On Monday 3 May Englishmen and Canadians
visited Kirke Stillinge.
Donald V. Smith’s 3 sons Brian, David and
Curtis visited the memorial stone and the
field where their father’s bomber crashed i 1943.
Their father survived the crash
and returned to Canada. He died on 18 October 1998 at the age of 77. Now his
sons came to Denmark to fulfil their father’s last wish. He wanted his urn
Svinø Churchyard near the graves of his 7 mates.
5 guests from
England also took part in the visit. Elizabeth Horsford, the sister of the
perished Pilot Charles Parish, her son-in-law and her daughter, Dr. and
Mrs. Reid. And there was a veteran,
Charles Lofthouse, with his wife Joy. Some will remember him because of
the beautiful speech he delivered at the unveiling of the memorial
stone in 1993. Mrs. Horsford laid one of the wellknown wreaths with red
poppies at the memorial stone, and a bunch of flowers was laid by people
The visit ended with coffee and a lunch in Stillinge village hall.
Tuesday 4 May 1999 Donald Smith’s urn was interred in the lawn in
Svinø Churchyard 5 m from the graves of his mates. On 27 October 1999
a flat gravestone
was placed in the lawn with the inscription:
1921 – 1998
TOGETHER AT LAST
began in the church with 3 hymns and with a speech and Scripture reading by Vicar Mette Magnusson. She also read a poem that
Donald Smith once wrote in memory of his perished mates. Everything was in
English. After that his urn was interred in the presence of the 2 national
In the evening there was a memorial service in
Svinø Church as
every year on 4 May, followed by a ceremony in the churchyard. 4 planes from
Karup Air Base made
a fly-past. Speeches were delivered and wreaths were laid alternating with music
played by the band from Slagelse
CLAN ROSE PIPES & DRUMS of DENMARK
and by the trumpeters of the Horse
Guards. At all of the graves there were members of the Air Force Home Guard
as a guard of honour.
Also 2 of Donald Smith’s daughters-in-law and 3 visitors from New Zealand,
Cliff and Poula Cross with a grandchild, attended the ceremony.
Cliff’s brother Sydney Nelson Cross perished in an
air crash off Halskov in the same night when Smith’s
mates perished. Like them he is buried in Svinø Churchyard.
This year about 500 people attended the ceremony, including some
from Hejninge and Stillinge.
The Smiths from
Canada ended their visit to Denmark with a sight-seeing tour in Copenhagen. They
also saw the beach at Skodsborg from which Donald Smith in
rowed across the Øresund to Sweden.