214 Squadron Remembrance Ceremony - France - 25 May 2013

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214 Squadron Remembrance Ceremony - France - 25 May 2013

Post by Bruno »


The Stirling Aircraft Society has received the message below.

Hello sir,

I'm a french Gendarmerie officier (major). Excuse for my english...

During the night of 28 to 29th november 1942, raf 214 squadron R9194 BU N SHORT STIRLING was shot down by a german night fighter in north of France.

3 airmen died into the crash and 4 baled out: 3 were captured and the last one escaped. He came back in UK several months after and wrote a book after the war (ESCAPE AND EVASION - CYRIL PENNA)

Bomber pilot was New Zealander: Frank Ellison GATLAND, famous NZ short stirling pilot! Captured by german 10 days after crash, he wrote his history too.

I found this history in local gendarmerie station records in 2007. I'm searching informations about this crash and I'm considering writing a book about this poignant history...

Unfortunately, Frank died in 2007 and I never meet him...Staying in touch with his son Arthur, and english veteran Cyril PENNA
(now 91 years old), I'll organize next month (saturday 25th may) a commemoration ceremony near crash area.

Arthur GATLAND will fly to France and I hope to welcome Cyril PENNA, english veteran. They will unveil commemorative plaque both.

I wanted to know if members of your association (living in France or UK, why not..) or UK consulate military members, could take part in this historical ceremony? I'd be very proud to welcome them.

I send you a ceremony program paste-up (Note of Bruno: I've translated it below).

Ceremony area is 140 km north from PARIS.

Thanks you for your understanding

Best regards

Chef d'escadron Hervé SAVARY

Program - Saturday 25 May 2013:

9:30: Ceremony of Remembrance at the cemetery of Couvron (wreath-laying) with historical background.

11:00: Unveiling of the plaque at the ponds of Mon Plaisir in Viry-Noureuil.

15.00: Museum of the Resistance and the Deportation of Picardie.
Presentation of the history of the crash of the bomber SHORT STIRLING R9194

Chaired by Mister Yves Daudigny
Senator and Chairman of the General Council

Mister Fernand Leblanc
Président of the friends of the Museum of the Resistance and the Deportation of Picardie.

Mister Bernard Pezet
Mayor of Sinceny

Mister Edmond SeBestyen
Mayor of Couvron and Aumencourt

Mister Jean Farez
Mayor of Viry-Noureuil
Bruno LECAPLAIN, Webmaster.

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Re: 214 Squadron Remembrance Ceremony - France - 25 May 2013

Post by halifax1 »

Very interesting and nice to hear. Well done M.Savary.

It would appear this Stirling was returning from Turin and was based at Chedburgh, Suffolk. A pity I am elsewhere otherwise I really would have liked to have made the trip!.

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Re: 214 Squadron Remembrance Ceremony - France - 25 May 2013

Post by colinpateman »

Can I just add my congratulations for the efforts taken by you in France.

THANK YOU I look forward to seeing the memorial.

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