Guest Post: Lucy Ash talks about her Uncle Frank

My friend, the artist Lucy Ash, wrote to me this week to tell me about her Uncle Frank:

‘This amazing trip you are undertaking has made me reminisce about an uncle I never got the chance to meet or know, Pilot Officer Frank Kerr Orme, Unit: 21 (RAF) Squadron Royal Canadian Air Force, Canadian. He and my mother (Dulcie Ommanney) were particularly close. He was a casualty of the Second World War, ‘Operation: Rotterdam’, age 25. He was an  exceptionally gifted, academic, athletic and good looking man with a dazzling future ahead of him – he had been awarded a Gold medal for the top marks for the whole of Canada in Chartered Accountant’s Course – (his cousin Budge Crawley the Oscar winning Canadian film maker had won it a few years earlier). He was also Badminton Champion of Ottawa; At that early age he had already been offered a partnership in Peat, Marwick & Mitchell an accountancy firm, as a stepping stone to politics. He thought he was immortal, therefore volunteered for the most dangerous missions. 10 days before he was shot down, in the same aircraft V6436 YH-L on 18th August with his crew he successfully attacked shipping off the Dutch coast. On the day of his death he had already completed a particularly dangerous mission but volunteered to go a second time and was, alas, killed, August 28, 1941. His aircraft took off from Watton at 1447 hrs, it was hit by flack and crashed at Maassluis, Zuid Holland, 14 km west south west of Rotterdam.  As his plane fell it was spotted by a couple by the name De  Beukelaer who lived nearby and who tended his grave (Row F Coll. Grave 35) in the Hook of Holland General Cemetery until they died. I have never been to his grave but would love to go one day. It would be fantastic Janet if you were able to visit his grave on your trip. Orme Lake in Canada is named after Frank Kerr Orme.’

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