Cromwell Lock

River Trent in Nottinghamshire
September 28th 1975.

300 Troop 131 Independent Parachute Squadron. Royal Engineers Territorial Army

Sapper Raymond Buchanan. Aged 20

Sapper Norman Bennet. Aged 29

Sapper James Black. Aged 18

Sapper Stuart Evenden. Aged 22

Sapper Peter Evenden. Aged 19

Sapper Ian Mercer. Aged 17

Sapper Alexander O’Brien. Aged 18

Sapper Terry Smith. Aged 20

Sapper Ronald Temprell. Aged 26

Sapper Joseph Walker. Aged 21

The ten men from 300 Troop 131 Independent Parachute Squadron of the Royal Engineers 
Territorial Army. Were on an 80-mile night navigation exercise on the River Trent, on the 28th September 1975. During the force six gale and the river in full flood, the assault boat that they were part of was swept over the weir, (Known locally as the Devils Cauldrin), of the eleven soldiers on board ten were drowned, one soldier was saved after clinging onto the assault boat for an hour, It was the largest peace time tragedy in the squadrons history.
The scene of this tragedy is marked by a piece of granite bearing the names of those young men who lost their lives that terrible night nearly thirty years ago.

Special thanks to Patrick Martin who forwarded the photo to me...

What a wonderful thing the internet is:

I received this via email on: Mon 26/09/2005

I have sent a few photos that I took at Cromwell Lock/Weir yesterday.
The occasion was a Remembrance Service by The Newark Branch of The Parachute Regimental Association to the 10 Soldiers that lost their lives there on 28-9-75. Newark Town Brass Band provided the music for the service.
I took the photo of Ex PC Albert Walker (in civvies) because he was the Officer that played a major part in rescuing the only surviving soldier, and was present yesterday as a guest. Albert was a well known figure in Newark in those days and was always called upon when there was serious trouble in town. I remember the date of the tragedy so well as I had just celebrated my 34th birthday, In fact it was my 64th birthday yesterday
I hope you like the few photos I have sent, it was hard to choose which to send because I took nearly 200 in all.
I am very impressed with your website, it's a fitting tribute to our fantastic armed services.
All the very best,
David Burton. To contact David please click here



Chairman: Mr Peter. R. Allen
Social Club Meetings Information:
Last Thursday in the month 7.30pm.

Meeting Address:
R.A.F.A. Club.
London Road Car Park

Soldiers who died in the D-Day landings in Normandy 60 years ago were remembered in services across the district on Sunday 25th September 2005. A simple ceremony at the war memorial outside Newark Parish Church brought together former Servicemen to remember their fallen comrades. The event was hastily arranged by the Newark branch of the Airborne Association after members realised nothing was planned for the anniversary. Many people attended the wreath laying.
Among them was Mrs Betty Perkins of Marquis Avenue, Balderton. Her late husband, Mr Ben Perkins, served in the Parachute Regiment and as a teenager she worked in a military hospital that treated the injured from Arnhem. 

The standards of the Royal British Legion and the Royal Artillery were lowered at the war memorial. Retired Colonel John Tinsley, the president of the Newark branch of the Airborne Association, and Mr Ernie Rowberry, laid a wreath from the association.
Normandy survivor Mr Alan Barker, and Mr Tom Baines, who served with the Sherwood Foresters, laid the Royal British Legion wreath. The wreath laying was followed by a lone bugler playing Reveille and the Last Post, followed by a minute's silence.
Almost 200 people attended a service at Orston on Sunday afternoon. The service at St Mary's Church was conducted by the Rev Reg Walton, the priest-in-charge of the Cranmer group of churches. There were so many people the choir stalls had to be used as extra pews. Among those who attended the service, hosted by the Orston branch of the Royal British Legion, was Normandy survivor Mr Peter Forster (84) of Hill Drive, Bingham.

Also present were members of Bingham, Barnstone and Colston Basset branches of the Royal British Legion and the Air Cadets based at Newton. The opening hymn, Fight The Good Fight, was followed by a reading of Robert Brooke's poem The Soldier, by Mr Barry Gibson, the president of Orston Royal British Legion. Mr David Newton, also of Orston Royal British Legion, read a poem written by wartime soldier Sergeant Parkin called Remember Them about the support given by the soldiers' wives. 

The service was followed by the singing of wartime songs.