The funeral of the English airmen tragically killed in Thyon and Le Bouveret

MWrightJ[Ser#-DoB]-150527-090001.jpg
MWrightJ[Ser#-DoB]-150527-090002.jpg

Title

The funeral of the English airmen tragically killed in Thyon and Le Bouveret

Description

Details of the funeral of the airmen at Vevey. A large number of wreaths adorned the coffins. A crowd described as 'extensive' attended. Annotated with 'Cost to Govt sf 7447.40 ED412 'O'
sf 300 ED 531
7747.40
sf 553.36 per man!'
On the second page titled 'A Tragic Night' details the crash of one aircraft near Bouveret and a second near Sion.

Date

1943-07-12

Language

Type

Format

Two typewritten sheets

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Rights

This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Contributor

Identifier

MWrightJ[Ser#-DoB]-150527-09

Transcription

[underlined] LOCAL NEWS [/underlined]

[underlined] The funeral of the English airmen tragically killed in Thyon and Le Bouveret [/underlined]

The funeral of 14 English airmen tragically killed at Le Bouveret and Alpes de Thyon have been celebrated on Thursday[?] 16.30 hours in Vevey British Graveyard. Followed then by a manifestation of compassion in which Vevey’s people have taken part, some lovely wreaths had been sent from every part of Switzerland from all British corporations. It [sic] Of note were those from the British Legation in Berne, Royal Air Force, and the British Legion, English interned people, Greek, Belgian, Dutch, Yugoslavian colonies, from the United States, from Palestinians – S.E., the minster of Great Britain in Berne Sir Clifford Norton, Air Commodore West, Air attache, allied military attaches, the representatives of several legations from several consulates attended; so did Major Boissier, a representative of H.Q., the legations of interned English airmen of La France Combattante, Polish people, Greeks, Hindu, delegations of Swiss airmen, Aga Khan, M.E. Denereaz, Vevey syndic, etc. The crowd was extensive, kept in check by a good body of those responsible for order.

The official suite left Saint Martin’s terrace at 16.20 hours in order to get to the English graveyard where two graves had been dug out for the 14 coffins. A brass band played the Funeral March by Beethoven. Then a religious service was held by Reverends Legg from Vevey, Maywood from Clarens, Middletown from Lausanne and Vicar Kurfurst from Vevey who had already held one twenty five years ago when the first interned British interned were buried in this graveyard. After “God Save the King”, some English and Swiss soldiers lowered the coffins down the grave; blessing and absolution were given. H.E.M. Clifford Norton put the British colours wreaths down the grave, Air Commodore West another, followed by allied military attaches’ wreathes and United States. The brass band beat the tattoo and sounded the reveille. Regular salvoes were shot and official guests withdrew whereas the impressed crowd was queuing up along the graves.

[centred] * * * [/centred]

[inserted] 7,747’40 = sf553.36 per Man![?]
Cost to Govt.
Sf 7,447.40 ED4 [indecipherable digits]
Sf 300 ED531.

[page break]

[underlined] A TRAGIC NIGHT [/underlined]
[underlined] Two British Four-Engined Bombers Crash into Valaisan Mountains. [/underlined]

To inform our readers quickly about the events that occurred in the night of Monday, we stuck up the following news on Tuesday morning in Station Avenue on Publicitas offices shop windows:

[underlined] On the slopes of Mount Grammont [/underlined]

The competent territorial district public relation chief announces:-
In the night of July 12th at 00.55 hours an English four-engined plane crashed on the slopes of Mount Grammont at about 500 metres south of Bouveret, 900 metres up. A big detonation was heard and high flames rose up from the plane. The Military major of the district and the chief of the fire brigade got to the place where it could be found at 5 o’clock am. 5 Airmen’s corpses. Two others have not been found yet.

[underlined] On the ridges of Thyon [/underlined]

Sion, during the night of Monday 12/13th July knew a few thrilling moments. For more that[sic] one hour and a half between midnight and 1. am, a lot of British bomber squadrons flew over Berne and Valaisan Alps by using a route right over the town. The flow of the heavy and mighty four-engined machines lasted unendingly at relatively low altitude judging by the intensity of the noise of the propellers.

The time it lasted to fly over our sky is the longest ever. A sultry and threatening atmosphere hung over the town. Many shutters could be seen opening. Observers scanning the sky vainly. Between the clouds rather low, a few stars sparkled now and then, but no planes could be seen. Besides, in order to get their route, several squadrons sent up yellow and red flares. They burst in the same way as short flashes of lightning. Near the end of their passage, when the noise began to fade away, in the dark sky another sound of planes was suddenly heard. It was flying lower than the others and its engine had characteristic misfires. At the very time when this plane flew over Thyon ridges, all of a sudden an enormous yellow glimmer lit up the sky. At the same time an explosion reflected back in the echoes of the valley.

The plane had crashed into a mountain and exploded. Then another reddish glimmer rose up with a second explosion. This tragic drama concluded in the saddest way, the sombre forebodings that had kept inhabitants in suspense through the grim development of the passage of the unnumberable bomber squadrons. With the four-engined bomber that crashed into the slopes of Mount Grammont, south of Bouveret 900 metres up, the British lost two planes in Valais during their air raid.

A military column left during the night to the place of the catastrophe. It was back on Tuesday at 1.pm.

Collection

Citation

“The funeral of the English airmen tragically killed in Thyon and Le Bouveret,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed August 11, 2022, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/2254.

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