Extracts from 'Nouvelliste Valaisan'

MWrightJ[Ser#-DoB]-150527-11.pdf

Title

Extracts from 'Nouvelliste Valaisan'
The Sirens Resounded on Monday Night

Description

27 pages transcribed from a local newspaper covering the night 100 bombers overflew Switzerland leading to two being shot down. Bombs were dropped on Swiss territory.
14 airmen were buried at Vevey and the funeral is described. There is repetition of documents and accounts.

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Date

1943-07-14
1943-07-15
1943-07-16

Contributor

Alan Pinchbeck
David Bloomfield

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.

Format

27 typewritten sheets

Language

Type

Identifier

MWrightJ[Ser#-DoB]-150527-11

Temporal Coverage

Transcription

EXTRACTS FROM. “NOUVELLISTE VALAISAN” NUMBERS 161 - 164
14 July 1943
[underlined] THE SIRENS RESOUNDED ON MONDAY NIGHT
Waves of planes
A bomber crashes on the slopes of Mount Gramont
5 Dead [/underlined]
After a few months of happy [inserted] un [/inserted] interruption, the sirens hooted warning against aircraft on Tuesday, 9 minutes after midnight. It ended at 01.52.
A little before 1 o’clock a violent explosion was heard in the area of Bouveret. Witnesses say that shop windows and panes were broken. A fire broke out near Ternay but quickly went out.
The scene can easily be described as a tremendous rumble.
The cause of it was thought to be a bomber crashing on the mountain with its murderous burden. Investigations, immediately undertaken, confirmed this hypothesis.
[inserted] M. CURDY AND HIS TEAM. 1 1/2 HRS CLIMB. [/inserted]
Straighteway, [sic] firemen in collaboration with soldiers repaired to the spot of the accident.
Of the aircraft only charred debris remained. It seems that airmen attempted to bail out, for some of the parachutes have been found hanging down the trees very close to the point of impact.
In the village of Bouveret, as we have said above, panes of numerous buildings, particularly those of [deleted] numerous buildings [/deleted] the station, of the pisciculture, of some hotels and restaurants, of private houses were shattered. The aircraft had fallen into the forest, by the quarry of Bussien, about 500m from this place.
The public relation of the authority in charge of the district officially declares on the telephone : In the night of the 12th July at 0.55 h [inserted] AN [/inserted] English four-engined aeroplane struck the slopes of Mount Grammont at about 500m. south [sic] of Bouveret. The military chief of this area and the Bouveret firemen went to the spot where they found at 0.50 h 5 corpses of airmen. Two have not been found yet.
[page break]
A second aircraft crashes on “Les Mayens de Sion : Six dead.
From midnight to 1 o’clock, the Sion population was kept awake by British bombers flying at low altitude and in compact waves.
[inserted] AUSTRALIAN SQN. AIRCRAFT. [/inserted]
A formidable explosion was suddenly heard and a huge red flame could be seen rising from “Les Mayens de Sion”
A British bomber had engine troubles. It flew at very low altitude above “Les Mayens de Sion” vainly attempting to go up. Just as it was about to fly over the meadows of Thyon touched a high voltage line and crashed down. Its six passengers were burnt as it exploded.
Competent military authorities went to the spot and began an inquiry.
[nine dots across the middle of the page]
A call from Sion :
The plane which [deleted] bumped] [/deleted] [inserted] CRASHED [/inserted] into the high voltage line which carries electricity to “La Dixence” crashed in flames near the water-tower not far from Nendaz Valley. The people of Vex, Nendaz and Veysonnaz as well as a great many families spending their holidays in this country were suddenly awakened.
First on the spot were [deleted] man [/deleted] [inserted] men [/inserted] of the local guards and Gendarme Genoud from Basse Nendaz [inserted] When [/inserted] one got to Thyon, a dreadful sight awaited us. A pungent smell came from the charred corpses of the unfortunate airmen. Six or seven unrecognisable bodies. Only one escaped the fire but he is lifeless. He is a sergeant gunner. His name, Bolgar is written on his flying suit. Nothing remains, as it were, of the charred aeroplane. One can notice machine guns and bombs which have not yet exploded. An engine can be found further than 500 m. from the point of impact. The soldiers are on the spot and the inquiry has begun with competent military authorities. Experts are [deleted] being [/deleted] unloading the bomber.
[nine dots across the middle of the page]
[deleted] Wher [/deleted] [inserted] Where [/inserted] the victims will be buried
It is stated that the English Legation in Berne has given instructions to have the victims’ corpses taken to Vevey. This town has a (Church of England) church with a private graveyard.
The funeral service of the English airmen killed at Bouveret and at Thyon sur Sion last Tuesday night will be held in Vevey church on Thursday afternoon.
The [deleted] soldiers [/deleted] [inserted] AIRMEN [/inserted] will be lying in the part of the graveyard reserved to
[page break]
the British in the First World War. The services will be performed by a protestant and a catholic chaplain. The Air Force attaché of the British Legation in Berne is dealing with the ceremony. Three hearses left Lausanne [deleted] on [/deleted] [inserted] ON [/inserted] Tuesday morning to collect the corpses but two are still missing.
The airmen will be buried in crews.
[line across part of the page]
Bombs falling in Vaud, Freiburg, Neauchâtel and Berne cantons
It is said officially :
In the night of the 13th of July about 100 foreign planes entered Switzerland 3,000 m. high from 0.04 h. until 0.51 h. between Porentruy and Le Brassus. The planes left Switzerland in the area of Geneva Lake and the Tessin. Some of them flew over the frontier.
Bombs have been [deleted] launchednear [/deleted] [inserted] DROPPED NEAR [/inserted] Riggisley (canton of Berne), near Flammat (canton of Freiburg), in the area of Maennlichen (Oberland Bernois) as well.
One house was destroyed and another one caught fire. No victims for the moment. In Flammat the explosion has made havoc in cultivations and houses around 800 m. The nearest house of the falling place (about 150 m.) [deleted] has pretty important [/deleted] [inserted] SUBSTANTIAL [/inserted] damage. The roofing tiles have been blown off on a corner of the roof. The roofs of other houses in the distance have damage as well.
All the windows panes [sic] have been smashed into bits. It seems it might be one of the biggest missiles.
Near Saligny, exactly in Mollie-Margot, a lot of incendiary bombs fell down the fields around the hamlet making big explosions and opening craters in the earth. Some of them did not explode. Most of the others burst up setting the village in a flutter. There [deleted] is [/deleted] [inserted] are [/inserted] no victims. [deleted] Nons [/deleted] [inserted] UN [/inserted] exploded [deleted] instruments [/deleted] [inserted] BOMBS [/inserted] have been neutralized.
A bomb fell on Geneveys sur Coffrane named place Les Hotèts (Neuchâtel). The deflagration was quite mighty driving the population of all of the area scared ; a thick cloud of smoke hung over the station.
