The monument is to the crew of a Lancaster bomber of No 156 Squadron, RAF that was shot down on a bombing mission to Cologne on 17th June 1943. The memorial was designed and made by Roger Schoofs and there is an article on the monument as part of a larger article on Lier monuments. (It’s in Dutch, but some of the information translated below).
i guess like a lot of these small monuments, they are now overlooked and less relevant, but poignant all the same. The Lancaster had it’s bomb-load when it crashed so the explosion destroyed most of the houses in the neighbourhood.
A translation of the local website.
This artwork was an initiative of the war researcher, Wim Govaerts and was unveiled in the presence of relatives of the crew.
On the night of June 17, 1943 at 1:15 crashed beside the Mechelsesteenweg Lier, an Avro Lancaster bomber (number ED840) of the 156th squadron of the Royal Air Force down. This was on my way to Cologne, but the route was badly effected by the German FLAK. The RAF lost 15 bombers on that night on their way to Cologne. The havoc on the ground was considerable as the bomber had not dropped his load. The Lancaster was loaded with a “cookie”, an exceptionally heavy bomb, without shrapnel, which was intended to maximize shock wave in the target area, so that roofs were blown away. This enabled the cargo incidendary phosphorus bombs to set the buildings on fire more easily.
Of the 7 crew, 4 were killed and 3 were taken prisoner.
Those who died:
Squadron Leader J. C. Mac Intosch
Pilot Officer E. Monk
Flight Sergeant R. Dobson
Flight Sergeant P. Woodcock
They are buried in the Schoonselhof in Antwerp.
Sergeant RC Drinkwater was interned in Camp L6/L4, Prisoner #.122.
Sergeant LG Ledamun was interned in Camp L6/357, Prisoner # 328. He was wounded in the head and legs but was not hospitalized.
Flight Sergeant EEWeare could escape after the crash and after evading capture for a while, he was eventually betrayed by a certain “Captain Jackson” and was arrested Aug. 3, 1943 in Paris. He was detained in Camp 4B, Prisoner No.222540. He escaped on April 6, 1945 and arrived in Britain on 18 May 1945.