A visit to a special place – the An Lurg Wellington Crash site in the Cairngorms with a relative of the crew.

Today I am off early hopefully to take the son of one of the crew of  a wartime aircraft crash in the Cairngorms during the war. This will be a difficult journey as Phil was born 6 weeks after his father and all the crew were killed. Phil has never been before and this will be a special journey for him and will be accompanied by his sons Julian and John who are driving up from Manchester with him.  I have visited this crash site on a few occasions and Phil read my Blog whilst he was up in Elgin last year visiting his father’s grave on the 70 th anniversary and has always wanted to visit this special place. It will be a memorable and  special day and will be some journey for Phil and the family to pay their respects to his father and the crew.   It is a fair trek in for Phil and the family but I am sure we will make it taking it slowly. The weather is due to break tomorrow so hopefully they will see the Cairngorms in its glory today and find peace after there long journey in the wild and savage beauty of this part of the Cairngorms.

1944 the 14 th of August – The An Lurg Wellington Crash. Grid Ref  NJ 048097)

An Lurg Aug 2014

An Lurg Aug 2014 Crash site

On the 14 August 1944 this aircraft a Vickers Wellington HF816/A of 20 OTU took off from RAF Lossiemouth on a cross – country training Exercise  Night navigational Excercise and crashed on the plateau on An Lurg in the Cairngorms 71 years ago  (2015) sadly killing all the crew. The remains of the aircraft are spread out on a wild  high moorland near Bynack More in the Cairngorms. The Vickers Wellington HF816/A of 20 OTU took off from RAF Lossiemouth for a cross country training exercise (night Navex). However, at 22.30hrs, the aircraft crashed on moorland close to An Lurg Grid a  hill due N of Bynack Móre in the remote Cairngorms mountains. It is a seldom visited crash site and if you go please be respectful and leave the wreckage as it is. Thank you.

Sadly all the crew  of 6 lost their lives.

 

 

About heavywhalley.MBE

Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist
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4 Responses to A visit to a special place – the An Lurg Wellington Crash site in the Cairngorms with a relative of the crew.

  1. No better guide Heavy, they will have an informative day with some humour. I hope the mist/cloudbase lifts.

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  2. Rae Todhunter says:

    Heavy Whalley
    I have read your articles with great interest regarding the Wellington crash site on An Lurg after years of trying to trace details of the crash. The flight crew navigator Harold Todhunter was the brother of my father Alexander Todhunter.
    Harold was only 22 when he died and had no direct decendants. He had two sisters and four brothers and two other brothers who died in infancy. His father George and mother Jane ran a public house in Whitehaven called the ” Indian King”, George taking to running pubs after injury working as a coal miner.
    Harold attended Whitehaven Grammar School where he was captain of the rugby and cricket teams and then worked in Whitehaven laundry before service in the RAF. He passed out as a navigator from No. 7 Air Observer School in Manitoba Canada in April 1944. Presumably he then was posted to Lossiemouth for further training.
    All of Harolds siblings are no longer with us but there still are a few fellow nephews and nieces still around.
    Although I was not born until 1949 and never knew Harold I feel an affinity towards him because as a young lad going to school I was constantly told by family and friends how closely I resembled him in looks and manner.
    Harold was buried in Whitehaven cemetery alongside his father and a few months later by his mother
    Thanks for the information and as you rightly say we must not forget the sacrifice these people made for our freedom.
    Cheers
    Rae Todhunter

    Liked by 1 person

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