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A tribute to the Crew of Halifax III, NA-240, Z5-V

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6 September 2017
Crew 29, Pilot Gerald Coleman – 462 Squadron RAAF

 

Crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron; John Newton Tresidder, Denis Roy Muxlow, Archibald James Mouat, Ronald Charles Stopp; Alan James Ward, Gerald Coleman, Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey.

Crew photo supplied by Kelvin Youngs (Aircrew Remembered website) with assistance from Keith Townsend (Moseleians Assoc. website), and with the permission of Catherine Sutton, relative of Flight Engineer Ronald Charles Stopp.

 

Coleman crew names, John Tresidder, Denny Muxlow, Archie Mouat, Chick Stopp, Alan Ward, Gerry Coleman, Philip Levey, 462 Squadron, Driffield, 1944.
Photo used with the permission of Frank Levey and Margaret Carlyon.

 

 

 

Crew of Halifax III MZ400 Z5-J

Rear L-R: Fl/Sgt John Newton Tresidder, Wireless Operator, RAAF; Sgt Denis Roy Muxlow, Rear Gunner; Sgt Archibald James Mouat Mid-Upper Gunner; Sgt Ronald Charles Stopp, Flight Engineer.

Front L-R: Sgt Alan James Ward, Bomb Aimer; F/O Gerald Coleman, Pilot; Fl/Sgt Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey, Navigator, RAAF.

All seven were killed on 9 October 1944, on a night Op to Bochum.

In July 2016, a second copy of this crew photo was received from Frank Levey and Margaret Carlyon (nee Levey), nephew and niece of Nav P H M Levey. The crew member's nicknames had been recorded (see at left, below):- W/OP John Tresidder, R/AG "Denny" Muxlow, MU/AG Archie Mouat, F/Eng "Chick" Stopp, and B/A Alan Ward, Skipper "Gerry" Coleman, Nav Philip "Joe" Levey. Also of interest are the abbreviated words "STH AFR" after the Skipper's name – what is his link with South Africa? (birth? lived there? training?)

Links to photos of crew Graves, info on Coleman, Ward, Tresidder, Levey, Stopp, Mouat, Muxlow;
Graves with Crew Photo October 2014; Driffield visit February 2016;
additional Crew information & Operational Details;
1948 MRES Crash Investigation Report
and
2015 Crash Investigation Report;
updated 11/2016 Crash Investigation with English translation of part of "Formblatt 2" from the 1944 German Report 38;
photos of Memorial plaque UK; Contributors and events leading to Memorial Service 9 Oct 2016 in Bredenscheid; Memorial Speech by Peter Muxlow; photos of events on 7, 8, 9 October 2016 including a visit to the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, preparations of the memorial site at the Bredenscheid Cemetery, the Memorial Service at the Bredenscheid Church, followed by the Dedication & Blessing of the Memorial Plaque and Crew Photograph at the Bredenscheid Cemetery; Help requested please.
See also Commemorative Panel at AWM.

Reference sources – Australian WW2 Nominal Roll; The National Archives of Australia (Service Files, Casualty Files, Loss of Aircraft File, 462 Squadron Operational Record Book); Australian War Memorial (Roll of Honour); Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Peter Muxlow files and sources.

 

 

Collective Grave for Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey, John Newton Tresidder, Denis Roy Muxlow, Archibald James Mouat, Ronald Charles Stopp, Alan James Ward, all KIA 9 October 1944, Halifax MZ400, Z5-J, 462 Squadron.

Photo from the National Archives of Australia: A705, 166/40/270. (A copy of this photo was also sent to Levey's father in May 1951, and was probably sent to the next-of-kin of each of the crew.)

 

Plot 28. Row G. Collective graves 8-13 with temporary Crosses and inscriptions.

This photo was sent to John Newton Tresidder's next of kin with an accompanying letter dated 16 May 1951. In September 1948, the bodies had been exhumed from their original communal grave at the Bredenscheid-Niederstuter Cemetery, approximately 8 miles south west of Bochum, and re-interred at the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.

The CWGC later replaced these temporary Crosses with the permanent headstones as shown below.

The inscription reads:

AUST. 429588 F/SJT. P.H.M. LEVEY R.A.A.F.
AUST. 424477 F/SJT. J.N. TRESIDDER R.A.A.F.
1590607 SJT. D.R. MUXLOW
1378208 SJT. A.J. MOATT (sic)
1892044 SJT R.C. STOPP
1581798 SJT. A.J. WARD
R.A.F. 9-10-44

 

 

 

 

Graves for 462 Squadron crew comprising Gerald Coleman, Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey, Archibald James Mouat, Denis Roy Muxlow, Ronald Charles Stopp, John Newton Tresidder, Alan James Ward at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.
Photo by P. Muxlow, UK, © Copyright 2014.

 

 

 

Graves for the Coleman Crew at the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Plot 28, Row G.

Foreground, from left to right .........
28. G. 7 – Gerald Coleman, with Hebrew Star,
28. G. 8-13 – Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey, Archibald James Mouat, Denis Roy Muxlow, Ronald Charles Stopp, John Newton Tresidder, Alan James Ward.

Documents dated 23 March 1949 listed the burial location as Plot XXXIII (33) however a later document advised that this had been renumbered as Plot XXVIII (28). Notes on another document also advised that "a slight re-arrangement of the graves will be necessary to arrange for contiguous burial of the unidentified members." This may explain a difference in the sequence of names on the temporary inscription (above) and those on the permanent headstones, at left.

Photos of individual headstones are shown as follows, with information on each crew member, and transcriptions of headstone inscriptions.

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Headstone on grave for Flying Officer Gerald Coleman, 178780 RAFVR, 462 Squadron.
Photo by P. Muxlow, UK, © Copyright 2014.

 

 

Pilot

Name: Gerald Coleman
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 178780 (previously 1260975)
Date of Birth: 28 February 1920
Marital Status: Single
Next of Kin: Alfred Coleman (father) of Tooting, London
Date of Death: 9 October 1944
Rank at Death: Flying Officer
Posting at Death: 462 Squadron RAAF, Driffield
Age at Death: 24
Grave reference: Grave 28. G. 7
Cemetery: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery,
Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Son of Alfred and Elizabeth Coleman, of Tooting, Surrey.

The inscription reads:
FLYING OFFICER
G. COLEMAN
PILOT
ROYAL AIR FORCE
9TH OCTOBER 1944 AGE 24
(Hebrew Star and letters)

 

 

Gerald Coleman 1260975 RAFVR, at enlistment, later Flying Officer 178780 and Pilot at 462 Squadron, Driffield.
Photo used with the permission of Bernard Coleman.

Above: Gerald Coleman 1260975 RAFVR, at enlistment,
later Flying Officer 178780 and Pilot at 462 Squadron, Driffield.

 

 

Gerald Coleman 1260975 RAFVR as Sergeant Pilot, later Flying Officer 178780 and Pilot at 462 Squadron, Driffield.
Photo used with the permission of Bernard Coleman.

Gerald Coleman 1260975 RAFVR as Sergeant Pilot,
later Flying Officer 178780 and Pilot at 462 Squadron, Driffield.

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Headstone on grave for Alan James Ward, 1581798 RAFVR, 462 Squadron.
Photo by John Dann, UK, © Copyright 2013.

 

 

Bomb Aimer

Name: Alan James Ward
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 1581798
Date of Birth: 17 June 1923
Marital Status: Single
Next of Kin: Alfred James Ward (father), Birmingham
Date of Death: 9 October 1944
Rank at Death: Sergeant
Posting at Death: 462 Squadron RAAF, Driffield
Age at Death: (not listed but 21)
Grave reference: Collective grave 28. G. 8-13
Cemetery: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery,
Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
.
Son of ...... (not listed by CWGC)

The inscription reads:
1581798 SERGEANT
A.J. WARD
AIR BOMBER
ROYAL AIR FORCE
9TH OCTOBER 1944

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Headstone of grave for John Newton Tresidder, 424477 RAAF, 462 Squadron.
Photo by John Dann, UK, © Copyright 2013.

 

 

 

Wireless Operator

Name: John Newton Tresidder
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 424477
Date of Birth: 30 July 1924
Place of Birth: Ryde, New South Wales
Date of Enlistment: 12 September 1942
Place of Enlistment: Sydney, NSW
Marital Status: Single
Next of Kin: Frederick Harry Tresidder (father)
Date of Death: 9 October 1944
Rank at Death: Flight Sergeant
Posting at Death: 462 Squadron RAAF, Driffield
Prisoner of War: No
Roll of Honour: Ryde, NSW
Roll of Honour: Panel 109, Commemorative Area,
Australian War Memorial, Canberra

Age at Death: 20
Grave reference: Collective grave 28. G. 8-13
Cemetery: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery,
Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

Son of Frederic Harry and Vera Constance Tresidder, (sic)
of Kanwal, NSW, Australia.

The inscription reads:
424477 FLIGHT SERGEANT
J.N. TRESIDDER
ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE
9TH OCTOBER 1944 AGE 20

EVER REMEMBERED
DUTY NOBLY DONE

 

 

 

John Newton Tresidder, 424477 RAAF, at enlistment on 12 September 1942, later in 462 Squadron (NAA).
Photo from the National Archives of Australia: A9301, 424477.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo at left:- John Newton Tresidder, at enlistment in the RAAF in Sydney, NSW, on the 12 September 1942, age 18 yrs 1 month; height 5ft 6½ inches.

 

 

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Headstone on grave for Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey, 429588 RAAF, 462 Squadron.
Photo by John Dann, UK, © Copyright 2013.

The inscription reads:
429588 FLIGHT SERGEANT
P.H.M. LEVEY
ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE
9TH OCTOBER 1944 AGE 20

"UNDERNEATH
ARE THE EVERLASTING ARMS"

 

 

Navigator

Name: Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 429588
Date of Birth: 3 January 1924
Place of Birth: Sydney, New South Wales
Date of Enlistment: 9 October 1942
Place of Enlistment:
Brisbane, Queensland
Marital Status: single
Next of Kin: Francis Barnet Levey (father)
Date of Death: 9 October 1944 (2 years from enlistment)
Rank at Death: Flight Sergeant
Posting at Death: 462 Squadron RAAF, Driffield
Prisoner of War: No
Roll of Honour: Brisbane, Qld
Roll of Honour: Panel 109, Commemorative Area,
Australian War Memorial, Canberra
Age at Death: 20
Grave reference: Collective grave 28. G. 8-13
Cemetery: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery,
Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Son of Francis Barnet Philip and Ruth Levey,
of Eagle Junction, Queensland, Australia.

 

AC2 Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey, 429588 RAAF, later 462 Squadron.
Photo used with the permission of Frank Levey and Margaret Carlyon.

AC2 Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey, 429588 RAAF.

Philip is wearing tropical RAAF uniform, so is therefore still in Australia. The stripe on his cap indicates the Rank of Aircraftman 2. The Baratin Studio where he had the photo taken was in Queen St, Brisbane, Qld. This photo was probably taken soon after Philip enlisted in the RAAF (19 October 1942), when he was about 18½.

 

Sgt Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey, 429588 RAAF, later 462 Squadron.
Received from, and used with the permission of the Blackwell, Levey & Carlyon families.

Navigator Sgt Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey, 429588 RAAF. Photo undated, but most likely taken in after receiving his Observer's Badge (half-wing with O), and subsequent promotion to Sergeant (stripes visible on sleeve), therefore on or soon after 27 May 1943, aged 19. From his Air Crew Arrival Form, he was appointed to the temporary rank of Flight Sergeant on 27 November 1943 and had trained as Navigator, Bomb Aimer and Air Gunner.

 

James Ross Wyllie 429368 RAAF, John Geoffrey Orr, 426755 RAAF, and Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey, 429588 RAAF, at Edmonton, Canada, 1943 (Levey later 462 Squadron).
Photo used with the permission of Frank Levey and Margaret Carlyon.

The caption for the original photo was "Edmonton, Jim Wyllie, Geoff Orr, Philip." (left to right)

Edmonton – either No. 2 Air Observer's School (2 AOS) Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, for training as a Navigator while attached to the Royal Canadian Air Force; or 3 Manning Depot (3 MD), Edmonton.
John Geoffrey ORR, 426755 RAAF, birth 22 Aug 1923 Brisbane, enlisted 18 July 1942, (previously Private, Aus Army Q122819, 23 Feb 1942 to 18 July 1942); Prisoner of War 5 January 1945 after loss of Halifax MZ767, 51 Sqdn, Op to Hannover (sic, Hanover), PoW 150021; discharged 6 Nov 1945 as Warrant Officer.

 

James Ross Wyllie 429368 RAAF and Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey, 429588 RAAF, at Edmonton, Canada, 1943 (Levey later 462 Squadron).
Photo used with the permission of Frank Levey and Margaret Carlyon.

The caption for the original photo was "Jim Wyllie and Phil, Edmonton, Canada." (left to right) Both are Sergeants, so dated as after May 1943.
James Ross WYLLIE, 429368 RAAF, birth 29 Jan 1923 Brisbane, enlisted 11 Sep 1942, posted to 21 OTU, 1664 HCU, 51 Squadron (Halifax aircraft, 19 Ops); 582 Sqdn (Lancasters, 11 Ops) discharged 2 Jan 1946 as Flying Officer.
Geoff Orr was also posted to 51 Sqdn (Geoff's details included at left).

 

John Geoffrey Orr, 426755 RAAF, and Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey, 429588 RAAF, on the parapet of the bell tower, Coventry Cathedral (Levey later 462 Squadron).
Photo used with the permission of Frank Levey and Margaret Carlyon.

Caption for the original photo was "On the parapet of the bell tower, Coventry Cathedral, Geoff Orr (left) and Philip". Geoff's rank is F/Sgt so it is after 27 November 1943. Photo is undated, but they are wearing greatcoats and gloves, so possibly winter of 1943/1944. Geoff's details are included with the photo at Edmonton (above).

 

Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey, 429588 RAAF, at the gates of Windsor Castle 1944 (later posted to 462 Squadron).
Photo used with the permission of Frank Levey and Margaret Carlyon.

The caption for the original photo was "Philip at Buckingham Palace".
However, the location was at the gates of Windsor Castle. Philip's Rank is indistinct (possibly F/Sgt), but this undated photo may have been during the summer of 1944 while posted to 21 OTU, Moreton-in-Marsh. (See training details in later section.)

 

A letter dated 29/01/2001, from Philip Levey's older brother Gordon to his nephew Rod, says that Philip, Dick Shallcross and Jim Wyllie (mates and also good friends of Gordon) all went to England together. They were later separated, with Shallcross and Wyllie flying in Lancasters.
Excerpts from Shallcross' s WW2 diary:
Sat 16 Sept 1944: Had a letter from Phil Levey – he is at 462 Squadron.
Sun 22 Oct 1944: Phil Levey has been reported missing since a night trip to Bochum. I have made enquiries but there isn't much information to be had. Jim McIntyre is also missing.
Thurs 7 Nov 1944: No word of Phil Levey. Jim Wyllie has been posted to PFF Snaith.

