A tragic accident in April 1944 at Caistor

Lancaster crash memorial EMN-190416-095717001
Lancaster crash memorial EMN-190416-095717001

A commemorative service has been held to mark the 75th anniversary of Lancaster R5672 crashing onto the North Kelsey Road at Caistor.

The service was led by Canon Ian Robinson, and in attendance were Mr and Mrs Biddells, on whose garden wall the memorial is situated, and Tim Stone from East Kirkby museum, who assisted with much of the initial research into the incident.

Lancaster crash memorial EMN-190416-095728001

Lancaster crash memorial EMN-190416-095728001

Beverley Hines, a granddaughter of Harold Quinton, who perished in the crash, also attended the service, and good wishes were received from Marjorie Stonehouse, the twin sister of the captain WC Eric Campling, who at 99 plus was unable to travel.

It was at 16.40 hrs on Saturday April 8, 1944 that Lancaster 1 No R5672 from No 1 Lancaster finishing school, RAF Hemswell crashed onto the south east corner of RAF Caistor.

The aircraft was seen to do a low turn over RAF Caistor, then there was a massive explosion and the aircraft disintegrated just above the tree tops on the Caistor to Kelsey Road.

Fragments of wreckage were blasted over a large area.

A Nissan hut in block 41 at the east end of the airfield had both ends blown out and all its glass broken by the blast.

All the occupants of the aircraft perished.

They were: Wing Commander Eric Campling DSO DFC RAFVR, Captain and pilot of the aircraft; 2nd Officer Taniya Whittall ATA - the only known woman to be killed in a Lancaster; Sergeant Lancelot Regan RAFVR, Flight Engineer; LAC Ronald Freer RAFVR; AC1 Harold Quinton RAFVR; AC1 Thomas King RAFVR; AC1 Edward Stevenson RAFVR; AC1 Alfred Spiller RAFVR; AC2 George Killick RAFVR