How swiftly have some aspects of the search for the family members of crew have moved since my last blog entry!!!
The other night after having left private messages on Facebook to two folk I felt could be the grandchildren of Harry Douglas Spry…and time went by without any reply… about two and a half weeks…and Eureka!!! His granddaughter messaged me two nights ago. I think that she might have been on the phone to her father at the same time because the messages came in fits and starts.
However, she confirmed (from her father) that Harry Douglas Spry was her grandfather and yes he’d been in the RAF during the war. This was as much as he knew, though, because in common with many veterans he never spoke about what had happened to him. He knew nothing about what he’d done at all and was sorry about that.
Harry Spry was the mid-upper gunner on W.7471 Short Stirling MG-J on the night that it was shot down by Oblt. Ludwig Becker over the Friesland area of the Netherlands. When the plane came down he’d managed to bail out successfully but had sustained a twisted ankle… a minor injury when one considers what could have happened.
I was able to give him the major details of when and where he’d been shot down and which POW camp he’d been sent to at first. His daughter, conveying all these messages, said that it had really hit him… a lot to take in, I think.
Anyway, I ordered a copy of dad’s book to go to him and after the PM session I emailed more details for his granddaughter to give to him… plus the ways in which he could send for his father’s service record and Bomber Command clasp.
In a couple of weeks he’ll no doubt have started the book and we’ll speak on the phone with any luck. He’s going to see if he, or any of the wider family know anything or have anything further to add and maybe even a photograph of him.
Ger Boogmans, over in the Netherlands, was pleased that our search was starting in such a promising manner and has a few plans of his own to further the search with other crew members.
Someone else got in touch with me today… again on Facebook… and said that he might have a contact for another crew member… but that’s another entry in the blog in a few days.
There are many who decry the internet… but in this case it’s been my best tool for tracing someone. And there are others on the list who may soon have a phone call… if everything falls into place as this one has. Optimistic? Oh yes!!