The civic leaders of the Belgian town Linter [formerly known as Drieslinter] are seeking the relatives of WWII hero Flight Lieutenant Alfred Edward David Ashcroft, a navigator and wireless operator during the Second World War, for the coming unveiling of a plaque in his honor at the church village this May 10 during the 70th anniversary of VE Day.
Ashcroft, then 24, was reportedly killed side by side with the 27-year-old Australian pilot William Vale when their plane – a Mosquito – came down on the same church where the plaque in their honor would be unveiled on October 6, 1944.
Their deaths happened as they were returning to RAF Swannington in Norfolk after raiding campaigns in Bremen and Dortmund, Germany.
Linter’s civic leaders successfully found the relatives of the Australian pilot but alas, their search for Ashcroft’s relatives were in vain. SSAFA, a British charity formerly known as Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, even got involved with the seeking of the WWII hero’s relatives but to no avail.
According to Wing Commander David Bramley, they couldn’t find anything about Ashcroft’s family. There wasn’t even a photo of him on file in spite of being a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross way back in 1944.
Flight Lieutenant Alfred Edward David Ashcroft joined the Royal Air Force in 1939 and was an air gunner for the 141 Squadron. Eventually, he underwent retraining with the 29 Squadron in West Malling, Kent. Accordingly, his parents, Alfred and Edith Maud Ashcroft, resided in Cobham, Surrey.
In 1948, his mother, Edith, moved to Rochford, Essex where she died in 1970.
For those who have information about the relatives of WWII hero Flight Lieutenant Alfred Edward David Ashcroft, kindly contact ssafa.org.uk/alfred or this telephone number: 020 7463 9258.