Gordon Francis LEVEY, QX44678 (Q1125), birth 19 Sep 1918 Sydney, enlisted 18 Jan 1940 Brisbane, discharged 8 Jan 1946, at rank of Lance Sergeant, 7 Aus Line Section; served in New Guinea.
Richard Lambert SHALLCROSS, 434108 RAAF, birth 22 Sep 1923 Brisbane, enlisted 12 Oct 1942, (previously a Private in Aus Army, Q153085, 2 Mar 1942 to 7 Oct 1942), discharged 24 Sep 1945 at rank of Warrant Officer, 29 OTU.
F/Sgt James Robert McINTYRE, 426653 RAAF, birth 5 Dec 1922 Brisbane, enlisted 18 Jul 1942, KIA 23 Sep 1944, loss of Lancaster NN711, of 576 Squadron; on Op to Neuss, all 7 of crew buried at Reichswald War Forest War Cemetery (same cemetery as the Coleman crew).

 

The Levey family in 1924; left to right: Gordon, Joyce, their mother Ruth holding baby Philip, and Beryl (Philip was later 429588 RAAF, 462 Squadron).
Photo used with the permission of Frank Levey and Margaret Carlyon.

The Levey family in 1924; left to right: Gordon, Joyce, their mother Ruth holding baby Philip, and Beryl. Philip was born on 3 Jan 1924.
(For full names please refer to the later genealogy section).

 

Gordon Francis Levey and younger brother Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey.
Photo used with the permission of Frank Levey and Margaret Carlyon.

Gordon Francis Levey (left), and younger brother Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey (right).

 

Young Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey, with pet dog.
Photo used with the permission of Frank Levey and Margaret Carlyon.

Young Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey, with pet dog, on the front steps at home in Brisbane.

The Levey siblings; L to R: Joyce, Beryl, and on the donkey, Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey (later RAAF, 462 Squadron) and Gordon.
Photo used with the permission of Frank Levey and Margaret Carlyon.

The Levey siblings; L to R: Joyce, Beryl, and on the donkey, Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey (later RAAF, 462 Squadron) and Gordon.

The Levey siblings at home; L to R: Gordon, Beryl, Joyce, and on the rocking horse, Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey (later RAAF, 462 Squadron).
Photo used with the permission of Frank Levey and Margaret Carlyon.

The Levey siblings on the front verandah at home in Brisbane.
L to R: Gordon, Beryl, Joyce, and on the rocking horse, Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey, with their pet dog.

 

Studio portrait of young Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey with his mother Ruth Woolnough Levey.
Photo used with the permission of Frank Levey and Margaret Carlyon.

Studio portrait of Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey with his mother Ruth Woolnough Levey. The badge on Philip's lapel is not identifiable, but may have represented a school or other organisation. It appears to have been of some significance, to be included in both formal photos.

 

Colour tinted studio portrait of young Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey with his mother Ruth Woolnough Levey.
Photo used with the permission of Frank Levey and Margaret Carlyon.

Colour tinted studio portrait of young Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey with his mother Ruth Woolnough Levey.
(Both undated photos by studio, Murray Goldwyn, Brisbane.)

The Levey family in 1932; back: daughter Beryl, father Frank, daughter Joyce; front: son Gordon, mother Ruth and son Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey (later RAAF, 462 Squadron).
Received from, and used with the permission the Blackwell and Levey families.

The Levey family in 1932.
Back, L to R: daughter Beryl, father Frank, daughter Joyce.
Front, L to R: son Gordon, mother Ruth, son Philip aged about 8.

 

The Levey siblings in the 1930s; back, L to R: Beryl, Gordon, Joyce; Front: Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey (later RAAF, 462 Squadron).
Photo used with the permission of Frank Levey and Margaret Carlyon.

The Levey siblings in the 1930s; back, L to R: Beryl, Gordon holding the pet dog, Joyce, and Philip in front.

 

 

Letter of sympathy to the parents of Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey, from Eagle Junction Congregational Church, May 1945.
Photo used with the permission of Frank Levey and Margaret Carlyon.

Above: Letter of sympathy to the parents of Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey, from Eagle Junction Congregational Church, May 1945.
Joyce Levey died on 7 January 1945. A Memorial for Joyce and Philip was later placed in the Eagle Junction Congregational Church.

Right: Memorial Scroll commemorating Flight Sergeant Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey, RAAF, WW2.

 

Memorial Scroll commemorating Flight Sergeant Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey, RAAF, WW2.
Photo used with the permission of Frank Levey and Margaret Carlyon.
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Headstone on grave for Ronald Charles Stopp, 1892044 RAFVR, 462 Squadron.
Photo by John Dann, UK, © Copyright 2013.

 

 

Flight Engineer

Name: Ronald Charles Stopp
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 1892044
Date of Birth: 3 July 1925
Marital Status: Single
Next of Kin: William Charles Stopp (father)
Date of Death: 9 October 1944
Rank at Death: Sergeant
Posting at Death: 462 Squadron RAAF, Driffield
Age at Death: 19
Grave reference: Collective grave 28. G. 8-13
Cemetery: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery,
Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Son of William Charles and Susan Hart Stopp,
of Ponders End, Enfield, Middlesex.

The inscription reads:
1892044 SERGEANT
R.C. STOPP
FLIGHT ENGINEER
ROYAL AIR FORCE
9TH OCTOBER 1944 AGE 19

HE WILL ALWAYS
LIVE IN THE HEARTS
OF THOSE WHO LOVED HIM
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Headstone on grave for Archibald James Mouat, 1378208 RAFVR, 462 Squadron.
Photo by John Dann, UK, © Copyright 2013.

 

Mid-Upper Gunner

Name: Archibald James Mouat
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 1378208
Date of Birth: 5 February 1911
Marital Status: married (4 September 1937)
Next of Kin: Edith Rose Mouat (wife), Wimbledon, London.
Additional Next of Kin: Mouat (father), Wimbledon, London
Date of Death: 9 October 1944
Rank at Death: Sergeant
Posting at Death: 462 Squadron RAAF, Driffield
Age at Death: ...... (not listed, but 33)
Grave reference: Collective grave 28. G. 8-13
Cemetery: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery,
Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.
Son of ...... (not listed by CWGC)

The inscription reads:
1378208 SERGEANT
A.J. MOUAT
AIR GUNNER
ROYAL AIR FORCE
9TH OCTOBER 1944

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Headstone on Grave for Denis Roy Muxlow, 1590607 RAFVR, 462 Squadron.
Photo by John Dann, UK, © Copyright 2013.

Inscription on headstone on grave for Denis Roy Muxlow, 1590607 RAFVR, 462 Squadron.
Photo by P. Muxlow, UK, © Copyright 2014.

Rear Gunner

Name: Denis Roy Muxlow
Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 1590607
Date of Birth: 3 April 1925
Marital Status: Single (but engaged)
Next of Kin: Edith Mary Muxlow (mother)
Additional Person: Albert Coleman (Fiancée's father)
of Deeping St Nicholas, Lincolnshire
Date of Death: 9 October 1944
Rank at Death: Sergeant
Posting at Death: 462 Squadron RAAF, Driffield
Age at Death: 19
Grave reference: Collective grave 28. G. 8-13
Cemetery: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery,
Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

Son of Maurice Stanley Muxlow and Edith Mary Muxlow,
of Deeping High Bank, Lincolnshire.

 

The inscription reads:
1590607 SERGEANT
D.R. MUXLOW
AIR GUNNER
ROYAL AIR FORCE
9TH OCTOBER 1944, AGE 19

DEEP IN OUR HEARTS
A MEMORY OF YOU IS KEPT
WE SMILE WITH THE WORLD
BUT NEVER FORGET
(Partial enlargement of lower section of inscription at left.)

 

Denis Roy Muxlow and friend Jack Cooper, aged 15 years, with their new bicycles (1940).
Photo from the Muxlow Family Archives, via Peter Muxlow, from a Muxlow cousin.

On the right is Denis Roy Muxlow, and on the left is a friend, Jack Cooper, both aged fifteen, with their new bicycles (1940).

Denis was very proud of his bike, and in letters to his family while he was away training, or when posted to 462 Squadron at Driffield, he always asked after its well being.

 

Denis Roy Muxlow, aged about 17; later 1590607 RAFVR 462 Squadron.
Photo from the Muxlow Family Archives.

Denis Roy Muxlow, aged about seventeen. The date, location and reason for this formal photo is not known.

The book title is not able to be determined, but family members think that it may have been presented to Denis as a School prize. Perhaps that was the reason for the photo, or maybe it was for Graduation.

Note the small aircraft badge on his lapel, and a second one on his tie (both arrowed). The origin and significance of these badges is not known to family members, but indicate his early interest in aviation.

 

Air Gunners' Course No 127, at 7 AGS, Stormy Down, South Wales; including Denis Roy Muxlow 1590607 RAFVR and Archibald James Mouat 1378208 RAFVR, both later in 462 Squadron.
Photo from the Muxlow Family Archives.

 

Air Gunners' Course No 127, Squad 16, dated 3 January 1944, at No. 7 Air Gunnery School, Stormy Down, South Wales. Identified are:-
Denis Roy Muxlow 1590607 RAFVR (front row, 2nd from left) and
Archibald James Mouat 1378208 RAFVR (front row, 3rd from left).

Muxlow was posted to 7 AGS from 28/12/43 to 17/3/44, and at the date of the photo, he was aged 18 and 9 months (birth date 3 April). Except for the Sergeant (or F/Sgt?) with Air Gunner's badge (centre front), all twelve trainee air gunners appear to be at the rank of AC2.

Muxlow and Mouat possibly trained together up until their posting to 21 OTU Moreton-in-Marsh, where Muxlow became the Rear Gunner, and Mouat the Mid-Upper Gunner in the Coleman crew. The crew was posted to 1666 HCU Wombleton and later to 462 Squadron at Driffield.

 

 

 

Hedge Farm, Deeping High Bank, Spalding, Lincolnshire, the home of the Muxlow family, and Ann, the youngest sister of Denis Roy Muxlow (1590607 RAFVR, 462 Squadron).
Photo from the Muxlow Family Archives.

Hedge Farm, Deeping High Bank, Spalding, Lincolnshire, the Muxlow family home where Denis grew up. This photo was taken after his death, with his youngest sister, Ann, on the gate with the family's pet cat. As of May 2015, the house no longer exists, only the two concrete posts remain in what is left of the boundary fence.

 

 

Maurice Stanley Muxlow and Edith Mary Muxlow, with a grand-daughter in 1973; the parents and niece of Denis Roy Muxlow (1590607 RAFVR, 462 Squadron).
Photo from the Muxlow Family Archives.

Maurice Stanley Muxlow and Edith Mary Muxlow, parents of Denis Roy Muxlow, with their baby grand-daughter in 1973. The baby is the daughter of Patricia, the 2nd youngest sister of Denis. Denis was the oldest of eleven children. His sisters Ann and Patricia have kindly allowed the use of these 4 photos, supplied via Peter Muxlow, 2015.
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Reichswald Forest War Cemetery - Headstone on grave for Sgt Denis Roy Muxlow, 1590607 RAFVR, 462 Squadron, with photo of the Coleman Crew.
Photo by P. Muxlow, UK, © Copyright 2014.

Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.

Photos above and right were kindly supplied by Peter Muxlow who is a relative of the Crew's Rear Gunner, Sgt Denis Roy Muxlow. Peter advised ....

"These two pictures were taken on 11th October 2014, 70 years and 2 days after they fell near Bochum. One shows the photo, which is framed in a weather proof frame, and sealed against damp ingress, placed next to Denis Muxlow's grave, which is itself next to Sgt Stopp's grave, the photo coming from the Stopp family archive. The other shows all seven graves, the first being the pilot's with the Hebrew star, the next six being the remaining crew members. ......... The graves are well cared for, as is the whole site."

The crew photo as shown near the headstones of Sgt Muxlow and Sgt Stopp, is the same as that pictured at the beginning of this web page. It was originally supplied by Kelvin Youngs (Aircrew Remembered website) with assistance from Keith Townsend (Moseleians Assoc. website), and with the permission of Catherine Sutton, relative of Flight Engineer Ronald Charles Stopp. It was forwarded to, and used by Peter Muxlow with their permission.

 

Reichswald Forest War Cemetery - Headstones on graves for Gerald Coleman, Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey, Archibald James Mouat, Denis Roy Muxlow, Ronald Charles Stopp, John Newton Tresidder, Alan James Ward, all of 462 Squadron, with crew photo.
Photo by P. Muxlow, UK, © Copyright 2014.

Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.

Centre row of graves for the Coleman Crew, from left to right ....

28. G. 7 Pilot Gerald Coleman, with Hebrew Star (just above the word Copyright in the lower watermark).

28. G. 8-13 for the other six members of the Crew – Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey, Archibald James Mouat, Denis Roy Muxlow, Ronald Charles Stopp, John Newton Tresidder, Alan James Ward.

The framed photo of the Crew can be seen between the headstones of Muxlow and Stopp.

 

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February 2016 - Outside the Respirator Workshop at RAF Driffield, the location for many Crew photos for 462 Squadron from August to end of December 1944.
Photo by J. Muxlow, UK, © Copyright 2016.

20 February 2016 – Outside the Respirator Workshop at RAF Driffield, the location for many Air Crew photos for 462 Squadron from August to the end of December 1944. The entrance to the workshop was through the doorway on the left. The moss-covered concrete path from the doorway is still visible, the trellis framework for vines is long gone but other fittings remain from the original building (lower left of door, above right of door, and pipes).

Photos of other crews in the same location:- Carthy Crew (winter), Cuttriss Crew, Friend Crew, Nelder Crew, Triggs Crew, Uther Crew.

 

February 2016 - Outside the Respirator Workshop at RAF Driffield, the location for many Crew photos for 462 Squadron from August to end of December 1944. Andy Ward on left and Peter Muxlow standing, as a Tribute for original crew members Alan James Ward and Denis Roy Muxlow.
Photo by J. Muxlow, UK, © Copyright 2016.

20 February 2016 – Outside the Respirator Workshop at RAF Driffield, the location for the photo of Crew 29, taken sometime between 4 September 1944 and 9 October 1944.
On the left is Andy Ward who is a Great-nephew of Bomb Aimer Sgt Alan James Ward.
Standing is Peter Muxlow who is a second-cousin of Rear Gunner Sgt Denis Roy Muxlow.
They are in approximately the same positions as were their relatives in the original Crew photo, which may be seen at the start of this Tribute page. In that photo, Alan Ward is front left, and Denis Muxlow is rear, 2nd from left.

 

Comments from Peter Muxlow regarding his visit to RAF Driffield on 20 February 2016 ... (quote) ...

"A couple of photos taken today, of where the crew photographs were taken, with Andy Ward and myself roughly in the same spot as the original photo of 1944. Andy Ward is Sgt Ward's great nephew."

"It was a sad occasion really, all those lives lost all those years ago, and we were lucky enough to be allowed onto the site. To think that our relations had been in that very spot, and had walked on the paths that we had walked on, brought a lump into one's throat. But the really sad part is that we may well be the last people to be able to visit, as the demolition teams move in soon to clear the site. Only the hangers will be left, as they are/will be used for industrial purposes. Julia and a friend of Andy's accompanied us, and we had lunch at 'The Bell' which is the pub the crews drank in."