The projectile fell in forest within 50 m. from Mr. A Nydegger’s farm. This one has [deleted] important [/deleted] [inserted] SEVERE [/inserted] damage : a roof smashed open, doors and windows [deleted] pulled [/deleted] [inserted] BLOWN [/inserted] out. An animal has been injured on the grazing ground. Damages are also [deleted] important [/deleted] [inserted] SEVERE [/inserted] in the forest. A 2,000 kg. bomb is likely to have fallen from one of the planes.
[a short line across the middle of the page]
[page break]
LOCAL NEWS
The funeral of the English airmen tragically killed in Thyon and Le Bouveret
The funeral of the 14 English airmen tragically killed at Le Bouveret and Alpes de Thyon have been celebrated on Tuesday - 16.30 h. , in Vevey British graveyard. Then Followed then [sic] 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 could noticed [sic] those from the British Legation in Berne, Royal Air Force, and the British Legion, English interned people, Greek, Belgian, Dutch, Yugoslavian colonies, from United-States, from Palestinians S.E. the Minister of Great-Britain in Berne, Sir Clifford Norton, [deleted] the [/deleted] Air-Commodores West, Air Attaché, allied military attachés, the representatives of several legations from several consulates attended ; so did Major Boissier, a representative of H.Q. , the legation of interned English airmen, Agan Khan, M.E. Denereaz, Vevey syndic etc… The crowd was extensive, kept in check be a body of [inserted] those [/inserted] responsible for order.
The official suite left Saint Martin’s terrace at 16.20 h. in order to get to the English graveyard where two grave 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, Middleton from Lausanne and Vicar Kurfürst 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 wreathes down the grave, Air Commodore [inserted] WEST [/inserted] another, followed [inserted] [ by [/inserted] allied military attachés’ 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 queueing up along the graves.
[a short line across the middle of the page]
[inserted] [underlined] Legg. C of E. [/underlined] [/inserted]
[page break]
[underlined] A TRAGIC NIGHT [/underlined]
Two British Four-Engined Bombers Crash
Into Valaisan Mountains
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 window :
[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 h. An English four-engined plane crashed on the slopes of Mount Grammont at about 500 m. south of Bouveret, 900 m. 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 firebrigade [sic] got to the place where it could be found at 5. o’clock A.M. 5 airmen’s corpses. Two others have not been found yet.
[underlined] On the ridges of Thyon [/underlined]
Sion, during the night of Monday 13th [inserted] 12/13 [/inserted] July knew a few thrilling moments. For more one [sic] hour and a half between midnight and 1 a.m. a lot of British bombers squadrons flew over Berne and Valaisan Alps by using a route right over the town. The flow of 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 lightening. Near the end of their passage, when 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 lighted up the sky. At the same time time [sic] 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 [deleted] smbre [/deleted] [inserted] SOMBRE [/inserted] forebodings that had kept inhabitants in suspense through the grim development of the passage of the innumerable bomber squadrons.
[page break]
With the four-engined bomber that [inserted] CRASHED [/inserted] into the slopes of Mount Grammont, south of Bouveret 900 m. 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 p.m.
[underlined] A [deleted] Thrilling [/deleted] [inserted] CHILLING [/inserted] Sight [/underlined]
On Tuesday morning, at half past 6 the wreck of the four-engined bomber that crashed into Thyon ridges 20 m. below the J.O.C. hut were still burning. As soon as the first arrivals came a terrible sight was shown to them. Eight corpses among which seven are completely charred are found in the machine. The plane has been completely destroyed. An engine had cast off and lies some 100 m. lower Which [sic] allows us to think that the plane was already on fire when it crashed into the ground.
Just around the wrecks of the majestuous U.D. bomber : non exploded bombs, equipment, a rubber boat. Only one of the corpses can have been identified, English Sergeant Bolger’s.
Two machine guns and ammunitions, lots of them, are scattered round the wrecks as well. It is most likely [deleted] taht [/deleted] [inserted] that [/inserted] the plane was shot [inserted] at [/inserted] while flying over the Alps, by an incendiary A.A. shell. It’s not fitting to say that it is because of a high voltage line. Let’s remember that a few minutes after the catastrophe which we witnessed from the distance, a violent storm had burst. It is also likely that the plane had to land because of magnetic effects on the engines that might have suffered a lack of power, fatal to the airmen.
The present investigation will solve these questions.
[page break]
[underlined] EXTRACT FROM THE VEVEY ‘FEUILLE d’AVIS [/underlined] [inserted] No 78 [/inserted]
Extract 1. Dated 13 July 1943.
[underlined] A STRONG EXPLOSION [/underlined]
About one o’clock, a lot of people noticed, in the direction of Bouveret, a bright light, similar to that produced by a flare, which seemed to be coming down from a black cloud bank. (A storm was blowing at the time). The light flashed to the ground and suddenly tall flames rose up in the forest, some 400 to 500 metres above the western end of Bouveret. A terrible explosion followed. It could be seen as far as Vevey and district, awakening a fair number of inhabitants and shaking the windows.
The fire above Bouveret quickly faded in intensity; but for more than an hour it was possible, both by the naked eye and field-glasses, to make out numerous pockets of fire spread out within a fairly short radium, suggesting that a bomber had come down at this spot. It is possible, as there was a storm at the time, that the plane may have been struck by lightening.
This morning, using powerful glasses, one can make out the traces of the disaster, in the middle of which can be seen some whitish objects, probably debris.
On this subject we have received the following official communique:
[underlined] BOMBER CRASH
Five Bodies Recovered [/underlined]
The responsible press-chief of the district informs us:
During the night of the 12/13 July, at 0.55 hours, an English four engined plane crashed into the Grammont slopes about 500 metres from Bouveret, at a height of 900 metres. An enormous explosion was heard and huge flames rose up from the machine.
The sector-commander and the fire-chief from Bouveret went to where the five bodies were found.
Two of the crew have not yet been found.
[three 8 across the middle of the page]
The force of the explosion was such that several windows and window-panes were blown out in Bouveret.
At Vevey itself, three big windows of the Hotel des 3 Couronnes were shattered. One of the hotel guests, the Aga Khan, was hit on the head by flying glass which caused no damage, however.
[underlined A SECOND BOMBER THOUGHT TO HAVE COME DOWN AT VALAIS [/underlined]
