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Thread: Search for crew photos.

  1. #1
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    Search for crew photos.

    I remember reading a book about 57 and 630 squadrons based at East Kirkby, Lincs. I can not remember the book/authors name (Bomber Command at War???) and publishing house. ( I had a nervous breakdown not long ago and my memory is shot!) I did obtain his last known address from the publishers, which I left on my PC only for the Hard Drive to destroy itself and everything on it. The reason I ask is that most of the crew photo's in the book were taken by a lady called (if I remember correctly) Kay Rowlands? I am trying to get photos of the crew of Lancaster MK1 RF124 LE/s 630 sqdn which crashed on May 17th 1945 in Wednesfield. (I know kev35 knows of this one as we PM'd each other about it) I was able to track down the brother and the sister of 2 crew members to attend a memorial service I arranged in May last year, but apart of a couple of uniformed shots of their siblings they had none of their crew mates and the family have asked if I would be able to track some down if they exist. Does anyone know if this Kay Rowlands is still alive or the name and/or contact details of the books author??
    It would be very much appreciated.
    "To speak a dead mans name is to let him live for evermore"
    If we do not investigate, learn from and preserve the past, we have no future.

  2. #2
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    Ivan

    I have a copy of ‘Silksheen, The History of East Kirkby Airfield’ by Geoff D Copeman, sounds like the book you refer to.

    Other details are:

    ISBN: 0 904597 68 7
    Published by Midland Counties Publications in 1989

    Midland Counties is now part of the Ian Allan empire, of course.

    Hope the above is of use.

    Regards

    Allan

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefofFairies
    Ivan

    I have a copy of ‘Silksheen, The History of East Kirkby Airfield’ by Geoff D Copeman, sounds like the book you refer to.
    Thats the author!!! Not the book though unfortunately, unless that too has some of her photos in as well. Might be an idea to contact them then.

    Thanks for that.
    "To speak a dead mans name is to let him live for evermore"
    If we do not investigate, learn from and preserve the past, we have no future.

  4. #4
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    Still having no luck on the name of the book. Anyone know the address of the publishing house that did "silksheen" or even if the author is still with us?
    "To speak a dead mans name is to let him live for evermore"
    If we do not investigate, learn from and preserve the past, we have no future.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2006
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    245
    Hi Ivan,
    I think the book you refer to is; 'Bomber Squadrons At War' by Geoff D. Copeman and published by Sutton Publications November 20 1997, ISBN 0750917105. This is a history of 57 Squadron and its connections with 630 Squadron. Address of Sutton is: Phoenix Mill, Thrupp. Stroud. Glos. GL5 2BU. Hope this helps.

    Robert.

  6. #6
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    Northeagle, you are a star! Many thanks Robert.
    Fingers crossed now eh?

    Ivan.
    "To speak a dead mans name is to let him live for evermore"
    If we do not investigate, learn from and preserve the past, we have no future.

  7. #7
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    Dec 1999
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    Resurrection!

    Sorry to drag this up from the archives!! I have still been unable to contact Geoff D Copeman after using his last known address. In his book Bomber Squadrons at War, (Which, thanks to you lot, I managed to grab a copy of thanks to a kind young lady who contacted me via this forum!!!) many of the crew photos are taken by a Mrs Kay Rowlands. I am unsure if he was in possesion of them or used them with her permission. Do any of you here still know if Mr Copeman is still with us and his current address? Or indeed the same with Mrs Rowlands. The reason I ask, is that another relative of the crew of Lancaster RF124 LE-S 630 squadron, that crashed near me here in Wednesfield, has very recently asked if I could trace photos of the rest of the crew. I have been able to oblige with images of FO Ronnie O'Donnell and FS John Sills. I am now after images of FO bernard Hall, FO Victor Meade, FS Gordon Rabbetts, FS Reginald Smith and FS Vincent Southworth and also of the aircraft itself. I have sent letters e-mails to the local papers in the areas where their partial remains were laid to rest, with just one response in respect of Victor Meade.
    Hoping that you can once again help me.

    Kind regards to all
    Ivan
    "To speak a dead mans name is to let him live for evermore"
    If we do not investigate, learn from and preserve the past, we have no future.

  8. #8
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    Don't know if this will help you, we have been trying to trace photos of our crew too, a new source we have been using with some success, it to try and contact the local libraries where the crew members lived, to see if they hold archive newspapers from that period. We have found some newspapers have not only a photo of the crewman but additional information about them, some have proved fruitless, but others have been well worth while. Not a complete answer to your problem, but may get you a little further.

  9. #9
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    Dec 1999
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    search for crew photos

    Ivan, sadly Geoff Copeman passed away last year. I am privileged to have had him as a friend and a source of info. I met Geoff at EK in 1999 and he was instrumental in my joining 57/630 Squadrons Reunion Association. From this conncection was able to locate most of my Dad's crew. Dad was a MUG on 57 nand he and the Nav were the only 2 Canadians.
    Cheers, Bruce McT

  10. #10
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    At Last!!

