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01/02.01.1944 No. 9 Squadron Lancaster III JA711 F/O. Ward Location: Weyhausen.
Mission: Berlin

Date: 01/02nd January 1944 (Saturday/Sunday)

Unit: No. 9 Squadron

Type: Lancaster III

Serial: JA711

Code: WS-A

Base: R.A.F. Bardney, Lincolnshire.

Location: Weyhausen, Germany.

Pilot: F/O. Geoffrey Ward 148184 R.A.F.V.R. Age 23. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Jack Sutton 1140041 R.A.F.V.R. Age ? Killed

Nav: Sgt. Eric Douglas Keene 1577631 R.A.F.V.R. Age ? Killed

Air/Bmr: Sgt. George Lloyd James 658864 R.A.F. Age ? Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. George Frederick Kenneth Bedwell 1250631 R.A.F.V.R. Age 24. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Norman Frederick Dixon 1438149 R.A.F.V.R. Age 19. Killed

Air/Gnr: W/O. Willard Lawrence Doran R/159101 R.C.A.F. Age 21. Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

Take off from R.A.F. Bardney at 23 58 hrs. Outbound and crashed at the small village of Weyhausen.
There are two locations in Germany with the name Weyhausen. It is believed the Weyhausen here referred to, 12 km NE of Eschede is the site where this Lancaster came down.

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Above left: Pilot, F/O. Geoffrey Ward. Right, W/Operator, Sgt. George Bedwell (see credits)

Believed to have been shot down by Hptm.Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein of Stab NJG2 on approach to Berlin flying with his BF Fw. Fritz Ostheimer in Ju88 R4+AA at 03.10 hrs, who already had 72 Victories to his name, he himself, was to die on January 21st 1944 when he collided with a Lancaster (buried at Ljsselsetein, Netherlands)

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Dewsbury Town War Memorial (see credits)


Burial details:

F/O. Geoffrey Ward. Hanover War Cemetery. Collective Grave 16.H.13-17
Further information:
Son of Arthur A. Ward and Sarah (nee Normington) of Westboro’, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.
Geoffrey was the only and much cherished son born to parents who had waited twenty years for children.
Attended Dewsbury Wheelwright Grammar School and he was an accomplished pianist.
Promoted to Flight Sergeant on the 24th June 1943, it is believed that he enlisted in 1939 at Padgate and also trained at 16 O.T.U. at Upper Heyford.
Geoffrey is commemorated on the Dewsbury Town War Memorial and also St. John’s Church War Memorial, Dewsbury.
His cousin, Sergeant Jack Ward lost his life with 214 Squadron on 15/16th April 1942.

Sgt. Jack Sutton. Hanover War Cemetery. Collective Grave 16.H.13-17
No further information available as yet.

Sgt. Eric Douglas Keene. Hanover War Cemetery. Collective Grave 16.H.13-17
No further information available as yet.

Sgt. George Lloyd James. Hanover War Cemetery. Collective Grave 16.H.13-17
No further information available as yet.

Sgt. George Frederick Kenneth Bedwell. Hanover War Cemetery. Collective Grave 16.H.13-17
Further information:
Son of Walter Gordon and Mabel Sophia Bedwell and brother of Reggie and Neville Bedwell.Husband of Joan Louisa Bedwell of Saxmundham, Suffolk.
He and his wife had two children, Anne and John working at the International Stores at Saxmundham, Suffolk as a deliveryman.
Planned a career in music after the war had ended, already being a member of an R.A.F. band, writing his own music and playing the piano. Well known as a kind and gentle man, who would help anyone.

Sgt. Norman Frederick Dixon. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 16.H.12
Further information:
Son of Frederick and Ivy Violet Dixon of Old Balderton, Nottinghamshire.

W/O. Willard Lawrence Doran. Hanover War Cemetery. Grave 16.H.11
Further information:
Son of Lawrence and Minnie Doran of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Researched by Aircrew Remembrance Society volunteer, researcher and specialist genealogist Linda Ibrom for relatives of this crew.
Photo credits and information of George Bedwell to Anne Mullin (nee Bedwell) and John Fisher, daughter and son of Sergeant Bedwell. Photo credits and information of Geoffrey Ward to Linda Revis and Judith Ward.
Also for information supplied by Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten - "Nightfighter War Diaries Vol. 1", Bill Chorley - "Bomber Command Losses Vol. 5", Commonwealth Graves Commission.

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