Memorial unveiled for Second World War aircraft tragedy which killed a West Wickham pilot and three others
PUBLISHED: 09:46 20 April 2017 | UPDATED: 10:09 20 April 2017
The memorial was dedicated over the weekend
A new memorial to four RAF servicemen who died in the Second World War was unveiled over the Easter weekend.
On the night of April 14, 1942, Sgt Stanley Wilson Charles Culmer flew a Handley-Page Hampden bomber on an attack mission toward the Normandy port of Le Havre.
Alongside three other men, the crew left from Leicestershire airfield RAF North Luffenham, but an engine fire brought the plane down in the seaside village of Felpham, killing all four men.
Sgt Culmer was 26. He is buried in St John the Baptist churchyard in West Wickham.
A plaque had been raised on the wall of nearby a nearby Butlin’s holiday resort, but to mark the 75th anniversary, Sgt Culmer’s younger cousin was one of a number of people to attend a ceremony which saw a new memorial stone and plaque installed in Sea Road, Felpham.
RAF veteran and Distinguished Flying Cross recipient Charles Gallagher was also present.
Derek Pallett, Sgt Culmer’s cousin, heard about the memorial service through an article in “Flypast” magazine, and says until he read that article, he never knew the fate of his elder cousin, who would turn up in uniform and take him to a nearby sweetshop.
Bognor Regis RAF helped organise the service.
Branch secretary David Hewings said: “Talking to Sgt Culmer’s cousin has added much to the meaningfulness of the memorial. Sgt Culmer is no longer just a name on the memorial, but there may be more that we would like to know.
“We would very much welcome any information on the whereabouts of Sgt Culmer’s wife, Alice Primrose Culmer.
“Anyone with any information can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org “