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Mayor attends WW2 crash site memorial

Councillor Tony Konieczny and George Beale attended a commemorative ceremony in Rudgwick
Councillor Tony Konieczny and George Beale

In March of this year, an appeal was made through the Abergavenny Chronicle to find relatives of a local airman who died in WW11. Two RAF B-25 Mitchell bombers collided over Rudgwick in Sussex on the 7th of January 1944. They were returning to RAF Dunsfold from a mission to bomb a V1(doodlebug bomb) launch site near Cherbourg. All eight men of the aircrew were killed in the crash.

A great nephew of one of the crew decided to erect a memorial near the site of the crash and planned a remembrance service for relatives of the airmen.

A national appeal was launched and was successful for seven of the crew - the exception being for 23 year old Douglas Morris from Abergavenny.

Originally from Ebbw Vale, Douglas moved to Abergavenny with his mother after his father died in 1924, aged just 30. Douglas went to King Henry V111 Grammar school and volunteered for the RAF in 1940. Following his tragic death, he is buried in the Commonwealth War Graves section in Llanfoist cemetery.

The original appeal to find relatives of Douglas went to Abergavenny library where volunteer historian, George Beale, tried to trace relatives by researching his family tree. Despite the appeal in this newspaper and other local papers, nobody came forward. As a result, the Mayor of Abergavenny, Councillor Tony Konieczny and George Beale were invited to represent Douglas at the commemorative ceremony in Rudgwick on Saturday 31st of August. The emotional service was well attended and was followed by a visit to the crash site of one of the aircraft.

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