Plaques will be blessed at unique service

A special service is to be held in Upwaltham Church next Sunday to bless two plaques which have been made to commemorate the sites of the wartime plane crashes above the Upwaltham valley.

On February 13, 1944 a Lancaster crashed on Littleton Down and an American Dakota met a similar fate on the hilltop opposite a year later.

Two years ago a historic service was held at the church of St Mary the Virgin to remember airmen who had been killed in the two crashes.

The airmen came from the UK, Canada, Australia and the United States. Relatives of the dead, family members of those who had gone to their aid, and senior air force officers from the four nations joined Upwaltham residents for the service, the unveiling of a Four Nations memorial plaque and a flypast by a Lancaster from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Last year, the first annual memorial service was held in February and a specially commissioned flag flew for the occasion.

It is a compilation of the national flags representing of the 15 airmen who had been killed.

Now two black slate plaques with gold writing on them have been commissioned which will be placed on the sites of the two crashes after the service.

The blessing, conducted by the Rev Bob Mitchell, takes place on Sunday, May 15 at the Upwaltham Rogation Service at 11.30am.