Village of Upwood stands still to remember two First World War airmen

The unveiling of a new memorial to two airmen who died at Upwood during the First World War. Picture

The unveiling of a new memorial to two airmen who died at Upwood during the First World War. Picture: PAUL CHAIRMAN. - Credit: Archant

Upwood residents stood in silent reflection last Sunday (September 7) to remember two young men killed when their plane crashed in the village during the First World War.

A new memorial has been put up on Longholme Road, opposite the airfield, to honour the memory of 2nd Lieutenants Adam Thompson, 26, and Albert Parks, 21, who died on September 7, 1918.

The stonework and plaque were organised by Tony Place, of Helens Close, Upwood, who was in the RAF for 30 years.

“They gave their lives in the First World War and it must not be forgotten,” he said.

The two men were members of the 191st (Night) Training Squadron. On the fateful night, they were in an FE2b bi-plane, which had a propellor behind the pilot and a gunner in the front.

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“It took off, we assume at dusk, stalled, went into a spin and they never recovered,” said Mr Place. “It just went straight down and crashed on the airfield.”

Tragically, Mr Thompson’s wife, who lived in the High Street, and was pregnant, saw it take off and crash, while Mr Parks had been married only two months.

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Family of both airmen, including Ellison Withe, the grandson of Mr Thompson, and several relatives of Mr Parks, were present for Sunday’s ceremony, taken by chaplain Tony Perryman and attended by more than 80 people.

Mr Place thanked all those who helped including Swearers Funeral Directors, Terry Tye, Andy Duncan and Mark Atfield, The Cross Keys pub and parish councillors Keith Sisman and Garth Slater.

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