We are informed from Sion that, on this night, about one hour, an explosion occurred on the Thyon alp, grazing ground above Sion, at a height of about 2,000 metres. The high-tension wire (10,000 volts) of Dixene appears to have been cut. In this case too, there are good reasons for supposing that a bomber had come down.
[underlined] END OF EXTRACT ONE [/underlined]
[page break]
Concerning the plane which fell at Thyon, above Mayens de Sion, we are informed that there would appear to have been eight victims whose bodies were hard to recover, scattered as they were amongst the debris spread over an area 150 metres in diameter. The bomber crashed against a hill-side.
[underlined] END OF EXTRACT TWO [/underlined]
[inserted] Next [/inserted]
The Dixence ‘chateau’ (country house) with water some 100 metres from the artificial channel.
Amongst the still smouldering debris on Tuesday morning at six o’clock a large quantity of un-exploded bombe were found, along with broken flying instruments, a pneumatic canoe with its unflating [sic] bottle and two machine guns. Only one body could be identified - that of the English Sergeant Bolger. It is confirmed that the plane did not touch the high-tension cable but that it must have come down in flames.
An engine from the plane broke off and is lying in the field, about 100 metres lower down. This is probably the reason why the plane crashed but it is not impossible that it may have been hit by a shell from our Ack-ack.
A high calibre bomb fell above Heremence village into the rock in which it produced a crater five metres deep and 15 metres in diameter. Several flares were dropped by the pilots. On falling, the flares caused small fires.
[three * across the middle of the page]
The English four engine plane crashed against two sides of le Grammont near Bussien quarries above le Bouveret. It came down right in the middle of forest which was destroyed over an area of 150/200 metres. On hitting the ground, the plane broke up into a thousand pieces and produced a crater ending in a gully filled with debris and loose rock which rolled to the foot of the hill.
Incendiary bombs were found in several places. It is not yet known whether the full bomb-load exploded after the crash. The only certainty is that no (bomb) pieces have been recovered.
The rush of flames was so fierce (obviously from an exploded bomb) that several windows were broken, in le Bouveret of course and in the surrounding district. The paper ‘Revue’ points out that at Montreux a big mirror 3.50 metres long and 2.50 metres high., [sic] seven millimetres thick, was shattered in the hall of the Hotel Eden. A window was blown in under the ‘Palace’.
[underlined] SWISS PROTEST IN LONDON [/underlined]
The Swiss legation in London was immediately told to protest with the greatest firmness against this new and serious violation of Swiss neutrality committed by many English planes during the night of 12/13 July to demand reparation for damage caused in various places by the bombs dropped on Swiss territory.
[underlined] END OF EXTRACT THREE [/underlined]
[page break]
[underlined] Extract 2. Dated 14 July 1943
AFTER THE LAST FLY-OVER OF BRITISH PLANES [/underlined]
The following communeque [sic] concerning the massive fly-over of our air space during the night of the 12 to the 13 July.
In all, two English four-engine bombers crashed to the ground, the first as already indicated near Bouveret and the second to the south of Sion. The enquiry, still in progress, has not yet established whether the crash was caused by the defensive fire of our Ack-ack or if it was the result of the bad weather.
From different places, notably from the Fribourg district, came reports of incendiary and explosion bombs having been dropped: some of them caused considerable material damage. Propaganda sheets, aimed at the Italian population, were also dropped.
[three * across the middle of the page]
[underlined] RIGGISBERG: [/underlined] 13th. An incendiary, bomb fell in the middle of the village of Riggisberg on a house situated between the “Adler” restaurant and the post-office building. The bomb crashed through the roof and set fire to the house occupied by four people. The house is completely burned out but fortunately its occupants were able to reach safety. The adjoining building was equally gutted. In this case, too, the occupants were not harmed. Almost all the windows in the village were smashed. Numerous rooves [sic] were more or less torn off by the rush of air. An explosive bomb also fell in the district of Riggisberg. A house situated at about 200 metres from the village was so damaged that its walls now lean at an angle and will have to be completely demolished. Here too, no-one was hurt. On the other hand, the damage caused was considerable.
[short line across the middle of the page]
[underlined] FLAMMAT: [/underlined] 13th. During Tuesday night, a bomb dropped by a plane exploded near some huses of the “Bergli” hamlet in the parish of Ueberstrof. The explosion caused damage to crops and houses over a radius of 800 metres. The house nearest to where the bomb fell (about 150 metres) suffered considerable damage. The windows of all the houses were shattered. It appears to have been a higher-powered bomb than normal. There were no casualties.
[short line across middle of the page]
[underlined] FRIBOURG: [/underlined] 13th. During Tuesday night bombs were dropped on the hamlet of Praratout, attached to the Fribourg enclose of Surpierre, three kilometres from Lucens.
[short line across middle of the page]
During the night of Tuesday, a bomb fell over “Les Geneveys-sur-Coffrane (Val de Ruz). It fell in the forest, about 50 metres from the farm of M.A. Nydegger which suffered considerable damage. In thee fields one animal was hurt.
[three * across the middle of the page]
[page break]
[underlined] Extract 5. Dated 16 July 1943.
THE FUNERAL OF 14 BRITISH AIRMEN [/underlined]
As was to be expected a very big crowd flocked to the St. Martins Cemetery yesterday afternoon, to be present at the funeral of the British airmen, victims of implacable fate/duty, who had on Tuesday night come down above Bouveret and on the Alp de Thyon (Valais).
Those responsible for the control of the public, a task well organised by the police under command of M. Carrel, did not have and [sic] easy task and it was only with difficulty that they could curb the enthusiasm of the crowd once they were allowed free entry.
It was a splendid afternoon and bright sunlight shone down on the St. Martins Cemetery where the slight cypress trees, as upright and straight as candles, offer intermitent [sic] shade.
At 15.00 hours, already, a great crowd was thronging on the St.Martin terrace where the official funeral procession was to form up. Behind the British cemetery the final preparations were being completed. Innumerable and splendid wreaths - perhaps a hundred - were set out on trestles, producing a guard of flowers for the coffins. They had been sent from every part of Switzerland, from every British community. Notably present were representatives from the British legation in Berne, the R.A.F., the British Legion, English internees, Greek, Belgium, Dutch, Yugoslavia colonies, the U.S.A., Palestine, etc.
