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An unidentified WW2 airman in Quorn Baptist Churchyard

In 1940, during WW2, the body of a young airman was found floating in the English Channel. It was believed to be that of Alfred Hubert Payne and he was laid to rest with his father in Quorn Baptist Churchyard. After the war it transpired that Alfred’s body had been buried in France with his other crew members. His mother Clara could not accept this and out of respect for her, it was only after she died, aged 100 in 1971, that a Commonwealth War Graves Commission stone was put in place, commemorating ‘An Airman of the 1939-1945 War, Known to God’.

In 2008, Mike Speight from Quorn, a distant relation of Alfred and Clara, started to investigate who the unknown young man could be. This article tells the story of these two airmen and how Mike’s research and tenacity finally identified the resting place of 19 year old Sergeant Donald Payne.

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 Submitted on: 2021-03-23
 Submitted by: Research by Mike Speight, 2015 photographs by Kev Porter, put together by Sue Templeman
 Artefact ID: 2444

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