The aircraft was being ferried from RAF Syerston to Maghaberry, Northern Ireland. Shortly after take off it suffered an engine fire. The pilot decided to make an emergency landing at RAF Hucknall, but whilst turning to reach the airfield, stalled and crashed at Annesley, just North of Hucknall. Sadly, all were killed.
The crew were:
67707 Squadron Leader S L Cockbain DFC Pilot Instructor (Aged 28)
1587047 Flight Sergeant E C Barton Navigator (Aged 21)
2204311 Sergeant J Littlemore Wireless Operator (Aged 19)
1651299 Sergeant K Harris Air Gunner (Aged 22)
1874899 Flight Sergeant T A Balls Flight Engineer (Aged 20)
All crewmen were members of the RAFVR, and were taken to their home towns for burial.
The Stirling crashed into the trees, just right of centre.
The simple memorial commemorating the Stirling crew at Annesley.
Squadron Leader Stephen Leigh Cockbain's grave at Oxford (Botley) Cemetery.
Image Copyright: Alan L Clark