The Lost Pilot Ceremony

On Tuesday, 15th March 2022, a ceremony was held on Lewesdon Hill honouring Jean Verdun Marie Aime De Cloedt, the Lost Pilot, whose Spitfire aeroplane crashed into Lewesdon Hill one foggy day 80 years ago.

In the main photograph (L to R) –

  • Damien (Benjamine’s partner),
  • Benjamine, (Jean de Cloedt’s Great Niece)
  • Benjamine’s nephew (currently studying at Bristol University),
  • Aldon Ferguson (RAF Historian),
  • Heather Bunch (Doug Studley‘s daughter Home Guard),
  • Andrew Frampton at the back,
  • Rev. Jo Neary.
  • Knocker Wilson, representative of Dorset RAF veterans,
  • Clive Wakely (son of Jack from Home Guard)

From left to right: Jon Harvey (RAFA Standard Bearer),
Alan Kidson and Knocker White.

Supported by Knocker White, Bugler, Steve Chard changed from his
muddy wellies into his immaculately polished black shoes.

For those who missed it, or couldn’t make it up the hill, here is a 36 minute (amateur) recording of the full ceremony.  Unfortunately, the volume quality of the childrens’ poetry is not great as there was no amplification and a helicopter passed overhead:


Following the ceremony –

Several walked a further 500m up the hill with Andrew Frampton to view the actual crash site.

A Tigermoth aeroplance circled Lewesdon hill after the ceremony.

Unfortunately, the planned Spitfire encountered an oil leak and was substituted with this Tigermoth as this would have been the aircraft the pilot would have trained on, before being allowed to fly a Spitfire.


A piece of copper piping from Jean de Cloedt’s Spitfire made the plaque given to Benjamine by Andrew Frampton.

This image shows which part of the aircraft’s engine it would have come from.

Later in the afternoon, Benjamine and her nephew also visited Beaminster Museum where they saw the remains of one the wooden propellors from Jean de Cloedt‘s aeroplane.  Beaminster Museum open for their summer season on Good Friday, 15th April.

Thank you and well done to Andrew Frampton
who first brought Jean de Cloedt‘s name to a Parish Council meeting in November 2021 after a Covid infection had forced him to remain at home.  Then, with the involvement of the National Trust and others, this plaque is now in place for all of us to remember.

The National Trust’s Information memorial to Jean de Cloedt at Lewesdon Hill, Broadwindsor.

Re-titled The Forgotten Pilot, the National Trust have published their article – Click HERE.

The story as it unfolded on

Click on the date to read the posts and view more historic photographs….

  1.  11th November 2021
  2.  10th February 2021


The Lost Pilot Event – Wear Your Wellies!

The National Trust’s Coordinator has sent this message regarding tomorrow’s event on Lewesdon Hill:

We are looking forward to seeing the community at Lewesdon Hill tomorrow for the memorial service of the Lost Pilot.
Whilst the weather is looking like its going to be dry please be aware that the ground is still very, very wet and muddy and so for this reason please wear suitable, waterproof boots and wellingtons. Also, if possible please plan to walk from the village as opposed to driving as the field we allocated for parking is very damp and we want to limit (where possible) the number of cars traveling across it.
Thank you for your understanding.

Marshalls will be in attendance and there will be a tractor with a trailer to take people unable to walk up the hill to the memorial site.

Read more about the event HERE.




The Lost Pilot – 1.30pm, Tuesday 15th March

The National Trust have published the location of the memorial site for Jean De Cloedt, the Belgian pilot who fatally crashed his aircraft into the side of Lewesdon Hill in 1942. They have taken the information provided by local farmer and Councillor, Andrew Frampton and the 80th anniversary of this tragic event will be creating quite a stir…

On Tuesday, 15th March at 1.30pm, they plan to put a memorial in his honour in the woodland as you enter the hillside.  The actual crash site is about 500m further up the hill on a protected Iron Age fort.

Spitfire Mk IIa, P7923, No. 411 Squadron, 1941 similar to the Spitfire Mk Vb, BL463 flown by Jean De Cloedt

Site of WWII Spitfire crash, north side, Lewesdon Hill

Record ID: MNA194108 / MNA194108
Record type: Monument
Protected Status: None Recorded
NT Property: Lewesdon Hill; South West
Civil Parish: Broadwindsor; West Dorset; Dorset
Grid Reference: ST 4368 0136

About 100 -200 people are expected to attend and the story will generate a lot of media interest. It is quite possible that local TV and radio will also be covering the story. They are opening up a field on the Bridport road for parking but most villagers and school children will probably walk up. The National Trust will employ signage from the village to the car park. There is then a 5-10 minute walk up across the field into the hill entrance where the memorial service is planned. Wellies advisable!