"The buildings have stood the test of time (structurally) very well, but are vandalised. We were able to get into the old control room, which was quite small, but below ground, and dark. The raised balcony was still intact, where the senior officer would have been seated. All very humbling. The trees on site, we were told, were planted in 1937, so would have been there in the war, and some will remain thankfully."

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Crew Information (sourced from RAAF Service File for Tresidder; RAAF Service File for Levey not yet digitised, and RAFVR files not accessible, entries with JNT are those specifically for John Newton Tresidder. In late July 2015, information from the RAFVR Service File of Denis Roy Muxlow was received from Peter Muxlow, and this has been added to the end of this Crew Information section.)

11 December 1941 to 12 September 1942 – JNT, Cadet 10493, 24 squadron, No 2 Wing, Air Training Corps.
10 May 1942 – JNT, Application for Aircrew; Occupation as Clerk, Motor Registration Records Branch, Dept. of Road Transport & Tramways.
12 September 1942 – JNT enlisted at 2 Recruiting Centre (2 RC) Sydney NSW; age 18 yrs 1 month; height 5ft 6½ inches, weight 128 lbs, brown hair, blue eyes, fair complexion, 6/6 vision both eyes, Medical Category A1B.A3B; Mustered as Aircrew V on enlistment at 2 RC; classified as Aircraftman II; posted to 2 Initial Training School (2 ITS), Bradfield Park, Sydney NSW.
2 November 1942 – JNT remustered as Aircrew (V) G at 2 ITS.
10 November 1942 – JNT posted to 3 Wireless & Gunnery School (3 WAGS) Maryborough, Qld; reclassified as Leading Aircraftman (LAC).
27 May 1943 – JNT remustered as Aircrew (II) G at 3 WAGS.
31 May 1943 – JNT posted to 1 Bombing and Gunnery School (1 BAGS), Evans Head, NSW.
24 June 1943 – JNT remustered as Wireless Operator Air Gunner (WOAG), received WOAG badge, and promoted to temporary rank of Sergeant at 1 BAGS.
8 July 1943 – JNT posted to 1 Air Navigation School (1 ANS), Parkes, NSW.
14 October 1943 – JNT posted to 2 Embarkation Depot, Bradfield Park, NSW.
4 November 1943 – JNT embarked for the UK, arriving on 10 December 1943.
11 December 1943 – JNT posted to 11 Personnel Despatch & Reception Centre (11 PDRC), Brighton, UK.
24 December 1943 – JNT promoted to temporary rank of Flight Sergeant.
2 February 1944 – JNT attached to Air Crew NCO School until 29 February 1944.
11 March 1943 – JNT remustered as WOP/AIR.
14 March 1944 JNT posted to 1 (O) Advanced Flying Unit, Wigtown UK.

11 April 1944 – JNT posted to 21 Operational Training Unit (21 OTU) Moreton-in-Marsh. This is where the crew of six would have formed, training in twin-engined Wellington bombers. The postings for the other five to 21 OTU would probably have been on or around the same date.

21 July 1944 – JNT posted to 1666 Heavy Conversion Unit (1666 HCU), 61 (RCAF) Base, at Wombleton, North Yorkshire. The 6-man crew would have been posted to 1666 HCU on the same date, perhaps with leave between locations. Flight Engineer Stopp would have joined the crew at this HCU, completing the permanent crew of seven training in 4-engined Halifax bombers.

31 August 1944 – JNT posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield, Yorkshire. The other six in the crew would have been posted to 462 Squadron on the same date, perhaps with leave between locations.
3 September 1944 – Tresidder arrived at 462 Squadron Driffield, Yorkshire, from 1666 HCU, Wombleton.
From the individual Aircrew Arrival Forms:-
2 September 1944 – Muxlow arrived at 462 Squadron Driffield, Yorkshire, from 1666 Heavy Conversion Unit (HCU), Wombleton.
3 September 1944 – Coleman and Tresidder arrived at 462 Squadron Driffield, Yorkshire, from 1666 HCU, Wombleton.
4 September 1944 – Levey, Mouat, Stopp and Ward arrived at 462 Squadron Driffield, Yorkshire, from 1666 HCU, Wombleton.
(Differences in date may relate to return from leave.)

Additional information from the individual Aircrew Arrival Forms:-
Coleman – Temporary rank of Pilot Officer on 1 July 1944; trained as Pilot; attended courses at AFU, OTU, HCU; trained in Anson, Cornell, Oxford, Wellington, Halifax, Tiger Moth, Cessna, Norseman, Battle and Harvard aircraft.
Levey – temporary rank of Flight Sergeant on 27 November 1943; trained as Navigator, Bomb Aimer and Air Gunner (which explains the "O" Observer Badge shown on his uniform in the crew photo); attended courses at ITS, AOS, BAGS, ANS, GRS, AFU, OTU, HCU; trained in Anson, Battle, Wellington III & X, Halifax II and Halifax V aircraft.
Ward – temporary rank of Sergeant on 25 November 1943; trained as Air Bomber; attended courses at ITW, EFTS, BAGS, AOS, AFU, OTU, HCU; trained in Anson, Battle, Wellington III & X, Halifax II and Halifax V aircraft.
Tresidder – substantive rank of Flight Sergeant on 24 December 1943; trained as Wireless Operator and Air Gunner; attended courses at ITS, WAGS, BAGS, AFU, OTU, HCU; trained in Wackett, Battle, Anson, Wellington and Halifax aircraft.
Stopp – temporary rank of Sergeant on 7 July 1944; trained as Flight Engineer; attended courses at St Athan; trained in Halifax II and Halifax V aircraft.
Mouat – rank of Sergeant on 18 March 1944; trained as Air Gunner; attended AGS courses; trained in Anson, Wellington, Halifax II and Halifax V aircraft; Decoration of Africa Star received on 6 February 1944.
Muxlow – Substantive rank of Sergeant on 18 March 1944; trained as Air Gunner; attended courses at 7 AGS, 21 OTU and 1666 HCU; trained in Anson, Wellington, Halifax II and Halifax V aircraft.

Additional information from the 462 Squadron Operational Record Book (ORB).
Coleman carried out 11 ops, with his first as 2nd Pilot for Brophy (crew 3) in Halifax MZ400 on 10 September 1944, the same aircraft flown on his and his crew's last op on 9 October 1944, just one month later. His six permanent crew members all flew 10 ops each, all with Coleman as pilot/captain. (See list of these 10 ops in a following section.)
Coleman was listed with his correct service number 178780 (7 ops), but also as 178180, 1788780, 478780 and 178030 (1 op each).
Tresidder was correctly listed as J N (3 ops), but also as J M (6 ops) and K M (1 op). Tresidder was correctly listed with service number 424477 (6 ops), but also as 42477, 142477, 421477, and 422477 (1 op each).
Levey was always listed with the correct service number, but only ever as P H Levey, not the more correct P H M Levey.
The service numbers and initials for Mouat, Muxlow, Stopp and Ward were all listed correctly for all of their ops.

Information from the RAFVR Service File of Denis Roy Muxlow, from RAF Records Office, as summarised by Peter Muxlow, July 2015. (Comments in italics are not from the original file).

Civil occupation – Shop Assistant, Cycle.
10 December 1942 – Medical, Cat. Grade 1.
7 January 1943 – Enlistment, D'caster (This is the usual abbreviation for Doncaster, which is a major town in South Yorkshire, and would be an easy train journey (in those days) from his home in Spalding. Denis would not be aged 18 until 3 April 1943.)
8 January 1943 – Air Crew Selection Board 17, recommended as Air Gunner, D'caster. (Doncaster)

4 October 1943 – Posted to 1 ACRC (No. 1 Air Crew Reception Centre was at Lords Cricket Ground at St. Johns Wood, London; Denis was then aged 18 and 6 months.)
30 October 1943 – Posted to 14 ITW (14 Initial Training Wing was at Bridlington, an East Yorkshire coastal town, not too far from Driffield.)
28 December 1943 –  Posted to 7 AGS (7 Air Gunnery School was at Stormy Down, South Wales.)
28 December 1943 to 17 March 1944 – Att. 127 A G Crse. (Refer also to the previous section to view the photo of Trainee Air Gunners at 7 AGS, Course 127, Squad 16, dated 3 January 1944.)
12 January 1944 – Entry under Special Qualifications which states  'Grade B 12/1/44' and '79.190' (relevance not yet determined.)
17 March 1944 – Promotion to Sergeant, on completion of the AG course.

11 April 1944 – Posted to 21 OTU (21 Operational Training Unit, Morton-in-Marsh, where the Coleman crew formed.)
21 July 1944 – Posted to 61 Base, and on the same date, 1666 BU (1666 Heavy Conversion Unit, Wombleton.)
31 August 1944 – Posted to 61 Base, and on the same date 462 Squadron (Driffield, Yorkshire.)
10.10.44 – Missing.
9.10.44 – Death presumed.
9.10.44 – Killed in Action.

Additional documentation from the family of Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey.

1. Telegram dated 17 May 1945, sent to Corporal Gordon Francis Levey (QX44678 (Q1125), Aus Army, Unit 22, Signals HQ, Balcombe, Victoria, but previously in New Guinea) in answer to Gordon's inquiries to the Air Ministry after he received news of his younger brother Philip being listed as Missing believed Killed in Action near Bochum. Similar telegrams were most likely sent to the next-of-kin of other members of this crew.

Telegram dated 17 May 1945 regarding presumption of death of Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey 429588 RAAF, 462 Squadron.
Received from, and used with the permission the Blackwell and Levey families.

Above ... Telegram dated 17 May 1945 regarding presumption of death of Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey 429588 RAAF, 462 Squadron. Transcription as follows (sic) ...........

PERSONAL... QX44678 CPL G F LEVEY
UNIT 22 AUST L OF C SIGS AUST

FURTHER INFORMATION RECEIVED THROUGH THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS
FROM GERMAN AUTHORITIES BEFORE THE ENEMYS SURRENDER THAT YOUR
BROTHER FLIGHT SERGEANT PHILLIP HEDLEY MALCOLM LEVEY AND THE OTHER
AUSTRALIAN MEMBER OF CREW FLIGHT SERGEANT J N TRESIDDER ARE BURIED
IN THE CEMETERY AT NIEDERSTUETER WHICH IS IN THE POSTAL DISTRICT
OF HATTINGEN SOUTH OF BOCHUM RUHR TERRITORY GERMANY STOP IN VIEW
OF THE ABOVE INFORMATION IT IS PROBABLE THAT ACTION WILL BE TAKEN
BY THE AIR MINISTRY LONDON TO PRESUME YOUR BROTHERS DEATH FOR
OFFICIAL PURPOSES AND YOU WILL BE ADVISED BY LETTER WHEN THIS ACTION
HAS BEEN COMPLETED STOP AIR BOARD AGAIN EXPRESSES SINCERE SYMPATHY
... AIR FORCE 391 LITTLE COLLINS ST MELBOURNE

2. Condolence Card sent from King George & Queen Elizabeth to the family of Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey 429588 RAAF, 462 Squadron, KIA 9 October 1944. Similar cards were most likely received by the next-of-kin of other members of this crew.

Condolence Card sent from King George to the family of Philip Hedley Malcolm Levey 429588 RAAF, 462 Squadron, KIA 9 october 1944.
Received from, and used with the permission the Blackwell and Levey families.

Above .... Condolence Card from King George.

Transcription as follows ............

BUCKINGHAM PALACE

The Queen and I offer you our
heartfelt sympathy in your great
sorrow.

We pray that your country's
gratitude for a life so nobly given
in its service may bring you some
measure of consolation.
George R. I

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Ops by Crew 29 at Driffield, Yorkshire – all seven permanent members of the crew flew with Coleman for ten Ops. Coleman had his first Op as 2nd Pilot, making his total eleven Ops. He flew in MZ400 on three occasions, including his first and last Op.
From 462 Squadron RAAF Operational Record Book (Forms 541, Detail of work carried out, and Forms 540, Summary of Events).

10 September 1944 – Coleman as 2nd Pilot with Brophy (Crew 3) in Halifax III MZ400; up at 1437 and down at 1855; Bombed primary target from 10,000 ft at 1707 hours; Photographic report shows A.P. (Aiming Point) One of 16 squadron aircraft for bombing attack on target Le Havre; all attacked and returned safely; the attack was reported as highly successful.

15 September 1944 – Op 1; Coleman & crew in Halifax III LL598; up at 2217 and down at 0410 on 16 Sept. Bombed primary target from 19,000 ft at 0119½ hours; Photographic report of intense incendiary tracks and faint ground detail in one course; one of 15 squadron aircraft for bombing attack on target Kiel; all attacked and returned safely; successful sortie; bombing was well concentrated.

17 September 1944 – Op 2; Coleman & crew in Halifax III LL599; up at 0657 and down at 1043; Bombed primary target from 9,000 ft at 0857 hours; Photographic report of Target Area (T/A); one of 13 squadron aircraft for bombing attack on target Bolougne (sic, Boulogne?); 12 attacked the target, one returned early with engine problems, and all returned safely to Base; the attack appeared to have been well carried out, and bombing reported as well concentrated, and results were good.

23 or 24 September 1944 – Op 3; Coleman & crew in Halifax III MZ341; up at 1851 and down at 0013. Bombed primary target from 16,500 ft at 2133 hours; Photographic report of cloud only; one of 14 squadron aircraft for bombing attack on target Neuss (Ruhr Valley); all attacked and 10 returned safely to Base, and 4 landed away. (Date conflict between ORB Form 540 and Forms 541, one listed as 23 September and the F541 as 24 September.)

25 September 1944 – Op 4; Coleman & crew in Halifax III MZ400; up at 0646 and down at 0955. Abortive OET. Started to orbit then heard Master Bomber give "London" at 0825. 2 x 1000 plus 4 x 500 bombs jettisoned safe from 4000 ft at 0922 hours; one of 14 squadron aircraft for bombing attack on target Calais; Due to 10/10th cloud cover, and cloud base below 2,000 ft, all abandoned mission and returned safely, 13 returned to Base and one landed away.

26 September 1944 – Op 5; Coleman & crew in Halifax III NA521; up at 0805 and down at 1215. Bombed primary target from 9,000 ft at 1004 hours; Photographic report of T/A; one of 13 squadron aircraft for bombing attack on target Calais (Cap Gris Nez); all attacked and returned safely;successful raid, weather was perfect and bombing was well concentrated.

27 September 1944 – Op 6; Coleman & crew in Halifax III LW440; up at 0919 and down at 1315. Bombed primary target from 4,500 ft at 1103 hours; Photographic report of Target Area (T/A); one of 7 squadron aircraft for bombing attack on target Calais; all but one attacked the target below the cloud which was at 4,000 ft, and all returned safely to Base; bombing results were good.

30 September 1944 – Op 7; Coleman & crew in Halifax III NP990; up at 0955 and down at 1420. Bombed possible alternative target Bootrop (sic, Bottrop?); 10/10ths; occasional breaks; 17,500 ft; double canal seen seemed to confirm Bootrop (sic). Photographic report – camera failure; one of 14 squadron aircraft for bombing attack on target Bootrop (sic); all attacked alternative targets (due to cloud cover) and all returned safely. Not a great success due to 10/10th cloud cover.

