02.09.1943 No. 11 O.T.U. Wellington IC R1451 KX-P Fl/Sgt. Rickersey (New 04-10-2012) Location: Approx. 12 miles SSW of Wescott, Oxfordshire. +
Mission: Night Training

Date: 2nd September 1943 (Thursday)

Unit: No 11 Operational Training Unit

Type: Wellington IC

Serial: R1451

Code: KX-P

Base: R.A.F. Westcott, Buckinghamshire

Location: Approx. 12 miles SSW of Westcott, Oxfordshire

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Sydney George Rickersey 420272. R.A.A.F. Age 29. Killed

Nav: Fl/Sgt. Kenneth George Fitzgerald 422640. R.A.A.F. Age 22. Killed

Air/Bmr: P/O. Stanley Maxwell Johnston 425166. R.A.A.F. Age 23. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Francis William Nixon 1134784. R.A.F.V.R. Age 25. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Ronald John Clifford 424119. R.A.A.F. Age 19. Killed


Took off from RAF Westcott at for a night training bombing exercise. This aircraft crashed at 21.45 hours approx. 5 miles east of their base at Westcott west of the small village of Pyrton less than a mile north of Watlington, Oxfordshire. The reason for the air crash has never been established

New memorial unveiled on the 3rd October 2012 to the crew of Wellington R1451, 11 O.T.U. at Watlington, with 16 crew relatives in attendance.
The Aircrew Remembrance Society represented by Mr. David King and Mrs. Kate Tame.

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Sydney George Rickersey. Oxford (Botley) Cemetery. Plot I/2 Grave 57
Son of George James Rickersay and Ann Alice Rickersey of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Husband of Ellem Mary Rickersey of Waverley, New South Wales, Australia

Fl/Sgt. Kenneth George Fitzgerald. Oxford (Botley) Cemetery. Plot I/2 Grave 58
Son of Harold Henry and Edith Farrell Fitzgerald. Husband of Enid Esther Fitzgerald of Manly, New South Wales, Australia

P/O Stanley Maxwell Johnston. Oxford (Botley) Cemetery. Plot I/2 Grave 54
Son of John Wesley Johnston and Frances Margaret Johnston of Kingaroy, Queenslands, Australia

Sgt. Francis William Nixon. Galloon (St Comgall) Church of Ireland Churchyard
Son of Robert James Nixon and Emily Jane Nixon. Husband of Mary Elleanor Nixon of Newtown Butler, County Fermanagh, Ireland

Sgt. Ronald John Clifford. Oxford (Botley) Cemetery. Plot I/2 Grave 59
Son of Edward Timothy and Mary Assissuim Clifford of Randwick, New South Wales, Australia

Researched by: Kate Tame and Lynne Parker for the A.R. Society and the relatives of the crew

Further tributes were made to the crew when John Buchanan, husband of Patricia ne ‘Johnston’ (Niece of P/O S.M. Johnston) the Navigator killed on Wellington R1451. Paid a visit with other members of his family, on her behalf.

28th May 2013.

Buchanan family visit to England, Wellington R1451 crew memorial.

On Tuesday 28th May a party of five relatives of F/Lt M.S. Buchanan D.F.C., his sister, three nephews and a niece, called in to pay their respects at the crash site memorial to the crew of Wellington R1451. The family were on their way to Leeds to visit the crash site and grave of F/Lt  Buchanan, who was sadly killed in the crash of Halifax MZ810. The organizer of the trip was John Buchanan, (second left wearing bush hat in photo above), who is a relative by marriage to Patricia ne ‘Johnston’ (Niece of P/O S.M. Johnston) the Navigator killed on Wellington R1451.

Sadly the weather was against us as seen here as John protects camera prior to taking a photo,
to the right of the photo is the land owner Lynne Parker.

An overall view of the memorial site location in preparation.

In October last year a service for the crew was held around the plaque that was temporarily placed in the centre of field close to the crash site. It has since been moved to this position within a strip of woodland bordering the field. The site is currently under development and will eventuality incorporate an adequate ground covering, surround and bench seating, along with a memorial area for visitors to leave personal tributes. The memorial itself will eventually be built into an oak surround and placed on a plinth as the memorial centre piece.

John deep in thought at the memorial.

29 acc29 b
Left. P/O S.M. Johnston. Right F/Lt M.S. Buchanan.

Memorial plaque P/O Johnston and his crew.

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