Monday, 25 April 2016

RAF Liberator Plane Crash Memorial, Hare Lane, Buckland St Mary

On 22nd November 1945 a Liberator aircraft took off from RAF Merryfield near Ilminster carrying soldiers on their way to India. However it was a foggy day and it failed by a few metres to gain enough height to clear the top of the Blackdown Hills and crashed at Hare Lane near Castle Neroche in Buckland St Mary parish.  All 22 passengers and 5 crew on board were killed.

A memorial stone and plaque by the side of the road marks the spot in Hare Lane where the crash took place (grid reference ST 277 155).  The memorial stone is on the south side of the road under an ash tree, about 400 metres down the hill from Old Castle Farm.  

The memorial plaque reads:

Air Crash
22.11.1945 Liberator KH126
In Memory of the 27 men who perished at this site

Four of the crew, including the pilot, were Polish and on top of the memorial stone, which according to the Somerset Historic Environment Register is a recycled old boundary stone, is a faint carving of what appears to be an eagle.  I could make out what look to be wings but not much else.

Further Reading:

Wings over Somerset: Air Crashes since the end of World War II: Peter Forrester. The History Press, 2012 (The entry for the Hare Lane crash in this book includes the names of all those who died)

Memorial plaque

 Memorial plaque and stone
 Eagle carving on the top of the memorial stone

 Ash tree behind the memorial

1 comment:

  1. Just following up a VE Day 75 message and reached this web site ... I thought we had been through this all before, the old stone is The Devil's Stone and may well be a boundary stone ala the now-lost Black Stone but the carvings are much older than WW2.