40 years on, airline heroine tribute

LOVED ones have paid tribute to a heroic air hostess who died trying to save victims of a plane crash 40 years ago.

Jane Harrison, 22, was working on a BOAC Boeing 707 when it crashlanded at Heathrow Airport after one of its engines caught fire.

Her body was found next to that of a disabled passenger she was trying to rescue.

Miss Harrison, who was posthumously awarded a George Cross for her courage and is still the only woman to have received the award in peacetime, now has pride of place in a new book called Fire Over Heathrow – The Tragedy of Flight 712, by Susan Ottaway.

The book has a foreword from the Duke of Edinburgh who witnessed the tragedy through binoculars at Buckingham Palace.

Miss Harrison moved to Scarborough with her family in 1950 when she was eight. She was educated in the town, attending Newby County Primary School and Scarborough Girls' High School.

Her sister, Scalby woman Sue Buck, 66, paid tribute by laying flowers at the memorial plaque to Miss Harrison at St Laurence's Church, Scalby, along with Miss Harrison's best friend Kay Haw.

Mrs Buck said: "It was a horrendous time when she died. The crash was a terrible disaster and something I will obviously never forget.

"She was awarded the George Cross in 1969 and I am very proud of what she did."

Miss Harrison was one of only five women to be directly awarded the George Cross and her heroism is also commemorated in the chapel at Heathrow Airport.

Mrs Buck added: "What happened to her was completely devastating. The plane crashlanded in a gravel pit near the airport. Five people died but 121 people were saved. Jane's bravery saved the lives of several passengers."

Miss Harrison is also remembered by Margaret Thatcher's former press officer Bernard Ingham in his book Yorkshire Greats, The County's Fifty Finest.