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Airman's Grave

The Second World War

Fairwarp has two sites of interest relating to the Second World War; The Airmen’s Grave and The Italian POW camp.

On the night of the July 31st 1941, a Wellington bomber was returning from a raid on Cologne. One of its two engines had stopped and the pilot was attempting to reach an airfield close to the English Coast.

The weather that night was poor and the pilot was unable to identify a suitable landing place and crashed on the southern slopes of the forest. All six crew members were killed. They were all in their early to mid-twenties.

Capt. and 1st. Pilot - Harry Vidler

Sergeant and 2nd. Pilot - Vic Sutton

Air Gunner - Stan Hathaway

Rear Gunner - Len Saunders

Sergeant and Observer - Wilf Brooks

Wireless Operator - Arthur Cave

It was the mother of Vic Sutton that first erected a wooden cross at the site of the crash. She was living at Nutley at the time. In 1954 a stone cross was erected and a fence put round the area to keep the sheep out. Then in 1971 the wall of local stone was erected by the Forest Rangers. The site is really a memorial to the men and not their grave.

The memorial can be found just west of the village off the B2026. On Remembrance Sunday there is a special open air service held at the grave. The service is very moving and many people attend.

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