Brunssum, the Netherlands – Today, a service of remembrance was held at Brunssum’s Lancaster Bomber Memorial to pay tribute to the sacrifice of the crew of Lancaster R5701; 7 young men who lost their lives in the course of their duty flying a sortie over occupied Netherlands, in WWII. This marks the 78th anniversary of this tragic event.
Members of the British Armed Forces and wider defence community stood alongside Brunssum community leaders and the general public, in respectful contemplation of the harsh consequences of War.
On the evening of the 5th of October 1942, Lancaster R5701 with its full complement of crew took off from RAF Woodhall Spa for a mission over the occupied Netherlands, never to return. Heavy anti-aircraft fire and engagements with enemy aircraft, in combination with exceptionally difficult weather conditions, brought down the bomber on that fateful day. The crew members have since been laid to rest together at Jonkerbos War Cemetery, in Nijmegen.
The names of the pilot and crew of Lancaster R5701 follow:
Flying Officer Neville Briant DFC
Flying Officer Leslie Dorward DFC RAAF
Flying Officer Kenneth Harrison DFM
Sergeant John Dawson
Sergeant Augustus Desmond
Sergeant Kenneth MacKay DFM
Sergeant Albert Musgrave
Wing Commander David Cole laid a wreath on behalf of the Royal Air Force. He was accompanied by Flight Lieutenant Peter Clark, who conducted the religious elements of the service, and Flight Sergeant Martin Hollow.
Other wreaths were laid on behalf of the Municipality of Brunssum, the Royal Air Force Association Branch Club Limburg, the local History Association of Brunssum, Stichting veteranen Brunssum, and the Brunssum War Cemetery Foundation.
The Mayor of Brunssum (Ms Wilma van der Rijt) and Alderman Hugo Janssen were in attendance.