Can you help?
A contact from Eelde in the Netherlands, where he is buried, is seeking information, in particular of any living relatives, photos or documents, on
ALFRED WILLIAM NELSON LOWER. Sergeant (Flight Engineer), 1288402. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. 100 Squadron, Royal Air Force.Died 20 October 1943. Aged 21.
Buried Eelde War Cemetery, Dranthe, Netherlands
We have passed on information from Kents Fallen, http://www.kentfallen.com/PDF%20REPORTS/ASHFORD%20WW2.pdf:
Prior to war service, Alfred was employed as a fitter at the Southern Railway Works Ashford, Kent. He was a member of the choir at Christchurch Church, South Ashford, Kent, and was an active member of the St. John Ambulance Brigade.
Alfred was a crew member of Lancaster Bomber ED555 HW-A, flown by 21 year old Pilot Officer (Pilot), Theodore L. Simpson, of Tiverton, Devon, which took off from R.A.F. Grimsby, Lincolnshire at 1746 hours on a bombing mission to Leipzig on 20 October 1943. Unlike a lot of raids which were mixed bomber formations, the raid on which Alfred died was comprised of all Lancasters. 16 of the 358 Lancasters engaged on the raid were lost, on what was the first significant attack on Leipzig, Germany. Owing to appalling weather conditions which prevailed over the region of the target area, the bombing pattern was very scattered on and around the city. The Lancaster crashed at 2225 hours at Eelderwolde, Dranthe, Holland, killing all seven crew who are buried in the same cemetery. When lost, Alfred’s aircraft had a total of 243 hours, having been on the strength of 100 Squadron, Royal Air Force since 29 January 1943.
Alfred was born in 1922 to Henry and Ada (nee Swan). In 1939 they were living at 52 Tennyson Road with a Gordon Eves. Alfred had a younger brother Arthur. There are three others living at the address, possibly other siblings. Henry was a lathe hand wheel turner possibly also at the Railway Works.
A couple of oddities in the register:
- Ada is listed five lines below Henry. Normally a woman would be listed in the line below her husband.
- Ada’s surname is crossed out and replaced with Hayward. This normally indicates that a woman married between 1939 and 1948 (when the register was updated at the inception of the NHS) but Ada’s death in 1978 is registered in the name Lower.
Alfred’s brother Arthur married Gwendoline Reed in 1952.