Emotional visit to scene of brother’s WWII death

Peter and Margaret McCulloch at the memorial at Lonan Church

Peter and Margaret McCulloch at the memorial at Lonan Church

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An Oxfordshire pensioner has made an emotional pilgrimage to the Isle of Man to visit a memorial dedicated to his brother tragically killed during the Second World War.

Allan McCulloch was just three-years-old when a burning wing from a Canadian Air Force bomber came down on the house where he was staying in Pinfold Hill, Laxey, in July 1944.

Ironically, Allan had been evacuated to the safety of the island to his grandparents’ house in Laxey from Newcastle to avoid German bombing.

The youngster survived but died three days later in the Onchan Military Hospital. It was said that the family only kept going when Allan’s mother found she was pregant with a second son, Peter.

Peter McCulloch and his wife Margaret visited the island for the first time after almost 70 years.

Peter said: ‘My parents never wanted to come back to the island so while they were alive we decided it was best not to come.

‘After we retired we decided that we would like to visit, it was emotional visiting the memorial with Allan’s name on, I lost it a bit, but undoubtedly I’m glad I came.’

Both Peter and Margaret praised Reverend Jo Dudley and Lonan Commissioners clerk Peter Hill.

‘They have been amazing,’ said the couple. ‘Everyone has been very helpful and friendly.’

‘We visited the memorial which has the names of the men on the flight who also died and the house where it happened.

‘The church service was amazing, there were British Legion standards from all over the island.

‘It happened on school sports day in Laxey where 300 children would have been so it could have been a lot worse.

‘Some of the people who were at that sports day were actually at the church, it was fantastic to be able to talk to them.’

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