In early April 1941, an Anson Mk1 bomber (N9857) crashed 2,300ft (700 metres) above sea level on Ben More Assynt, near Inchnadamph, Scotland. Despite an extensive search it was six weeks before the snow line melted back and a shepherd found the wrecked plane and the remains of its six man crew. The passage of time and the remoteness of the site meant that the airmen were buried at the scene, the only site in Scotland where this happened. A cairn was erected over their grave site.
Now the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, whose pledge is that all the fallen of the two World Wars will be commemorated in perpetuity, is now planning to place an inscribed granite block, weighing half a ton to replace the cairn on the remote hillside.
Due to the remoteness of the site, the only way to get there is to hike three hours each way or fly by helicopter and the RAF were called to assist. In April an 18 Sqn Chinook from RAF Odiham flew building stores to the snowbound site. This would enable the base for the new memorial to be built, ready for the granite stone which will be delivered later in the year. As well as the Chinook, three members of Joint Helicopter Support Sqn (JHSS) also based at Odiham, had to hike to the site, accompanied by members of RAF Lossiemouth Mountain Rescue Team and Mr David Whalley (ex Kinloss MRT Leader).
The team who hiked in comprised of MACr Steve Macdonald as the MAOT Team Leader, LCpl Ben Grinyer as the Comms Specialist and Pte Ganesh Gurung as the “Hooker.” Further members of JHSS operated from Inchnadamph village, these were LCpl Alfie Harland and LCpl “Bobby” Linskill as Hookers and Pte Saul Roberts as the Comms Spec.