DCSIMG

Fallen Sheffield hero’s tribute found

Dorothy Sharpe (front, centre) with the people that helped
bring closure on her brother's death (from left to right); Michelle
Clarke and Jane Norburn of High Storrs School Admin Services, Broomgrove
Nursing Home manager Donna Pierpoint and Hazel Fox from Churches
Together in Broomhall and Broomhill.

Dorothy is finally re-united with the memory of her lost brother The
pain of losing her only brother has never gone away for Broomgrove
Nursing Home resident Dorothy Sharpe, even though it was over 70 years
ago.
There has never been a grave for her to visit - the body of Douglas
Rowley-Blake was lost in the North Sea  - and she had no idea what
happened in the last few hours of his life after he set off on a World
War Two bombing raid to Berlin.

Dorothy Sharpe (front, centre) with the people that helped bring closure on her brother's death (from left to right); Michelle Clarke and Jane Norburn of High Storrs School Admin Services, Broomgrove Nursing Home manager Donna Pierpoint and Hazel Fox from Churches Together in Broomhall and Broomhill. Dorothy is finally re-united with the memory of her lost brother The pain of losing her only brother has never gone away for Broomgrove Nursing Home resident Dorothy Sharpe, even though it was over 70 years ago. There has never been a grave for her to visit - the body of Douglas Rowley-Blake was lost in the North Sea - and she had no idea what happened in the last few hours of his life after he set off on a World War Two bombing raid to Berlin.

  • by Molly Lynch
 

Pensioner Dorothy Sharpe has spent a whole lifetime wondering what happened to her war hero brother in the last moments of his life.

Now her 70-year struggle is over - thanks to staff at her nursing home in Sheffield.

The 89-year-old’s only brother Douglas Rowley-Blake was fighting in World War Two when he was lost in the North Sea, just hours after setting off on a World War Two bombing raid to Berlin.

Her grief was made all the worse by the fact that there was no grave to visit or memorial to lay flowers at.

Seeing the pain it caused her, Broomgrove Nursing Home embarked on a detective mission.

Donna Pierpoint, manager of the home, said: “Dorothy was always saddened that her brother’s name never seemed to appear on any World War Two memorial in Sheffield.

“When we contacted her solicitor and got a copy of her birth certificate we realised the problem, she’d been searching the wrong name. Dorothy and her brother had been filed with a double-barrelled last name ‘Rowley-Blake’.”

High Storrs School checked their own war memorials in the 1930s-built hall, and found his name recorded there.

Staff also gathered more information about Douglas’ death from Hazel Fox, of Churches Together in Broomhill.

She found out that he was the second pilot of a Whitley V aircraft that mounted a successful raid but crashed due to bad weather on the way back.

Dorothy said: “I’m overwhelmed. I can’t believe what they’ve all done for me. This has finally brought closure now that I’ve seen a memorial to Douglas.”

 

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