Hurst War Memorial, St.Nicholas Church, Hurst, Berkshire
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Beard, Peter Franklyn

1939 - 1945 Star
1939 - 1945
1939 - 1945 War Medal
1939 - 1945
War Medal
Sergeant (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Peter Franklyn Beard (1601748)
Died on Wednesday 22nd March 1944, aged 21
78 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Buried:Rheinberg War Cemetery
8. F. 10.

Peter Beard was born in October 1922 to Frank and Dorothy (née Raper) who had married in Fylde, Lancashire three years earlier. He was baptised on the 29th of that month at St.Nicholas Church, Hurst.

Sergeant Peter Beard was a wireless operator / air gunner in 78 Squadron R.A.F., which formed part of 4 Group, Bomber Command. At 19:07 on the evening of 22nd March 1944 he took off from R.A.F. Breighton in Yorkshire on a bombing raid against Frankfurt. Peter was one of the crew of Halifax Mk.III bomber No.LW512, code name EY-Q, probably in the role of wireless operator. Peter's aircraft was shot down by a Junkers 88 from 18,000 feet near Trier. Out of control, the bomber plunged into the ground at Mohrweiler, 10 km NNE of Bitburg and all but one of the crew were killed.

Those who died with Peter were Sgt. S.Hampson (Pilot), Sgt. S.L.Toon, Sgt. F.G.Rees, Sgt. R.A.Renwick and Sgt. T.A.Liddy. All of the men are buried in Rheinberg War Cemetery. The sole survivor was Sgt. S.A.Waterhouse, probably the rear gunner, who became a prisoner of war and was interned in Camp L6/357 as PoW No.3392. On this raid 26 Lancasters and 7 Halifaxes were lost, representing 4% of the total force.



They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in morning
We will remember them.
Lawrence Binyon