Names on Sherburn Village War memorial, Co Durham

On Friday 25th October 1996 at Cambridge City Cemetery a grave which was marked to 'An Unknown Airman' in March 1945 was re-dedicated as that of Flt Sgt Arthur Henderson, Bomb Aimer (see photo). At the same ceremony Sgt Robert Banks, Air Gunner, was buried with full military honours. 

Both men were aboard 207 Squadron Lancaster EM-H ME473 (pilot Flt Lt Edward Lawson RAAF). This aircraft collided with 57 Squadron Lancaster DX-F ND572 during a fighter affiliation exercise on the night of 2nd March 1945. Both aircraft crashed into the Ruskington Fen area near Sleaford, Lincolnshire, with the loss of both crews.

more information and a crew photo

John Burrell writes: Arthur's name (along with some others) was not commemorated on our church war memorial. I was told by an old lady in the village that Arthur's name not been included as his family did not believe he was dead, because he did not have a grave. I thought this rather strange because I knew from the CWGC database that he did have one .... now from the 207 website I know why.

Just this year, on Remembrance Sunday 2007, the omission of Arthur's name from a village memorial was put right. Three years of hard work by my friend Kevin Stock (the new memorial was his concept) and myself finally came to fruition when our new village war memorial was erected and dedicated.

The memorial also commemorates another village lad, Vivian Nicholson, one of our local village boys Vivian Nicholson of Sherburn Village, Co, Durham, who served with the RAF during WW2. Vivian sadly lost his life with 617 Squadron when his aircraft crashed in the North Sea on the 15 September, 1943 [Lancaster JA981] after returning from an aborted raid on the Dortmund-Ems canal. Vivian also took part in the Dambuster Raid serving on David Maltby's crew.

Before Vivian's service with 617 Squadron he had a brief stay with 97 Sqn, although he did not fly on any operations with them. The 97 Sqn ORB shows him as being posted to 97 Sqn on 18 March 1943 from 207 Sqn together with four other members of the subsequent Dams Raid crew P/O Fort, Sgts Hatton, Stone & Simmons.


The new Sherburn Village War Memorial: image source John Burrell
CWGC record: HENDERSON, F/Sgt Arthur NICHOLSON, Sgt Vivian

see also: 207 Squadron Roll of Honour Memorial Book and Roll of Honour, Leicester Cathedral for Arthur Henderson and Post 207 Cas for Vivian Nicholson

If anyone can provide further information on Arthur Henderson or Vivian Nicholson, please contact the editor.
page last updated 4 August 2008