The search for airman’s relatives

FLYER: Pilot Officer Bruce Humphreys, pictured, was one of those killed in the wartime plane crash.
FLYER: Pilot Officer Bruce Humphreys, pictured, was one of those killed in the wartime plane crash.

A project leader for a new memorial is trying to trace relatives of a Castleford airman who was killed in a plane crash in World War Two.

Nelson Harcourt Cutler, from Glass Houghton, was one of the crew of Lancaster W4232 that crashed during a training mission over Bleasby, Nottingham in April 1944.

The plane had just taken off from RAF Syerston but got into difficulties minutes later. An eye witness saw part of the wing fall off before the plane crashed. The accident killed all seven crew members.

Ken Ogilvie is leading a project which will honour 40 young airmen who were killed in active service near Bleasby during World War Two.

He is trying to contact surviving relatives of the airmen who were killed to invite them to a dedication ceremony of the new Bleasby Aircrews Memorial on September 1.

He said: “One of the crew, Nelson Cutler, was the son of James and Hannah Cutler of Glass Houghton, Castleford. Nelson was married to Joyce, and they had two sons, James born 1941, and Richard born 1944, just after his father Nelson’s death. Sadly Richard died shortly after. The births were registered at the Leeds Registry Office.

“James married his wife Angela in 1962. They had three sons, James, Darren and Christopher. I have tried to contact all of the sons by writing to them at their last publicly available addresses, all of which are in the Leeds area, which addresses I found on the Electoral Register, but have had no replies.” He wants our readers to help him in his search for the relatives ahead of the dedication service.

Mr Ogilvie has managed to a trace a relative of the pilot of the aircraft.

Pilot Officer Bruce Humphreys was just 20 when he was killed. Mr Ogilvie said: “I have managed to contact his surviving younger brother Jim who lives in Australia.

He is visiting the UK to attend our event, and would very much like to meet the relatives of other crew members during his visit. I have permission from Jim to use a photo of Bruce if it would help in my search for the families of the other crew members.”

If you can help Mr Ogilvie please message him through the help desk at or write to The Pontefract and Castleford Express, Bullring House, 23 Northgate, Wakefield, WF1 3BJ.