A village in rural France is hoping to trace relatives of a fallen Brierfield airman, laid to rest there after he made the ultimate sacrifice during the Second World War.
Flight Sergeant John Eason Sharpley, aged just 20, was an air gunner in a Lancaster bomber, 100 Squadron, which was shot down and crashed on June 30th, 1944, over Vouzon in central France. He was later buried in the village, 21 miles south of Orléans.
Now, the residents of Vouzon have sought the help of the Burnley Twinning Association to try to trace John’s descendants.
His grave lies at the entrance to the village cemetery and the villagers would like to organise a commemorative event next year 75 years after his death.
David Smith, from the Twinning Association, said: “We know that Flight Sergeant Sharpley was born in Brierfield on December 24th, 1924, so he was just 20-years-old when he died.
“Research from our French friends suggest that there was a family connection in Worsthorne. It is also thought that other family connections may lie in West Lancashire in the Ormskirk/Southport areas.
“Is it possible that any readers have knowledge of, or contact with the family Sharpley? It is not a common name and it is possible that some of his family members still live in the area.”
Anyone with information can contact David by e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01282 435586.