Flight Sergeant George Hilton Sansome (423386) served in the Royal Australian Air Force. He died aged 22 years old in a plane crash over Co. Galway, Ireland.
He was the son of George Edward Sansome and Olice Adelaide Sansome of Sans Souci, New South Wales, Australia. George is one of many Australian and New Zealander service personnel buried in Northern Ireland.
Flight Sergeant Sansome was the air bomber of Handley Page Halifax EB134 on 7th November 1943. The plane was on a non-operational, night training flight with No. 1663 Heavy Conversion Unit, RAF. It took off from RAF Rufforth, Yorkshire.
On completion of the test flight, the crew was bound for RAF Marston Moor, North Yorkshire. The captain acknowledged the order by the plane never arrived at the Yorkshire Royal Air Force airfield.
Crash of Halifax EB134
At Flat Head, Co. Cork at 2243hrs, a lookout heard the sound of the Halifax’s engines. Other lookout points observed the plane on a northbound journey.
Just over an hour later, at 2350hrs, the plane came down near Lavally, Bernaderg, 6 miles north of Tuam, Co. Galway. The causes of the accident remain a mystery. Irish authorities recovered the bodies of the 7 airmen from the plane. They returned them to Northern Ireland from neutral Ireland.
Remembering the Halifax Crew
|Last Name||First Name(s)||Rank||Role||Information|
|Johnston||Allan Stewart||Flight Sergeant||Pilot||RAAF 409125|
|Sansome||George Hilton||Flight Sergeant||Air Bomber||RAAF 423386|
|Gallagher||Anthony Joseph||Flight Sergeant||Wireless Operator/Air Gunner||RAAF 410595|
|Gardner||Norman William||Warrant Officer||Air Gunner||RCAF R/65741|
|Camp||Edgar William||Sergeant||Flight Engineer||RAF 1605423|
|Wildman||Leslie Harold||Sergeant||Wireless Operator/Air Gunner||RAF 1158064|
|Clark||Robert Mair||Sergeant||Navigator||RAF 1051117|
George Hilton Sansome’s grave is in Section 2, Grave 31 of Irvinestown Church of Ireland, Irvinestown, Co. Fermanagh. His name is on Panel 130 of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, Australia. His headstone in Irvinestown bears the inscription:
Greater love hath no man.
On 5th August 20017 at 1400hrs, the Old Tuam Society and Lavally Community unveiled a memorial to the crew of Halifax EB134. Historian Anne Tierney researched the story between 2006-2007. The memorial is in a garden of remembrance at Ryehill, Tuam, Co. Galway. Her Excellency Anne Plunkett – Australian Ambassador to Ireland attended along with families of the airmen. Also in attendance were John Banim of the Canadian Embassy and Brian Mahoney of the British Embassy.