“So far from home” – Hundreds gather at unveiling of Walton Park war memorial

Walton Park war memorial [image: Katy Ratican]
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A new war memorial has been unveiled in Walton Park, to commemorate the aircrew who crash-landed there on the third of August 1943, killing two Australian airmen.

The ‘Wimpy’ memorial was unveiled today (17th October) by Warrant Officer Rodney Wallace R.A.A.F., supported by Wing Commander Stephen Chaskin R.A.F.

Opening remarks at the event were led by the Mayor of Trafford, Councillor Chris Boyes. 

Walton Park war memorial [image: Katy Ratican]
Walton Park war memorial [image: Katy Ratican]

The ceremony, which had been rescheduled twice due to national events, attracted plenty of local residents and pupils from Springfield Primary School were also in attendance.

The memorial reads:

In honour of the allied airmen whose aircraft crashed on this site 3rd August 1943

Royal Australian Air Force Personnel:

F/Sgt. Frederick James Matthews (Pilot)
F/Sgt. Edward Claude Thompson (Bomb Aimer)
F/Sgt. Edward Sargent Newell (Observer)
F/Sgt. Keith Gavin Forbes (Wireless Operator)
F/O. Clive Prosdocimi Luther (Mid Gunner)

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve:

Sgt. John Emmanuel McCarthy (Rear Gunner)

So far from home

Walton Park war memorial [image: Katy Ratican]
Walton Park war memorial [image: Katy Ratican]

The Wellington bomber’s pilot and bomb aimer were both killed in the crash. The remaining members of the crew survived the accident. 

Walton Park war memorial
The information board next to the Walton Park war memorial

The memorial’s arrival is largely thanks to local resident and tenacious historian, George Cogswell, who closed today’s event by giving thanks to those that have helped to make the memorial a reality. He has collected research about the crash over the last 30 years. 

He said, “It’s wonderful to see school children here, as we are handing down history to future generations. With this memorial, we can show our Australian allies that their sacrifices are not forgotten, here in Sale.” 

If you would like to learn more about the air crash, watch this video:

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