The weight of history

It’s Armistice Day again (is it my imagination or is the old name making a comeback after years of Remembrance Day) and time to take a walk up to the Screveton air crash memorial.

On 14th April 1944 a Lancaster and an Airspeed Oxford collided over the village. Margaret Rose, mother of farmer David, was playing with friends when she heard a tremendous bang and looked up to see two aircraft falling to earth.

The pilots both steered the aircraft clear of the houses, crashing in open fields on the edge of the village with the loss of all eleven crew on board.


We go every year because it’s just on the side of the road by the farm. This year we had the company of a charm of goldfinches in a blackthorn tree.


I’ll finish with a poem. It’s not one that I’ve seen before, but I found it whilst looking for Adelstrop, as the blog has mentioned birdsong and the war it seemed to fit in nicely with the poem and the death of Edward Thomas on the Western Front. This seemed more fitting for the day, though I also found this one.

Killed in Action (Edward Thomas)

Happy the man whose home is still
In Nature’s green and peaceful ways;
To wake and hear the birds so loud,
That scream for joy to see the sun
Is shouldering past a sullen cloud.

And we have known those days, when we
Would wait to hear the cuckoo first;
When you and I, with thoughtful mind,
Would help a bird to hide her nest,
For fear of other hands less kind.

But thou, my friend, art lying dead:
War, with its hell-born childishness,
Has claimed thy life, with many more;
The man that loved this England well,
And never left it once before.

W H Davies

The next post will be more cheerful!

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