The following has been taken from the file in the National Archives at Kew. For anyone interested the file is BT 233/403
1958 Syerston Avro Vulcan crash.
At about 1.45pm. it was announced over the tannoy that an extra item had been arranged. A Vulcan Bomber stationed at Hucknall and fitted with the new Rolls Royce Conway engines would be doing a low fly-past at five to two.
On the day of the accident VX770 was flying from the Rolls-Royce airfield at Hucknall, with four crew on board, including a flight test engineer from Avro,
carrying out performance tests on the Rolls-Royce Conway engines that had been fitted in place of the Sapphires and Avons originally fitted.
During the course of the test-flight VX770 diverted to RAF Syerston to participate in the Battle of Britain day air show.
The Vulcan flew along runway 07 then started a rolling climb to starboard. During this manoeuvre the starboard wing disintegrated, resulting in a collapse of the main spar and wing structure.
The Vulcan went into a dive with the starboard wing on fire and struck the ground. Three occupants of a controllers' caravan were killed by debris, all four of the Vulcan crew were also killed.
Three servicemen who were in an ambulance were also injured by debris from the crash.
We spent the whole day as the show continued collecting parts of the dead and taking them into the mortuary. It was a gruesome task on an awful day; which ended with seven burned and dismembered bodies in the mortuary.
One incident stands out in my mind. On one of our trips back to the mortuary, looking filthy dishevelled and tired, I was pulled up by an officer and put on a charge for not wearing a tie! Naturally I heard no more about it.
Later that evening, I was on duty in the sick quarters on my own when Mrs. Hanson from the married quarters came to ask to see her husband, Sergeant Hanson.
I misunderstood and said we had no patients in that night, she explained that her husband was one of the sergeants in the air traffic caravan and was now in the mortuary.
I spent an hour persuading her not to go in to see him because he was unrecognisable. Eventually she agreed if I would put the bunch of flowers she had brought along with her beside his body.
As I did so, the body parts and scraps of humanity we had been collecting all day suddenly became real people.
And I was overcome by grief.
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