Leslie Pulfrey



Leslie Pulfrey


An account about an airman who parachuted to his death after his aircraft was shot down.




Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage



Two handwritten sheets


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.





August 1990

Dear Reader.
The following story is what I can tell about Leslie Pulfrey, an English soldier during World War II.
June 17th 1944 11.00pm many English bombers came back out of Germany. Flying above our village Aalten, one of them was shot down by an anti-aircraft gun.
It crashed about 4 miles (6 Km) ahead; that’s what we came aware of the next day.
The rest of the evening and night it was quiet outside.
The following morning Johan van Erden, one of our neighbours, dropped in at 6.00am and told us that a soldier was lying in our pasture near his house.
We went there and found the soldier lying in the grass. The parachute was torn and part of the equipment was missing. He had been hanging on his parachute instead of sitting in it.
We saw the wires of the equipment had caused his death. He was stitched.
Perhaps the parachute opened too soon and was damaged by the plane the soldier was jumping out. He had no boots on his feet. One of them was found half a mile away later that year during the harvest time. Had he thrown them away to lose weight? We will never know.
We realized that he probably belonged to the bomber that crashed the night before.
The young man had lived almost till that very moment because his body still was warm.
To notice this was something that gave me a bad
[page break]
feeling for a long time. Why didn’t we find him a little earlier?
A doctor later on declared that he must have been in coma for all those hours. That would mean that he didn’t suffer from pain during that time.
We found out that his name was L. Pulfrey and that he was an English soldier, 29 years old. His name was also on his wrist-watch.
I took off his wrist-watch with the intention of sending it to his family.
Other people who were there too, told me not to do so.
Because the authorities might criticize this as violation of a corps (desecration).
That’s why I put it on again.
Although he is buried in Varsseveld by now I’m almost certain that they buried him at Aalten cemetery first. He was reunited with the other victims of the bomber accident after Worl War II.
Gerrit van Eerden.


G H Eerden, “Leslie Pulfrey,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 21, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/30165.

Item Relations

This item has no relations.