Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV Z5870 of No.12 Group Anti Aircraft Co-Operation Flight, RAF crashed near to Crowden Tower on Kinder on the 3rd July 1941

Bristol Blenheim Mk.IV


Nikodem Plotek Sergeant PAF Pilot Killed
William Franklin Kidd Aircraftman 1st Class RCAF Wireless Operator Killed
Wilfred Cottom Aircraftman 2nd Class Passenger Killed
Raymond Reed Place Aircraftman 2nd Class Passenger Killed


Sgt Plotek was flying to aircraft from RAF Digby in Lincolnshire to Ringway, he was accompanied by three personnel from Digby who were visiting Manchester on leave, and flew into Kinder in the area around Crowden Tower while in low cloud. The crash did not completely destroy the aircraft, but only the forward compartment where the four men were, the wings and rear fuselage were more or less intact. An off duty soldier from the Searchlight / Anti-Aircraft unit stationed close to Barber Booth railway viaduct walking on Kinder found the wreck, he was later placed on guard duty at the crash site before the aircraft was recovered.

Two of those onboard were buried at Manchester Southern cemetery, however they do not have individual headstones but are commemorated on the screen walls in the war graves section.

Screen wall at Manchester Southern Cemetery commemorating Sergeant Nikodem Plotek, Polish Air Force
Commemoration of Sergeant Nikodem Plotek at Manchester Southern Cemetery.
Screen wall at Manchester Southern Cemetery commemorating Aircraftman 2nd Class Raymond Reed Place, Royal Air Force
Commemoration of Aircraftman 2nd Class Raymond Place at Manchester Southern Cemetery.
Manchester Southern Cemetery war graves plot
War graves section at Manchester Southern Cemetery.

The location of the crash on the accident record card was written in as Crowden Tower which was then crossed out and replaced with Lee Farm, the farm at the bottom of the hill below Crowden Tower. The most promising lead over recent years has been that the crash occurred on the Kinder plateau towards Crowden Head, however the only thing that we have found in this area was a spoon made by a company in Rotherham that appears to have closed down. The other area that the crash could have occurred is the area of level ground between Crowden Tower and Lee Farm. This area is obscured from below which would have prevented anyone other than a walker or aircraft spotting the wreck and it is flat enough not to completely destroy the aircraft.