As many of you will know, in addition to the appearance of the 'Lanc in the Lake' story in the last newsletter, the committee approved the addition of a crew plate on the memorial at Dunholme Lodge. Also, an invitation to the Towlson family to join us at Dunholme for the dedication ceremony on the Sunday morning of the Reunion weekend. In the event, Elaine Towlson, daughter of Flt Sgt Stan Shaw, rear gunner of the crew, her husband, two sons and a total of 10 family members joined us both for the ceremony and lunch at the Farmer's Arms afterwards. We can do no more than publish Russell Towlson's email expressing the family's gratitude to the Association.
Dear John, Henry and Phil,
I wanted to thank you both and indeed everyone present yesterday for making the Memorial Service so special for our family. We were all moved and touched by the warmth shown to us all and especially to my Mum. It's a truly great thing that you do in keeping people and memories of those who have passed together and long may it continue.
On the subject of letters and photos of Grandfather and the crew of DV202. My Mum handed me her precious folder with original telegram and letters from the Air Ministry regarding Grandfather's loss and also his Volunteer Reserve registration etc. It also has letters to my Grandmother and part of one in which he talks about when he flew with Wing Commander John Nettleton. We now know this is because Reg Harding the pilot of DV202 was injured on a mission and the crew were temporarily dispersed whilst he recovered.
Mum is happy for me to scan and send any of these that may be of interest to the association or the museum so let me know what I should send. Please bear with me as I have a short week this week so it may be next week before I can do this.
Once again, thank you for your kindness and support in what has been a real voyage of discovery for us all.
My best regards
We have invited Russell to liaise with Brian Wykes at Dunholme Lodge so that the family's historical material can be included in the archive at the airfield museum. A few examples of the material on file are reproduced below.
The following extract is part of a letter written by Stan Shaw in which he mentions flying with Wg Cdr John Nettleton VC while his usual skipper, Reg Harding RCAF, was recovering from injury.
“… only waiting for the time when I can be home for good so I can see you all every day. By the way, I am in for Nettleton’s crew until Reg comes back. I went with them to Czechoslovakia the other night, it was an easy trip too. Well darling I don’t seem to have much to write about at the moment. I would much rather be with you to talk to you than to write so cheerio and I hope to get home during the week so expect me anytime. Cheerio darling.
Tons of love,
Above: Stan with John Nettleton’s crew. Stan is second from the right.
Below: a photograph of three DV202 crewmen at Dunholme Lodge. Left to right: Peter Pynisky RCAF, Les Prendergast, Stan Shaw.
A letter from Squadron Headquarters at RAF Dunholme Lodge informing Mrs Shaw that her husband had been reported missing on the night of 17/18 August 1943.
Finally, the tragic news that Stan Shaw did not survive the