A LOSSIEMOUTH HISTORIAN is urging the town’s residents to take a few moments and remember the 70th anniversary of the tragic loss of a mother and her five sons.
Donnie Stewart, 83, said that while the accident just days after the end of World War II is fading from memory it remains an “important part of Lossiemouth’s history”.
It was on May 20, 1945 that a Wellington Mark 10 Bomber based at No.20 OTU at RAF Lossiemouth crashed into the top floor of a council house in Church Street.
The tragic accident at 10.30am that morning caused the deaths of Mrs J Flood and five of her sons, as well as two other victims on the ground – Edith Allan and her 19-year-old foster-daughter Vera. Also killed was the three-man crew of the aircraft.
Witnesses said that the Wellington seemed to be in trouble from the moment it took off at 9.52am, with one engine continually misfiring. It is believed that the crew intended returning the Wellington to base after it had flown out over the Moray Firth.
The youngest victim of the crash that day was David Flood, who was just three years old, killed alongside brothers George (5), Sinclair (7), James (12), Jack (14) and 37-year-old Mrs Flood.
There were two survivors of the accident – Jock Flood and his only daughter Jeannie, who lived because they had gone to the kitchen to prepare breakfast. Also fortunate to escape on the ground floor of the house was Mrs John Stewart and her three children.
“This is an important part of Lossiemouth’s history,” Mr Stewart said, adding: “It should be remembered – it was a total disaster and the people who lost their lives are owed our respect.
“Following VE day people in the town thought their troubles were over – everyone was happy that the war had ended.”
Mr Stewart, who had attended school with Jack Flood, added that he remained reluctant to allow the tragedy to be forgotten.
A plaque marks the spot where the tragedy happened at the town’s Church Street.
Mr Stewart has produced a video commemorating the 1945 tragedy – view below.