Worcestershire and Gloucestershire Masons help RAFA

Old Memorial Sign

The Old Memorial showing signs of Damage

Evesham and Chipping Campden Lodges were approached by the local branch of the RAFA to assist in the funding of the replacement memorial at Broadway Tower Country Park. It commemorates the five Airmen who were killed in a flying accident on the 2nd June 1943 during the Second World War. The crew were on their final training flight prior to going onto active Bomber Service when suddenly the weather closed in and the plane lost height and crashed into the hill very close to Broadway Tower.

Four of the crew were killed on impact to the ground as the plane caught fire but the Rear Gunner Sgt Elkins was pulled from the burning wreckage of the plane by the Air Warden/Spotters who were on duty at the Broadway Tower at the time; sadly he also died at the scene soon afterwards. Both Air Warden/Spotters received citations from King George IV for their bravery in pulling him from the burning wreck.

One of the Air Warden/Spotters was a Mr Albert Lowe from Chipping Campden who in 1946 was initiated into Chipping Campden Lodge and was himself a very keen Mason, although he never did go through the Chair of his Lodge. His son, the late W Bro Oliver Lowe, was very a well known and respected Mason in both Gloucestershire and Worcestershire not only in Craft Lodges but many other orders as well.

When the members of all lodges in both Evesham and the Chipping Campden heard of the sorry state the current memorial stone was in they soon decided that they should contribute to the replacement of a new stone to commemorate the events on that day especially with the Masonic connection. When the Provincial Grand Master of Gloucestershire also heard about this he was able to get the Chipping Campden donation fund matched from the Grand Charity which meant that in total Freemasonry have donated about 1/3rd of the total funds needed for the new memorial and its dedication.

Above is a picture of the old memorial stone and as can be clearly seen this has weathered away very badly indeed. Below is the new plaque replacement plastic one – replica Bronze replacing the original Bronze one which sadly was stolen about five years ago.

RH RAF 2

The New Memorial

 

 

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