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David Theaker


I was born in February 1939 in Hirst Courtney but moved with my parents to Barlow soon after. We lived on Barlow Common Road next door to the farm there. The house lay directly under the flightpath for Burn. I remember as a small child watching the planes go off on their bombing missions so it would be 1944 and the planes were Halifax. I remember three aircraft crashes from that time.

On one occasion two bombers crashed on the same night. It was said that they collided as they were returning to Burn. One fell just to the south side of Barlow Common Road between where we lived and our school which at that time was on the right as you entered Barlow vilage. I remember large holes filled with oil/oily water at the crash site, people removing wreckage and also us collecting live cannon shells which we endeavoured to split open and then set fire to the cordite we extracted.

The second plane fell a short distance away on the south side of the railway. My father and I went by bicycle to look at this crash site and I remember the emergency crews carrying bodybags to the awaiting ambulances.

The third aircraft fell in a wooded area to the south side of Thief Lane about half a mile from the Selby to Snaith road. I don't know much about this site other than finding a circular magnet from a magnito which I had for many years.

I am now living in Gloucestershire, and from time to time, when visiting the area I drive past these sites which remain untouched as they were in 1944. I hope these few words will be on interest to someone.

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