About 16.20 hours, a battalion brass band plays Beethoven’s Funeral March. A moving moment. The official personalities and delegations arrive. The procession is headed by the representatives of the British Legation in Berne, amongst others, His Excellency Mr. Clifford J. Norton, C.M.G., C.V.P., envoy extraordinary and plenipotentiary minister, Air Commodore F.M.F. West, V.C., M.C., Air Attache Colonel H.A. Cartwright, M.C., Military Attache, Major H.N. Fryer, assistant Military Attache. They are follow by representatives from the U.N. diplomatic corps, military attaches in full uniform, the Verney municipal representative, Officers from our Army, headed by Major Bossier of the 10th Territorial ‘arrondissement’ commanded by Colonel Carrupt, plus representatives of Air Defence are present.
The Aga Khan, spiritual leader of 80 million Musulmans, [sic] staying at the Hotel des 3 Couronnes is also present. A fine wreath from him had been sent beforehand. There are no speeches. Only the church officials speak; they are the English priests Legg (Vevey) Heywood (Clarens) Middleton (Lausanne), Williams (Geneva) and Father Kurfurat (Vevey. They all wear surplice.
[underlined] END OF EXTRACT FIVE [/underlined]
Before the reading of the Gospels, English soldiers (interned) [deleted] as aviations [/deleted] and Swiss soldiers took their places at the foot and head of the 14 coffins. They are at attention. The band plays ‘God Save The King’; the slab supporting the coffins are lifted, the soldiers slowly let them down on ropes to the bottom of the communal graves. The Absolution is given by Father Kurfurst, then Mr. Legg and the British minister perform the symbolic gesture of throwing handfuls of earth onto the coffins. Three salvos fired by a Swiss military detachment frighten the birds and small children (whom one might have wished to have been elsewhere than at a cemetery), trumpets sound, and the ceremony ends with the laying of magnificent wreaths by the British minister at Berne and the R.A.F. representative. These wreaths were brought by 4 English soldiers. They placed them against the posts previously set up in front of the graves.
[page break]
Impressed by so much simplicity coupled with an absence of words which said much more than a thousand speeches, the crowd slowly withdraws as the military attaches come and bow before the graves where a quantity of flowers, simple bunches, are piled up on the ground an expression of the warmth of feeling felt towards the victims of the war.
[page break]
[underlined] -Extract Four
Dateline 14th July 1943 [/underlined]
The funeral the British aircrew killed on active service at Bouveret and Alpe de Thyon on Tuesday morning, will take place at Vevey on Thursday at 1630 hours: the burial arrangements are being made by the Air Attache of the Great Britain Legation in Berne.
3 hearses from Lausanne undertakers left on Tuesday at 1300 hours to collect the bodies, one to Bouveret and two to Sion; 7 bodies have already been brought in and the coffins are in the Crematorium: the others will arrive today.
Already in Vevey cemetery are the graves of British soldiers who died in internment during the last war. The airmen will be buried in groups. The ceremony will be led by Protestant and English Catholic Chaplains.
The Airmens [sic] last resting places are ready, close to the British cemetery.
[eight * across the middle of the page]
[underlined] Dateline 15th July 1943.
Funeral of British Airmen [/underlined]
Yesterday, M. Curchod and his assistants dug 2 big graves behind the St.Martin British Cemetery. In each one 7 coffins will be placed.
This afternoon’s ceremony will certainly be followed by a great number of people. In view of the very limited amount of space available around the open graves, and common courtesy which demands that officers and British colony be in the front, special measures have had to be taken.
The cemetery will be closed to the public from 12 noon to allow the coffins to be put in place. After the British Officers, U.N. representatives (Diplomatic corps, consulates etc) Swiss authorities, members of the British colony (on production of the appropriate authority) have entered the garden of rest, the general public too will be able to follow the ceremony from outside the ropes set up the authorities.
[four * across the middle of the page]
The ceremony will retain a strictly military character. There will be no speeches. It will be none the less impressive for that.
A battalion band and a group of Swiss soldiers will pay the last honours to their comrades in arms, fallen on active service.
Beethoven’s funeral march will open the ceremony during which representatives of the Protestant and Catholic faiths will take part. His Excellency, the Minister for Great Britain in Switzerland, Mr. Clifford Norton will lay a wreath on behalf of his country, then the regulation salutes will be fired.
The ceremony, interspersed with a few pieces of military music, will last half and hour at the most. The funeral procession (officials and delegations) will leave the St. Martins terrace at 16.20 hours for the cemetery.
[underlined] END OF EXTRACT FOUR [/underlined]
Seven coffins have so far been laid out in the crematorium. They are covered with the English flag and wreaths. The other coffins are expected this morning.
Sentinels are mounting the guard.
[page break]
[underlined] THE STATEMENTS OF A PILOT [/underlined]
One of the pilots who took part in the raid at Turin disclosed a detail which allows us to understand better the reason why the airmen were looking for a landing strip.
He stated to Exchange agency: “This venture has probably been the most risky of those in which I took part. When we had flown several hundreds of km, we arrived in an electric storm which, further on, changed into a violent tempest. Because of the electric tempest, some apparatus didn’t work normally and several pilots lost their direction. We tried to escort the planes in trouble and to show them the route to follow”.
The planes, if one includes their way back, have flown 2,000 miles.
[underlined] DAMAGES AT LE BOUVERET [/underlined]
Nearly all the houses in Le Bouveret had a large number of panes and windows broken. At the Cooperative, large mirrors worth about 2,000 f., some others in Hotel Bellevue worth several hundred f. have been shattered down. Shutters have been blown off. The church has not been spared. On its floor fragments of gypsum have been found and two others of the stained glass windows have been broken.
[underlined] THE TRAGIC RAID AT TURIN [/underlined]
Thirteen 4-engined planes have not come back from this air raid. The Italian communiqué says that the centre of Turin underwent considerable damage. There 101 [sic] dead and 203 wounded.
At the R.A.F. H.Q. it is stated : during Thursday night, strong formations of bombers attacked the industrial Italian town of Turin, which has a great importance not only by its industrial output, but also as a railway junction. The British bombers arrived over Turin by a very propitious weather and moonlight made it easier for them to reconnoitre the targets. Thousands of incendiary and explosive bombs were launched, causing vast fires and heavy damages. On their way there and back [deleted] a craft [/deleted] [inserted] the aircraft [/inserted] met with heavy storms which originated several crashes.
