POPPY tributes have been placed on a memorial plaque close to a Second World War air crash site where five men from RAF Walney were killed.

Among the 1943 victims of the air accident, on the beach near Earnse Bay chalet park, was James Lenaghan, aged 21 - who never lived to see his daughter born.

His grandson Mark Haywood, from Barnsley, has visited the Walney site to lay a wreath in what is the 75 th anniversary year of the accident.

The men died in an Avro Anson LT778 on May 31 in 1943 while undergoing training at RAF Walney.

Mr Haywood said: "Grandad James died three months before mum was born and so she never got to see her dad.

"Just before mum died she told me more about her dad and this is how I started my search for information and especially a photograph of him, which surprisingly we didn't have."

Research uncovered a portrait of Mr Lenaghan and a course picture taken at the airfield, which includes him with Fred Wilson and Harry Hudson, all airgunners who died in the 1943 crash.

Also killed was the pilot, Sgt Charles Anderton and Air Gunner Instructor Edwin Creed after a mid-air collision with a Martinet aircraft during an exercise to shoot at a towed target at what was No. 10 Air Gunnery School.

He said: "I was lucky enough to go up in a glider from same runway as granddad last year and my brother and I put a plaque on a rock looking out to where the avro anson crashed.

"I've also managed to find three people who saw the crash in 1943 - Albert Benson, Eddie Parker and Doug Fisher."

Mr Haywood's latest visit to Walney saw him meet two other people who had relatives on Walney during the war years and met them in the Crown Hotel.