    Thankyou for that Bruce. Sad to hear about Geoff Copeman.
    As it happens, I managed to get in touch with Barry Meade, the son of Victor Meade, who was the Air Bomber on RF124. he was in my area last week and we met up to swap pictures and documentation. Barry never met his father. His Father and Mother married on the 19th May 1944. The aircraft crashed on May 17th 1945. They were only together for 3 weeks of that year. His Moms father refused to let them marry until Victor had completed his 30 missions, which he did. He then signed up to the RAFVR.
    He has supplied me with a signed photo of the crew of RF124, minus Ronnie O'Donnell for some reason (maybe he took the photo??). Thats no problem as I already have photos of Ronnie and also John Sills.
    I hope you find the following pieces interesting. Take a look particularly at the post card from John Sills. Look at the dates of the writing and of the post mark. Makes the last couple of lines all the more poignant.
    Although I now have all the crews pictures, I still want to continue to trace relatives, to pass on mementoes from the 60th anniversary memorial service.
    Incidentally, Barry Meade currently flies a rather nice 1947 Cessna 120!!
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    "To speak a dead mans name is to let him live for evermore"
    If we do not investigate, learn from and preserve the past, we have no future.

  11. #11
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    Mar 2011
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    26
    Ivan,

    You still out there.....Another Wednesfield chap here with an interest in
    RF124 (LE-S)
    Would like some advice/info if you would PM me.

  12. #12
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    Of interest Geoff Copeman published a second book on East Kirkby."Right-Hand Man" 1996 published by Euro Slug Publications a division of The One Stop Print Shop.32 Whitehorse St,Baldock,Herts. It was more about what a Lancaster flight engineer does and anecdotes of his RAF career. No ISBN given.
    Fly with the eagles,or scratch with the chickens.

  13. #13
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    T-21

    Thanks for that heads-up...I will try my fav historic book shop and see if I can source a copy of Copemans books.....

    Still want to locate this crash site as I believe its less than ten minutes walk from my home. Asked my dear old dad who is 83 and suffers with memory loss and he says he visited the site after it happened but the story seems to change every time we talk. To be honest I think he's getting confused with Alec Henshaws Spitfire crash that also took place along Lichfield Road.

    So if anyone can give me a 'modern' street/estate location I would be very interested.

  14. #14
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    There is something here http://www.expressandstar.com/millen...1949/1945.html also local talks last year were about the Lancaster . Your local Public Record office should help try the Police/ARP reports.
    Fly with the eagles,or scratch with the chickens.

  15. #15
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    Mar 2011
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    T-21,
    Thanks for the link....A trip to the local archieves is on the to-do list. I know 100% that its no use contacting the local plod as all their Occurance books etc will have been destroyed and when that was done there was no computer back up or micro fische systems in place to copy that information. I do believe that the local papaer the Express & Star had a picture of the crash scene but I have no idea if its possible to plot the crash scene from that (dont hold much hope). I may even just write to the letters page and hope a local 'Silver Surfer' can shed some light on things.

    The reports seem to conflict from eye witness accounts (from what i have found so far) some say it hit power cables, some say it was on fire at low level (even hitting a chimney pot) and one says it hit flew straight into the ground from a high altitude spewing the wreckage was over a 2 square mile plot. Reports state that nothing bigger than the size of a table top was left....To my untrained thinking method, they cant all be right....I do like a mystery.

    I do believe that my local 'Pal' Ivan may hold the key to all this as he has had contact with relatives of the crew and has some documents etc but he has not replied to a PM I sent him. perhaps he will put things right in a day or so (fingers crossed)
    Last edited by Penfoldsmith; 31st March 2011 at 09:44. Reason: addition of info

  16. #16
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    Some other information here on a previous thread http://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?t=42196
    Fly with the eagles,or scratch with the chickens.

  17. #17
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    Fly with the eagles,or scratch with the chickens.

  18. #18
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    T-21,

    Great links mate, many thanks....I have PM'd Kev35 in the hope he may be able to assist further. No reaction off Ivan yet I'm afraid...

    Kindest regards
    Graham

  19. #19
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    Penfold.

    Got your PM. I believe the crash site was on the Linthouse Lane side of the main Bloxwich to Wednesfield Road. I haven't heard from Ivan for a while now, perhaps a year. His profile shows he last visited the forum on 7th December last year.

    I'll have a look at Google maps and get back to you when I have more time.

    Regards,

    kev35
    The Forums only '"blithering anorak" as endorsed by ZRX61

  20. #20
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    Apologies...

    sorry for not replying sooner folks. Major up-heavals in personal life means I am now resident in Looe, Cornwall!! I have pictures of the site on my photobucket page I think so will get **** into gear and find them out. Failing that, I brought all my research down here with me so will attempt to scan it and upload for perusal. Bear with me!!
    "To speak a dead mans name is to let him live for evermore"
    If we do not investigate, learn from and preserve the past, we have no future.

  21. #21
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    Mar 2011
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    26
    Ivan,
    You sir are a star...Many thanks for the e-mails and taking the time and trouble to assist in keeping the memory of these guys alive. As you live so far away (like being on your jollidays there mate. lol) I will take up the baton and try the Express & Star again to see if any Silver Surfers can help.
    Graham

  22. #22
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    Oct 2010
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    6

    Your Quote.

    You, or whoever you are quoting, are so right....we have no right to deny our forbears their lives.......however short they might have been. It is so sad that once my generation has gone nobody will know them as real live people.They will, hopefully be remembered as " He fought and died in the war " That is, at least, something.

  23. #23
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    Mar 2011
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    My letter was published in the Express and Star yesterday 11/4/11 and I have had 4 replies so far. Most are from relatives of people who talked about the crash but have since passed away themselves. What was rather encouraging was that one reply was from a 17 year old, that gave me hope for the future of the memory of this aircrew. I only wished that the editor had given the letter a better more eye catching title rather than " Looking for crash facts".......Oh well, perhaps more replies will come in today who knows.

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