Memorial stone to the 3 British airmen - Sugny

Source: Willem Vandenameele

This memorial stone was unveiled on July 17, 2021 in honor of three British airmen who were shot down on May 14, 1940 in the forests of Sugny, at a place called “La Grève”.

The memorial stone is made entirely of slate and an epitaph is engraved on the left side:

In memory of the British airmen who fell on 14 May 1940 at Sugny.
RGM GILMORE - 21 years old
TRA PEARCE - 20 years old
AG WILSON - 21 years old
A grateful Belgium

On the right side, which has been scraped off, is a miniature schist airplane, a replica of the Blenheim . The propellers of the two engines and the ignition flames are made of copper.

Above this replica hangs the Royal Air Force squadron crest : a faded hand on the wrist holding a barbell . The barbell was used as an insignia by the squadron in 1917 and symbolizes strength.

The brass coat of arms bears the inscription:

21 21
VIRIBUS VINCIMUS (By strength we conquer)

The coat of arms was cast in a copper workshop in Dinant.

At the bottom right of the stele is a square plaque in slate with the names of the makers of the work:

JULY 17, 2021

Two flagpoles with Belgian and English flags adorn the stele.

Other gravestones were unveiled on May 14, 2022 in the Sugny forest.

On the N810 leaving Sugny in the direction of Corbion, a few meters before the French border, there is a metal memorial stone under a British flag on the left side of the road. It commemorates the crash of a British plane on May 14, 1940, during the battle against the German invasion. Further into the woods, about 200 yards from the road, two slate stones mark the exact spot where the crash occurred.

Historical background:

On May 14, 1940, a British plane crashed in the woods of Sugny, at a place called “La Grève”, after being shot down by the German army during the German invasion that started World War II. The three young pilots were killed and the bodies disappeared.

Alain Nicolas from Sugny, who had heard about it as a child , discovered the first piece of scrap by chance. Armed with an access permit for the excavations from the AWaP (Walloon Heritage Service), he set off again! And he discovered his first uniform button!

After extensive research in the archives, he first discovered the name of the aircraft, BLENHEIM L 8742, followed by the first and last names of the pilots who died in the crash:

RGM GILMORE - 21 years old
TRA PEARCE - 20 years old
AG WILSON - 21 years old

Alain and his cousin Roger have spared no effort to find the families of the missing Britons. Since then, contacts via social networks have intensified. Families regularly come to pay their respects in La Grève. The English museum, the Blenheim Society, has also come forward.

Since then, Alain has inventoried, classified and sorted his best finds. He was present at the unveiling of the memorial on July 17, 2021, attended by local authorities, veterans and villagers. The English families could not attend due to Covid.




Comments Statistics

BE | | Public | CatalanDutchFrenchGermanItalianSpanish

Didn't find what you were looking for?

Routes nearby