Family of Second World War soldier found after historian’s decade-long search

Edgar Peachment from Hempnall is now in touch with US historian Iain Walker after reading about his

Edgar Peachment from Hempnall is now in touch with US historian Iain Walker after reading about his plea in the EDP. Picture: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Archant

The family of a Second World War airman have been traced to Norfolk after an international plea was launched by a New York historian.

A Norfolk family have helped a US historian who was searching for photographs of a Wymondham airman

A Norfolk family have helped a US historian who was searching for photographs of a Wymondham airman who killed in WW2. Picture: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Archant

Last month, we published an appeal by historian Iain Walker to track down the family of Wymondham soldier Edgar Frederick Drew, who was killed in a failed mission in 1941.

A week after the appeal, the airman's nephew Edgar Peachment got in touch from his home in Hempnall.

Mr Peachment, who was named after the young soldier, said he was shocked when he saw his uncle's name in the newspaper and immediately got in touch with the historian to find out more about the crash that killed him.

He said: 'We found the article by chance and I thought 'that looks familiar'. I was interested in finding out more about the crash and soon realised we never knew the full extent of the story.'

Pictures finally found of 27-year-old Edgar Frederick Drew, from Wymondham, who was killed in a Worl

Pictures finally found of 27-year-old Edgar Frederick Drew, from Wymondham, who was killed in a World War Two bombing mission. Photo: Submitted - Credit: Archant


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Mr Drew grew up in Silfield, near Wymondham, with his five siblings and Mr Peachment's mother, Freda.

Mr Peachment said his uncle was known for being a serious young man and that, like him, spoke with a stammer.

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In 1939, Mr Drew left his Norfolk home to serve as a pilot officer and gunner in the RAF alongside Iain Walker's grandfather, Denis Lloyd.

But the 27-year-old never made it back to Wymondham and was killed when his Stirling Bomber was shot down over Aach, Germany, on August 25, 1941.

Wymondham soldier Edgar Frederick Drew as a child, alongside two siblings. Photo: Submitted

Wymondham soldier Edgar Frederick Drew as a child, alongside two siblings. Photo: Submitted - Credit: Archant

Mr Lloyd was the sole survivor of the crash and Mr Peachment said he was shocked to learn anyone had made it out alive.

The loss of the young man had a devastating impact on the Norfolk family and Mr Peachment said his grandfather, Frederick Drew, never recovered from the loss.

A few years ago he took his mother to visit her brother's grave and said it was an emotional experience.

He said: 'She broke down. It was the first time she had seen him since he left for war. It was seeing the memorials, row upon row of all these young men we lost. It was very emotional. It's important to remember how many of them were lost.'

Pictures finally found of 27-year-old Edgar Frederick Drew, from Wymondham, who was killed in a Worl

Pictures finally found of 27-year-old Edgar Frederick Drew, from Wymondham, who was killed in a World War Two bombing mission. Photo: Submitted - Credit: Archant

Trying to trace lost family? Email bethany.wales@archant.co.uk

The lemon bomber the crew were flying when they crashed over Aach, Germany. Photo: Submitted

The lemon bomber the crew were flying when they crashed over Aach, Germany. Photo: Submitted - Credit: Archant

The site of the plane crash in Aach, Germany, taken on a reccent visit to the area. Photo: Submitted

The site of the plane crash in Aach, Germany, taken on a reccent visit to the area. Photo: Submitted - Credit: Archant

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