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 Post subject: Visit to the Sri Lankan grave of wartime
 Post Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 7:13 pm 
Visit to the Sri Lankan grave of wartime Navy friend

@ TMC / 09Feb2006

(Leicester Mercury Via Thomson Dialog News Edge) The Heroes Return scheme was a National Lottery initiative that aimed to help former Second World War servicemen return to their wartime postings on the 60th anniversary of the war's end.

Many people took advantage of this opportunity, including 81-year-old Bryan Cooper.

Mr Cooper's son, Andy, has written to tell me that he went with his father on a trip to Sri Lanka where they spent three weeks visiting several places where Mr Cooper senior was stationed in 1944."

Andy takes up the story: "One of the main points of the visit was for my dad to visit the grave of his closest Navy friend, Bill Allen.

"Bill was a native of Leicester and was killed during a training exercise off the east coast of Sri Lanka on August 4, 1944, when the aircraft he was in apparently collided with another. He was aged just 20."

"My Dad was elsewhere at the time - probably ashore, laid up with malaria, and when he returned to the ship (HMS Victorious), he heard that Bill's plane had gone into the sea and therefore assumed that nobody was discovered.

"The Victorious left for the Pacific shortly afterwards. It was only within the last few years that my dad learned that Bill had a grave in the Commonwealth War Cemetery just north of Trincomalee.

"We visited the grave and laid flowers on it. It made me wonder if Bill had ever had any other visitors in the 61 years that he has been buried there.

"My dad now lives just outside Northampton. He has had a fair amount of media attention from the Northampton papers, from BBC Radio Northampton and from both Central and Anglia TV. However, it struck me that some of Bill Allen's relatives might still be living in Leicester.

"They might have some interest in this story. For the record, the gravestone in Trincomalee reads: 'W A Allen / Petty Officer Airman RN/Ex 95770/HMS Victorious / 4th August 1944 Age 20'."


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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:38 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:21 pm
Posts: 1
andy have you got pictures of trimcomalee cemetry..would be very grateful if you have.


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