Search for relatives of Letchworth RAF WWII crash victim

A RELATIVE of an airman who lost his life in a World War II plane crash is searching for the family of a Letchworth GC crew mate who was also killed.

David Richardson, the nephew of Sgt Lawrence Nicholson who died when a Stirling bomber crashed when returning from a mission on August 21, 1942, hopes to find the relatives of Sgt Frank Clarke, after a memorial was unveiled at the crash site in Devon earlier this month.

Sgt Clarke acted as the mid-upper gunner in a seven-strong crew who were all killed when their aircraft crashed into high ground near the village of Lutton, north east of Plymouth, when returning from their final mission, dropping mines off the west coast of France.

It is believed the bomber was hit by anti-aircraft fire but made it back to England, only to crash in Devon after getting lost in thick fog.

Mr Richardson now hopes he can track down surviving relatives of the RAF man, who was buried in Letchworth Cemetery, so they can pay tribute themselves.

“It meant so much to me and I’m sure the other relatives would want to know about it as well,” said the Hull resident, who found out about the memorial by chance through reading about it in an online RAF forum.

“The vicar is planning on putting a memorials book in the local church so if the family have any other information about his career it can be added.”

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Sgt Clarke’s parents, Lawrence and Elizabeth Clarke, both lived in Letchworth GC, and he was one of five children. His siblings were Alice, Eric, Lloyd and Jack.

*If you are related to Sgt Clarke, or know someone who is, contact The Comet newsdesk on 01438 866200 or email