Throughout Cumbria there are hundreds of sites where aircraft have crashed over the years. Some of these were civilian but most were military. Of the latter a significant number fell to earth during the second world war.
Perhaps the most famous crash site is that on Great Carrs, a wild fell lying to the south of Wrynose.
On the night of October 22 1944 Handley Page Halifax LL505 FD-S was on a night training exercise flying out of RAF Topcliffe, Yorkshire. It was part of 1659 Heavy Conversion Unit in No 6 Group, Bomber Command.
On the fateful night Pilot John Johnston flew low over the hills in an easterly direction so that the navigator could get a ground fix. However, the aircraft hit the ridge between Great Carrs and Swirl How before plunging over the crest. All 8 crew were killed.
The crew were:
Pilot - F/O John A Johnston, RCAF (C/29783), aged 27, of Carp, Ontario, Canada.Navigator - F/O Francis A Bell, RCAF (J/39888), aged 33, of Hampton, New Brunswick, Canada.BA - P/O Robert N Whitle, RCAF (J/38243), aged 20, of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.Flight Eng - Sgt Harvey E Pyche, RCAF (R/225354), aged 21, of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Canada.Flight Eng - Sgt William B Ferguson, RAFVR (1826294), aged 19, of Caldercruix, Scotland.Wireless Op / AG - Sgt Calvin G Whittingstall, RCAF (R/198207), aged 20, of Mount Dennis, Ontario, Canada.AG - Sgt Donald F Titt, RCAF (R/271259), aged 19, of Rockwood, Ontario, Canada.AG - Sgt George Riddoch, RCAF (R/259938), aged 20, of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.Ferguson was buried at New Monkland Cemetery, Lanarkshire. The rest of the crew were buried together at Blacon cemetery, Chester.
At some time a cairn was constructed on Great Carrs and bits of the aircraft brought to it, specifically the under carriage. More recently a memorial plaque was placed at the site.