MARKING THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DAMBUSTERS RAID, IN HIGH PEAK
I attended a very moving ceremony at the war memorial in nearby Chapel en le Frith yesterday, to remember RAF 617 Squadron's Flight Lieutenant William (Bill) Astell who died at the age of 23 when his Lancaster bomber exploded shortly after crossing the Dutch border on the flight to the dams. During the raid, another local man, Sergeant Jack Marriot, from New Smithy near Chinley, also lost his life. His Lancaster crashed after it had dropped its bouncing bomb on the parapet of the Eder dam.
I also witnessed the 'fly past' by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight's Lancaster bomber 'City of Lincoln' - on its way back from a fly over of the Derwent Dam in the Hope Valley. This dam was used by 617 Squadron during the war to practice the dropping of 'bouncing bombs'. The sight of this historic aircraft was a poignant moment, as it circled the village several times before leaving us. Below are two photographs of the Lancaster. The one on the left was taken by me, whilst the other was kindly provided by Becky at High Peak Radio.
You can read part of my book free here: 'Guernsey Evacuees: The
Forgotten Evacuees of the Second World War'