the campaign


Right from the early stages of the project, as you might imagine, a very important aim of the Moordown 2010 Committee was to make contact with the families of the victims, and to involve them with the Moordown Halifax Memorial, if we could.
The Committee was therefore upset to hear that, initially, the family of pilot Sgt. Denis Evans were not keen on being involved. It transpired that, for all these intervening years, they had been left with the impression that the official documentation following the crash had blamed Sgt. Evans for the disaster. 
It was especially poignant that Denis Evans brother, Vere Derek Evans (himself a serving RAF pilot) had passed away still believing that was true. So their reluctance to become involved with the project was quite understandable.

In fact, no blame had been attached to Sgt. Evans, other than a pretty standard 'Sgt. Evans may have'... type of comment, which was often included in crash reports, where there were no survivors.
Once copies of the offcial documentation had confirmed this, the Committee were determined to ensure that the record was set straight - especially with Denis Evans' family.
This intention became known locally, and our local news agency duly passed on that intention to the national press.
Normally, perhaps this might not have commanded much response at a national level, but this 'news' coincided with the final clearing of the names of the the two pilots of the 'Mull of Kintyre' Chinook Helicopter crash of 1994. (More on that HERE)   

(remember to use your back button to get back here - and the same with the other links on ths page)

And so, 'campaigns to clear pilots names' were, if you like, rather 'in vogue' at the time!

In any event, in August 2011, the Daily Mail published an article on our 'Campaign' to clear the name of Sgt. Evans (copy HERE ) even though, as we now know, he had not actually been blamed for the crash.

Once the ball was rolling, as it were, others jumped onboard.  The BBC did an item in their Inside Out series, and Meridian TV News also did an item in August 2011. You can find copies of both those respective video items by clicking HERE and HERE  (the passwords for both items is 'hax' (without the commas))
The Moordown Halifax Memorial project was becoming famous!

Meanwhile, back in the 'real' world, we were keen to ensure that the Evans family knew - if rather belatedly, that Denis Evans had not been blamed for the loss of JP137.

The Committee duly made contact with the RAF Air Historical Branch (AHB) in October 2011, and passed onto them our intention to advise the Evans family of our interpretation of the officlal documents.  Sebastian Cox - the head of the AHB - kindly replied in January 2012, and we could then ensure that the Evans family - and in particular his neice Pauline - were formally advised that Denis Evans was not to blame for the loss of JP137. Which the Committee duly did.

You can read a copy of our 'official' exchange with the RAF by clicking on the heading below:

So, a successful end to a 'Campaign' that never really needed to exist at all! 

We can also now confirm that the Evans family are very pleased that the Moordown Halifax Memorial has been erected and dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives that night, including of course, Sgt. Denis Evans.