Stanley Wilson Charles Culmer 1916 - 1942

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Biography

An accountarty clerk and the child of Charles Culmer (an electric & oxy-ace wealde foreman) and Lilian Jackson, Stanley Charles, the third cousin once-removed on the mother's side of Nigel Horne, was born in Strood, Kent, England on 21 Nov 19161,2.

He married Alice Foulger in Lewisham, London, England c. Nov 19395. On 29 Sep 1939, he was living at 44 Pitfold Road, Lewisham1.

He died on 14 Apr 1942 in Chichester, Sussex, England3,4 (www.bromleytimes.co.uk A heroic RAF pilot from Bromley who died in a plane crash in the Second World War will be commemorated in Bognor Regis on Remembrance Sunday, close to the site where his aircraft came down. Sgt Stanley Wilson Charles Culmer, 26, was flying a Handley-Page Hampden AT110 on a mission to attack shipping and the docks at Le Havre on the night of April 14, 1942 - but the plane never reached its destination. Just one hour after taking off from RAF North Luffenham in Rutland, the bomber came down near Bognor Regis, killing Sgt Culmer and three other crew members. As the nation prepares to remember its fallen heroes, RAF Association member David Hewings is hoping to trace relatives of the crew who may be unaware of the airmen's achievements. He told the Bromley Times: "We are hoping that some information will come from any relatives still in Bromley. We would be very pleased to talk to them. We want them to know that these young airmen are remembered and have been for some time."; Little is known about the cause of the accident, although eyewitness reports suggest an engine caught fire. Flying at such a low altitude, the crew would have had no chance to escape. "There is a local newspaper article about the incident," Mr Hewings said. "All it says is there was a conflagration which occurred that night and burnt for five or six hours. "They were crossing the coast at 200ft. We have no evidence, but that was the technique at the time to go under the German radar. "Once you get over the South Downs you are almost at sea level - the ground is low. It makes sense they would come down as soon as they could. "You go down over the ground so you are not shot out of the air."; Sgt Culmer is commemorated on a memorial plaque close to the point where the aircraft came down, along with Sgt R E Nation, from Canford, Bristol, Sgt J A Hutchison from North Berwick, and Sgt D Manning from Backford, Chester. "Sgt Culmer was the most important one that we want to find information about," Mr Hewings said. "He was the senior man and they probably called him €˜uncle'."; Mr Hewings added that the people of Bognor Regis have never forgotten the airmen and the sacrifice they made in defence of the country's freedom. "We think about them every year on remembrance weekend," he said. Anyone with information on Sgt Culmer can send it by post to the RAF Association, Branch 381, Waterloo Square, Bognor Regis, West Sussex BN21 1TE. Envelopes should be marked "Hampden Memorial" and include contact details, including an email address if possible. www.bognorregispost.co.uk PROUD Derek Pallett watched as a memorial to his cousin was unveiled in Felpham. The plaque pays tribute to the sacrifice paid by the four-strong aircrew of a Second World War bomber which crashed 75 years ago close to its site. The memorial is the only one which recalls the death of the airmen who were led by Mr Pallett's cousin and their pilot, newly married Sgt Stanley Culmer, 26. Mr Pallett, 83, of Ormskirk in Lancashire, attended the ceremony last Saturday with his wife, Helen, pictured right. He had never known what happened to his cousin but he does remember being taken to a sweetshop by him to buy chocolate drops. He said: "I feel very proud. It's been quite a while we have been looking for some memorial of my cousin. We looked at several different memorials. "After looking around like we did, this is remarkable. We feel he has been officially remembered now. "I am surprised and delighted at the turnout here today."; About 150 people attended the ceremony of some 20 minutes held in Sea Road. Exactly 75 years earlier, and the No 144 Squadron twin-engined Handley-Page Hampden AT110 €" based at RAF North Luffenham in Rutland €" was on a Bomber Command mission to attack shipping and the docks at Le Havre in France. No-one knows what went wrong an hour or so after the aircraft took off at night but a possible engine fire caused it to crash in flames just 100 yards short of the English Channel. The other crew members were Sgt RE Nation, 21; Sgt JA Hutchison, 25; and Sgt D Manning, 21. An original memorial to the crash, installed about five years ago, still remains attached to the boundary wall of Butlin's. But the replacement is larger and more prominent. It cost some £1,200 and its installation was led by the Bognor Regis branch of the Royal Air Forces Association. Branch secretary David Hewings said: "David Pallett's recollections of the very brief time he had with his cousin have added an awful lot of meaning to this service. It is the first time we have had a known relative of the aircrew with us."; The Rev John Challis read out the names of the aircrew before a short reading from Psalm 21. He said: "Seventy-five years ago, seems a very long time ago €" and I was only a few months old when the Hampden bomber crashed near here €" but thecourage and dedication to duty of these four young crewmen should still be remembered all these years later."; Cadets Gregory Cocks, 15, and Emily Sherrington, 12, of the 2351 Sqn Air Training Corps in Bognor Regis provided a guard of honour to the memorial and performed the unveiling of the Union flag. Cdt Cocks said: "It's really important we remember the aircrew and preserve the heritage that we have. By remembering these specific people, we remember all those who have given their lives."; RAFA branch president Ron Flatt laid a red, white and blue wreath on the memorial during the service. runs for a month for charity) and is buried at at St John The Baptist Churchyard, West Wickham, Kent, England.

6 He served in the military in 1942 (regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve; Rank: Sergeant; Service number: 1283606).

Parents

  1. Charles Ernest was born on 11 Nov 1891
  2. Lilian May was born on 11 Jul 1894

Media

Stanley Culmer - Burial Notice

Stanley Culmer - Burial Notice

Bognor Regis Observer 5 July 1939

Bognor Regis Observer 5 July 1939

Memorial Plaque, Sea Road, Felpham, Sussex, England

Memorial Plaque, Sea Road, Felpham, Sussex, England

https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=bmd/b/1916/4/az/000291/033

https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=gbm/cwgc/rollofhonour/001207137

https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=BMD/M/1939/4/AO/000415/150

https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=bmd/d/1942/2/az/000196/088

Family Tree

Family Tree

Map

Citations

  1. 1939 Register - Findmypast (was the son of the head of the household)
  2. England & Wales births 1837-2006 - Findmypast
  3. Commonwealth War Graves Commission Debt Of Honour - Findmypast
  4. England & Wales deaths 1837-2007 - Findmypast
  5. England & Wales Marriages 1837-2005 - Findmypast
  6. Commonwealth War Graves Commission

To be done

Location for the event on 1942 is empty

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