Stanley James Margrie

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I wish to know about the above person please, I have a report on the crash by someone who saw the bodies laying on the ground the day after his plane crashed. I am his niece and very proud of my uncle. The person who told me about the bodies was 5 years old at the time but he doesn't want his name mentioned to anyone. I have the report and can send it to anyone without his name on it. Hope to hear from anyone soon about this matter. Diane
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Diane, For any members to help. I think that they will need a little more information. Date of the crash Where was it Was Mr. Margrie a serviceman or civilian ? If you can provide the answers, then someone might know something. Best wishes,

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A brief search of the CWGC site shows the following: MARGRIE, STANLEY JAMES Flying Officer service no. 165657 date of death:13/01/1945 age:21 Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve service country: United Kingdom memorial/ grave reference:Sec. A. Grave 1560. HORNCHURCH CEMETERY I hope this may provide more leads

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I see from other sites you have already found the following which may also help others in pointing you in the right direction: He was a flying officer W.Op/nav at 60 OTU His aircaft came down in Lyneal Woods, ellesmere Shropshire. You understand from your mother the aircraft blew up

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Where Stanley trained
I see from other sites you have already found the following which may also help others in pointing you in the right direction: He was a flying officer W.Op/nav at 60 OTU His aircaft came down in Lyneal Woods, ellesmere Shropshire. You understand from your mother the aircraft blew up
I know that he went to Canada to train but I don't know where the training school was, nobody seems to have any information on that, does anyone have any information one where he trained please?
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You can obtain a copy of his service records from the RAF. This will give you a lot of fill-in detail and is well worth the effort.
Requesting Records of Deceased Service Personnel The RAF Disclosure address is: RAF Disclosures Room 6, Trenchard Hall RAFC Cranwell Sleaford Lincs NG34 8HB
60 OTU records are available, but not as a download - http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7161033 The incident is possibly covered in this book, though I can't guarantee - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pancakes-Prangs-Twentieth-century-Accidents-Shropshire/dp/184494087X Do return and tell us what you find out. Moggy
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Thread moved to Historic where it may attract more responses Moggy Moderator
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Aircraft was Anson I s/n MK890. The aircraft crashed on a night training flight in the early hours of 13th, Pilot W/O Russell, Nav P/O Lovatt, and Navigators under instruction P/O Margrie, P/O Langston, P/O Tinkess and Sgt EG Williams killed.

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[ATTACH=CONFIG]239911[/ATTACH] This is the Navigator class photo from No.60 OTU ORB. F/O Margrie is third from left , front row. No.43 Course - Navigators Back Row Sgt Young, P/O Horeler, Sgt Williams, F/O Wallis, P/O Berney, F/O Wise, Sgt Reich, Sgt Brown Front Row P/O Koen, P/O Embley. P/O Margrie, P/O Busby, P/O Hewitt, P/O Langston, P/O Tinkess Edit - Looking at earlier pages of the ORB P/O Margrie is listed as being posted into No.60 on 29th Dec 1944, arriving from Harrogate (this is normally the PRC holding unit where he was waiting space to open up at No.60 OTU ) Ross
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Profile picture for user Moggy C

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Wow! Struck gold! Thanks Ross. Moggy

