Remembrance service for Polish airmen

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THE crew of a World War II bomber, which crashed to the ground in Netherfield, will be remembered at a special service this weekend.

On the night of May 28/29 1941, RAF Wellington bombers from 304 Squadron (mainly Polish crews) were tasked with bombing the French channel port of Boulogne to disrupt the Germans invasion barges being assembled there.

One, R1392, was hit by flak and an engine set on fire.

The pilot ordered the crew to bale out and the rear gunner did so, but then the aircraft was brought under control and limped back to England on one engine.

Shortly after crossing the Sussex coast, the remaining engine began misfiring and the crew started to bale out.

Two made it out but the Wellington crashed into the rising ground near Netherfield, at Darwell Hole.

One crew member, Stanislaw Jozefiak, has returned to the site regularly and in 2001 constructed a brick memorial to his comrades.

The remembrance service will take place on Sunday at 3pm at the memorial by Doctors Farm Cottage.

Battle Royal British Legion chairman Ian Cheveralls has organised various parties and organisations to attend.

Although Stan is still alive, he is too old and frail to make the journey from Derby.

The Polish Association will attend on his behalf, as will Battle RBL and RAFA, the ATC Corps and representatives from Battle Town Council.

All are welcome to attend, assembling at 2.30pm either at the White Hart Inn, for those who are able to parade, or alongside the memorial.

The service will start at 3 pm and afterwards Battle RBL will host their guests and friends for a buffet and refreshments.

Anyone who would like to attend the event is asked to contact Ian Cheveralls on 01424 774539 or Kevin Regan to confirm their attendance.