Port Saint Mary
Rushen, Isle of Man
|Death: ||Aug. 24, 1944|
West Lancashire District
UPDATE 22, March 2015: I have verihfied the names of Sgt. Cannell's parents...his father was John Ashton and his mother's name was Eva (nee Cowley). The family had ties to Port St. Mary.
Sergeant (Pilot) W.W. Cannell was a patron of the Sad Sack Cafe on the morning of 23, August 1944, when the business was demolished in the crash of an
American U.S. Liberator heavy bomber B-24. The cafe was located in the center of the small village of Freckleton, and 61 people would die in the disaster, including 38 children from the Freckleton Holy Trinity School.
There is not a great deal of available information on Sergeant Cannell; what I have posted here, including the photograph, is public domain. It is known that he was one of 6 RAF aircrew inside the Sad Sack that morning; four of them were killed, and two seriously injured (Conflicting reports state that all six were killed, but the other two names do not 'fit in' on any of the lists of the dead).
I have tried to trace Sergeant Cannell through his homeland, the Isle of Man, and did not come up with anything; if anyone has any information whatsoever about this gentleman, please let me know and I will add to this page.
It is noted in multiple reports that Sergeant Cannell did not succumb to his injuries until the following day, the 24th.
His name is listed on many memorial pages, the Freckleton Memorial itself and other locations - however, his age, length of time in the military, etc. seem to be unknown at this point.
"These heroes are dead. They died for liberty - they died for us. They are at rest. They may or may not sleep in the land they made free, under the flag they rendered stainless, under the solemn pines, the sad hemlocks, the tearful willows, and the embracing vines. They sleep beneath the shadows of the clouds, careless alike of sunshine or of storm, each in the windowless Place of Rest. Earth may run red with other wars - they are at peace. In the midst of battle, in the roar of conflict, they found the serenity of death. I have one sentiment for soldiers living and dead: cheers for the living; tears for the dead." ~Robert G. Ingersoll
Specifically: Listed as one of the individuals in the mass burial of Freckleton victims
Created by: Rhonda C. Poynter/Gannon...
Record added: Sep 15, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 97100809