Victims of Bicker fatality still remembered 78 years on
Seventy-eight years ago a Lancaster bomber crashed at Bicker, killing all seven of the crew.
On Saturday, the annual memorial service to the men was held at their
final resting place, in Eaudike Road between Donington and Bicker.
Saturday’s event was attended by Josephine Maddox, the daughter of Flight Sergeant Joseph Bannan, who perished in the tragedy. Josephine was born a few months after the crash and named after her father.
Also there was Donington man John Moore, who witnessed the crash and has been almost ever-present at the services ever since.
John, who only missed the service in 1951 and 1952 because of his national service, was celebrating his birthday on Monday, April 10, 1944 and cycling on his new present with a friend on the crossbar when they saw the flames coming from the Lancaster before the deep impact.
He told Jospehine how they rushed to the burning crater before the local police arrived and cordoned off the area.
This tragedy has, of course, stayed with John all his life - and at 88 years old, he still bikes to the service.
Flt Sgt Bannan’s widow Kathleen, who is now 104, was unable to attend the service but sent her best wishes to the locals who maintain the memorial, those who attend the service to the crew and pay their respects throughout the year.
The well attended service was led by Vicar Charlie Robertson and the Last Post and Reveille was played by Dick from the Swineshead Silver Band.
Special thanks to Dave Webster for his work maintaining the memorial throughout the year.