207 SQUADRON ROYAL AIR FORCE HISTORY
Margny (Marne) : F/O Weekes' crew
Lancaster ME681 EM-T
207 Squadron RAF Association visited Margny in July 2001 to honour the Weekes crew and to thank the village for all they have done. We were very grateful for the help provided by the Mairie of Margny and Joachim Lelongt of Reims, and by Honorary Member of the Association, Mrs Betty Chaland.
Oliver Clutton-Brock, in his 1994 book Massacre over the Marne on the RAF raids on the key railway junction at Revigny (Marne), wrote of the raid on 19 July 1944: -
The same fate [being shot down by a fighter] awaited ME681 [EM-T] (Flying Officer N L Weekes, 207 Squadron, on his fourth operation) which crashed to one side of track [of the raid] and fell into a field near CHACUN, Marne.
Locals heard one burst from a fighter, and that was that.
The Lancaster hit the ground with bombs still aboard, the explosion forming a crater ten feet deep. The largest piece of aircraft found, the remains of one of the propellors, now adorns the graves at Margny.
Some 500 people attended the funeral and every year, on 14 July and 11 November, the Mayor's wife places fresh flowers on the graves.
A propellor blade from the aircraft had been mounted alongside the grave. The crew are buried in a communal grave with the individual headstones placed as shown.
This is one of the photographs that then President, Wg Cdr Ken Marwood AFM RAF (Retd) took on a recce visit. He noted how immaculately kept it was, even in such a small place.
Intrigued, 207 Squadron RAF Association's website editor wrote to the Mairie in Margny to ask for a photograph of the grave and to ask if the annual decoration of the graves still took place.
This is the story of what came of that research - please follow, in order, the links on the left of your screen.