[underlined] SWISS PROTEST IN LONDON [/underlined]
A Swiss Legation in London was immediately told to protest with the utmost vigour against the latest serious violation of the Swiss neutrality, caused by many British planes in the night of the 12th. July and to claim reparation of the damages caused by the bombs which had fallen on several spots of the Swiss territory.
[page break]
The force of the explosion was such that several windows and window-panes were blown out in Bouveret.
At Vevey itself, three big windows of the Hotel des 3 Couronnes were shattered. One of the hotel guests, the Aga Khan, was hit on the head by flying glass which caused no damage however.
[underlined A SECOND BOMBER THOUGHT TO HAVE COME DOWN AT VALAIS [/underlined]
We are informed from Sion that, on this night, about one hour, an explosion occurred on the Thyon alp, grazine [sic] ground above Sion, at a height of about 2,000 metres. The high-tension wire (10,000 volts) of Dixene appears to have been cut. In this case too, there are good reasons for supposing that a bomber had come down.
[underlined] END OF EXTRACT ONE [/underlined]
[underlined] Extract 2. Dated 14 July 1943.
AFTER THE LAST FLY-OVER OF BRITISH PLANES [/underlined]
The following communique concerning the massive fly-over of our air space during the night of the 12 to the 13 July.
In all, two English four-engine bombers crashed to the ground, the first as already indicated near Bouveret and the second to the south of Sion. The enquiry, st6ill [sic] in progress, has not yet established whether the crash was caused by the defensive fire of our Ack-ack or if it was the result of the bad weather.
From different places, notably from the Fribourg district, came reports of incendiary and explosion bombs having been dropped: some of them caused considerable material damage. Propaganda sheets, aimed at the Italian population, were also dropped.
[three underlined * across the middle of the page]
[underlined] RIGGISBERG: [/underlined] 13th. An incendiary, bomb fell in the middle of the village of Riggisberg on a house situated between the “Adler” restaurant and the post-office building. The bomb crashed through the roof and set fire to the house occupied by four people. The house is completely burned out but fortunately its occupants were able to reach safety. The adjoining building was equally gutted. In this case too the occupants were not harmed. Almost all the windows in the village were smashed. Numerous roofs were more or less torn off by the rush of air. An explosive bomb also fell in the district of Riggisberg. A house situated at about 200 metres from the village was so damaged that its walls now lean at an angle and will have to be completely demolished. Here too, no-one was hurt. On the other hand, the damage caused was considerable.
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[page break]
[underlined] EXTRACT FROM THE VEVEY ‘FEUILLE d’AVIS No. 78
Extract 1. Dated 13th July 1943
A STRONG EXPLOSION [/underlined]
About one o’clock, a lot of people noticed, in the direction of Bouveret, a bright light, similar to that produced by a flare, which seemed to be coming down from a black cloud bank. (A storm was blowing at the time). The light flashed to the ground and suddenly tall flames rose up in the forest, some 400 to 500 metres above the western end of Bouveret. A terrible explosion followed. It could be seen as far as Vevey and district, awakening a fair number of inhabitants and shaking the windows.
The fire above Bouveret quickly faded in intensity; but for more than an hour it was possible, both by the naked eye and field-glasses, to make out numerous pockets of fire spread out within a fairly short radium, suggesting that a bomber had come down at this spot. It is possible, as there was a storm at the time, that the plane may have been struck by lightening.
This morning, using powerful glasses, one can make out the traces of the disaster, in the middle of which can be seen some whitish objects, probably debris.
On this subject we have received the following official communique:
[underlined] BOMBER CRASH
Five Bodies Recovered [/underlined]
The responsible press-chief of the district informs us:
During the night of the 12/13 July, at 0.55 hours, an English four engined plane crashed into the Grammont slopes about 500 metres from Bouveret, at a height of 900 metres. An enormous explosion was heard and huge flames rose up from the machine.
The sector-commander and the fire-chief from Bouveret went to where the five bodies were found.
Two of the crew have not yet been found.
[page break]
[underlined] 15TH JULY 1943.
FUNERAL OF BRITISH AIRMEN [/underlined]
Yesterday, M. Curchod and his assistants dug 2 big graves behind the St. Martin British Cemetery. In each one 7 coffins will be placed.
This afternoons ceremony will certainly be followed by a great number of people. In view of the very limited amount of space available around the open graves and common courtesy which demands that officers and British colony be in the front, special measures have had to be taken.
The cemetery will be closed to the public from 12 noon to allow the coffins to be put in place. After the British Officers, U.N. representatives (Diplomatic corps, consulates, etc) Swiss authorities, members of the British colony (on production of the appropriate authority) have entered the garden of rest, the general public too will be able to follow the ceremony from outside the ropes set up the authorities.
[three underlined * across the middle of the page]
The ceremony will retain a strictly military character. There will be no speeches. It will be none the less impressive for that.
A battalion band and a group of Swiss soldiers will pay the last honours to their comrades in arms, fallen on active service.
Beethoven’s funeral march will open the ceremony during which representatives of the Protestant and Catholic faiths will take part. His Excellency, the Minister for Great Britain in Switzerland, Mr. Clifford Norton will lay a wreath on behalf of his country, then the regulation salutes will be fired.
The ceremony, interspersed with a few pieces of military music, will last half and hour at the most. The funeral procession (officials and delegations) will leave the St. Martins terrace at 16.20 hours for the cemetery.
[underlined] END OF EXTRACT FOUR [/underlined]
Seven coffins have so far been laid out in the crematorium. They are covered with the English flag and wreaths. The other coffins are expected this morning.
Sentinels are mounting the guard.
[page break]
[underlined] A second Aircraft crashes on “Les Mayens de Sion : Six dead. [/underlined]
From midnight to 1 o’clock, the Sion population was kept awake by British bombers flying at low altitude and in compact waves. A formidable explosion was suddenly heard and a huge red flame could be seen rising from “Les Mayens de Sion”. A British bomber had engine troubles. It flew at very low altitude above “Les Mayens de Sion” vainly attempting to go up. Just as it was about to fly over the meadows of Thyon touched a high voltage line and crashed down. Its six passengers were burnt as it exploded.
Competent military authorities went to the spot and began an inquiry.
