Tribute for family killed by the RAF

Dorothy Bevins is launching a campaign to get a memorial for a family who were killed in a WW11 plane crash. Dorothy is pictured with 3 ladies who survived the crash Ada Bevins, 93, Joan Clark, 86, and Alice Braybrook, 94.
Dorothy Bevins is launching a campaign to get a memorial for a family who were killed in a WW11 plane crash. Dorothy is pictured with 3 ladies who survived the crash Ada Bevins, 93, Joan Clark, 86, and Alice Braybrook, 94.

A campaign to remember a Hucknall family who were killed when an RAF bomber crashed into their house during World War Two has been launched.

All five members of the Evans family died when a Fairey Battle light bomber plunged into their home on Laughton Crescent, on the Ruffs estate, as it returned to Hucknall Aerodrome, on the night of September 23, 1940.

Alice and Albert Evans, 28, and their children Ronald, eight, Alice, six, and John, two, were later buried in a pauper’s grave in Hucknall Cemetery - the only civilian fatalities in Hucknall during World War Two.

Campaigner Dorothy Bevins, who is distantly related to the family, said about £2,000 is needed for a headstone on the unmarked grave and she has launched a crowdfunding campaign on the justgiving website.

She said: “I want to buy the grave and fit a headstone on it. It’s important for the family and for the Hucknall community and our heritage.

“I recently spoke to the daughter of Marjorie Evans, who was playing in the road when the plane crashed, at a family funeral and she asked me to organised a memorial. I am an organiser!”

Mrs Bevins, 65, of Salterford Road, said the family, who lived close to the airfield, “paid the ultimate price” and should be commemorated.

The Polish pilot, LAC EW Rozmiarek of the Polish Air Force, was also killed in the crash after his plane, which had been relegated to training aircrew, stalled. He was buried in Hucknall cemetery, after being given a full military funeral and then a headstone provided by the War Graves Commission.

Mrs Bevins said: “Paradoxically, the family, who were the only civilian fatalities in Hucknall during WWII, are buried in a pauper’s grave with no headstone to mark their short lives or the tragic events of the evening they were killed.”

The crash at the corner of Ruffs Drive and Laughton Crescent, also damaged another house where a Mr Smith, and his six children, survived with various injuries.

Mrs Bevins, now retired from her job as teaching assistant, says the target of £2,000 will pay for a grave plot, a headstone with inscription, permit fee, the use of a chapel for a commemoration service and a blessing.

She said: “It would be lovely to see this happen. It seems incredible that not many people of Hucknall know about this dreadful event, but due to reporting restrictions at the time it couldn’t be featured in the local papers.

“It is an important part of the history and heritage of Hucknall and needs to be remembered by the community. Living so near the airfield meant that there were risks to residents, this family paid the ultimate price and I feel this needs to be recognized and commemorated.”