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Wow! Struck gold! Ross. Moggy
Thanks for the photo of Stan, BUT what I really need to know is: Whereabouts in Canada he trained. Also, Mum and Dad told me that there was nothing in his coffin accept sand to weight it down for the funeral but on the report that I have from the eyewitness on the morning after the crash they told me that they had seen the bodies laying on the ground and there was 6 of them. Could someone kindly find ANY reports of this accident from any book or records that are in the RAF archives do you think? I know that Stan had a speech defect, could this be the reason that he crashed as he couldn't get his words out quickly enough to tell the pilot that he was too low in flying into the airfield that he was aiming for please? REPORT OF THE EYEWITNESS: A Wartime Memory Saturday, January 13th, 1945 was a particularly sad day in the lives of the inhabitants of a small village in the heart of rural Shropshire, for it was the day the war came to them with the loss of six brave young lives on their own doorstep. Lyneal was a close-knit agricultural community and although most families had been adversely affected, in a variety of ways, by the events of the previous five years, a true wartime spirit prevailed. I was born on the 28th of January 1940 at Rose Cottage in Lyneal, my father having gone away to war in September 1939. Apart from brief periods of leave, which I don’t really remember, I would not have seen him again until later in 1945. In those war years the skies would have been busy, but Lyneal remained unscathed, apart from one or two stray German bombs which exploded harmlessly in nearby fields. The events of Saturday, January 13th 1945, were to form my earliest childhood memory. Agricultural workers producing food for the beleaguered population were considered essential to the war effort and as such were not called up to serve in the armed services. Many of them joined the local Home Guard and received basic army defence training. Two such men were Noel Griffiths and Arthur Malam. Equipment was initially in very short supply and Noel was particularly miffed that he didn’t get a rifle for several months after joining. Noel (now 82 and living in Cornwall) lived at Lyneal Mill, a small hamlet, some half a mile out of Lyneal on the Loppington road, whilst Arthur lived at the family farm much nearer to Loppington on the same road. They were both members of Welshampton Home Guard and on the evening of Friday, January 12th 1945 they cycled through Lyneal to Welshampton to attend a Home Guard get-together. The Home Guard had been stood down in December 1944 and this was more of a social evening. Late that evening or early on the morning of the 13th and possibly alcohol fuelled, they made their journey home. When they were in the vicinity of the canal bridge, which is about half way between Lyneal and Welshampton, they became aware of an aircraft flying overhead towards Lyneal with one of its engines on fire. Anticipating that a crash was imminent they went in hot pursuit as fast as their legs would pedal. The aircraft had struggled on for another half mile or so before plummeting to earth and they were the first to reach the crash scene. The aircraft had come down in a field opposite Brook Cottage, then the home of the Clarke family, on the Lyneal – Loppington road, roughly half way between the village and Noel’s home at Lyneal Mill. On opening the field gate they were initially confronted by the dead body of an airman still wearing his unopened parachute. Blazing wreckage was strewn over a wide area and unable to approach the fuselage of the plane because of the flames they decided to ride back into Lyneal and raise the alarm. Few people had telephones in those days, but they managed to awaken farmer Reg McHugh at Tower Farm who contacted the emergency services. As the morning of the 13th dawned, news of the night’s disaster quickly spread and villagers made their way down to Brook Cottage to see the aftermath of the crash. I was then just a fortnight short of my fifth birthday and I was taken by my mother to witness the scene. My recollections, even to this day, remain quite vivid in my mind, bits and pieces of aircraft spread over a large area, even in fields beyond that in which the fuselage was buried nose first in the ground. The question was whether I could trust my memories some sixty three years later. From the evidence I have gleaned from other witnesses it seems that I could. Early in the morning gloom of the 13th my cousin Michael Hughes, who lived in Lyneal, set off down the Loppington road to cycle to Wem Grammar School, Saturday morning attendance being compulsory in those days. Shortly after leaving the village he came upon the crash scene which had already been secured by RAF personnel. After a short while he continued along the road and called for friends Frank and Les Davies who lived some 400 yards further on at Lyneal Mill opposite the home of Noel Griffiths. The Davies brothers, who also attended Wem Grammar School, were unaware of the incident and all three returned to the crash scene before setting off to Wem. I have spoken to Frank Davies and he remembers seeing sheeted bodies laid out on the roadside verge by Brook Cottage, but my cousin does not recall this. Other witnesses to the crash scene, including Noel’s brother Eric Griffiths, visited the site later in the day and recall, as I do, that we were allowed to wander into the field and view close up what remained of the wreckage. All the witnesses I have spoken to are of the opinion that the fuselage entered the ground at or near to the position indicated on the map and a recent photograph of the field indicates that this coincides with a strip of low lying boggy ground. I know that the hole made by the fuselage remained for many years and maybe it was never filled, which in all probability means that the present waterlogged region was the area of impact. Crash site photographed from the direction of Brook Cottage. Note the boggy area some 75 -100 yards from the Lyneal – Loppington road. It is also the general consensus that the plane must have disintegrated whilst in the air, thus accounting for the widespread dispersal of bodies