Crash-site of RAF Avro Anson GR1 near Ben More Assynt – Update by Simon Lloyd-Morrison

An update and photos to the Commonwealth War Graves site after Heavy Whalley’s input last year (and his assistance in updating the grave-stone), plus photos taken 17 Sep 2017

A more comprehensive article can be found at Air Crash Sites Scotland (

This aircraft was on a training flight (Navex or Navigation Exercise), and was being flown by a crew attached to 19 OTU from RAF Kinloss. The Anson was carrying at least one instructor (possibly two) along with four (or five) trainees.

Accident details are sparse, but apparently the aircraft [wings] began to ice up in a very heavy snowstorm. This made it increasing difficult for the pilot to keep the Anson airborne. Shortly afterward, one of the engines began to fail.

Ultimately, the aircraft crashed in one of the most remote areas of Scotland—on the hills E of Inchnadamph in the proximity of Ben More Assynt [map].

Partly due to the remoteness of the area, the crash site was not discovered until about 6 weeks later (in May 1941), when a shepherd came across the wreckage while out on the hills.

A volunteer recovery team went up to bring the bodies down. (In 1941, there were no Mountain Rescue Teams (MRTs). However, due to the state of the bodies, it was decided to bury them at the crash site, where they still lie.

A cairn marks the burial location. In 1985, this cairn was refurbished by Air Cadets from No 2489 (Bridge of Don) squadron, commanded by Flt Lt Niall Aslen.

An RAF Avro Anson in flight.


Crash-site on Beinn an Fhurain



Grave stone
Wreckage area
Engine and prop
Other engine
Wheel assembly
Memorial at Inchnadamph kirkyard


Those who died in this accident were:

F/O James Henry Steyn (23), DFC, RAF, South Africa.
P/O William Edward Drew (28), RAF
Sgt Charles McPherson Mitchell (31), RAFVR
Flt Sgt Thomas Brendon Kenny (20), RAF
Sgt Jack Emery (20), RAFVR
Sgt Harold Arthur Tompsett (20), RAFVR


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