SCHOOLCHILDREN laid poppy crosses on the Preseli Hills crash site of a wartime bomber and joined relatives who had travelled from across the world to remember the crew on the 75th anniversary of the crash – Thursday, September 19.

Under clear blue skies more than 70 people, including pupils from Maenclochog and Brynconin primary schools, tackled the steep climb onto one of the highest Preseli ridges to gather by a memorial plaque.

On the night of September 19, 1944 Liberator EV881 of 547 Squadron, RAF, from St Eval in Cornwall crashed on the hillside. Six of the nine-man crew died and three survived.

The commemoration was organised by two founder members of the Pembrokeshire Aviation Group, Malcolm Cullen and John Evans. In 1984 the group was formed to remember the Liberator crew and a plaque was subsequently placed there.

Honoured guests were relatives of three of the Liberator’s crew.

From Melbourne, Australia, came Norman Evans and his wife, Lynette. Norman was just five years old when his brother, Robert, a wireless operator/air gunner, died.

Jane Williams, daughter of one of the survivors – navigator Richard Shearly – travelled from California, USA, with her husband, Tom.

And several members of the Strawbridge family from Doncaster – relatives of flight engineer Ray Sellors who also died – made the special journey to Pembrokeshire.

The Standards of the Haverfordwest and Maenclochog Branches, Royal British Legion, were paraded and Squadron Leader Albie Fox represented today’s RAF and the Air Officer Wales, Air Commodore Adrian Williams.

Graham Clarkson, Aviation Group Chairman, welcomed everyone and the short service was led by Malcolm Cullen and John Evans. A large red, white and blue wreath was joined by flowers and poppy crosses laid by family members and the schoolchildren.

Later in the day relatives and friends visited City Road Cemetery, Haverfordwest, to lay flowers on the graves of four of the Liberator’s crew.