21 April 2013 Stirling BF506 Monument 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Updated: 14 OCT 2013
My name is Philippa Tolley and my uncle Alan
was the pilot of the Stirling bomber that was brought down here 70 years ago. I
am speaking on behalf of the families
We are very grateful for the warm welcome and hospitality shown by the Home Guard and appreciate the time and effort made by all here, including the Defence Force, the Mayor of Hedensted and the Consul General to remember and acknowledge the sacrifice made by our relatives.
For those of us who live so far away, it is a comfort to know the efforts of our family members are respected in the place where they now rest.
Thank you on behalf of the relatives of the New Zealand crew."
I then gave another speech at the reception with word from my aunt.
"Like others of you here, I did not know my
uncle, but marvel at the courage, purpose, and what must have been a sense
of adventure that led this group to become
Nearly two years ago, my other Uncle, Harry,
who has since died, spoke about his pride in his brother and the sacrifice
these young men made. He talked about
It speaks volumes about their bravery that
they were willing and able to shoulder such a huge burden at such a young
age. At the time the bomber crashed Ian Salt
Despite the dangers facing them every time
they undertook a mission, Alan’s sister Phyllis says her brother spoke of
the fun they had in the day to relieve the tension
My aunt lives in Taupo in New Zealand and two of her granddaughters are here today, as well as my brother.
Phyllis wrote a few words for this occasion, which I will read here:
The memory of these brave young men has
been kept alive by these wonderful Danish people all these years and today
is a special anniversary after
The gratitude of my family and the families of all the crew know no bounds. Beyond the tragedy of their untimely deaths, bonds have been made here which must forever give even greater value to the peace of the world, which these young men gave their lives for.
My younger brother would have been so
proud to look upon the grand young people here today and to know the courage
in all of them to go forth to
My aunt ends by saying: My thoughts and prayers are certainly with you today as we all remember our brave young men.
In the letter he left behind for his parents
in the event of his death, Alan spoke of his great concern that as pilot and
captain he would never let his crew down and
This war cost the lives of so many young men
from so many countries. But today again shows the importance of friends and
family as we gather, again from different parts of the world, to remember
the very great sacrifice made by these men and to thank those here in
Denmark who have continued to acknowledge their
Thank you Anders for all the information you
shared with us during the weekend and all the time you put into your
research. It was a pleasure to meet you.