Bad night over Lille May 1944

Monday 21 June 2021

Bad night over Lille May 1944

Presented by Colonel Steven Larkins OAM (retired)

In 1998, I met a Belgian detective in Ypres.  We have remained in contact more or less continuously since.  These days we are both retired but work as Battlefield Guides.  In 2001 he showed me a photo of a Lancaster bomber crashed in his grandfather’s brickyard at Langemark north of Ypres and said it was Australian.  

More recently I picked up the story, accessing Conrad”s knowledge, research by French and Australian researchers and Virtual War Memorial to try to tell the story behind the picture.

Australia trained 27,000 aircrew during WW2 under the Empire Air Training Scheme for service with the RAAF.  This is the story of 33 of them lost in one raid, one night over the French city of Lille.  Two Burnside boys’ were among them.


Steve Larkins has lived in Tusmore for the past 17 years.  He had an extensive career in the Army, 20 years full time and 18 years in the Reserve at either end of is regular Army career, from Private to Colonel.  He is a self-confessed history tragic, particularly Military History.  Prior to COVID 19 he regularly conducted small group battlefield tours to France and Belgium.

All welcome. No charge. 


Coralie Soward Hall, Burnside Community Centre (adjacent Burnside Library)

401 Greenhill Road, Tusmore SA 5065

Enter car park from Fisher Street, off Portrush Road