Harehills Lane, Oldfield, Keighley, West Yorkshire BD22 0RX

Tel:  01535 643073  Email: enquiries@thegrouse.co.uk

The Tewitt Hall Wood Wellington Crash

On the opposite side of the road to the Grouse Inn is an inconspicuous lane leading to Tewitt Hall Wood. To those in the know the lane leads to the site of a fatal air crash that occurred in 1944.

If you are fit enough for a short walk, then please visit the memorial of the 6 young Canadians who lost their lives.

While on a training mission a Wellington Bomber (BK 387) passed low over the Grouse Inn, apparently making a desperate attempt to make an emergency landing in a nearby field. The Canadian crew of the Wellington were unsuccessful and the plane crashed into the hillside at 22.40 hrs on Sunday 2nd January 1944. Sadly there were no survivors.

The 6 men who died were all in the Royal Canadian Air Force:

SergeantWarrant Officer (Class II)Warrant Officer (Class II)NORMAN WILLARD CRAWFORD - R/190343 Air GunnerJAMES EDWIN DALLING - R/137946 Air BomberERNEST ISRAEL GLASS - R/2285 PilotRANKNAMEWarrant Officer (Class II)Flying OfficerSergeantJACK HENFREY - R/119823 Wireless Operator/Air GunnerJAMES JUSTIN McHENRY - J/25563 NavigatorEMERY SAVAGE - R/2129 Air Gunner

 

An eye witness account...

Witness to the crash John Bentham stated,

"I am just writing a few words on the airplane crash in the woodland of Tewitt Hall Farm in Oakworth. All can remember of that night was of this aircraft getting lower and lower in the sky, shortly after it tried to land in a field of 20 acres opposite the Grouse Inn public house, this pub had a outside toilet of course, the landlord left the door open as he did his business as all the customers had all gone home. He told me the day after that he sat there frightened out of his skin as he could see the plane heading straight for his loo. Luckily for him the plane managed to get over the top, then landed in the field behind before going through a wall and into the plantation of trees, It actually touched down half way across the field, bumped twice before going through the wall. All the crew was killed immediately, no one would suffer, thank the lord. I went and visited the site the next day, was not a pleasant sight, the plane had broken into three or four different parts, engines here and there, fuselage in a different place, not a pretty sight, police fire engines and aircraft personal were all there doing whatever was required of them, later that week I visited the site again looking for souvenirs but the only thing I found was a lump of Perspex which I took to work and made into about 3 rings, also a spent bullet which was made into a cigarette lighter which my father used to use for years. Trees all around were covered in holes which had been made by bullets exploding, sorry I can't remember much as I was only about fourteen then and as time goes by you forget don't you."

"P.S. I only lived then one field away from the place where the plane came down."

Local Keighley News Reports...

Tributes paid to victims of crash

Airmen are remembered

 

Picture: Wellington Bomber similar to the one which crashed

 

 

Ernest Israel Glass

Jack Henfrey

James Justin McHenry

The Grouse Inn
Harehills Lane, Oldfield, Keighley,
West Yorkshire, BD22 0RX

Tel: 01535 643073

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