[three underlined * across the middle of the page]
A call from Sion :
The plane which crashed into the high voltage line which carries electricity to “La Dixence” crashed in flames near the water-tower not far from Nendaz Valley. The people of Vex, Nendaz and Veysonnaz, as well as a great many families spending their holidays in this country, were suddenly awakened.
First on the spot were men of the local guards and Gendarme Genoud from Basse Nendaz. When one got to Thyon, a dreadful sight awaited us. A pungent smell came from the charred corpses of the unfortunate airmen. Six or seven unrecognisable bodies. Only one escaped the fire but he is lifeless. He is a sergeant gunner. His name, Bolgar is written on his flying suit. Nothing remains, as it were, of the charred aeroplane. One can notice machine guns and bombs which have not yet exploded. An engine can be found further than 500 metres from the point of impact. The soldiers are on spot and the inquiry has begun with competent military authorities. Experts are unloading the bomber.
[three * across the middle of the page]
Where the victims will be buried:
It is stated that the English Legation in Berne has given instructions to have the victims’ corpses taken to Vevey. This town has a (Church of England) church with a private graveyard. The funeral service of the English airmen killed at Bouveret and at.Thyon our Sion last Tuesday night will be held in Vevey church on Thursday afternoon.
The airmen will be lying in the part of the graveyard reserved to the British in the First World War. The services will be performed by a protestant and a catholic chaplain. The Air Force attache of the British Legation in Berne is dealing with the ceremony. Three hearses left Lausanne on Tuesday morning to collect the corpses but two are still missing.
The airmen will be buried in crews.
[page break]
[underlined] Bombs falling in Vaud, Freiburg, Neauchatel and Berne Cantons [/underlined]
It is said officially :
In the night of the 13th of July about 100 foreign planes entered Switzerland 3000 metres high from 0.04 hours until 0.51 hours between Porentruy and Le Brassus. The planes left Switzerland in the area of Geneva Lake and the Tessin. Some of them flew over the frontier.
Bombs have been dropped near Riggisley (canton of Berne), near Flammat (canton of Freiburg), in the area of Maennlichen (Oberland Bernois) as well. One house was destroyed and another one caught fire. No victims for the moment. In Flammat the explosion has made havoc in cultivations and houses around 800 metres. The nearest house of the falling place (about 150 metres) has substantial damage. The roofing tiles have been flown [sic] off on a corner of the roof. The roofs of other houses in the distance have damage as well. All the window panes have been smashed into bits. It seems it might be one of the biggest missiles.
Near Saligny, exactly in Mollie-Margot, a lot of incendiary bombs fell down the fields around the hamlet making big explosions and opening craters in the earth. Some of them did not explode. Most of the others burst up setting the village in a flutter. There are no victims. Unexploded bombs have been neutralised.
A bomb fell on Geneveys sur Coffrane named place Les Hotets (Neuchatel). The deflaration [sic] was quite mighty scaring all the areas population. A thick cloud of smoke hung over the station.
The projectile fell in forest within 50 metres from Mr. A. Nydeggers’ farm. This one has severe damage: a roof smashed open, doors and windows blown out. An animal has been injured on the grazing ground. Damages are also severe in the forest. A 2000 kg. bomb is likely to have fallen from one of the planes.
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[page break]
Before the reading of the Gospels, English soldiers (interned) and Swiss soldiers took their places at the foot and head of the 14 coffins. They are at attention. The band plays ‘God Save The King’; the slab supporting the coffins are lifted, the soldiers slowly let them down on ropes to the bottom of the communal graves. The Absolution is given by Father Kurfurst, then Mr. Legg and the British Minister perform the symbolic gesture of throwing handfuls of earth onto the coffins. Three salvos fired by a Swiss miliary [sic] detachment frighten the birds and small children (whom one might have wished to have been elsewhere than at a cemetery), trumpets sound and the ceremony ends with the laying of magnificent wereaths [sic] by the British Minister at Berne and the R.A.F. representative. These wreaths were brought by 4 English soldiers. They placed them against the posts previously set up in front of the graves.
Impressed by so much simplicity coupled with an absence of words which said much more than a thousand speeches, the crowd slowly withdraws as the military attaches come and bow before the graves where a quantity of flowers simple bunches, are piled up on the ground, an expression of the warmth of feeling felt towards the victims of the war.
[page break]
[underlined] Extract 5. Dated 16 July, 1943
THE FUNERAL OF 14 BRITISH AIRMEN [/underlined]
As was the be expected a very big crowd flocked to the St. Martins Cemetery yesterday afternoon to be present at the funeral of the British airmen, victims of implacable fate/duty, who had on Tuesday night come down above Bouveret and on the Alp de Thyond (Valais).
Those responsible for the control of the public, a task well organised by the police under command of M. Carrel, did not have an easy task and it was only with difficulty that they could curb the enthusiasm of the crowd once they were allowed free entry.
It was a splendid afternoon and bright sunlight shone down on the St. Martins cemetery where the slight cypress trees, as upright and straight as candles, offer intermittent shade.
At 15.00 hours, already a great crowd was thronging on the St.Martin terrace where the official funeral procession was to form up. Behind the British cemetery the final preparations were being completed. Innumerable and splendid wreaths - perhaps a hundred - were set out on trestles, producing a guard of flowers for the coffins. They had been sent from every part of Switzerland, from every British community. Notably present were representatives from the British legation in Berne, the R.A.F., the British Legion, English internees, Greek, Belgium, Dutch, Yugoslavia colonies, the U.S.A., Palestine, etc.
About 16.20 hours, a battalion brass band plays Beethoven’s Funeral March. A moving moment. The official personalities and delegations arrive. The procession is headed by the representatives of the British Legation in Berne, amonst [sic] others, His Excellency Mr. Clifford J. Norton, C.M.G., C.V.P., envoy extraordinary and plenipotentiary minister, Air Commodore F.M.F. West, V.C., MC., Air Attache Colonel H.A. Cartwright, M.C., Military Attache, Major H.N. Fryer, assistant Military Attache. They are follow by representatives from the U.N. diplomatic corps, military attaches in full uniform, the Verney municipal representative, Officers from our Army, headed by Major Bossier of the 10th Territorial ‘arrondissement’ commanded by Colonel Carrupt, plus representatives of Air Defence are present.
