Flight-Lieutenant Alan Broadley is one of the names on the World War Two memorial plaque in Friary Gardens here in Richmond. He died on 18 February 1944, whilst leading Operation Jericho; bombing the walls of Amiens Prison in France in an attempt to help jailed members of the Resistance, and others, who were facing imminent execution, escape.
Alan Broadley was born in Leyburn in 1921, where his parents ran a butchers shop. He went to Richmond Grammar School and joined the RAF just before the war began. He became a navigator, flying more than 100 missions over enemy territory and was renowned for his work with the Special Operations Executive transporting agents and saboteurs.
On the day of the raid Broadley and his pilot, Group Captain Alan Pickard led the first wave into the attack. Their bombs breached the walls, closely followed by the other 23 aircraft in the group.
Broadley and Pickard flew back over the area to assess whether or not a second wave was necessary. It wasn’t, but their plane was hit by flak and their Mosquito aircraft came down into a nearby wood. Broadley was 23 years old and engaged to Kitty Oversby, the daughter of a Richmond farmer at the time of his death.
The raid was deemed a success, some 200 prisoners managed to escape.
Want to know more about the many hidden historic gems in and around Richmond? Join us for an online wander on Thursday 4 March. The Richmond Wander is the last in our current series of streamed events – we’d love you to join us.