The Anson Crash – Aeroplane Flats near Conival – Assynt

The Memorial to the Anson a very place. Britain’s highest War Grave.

This paragraph below was written by a relative of the crew of an Anson aircraft that crashed in the far North of Scotland.

“Sgt Harry Tompsett with Sgt’s Jack Emery and Charles Mitchel at 19 OTU RAF Kinloss Scotland in 1941. All were killed on 13th April 1941 when Avro Anson N9857 flew into severe weather condition over NW Scotland. With icing and the loss of an engine the aircraft lost height and crashed in a blizzard on Ben More Assynt. Reported missing they were found by a shepherd on 25th May 1941 as the snow gave way. Killed in the crash was Flying officer James Steyn pilot from Johannesburg S. Africa who had recently been awarded the DFC for bringing a badly damaged bomber back from a raid in Europe. Flight Sgt Brendon Kenny, Sgt Instructor, who parachuted from a burning bomber over France in 1940, evaded capture and aided by the French Resistance returned to the UK and last but not least Pilot Officer Bill Drew. All were buried where they fell on top of the mountain and where they lie today marked by a memorial placed by the War Graves Commission in the highest UK War grave.” Bernie Thompset.

Lest we forget Photo Bernie Thompset.

I have written in the past about my many visits to the Anson crash in Assynt. The old memorial was not in a great state and thanks to lots of effort there is a new memorial in place. Many were involved Assynt MRT, Commonwealth Graves Commission the local Air Training Cadets, The RAF Lossiemouth MRT and the many others involved including the RAF Engineers and the Chinook crew. We met so many on the journey to many to name. Thank you all and to Bernie for allowing me to quote his words.

The crash site in Assynt is an wonderful place to visit and a place of incredible place . When you read the full story one cannot help think of what happened on that winter night. The shepherd who found the crew 6 weeks later is an untold story as it when the family visited and the kindness shown to them in the dark days of the war. These are stories that deserve telling and despite the tragedy of the loss of the crew and many others that were lost at the prime of their lives. “Lest we forget”

Comments welcome.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Aircraft incidents, Articles, Enviroment, Mountaineering, People, Well being. Bookmark the permalink.

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