As a group of air force engineers slept in their World War Two barracks, their lives were cut short by a direct hit from a German bomb.
Now, a group of volunteers are trying to trace the relatives of a Turvey man to join them unveiling a memorial to mark their contribution to the war effort.
Leading Aircraftman George Jennings Truphet was among 20 men killed at RAF Ashford when a German Bomber dropped a 1000lb bomb on the construction camp, at midnight on May 22, 1944.
He was attached to Squadron 5003, which was responsible for building advance landing grounds along the Kent and Sussex coasts, as a volunteer reservist.
He was just 36 when he was killed, leaving behind a wife, Lillie Truphet (nee Woolston) also of Turvey, where he is now buried.
Leading the hunt for George Truphet’s relatives, Geoffrey Chesher-Brazier said the men who died came from all over the country, with some from America and Canada.
He said: “Because they were involved in construction, all the men came from all the building trades. They were employed to build and repair runways, and there were more men in then doing this than there are in the air force now.”
He added: “The memorial service will be attended by the men’s families from across the country and also representatives from the US and Canadian air forces.”
The Airﬁeld Construction Branch Association is behind the memorial service, which will be held in St Mary’s Church, Great Chart, Ashford, Kent, followed by a service at the War Memorial where relatives of the men lost will be invited to enact the unveiling of the remembrance plaques.
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