11.12.1944 No 1651 Heavy Conversion Unit Lancaster I NG270 F/O. Makewell
Operation: Training Sortie
Date: 11th December 1944
Unit: No. 1651 Heavy Conversion Unit (HCU)
Type: Lancaster I
Base: RAF Woolfox Lodge, Rutland
Location: Ailsworth, Peterborough
Pilot: F/O. Charles Leslie Makewell 154763 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
Fl/Eng: Fl/Sgt. John Ogilvy Edwards 1900724 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
Nav: F/O. Thomas Mulby Watson 164281 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air/Bmr: F/O. Edward Robert Turvey 163561 RAFVR Age 34. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Alan Paul Telford Henry 2204861 RAFVR Age 19. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. John William Salmon 1864687 RAFVR Age 19. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ernest Holmes Winzar 1865130 RAFVR Age 31. Killed
November 2017 - Updated information added - including the actual crash area courtesy of Mr Stuart Weston with details from Richard Allen of the Twinwood Aviation Museum.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 18:52 hrs from RAF Woolfox Lodge for a night navigation sortie, the weather being overcast with continuous slight rain and visibility down to four thousand yards.
At 19:10 hrs, the Lancaster fell from the sky and crashed at, or near, Upton in Northamptonshire. All were buried under private arrangements, Sgt Edwards being taken home to Co. Mayo where his grave is in Aughaval Cemetery.
Evidence from the crash site suggests the crew fell victim to the severe icing conditions (see below for update).
F/O. Charles Leslie Makewell, 2nd from left as described ( courtesy Ann Raub)
Twinwood Aviation Museum excavated the crash site on the 21st August 1993 and recovered various items:
“The subsequent investigation into the accident determined that the Heavy Conversion Unit was ill advised in allowing the aircraft to take off in such weather conditions. The weather was very poor, heavy rain, low cloud and high icing levels and visibility nil. It is believed that the Lancaster almost certainly ran into a severe local shower and became heavily iced up and its pilot lost control and the stricken Lancaster dived into the ground and burnt out”.
F/O. Charles Leslie Makewell. Chingford Mount Cemetery. Section G 5. Grave 43983. Born on the 31st March 1923, the son of Leslie Herbert and Eve Makewell of Chingford and husband of Sylvia Edna Makewell, (née Claxton) of Barnet, Hertfordshire, England - they married on the 16th September 1944. Grave inscription reads: “Sleep On My Darling And Take Thy Rest. We Miss You Dearly But God Knows Best”.
Fl/Sgt. John Ogilvy Edwards. Aughaval Cemetery. Grave 198. Son of John Ogilvy and Elizabeth Edwards of Westport, County Mayo, Ireland. Grave inscription reads: “My Sweetest Jesus, Be Not My Judge, But My Saviour. May Jesus Have Mercy On Him.”
F/O. Thomas Mulby Watson. Clitheroe Cemetery. Grave 868. Son of Alexander Morgan and Lily Watson and husband of Patricia Anne Watson of Clitheroe, Lancashire, England.
F/O. Edward Robert Turvey. Ellesmere Port Cemetery (Overpool). Section C.Grave 303. Son of Samuel Edward and Elizabeth Turvey and husband of Phyllis Lucy Mary Turvey of Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, England. Grave inscription reads: “Faithful Unto Death,To Live In The Hearts Of Those We Loved Is Not To Die”.
Sgt. Alan Paul Telford Henry. Shevington Churchyard (St. Anne). Grave 724. Son of Stephen and Hannah Henry of Shevington, Lancashire, England. Grave inscription reads: “At The Going Down Of The Sun And In The Morning, We Will Remember Him”.
Sgt. John William Salmon. Birch Churchyard (St. Peter). Son of Lily Salmon of Birch, Colchester, Essex, England. Grave inscription reads: “With God. R.I.P”.
Sgt. Ernest Holmes Winzar. Morden Cemetery, Surrey. Section S. Grave 1066. Son of Ernest Mark and Alice Annie Winzar of 21 Falcon Grove, Battersea, London, England and husband of Louise Maud Winzar of Lyndhurst Avenue, Twickenham. Grave inscription reads: “Splendid, He Passed, The Great Surrender Made Into The Light”.
Researched by Linda Ibrom for Aircrew Remembered - July 2017 and dedicated to the relatives of this crew Also many thanks to Ann Raub (daughter of the pilot, F/O. Charles Leslie Makewell who contacted us in August 2017 and supplied the photographs. For corrected details our thanks go to Mr Stuart Weston , Richard Allen of the Twinwood Aviation Museum. Also to Lynn Keleher for photo of Sgt. Winzar and Keith Heasman for his grave photo. With thanks also to sources as shown below.