Lancaster crew who crashed near Great Paxton

The granite monument memorial that was unveiled in the churchyard of Holy Trinity Minster Church in Great Paxton.

The granite monument memorial that was unveiled in the churchyard of Holy Trinity Minster Church in Great Paxton. - Credit: Paul Cannon

More than 300 people attended the churchyard of Holy Trinity Minster Church in Great Paxton on Saturday to witness the unveiling of a memorial in honour of a Second World War plane crew.

Seven young men crashed in a Lancaster bomber near Great Paxton shortly after take-off from RAF Graveley on December 24 1944.

A granite memorial was erected to commemorate their sacrifice and bravery.

An RAF Spitfire performing a flypast to honour the crew of the Lancaster bomber which crashed in 1944.

An RAF Spitfire performing a flypast to honour the crew of the Lancaster bomber which crashed in 1944. - Credit: Stuart Buckminster

Relatives of the crew came from all over the country, including some from as far as Kent and South Wales.

Member of the Great Paxton History Society, Graham James, said:  "One of the crew who perished in the crash had written a poem about his life in World War Two.

More than 300 people were in attendance for the unveiling of the memorial in Great Paxton, St Neots.

More than 300 people were in attendance for the unveiling of the memorial in Great Paxton, St Neots. - Credit: Sally Jex

"His much younger brother attended the service and brought along a small notebook in which the poem had been written, and he movingly read it out."

The service began with the St Neots Air Cadets marching into the churchyard, followed by a reading of poems from three schoolchildren and finished with a low flypast by one of the RAF’s Spitfires.

One of the crew members had written a poem about his life in WWII, which his much younger brother read during the service.

One of the crew members had written a poem about his life in World War 2, which his much younger brother read during the service. - Credit: Paul Cannon

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An exhibition was also held in the church, including information about the crew and the crash.

The St Neots Mayor, Cllr Stephen Ferguson, alongside the memorial in Great Paxton.

The St Neots Mayor, Cllr Stephen Ferguson, alongside the memorial in Great Paxton. - Credit: Sally Jex

An RAF Spitfire performing a flypast to honour the crew of the Lancaster bomber which crashed in 1944.

An RAF Spitfire performing a flypast to honour the crew of the Lancaster bomber which crashed in 1944. - Credit: Stuart Buckminster