Tribute from Spilsby at air crash site

Two wreaths have been laid at the site where a Lancaster bomber that flew from Spilsby and was shot down in Germany during the Second World War, during a visit by Spilsby Twinning Association. ANL-161031-164418001
Two wreaths have been laid at the site where a Lancaster bomber that flew from Spilsby and was shot down in Germany during the Second World War, during a visit by Spilsby Twinning Association. ANL-161031-164418001

The daughter of a surviving crew member of a Lancaster bomber that flew from Spilsby and was shot down in Germany during the Second World War has spoken of the moving ceremony she attended near the crash site.

Anne Davies and her sister, Mary Nichols, were special guests of a party of 30 members of the Spilsby and District Twinning Association on an exchange visit to the town of Bassum in Germany last weekend.

Their father, Philip Paddock, was one of four members of the seven-strong crew who parachuted to safety and was taken prisoner.

A special ceremony was held in the presence of the Mayor of Bassum, Christian Porsch, at the site, where two poppy wreaths were laid – one by clerk to Spilsby Town Council Bonny Smith and the other by Shawn Thomas, chairman of the twinning association.

Mrs Davies said: “It was so peaceful at the site, except for the birds singing. The sun was coming through the morning haze and shining on a field of mustard flowers and all I could think of was the noise and confusion there must have been when the Lancaster crashed.

“The ceremony was so moving and well-planned. We were overwhelmed by the way the Spilsby group opened their hearts to us and by the hospitality of the German family we stayed with.”

In a short speech, the Mayor of Bassum said that everybody must collaborate on peace in Europe and that treating each other with respect was of high importance.

Mr Thomas spoke about the history of the RAF base at Spilsby and Mrs Smith read the names of the Lancaster’s crew.

The visit also saw a group of 16-year-old footballers hosted by families of junior footballers from Neubruchhausen, a village close to Bassum, ahead of a match on the Saturday including two other German teams.

Spilsby Juniors came second in this competition, finishing above their Neubruchhausen hosts. They were awarded the Tong Engineering sports trophy. It is hoped Neubruchhausen will send a team to Spilsby next year to compete for the trophy again.