Wellington Mk.III HF613 / DD-R of No.22 OTU, crashed close to the village of Hope on the 15th February 1943

Vickers Wellington Mk.X at the Royal Air Force Museum


John Douglas Kester Sergeant RCAF Pilot Killed
Richard Foote Cairns Sergeant RCAF Navigator Killed
William James Hackett Sergeant RCAF Air gunner Killed
Bernard Elliott Wilkinson Sergeant RCAF Air gunner Killed
William Arthur Billy Marwood Sergeant RAFVR Wireless operator / Air gunner Killed


The aircraft took off during the mid-morning of the 15th February 1943 from Wellesbourne Mountford near Stratford upon Avon for a cross country flight.  At just after 13:00 the aircraft descended out of bad weather (possibly due to icing) and became enveloped in a snow storm, shortly afterwards the aircraft crashed, seemingly out of control, with a steep nose down attitude near to Peakshole Water.  The aircraft slide for a short distance, crossing the river and striking a large embankment on the other side where the aircraft was completely destroyed.

Crash site of Vickers Wellington Mk.III HF613 at Peakshole Water between Hope and Castleton, Derbyshire
HF613 came to rest up against the bank just to the right of the stone wall, it first impacted in the field behind where this photo was taken.


A number of years ago after a period of heavy rain a bomb was apparently discovered in the river bank at this site.

This proved to be a practice bomb of the type that the RAF used, while not a full scale explosive device these do contain a charge, designed to break apart the casing, more than capable of spoiling someone’s day along with titanium tetrachloride which created a cloud of Titanium dioxide and Hydrochloric acid when exposed to the air. This cloud was visible to range controllers for scoring bombing accuracy.

Three of the five crew are buried at Buxton Cemtery, they are Sgt Cairns, Sgt Hackett and Sgt Kester.

Grave of Sergeant Richard Foote Cairns at Buxton Cemetery, Derbyshire

Grave of Sergeant William James Hackett at Buxton Cemetery, Derbyshire

Grave of Sergeant John Douglas Kester at Buxton Cemetery, Derbyshire

Grave of Sergeant William Arthur Billy Marwood at Nottingham General Cemetery
Sergeant Marwood is buried at Nottingham General Cemetery.