6 October 1944 – Op 8; Coleman & crew in Halifax III MZ306; up at 1425 and down at 1935; Bombed primary target from 17,700 ft with a very good attack with flames seen from 1720 hours; Photographic report of T/A; one of 18 squadron aircraft for Bombing attack on target Sterkrade; 17 aircraft became airborne, one early return, 15 attacked the target, one attacked an alternative target, and one returned early due to engine trouble; all several were damaged due to heavy flak over the target; three landed away; (McGindle and crew, NP990 Z5-L, 2 of crew baled out, another 2 injured, aircraft landed at Woodbridge, see story on page for McGindle); results of bombing were considered good in spite of the heavy opposition.

7 October 1944 – Op 9; Coleman & crew in Halifax III MZ306; up at 1135 and down at 1620. Bombed primary target from 13,000 ft at 1410 hours; landed away at Bungay; no cloud, Photographic report of T/A; one of 12 squadron aircraft for bombing attack on target Kleve; all attacked and returned safely. weather was poor, with low cloud & misty rain so all returning aircraft (except one) were diverted to Bungay.

9 October 1944 – Op 10; Coleman & crew in Halifax III MZ400; up at 1730 and did not return; listed as missing; one of 9 squadron aircraft for Bombing attack on target Bochum; 5 attacked the target, 2 were abortive early returns, and those 7 returned safely, but 2 were listed as missing (Coleman & crew in MZ400 Z5-J, also Black and crew in LL604 Z5-D, up at 1740, but did not return). It was thought that both of these aircraft were shot down by enemy night fighters on the leg into the target, as several were seen in that area. It was noted in the ORB that 9 October 1944 "was rather an unfortunate and black day for No. 462 Squadron". These were the first two aircraft lost from 462 Squadron RAAF in their UK based operations.

On its last flight, Halifax III MZ400 Z5-J was carrying 4 x 1,000 lbs S.A.P. bombs, 3 x 1,000 lbs M.C. bombs, and 6 x 500 lbs G.P. bombs, and 7,000 rounds of .303 ammunition. It also carried 1,678 gallons of fuel which allowed for about six and a half hours flying time.
It was also carrying the following equipment – IFF (Identification Friend or Foe), Navigational Aids H2S and GEE, and radar FISHPOND.

10 October 1944 – JNT posted War Casualty Accounts Dept, Non/Effective Missing, probably the other six in the crew were allocated the same posting on the same date.

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Crash Investigation Report from No. 20 Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES), dated 16 March 1948.

The following Investigation Report of the loss of Halifax III MZ400 Z5-J and its Crew, dated 16 March 1948, has been transcribed in full. It has been extracted from copies of a similar document in each of the Casualty Files (Series A705) of the two RAAF members of the Crew who died in the crash (Tresidder and Levey). The two documents are not carbon copies, as the numbers of words per line do not always match, and there are some differences in spelling. Most importantly however, 2 lines missing from the Tresidder document are included in the Levey document. It is assumed that a copy of this report was also sent to the next-of-kin of the RAFVR crew members in England. As far as possible, format is as per the original, including all inconsistencies and errors.
Note the errors ..... Tressider (sic, should be Tresidder); Muxton (sic, should be Muxlow); 1378108 (sic, should be 1378208 for Mouat). Levey's file document names the initial burial plot HECKSTUCK (sic), but in Tresidder's file document it is HECKSTRUCK (sic), probably both errors for Hackstück. The paragraph heading EXHUMATION and its following 1st line, is missing from Tresidder's file document.
Hand-written annotations in the document .... above the first map reference ... "8m S W Bochum" and below the name
BREDENSCHEID-STUTER is an arrowed insertion of "NIEDERSTUTER" to change the name to BREDENSCHEID-NIEDERSTUTER.

20 M.R.E.S. INVESTIGATION REPORT

FROM:       20 M.R.E.S.

TO:         Air Ministry, S.7 Cas., 2, Seville Street, London, S.W.1.

COPIES TO:  R.A.A.F.

DATE:       16th March, 1948.

YOUR FILE OR FOLDER RERERENCE:      "P" 424184

YOUR CASUALTY ENQUIRY NUMBER:       –

OUR RERERENCE:                      1118/7/6/1/P4.

NAME OF SEARCH OFFICER:             F/Lt. W.R. LOTT.

TARGET:                             BOCHUM

AIRCRAFT TYPE AND SERIAL NUMBER:    HALIFAX M.Z. 400

DATE REPORTED MISSING:              9.10.44.

PLACE OF CRASH, WITH MAP REFERENCE:       BREDENSCHEID. K52/A 6206

PLACE OF BURIAL, WITH MAP REFERENCE:      BREDENSCHEID. K52/A 6206

                                          REICHSWALD 3A/E 85.

CREW:
                                      Re-interred
BREDENSCHEID-STUTER                                      REICHSWALD
    K/52/A 6206                                           3A/E 85.
                                                        Plot. Row. Grave.
HACKSTUECK 10    178780 A/F/O. COLEMAN   G.      Pilot    33    G     6
"   "     14 AUS424477 F/SGT. TRESSIDER J.N.    W/AG.   (33    G     4
"   "     13 AUS429588 F/SGT. LEVEY     P.H.M.  NAV.    (33    G     5
"   "      9   1590607 SGT.   MUXLOW    D.R.    A/G.    (33    G     7
"   "      8)  1378108 SGT.   MOUAT     A.J.    A/G.    (33    G     8
"   "      8)  1892044 SGT.   STOPP     R.C.    F/E.    (33    G     9
"   "      8)  1581798 SGT.   WARD      A.J.    A/B.    (33    G    10

SPECIAL MARKING OR FORMATION OF GRAVES IS RECOMMENDED AS FOLLOWS:

      33-G-6 can be allocated as above to A/F/O. COLEMAN
      33-G-4;5;7;8;9;10 to be allocated collectively to remainder of crew.

PRELIMINARY REMARKS:

      Documentary evidence held by this unit is sufficient to account for
this crew without recourse to a surface investigation unless such is specifically called for by any interested party.

AIRCRAFT:

      This aircraft was engaged by flak between 2000 and 2100 hours on 9th
October, 1944 over the area of BOCHUM. This aircraft caught fire and broke up
in the air, the wreckage being strewn over a wide area, most of it fell on
BREDENSCHED in Kreis ENNEPE-RUHR.

CREW:

      Seven bodies were recovered from the wreckage all badly burned. The
German report covering this crash names three of theses as MUXTON, LEVEY and
TRESSIDER, and gives the correct service numbers of these men. Four other bodies
were not identified and were buried as unknowns. The whole crew was buried in
a Plot called the HECKSTUCK (no English translation) in BREDENSCHEID-STUTER
Cemetery.

EXHUMATION:

      Exhumation showed only one body which could be reasonably identified,
that of the only officer in the crew F/O COLEMAN. This body was the only one
dressed in officer's type clothing.
      F/SGT TRESSIDER'S number was found on a shirt band and collar but
the remains came from a communal grave and were so intermixed as to render
separation impossible.

CONCLUSION:

      I have no doubt that this whole crew is accounted for, and request
that this case be closed and the graves registered as shown on the accompanying
report.

                   (Sgd.)      W. R. Lott F/Lt.
Search Officer,
No.20 M.R.E.S. RUHR AREA,
Royal Air Force

SECTION COMMANDER's REMARKS:

Nil:- W. H. Armstrong S/L.                           (...... end of transcription)

 

A letter of 7 July 1948 advised ... " It will be noted that a slight re-arrangement of the graves will be necessary to arrange for contiguous burial of the unidentified members. "

A letter of 9 March 1949 further advised ... " ..... that the grave numbers in Row G, Plot XXXIII in REICHSWALD FOREST have been changed. Flying Officer Coleman is in Grave 7, and the other six members in collective graves 8 to 13. "

A brief document dated 16 February 1956 noted that the Burial Plot XXXIII (33) had been re-numbered as Plot XXVIII (28).

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My thanks are extended to Peter Muxlow and his fellow researchers (in Germany and UK) for their investigations into the crash of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, and for allowing their reports and photos and documents to be published on this website. Thanks also to Peter and his wife Julia for attending the 70th Anniversary Memorial Service for the crew of Halifax NA240 Z5-V at Zaasch on 10 April 2015. This was their second visit to Germany in less than two weeks, following their own research visit to Bredenscheid on 31 March.

Investigation into the Crash of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J carried out by Peter Muxlow, relative of the Crew's Rear Gunner Denis Roy Muxlow. Information is presented in the following sections.

● Photos. Unless otherwise noted, the photos and basic descriptions were supplied by Peter and used with his permission.
● Sequence of Research notes by Peter Muxlow (this also includes a translation of a German news article.)
● Crash Report which was also written by Peter Muxlow, 2015.
● Eye-witness Reports (Walter Padtberg, Hans Sendt). Additional quotes or translations are acknowledged where relevant.

462 Squadron Halifax MZ400 Z5-J crash site near Bredenscheid, Germany; all crew KIA on 9 October 1944, on a night Op to Bochum.
Google Earth image with crash details & locations supplied by Peter Muxlow, 2015.

Above: Crash site of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J near Bredenscheid, 8 miles south of Bochum, in the Ruhr Valley, Germany.
All seven of the crew KIA on 9 October 1944, on a night Op to Bochum.

The blue line and arrow-heads indicate the flight path curving from right to left.
1. Antoniushof (see also later photo).
2. Current land fill, site of former quarry.
3. Site of former brickyard.
4. Farmer Feldmann's house (see also later photo)
(Hans Feldmann, birth 12 March 1926, death 15 May 2005).
5. Farmer Feldmann's rebuilt stone barn (see also later photo).
6. Crash site, at the former railway embankment (see also later photos).
The village of Bredenscheid is located in the top left of the above Google Earth image photo.
Some of these locations are shown in the following photos, and are referred to the subsequent Crash Report by Peter Muxlow.

Key to Herr Hans Sendt's map, photo below, right.
Flugzeugrad = Crashed wheel
Absturzstelle = Crash Site (highlighted in yellow)
Fußweg (Fussweg) = Footpath
Wohn = House
Ringofen Ziegelei = Brickyard furnace
Ehemalige Unterfuhrung = Former DB Railway Underpass
Heutiger Aufgang Zum Rad & Wanderweg =Today stairs to cycle- and foot-path
Produktionswerke Koller = Production works.

 

Archivist Thomas Weiss, eye-witness Herr Hans Sendt and Researcher Peter Muxlow at the crash site of 462 Squadron Halifax MZ400 Z5-J near Bredenscheid.
Photo by P. Muxlow, UK, © Copyright 2015.

Left to right:- Archivist Thomas Weiss, eye-witness Herr Hans Sendt, and researcher Peter Muxlow. They are at the crash site of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J and are studying Herr Sendt's hand drawn map of the site.

Map of the crash site drawn by Herr Hans Sendt, an eye-witness to the crash of 462 Squadron Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, near Bredenscheid.
Photo by P. Muxlow, UK, © Copyright 2015.

Map of the crash site of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, hand drawn by Herr Hans Sendt, an eye-witness of the crash. The translation Key to Herr Sendt's map is above centre.

 

Site of AA guns near the crash site of 462 Squadron Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, near Bredenscheid.
Photo by P. Muxlow, UK, © Copyright 2015.

Site of AA guns on the hill side towards the modern radio mast (arrow top left), near Bredenscheid. The crash site of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J is out of view off to the right side of the photo (arrow) and is in an approximate line from the radio mast through the power transmission tower (arrow, centre).

 

Brick works and railway line with underpass at the crash site of 462 Squadron Halifax MZ400 Z5-J near Bredenscheid.
Photo from Thomas Weiss of the Hattingen Archives, via Peter Muxlow.

Photo dated 1955 showing the brickworks and railway line with underpass beside the crash site of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J near Bredenscheid. The underpass entry can be seen at the tip of the arrow. The aircraft crashed into the embankment a few yards to the left of the underpass.

 

Antoniushof, near Bredenscheid, near the crash site of 462 Squadron Halifax MZ400 Z5-J.
Photo by P. Muxlow, UK, © Copyright 2015.

The present-day Antoniushof, now re-built, but not as a result of war damage.

 

 

Flight path right to left towards rail embankment, and crash site of 462 Squadron Halifax MZ400 Z5-J,near Bredenscheid.
Photo by P. Muxlow, UK, © Copyright 2015.

View overlooking the old brickyard – the white wall end of the house can just be seen centre right of the photo behind the trees, and the old rail track bed on the bottom left (arrow). MZ400 would have been flying from right to left across the centre of this picture, decreasing in height to crash into the rail embankment.

 

Farmer Feldmann's house, near to the crash site of 462 Squadron Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, near Bredenscheid.
Photo by P. Muxlow, UK, © Copyright 2015.

Farmer Feldmann's house. The barn was immediately to the right of the house, and the re-built barn can be seen in the next photo.

 

 

Farmer Feldmann's rebuilt stone barn, near to the crash site of 462 Squadron Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, near Bredenscheid.
Photo by P. Muxlow, UK, © Copyright 2015.

Farmer Feldmann's re-built stone barn.

 

Crash site of 462 Squadron Halifax MZ400 Z5-J at the foot of the railway embankment near Bredenscheid.
Photo by P. Muxlow, UK, © Copyright 2015.

Crash site at the foot of the railway embankment, viewed from the left.

 

 

Site of the rail underpass, beside the crash site of 462 Squadron Halifax MZ400 Z5-J near Bredenscheid.
Photo by P. Muxlow, UK, © Copyright 2015.

Approximate site of the former rail underpass, viewed from the right. The underpass mentioned by Herr Sendt was where a woman and a three year child sheltered. The crash site was a few yards to the left of the underpass.

 

View of crash site of 462 Squadron Halifax MZ400 Z5-J near Bredenscheid, looking down from the former rail line.
Photo by P. Muxlow, UK, © Copyright 2015.

View of crash site from above the embankment, on disused track bed of railway, now a cycle path and walk way.

 

Site of the original communal grave for the crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J at the Bredenscheid-Niederstuter Cemetery.
Photo by P. Muxlow, UK, © Copyright 2015.

Site of the original communal grave for the crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J at the Bredenscheid-Niederstuter Cemetery. It was either to the right or (most likely) to the left of the Russian Memorial (centre). This is certainly the correct cemetery, and this is the correct area of that cemetery.

 

Sequence of Research by Peter Muxlow, investigating the loss of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J (as written by Peter, with minor editorial changes).

Many moons ago – received a copy of our (Muxlow) family tree, one 'Denis Roy Muxlow' noted as 'Killed on a bombing raid over Germany'. That comment sowed the seed.

Oct/Nov 2013. Established a connection between Denis' nephew, Trevor Muxlow, and a friend's sister who now lives in Geelong, Victoria. E-mail contact made with Trevor Muxlow who now lives in Tasmania.

Winter 2013. Started some very basic research on the internet, which included the discovery of (this) web-site.

April 10th 2014. First visit to Reichswald Forest War Cemetery to visit crew's graves.

