Service for crashed Valiant marks 50th anniversary

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A memorial service at Market Rasen Railway Station next month will mark the 50th anniversary of a plane crash yards from the site.

Valiant 363, flying from RAF Marham, crashed in a field on Linwood Road near the station on May 6, 1964, killing the five-man crew instantly.

The crew were : Flight Lieutenant FC Welles, the captain; Flight Lieutenant GA Mills, a Technical Branch officer and a qualified co-pilot who was standing in for the regular co-pilot of the crew; Flight Lieutenants LR Hawkins and JR Stringer, the navigators, and Sergeant R Noble, AEO, who was also from another crew.

The crash was witnessed by a number of townsfolk, who described the aircraft as plunging to the ground at very high speed.

In 2010, Market Rasen Station Adoption Group mounted a memorial plaque to the fallen crew and held their first service.

This year’s service, again organised by the Station Adoption Group, will be held at the station on Sunday, May 11, starting at 11am.

Family members of fallen crew will be attending, along with both serving and retired RAF personnel and representatives from local organisations, including the Royal British Legion.

The Market Rasen RESDEV Band will be providing the music.

The service will be led by Bill Pegg, an ex-RAF navigator with extensive aircrew experience and Honorary Chaplain to Aircrew Association (ACA).

Refreshments will be served after the service in the Methodist Chapel rooms.

For more information email or call the group secretary Martin Barnard on 01673 843108.