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From Canada to Formby with Love...

Larry Quinton is from Collingwood in Ontario, Canada and travelled to Formby to find the grave of his Uncle Walter Dixon (his mother's brother).

Flight Sergeant Walter Dixon of the Royal Canadian Air Force was assigned to the 195 Squadron of the RAF based at Woodvale Aerodrome from February 1943 to train for sweeps over France prior to D-Day. He flew from Woodvale in his Hawker Typhoon on 9th April 1943 to carry out very low level strafing runs over Burscough railway line but hit a railway signal and crashed fatally at New Lane aged just 24. He was buried at St. Peter's churchyard.

Larry is on a tour of Europe to see places relevant to his family. He came via Ireland to Formby and stayed in the Squirrels B&B in St George's Rd. Larry found his uncle's grave with a little help from Mr Ken Ward, a church member. Larry then planted a Canadian flag on the grave. It must have been quite an emotional moment for him. Ken then kindly showed him the history of the church afterwards. Larry was then leaving Formby to travel down to London and then on to Normandy to see a tank that his uncle's brother was in.

Walter's brother was in an amphibious converted Sherman tank that sank. The tank crew waited for the tank to fill with water then opened the hatch and escaped. His brother was picked up by a passing landing craft which itself was then shelled so he swam the last 100 yards to the beach. The Canadian troops went on to achieve their mission to destroy a telegraph pole inland. The brother survived the war intact. The tank was salvaged from the sea and is now on display in France. Larry is going to see this tank.

If anyone has any more information about Larry's uncle or on the crash or on 195 Typhoon squadron, Dave Foreman of the Squirrels B&B will be more than happy to pass it on to Larry. Please contact the Bubble and we will send it on to Dave.

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