Beaumont Leys plane crash on 25th April 1943.
I wrote some years back to the Leicester
Mercury about the aircraft crash on what we called Brundells Hill,
I.8. in your account (as shown in Cartwright 2002) and as the Leicester
Mercury and its readers could not recall if I had thought
that I had imagined it! My parents soon confirmed my recollection
We lived on Mill Hill at the end of Rosses
Walk in Belgrave. From the front of the house we had a clear view
over the fields towards Abbey Lane and Corporation Road. I was sitting
in the front room when I heard an explosion and running outside
saw a tremendous fire, flames, 50 feet high on the brow of the hill
behind the Central Railway. My parents came in just after and told
me that they were walking down Checketts Road when this plane came
overhead on fire. It just missed the Church (St. Peters) then went
over the fields beyond the river and Beaumanor Road, climbed slightly
The area was closed off and I didnt
get a chance to look, but after it was cleared, we found a shallow
crater where it had fallen. There were rumours that the crew had
bailed out just before impact and that their parachutes were opened
around the crash site. It was also said that the pilot had lifted
the plane over the houses in Beaumanor Road and Abbey Lane so as
to spare the people there.
I have often wondered who the crew were
and if there is any memorial to them?
I think the site of the crash was at Greystoke
Close or thereabouts. I have heard it said that the crew were Canadians.
One of my hobby horses is the often made remark that we "stood
alone" in 1940. The Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders,
South Africans, and many more Commonwealth Nations stood with us
from the very beginning.
By B. Turner
See Postscript here.
Cartwright, T.C. 2002 Birds Eye Wartime Leicestershire
1939-1945 TCC Publications, Leicester.