Between April and August 2014. Bought and read many books on the MRES, 462 and 466 Squadron, RAF Driffield, Halifax bombers, and anything else that I could find which could have been relevant.

5th Aug 2014. Established contact with (this website's owner/author), primarily to see how to obtain permission to take a copy of the Crew photograph used on the 462 Squadron tribute site to Reichswald Cemetery on the 70th anniversary of the Crew's death.

August to October 2014. E-mail exchanges with (this website's owner/author), for advice as to how to broaden my research.

11th October 2014. Visit to Reichswald on 70th Anniversary (+ 2 days) of crew's death.

17th October 2014. Files found on National Archives of Australia site, re MZ400, and F/Sgt Tresidder RAAF (Wireless Op.)

16th January 2015. Contact established with Thomas Weiss, the Archivist at Hattingen, Germany. From his local knowledge, contacts, and his own research on my behalf, a wealth of documentary evidence was discovered which confirmed the date, time and exact place of MZ400's crash, from the German point of view.

4th February 2015. Met two of Denis' surviving sisters, Mrs Ann Inkley, and Mrs. Patricia Tucker.

6th February 2015. Receipt of digitised copy of F/Sgt Levey's file from National Australian Archives. This clarified the MRES Report, which had one line missing in the copy found on 17 October 2014.

11th February 2015. Visit to UK National Archive, to try to find more re the MRES files. Nothing useful found.

31st March 2015. Visit to Bredenscheid, Germany, to the crash site of MZ400, in company with Thomas Weiss, Archivist; Herr Hans Sendt, eye-witness; Herr Walter Padtberg, eye-witness; Herr Harri Petras, local historian & author; the local German press; Peter's wife Julia; and Syd Andrew, a German speaking friend.

German Newspaper report of this visit to Bredenscheid (translation as supplied by Peter Muxlow) ......

"Hattingen. Peter Muxlow visited with his wife Julia, City Archivist Thomas Weiss, and witness Hans Sendt,  the place in Bredenscheid where his cousin was shot down.

Sergeant Denis Roy Muxlow was 19 when the British (fighter) bomber  plane was shot down over the old brickworks in Bredenscheid. It crashed, with the young Englishman who, together with six other (soldiers) airmen from the unit, died on 9 October 1944. His cousin and his wife were now together at Hattingen, at the scene.

Hans Sendt has not forgotten the crash of his life. "I'm the last one eyewitness," says the 78-year-old. He was a boy of eight and  "everything is still very fresh in our minds. When the bombs fell,  my mother and I started walking towards the Brickyard". Previously, she had paid attention to what was going on in the sky. Hans Sendt was afraid for a woman and her three year old daughter. If they had not been under an underpass, they would have been killed by aircraft parts.

Out of respect to the relatives of the dead, the Bredenscheider holds back with accounts of the crash site. As a child he was running out the next morning to look around. Peter Muxlow, who came with his wife Julia from England, appreciates the thoughtfulness. However, the visitor who is only in Hattingen for a day, indicates: "We know." Five of the seven bodies were badly burnt. The dead were first buried in the cemetery at Hackstück. They rest on the British military cemetery Reichswaldhalle in Kleve.

Since many of those who deal with history in Hattingen and elsewhere, have brought together their memories and sources, it has been possible to bring light into the darkness after more than 70 years, and to provide clarity for the relatives and bring them together with witnesses at the scene. The feeling for those who have not experienced that time, can be hard to describe. The date of the meeting being so soon after the crash of The German Wings machine in France brings back memories of the events in October 1944.

There the relatives were shielded from the press cameras, but here the Muxlow's were able to take a lot of photographs of the crash site. City archivist Thomas Weiss, whose son Benedict  interprets, together they accompany Harri Petras and Walter Padtberg who describes in the book "We in Bredenscheid-Stüter" written by Harri Petras, such things as the barn burned at the Antoniushof, the brickyard was almost completely destroyed, the bomber circled over Bredenscheid, dropped its bombs, possibly hoping to make an emergency landing. They failed."

10 April 2015. Visit to Delitzsch to attend the 70th Anniversary Memorial Service for the crew of Halifax NA240 Z5-V at Zaasch, and to meet with this website's owner/author.

24th April 2015. Thomas Weiss sends a copy of 'Air Raid Report' which adds considerable weight, together with other known facts, to MZ400 having been shot down by a night fighter, rather than brought down by AA fire.

16th May 2015. Further visit to Denis' sisters, where we saw the Gunnery Course Photo (now shown on this site). Connection established that Peggy Mills' first 'service boyfriend' was Denis Roy Muxlow, as detailed in "Brave and True" (462/466 History) page 86. Peggy was an 18 year old WAAF (a batwoman) at Driffield from May 1944 to September 1945.
.... (part quote of Peggy's narrative in the book) ....

"After a while you got used to seeing an empty bed – someone not returned from ops. My first service boyfriend was at Driffield and was an airgunner with 462. His birthday was the same as mine but he was one year older. He went out on a mission on the 9th October 1944 and didn't return at 19 years old. I wanted to die but you get over it."

6 August 2015. Current and on-going, trying to research/establish contact with the families of the other crew members, with a view to placing a Memorial Plaque in Bredenscheid Church in October 2016.
......... End of Peter's Sequence of Research to this date.

Crash Report for Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, written by Peter Muxlow on 6 April 2015, updated as of 13 July 2015.

MZ400 left RAF Driffield at 17.30 on 9th October 1944, bound for Bochum. It was one of 435 aircraft detailed that night to bomb Bochum between 20.23 and 20.45. The route was via Calais, turning over northern France then keeping to the south of the Ruhr area, before turning north, keeping parallel to, and to the east of the Rhine, towards the target. The aircraft flew below 2,500 feet over France, as far as Hirson, there to climb to 17 to 20,000 feet over the target, returning over Belgium.

The German night fighters were initially sent towards Bremen, due to the diversionary tactics from Bomber Command. The Bochum bound force was not detected until 19.45 in the area to the south of Aachen. Fighter engagements were few on the northerly track to the target, but two German night fighter pilots reported engaging heavy bombers on that northerly track, and 462 Squadron's ORB reports night fighter activity in that area too. The AA gun defences were 'chiefly in barrage form over the target and were not considered up to Ruhr standard'. One of the night fighter reports is possibly the destruction of 76 Squadron's  Halifax NA567, to the south west of Bochum, the other report has no claim, positive or probable, but is recorded as being an engagement with a four engined bomber, at  20.32, at 16,900 feet, to the SOUTH of Bochum.

The Missing Research and Enquiry Service (MRES) Report into MZ400's crash, gives the location as Bredenscheid, which is approximately 8 miles due south of Bochum. It also states that 'This aircraft was engaged by flak between 2000 and 2100 hours on 9th October, 1944, over the area of Bochum. The aircraft caught fire and broke up in the air, the wreckage being strewn over a wide area, most of it fell on Bredenscheid, in Kreis Ennepe-Ruhr'.

There are three credible eye-witness accounts of this crash, two eye-witnesses are still alive today (April 6th 2015), to whom I have spoken (on 31st March 2015), the other account comes from a book about life in Bredenscheid, written by a well respected local historian (Harri Petras). The reports describe that the aircraft 'circled several times over Bredenscheid' and that various buildings in the village were damaged and set on fire by the bombs falling from the aircraft as it circled overhead. These buildings lay on the outskirts of the village, and consisted of farm buildings, a barn belonging to the Antoniushof, which was part of what we would now describe as a Convent for girls with learning difficulties, and the brickyard. If one plots those buildings on a map of the area, they form a circle as if the aircraft was circling the village. How or why the bombs fell is open to question, the eye-witnesses tell of the pilot possibly getting rid of his 'deadly load' in an attempt to make an emergency landing. The bombs may have been deliberately jettisoned, or may have fallen randomly due to damage inflicted during the attack on the aircraft. One thing is for sure, all three eye-witnesses say the pilot was still trying to FLY the aircraft until it crashed, there is no mention anywhere of it being out of control, or spinning into the ground. 'The bomber pilot did not manage to save his machine, himself or his men' is quoted in the book, the eye-witnesses I spoke to stated, 'But the pilot still managed to fly over the brickyard towards the station....' At this point, the aircraft was definitely on fire. This casts doubt on '...... and broke up in the air .......'  from the MRES Report. The eye-witnesses stated that most of the wreckage was confined to an area within the brickyard itself, with a wing and engine between the brickyard and adjacent quarry (the brickyard and quarry being about 3/4 mile or so apart), another engine between the brickyard and quarry, and another engine on the 'brickyard furnace'. The remainder of the aircraft crashed against the railway embankment with all the crew still on board.

Local knowledge gained from the Hattingen Town Archivist, Thomas Weiss, places AA gun batteries on the hillside to the NNE of Bredenscheid village, and no doubt these were active and MZ400 would have been within their range. No records are known to exist which could confirm or deny this. But the 462 Squadron ORB questions the intensity of the AA fire, and the accounts from the eye-witnesses give no indication that MZ400 was so damaged that it was out of control. So, did the impact into the brickyard sheds and the railway embankment cause the wreckage to end up where it did? I know for certain that one under-carriage assembly was within 20 yards of MZ400's final position. Or, did the fire seen by Herr Sendt and Walter Padtberg (the eye-witnesses) burn through the outer portion of (probably) the port wing, thereby allowing that portion of the aircraft to end up between the brickyard and quarry, a distance of approximately 1/2 mile from the crash site. Another engine was between the wing/engine and the wreckage, a third on the brickyard site; the fourth? We are not told where that ended up, but conceivably still with the wreckage, buried in the railway embankment. 

We will probably never know, but the eye-witness reports do not lend themselves to confirming '... and broke up in the air' ... From their accounts it appears that the Pilot still had some control of the aircraft, although prior to crashing, it was on fire. However, I am not in possession of the 'German Report covering this crash' as mentioned in the MRES Report, but I am going to try my hardest to find it, if it exists. Until then, I think that the destruction of MZ400 was most likely caused by a German night fighter attack. What can be confirmed, by documentary evidence, is that the crash took place on 9th October 1944, at Bredenscheid, as there are dated documents from Sister Teresa of the Antoniusheim, requesting replacement clothing and bedding on an official form headed 'Damage by Enemy'. There were only three aircraft crashes in the Bredenscheid area, all recorded and dated, MZ400 being the second of these crashes. The first was in July 1943, the third in December 1944.

Further documentary evidence, which was brought to light by Thomas Weiss, after my visit to Bredenscheid, adds further weight to the Night Fighter theory. He found a report headed 'Air Raids Defence Report' which is dated 9/10 October 1944, recorded by an observer from the Council watch tower in central Hattingen. The report gives precise times of the following:-

20.22 Aircraft and Anti-Aircraft fire above Hattingen.
20.23 Target Indicators over Bochum, flares over Hattingen.
20.32 Wiedenkoph (a hill between Holtausen and Bredenscheid and adjacent to MZ400's crash site) ... fire ....
21.00 Fires in direction of Bochum-Stiepel and Bredenscheid still burning.

There are many more minute by minute entries, but these possibly tie together MZ400's demise at the hands of the German night fighter, the position and time corresponding exactly with the night fighter report mentioned earlier, and known facts.

Another consistent message from the eye-witness reports is that five of the crew were badly burnt as a result of the crash, two were not so badly burned. It is pure conjecture, but the five crew members in the forward portion of the aircraft will most likely be those five, the two gunners possibly suffering less. The bodies were removed the next day, and placed in bags, Herr Sendt saying that the sight of the burnt crew was not something an 8 year old child should have seen. The burial reports state that five were buried in one grave, two in another in the local cemetery. Subsequent quarterly reports made by the Police state consistently that the graves were undisturbed, and were cared for by placing Fir Tree branches on the graves, as is German custom.

It is not my intention to discredit the MRES Report, far from it, but I do question it, as the eye-witness evidence does not strongly support their conclusion, nor do I like the time scale of 20.00 to 21.00, as MZ400 would have been quite some way away from the area at 20.00, and should have been long gone by 21.00. The night fighter report time is within the timescale of the attack on Bochum, it ties in directly with the Council Tower observer, it is at the height expected, and most importantly in the correct place.
.......... End of Peter's Crash Report for Halifax MZ400 Z5-J dated 2015.  

Quote from book about life in Bredenscheid ""We in Bredenscheid-Stüter" by author Harri Petras, in which was written an eye-witness account of the crash. This quote is included with the permission of the author (email dated 27 July 2015). German translation assistance was given to Peter Muxlow by Syd Andrew, with input also from German Archivist Thomas Weiss.

Eye-witness Walter Padtberg.

"The longest we sat in the bunker in the autumn of 1944, was when an English bomber came down here in Bredenscheid. Parts of it fell on the wooden barn next to the shed  of the farmer Feldmann, both burned down. Today instead of them standing there, a quarry stone barn on the street "Am Bahnhof" has been built after the war. In relation to this, the barn at the Antoniushof had burned down, the brickyard had been almost entirely destroyed. This was because the bombs had been dropped by this bomber while he was circling several times over Bredenscheid. He probably had engine trouble and tried, by dropping the bombs, to get rid of his deadly load prior to crashing – perhaps in hope of creating an emergency landing. Wherever you see this stuff, it was still burning for hours well into the night. The bomber pilot did not manage to save his machine, himself or his men. They raced down the embankment to the railway station and shattered. Half a wing lay in the direction of landfill, a motor between brickyard and landfill, another was on the brickyard furnace. Everywhere were parts of the machine, but they were soon taken away."

Eye-witness Report by Herr Hans Sendt, translated by Hattingen Town Archivist Thomas Weiss (Please see also in preceding section, the photos of Herr Sendt, Thomas Weiss and Peter Muxlow at the crash site, along with Herr Sendt's hand-drawn map.)

Hans Sendt has witnessed the crash when eight years of age and reported:

"I was with my mother at the Brickyard, as the burning aircraft flew from the direction of the Antoniushof / RAD camp on the hill, towards the brickyard. The aircraft lost engines, wheels and wings. I was afraid that the plane would slam into the chimney of the brickyard. But the pilot still managed to fly over the brickyard towards the station, but then the plane crashed into the roof of the (house) shed in the brickyard siding, and the railway embankment. Nearby there was a tunnel in which a mother had sought protection with her toddler. An iron grating, which would close the underpass, prevented the woman from being injured by an aircraft wheel flying through the air. I ran with my mother into the bunker and stayed there all night. If I came out, I always heard explosions, probably the ammunition located in the plane exploding as a result of the fire. The next morning I wanted to see being "curious" what had become of the aircraft. However, the children were scared of the auxiliary police. We now ran to the other side of the embankment to look from there and to inspect the crash site, and I could see the charred bodies recovered from the plane, packed in bags and were taken away."

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Updated Report of Investigation into the Crash of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J November 2016. The ongoing investigation was carried out by Peter Muxlow, and the report below was written by him (Copyright November 2016); and includes an English translation of part of the German "Formblatt 2" (which is shown in the following section).

The report I wrote in April 2015, mentioned 'The German Report into this Crash ..........' which was referred to by the MRES team, and the intention to try and find it. Well, I have found it, but initially I was looking in the wrong place, i.e. Germany, it was in the UK.