and debris. In January 1945 the war in Europe was progressing well and the Germans were being driven back towards their national borders by a persistent Allied onslaught. Instrumental in this was the support of the British, Commonwealth and Allied air forces who now had massive air superiority. Over the preceding years, since September 1939, tens of thousands of aircrew had lost their lives, many on active service as fighter and bomber crews, but a large minority whilst training for such missions. For instance it is estimated that the number of Spitfire pilots lost in action was matched by the number lost in training. The main role of Shropshire’s wartime airfields was that of training, although active missions were flown from some of them by night fighters intercepting German bombers attacking targets in the north of England and by long distance bombers flying into occupied Europe on propaganda leaflet drops. Most of the disused airfields are now in a sorry state of decay, but some still retain remnants of buildings, runways and control towers. Their locations were: - Atcham, Bratton, Bridleway Gate (Wem), Brockton, Chetwynd, Condover, Cosford. High Ercall, Hinstock, Hodnet, Midland Gliding Club (Church Stretton), Monkmoor, Montford Bridge, Peplow, Rednal, Shawbury, Sleap, Tern Hill, Tilstock and Weston Park. RAF High Ercall was one of the most important of Shropshire’s airfields and in the early part of the war during the Blitz was a frontline night fighter station. Over the wartime period all types of aircraft came and went: - Beaufighters, Spitfires, Typhoons, Hurricanes, Lancasters, Lightnings, Mosquitos, Ansons, etc. On the evening of Friday, January 12th 1945 an Avro Anson, Serial Number NK 890, took off from RAF High Ercall with a crew of six on a training exercise from which it was never to return. The purpose was to train the crew for night intruder missions behind enemy lines. Avro Ansons were used to train pilots and navigators in wireless procedures and navigation systems. This particular aircrew, despite their young age, were already very experienced flyers on the most advanced night fighter of the war at this time, the de Havilland Mosquito. Avro Anson NK 890 was on charge at 60 OTU (Operational Training Unit) which had been set up at RAF High Ercall on the 7th May, 1943 to train Mosquito aircrew. It’s destination that evening is unknown, but around the midnight hour of January 12th/13th it crashed just outside the village of Lyneal. The official accident card reads ‘Pilot apparently lost control at night. Aircraft crashed in a wood and burst into flames at Lyneal Wood. 0.55hrs.’ The time may be correct but the other details seem totally inaccurate. As can be seen from the map the continuation of a line joining the canal bridge and the crash site passes through both Shawbury and High Ercall indicating that it was on the return journey trying to reach base. The board of inquiry found that control of the aircraft was lost and it spun into the ground, but that seems only part of the story. The facts that the flight path was NW to SE and that the aircraft was in flames were most probably not known to the board at that time and these have only come to light from the discovery of new eye witness evidence. The crew were believed to be:- Warrant Officer John Alexander Campbell Russell, aged 25, pilot, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve of Edinburgh. Arrived from 55 Squadron on the 8th October 1944. Sergeant Enoch Gwyn-Fryn Williams, aged 25, navigator, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve of Wolverhampton. Arrived from Harrogate on the 29th December 1944. Flying Officer John Kenneth Langston, aged 22, navigator/wireless operator, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve of Folkestone. Arrived from Harrogate on the 27th December 1944. Flying Officer William Alfred Lovatt, aged 23, navigator, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve of Coseley. Navigator Instructor arrived from 140 Wing on the 30th October 1944. Flying Officer Donald Guthrie Tinkess, aged 24, navigator, Royal Canadian Air Force of Ottawa. Arrive from Bournemouth on the 27th December 1944. Flying Officer Stanley James Margrie, aged 21, navigator/wireless operator, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve of Hornchurch. Arrived from Harrogate on the 29th December 1944. From 60OTU ORB (Operations Record Book): - ‘During the early hours while the night flying programme for the 12th was being carried out an Anson NK890, while on a training flight, crashed. W/O Russell, the pilot, P/O Lovatt, the Navigation Instructor and the following navigators under instruction, P/O’s Margrie, Langston, Tinkess and Sgt E G Williams were all killed’ Pilot Officer D G Tinkess All except Flying Officer Tinkess were buried at cemeteries in their home areas. He was buried in Blacon Cemetery, Chester. According to Noel Griffiths the number of aircrew on board the Anson did not tally with the RAF pre-flight record. This information must have been gleaned from RAF personnel at the scene and it seems likely that someone switched crew at the last moment. In my opinion it may well have been Flying Officer Tinkess who it is rumoured was later found to have been named as a casualty in another fatal crash on the same night. In the days following the crash, the accessible wreckage was removed by 34 MU (Maintenance Unit) based at Monkmoor. Although referred to as a maintenance unit it was in reality a salvage unit, RAF controlled but employing civilian workers. The Sleap based Wartime Aircraft Recovery Group made an initial investigation of the site some eight or ten years ago with metal detectors and magnetometers but failed to turn up anything substantial, merely small bits and pieces. At that time the likely location was ill-defined and they searched the whole field apart from the boggy area which was under water. As the years go by it seems to get more difficult to obtain RAF permission to search what may be defined as a war grave. In this case permission has been refused three times since the initial investigation referred to above. However, armed with the extra evidence unearthed, indications are that it may now become a much more feasible possibility.

