In Memoriam - Wren Annie McCormick
 

 

Main Galley HMS Blackcap 1943. Photo courtesy Mr. George Rose

The main Galley HMS Blackcap 1943. Annie McCormick middle front row

 

A tragic accident

On the night of 31st May 1943 a party of WRNS ratings was returning to the wrennery at HMS Blackcap, RNAS Stretton in Cheshire, after attending a local dance. They were passengers on the back of a 3 ton truck. At Wrights Green the truck driver lost control and the vehicle crashed into a field and overturned in a ditch. Six passengers were killed, 3 Wrens and 3 naval air mechanics, and 12 others were injured in the crash.

 

Of the 6 ratings who lost their lives that night 5 were buried by their families in their home towns, the sixth, 29 year old Wren Steward No. 15425 Anne Elizabeth McCormick, was buried by the navy with full military honours, in the graveyard of St Cross Church, Appleton Thorn. The Church was about 300 yards from the main gate of HMS Blackcap.

 

Wren McCormick, known as 'Anna' to her friends, was very well liked by all the wrens who knew her and this was reflected in the turn out for her funeral; the ships company, apart from those who could not spared from duty, attended the funeral along with many of the local residents attended. The funeral service itself was held at the War Memorial as there was insufficient seating in St. Cross church.

 

 

The funeral procession from the Air Station to the nearby church. Photo courtesy Mr. George Rose

 

The coffin arrives at St. Cross Church. Photo courtesy Mr. George Rose

The funeral service being held at the War Memorial outside the Church which was too small to hold all those who attended. Photo courtesy Mr. George Rose

 

After the funeral service senior officers including a First Officer WRNS, mingle with ratings at the Church prior to the burial. Photo courtesy Mr. George Rose

Steward Anne Elizabeth McCormack is laid to rest. Photo courtesy Mr. George Rose

 

The honour guard fires a salute to Steward Anne Elizabeth McCormack as she is laid to rest with full military honours. Photo courtesy Mr. George Rose.

 

Anna's grave marker today

 

 

Annual remembrance of Anna's life

A number of her fellow Wrens decided to meet at St. Cross each year to pay tribute to her memory but over the years fewer and fewer of them were able to attend the service; beginning in the early 1990s the Manchester Branch of the Fleet Air Arm Association and the Wrens decided to incorporate the celebration of 'Anna's' life in the annual remembrance service for all those who served in HMS Blackcap, held at St Cross Church, Appleton Thorn in June each year.


Tony Drury, Jan 2006


Sources:

Mr. George Rose for all photographs and the account of the accident and Annie's burial.

 

'Wrens fly in to remember ex-colleague'
by JULIA RAVENSCROFT at www.thisischeshire.co.uk

 

 

Updated: November 2012

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Copyright  Tony Drury 2005


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