I have always felt the conclusion that MZ400 was brought down by flak was not correct. Call it a gut feeling, or whatever you like, but I am not convinced. I will explain why in due course.

I was hoping this German Report would confirm my doubts, but it didn't. It did reveal something special, which I will come to later.

I was sent a copy of this German Report, together with the 'something special', and I have permission for this report to be shown on this web-site. (See pages in next section.)

The following German translations are to the best of my, and other's, abilities. Bear in mind that this military German text is largely now superseded by the modern German language, and I am open to correction if the translation is wildly adrift.

'Formblatt 2' (Form 2) is 'Information About Captured Enemy Aircraft'.

The first three lines give the date, and the location of the unit which dealt with this incident, which other documents confirm as correct (i.e. the burial records).

'Time of Shooting'  9-10-44     2100 hrs.

'Place of Crash'  Bredenscheidt,  brickyard,   Alte Hase (this being the name of the firm who owned/ran the brickyard)  3 Km SW Hattingen.

'Method of Destruction'    Flak

(Flak, Fighter, Nightfighter, Forced Landing)

'Type of Aircraft'    Halifax II

'Aircraft Identification'      – I  (Ida)

(letter in front or behind official emblem of country)

'Identification/Serial number'     MZ 400

(In front of elevator)

'Camera equipment'  not to be found

'Radio Equipment'  not to be found

'Damage to aircraft'   99% broken (damaged in the air)

The MRES team had access to this report, and took it at face value. Unless local enquiries proved otherwise, they would have little reason not to. I would suspect that with the work load they had, and knowing that their work was coming under threat from funding cuts (nothing new there then!), they would be happy to put two and two together and write their report, and bring the case to a conclusion. I know that the initial enquiries into MZ400's loss were started in November/December 1947 (documents in our National Archive), and the MRES Report written in March 1948. I do not know exactly when the bodies were exhumed, but that information will eventually (about three years hence) become public knowledge with the release of masses of files to the National Archive.

I have spent quite a lot of my working life amongst 'Official Files', and you develop a sixth sense of when someone is not sure of their facts. As soon as I read the MRES Report, I doubted it. My doubt is based on the time spread, 2000 to 2100 hours. You would only do this if you were not sure, the German Report is specific at 2100 hours, so why give the time scale an hour's spread? Why not just record the time as 2100 hrs on the MRES Report, unless 'local enquiries' in 1947/8 placed doubt in the MRES team's mind. I also do not like the timings being exact round figures, i.e. 2000 and 2100 hours, in either the German or MRES Reports, and 2100 is 15 minutes after the raid was due to end. The Germans were known for exact record keeping (an example comes later), so round figures raise doubts in my mind. There are also other errors, the identification letter was 'J' not 'I', and it was a Halifax III, not II. The identification letter mistake I can understand, as the Halifax was badly damaged and burnt. The aircraft type, I don't know, maybe the Germans assumed all Bristol engined Halifax's were II's.

The MRES Report says 'The aircraft caught fire and broke up in the air, the wreckage being strewn over a wide area.......'
I know it was on fire immediately before it crashed, and the German Report says 'Damaged in the Air'. This could be damage by either a night fighter or flak. The eye witness accounts do not confirm 'strewn over a wide area'. I have spoken to two eye-witnesses, and they both say the aircraft wreckage was confined to the brickyard and immediate vicinity. The accounts given in the book by Harri Petras also support this. The 'strewn over a wide area' may come from the fact that MZ400 was jettisoning its bombs prior to crashing. Were the crew trying to lighten the Halifax in an attempt to force land it, which would imply that Gerald Coleman still had some control? The eye witnesses say that the aircraft was 'still flying' until it hit the railway embankment. Bear in mind that if they had flown over the railway line, in those days the land in front of them was open fields. The eye-witnesses state that 'it circled the village several times'.  An aircraft critically damaged would just spin into the ground, you would not be told that the pilot was 'trying to save his aircraft and his men'. As I have said before, if you plot on a map where the bombs fell and caused damage and fires, the areas describe a circle, confirming the eye-witness reports.

The shelter to which people from the village went, and where one eye-witness was with his Mother, was no more than 150 yards from MZ400's crash site. I know this to be fact, I was shown the site of the shelter on Saturday 8th October this year. I make this point to confirm that MZ400 did not have its bombs on board when it crashed and was damaged in the subsequent fire.  Hans Sendt said he could hear the ammunition going off as the aircraft burnt. Had the bombs still been on board and blown the aircraft up, the house would have been destroyed and the unit from Dortmund would not have found any bodies I suspect.

Let's look at what we do know. The target that night was Bochum, the raid to take place between 20.23 and 20.45. The final leg of the route to Bochum was approaching from the south, parallel with, and to the east of the Rhine. MZ400 took off at 17.30, the second 462 Squadron aircraft to do so, so they was not lagging behind. This was the crew's tenth mission, and the composition of the crew had not changed at all during any of the previous nine, so they would be well used to each other by then. From previous records, and a target photograph which exists, they appear to be a competent crew, the target photo for the previous mission was 'bang on'. Therefore Phillip Levey's navigation and Alan Ward's aiming were good. You would therefore expect MZ400 to be on course towards Bochum.

462 Squadron's ORB records the German flak to be 'in barrage form, and not considered up to Ruhr standard'. No other aircraft were brought down as a result of this flak, but one 462 squadron aircraft was damaged.  Thomas Weiss (the archivist) has shown me where the nearest AA guns were placed, which was to port of MZ400 and approximately one and a half miles north-north-west of the location of MZ400's crash site. He said they were 'not very good, they only shot down four aircraft'. (I do not know when these four were shot down, enquiries are on-going.)

The 462 Squadron 'Summary of Events' files detail the two aircraft lost from 462 Squadron that night, and make the comment '...... it is thought that both of these aircraft were shot down by enemy night fighters on the leg into the target, as several were seen in this area'. The two lost that night were Z5-D, and Z5-J. Two seasoned crews of NJG1 from Dortmund dispatched two bombers on this leg into the target, one is possibly NA567, a Halifax from 76 Squadron, the other claim from Wolfgang Schnaufer just details a 'four engined bomber, at 9,200m (this must be an error, as that equates to approximately 27000+ feet and no four engined bomber would have been at that height!) at 20.32 to the south of Bochum. Another record of this claim gives the height as 5,200m which is approximately 16,900 feet, which is much more credible. The other detail is exactly the same.

Here is the German example of exact record keeping. From the Hattingen Town Hall Watch Tower, an observer kept watch, and wrote down the detail. I have a copy of the record for 9/10 October 1944 which starts at 13.31 hrs.
(See photos below of Hattingen Town Hall, and close-up of Watch Tower, with views in all directions; 31 March 2016.)

Nothing note-worthy happens until ....

19.57 – Alarm

The next significant entry is ....

20.20 – Aircraft getting near Hattingen

There then appear entries each minute or two minutes, describing the dropping of target indicators, fighter flares, the first bombs at 2023, the locations of the explosions until you get to ....

20.32 – Wiedenkoph, Rauendaht, behind Schulenberg and Blankenstein, fires

Wiedenkoph is the local name for the hill/area immediately beside Bredenscheid brickyard. Here, I suggest is MZ400, having just crashed. Wolfgang Schnaufer's claim is exactly the same time. Bredenscheid's brickyard is due south of Bochum, and 16,900 feet is the expected height. The time of 9 minutes after the raid was due to start is reasonable too for MZ400, if one accepts previous evidence of the crews competency.

Minute by minute entries continue until 20.45, then they go to five minute intervals until ....

21.00 – In direction of Bochum-Stiepel and Bredenscheid, it is still burning

It is interesting to see from this record the 'creep back' of this raid. The places/areas named get further south during the raid, and it was scattered. The crews all spoke of the poor ground visibility.

The final entry is at 22.30, giving a summary of the damage, and the dead (3) and injured (1), but these references are to the damaged houses in University Street and Bismark Street. There may have been more injuries in the final reckoning.

If Wolfgang Schnaufer didn't shoot down MZ400, then who did he shoot down?

In 2014 a book written by Richard Overy, entitled 'Bitter Ends', details the bombing offensive over the Ruhr. It is written in German, and the publishers do not envisage bringing out an English version. More translation!  'In the south of Bochum, in Bredenscheid in Hattingen, crashed the Halifax Mk III MZ400, the seven crew found to be dead. Presumably this Halifax was one of the two machines shot down by the night fighter squadron 1 to the south of Bochum on the approach to the target.' This author draws the same conclusion as I do.

Now for the 'something special', and every time I look at this, it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

Contained within the German Report, and fixed to it with their equivalent of our 'treasury tags' is Sgt Denis Roy Muxlow's ID card. It is neither burnt, damaged nor blood stained. This is how the Germans (and the MRES team) were able to identify him, (and therefore our crew) and place his details first on their record.  F/Sgt's Tresidder and Levey are also named, my guess being from laundry marks on their clothing, or something similar. The remaining four crew members are 'unknown'. How on earth did Denis' ID card survive that crash?

If you read 'Missing, Believed Killed', a book describing the work of the MRES teams, you will appreciate the work load, and the methods by which they identified aircrew. They had to trust the information in front of them, so Sgt Denis Roy Muxlow's ID card is a gift from heaven really, as it identifies him, plus by default, the other six bodies found in the two graves in Bredenscheid cemetery. One was dressed in Officer's clothing, so that had to be F/O Gerald Coleman, as he was the only commissioned member of this crew. The colour of the battledress of the two Australian members was slightly different to our RAF Uniforms, but the only other identification the MRES team found was a number on a shirt band and collar, which was that of F/Sgt Tresidder. This then dictates the order of the grave stones in Reichswald Cemetery, as under these circumstances, F/O Gerald Coleman is on the left as you face the grave stones, (as his body could be identified), the remainder of the crew's grave stones being in alphabetical order, left to right (as they could not be individually identified).

The above are the facts as I know them, some supported by documentary evidence, some by logical reasoning, some by 'gut feeling' some by ............ well, that's what I think. I'll leave you all to make your own mind up. I believe the Germans made the initial assumption on 10th October 1944, and the mistake has been perpetuated as no-one had reason (then) to draw any other conclusion.

.......... End of Peter Muxlow's Crash Report for Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, updated November 2016

 

Hattingen Town Hall with Watch Tower, March 2016.
Photo by P. Muxlow, UK, © Copyright 2016.

Hattingen Town Hall with Watch Tower.
Hattingen Town Archivist Thomas Weiss, and Julia Muxlow in front left of car-park, 31 March 2016.

 

Hattingen Town Hall Watch Tower March 2016.
Photo by P. Muxlow, UK, © Copyright 2016.

Close-up of Watch Tower on Hattingen Town Hall, with views in all directions, 31 March 2016.
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German Report – sent to Peter Muxlow by Staff at a Private Archive, with permission for the following 6 pages to be used on this website.

 

Cover page of 1944 German Report on Crash of Halifax MZ400, 462 Squadron.

German Report – Cover page
Namentliche Berluftmeldung Nr. 38 – Name Report No. 38
Berichtszeitraum – Reporting Period
3 October – 9 October 1944
Date-stamped at Reichsluftfahrt-ministerium – Ministry of Aviation,
on 20 November 1944

Page 1 of 1944 German Report on Crash of Halifax MZ400, 462 Squadron.

German Report page 1
Column 2 – Drt und Tag des Berluftes – date and time of enemy flight
Column 5 – Bornam – 1st Given name (used on form as "Rank")
Column 6 – Familienname – Surname
Truppenteil – Troop
Nr. der Erkennungsmarke – Identification Number
Unbekannt – unknown

 

Page 2 of 1944 German Report on Crash of Halifax MZ400, 462 Squadron.

German Report page 2
Column 20 – Bemerkung – Note
Grablage ober – grave location
Lekter Wohnort des Toten – last place of death
Signed, and date-stamped at Dortmund on 8 November 1944

 

Page 3 of 1944 German Report on Crash of Halifax MZ400, 462 Squadron.

German Report page 3
Formblatt 1 – Form 1
Angaben über Gefangennahme von feindlicher Luftwaffenangehörigen –
Information about Captured Enemy Airborne Personnel

 

Page 4 of 1944 German Report on Crash of Halifax MZ400, 462 Squadron.

German Report page 4
Formblatt 2 – Form 2
Angaben über Erbeutung eines Feindflugzeuges –
Information about Captured Enemy Aircraft
Date-stamped at Dulag-Luft, Wetzlar on 20 October 1944

 

 

Page 5 of 1944 German Report on Crash of Halifax MZ400, 462 Squadron.

German Report page 5
Abschrift v.. Fernschreiben – Transcript (or Copy) of Telegraph
von Fliegerhorstkommadantur, Dortmund – from Pilot's Headquarters, Dortmund
An – to –
1) Münster
2) Dulag-Luft, Oberursel
3) Münster
Grablage wird nachgemeldet – Grave situation (site) to be subsequently notified
Dated 11 October 1944

 

 

 

 

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Photos of Memorial Plaque in UK, before travel to Germany

Memorial Plaque for the crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron.
Photo by P. Muxlow, UK, © Copyright 2016

Memorial Plaque for the crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron.

 

 

Photo of the Crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron.
Photo by P. Muxlow, UK, © Copyright 2016

Photo of the Crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron. Enlargement of German description shown below left, with English translation below right.

 

German title caption above photo of Crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron.

German title caption above photo of Crew.

Descriptive German caption below photo of Crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron.

Descriptive German caption below photo of Crew.

 

The English translation for the German text is as follows :-

In memory of the Crew of Halifax MZ400

The horror of the bombing war brought death and destruction to the Ruhr area. On October 9th 1944 a four engined RAAF Halifax was brought down while flying in the direction of Bochum. Eye witnesses report that the burning plane circled several times over Bredenscheid. Falling parts set the barns of the Antoniusheim and Farmer Feldmann on fire. Finally the plane crashed near the brickyard, into the railway, all seven crew members died. Firstly the young soldiers were buried in the Protestant cemetery on 'Hackstück', after the war they were exhumed and found their rest at Reichswald War Graves Cemetery near Kleve.

 

 

Andy Ward, nephew of Bomb Aimer Alan James Ward, and Memorial plaque for the crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron.
Photo by P. Muxlow, UK, © Copyright 2016

Andy Ward, nephew of Bomb Aimer Alan James Ward, with the Memorial plaque and crew photos, 05 October 2016.

 

Alan and Patricia Tucker, sister of Rear Gunner Denis Roy Muxlow, with Memorial plaque for the crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron.
Photo by P. Muxlow, UK, © Copyright 2016

Alan and Patricia Tucker, sister of Rear Gunner Denis Roy Muxlow, with Memorial plaque on 10 Sept 2016.

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Contributors and events leading to Memorial Service and Dedication of the Memorial Plaque for the Crew of MZ400, Z5-J, on Sunday 9th October 2016 in Bredenscheid. The following was written by Peter Muxlow (Copyright November 2016).

To fully appreciate the following précis of the events which took place over this weekend, I (Peter) think it would help if a short paragraph describing some of the characters involved was included. It will make the story more complete.

