Grave of the lancaster crew
"Let me tell you that your departed relatives could not be buried in a warmer soil because I know that people of this parish will guard and shelter it with a love of which the last two years have shown many examples”. The words are those of Mr. Kokkenborg, former rector of the parish of Skarrild., to the dead fliers’ bereaved relatives who were present at the inauguration of the memorial on 27 August 1946, exactly two years after the shooting down of Lancaster ME650 from East Kirkby in England. The number of participants at the inauguration from the parish of Skarrild and neighbouring parishes was very high, more than a thousand people.
In the Fliers Grave
Flt.Lieut Evelyn George William Bowers, England
W/O William John Carrier, Australia
Pilot Offr. Wilfred James Fingland, Canada
Sgt. Alan Ambrose Michael Langridge, England
Pilot Offr. Burton McLauchlin, Canada
Sgt. Guy Raymond Stott, England
Sgt. Leslie Thompson, England.
The seven fliers were buried on 29. August 1944 with large local participation in spite of German opposition. The Germans had put a simple wooden cross on the grave. In the course of the day and the following days the grave was covered with flowers.
The grave in 1944
Relatives visiting the grave in 1946
The people of Skarrild wanted to give the deceased fliers a memorial. On 30 April 1945 the Parish Council decided that it would pay the costs and after the liberation on 5 May the plans for a special memorial were finalized with expert assistance.
Assisted by Mr. Frederik Lausen, Director, Clasonsborg, Mr. Jensen, cemetery gardener, Herning, Mr. Hansen Glem, Sculptor, Mr. Broeksted Christensen, architect, and Mr. Holm, master builder, Skarrild a beautiful and monumental memorial was built. The costs, amounting to Dkr. 3500, were borne by the local authority of Skarrild.
In 1947 the Parish Council decided that the Parish Council of Skarrild will maintain the Fliers Grave through the ages.
The local cemetery gardener in Skarrild has shown loving care of the grave and since 1963 Captain E.V.H. Jensen (Ret), Karup Air Base, has tended the grave and with great veneration renovated the memorial and the propeller.
The propeller is not as many people seem to think- from the crashed Lancaster but was brought to Jutland in October 1945 from the RAF Headquarters in Germany. It was kept at Clasonsborg until it was placed in the cemetery. The propeller is four-bladed in contrast the Lancasters three-bladed propeller. It is either from the specially built Lancaster VII or one of the earliest prototypes of the Lincoln bomber which came after the Lancaster and which was intended for the military effort against Japan.
In a ceremony in August 1991 the ashes of the twin brother of one of the dead fliers, George Victor Carrier from Australia, were placed in the fliers grave, close to the body of his dead brother, William John Carrier. His nephew, John Carrier, had travelled the long way from Australia with his fathers urn. A small granite stone with a brass plaque in the shape of the Australian continent was placed on the grave in 2002 at the request of Captain E.V.H. Jensen and Mr. Ole Kraul, Horsens.
5.12. 2003 KWB
low pass of Lancaster PA474 may 5th. 2011 at Skarrild / in memorial of the 7 crew member of the ME650, killed at the crash august 27th 1944