Tewitt Lane Canadian memorial

Note: The 2024 ceremony to remember these six men will take place by the memorial stone on Sunday 7th January, beginning at 2:00 pm and will last for about half an hour. It is usually cold and muddy underfoot so please wear appropriate footwear and a warm coat.

See below for details of how to get there…

Tewitt Lane Memorial

On 2nd January 1944, Wellington Bomber BK 387 crashed into the hillside at Tewitt Lane near Oakworth in West Yorkshire, killing all six of her crew members, all Royal Canadian Air Force men from RAF Ossington.

They were:
Pilot – Warrant Officer Class 2 – Ernest Israel Glass
Navigator – Flying Officer – James Justin McHenry
Wireless Operator and Air Gunner – Warrant Officer Class 2 – Jack Henfrey
Air Bomber – Warrant Officer Class 2 – James Edwin Dalling
Air Gunner – Sergeant – Norman Willard Crawford
Air Gunner – Sergeant – Emery Savage

Please use the links on their names to visit individual pages about each of these men.

Oakworth Village Society hold a short ceremony each year on the first Sunday in January to remember the six Royal Canadian Air Force men who died when their Wellington Bomber BK387 crashed in fog on the hillside whilst on a training mission at 22.40 hrs on January 2nd January 1944, killing all members of the crew.

The memorial stone, unveiled in 1993.

The Tewitt Lane Memorial Stone was inaugurated in July 1993 after the Village Society decided to honour the six crew members of Wellington Bomber BK 387 who died on that day with a dedicated memorial and an annual service on the first Sunday in January, nearest to each anniversary, although sometimes they have to hold it on the second Sunday, when the first Sunday clashes with the holiday period.

The Village Society holds a short ceremony each year on the nearest Sunday in January to remember the six Royal Canadian Air Force men who died when their Wellington Bomber BK387 crashed in fog on the hillside whilst on a training mission at 22.40 hrs on January 2nd January 1944, killing all six members of the crew.

Our usual order of service (subject to some changes as necessary):
Order of service
Welcome by Mrs Janet Armstrong MBE
Act of remembrance and 1 minute's silence
Laying of wreaths and flowers
A chance for anyone to say a few words
Closing hymn: Abide with me.
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

The Blessing
Closing address and thanks to all for attending.

How to get there:

You can get there by walking past the Golden Fleece pub in Oakworth, up the track (Greyscar Road) from the village which is a local bridleway and quite rough in places. It takes about twenty to thirty minutes to walk there.

You can also get there by car most of the way, by driving up to the Grouse Inn and parking nearby. Please do not use the Grouse Inn’s car park which is for patrons only. There is some room alongside the road above the Grouse Inn, and a little bit of space on the end of Tewitt Lane bridleway at the Grouse end. It’s a short walk of about five or ten minutes to the memorial from this end.


The flight left R.A.F. Ossington on a non-operational night flying training flight. It was on a cross country course and was heading home. They were slightly off their intended course and the weather reports showed 8/10ths cloud cover and a visibility of two miles.

The flight track for 2nd January 1944 was planned for RAF Ossington - Abingdon - Peterborough - Aylsham - Saffron Walden - York - RAF Ossington.

The aircraft flew directly over the Grouse Inn at 22.40, startling the landlord who had closed up the pub for the night, it flew towards Tewitt Hall Wood, bounced in the field and one wing ended up in the next field, the fuselage turning over and bursting into flames as it hit the woods, ending up on the hillside, above where the memorial is now. An accident report states their navigation was slightly off track on a return leg of their flight and that they may have come down below the cloud level to see where they were, a practice which was forbidden. We may never know the true reasons for this tragic incident, which cost all their lives.

The accident report states that they were off course and one senior officer makes the statement that they appear to have flown beneath cloud cover to see where they were, a practice that was expressly forbidden. A court of inquiry was requested at that time by Group Captain E. J. Laine, Commanding Officer, 82, Operational Training Unit at RAF Ossington.

[Please note: To date we have not seen any verdict of an inquiry, if one took place. These men paid the price of any such error with their lives and we do not seek to apportion blame.]

The aircraft was BK387, a Wellington Bomber Mark III, with two Hercules mark XI engines.

A Wellington bomber similar to the one which crashed.

These men were buried in adjoining graves in section C, row H, graves 11 to 16 inclusive at Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery.

The six graves, left to right are Savage, McHenry, Dalling, Henfrey, Crawford and Glass.

Oakworth Village Society
Mrs Janet Armstrong MBE
Mr Max Friebel (nephew of Ernest Glass)
Mr Phillip Handley (great nephew of Jack Henfrey)
Canada, WWII Service Files of War Dead, 1939-1947
England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
National Geographic Map Maker website
Brandon Daily Sun
Lethbridge Herald
Winnipeg Free Press

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