Live today: Australian Parliament to discuss Les Knight heroism

Les Knight’s grave, marked by a wartime wooden cross.

Very short notice, I know. However, readers might like to follow this live link to the Australian parliament live feed, where MP Andrew Wilkie will be addressing the chamber at 10.45 am (UK time/11.45 CET) and telling it how the small Dutch village of Den Ham has never forgotten Les Knight’s heroism by saving it from disaster in September 1943.

En route to a low level attack on the Dortmund Ems canal, on the night of 16 September 1943, Knight’s aircraft hit trees and was severely damaged. He  battled for many minutes to keep it aloft while the seven members of his crew all baled out and landed safely. He then piloted the stricken Lancaster away from the village of Den Ham and tried to land in a field. Unfortunately, he hit a hidden ditch and was killed on impact. He was buried by the grateful villagers in the local cemetery.

This coming September, Knight’s grave will be the focal point for a weekend of ceremonies to mark the 75th anniversary of his heroism, and his family and families of many of the crew he saved that night are expected to attend. It is also expected that there will be a delegation of Australian government officials, which is why Andrew Wilkie MP is speaking today. More on this to follow later this week.


7 thoughts on “Live today: Australian Parliament to discuss Les Knight heroism

  1. Graeme Jensen May 29, 2018 / 8:52 am

    Thanks Charles.
    I tried to engender some interest in this country in Knight’s bravery and skill (with no response)
    when I did some research on Robert Kellow for you.
    I will try and watch Andrew Wilkie’s speech.
    Regrettably the House is somewhat deserted right now.
    I so wish I could have been on the UK this month, especially after visiting RAF Scampton in January.

    Kind regards
    Graeme Jensen
    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Graeme Jensen May 29, 2018 / 9:05 am

    Not before time. Les Knight deserved the VC for his courage and skill.

  3. Graeme Jensen May 29, 2018 / 9:48 am

    Thank you again Charles. I just saw Andrew Wilkie’s speech. A fitting tribute to a brave Australian.

  4. Vicki Thompson May 30, 2018 / 12:46 am

    Les Knight was my Grandmother’s cousin, however, they were born similar ages and she regarded him as a brother. My Grandmother, Merle Strickland, who died 5 years ago never got over his death. To think his name is being mentioned to this day really is amazing and I wish she were here to share it.

  5. Jim Crawford May 31, 2018 / 9:10 am

    They were all very brave men to fly out on this AND all the other missions in such a horrific war.
    I wonder would a lot of today’s young men do the same. I dont think so!
    Bless ém all!

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