Newspaper cutting reporting the Stirling crash



Newspaper cutting reporting the Stirling crash


This occurred on 1 December 1943, Ken Hook was the only crew member to survive. Five small children were killed.




Newspaper cutting


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Five children, aged from 1 to 9 years, were killed when an aircraft on Wednesday night crashed into Cliffe House, a small farmhouse near Amble, Northumberland. One of the crew was saved. The farmhouse is occupied by Mr. William Robson.
The children were Sylvia Robson (9), Ethel (7), Marjorie (5), William Matthew (3), and Sheila (1). They were in bed at the time following a party, and the father and mother and two friends, Mr. and Mrs. J. Rowall, of Pilston, Amble, were injured, but not seriously.
The survivor of the crew said that the plane had been experiencing trouble, but the pilot managed to keep it in the air until he was safely over the town, but after that was unable to maintain control and crashed into the farmhouse.
The airman saved owed his life to the courage and promptitude of Mr. Rowall, who rushed out and pulled him from the ‘plane though the man’s clothes were on fire. He rolled him on the ground and put the fire out.
With the children’s deaths Mr. and Mrs. Robson have lost the whole of their family.
Mr. James Rowell told a Press Association reporter last night: “We heard a ‘plane flying very low. I shouted, “Look out!” and we all threw ourselves on the floor. The house collapsed above our heads, and, looking upward, we saw the sky. Mrs. Robson shouted, ‘Oh, my poor bairns!’ and tried to make her way towards the stairs, which had been blown away.” The children’s partly charred bodies were later recovered.
Mr. and Mrs. Robson would have been in bed when the ‘plane crashed if they had not been visited by the Rowells. Mr. Rowell said: “We are the luckiest people in the world to be alive to-day. The chairs we were sitting on were smashed, and the walls in that part of the house are n[missing letters] more than 3ft. high now.”



“Newspaper cutting reporting the Stirling crash,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 3, 2023,

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