Waking up on Sunday it was a glorious day, which was good – well when is it not good! – as I was heading out with Moorland Guides with the intent of learning the ropes of guiding. After a short drive up to Hound Tor car park and getting a little jealous of some people going climbing. I joined the group of several other people waiting to go out on the Homeward Bound walk with John Lowe. John Lowe is an old friend of mine who I meet from my time with at 624 Volunteer Gliding Squadron.
John introduced the story of RAF crash of a Handley Page Hampden at Hameldown. The story is that on the night of 21st March 1941, a Hampden crashed whilst returning from a raid on the sub pens at Lorraine. Before John started digging around, there was not a lot of information about the Hampden crash apart from the memorial at SX 713 807. Over the last few years John has been piecing together what happened on that night. Even now he is still finding out more, although he reckons he will never find out what truly happened. We all then headed off on the walk with John leading the way whilst explaining in very great detail the events that led up to the crash from what he has found. While en route to the memorial we stopped at Jay’s Grave which has an interesting history in it’s self, the suicide of a young girl in the late 18th Century and the mysterious appearance of flowers on the grave everyday. From Jay’s Grave we followed a green lane to bottom of Hameldown, at this point John then took us through the different scenarios that people at the time had seen and heard. He then went through the history of the four young men who lost their lives on that night. The men who lost there lives are as follows: Robert Wilson (Pilot), Ronald Brames (Air Gunner), Richard Leonard Ashburton Ellis (Navigator), Charles John Lyon (Wireless Operator). Unfortunately I can not remember word for what John has said but if you wish to find out more follow the links below for get in touch.
More information on Jay’s Grave – Legendary Dartmoor
The Moorland Guides – John’s Walks
Hampden Crash – 49 Squadron
Rest in peace all of those who died to keep us free. Please remember the fallen.
Thanks for reading.