Achiet-Le-Petit Commemoration

>Commemorative Visit June 2015



Around 250 people, including members of the families of three of the crew men gathered in Achiet Le Petit to honour the crew of LL836. At 11 AM the people moved to the meeting point at Achiet le Petit Cemetery. There was a pleasant blue sky and nice temperature for this special day.

The three families of the crew members present at the tribute.

Ten days before the event the nephew of the Pilot (Mr Richard Picton) was located (there were difficulties in finding him, he was finally found to be in Canada) but he was unable to attend.

After the ceremony a small parade took place and then the people were invited to the local reception room for a friendly meeting where they could see a short movie of about 13 minutes explaining the last mission of LL836 (made by Michel Lespagnol, you can see a copy here: People could also see RAF uniforms lent by the Florent MALVOISIN Association, a Rolls Royce Merlin engine from the private collection of the Somme Association 39-45, and Mr René COQUEL from Bapaume had on display a Dodge 6x6 and a Jeep.

Later the families went for an aerial visit of the Somme and Pas de Calais Battlefield and memorial sites kindly made possible by the Albert Meaulte Aeroclub. The day ended with a visit to the Somme Association 39-45 private museum.

Associations involved in the project:

The Somme Association 39-45 ( helped with the location the families. Mr Pierre Ben lent a Rolls Royce Merlin engine from his private collection.

A special thanks to Anne Marie and all the people who helped to prepare the reception room and the lunch for such an unexpected crowd!!!

A Web TV report from Oxygen TV (local WEB TV) on the Tribute to LL836 in Achiet le Petit is available at the link shown: The report from Achiet le Petit begins after about 2mins 2secs into the video clip, and lasts for just short of 3 minutes. It is mainly in French, of course, but there are brief interviews with some of the relatives of the aircrew from England and Canada.

The Association would like to express heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all who helped organise this commemoration for a 550 Squadron crew lost over France.


Below, a selection of photographs from the Commemoration Service in Achiet-Le-Petie, France in June 2015. Many thanks to Michel Lespagnol for making the pictures available.

A larger selection is available at:

Click on individual pictures to view the larger image.

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document The speeches given at the ceremony by the Mayor and the Sub-Prefect

Documents and Information Produced for the Commemoriation

In the reception hall a number of displays describing the events were available.

Thanks to Michel Lespagnol for providing these documents.

document Translation from French of an extract from M Coilliot's book
The night of the 11th-12th April 1944 Achiet-le-Petit The loss of an English bomber
(Translation Mr John LOGAN)
document Document listing and describing each member of the crew
Each section in French with a follow-up in English
document A presentation (originally in a Powerpoint document), ca. 21 pages
Giving a history of the Lancaster LL836, details about North Killingholme, and each of the crew-positions in the aircraft and who from the crew filled each position, information on the Luftwaffe pilot responsible for the attack on the Lancaster, and much more besides
In French
Testimony of Mr. Jacques HOURIEZ (August 21st 2014), but then a schoolboy who saw the crash site on the way to school the morning after the crash
In English