Anson N9857 was on a night training flight from No 19 Operational Unit, Kinloss when it was reported missing on April 13th 1941. Despite an extensive search nothing was found and nothing was heard of it for six weeks until a chance siting on Ben More Assynt at 2,200 feet by a shepherd was reported. As there were no Mountain Rescue Team (They were not organised until 1943) a recovery squad was sent out to recover the bodies being guided by two volunteer guides.
|As six weeks had passed the six bodies
of the crew and trainees were in quite a state of
decomposition and it was considered dangerous as well as
very unpleasant job to bring them down from the mountain
to be buried in the nearest Churchyard. The decision was
made and carried out that the bodies should be buried
near where the aircraft wreckage lay. The bodies, seven
in all were laid side by side on a communal grave and a
cairn of peat and local rocks was built over them. A
small cross was erected and the gun turret had been
placed next to the cairn.
The cairn and other items remained untouched and gradually being eroded away until in 1985 some Air Cadets from No 2489 (Bridge of Don) squadron under the command of Flight Lieutenant Niall Aslen set out to rebuild and refurbish the grave. They rebuilt the cairn and topped it with a nine foot cross as well as replacing the small cross in position. The gun turret was also replaced and some other bits and pieces of the crashed aircrafts equipment were added.
The new cairn, plate with their names
on, six added crosses and other items were dedicated and blessed
by The Reverend Fred Hurst of The Church of Scotland at Lochinver
whilst the lads of the Air Cadets stood to attention and formed a
guard of honour for the buried airmen. A nice touch was that some
relatives also joined the group for the three hour walk from the
nearest road for the ceremony.
In the wall of the churchyard of
Inchnadamph, a hamlet at the south eastern end of Loch Assynt in
South West Sutherland about Four and a half miles from the crash
site the War Graves commission built a small memorial to the lost
airmen. This memorial made of local cobbles and rocks with a
plaque with the names of the men and a small flower trough, was
This site is a work in progress.
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