in rural Nottinghamshire  

'there's some corner of a foreign field'

The Soldier by Rupert Brooke

In the small village of Maplebeck in the Nottinghamshire Dukeries, on the edge of Sherwood Forest, the residence of this Thankful Village gathered to remember the sons of others. Those who had travelled from the other side of the world in response to the Mother country’s call of duty. These five young Royal  New Zealand Air Force crew tragically died on a training mission just outside Maplebeck on Brecks Farm land, on 15th October 1942 at 21:55. Although they and their aircraft, were subsequently recovered, there has never been a fitting memorial. With the passing of time many in the village were unaware of their sacrifice,  Mrs Barbara Grundy, who has lived in the village for over forty years, made it her duty to rectify this.

On Sunday 28th April 2019 a gathering of almost seventy adults and children, from Maplebeck and farther afield, gathered on the Village Green.

At 11am a squad of Newark Air Cadets marched very smartly down the main street and then assembled to form a guard of honour either side of the Plaque.  Canon Eddie Neale and Mrs Barbara Grundy also stood either side. cadets

Mrs Jane Kinnear gave a short introduction and thanked  those who had gathered for coming and acknowledged that this day was realisation of a long held dream of Barbara’s. Jane also thanked the Air Cadets for their contribution to the day, and gratitude to Mr Bruce Laughton, County Councillor, for his grant to fund the project and to Mr Roger Bell who had carefully fixed the plaque to the wall.

Mrs Grundy gave a short address encouraging those present to bring about the commemoration of any other air crash crew in their villages, a task she felt passionately about. She then unveiled the plaque to applause from the assembled company unveiling
Canon Neale Canon Neale then gave a short vote of thanks to Barbara for her research and work bringing this to the village for posterity. He then gave a considered blessing naming each of the fallen air crew, and in which he praised them for their contribution to the WW11 conflict and their ultimate sacrifice.  He also remembered that Maplebeck is one of only a few ‘Thankful  Villages’ in UK, which means that all village personnel in both world wars, came home.  Now the village could give thanks to, and remember, those who died within the parish.

There was a general consensus that it had been a moving ceremony, and everyone was invited back to the Village Hall for light refreshments.

It should be noted that a small plaque will be erected at the Crash site with the permission of the Stawson family of Brecks Farm.

Posted 29th April 2019

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