  • Our Rev. Jo will open the ceremony with reflections and prayers.
  • The children from Broadwindsor Primary school, who have been studying this period of World War 2, will recite a poem they’ve written about the pilot’s story.
  • The National Trust will then give a brief resumé of the history of the Hill from the Iron Age fort to the byway road that used to exist through the hill and woodland species.
  • Andrew will then tell the story of Jean and introduce Jean’s great neice, Benjamine De Cloedt and the children of the Broadwindsor Home Guard who went to help Jean on that day have also been invited to attend.
  • Benjamine will then be invitied to ceremoniously cut the ribbon and say a few words.
Extract from Leonard Studley’s ‘ book – My Story’

People will then be  invited to the top of the hill to visit the crash site where Andrew will explain what they think happened and why Jean was 80 miles east of his destination. He will also talk about the Supermarine Spitfire Mk II plane and attempt to answer any questions about the story.
Part of the propellor was recovered by farmer Dudley Tolley at Wantsly Farm, Stoke Abbott and now hangs in Beaminster Museum.

They will be recording an audio version of the story which will be accessed via a QR code on the memorial which will take you to the National Trust web site.

Jean De Cloedt in the front row.

Andrew added “I would ask all villagers who are free and would like to see the event to please come along and represent our village to show solidarity and compassion for the brave pilot who faced a horrible dilemma in the fog of our landmark hill exactly 80 years to the day this tragedy occurred.”




50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾

As the Half Term Holidays approach, many parents may wonder how they can keep their children both occupied and stimulated.  Expense is frequently a consideration too.

The National Trust have 50 suggestions of what you could do – at no or minimal expense – on their 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾. From Welly wandering and flying a kite to setting up a snail race and making a home for wildlife – fun is practically guaranteed 🙂

Print out their chart and get planning! There’s absolutely nothing to prevent those over 11¾ taking part too!

Instructions and guides on each of the fifty activities can be found HERE.

You can download the complete list to view and/or print out for your child’s wall to mark off – Click HERE.


Armistice Day

On this day in 1918 the First World War ended. The guns were silenced on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.    Today we remember those who lost their lives in both World Wars and all our servicemen, servicewomen and animals killed or injured since 1945.

In Broadwindsor, there is a new name to be remembered – Jean Decloedt.  As told by farmer and Parish Councillor Andrew Frampton at Monday’s Parish Council meeting…

  Jean Decloedt was born in 1916 in London and was the eldest son of two Belgian diplomats. At the breakout of war, Jean joined the RAFVF (Volunteer Force) and was stationed at Burtonwood base near Warrington. His job as a member of the 37th Maintenance Unit was to repair and service allied planes, mainly spitfires and deliver them to squadrons around the country.
On 15 March 1942, Andrew’s late grandfather Jack Frampton, John Studley and Jack Wakely were on Home Guard duty in Broadwindsor. It was a dry, foggy and windy night and they heard the sound of an engine faltering and spluttering. In the cockpit unbeknown to them was Jean Decloedt taking a Super Marine Mk 2 Spitfire BL483 to 317 Squadron, based in Exeter. Sadly, he crashed into Lewesdon Hill on the north side. When the Home Guard reached it they found Jean and he had been killed on impact. Armed with only sticks the Home Guard didn’t know if they would discover a German plane or airman on the run. The following day Dudley Tolley from Wantsley Farm managed to squirrel away one of the wooden propellers which hangs in Beaminster Museum to this day.
Next March is the 80th anniversary of this event. Jean has no surviving family and this story isn’t remembered on Remembrance Sunday.
Councillor Frampton reported that he has set up a meeting with the National Trust Area Officer to discuss the possibility of erecting some form of memorial and information board at Lewesdon, on the site of the crash and will be establishing contact with the Belgian Embassy. The Parish Council expressed its support for a memorial and thanked the Councillor for his efforts in bringing this event to their attention.
Andrew is also liaising with Broadwindsor school and Rev. Jo to become involved.

We are all forgotten after a third generation or 100 years and this poor Pilot has been forgotten much sooner so as a mark of respect and gratitude I would like to honour his sacrifice and memory.” – Andrew Frampton.

Photo: Annie Collins.


Not All Is As It Seems . . .

At the beginning of the month, Broadwindsor published a Happy Easter post with this beautiful image crediting Ernesto Murguia with how in June 2020, an artist published on Twitter saying her parents are beekeepers and they sent her this image from a fellow French bee keeper.  Such a beautiful image understandably went ‘viral’ on the internet – but not for the first time.  It has now come to light that the image is not a hive created entirely by bees. The story of this image, of bees, an artist, the National Trust, a folklorist, in South Africa and more…  Many thanks to Steve Byrne for his research and the thread on Twitter.

A post from the UK’s National Trust back in 2015 claimed to be the original source of the photograph.

