SIGN UP for our newsletter ✉️ :

Get the latest stories delivered straight to you

Somerset WWII memorial service remembers Canadian aircrew

Robert James Peters
Mr Peters travelled all the way from Canada to commemorate his grandfather who died in the crash

People who attended a World War Two memorial service for Canadian aircrew said it was a "heartwarming" event.

In 1943 a Canadian Wellington Bomber crashed into Broomfield in Somerset, killing four men on board - one other man survived.

Robert Peters travelled to the event with his family from Canada to the UK for the first time, to "honour the sacrifice" of his grandfather.

He said they may be the "first family members to visit the site in 80 years".

On 20 August the Wellington flew back to its base in Devon but as it travelled over Broomhill it hit a line of trees and crashed.

The aircraft had been sent out to hunt German submarines in the channel the night before but had been diverted on its way back to base.

Mr Peter's grandfather, Arthur Harold Peters, a member or the Royal Canadian Airforce, died in the crash.

"We found out there was going to be a memorial here. At first I thought that would be a long way to go. But I thought it was the least we could do to honour that sacrifice," he said.

"He was a farmer and like most of the crew wasn't a professional soldier. They answered the call when the king came calling and for king and country, they came from Canada.

"We don't really know much of his family. When we came to see his grave as far as we know we're the first family in 80 years to go to the site."

Keith Armstrong
Mr Armstrong saw the aircraft crash when he was a young boy

Keith Armstrong, 93, saw the aircraft crash when he was a young boy but still recalls the crash.

"Suddenly there was this aircraft emerging up from the back of this line of trees and as it went through the trees there was a great bang and a whine of the engine," he said.

"We were so frightened. We didn't get up and run."

Ceremony in Broomfield
A ceremony was held in Broomfield alongside the unveiling of the memorial

Representatives of the High Commission of Canada and the RAF also attended the memorial service.

Major Dave Hardy from the Royal Canadian Air Force said it was a "heartwarming" event.

"It was an amazing service. It's always an honour for me to be able to attend these events," he said.

Follow BBC West on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to: