|Image Source: Australian War Memorial|
The photo captures the memorial plaque and floral tributes in the backyard of the family home of RAAF Flight Sergeant Jack Wormald, No. 466 Squadron, c. 1944–1947. (38 Terrace Road, Dulwich Hill.) Inscribed on the plaque were the words ‘A tribute to the memory of our beloved son Flight Sergeant Jack Dudley Wormald RAAF and his crew lost over Berlin Feb 15th 1944, aged 21 years. God gave thy brave soul wings. My Son. My Son’. The dog had belonged to Jack Wormald.
Jack Wormald and the crew of Halifax HX293 went missing on 15 February 1944 on an operation to Berlin, but they actually crashed and died in Holland, where the remains of all seven of them were buried by Dutch people in the Protestant Churchyard at Grootegast (Opende). Before the Commonwealth War Graves Commission erected their standard headstones over the graves, the inhabitants of Grootegast build a memorial to the crew, and in 1951 it was visited by the Australian Ambassador to the Netherlands, Mr Alfred Sterling. At a ceremony the Ambassador laid a wreath of red tulips on the graves, as did the Burgomaster of Grootegast. It is clear that the parents of Jack Wormald were in touch with the people of Grootegast, because affixed to the memorial to this day is a small plaque in the shape of Australia, on which are these words: ‘Mr and Mrs Wormald, 32 Terrace Road, Dulwich Hill, Sydney, wish to thank the people of Opende for the loving care of this monument erected to the memory of our beloved son Jack (pilot) and his crew’.
[Wormald, Jack Dudley, Flight Sergeant, Casualty, Halifax 293, item 166/44/104, A705, National Archives of Australia: information about the burials at Opende, online at www.basher82.nl/Data/opende/wormald.htm, a website dedicated to men and women who died or were buried in the Netherlands during World War II; AWM P05870.001]
|Jack Dudley Wormald (Centre Front) and his flight crew.|