Recalling community tragedy in Winslow

Wellington Bomber crash in Winslow.
Wellington Bomber crash in Winslow.
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A devastating real life story of an aeroplane crash and loss of life is retold in the musical play Don’t You Know There’s A War On.

The play, devised, written and directed by Winslow resident Chris Chapman, recalls the evening in August 1943 when a Wellington Bomber on a night flying exercise struck the top of a tall walnut tree and lost control.

As the aircraft plunged to the ground parts of it hit houses in the High Street, it ploughed through The Chandos Arms killing the landlord, his next door neighbour and the neighbour’s son. The plane finally came to rest on Rose Cottages where it burst into flames destroying three of the cottages.

Four of the five man crew died, and the sole survivor was taken to RAF Halton hospital suffering from burns and injuries which resulted in him being grounded and graded 14% disabled.

The devastating consequences for the market town included the loss of civilians and homes. The story of the crash and other ways in which World War II affected Winslow - with young lads going into the forces and an influx of strangers from RAF personnel to Land Army girls and evacuees transforming the nature of everyday life - is told in the drama which Mrs Chapman originally wrote for the Winslow Players in 1995 as part of the 50th anniversary commemorations for the end of the war.Now the Players are presenting the play once more, at Winslow Public Hall . Tickets cost £6 for the performances at 7.30pm on Wednesday May 4 and 2.30pm on Saturday May 7 and £8 for the 7.30pm performances on Friday May 6 and Saturday May 7. It is advisable to book. Tickets available from 07745 223365 or Divine Diva in the High Street.