Author seeks to trace World War Two pilot’s family who may still live in Leighton Buzzard

A man from the Netherlands has contacted the Leighton Buzzard Observer to help track down the family of a pilot who died during the Second World War.

Dirk Bruin, from Vlieland, is in the process of writing a book about the war graves on Vlieland.

A war time photograph made on the Vlieland churchyard, which pictures the burial of a RAF crew member. Photo from Dirk Bruin

A war time photograph made on the Vlieland churchyard, which pictures the burial of a RAF crew member. Photo from Dirk Bruin

While doing research on the men buried in the war grave plot he discovered a man who was buried there was the son of a couple from Leighton Buzzard.

In a letter to the LBO, he wrote: “During the Second World War a total of 48 members of the RAF, RCAF en RAAF washed upon the beach of our island and were buried in our churchyard.

“One of the young men buried in the war grave plot of our churchyard is Sergeant Philip Stanley Sutton, age 21, son of Stanley and Alice Lena Sutton of Buzzard, Bedfordshire.

“Sergeant Philip Sutton was pilot of Wellington T2722 of 20 Operation Training Unit when his aircraft crashed in Spey bay near Lossiemouth in the night of 27 November 1942 during a night flight training. His body washed upon the beach of Vlieland six weeks later.”

A war time photograph made on the Vlieland churchyard, which pictures the burial of a RAF crew member. Photo from Dirk Bruin

A war time photograph made on the Vlieland churchyard, which pictures the burial of a RAF crew member. Photo from Dirk Bruin

Mr Bruin would like to know if there are any next of kin of Sergeant Phillip Sutton still living in the area, as he would like to know more about him and possibly a photo of him.

He added: “We also want to pay attention to the sacrifices made during the war in our local museum.”

> If you can help contact reporter Holly Patel on 01582 798558 or email news@lbobserver.co.uk