Remembered Today: Sergeant-Pilot 562657 Maurice Cotterell

Maurice Charles Cotterell was the eldest son of Charles Cotterell and Dorothy Cotterell (née Hensley) of Leamington Road, Broadway. He was born in Broadway on 16 March 1912, the brother of Winifred and Michael.

After leaving Prince Henry’s School, Maurice worked at Russell’s, for the furniture designer Sir Gordon Russell, in the village before joining the RAF. He served at RAF Halton, Buckinghamshire, with 90 Squadron as a Sergeant-Pilot.

Maurice was killed, aged 27, in an air crash in 23rd March 1940. He was piloting a Bristol Blenheim Mk. IV L4873 when it flew into Foel Wen in the Berwyn Mountains, Wales, after breaking formation from two other aircraft after entering cloud. All three members of the crew, Maurice, Sergeant Observer Ronald J. Harbour and Aircraftman 2nd Class Kenneth C. Winterton (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) were killed instantly.

Maurice and his crew, were buried in the churchyard at St Mary the Virgin Church, Shawbury, on Shropshire, on 28th March 1940. Canon Burns conducted the funeral which was attended by Maurice’s widow and family. His coffin was draped in the Union Flag and borne by members of the RAF.

Maurice was the first man from Broadway to be killed in the Second World War and had only been married Marjory Patricia Ingram, of Abingdon, for 7 weeks. He is commemorated on the Broadway War Memorial and on the Roll of Honour inside St Michael and All Angels Church.

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

 

 

 

Sources:

Peak District Air Accident Research

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remembered Today: Sergeant Air Gunner 1815603 Peter Samuel Cotterell (1923 – 1945)

Peter Samuel Cotterell was born in Broadway, in 1923, the son Mildred Agnes Cotterell. Peter was a member of Broadway Air Training Corps and joined the RAF Voluntary Reserve in the summer of 1944.

Headstone of Sergeant Peter Samuel Cotterell

Headstone Sgt. Peter S. Cotterell,
Dürnbach War Cemetery
(Dom Howard from http://www.158squadron.co.uk)

Peter trained as an Air Gunner with training unit 1664 HCU before being posted to 158 Squadron, on 9th November 1944, at RAF Lissett, Yorkshire.

The following year, Peter was killed whilst on a bombing mission, Operation Hanau1, in a Halifax Mk. III NR195 NP-I. At 3.44pm, on 6th January 1944, the Halifax took off from RAF Lissett. After bombing its target the Halifax was involved in a mid-air collision with a Lancaster (PB288) from 635 Squadron. Shortly after 7pm, 17,000 feet above Grossauheim, near Hanau on the east bank of the River Main, the Halifax strayed into the path of the Lancaster and the Halifax disintegrated in mid-air2. All 7 members of the Halifax crew lost their lives: Flight Officer John J. Krefter (Pilot), Sergeant Alexander T. Clyde (Flight Engineer), Flight Sergeant Leslie G. Morgan (Navigator), Sergeant James Gore (Air Bomber), Flight Officer K. Nerney (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner), Sergeant Ernest H.M. Barr (Air Gunner) and Sergeant Peter S. Cotterell (Air Gunner). The pilot of the Lancaster PB288, Flight Lieutenant Rowland RAAF, was the sole survivor of his crew and he was captured by the Germans the following day 25 miles from the crash scene.

Peter and the rest of the crew of the Halifax and those of the Lancaster were all initially buried in the cemetery at Grossauheim before being moved to Dürnbach War Cemetery in 1947.

Sergeant Peter Cotterell is also commemorated on the Broadway War Memorial and on the Roll of Honour inside St Michael and All Angels Church, Broadway.

We will remember them.

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

 
Notes:
1. Hanau, east of Frankfurt, was an important junction on the German railway system.
2. The Germans tried to take credit for the two aircraft claiming their Flak battery had taken down the aeroplanes.

 

Sources:
http://www.158squadron.co.uk
Air Crew Remembered

Trooper Frank Cotterell Wounded in Gallipoli, August 1915

Francis Cotterell, known as Frank, was the eldest son of Samuel and Frances Cotterell. His father farmed land on Willersey Hill above Broadway and owned The Fish Inn at the top of Fish Hill. Frank enlisted with the Warwickshire Yeomanry at the beginning of the First World War and was posted to Egypt in April 1915 before being transferred to Gallipoli in the middle of August.

The Warwickshire Yeomanry arrived at Suvla Bay on the 18th August and during the Battle of Scimitar Hill, Frank was injured, receiving a gunshot wound to the wrist. By the end of the month, Frank had been evacuated from Gallipoli to the 15th General Hospital in Alexandria and was later posted home to recuperate. Whilst in hospital in Egypt, Frank wrote that his “wound was not going on as well as it should, the weather being too hot for wounds” and that he could not sleep.

At the end of the war Frank returned home and married Minnie Meadows in 1920. Frank died, aged 80, in 1965.