Historical Research POW
Terms and Conditions
La Frenaye, Seine Maritime, August 7, 1944
On August 7, 1944 around midnight, a RAF Lancaster was
shot down by the Nazis and
crashed near La Frenaye, Seine Maritime.
Sgt J.B. Firth (S/N 1850441) was captured by the Germans.
F/Lt E.H.E Hearn,
Sgt W Johnson and
Meredith (RCAF) managed to escape.
F/Sgt R J Owen, (S/N: 1395854), F/Ltd, P S Palandri,
(S/N: 55026) and Sgt A D Mellish, (S/N: 1662828) died during the crash and
were buried in the little cemetery of La Frenaye. These three men died for
our freedom and we should always remember them.
They shall grow not old
As we that are left grow old
age shall not weary them
nor the years condemn
at the going down of the sun
and in the morning we will
Ernie Manning also too part in the Secqueville raid and
provided the following information:
"On the 8th, the villagers set about organising the
burial of the three airmen trapped in the crash, but this had its obstacles
because of the Battle of Normandy was still waging. However the local German
Commander agreed that the burial could take place at 15.30 on the 10th. In
the afternoon, the villagers of La Frenaye prepared to take the coffin of
the airmen to the church. At this point, the German Commander arrived with
twelve soldiers and declared that burial of the airmen would be a military
one. The soldiers took the coffin and put it in the grave behind the church.
They fired three salvoes and presented arms. There were about forty
villagers present. The priest delivered the service, the grave was closed
and covered with flowers. One Frenchman recalled that moment with poignancy
"Les allemands étaient stupéfaits". "The Germans were astounded".
From that day onwards, on the 10th of August each
year, the grave of Palandri, Owen and Mellish is honoured and decorated with
flowers by the villagers of La Frenaye, young and old."
F/Lt E.H.E Hearn
Sgt W Johnson
Escape report F/Sgt Arthur
Sgt J.B. Firth