Bressingham memorial ceremony sees nephew of airman who died in fateful crash lay wreath in his memory
The nephew of a man killed in action 80 years ago attended a special Remembrance Day service as part of a journey of discovery, through which he has explored the story of his uncle.
Nick Lightbody attended Sunday’s service at St John the Baptist Church in Bressingham, while also visiting Valley Farm in the village, where his uncle, Frank Reddicliffe, lost his life on April 9, 1943.
His Stirling Bomber Mark III, belonging to 75 Squadron RAF, crashed after sustaining serious damage during a bombing raid on Duisburg, killing all seven crew members on board.
Mr Lightbody said: “I was always aware that my mum’s older brother, Frank, had died in the war and I had seen his logbook, which had been passed on to her.
“When she died in 2017, aged 98, a letter from the King, a photo of Frank and the logbook, which chronicles his training before active service, was passed down to me and I did some research and discovered where he crashed and that he is buried in Newmarket.
“After getting in touch with the church warden, I found that there was a tradition started by her late husband to lay a wreath each year for the air crew.
“I understand she is also hoping to find funding for a memorial stone next to the war memorial, which would be great to see.”
Bressingham church warden Diana Burroughes welcomed Mr Lightbody’s research into the crash.
“Every year, we honour these men at a service at Bressingham war memorial on Remembrance Sunday when their names, along with the names of the men from this village who died in the two world wars, are read out,” she said.
“A wreath from the 75 is always laid but this year it was rather special as it was done by Nick. He visited the village and was taken to pay his respects at the crash site before the service.”