The Aga Khan, spiritual leader of 80 million Muslems, [sic] staying at the Hotel des 3 Couronnes is also present. A fine wreath from him had been sent beforehand. There are no speeches. Only the church officials speak; they are the English priests Legg (Vevey), Heywood (Clarens), Middleton (Lausanne), Williams (Geneva) and Father Kurfurat (Vevey). They all wear surplice.
[underlined] END OF EXTRACT FIVE [/underlined]
[page break]
The English four engine plane crashed against two sides of le Grammont near Bussien quarries above le Bouveret. It came down right in the middle of forest which was destroyed over an area of 150/200 metres. On hitting the ground, the plane broke up into a thousand pieces and produced a crater ending in a gully filled with debris and loose rock which rolled to the foot of the hill.
Incendiary bombs were found in several places. It is not yet known whether the full bomb load exploded after the crash. The only certainty is that no (bomb) pieces have been recovered.
The rush of flames was so fierce (obviously from an exploded bomb) that several windows were broken in le Bouveret of course and in the surrounding district. The paper ‘Revue’ points out that at Montreux a big mirror 3.50 metres long and 2.50 metres hight, [sic] seven millimetres thick, was shattered in the hall of the Hotel Eden. A window was blown in under the ‘Palace’.
[underlined] SWISS PROTEST IN LONDON [/underlined]
The Swiss legation in London was immediately told to protest with the greatest firmness against this new and serious violation of Swiss neutrality committed by many English planes during the night of 12/13 July to demand reparation for damage caused in various places by the bombs dropped on Swiss territory.
[underlined] END OF EXTRACT THREE
Extract 4. Dated 14 July 1943. [/underlined]
The funeral the British aircrew killed on active service at Bouveret and Alpe de Thyon on Tuesday morning will take place at Vevey on Thursday at 1630 hours, the burial arrangements are being made by the Air Attache of the Great Britain Legation in Berne.
3 hearses from Lausanne undertakers left on Tuesday at 1300 hours to collect the bodies, one to Bouveret and two to Sion; 7 bodies have already been brought in and the coffins are in the Crematorium: the others will arrive today.
Already in Vevey cemetery are the graves of British soldiers who died in internment during the last war. The airmen will be buried in groups. The ceremony will be led by Protestant and English Catholic Chaplains.
The Airmens’ [sic] last resting places are ready, close to the British cemetery.
[three underlined * across the middle of the page]
[page break]
[underlined] FLAMMAT: [/underlined] 13th. During Tuesday night a bomb dropped by a plane exploded near some hours [sic] of the “Bergli” hamlet in the parish of Ueberstrof. The explosion caused damage to crops and houses over a radius of 800 metres. The house nearest to where the bomb fell (about 150 metres) suffered considerable damage. The windows of all the houses were shattered. It appears to have been a higher powered bomb than normal. There were no casualties.
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[underlined] FRIBOURG: 13th. [/underlined] During Tuesday night bombs were dropped on the hamlet of Praratout, attached to the Friourg [sic] enclose of Surpierre, three kilometres from Lucens.
[short line across middle of the page]
During the night of Tuesday, a bomb fell over “Les Geneveys-sur-Coffrane (Val de Ruz). It fell in the forest about 50 metres from the farm of M.A. Nydegger which suffered considerable damage. In the fields one animal was hurt.
[three underlined * across the middle if the page]
Concerning the plane which fell at Thyon above Mayens de Sion, we are informed that there would appear to have been eight victims who [sic] bodies were hard to recover, scattered as they were amongst the debris spread over an area 150 metres in diameter. The bomber crahsed [sic] against a hillside.
[underlined] END OF EXTRACT TWO [/underlined]
The Dixence “chateau” (country house) with water some 100 metres from the artificial channel.
Amonst [sic] the still smouldering debris on Tuesday morning at six o’clock a large quantity of unexploded bombs were found, along with broken flying instruments, a pneumatic canoe with its unflating [sic] bottle and two machine guns. Only one body could be identified - that of the English Sergeant Bolger. It is confirmed that the plane did not touch the high-tension cable but that it must have come down in flames.
An engine from the plane broke off and is lying in the field, about 100 metres lower down. This is probably the reason why the plane crashed but it is not impossible that it may have been hit by a shell from our Ack-Ack.
A high calibre bomb fell above Heremence village into the rock in which it produced a crater five metres deep and 15 metres in diameter. Several flares were dropped by the pilots. On falling the flares caused small fires.
[three underlined * across the middle if the page]
[page break]
[underlined] A POWERFUL BOMB DROPPED OVER HEMERENCE [/underlined]
By carrying out esearches, [sic] it has been possible to establish the cause of the first explosion that was heard. A 4000 lb. bomb fell near Hemerence , not far from the hamlet of Riod between the former 5 gate of the flow pipe and the pastures of Thyon. It dug out a fifteen foot deep and 45 foot wide funnel into the rock.
In the village, every pane was shattered and the shutters blown off. Around the funnel a large field of rhododentrons [sic] was seen to be been mown down level with the ground, as if by a scythe.
Official investigations only got there around 5am after many a vain search. Yesterday afternoon, amongst officials one could see M. Le. Conseiller d’Etat (State Counsellor), Mr. Fama and Gendarme Theiller. Some readers objected: How was it that the occupants did not have time to bale out? We have answered by this arithmetic demonstration:
A bomber flies at 400km. an hour. That is 200km. per 30 minutes, 100km. per 15 miles [sic] or 10km. per 90 seconds; 10km. is the distance between Sanetsch and Les Mayens de Sion.
If the engine has been touched by by an A.A. shell (as it seems likely) in the region of Sanetsch, the crew had only 90 seconds left to rid of the heavy weights, bomb, burning engine, and find if possible a landing strip in the midst of the storm gathering its opaque clouds over Thyon. 90 seconds, that’s very little.
[underlined] THE PLANE HAD TAKEN AWAY THE HIGH VOLTAGE LINE [/underlined]
Let’s remember that the Lancaster weighs between 30 and 40 tons.
The proportions of the wrecks have deceived even the witnesses. Several have, in good faith, believed that the tail of the plane has disappeared. It is a mistake. What they mistook for the body of the craft is the tail, which bears the gunner’s turret. The forepart has been burnt out, has vanished.
On the other hand, contrary to the first information, the plane has fallen onto high voltage line, which caused s short circuit and perhaps set fire to the craft, as well. At Benson, in the tunnel being built, this short circuit switched off the light and the electric pumps so that the water rose immediately. The miners had to run out of the emergency exits to escape the flood.
[page break]
