Grevenbroekmuseum

Squadron Leader, Dermot Kelly   Letters "Missing in Action"

(by Geoffrey Kelly, Surrey UK)

 GeertKelly 1st letter to parents MIA 19 juni 1941

The first letter (left) dated 19 June 1941 from his Squadron Commander: Sqdn Ldr. Lane says Dermot was the oldest member of the Squadron (at 23 years!) and that he had been recommended for the Distinguished Flying Cross. He also says that

 

“There is no way of knowing how he came to be lost, and we are all hoping to hear in due course – at least a month – that he is a prisoner of war”.

 

Presumably Sqdn Ldr Lane had the sad duty of writing similar letters to the closest relatives of all five of the crew members of the Wellington bomber too.

 

 GeertLetter 21 June 1941 to Major should be Lt. Colonel D

The second letter (21 June 1941) from the Air Ministry is a typical standard letter sent to next of kin and no doubt would have irritated my grandfather greatly as he is addressed as Major when he was by that time a Lieutenant Colonel. He eventually retired from the Army as a Brigadier.

GeertLetter to Sq Ldr DDA Kellys mother from RAF Newton Station Commander Guy Tyrrell 25 June 1941

The third letter (25 June 1941) from the RAF Newton Station Commander Guy Tyrrell is very movingly written and clearly from the heart. He goes on to try and give Dermot’s parents hope by saying “The exit on this particular type is relatively easy and our parachutes are one hundred per cent reliable..

 

 GeertLetter from Red Cross to Sq Ldr DDA Kellys father 9th September 1941

The last letter dated 9th September 1941 is from the Red Cross confirms what my grandparents must have feared by then that their son and the five members of his crew were all dead.

The letter goes on to say that the Mayor of Hamont “reports that there are some Personal Effects of this crew, but as they were taken by the German authorities, it is not possible to know to whom they belong individually. We very much regret this, as we know you are especially anxious to be informed whether your son’s crucifix and chain have been recovered….We hope so much that at least something belonging to your son has been recovered.”

As far as I am aware, nothing was ever recovered and returned to my grandparents, however as the letter goes on to say: “We hope that it will be some small comfort to your wife and yourself to know with what obvious care and respect your son and his companions have been laid to rest: you can also feel that the graves will be carefully tended in the future.”

I am sure they would never have dreamed that their memories would still be preserved nearly 75 years later. 

 

                                                                                                                                       Geoffry Kelly

 

 

 IMG_8275IMG_8278detailhorloge

 

 

De eigenaar van de grond, Mr Toine Schildermans uit Hamont, heeft in het verleden op de crashplaats een stuk van een horloge gevonden en steeds goed bewaard. Dit werd aan de familie Dunster uit Engeland overhandigd op 20 juni 2009

 

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BrandblusapparaatWellington2BrandblusapparaatWellington4

 

Brandblusapparaat met inhoud van de gecrashte Wellington van Hamont.
Het is destijds gevonden door de gebroeders Jaak en Piet Schildermans uit Hamont die tijdens WO II een stuk grond hadden naast de weide waar de Wellington neerstortte
 
 

 

dankbrief_zuidafrika_kol_hadebe

 

 

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