Genealogist reunites family of WWII airman
Thanks to genealogist Sue Jackson, the relatives of a World War Two airman will be reunited at a memorial service to commemorate his life.
Miss Jackson was able to track down more than eight living family members of the airman, who died in action over Germany during 1943.
Anglia Research is one of the UK’s front running probate genealogy and tracing companies, with regional offices in both Southport and Leeds. Working as a case manager for the Ipswich-based company, Miss Jackson came across the story of Flight Sergeant Geoffrey Brown when his plane was discovered in Germany by researchers.
An appeal was made by Erik Wiemann, the co-founder of crash-site research organisation, Historical Research Community Rhineland-Palatinate. Following the unearthing of the plane near the villages of Hassloch and Lachen-Speverdorf, Mr Wiemann made an announcement in the Warwickshire Telegraph with the hope of finding relatives of Geoffrey – who died aged just 24.
Before joining Anglia Research, Miss Jackson was a senior analyst in the British Army. She commented on her search for finding relatives of Geoffrey as well as her enjoyment of the process.
“I genuinely enjoy all aspects of genealogy, in particular, those cases where we have little information to go on.
“Mr Wieman knew that Geoffrey was the son of Ernest and Emily Brown from Coundon, near Coventry. Brown is a very common name but by using some intuition and going through the Births, Deaths and Marriages records and the electoral rolls I managed to back-track through his mother’s line to find maternal cousins, and I also located Geoffrey’s two surviving nephews, Terry and Roger, who both still live in Coventry.”
Geoffrey died as a gunner on the evening of April 16 1943, when his plane was shot down by a German night fighter. It happened whilst he was on a mission to bomb a Czechoslovakian Skoda factory. Out of the seven crew members on board, six were unfortunately killed. They are buried in the Rheinberg British Cemetary.
Mr Wiemann commented on Miss Jackson’s work as well as the upcoming memorial.
“The work of Miss Jackson and the team at Anglia Research has been fantastic and we have now been able to identify more than eight surviving relatives of Geoffrey.
“After the excavation, we plan to hold a memorial service for the crew at the crash site and bury a geocache in their memory. Many relatives do not know what happened or under what circumstances their relatives died and where.
“We want to contact as many relatives as possible and inform them about the planned memorial. Now, through the research by Miss Jackson and Anglia Research, we can.”