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