The first email from David Geddes to
Gregers Laigaard Updated:
03 OCT 2012
Editor Knud Gaarn-Larsen based his article My
uncle fell down in Grønhøj about Sgt Lewis Wilson
Morrison and Lancaster R5679 on this email
Here is the text with the kind permission of David Geddes.
Subject: Lancaster QMO R5679 crash at Gronhoj
Dear Mr Gregers Laigaard,
Re: Sgt Pilot Lewis Wilson Morrison - my uncle.
I am very pleased indeed to be introduced by Mr Anders Straarup, the WW2 aviation researcher. If you prefer I can have all correspondence translated to Danish.
You must find it strange that nearly 70 years after the death of my uncle Lewis Wilson Morrison (known as Wilson) that I now contact you. I was born in 1950.
My parents never talked of the war, and though I knew I had an uncle who was killed in the RAF, I knew nothing of him, and was not encouraged to ask questions.
I recently cleared my parents' house after their deaths and came across a huge volume of family material. I now know my mother had one very serious breakdown
after her brother's death and possibly two more while my sister and I were small children. Quite simply discussion of the matter could not be faced.
What I did know, was that all the relatives of the crew were told in 1943 that the bomber, said to be a Wellington, that the crew were all shot by the Germans as
they parachuted down. We now all know this not to be true, but I only learned the truth about the fight with Ob Lt Willi Eistermann from Karup and the crash of
R5679 in 2010, and neither of my parents ever knew the real story. This is such a pity. My mother died in 2007 with a very serious dislike of all things German,
including a refusal to visit me when I served there in the army in 1976-80.
My curiousity was fired up when I looked at some of the material in my parents' house. But internet searches for Lewis Morrison/ Wellington Bomber/ Denmark
brought no response at all. His body had been interred at Frederikshavn named 'Levis' and the plane was a Lancaster. The grave had been indentified to the
family by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. My father visited Denmark as a local government leader from Scotland,in 1964, and managed to photograph
the grave site in the Frederikshavn Cemetery. I think the photos taken were seen once in 1964 and put away until I found them a week ago.
I asked a Danish dentist friend with whom I have worked in Nepal and Tibet to conduct an internet search in Danish - and in 20 minutes she had found the
translated interview with your mother, giving an eye witness account and the location. I was shocked to my core to uncover this. (See The sky lit up - - AS.)
I have to say immediately I am so very grateful to your mother for that interview which has allowed me to carry out so much research, reveal the names of the crew
and their relatives, communicate with many of them, and understand the nature of the air fight and the crash. I am so very very grateful. She has kept them all alive
in our memories.
I have been in touch with Mr Anders Straarup and Mr Soren Flensted, both of whom have been considerate and helpful.
I am very conscious that in 3 weeks it will be 70 years since the crash. I would very much have liked to visit Denmark on this occasion, visit Gronhoj and speak
with you and go to Frederikshavn and lay wreaths on all the crew graves.
My wife tells me I shall be far too emotional for this to be a good idea, and to leave matters to late spring 2013 when we have more time.
It is possible to fly Edinburgh to Billund with Ryanair on the summer schedule. If it were possible I would like to meet with you and stay at the Gronhojkro before
driving to Frederikshavn.
When I served in Germany - as a paratroop field surgeon with the front line field ambulance in Germany and with special forces - I once drove with my wife from
Minden to Norway to commence a mountaineering holiday by crossing the ferry from Hirtshals to Kristiansand. It is astonishing to think back, that I drove so
close, to both Gronhoj and Frederikshavn without knowing any of the history.
My father landed in Norway in 1939, travelled to South Africa, Mozambique, Ceylon and Egypt, fought at El Alamein after being commissioned, then Syria, Palestine, Libya, Sicily, Italy, where we were at the 4th battle of Monte Cassino, before India - Lucknow, Jaipur, Jhansi, and had to stay to help with the partition of India and Pakistan where he saw the worst death and atrocities of all. He did not return until 1947. He too had very little to say of the war and was very ambitious for myself
and my sister (triple degree doctor of medicine) to succeed in life.
So many family secrets and now my very strong desire to know everything and record it for the future of our family. Next month I am taking all my family to the
USA to meet three generations of the Morrison and Geddes families who emigrated in the 1920s - now about 20 families. The same recent ignorance - the same mysteries recently uncovered- and they are all anxious to know as much as they can of Lanc R5679. There are more family in Australia and Tasmania and
South Africa who are also very interested to know more.
I have posted public photograph albums at two locations which identify the family past and you are welcome to view these.
The first url commemorates Lewis Wilson Morrison
The second traces family homes in Aberdeen where
the family originates from - 8 generations of sea captains and sailors
continuously since 1760 and probably
If you feel free to talk about the crash, the
memories and knowledge of local people, and advice if there is any local
remembrance of the crew that died, and