Search for relatives of Dunstable man whose plane was shot down in World War Two

Dutch villagers have launched a heartfelt search for family members of a brave Dunstable crew member who was killed during World War Two.

Alfred Beauchamp, along with his fellow Halifax crew members, was flying back to England in 1943 when their plane was shot down over the Nazi-occupied Netherlands.

Clockwise: The memorial; Carol; Jessie; Helen; Alan and Kim. The Halifax was in  51st Squadron of RAF base Snaith

Clockwise: The memorial; Carol; Jessie; Helen; Alan and Kim. The Halifax was in 51st Squadron of RAF base Snaith

Neither Alfred nor his crew members survived the crash, but over seven decades later, the villagers of Voorst wish to honour their memory.

In a message to Dunstable townsfolk, Dutch resident Gea Stapelvoort said: “Dear UK friends, we need your help.

“During World War Two a Halifax was shot down over my home village. Unfortunately, the crew did not survive. They are buried at Voorst Cemetery.

“Last year a memorial was erected to honour the crew of this Halifax. It stands at the exact location of the crash.

“The organisers would love to invite the family of the seven crew members over for the next memorial on March 2. Please share this story.”

Alfred Beauchamp was born in Dunstable in December 1920.

His father was Alfred Henry Beauchamp, born 1893 in Bethnal Green, who married Mabel Inns. They had four children (Luton registered): Frank J, Hilda MV, Doris, and Alfred.

At the time of Alfred’s death he was unmarried.

In 1938 his brother Frank J married Jessie Walton in Hendon and the same year his sister Hilda MV married Frederick G Horn, also in Hendon.

However, thanks to Brenda Duckworth, a former WRAF member who is helping with the project, she and another researcher have already tracked down two relatives, including one in Hillingdon.

Alan Haar, the great nephew of Alfred Beauchamp, along with his wife Kim, daughter Helen and brother Keith, are all very excited and looking in to visiting in March.

Alan said: “It was all a complete surprise.

“My family is very small and my mum, Carol, was an only child. Her maiden name was Beauchamp and Frank was her dad.

“It’s great to know that someone has taken the trouble to try and find us, so these men don’t get forgotten.”

Call: 0044 7551966588.