The death of Sgt Reginald Renton, RAF

How we helped unravel a mystery which had remained unresolved for 74 years 

The families of the aircrew.
The unveiling of the Memorial.

Viewing the pictures.


Poppies of Remembrance.

For 74 years the Renton family knew little or nothing about how Reginald Renton of the RAF met his death in 1943. Only a name of Bishop Monkton War memorial any had mention of him.

Because of this we posted a short item on this website a year ago asking:  'Does anyone have any details of how Sgt Reginald Renton, whose name appears on our War Memorial, met his death?'.

Two days later the editor received a call from the leader of  an air crash recovery group in Germany. 

He had read the item and had only a few weeks before his crew had discovered a new crash site of a WW2 allied plane and one of those listed in the crew was a Sgt. Reginald Renton of the RAF.  Could this be the same man?

If so, were we aware of any family who could be contacted to tell them the news?

Careful checks were made and it quickly became apparent that the Sgt Renton was indeed Reginald Renton, whose family lived in Bishop Monkton at the time.

So we were pleased to put the two parties in touch and this led to this month's moving service when a memorial stone was unveiled at the crash location in Germany. The service was attended not only by members of the Renton family, but also families from New Zealand and Canada of other members of the  aircrew who perished in the crash.

Among the Renton family at the ceremony was Valerie, daughter of Reginald, and  Sally Ann Linfoot, grand-daughter of  Reginald.

In a speech at the service, Sally said:

''My grandmother received a telegram in September 1943 which stated 'Sgt Reginald Renton missing in action, presumed dead'.

''This was the last my mother and grandmother heard of their husband and father.

''His whereabouts remained a mystery all these years until Erik Wieman and the crash crew group 'IG Heimatfortschung' sought us out with the incredible news that they had discovered the Sterling bomber aircraft my grandfather died in. It came as a shock!

''My family and I have read every detail Erik has sent, with images and descriptions from my grandfather's last mission with great interest.

''We thank Erik Wieman, Peter Berkel and the group for all their hard work and for laying our mystery to rest.

''Thank you to everyone involved in bringing about the creation of this memorial and attending this wonderful ceremony today''.

This website is glad to have been a part of bringing a long mystery to a fitting conclusion.

Readers of bishopmonktontoday may remember that we were also  instrumental in bringing Erik Wieman over to the village to attend our Remembrance Day service when he presented artifacts to the Renton family.