I was made aware of the following story recently, which in many ways deserves a lot more recognition of the effort, compassion, and humanity shown by the Braemar Mountain rescue Team.
This quote has been edited for privacy.
“I have an uncle, now resident in Crathie, who, during the war flew Spitfires and other aircraft. After the war he eventually took up employment as a gamekeeper based at Spittal of Muick (beside Loch Muick).
One particular day when the mist was really thick and down to ground level, he heard a plane approaching from the direction of Ballater. He knew it was fairly low, in fact too low for safe flying, and just waited for the inevitable to happen. Within a minute or so later he heard the engine of the aircraft ‘power up’ followed by the expected explosion as the aircraft hit the side of Cuidhe Crom, 3553 feet, and situated immediately south east of Lochnagar. The aircraft was a Royal Navy Firefly and the crew of two were killed instantly.
On 23rd of June 2015, Braemar Mountain Rescue Team took the widow of the pilot of the ill-fated aircraft and her son and his wife back to the crash scene. The woman, now in her eighties, was carried to the site by the team where some of the wreckage remains.”
The Mountain rescue Team’s efforts seem to have gone without public acknowledgement, and I searched the Internet for any report or story about the very compassionate gesture to the family of the aircrew, and it was apparent their actions didn’t appear to have attracted any publicity in the media. At the website of the Rescue Team’s Facebook, you will find only the following modest log–book style entry and photo. Family thanks and entries are also included.
“Today some of the team assisted in taking family members of a pilot killed in an air crash in 1949 to the crash site on the flanks of Cuidhe Crom.”
Further information on that particular aircraft, can be found here.
Mountain Rescue Teams are very used to carrying badly injured hill–walkers off a mountain, and indeed in training they will use any opportunity to develop skills for future accidents on the mountains. To carry a grateful widow up and then down a mountain is something else entirely.
I personally applaud their selfless act of compassion to let a woman see where her husband died, and give her and her family closure.