Tribute to fallen RAF navigator George, from Scarborough, who died in World War Two

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While families celebrated on VE Day and awaited the return of their loves ones from war, many others didn’t know the fate of the men in their families.

One such family was that of Gwen Moss, now 84, whose Uncle George Wainwright was reported missing in 1941, just 10 weeks after marrying her aunt Olive in Scarborough.

George was a navigator in the RAF and a member of a Lancaster bomber crew based at Driffield.

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Mrs Moss was just five years old at the time but remembers vividly the upset the news caused.

George and Olive Wainwright on their wedding day.George and Olive Wainwright on their wedding day.
George and Olive Wainwright on their wedding day.

She said: “I remember him coming to the house, he was a nice uncle.

“I’m the only one from the family who was there when the news came.

“My aunt Olive came running in saying ‘George is missing’ and the turmoil in the house, I have never forgotten.”

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For years Gwen had tried to find out what happened to George and had always believed he was shot down over Germany.

Georges grave in Holland.Georges grave in Holland.
Georges grave in Holland.

However, last year her son discovered records online which showed that George and the crew were returning to England when their plane came down over Holland.

“For the last 70 years I’ve waited to find out,” Gwen said. “I’ve never forgotten him, it means a lot to me to know where he is.

“I was so pleased to find it was Holland and not in Germany, I never liked the idea of that. I’d love to go one day if I can, it would be lovely to lay a flower on his grave now I know where it is.”

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Gwen’s aunt Olive was a member of the WRAF and was also stationed at the Driffield air base where the couple first met.

Gwen Moss. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard PonterGwen Moss. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard Ponter
Gwen Moss. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard Ponter

They were married at Trinity Church in Scarborough.

According to government figures more than 55,000 Allied airmen were killed during the Second World War.

Gwen said it was important to remember them all as we celebrate the VE Day anniversary.

She said: “They were only young kids. He was 22 and my aunt was 19.

“We will never forget them.

“We used to wonder where he was and now I know.”

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Between 1916 and 1920 the grass aerodrome at Driffield was known as Eastburn and was used by the Royal Flying Corps.

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