[underlined] THE STATEMENTS OF A PILOT [/underlined]
One of the pilots who took part in the raid at Turin disclosed a detail which allows up [sic] to understand better the reason why the airmen were looking for a landing strip.
He stated to Exchange agency: “This venture has probably been the most risky of those in which I took part. when [sic] we had flown several hundreds of kilometres, we arrived in an electric storm which, further on, changed into a violent tempest. Because of the electric tempest, some apparatus didn’t work normally and several pilots lost their direction. We tried to escort the planes in trouble and to show them the route to follow”.
The planes, if one includes their way back, have flown 2000 miles.
[underlined] DAMAGES AT LE BOUVERET [/underlined]
Nearly all the houses in Le Bouveret had a large number of panes and windows broken. At the Co-operative, large mirrors worth about 2000 F. some others in Hotel Bellevue worth several hundred francs, have been shattered. Shutters have been blown off. The church has not been spared. On its floor fragments of gypsum have been found and two others of the stained glass windows have been broken.
[underlined] THE TRAGIC RAID AT TURIN [/underlined]
Thirteen 4-engined planes have not come back from this air raid. The Italian communique says that the centre of Turin underwent considerable damage. There are 101 dead and 203 wounded.
At the R.A.F. H.Q. it is stated : during Thursday night, strong formations of bombers attacked the industrial Italian town of Turin, which has a great importance not only by its industrial output, but also as a railway junction. The British bombers arrived over Turin in very propitious weather and moonlight made it easier for them to reconnoitre the targets. Thousands of incendiary and explosive bombs were launched, causing vast fires and heavy damages. On their way there and back the aircraft met with heavy storms which originated several crashes.
[underlined] SWISS PROTEST IN LONDON [/underlined]
A Swiss Legation in London was immediately told to protest with the utmost vigour against the latest serius [sic] violation of the Swiss neutrality, caused by many British planes in the night of the 12th July and to claim reparation of the damages caused by the bombs which had fallen on several spots of the Swiss territory.
[page break]
[underlined] A Chilling Sight [/underlined]
On Tuesday morning, at half past six, the wreck of the four-engined bomber that crashed into Thyon ridges 20 metres below the J.O.C. hut were still burning. As soon as the first arrivals came, a terrible sight was shown to them. Eight corpses among which seven are completely charred are found in the machine. The plane has been completely destroyed. an [sic] engine had cast off and lies some 100 metres lower, which allows us to think that the plane was already on fire when it crashed into the ground.
Just around the wrecks of the majestuous U.E. bomber, non exploded bombs, equipment, a rubber boat. Only one of the corpses can have been identified, English Sergeant Bolger’s.
Two machine guns and ammunitions, lots of them, are scattered around the wrecks as well. It is most likely that the plan [sic] was shot at while flying over the Alps, by an incendiary A.A. shell. It’s not fitting to say that it is because of a high voltage line. Let’s remember that a few minutes after the catastrophe which we witnessed from a distance, a violent storm had burst. It is also likely that the plane had to land because of magnetic effects on the engines that might have suffered a lack of power, fatal to the airmen.
The present investigations will solve these questions.
[page break]
[underlined] A WITNESS’s RELATION [/underlined]
The first car coming ton the area of Petit Vallon near the hut of the Collons arrived at the top of Mayens of Thyon 20 minutes after the crash.
Some passengers of the car related the sight. About 20 shepherds, most of them with shirts on ran about briskly around the burning machine, petrified with terror, once the petrol had exploded. Apart from the rear gun turret gunner who was thrown out of his seat, the [deleted] seven [/deleted] [inserted] six [/inserted] other [inserted] CONTORTED [/inserted] assengers [sic] crumpled up packed in the pit. Only remains can be seen. Further the gunner lying [underlined] contored [sic] [/underlined] wears his big airman overall. He’s still wearing his headphones. The plane turned up on a wing. The other one has been pulled out.
In the night it is a gloomy scene. Flames rise up into the sky, as black as ink, where the storm rumbles. They light up the cows which are grazing a few yards away from the charred wrecks. They look at the sight with placidity. Whereas the white silhouettes of the terrified humans shout and gesticulate, powerless around glowing and crackling scraps of iron.
The funerals will take place in Vevey after the corpses have been taken to the valley. Two funeral hearses from Vevey waited this morning at Planta Square in Sion for the grave diggers to be back. Vevey City owns a church of England with its private graveyard. They unfortunate airmen will be lying in crews in the part of the graveyard reserved to the interned British people during World War 1.
Military experts went this morning to the pastures of Thyon in order to make the official enquiry going on. The wreck of the plane is leaning on the Mount of the water tower of Dixens electric plant. It covers a large area. The span of the wings has been measured, they are 40 metres long.
The two four engined machines that have had such a tragic end on. Valaisan ground belonged to the Flights which bombed Turin on the dawn of Tuesday.
[page break]
[underlined] A Chilling Sight [/underlined]
On Tuesday morning, at half past six, the wreck of the four-engined bomber that crashed into Thyon ridges 20 metres below the J.O.C. hut were still burning. As soon as the first arrivals came, a terrible sight was shown to them. Eight corpses among which seven are completely charred are found in the machine. The plane has been completely destroyed. an [sic] engine had cast off and lies some 100 metres lower, which allows us to think that the plane was already on fire when it crashed into the ground.
Just around the wrecks of the majestuous U.E. bomber, non exploded bombs, equipment, a rubber boat. Only one of the corpses can have been identified, English Sergeant Bolger’s.
Two machine guns and ammunitions, lots of them, are scattered around the wrecks as well. It is most likely that the plan [sic] was shot at while flying over the Alps, by an incendiary A.A. shell. It’s not fitting to say that it is because of a high voltage line. Let’s remember that a few minutes after the catastrophe which we witnessed from a distance, a violent storm had burst. It is also likely that the plane had to land because of magnetic effects on the engines that might have suffered a lack of power, fatal to the airmen.
The present investigations will solve these questions.

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“Extracts from 'Nouvelliste Valaisan',” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 10, 2019, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/2256.

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