Air crash memorial

The air crash memorial on the summit of Great Carrs (see below for the full text)

Height: 2575 feet above sea level

Volume: Book 4 (The Southern Fells)

Date climbed: First visit: 16th September 2009 (walk 6). Second visit: 13th March 2018 (walk 143).

Bagged as number: First round: 22 out of 330. [ << Grey Friar (21)  (23) Wetherlam >> ]

Second round: 137 of 330. [ << Pike o’Blisco (136)  (138) Grey Friar >> ]

Route of ascent and descent: First visit: Approached from Grey Friar, left on the ridge to Swirl How. Second visit: Came up from Wrynose Pass, via Wet Side Edge. Left for Grey Friar.

Great Carrs from Swirl How

What Mr. Wainwright says (from page 6 of his chapter): “The easily-graded upper western slope of Great Carrs breaks very abruptly into a long eastern precipice, the highest point of the fell therefore being on the rim, and here, on a small outcrop, is the cairn, airily perched in a splendid position high above the great hollow formed by the deep-set Greenburn valley in its circle of peaks…. An unnatural and unwelcome adornment to the top is provided by the wreckage of an aeroplane, 150 yards south of the cairn. It is easy to reconstruct the accident. The aeroplane, travelling from west to east, failed to clear the ridge by a few feet only: at the place of impact the undercarriage was ripped off (and still lies there in a rough grave of stones) but the crippled machine went on over the edge to crash far down the precipice…”

Great Carrs from Pike o'Blisco.

Great Carrs from Pike o’Blisco. Picture taken on walk 64.

What I say: Great Carrs is not a bad climb but the most interesting and distinctive thing about it is this memorial, which is why I quote AW’s words about it. It is poignant for three reasons: first seeing it there at all, second the tragic irony that the crash happened during WW2, and yet the 8 men who died did not perish in combat but because of an accident. Finally the fact that six of the dead men were 21 years or under… what a waste.

The full text of the memorial is as follows:

In memory of 8 crew members of Halifax LL505 from No. 1659 HCU Topcliffe who lost their lives on this site on 22nd October 1944

Fg Off J. A. Johnston        RCAFC29783 (27 [years old])

Fg Off E. A. Bell      RCAF J3888 (33)

Flt Off R. N. Whitley      RCAF J38243 (20)

Sgt H. E. Pyche      RCAF R225354 (21)

Sgt W. B. Ferguson      RAFVR 1826294 (19)

Sgt D. F. Till    RCAF 271259 (19)

Sgt G. Riddock     RCAF R259938 (20)

Sgt C. G. Whittingstall      RCAF R198207

R. I. P.

[ << Great Calva     Great Cockup >> ]


One Response to “Great Carrs”

  1. […] day to be out on walk 143, which took in four summits from The Southern Fells: Pike o’Blisco, Great Carrs, Grey Friar and Swirl How. All over 2,300 feet, which makes a change from other recent walks. Read […]

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