A Poppy
A Poppy

Memorials & Monuments
on the Isle of Wight
- Chale / Whitwell -
- Hermitage : RAF Memorial -

Location

Hermitage Coach House, St Catherine's Down, Whitwell, Isle of Wight, PO38 2PD.
 
See map on www.streetmap.co.uk
 
IWM War Memorials Archive Record

Link : War Memorials Archive Reference 20851  
 
Description

The Memorial commemorates 3 RAF aircrew who died when their aircraft, an Avro Anson of 48 Sqn. crashed on 6th January, 1940.

It was commissioned by Mr A F Maitland, the owner of Hermitage House, near the spot where the aircraft crashed. It is an urn (which now appears to be missing) mounted on a portland stone pedestal, bearing a metal plaque (made from the remains of the aircraft). The dedication ceremony was held on 24th July 1949, by the Rev C Sinclair (rector of Chale), and the memorial was unveiled by Mr M Ritter, the father of the only survivor of the crash, Flt-Sergt Ritter.

Note : the Memorial is in the garden of the Hermitage Coach House, now a private house, which is now unconnected with the Hermitage Country Hotel (formerly Hermitage House)

The original urn was missing when this Memorial was visited in 2010.
Memorial

Chale : Hermitage RAF memorial Chale : Hermitage RAF memorial
 
click on images for larger version
 
Avro Anson
 
An Avro Anson similar
to the one which crashed
Inscription


IN MEMORY OF
FLYING OFFICER HUMPHREY B M PEARSON
SERGEANT FOLLETT MATTINSON PENNELL
AIRCRAFTMAN 1ST CLASS FRANCIS HERBERT ROOK
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY
WHEN THEIR AIRCRAFT CRASHED ON THIS SPOT
ON JANUARY 6TH 1940

"BE THOU FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH
AND I WILL GIVE THEE A CROWN OF LIFE"
REVELATION 2:10



 
Further Information

All three men are buried at West Thorney (St Nicholas) Churchyard.

FLYING OFFICER H B M PEARSONCWGC record ...
SERGT F M PENNELLCWGC record ...
AIRCRAFTMAN F H ROOKCWGC record ...
Documents and newspaper cuttings :
 
         
 
Copy of the Order of Service for the unveiling of the Memorial. Images courtesy of Robin Whillier. Click to enlarge.

ISLE OF WIGHT MERCURY
 
Friday, January 12, 1940 Page 1
 
The risks that the brave men run who are serving their King and Country at this time were tragically brought home to us on Saturday, when three gallant airmen lost their lives as a result of the accidental crashing of their machine "near Ventnor." It is perhaps a good thing that a rigid censorship prevents publication of minute details of such a catastrophe, for these would make far from pleasant reading. It is good to hear that the solitary survivor of the tragedy, who was removed to the County Hospital in the Ventnor ambulance, is making satisfactory progress.
* *
*
Quite a number of local people made the journey to the scene of the accident on Sunday, but naturally an official guard prevented any one from getting too near the spot at which the bomber crashed. One thing that surprised most people was the speed with which the news was handled by the authorities. All the newspapers interested in such happenings had received official information of the occurrence before tea time on Saturday. Possibly this alacrity points to a new policy on the part of the powers that be. Unless we are mistaken, such an event had it occurred a few weeks ago, would not have been released for publication until a couple of days.


Isle of Wight County Press, 13 January 1940
 
Acknowledgments :
 
Janet Griffin for newspaper research

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Page updated 17 June 2016 (added Order of Service)


 
 

 
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