Wood Lane, Stannington, Sheffield, January 2015 (Chris Taylor)
St Mary's Church, Catcliffe, Rotherham, January 2015 (Chris Taylor)
Graves Park, Sheffield, February 2015 (Chris Taylor)
Hatcliffe Top (Barnolby-le-Beck), Lincolnshire (Chris Percy, 2011)
On 16 December 1943, Avro Lancaster III JB596, coded HW-H of 100 Squadron, took off at 16.18 hrs from RAF Grimsby (perhaps better known as Waltham, after the village to its immediate north-west). The target for the night was Berlin. Upon return, bad weather intervened, as was so often the case and the aircraft crashed in bad visibility at around 23.00 hrs whilst near the airfield, killing three of the seven crew. For the squadron, it became known as Black Thursday – the squadron lost four aircraft returning from this operation due to bad weather: JB596, along with JB560 which crashed in bad visibility near RAF Kelstern, to the south-west and Lancasters JB674 and JB678, which collided in the early hours of the 17 December in the circuit and crashed on farmland near Waith, just south of RAF Grimsby, killing both aircrews. In total, from the four aircraft involved 100 Squadron lost 22 aircrew members from a total of 28, including the commanding officer of 100 Squadron, Wing Commander DW Holford.
The modest memorial located at the Hatcliffe Top crash site to the crew of JB596 was organised by former squadron colleagues and family members but the date of the dedication is unknown. It is located on the spot where JB596 hit the high ground and consists of a simple grave-like structure and a rather fragile memorial bench. The monument gives details of the aircraft and crew. Affixed to a nearby tree is a home-made plaque in relief bearing the 100 Squadron crest – a skull and crossbones – with the motto (in Malay, reflecting the squadron’s inter-war service in the Far East) Sarang tebuan jangen dijolok: ‘Never Stir Up A Hornets Nest’.
In December 2008, a more formal memorial to all four aircraft was unveiled near the crash site of JB674 and JB678. Both of these memorials are on private ground and access is not always guaranteed.
Graves Park, Sheffield (Chris Percy, March 2015 )
This tree is situated at the eastern end of an avenue of commemorative trees in Sheffield's Graves Park. The avenue, leading from Charles Ashmore Drive at the western side of the park from Meadowhead, comprises several species of trees of varying ages; 18 in total, all of which have commemorated an event or person.
Unfortunately, all that remains at 17 of the trees is a stone plinth, the bronze plaques having been 'removed'! The remaining plaque, now being overgrown by the tree itself was planted by Alderman William Earnest Yorke, Lord Mayor of Sheffield 1947-1949. Interestingly the dedication date, 28 October 1948, is seven months before the end of his tenure in office (May 1949).
We would be keen to hear from anyone who may have any information regarding the missing plaques - who or what they were commemorating, when they were dedicated, etc.
River Sheaf, Sheffield (Ian Rotherham, 2013)
former King Edwards Hospital, Rivelin Valley, Sheffield (Ian Rotherham)
University of Nottingham (Adrian Orrell)
Metal railing embedded into a couple ash trees at the University of Nottingham, near the boating lake. Grid ref: SK 53799 37559.
Padley Gorge, money tree, Derbyshire Peak District (Adrian Orrell)
Anston Stone Wood, Nottinghamsire
Tree stump, Anston Stone Wood, Notts with a variety of coins embedded (Andy Alder)
Yarncliffe Wood, Derbyshire (Andy Alder)
Halam, Nottinghamshire (Andy Alder)
West Wood, High Green, Sheffield (Chris Percy, 8 June 2017)