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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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31.05.1943 RNAS Blackcap, Road accident tragedy, Wren McCormick

Duty: Recreation

Date: 31st May 1943 (Monday)

Unit: RNAS Blackcap

Location: Wrights Green, Appleton, Chehire

Wren (Steward) Annie Elizabeth McCormick 15425 Age 29. Killed

Wren (Parachute Packer) Dorothy Jean Lawton 41373 Age 20. Killed

Wren (Messenger) Barbara May Allender 42191 Age 19. Killed

Naval Airman 1st class George Frederick Bullock FX92505 Age 27. Killed

Leading Air Mechanic (L) Frederick Holden SF/X 1286 Age 22. Killed

Photographer (A) Joseph Simpson JX.209321 Age 24. Killed


A party of 18 personnel from Blackcap, including Wren McCormick went to a local dance on the evening of Monday 31st May 1943.

They were returning to their base in a Royal Navy lorry when it went off the road at Wrights Green, near to the base and overturned.

Wren (Steward) Annie Elizabeth McCormick - from row, centre. (courtesy RNR Archive - see below)

She was one of six of those on board who were killed in the accident. The others, although all injured, survived.

It became known that she had no family and as a result, personnel from the base and many local residents attended her funeral in such numbers that the church could not accommodate them and her funeral service had to held at the local War Memorial.

She was buried with full Military Honours in the churchyard of St Cross, Appleton Thorne, close to the base. Near to her grave is a plaque which commemorates all those who died while serving at RNAS Blackcap.

The day of the funeral for Wren (Steward) Annie Elizabeth McCormick. (courtesy RNR Archive - see below)

Burial details:

Wren Steward Annie Elizabeth McCormick. Appleton Thorn Churchyard (St. Cross) Row S1. Grave 1. No details - are you able to assist?

Wren (Parachute Packer) Dorothy Jean Lawton. Macclesfield Cemetery. Plot B. Grave 2109. Born on the 11th August 1922, the daughter of William and Dorothy (née Smith) Lawton, of Macclesfield, Cheshire, England. Grave inscription reads: "Shall I Have Nought That Is Fair:" Said He, The Reaper".

Wren (Messenger) Barbara May Allender. Stockton Heath Churchyard (St. Thomas) Row 8. Grave 40. Born on the 02nd July 1923, the daughter of Thomas Henry and May (née Hughes) Allender, of Walton, Warrington, Lancashire, England. Grave inscription reads: "To A Lovely Life Came A Sudden End She Died As She Lived Everyone's Friend".

Naval Airman 1st class George Frederick Bullock. Heath Town Churchyard (Holy Trinity) Old Ground. Row 51. Grave S/2. Born on the 22nd January 1916, the husband of Mrs. Evelyn F. (née Genner) Bullock, of Heath Town, Wolverhampton, England.

Leading Air Mechanic Frederick Holden. Tow Law Cemetery. Section 8. Row 26. Grave 9. Born on the 18th April 1921, the son of John Thomas Holden and Isabella (née Richardson) Holden, of Tow Law, Durham, England. Grave inscription reads: "Peace, Perfect Peace".

Photographer Joseph Simpson. Macclesfield Cemetery. Plot P. Grave 13227. Born on the 14th February 1919, the son of J. Simpson and Ethel Simpson, of Macclesfield, Cheshire, England.

Researched by Mike McQuid for Aircrew Remembered and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to George Rose and Tony Drury of the 'Royal Navy Research Archive' for detailed information and to the following for grave photographs: Len, Dimitrios Corcodilos and Rob Dickens.

MM/KTY 12.02.2019

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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