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Diane, Re #6, I think Moggy has given an old address. You do not need to write to Cranwell; details (and forms) as to how to obtain your uncle's service record can be found at https://www.gov.uk/requests-for-personal-data-and-service-records#how-to-apply-for-service-personnel-records. There is a £30 fee (unless it's changed) and a delay of between 20 and 25 weeks before you receive any documents. The service record will list all the stations/units with which he served, and although there are usually quite a few acronyms the documents include a decode of the most common. Should you need any help in understanding what you receive I'm we can help you trace his journey. Whatever, his service record will list the units with which he trained, and from that the locations can be identified. Edit: Since one of the crew was a Canadian (Flying Officer Donald Guthrie Tinkess, aged 24, navigator, Royal Canadian Air Force of Ottawa) a copy of the Board of Inquiry into the accident may be with his documents in Canada. These are easily obtainable; I'm unsure of the procedure but someone here should be able to point you in the right direction. If not I'll ask on the RAF Commands forum. Brian

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Hi Brian, PLEASE could you see if you could get me a copy of the inquiry into the accident somehow do you think? I would like to know what happened as Mum and Dad never knew and I live so close to the cemetery where he is buried. The Royal British Legion didn't know how to get this for me. There were bodies on the ground so, if Dad was told that there wasn't anyone in the coffin, what happened to the bodies on the ground then, he was told that there was nothing to bury or that is what he told me???????????
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Diane, Re #6, I think Moggy has given an old address. You do not need to write to Cranwell; details (and forms) as to how to obtain your uncle's service record can be found at https://www.gov.uk/requests-for-personal-data-and-service-records#how-to-apply-for-service-personnel-records.
Well yes, if you want to take the roundabout route instead of applying to the RAF direct that is good information. Moggy

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STANLEY JAMES MARGRIE
Well yes, if you want to take the roundabout route instead of applying to the RAF direct that is good information. Moggy
So please can someone get the inquiry report for me do you think? Diane

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It's not a roundabout route, Moggy, it is the best way to get things done. The link provides the form with all the necessary information required. Once completed it is sent to RAF 3rd Party Disclosure Team, Room 14, Trenchard Hall, RAF Cranwell, Sleaford, LINCS, NG34 8HB (notice the different address).

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Diane, Write to the Canadian archives requesting the service record for Flying Officer Donald Guthrie Tinkess, (RCAF), service number J/45437 service record as he was on your uncle's aircraft. You should give his service number which was J/45437, and the date of the accident. (I obtained his service number from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website at http://www.cwgc.org/ ). It's snail mail I'm afraid and the address is: Personnel Records Unit, Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, ON K1A 0N3 There's no fee, but quite a long wait. You will get all the information about Tinkess (99% will be of no interest) but it could include a report, or summary of the Board of Inquiry. You could also request a Form 1180 for the aircraft from the RAF Museum at Hendon. An F1180 is a very brief summary of an accident and, sometimes, the possible cause. The F1180 is a handwritten document which may be difficult to read, especially if one is unaccustomed to RAF parlance. Go to http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/research/research-enquiries/contact-collections-division.aspx and fill in the form. All you need to do is ask for the F1180 for Anson MK890 which crashed on 13 Jan 1945. There's usually a 3-4 week delay for an answer, but no fee. Brian

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Thanks for info, I shall go to website straight away. I have now emailed the Museum, which I hope to hear from before I go away otherwise my laptop will come with me!!!!

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I know that Stan had a speech defect, could this be the reason that he crashed as he couldn't get his words out quickly enough to tell the pilot that he was too low in flying into the airfield that he was aiming for please?
I would say categorically not. The RAF would not permit anybody with a speech defect to qualify as aircrew if their speech defect was bad enough to impair operational efficiency; unless Stan managed to somehow cover it up. Also, the eyewitness account of the aircraft before the crash states that one of the engines was on fire; this is not something that an eyewitness would likely be mistaken about. An eyewitness account also states that a crew member was discovered away from the wreckage wearing a parachute; that would indicate (probably) that at least one crew member baled-out before the aircraft first impacted the ground (unless they had been thrown-clear during the impact). Most RAF parachutes of the period were not worn in the aircraft (except some types used by pilots) and had to be physically clipped onto the parachute harness worn by the crew; this would only be done if the crew member was about to bale-out.

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So Stan would have known that he was going to die then? I was told that it was a night time flight as the crew MIGHT have been training for bombing raids this was hinted at by a family researcher at the library, could this be true do you think? Is it possible to find out whether this might be true or not do you think?
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Forgive me but this fascinating thread seeking historical evidence seems to be turning into a request for speculation and interpretation of events decades ago about which no one has any personal knowledge. Is that helpful?