Thomas Weiss
He is a remarkable man, who has spent the vast majority of his working life as the Archivist for the town of Hattingen. Bredenscheid, where MZ400 crashed, is a village just outside Hattingen. He has been doing this job for 30+ years, and started when he was 20, so he knows his way around his files and the wealth of information which is held in his work place. He is a friendly man, who (thankfully) speaks very good English. He is married to Elke, and they have one son, Benedikt. In his spare time, he sings with a choir which specialises in Opera, and has a good tenor voice. Elke is a music teacher, and she has a superb singing voice. Benedikt has a good bass voice, and both Thomas' and Benedikt's  voices have benefited from Elke's training, and they sing as a trio.  Thomas is like a blood-hound when it comes to finding information, and he knows where to look or who to ask. Without his help, I would have struggled to piece together MZ400's story.

Pastor Funda
What a man. When you consider he has not been in the best of health for a lot of his life, he is quite remarkable. If I hadn't been told of his illness, I wouldn't have known. His energy and sense of fun is infectious, and this comes out in his Ministry and  his character. Could you imagine a Priest in this country picking up an acoustic guitar and playing along with the Church organ during the hymns? No, nor could I, but he did! Although I had real difficulty getting the detail of the plaque agreed with him, in the background he had organised for the two stones upon which the plaques were placed to be positioned just inside the cemetery entrance (a privilege in my opinion) together with some granite cobbles, and when I asked whether this needed paying for, the answer was 'don't ask'. His English is basic, but he took the trouble during the service to explain in his English, what he had said in his native tongue, which made it all the easier for my family, who have no language skills at all, other than English.

Syd Andrew
Syd is a good friend of my family, who lives in the same village as us, and is a retired Clergyman. Unbeknown to me, he spent some of his initial working life in Germany, so can speak the language. When I first started this task, I rang him up, but the phone was answered by his daughter. I asked, 'Do you know anyone who speaks German?'. 'My Dad does', she said, so that was Syd involved! He has helped with translating German documents sent to me by Thomas, and volunteered to come with us on our first visit to see Thomas and go to the crash site. He was invaluable. He has sent German text e-mails to various people on my behalf, and translates their reply. He readily volunteered to help me in the service by repeating in German, what I said in English, and said the prayers at the Cemetery, where Elke did the German translation. Bridget, his wife, has supported him (and us all really) throughout this whole exercise, and came with us over the weekend.

Harri Petras
A very upright and genuine man. He was an orphan, and upon leaving school decided to do something with himself, and trained to be a teacher. He taught all his life, and became the Headmaster of the local primary school. On retirement, he set about writing about local history, and it was a page in one of his books that Thomas initially sent me, which started the story rolling. When writing the book, when he came to the WWII years, he found three eye-witnesses to MZ400's crash, (one of whom is now dead), and recorded their words. It is from these accounts that the seed of doubt was sown in my mind about the accuracy of the MRES Report. Surprisingly, Harri cannot speak English, but Syd came to the rescue there. Harri readily gave permission for passages from his book to be used on the 462 Squadron Tribute website. He attended the service.

Hans Sendt, and Walter Padtberg are the two remaining eye-witness, whom I have met. Again, neither can speak English, but Syd came to the rescue again. It was a pity, but neither of them attended the service. Hans Sendt is now 80 years, and using a walking frame, and I think he did not want the embarrassment of having to use it whilst at Church.

My immediate family consists of Julia, my wife, Edward, our eldest son, Rachel, our daughter, who is married to John, and Lawrence, our youngest son. Rachel stayed at home to look after their two children, and John came with the brief of being 'chief photographer'.

Julia, myself and Edward travelled by ferry from Hull to Rotterdam, the fourth time Julia and I have made the journey, the first time for Edward. Lawrence and John had no 'holiday days' left this year, so initially were not going to attend, but an hour one evening soon discovered cheap flights to Düsseldorf airport, and Syd being an expert in the German railway network, soon had the trains worked out, so Lawrence and John flew out on the Saturday, and home again on the Sunday. Syd and Bridget travelled by train.

Julia, Ed and I arrived in Rotterdam on Friday morning, and Ed wanted to visit the museum at Arnhem, so we travelled there and spent a few hours looking around that fascinating exhibition, before travelling on to the Cemetery at Reichswald, to visit the crew's graves. The photos (see later section) were taken that Friday. The cemetery was, as always, immaculate. We left there to make our way to our hotel at Hattingen, but became embroiled in some horrendous traffic jams on the motorway system, and we eventually arrived tired and frustrated. The hotel restaurant was closed, so after freshening up, we walked into town to a place recommended by the hotel receptionist, which proved to be a good find. We had a pint in the local Irish Bar, and went back to the hotel and to bed. Day one done.

Day two dawned bright and fine, and a good breakfast was provided by the hotel.

I do not like 'loose ends' in anything I do, but there was one rather large one still to be sorted out, and that was where, how and when were the plaques to be dealt with. Thomas had said he would meet us at the hotel at 10.40 that morning, and to the second, he arrived. Once we had chatted a minute or two, and introduced him to Ed, we travelled to Bredenscheid Church, where Pastor Funda and another gentleman were waiting for us. Pastor Funda, who I only knew from the e-mail exchanges, immediately struck me as a mischievous  person, and full of fun. This proved to be the case. The other gentleman (who's name I didn't get) was a member of the Church Council, and was equipped with a hammer drill, screws, screwdrivers and sundry other equipment. It was therefore obvious that my 'loose ends' had been tied up for me. We travelled to the cemetery, which is a couple of miles away, as it serves two villages. On arrival, as we entered the cemetery, I was directed to two large stones, newly placed just inside the cemetery gates. It was here that the plaques were to be placed. I was astounded by this, as everyone entering or leaving the cemetery would have to pass by these stones, and the fact that our plaques were to be placed in such a prominent position, I considered to be a real privilege.

We did the drilling and securing of the plaques, and Julia had brought some lavender plants, and a rose cutting, and she planted these by the side of the stones. It'll be touch and go as to whether the rose cutting 'takes', but let's hope so. Some local people came to visit whilst we were there, and Pastor Funda and Thomas explained to them what was going on. Once everything was in place, the plaques were un-screwed, and returned to the car, so they could be taken to the Church on Sunday. Thomas, in conjunction with Pastor Funda, had devised an 'order of service', during which Thomas, Elke and Benedikt were to sing two songs, which Elke had arranged for three voices.

We returned to the Church, thanked Pastor Funda and his helper, and then took Ed to the site of MZ400's crash, which is half a mile from the Church. There Ed saw where the aircraft came to ground against the railway embankment, and you can see the layout of the original brickyard in some of the buildings that remain. There is a pronounced deviation in the curve of the railway embankment, and it is that exact spot to which Hans Sendt pointed, when he accompanied us there 18 months ago. That's where MZ400 crashed, and it is quite an odd feeling to be standing there, and imagining what was going on 72 years ago. I also learned another fact, and that was that the bunker which Hans Sendt and Walter Padtberg, plus others sheltered in as the raid was starting, was actually at the house which still stands in the brickyard, not, as I thought, on the hill to the east of the yard. So they were within 100 to 150 yards of where MZ400 crashed.

We returned to the hotel, said farewell to Thomas, and had some lunch. Ed went to sleep (he works up to 60 hours each week) and Julia and I walked into town for a couple of hours. I was due to pick Lawrence and John up from the railway station at 3.56pm, but the text messages started coming saying that their flight had been delayed (engine trouble) and they would let me know when they were likely to arrive.

I had organised for Thomas, Elke, Benedikt, Syd, Bridget and all my family to meet at 7pm for dinner. Thomas had organised the venue as the hotel restaurant was closed. But it was looking like Lawrence and John were going to be late! However, I was able to meet them at the railway station at 6.56pm, and the restaurant at which we were dining was a short walk away, so we all met at 7pm, and enjoyed a very convivial meal. The food, company and atmosphere were all I could have hoped for, and I was truly thankful that the day had been a success.

Day three dawned bright and fine, and another good breakfast was provided.

After a bit of encouragement, Ed and Lawrence were dressed in their 'Sunday Best', and with a squeeze, the five of us got in our car and travelled to Bredenscheid Church. There, Julia and Ed went inside, whilst Lawrence and John stayed with me, and I took them up to the crash site. I stood very quietly for a few seconds, as this was what the day was all about. I was thankful that the time had arrived, and hoped that I would not crack with emotion during the service, as I am prone to do!

On arriving back at the Church, I was pleased to see Harri Petras was there, and shook his hand and exchanged greetings. Syd immediately caught my attention, and warned me that I would have great difficulty in not being reduced to tears when Thomas, Elke and Benedikt were singing. He had arrived a good deal earlier, and had heard them practise. Pastor Funda was busy about the Church, and his smile just radiated a real sense of fun. The Church began to fill up, with rather more people than I imagined would be there, we were indeed honoured guests. The plaques were brought into the Church and placed on the front pew.

Thomas and Pastor Funda had worked on an 'Order of Service', which followed their normal format, the hymns being taken from a hymn book with both English and German text, the first being 'Morning has Broken'. Their Church organ was a modern, beautiful instrument. The psalm was 'said', and prayers in German (with an English explanation) were followed by the first of two songs from Thomas, Elke and Benedikt. It was a piece called 'You are Mine', by David Haas, and arranged for three voices by Elke. I was absolutely awe-struck at the quality, beauty and accuracy of their singing, and Elke's accompaniment on the Church's piano. It was at this point that it fell to me just how special was the occasion, how well we were being treated, and the effort that the German folk had put into this dedication. They could  easily have said 'No' to my initial request, but here we were being treated with respect and friendship.

The service continued with more hymns and prayers (you try saying the Lord's Prayer in English when everyone round you is saying it in German!) and then came the time for my few words. This was preceded by Thomas giving an explanation in German, so the congregation could follow the 'story', and then Syd and I stood at the front of the Church, and together spoke our words, me in English, and Syd in German. Yes, my voice cracked a time or two, but it meant a great deal to me to be doing this on behalf of all those who were thinking of us at that time, especially Denis' family, and the families of Alan Ward, John Tresidder, Philip Levey and Ronald Stopp. I was sorry that Gerald Coleman and Archibald Mouat's families have so far eluded me, but I'll find them somehow. (Peter's speech is recorded in the next section.)

Pastor Funda then said a 'few words', and he related how an Uncle of his was born in an air-raid shelter, during one of our raids on the Ruhr during WWII. His Uncle was nervous all his life, and the timing of his birth was always blamed for this.

Thomas, Elke and Benedikt again sang for us, 'The Lord Bless You and Keep You' by John Rutter. Again, a beautiful rendition of this piece.

The service ended, and we gathered up the plaques, and took them up to the cemetery. On the way we passed the Convent where some of MZ400's bombs destroyed the barns. At the cemetery, we assembled just inside the gates, where I was gratified to see that the vast majority of the congregation had come too! Bredenscheid's Mayor gave the occasion a 'Civic' touch, by saying a welcome and giving his blessing to the ceremony, and then Ed and I screwed the plaques in place on the stones. Syd said the prayers in English, with Elke giving the German translation, and then Thomas, Elke and Benedikt sang the Eric Clapton song 'Tears in Heaven', with Benedikt playing an acoustic guitar. Oh dear, too much, tears!

Photos were taken, and we all chatted together, before departing to the Church Hall, where tea, coffee and some beautiful home-made cake awaited us. It was evident that everyone had enjoyed themselves, and the local people had embraced the occasion with friendship, respect and interest. (photos in later section)

My family, Syd and Bridget then departed to Thomas' home, where we were provided with a lovely light meal, and we sat and chatted for quite a while. It didn't dawn on me until well into the afternoon that we were all talking quite naturally in English. Oh how backward we can be in not learning another language, and how fluent others are in English!

Lawrence and John were delivered to the train station, to make their way home, which they did without any delay or trouble, and were home by 9pm. Syd and Bridget caught a later train, and continued on their stay in Germany for a few more days.

Julia, Ed and I returned to our hotel, and later walked back into town to the restaurant we visited on the Friday night. They had forgotten to make a note of our return visit (I had requested a return visit when we left on the Friday night), but they found a space to squeeze us into, and we enjoyed another good meal. Another visit was made to the Irish bar, and we returned to the hotel feeling that we had fulfilled every hope and wish that we had set out to achieve on behalf of everyone involved, and all completed within an atmosphere of goodwill, friendship and respect.

Day four dawned bright and fine. We were being blessed with good weather.

Another good breakfast, and after 'settling up', we departed to visit the Mohne and Sorpe Dams. What fine structures they are, and you need to be there to fully appreciate what difficulty those brave aircrew had in trying to breach the dam walls. The three dams really need another visit devoted to them alone.............

We made our way along the German and Dutch motorway systems, and returned to the Europort at Rotterdam, and boarded our ferry home. The German and Dutch motorway junctions are all 'intersections' and once you have committed yourself to leaving/joining, if you've got it wrong, you have 'had it'. You cannot, as here, go round the roundabout again and take the correct exit. Yes, we got it wrong, and had a few cross words between navigator and driver, but got there eventually!

And so back to the UK we sailed. I was full of admiration for our German hosts, and truly thankful that everything had turned out so well. I appreciate that no-one else was able to attend, but you missed a real treat. I have not had such a warm glow inside my heart for a long time.

Julia and I will re-visit in the future.

.......... End of Peter's summary of events.
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Speech by Peter Muxlow at the Memorial Service for the Crew of MZ400, Bredenscheid Church, Germany, 9:30am Sunday 9 October 2016. It was 72 years to the day from when Halifax MZ400 Z5-J crashed on the village brickyard and railway embankment. (Written and spoken by Peter Muxlow, Copyright October 2016).

Seventy two years ago today, our two countries were at war, which brought inconceivable harm, destruction and death to both sides. One consequence of that conflict was the death of my cousin, who, together with the six other members of the crew, was killed when the aircraft in which they were flying was shot down, and crashed on the brickyard here in Bredenscheid.

Researching that last mission has brought me to Germany four times, and during those visits I was privileged to meet two people who were eye witnesses to the crash. They are Hans Sendt and Walter Padtberg. I have also been given tremendous help by the Hattingen town archivist, Thomas Weiss, and also by Harri Petras, who as a local author and historian, has recorded the events of those times. The documents which Thomas Weiss has found and made available, have been invaluable in putting together the events immediately following the crash, and in establishing that the most likely cause of the aircraft's destruction, was being shot down by a night fighter.

I would like to repeat some words Hans Sendt said when we met.

"Since many of those who deal with history in Hattingen and elsewhere, have brought together their memories and sources, it has been possible to bring light into the darkness after more than 70 years, and to provide clarity for the relatives and bring them together at the scene."

One task I set myself, was to try and contact a relative of each of the crew. There were seven crew, and I am now in contact with five families, two of whom are from Australia. They are all thinking of us today as we dedicate this memorial plaque in memory of their relatives. Hans Sendt's words, "to provide clarity for the relatives" are very important, as I learnt that the other families had little or no information about what had happened to those men, and everyone's help in this task is very much appreciated. The families have looked into their own records, and made available photographs and papers, which can be seen on a web site for 462 Squadron, which is run by E.M.A. Hibberd, an Australian whose father survived the war.

