A Visit to the Memorial Stone in 1999 by Helge Christiansen   På dansk      Updated:  12 DEC 2010

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 interred in
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 from the
area. The visit ended with coffee and a lunch in Stillinge village hall.

 On 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:  

                                                                                                                     DONALD V.SMITH
                                                                                                                           DFM  CD
                                                                                                                         1921 – 1998
                                                                                                                  TOGETHER AT LAST

The ceremony 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 TV stations.
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
1943 rowed across the Øresund to Sweden.