Club Night Talk ("The Boys" by John Lowe) 15th January 2020
Text by Michael Coleman: photos by Steve Williams
The opening event of the 2020 season was a talk at the Morchard Bishop Sports Hall, to which the club had moved experimentally as it has better parking facilities than the previous venue of the Memorial Hall, which is on the main road through the village . Once members had paid their annual subscriptions (increased for the first time in many years to £12 per member/family), the chairman introduced the speaker, John Lowe who then gave an account, illustrated with his own pictures and many documents, of the story behind a granite obelisk that lies high on Dartmoor at Hameldown Tor, near Widecombe-in-the Moor.
Intrigued when he first came across the obelisk with initials inscribed on it when walking on the moor, John began many years of detailed research and correspondence, through which he painstakingly pieced together the story of the RAF Hampden bomber that had crashed into the tor late one evening in 1941. The aircraft had been returning from a WW II bombing raid over Lorient in France and hit the ground in low cloud and poor weather.
By so doing, John was able to determine the stories of the four young men who died as a result of the crash, thereby adding full names to the initials that he had originally found. This was a compelling account not only of the courage and sacrifice of the plane crew, but also of what can be achieved by determined, dedicated, focused research, which John had done.
The pictures below, (by Steve Williams) give an idea of the new venue.