Remote burial ground of South Yorkshire airman is given a lasting memorial

Search for relatives of Barnsley soldier Thomas Kenny who died in RAF crash as work goes on at his last resting place
Search for relatives of Barnsley soldier Thomas Kenny who died in RAF crash as work goes on at his last resting place
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relatives of a Barnsley airman who died in a plane crash during World War Two are sought as work is carried out at his final resting place.

The burial site where RAF flight sergeant Thomas Brendon Kenny, from Barnsley, was laid with five others after the smash in April 1941 is thought to be the most remote war grave in Britain.

Its distant location in the Western Highlands of Scotland means the airmen - who were not discovered until May 25, 1941 - were given an alternative commemoration.

They were buried there, with a plaque in the nearest hamlet’s churchyard and a cairn to mark the grave, as its position makes permanent maintenance impossible.

Now the Commonwealth War Graves Commission is to place a granite slab at the site to protect its integrity.

Commission chiefs are trying to let families of the six men know work will be carried out at the burial site on Ben More, a ‘Munro’ - the name given to mountains over 3.000ft - in the Western Highlands.

Five miles from human habitation and accessible only on foot or by helicopter, commission staff needed the help of a mountain guide to get there.

Iain Anderson, the commission’s supervisor in Scotland, said: “It really is miles from anywhere.

”You need to be a good map reader to find the site because it’s easy to miss. And the weather can change very quickly in the Highlands so you need to know what you are doing.”

Weather on the night of the crash - April 13, 1941 - was terrible with ‘white out’ conditions.

The Avro Anson aircraft from RAF Kinloss was on a night navigation exercise when it crashed 2,300 feet about sea level.

The six who died were flight sergeant Thomas Brendon Kenny, from Barnsley. pilot officer William Edward Drew, from Lancashire, sergeant Jack Emery, from Wiltshire, sergeant Charles McPherson Mitchell, from Aberdeen, sergeant Harold Arthur Tompsett, from Surrey, and flying officer James Henry Steyn, from Johannesburg.

A granite slab weighing 600kg will be inscribed and placed over their grave.

Relatives of Thomas Kenny can call the war commission on 01628 634 221.