View Full Version : Tregonning Hill Beaufort Crash Memorial

14-03-2012, 00:04
It was fitting that I should find this memorial on a very foggy day as poor visibility played a part in the crash. While on patrol at 10.22 hrs on the 26th September 1941, a Hudson spotter plane sighted a merchant vessel about 35 miles south-west of Belle Isle in the Bay of Biscay. Three Beaufort Bombers of 217 Squadron Coastal Command were dispatched from RAF St Eval at 11.50 hrs to attack what believed to be an enemy vessel. Two of the bombers were unable to find the vessel, the third bomber saw it but didnít attack. Returning to base they broke formation. One plane landed at RAF Chivenor and another at St Eval. The third plane Beaufort MK1 No.W6483 M-WA failed to return. It had crashed at 1620 in bad visibility on the edge of the County Quarry on Tregonning Hill. The machine was completely burnt-out and the four occupants killed. The crash was heard in a number of the villages around. For example, see Denys Bryant's account from the village of Breage http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/51/a6084551.shtml

The crew were Pilot Officer James Richards Harrison 89822 age 24, Pilot Officer Paul Francis Opperman 100561 (Observer) age 19, Sgt Harold Leslie Carter 11622321 (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) age 25 and Sgt Dennis Albert Ryder 1255613 (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) age 21.

The memorial was placed by the Balwest Heritage Society at the crash site which is in thick undergrowth right on the edge of the old quarry. It took 3 visits to find it as it teters at the edge of a considerable drop!

Richard Flagg
14-03-2012, 09:08
Phil, thanks for posting those photos and information up, can you give a location link of grid ref of it please?

14-03-2012, 10:22
Never knew that was there and looks as if it has been for some time. Very atmospheric photo's. I did some work in that area some years ago, is it just SSE of Goldolphin Hill? ...can't quite make it out on the map.

14-03-2012, 13:05


Richard Flagg
14-03-2012, 13:35


Thanks Phil

airfields man
14-03-2012, 20:52
Many thanks for showing that memorial. It looks to me a very lonely and long-forgotten stone that's well overdue for refurbishing. This is the kind of thing that a certain Mr Bannerman should be helping instead of gloryfying himself around every former WW2 airfield there was.

15-03-2012, 00:26
The memorial is about 100m from the Germoe War Memorial on top of Tregonning Hill. That memorial can be seen from miles around.

The location and the poor visibility would have made the rescue attempt and then recovery very difficult. Hopefully by posting its picture on here the sacrifice and service of the crew will be better remembered.

10-10-2014, 12:10
I see that Tregonning Hill is up for sale. The article in the local paper makes no mention of the crash memorial by the quarry.