After the image had been shared thousands and thousands of times, someone on Twitter challenged the National Trust, but they confirmed it was real:

National Trust Challenged

Then, as it begins to circulate again, a bee keeper named Brian Fanner replies to the National Trust:

Brian Fanner - "I made this"

Brian then proves this by sending his post from 2013:

Bee Heart - Brian Fanner

The inquisitive Steve Byrne then addresses both the National Trust and Brian Fanner on Twitter – the National Trust did not respond but Brian Fanner did!  He sent Steve this image –

with the following words:

The things that come up are really funny from how bees have “artistic sensibilities” to bees creating that shape “to increase airflow”. I’ve seen companies using it in their websites and so many claiming it came out of their hive somewhere in the world. 
I used this board, routed in the slots… a rush job I’ll admit… waxed in some foundation strips into the slots and screwed inside a deep langstroth hive lid and stuck it on the hive. The bees made do best they could…
Brian continued,The lines are slots into which a foundation wax with the comb pattern on it can be placed…secured with melted beeswax. Normally…a sheet…to guide the bees as to where to build. So they just come across this weird pattern of foundation strip and start building onto it.  After that they just fill it out best they can. It’s a simple manipulation.
The bees are Capensis. The honey was most likely early season succulent type plant called a ‘vygie‘. [mesembryanthemums]. Even @Pinterest use this as the cover image for ‘bee art’“.
I called the image ‘a sweet heart‘ dedicated to my wife…per the very first post of it on my Facebook page in 2013. We scraped all the comb off the board, strained out the wax and consumed…not a very practical artwork to keep.

So it is possible that the National Trust‘s social media person got it wrong in 2015 – the image would appear to have been around since 2013.

Steve commented:It seems to have travelled to many countries & the story has been told and retold. As a folklorist, the giveaway was in the “beekeeper forgot the frame” wording. It kept coming up again & again. That is classic folklore, where a memorable snippet repeats and is passed on. And that, folks, is what we call Internet Folklore, where stories spread and change quicker than ever, and involve communities of people experiencing a simple yet heartwarming tale.”

He concluded:The thing to take away? On the internet, search behind what you see. Don’t take things at face value. Don’t let your “aww” gene get in the way of thinking, hmm, is this for real? Because there are people out there who seek to use such kindly human instincts in unkind ways.

It’s still a delightful story. The artwork was made for his wife and they ate it together 🙂

You can download Steve’s full thread in a readable format HERE.

AristotleIn 2011, Brian Fanner was profiled on social media as keeping bees and was “a smallholder in the Hopefield district of the Renosterveld” in the Western Cape province of South Africa.  He was also mentioned in publications as a bee keeper.

In 2014, Brian, with his brother Mark started making their own electric Ukulele’s, based on the southern tip of Africa, and out in the countryside to boot, they became expert in-sources. They pretty much make everything themselves. They also have an office in Cape Town. To learn more about them and their rocking Ukuleles – Click HERE.




Give Dorset Council Your Feedback On SEND Services

Parents and Carers of children with a Special Education Needs Disability (SEND) are being asked to give their feedback on how they view the services provided by Dorset Council.

You can read a previous post published at the end of January on SEND‘s report into remote education HERE.

The aim of their survey is to gather your views and experiences of the services and provision in Dorset for children and young people aged 0 – 25 years with additional needs and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can choose to feedback on the sections relevant to you and your child or young person. The survey is open until 31st March 2021.  They state that it should take about 20-30 minutes to complete, depending on the number of sections you choose to answer, so please take the time out, along with a well deserved cuppa perhaps and complete the survey.

If you have more than one child with additional needs or a disability, you will need to complete a separate survey for each person aged 0-25 yrs.

Dorset CouncilYour comments are valued and will be taken into consideration in order for them to:

  1. Update the Dorset SEND strategy
  2.  Help both Dorset Council and the Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group to continue with their improvement work.

Take this opportunity to have your say.

Complete their survey HERE.

For those who submit their contact details – you will have the opportunity to win 4 x National Trust family memberships.

Any queries on the survey, please direct to: Kim Saint,


Plant A Tree For Mothers Day – Sunday, 14th March

With just a week until Mother’s Day, some may have consumed enough chocolate throughout Lockdown so why not consider something a bit different?  The National Trust are giving you the opportunity to dedicate a single sapling or up to half a hectare of woodland to your Mum this Mother’s Day and you’ll be helping to support their aim to plant 20 million trees by 2030:

  • £5 will buy a tree sapling.
  • £50 will buy 10 tree saplings.
  • £250 will plant 50 square metres.
  • £500 will plant 100 sq.m.
  • £2,500 will plant one fottball pitch (half a hectare!).

You can choose your amount and choose if it is in memory of someone or a celebration. At the moment, you are unable to ‘tag’ a specific tree, or choose a location for a tree to be planted. However, they have the ambition to plant 20 million trees by 2030, and your donation today can directly help create a living memorial that benefits nature for everyone, for ever. 🙂

Donate & Dedicate Your Tree HERE.

National Trust LogoWith care, attention and natural progression, small saplings grow into happy, healthy woodlands full of wonder. A lot goes into nurturing new life – and Mum’s know it!