A PLAQUE has been installed at a Sedbergh cemetery in memory of a pilot who lost his life during World War Two.

Former Polish Air Force pilot Antoni Henryk Gosiewski (born January 17 1900) served with the RAF after the outbreak of World War Two until September 1941 when he then joined the British Air Transport Auxiliary – a civilian organisation that specialised in transporting military aircraft.

On December 19 1941, Second Officer Pilot Gosiewski was transporting a Miles Master from Woodley in Berkshire to RAF Lossiemouth when he crashed into the hillside at Arant Haw, around two miles north of Sedbergh.

It is assumed that low clouds caused the 40-year-old to drift off course from his intended route up the Lune Valley.  The remains of the aircraft and Gosiewski’s body were discovered on the hills a few days later.

His story is particularly poignant as his wife and two children had died earlier in the same year.  

They had managed to leave Poland and were attempting to reach the UK on the ‘SS Avoceta’ when it was torpedoed in the North Atlantic.

Cllr Roger Sedgwick, of Sedbergh Parish Council, said: “We got a lot of information from my Aunt, who’s still alive at age 94.

“They think he might have survived the crash but he was that badly injured that he couldn’t get out of the cockpit and subsequently died of a wound or from hypothermia.

“A farming family about a mile and a half up the road went and found him on December 23 when the mist had eventually cleared.

“It’s really nice for the community to look back on and it’s good we’re here now to tell the tale of what happened.”

Sedbergh Parish Councillors, along with a representative from the Royal British Legion, unveiled the plaque on the cemetery Lych Gate on Busk Lane in Sedbergh.

The Sedbergh and District History Society and The Royal British Legion both made donations.