Last Updated:

8 Mar 2021

Crash Site of Bristol Beaufort L9797, Ashington

Ashington, Northumberland

55.184491, -1.595036

This is a

Crash Site

Founded in 

1940

Current status is

No sign of the crash remains

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Those that passed in the crash are laid to rest in Ashington. The Air Gunner is buried in Chevington Cemetery.

'The aircraft took off 21.45 hours on the 5/6/1940 for a bombing raid on Ghent. was returning from operations on the Ghent Oil Refineries. At 02.30 hours on the 6/6/1940. it crossed the coast at Blyth, Northumberland, with flak damage to the airframe and got caught in the searchlights; the pilot was dazzled so he flew lower but hit the balloon barrage cables, two of the crew baled out and the aircraft crashed into houses at Fifth Row, Ashington, one house (No.77) was completely demolished and two others damaged, three civilians were killed, all lived in the same house.

Pilot Officer (pilot) Westlake RAF pilot - OK
590984 (observer) Sgt Twitchen RAF OK (Sgt Twitchen was in another crash later on the 10-9-1940 his body was never recovered).
623844 (wireless operator) Sgt Llewellyn Edwin Thomas Harris killed. Buried at Portsmouth (Kingston) cemetery, Portsmouth, Hampshire plot 54 (evens) row 14 grave 23.
637032 (air gunner) Sgt Patrick O'Flaherty killed. Buried at Portsmouth (Kingston) cemetery, Portsmouth, Hampshire Sec H grave 243

Sgt Llewellyn Edwin Thomas Harris (Eddy) is my great uncle. he is lived on today by over 90 family members because he died so we may live in the freedoms that he gave his life to defend.

Lest we forget -
Miss Gladys Audrey Cox 18. passed away in hospital later same day.
Mr Henry Cox 52 passed away on sight.
Mrs Eleanor Cox 49 passed away on sight

All rest at Ashington, urban district cemetery; let those who come after see to it that these people be not forgotten. We will remember them.'

- Written by Robert Kemp at https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=22244

Both Ordnance Survey images above, from 1947 and 1967, illustrate Fifth Row in Ashington. The first survey was actually produced before the war but was delayed, so presents No. 77 in its former state. Though on the later map it is hard to tell exactly where the property was at it does not show any demolished building in Fifth Row. Interestingly. pre-war the colliery terraces are lined with colliery tramways all leading to the complex to the north. They may have been in situ by the 60s though aren't shown on the plan. The rows on this side were all demolished in favour of 60s and 70s developments, though the avenues closer to the east are still occupied.

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