I recently came across the website for No. 1 Wireless Air Gunners School that operated at Ballarat between 1940 and 1945. Ballarat is located in the Central Highlands of Victoria, Australia.
The website contains excellent information about the service personnel that undertook training at the establishment. One of those men was Flight Sergeant Garnet Walter Durdin, Lancaster RD559's rear gunner.
The memorial page on the 1WAGS site contains a lot of information about Garnet's courses. Some details are not quite right and I have let the website know.
The website also had a much better image of Garnet. The one I had appears to have been a newspaper version of this photo.
This year's Anzac Day will be a somewhat quiet affair given the global pandemic. However, across Australia and New Zealand families are paying tribute to those they lost with candles on balconies and window sills. Photo reproduced by kind permission of Duncan Campbell.
In memory of the Aussies lost March 4/5, 1943
F/O Harry Riding (Wireless Operator) — RAAF 403699 (Age 25)
F/O Errol C. Crapp (Navigator) — RAAF 411113 (Age 24)
Sgt Garnet W. Durdin (Rear Gunner) — RAAF 416149 (Age 25)
77 years ago at 18.38 hours seven men lifted off from the tarmac at RAF Grimsby. Today we remember them and the ultimate sacrifice they made in the name of liberty and freedom. Lest we forget...
I am once again indebted to Duncan Campbell (related to W/Op Harry Riding) for the following photos. Duncan recently visited the archives there and I was hoping that among the documents in the archive there would be a photo of Errol Clifton CRAPP but alas it was not to be. Still hopeful that once day a relative of his finds this site and gets in touch.
As and when information is found I'll post to this blog.
|The last flight of Lancaster ED559|