SEVENTY years after a plane crashed just outside of Barnstaple, a stone memorial has been unveiled to remember those who died in the tragedy.
On September 18 1943, Wellington Bomber XHE 324 crashed into a field in Horwood killing all six crew members on board.
And to mark the 70th anniversary of the crash, a ceremony was held on Wednesday to unveil the stone at the site of the crash.
Dozens of people attended the ceremony, which was led by Reverend Kim Mathers.
Reverend Stuart Fuller shared his memories of the day of the crash, when he was just nine-years-old.
“I remember being woken up by a horrific roar. When I looked out of the window I saw a plane so low I thought it was going to hit the roof of our house.
“The glow from the flames coming from the plane was so bright it lit up my whole room. I then remember a very loud double explosion.
“Me and my mother then walked up to the site of the crash to see wreckage strewn everywhere.
“It is very fitting that today, 70 years on, we should remember those who lost their lives in this crash.”
Chivenor’s 22 Squadron performed a fly-by over the site during the ceremony, before the memorial stone was unveiled.
The stone, which was partly donated by Co-op Funeral Care in Barnstaple, has all six names of the people who lost their lives in the crash inscribed on it, as well as details of what happened.
While thanking those who had helped make installing a memorial stone possible, Cllr Ken Moore said that it was important to have the memorial so that the plane crash was not forgotten.
He said: “There are only 10 or 12 people who actually remember what happened here 70 years ago, and in another 10 to 15 years, there will be no one left who remembers it.
“But this memorial will ensure that those who lost their lives here are not forgotten for many generations to come.”
What happened in Horwood on September 18 1943:
Wellington Bomber XHE 324 which had taken off from Silverstone in Northamptonshire was out on a night training flight when it crashed into a field next to East Barton Farmhouse in Horwood.
The plane was carrying six young men between the ages of 18 and 26. They all unfortunately lost their lives in the tragedy. They were:
Flt Sgt N N Dunn, Royal Australian Air Force. Aged 25.
Sgt J Donnachie, Royal Air Force. Aged 21.
Pilot Officer H Farrer. Royal Canadian Air Force. Aged 26.
Sgt R E Dolling. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Aged 21.
Sgt J W Hallam. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Aged 18.
Sgt H A Newnham. Royal Australian Air Force. Aged 21.
Of the crew on board, three were British, two were Australian and one was Canadian.
The British crew were returned to their home towns to be buried, but the Australian and Canadian crew members were buried in the military section of Heanton Churchyard.