I must also thank Pastor Funda, and the Church council for allowing this memorial plaque to be blessed here, and placed in the cemetery where the crew were initially buried. May it be a sign of reconciliation, an appeal for peace, and a lasting memorial to their memory.

.......... End of Peter's Memorial Service speech.  
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Photos of the Memorial weekend of 7th, 8th, 9th October 2016 ......
Friday 7 October – visit to Reichswald Forest War Cemetery;
Saturday 8 October – visit to Bredenscheid Cemetery to prepare the memorial site;
Sunday 9 October – Memorial Service at the Bredenscheid Church, followed by the Dedication & Blessing of the Memorial Plaques at the Bredenscheid Cemetery, 72 years after Halifax MZ400 Z5-J crashed near Bredenscheid.

 

Reichswald War Cemetery, 7 October 2017, Julia & Edward Muxlow at graves of Crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron.

Friday 7 October 2016 – visit to Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

Julia Muxlow and son Edward at the crew's graves. F/O G. Coleman's headstone is nearest the camera with the Hebrew Star (front left, Grave 28.G.7), and Julia and Ed are standing by Alan Ward's headstone (Collective Graves 28.G.8-13).

Peter did not change the crew photo at Reichswald Cemetery as he had intended, as the original was still in reasonable condition. Its position is in front of Denis Muxlow's headstone, 4th from the left, partly obscured by plants. Peter has kept the replacement photo for exchange when it becomes necessary.
(See headstones with crew photo in previous section on this page).

 

Reichswald War Cemetery, 7 October 2017, Edward Muxlow during a visit to graves of Crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron.

Friday 7 October 2016 – visit to Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

Peter Muxlow said that his son Edward Muxlow is not known for being quiet, yet he was obviously moved by the spectacle of 7262 headstones in this immaculate cemetery. He wandered amongst the gravestones for quite a while, and was lost in his own thoughts.

 

Bredensheid Cemetery, 8 October 2017, Peter Muxlow & Churchwarden prepare site for Memorial Plaques for Crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron.

Saturday 8 October – visit to Bredenscheid Cemetery to prepare the memorial site.

Peter Muxlow and Churchwarden (at rear, with cap) positioning the Memorial Plaque in readiness for fixing to the large rock.

 

Bredensheid Cemetery, 8 October 2017, Peter & Edward Muxlow prepare site for Memorial Plaques for Crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron.

Saturday 8 October – visit to Bredenscheid Cemetery

Peter Muxlow looking pleased with the results; son Edward Muxlow on the right.

 

Bredensheid Cemetery, 8 October 2017, Pastor Funda, Thomas Weiss, Edward Muxlow, Peter Muxlow, and Churchwarden. after site preparation for Memorial Plaques for Crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron.

Saturday 8 October – visit to Bredenscheid Cemetery

Left to right: Pastor Funda of the Bredenscheid Church, Archivist Thomas Weiss, Edward Muxlow, Peter Muxlow, and the Bredenscheid Churchwarden.

The yellow rose cutting and lavender can be seen to the right of the beside the smaller rock with Crew photo. (See photo below)

 

Bredensheid Cemetery, 8 October 2017, Peter Muxlow after site preparation for Memorial Plaques for Crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron.

Saturday 8 October – visit to Bredenscheid Cemetery

Peter Muxlow – preparations completed. The water mark behind the plaques was the result of washing the drilling dust off the stones with the watering can.

The two plaques were then removed, and place on display during the Memorial Service at the Bredenscheid Church on Sunday 9 October. Following the Service, the plaques were officially attached to the rocks during the Dedication and Blessing at the Bredenscheid Cemetery.

 

Bredensheid Cemetery, 8 October 2017, Julia Muxlow during site preparation for Memorial Plaques for Crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron.

Saturday 8 October – visit to Bredenscheid Cemetery

Julia Muxlow planting the lavender and the yellow rose cutting to the right of the two large rocks. The completed garden plot may be seen in the two photos above.
(Photo not in sequence by time, inserted here for convenience.)

 

Bredenscheid Church, 9 October 2017, Rev Syd Andrew at the Memorial Service for Crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron.

Sunday 9 October – Memorial Service at the Bredenscheid Church

Rev.  Syd Andrew speaking the German  translation of Peter Muxlow's "Seventy Two years Ago...." speech.
(English text included in a previous section)

 

Bredenscheid Church, 9 October 2017, Pastor Funda and Rev Syd Andrew at the Memorial Service for Crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron.

Sunday 9 October – Memorial Service at the Bredenscheid Church

Pastor Funda (left) and Rev. Syd Andrew (right). They both did a wonderful job of making the service welcoming and meaningful to all who attended.

Behind them is the Church Altar. The Bredenscheid Church is a modern, simple, beautifully kept building.

 

Bredenscheid Church, 9 October 2017, Pastor Funda at the Memorial Service for Crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron.

Sunday 9 October – Memorial Service at the Bredenscheid Church

Pastor Funda playing an acoustic guitar to accompany the Church Organist during the Hymns.

 

 

Bredenscheid Cemetery, 9 October 2017, Elke Weiss, Rev Syd Andrew, Pastor Funda, and Bredenscheid Mayor at the Dedication of Memorial Plaques for Crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron.

Sunday 9 October – Dedication & Blessing of the Memorial Plaques at the Bredenscheid Cemetery.

Left to right: Elke Weiss, Rev. Syd Andrew, Pastor Funda and the Mayor of Bredenscheid.

 

Bredenscheid Cemetery, 9 October 2017, Elke Weiss and Rev Syd Andrew at the Dedication of Memorial Plaques for Crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron.

Sunday 9 October – Dedication & Blessing of the Memorial Plaques at the Bredenscheid Cemetery.

Elke Weiss and Rev. Syd Andrew saying the prayers at the Cemetery.

 

Bredenscheid Cemetery, 9 October 2017, Peter Muxlow, Edward Muxlow, and Bredenscheid Mayor at the Dedication of Memorial Plaques for Crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron.

Sunday 9 October – Dedication & Blessing of the Memorial Plaques at the Bredenscheid Cemetery.

Left to right: Peter Muxlow, Edward Muxlow, and the Mayor of Bredenscheid, when Peter and Ed were about to officially attach the plaques in the pre-drilled locations on the two large rocks.

 

Bredenscheid Cemetery, 9 October 2017, Pastor Funda at the Dedication of Memorial Plaques for Crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron.

Sunday 9 October – Dedication & Blessing of the Memorial Plaques at the Bredenscheid Cemetery.

Pastor Funda reading the wording of the plaques to the assembled people.

 

Bredenscheid Cemetery, 9 October 2017, Elke Weiss, Thomas Weiss and their son Benedikt Weiss at the Dedication of Memorial Plaques for Crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron.

Sunday 9 October – Dedication & Blessing of the Memorial Plaques at the Bredenscheid Cemetery.

Elke Weiss, Thomas Weiss and their son Benedikt playing/singing "Tears in Heaven" by Eric Clapton. There were "Tears in Bredenscheid" too!

 

Bredenscheid Cemetery, 9 October 2017, Researchers, friends and family at the Dedication of Memorial Plaques for Crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron.

Sunday 9 October – Dedication & Blessing of the Memorial Plaques at the Bredenscheid Cemetery.

Left to right: Rev. Syd Andrew; the Bredenscheid Churchwarden (with cap, who assisted with drilling the stones etc); Archivist Thomas Weiss; his son Benedikt Weiss; Julia Muxlow (red jacket); Elke Weiss (blue coat); Bridget Andrew, Pastor Funda (at rear), five members of the congregation; Historian/Author Harri Petras (at rear); four members of the congregation; Lawrence Muxlow; Edward Muxlow; Peter Muxlow; John Pettifer; and two older ladies standing behind on the right.

 

Bredenscheid Cemetery, 9 October 2017, Memorial Plaques for Crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron.

Sunday 9 October – Dedication & Blessing of the Memorial Plaques at the Bredenscheid Cemetery.

Memorial Plaque and photo of the crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 72 years from when the aircraft crashed near Bredenscheid. The rocks are just inside the cemetery gates, beside the main pathway, so that anyone entering or leaving the cemetery will pass by.

 

Bredenscheid Cemetery, 9 October 2017, Thomas Weiss, Harri Petras, Peter Muxlow, and Rev Syd Andrew, at the Dedication of Memorial Plaques for Crew of Halifax MZ400 Z5-J, 462 Squadron.

Sunday 9 October – Dedication & Blessing of the Memorial Plaques at the Bredenscheid Cemetery.

Left to right: Archivist Thomas Weiss, Historian/Author Harri Petras, Peter Muxlow, Rev. Syd Andrew. A small memorial garden with yellow rose, and lavender, is on the right of the rocks.
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Help requested please.
As of September 2017, Peter Muxlow has made contact with the families of six of the original crew members, most recently with Pilot Gerald Coleman's younger brother, Bernard, aged 93 years.
However Peter is yet to locate the family of MU/AG Archibald James Mouat. If you can assist with locating relatives of Mouat, please make contact and your email will be forwarded to Peter in the UK. Any assistance would be appreciated. Some basic genealogy is included below, but Genealogists please note that this information has not been verified with bmd certificates.

Archibald James MOUAT – abbreviated below to AJM; no parents or other relatives were listed with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission; some information sourced from FreeBMD.

From the Crew Arrival Form, filled out by AJM on arrival at 462 Squadron .....
AJM's birth date was 5 February 1911;
Married on 4 September 1937;
wife Edith Rose MOUAT, who was listed as Next-of-Kin living at 25 William Road, Wimbledon, London;
a second person listed for casualty notifications was his father, MOUAT but without initials or first name; same address.

From genealogical and other sources .....
No birth registration for Archibald James MOUAT has been located, however a birth for James A. MOUAT was registered March Qtr 1911, District of Willesden, Middlesex. (The birth year matches – but are they the same person? AJM is thought to have been born in Highbury, London.)
AJM's father was Archibald Russell MOUAT, a retired naval officer, who was living with AJM and Edith Rose at 25 William Road, Wimbledon.

Marriage of MOUAT to FURLONGER registered Sept Qtr, 1937, Surrey North Eastern District (which matches his Crew Arrival Form data).

Wife ....
Birth Edith R. FURLONGER, mother STOCKWELL, registered Dec Qtr 1913, Kingston.
Before they married, Edith Rose lived at 27 William Road, Wimbledon, next door to AJM.
Her father was Albert Henry FURLONGER, a 'signal lineman' for the railway.
The series of streets where they lived backed onto the railway line, next to what was then Wimbledon Railway Depot.

AJM's daughter (?) Sheila C. MOUAT born Dec 1937 in Wimbledon;
AJM's daughter (?) Maureen A. MOUAT born Sept 1939 in Kingston Upon Thames;
some of the family may now live somewhere in Gloucester;
marriages of daughters not known; names of any children or grand-children not known.

Gerald COLEMAN – known as Gerry. Information and documentation has been supplied by Bernard Coleman to Researcher Peter Muxlow, and will be added to this crew page for later site updates.

From the Crew Arrival Form, filled out by Coleman on arrival at 462 Squadron on 03 September 1944, he was single; birth date 28 February 1920; his nominated religion was 'Hebrew' and his headstone has a Hebrew Star. The Jewish community in London may know of his family.
His parents were Alfred and Elizabeth Coleman whose address in September 1944 was 38 High Street, Tooting, London – the address of one of Tooting's oldest Pubs "The Castle", established 1832. According to the website pubhistory.com, the Publican in 1944 was Alfred Coleman (their information source listed as Post Office Directory).
The identification notes with the crew photo held by the Levey family, have the abbreviated words "STH AFR" after the Skipper's name. There may be a link with South Africa? Was he born there? Had the Coleman family lived there? Did he train there? Did he speak with a South African accent?

Philip Hedley Malcolm LEVEY – Information has been located using Australian sources – Trove (Digitised Newspapers from the National Library of Aus); Queensland Gov't BDM; New South Wales Gov't BDM; Aus WW2 Nominal Roll; as well as the 462 Squadron Crew Arrival Form and CWGC.
During April 2016, contact was established with six members of the Levey and Blackwell families. This enabled the information below to be updated from their personal family history files. Thank you all.

Parents:-
Father, Francis Barnet Philip LEVEY, also known as Frank LEVEY, or Barnett Francis LEVEY; birth 30 January 1887, Registered at Campbelltown NSW as Barnett F. P. LEVEY (parents Barnett Francis LEVEY and Esther Emily A.); death 5 July 1951, Brisbane Qld.
Mother, Ruth WOOLNOUGH; birth 22 January 1886, registered Redfern, NSW; (parents Charles WOOLNOUGH and Lucy); death 16 August 1972, registered Newcastle NSW.
Marriage 23 November 1910, registered in Newtown, Sydney NSW.
By the late 1930s the Levey family was living at 104 Rose Street, Eagle Junction, Brisbane, Queensland.

Children of this couple:-
1. Joyce Woolnough LEVEY, born 20 May 1912, registered Chatswood, Sydney, NSW; fiancée of Mr Cliff Taylor; died 7 January 1945, Brisbane, funeral 9 January 1945.

2. Beryl Ruth LEVEY, born 24 April 1915, registered Marrickville, Sydney, NSW; marriage to Newton Taplin BLACKWELL 24 August 1940 at Eagle Junction Congregational Church; Newton's brother Kenneth BLACKWELL was Groomsman at the wedding, and Beryl's sister Joyce was bridesmaid. Beryl's death 16 March 1992.
Children of Beryl and Newton:-
son stillborn 1942, Ashfield, Sydney NSW;
living daughter Lynette Beryl BLACKWELL born 1944 NSW, married with four children;
son Ralph Wilson BLACKWELL deceased as infant November 1948, Annandale, Sydney NSW;
living son Rodney Newton BLACKWELL born 1951, married with 2 children.
(April 2016 – Kenneth Blackwell recently celebrated his 100th birthday. Online news of this event enabled contact to be established with the Levey and Blackwell families.)

3. Gordon Francis LEVEY, also known as Frank, born 19 September 1918, registered Chatswood, Sydney, NSW; served in Aus Army in WW2; next-of-kin Dorothy LEVEY; 1st marriage to Dorothy Margaret WINDER 7 July 1943; 2nd marriage to Edna May LOVE 24 April 1983.
Children of first marriage:-
living Francis Gordon (aka Frank) LEVEY born 1951, married, two children;
living Margaret Dorothy LEVEY born 1952, married.

4. Philip Hedley Malcolm LEVEY, birth 3 January 1924, death 9 October 1944, refer to previous sections for more information.

The LEVEY family had strong links with the Congregational Church at Eagle Junction, Brisbane. After the death's of siblings Joyce and Philip, there was a Service of Remembrance on Sunday 15 April 1945, and new furnishings in the Church were dedicated as a Memorial to them at a Service on Sunday 9 September 1945. The Congregational Church no longer exists, having merged with other denominations, and the current usage of the original church building is not known. "In Memoriam" notices were inserted in newspapers by the Staff of "Winchcombe Carson Ltd." for several years after the war, but the business no longer exists under that name.
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