The November newsletter published a short article I wrote about the
Speech House pilot who crashed and died there in WW2. First of all, a major
correction – the aircraft was a Westland (as it actually says on the memorial
stone and on the photograph held at Gloucestershire Archives) not a
Westmoreland. A good lesson in seeing what you want to see rather than what’s
In addition, Dave Tuffley, one of our members, tells me there was an
excavation there about 1979/1980. Dan Howells, the Deputy Gaveller, did mention
this, but my recollection is that he thought it was not an approved excavation.
In any case, Dave believes the excavation was approximately 1979/1980-ish. The
site, as far as he remembers, is about 60 yards inside the Speech House field, between
the cricket square and the oak trees on the Speech House road side of the
He learned from a Speech House Cricket Club player, Adrian Morgan, that
the excavation recovered some small bones (even though they were told that the
pilot’s body was recovered.) The excavation was stopped when the bones were
found. Some cannon shells or bullets were also recovered.
If anybody has more to add, do post a reply to this item.
An invitation to the next English Bicknor
Local History Group meeting where the lead archaeologist from
Headland Archaeology, who unexpectedly uncovered a medieval castle during works
for new classrooms at Bicknor School, will talk about this exciting find.